10 Best Carbon Hunting Arrows Revealed in 2019 ( For Deer, Elk & Tight Budgets )

Carbon Exp Maxima Blue RZ 350 is also available at:

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Importance of Choosing the Right Arrows

Have you ever wanted to get into a new hobby but never realized there were so many decisions you had to make?

I faced this when I entered the world of bow hunting. I was overwhelmed by all the different bows, rests, sights, and releases. Just when I thought I had my bow all set up, I was asked which arrows I wanted. I had no idea what I needed or wanted or what was the best for the little money I had.

As hunters, we want to shoot our bow perfectly. We want to ensure we can harvest an animal. And, naturally, we like to be good at what we do. When I first started archery hunting, I ended up buying a cheap bow and cheap arrows.

Even with hundreds of shots, I was incredibly inconsistent and became frustrated. When I went in to purchase a new bow, the Pro Shop was shocked that my arrows hadn’t shattered because of the high poundage on my bow. This is when I realized how important it was to get the right arrows.


bow and arrow upclose

Trying to improve with a wide variety of equipment can also cause inconsistency.

For example, when my nephew wanted to get into archery, his parents (understandably) didn’t want to purchase expensive equipment for him and instead bought gear here and there. This left my nephew with an assortment of different arrows, different lengths, and different weights.

Even the slightest difference in his arrows showed up on farther shots.



There are different styles of arrows including aluminum, carbon, and hybrids – the most popular being the full metal jacket carbon (FMJ).

  • Aluminum arrows are less expensive and less common now due to improved technology. They are heavier and fly slower, but they are more durable and have minimal to no risk of shattering when shot.
  • Carbon arrows are more expensive than aluminum but are light weight and have a lot more flex. They need to be checked for cracks since a damaged arrow can shatter and splinter in your bow when shot.
  • The Easton FMJ’s are, of course, expensive and durable but do not have the risk of shattering upon a shot. They have minimal flex to them, which gives them more kinetic energy but also more weight than carbon arrows.

When hunting, competitive target shooting, or just doing archery as a  hobby, be sure to do your homework and find the exact arrows that fit your lifestyle and your wallet.

It is a sick feeling to fling something from your bow at around $20.00 per shot, but at the same time, how sick would you be if you went cheap on your arrows and ended up in the hospital with carbon shards in your arm and wrist? Take the time to invest in the right arrows and begin to make some memories.


How to Choose

bow hunter resting on tree

Now that you know about some of the arrows and why it is important to make a good decision, you still may have heard from a buddy or someone who wants to give you some arrows.

It is important to understand what all the numbers and specifications each arrow has so you can make a good decision on what you want to shoot. So let’s go over the specs and give you a good grasp of what to look for when buying arrows.


Poundage and Draw Length

archer at full draw

When you bought your bow, the pro shop adjusted your draw length to fit how far your arm would be at full draw. This length is important to know since an arrow that’s too short won’t stay on the rest when you pull back to shoot it. There are also other problems if an arrow is too long.

You also need to know the poundage of your bow. If the poundage is too high and an inflexible arrow can shatter when you take the shot. It is very important not to accept or shoot anyone else’s arrows if you have different draw lengths and poundage.

Also, beginners may need to up their poundage as they get stronger. More poundage equals more knock down power, speed, a flatter the arrow in flight, and more accuracy. If you raise your poundage, make sure your arrow can withstand the higher poundage.



man bending arrow
Easton arrow

In layman’s terms, this means how stiff the arrow is. Picture two pieces of PVC pipe, one being very long and the other is very short. If you bend each of them, it would take far less effort to bend the longer one. The principle is the same for arrows.

A longer the arrow with the same spine as a shorter one would bend and flex a lot more, which will cause problems at certain lengths and poundages. Each company has a chart listing each length with different bow poundages help customers purchase the ideal and safe arrow for them.

Some people like to shoot arrows with a softer spine, but they should still be within the safety guidelines. Once again, it is not a good idea to shoot any arrow without knowing the spine strength.


Straightness Factor

arrows on target

This is a very important number to look at when deciding what arrow to purchase. The straightness factor is how straight each arrow is guaranteed to be directly from the manufacturer. Some arrows will say +/- 0.006, which would be less consistent the farther you are from your target.

The lower the number, such as a +/- 0.002, the straighter the arrow is and the tighter your groups will be. If you are a very steady archer, then you will definitely benefit from a straighter arrow.


Weight Tolerance

Similar to the straightness factor, this indicates how different the weight can be straight out of the factory. A larger the number, such as a +/- 0.005, indicates a greater the potential difference between a particular arrow and the factory standard.

Varying weights can cause inconsistencies the farther you are from your target. The lower the number, the more consistent the arrows will be.


Top Brands

When it comes to arrows, does the name brand actually make that big of a difference? Yes. They have made a name for themselves for a reason. Anyone that has ever driven a truck knows the names and reputations of Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge.

In fact, anyone who has or is in the archery field has heard of the top brands for arrows: Easton, Gold Tip, and Carbon Express.

Just like Ford, Chevy, or Dodge, each person has an opinion about which is best. They will talk till they are blue in the face to prove to you why their truck can’t be beat. Arrow brands are similar; all the high-end brands are tough to beat when it comes to consistency, durability, and – most importantly – safety.



Easton is known for their quality and consistency. They are also known for their wide range of styles and kinds of arrows. Their goal is to ensure everyone can find a type of arrow that fits to their lifestyle.

My wife shoots the Easton Axis and has been extremely consistent with her target practice. She was also able to harvest her first archery big game – a cow elk – this year, taking an well-practiced 86 yard shot. She shoots the Eva Shockey Bowtech with the poundage set at 56 pounds.


Gold Tip

Gold Tip

Gold Tip is also known for their arrow diversity and quality for cost. They have a wide range of arrows, including shafts for indoor shooting and crossbows.

I personally shoot the Gold Tip Hunter XT and have harvested a several bull elk at just over 60 yards and a mule deer on the infamous Arizona Strip at 67 yards. These arrows are extremely consistent, and what I love the most is that they are very durable and affordable.


Carbon Express

Carbon Express

Carbon Express arrows are known for their extreme consistency with weight, spine, and straightness. Their arrows are very durable and come in a wide range of styles.

My hunting buddy shoots the Carbon Express Maxima Red and has harvested a bull elk at 60 yards. He has great grouping when we practice together, even at long-distance shots.

Of course, in the truck world, there are other makes that can hang with Ford, Chevy and Dodge. You just have to find what you prefer. I have seen the above brands’ shots and groupings and seen them work their magic firsthand on big game.

There are numerous other brands of arrows out there, but in my humble opinion, it is tough to beat Easton, Gold Tip, and Carbon Express.

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