You can use super glue for arrow inserts. Super glue works fine and can be a suitable adhesive for arrow inserts because it is cheap and primarily available anywhere.
The arrow insert is an arrow component that helps secure the arrowhead to the shaft. Be mindful that you may purchase some arrows without appropriate arrow inserts included.
When this happens, consult your local archery shop to ask for help finding the inserts that will fit the inside diameter of your arrows.
After obtaining the correct arrow inserts to use, it is vital to ensure that as you shoot, the arrowhead doesn’t come off to be able to hit your target appropriately. Hence, it is essential to know which adhesive works well.
You can use many adhesives to install arrow inserts ranging from hot melt to glue. You may have read or heard that several archers recommend using super glue for installing arrow inserts.
Super glue works fine in keeping the arrow inserts intact. It is also relatively cheap and available in hardware stores and even Walmart. If you are in a location where archery supplies are scarce, super glue is an alternative that is easy to acquire.
What is the best adhesive for arrow inserts?
Super glue, epoxy, and hot melt are among the adhesives used by most archers to install arrow inserts. Hot melt is the best adhesive for carbon and aluminum/carbon combination shafts. However, for delicate arrow components, super glue works best than hot melt.
Adhesives like epoxy, super glue, arrow insert glue, or hot melt help keep the arrow insert attached to the shaft correctly. If this is your first time learning about arrow inserts and adhesives, you may have difficulty choosing which ones to use.
Before you decide which one to buy, it is better to compare and seek which adhesive is the best for your arrow insert:
- Super glue
- Hot melt
Super glue is an adhesive that has gained immense popularity because it is handy and available in most stores worldwide. Among the three, super glue is a great alternative that doesn’t take much of your time when you use it.
You can use super glue in the following materials such as aluminum, carbon, rubbers, plastics, and metals. Most super glues are waterproof or at least water-resistant. Some also have added heat resistance, which gives it a multipurpose use.
Unlike epoxy, super glue will not crack from cold, making it a perfect ideal adhesive. Especially for delicate arrow components, super glue is better than hot melt. It is also the easiest adhesive to use compared to epoxy and hot melt, mainly when you have limited time.
The next adhesive to consider is epoxy. It is the most common adhesive, and you must combine resin and hardener for it to work, which takes a little more effort than super glue.
Among the number of bonding agents, epoxy is the most versatile. You can use epoxy in steel, glass, ceramics, tile, aluminum, and plastic.
However, it is not waterproof, unlike super glue. Although epoxy is water-resistant, more prolonged exposure to water ruins it.
Therefore, compared to super glue and hot melt, epoxy is the least desired to use for arrow inserts.
Hot melt is a strong adhesive that you can use for cardboard, metal, leather, plastic, ceramics, glass, foam, fabric, and rubber. It is even suitable in applications where epoxy is not.
With the proper heat and timing, hot melt results in a strong bond guaranteed to last compared to other adhesives. Hot melt is best for shafts made of total carbon or a combination of aluminum and carbon. It also solidifies quickly.
However, using hot melt will take much of your time compared to using super glue or epoxy. You must ensure you did the procedure correctly to keep the arrow insert intact for a long time.
Therefore, comparing the three adhesives, epoxy is the least preferred. Meanwhile, super glue is easy to use yet are best for delicate arrow materials. On the other hand, if you have arrow shafts made of aluminum and carbon or carbon, hot melt is the best adhesive to use.
How to glue arrow inserts?
No matter which glue or adhesive you choose, you must apply the glue only on the rear end of the arrow inserts. Avoid putting glue on the arrow insert’s vent so you won’t ruin the depth you set with your installation tool.
There are two types of arrow inserts: HIT inserts and non-HIT inserts. For those who use HIT inserts, you will need a HIT insert installation tool to push the arrow insert inside the shaft to help you achieve the correct insert depth.
On the contrary, non-HIT inserts are less complicated since you only need to push the arrow insert inside the shaft until its top lip meets the arrow shaft’s end.
Knowing the differences in the HIT and non-HIT insert design will help you properly install the arrow insert inside the shaft.
Before going through the process of installing the arrow insert, below are the general steps you need to follow regardless of the glue or adhesive you chose:
If you plan to shorten the length of your arrow, it is best to use an arrow squaring tool to ensure that the ends are flat and level. This tool ensures the cuts are even, resulting in the points perfectly aligning the shaft.
The ends of the shaft should form a perfect 90-degree angle when sitting on a table.
After properly cutting the arrow shaft, grab a cotton swab and clean the insides. Make sure that no dust or dirt is still inside the arrow shaft. Continue cleaning the interiors with new cotton swabs until no residue remains.
You can also dip the cotton swab in denatured alcohol if you want.
After following the basic procedures before gluing, there is a general rule you must not forget during the gluing process:
Remember that you only need to glue on the arrow insert’s rear end and avoid applying anything on its vent. Doing so will be risky since you will end up disrupting the position of the arrow insert inside the shaft or ruin the depth you set with your installation tool.
Keeping the above rule in mind, here are the ways to glue your arrow inserts based on adhesive:
- Super glue
- Hot melt
Since super glue is easy to apply, you won’t need much preparation, unlike with epoxy and hot melt glue.
To install the arrow insert using super glue, apply the super glue around the rear end and push it with your finger. Since super glue can dry out quickly, you have to ensure that you put the arrow insert inside the shaft immediately.
Lay the arrow down and keep it still for about 10 minutes. Most super glue cures fully in 24 hours.
Like super glue, epoxy fully cures in 24 hours. However, using epoxy isn’t as straightforward as super glue.
You cannot apply the epoxy directly to the material without mixing it first. However, once you’ve combined it, you only have 90 minutes to use the epoxy. Afterward, apply the adhesive around the arrow insert’s rear end and push the material inside the shaft.
Using hot melt glue as an adhesive can be pretty complicated. If you are using a glue stick, using a glue gun is comfortable and preferable. However, if you prefer a gas lamp, you must burn a part of the glue stick before applying it to the arrow insert.
Before applying the adhesive, you have to hold the arrow insert over a small flame, then put hot melt glue around the arrow insert’s rear end. After applying, hold the glued arrow insert above the flame again, and then push the arrow insert inside the shaft while it is still fluid.
Let it sit based on the amount of time recommended for the adhesive.
Don’t forget to clean the excess glue around the arrow insert before the adhesive solidifies. Moreover, lay the arrow flat for a long time to avoid sliding it out of position.
If you want to make sure your arrow insert is well intact with no sign of it coming off soon, you can try to shoot the arrow multiple times to see if the arrow insert comes off.
If it gets a little loose, you may need to redo it again or look for another type of adhesive to use. However, the main reason for arrow inserts coming off or loose is incorrect installation procedures like forgetting to clean the insides before gluing.
How do you remove a glued arrow insert?
If you want to remove a glued arrow insert, you must deal with heat. To remove the arrow insert manually, heat the area around it for a few minutes and twist and pull it with pliers. You can also use an arrow insert tool instead for a much safer process.
Removing the glued arrow insert can be quite a complicated task. It is a tricky process that involves heating the material to make it come off.
The process of removing glued arrow inserts on carbon and aluminum arrows is the same, manually or using an insert removal tool.
The manual process is not as safe as using a tool. However, if you think buying an insert removal tool is a waste of money, you have to go through manually removing the insert tool.
For the manual method, you have to prepare the following items:
- Pliers or known as needle-nose
- Propane torch
After making sure these items are present, follow the steps below:
- Place the propane torch on a flat surface and turn on the valve.
- Place the arrow shaft one to two inches away from the flame for seven to ten seconds and ten to 12 seconds for large points. If you feel like the glue hasn’t melted, you can continue heating it for a few more seconds.
- If you think it is enough, remove the arrow from the flame and try twisting the arrow insert with pliers. Remember not to apply the force of the pliers directly to the shaft to avoid damage.
- After successfully removing the arrow insert from the shaft, clean the interior of the arrow shaft first before installing a new arrow insert on it.
Feel free to repeat the process if you haven’t successfully removed the glued arrow insert inside the arrow shaft.
It isn’t as tricky as others depict it; however, the complication happens when using pliers to pull the arrow insert out of the shaft. Others end up breaking the arrow insert together with the arrow tip.
If you changed your mind and decide to use an insert removal tool instead, here is the procedure to follow:
- Plug the insert removal tool and get it hot for a few minutes before sticking it to the arrow insert.
- Once it is hot enough, start screwing it to the bottom of the arrow insert for a few seconds.
- Then, pull the arrow insert away from the arrow shaft. Before inserting a new one, don’t forget to clean the arrow shaft’s interior once it’s not hot anymore.
The insert removal tool provides a faster, safer, and more straightforward process than manually removing the glued arrow insert. Nonetheless, there is nothing wrong with doing the manual process as long as you are extra careful engaging with fire.
In the market, you can choose a roster of adhesive options. Adhesives like super glue, hot melt, and epoxy work well in keeping the arrow insert intact on the arrow shaft.
As long as you follow the step-by-step process of installing the arrow insert, there is a high chance it won’t come off soon.