Two of the most popular arrow types are aluminum and carbon arrows
. Both are known for their strength and stability. But is their list of good features enough to outweigh the other? Here is a comparative analysis between carbon and aluminum arrows.
When wood was the only material used to make arrows, the use of aluminum was already a huge development. While wood was very abundant, it is difficult to mold into the desired shape. Metals like copper and iron were then mined and used as wood substitute but it was too heavy. It was when aluminum was discovered and when manufacturers learned that this metal can be molded into a durable shaft, wood arrows became almost obsolete. Decades after, carbon composites were developed and was also used to make stronger arrows.
Aluminum can be found anywhere, and because it is plentiful, it is relatively cheap but still more expensive than traditional wooden arrows. Although it can be strengthened, aluminum has natural malleability; therefore, it won’t be surprising if it suddenly bends out of shape. Carbon fibers, on the other hand, are processed and these extra preparations would mean additional production cost; currently, carbon composite arrows are the most expensive type of arrow. Even when sold at skyrocketing prices, carbon fiber arrows are still popular because of their undeniable strength. It is not malleable but poorly made carbon fibers can become brittle and when it breaks, it might shatter like a glass.
Aluminum arrows often have measurable deflection while carbon fiber arrows are very rigid. When it comes to flight, a more rigid shaft favors speed and flight distance, so basically, a carbon arrow is a better choice if you want speed. Carbon fiber arrows are also lighter compared to aluminum. The rigidity of a carbon arrow lasts until it breaks so as long as it is in perfect form, it will function the way it did when you first bought it. Aluminum, on the other hand, easily bends and even while hitting a target, there is a tendency to lose its straightness so after a number of shots, you might need to replace aluminum arrows.
The price of carbon arrows
is declining, probably because of further improvements and innovations, and there will come a time that the prices of carbon and aluminum arrows are no longer significantly different. If you will base your choice on factors like durability, consistency, straightness and price, it is better to invest on something that will last longer.
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