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How to Make a Spear

In ancient times, a spear was one of those weapons that helped the human race survive and become the ultimate hunters. We’re still evolving, and our tools will naturally evolve with us.

However, we can use this ancient masterpiece, even nowadays, to hunt for food, to protect ourselves, and survive.

In this guide, we will introduce you to different methods that are used in the noble art of spear making.

You will learn how to make one quick and easily. We’ll also supply you with which tools and materials you will need for this process. Let’s find out in our ultimate guide on how to make a spear.

Let’s talk about the basics: How to Create a Great Spear from a Branch

Spears are great for survivalist living, and making the good old-fashioned spear from a simple piece of wood is something that everybody should learn.

In the end, we don’t know when this skill will help us, but it will come in handy at some point in your life.

So, to make a good and useful spear, you need to find a branch that is at least an inch in diameter.

You can find a thicker branch, one and a half or two inches in diameter, but do consider that you need something not too heavy as you will need to throw it a long distance!

In terms of length, we’ll bet you saw pictures of the indigenous people, and you probably noticed that they had very long spears in comparison to their height!

Choosing a shaft that that is a few inches taller than you will help to provide you with a smooth trajectory of the fly, as our ancestors discovered.

Now let’s pick the wood type for your spear. The perfect option for this kind of weapon is, of course, any hardwood, such as oak.

These kinds of wood are not too easy to work with, but once you put some decent effort into your spear, you get a very long-lasting and sturdy weapon that will perform superbly, even after multiple usages.

You should look for a live branch or recently fallen tree because it is better to have a flexible and durable pole for your spear.

Dead and dry wood will break easily, so if you come across this during your materials search, just keep it for fires. 

To sharpen your spear, you will need a good steel knife or any rough surface you can find in the absence of it. For example, you can rub it against sharp stones, bricks, even sidewalks if you have to.

Now we have our branch, we need to make its surface smoother by getting rid of any knots and hitches.

This ensures your comfort and helps to prevent skin cuts that might be sustained during the throwing process. If your pole is already smooth, you can skip this part.

Next, you need to carve the tip of your future spear to make it very pointy and sharp.

Be careful at this point because you can easily cut yourself. To carve a pointed tip, you need to do small even strokes with your knife, always directing them away from yourself.

Pro Tip: The exact process goes something like this…

Make a stroke and slightly rotate your branch; then, you do another stroke and again turn the stick.

This way, you will get an even pointed tip for your spear. The pointy tip should begin about two inches from the end of the branch and gradually narrow down to a very minute point.

The last part of this process is known as the “baking” of the point. As we mentioned previously, we need to use a fresh branch in the spear-making process to have a flexible end product.

However, the business end part of a spear needs to be as dry as possible because the point does not require any flexibility.

Any flexibility in this part would actually decrease its effectiveness as it would be unable to pierce an object properly.

That’s why you’ll need to make a fire and hold your sharpened end of the spear just above the flames for some time. You don’t want it to burst into fire, but look carefully at the wood and wait until it changes its color.

Next, you need to turn over the spear on the other side of the tip and wait for the wood to darken.

Continue this process until an entire tip is “baked.” Now it is dry and even harder than before, so you’ll have the perfect pointed tip for your spear.

And that is it! Now you have an excellent spear from a simple piece of wood, and you can go for a hunt in the woods, find some food and survive, just like our ancestors.

The dangerous one: a knife spear!

Now we are talking about a very deadly spear, indeed. It is easy to make this kind of spear too, but you need to know a few tricks in order to create a knife spear in the most efficient way possible. So, let’s start learning!

For this kind of spear, you need to find fresh wood that isn’t too green. You need to have that green wood flexibility, but your pole must be sturdy enough to perform for this project, so it is better if you look for trees that fell recently.

As for your branch’s size, it is better to look for a pole that is about one inch thick.

You should also keep in mind the length of your knife and adjust your pole’s diameter according to the knife’s size.

Like with a simple wooden spear, you need to carefully clean your pole from any small branches, barks, or tiny notches, to make it as smooth as you can.

You can clean only the handle part since it is the part you will be touching the most, but you can also clean the whole pole’s surface to make it more even if you desire.

Now, let’s move on to the “creating-a-shelf” part of our spear making process.

You need to carve out space for your knife on your branch to attach it properly. You should remove about half of your branch’s diameter by cutting long vertical strips into it.

The length of this shelf must be exactly the same as the length of your knife’s handle. Now you have a perfect bed for your knife, and you can proceed to the next step.

To attach your knife to the branch, you will need a very long rope that is extra durable and strong.

Tie your rope to a tree trunk and put your knife into the knife shelf. Start wrapping the rope around the branch and knife tightly, until the knife’s handle is fully secured.

Test the rope, and if your knife holds firm, you are good to go hunting with this hopefully awesome knife spear!

The fascinating one: a bamboo spear for fishing

This fishing spear looks very cool, and you can definitely catch a lot of sea creatures with this useful tool!

You will need some extra things to make this bamboo spear, but the process itself is relatively easy, so we do think that even a newbie can handle making this spear.

To make this spear, you will need two knives, a big one, like a machete, for chopping and a small one for carving and whittling.

Also, find two sticks that are about half of an inch thick and a paracord. And, the most important part, a huge bamboo rod!

The bamboo rod should be between five to six feet to serve its purpose. Of course, this bamboo rod should be a thick one too — about an inch, inch and a half in diameter. 

Now we can start making our spear! Firstly, set your bamboo upright and take your machete.

You need to cut four vertical slits into your bamboo in the shape of a cross. They should be deep — about 2 feet long.

Making cuts in bamboo is easy, but you need to be careful: you do not want to cause any additional wood cracks.

Now you need to take two sticks and put them in between the two cuts. The sticks should be pushed down to the end of the cuts (you will be able to push them ¾ of the way down), forming another cross-shaped figure.

To keep your stick nice and still in their place, it is time to tie them to the bamboo with a paracord. Now your sticks will not go anywhere!

So we’ve now almost finished the creation process of our bamboo fishing spear!

Finally, we need to do the sharpening part, to turn a simple piece of bamboo wood into a fearsome weapon! Take your small knife and start sharpening all four prongs in turn until you are satisfied.

You should start shaving every prong about three inches above the bamboo rod’s end and perform slow, small strokes while rotating the rod.

It is a very time-consuming process, and you might be tempted to just make a couple of big strokes and get over with it!

However, the process of making a quality product requires patience and time. That’s why you need to be very gentle with your bamboo spear – you’ll be glad you did!

So, now you have a great spear that can be used in the wilderness to catch some fish.

It is a very lightweight, comfortable, and easy-to-use tool that will bring a lot of joy to you. You will not regret the time you spend making this spear!

Let’s talk about the spearheads

Now we know how to make basic types of spears, we can do some additional work and make various spearheads for them. In this part of the article, we will talk about wooden and stone spear tips that you can make almost everywhere.

To make a wooden spear, you need to find a piece of wood and carve it with your knife into a form of the classic spearhead.

You may ask, why would we do that if we can make a simple wooden spear and avoid this extra work? We do it to make not a simple pointy tip but a barbed spearhead to make this handmade weapon even more effective.

In order to prepare the spear for this type of spearhead, you should start making your spear in the same way as the bamboo one, but after the splitting process (make cuts in your wood only about 5/8 inch long), you need to insert a spearhead.

Finally, you’ll need to wrap it tightly with rope.

Barbed Spearhead

To create the barbed spearhead, rake a piece of wood and start carving it in the form of the prolonged arrowhead. When you’ve finish the carving process, start making small nicks with your knife on the sides of your tip.

Make as many nicks as you can, and they need to be about a half-inch deep. Do not forget to “bake” your finished spearhead to fully prepare it for your next hunt!

Stone Spearhead

As for the stone spearhead, try to find a flint rock: it is very easy to crack, and you will be able to make it into a really sharp point.

Making splinters is very easy: just crack one stone on another until you get an appropriate splinter for your spear.

You should use a bamboo spear method that we outlined earlier for your spear, then put your stone splinter in it and tie it tightly with a rope or a paracord.

Now you good to go with the most ancient but also one of the best tools every invented by mankind!

About Tom Bell

Hi - I'm Tom, the owner and founder of TheSurvivalSpirit.com! I'm a passionate outdoors enthusiast and am dedicated to bringing you the hottest online survival advice.  


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About The Survival Spirit

TheSurvivalSpirit.com is run by survival enthusiast, Tom Bell! This website features all of the latest hints and tips on survival, prepping and the great outdoors.

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