How to Cut Carbon Arrows?

Archery is made up of a bow and arrow. Whether hunting or practicing, there are specific types of arrows to use that amplifies your performance, consequently allowing you to perform at optimum level.

Conventional arrow shafts used before were wood and aluminum. As things became modernized, everyone found that arrows made of carbon improve things better than expected.

In buying the carbon arrows, you should know how to cut carbon arrows by yourself to suit your preferences so you won’t have to go to an archery shop just to cut them for you. When you have the appropriate tools, you can easily do it on your own.

Overview of Carbon Arrows

In attaining a great arrow flight, considering the best arrow shaft or spine is the key. Compound bows are more used than any other bow type and they have a lot of features to take into consideration.

In compound bows, there’s the bow’s cam, draw weight, draw length, and arrow length to name a few that can directly affect the flight of the arrows.

Carbon arrows’ popularity started in the 1990s and has now dominated aluminum and wood because they are lightweight, more durable, and longer-lasting. These arrows deliver more arrow speed and offer great flight track resulting in better accuracy percentage over long distances.

Modern carbon arrows of today are more resistant to splitting and more resilient than their predecessors. Moreover, they aren’t as expensive as they were two decades ago.

Why Do It Yourself?

Learning to cut carbon arrows saves you time and money than having them cut at an archery shop. Buying arrows come in two choices, whether you buy them at full-length or already trimmed. If you buy carbon arrows at their full length, the seller in the archery shop can do it for you. However, the outcome may not be to your satisfaction.

If you learn how to cut carbon arrows, you get to do your customizations like fletching, nock style, draw length of the bow, etc. You also get to save time and effort in the long run.

Safety Precautions

A few safety rules must be observed in cutting carbon arrows. To get the best results after trimming, you should only consider using a high-speed abrasive wheel saw that revolves about 5000 rpm or higher for your carbon arrows.

Cutting tools like a hacksaw or plumber’s tubing cutter would be disastrous because they can weaken the arrow shaft. Weaken in a sense that the fiber composite of a carbon arrow can be easily splintered because of the toothed blades.

A carbon arrow is said to be resistant to lateral cutting action but not to the lateral crushing action.

Using, for instance, a tubing cutter to trim the arrow shaft is like crushing the fibers making them smaller. This kind of action causes longitudinal cracks on the shaft and will splinter it in due time.

The other alternative for cutting carbon arrows is the Dremel Rotary Tool with an abrasive wheel. You can buy it at high value in a specialist shop.

Another safety precaution would always be to wear personal protective equipment like a dust mask, safety goggles, and gloves during the whole process. Cutting carbon arrows produces carbon fiber which is technically dust.

The coating of the arrow shaft is epoxy or some other resin that can cause acute health hazards like eye irritation, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, etc.

Prevent working near an electric fan or other electrical appliance. The excess carbon fiber is an electrical conductor, and you don’t want it to cause short-circuiting on any of your equipment.

Materials and Equipment

Other than the arrow shafts and arrow saw, you will need:

  • Worktable
  • Wood as base or an arrow vise
  • Rulers
  • Sliding clamps
  • Sandpaper
  • Markers
  • Tape

Determine Arrow Length

This is the first procedure, and you will need to set your equipment correctly starting with the arrow saw. Then, place a ruler on a table and secure it properly with a tape. To determine your desired arrow length, first, draw an arrow with your bow.

At your full draw, have someone or yourself mark the point where the shaft is in contact with the riser. Measure from one end where you were holding to the point in which you want to trim. This length is now your standard arrow length and shall be uniform on all your arrows.

On your worktable, place the arrow on the wooden base or arrow vise and clamp it into place with nocks.

The ruler you taped on the table will be your basis. Measure the length starting on 0 cm to the desired length and double-check it.

Cutting the Carbon Arrow

Before starting the trimming, remember that carbon arrows must not be chopped in one direction in just one swoop.

An arrow shaft must be rotated or spun against the high-speed abrasive wheel saw so that fragmentation is prevented. This action will lead to a straighter and precise cut.

Have your one hand guide the arrow shaft to a rotating motion, and the other will guide it to the spinning blade. Aim for a square cut to fit arrow inserts easier later. The square cut is achieved by contacting the same spot throughout by spinning motion.


The process of cutting is completed by smoothing the trimmed part of the arrow shaft with sandpaper. Your arrow shaft is now ready for use, and you can now add arrow inserts like a broadhead. Repeat the same processes above for your other carbon arrow shafts.

After cleaning up your workspace, get rid of the carbon fiber dust with a vacuum cleaner so that it won’t travel elsewhere.


Now that you know how to cut carbon arrows correctly, you can do it for yourself or help a friend, so things will be easier.

Doing it on your own for the first time would be a challenge, but you’ll get used to it eventually as you go on with several attempts.