4 Ways to Make Improvised Urban Survival Arrowheads

Improvised arrowheads are a great way to confront an opponent and potentially win. They’re easy to make, they can be carried in your pocket or on the belt loop of your jeans, and they add some extra playing field depth if you don’t have more than enough arrows for everyone involved.

The “wilderness hacks” make improvised urban survival arrowheads. There are 4 different ways to make these arrowheads, and they can be used for hunting as well.

Poster by Art of Manliness about arrow-heads.

Organic resources were used to make the first arrowheads, which were frequently manufactured by “knapping” rocks including obsidian, chert, and flint. The sharp flakes of stone that produced were then attached to arrow shafts and launched from bows by prehistoric hunters to take down wildlife and fight their human foes.

Stone arrowheads are still created by bushcrafters today, and they may save your life in a wilderness survival emergency.

But what if you need to produce an arrowhead in a city, where suitable knapping stones are scarce? What makeshift materials may be gathered to construct projectile tips for use in hunting and self-defense arrows?

Here are four materials/methods to experiment with:

1. An arrowhead made out of a glass bottle


The following items are required:

  • Bottles made of glass (ideally with a flat bottom)
  • Flaker with high pressure (antler bone or a nail hammered into a wooden dowel)

Because arrowheads have been manufactured from volcanic glass for thousands of years, it should come as no surprise that you can build your own arrowheads from man-made glass. In reality, such glass is simpler to work with than obsidian (or other rocks), and it is also more readily available, particularly in metropolitan areas.

You may use any glass with a flat portion, which includes a regular soda or beer bottle. Breaking off your source material, then taking a big flake of it — in this example the bottom of the bottle, which is thicker and flatter — and gently chipping off little flakes from its edges to shape and sharpen it up, is how you produce an arrowhead from a bottle. The language instructions, which contain pictures, are useful in comprehending the semi-complex procedure. 

Because it is simpler to shape glass into arrowheads than it is to shape stone, this is a fantastic technique to learn how to knapp rock.

2. A Nail’s Arrowhead 


The following items are required:

  • Hammer
  • Nail
  • Pliers
  • File

If the knapping technique seems a little too fussy for you, try constructing an arrowhead out of an ordinary nail instead. Simply pound it on alternating sides until it flattens out, then file it to produce a sharp edge or point. They aren’t the most durable arrowheads, but they will do the job. You can pound a 1/4′′ bar stock into a genuine broadhead that can penetrate and take down a deer with a larger hammer.

3. A Spoon’s Arrowhead



  • Spoon
  • Hammer
  • File

To make an arrowhead from a spoon, first flatten it, then sketch the arrowhead form you desire on the flattened spoon head, then remove the material surrounding that outline until you have your broadhead triangle. If you have some higher-tech instruments, such as a blow torch (for heating up the spoon before hammering it) and a Dremel tool (for cutting away the excess material), the procedure will be a lot simpler. However, you may not have access to such items in a survival scenario (or to electricity). Fortunately, while it takes more work, you can achieve the same result by pounding a cold spoon and then filing away the excess metal from the spoon head; if you don’t have a file, you can rub it against a block of concrete. 


4. An arrowhead fashioned from a tin can’s lid 


The following items are required:

  • Tin can
  • Multi-tool with pliers and a can opener

This is perhaps the simplest approach and one that requires the fewest materials (if you have a handy multi-tool). Simply remove the tin can’s cover, fold it in half, then bend it back and forth until it breaks. Then repeat with a half piece until you’ve got a quarter chunk of the lid. Then fold it in half and use your pliers to manipulate it. 

As you can see, supplies for making improvised arrowheads may be found almost everywhere in an urban survival scenario, from a trash can to a kitchen pantry. You’ll need to attach (haft) your arrowheads to the arrow’s shaft once you’ve sourced and made them; the process is as follows: cut a notch in the end of the shaft, insert your arrowhead into the slot with some glue/resin, wrap the arrowhead in sinew/cord to further secure it, and then top the wrapping with some glue for good measure. Then ready to bag some game or defend your realm by stringing your makeshift bow (a topic for another day) with your improvised arrow.



Knapping is the process of shaping stone or other hard materials into tools and weapons by using a hammerstone to hit a thin piece of rock, which shatters. Bottle bottoms are one type of improvised urban survival arrowhead that can be made with just a knife. Reference: knapping bottle bottoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you use to make arrowheads?

A: You can use any material that conducts electricity, such as a copper wire or solder. You can also use wood if youre careful not to create splinters and make sure the surface is sanded smooth.

How do you make stone arrow heads?

A: Check the crafting recipe here.

How are arrow heads made?

A: To make arrowheads, the first thing you need to do is find a stone. Then use metal tools to chip off pieces of that stone with precision so that it can be shaped into what you want your pointy object to look like. Next, heat up the newly formed piece until it becomes soft and malleable enough for shaping easily by hand. This way, all you actually have left are flakes or chips which eventually form into arrow heads after being further worked on by other methods such as grinding them down with sandpaper or using a polishing wheel attached to an electric drill

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