How to Replace an Arrow Nock

How to Replace an Arrow Nock

Explore America's Campgrounds

If you shoot enough arrows, a few arrow nocks will eventually break. Ideally, your groupings are so tight that you break nocks by hitting them with your own arrows, but mundane causes – careless storage, dropping an arrow from a tree stand or stepping on the nock while at the indoor range – probably account for most broken nocks. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to replace them, once broken.

Items you will need

  • Pliers

  • Extra-fine-grit sandpaper

  • Replacement nock

  • Nock tuning tool

  • Slow-setting nock glue

Step 1

Remove the broken nock by gripping it with the pliers and pulling it out from the arrow shaft. It often helps to rotate the nock while pulling.

Step 2

Roll up the sandpaper, insert it into the shaft and spin it around a few times to remove any residual adhesive and ensure a clean surface to which the new glue can adhere. Remove and discard the sandpaper.

Step 3

Insert the nock into the nock tuning tool. Do not use pliers to insert the new nock, as they may damage the material. Apply a thin film of nock setting glue to the nock, and insert the nock into the shaft.

Step 4

Locate the raised ridge or bump on the nock – this is an index marker. Examine the other arrows from this set and determine how the index ridge lines up with the index fletching – some designs orient the nock slot perpendicularly to the index fletching, while others should be parallel with the index fletching. Rotate the nock with the nock tuning tool, so that the index ridge placement matches those of the other arrows.


  • Always inspect your nocks after spending the day at the range or in the field. Examine the nocks closely for any signs of damage, and discard any that display such.
  • Some replacement nocks are designed to be installed without the use of glue, so be sure to comply with the manufacturer’s instructions when installing replacement nocks.


  • If you cannot pull the broken nock from the arrow shaft, remove the arrow point and insert a thin steel rod into the shaft. Tap the rod with a mallet until the old nock pops off.
  • You can replace a two-piece nock with the same method, but you must remove and replace the plastic nock and the metal pin, to which the nock attaches.
  • If you are having trouble pressing the replacement nock into the shaft, turn the arrow upside down – with the arrow nock tuning tool attached – and press down on the arrow until the nock slides into place.
Gone Outdoors