Homemade Crossbows: Top 3

Do you want to make your very own crossbow but you’re overwhelmed with the sheer number of plans for homemade crossbows on the Internet that doesn’t make sense at all? We’ll give you several top 3 lists so you can make your own crossbow using popular methods and materials that have already proven to be very effective.

Top 3 materials used

This is one of the most common questions that people have when trying to make crossbows at home. “What are the materials that I’ll need?” “Do I need to go out to buy them?” Well, it surely defeats the purpose of homemade crossbows if you’re going to go out of your way just to gather the materials needed. So here are the top 3 materials that are popularly used:

  1. Dowel rods
  2. Wooden blocks
  3. School or office supplies

Dowel rods are perfect since you basically just have to attach them together and they are also relatively powerful. Wooden blocks provide the most power but they’re harder to make. School or office supplies are also easy to make but they’re not that powerful so they’re perfect for your very first crossbow.

Top 3 designs

Here are the top 3 designs using the top 3 materials:

Dowel Rods

Dowel Crossbow

As you can see, dowel rods are used for almost everything in this design. You have three dowel rods that make up the stock and another rod for the bow. Even dowels are used as bolts. You can also make the grip out of the rods. A rubber band is used as the string and a strong clothespin serves as the trigger.

Wooden blocks

Wooden Blocks Crossbow

This crossbow is harder to make but it’s actually pretty easy overall. Wooden blocks serve as the grip and the stock of this crossbow while anything strong and flexible will work as the bow like a PVC pipe cut in half. You may want to put a straight groove along the middle of the stock to guide your bolts. The only complicated part of this design is the trigger but this illustration will show you how it works.

Wooden Blocks Trigger

Wooden Blocks Crossbow Trigger

School or office supplies

Build Pencil Crossbow

You can do this crossbow using four pencils, a disassembled pen, and a few rubber bands. Just assemble them according to the illustration and you’ll have a crossbow that you can use for target practice.

Top 3 materials for bolts

Of course, crossbows are not fun and effective without the bolts. This is why a lot of people spend a lot of time and effort in making them. What they don’t know is you can actually make them in 1 to 3 minutes depending on the materials. Here are the top 3 that you can use.

  1. Dowel rods
  2. Skewers
  3. Chopsticks

As you can use, they have one thing in common. They’re common items made of wood or metal that are already straight. This basically takes care of the bulk of the job. Dowel rods are the best because they’re the strongest. They’re also very versatile because there are a lot of available diameters. You just have to sharpen the end using a pencil sharpener. On the other hand, skewers and chopsticks offer you the versatility of having wood or metal bolts. As a bonus, they’re already pointed so you just have to add the flights at the other end for improved aerodynamics using goose feathers or even cardboard cutouts.

Top 3 materials for string

The string plays a big part in the power of the crossbow together with the bow. There are a lot of things that you can use as a string. Basically, anything strong and flexible will do. Your choice of string will depend on the bow that you’re using. Most crossbows use a flexible bow and the tension that it creates launches the bolts. But for DIY purposes, some people prefer to use flexible string instead and that will launch the bolts. Here are the top 3 materials that people use:

  1. Rubber band
  2. Shoestring
  3. Bungee cord

Obviously, rubber bands and bungee cords are your flexible choices. This is why they’re perfect for homemade crossbows that have bows that are not flexible like wooden blocks, pencils or even the dowels. Since the bolts are getting the power from the rubber band, you can expect lesser power unless you’re going to use multiple rubber bands which will work on some designs. Bungee cord on the other hand is very powerful. If you have a flexible bow like PVC pipes cut in half, then you can use any strong shoestring or standard string. Just make sure that they’re strong enough to handle the tension created by cocking the string and the tension on the bow.

Hopefully, these top 3 lists are able to help you realize that you can easily make your own crossbow at home.