Helical Direction, Arrow Clocking, and Single Bevels

When we launched our 2-blade single bevel, we were immediately overwhelmed by the response from you guys! It was a hugely successful launch, and we cannot wait to see the pictures start to roll in this season! Thank you so much for an amazing launch!

One of the most common questions we got in that first 24-hour period was, “why is it only available in a right bevel?”

Right bevels are by far the most common bevel in the world of single bevel broadheads, but there is a push towards running left helicals and left bevels even for right-handed archers due to something called arrow clocking.

Arrow clocking is the process of taking a bareshaft and shooting it at very close range to see which direction your arrow wants to turn an arrow out of the gate. Many bows will clock an arrow left, and it all comes down to the direction in which the string was served. The idea is that if your arrows are pushing left out of your bow by themselves then we should fletch our arrows with a left helical to match what they want to do, and we should see better flight as a result. Naturally, you would want a left bevel broadhead to pair with the counterclockwise rotation of this left helical arrow.

I 100% agree that this makes sense, and in theory will be the most accurate way that you can set up your arrows. However, counterclockwise spinning arrows are not the best option for bowhunting, and that is why we will only be producing right bevels. Allow me to explain.

All inserts, field points, and broadheads are right threaded, meaning ‘lefty loosey and righty tighty’. In other words, if you hold a broadhead still and spin an arrow clockwise (as a right helical would) the broadhead will tighten. If you spin an arrow counterclockwise, the broadhead will loosen and you will start to unscrew the point from the insert. This is the reason that we want everyone to be shooting right helicals, and right bevels for bowhunting! Here are some frequently asked questions about this great new debate in the archery world!

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If my bow clocks left, won’t my arrow flight suffer from forcing the arrow to spin the opposite direction that it wants to?

  • No, because arrows with vanes perform differently than bareshafts do. This is the reason I tend to skip bareshaft tuning and go right to tuning with fletched arrows. Fletched arrows have a huge amount of drag when compared to a bareshaft, and vanes move a tremendous amount of air. As your string is firing, and before the nock pops off the string, the vanes are already counteracting whatever direction your serving is trying to clock your arrow. The vanes and their moving of air is significantly more powerful than the small amount of left/right push that your serving has on the arrow. Clocking is almost completely negligible as soon as you apply a helical to your vanes.

Yes, in theory it would make sense to use a left helical to make everything work as cohesively as possible. But the reality is that we aren’t likely accurate enough to ever notice a difference in   accuracy based on matching your helical to your clocking, even through a shooting machine.

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But if my bow clocks left, I fletch with a left helical, and use a left bevel, what is wrong with that?

  • This is not a bad way to go, but your arrow will lose some energy as that counterclockwise rotation is happening in the animal. Your broadhead will be facing resistance on all faces, and will start to loosen due to the threading running in the opposite direction. When we know that we can shoot any bow with a left or right helical arrow and be extremely accurate either way, it makes sense to go with the direction that will help the broadhead stay firm on the end of that arrow and maintain more integrity and energy as it works its way through the animal.

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My arrows fly better with left helical than right though, what should I do?

  • If your bow truly does perform better with a certain helical direction, it is likely that your nock fit is too tight. Having nocks which hold onto the string too tightly allows the string to have a greater impact on the movement of the nock than a nock which fits loosely. This is harming your accuracy as well downrange as the nock will have a hard time popping off the string consistently and without movement. Having nocks which are too loose is not a good thing either, and nock fit is something that is far under analyzed in my opinion. 

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What if we made an insert which threads the opposite direction?

  • In a perfect world this would be the answer. The reality of it is, changing the threading direction of an insert would limit you to only broadheads and field points which are then also made with a left thread. Introducing something like this would hurt the industry in the sense that now we lose compatibility of components across different brands. This is like the Deep Six conversation, and the Deep Six has now been largely phased out of the market.

If engineers and manufacturers truly believed that matching your arrows spin to the direction    that a bareshaft clocks was significant enough to impact our accuracy, I believe there would be someone out there producing inserts and points with the threading running in the opposite direction.

Finally, ifan archer were concerned enough about arrow clocking to do something about it beyond what we have talked about here, the answer would be to change your center serving so that your arrows are clocking right. You will then be able to shoot a right helical, right bevel, and have a right clocking arrow that will work with the direction of the threading, not against it.

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If you have any questions or would like to discuss the topic further, please feel free to reach out to us at customercare@toothofthearrowbroadheads.com

We are always more than happy to talk arrows and broadheads with fellow bowhunters!