How To Cut Carbon Arrows? | Complete Archery Arrow Accuracy Guide

Not all of us in the archery field want our arrows filed, drilled, or sawed at the shop.  Sometimes we want to do it ourselves.  Perhaps you have your own reasons, they are just a plausible as the next reason. The way your arrows are cut has everything to do with how your arrow takes flight.  Perhaps the arrow doesn’t have the best cut and you are missing your targets almost every time, whatever the case, we will teach you how to cut carbon arrows for greater accuracy and a quicker flight.

In order to cut carbon arrows using your own equipment, you will need the following:

  • Carbon arrow
  • File
  • Drill/Pipe Cutter
  • Sandpaper
  • Arrow Saw
  • PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

Make sure to use quality equipment as this will prove to be a safer choice. You don’t want your equipment to malfunction because it lacks a high-quality and proper build. Don’t hurt yourself, after all, the main goal is arrow aim and accuracy.  Point taken.

Safety Precautions and Professional Tips while cutting arrow

For safety purposes, we recommend that you have experience and knowledge using the equipment above. If you don’t, by all means, ask someone qualified to help you.  We only warn you at your own risk, because files, drills, pipe cutters, and saws, have been known to hurt people greatly.  You need to wear (PPE) personal protective equipment to help protect your vital human body from machinery and harm.

PPE will include:

  • Goggles (this prevents the material shavings from going into your eyes, causing irreversible eye damage).
  • Gloves (wear gloves to protect your flesh from getting cut off into bloody oblivion).
  • Eyes, nose, and mouth cover/hat (you can use this, you don’t have to, although if you want to be extra careful and avoid particles getting into your nose, mouth, and eyes, then we highly recommend that you utilize this piece of equipment.
  • Earplugs (This will prevent your ears from hearing too many loud sounds. All people working with loud equipment should really think twice when it comes to protecting their ears).
  • Once you are properly dressed with your appropriate PPE, you can start focusing on your carbon cut arrows.
  • You need to have focus and concentration. You need to be present and know what you are doing at all times. When you look away or when you are lackadaisical for one second then something bad is always bound to happen.
  • Do not take your eyes off of the arrow that you are shaping and the dangerous machinery you are using.

Cutting your own carbon arrows requires plenty of your time and effort, along with money for the materials and the machinery.  If you are a true hunter then start thinking about cutting your own carbon arrows to improve your slingshot.

You will be able to customize every single component within your arrow, including the length, angle, wrap, vain, nock style, you name it.

There are plenty of new methods to learn below:

Quick Tip:  A carbon-cut arrow cannot always be cut like wood.  You will need access to a cutting wheel that runs on high-speed.  Your carbon arrow will need to be spun around the machines cutting wheel in order to be shaped.

Step by Step Guide on How to cut carbon arrows

Method 1-Cutting Carbon Arrows With A File

If you have all of the time in the world, this method is simple. You will need:

  • (1) Flat file
  • Carbon arrow(s)
  • Arrow cut-off saw
  • Clamps
  • Sandpaper

The whole goal is to stroke your carbon arrow with very small strokes to achieve the shape of arrow you want. This method takes quite a bit of time, because each filing stroke you do, a small shape change occurs.  You will need to constantly be filing your carbon arrow if you want to see the results of this method.

  1. You will need to secure your carbon arrow on your cut-off saw with the clamps.
  2. Mark the areas you want to cut with masking tape.
  3. Next, grab your file and begin the process of slowly filing, a.k.a, shaving the carbon material off of your carbon arrow (shave the masking tape marks).
  4. Continue filing; remember this method takes the longest.
  5. For any rough edges that the file tool missed, you can use sandpaper to smooth out the shaft and the point of your arrow.

This is the second easiest cutting method on the list, but the amount of time it takes to complete this task is a lot longer than the pipe cutter. This method is safer than using a pipe cutter. We recommend this method if you cannot afford a pipe cutter and a drill.

Us outdoorsy types live on the edge, we like being on the trail and staying active. We don’t have all day to sit there and file away, maybe once we are retired, but not for now.

Method 2-Cutting Carbon Arrows With a Drill and Pipe Cutter

Tools needed:

  • Pipe cutter (high-speed—pricey machine)
  • Drill
  • Sandpaper
  • Carbon arrow(s)
  • Clamps
  • Arrow cut-off saw
  1. This method happens to be the easiest on the list, due to the fact that the machinery is fast and completes the job in no time! (Less than 10 minutes)
  2. When you use this method, you need to mark your arrows. Use a plain old ruler and mark the areas that you want to carve with masking tape. This will give you a visual guide when you are using the high-speed cutting wheel.
  3. Spin your arrow around the pipe cutter 6-7 times then remove it from the machine.
  4. Remember, when you place your arrow onto the cutter, you should not add too much pressure, otherwise the machine will shave through your arrow too quickly, and will crack the shaft. You need to add slight pressure as you slowly guide your carbon arrow in circles, on the cutter.
  5. Make sure the cutter does not snap your arrow. Your end result should be a smooth and round type of cut.
  6. If you want to make any changes once you’ve used the pipe cutter than you can always use your drill to add small unique nuances that make your arrow fly farther and faster. Use sandpaper to smooth out any edges that are jagged.

This method takes the least amount of time, although the equipment needed is dangerous and is also very pricey. You are the creator, you have plenty of options when it comes to cutting precise carbon arrows.

Method 3-Cutting Carbon Arrows With Saws

Tools needed:

  • Arrow cut-off saw
  • Saw
  • Carbon arrow
  • Clamps
  1. Begin by marking your lines with masking tape, mark your shaft lines and where you want to cut.
  2. Setup your arrow saw, make sure no pieces are loose.
  3. You need to analyze, do you have a sharp blade? If you want your saw to cut through, it needs to be razor blade sharp.
  4. Secure your arrow with a clamp on the arrow cut-off saw.
  5. Next, you need to assure the saw blade is placed on the lines you’ve marked.
  6. Add fast and slight pressure, not too much, you don’t want to cut off the shaft of the arrow.
  7. You need to press hard enough (with time, you will get the feel of what is too much pressure versus what is not enough). Begin to saw the masking tape marks.
  8. The faster the speed, the cleaner the cut will be.
  9. You can now use a drill to refine your carbon arrows, of course, keep your arrow clamped on your arrow cut-off saw.
  10. Lastly, smooth out any roughness with sandpaper and add a black compound finish for appearance reasons.

This method is not the easiest on the list. In order to become a master of this method, you will need to ruin a couple of carbon arrows in the process. It takes times to properly saw carbon arrows.

This method is the most intermediate method on the list. We only recommend this method if you tried the other two on the list first. Cutting your own arrows can be a calming experience as it requires focus, concentration, and being present.

Investing In Arrow Accuracy Is Wise

Using a pipe cutter and a drill is the most pricey and dangerous method on the list, but we choose this method as it is the most accurate and the quickest. The pipe cutter machine is what the pros use and since we consider ourselves pros of archery, we recommend using this method and investing in the future of your carbon arrows.

Professional archery takes years and time to achieve.  Once you reach this level and you start to shape your own carbon arrows, then you can stop counting on the manufacturer.  If you miss a target, you can no longer blame anyone but yourself.  Investing in carbon arrows is wise, if you are a hunter, you will surely relate to this statement.

Hunters can choose to feed their own families with the meat caught or they can sell it. Spending time and money on cutting carbon arrows for arrow accuracy and the target is a wise decision for long-term success.