New Archer Buying Guide

New Archers

Arrow Rest:

If you are going to be using arrows that have acceptable vanes (not blazers that are meant for compound bows), you should be using an arrow rest.

A screw-on arrow rest with a locking nut doesn't fly off
A screw-on arrow rest with a locking nut doesn’t fly off

The arrow rest is where the shaft of the arrow will sit while it is nocked on to your string. 

These come in two flavors:

If your bow allows for it, I prefer mine to screw in with a locking plastic nut on the back. I haven’t had much luck with stick on arrow rests as they tend to fall off after a handful of arrows slapping against them on an improperly tuned bow with plastic vanes. 

If you do go with a stick-on arrow rest, I suggest using some industrial-quality double sided tape or adhesive to keep the thing on. Even once you do that, you’ll want to mark where this sits as there’s still a chance it can fly off. Luckily, most come with a hole in them that you can put a flush-headed bolt and nut through to save yourself from buying the one that already has those things. 

Bow Square:

This is one of those things that don’t really come in packages. A bow square is used to get your nocking point and your arrow rest close to a 90-degree angle, so that your arrow sits and flies properly. I have the Carbon Express bow square and it serves me pretty well. It’s made of metal, clips on to your string, and gives you a read in inches on where things are. 

The idea here is that once you clip on your bow square to your string, you want to put the long arm on the arrow rest. That provides a 90-degree angle between your arrow rest and the 0″ hash mark on the bow square. You then apply a nock above that 0″ hash (3/8ths of an inch is a good place to start) that the back of your arrow will slide up towards. Because your arrow has support on the arrow rest on the front of the shaft and now something to tip against (your nock) on the back side, the arrow will consistently leave at that point. You can further tune this to find the point in which an arrow flies true. Once you find that point, put a nock on the bottom with enough play to not squeeze the arrow nock. 

Bow Stringer:

An illustration of a man using a bow stringer to string a bow
An illustration of a man using a bow stringer to string a bow

A bow stringer allows you to safely string, and de-string your bow. You don’t want to keep a bow strung up in the closet with the weight on the bottom limb as this will cause malfunction over time. You will want a bow stringer that allows you to safely slip one of the limb tips into one side and stays clear of the bow string on the other limb. You then stand on the bow stringer’s string and pull upwards on the bow’s riser causing the free-limb to bend as if it is strung. You should be able to easily get to a point where you can then slip the loop of your bow string over the limb tip that hasn’t been strung. 

Something cheap like this leather bow stringer will work, or this one super cheap one with a rubber stop. I haven’t used the one with a rubber stop but I imagine it looks like it would work as well. 

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