Parts of an Arrow – A Detailed Overview of Each

Parts of an Arrow

Archery is an ancient sport with a rich history that spans over several centuries. An arrow is an essential component of this game. It comprises several parts that work together to ensure it flies accurately towards its target. In today’s guide, we will explore the various parts of an arrow and their importance in archery. Let’s begin now.

Different Parts of an Arrow

An arrow mainly consists of four primary parts: the shaft, arrowhead, nock, and fletching. Let’s define all parts one by one.

1- Arrow Shaft

The shaft is the backbone of the arrow, and it determines its length, weight, and stiffness. It is made of various materials, including wood, aluminum, and carbon fiber. The stiffness of the shaft is determined by its spine, which is the degree of bending when pressure is applied. A stiffer arrow will fly straighter and faster, while a more flexible arrow will be slower and bend more. 

Therefore, selecting the right arrow shaft stiffness is crucial to achieving the desired accuracy in archery games. Several factors must be considered while choosing an arrow shaft, such as the archer’s draw length, bow draw weight and arrow weight. The shaft’s stiffness, flexibility, or spine, is another critical factor. Selecting the right spine is crucial to achieving accuracy and stability. Arrow shafts come in a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate the unique needs and preferences of individual archers. 

2- Arrowhead

The arrowhead is the business end of the arrow. This part of an arrow comes in different materials, such as steel, brass, and carbon. The arrowhead’s shape varies, depending on the type of archery game being played. For instance, a broadhead arrowhead is commonly used in hunting games, while a field point arrowhead is used in target games. The arrowhead’s weight also affects the arrow’s accuracy, as a heavier arrowhead will fly straighter but slower. Some of the most common arrowheads used in archery are as follows:

Field points: They are the most basic and commonly used arrowheads in archery. Usually crafted from aluminum or steel, specifically designed to enhance accuracy and improve performance.

Bullet points: These arrowheads are similar to field points but have a rounded shape at the tip, making them more suitable for hunting.

Broadheads: Specifically designed for hunting and have sharp blades that expand on impact to increase penetration.

Blunt points: The purpose of these arrowheads is to immobilize small game or birds rather than causing their immediate death.

Judo points: They have small spring arms that prevent the arrow from burying in the ground or vegetation.

Fish points: These arrowheads are designed for fishing and have a specialized barb to keep the fish on the arrow.

3- Nock

The nock is a minor groove at the back of the arrow, which fits onto the bowstring. The nock’s material is typically made of plastic. Its importance lies in its ability to keep the arrow in place on the bowstring and ensure that it is released consistently. A loose-fitting nock can erratically cause the arrow to fly, resulting in poor accuracy.In archery, several types of nock arrows are commonly used, having unique features and benefits. Some of them are a sunder:

Index nocks: These are the most commonly used nocks in archery games. They have a small groove on the underside of the nock that is used to correctly align the arrow with the bowstring.

Pin nocks: Pin nocks have a small pin that protrudes from the nock, which is inserted into a hole on the end of the arrow shaft. This design provides a secure and accurate fit for the arrow on the bowstring.

Half-moon nocks: These nocks have a half-moon shape on the underside, which provides a more secure fit on the bowstring and prevents the arrow from slipping or rotating.

Flat nocks: Flat nocks have a flat base, making them easier to attach to the bowstring. They are commonly used in traditional archery and have a lower profile than other nocks.

Outsert nocks: These nocks are used in arrows with a large diameter and have an external collar glued onto the arrow’s end. They provide a secure fit and help protect the arrow’s end from damage.

4- Fletching

The fletching is one of the important parts of an arrow and is located at the back of the arrow and consists of three or more feathers or plastic vanes. The fletching’s primary function is to provide stability to the arrow during flight and prevent it from rotating or wobbling. The fletching also helps to guide the arrow towards the target by creating a drag on one side of the arrow, causing it to spin in flight. The size and shape of the fletching affect the arrow’s stability, and selecting the right fletching is crucial for achieving accuracy in archery games.

In addition, there are some other interesting things you need to know regarding parts of an arrow

Vanes: Vanes are a type of fletching made of plastic. They are becoming more popular than traditional feathers due to their durability and consistency. Vanes come in different sizes, shapes, and colours and are more aerodynamic than feathers. The benefits of vanes are that they are more durable than feathers, produce less noise during flight, and provide better stability and accuracy.

5- Caresting

It is a decorative element often added to arrows in archery games. Cresting is not necessary for an arrow in archery games, but it enhances its appearance and provides practical benefits. It involves painting or applying a design to the arrow’s shaft, typically near the nock or fletching. Cresting also helps to distinguish between different sets of arrows, such as those used for practice versus those used for competition. This decorative element can be done in various colors and designs, such as stripes, dots, or other patterns. Some archers personalize their arrows with their name or unique design. 

Fact Alert: It enhances the arrow’s appearance and provides practical benefits. For example, identifies an arrow in low-light conditions, such as during early morning or late evening hunts.

6- An insert

In archery, an insert is a component inserted into the end of the arrow shaft. The insert provides a threaded attachment point for the arrowhead and reinforces and strengthens the arrow’s front end. Made from aluminum, brass, and carbon, they are offered in various sizes and weights to match different arrow shafts and arrowheads. Installing an insert ensures a secure and reliable connection between the arrowhead and shaft.


In conclusion, understanding the different parts of an arrow in archery is essential for achieving accuracy, stability, and optimal performance. Each component determines the arrow’s flight and the archer’s success. Next time you handle your arrows, remember the importance of each part to improve your archery skills and aim for success!


What holds the arrow in archery?

The bowstring holds the arrow in place, which is pulled back and released to propel the arrow forward towards the target.

What is the main body of the arrow?

The main body of an arrow in archery is called the shaft. It is typically made from wood, aluminum, carbon, or fibreglass.

What are the symbols of an arrow?

The symbols on an arrow vary depending on its design or purpose. Common symbols include fletching to stabilize the arrow’s flight, a nock to hold the arrow on the bowstring, etc.

What are archery arrows called?

Archery arrows are called arrows or archery shafts. 

Leave a Comment