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Current “best” carbon arrow cutter
The arrow glue thread got me thinking about carbon arrow cutters. Great gluing tips. I didn’t want to hijack the tread but I’m thinking of buying a cutter. What works and what doesn’t work so well?
I have a 5000 rpm model I bought several years ago from Cabelas. I wish I would have spent the extra and got the 8000 rpm model. With mine you have to go very slow or it will bog way down and even stop. It does cut clean, just very slow. I believe the faster rpm would make a big difference if you intend on using it often.
Yes, 8,000 RPM is better. Also do not use a cutter with teeth. I've read advice here in the past where guys used a carpentry miter saw with a sharp carbide blade with success. I for one do not believe that is a smart thing to do.
My Westin arrow saw has cut well over a thousand arrow shafts with no issues.
I read a bunch of "How-To's" for making your own arrow saw from Harbor Freight components....then realized I'm not that handy and bought a Weston. Cant remember which RPM model i got, but it's worked very well and has probably 8 batches of a dozen arrows through it since last May
I'm very satisfied with the one I've used the last forty years or so with aluminum, fiberglass, and carbon arrows. I use the bench grinder clamped to the workbench in my garage, with a thin 7" cutoff blade mounted on one end. It does require a little caution on he first few cutoffs to get the feel of holding the shaft firmly but comfortably, and allowing a certain amount to "clean up" by easing up to the line marking your desired length while holding the shaft perpendicular to the wheel and using light pressure to get a square end while rotating the shaft between your fingers. That sounds like a difficult trick when reading about it, but really doesn't require any unusual skill, just a few practice cuts which can be done on some broken remains of damaged arrows.
My bench grinder is nothing special, just an aging Black and Decker basic model with a lot of years on it that has been used for general purpose cutting and grinding jobs for a couple decades in addition to it's archery duties.
I just use a regular lead pencil to mark the length to cut off, then I like to finish grind while comparing to a finished arrow to match exactly to my current ones, but I have added arrows to my existing supply that differed by a quarter inch in length and found the impact point difference to be insignificant. Maybe if you're an aspirin shooter at 100 yards, but nothing to worry about for most of us.
And, I use the CB inserts that have a long insert length and a nice slip fit to the shaft ID of my carbons, and have found absolutely no need for any arrow squaring device. One may be more necessary with other shaft and/or insert combinations, but IMO a long insert with a good slip fit, no shake, does the job very well, and I even intentionally left a few of my cutoff shafts with a very off-square end to test that opinion, and they flew perfectly and grouped right with the others.
trophyhill 's Link
I have a wet saw for tile. It works great if you happen to have one. Nice clean cut and the water collects the carbon dust but I still wear a mask.
You can’t beat the versatility of this all around tool
I use my 10" 90 tooth carbide blade (used to switch out to a very thin 7" zip cut) on my Delta Cabinet Saw (table saw) with an attached dust collector. Mark the arrow shafts to length, cut off the crookest end(s) of the shaft. Using the push plate to move the arrow in square to the blade, rotate the the shaft while cutting the perimeter of the shaft 360* around before finishing the cut as that prevents potential splintering carbon fibers as you finish the cut. As Russ Koon does above, after the shaft is cut, push the cut end of the shaft into the side of the rotating saw blade beyond the carbide teeth to ensure a perfect squared end and to shorten to your marked cut line if required.
Sounds complicated, but it has worked perfectly for cutting carbon shafts to length since I started shooting them 14 years ago. And you don't need an arrow saw if you already have a table saw and you aren't in the commercial arrow making business. I'd make my miter saw work if I had to....or my bench grinder....or my Dremel tool, but for a couple dozen shafts on occasion, the table saw is the quickest and simplest for me. Good luck!
Thanks for the info. Much appreciated.
I might only cut a dozen shafts every 5+ yrs, so don't need to invest in a special saw when my Dremel with cutoff wheel works fine. I use the cross cut guide on my table saw to keep everything square.
I have mine cut to length when i buy them. Tried the harbor freight saw(cheap Bassturd) big mistake..
Been using a carpenter's chop saw with a masonry blade for years and hundreds of shafts.
I have the Apple saw, high rpm. It works great on carbon and aliminum. Don't buy one, you live ten minutes away. You can use it anytime, without charge;-)
So many good chop saw blades on the market these days. Not like your dad's old chop saw blade.
I like to wrap a bit of masking tape around the shaft where my cut will be. Make it nice to see the exact cut mark.
Main thing is do not breathe the dust.
A few people have brought up the dust issue. I assume it’s a hazard like concrete dust, asbestos, or fiberglass?
Thanks for the offer HFW
All jokes aside I use a tubing cutter, it works well. I have done dozens of arrows this way carbon and aluminum. Of course its slower than a conventional arrow cutter, but it don't create the nasty dust and the ends are extremely square.
Bought an Apple cutter years ago...felt like a dummy for spending on a tool used only a few times a year. But really over the years it's been a good tool to have. I like to play with my arrows.