As a traditional archer, traditional wooden arrows for hunting or target practice are a must-have for you!
There is no way that you will show up with your bad-ass longbow using carbon or fiberglass arrows. UGH!
No, you need wooden arrows if you don’t want to look ridiculous and like a “Wannabe Robin Hood”.
Hi, I am Moritz and I am a traditional archer!
(I own other bows and crossbows but there is nothing I love more than my longbow!)
So, I know that finding the right arrows is not always easy.
Many are crap and/or look very bad.
That’s why I want to share with you, my fellow traditional archery friend, my all-time favorite wooden bows.
Before I get to my recommended arrows, let’s take a look at the different materials used for arrow shafts:
The Most Commonly Used Arrow Materials
Most arrows will be made of one of these materials (in alphabetical order):
I already wrote about the carbon arrows and aluminum arrows.
You can read about them by clicking on the links above.
An Overview Of Wooden Arrows
As you know, wooden arrows are the ones that have been used for the longest time.
When our ancestors started using bows many thousands of years ago, they had no other choice but using arrows made of wood.
First, those arrows just got sharpened, later stone or bones were used as a tip.
As soon as people learned to work with metal, they started using bronze and later iron for arrow tips.
The thing that stayed the same for a long time, was the wooden arrow shaft.
Wood is a great material for arrows!
It is super cheap and easy to get. The most difficult thing is to get a straight arrow when using wood.
It will take both patience and experience if you want to make your own arrows from materials you find in a forest.
Luckily, it is much easier now to get wooden shafts.
You can either buy a complete arrow or just the shaft and fletch it yourself and glue a tip on it.
The Good Things About Wooden Arrows
Let’s take a quick look first:
- Cheap Price
- Relatively Durable
- Relatively Easy To Craft
- Light Or Heavy
Some things on my list seem to contradict each other, so I want to go into more detail now:
No need to say too much about this.
Wooden arrows can be very cheap. It all depends on the type of wood, nock and arrow tip that was used to craft the arrow.
If you are on a low budget or a traditional archer, wooden arrows will save you a lot of money.
Who doesn’t love that?
A wooden arrow will never be like a carbon arrow, but when made of Ash or Maple (besides some other woods) it will be very durable.
The myth that arrows made of wood break quickly after just a few shots is just not true.
Don’t shoot at stone walls and try to avoid shooting at trees, too, and your arrow will not break that easily.
Never use a wooden arrow with a compound bow!
Only use them with longbows or wooden recurve bows!
If using them with a compound bow, your arrow is very likely to splinter and this can get very dangerous.
The splinters of the arrow can hurt you and people around you seriously.
It is only 100% save to shoot them with traditional bows!
Relatively Easy To Craft
It is definitely easier to craft a wooden arrow than it is to craft a carbon, aluminum or fiberglass arrow.
Without the needed machines, you just won’t make an arrow from those materials.
A wooden arrow can be made by hand with the help of some tools.
Of course, that is obvious, as people made arrows already decades ago without modern machines.
I am sure that many of you already made their own arrows when you were just kids.
When I was young I lived near a forest and my best friend and I ventured into the woods and made our own bows and arrows.
They were not straight at all, had no fletching and were just sharpened at one end (no real tip).
But they did work!
Our bows and arrows worked great and we had a lot of fun shooting with them.
They wouldn’t have worked for hunting, but it shows that even kids without any experience or training can make their own arrows.
Now, when you get that training and experience, it is clear that it is rather easy to make your own arrows.
If you don’t want to find and process the wood to make an arrow, you can buy just the shaft and finish it yourself.
Or just get a complete and finished arrow.
Remember. They are cheap.
Yes, wooden arrows are straight!
Maybe not the ones we made as kids, but professionally crafted arrows from a high-quality wood are super straight.
You will shoot them with the highest possible accuracy.
It is just up to your skill how well you will hit the target.
Some materials are less straight (e.g. Ash) than others (e.g. Yellow Cedar), but the difference is minimal.
Even when you have an arrow that is not as straight as you’d like, or it got bent a bit over time, some arrows can be straightened again.
This depends again on the used wood.
I will talk about this when I write about how to make arrows yourself.
As soon as those articles are on my site, I will link to them.
Light Or Heavy
I really love that about wooden arrows.
Every different wood type has its own characteristics and specifications.
Some are heavier, others are lighter.
So whatever you prefer and need, you can get it with a wooden arrow.
Do you need a heavy arrow?
Get a Maple arrow.
You prefer light arrows?
Get some Port Oxford Cedar arrows
Downsides Of Wooden Arrows
There are however some downsides:
- Lack Of Consistency
- Can Not Be Used With Compound Bows
Lack Of Consistency
Wood is a natural material.
One arrow will never be 100% the same than the other.
You need to be aware of that.
When you buy arrows, make sure that they are grouped by weight and spine! Both!
If you only look at the spine and later weigh them. You might find out that their weight varies a lot.
This would make it very difficult to shoot consistently.
But when you make sure that their spine (+-5 lb) and weight (+- 10 grain) is nearly the same, then you won’t have a problem with your wooden arrows.
Can Not Be Used With Compound Bows
I mentioned it before, but it is really important.
So I say it again:
Don’t Use Wooden Arrows With Compound Bows!
There are so many (true) stories, where archers got injured severely because they just wanted to try and shoot a wooden arrow with a compound bow.
It might even work a few times if you are lucky.
But maybe the next time will be when your arrow explodes and you have to be rushed to the nearest hospital.
Don’t try your luck, please.
Don’t shoot a wooden arrow with a compound bow.
Would I Use Wooden Arrows?
I use them all the time when shooting my longbow.
Check out my all time favorite wooden arrows:
Wooden Practice Arrows
These wooden arrows with real eagle feathers are 33″ long and have target tips.
They are perfect for target practice and medieval bow competitions.
You can use them with traditional longbows or recurve bows with a maximum draw weight of 60 LBS.
Don’t go hunting with them!
The tips are glued on, so you can’t just screw them off to replace them. If you would want to put broadheads on those arrows, you would have to cut the tip off.
This would reduce the total length of the arrow, of course.
But don’t worry, I have some hunting arrows following below.
Cedar Wood Practice Arrows
Similar to the arrows above, these arrows are fletched with eagle feathers.
Their shaft is made of cedar wood.
I personally like the look of these arrows more.
They are also only for target practice, but their tip is a bit sharper as from the arrows above.
You can choose between three different lengths: 28″, 30″ and 33″.
Don’t use the Cedar Wood Practice Arrows with a compound bow.
Recurve and longbow only.
Maximum draw weight: 60 LBS
Buffalo Black Hunting Arrows
The broadhead weighs 150 grain and is super sharp.
They will bring down small and big game easily.
The shaft is 32″ long, but you can ask the manufacturer to make individual changes.
Black Turkey feathers were used for the fletching.
These Wooden Arrows Are Awesome!
You know that you need wooden arrows for traditional archery and I have shown you my favorite ones.
Now, you just need to choose your favorite arrows.
Which one will it be?
I personally love traditional wooden arrows for hunting or target practice.
I think that they are perfect for beginners with a small budget.
Let me know in the comments which one you chose.