Choosing the right 20-inch crossbow bolts requires hours of research and surfing through the Internet. This exhausting homework takes the fun out of hunting: why don’t we just go out in the field instead of sitting on the computer to look for the best crossbow bolts? Because the right equipment is very important in hunting - not only it ensures best results, it also keeps you safe from weapon mishandling. We have done the homework for you - the research part - to help you find the best 20 inch crossbow bolts after merely 15 minutes of reading.
Let’s dive right in.
Top 15 Best 20 Inch Crossbow Bolts Review In 2021
Best all-rounder 20 inch crossbow bolts
Best 20 inch crossbow bolts for speed attacks
Best aluminium 20 inch crossbow bolts
Best 20 inch crossbow bolts with camouflage
Best 20 inch crossbow bolts for deer hunting
** Below, you will find our detailed reviews of the Best 20 Inch Crossbow Bolts, but you can also click these following links to see current prices or read customer reviews on amazon.
15 Best 20 Inch Crossbow Bolts: Reviews 2020
TenPoint is the leading manufacturer in the crossbow bolt markets. They arguably make the best 20-inch crossbow bolts, including these beauties.
The shafts are from carbon fibre, which offer lightness and durability. It makes these TenPoint Pro Lite bolts zip through the air lightning fast and still inflict strong damage. Other parts are also from quality materials.
They have offset fletchings and a special Omini-Nock that fixes the oh so common indexing problems in other nocks. The package also includes 100-grain field tips for practice.
Every bolt is thoroughly tested so that its weight tolerance stay within limits, ensuring straightness. They have even weight distribution, so that the arrow flies with precision. Archers can up their game with greater accuracy from these high-quality 20-inch crossbow bolts.
They have a nice additional feature: Led light. The bolts will light up once landed. This enables you to track the shots and retrieve them easily. Therefore, you can keep the bolts for a long time and reuse them.
After trying out these bolts ourselves, we can see that the manufacturers of Black Eagle Executioner Bolts strive for excellent and superior performance.
The bolt has strong kinetic energy so that hunters can make a sure kill with every shoot. This is thanks to the bolt’s brass insert brass with optimized F.O.C. The straightness of the bolts is also remarkable: it stays between 0.001 and 0.003 inch, one of the lowest in the market. The archers can also use it for sniping as it flies in long range.
Unlike other bolts, the arrow does not sacrifice speed for strength: it employs fast-lightning speed. This ensures that the target is not alerted and has limited time to dodge the attack when the bolt strikes.
The bolts also ensure greater accuracy for the wielders to achieve the best results. Both 22-inch and 20-inch variations are available for the archers’ choice. Every bolt has a 3-inch Bohning X Vane.
The bolts include both flat and half-moon nocks for every wielder’s preference. The half-moon nock is perfect if the crossbow claw flies downward or to make the bow string stay fixed. On the other hand, the flat nock enables the wielder to rotate the crossbow freely so that the shafts ware down similarly to the vanes.
These have the reputation as the best aluminum 20 inch crossbow bolts. They weigh 435 grains (grams in the crossbow lingo), so they fall in the standard weight groups - perfect for most hunting needs.
These 20-inch crossbow bolts are from Tenpoint, yet with magnum technology from the brand Easton: every bolt is hand tested to maintain weight tolerance within 2 grains per dozen, and straightness within 0.003 inch.
The aluminium material, along with the engineering, creates the bolt’s hard-hitting and robust impact on the prey.
They also feature aerodynamic aluminium shafts to fly straight. Consistency between bolts are outstanding.
These belong to the collection of top-notch arrows and bolts from the brand Carbon Express.
This 20-inch bolt (22-inch size is also available) features the brand’s patented dual spine technology. This technology makes the bolts spin faster, lose little speed in flight, and deliver remarkable accuracy with strength
Like the OG Maxima Red version from the same brand, the BuffTuff variation has a straightness at maximum +/- 0.0025 and at average +/-0.001 inch. This proves the brand always strives for the highest quality.
Also, the bolt has a cool camo design with the pattern of Mossy Oak Treestand, helping you blending in tall grass.
However, while the bolts advertise to have 3-inch vanes, they turn out to be 4 inch. Some users have reported to have trouble adjusting to that. However, over time you will get used to the change.
They also include a cool feature: weight forward technology. This allows the bolts an optimal choice for long-range shooting too as they can fly true and straight even in long distance with weight forward.
Bloodsport is more or less a boutique bolt manufacturer. They make high-quality bolts and arrows from carbon fibre with unique features such as slimness, blazer vanes, and most importantly, “Blood Rings”.
The “Blood Ring” is the USP - Unique Selling Proposition - of Bloodsport. The ring is a circle of white compound on the bolt. This compound will collect anything it flies through - blood, flesh, organs.
Therefore, the archer can look at it to determine whether the shot is made or not, and how strong it is. From then on, they can decide to make the next move.
The straightness stays within the 0.003 inch limit. Weights are consistent among bolts, allowing you to make accurate shots after shots.
The Carbon Express PileDriver X-bolt offers amazing value for the money with its affordable price.
This is the heaviest carbon bolt from Carbon Express, so the kinetic energy is strong. However, with the weight of 442 grams, it is still in the standard weight range, so the bolt flies true and straight.
The spine consistency is outstanding, ensuring accuracy for wielders. The bolts are perfect for those who want to hunt within 30 yards and strike with incredible force to make a kill.
The bolt is said to have bone-crushing force thanks to its heavy weight, which creates strong kinetic energy.
However, there are no field points included in the package. The heavy weight means you will lose no more than 30 fps of speed, which is a trade-off for the powerful penetration.
The Barnett 16075 Bolts with field tips are perfect for practice shoots and small prey. They are light, fly true and straight, and consistent. Its moon nocks make it easy even for beginner archers to firmly fix the bolts to the crossbow.
The bolts are best for baronet crossbows. They are easy to maneuver coupled as the wielder is not troubled with fishtailing when shooting them.
They are also able to fly for long ranges. With them, archers can snipe from a far distance, perfect for highly alert prey such as rabbits and birds.
The shafts are from the stiff carbon material, creating deep and robust penetration and long-lasting quality.
With the affordable prices, they are quite an economical choice for entry level archers.
The Easton FMJ is a novelty in the field. It fuses carbon fibre and aluminum to bring the best of both worlds in a 20-inch crossbow bolt.
The carbon fibre core keeps it from bending, and the aluminium exterior absorbs all the shock to keep the carbon from damaging and exploding. Therefore, it has the steadiness of aluminium and toughness and lightness of carbon fibre.
The bolt is thin but stiff and resilient, even in extreme weather conditions. Famous for the ability of crushing bones, they can knock down large game with ease. Therefore, we decide that this is the best 20-inch crossbow bolts for hunting deers.
Besides its strong impact that guarantees to kill the game at the first strike, the bolt flies true and straight. Therefore, it is perfect for novice archers.
The smooth metal jacket allows the hunters to take out the bolts from prey easily without the risk of hurting themselves.
The Black Eagle Zombie Slayer Crossbow Fletched Carbon Arrow is an underrated gem: it should have been more popular judging by the value it brings to hunters.
The straightness is spectacular: at 0.001 inch, even 25% stiffer than the also spectacular Black Eagle Executioner Bolts. It means the archers can achieve great and consistent accuracy shot after shot.
Just like their names, Zombie Slayers bolts have the strength to crush bones, so wielders can make a sure kill in every accurate shot. In a test by the brand Black Eagle themselves, the shafts are strong enough to break open thick plywood and other materials.
Moreover, Zombie Slayers bolts make virtually the least noise on the market, so you can hunt in close ranges without alerting the game.
The Carbon Express Mayhem Fletched Carbon Crossbolt has a specific design built for fast shooting. The bolts fly far, fast, and true.
The special thing here is its 360 degree cross-weave carbon material. This makes the spine consistent and spinning 360 degrees evenly. The patented cross weave, or diamond wave, also makes the weight on the heavy side and distributed evenly.
The bolts have amazing consistency thanks to its fused dragon vanes.
The bolts have all kinds of nocks: universal nocks, C nocks, and moon nocks, allowing them to fit into every kind of crossbow. The nocks stay fixed and not necessary to replace. Both 20 inch and 22 inch long bolts are available for your choice.
However, its F.O.C. has little balance with 100g field tips because of the bolts’ aluminum inserts.
TenPoint Alpha-Brite 2 Bolts is a perfect balance between quality and value.
The bolt is built on the standard weight side, which guarantees it to fly precisely and straight even in the hands of the most beginner hunters. The offsets are slightly fletched. It has 61 grain aluminium inserts that are sturdy.
The uniqueness of the bolt comes from its lighted alpha nocks. The lights are especially helpful to track the shots in dark hours. Therefore, it is perfect for novice hunters to find the bolts among trees and grass and reuse them.
The nocks are built with the special technology alpha-brite, so that the string stays nested within the nocks. This allows the bolts to fly precisely.
The bolts are hand sorted to ensure precise weight tolerance. The bolt weighs on the standard weight range, at forty hundred grains. Therefore, the bolt will fly with ease against wind resistance even in unfavorable weather.
This bolt is able to go long distances, perfect for snipers that hunt for targets over 70 yards.
The name Evo-X CenterPunch is now synonymous with consistency in the community of archery.
Each bolt uses the latest Lazer-Tech weave technology in the carbon fibre material so that spine variation is down by 80 percent and the power of the shaft gains by 40 percent. It makes it 25% more accurate than a normal carbon bolt.
The carbon fibre material has the disadvantage of frequent cracking, but it’s not the issue with Evo-X. Its carbon fibre can withstand 33 million pounds per square inch. This makes the bolt tough, penetrate deeply, and withstand shock easily.
The brand Barnett has the reputation as a value-for-money brand. It makes affordable and cost-effective crossbows and accessories with the quality of products from higher premium brands.
This Headhunter bolt also follows this model: judging by its quality, it could be more expensive and people would still buy it.
Each pack includes five arrows (or bolts), and there are three vanes in each bolt. The nock is half-moon - which is quite a standard design. 24F field points/tips are also included so you can test the bolts in the range right away.
The bolts weigh 412 grains in total including the 100 grain head points (which come with the package). This goes in the heavy side suitable for heavier crossbows.
However, most crossbows from the brand go with the recommended 125-grain tips, so you need to purchase the 125-grain field points separately.
You don’t have to worry about the damage either because Barnett offers a 5-year warranty for these bolts.
Losing bolts is not an ideal situation, but it is unfortunately quite common even for the most skilled hunters. If you find that retrieving the bolts is not worth the pain, consider the inexpensive and cost-effective REEGOX Bio crossbow bolts.
The price is an indicator of the quality. Reegox crossbow bolts are not designed strong enough for hunting. Rather, it is for practice shoots or simply fun shooting. This makes the bolts the right choice for non-serious and new shooters
However, the target points are screwed in - which means you can take them out and replace them with sharp broadheads. They offer various lengths - 18, 20 and 20 inches long so they fit most crossbows that you may own.
The bolts come with half moon nocks, which are great to avoid string swerve and keep the strings from slipping.
The bolts’ parts are all standard and can be easily repaired. They have evenly distributed weight so that the bolts fly with precision and consistency.
The material is aluminium, which absorbs shock and makes robust penetration. However, the alloy metal is quite susceptible to bending.
Everything You Need To Know When Selecting The Best 20 Inch Crossbow Bolts
Buying the right bolt for your crossbow can be a taxing challenge with all the jargons and specs. Therefore, our experts will give you a detailed explanation of special jargons in the world of crossbow bolts. We will also advise you on how to select the right one. Before scouring through the Internet to buy the best 20 inch crossbow bolts for you, read this guide.
Arrows or Bolts?
In the archery community, bolts are sometimes mistaken for arrows. However, these two are different depending on your weapon of choice. If you use a crossbow, buy bolts. However, go for arrows if you have a longbow or a modern compound.
Crossbow’s bolt anatomy: an explanation
A crossbow bolt has many specialized parts, every of which will define the features of the bolts. Therefore, to select the best 20 inch crossbow bolts, you should know about these parts first.
The shaft refers to the long stick in the middle. The shaft’s stiffness varies by the bolt - some can bend and some cannot. The bolt’s “spine consistency” shows how strong the shaft is against bending. This can be attributed to the materials of the shaft - carbon fibre makes the strongest spine consistency - and the technology in building the shafts. There are many special techniques - diamond weave, Lazer-Tech weave, etc. - to strengthen the materials of the shaft.
The Fletchings (vanes)
Fletchings are the parts at the end of bolts that shape like wings (yet feather fletchings should not be on bolts). There are generally three fletchings in a bolt.
Fletchings guide the bolts by creating the axis to spin, which makes the bolt more strong and stable. The length of the fletching will be proportionate to the length of the bolt. In crossbow bolts, fletchings are usually called vanes - flat pieces that are water and wind-resistant, able to withstand shock.
The nock is shaped like a button and located at the back of the fletching. Nocks have two types: half-moon nocks and flat nocks.
Flat nocks are, well, flat buttons, while in half moon nocks there is a dent where you can put the strings in. You should highly pay attention to this, as each crossbow’s manufacturer will require a different type of nock.
The head is the point at the top. It serves the main function of the bolt: to hunt. Therefore, you should consider it carefully. Luckily, the head is a removable part, so you can switch between heads on different occasions. There are two types of heads: field points (or field tips) with no blades and for practice shots, and broadheads, for real-life hunting. The key here is to practice with field points of the same weight as your broadheads when hunting for real. The heads usually weigh around 100 grains to
Broadhead have three types. The first two types, fixed and screwed-in, are nearly the same. The only difference is that you can take out the blades from the screwed-in broadheads. That way you can sharpen or replace them once they get dull.
The third type - mechanical broadhead is quite special. Normally, it will look like a practice shot that has no blade. Once it reaches the prey, the blades open up and cut into the flesh. Therefore, it is able to have the accuracy of a practice shot and still inflict sufficient damage on the target.
Essential aspects in choosing a good crossbow bolt
There are three main types of materials for crossbow bolts: aluminium, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. Each has its own sets of strengths and weaknesses.
The first type, aluminium has been a long-standing choice for manufacturers of modern crossbow bolts. It is among the affordable ones, yet there are only a limited selection of aluminium bolts. They prove to have robust and deep penetration upon impact with the prey.
However, the aluminium shafts are easier to bend, and once the bolts bend, they cannot be used. Its weight is much heavier than other materials for the same size.
Most arguably the best material is carbon fibre. It makes the straightest bolts with highest durability and quality. However, price usually goes with quality: carbon fibre bolts are very expensive. Its toughness also makes it harder to correct a skewed spine. A damaged carbon fibre bolt also poses danger for its users.
If you look for the durability of carbon fiber with a lower budget, consider opting for fiberglass. Bending does not render it useless; instead, the material can bend naturally. Thus, it can withstand shock and last longer than aluminium. However, the material can explode if the bolt receives too much damage.
Accuracy is extremely important in archery. And the straighter the bolt is, the better its accuracy gets. To identify the straightness of a bolt besides from measuring it, look for the number that indicates the bolt’s tolerance. This number should be as small as possible, preferably +/-0.01 and up to +/-0.06.
The spine of a bolt is how tough it is against bending when the crossbow string pushes against the nock. This determines how the bolt shakes back and forth when flying. Therefore, getting it just right is crucial to maintain the accuracy.
The weight of the bolt will determine a very important aspect in archery: kinetic energy. The weight will combine with its speed to set the kinetic energy of the bolt - which sets the impact’s damage level.
Therefore, the weight must be just right: if it’s too light then you won’t have a strong penetration, but too much then it won’t fly far.
Each manufacturer of your crossbow will recommend the ideal weight of the bolt after careful consideration, so it is best to follow their suggestions. Depending on the weights, there are three kinds of bolts:
Lightweight bolts have weights between 350 to 400 grams. Advantages of these bolts are speed and flat and straight downward trajectory. However, lighter bolts can vibrate more, which lead to loud noises, are susceptible to bad weather, and don’t have deep penetration.
To alleviate these problems, you can choose bolts with sound dampener, use these in good weather and for small game.
Standard weight bolts weigh between 400 to 500 grams. They have more energy yet lower velocity. We can say that these are the optimal weights for most hunting occasions.
However, if you are using weak crossbows in quite prohibitive weather (rains or strong winds), opt for heavyweight bolts.
They have the highest kinetic energy and deepest penetration. However, they have to sacrifice speed for strength. The heavy weight ensures the bolts will be stable even in strong winds and unfavorable weather conditions.
Oh, and one thing to note: in the world of crossbows, 1 gram is referred to as 1 grain. Yeah, we don’t understand it either.
Besides basic information like weight or material, bolts in the market vary by features. Different kinds of fetchings aim to achieve different things; there are many kinds of inserts, vanes and nocks. There are also bolts for left-handed people. These additional features are nice to have but not necessary.
How should you buy crossbow bolts?
You will have to buy the bolts for two reasons: practice shoots and hunting. When buying 20 inch crossbow bolts for hunting, you should care about two aspects: accuracy and ethics. Accuracy depends on the hunt: the stronger the prey, the heavier your bolts should become. Ethical shots are also important: you would want to take down the animal as fast and cleanly as possible to limit their pain. To do this, not only do you need the best 20 inch crossbow bolts, but also you should master the skills. To learn more about the ethics behind crossbows, you might want to watch this video from North American Crossbow Federation:
How many should you buy?
This, again, depends on your needs and budget, but the general rule of thumbs is to buy as many as possible. In archery, it is easy to lose arrows and bolts, and sometimes it is not worth the effort to retrieve the bolts. Say, when you are chasing a deer for example, you cannot stop to pick up every arrow that you have fired, can you?
However, buying bolts can be a prohibitive cost for many people. It takes out the fun of hunting when you have to care about finance all the time. Therefore, we will show you 2 tips on how to find great prices for your personally best 20-inch crossbow bolts.
- Buy in bulk: once you have a favorite bolt, you can opt to buy in packs of 12, or even 72. The cost per bolt will be much lower when you buy higher quantities. This will last you for a long time, and you don’t have to worry about running out of bolts mid-hunting
- Buy in off seasons: Brands will try to get rid of their unsold inventory in slow seasons - when people do not want to go hunting. To do that, they will run many discount programs. Keep an eye out for these promotions by setting price alerts on your favorite products.
Here is our long-awaited selection of the 5 best 20 inch crossbow bolts. May one of them will suit your needs:
As you may find, there are many crossbows on the market at your disposal. From our reviews, we hope that you can make the right choice to find the best 20-inch crossbow bolts for you.
Why do we only review 20 inch bolts you ask? We find that the length is the most common one that suits most hunting needs and occasions. 20 inch crossbow bolts do the best job of balancing between weight and speed. Shorter arrows will fly longer but have lower impact, while longer arrows can make deep penetration yet are only suitable for short range hunting. Therefore, the size 20 inch is just right.