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How to Make Arrows (Step by Step Guide for Beginners)

How to make arrows? It’s a question I frequently get asked. Here I hope to impart my knowledge on to you, so read on!

Making arrows for yourself is an excellent step to lowering the cost of hunting and can also be done in the field if you are very skilled. Moreover, there are other reasons, such as a customizing your own game plan and strike style.

The idea behind designing and making your arrows is to learn the working of every component. It will help you in understanding the shot and projections for a better success rate.

As we know, hunting teaches survival skills better than anything, and making bow arrows helps you sharpen the survival skill even better (self-reliance). Archery as a sport is also based on the same principle: to learn how to survive! An essential survival skill like arrow making is a good step towards self-reliance if you need to build your own defense or require a hunt to satiate hunger.

Regardless of your motive, arrow-making requires some basic knowledge of the various parts of this tool. Let’s see all of them from the tip end!

What is Arrowhead?

The leading tip of the arrow is the arrowhead. It is sharp and can pierce through the target. An arrowhead may be of various kinds, such as skinny or broad. This part can be made out of stone or metal. There are two primary kinds: Skinny & Broad. 

What is the shaft?

The thin part of the arrow (body) is called the arrow shaft. This part attaches the fletchings to the arrowhead. You may say that the shaft holds together all of it!

The fletchings are the wings of the arrow. The arrow flight trajectory is controlled by the fletchings, which can be a blade of feathers or plastic.

Hitting a target with an arrow without fletchings is not only difficult but dangerous too.

What is the Nock?

The last part of the arrow is the nock, a small point at the end (back tip). This part is where the arrow comes in contact with the bowstring. 

This part is small yet plays a vital role in your shooting. Without a nock, the full force from stretching the string will not be transferred to the arrow. You cannot ignore the nock!

Also Read: What is an Arrow Spine?

How to make Arrows?

Let’s begin to learn how to start building an arrow, approaching it like a recipe. That way, you know what to use, how much to use, and what to expect!

You can build an arrow by making all the parts and then assembling them efficiently. For this purpose, you will make the arrowhead with care so that it serves the purpose of shooting the target correctly. 

Making the arrowhead

Making the arrowhead is easy with numerous raw material choices. It needs to be sharp, but there is no restriction on the material with which you make it. The basic steps of making an arrowhead are as follows:

  1. Use a hammer or rock to break a piece of flint or chert. You can also look for a pointed rock and shape it in a way to become a thin and sharp arrowhead. The triangular piece must be less than two inches long and the width must be less than one inch. 
  2. This shaping process is also called flint knapping, and you can always keep the arrowhead jagged or rough to add a more lethal quality!
  3. Grinding is the step where you use a sharp stone or sandpaper to going the edge until it becomes sharp as you want it to be!  
  4. Lastly, you can make a slight indent at the bottom of the arrowhead, where you will be attaching it to the shaft. You must have seen how the arrowhead is tied to the shaft with a jute string, we have something similar in mind!

Also Read: Best Arrow Rest?

Moving on to the shaft

The shaft is usually made of plastic or light wood. We need the arrow to shoot through with ease and not fall off the track due to weight. The arrowhead is already a heavier part so try to find a very light material.

The shaft has to be round and balanced to give your shot the trajectory it needs for success. Look for a uniformly thick and round stick to use as a shaft.

The process of making a shaft will require some precision tools if you choose wood for this part.

The wooden stick you select must be chiseled to perfection, and then roundness can be perfected with sandpaper. However, if you choose plastic, there’s a chance you will find a finely rounded piece that is of the desired length. 

Adding the fletchings

Now we come to the breaking point, which enhances speed and also direction. Fletchings are usually made of feathers, and this is a relatively simple step as you require a few feathers that can be attached to the shaft with duct tape. 

Try to keep your fletchings at an equal distance from one another so that the arrow does not waste energy on rotating itself due to unbalanced fletchings causing the wind to move the arrow. 

Another way to secure the fletchings on the shaft is with a fletching jig. 

The jig will keep the feathers firmly attached while ensuring equal distance. If you want to place feathers around the base, that is also done neatly with a jig. 

Now comes the nock

The last part to attach is the nock. You must wonder that it is just an indent at the end of the arrow, but this small piece has much importance. Creating an indent is easy as it only requires a saw or a cutter. 

Putting everything together

Assembling the arrow is always fun as you get to see the result of your project. The arrowhead can be attached to the shaft with a thin jute rope to stay in place.

 If you choose to make an arrowhead of glass or any other material, you can also use adhesive to stick the head to the rest of the arrow. 

Once your arrow is complete, the only thing left to do is head out to the woods and try your new Do It Yourself project! 


Building your arrow is a survival skill all hinters and archers must have. There are numerous brands of arrows and volts available in the market but making your own tools is always more challenging; hence the level of achievement at every shot is manifold. 

Additionally, you can save some bucks on every hunting trip without compromising on your success! Try the simple method of making an arrow, and you will be surprised to discover the craftsman in you!

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