Arrow Types 101 – Informative Guide

Choosing the right equipment is just as important as having the right amount of training and experience. Selecting an arrow requires just as much research and attention as your bow. It is essential that the arrow is straight, stiff, and measures the right length.

However, due to the wide variety of arrows available today, it can be confusing and difficult for an inexperienced archer to choose the right one.

To ensure you make the right decision, the following are reviews of some of the best arrows available today. So, make sure you give them a read before making your next purchase!

How Fast Do Arrows Travel?

The speed of an arrow depends on the limb material, the draw length, the draw weight of the bow, bowstring material, type of fletching, weight of the arrow, and the prevailing wind conditions. Arrow flight can also be slowed down by rain and humidity. The higher the speed of the arrow, the flatter its flight trajectory and the less deviation it suffers from the wind.


Compound bow arrows are able to fly up to a speed of 300fps (feet per second), while recurve bow arrows can fly up to 225fps.  On the other hand, longbow arrows travel a bit slower due to their heavy weight.

Check out these calculators for Front of Center (FOC) and kinetic energy to give you more accurate estimations.

What Are The Parts of an Arrow?

Arrows are comprised of four parts. These include:


Simply put, the shaft is the length of an arrow.  It is crafted with different types of materials, including aluminum, wood, fiberglass, carbon, and an aluminum-carbon mix. Each material has its own positives and is used for a different purpose.

Arrowhead or Points

As the name suggests, the arrowhead is the sharp point situated at the end of the arrow.



Crafted with feather or plastic, these are the three vanes located at the back of an arrow. Usually, two of the vanes are of a similar color, while the third one has a different color.


Usually designed with plastic, the nock is the slotted tip attached at the end of an arrow. It is fitted on the bowstring at the ‘nocking point.’

Types of Arrows

As mentioned above, selecting the right arrow for your shooting style and the bow is one of the most important steps in getting the perfect shot. If you’re planning on doing some simple target-practice, you’ll need an arrow that is different from the one needed for deer hunting. Following are some of the different types of arrows available today:

Wood Arrows

The cheapest and most cost-effective model available today, wood arrows are the perfect choice for beginners. They are most commonly used by traditional archers and people who prefer shooting with longbows. However, they are almost never used in competitions.

These models also do not last very long. They warp, splinter, snap and break, and because they’re crafted with organic material, they’re not uniform. This means that the arrows are inconsistent and differ greatly. As a result, each unit flies differently.

Wood arrows that are designed with compact cedar are generally stronger and more durable as compared to other wood models. They are also able to better hit and pierce the body of the target.

Aluminum Arrows

Another great option for beginners, aluminum arrows are also used by more experienced hunters and archers. These models are usually cheaper as compared to carbon arrows, but cost a bit more than wood units.

Easton XX75 Jazz Aluminum Arrows, 6-pack

Aluminum arrows are available in a variety of sizes and can be used for both hunting and target archery. Usually, these units come with screw-in tips, allowing you to switch between field points, broadheads, and bullet points.

Moreover, they can be fletched with plastic or feather vanes. They are also a bit sturdier as compared to carbon models, making them the perfect choice for target archers, as arrows knock against each other and are usually shot in groups.

Carbon Arrows

Due to their stiffness, carbon models are an ideal option for heavier bows, especially heavier compound bows which are used for hunting. And because they are particularly manufactured to be extremely thin, they are able to penetrate game better as compared to thick aluminum units.

However, they do splinter and break from time to time. If this happens, you’ll need to toss them away and purchase new ones. Carbon arrows are also one of the most expensive models available on the market today.

Fiberglass Arrows

Fiberglass units are much more reliable, uniform, and consistent as compared to wood models, making them ideal for backyard target-practice, informal uses, and hunting. They can also be fit into different draw lengths easily, so you don’t have to worry about the length!

On the other hand, fiberglass models tend to be brittle and fragile and can break easily. As a result, you’ll constantly need to replace them.


All in all, choosing the right arrow is an extremely important decision. You can have the best bow available on the market and you would still be unable to hit your target if you don’t have the right arrow. For us, the best model is the Carbon Express Maxima RED. But, make sure you go through all of our top picks and find the model which best suits your needs!