For the longest time, aluminum arrows were the preferred choice of many bow hunters. This was before the entry of carbon arrows in the 1990s. Today, a vast majority of bow hunters use carbon arrows. However, just because an arrow has a shaft made of carbon does not mean it is the best. So how do you differentiate the best carbon arrows from the cheap knock-offs that litter the market?
Well, you have to know what to look for in a carbon arrow first. And in this article, I will be giving you tips on how to find the best carbon arrows for hunting. Also, I will be reviewing seven of the best carbon hunting arrows I have used.
The basic rule of thumb is that if you want the best carbon arrows for hunting, you must be ready to part with a substantial amount of money. Therefore, the best carbon arrows do not come cheap. And it is for this reason that you must do your homework before settling on a carbon arrow. Also, before buying carbon arrows, you must evaluate their performance and durability. Needless to say, there are some factors you need to consider when shopping for carbon arrows. These factors are outlined below. But before I get to the factors to consider, below is a table comparing the different carbon arrows reviewed in this article.
Real Quick Comparison Of 7 Best Carbon Arrows Of 2017
Model With No. Of Arrows
Weight Tolerance (+/-)
Barnett Outdoors Carbon Crossbow 20-Inch Arrows, (5 Pack)
98 % Excellent
Gold Tip Hunter XT Arrows with 2-Inch Raptor Vanes (12 pack)
98.5 % Excellent
Victory Buck Buster Carbon Arrows (12 Pack) 350 Spine
97 % Excellent
Carbon Express PileDriver Hunter Fletched BuffTuff Carbon Arrows with 2" Assault Vanes, (6-Pack)
98 % Excellent
Carbon Express Maxima RED Fletched Carbon Arrows, (6-Pack)
99 % Excellent
Excalibur Diablo 18in. Carbon Arrows, for Matrix (6-Pack)
98 % Excellent
Carbon Express Maxima Hunter Arrows, (6-Pack)
99 % Excellent
How To Select Best Carbon Arrows
The term spine refers to an arrow's stiffness. While carbon arrows are stiffer than their aluminum counterparts, it is important that you settle on an arrow with the right balance of stiffness.
To check an arrow's stiffness try to bend it. If an arrow is stiff, it will be hard to bend. On the other hand, if an arrow is not sufficiently stiff, it will bend easily. Arrows that are not sufficiently stiff lack accuracy. Worse yet, they can be ploughed into by your bow's strings. Thus, the best arrows for hunting need to be stiff but not too stiff.
Weight is another important factor to consider when buying carbon arrows. Arrow weight is also referred to as grains and depends on what you want to use your arrows for. If you want arrows for target practice or archery tournaments, lighter arrows are recommended. However, if you want arrows specifically for bow hunting, heavier arrows are better. The reason being that heavier arrows offer more penetration power.
On the other hand, lighter arrows are able to travel in a straight line better than their heavier counterparts. In my experience, the best arrows for both archery and bow hunting are those with a weight of between 200 and 500 grains.
The straightness of an arrow is measured in inches and normally ranges from 0.001 inches to 0.006 inches. The smaller the number, the better or straighter the arrow. This means that arrows that have a straightness level of 0.003 inches or lower are pricey.
That being said, if you want the best balance between straightness and price go for arrows with a straightness of 0.003 inches. The straighter the arrow the better it flies.
The last factor to consider is the price. Different carbon arrows are priced differently. They can cost as low as $ 40 and as much as $ 100. If you are on a tight budget, there are some pretty good arrows in the low budget segment as you will see in the reviews below.
The Top 7 Best Carbon Arrows Reviews
6 - Pk. Carbon Express Maxima Hunter
The Maxima hunter series of arrows had been out of the bow hunting scene for a while before making a comeback in 2011. And I have to say the new, and upgraded maxima hunter arrows are amazing. With a multi-layered and multi-material design, these arrows are lighter and straighter than most carbon arrows I have used. Also, the arrows' rear end is stiffer and lighter than the front. This means that the arrows have minimal oscillation when fired. The heavier front and lighter end add to the arrows' accuracy and penetration power.
- The arrows are very well made
- The arrows have unrivaled accuracy and performance
- The arrows’ Buff Tough mossy oak finish makes them blend in with forest surroundings
- The arrows have 0.0025 inches of straightness which is impressive
- The camouflage makes these arrows hard to find if you do not hit the target
- The dual-spine weight forward technology which is the hallmark of these arrows is yet to be proven
- 0.0025-inch straightness
- Dual-Spine weight forward technology
- Bull-Dog nocks
- 2-inch blazer vanes
- BuffTuff Camouflage
Carbon Express Maxima RED Fletched Carbon Arrows
The Maxima Red Fletched Carbon Arrow is one of Carbon Express' best sellers. Loved by thousands of bow hunters, myself included, these arrows are the most consistent I own. And that's not all; these arrows feature a Buff Tough coating that protects the shaft. Additionally, these arrows have a dynamic spine that makes them compatible with bows with a draw weight of between 40 and 81 pounds. Also, I have been using these arrows for a while now, and they still look as they did when I bought them.
- The arrows are accurate and precise
- The carbon material used to make these arrows make them fly better
- The arrows are laser checked to an impressive 0.001 inch
- The arrows come in a 6 pack of black and red arrows
- The construction is top-notch
- These arrows are relatively pricier than other arrows
- The bright red color of these arrows might not be ideal for hunting
- Fletched blazer vanes
- Hi-tech carbon construction
- 1/10,000 inch straightness
- dynamic spine
- Red zone center
- LAUNCHPAD nocks
Excalibur Diablo 18in. Carbon Arrows
I am a proud owner of an Excalibur Matrix crossbow. So it was only natural for me to buy the Excalibur Diablo 18 inch carbon Arrows. These arrows have been designed specifically for Excalibur's Matrix line of crossbows. As you have probably already guessed, these arrows measure 18 inches. I have fired these arrows from my crossbow and have to say they shoot well. The insert is heavy, which increases front-of center weight.
- The front of the center feature guarantee accuracy of the arrows
- These arrows are compatible with both fixed and mechanical arrow heads
- Unlike most arrows, these arrows have a flat back insert instead of nock, which offers a more reliable contact with bow strings
- These arrows are designed for recurve crossbows
- These arrows are in particular designed for Excalibur recurve crossbows
- The fletching color that came with the arrows do not correspond to the color shown online
- The Fletcher also tends to come off, and you may have to glue them on again
- 18-inch shaft
- 2-inch vanes
- Heavier front insert
- Flatback insert
Barnett Outdoors Carbon Crossbow 20-Inch Arrows
Barnett is known more for its crossbows; however, the manufacturer does not excel in the manufacture of crossbows alone. This is evidenced by the superior performance of the Barnett Outdoors Carbon Crossbow 20 inch arrows.
As their name suggests, these arrows are designed for high-performance crossbows such as the Barnett Ghost 350. Weighing 8.1 ounces and measuring 20 inches, these arrows are sold in a five pack. Additionally, these arrows have a 13.78 grains per inch, which is pretty impressive. Barnett is so confident of these arrows performance that it offers a five-year warranty on them.
- These arrows come with a five-year warranty
- These arrows offer impressive accuracy and reliability
- The arrows are made from a high-quality carbon material that makes them strong and with a consistent thickness
- These arrows offer impressive target penetration
- These arrows are compatible with the Ghost 350 crossbow
- The arrows come in only two fletching color options, red and white
- The arrows long range performance is questionable
- 20-inch shaft
- Five arrow pack
- Half-moon nock
- Red and white Fletcher options
- 13.78 grain per inch
Victory Buck Buster Carbon Arrows
I tend to be experimental with arrows and am always eager to try out different arrows. Thankfully, most of my hunting buddies do not use the same arrows I use. Recently, I got to fire one of my friends Victory Buck Buster Carbon arrows. I was impressed with these arrows that feature an aluminum shaft and measure 31 inches.
- The arrows are very well made and solid
- Work well with bows with a draw weight of between 55 and 70 pounds
- The arrows are compatible with a wide array of arrowheads
- Have a straightness of 0.006 inches
- The arrows come with removable and adjustable nocks
- These arrows are relatively new to the market, and the jury is still out on them
- Not all arrows come with the insert installed
- 350 spine
- 0.006-inch straightness
- 2-inch blazer vapens
- Aluminum inserts
- 31-inch shaft
- Bohning V nocks
Carbon Express PileDriver Hunter Fletched BuffTuff Carbon Arrows
Carbon Express' PileDriver Hunter Carbon arrows are crafted for serious hunters. However, these arrows can also be used for archery and target practice. Sold in six pack boxes, these arrows have a mossy oak finish that blends well with the installed neon vanes. In fact, these arrows are among the best-looking arrows out there.
As with all other Carbon Express, these arrows are laser checked to 1/10,000 of an inch. What I really love about these arrows is their versatility. The PileDriver Hunter arrows can be used for almost anything.
- The built-in weight forward technology guarantees downward accuracy and penetration
- Carbon express laser checked these arrows for an impressive straightness of 1/10,000 of an inch
- These arrows are very well made
- The arrows are tough and are capable of penetrating tough skins
- They are reasonably priced
- These arrows are more on the heavier side
- Some users have complained of their arrows breaking
- 2-inch assault vanes
- Bull dog nock collars
- 0.005-inch straightness
- Mossy-oak finish
- 350 spine
- Built-in weight forward technology
Gold Tip Hunter XT Arrows
The Gold Tip Hunter XT arrow is one of the most reliable and loved. The toughness of these arrows makes them appealing to many bow hunters. And with a grain weight of 8.2 inches, these arrows are also some of the priciest on the market. However, there is a good reason why these arrows are costly. For starters, they have a straightness tolerance of 0.003 inches, which is more than impressive. These arrows are sold in a dozen pack. One of the best things about these arrows is that they come in a variety of color options.
- These arrows are reliable and offer great value for money
- They are very well made and feel and look solid
- The arrows fly well and consistently
- The arrows are well priced
- The arrows are uncut
- The Fletcher may come off after extensive use
- 0.003-inch straightness
- 2-inch raptor vanes
- 1.8 ounces weight
- S nocks
- 360-degree rotating nock
- 32 inches long
When you go out shopping for a set of new carbon arrows you are sure to find a wide array of arrows to choose from. However, not all the arrows available on the market can meet your needs. In this regard, some research is needed before you make a decision. Going through online carbon arrow reviews can be the best place to start. More importantly, the compound bow arrows reviews above will help make you an informed decision. It is my hope that the above bow hunting arrow reviews have been of help to you.