Difference Between Aluminum and Carbon Arrows (With Table)

Archery looks like a simple sport consisting of bows, arrows, and targets but when looked closely it is a sport with many complexities, like the material of arrows to be used. The two types of arrows that confuse the archers the most are Aluminum and Carbon Arrows. Both have their benefits and disadvantages and differ from each other in several ways.

Aluminum vs Carbon Arrows

The main difference between aluminum and carbon arrows is that aluminum arrows are less durable and are more likely to bend or lose their original shape with intense impact or when manhandled. On the other hand, carbon arrows have increased strength and durability, which helps them make deeper penetration into the target.

Aluminum arrows have been in use for a very long time, which makes them dependable for archers. They are lightweight, stronger than wood, and are easy to use. They are also budget-friendly, which makes them one of the top choices among archers.

Carbon arrows are among the favorite choices of archers. They are extremely durable, i.e., they can be reused for a long time and they return to their original shape when bent. They are lightweight and have narrow shafts, which makes them faster than any other arrow type.

Comparison Table Between Aluminum and Carbon Arrows

Parameters of ComparisonAluminum ArrowsCarbon Arrows
DurabilityAluminum arrows are less durable in comparisonCarbon arrows are the most durable arrows.
RangeThey are used for shooting in short distances or indoor ranges.They are used for long-distance shooting.
CostThey are cost-friendly.They are costlier than aluminum arrows.
Shafts sizeTheir shafts are usually broad.Their shafts are usually narrow.
Shape sustainabilityThey bend.They cannot bend.
PenetrationThey give deep penetration into the target.They pierce the target deeper than an aluminum arrow.

What are Aluminum Arrows?

Aluminum arrows are one of the three types of arrows that are used in archery, apart from carbon and wood arrows. They have been in use for more than eighty years and are one of the most dependable arrows for archers. They are available in a range of sizes.

Aluminum arrows are mainly used for high-level indoor range shooting or short-distance shooting. They are exceedingly light in weight which allows them to be fast and easy to transport. With this they are also durable which means, they will last longer than materials like, wood and less time will be spent on gear change. They are perfect for beginners and experienced archers as they are easy to use and have high strength and consistent straightness which gives deeper penetration while hunting.

They are also famous among archers as they cost less and have good durability and life span. People who want to start archery as a hobby or a career can start with aluminum arrows for the many advantages they have. Although aluminum arrows do bend easily when manhandled they do not crack or shatter like carbon arrows.

What are Carbon Arrows?

Carbon arrows are comparatively new to the archery world as it has only been thirty to forty years since they were last used. They are based on the latest technology and are still evolving. They are faster, straighter, and more durable than any other arrow type.

The durability of carbon arrows lasts even when manhandled which makes them a good choice for the archers who want to reuse their gears for a long time, which compensates for their high price. They can take manhandling and still perform as if they were new. They maintain their straightness which gives them good accuracy.

They are more lightweight and have narrow shafts compared to other arrow types. Since the narrow shafts are less subject to wind drift, they give deeper penetration and more accuracy. And their lightweight makes them good for long-distance shooting.

When a person is new or a beginner in archery, they are bound to lose their sets or gears during their training, and because the price of carbon arrows is high, it is reasonable to state that carbon arrows are most suited for professionals and experienced archers because of their lightweight and durability.

Main Differences Between Aluminum and Carbon Arrows

  1. Aluminum arrows have a shorter lifespan than carbon arrows. Although they do last longer than wood arrows.
  2. Aluminum arrows are used for shooting at short distances or in indoor shooting, whereas carbon arrows are used for shooting at longer distances.
  3. Aluminum arrows are cost-friendly and have a good cost-to-value ratio, whereas carbon arrows are comparatively costlier.
  4. The shaft of aluminum arrows is broad in comparison to carbon arrows, whose shaft is narrow.
  5. The aluminum arrows, with time and usage, will bend, whereas carbon arrows do not bend; they maintain their straightness.
  6. Aluminum arrows are slower in comparison to carbon arrows.
  7. Carbon arrows give deeper penetration than aluminum arrows.
  8. Aluminum arrows are best suited for beginners, while carbon arrows are best suited for experienced or professional archers.


Aluminum arrows and carbon arrows are two types of arrows that confuse people the most. They both have their benefits and drawbacks, and they differ from each other in many ways, like how carbon arrows are lightweight and straighter in comparison to aluminum arrows. They have narrow shafts, which gives them deeper penetration compared to other types of arrows. They are faster and costlier than aluminum arrows and are the most durable arrows out there.

Aluminum arrows are more suitable for beginners as they are easy to use and less costly, while carbon arrows are most suited for experienced archers as they are lightweight and have good longevity.

Carbon arrows are used for shooting at longer ranges because of their straightness and lightweight, while aluminum arrows are used for high-level indoor shooting. The major drawback of carbon arrows is that they might crack or shatter with intense impact because of their strength, while aluminum arrows will bend.


  1. http://www.soclabo.org/index.php/laboratorium/article/view/144
  2. https://arxiv.org/abs/1909.08186