How To Cut Carbon Arrows
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.
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.