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Difference Between Aluminum and Carbon Arrows

arrows-pdAluminum vs Carbon Arrows

A very common question asked by archers is that should they be shooting carbon or aluminum arrows. For this question there is no such specific answer, because it depends on the personal preferences of an archer. However, there are always pros and cons related to both products.

The aluminum arrow shaft was created by James Easton, in 1939. The upside to using aluminum arrows is that it has been tried and tested for decades. They are available in various sizes, and usually at a lower price than carbon, and when it comes to shooting at targets, aluminum arrows are usually bigger and a lot easier to pull from the targets. Aluminum unlike carbon arrows have one big draw back, and that is that they bend easily and are less durable. Their prices are also getting higher, coming closer to the carbon arrows, if not matching them.

Carbon arrows are based on fairly new and still evolving technology, more or less 30 years old. Carbon arrows are not only highly priced, but come in less variety of sizes, yet they are stronger than aluminum arrows. Their increased strength and durability also supports deeper penetration of the shaft compared to aluminum. Aluminum arrows do bend easily, but carbon arrows may stress and crack, which means that they can shatter upon shooting. Carbon fibers allow more flexibly, so it makes them less likely to weaken, since they have less vibration.

Carbon arrows get more speed on the arrow, whereas aluminum arrows are more of a problem because they are thick and bulky. Carbon fiber arrows have a drawback that they may shatter in cold climates, and do not stay true. Archers who have used both carbon and aluminum arrows say that carbon arrows last better than 3 to 1 over the aluminum ones. Since aluminum arrows need to be straightened quite often, that gives carbon arrows an edge over them again, because they flex and come back to their true shape. As far as price is concerned, carbon can be reused without bending, and is more durable, which compensates for its high price, turning it into an altogether wiser investment.

Aluminum arrows are a good choice if you are just getting into archery, since you may lose many sets before you master the art. Carbon versus aluminum is more suitable for professional and older archers, because of its light weight. Still, many prefer aluminum for its accuracy and ease of work compared to carbon. Carbon arrows should be examined carefully, because cracked arrows can cause injuries while arching. Carbon arrows also have a recommended draw weight range on the shaft, and they have a smaller-diameter shaft, which is also hollow when compared to aluminum.


1. Aluminum arrows are more affordable and economical for a beginner.

2. Carbon arrows are expensive and lighter than aluminum.

3. Aluminum may bend easily, and often have to be straightened out after only a few shots.

4. Carbon arrows are stronger and do not bend, but may shatter in cold temperatures.

5. Aluminum does not crack, but carbon arrows may crack and break.

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