A spear shaft needs the right wood. The wood can depend if you use the shaft to decorate or for combat training. But, this can get tricky for reasons like durability, strength, and more.
So naturally, you must be wondering, what’s the best wood for spear shaft?
Hickory, ash, red oak, and acacia are great options for spear shafts. Hickory is a very reliable option whereas Ash provides a traditional feel. Red oak is a great option for decorative purposes while acacia is widely available.
To know more about these woods, keep reading our article. We have elaborated on their features and differences below just for you.
Which Wood To Pick For A Spear Shaft?
With the variety of options available, choosing wood for a spear shaft can be puzzling. However, we have four recommendations: Hickory, Ash, Red oak, and Acacia.
To help you understand these variations, we’ve put together a table.
Type of woodAdvantages Disadvantages HickoryAccessible Strong Durable Not as traditional as Ash Is heavier than other woods Rigid Ash Traditional Lightweight Flexible Prone to rot Not very durable Red oakDurable Great for decorative purposes Splinters easily Heavy to carry and use Difficult to cut and size Acacia Widely available Durable Expensive Temperature-sensitive
We understand that this isn’t sufficient information for you to make a final decision. This is why we’ll go over the differences in more detail below.
This is the most common hardwood out there. If you’re making a spear for combat and throwing purposes, this is a great option. In terms of cost, hickory is really affordable.
This is because hickory is very strong and durable. So no matter how you throw or use it, your spear shaft will remain intact. There will be little to no splintering of the wood on heavy impact.
On top of that, hickory is widely available. You can easily get it from hardware stores or dealers. This wood is easy to maintain and only needs the occasional wipe down with a damp cloth.
However, this is very heavy wood, roughly weighing 2 pounds. So while yielding the shaft, you may think it’s too stiff and rigid. Also, you might want a spear shaft similar to those used in older civilizations. In that case, hickory isn’t the right choice.
Many spear shafts in history were made from ash. Similar to hickory, this is also a widely available hardwood for spear shafts. Ash is on par with hickory when it comes to cost.
The unique quality of this hardwood is that it’s light and flexible. This makes it easy to yield and maneuver in close range, up to 80 meters. Since it’s light, it’s also a great option for newbies learning to wield and use spears.
However, unlike hickory, ash isn’t very durable. If it bends too much, it’s tough to restore the original shape.
On top of that, ash is prone to rotting. This makes it tough to maintain. Chances are, your spear shaft won’t last longer than a year.
3. Red Oak
This is the most beautiful hardwood of the bunch. This brown wood with red undertones makes a very aesthetically pleasing spear shaft. It tends to be slightly more expensive than Ash and Hickory.
Red oak is also the toughest hardwood out there. So it’s on par with hickory in terms of durability.
However, since the wood is tough, it’s very difficult to cut and size it. If you’re new to spears, this will be very heavy to use.
Lastly, the wood is brittle and splinters easily. Consequently, it can’t take high-impact blows. So it’s best for decorative purposes only. It just needs regular cleaning with a rag.
If you’re living somewhere where the aforementioned woods aren’t available, use acacia. This is a hardwood that’s available all across the world. It’s highly durable and resists splintering upon impact.
However, acacia is more expensive both in terms of price and maintenance costs.
The natural properties of the wood make it tarnish quickly. So it requires yearly maintenance in the form of polishing.
If you’re unsure about the type of polish to get, check the ones below. Any one of these will make your spear shaft shine.
Now that’s covered, let’s proceed.
Final Decision: What Is the Best Wood for A Spear Shaft?
Don’t have a preference for one over the other? We can assist you.
If you want to make a spear shaft for combat or throwing purposes, opt for hickory. It will give you the strength and longevity you need.
If you want a traditional or low-scale spear shaft, go for ash wood. However, for simply decorative purposes, stick to red oak.
Lastly, if you can’t find the other woods, go for acacia. Simply store the shaft in a cool place, below 86℉ to keep the wood from tarnishing.
We hope these let you decide the best wood for your spear shaft.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How thick should a spear shaft be?
Answer: Ideally, the diameter should be 1 to 1.5 inches. This is a good range of thickness that’ll let you handle the spear well. Anywhere in this range should allow you to handle the spear with one or two hands.
Question: How long should a throwing spear shaft be?
Answer: Depending on your height, it can range from 5.5 feet to 8 feet long. If the wood is light, then opt for 6 to 7 feet. This is the optimal length for single and double-handed throwing. If the wood is heavy, and you’re 6 feet or taller, go for 8 feet.
Question: How to take care of the spear?
Answer: After each use, wipe it down with a damp rag. Wait for it to dry completely. Opt for storing the spear in a cool and dry room. Once every 6 months, polish the spear to keep it looking brand new.
With everything covered, now you should know the best wood for spear shaft. Make sure you pick the wood for the task it needs to do.
Good luck with the project and we hope the wood you pick serves you well.
If this article helped you, let us know in the comments below!