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Choosing a crossbow is tough enough, but once you're over that step it's important to stay focused on choosing the Best Crossbow Bolt! It's becoming a more and more difficult decision with so many great options out there, so we decided to help out.
Listed below are the top 4 crossbow bolts on the market within each specific category: Best Overall, Best Budget, Best Heavyweight, and Best Aluminum. Each category offers something different for the hunter, and it's important to call out the best option for each.
We've taken a look at numerous reviews and ratings across retailers, manufacturer website, blogs, etc. to gather as much information as possible. To see what we think is best, check out the comparison chart below, as well as some top FAQs when purchasing a crossbow bolt.
As always, it's important to check with the manufacturer of your crossbow to better understand their recommendations, and most importantly any safety concerns.
Full Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. If you follow an affiliate link and end up making a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
|TenPoint EVO-X CenterPunch||Gold Tip Ballistic||Carbon Express PileDriver||Wicked Ridge XX75|
|Brand||TenPoint||Gold Tip||Carbon Express||Wicked Ridge|
||20" / 22"||20" / 22"||20"|
|Weight||445 Grains||414-435 Grains||442-479 Grains||450 Grains|
|Price||Around $100||Around $50||Around $55||Around $55|
|More Info.||TenPoint EVO-X CenterPunch||Gold Tipe Ballistic||Carbon Express PileDriver||Wicked Ridge XX75|
TenPoint is an industry leader when it comes to crossbow engineering, and they've continued this excellence with a premium arrow design. The TenPoint EVO-X is sure to make any hunter happy and here's why.
The EVO-X is designed specifically to withstand the incredibly fast speeds produced by TenPoint crossbows, while sacrificing minimal accuracy. Construction of the bolt includes a high modulus carbon fiber wrapped in an exclusive LAZER-TECH carbon fiber weave. This particular design, combined with 3.5-inch Bohning X Vanes, maintains stiffness while improving arrow flight.
Additionally, the EVO-X comes with two nock options - the Omni-Nocks or TenPoint’s new Alpha-Nocks.
To wrap things up, if you need some more convincing, TenPoint's CEO Rick Bednar call the EVO-X "the most accurate hunting crossbow arrow ever designed."
What we like: Carbon Construction, Durability, Stiffness, Accuracy, Nock Options
What we dislike: Price
For latest prices, and more information on the TenPoint EVO-X CenterPunch check it out!
Some times you're looking to save a little money when it comes to your crossbow accessories, or at least test some things out before you spend any more. For those looking to balance the budget, check out the Gold Trip Ballistic bolt.
The Gold Tip Ballistic arrow is designed as a mid-weight bolt for crossbows up to 175 lbs. With it being a little heavier at 425 grains, you can count on durability and accuracy while giving up a little speed.
As far as construction, the Gold Tip Ballistic comes with the company's popular 100% Carbon Technology. This technology ensures added reliability through hundreds, if not thousands of shots.
To wrap things up, hunters note that the bolt's accuracy is somewhat surprising considering it's such a deal. Click the link below for additional specifications.
What we like: Price, Durability, Weight, Accuracy
What we dislike: Straightness
For latest prices, and more information on the Gold Tip Ballistic click today!
Carbon Express has really put together a bone crushing bolt when it comes to this particular model. The Carbon Express PileDriver was designed with penetration in mind!
The PileDriver crossbow bolt is no doubt the best heavy weight option on the market today. Its advanced construction ensures maximum kinetic energy and greater knock down power when compared to other bolts. Additionally, the arrow consists of composite material that's extremely durable for repeat performance.
As far as quality assurance, Caron Express has established an internal system that check every arrow. The company laser checks and precisely measures every arrow to ensure optimum output - Truly, an above industry standard component.
What we like: Price, Power, Quality, Brand
What we dislike: Heavy weight sacrifices speed
For latest prices, and more information on the Carbon Express PileDriver we have that too!
While many hunters recommend a carbon bolt for their crossbow, there are still those that prefer an aluminum option. While focusing on this area, we found that the Wicked Ridge XX75 is the best aluminum arrow for this upcoming season.
As you'd expect with most aluminum arrows, the XX75 is slightly heavier than most other options. Fortunately, the speed of the XX75 is far greater when compared to other TenPoint models such as the CenterPunch.
The main drawbacks of an arrow like this is going to be accuracy. The aluminum construction is going to sacrifice some forgiveness, giving way for more inconsistent shot patterns.
As far as additional features, the XX75 does feature TenPoint's Alpha Nock. This increases string engagement by 28% and reduces the possibility of poor contact - which leads to poor accuracy.
What we like: Alpha Nock, Power, Price
What we dislike: Accuracy
For latest prices, and more information on the Wicked Ridge XX75 take a look!
What's The Difference Between An Arrow And A Bolt?
The main difference between an arrow and a bolt really depends on who you ask. Outdoor Life has a great article that summarizes common responses to this question from industry experts.
The best answer we can give is the following: Bolts are usually shorter (less than 22") and do not have static vanes near the rear like arrows.
Overall, more and more hunters are referencing the term "arrow" when talking about crossbows. The most important thing to remember is to not call a standard bow arrow a "bolt".
What Size Bolts Should I Use For My Crossbow?
Hunters should contact their manufacturer for the recommended bolt length of their crossbow. Many manufacturers will list a minimum length requirement for safety reasons.
Looking outside of this, most crossbow bolts lengths are between 16" and 22". Furthermore, hunters will find that the most popular arrow length is around 20".
Should I Shoot A Carbon Or Aluminum Bolt?
Most manufacturers and hunters will recommend a carbon bolt for their crossbow. Of course, budget and performance are always at battle with each other when making a decision like this.
Easton Archery provided a great summary about the pros and cons of each. Main points listed below:
|Less wind drift||Velocity accelerates quickly, but also sheds quickly|
|Costs more than aluminum|
|Arrows can sometimes be straightened if bent||Accessories can be hard to find|
|Best of both worlds||Slightly higher cost|
|Carbon fibers and epoxy resin matrix bonded to the precision 7075 alloy core tube||Durability|
|Arrows can sometimes be straightened if bent|
Are Heavier Crossbow Bolts Better For Hunting?
Yes, heavier crossbow bolts are better for hunting for several reasons and it's important to know why.
A lot of the crossbows out on the market today brag about their feet per second is. It's important to note that if you go with a heavier crossbow bolt you're going to give up a little speed. Of course, on the other side of things, you're gaining more penetration power, or kinetic energy. Additionally, if you're shooting at longer distances a heavier arrow will maintain its power far better when compared to a lighter one.
Of course, if you're shooting for pure competition purposes, it's best to go with a lighter/faster arrow as you're not concerned about the punching power of your bolt.
How Do You Travel With Crossbow Bolts?
Many of today's top crossbow cases included additional storage for crossbow arrows. Additionally, you can purchase additional hard shell crossbow arrow cases to store them separately if needed.
For a blog about the Best Ravin Crossbows here it is!