Experts say that you should restring your bow at least every three years, although this time may be altered depending on certain factors. Furthermore, when restringing your compound bow, you will need to think about the type and quality of string you will use as well as the cost of restringing.

In this article, we will be looking at everything you need to know to have your compound bow restrung successfully.

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Why Do I Need To Restring My Compound Bow?

One of the main reasons that you will need to restring your compound bow regularly is down accuracy. Have you ever noticed that when your strings have had their day that you bow is not as easy to shoot as it was when the strings were new?

This is because as you use the bow, over time, the strings will expand and become looser. This will take away some of the poundage of the draw, and as a result, your shots might not be as accurate as you know you can make them.

And it won’t just be your accuracy that is thrown off. A bowhunter using a bow whose bowstring is not up to scratch will notice that the speed of the arrow is drastically affected.

But perhaps the most important thing to consider when looking at whether or not you should restring your bow is safety. There is a very real risk that leaving a bow with a substandard string will result in the string snapping unexpectedly. If this happens, particularly when the bow is at full draw, there is a threat to your safety and potentially your life. Not to mention that should the string snap, fly off and hit an innocent bystander, their safety will also be compromised. Archery is not a sport that should be taken with a blase attitude, and it is essential to observe safety at all times; this includes maintaining your equipment, thus replacing your bowstring regularly is of the utmost importance.

How Much Does It Cost To Restring A Compound Bow?

One of the most common questions from newbie archers is how much it is going to cost to restring their compound bow; in short, it isn’t as much as you might first think.

There is no secret that some of the most top-quality bows come in at quite the cost; therefore, it would be easy to assume that maintaining them would cost just as much, but the good news is that, on average, you can expect to pay only $70-$200 to restring your compound bow.

However, it is essential to keep in mind that this is an average, and there are several factors that might affect how much you must fork out to restring your bow.

First of all, the quality of the strings you choose will vary dramatically and accordingly, so will the cost. There are some budget-friendly strings that offer a half-decent quality, and if you don’t use your bow very often, this might be a viable option. However, if you are a regular shooter, you will want something a little more durable. This will save you having to replace the strings more frequently.

There are some bowstrings that are extremely expensive, but this might often be associated with the brand name, so be sure to look at the quality as opposed to the company name that is printed on the packaging.

In addition to the cost of the string, you will need to think about how much it will cost to have the string fitted. Now, it is vital to keep in mind that there is no obligation for you to take your bow to a professional shop to be restringed; it is perfectly possible to do this yourself, at home. However, if you are not entirely confident, it is always wise to hand the job to someone who knows what they are doing; rather this than risk damaging your bow. But for those who do feel comfortable doing a DIY restringing, we will offer you some handy tips a little later on.

Some shops charge as little as $20 for a string replacement, so you can see that this isn’t something that is going to put a massive dent into your bank balance. However, if you are looking for an excellent quality of service and someone who has a great deal of experience, you might need to pay a little extra for the privilege.

How Often Should I Restring My Compound Bow?

As a general rule, most manufacturers and archery experts would recommend that you restring a compound bow at least once every three years. However, this is quite the point of contention among archers with some suggesting that it should be done far more frequently. There are those who restring their bow annually and whilst this is a lot more often than previously suggested, it is also worth keeping in mind that due to the relatively low cost of restringing a compound bow, doing it once a year won’t break the bank.

There are other people who would go even further and suggest that you should replace your bowstring every few months, and this might be the case if you are getting some exceptionally heavy use out of your equipment. Still, unless you are using it on a commercial hunting scale or are a professional competitive archer, it is unlikely that you would need to do it this often.

When we talk about the frequency of restringing your bow, it is vital that these timescales are a general guideline; there are several factors that will determine how often, or not, you will need to have your compound bow restrung.

To begin with, you will need to consider how often you use the bow; for someone who is using their equipment multiple times per day, it stands to reason that you would need to replace the strings far more frequently than someone who uses the bow a few times a month.

Furthermore, you will need to think about the quality of the strings. Of course, it goes without saying that if you have previously installed a good quality string, this will last longer than a budget one that has not been designed with longevity and quality in mind. It is far wiser to spend that little bit extra on your bowstring so that it will last longer and perform better.

What Are The Signs That My Bow Needs Restringing?

One of the most obvious signs to look out for when checking whether your bow needs restringing or not is how it is functioning. If it simply doesn’t ‘feel right’ then it might be time to check the string over.

In the main, if there are any signs of wear and tear such as fraying or obvious breaks, then you should aim to get the bow restrung as quickly as possible. Furthermore, if you have noticed that the maximum draw length has become elongated, this could be a key giveaway that it is time to replace the bowstring.

Your compound bowstring might wear in specific places more quickly than it would in others. For example, where it crosses the cams may be a point that becomes worn more easily as well as at the nock point.

For these reasons, it is important that you inspect the bow from time to time to ensure that it is in good working order.

Are There Any Ways To Make My Compound Bowstring Last Longer?

The truth of the matter is that if you use your bow frequently enough, the string is going to wear, fray and need replacing more quickly than it would if you are only an occasional shooter.

However, there are a few things that you can do to get the maximum life out of your bowstring. The most commonly used trick is to wax the string regularly as this can prevent it from fraying as quickly as it would otherwise. You will need to give the bowstrings a good clean and then apply the wax.

One of the main things that can cause a bowstring to fracture before it should is when too much pressure is applied to the bowstring. Therefore, avoiding adding too much pressure is one of the prime ways that you can make sure that your bowstring lasts as long as possible.

Many people are not familiar with the fact that exposing the bow to extreme heat could serve as a way to damage the string, or at least make its lifespan significantly shorter. For this reason, you should be sure to avoid placing the bow next to extreme sources of heat such as an open fire.

How To Restring A Compound Bow By Hand

If you do not want to take your bow to a professional to be restrung then it is entirely viable to do this by yourself, even without the aid of a bow press; but you must be prepared for a little bit of work. Whilst this is a simple technique, it is essential to remember that if you have not done it before, there is a risk of it going wrong. If you want to get it right, it might be worth practising on an old bow before moving on to your current one.

  • To begin with, you will need to take some of the pressure off the limbs, and this can be achieved by inserting an Allen wrench into the limb bolts and making three full turns.
  • Now take your feet and step onto the bowstring while using the hands to bring it to a full draw position.
  • Keeping one hand on the riser, you will now need to use the other hand to attach the teardrop fittings of the replacement string to the loops on the bow.
  • You must now slowly lower the bow until you notice that the limbs return to the default position.
  • Take the time to inspect the string loops and be sure that they are correctly fitted into the grooves on the bow.
  • Next, take both feet and stand on the replacement strings at the same time, use the riser to bring the bow to a full draw. You will now be able to remove the old string and slowly lower the bow back to default.
  • Remember to tighten the limb bolts back with your Allen wrench at the end of the process.


Keeping your bow in good condition is a sure-fire way to ensure that it always shoots accurately, but many archers are unfamiliar with the importance of replacing the strings on their compound bow.

This is a simple task that can be done cheaply by a professional; you will find that the true cost of restringing comes from the strings themselves.

It is important to regularly look over your bowstring to make sure that it is not frayed or damaged, but as a rule of thumb, you can get away with replacing the bowstring every three years.

Whether you use your compound bow for hunting, target practice, or maybe both, one of the most important things is what arrows you use. There is a common misconception that it is the bow that harbors all the power and while this is true to an extent, your arrows play an important role in your archery practice.

Before you get out into the field or onto the shooting range, you should make sure that you have chosen the right equipment. If you are using a 40lb compound bow, there are some arrows that will suit this type of bow and in this article, we are going to be showing you our top picks.

We will also be giving you all the information you will need to effectively and confidently choose your arrows.

Here Are The Arrows We Love

If you type in ‘the best arrows’ on a Google search, you will be rewarded with a seriously vast choice. There is no limit on the type, length, weight, flexibility, or style of arrows you could choose.

However, not all arrows are made equal and while many are of excellent quality, they may not be suitable for your 40lb compound bow. This is where a lot of archers, particularly beginners, begin to struggle.

It is important to know what you are looking for and what products are right for you. But to save you the hassle of having to trawl through endless online products, we have put together a list of the best arrows for a 40lb compound bow. Take a look below.

Top Pick – HHORB 30 Inch Carbon Archery Arrows

Many archers will practice both out in the field, hitting live targets as well as getting onto the shooting range for a bit of target practice. This diversity in the sport requires equipment to match and that is where these incredible arrows make their mark.

If you are looking for something with an excellent all-round performance that will provide accuracy, a good flight, and versatility then you might want to consider these.

The arrows are fitted with three TPU fletchings for optimal flight and control. They each measure 30 inches, but of course, this can be reduced should you need to. Made from carbon, they are strong and durable as well as being wonderfully lightweight.

These arrows have a standard diameter which is another point that makes them excellent for a variety of archery types. With the average diameter being 6.5mm, these sit at 6.3mm, which is marginally smaller.

The arrows are designed to be used with all kinds of bows but work particularly well with a compound. They have adjustable nocks for this reason and also come with screw-on arrow tips. This gives you the freedom to replace the arrow tip with a broadhead for when you are out bowhunting.

The thing that impressed us the most with these arrows was how smoothly they fly. With minimal hand shock, they leave the bow with a gentle glide and appear to cut through the air with some of the most delightful accuracy we have ever seen.

At the same time as this, they are so durable and one of the longest lasting archery arrows in their class. You certainly won’t be let down by them.

For Hunting – Paisi Carbon Archery Arrows

Pure, precision cut carbon is crafted into some of the straightest and most precise arrows we have ever seen. Not only this but the design is beautiful. If you are looking for a truly stunning arrow then these are definitely worth considering.

But so much more than merely looking great, the Paisi archery arrows demonstrate quality at its very finest.

They feature three hardy vanes made from a TPU material which gives a decent amount of weight and an accurate flight.

For bowhunting, you are going to need a much weightier arrow so that it can penetrate and these are exceptional for this. They are designed to be that little bit heavier without compromising on the speed of the flight while being weighty enough to get a kill every time. The arrows are specifically designed to be used with bows that have a draw weight between 40lbs and 70lbs.

The straightness of the arrows is to within +/- 0.003 and they come with adjustable nocks so that they can be used on a range of bows.

But what we really love about these arrows is the price. There are, of course, archery tools out there that can cost the earth. In other times, these things can be so cheap that the quality is questionable. But these arrows come at a decent price without having a negative impact on the quality.

If you are new to archery and want to try out various arrows to get a feel of what works for you, then we would suggest this to be an excellent starting point.

For Shooting Practice – Pinals Archery Spine

One of the first things you will notice about these arrows is the striking designs that they come in. Just because arrows serve a practical purpose, it doesn’t mean that they can’t show off your personality. In a choice of neon green or bright pink, they will certainly make a statement.

But aesthetics aside, these are strong, reliable, and powerful arrows that are ideal for shooting practice. They are designed for a bow with a draw weight between 25lbs and 70lbs, putting your 40lb’er right in the middle of this range.

You can convert the arrows from pointed to broadhead should you wish to get off the range and get on with some hunting, which proves their versatility.

The nocks are fully adjustable so even if you want to switch it up and use a different bow, namely a recurve, you have this option. With that in mind, they will fit almost any compound bow too.

The arrows come in packs of 12, which is pretty standard for any batch of arrows and the quality is second to none. They are fashioned from top-notch carbon which is lightweight, durable and gives an incredible degree of accuracy.

But what is most notable about these arrows is how straight they are. With precise measuring, these arrows are within the +/- 0.003 range giving you the confidence that they are truly ‘arrow straight.’

Why Are Arrows Important?

There are some archers that will simply grab the first arrows that they see and put them to use. This might be OK if you don’t mind compromising your performance but as we all know, every little aspect matters where archery is concerned.

From how you place your feet on the ground, through to the type of bow you use, your target distance and even where you place your hands, everything has its place. Your arrows are no exception to this rule and choosing the right type is fundamental in getting a decent and consistent shot every time.

Imagine a car, while it may run just fine with parts that are designed to be generic, it will run much better with parts that are designed specifically for that model. What’s more, if you tried to run a Ferrari with an engine designed for a mini wouldn’ t end well.

Similarly, if you try to operate your bow with arrows that are designed for something entirely different, you aren’t going to see such impressive results. You should always choose arrows that are meant for YOUR bow and not just some cheap sale items that happen to help you save money.

In the long run, you will thank yourself. Using the right arrows will improve your accuracy, consistency, and will give you a straight and speedy flight.

Tips For Choosing 40lbs Arrows

Before we start looking at some great tips to help you choose the right arrows for your 40lb compound bow, it is important that we point out the obvious.

Since your compound bow has a draw weight of 40lbs, you will need to look for arrows that are designed to be shot at this weight. Typically, the ideal draw weight will be given between two extremes and will be displayed on the arrow packaging or the product description.

If you are at all confused about this, the best idea is to head to your local archery shop and speak to a professional who will be able to advise you on the correct arrows for your bow.

But with the obvious aside, there are plenty of other factors that all archers should keep in mind when shopping for arrows.

These are one of the most common pieces of archery equipment that you will use so it pays to choose something that is going to stand up to the demands of this challenging sport.

Choosing The Right Arrow Length

Now, you’re going to be looking for the draw weight that each arrow is suited to and once you find this, it can be tempting to think that you have found a compatible arrow. But you’d be wrong.

The draw length of your bow will determine how long your arrows need to be and it is imperative that you stick with this.

As a rule of thumb, you should always aim to have an arrow that is one inch longer than the end of your arrow rest once it is placed inside. If it is any shorter, this could be a potential hazard, and the last thing you want is to be practicing dangerous archery.

If the arrow is very slightly too long, this won’t cause too much of a problem but when it is too short, there is a chance that it could become stuck once the bow releases. This may then result in the arrow snapping and sending debris towards you or damaging the bow.

That in mind, it is also important not to use arrows that are massively too big. A little extra length is OK but when you start having loads of extra inches, you will begin to notice that the arrows do not fly as quickly.

Since you are shooting a compound bow, it can be very easy to determine the correct length for an arrow. You will need a friend, your archery equipment, and a marker then you will be good to go.

Simply nock an arrow and draw the bow to its full draw length. Have your friends stand at the side of you, out of the way of the arrow and get them to mark a point on the arrow where it is one inch off the arrow rest. Once you have done this, you can measure from the nock groove to the point that you marked and you’ve got your ideal arrow length.

Choosing The Arrow Material

The arrows that we have looked at in this article are all made from carbon. That is because this is the most popular material to make arrows today. However, it is not the only one.

Carbon is a very lightweight material that offers extreme durability. Where archery is concerned, particularly bowhunting, you need something that is going to stand up to the challenge. Carbon is ideal for this.

These arrows will not bend and are excellent for hunting since they typically have a slightly smaller diameter making them excellent for penetration.

If you prefer something with a little more weight than an aluminum arrow is a great choice. These will travel at a slower speed so that is a factor to consider, however, there are good points to them.

Aluminium arrows are typically much quieter when they are released and while they may be more susceptible to damage than their carbon counterparts, they do offer greater spine choices.

However, for archers who want the best of both worlds, there are hybrid arrows that are made from a carbon/aluminum blend. They offer consistency, durable, speed, and versatility.

Choosing The Arrow Diameter

You might not think that the diameter of an arrow makes much difference, after all, the difference between them is millimeters. However, it can have a huge impact on your performance and is something that should absolutely be taken in consideration.

The average diameter of an arrow is 6.5mm but there are variations on this, as we saw with one of the products we looked at earlier.

However, depending on the type of archery you do, you might need a thinner or more chunky arrow.

For bowhunters, a smaller diameter is definitely preferable. This is because these arrows will penetrate the target a lot more easily, giving you more chance of an effective kill. This is owing to a decreased surface area and therefore, less friction.

However, there are even smaller diameter arrows known as micro-diameter and these have an even more minimal diameter which can greatly improve your performance out on the field.

Conversely, if you are practicing archery on a target, then you might need something a little thicker.

Choosing The Arrow Spine

Something that a lot of people omit to think about when selecting their arrows is the spine. But this is one of the most critical factors, particularly if you don’t want to compromise the flexibility.

If an arrow is too flexible, this can result in it veering off course as it travels down the range. This may be OK for some types of archery but you should be thinking about this before you commit to purchasing.

The stiffness of the arrow is typically given on a numerical scale. The higher numbers represent more flexible arrows while lower numbers tell us that the spine is a lot more rigid.

It can feel a little confusing knowing how to choose but the best way to make a decision is to consider the dynamic arrow and the static arrow.

The static spine refers to how the arrow behaves when a weight is hung from its middle when still. This weight must be 1.94lb and hung in the center of the arrow, which must measure 29 inches.

As the weight is hung, you will measure how many inches the arrow bends and times this by a thousand. This will give you the number that represents the arrow’s bend.

To understand the dynamic spine, you must look at how the arrow behaves once it is released from a bow. This is a lot more difficult to calculate since so many factors come into play here.

Things like the weight of the fletching, the design of the arrow head, the speed of the bow, and the insert weight are all taken into consideration. But wait; there’s more!

As a general rule of thumb, the lower the draw weight of the bow, the lower the spine should be. For a 40lb compound bow, you should be looking at an arrow spine of around 400 for a 30 inch arrow and 500 for a 28 inch arrow.


Archery is a diverse sport and there are many different types which require many different pieces of equipment. As such, no two bows or sets of arrows are the same and when you are using a 40lb compound bow, you will need to make sure that you choose the right arrows.

The best place to start is to look at the information regarding what draw weight the arrows were made for. If 40lbs is within this range, you’re on to a good start. However, there are other factors you should consider such as the length or the arrow, its diameter and how flexible it is.

We have picked out some of what we consider to be the best arrows for a 40lb compound bow, now it’s just up to you to choose your favorite,

For bowhunters across the world, deer are a prized target. It takes stealth, precision, and a good amount of target practice to bring down your first buck, and when you do, it’ll certainly be a memory that will stay with you for the rest of your days.

However, when you are hunting deer, you need to make sure that you have the right equipment. From a reliable bow to your camo clothing, everything plays an important role. When it comes to choosing the best arrow weight for deer hunting, you need to consider a few things.

In this article, we will be exploring what factors influence the weight of your arrow for deer hunting and why the weight is so essential in getting a kill.

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Why Does Arrow Weight Matter?

A lot of archers, particularly those who are new to the sport, believe that their bow is the most crucial piece of equipment. And, yes, it is important. After all, you wouldn’t be able to practice archery without it.

That being said, you wouldn’t be able to take part without arrows either so considering them when making a choice is vital. One of the most critical factors when choosing an arrow for deer hunting is its weight.

You’ll likely have seen a lot of talk about this online and in your research but why does the weight of your arrow matter so much?

Understanding Arrow Weight

Before we discuss the importance of your arrow’s weight, it is key that we understand how arrows are measured for archery. You will notice that when you purchase arrows, the weight is given in grains per inch, often shortened to GPI.

The weight of the arrow will vary from product to product and there are many factors involved in this. The material from which the arrow is made, it’s length, and thickness will all influence how heavy the arrow is.

You should also keep in mind that the weight of the arrow includes the fully constructed piece of equipment and not just the shaft. The weight takes into consideration the nock, heads, fletchings, wraps, and inserts.

One of the biggest influencing factors where weight is concerned is the material. Arrows come in various forms; some are made from wood whereas others are made from metals. The most common metals for arrows are aluminum and carbon.

Both of these are lightweight options, although carbon is much lighter and is one of the most popular materials for modern arrows. But even though carbon is lightweight, that doesn’t mean that it cannot be used to take down a sizable deer.

This is because many brands now infuse their carbon shafts with resin giving them a much more durable design. You will be able to tell these arrows apart from others since they are labeled ‘pre-preg.’

Using this approach also allows the manufacturer to create a series of arrows with various weights, shaft diameters, and other differences.

Furthermore, you may see some brands using steel infusing techniques. This results in an arrow that is much heavier and considerably more durable. These might be particularly useful when it comes to hunting deer.

When you are thinking about the weight of an arrow, you will usually find that on average, arrows weigh between 400 and 500 grains per inch. If you are looking for a much more lightweight arrow, you will search for something in the range of 350 grains per inch. Conversely, heavier arrows might weigh anywhere between 600 and 700 GPI.

However, these arrows are normally used for much more conventional equipment such as a longbow or recurve bow. Archers shooting a compound bow don’t typically go for such a heavy projectile.

Finally, it is important to point out that when looking at arrow weight, you will often hear about the FOC or front of center. This term refers to the point at the front of the arrow where weight is distributed according to a balance point on the arrow.

If this is not considered, you may end up with an arrow that doesn’t shoot in the direction that you would expect it to. The trajectory can be hugely impacted when not selecting the correct weight in terms of FOC.

So, Why Does Weight Make A Difference?

When you shoot your bow, an incredible amount of energy is transferred from the bowstring into the arrow. Some bows are particularly powerful and the higher the draw weight, the more power and force will be released when you fire the bow.

But what does this have to do with the arrows? It’s quite simple; your arrows must have the ability to handle the energy that is going to be transferred into them.

Imagine releasing the energy of a 200lb longbow into a straw; it isn’t going to do the straw much good. However, when you use a heavier arrow that is designed to handle the pressure of the release, it won’t become damaged and will fly as you would expect.

Not only this, but it could be potentially dangerous to shoot an arrow that is not the correct weight from any given bow. If you use an arrow that is not heavy enough, you are risking the bowstring snapping or coming free of the cams. This could result in either serious damage to your bow or even worse, an injury for you.

On the other end of the scale, using an arrow that is too heavy won’t cause any problems in terms of safety but may result in an inferior flight. Too heavy arrows can lose speed very quickly which means that they won’t travel as far.

Manufacturers tend to follow the general rule that an arrow should weigh 5 grains for every pound of the draw weight.

Arrow Weight For Hunting Deer

One of the main concerns for anyone out in the field doing bowhunting is that they achieve a quick, and most importantly, humane kill. This will never be achieved when using arrows that are not the correct weight.

You will want to have an arrow that can cause a two-hole penetration and a fast blood trail, killing the animal as quickly as possible. This is one of the most crucial reasons that you should find an arrow that is a suitable weight, especially when you are bringing down a large target like a deer.

There are ongoing debates all over the internet and in bowhunting communities. There are some archers that argue that light arrows that travel quickly are best for hunting deer. On the flip side, other archers will tell you that a heavy arrow is better as it penetrates much more easily.

In an ideal world, you would have everything in one arrow but technology is yet to bring us that. However, for the most part, the general consensus is that a heavier arrow is better for hunting deer, or any other kind of live game, for that matter.

The reason behind this is simple; physics. An arrow with a greater weight will more freely penetrate the deer, killing it quickly.

If you wanted to get very scientific, you might consider Newton’s law of motion which helps us to understand how an arrow will slow down once it leaves the bow. A heavier arrow may not travel as quickly in the first instance but it will decelerate much slower than a lighter arrow. This means that, upon impact with the animal, these arrows will be able to penetrate deeper.

With that in mind let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of using both heavy and light arrows.

Heavy Arrows vs Light Arrows

As we have just discussed, a heavy arrow will not slow down as quickly as its lighter counterparts. This makes them ideal if you want to achieve the best penetration.

That being said, a lighter arrow will fly much straighter and will often travel much greater distances. But you will notice that as a lighter arrow leaves your bow, it can make a great deal more noise than a heavier arrow.

For this reason alone, light arrows might not be suitable for hunting deer. The noise of the arrow leaving the bow could be enough to startle the deer causing it to move in the seconds between the arrow being fired and it meeting the deer. A lucky escape for him, and extremely frustrating for you.

According to experts, a fast-traveling, light arrow might be suitable for shooting smaller prey that is much quicker. But when it comes to shooting at larger animals, like deer, you may need to go for something much heavier so that it can get the vitals without fail.

However, there are many stories of archers successfully bringing down a 300lb buck with nothing more than a 365-grain arrow. It’s all in the setup.

Ultimately, the choice is yours but you should always consider the pros and cons of each weight before making your final choice as this will have a dramatic impact on its performance.

Arrow Spine

So, once you have considered the weight of your arrow, you will still not be quite ready to head out and hunt your first deer.

The arrow spine also plays an important role in its effectiveness. When we talk about spine, we are referring to the flexibility of an arrow. This is also given in numbers, typically the lower the number, the less flexible the arrow will be.

The arrow’s spine is determined in one of two ways. Statis spine refers to the way in which the arrow behaves while it is still. There are several factors that can influence this including the weight of the arrow and what material it is made from.

Furthermore, you should consider the dynamic spine of your arrow. Typically this is measured using a weight in the center of the arrow and measuring how much it flexes. You should think about the draw weight of the bow when looking at the flexibility.

For example, if you were to shoot an arrow from a 50lb bow, it would behave in a significantly different way than if it were shot from an 80lb bow.

When thinking about this, you need to not only take into consideration the draw weight of your bow but also its condition. If your bow is poor-performing or has a lighter draw weight, you may be better going for an arrow that was not as flexible. This would also apply to bows that have a shorter draw length.

Conversely, archers shooting a heavier, longer, and better performing bow would certainly benefit from using a much more flexible arrow.


When we think about the weight of an arrow, it is difficult to ignore the material from which it is made. An arrow made from aluminum is going to be much heavier than one made from carbon. That being said, you can purchase arrows that are made from a mix of these two materials, which somewhat gives you the best of both worlds.

In years gone by, we saw a lot of aluminum arrows and while they are still popular today, most modern arrows are made from carbon.

As we discussed earlier, just because this is an incredibly lightweight material, that isn’t to say that there aren’t many heavier carbon arrows that are perfectly designed for bowhunters targeting deer.

Essentially, where materials are concerned, you want to focus more on how durable the arrows are as opposed to how heavy they are. When you are taking down a huge deer, there is little point in using an arrow that won’t stand up to this meaty challenge.

The way in which carbon arrows are made gives them greater durability without comparison when you compare them to their aluminum counterparts. The manufacturers are wrapping the carbon fibers in such a way that the arrow wall is much denser.

But durability aside, you will also find that a carbon arrow gives you greater ease when adjusting the front of center point. This is, as we have learned, an essential factor when looking at the weight of your arrow and will allow for a much more precise shot.

You might consider, however, that owing to the overall better performance of a carbon arrow, that the price will go up significantly.

Personal Preference

Since there are pros and cons to both heavy and light arrows, a lot of people will make their choice based on their own personal preferences. What feels good to me may feel terrible for you.

One of the best ways to determine what you prefer is to have a go with arrows of varying weights. If you can get your hand on a wide selection, get yourself to the target range and give them a try.

It is best to practice on a 3D target if you can, to properly replicate the conditions of hunting a live deer. We wouldn’t ever suggest practicing on a real animal until you are confident that the arrows you are using will work how you intend them to. This is purely for the welfare of the deer. All responsible bowhunters will tell you that a humane kill is the best type.


The weight of an arrow is measured in grains per inch and while an average arrow weighs anywhere between 400 and 500 GPI, there are those that are much heavier and much lighter.

Where hunting deer is concerned, there is something of an age-old debate over whether a lighter or heavier arrow is best.

Lighter arrows will offer greater speed and will typically cover more distance, making them ideal for longer shots. Conversely, a heavier arrow has greater momentum, and as such, offers greater penetration, especially for larger game, like deer.

We would suggest going for something a little heavier but it also depends on the type of bow you are using.

Hunters using a recurve or longbow will normally go for arrows with a much higher GPI. In many cases, they may use arrows that are 700 grains or more. In contrast, compound bow hunters will need a far lighter arrow.

Aside from the weight, there are other contributing factors that should be considered when choosing the best arrow weight for deer hunting. These include the arrow spine and the material used to construct the arrow.

Traditionally, archery was used for hunting and in battles. The activity can be traced back thousands of years; there is some suggestion that as many as 20,000 years ago, humans were using a bow and arrow.

While it is still used in hunting today, archery is now an everyday sporting activity, and many people compete in this both as a hobby and professionally. Archery has been at the Olympic games many times, and its popularity does not seem to be waning.

So, if it is such a well-loved sport, it is important that we understand how it works, and one of the best places to start is by learning how archery is scored.

In this article, we have put together a beginner’s guide to archery scoring, giving you everything you need to know to get started.

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The Archery Target

Whether you have been an avid archer for many years or a total newbie, you will be familiar with the archery target. This piece of equipment is a circular target with a series of rings, each of which has a different points value. However, the value of each ring will depend on several factors.

In the main, you can expect the points system to change depending on:

  • Whether the game is being played outdoors or indoors.
  • The type of bow that you are using.
  • Whether you are playing a metric or imperial round.

However, for the most part, you will notice that the archery target features a series of colored rings. In general, these rings are valued at a set number of points.

There is one key difference, and that is if you are using a compound bow, it can be slightly more challenging to score a ten. This is because the ten rings for compound bows is much smaller than the one used for recurve bows.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the color values on an archery target.

Ring Color Number Of Points
White outer ring 1
White inner ring 2
Black outer ring 3
Black inner ring 4
Blue outer ring 5
Blue inner ring 6
Red outer ring 7
Red inner ring 8
Yellow outer ring 9
Yellow inner ring 10

As you can see, while there are five different colored circles, each of these has an inner and outer ring. Each of the colors on an Olympic target comes in at a little over 12cm, with the archer standing a distance of 70 from the target.

Rules Of Olympic Archery

Archery was first featured as an Olympic sport in 1900 but did not make such a huge impression and was only featured a further three times up until the 1970s when it made a reappearance and has remained since. You may often hear Olympic archery being referred to as a 720 round.

The rules of the game are relatively straightforward. Your score is a total of how many rings you hit and their value. Each archer shoots 72 arrows over 12 phases, and the scores of each person give them a place in the overall ranking. Once this portion of the competition is over, the players will go head to head, where the person with the highest score is declared the winner.

If the scores are tied, the winner is then determined by the number of tens that were shot throughout the tournament.

The Rules

As with any sport, archery is governed by a strict set of rules, and these don’t only relate to the scoring system. Rules related to the scoring system have been highlighted in bold.

  • Archers must not use equipment that would give them an unfair advantage over the other players.
  • An end of three arrows must be shot in less than two minutes, and an end of six arrows cannot take any longer than four minutes to shoot.
  • Competitors must wait until a signal is given before they are permitted to raise their bow; failing to adhere to this rule could incur a penalty.
  • In the case of the arrow dropping before it is fired or the target blows over, the archer would be permitted extra time. However, under no other circumstances would the archer be permitted to reshoot their arrow.
  • If an arrow does not stick in the target but leaves a visible mark, that score would still be given. In the case that an arrow sticks in the nock of another arrow in the target, it would receive the same score as that arrow.
  • Points may be deducted if the archer breaks any of the rules.  

A Little More About Archery Scoring

In archery, you can achieve a perfect score of 300. This is one of the most common forms of target archery and is known as a 300 round. Archers shoot thirty arrows, and this type of contest is normally over in around an hour. The perfect score is achieved by hitting the ten ring with every arrow.

However, you may also hear about the 600 round, which is a different form of archery, played indoors at a long distance. Each round is played from 40 yards, 50 yards, and then 60 yards. From each of these distances, players will shoot four ends of five arrows.

In some cases, your arrow may hit the line in between two rings, and when you are new to the sport, it can be confusing to determine the correct score. According to World Archery, if your arrow lands on the line, you will be awarded the higher value of point of the two rings on either side.

What About 3D Archery?

There is more than one type of archery, and one of the most popular types is 3D archery, which is played outdoors with a series of 3D targets that resemble animals. If you like the idea of bowhunting but don’t want to go after live game, this is a great alternative.

The scoring in this version of archery is different owing to the lack of a single, static target. Each round of 3D archery features 40 targets.

Each of the targets will vary in terms of difficulty, with some being closer and relatively easy to hit, whereas others are further away and much smaller. These targets will also have various ‘killing zones’ which determine the number of points awarded for hitting them.

There are two main bodies for 3D archery, IBO and ASA, and their scoring systems are slightly different in that the killing zones are not the same.

However, there is also a universal scoring system for 3D archery. On each target, there will be a series of circles, but these are not concentric like those on a traditional archery target. Each one has a value of between five and fourteen points.

Indoor Archery

There are several versions of indoor archery, and the points system for each of these varies. In the main, you will play or watch four types of indoor archery, so let’s take a look at the nuances between them all.

  • USA archery uses a target with ten rings and a golden center. In this type of archery, archers will shoot 60 arrows in total, with three per end. The smallest ring in the middle of the target is the ten ring for archers using a compound bow; those shooting a recurve will aim for a ten ring just outside of this.
  • Vegas archery uses very similar rules and targets to USA archery with one critical difference. Regardless of the type of bow being used, archers will aim for one larger ten ring. Each round involves 30 arrows, and it is relatively easy to get a perfect score owing to the larger target.
  • National field archery association archery uses a target that is mainly white with a blue center. Players use five arrows per end and go for twelve rounds, shooting a total of 60 arrows.
  • Lancaster archery classic is again similar to USA archery in that the target is the same. However, rather than the center ring being worth ten points, it is worth eleven, meaning that players could get a score of 660 should they hit this with all 60 arrows.


There are many forms of archery, and while the overall theme of the sport remains the same, archers must hit a target with an arrow; the scoring for each one can vary slightly.

When played as an Olympic sport, the rules and scoring system of archery are relatively straightforward. But when you move into other types, such as 3D archery, things can get a little more complex.

That being said, once you learn the scoring of your favorite type of archery, it will soon become embedded in your mind.

In the USA, archery is a hugely popular sport. Whether archers are taking part in competitive tournaments or are heading out into the wild to practice bowhunting, there are estimated to be almost 8 million archers in the country.

Unfortunately, not all of these people have the luxury of being able to shoot whenever the urge takes them. Once hunting season is over or when you cannot get to a shooting range, it can be frustrating trying to find somewhere to practice.

But a lot of people have a decent-sized backyard which would be perfect for archery. However, one of the major concerns for backyard archers is whether they will be penalized for doing the sport on their own property. You could be forgiven for thinking that it is your land and therefore, your choice as to what you do on it. But in reality, there are laws surrounding shooting a bow and arrow in your backyard.

In this article, we are going to be looking at the laws on this and giving you ways that you can still enjoy shooting your bow without getting into trouble with the cops.

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Am I Legally Allowed To Shoot In My Backyard?

The answer to the question of whether it is illegal to shoot a bow and arrow in your backyard is unfortunately a very hazy one. There is no clear answer and this is what frustrates so many archers all over the country. In short, the best answer you might get is ‘sometimes.’

Whether or not this activity is illegal will depend on several factors, primarily, your location. Across the United States, there are federal laws that apply to everyone in the country, however, there are no federal laws that discuss backyard archery.

That being said, each city, town, and state is required to have their own laws and regulations surrounding the issue. So, depending on where you live, you may or may not be allowed to practice archery in your backyard.

A bow is classed as a weapon, and as such, could cause some significant damage, even if you only intend to hit your archery target. However, this means that the use of a bow must be restricted and as such, some states have outlawed backyard archery entirely.

In contrast, there are other states that allow the practice but with a strict set of rules which must be abided by at all times. Furthermore, city laws may also place restrictions on shooting a bow and arrow in your backyard.

The only way to be certain of whether this is permitted in your area is to contact your local courthouse. You can read articles like this one online and ask friends and family, and this is a great source of information but it would be impossible for us, or anyone else to know the exact current rules for your place of residence.

A quick phone call to your local courthouse will be all it takes to find out what you are allowed to do. Once you are aware of this, you can begin to plan what you will do next.

Why Is Backyard Archery Illegal?

A lot of people are immediately annoyed when they find out that they cannot shoot their beloved bow in their backyard. After all, this is your private property and you should be free to do as you please here, right?

To a degree, this is true. You do have certain rights surrounding things that you can do on your own property. However, when things may be a potential threat to the safety of yourself and others, that is when the authorities have a right, and more importantly, a responsibility to intervene.

As we have already mentioned, a bow and arrow is a weapon and if shot at a living thing, including humans, can do some significant damage, potentially causing death. This is why this type of weapon is so effective for hunting; a single arrow can take down a huge buck with very little effort when aimed in the right place.

Therefore, it is not too difficult to understand that an arrow could have a devastating effect if it were to hit another person. We realise that many of you reading this will be experienced archers who very rarely, or never, miss your target. But that doesn’t mean to say that there won’t ever be any accidents.

As humans, accidents are part of our nature and the risk of hurting someone, simply isn’t worth it. Furthermore, there are many stories of archers who have encountered frightened passersby when they are shooting in their yards. While you may not have any intention of harming them, how are they to know that?

How To Make A Backyard Range Safe

If you discover that you are legally permitted to shoot your bow and arrow in the backyard then this will surely be an exciting time. Gone will be the days of having to pack your equipment into the car to head to a shooting range; you can now do your favorite pastime from the comfort of your own home.

That being said, it would be impossible to prepare your bow and head straight outside; you will need to secure your range and have all the necessary safety aspects in place before getting started.


One of the first, and most respectful things you can do is to speak with your neighbors. While they may have no legal right to prevent you from shooting in your backyard, they will likely be very grateful for the warning that it will be happening.

What’s more, this is just as much for their safety as it is for anything else. This is especially important if you have neighbors who are likely to let themselves into your yard. If they were to enter without being aware that a bow was being used, there would be a significant chance of being harmed.

This is also an excellent opportunity to give your neighbors some peace of mind. Finding out that something as deadly as a bow and arrow will be being used next door could be a little terrifying, particularly if the neighbors are unfamiliar with the equipment.

Talking to them and showing them what safety precautions you have put in place is a great way to let them know that you have their safety as your main concern.

Checks And Rules

Before you even think about picking up your bow to shoot in your backyard, you should be sure to perform certain checks on your equipment. You must make sure that nothing is faulty and that everything is in good working order.

This doesn’t just apply to your bow but to anything else that you will be using, including your targets and backstops.

Furthermore, you should have a strict set of rules that must be observed by everyone who enters your yard while archery is taking place. One of the most important is that there should be a shooting line which nobody is permitted to cross while the bow is out, even when it is not being held.

You might consider keeping pets and children inside the house or at the very least, having pets on a leash and children holding the hand of a responsible adult, well behind the shooting line.

Always Have A Backstop

If you have been practicing archery for a long time, you may become complacent and feel that you do not need to take this kind of precaution. But building a backstop should never be omitted, regardless of how good a shot you think you are.

Everyone can misfire, even the most skilled and professional archers will miss a shot from time to time and the last thing you want is to accidentally injure, or even kill someone. Aside from having to deal with the legal ramifications, you would have that hanging over your head for the rest of your life.

A backstop will prevent arrows from flying past the target and hitting a passerby but it will also save you money. This is because it will catch arrows allowing you to collect them without a risk of them being lost.

Think About Your Direction

This is something that we know you will be familiar with but it is worth highlighting; you should never shoot your bow and arrow in a direction where there may be people.

There are laws surrounding backyard archery in different places but for the most part, you will not be permitted to shoot your arrows across a public walkway or road. Furthermore, your archery practice must take place a certain distance from any dwellings; this information will be provided to you by your local authority.

Place your target somewhere that there won’t be a chance of anyone walking behind it, such as on a rear boundary fence and only ever shoot in this direction.

Before firing each shot, scan the surrounding area to make sure that it is clear.

What Do I Do If It Is Illegal?

On the other hand, many people find that they are not legally allowed to practice archery in their backyards and while this can be massively frustrating, it is vital that you adhere to the laws to avoid incurring a penalty.

But don’t be left feeling downhearted just yet because there may be other things you can do that allow you to continue with your archery.

Heading to a shooting club or range is one of the best alternatives to backyard archery and while this might require a little more effort, and often a fee, there are several advantages to this.

Primarily, you will have access to all of the necessary equipment including targets that are already set up and prepared for you to start shooting. You won’t need to worry about getting into any sort of trouble with the law since these shooting clubs are fully licensed and regulated.

But one of the greatest things about going to a shooting club is that you will have the opportunity to meet other like minded people with just as much of a passion for archery as you.

This is excellent for meeting new friends but will also give you the chance to swap tips and try out new equipment. You never know, you might learn something that will change how you shoot for the good.

If the thought of going to an archery club really isn’t for you, then there is one more alternative. The only issue is that you will need plenty of indoor space. Of course, we are talking about setting up an archery range inside your home.

Now, the average length of an indoor range is typically around 20 yards, so you will need at least this much room. Preferably, you should add another five yards onto this so that you can have enough room to comfortably draw your bow without being restricted by the back wall of the range.

A lot of people will use a garage or basement for archery indoors but sometimes more space is required. There is nothing stopping you from building a garage port to extend the indoor space, giving you the freedom to practice archery as much as you would like.

But before you grab the hammer, it is also important to keep in mind that you will need to comply with building regulations. One of the main considerations will be the distance of the indoor range from other structures. In most cases, there will need to be a clearance of between five to ten feet.

You can contact your local authority who will give you more information on this. You may also need to receive planning permission in order to build your range, even if this is merely an extension of your garage. But again, your local authority will be able to tell you what you need to do. In some cases, the building may also need to be inspected before it can be used.

Shooting On Public Land

So, you can’t shoot on your own private land, nor do you have the facilities or permission to erect an indoor shooting range – now what? Well, there is one more thing that you might consider; shooting on public land.

This is, once again, a very grey area and the laws may vary from place to place. For this reason, we would always suggest checking with your local courthouse or even a passing cop who will be able to give you all the information you will need to know.

When we talk about public land, we are referring to wetlands, woodlands, parks, or any area which is designated for public use. In the USA, there are more than 220 million square miles of this public land so that’s a lot of potential shooting ground. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use all of it.

Many areas of public land host bowhunters during hunting season and this is perfectly legal. But once hunting season ends, this land may be used by hikers, cyclists and other members of the public; this could be dangerous if there are arrows flying about.

For this reason, you may be asked what you are doing when shooting on public land, particularly if you are aiming at a target rather than an animal. This is why it is always best to only practice on public land during hunting season.

Even if you are not a bowhunter, you could be there lining up a shot with the full intent of hunting; nobody would be any the wiser.

In terms of turning up at a city park where there may be families, people doing sports and other day to day activities, common sense would tell you that shooting here is not a good idea. That being said, there are many public parks that have a dedicated archery range, so it is worth investigating if there are any such facilities near you.


Archery is an extremely enjoyable and rewarding hobby and millions of people across America do it in their spare time; some even do it as a career. However, it is not always possible to get to a club or an outdoor location to practice so a lot of people try their hand at backyard archery.

The problem is that this is not always legal and even when it is, there are restrictions. It is therefore vital that you check with your local courthouse what you can and cannot do.

If you find that you are allowed to shoot your bow in the backyard, there are still important safety considerations that you must follow for the most enjoyable and safe experience.

Longbow Draw Weight

When you think of archery as a beginner, you often don’t think of a modern compound bow. Most people would immediately picture a huge longbow like those that have been used for hundreds of years by warriors and in battles.

There is something awe-inspiring about the traditional English longbow and this is hugely attractive for many people.

If you have decided to enter into the sport of archery in the most conventional manner possible or if you are considering changing up your typical style, then a longbow is a great idea.

In this article, we will be looking at this incredible piece of equipment in a little more detail. We will also be talking about the ideal draw weight for a longbow to get the best out of your setup and the greatest level of accuracy, precision, and consistency.

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What Is A Longbow?

A longbow is a type of archery weapon that was invented in Wales in the 1100s. However, the weapon did not gain popularity with the English military until some 200 years later.

Most notably it was used in the 100 years war against the French and while there are now no surviving longbows from this time, the weapon has retained its popularity among archery enthusiasts.

The English longbow was crafted from yew and measured an astonishing 6 feet in length. This is vast in comparison to the much smaller bows we see being made in modern times.

They also harbored a significant amount of power with some models effectively piercing armor and leather.

It was this power that caused them to aid the English in winning the 100 years war and many other battles throughout the Medieval period.

For anyone who has a passion for history, the longbow is certainly one of the most notable weapons of all time.

Now, it is important to remember that there is recorded evidence of longbows being used as far back as 2000BC. However, these were extremely primal models only loosely based on the concept that was designed 3000 years later.

As we mentioned, the English longbow was actually invented by a Welsh man. Yet while those who aren’t native to the British Isles may be forgiven for thinking that it is all one of the same, Wales and England are different countries.

So, why is the weapon now referred to as being English? Who knows. Perhaps the English simply wanted to take credit for an invention from their lesser-known neighbors. More likely, the presence of the weapon in so many English military battles over history resulted in it being dubbed an English invention.

Nevertheless, the longbow is one of the longest-standing, powerful and effective types of bow in the world.

The Impressive Distance Of The Longbow

Longbows had an extremely high draw weight when they were used by the English in wars, but this is something we will go into in a little more detail later on.

In line with this massive draw weight, the longbow was able to handle much heavier projectiles than the bows we are used to firing today. Many of us try to find lightweight arrows as opposed to looking for something heavy.

When you couple this draw weight with the size of the bow, you end up with something that is capable of firing arrows over a remarkable distance.

Longbows that were used hundreds of years ago were able to fire arrows up to 360 yards. But there were some archers who could go even further than this and there were suggestions that many were able to fire their arrows up to 400 yards.

That being said, the longbows of today are not quite as impressive when it comes to distance. But they are able to shoot much further than other types of modern bow so there is still a lot to be gained from them.

Typically, a modern longbow will shoot up to around 200 yards, which when compared to a compound bow that typically manages between 30 and 60 yards, is pretty impressive.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Longbow?

Most people are initially attracted to the longbow because of its historical importance. There are many people who like to reenact history and will use a longbow as their weapon of choice. Furthermore, many modern archers like to take a more traditional approach to the sport and a longbow enables this.

But the look and feel of the bow are one thing. There must be more to these ancient weapons than just their aesthetics. You’d be right in thinking this. Let’s take a look at the advantages of using a longbow.

  • Longbows do not make use of any archery accessories like sights, arrow rests, or stabilizers. As such, they are totally unobstructed and have a much more rustic feel.
  • If you are just starting or don’t have the most accurate shot, a longbow can be much more forgiving than other types of bow. This applies to sloppy technique or a bad stance. You will notice that your accuracy isn’t quite so greatly affected as if you made these mistakes with say, a recurve bow.
  • If you want to shoot more arrows in any given time, a longbow would be a good option. These bows are the quickest to reload, which is one of the features that made them so effective in wars and battles.
  • Some bows can be terribly noisy and this is an issue for bowhunter in particular. However, the longbow is the quietest type of bow for entry-level archers.
  • Most longbows have a higher draw weight than recurve or compound bows and so are great for those looking for something to match their greater strength.

What’s Important When Choosing A Longbow?

If you have decided that a longbow is for you then you will likely be very excited to get down to your local archery shop and test out a few models.

We’re right behind you, but before you go, it is important to think about a few things. You see, not all longbows are made equal. Of course, much like any other type of bow, you will need to think about the draw weight, length, build, and many other factors.

You could head to the archery shop and let the sales assistant convince you into buying the first longbow you seem interested in. But this will likely end badly. You want to be certain that you know what you are talking about and can work with the sales assistant to find the best longbow for you.

Longbow Draw Weight

One of the most important factors when choosing a longbow is to choose the right draw weight.

These are already heavy pieces of equipment that take a certain degree of strength and stamina to hold up. Add to that a draw weight that you cannot handle, and you will likely find it extremely difficult to control the bow.

The main reason that you will struggle with a draw weight that is too heavy is that it will quickly cause you to feel fatigued and can lead to muscle soreness and cramping. We all know how unpleasant that can be.

Furthermore, when people start learning archery with a too heavy bow, they can quickly be put off wanting to practice. What could have been a fantastically enjoyable experience quickly turns into something that the archer no longer wants to take part in. This is one of the main reasons that so many people don’t stick with it.

When we look back over history, it isn’t difficult to be astonished by the incredible weight of these bows. The absolute minimum draw weight of a longbow used by an English soldier would have been 80lbs but typically, they would have been around 120lbs!

If you have ever shot a compound bow, you will have noticed that the average draw weight is anywhere between 40 and 80lbs. So, you can see how strong and healthy those soldiers would have needed to have been.

But the reason that the draw weight was so great is that, during battles, the English soldiers would have needed to fire very weighty arrows. Without a decent draw weight, this simply wouldn’t have been possible.

Fortunately, in modern times, you don’t need to be a bulky warrior to be able to enjoy the longbow. There are now longbows with much smaller draw weights and these are ideal for younger people and those with less strength.

How To Find The Correct Draw Weight For A Longbow

There are many ways that you can find the right draw weight for any kind of bow and these methods can often be employed when selecting a longbow.

It is vital that you do not have a longbow that is too heavy for you, but we will look at what happens when you overbow in a little more detail later on.

To begin with, you could quite easily find your draw weight by looking at one of the many archery charts that can be found online. For reference, we will put some below. These charts enable you to choose a draw weight and length based on your size, age, and several other factors.

This is a viable way to find out the right draw length, but you should keep in mind that this is based on the average person. We all have different strengths and weaknesses and as such, you may find that you fall outside of these charts. So, always use them as a guide rather than a hard and fast rule.

Build Average Draw Weight
Younger child weighing between 40-70lbs 10 – 15lbs
Average child weighing between 70-100lbs 15 – 20lbs
Smaller women weighing between 100 – 140lbs 30 – 40lbs
Larger women weighing between 140 – 160lbs 40 – 50lbs
Smaller men weighing between 160 – 190lbs 55 – 60lbs
Larger men weighing more than 190lbs 65 – 70lbs

As we have discussed, this is largely subjective since a smaller woman with excellent muscle condition may be able to handle a larger draw weight than a larger man who does not have a lot of strength.

Many longbows are made to measure and as such, you will be required to select your draw weight and other features before paying a deposit. You will then typically need to wait around three to four weeks for the bow to ready; so patience is definitely a virtue in this situation.

How Do I Know If I Have Over Bowed?

While the soldiers in the old days may have managed extremely heavy draw weights, modern archers aren’t typically geared up for this. You might try out a longbow for the first time that has a way too heavy draw weight and think it is fine.

This is normally because, when you try to draw the bow the first time, it will likely feel pretty easy. If you are in the archery shop, you could be tempted to believe that the bow is fine. However, when you then continue shooting with it, every draw may feel like pulling a truck with your little finger.

The best way to determine how the draw weight fits you is to hold the bow at full draw for at least thirty seconds. If you don’t have any problems, it is likely that the draw weight will work for you. However, if you notice that you begin to shake, ache, or otherwise struggle, you might need to go for something a little smaller.

Another great way to tell if the draw weight is too much is to look at the angle of your bow as you draw it.

If the draw weight suits you, the bow will remain straight as you draw it. However, if it is too heavy, you will likely find that you end up pointing the bow upwards as you draw.

Draw Length

Alongside finding the right draw weight, it is also important for archers to address the issue of draw weight. Again, this can be determined, on average, by looking at a draw length chart. This will give you information on what length longbow you need in relation to your draw length.

If you do not know your draw length, there are ways to find this out at home but you could seek help from your local archery shop if this is easier.

The process involves having your arm span measured. Once you have the measurement, you simply multiply it by two and a half; the closest higher round number is your draw weight. With that in mind, below is a simple chart to tell you your ideal longbow length.

Draw Length Longbow Length
Below 24 inches 64 inches
24 – 27 inches 66 inches
27 – 28 inches 66 – 68 inches
28 – 30 inches 68 – 70 inches
Above 31 inches 70 – 72 inches

Caring For Your Longbow

Another of the most important considerations when purchasing a longbow is that you will need to be prepared to take good care of your equipment.

While these might be incredibly large and heavy bows, that does not mean that they aren’t delicate and don’t need proper care. A longbow might be more delicate than any other type. If it is not looked after properly, it won’t serve you for anywhere near as long. 

The good news is that your longbow isn’t going to need any serious maintenance which is not something that can be said for other types of bow. However, you will need to make sure that it is stored properly in between uses.

The main problem faced by longbow owners is that because these weapons are made from wood, they are susceptible to moisture damage.

If the longbow is stored in damp conditions, there is a significant chance that the draw weight could be reduced. Furthermore, you may notice that the wood begins to warp, and ultimately, the bow may become unusable.

However, it is also important to make sure that the bow isn’t stored in conditions that are too hot or too dry. If this happens, the natural moisture of the wood might be removed. This can be disastrous for your longbow, leaving the wood stressed and much more susceptible to damage.

Something that not many people are aware of is that when a bow is going to be out of action for a long period of time, damage can still occur. Most often, this is because the bowstring has not been removed. ]If you plan to leave your bow untouched for some time, it is a good idea to take the bowstring off as this will prevent unnecessary stress on the limbs.


A longbow is one of the most prominent types of bow ever used throughout history. These were massively powerful weapons invented in Wales in the 100s.

In modern times, the longbow is still used but the design has changed somewhat. Most notable, the huge draw weights that archers in the old days used have been lowered. That being said, you could still get a longbow with a 180lb draw weight, if you could handle it.

When choosing a longbow, it is important that you always take the time to select the correct draw weight and draw length.

This will make shooting the bow much easier and much more enjoyable.

Likely one of the first things you will hear about when learning about archery is nocking the arrow, and while this might sound like a complex aspect of the sport; it really isn’t.

Nocking an arrow is merely the terminology that archers use to describe loading the arrow onto the bow.

Once the arrow is nocked, it should be that the nock snaps into place firmly and you will be ready to shoot the bow. Fortunately, nocking an arrow is a very simple thing to do but there are different ways that it can be done and this is where the confusion begins.

Depending on the type of bow you are using and the type of arrow rest you have, the process may differ slightly. Furthermore, the type of archery that you do will likely impact how you nock the arrow.

But don’t worry; we have got you covered and in this article, we are going to be showing you how to nock an arrow in several different situations.

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How To Nock An Arrow On A Bare Bow

Before you even think about nocking the arrow, you must first retrieve it from your quiver. Now, this might sound as though we are teaching you to suck eggs but in reality, different archers like to remove the arrow from the quiver in different ways.

You might like to take the arrow by the shaft and remove it from the quiver or alternatively, you may grab it by the nock end. The way you do this will likely depend on the type of quiver you are using.

For example, if you have a thigh quiver, it can be easier to remove the arrow by taking it by the fletching. These quivers are designed so that the arrows face forwards and this can mean that a light grip with the forefinger and thumb will yield the best results.

In contrast, archers who use a back quiver may find that removing the arrow by the nock end is easier.

In truth, the way that you remove the arrow from the quiver and hold it doesn’t matter, but what does make a difference is whether you are consistent in this action.

When placing the arrow into the bow, you must consider the feathers that are in the fletchings. At least one of these should be at a 90-degree angle to the grip.

Now that you have the arrow in your hand, you will need to hold the bow up high and put the arrow onto the grip. Keep your bow pointing skyward and place your arrow on the right side of the grip.

If you use a thumb draw, you will need to make sure that the base of the arrow rests on your bow hand thumb. Conversely, if you use a Mediterranean draw, you will need to ensure that the base of the arrow rests on the left side of the grip.

You will notice that there are many positions for holding your bow and while your personal preference and comfort will play a huge role if you are using a traditional bow, it is always best to keep the bow in a high port for nocking the arrow.

This is because these types of bows do not have stabilizers that will support them as you nock the arrow.

Furthermore, if you are using the bow on horseback, you will need to keep it clear of the animal and this is not as easy when using another position. Not only will this make life more difficult for you but it may also distress the horse.

Using A Pinch Grip

If you are using a pinch grip then you will need to begin by sliding the draw hand all the way down the shaft of the arrow to the nock. Now, you will need to pinch the nock between the index finger and the thumb (hence the name ‘pinch grip’.)

Once you have done this, you can then push the arrow forwards but you must make sure that lateral contact remains with the string. You will need to continue pushing the arrow forward until the nock makes contact with the string.

At the nocking point, you will now be able to snap the nock onto the string. Once here, you have the option to slide it up to get it into the correct position.

Using A Scoop Grip

Some people prefer to use a scoop grip and while there is no right or wrong here, it is important to keep in mind that the type of grip you use will impact how you nock the arrow. If a scoop grip is your preference, take a look at the instructions below.

In a similar manner to the pinch grip, this method requires you to take hold of the nock using the index finger and the thumb. However, in this variation, you will cup the hand with your palm pointing up.

Now that you have the nock in your grip, it is time to push your arrow to the string. To do this, you will need to use one continuous, scooping motion.

Using your fingers on your draw hand that are not holding the nock, feel for the string and then pull the nock onto it just under the nocking point. You can then slide the arrow into the right position.

Nocking An Arrow On A Recurve Bow

Recurve bows are extremely popular with many archers and if you have chosen this type of equipment, it is important to know how to correctly nock your arrow.

Begin by taking the arrow from your quiver. In much the same way that we discussed earlier, it is your choice how you will grab the arrow and what sort of grip you prefer to use.

Next, you should take your bow and point it towards the ground, this is the first obvious difference when compared to nocking a bare bow.

This is important because you need to ensure that the limbs are in a vertical position and do not make contact with anyone standing nearby.

Now that your bow is in the right position, you can place the shaft onto your riser or arrow rest.

On modern arrows, the fletchings are typically made up of three feather clusters, or vanes which are made of plastic. Two of these will be the same color and these are known as hens, whereas the other one, which will be a different color, is known as the cock.

You will need to make sure that you place the arrow in such a way that the index feather or vane, whichever your arrow has, is pointing away from your bow. This is important as if you do not position it in this way, then there is a high chance that a vane will make contact with the bow as you release and this can throw off your shot.

Now that you have your fletchings aligned properly, you will need to snap the nock onto the string below the nock locator. Some archers use two nock locators; if this is the case, you should snap the nock between these.

Nocking An Arrow On A Compound Bow

While there are marked differences between a compound bow and a recurve bow, you may be surprised to learn that nocking an arrow on a compound bow is a very similar process to nocking on a recurve. That being said, many archers find that nocking their arrows on a compound bow is a much easier process.

The reason for this is that compound bows tend to have a variety of different arrow rests which means that the index feather is rendered useless.

One thing that confuses new archers when nocking their arrow on a compound bow is that they don’t always hear a clicking sound as the nock forms its connection with the string. This is something that is almost always heard on a recurve but provided that you can feel a secure connection, it doesn’t matter whether you hear the sound or not.

Whisker Biscuits And Drop Away Rests

There are many different accessories that can be used in archery but two of the most common are the whisker biscuit which is a type of arrow rest and the drop away arrow rest. It is important to keep in mind that nocking your arrow with these does require a special technique. But that doesn’t mean that it is complicated to understand.

Let’s start with the whisker biscuit. Much of the process is the same as when you are nocking your arrow onto a recurve bow. You will take the arrow from the quiver and follow the steps through to snapping your arrow onto the string.

However, there is a key difference and that is that when you place the arrow shaft onto the rest, you don’t need to concern yourself with where the index vane or feather is pointing; it can point in any direction.

The great thing about whisker biscuits is that they will typically correct themselves but archers must be aware that getting the whisker biscuit correctly set up is the most important part. Once you have this in place and properly tuned, everything else is a breeze.

If you are using a drop-away rest, you are once again free to choose where the feather or vane points. It can go either up or down but for the most part, you will need to try this out and see which you like better.


When you first hear the term ‘nocking an arrow’ you could be forgiven for thinking that this was a complex secret of archery. However, in reality, this just means loading your arrow onto the bow.

There are different ways of doing this and which you use will depend on several factors including the type of bow you are using and whether you are using an arrow rest.

If you’re big on archery, you will probably have considered purchasing a bow press. Having your own bow press means that you won’t need to keep running to the archery shop every time your bow needs a little maintenance.

Having a portable bow press is even more convenient as you won’t need to worry about ever being without it, especially if you need to do some emergency bow work in the field.

But if you have never purchased a bow press before, it can be challenging to know what to look for and know whether a bow press is any good.

In this guide, we are going to be looking at some of the best portable bow press products on the market right now as well as giving you all the information you need on this important piece of archery equipment.

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What Is A Bow Press?

A bow press is a piece of archery equipment that is used in the maintenance of a bow. Bows are extremely complex tools and when you are fixing them or adjusting them, you must be extremely careful.

A bow press is used to take the tension out of the bowstring allowing you to change it as well as perform several other tasks relating to the maintenance of your bow.

Portable bow presses are merely smaller versions of their more hefty counterparts and this is the main difference. However, it is important to note that on some portable bow presses, there may be features missing.

Furthermore, you should consider that a portable bow press is not considered to be quite as safe as using a full-sized bow press. This is because these larger pieces of equipment are designed to be used in an environment that is conducive with bow repair.

Conversely, portable bow presses are used in the field where the conditions may not always be ideal for fixing a bow. But it is down to you to use your better judgement in these situations.

That being said, having a portable bow press is great, you can pop it in your backpack and it is always there if you need to do a little emergency bow work.

Why Should You Buy Your Own Bow Press?

Owning a bow press is certainly not a requirement for any archer. Archery shops all over the world will have bow presses and will be more than happy to service your bow as and when you need.

However, there is no denying that having a bow press at home means that you won’t need to down tools and head into town every time something goes wrong with your bow. If you do a lot of shooting, it would stand to reason that you might need to work on your bow more often and owning your own press is much more convenient.

But there are so many other reasons that you should consider buying a bow press, so let’s take a look at these now before moving on to looking at our top picks.

One of the main reasons that you might benefit from having a bow press is that you will be quickly able to change your bowstring. This is something that should be done every two to three years but may need to be done more often if the string breaks or is damaged in some way.

A lot of archers will pay to have their strings fitted and at times this can cost up to $200. Purchasing a string and doing the work yourself can save you a lot of money.

If you use a peep sight, it can be incredibly frustrating when this is out of alignment and even the smallest movement can make it almost impossible to use. However, when you have a bow press, you can adjust your peep sight quickly and easily without having to leave your home.

String silencers are known not to last for very long so the last thing you want is to have to be paying a visit to the bow shop every few months to replace something so small.

But the truth is that these components can fly off unexpectedly and if they are not replaced, the performance of your bow could be affected.

Cam lean is a common problem on compound bows and while it may sound complicated, this is a tuning issue that can be easily managed with a bow press. You will also have the advantage of being able to sync your cams whenever it is needed.

The Best Portable Bow Press

Without knowing the ins and outs of what to look for in a bow press, it can feel a little intimidating when choosing your equipment. But we have got you covered and have picked out two of our favourite portable bow presses.

Ratchet-Loc Portable Bow Press – Best Overall

One of the most notable things about this bow press is its diversity. It can be used on any type of bow and what’s more, it is incredibly easy to use. When you first start out with a bow press, it can feel daunting but with this once, operation is a breeze, making it ideal for beginners.

Additionally, the versatility of this bow press means that you will be able to perform various types of bow maintenance including changing the bowstrings and switching up the cables. It has been tested with a wealth of different bows, all with excellent results.

But one of the things that really impressed us is the simple design of this bow press. It doesn’t pull any punches but is perfectly practical in every way. This straightforward design also adds to how easy it is to use.

Furthermore, the Ratchet-Loc bow press is extremely well crafted and is made from durable materials that will stand the test of time. Aluminium is not only robust but also extremely lightweight which is essential in a bow press that you may be carrying around with you for hours at a time. This material will also resist corrosion and rust meaning that the bow press will serve you for many years to come.

When you are out and about, the last thing you want is to have to carry a large piece of equipment but this incredible bow press folds down to a compact size for easy transportation.

Transporting the bow press is made even more easy thanks to the handy carry bag that comes with it which will also keep the bow press safe in between uses.

IVEKE Portable Handheld Bow Press – Best Value

If you don’t want to break the bank then this budget-friendly bow press gives you everything you will need at an affordable price. But just because it is less expensive, that certainly doesn’t mean that it isn’t an excellent product.

The bow press is incredibly well constructed and made from a solid, robust material that demonstrates ultimate durability. It will not rust or corrode so is great for taking out in the field.

If you like to be flexible when working on your bow then this is a great choice since you will hold the bow press with one hand and have the other hand free for the maintenance, it is very easy to use and quick.

The bow press also features a mechanism that allows you to adjust the size meaning that it can be used with a variety of different bows with no issue. It comes with two handy brackets which make using it even easier.

It boasts a lightweight and compact design which is great news for when you are out and about. Unlike some larger portable bow presses, this one is so small that it will fit into your bag or belt without weighing you down.

How To Use A Portable Bow Press

Not knowing how to use a portable bow press is something that puts a lot of archers off the idea of owning one. However, much like any aspect of this sport, once you wrap your head around it and practice, it will become second nature.

It is vital that you are extremely careful when working on your bow using a bow press. One of the best ways to stay safe is to complete the work with the limbs facing away from you. In the event that they were to snap back, you would not be in the way.

With that in mind, we will provide you with an easy step by step instructions to get started.

  • You will need to begin by taking the cable and inserting it through each of the bow’s limbs.
  • Using the jackscrew, you must now pull the cable through until it is tight and no slack can be felt.
  • Next, you will need to slide your cable stop over the cable end. When you do this, ensure that it is situated correctly, it should be past the indents.
  • When using a bow press, you must make sure that the cable is fully functional. If you ever notice any signs of damage, you should discard the cable and replace it with a new one. Not doing so could be dangerous.
  • You will have two leather pads with your bow press, these must now be folded in half and put onto each of the limbs.
  • Next, turn the jackscrew so that the tension is removed from both the string and the cable. Keep turning until you feel that all tension is gone.
  • You may now complete your maintenance and repairs.
  • When you have finished repairing the bow, you should double-check that everything is correctly positioned before putting the tension back into the cable and string.

How Often Should You Tune Your Bow?

Tuning your bow is essential for keeping its performance as good as possible. However, many archers are unsure as to how often their bow needs to be tuned.

As a general rule, it is a good idea to retune your bow at least once a year. This will help to make sure that the bow remains accurate and maintains a good speed.

If you prefer, you can take your bow to an archery shop where this service will be provided for you. However, since we are looking at owning a bow press in this article, we must point out that owning one is the most convenient way to tune your bow.

You should also consider how often to change your bowstring. If you get moderate use out of your bow then changing it every two to three years would be acceptable.

However, if you notice any signs of wear such as fraying or if the bowstring snaps entirely, you may need to replace it sooner. 

What To Look For In A Portable Bow Press

When you are shopping for your bow press, you will need to think about several things to make sure that you are getting a piece of equipment that is suitable for your needs and will be of good quality.

Type Of Bow Press

In the main, there are two types of bow press; a ratchet-loc and a cable press. How you intend to use the bow press will determine the type that is better for you.

However, if you are looking for one that is ideal for taking out and about then a cable bow press will be more compact and easier to carry.

Conversely, a ratchet-loc bow press will be much more durable and these are generally made from much tougher materials. So, if you want something that is going to stand the test of time and endure everything you put it through, this may be a more suitable option.


We have touched on the fact that a ratchet-loc bow press may be more durable but whatever type you go for, you will need to make sure that it is made from robust materials that will not break easily.

If you have ever used an inferior bow press, you will know how easily they can break under the pressure. Not only will this mean you having to fork out for another bow press but it can also be dangerous.

The best material for constructing a bow press is metal and the best ones are made entirely from this, including the cable. In some cases, the bow press will feature a fabric cable and these can be strong enough but it is something that you should check before you commit to purchasing.

Finally, you will need to check whether the metal has been treated to make it rust and corrosion-resistant. If you are planning on using the bow press in the field, there is a good chance that the weather will turn. If the heavens open, you need to feel confident that your bow press will not become damaged.


Ratchet bow presses tend to be a lot easier to use and do not require immense amounts of power to pull the two ends to one another. However, it is worth considering that this method of pulling is a little more time-consuming.

In contrast, a cable bow press will be a lot quicker but it is also more complicated to use. These bow presses make use of a hex head and T handles which you can turn by hand but sometimes a wrench is needed to make it easier.


The brackets are the part of the bow press that will come into contact with your bow. The last thing you want is for any damage to occur so it is important to check the brackets before you buy.

The best options will have some sort of protective layer such as rubber and this will prevent the bracket from scratching the bow or leaving marks on it. At worst, poorly made brackets could cause structural damage to the bow and should be avoided at all costs.

The brackets also need to be robust and heavy as this is a good sign that they will stand up to the challenge and won’t move throughout the repair session.


Not all archers feel that they need a bow press and are happy to go to the archery shop when they need repairs on their bow. However, having a bow press can take a lot of the stress out of maintenance and will allow you to tend to your bow from the comfort of your own home.

Full-size bow presses are a good option to keep in one location but if you want a bow press that you can take with you on your adventures then a portable bow press is a must.

These compact and lightweight pieces of equipment allow you to perform essential bow maintenance and repairs no matter where you are.

There are many bow presses on the market but you must look at the various features to make sure that the product will be sufficient. Our top picks give you some great examples of the quality that is available.

There is no denying that cutting your own carbon arrows requires some time and effort, but if you are passionate about archery, then you will have likely considered doing this. There are many benefits to be obtained from cutting your own carbon arrows, and once the hard work is out of the way, you will likely notice a vast improvement in your shots.

However, if you have never done this before, getting started might feel a little overwhelming. In truth, while cutting carbon arrows might take some work, it isn’t as difficult a process as many people first imagine.

In this article, we are going to be looking at the benefits of cutting your own carbon arrows and how you can do this from the comfort of your own home.

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What Are The Benefits Of Carbon Arrows?

Carbon is an extremely lightweight material, and this makes it ideal for making arrows. Carbon arrows are also very durable, and this is why many manufacturers now use this material over everything else. Furthermore, they make excellent projectiles since they offer greater consistency as well as improved speed and strength.

Many bowhunters favor carbon arrows over all others because of their lightweight nature, and this means that they are easy to carry around when out in the field.

Most carbon arrows come at a specific length, and you will notice that due to their design, they are much more easily able to penetrate deeper, something that is essential in bowhunting. Therefore, many people might question why you would want to cut your carbon arrows.

Why Cut A Carbon Arrow?

A lot of archers wish to customize their arrows, and one of the best ways to do this is to cut them to the desired length. Primarily, you would cut your carbon arrow to decrease the risk of having an accident but doing so will also drastically improve your accuracy as the equipment becomes easier to shoot. This is because you will have a more significant amount of control over the arrow; if it is too long, you may find it more difficult to use. Cutting it allows you to get it to a standard that works well for you; after all, all archers are different.

What’s more, if you purchase care arrow shafts, you have the option to customize so much more, including the fletching, wrap, length, vain angle, nock style, and insert, making the arrow much more suitable for your needs.

What Do I Need To Cut Carbon Arrows?

If you do not have an archery shop nearby, cutting your own arrows might be the most convenient option.

Before you start work, you will need to gather together the correct equipment for cutting your carbon arrows. When you are cutting a material such as carbon, it is best to use a high-speed tool. To determine the speed, you must look at the RPM; in the main, carbon requires something with an RPM of more than 5000. If you use a hand tool, you are running the risk of causing damage to the carbon fibers, which would affect the overall performance of the arrow.

There are specialist arrow cutting tools, which are obviously the preference here, but it is worth keeping in mind that these can be quite pricey and, unless you plan on using them all the time, could be a wasted investment.

There are a few other things that will come in handy when cutting your carbon arrows, including bare arrow shafts and a block of wood. You will also need a ruler, sandpaper, masking tape, mounting hardware, sliding clamps, and stops.

Safety Notes

Undertaking any sort of DIY work comes with its risks, and cutting carbon arrows is no exception to this rule. Therefore, it is vital that you make sure that you have all the relevant safety precautions in place to ensure that the process goes smoothly and without any unwanted accidents.

There is a known risk of working with carbon fibers. This is because, during the cutting process, these fibers will create a cloud of very fine dust, and this serves as an irritant. The dust fibers can get onto the skin and activate the mucous membranes causing severe irritation.

This is bad in itself, but when you learn that many carbon fibers have a chemical coating, the situation could be exacerbated. If these tiny chemically coated particles get into your body, they can cause internal irritation. At best, you might experience nausea and vomiting, and at worst, you could experience severe respiratory irritation. If you suffer from respiratory conditions or allergies, this could be made worse. Therefore, when working with carbon fibers, it is crucial that you wear protective safety gear.

This gear might include eye goggles and a face cover that protects the nose and mouth – something that many of us are now used to wearing in our day to day lives.

Furthermore, you should invest in a pair of heavy gloves that will prevent this fine carbon dust from getting onto your hands – if it lands here, there is a high risk of you transferring it to other parts of the body. You can further add to this protection by wearing elastic cuffs to stop the dust from getting into your clothing.

When cleaning up the carbon dust after you have finished cutting the arrows, it is vital that you use the correct equipment. If you vacuum the particles, you should make sure to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter; otherwise, there is a risk of the carbon interfering with the electrical system.

Of course, since you will be using a spinning blade, you must also remain mindful of the dangers of injury and protect yourself accordingly.

Follow These Easy StepsTo Cut Carbon Arrows

Before you make the first cut, you need to know where you are going to cut. The length of your arrow will largely depend on the size of the draw of the bow as well as the position and type of arrow rest you are using.

You can easily determine the right length for the arrow by placing it in the bow and bringing it to full draw. At this point, you will be able to measure the appropriate size for the arrow. Once you remove the arrow, you will need to mark the point where it will be cut. To do this, you can use a ruler and some masking tape.

If you are new to cutting arrows, then it may be a wise idea to mark the arrow at a point that is a little longer than your target length, as this will leave you with some room for error. You will be able to take off more if you need to, but if you cut the arrow too short, there is no coming back from that.

Cutting The Arrows

Once you have successfully marked the arrows and are happy with the measurements, you are ready to start cutting. At this point, you will need to take your wooden block and bring it to the cutting area.

You will use your sliding clamps to keep the carbon arrow in place – do not bring the arrow towards the rotating blade until you are completely confident that you are ready to do so. When you are ready, use one hand to guide the shaft towards the blade, and be sure to do this carefully to avoid injury. It is also important to remember that when the arrow meets the saw, it must not remain stationary. Instead, you will need to spin the arrow with your free hand, moving it with the saw, which will give you the cleanest cut and prevent the arrow from breaking.

Once you bring the arrow to the blade, you will need to make sure that the pressure you apply is gentle and consistent; take your time, especially if you have never done this before; rather it takes a little longer than messing up and having to dispose of an otherwise perfectly good arrow.

When the arrow is cut to the desired length, you might notice that it doesn’t look right. That is likely because the end has a square finish. You may also notice that fitting your inserts is not as easy as it should be. But this is a problem that is easily solved; take the sandpaper you sourced earlier on and use this to sand the arrow before adding your inserts.

Do I Have To Use An Arrow Saw?

As we mentioned earlier, investing in a specialist arrow saw can be a costly venture, and many archers are put off this. However, the good news is that there are many other types of saw that you can use to get just as good a result. That being said, it is not wise to use just any old cutting tool.

One of the best saws to use is one that is designed for cutting tiles. These powerful saws have the precision and strength required to cut through carbon without leaving a nasty finish. You might also make use of a Dremel saw; this brand of rotary saw is known for its power and efficiency, and many are specifically designed to handle such jobs as cutting carbon.

Finally, there is the option to cut the carbon arrow using a file, but this will be the most time-consuming method and is not advisable if you are not able to remain patient; that being said, if you have some time to kill, this will certainly do it.

Using a file requires you to rotate the carbon arrow along the edge of the file. Doing it this way will mean that you must use small strokes and gradually cut the arrow. This can also make getting the cut perfect a little more challenging, but this problem can be addressed by marking circles around the file.


If you want to be able to customize your arrows to a length that suits you, then the only way to do this is by cutting them. However, carbon arrows are quite tricky to cut through owing to their durable nature; this makes them excellent for bowhunting.

But cutting your own carbon arrows rather than taking them to an archery shop is a convenient way of doing this. But that is certainly not to say that it will not require a little work, especially if you opt for the file method.

You can purchase an arrow saw, which will make the job far easier, but it is vital to keep in mind that this type of equipment does come at a cost. If you are going to be cutting a lot of arrows, it could be a sensible investment; otherwise, there are other tools you can use to achieve similar results.

If you are new to archery, you will probably feel as though you are being handed a book of terms from a foreign language. This is because many of the terms that are used in this sport are exclusive to it. That’s great, but it can feel a little intimidating to beginners.

One of the phrases you might commonly hear is ‘let off,’ but what does this mean, and does it apply to all types of bow, or is it specific to one particular type?

In this article, we are going to be looking at whether recurve bows have let off and why this is.

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What is Let Off?

When you are shopping for your shiny new bow, you may sometimes come across the let off of the bow in its features. However, you will only ever see this when looking at compound bows; in short, a recurve bow does not have let off.

But why is this?

A recurve bow is used by the archer pulling the bow to full draw, and he or she will take the entire weight of the draw. In contrast, a compound bow works on a system of cams and cables, and these are designed to take some of the draw weight for the archer. For this reason, they are often used by people who have less strength or by children.

However, now all of the draw weight is taken by the compound bow, only a portion of it, and this is known as the let off, essentially because the archer will be ‘let off’ having to take this weight.

In terms of how this works on each individual bow will depend on the bow itself. When you are looking at compound bows, you will notice that the let off is given in a percentage figure.

For example, if the let off of the bow is 50%, then when held at full draw, the bow would take 50% of the weight while the archer takes the other 50%. If the bow is 50 pounds, then the let of would be 25 pounds.

It is important to keep in mind that this is merely an example, and in the main, compound bows will come with a let-off of between 65% and 85%.

Why Is Let Off Important?

As we have already mentioned, let off is excellent for children or adults who may be lacking in strength. If you have ever shot a recurve bow, you will know how much it takes to hold the bow at full draw without shaking or getting tired.

Using a compound bow with let off will make a huge difference to the poundage that you can pull. If you are going to be using your bow for hunting, then it is vital that you have a heavier poundage, but using a recurve may not allow you to do this when you are just starting out.

Also, when you are shopping for a new bow, looking at the let off percentage will give you an incredibly clear idea of how easy or difficult the bow will be to hold at full draw. This means that you will know what to expect.

So, do recurve bows have let off?

No, if you are buying a recurve bow, you will need to be prepared to hold the weight of the full draw yourself. If you are strong enough to do this or want to adopt a more traditional method of shooting, then this is definitely the way forward.

But this is not the only way that shooting a recurve bow differs from shooting a compound bow. There are other things that you should consider before making a decision on which type of bow will work best for you.

Recurve Bow vs. Compound Bow

There are a lot of people who go into archery with the mind that they want to use a recurve bow because they are synonymous with a more conventional version of the sport.

However, once they begin using them, they quickly learn that they may have been better starting their archery career using a compound bow owing to their easier to use nature.

But it vastly depends on what you want to get from the sport, so with this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the other differences between a recurve bow and the modern compound bow.

  • The release mechanism of the two bows is different with compound bow users often using a release aid. However, this is not possible with a recurve bow, therefore adding to their difficulty to shoot.
  • When shooting a recurve bow, the archer would use the string as their sight. In contrast a compound bow user would install a peep sight into their bow, making it much more simple to use. There is also the option for compound bow archers to use a magnified sight which again, adds to their convenient and easy to use nature.
  • Recurve bows have a process called archers paradox and this is where the arrow point is heavier than the arrow itself. In short, this means that the arrow would shoot off to the side if the archer’s paradox did not exist but this does make shooting the bow a lot more challenging.
  • Compound bows are much easier to aim so you find that when using this type of equipment, you will hit your target more often than with a recurve bow.
  • Recurve bows do not have variable draw weight like the compound bow. This allows archers to start with a lighter draw weight and move up as they become more used to shooting.

Are Recurve Bows Good?

You could be forgiven for thinking that the recurve bow is not as good as their compound counterparts, owing to the lack of let off and other functions. But it is important to remember that this type of bow has been used for thousands of years without difficulty.

While it can take some time to master a recurve bow without let off, that should not be a reason to be put off. If anything, starting with a recurve bow could give you the upper hand over competitors.

This is because you will need to develop physical strength and precision without the aid of the cam and cable system that we see on compound bows. Right from the get-go, you will be honing your skills as an excellent archer. What’s more, your form will be a lot better than when learning with a compound bow.

At times, archers who learn with a compound bow will find that they do not pay as much attention to their form and this can be detrimental to their overall performance.

Furthermore, a lot of people, beginners especially, find that a recurve bow feels a lot more natural as opposed to using a compound bow. While they may be more difficult, they certainly feel how you would expect a bow to feel.

If you are planning to be in it for the long haul, the last thing that you want is a high maintenance cost for your bow. But with recurve bows, it tends to be less expensive to fix and maintain them. This is purely because of the complex system of cams and cables on the compound bow that require a more mechanical approach when being serviced. You’ll also find that a recurve bow costs less to purchase initially, again because it is a much simpler design.


One of the most common terms that you will hear when looking at compound bows is the let off of the bow. This is something that is exclusive to this type of bow and if you are using a recurve bow; it will not have a let off.

Let off refers to the amount of weight that the compound bow will take when it is at full draw and is usually shown as a percentage. This weight is taken by the bow thanks to a mechanical system of cables and cams which are not featured on a recurve bow.

There are differences between the two types of bows and both have their pros and cons. In the end, having let off can be useful if you do not have the strength to hold a recurve at full draw but you will lose out on the more traditional feeling of archery.