Best Crossbow Bolts: Reduce Vibration and Improve Accuracy: Top Crossbow Bolts of 2018

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man shooting a crossbow

Crossbow bolts or arrows are some of the most important additions that you will be looking for when purchasing a crossbow. The better the bolt is designed and the more it works with your crossbow, the better the results will be when you are hunting.

Crossbow bolts are quite intricate, but not quite as much as the broadheads. For hunting, the broadhead will be the most important piece of the arrow that you focus on, but we have found that the bolt could also make a huge difference when looking at things like in air flight and better accuracy. Since many beginners might not know which ones are the best, we do recommend that you go with the standard recommended bolts from the crossbow manufacturers to get you started.

If you are more advanced, or simply just looking for the best bolt from the onset, we have decided to aid you in your search. We have chosen our top 9 crossbow bolts that you will be finding on the market today and these could drastically improve your hunting or target shooting experience.

But before we get into the top crossbow bolts, there are a few things that you will need to know about the specs and the main features that you will need to take under consideration whilst looking for an arrow. Since arrows vary from brand to brand, this intricate guide should help ensure that you know what to look for and which ones will be superior:

Key features to take into consideration when searching for the best crossbow bolts:

While your budget and pricing should always be taken into account, we have decided not to include that on our list of features. When it comes to the best quality, you will certainly be looking for the best materials and construction and this is quite expensive, but once you know what you are looking for, you could potentially save some money on a few of these features:

  • Bolt materials: Crossbow bolts are predominantly available in two types of materials. The most used ones are aluminum and they are also mostly recommended for the crossbow because of their heavier weight. The carbon bolt has lately also increased in weight to match aluminum, but this is still a work in progress. Yes, the carbon bolt might fly a little farther, but the heavier weight of the aluminum will keep the weight more on course.
  • Shaft stiffness: The shaft of the bolt is also commonly referred to as the spine and everything is attached to this shaft, the stiffness of the shaft will also vary from one another to some degree and the more bend the shaft has, the more “spine” the pros will talk about. In terms of damage and with a retractable broadhead, you would like to minimize the spine to ensure that the bolt can go straighter and cause as much damage as possible.
  • Weight: The weight of the crossbow bolt is usually measured in grains, but many times you might see it as GPI or “Grains per Inch”. For hunting, the heavier bolt is preferred and it will also serve as a sort of vibration collector to help reduce the vibrations caused when shooting the arrow. This makes the arrow fly straighter, with less interference to slow it down.
  • The nock: The nock is commonly found on the back of the bolt and there are generally two main types of nocks that you will find. Many manufacturers are now recommending the half-moon nock to keep the arrow in place, but the flat nock can also be used. The flat nock is a little better for accuracy if you are more advanced, but the half-moon nock will be the ideal choice for beginners to improve stability and get used to the crossbow. The Omni nock is also a new and revolutionary addition and while these nocks might be a little more expensive, they do add more versatility when shooting the arrow.
  • Length: Crossbow bolts vary in length between 16 and 22 inches. Unfortunately, this cannot really be controlled by you and you might go one inch smaller or longer than the manufacturer has stated. Most crossbow bolts from the top brands are in the range of 20-22 inches.
  • Fletchings/Vanes: These are the feather-like designs at the back of the bow. Most of the modern bolts have three plastic fletchings and while the bird’s feathers might look like a great option, they are never recommended for a crossbow. The plastic fletchings are a little better for the velocity that the crossbow can produce and it also ensure that you do have a little more accuracy when it comes to shooting at longer distances.

But understanding these 6 features, you will be able to determine flight and also improve your accuracy. The broadheads are also really important when it comes to hunting and since they will make the difference between a bad hit and a good hit, we do recommend that you invest a lot of time in them.

We would also like to stress once again that it is important to look at what the manufacturers are suggesting to ensure that you do get the best-sized arrow with the ideal weight for your crossbow.

With that being said, here are the top 9 crossbow bolts of 2018:

[wpsm_comparison_table id=”19″ class=””]

TenPoint Pro Elite Carbon Crossbow Arrows

TenPoint Crossbows 20' Pro Elite Carbon Crossbow Arrows (6 Pack) (HEA-620.6)
116 Reviews
TenPoint Crossbows 20" Pro Elite Carbon Crossbow Arrows (6 Pack) (HEA-620.6)
  • SPECIFICATIONS: 20-inches long, 22/64-inch diameter, 425 grain standard weight (includes 100 grain practice tip), PROUDLY MADE IN THE U.S.A.; 2-Inch group at 50-yards. 8.9% loss of speed over 50-yards. 18.7% loss of KE over 50-yards
  • Shot-after-shot ACCURACY and premium CONSISTENCY from bolt to bolt
  • Fitted with a 68-GRAIN ALUMINUM INSERT and TenPoint's NEON YELLOW SUPERBRITE OMNI-NOCK which feature six micro-grooves that form three bowstring channels which eliminate the indexing problem associated with moon and capture nocks

Weight: 425 grain and 100-grain practice point

Materials: Carbon fiber

Length: 20 inches

The TenPoint Pro Elite Carbon Crossbow arrows are constructed from durable carbon materials while this does reduce the spine of the arrow, it certainly will increase the overall stability when shooting. The arrows are also quite heavy for carbon bolts and this is the true sign of how the weight does affect the vibration when the arrow is released.

These bolts also feature an Omni-nock to make aiming a little better. The bright neon color is perfect for watching the flight pattern whilst train and with the inclusion of the practice points, you will not have to damage your expensive broadheads when getting used to the bolt. At 20 inches, these bolts will be perfect for most crossbows.

The fletching or vanes on these bolts are a little wavy and this does have an impact on the flight pattern and many have found that the arrow might slightly deviate off course. The vanes are; however, extremely durable and they have been known to hold up very well under all circumstances.

While you will get 6 per pack, these are still some of the more expensive, but more durable bolts on the market. We highly recommend these to all crossbow hunters to improve their hunting experience and practice without having to damage the expensive broadheads.

Barnett Outdoors Carbon Crossbow 22-Inch Arrows with Field Points

Sale
Barnett 16079 Outdoors Carbon Crossbow 22-Inch Arrows with Field Points (5 Pack)
230 Reviews
Barnett 16079 Outdoors Carbon Crossbow 22-Inch Arrows with Field Points (5 Pack)
  • Archery crossbow carbon arrows
  • Versatile top of the line
  • Another quality product

Weight: 13.78GPI

Materials: Carbon fiber

Length: 22 inches

Barnett Crossbows have been widely regarded as some of the best on the market and they also design arrows specifically for these crossbows. While the arrows will also work on other crossbows, having a Barnett crossbow with matching bolt is the ideal combination. The Barnett Outdoors Carbon crossbow is also designed from a durable carbon fiber material. These bolts are not extremely heavy and they might not be ideal for every crossbow.

The lengths on these arrows are a little longer at 22 inches and they do have a little better in air flight than most of the competitors. The bolts also include a 24F field point for practice better penetration and it features a half-moon nock to help improve your overall stability whilst shooting.

Most of Barnett’s to products like these bolts come with a five-year warranty and this will certainly help instill confidence when it comes to durability. These arrows are also not that expensive and since you will be receiving five of them per pack, we believe that this will be a real bargain buy. These bolts are highly recommended for casually and advanced hunters, but beginners should certainly consider them as an ideal starting point.

Excalibur Diablo 18in. Carbon Arrows

Sale
Excalibur Diablo 18in. Carbon Arrows (for Matrix) 6pk
90 Reviews
Excalibur Diablo 18in. Carbon Arrows (for Matrix) 6pk
  • Designed specifically for your Compact Recurve Technology crossbow
  • Can be fitted with both fixed and mechanical broadheads
  • Feature 2 inch vanes

Weight: 150 grains

Materials: Carbon fiber

Length: 18 inches

The Excalibur Diablo 18in. Carbon arrows will be the ideal arrows for getting more range, but they do lack a little in terms of penetration and hunting bigger game. The arrows have been constructed from lightweight carbon fiber and they do have some problems when it comes to absorbing the vibrations, but with a heavier broadhead, these arrows will certainly work perfectly for more average sized deer.

These arrows also feature a flatback design, which means that there will be no need to add additional nocks to help increase stability, but we certainly do recommend that you practice a little with these arrows before going hunting and having one slip. The arrows are also quite shorter in length and this means that they do have smaller vanes, this particular arrow design only features 2 vanes and while this might impact the flight, it will be great for longer distances.

The bolt is also compatible with both fixed and mechanical broadheads, which gives you more versatility when it comes to selecting the ideal broadhead for your bolt. These bolts have also been designed specifically for the smaller Compact Recurve technology crossbow.

In terms of pricing, these arrows are quite expensive, but they are still highly recommended for the flight, accuracy, and versatility. We highly recommend these arrows for more advanced and accurate shooters with the smaller Compact Recurve technology crossbow.

Carbon Express Maxima Hunter Fletched BuffTuff Plus Carbon Crossbolt

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Carbon Express 52113 Maxima Hunter 20-Inch Fletched BuffTuff Plus Carbon Crossbolt with R2 Vanes, 6-Pack, Mossy Oak Treestand Pattern
106 Reviews
Carbon Express 52113 Maxima Hunter 20-Inch Fletched BuffTuff Plus Carbon Crossbolt with R2 Vanes, 6-Pack, Mossy Oak Treestand Pattern
  • DUAL SPINE WEIGHT FORWARD - 2 spines in 1 arrow to manage energy better and make crossbow bolts recover faster, spin 20% sooner, retain more speed, and deliver unparalleled accuracy
  • BUFFTUFF - Precision design with carbon weave for superior strength and accuracy
  • REAL STRAIGHTNESS - Laser checked for straightness to a remarkable 1/10,000 of an inch; Straightness of +/- 0.0025-inches is a maximum measurement, not an average

Weight: Varies depending on length

Materials: Carbon fiber

Length: 20 or 22-inch choice

The Carbon Express Maxima Hunter Fletched BuffTuff plus carbon CrossBolt is another heavier grained carbon bolt. The bolt has been constructed from carbon materials and while it is available in two sizes and the weight will also vary accordingly, the 20 inch bolt does have a weight of almost 400 grains.

Upon purchase, you will receive six perfectly straight arrows and they have also been tested multiple times to confirm the straightness. The nocks are flat on these arrows, which does make them more for the advanced hunter, but the BuffTuff plus carbon weave technology will ensure enough durability for beginners to try them out as well.

The vanes on these arrows are quite short and might be ideal for longer flight times. We would also like to mention that 6 half-moon nocks have also been included for you luxury and to allow you to have more aiming stability. You will also find that it does work with most broadheads, but unfortunately, a field tip is not included.

We highly recommend these arrows for beginners and advanced shooters. The versatility on these bolts is unrivaled and the design is extremely durable. We would; however, recommend that you do invest in a few training tips to get the features and the mechanics under the belt.

BloodSport 20-Inch Crossbow Bolts

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Bloodsport 20-Inch Crossbow Bolts (Pack of 6), 0.003-Inch
93 Reviews
Bloodsport 20-Inch Crossbow Bolts (Pack of 6), 0.003-Inch
  • .003 Straightness
  • 20" in Length
  • 9.0 GPI, Glued-in Insert

Weight: 325 grains

Materials: Carbon

Length: 20 inches

The BloodSport 20-inch Crossbow bolts are some of the cheaper and less known bolts on the list. These bolts have also been constructed from durable carbon materials and will a very low stiffness or spine, they should be ideal for beginners to start out with.

The overall weight on these bolts are quite high and they might not compare to the top brands, but at 325 grains, they will still provide you ideal distance before dropping and good penetration when going for that kill shot.

The bolts do come in packs of 6 and they feature the glued broadhead that might not offer you as much versatility. During our research and tests, we have found that this certainly is one of the most underrated crossbow bolts on the market and you could easily sweep the up now for a bargain price. Since these bolts are yet to fully prove their worth, we do recommend them for beginners to start out with until you are ready to move up to the more advanced crossbow bolts.

Parker Crossbow Bolts

Parker Crossbow Bolts 6pk
84 Reviews
Parker Crossbow Bolts 6pk
  • Made with 100 percent wrapped carbon for extreme strength and durability.. Features heavy duty weight forward brass insert and Parker capture nock.. Straightness tolerance of +-.004", Shaft Weight: 7.4 GPI..
  • Fletched with 3" vanes.. Made in USA. Model Number: 38-220.

Weight: 300 grains

Materials: Carbon fiber

Length: 20 inches

Parker is also highly regarded as one of the top bolt and crossbow brands and they have a ton of experience when it comes to testing and designing the ideal bolts for the crossbow. The Pack of 6 Parker crossbow bolts is also constructed from durable carbon materials and it also features an extremely stiff design.

These bolts are also ideally weighed at 300 grains and while they might not have the same penetration found on the heavier arrows, they will certainly give you better in-air flight and then the penetration will be enough to get you the kill. At 13.1 grains per inch, the arrow is also perfectly balanced when it comes to weight and this does offer more stability.

These bolts feature red hot capture nocks and these are quite similar to the half-moon nocks, but in our personal opinion, we have found them to be a little more stable that the half-moon nocks. Luckily these can be swapped out. Unfortunately, no tips are included and you will need to buy these separately.

These bolts are also priced in the middle of the pack compared to the rival brands and they do offer you everything needed to get started on your crossbow experience. We do recommend purchasing additional training tips to help preserve your expensive broadheads and get a feel for the bolts.

Carbon Express PileDriver Fletched Carbon Crossbolt

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Carbon Express Piledriver Crossbolt 20in. Moon 6pk 52140
319 Reviews
Carbon Express Piledriver Crossbolt 20in. Moon 6pk 52140
  • BONE-CRUSHING PENETRATION - Heavy grain weight creates maximum kinetic energy and greater knock-down power
  • ADVANCED CONSTRUCTION - Ensures spine consistency for greater accuracy. The composite material is extremely durable at impact for exceptional reliability and repeat performance.
  • REAL STRAIGHTNESS - Precision sorted for straightness to +/- 0.004", for repeat maximum consistency

Weight: 442 grains

Materials: Carbon fiber

Length: 20-22 inches

The Carbon Express PileDriver Fletched Carbon Crossbolt has been rated as the heaviest carbon fiber cross bolt on the market. This arrow is also designed from carbon fiber materials and it features something that many of the other does not, which is a greater knockdown power. The bolt also features greater spine consistency throughout and this is thanks to the advanced construction and multiple tests.

These bolts can be bought in one of two sizes, with the 22 inch being the best and most stable size that you could go for. The weight is a staggering 442 grains and this is much more than you would find on any other carbon fiber arrow. The vanes are standard 4 inches and while this might sound a little longer than average, it certainly does add more accuracy to the bolt.

These are also some of the cheaper crossbow bolts you will find and that is one of the reasons we highly recommend them to all crossbow hunters. The heavier weight will also be ideal for hunting larger game and you might not even need a large blood trail with these heavy bolts.

Easton Bloodline 22" Crossbow Bolts

Easton Bloodline 22' Crossbow Bolts w/ 3 in. Vanes - 1/2 Dozen
7 Reviews
Easton Bloodline 22" Crossbow Bolts w/ 3 in. Vanes - 1/2 Dozen
  • EASTON BOLT BLOODLINE 22 3 in BTV Vanes Flat Back Nocks
  • (1/2 dzn)

Weight: 10.5 GPI

Materials: Carbon fiber

Length: 22 inches

Easton is not only known for the quality arrows they make for the normal bow, but their crossbow bolts are just as impressive. The Easton Bloodline 22” crossbow bolts are designed and constructed from carbon materials and while these might not be the heaviest of bolts on the market, they certainly do offer good stiffness and durability.

The bolts are 22 inches in length and they will work on most of the modern high-speed crossbows and you will also be able to modify the broadhead and add the most efficient one for your hunting purposes. At just over 200 grains, you might not knock down the target, but with the best broadhead, you will certainly be creating an easy blood trail for you to follow.

The bolts are also flat backed and this will make the aiming a little harder, but for the price, we do recommend them for beginners to start practicing with the flat back design. These bolts are also highly effective for small to medium deer and we highly recommend them for most crossbows on the market today.

Wicked Ridge 20-Inch Black Aluminum

Wicked Ridge WRE010.6 by TenPoint Crossbows 20' Aluminum Crossbow Arrows, 6 Pack
124 Reviews
Wicked Ridge WRE010.6 by TenPoint Crossbows 20" Aluminum Crossbow Arrows, 6 Pack
  • SPECIFICATIONS: 20-inches long, 445-grain (with included 100-grain practice tip) 6-pack of aluminum arrows
  • Equipped with orange SuperBrite Omni-nocks which feature multi-channel string alignment that ELIMINATED IMPROPER LOADING ACCIDENTS that can occur with moon and capture nocks.
  • Shafts include CPC inserts and are fletched with a slight offset using NOISE-ELIMINATING Norway DURAVANES (VANE COLORS VARY) which have a slight taper from base to top for excellent size to weight ratio

Weight: 100 grains

Materials: Aluminum

Length: 20 inches

Last but certainly not least, we have an aluminum arrow and when looking at the design, you will see that they are a little more durable than the carbon arrow. These arrows are a little stronger in design and the added aluminum materials will certainly give you a little better penetration and knock down potential.

These arrows will also come in a pack of 6 and they do feature a flat nock that will certainly make the aiming a little harder. The arrow is also not that heavy when compared to some of the top carbon arrows, but it still packs a hard punch.

These arrows are also really affordable and we do recommend them if you are looking for unparalleled quality and value for your money. These bolts also have a proven track record when it comes to performing on a very high level and helping you hit your target.

Best bow arrow:

If you might have stumbled on the wrong site when looking for an ideal arrow for your bow, we have also got you covered and we have selected one of our top arrows that you can look when hunting with your bow. These are a little different than crossbow bolts, but it will certainly help you hit your target.

Easton 019330 Pack of 6 Bloodline Arrow

Easton 019330 Pack of 6 Bloodline Arrow with 2-Inch Vane, Black
28 Reviews
Easton 019330 Pack of 6 Bloodline Arrow with 2-Inch Vane, Black
  • Spine Span: 0.400-Inch
  • Straightness: ± 0.003
  • Weight tolerance: ± 0.2

Weight: 7.7 GPI

Materials: Carbon fiber

Length: 32 inches

The Easton 019330 Pack of 6 Bloodline arrow is designed for the longer and bigger bow. These arrows have also been constructed from carbon fiber materials and with the longer length, which does help to bring the weight down a little bit. The arrow features a length of 32 inches and you can be sure that the flight will be significantly better compared to the smaller more compact bolts.

The penetration these bolts are a little smaller and the retractable broadhead will be ideal to help you maximize the damage, but the arrow might still fly through the target and this could help preserve the arrows and keep them from getting damaged. These bolts also feature half-moon nocks for increase stability and the bright red color will be ideal for you to see the flight pattern and adjust to the wind and other natural elements.

These arrows also give you great value for money and while they might be expensive, they do have the tip already attached. We do recommend these bolts for the more exclusive hunter with their longer draw of 32 inches. It is also worth mentioning that these bolts are not for the crossbow.

Aluminum bolts vs. Carbon bolts:

One of the main questions everybody is asking is which crossbow bolt they should choose in terms of material and generally, we recommend that you look at what the manufacturer is recommending. The two main types are aluminum and carbon fiber and we have decided to look at how they differ from one another.

  • Aluminum bolts: The aluminum bolts are obviously the cheaper choice that you can make and they do certainly weigh a little more when the sizes are the exact same. The aluminum arrows have also been known to absorb more of the vibrations when they are shot and this will certainly improve accuracy a tiny bit.
  • Carbon bolts: Manufacturers of carbon bolts have noticed how the added weight from the aluminum bolt is absorbing some of the vibrations and therefore, these manufacturers have also started improving the weight to compensate. Carbon bolts are also a little more durable, but they do not have as much knockdown power as the aluminum bolts and they are also higher rated in terms of stiffness.

Does vane size matter?

The vane or fletching size is quite hard to calculate for the crossbow bolt and many people are wondering if the size does matter. Generally, the vane size is determined by the length of the bolt. If you have a longer 22 inch bolt, the 4-inch vanes will certainly be ideal and give you better flight. The shorter the bolt, the shorter the vanes will generally be.

For field tips, this does not dramatically impact the bolt and having either is fine, but we do recommend that you look at the amount of vanes as this will have an impact on the traveling distance of your arrow.

Final Thoughts:

We would like to thank you for reading this article and we do hope that you manage to find the best bolt for your crossbow and that you have found this information helpful. We have not directly included a final verdict and recommendation since most crossbows only use certain bolts.

We would also like to encourage you to share your thoughts on our selection and let us know if you think we might have missed any of your favorites.

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