Carbon arrows offer a valuable, revolutionary tool for archery; this article will explain how to cut carbon arrows. The durable carbon arrow lasts longer than traditional woodenarrows, allows for efficient maintenance, and can replicate a wooden bow.

Ideally get your arrows cut professionally, at an archery store, or buy them at pre-cut lengths. If you don’t live near an archery store, however, or if you’d like to try your hand at cutting carbon arrows, then continue reading.

How To Cut Carbon Arrows​

1. Determine Your Arrow Length

Arrow length can provide a safety hazard; firing a carbon arrow too short for your bow can lead to half an arrow shaft in your arm. You should err on the side of caution and trim minimally, since you can always trim an arrow with excessive length but not lengthen a trimmed arrow.

Factor in the bow type and the arrow rest type and position. Rearwood arrow rests allow for shorter arrows, and traditional bows require arrow length to match that of the draw length.

  • Draw back an arrow on your bow
  • Measure the draw length and record
  • Mount arrow rest in its permanent position

Also determine your units of measure. The metric system will allow for more precise cuts, but you may prefer to use the customary system for inches and feet.

Assess arrow weight; a lighter arrow is speedier and more powerful. Follow the International Bowhunting Organization standard: five grains per pound.

Lighter, more powerful arrows are not necessarily better. Order and use lighter arrow shafts with caution.

Check state regulations on allowed arrows, depending on weight. Different states have varying grain requirements.

2. Choose Your Tools

Purchase a high-speed abrasive-wheel saw for cutting carbon arrows. Arrow saws can serve this purpose.

A rotary tool with such an abrasive wheel attachment will also suffice. Do not use a traditional hacksaw or tools not mentioned in this article.

Other tools include: “rulers, stops, mounting hardware, a block of wood (base), sliding clamps, sand paper and masking tape”. Cutting carbon arrows with these will streamline the process.

Make sure that the ruler length is appropriate. Yardsticks are suitable in this case.

Alwayswear safety goggles and a dust mask. This will prevent respiratory and eye problems.

Some archers prefer touse a pipe cutterfor making the cuts to the shaft. We advise against this method for safety reasons.

Other safety precautions:

  • Keep your work space clear
  • Supervise any children or pets if they are nearby; ideally keep them away
  • Arrange other equipment before switching on the saw

3. Measure and Make the Cut

Set up nocks in the arrow shaft for the bowstring. Cut a small groove in the appropriate areas.

  • Nock styles can vary
  • Determine a nock style before cutting
  • Keep the nock style consistent

Place a ruler on your base and tape it down. Line up the arrow shaft with the ruler.

Use masking tape on the arrow shaft to mark off the cutting point. You can also clamp down the shaft and cut off the marked length.

  • Masking tape as a marker allows for different nock styles
  • Clamps are better for single nock styles and simplicity
  • Experiment with the two styles to figure out what you prefer

Before cutting, double-check your measurements. In general, you’re better off cutting too little than cutting too much.

Arrange your wheel saw with the arrow shaft. Make sure that the shaft is parallel to the saw.

Use the wheel saw to cut off the measured length. Cutting carbon arrows should be precise.

Rotate the shaft towards the blade while cutting carbon arrows. This allows for a straighter cut.

Aim for a square cut. This will make adding arrow inserts easier.

4. Prepare the Arrow for Inserts

Use sandpaper to smooth the shaft’s cut end. This prepares the shaft for arrow inserts and for use.

Clean up your workspace, wiping down surfaces and putting away tools after use. Have it ready for the next cutting round for arrow shafts, free of stray carbon dust.

Test your arrows, safely. Have a partner nearby so they can help you revise and refine.


In summary, this article explains how to cut a carbon arrow properly, with the right equipment and measurements. Knowing the proper methods and equipment required will allow you to experiment with ideal lengths, and to take a handyman approach to archery.

We emphasize that when following these steps or cutting carbon arrows that you take care. Archery requires skill, observation and dexterity; knowing how to cut carbon arrows will add a creative challenge to the sport for the handyman athlete.