Whether you are just getting into archery, a professional archer or an avid bow hunter, the type of arrows you use can make or break your shooting experience. Having the best arrow for your compound bow is a key component in having the best learning, target shooting or hunting experience.
There are many characteristics that you must consider when searching for the best arrow for your compound bow. Many arrows are designed for specific applications and may not even match the specifications for your type of bow. The guide below should be helpful in discerning which type of arrow will be most suitable for you.
The Best Arrow – Our favorite
The Gold Tip Hunter XT is the best all-around arrow on the list. This arrow is extremely versatile and can be used for most applications. From beginners to competitive archers and hunters, this arrow has a quality application for all archers. The Hunter XT is truly a multifunctional arrow that can apply to just about any situation.
It is reasonably priced enough for target shooting, and beginners, but is also high enough quality for competition and relatively big game hunting. It has a Smart Carbon design, which makes it extremely fast and accurate while packing a significant punch to take down prey.
The other arrows on the list are specifically suited for different areas of archery, whereas the Hunter XT is proficient in all applications. This causes it to surpass the others on the list and win the title of the best arrow.
Important Arrow Characteristics
There are many characteristics to consider in the selection of an arrow. The material that the arrow is made from, the fletching style and material, the weight of the arrow, the length of the arrow and the durability are all things to consider, regardless of the preferred style and experience level of the archer.
It is important to consider these characteristics when searching for the right arrow for you. Some arrow designs may not be as suitable as others for your specific purposes. There are also important safety implications for selecting the proper arrow.
The material that an arrow is made from is an important thing to consider when trying to find the perfect fit for your experience level and style of shooting. The material will contribute to many aspects of the flight of the arrow and the feel when shooting, as well as the speed and durability.
The material that an arrow is made out of can also affect the price of the arrow. The options for the material are generally:
Wooden arrows are usually used by those who like a traditional feel when shooting. There are not a lot of advantages to wood, as it is the least durable and heaviest material. The main reason to use a wooden arrow is more of a coolness factor for those who are into the history of archery.
Some archers may even use wooden arrows with the traditional longbow. Wood arrows serve mostly an aesthetic purpose. They are not very durable or reliable and tend to warp and break rather easily.
The primary purpose of aluminum arrows is their affordability. Arrows made from aluminum are fairly light and durable but are not preferred to their carbon and composite counterparts. Aluminum arrows are used widely in competitions and by beginners due to their lower prices.
Aluminum arrows are much more durable and reliable than wood arrows. And although they are not as durable as carbon and composite arrows, aluminum arrows tend to be almost as fast and accurate as carbon and composite arrows.
Carbon arrows are the most popular type of arrow. They are the preferred arrows of hunters because they tend to pack the best punch. Although carbon arrows are more expensive than aluminum arrows, they are more durable.
The preferred arrow for the competitive shooting is generally a composite arrow. These are arrows made with aluminum and carbon. Professional archers and competitive archers tend to use these arrows for target shooting, due to their accurate flight patterns.
Composite arrows usually consist of an aluminum core coated in carbon or a carbon core coated in aluminum. They are generally used in higher-level competitions, making them much less prevalent than carbon arrows. They are also much more expensive.
The fletching on an arrow is made up of either 3 or 4 guiding fins and is made from several different materials. Archers prefer different fletching for various reasons from durability to flight stability to aesthetics.
The 4-fin style fletching is said by some to improve the stability of an arrow, however, this is contested by some archers who say there is little difference. The material that fletching is made from also varies based on the use of the arrow. Hunters prefer a much more durable material whereas indoor and competitive archers are more interested in materials that improve accuracy.
The weight of an arrow is important to consider based on the style of the archer that you are. Hunters tend to prefer a heavier arrow at 6 to 8 grains per pound of draw pull. Arrow weights are measured in grains.
Carbon arrows are generally the heaviest, especially those used for hunting bigger game. Aluminum arrows are sometimes preferred in competition because they are lighter.
The length of an arrow is solely dependent on the type of bow that you are using. An arrows length is measured from the indent in the nock to its tip. The arrow length should be between .5 to 1 inch longer than the draw length of your bow.
The durability of an arrow is an important characteristic to consider, especially for hunters and outdoor archers. Carbon arrows tend to be the most durable, however, they are not unbreakable. If you notice any splintering or cracking in the shaft the arrow can no longer be used.
The more durable arrows also tend to be higher in price. There are various levels of carbon arrows available that vary greatly in quality and durability.
What is the Best Type of Arrow for You?
Again, the type of archer that you are will cause the type of arrow that you prefer to vary. Competitive archers tend to prefer accuracy to durability and weight, whereas hunters tend to be the opposite. Your experience level will also contribute to the type of arrow that you use.
Beginners may choose to use aluminum arrows because they are the most affordable and tend to be lighter. Aluminum arrows can also be used for small game hunting, making them good for beginner hunters as well. Aluminum is much weaker however and tends to bend when hitting solid objects.
The overall most popular type of arrow is a carbon arrow. Its durability and prevalence make the carbon arrow a favorite amongst hunters, professionals, and beginners.
How to Make Sure an Arrow Matches Your Compound Bow
More important than user preference is the issue of safely using your equipment. Buying the proper arrow for the type of bow that you are using is an important way that you can prevent damage to your bow and/or personal injury. Adherence to ratings, weights, and lengths for arrows is a key component of shopping for the right arrow for your compound bow.
Important specs to follow
The Spine rating of an arrow is a measurement of the amount of force an arrow is designed to take from the bow. It is extremely important that the spine rating of the arrow that you are using matches that of your bow. Some lower quality arrows can not be used with more powerful bows.
Not following the spine rating of an arrow could significantly damage your bow. This could also cause injury to you or others.
The weight and length of the arrow that you should use also depend on the type of bow. Arrows that are too short can increase your risk of injury. Make sure to follow all safety instructions pertaining to your equipment and the spaces in which you are operating.
The Best Arrows for Compound Bows
The following is a list and breakdown of the pros and cons of the best arrows for compound bows in 2019.
Carbon Express Maxima Hunter
As can be observed by its title, the Maxima Hunter arrow by Carbon Express, is an arrow that has been optimized for hunting. Its dual spine weight forward design is ideal for hunting at a relatively long distance. It is touted by Carbon Express as being one of the fastest and most accurate hunting arrows.
- Penetrates target well
- Double spine construction
- The straight and precise flight pattern
- Designed for long-range shooting
- Light and accurate
- Six arrows per package
- Higher in price
- Designed specifically for hunting
The Maxima Hunter is clearly designed for hunting and is a preferable choice for that particular purpose. It is constructed for ultimate accuracy, speed, distance, and the takedown of prey. This is the toughest arrow on the list, but it is also the most expensive.
This is not the most versatile choice in arrow if you are not strictly a hunter. If you are a beginner or a professional archer, this is probably not the best choice arrow for shooting targets. This arrow is designed specifically for taking down game and does it quite well.
Carbon Express Maxima Red Fletched Arrows
This option from Carbon Express was designed specifically for deer hunting. The RED Fletched Arrows are made from hi-tech carbon material, which makes them incredibly durable. The material also makes them lightweight, allowing them to fly faster, longer and straighter.
Like the Maxima Hunter, this arrow packs a significant punch when it reaches its target. This is also an ideal arrow for hunting.
- Improved accuracy
- Exceptionally straight and long-range flight
- Stiffer ends and minimal flexing
- Package contains six arrows
- Arrow tips are sold separately
These arrows are another quality hunting tool from Carbon Express. They are designed to take down prey with precision and well constructed for overall durability.
The high-tech carbon design makes the RED Fletched arrow extremely fast and accurate. This is not an arrow, however, that would be good for beginners or competitive use. It is an expensive arrow that is designed to take down deer, and do it proficiently.
Gold Tip Hunter XT Arrows
This is the most versatile arrow on the list. The Gold Tip Hunter XT Arrow is designed for balance, speed, power, and accuracy. This arrow is ideal for hunting and competitive target shooting.
It’s Smart Carbon Technology makes it extremely durable. This arrow is designed for multiple purposes.
- Extremely versatile, can be used for hunting and competition
- Reasonably priced
- High quality
- Very Accurate
- Balance Performance
- Pre-installed fletching may need adjusting
- Not suited for beginners
The Hunter XT is a very versatile arrow that can be used for target shooting and hunting. Its Smart Carbon design makes it extremely accurate, but also strong enough to take down game. This multi-use arrow is hard to top.
This arrow may not be the easiest or affordable arrow to start out with, but it is more suited to beginners than the Carbon Express arrows. Those are specifically designed for high-end hunting, whereas this arrow is quite multi-purposeful.
Tiger Archery 30-inch Carbon Arrows
These arrows from Tiger Archery are designed for hunting and target shooting. They are constructed with removable tips and come in a pack of twelve. The arrows are black and white which is not ideal for locating them if you miss your target.
- Professional level accuracy
- Weight also conducive to beginners
- Well constructed fletching
- Quality recurve
- Strong Tips
- Mixed reviews on hunting suitability
- Although sturdy, fletching is not durable
- Weak nock adhesion
- Tips must be tightened after use
- Tips may fall off frequently
These arrows are on the more affordable end and are designed for both accuracy and beginners. There are mixed reviews on the hunting application of this arrow, since it does not seem to be the most durable choice or easy to find if you miss the target.
This is an arrow that is, however, quite suitable for target practice. It has a fairly sturdy construction and is therefore practical for target shooting. The lightweight design is also great for beginners.
Durability is an issue with this arrow as the tips and nocks will need to be reset periodically. The nocks are not glued into place so they may fall off and the tips tend to unscrew with each use.
Misayar 30-inch Carbon Arrow
These arrows are a little easier to find with bright yellow fletching. The Misayar Carbon Arrows come in a pack of twelve and can be used for target shooting, small game hunting, and bow fishing. These arrows are also on the more affordable end and have mixed reviews for hunting purposes.
- Slight Recurve
- Brighter colors for easy recovery
- Good for target practice
- Tips are durable and long-lasting
- High-quality spine
- Sturdy nocks
- Tips need to be glued on
- Fletching not so durable
- Mixed reviews on hunting applications
Like the Tiger Arrow, the Misayar does not seem to be preferable for hunting or have that durable of a construction. The arrow is however affordable and comes in a pack of twelve. Its brighter colors make it easier to find if you miss your target.
The nocks and tips on the Misayar are also a more sturdy design than other more affordable arrows. Overall this is a good arrow for target shooting and small game hunting.
Durability is also a slight issue with this arrow, as with other more affordable arrows. The tips and nocks will need to be re-glued periodically. The fletch construction also has mixed reviews in terms of how long it will last.
Easton Game Getter XX75 Factory Arrow
Unlike the other arrows listed so far, the XX75 is a high-quality aluminum arrow. This makes it a quality arrow at a reduced price from the carbon alternatives. It is also available in a variety of different sizes, which is preferable for availability.
- Comes in a variety of sizes
- Nocks and inserts already installed
- High standards for straightness
- Universal bushings
- Bent by hitting hard objects
- Not as durable as carbon
- Some preparation required before use
- Not conducive to beginners
This is a high performance and affordable arrow that is made from an aluminum alloy. The materials reduce the price greatly, but you are also sacrificing some of the durability that you would get from a carbon arrow. As aluminum arrows go, however, this is one of the top choices in terms of quality.
The Easton Game Getter XX75 Factory is an affordable arrow for a professional archer. Its construction is focused on accuracy and is therefore great for target shooting.
This is not a recommended choice for beginners as there is some setup involved before you can use the arrows. Beginners should learn how to construct different brands of arrows, but this is not ideal for learning how to shoot properly.
Easton 019330 Bloodline Arrow
Another option provided by Easton is their 019330 Bloodline Arrow. This arrow is a high strength carbon design that is made for speed and destruction.
This arrow is built for faster and flatter shooting and is ideal for taking down prey.
- Very fast
- The durable construction of high-quality carbon fiber
- Pre-installed nocks
- Not target friendly, tears up practice targets
- Not good for beginners
This is a high-performance arrow that is great for hunting. It is extremely fast and packs a significant punch to take down your prey. These qualities, however, make the arrow unsuitable for target practice and beginners.
The Bloodline will tear apart your practice target due to its high-speed design. This design also makes it potentially dangerous for an unskilled archer to use.
So, what type of arrow is the best for you?
When you are looking for the best arrows to use for your compound bow, there are many characteristics to consider. First, you must assess your particular skill level and purpose. There are many types of arrows available for various forms of archery.
It is important that you select the proper arrow for your skill, level, purpose, and style of bow. The overall best pick for type of arrow for a compound bow is the Gold Tip Hunter XT Arrow. This is because it provides the highest level of performance in most areas of archery.
The Hunter XT can be used for hunting, competitive shooting and target practice. It is also less expensive than other high-quality hunting and competitive shooting arrows. The Hunter XT is a high-performance carbon arrow that uses Smart Carbon Technology.
This technology allows the arrow to be extremely effective in many areas. It is fast, accurate, and packs a significant punch when hitting a target. All of these characteristics combine to make it an extremely well-rounded arrow and therefore our winner.
As discussed above, carbon arrows are the most popular types of arrows for most applications, with the exception of high-end composite arrows for competitive shooting. Aluminum arrows, however, are a lower-priced and viable option for just starting out and higher-level target shooting.
The Hunter XT is a fairly high-quality option for those who are just starting out and may seem fairly expensive. But, it is lower in price than other high-quality arrows and is much more conducive to target practice and usage for beginners.
Overall, when buying an arrow for your compound bow it is important that you follow all of the specifications and safety requirements. Using the wrong equipment or using equipment improperly can cause damage and even personal injury.
There are many different forms of archery and different levels that one can operate at. Among the vast echelons, it can be extremely helpful to know the right equipment for you.
Hopefully, this guide provided some helpful information toward a safer and more productive search for the right arrow for you.