There are a number of effective ways of securing your arrow inserts to the arrow shaft. You’re looking for an adhesive method that will withstand repeated heavy impacts without failing.
There are positives and negatives attached to each adhesive type. It is worth examining the most popular big names to try and work out which is the most effective.
No matter what you use, the single most important step is cleaning prior to application.
Rough up the insert surface and the inside surface of the arrow shaft. Clean the inside of the shaft with either hot water, acetone or pure alcohol.
It is crucial that every last grain of carbon dust is removed after the light sanding process.
Use latex gloves and clean the inserts as well.
The preparation and cleaning technique usually has more of a bearing on the success of the glue job than the adhesive you use.
Three adhesive product types dominate the field: hot melt glue, 2-part epoxy and single tube adhesive.
Hot melt comes in a block or stick and needs to be melted using a heat gun or something similar before being applied to your arrow.
An epoxy solution will provide you with a permanent adhesion which is great if you never want to remove the insert.
Those who prefer hot glue usually like it in case they need to remove the insert at some point.
Single tube adhesives are generally available from archery specialists such as the arrow manufacturers and are a quick and inexpensive point and stick process.
We have listed a selection of adhesive solutions that cover each of the three most commonly recommended glue types.
A Selection of Glues Suitable for Attaching Arrow Inserts
30-06 Insert Weld
This is a high-viscosity rubber adhesive designed to be used with aluminum and carbon shafts.
It will fill gaps to .008” and has proven to be shock resistant - crucial when dealing with the modern day arrows.
It has a quick bonding time of +/- 30 seconds and when it sets it provides tensile strength of 3700 psi.
The company promises to only ship products that are less than 90 days since manufacture and explain that this gives you up to 265 days to use your glue.
Insert Weld comes in bottles of either 0.5 oz ($13.99) or 1 oz (19.95).
Visit the 30-06 Outdoors website for more details.
Pine Ridge Insert Glue
Another industry specific glue is the Pine Ridge Insert Glue.
It comes in a small bottle with a narrow applicator nozzle suitable for getting the glue into tight spaces.
It has a workable time after application of up to 90 seconds giving you enough time to get it properly applied and positioned.
This is another adhesive that has been very popular with hunters and, when properly applied, has had very few problems with inserts pulling out.
The glue comes in two sizes, either 0.5 oz ($13.50) or 1 oz ($18.95).
Visit the Pine Ridge website for more details.
G5 G-Lock Blu-Glu
Blu-Glu is an adhesive designed for use when installing inserts, nocks and fletching.
It has a translucent blue color that enables you to get a good idea of the coverage that has been applied and this tends to avoid dripping and mess.
The glue goes clear as it dries so it will not be noticeable should there be any visible.
It provides a strong and flexible bond that will stand up to heavy impacts ensuring inserts stay where they’re stuck.
The Blu-Glu is available in bottles 0.7 oz in size.
Hot Melt Glue Suggestions
Easton Low Temperature Hot Melt Glue
Easton makes a low temperature hot melt glue recommending the low temperature to avoid damaging the shaft.
The glue comes in a 10” x 0.5” stick and, as the name suggests, can be melted down at a lower than normal temperature.
This glue was created for insert and point installation on aluminum and A/C arrow shafts.
The glue stick has an MSRP of $6.99.
Normally, I would direct you to the Easton website to get more information. However, it appears that the company is out of just about every adhesive item on their list.
Bohning Ferr-L-Tite Cool-Flex
This is hot melt glue designed for securing points, inserts, outserts, and pin bushings on carbon shafts.
The strong selling point for using the Cool-Flex is that it is reversible for if and when you want to remove the inserts.
It has flexible properties that means it will give a little without cracking even after multiple impacts with the target.
It needs a flame initially to install the inserts into a carbon, aluminum or fiberglass arrow shaft. Removal of the inserts can be done by immersing in hot water.
The glue is useful for securing points, outserts and pin bushings too.
Cool-Flex cures when it has been left at room temperature for 5 minutes while its melting point is 280 degrees F (137.8 C).
The 12 gram stick is only $5.25 while the 1 pound brick is $41.60.
Visit the Bohning website for more details.
JB Weld Epoxy
The JB Weld Epoxy is a two-part epoxy that comes in twin tubes and combines to form a formidable bond that takes up to 24 hours to properly set.
The epoxy sets as a dark grey bond using a mixing ratio of 1:1. The initial setting time is 4-6 hours with a full cure taking between 15 and 24 hours.
This epoxy will set solidly overnight. It has a tensile strength of up to 5020 psi so there should be no way for any insert to pull out after being applied.
The 2 oz pack costs only $7.99.
Visit the JB Weld website for more details.
AAE Two-Part Epoxy
Arizona Archery Enterprises has a two-part epoxy designed for use when attaching nocks and inserts.
The resin and hardener comes in a syringe system that is very easy to apply to small components and the tight interior of the arrow shaft.
As with the JB Weld epoxy this product also takes 24 to cure to form a strong bond.
Once it has properly set those inserts and nocks are in there for good.
This epoxy has an MSRP of $12.99.
Visit the Arizona Archery Enterprises website for more details.
Devcon 2 Ton Clear Epoxy
The Devcon 2 Ton epoxy is another strong adhesive that has provided good results for securing inserts.
This epoxy is a two-part mixture that combines at a ratio of 1:1.
It is rated as ideal for use where high impact is expected and is a clear epoxy.
It can be worked before drying for up to 10 minutes and then will set in 25 minutes.
According to the packaging, once it has set it will provide a tensile strength of 2500 psi.
The smallest package this comes in is 25ml.
Visit the Devcon section of the ITW Performance Polymers website for more details.
Can You Use Super Glue?
Some hunters have reported using Super Glue for installing inserts and many have had good results.
The problem with this kind of adhesive can come about when it dries.
It can becomes hard and brittle so the adhesion is more prone to breaking. This leads to the risk of the insert coming loose and potentially coming out.
Gorilla Blue Cap Super Glue
One of the more popular types of Super Glue among bow hunters is Gorilla Super Glue.
This is a cyanoacrylate glue that is effective on a range of materials such metal, plastic, stone and the like.
It is advertised as an instant glue, meaning it dries within 10-45 seconds.
This means it is imperative that you work quickly and precisely before the bond becomes permanent.
Super Glue will withstand solid bumps and knocks and may withstand the force of arrows hitting targets.
Visit the Gorilla Glue website for more details.
Low temperature hot melt glues are a good option if you feel you are going to want to one day remove the inserts.
24 hour epoxies provide a rock solid hold but they are permanent. It is possible to remove an insert that is set in epoxy but there is a high risk the arrow will be damaged.
Single tube glues supplied by archery accessory companies provide strong adhesion but can become brittle over a longer time period.
The type of glue you use for your inserts will depend on your comfort level when it comes to how permanent you want that insert in your arrows.