How Long Do Archery Arrows Last? See the Complete Answer

Archery has been around for centuries, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. And as the sport evolves, so does the equipment used to play. There are many different types of archers, including recurve bow archers, compound bow archers, and crossbow archers, to name a few. When people start getting into this sport, one question often arises: “how long do arrows last?”

Generally, archery arrows can last 20, 30, or 40 years or more. However, the durability varies based on the quality of the arrow and how you take care of it. With proper care, you should be using your archery arrows for years to come.

If you’re new to archery and want to know how long your arrows can last and how to increase their longevity, you’re in the right place. This blog post will answer this question by going over the different types of materials used in arrows, longevity based on the frequency of use, tips for lengthening arrow life span, and what you can do if an arrow breaks.

Four arrows in quiver

Different Archery Arrows and Their Lifespans

Archery arrows are not made equal, so they do not have the same lifespan. The three most common arrows are:

  • aluminum
  • carbon fiber
  • wooden 

If you’re looking to get the most life out of your arrows, a good first step would be to understand your options and the different materials used to make them. Here is a detailed description of the different types of archery arrows you’ll find on the market, listed in order from the least durable to the most durable.

Note: Ultimately, the lifespan of any arrow will depend on how you, the archer, treat it. By following proper handling and storage guidelines, you can help ensure that your arrows last as long as possible.

Wooden Arrows

Archers have used wooden arrows for thousands of years, and it’s not hard to understand why. These arrows allow you to step back in history, and they embody archery’s romance and mystique. In addition, wooden arrows are relatively easy and inexpensive to make.

But, wooden arrows also have some significant drawbacks. For one, they’re not as durable as other types of arrows, and they can break more easily. They also don’t fly as well as aluminum or carbon arrows, and they tend to lose their straightness over time. Finally, wooden arrows are more prone to scratches.

However, the durability of these arrows will vary depending on the type of wood used to make the arrows. For instance, you should expect a longer lifespan from bamboo arrows compared to cedar.

Aluminum Arrows

There’s a significant leap from wooden arrows to aluminum arrows. Not only are they much more durable, but they also fly better and are less affected by the weather. And while they’re not as affordable as wooden arrows, the durability and performance of aluminum arrows make them a good investment.

One thing that makes aluminum arrows more durable than wooden arrows is their resistance to damage. Nonetheless, there’s a significant concern with dents and bends with aluminum arrows, as they can significantly reduce the arrow’s flight performance. So if you’re shooting aluminum arrows, it’s essential to check them regularly for damage and make sure they’re correctly aligned.

Carbon Arrows

Made of carbon fiber composite, carbon arrows are both lightweight and durable. In addition, they offer an outstanding balance between speed and penetration, making them perfect for hunters.

However, despite their reliable performance, they’re still not as popular as aluminum arrows. The reason for this is the weight. While carbon arrows have a higher speed, they don’t have as great of a penetration. This means that they don’t go as deep into the animal when you shoot it.

Carbon arrows are still an excellent option for those looking for a lightweight arrow that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Just be sure to check the spine rating before purchasing them, as not all carbon arrows are created equal.

Other Types of Arrows

Apart from wood, aluminum, and carbon arrows, you’ll also find Alloy Carbon Arrows or Full Metal Jacket Arrows. These arrows are lightweight, fast, accurate, and, most importantly, penetrate deeply.

And as you would expect, they’re the most durable arrows on the market. You’ll, however, have to dig a bit deeper into your wallet for these types of arrows.

How to Increase Your Arrows Lifespan

As we’ve mentioned, no matter what type of archery arrow you have, ultimately, their lifespan depends on how well you take care of them. Here are some care practices that will ensure your arrows remain in tip-top condition for years to come:

  • Inspect your arrows regularly: As a general rule of thumb, inspect your arrows before, during, after shooting.
  • Get damaged fleeting and nocks replaced by a professional: These two parts are the most vulnerable for most archers. Arrows that experience damage to these two components should be properly inspected by a professional, and if necessary, replaced with new ones right away.
  • Avoid shooting tight groups in the same bullseye: Repeatedly hitting the same spot on an arrow can cause significant damage. Instead, try to spread your shots out and avoid grouping arrows together while practicing or hunting.
  • Store arrows in a safe place: When you’re not using them, store your arrows in a safe place where they won’t get damaged. This could mean keeping them in a carrying case or quiver or hanging them on a wall in a designated archery area.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions: Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for arrow care. Each brand of arrows is different, so it’s essential to know how to take care of them properly.

As long as you’re following these tips, you should enjoy using your archery arrows without any fear of sudden damage. However, this isn’t a guarantee as all arrows aren’t made equally.

Follow this complete guide if you want to make a DIY quiver.

Final Thoughts

If you were wondering how long archery arrows typically last, now you know. Archery arrows can last anywhere from 20 to 40 years or more with proper care. You can ensure your arrows last as long as possible by following these simple tips. And always remember to practice safe shooting habits, both in the field and at the range.

If you decide that the arrow has been shot for the last time you should read the 7 best things that you can do with your old archery equipment.

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