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Is it really cheaper to make your own arrows any more?


Well-Known Member
SH Member
Aug 14, 2019
I just picked up some traditional only 500
carbon arrows on sale! Just cost so much anymore for every thing. Is it really cheaper to make arrows any more?
I’ve been “making” my own arrows for years. The real answer is “it depends.” If you buy raw shafts on sale and already have many of the tools (ie arrow cut off saw, jig, clamps, and inventory of vanes or feathers etc.) Or better yet buy used shafts on here, I would strongly argue yes especially over time and if you shoot a lot besides hunting, it takes much longer to meet that level of diminishing returns. If, however you don’t shoot a lot or rarely change your setup or just don’t go through a lot of arrows then it’s probably most cost effective to buy your arrows already made. I do it because I like being in control of the entire process and tweaking my arrows etc. Spinning them for spine alignment the whole nine yards. It’s kinda like reloading. Nowadays with all the components for that and initial start equipment costs, it would be hard to justify on purely a cost savings basis unless you shot a ton!!
I say yes. IF you have the time. A cheap fletching jig and a DIY dremel saw going to cost you 50-70 total depending on how fancy you want to go.

Biggest investment is time. But honestly if you don't enjoy making arrows, it is not. My arrow making skills is beyond my actual shooting skill to be honest, this is because I find peace in making arrows during lunch break.

But if you just want arrows to shoot, getting them fully made and stripping one of the arrow for tuning is the way to go cost wise.
I feel strange if I don't at least cut my own and put in inserts.
As mentioned, I collected the tools over time.
My thought has always been " never buy anything you can make yourself " The answer is no, it costs me more to make mine than to buy, but I believe building arrows is just part of the process. I've said before, I enjoy tinkering w/my gear almost as much as sitting on a deer trail. I've gone from building POC shafts to aluminum, and now to carbon and I thoroughly enjoy all of them although you can't beat the smell of cedar in the shop, surely not w/carbon. Oh, and the smell of burning turkey feathers in a burner !
You'll get an arrow that fits you better and is better made. This is similar to the handloading argument. Yeah, you don't save much, but your rifle might shoot better. And it can be fun, if you like that sort of thing.
Oh yeh only way it’s cheaper is to watch here and on archery talk and find adult arrows that someone spent a silly amount of money on and can’t sell for more than half price now. If you have ability to build your own, this can save you some dough.
Never much cared for custom arrows. Most my shots are 25 and less the difference between a 4$ or 20$ arrow is not noticeable. As with most things in hunting. It really only matter to the person using it
I do have some carbons set up for my trad bows but I much prefer making wood arrows. I like Douglas Fir and have used Port Orford Cedar too. I make a dozen or so a year at most and so I really don't care how much they cost.

The same goes for my carbon arrows for my compounds. The arrow is the only part of the whole equation that actually makes contact with the deer and kills it. All the things we spend money on from our truck to our saddles to our climbing methods and all that are moot if the arrow doesn't do its job. I am going to make the best arrow I can, and cost is not a consideration for me.
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Buying arrows is only part of the process. Arrows need to be maintained. The fletching gets worn or torn and need replaced often. Some arrows have uni-bushings in the back that can get beat up and need replaced. Nocks need to be replaced often.

Having a good fletching jig like Bitzenburger is an investment that will make life a lot easier. You can buy your arrows pre-fletched but sooner than later, they will need some attention.

Building your own arrows also lets you do custom colors and different vane styles and different fletching orientations that you can't readily buy. I prefer to do my own, but I have the equipment to do so.
I roast coffee on occasion. The process of getting good coffee made is so efficient now, it’s same thing. Green beans almost same price as good beans ready to brew.

Arrows same way.
Heat gun dog bowl? I roast my own that way currently and we save money. I pay right around $6-8 for green beans including shipping and roast as necessary. A good bag of beans is anywhere from $12-18 per 12oz bag.
The cost difference isn't enough to keep me from building my own arrows. :) By building my own arrows, I can fine tune them with the length that I want, the amount of off-set or helical to the fletching, use feathers or vanes in the length and color that I want, increase the visibility of the arrow with wraps, etc. There's no end to how much I can customize my arrows. :cool:

My arrows fly better, are more accurate and look better than store bought arrows. ;)
I build arrows for my ILF Recurve, ILF Longbow and Elite Ritual compound....and enjoy taking pride in how they turn out for looks and performance. :cool:

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