How to Cut Aluminum Arrows

by Gary Proulx
A properly cut arrow performs best.

A properly cut arrow performs best.

A properly cut aluminum arrow will give you the best flight possible out of the bow and ensure the best penetration in game animals. An arrow that is too long is effectively too weak to receive the energy from the bow and will display erratic flight characteristics. An arrow that is too short cannot be safely shot, as its point will contact the riser upon drawing the string. Arrows are at their weakest when they are full length.

Place the rubber band over the arrow shaft. Wrap it around the shaft a few times so it is tight.

Put the arrow on the bowstring and draw the bow back. Note where the rubber band is when you are at full draw in relation to the front of the bow.

Release the string carefully while holding onto the arrow. Adjust the rubber band so that upon full draw it contacts the front of the riser, which is the section of the bow upon which the handle and sight window are located. Slowly let the string down while holding the arrow.

Place the ruler on the arrow shaft and make a mark an inch from the rubber band toward the point end. This is the minimal arrow length mark.

Place a bolt or wooden dowel inside of the arrow shaft and use the tubing cutter to shorten the shaft. The bolt, or dowel ensures that the hollow shaft will not collapse. Depending upon the length of the bolt or dowel, it may be necessary to make several cuts. If you must cut the shaft beyond the minimal length mark in order to get proper arrow flight, go up to the next size arrow and begin again.

Reinstall the point insert and the point onto the arrow.

Items you will need

  • Bolt or wooden dowel
  • Tubing cutter

Tips

  • Work with one arrow at a time, then test that first arrow to ensure that you have measured correctly.
  • If you find that the arrow is too stiff at this shorter length, increase the point weight. This will weaken it slightly.
  • If the arrow is too weak at this shorter length, decrease the point weight. This will stiffen it slightly.

Warnings

  • Always wear eye protection when cutting the aluminum shafts.
  • Freshly-cut aluminum shafts can have sharp edges. Use caution when handling them.
  • Never point the bow at another person.

References

  • Instinctive Shooting; G. Fred Asbell; 1988

About the Author

Gary Proulx has been writing since 1980. He specializes in automotive technology and gasoline and diesel design. Proulx has had multiple articles published on various websites. He is also an archery expert who writes about the ins and outs of archery as a sport.

Photo Credits

  • tip on an arrow image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com