What Type Of Wood Was Used For Arrows? Revealing The Woods That Powered Arrows




When we talk about the timeless art of archery, the materials used play a pivotal role. So, what type of wood was used for arrows?

Historically, arrows have been crafted from a variety of woods, each chosen for its unique characteristics that aid in accuracy and durability. Hardwoods, for instance, like Hickory, Dogwood, Osage Orange, Ash, Ironwood, Bamboo, and Maple, are popular choices. They are known for their unmatched strength, weight, and stiffness that allows an arrow to maintain a straight flight.

what types of wood was used for arrow

On the other hand, woods like Cedar, Fir, and Pine have also found their place in arrow-making. While they might not be as sturdy as their hardwood counterparts, they come into play when a specialized trajectory or reduced noise is the priority, such as in traditional hunting or specific target practice drills. Beyond woods, modern arrows have also embraced the use of arrow material like carbon arrow and aluminum arrow.

However, for those wondering, What is the safest way to carry arrows? It is important to understand both the material of the arrows and the type of quiver you use.

Understanding the type of wood used for arrows not only deepens our appreciation for the craft but also showcases the intricacies involved in mastering the skill of archery. Dive deeper with me.

Today, I explore the importance of choosing the right wood and the impact it has on the arrow flight of an arrow.

Key Takeaways

  • Different woods impact arrow performance. Choices like oak, maple, and cedar are popular due to their unique strengths and weights.
  • Cedar is a top pick for arrows because it balances lightness, stiffness, and a straight grain, making it ideal for accurate shooting.
  • Making arrows involves steps from selecting the right wood, carving nocks, attaching arrowheads, to adding fletching for stabilisation

Exploring The Best Wood Was Used For Arrows: A Comprehensive Guide

Choosing the perfect wood for arrow-making involves understanding the unique properties of each type. Popular woods like maple, oak, and birch are known for their strength, flexibility, and weight. For instance, birch is light, making it great for crafting arrows that shoot easily.

Making arrows involves steps from selecting the right wood, carving nocks, attaching arrowheads, to adding fletching for stabilization. The choice of feathers used for arrows? is also significant, with some archers preferring an odd colored feather of an arrow to distinguish their personal set.

What Type of Wood Was Used for Arrows

There’s a wide range of other woods and arrow material you might consider. Ramin, Douglas Fir, Maple, Ash, Hickory, Pine, Sitka Spruce, Southeastern Alaskan Cedar, Chundoo, laminated Cedar and Pine, Birch, and Poplar offer varied benefits. If you dig deeper into the market, you’ll find that companies like Rose City produce wooden shafts that Kustom King, Cedarsmith, and Sagittarius sell.

Notably, Port Orford Cedar is often tapered, especially on the nock end, improving its arrow flight by allowing it to clear the bow riser.

Several suppliers from the east, including Silent Pond and Allegheny Mountain Arrow Wood, have been highlighting ash as a suitable alternative to other arrow material. If you’re looking for quality Hickory wood shafts, Bowyer and Fletcher from Berthoud, Colorado, stand out as a top pick.

What Type Of Wood Was Used For Arrows

I will show you the advantages and disadvantages of each type below the table.

Wood TypeAdvantagesDisadvantages
Maple– Strong and durable- Consistent grain, suitable for straight arrows– Heavier than some other woods- Might not be ideal for short-range shooting
Oak– Tough and hard- Resistant to wear and tear– Can be heavy arrows- May require more effort to shape
Birch– Light and flexibleSuitable for fast shooting– Less durable than oak or maple- Might break more easily
Ramin– Decently strong- Often affordable– Not as long-lasting as other woods- Might warp over time
Douglas Fir– Tough and resilient- Holds shape wellIt can be tricky to find straight-grained pieces- Slightly heavier
Ash– Flexible, yet strong- Great shock resistance– Might not be as durable as oak- Can be susceptible to insects
Hickory– Very tough Resistant to impacts– Heavy arrows- Might be overkill for casual shooting
Pine– Lightweight- Easy to shape and craft– Not as durable as hardwoods- Might splinter easily
Sitka Spruce– Lightweight and strong- Ideal for long-distance shooting– More delicate than some other woods- Can be pricier
Cedar– Has a pleasant scent- Light and suitable for fast shooting– Less durable compared to hardwoods- Can break upon high-impact

How Wood Type Affects Arrow Performance?

The type of wood you choose for an arrow directly influences its performance. Let’s take a dive into the subject.

Maple, known for its strength, produces heavy-duty arrows. Their weight offers stability, especially in windy conditions. However, this weight can slow them down a bit, affecting distance and speed. Oak, another heavy arrows weight contender, offers similar advantages but can be cumbersome for quick shots.

In contrast, birch, with its light and flexible nature, gives archers the speed they crave. But watch out! Its lightness may compromise durability, meaning it might break more easily. Even for left-handed archers, the type of wood used to make a bow can still be very important. It can affect how comfortable and efficient the bow is to use, regardless of which hand is dominant.

How Wood Type Affects Arrow Performance

Now, imagine you’re looking for an affordable option; you might lean towards Ramin. These arrows can do the job without breaking the bank, but they may not last as long as their pricier counterparts. Pine and Port Orford Cedar, both on the lighter side, provide fast shots, perfect for targets close by. But if you’re thinking of long-distance, Sitka Spruce should be your pick. It combines lightness with strength, allowing the arrow to fly long and true.

Remember, choosing the right wood type is like choosing the right tool for a job. You must consider the task at hand (or target in sight!) and pick the best arrow wood for it. Happy shooting

Why Is Cedar Considered The Best Wood For Arrows? (Unlock The Mystery)

Cedar is often the top pick when it comes to crafting arrows and for several good reasons. First off, cedar’s lightweight nature makes it a favorite. Lighter arrows for faster shots, giving the archer an edge in both hunting and competitive scenarios. But it’s not just about speed.  port orford Cedar provides consistency in its grain structure, ensuring that the arrows made from it remain straight and true in arrow flight. This straightness helps in achieving more accurate shots, which, let’s face it, is the ultimate goal for any archer.

Moreover, port orford cedar has a unique charm. Anyone who has held or been near cedar knows of its pleasant aroma. This scent adds an additional sensory experience to the archery process, making it more enjoyable. In addition, cedar’s natural resistance to decay and insects is a big plus. This means your cedar arrows won’t just perform well; they’ll also last longer. Cedar is his choice for traditional shooting; for modern techniques, nothing beats a carbon arrow more deadly than a bullet.

However, the crown jewel is cedar’s perfect balance between stiffness and flexibility. This balance ensures the arrow won’t break easily on impact yet remains flexible enough to handle the force of the bow. All these factors combined make cedar a top contender in the world of arrow-making.

Discussing the ideal best wood for arrows, David Wolf, in a post on Quora, mentioned, “There are many different woods that work but cedar has been the best for me for traditional shooting. I still love my carbon arrow fiber arrows for the compound bow though.” [Source: Quora].

What Kind Of Wood For Longbow Arrows?

When selecting wood for longbow arrows, certain types come to the forefront due to their exceptional qualities. Cedar, for example, stands out as a top pick. Its lightness ensures that arrows fly swiftly and accurately, making it a favorite for many longbow archers. Cedar also boasts a straight grain, crucial for keeping arrows on their intended path.

What Kind Of Wood For Longbow Arrows?

However, if durability is a priority, then oak or hickory might be the way to go. These hardwoods can withstand a lot, and their toughness guarantees that arrows remain intact even after repeated use. They’re especially handy if you’re planning any hunting expeditions or rigorous practice sessions. It’s also crucial to consider if you’re a leftie because how left-handed people shoot a bow and arrow might require slight adjustments in the arrow selection.

For those on a budget, pine is a decent choice. It’s affordable, fairly durable, and provides adequate performance for practice or casual shooting. However, seasoned archers might find it lacks the punch that cedar, oak, or hickory offer.

Lastly, some archers swear by ash. Its blend of flexibility and strength offers a unique combination, making arrows that fly true and stand up well to wear and tear.

Remember, the right wood for your longbow arrows hinges on what you’re looking for – speed, durability, or a balance of both.

What Materials Traditionally Craft The Perfect Arrow?

Long ago, people made arrows with whatever materials they had nearby. Most of them used wood for the arrow and added feathers or fur to help the arrow fly straight. 

Native Americans in North America liked using cane arrows for their arrows because it was light and strong. During the Middle Ages, arrows had a mix of wood, metal, and things like feathers. Archers loved using ash and hazelwood for their arrows because they were light and flew far. 

For battles, they used metal tips on their arrows to get through tough armor. Sometimes, they also used wood or stone tips. Arrows were often crafted with a special odd colored feather of an arrow to signify rank, allegiance, or simply personal preference.

Some arrows were even fancy, with special feathers or designs, made for things like hunting events or big battles.

How To Make Arrows?

In this section, I will teach you how to make wooden arrows step by step. So, let’s go deep inside.

Step 1: Arrow Shafts

 Choose straight-grained wood arrow shafts like cedar, pine, or spruce. Avoid knots. Cut the wood to your desired arrow length, usually around 30-32 inches. Sand it smooth, starting with rough sandpaper and moving to finer grades.

Step 2: Nocks

 Carve a small groove at the arrow’s end for the bowstring, or use plastic nocks. Ensure it’s centered and snug but releases smoothly when shooting.

Step 3: Arrowheads

For target shooting, use wood or metal tips. If hunting, opt for sharp metal broadheads. Make sure they fit your arrow shafts properly.

Step 4: Fletching

 Stabilize your arrows with feathers or plastic vanes. Use strong fletching glue to attach three evenly spaced fletches around the shaft. The process of attaching the fletching to the arrow is very important. Some people may even wonder if feathers are still used for arrows. The answer is yes, especially for people who want to use traditional archery equipment.

Step 5: Trim and Shape

 Make sure your fletching is uniform. Trim for tidiness and consistency using scissors or a knife.

Step 6: Test

 Shoot your arrow to check its performance. Adjust as needed, whether it’s the nock or loose fletching.

Step 7: Seal

 Protect your arrow with a varnish or wood sealant. Once dry, your handmade arrow is ready to use!

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

What Types Of Wood Were Commonly Used For Making Arrows In Ancient Times?

A long time ago, people used hazel for arrows and stuck on sharp stone tips with sticky tree sap and nettle strings. They made bows from elm and yew trees.

What Were Arrows Made Of In The 1800s?

In the 1800s, arrows were made of wood, had metal tips, and used bird feathers to fly straight.

What Were Egyptian Arrows Made Of?

The arrows had tips made of stone or metal and were built on long reed wood shafts with feathers for stability.

What Were Chinese Arrows Made Of?

Chinese arrows used bamboo sticks, had metal or bone tips, and used bird feathers to fly straight.

What Were Mediaeval Arrowheads Made Of?

Medieval arrowheads were made from steel that was heated and shaped. These tips were put on big aspen sticks, with goose feathers attached using pine sap and beeswax.

What Is An Arrow Spine Chart?

An arrow spine chart shows archers which arrow is right for their bow so it flies straight.


Archery relies heavily on the wood chosen for arrows. When someone asks, What Type of Wood Was Used for Arrows,

It’s clear that woods like oak, maple, and cedar each affect the arrow’s performance. Even with today’s new materials, traditional wooden arrows remain popular. 

Understanding these woods deepens an appreciation for this ancient sport, blending the past with the present.

Bob Magic

Written by

Bob Magic

Meet Bob Magic, the archery maestro. A National Champion, “Coach of the Year,” and gold medalist. Bob simplifies archery, ensuring your bullseye success. Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, let Bob’s magic guide your arrow.

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