While a bow string silencer might not seem to be of great importance to the average audience, it is a crucial part of archery. Be it ordinary looking balls of fluff, they help hunters and archers in more ways than one.
However, this also depends widely on the silencer itself, so finding the best bow string silencers for the one you own is a joyous occasion for most archers. It may require a lot of tests and trials, but we are here to make things easier for you.
If you are unfamiliar with the world of archery and bowstring silencers in general, then this is your guide! Whether you are unsure about their importance or the best ones in the market, we have got you covered.
What Are Bow String Silencers?
Bow string silencers, also known as a bow string dampener, are what archers and hunters use to silence or reduce the bowstring noise while shooting. They come in different materials, including animal furs, which is the traditional method of silencing the string.
And with different materials and types, there are also different ways to install them into the string. Depending on it and the person’s knowledge, the experience may vary.
But after its successful installation, they all do the same job. To make things clearer, here are the changes or benefits you will get after installing one:
Vibrations are a common factor while pulling a string, and archery is no different. But these vibrations can easily be the reason for the debilitation of your accuracy. And when it comes to competitive archery, this can be a big problem.
However, bow silencers serve the purpose of reducing these vibrations by providing more control and ensure a perfect shoot to your ability. It also becomes much easier and more comfortable to shoot.
Reducing the Noise
After releasing the bowstring, you can hear a loud sound. While some people might prefer listening to the sound, especially while doing archery or competitive archery, some people don’t.
And by using these silencers, you can vastly reduce this sound. But besides archery, the lack of noise can prove to be a major tactical advantage during hunting.
As animals are sensitive to noises, any amount of noise can make you lose your target. So, using a good bow silencer is a must while hunting.
Durability and Performance
If continuously used for a long period of time without a bow string silencer, then the energy resided due to the vibrations will eventually cause the bow to crack, and it affects the bowstring as well.
So, it is essential to use one if you want to use your bow for a long time. It is to make the most out of it and the string.
And along with that, since the silencers absorb all the energy, it not only increases the longevity of the pieces but also improves the performance to a great extent.
How Do Bow Silencers Work?
There is a lot of physics behind how a bow silencer and the whole process of shooting that arrow work. When you pull the string back, the energy you used in that activity gets converted into elastic potential energy.
This energy stored in the bow, when released while releasing the string and the arrow, converts into kinetic energy. And this happens as the bowstring goes back to its original shape. It causes the energy to change because, as you may recall, energy doesn't get destroyed.
Now, as the energy converts, some of this kinetic energy transfers to the string, causing it to vibrate. This creates oscillation, and you can hear the familiar sound of the bowstring.
The bowstring silencers absorb this kinetic energy entirely, thus reducing the noise and vibration. However, do note that since there is no distribution of kinetic energy anymore while shooting the arrow, the shot is less powerful than before.
Where to Put a String Silencer on a Bow?
To be fair, the best way to know where to put the silencer is by experimenting and trying it out by yourself. But to give you the general idea, typically, archers place it 5 to 7 inches away from the bow limbs.
It is also important to understand that depending on where you place it, it affects the power and noise. If you want more power, then it is necessary to put the string silencer close to the limbs.
Likewise, if you want it to be as silent as possible, place it closer to the middle of the string. And so, it is better to try different positions to find what suits you and your style the best.
How to Install a String Silencer?
Due to the wide variety of bow string suppressors on the market, it is not easy to come to one specific installation method. Depending on the type, following the instructions provided is the best way to do it.
While some silencers require the bowstring to be removed before installing, some don’t. Here also comes the issue for compound bows, as removing and attaching the bowstring is very complicated and a lot more work than others, such as a longbow.
Although there is no one way to install a bowstring silencer, a good general example would be the installation process of a traditional fur ball string silencer.
Step 01: Marking the Area
Start by measuring and marking where you want to place the silencer on. Like we discussed earlier, putting it 5 to 7 inches away from the bow limbs is ideal, so mark the said area with chalk.
Step 02: Inserting the String Silencer
When done marking, insert one end of the string silencer in the bowstring a bit farther away or one inch above where you marked. After that, carefully start wrapping the string silencer while drawing closer to the marked area. Make sure to pull it tight so it gets wrapped around securely.
Step 03: Finishing the Installation
After wrapping it around neatly and tightly around the area of the bowstring, take the loose end of the furball. To ensure it gets inserted securely in place in the string, you need to use a sharp-pointed object to push it in. But make sure the object isn’t too sharp to damage the string.
What to Look for Before Buying?
Now that you know the basics and purpose of a bow string, here are some of the things you need to consider before choosing. It mostly depends on your preference and experience in the field.
Synthetics are in trend right now because of their animal fur-like quality without the use of one. However, if you don't mind using animal products, then animal fur ball strips are really good silencers and are the ones for traditional archery.
Besides synthetics whiskers, there are other different types of rubber string silencers. These work really well, but they typically don't last as long as the others. However, their lower price makes up for that disadvantage.
Vibrations or Noises
Generally, if you are a competitive archer, vibration reduction should be your priority, whereas, for hunting, noise reduction is a must. Depending on these requirements and preferences, try to find the right one for you.
Ease of Installation
For a compound bow, removing and attaching the bow silencer by yourself can be a hassle. So, unless you have the skills and experience, it is wise to choose one that is easy to install without removing the bowstring. It also takes less time than having to do the former.
Following up on installation, having a good quality silencer means you don’t have to go through the hassle of changing them often. Think about compound bows again and how problematic it will be to have to remove and attach the bow string every couple of weeks to replace the silencer.
5 Best Bow String Silencers Reviews
Bow silencers are essential for not only reducing the noise but also for a good shooting experience. And here are some of our most recommended ones that will not let you down!
1. Mountain Man Furs Beaver Balls
Bow string silencers, made of beaver hide, are one of the most popular ones that archers use. They do an excellent job of reducing the sound while shooting the arrow, and this one is no exception.
They come in a strip, and as you twist it around the bow string, it resembles a ball, hence the name. A great thing about them is that you don't need to remove the bow's string to attach them.
So, it is much easier and convenient to use them. They are also more visible due to their larger size, which gives them the traditional look of archery we all know, although they might be a bit heavier than synthetic ones.
Other than that, you will be getting an excellent performance, being 100% waterproof, and working under extreme weather conditions and temperatures as well. The package comes with two or a pair of beaver balls.
Moreover, if you are using a compound or a longbow, you can relax as they function the best. This makes it a great choice for most archers out there, both for hunting and the sport.
Each of the balls weighs 9.9 grams or 0.35 ounces. And it measures around 4 inches long, covering enough area of the bowstring to silence the sound. As a result, you are sure to get a smoother, controlled shot every time.
2. I-Sport Otter Dampener
With a beautiful natural black and white mixed color, this bow string dampener is the second on our list of the bests, and for a good reason. It is lightweight and made of natural otter fur.
The otter string silencer measures around 7.87 inches or 20 cm and weighs just 3 grams. They are waterproof as well but may not shed the water as great as the others, such as the beaver furs.
However, since they are thicker and more compact than the others on our list, it is also the most effective in reducing the string noise. Other than that, they are also the best string silencers for compound bow, along with being compatible with different bow types as well.
Alongside that, it also reduces vibrations, which results in a smoother transition and a more accurate shot. Plus, it is great if you are learning archery, it will help you practice for better posture and shooting.
For the best results, it is better to attach them by tying them properly around the string strands after removing it from the bow. This way, you will get the perfect dense ball for vibration and noise reduction.
Moreover, with its use of animal fur, it also gives the look of traditional archery. So, if you are into that style, then that is something important to note about this product.
3. Bowjax 1036 Ultra Bow Jax II
If you are looking for something without the use of animal furs, then plastic bow silencers are one of your options. The bow string suppressors, such as these, have become one of the most used among archers over the years.
These cross or “x” shaped silencers are said to reduce around 50% of noises and vibrations. Therefore, it increases performance by 50% as well for overall better execution and experience. It also further reduces the dampening ability of compound bows.
Moreover, since they are plastic, they are 100% waterproof and doesn’t store or allow any water on its surface. This ensures you can use them for quite some time before needing replacement.
The attachment process is fairly simple, with just inserting the string through the hole in the silencers and placing them where you prefer. This does, however, mean you need to remove the bowstring first to attach them.
Also, this makes it more convenient on recurve bows as it is easier to put the string back compared to other types. And along with that, since they are not easily visible, this might also explain their popularity among modern archers.
While they might not be the most durable, the pack comes with four pieces, so you have replacements if one gets damaged. Adding to the convenience, you can easily adjust their position on the string by moving them.
4. Carbon Express 57509
Archery is all about practicing and learning. And for that, you need to go through multiple bowstring silencers in that process. However, not everyone is ready to invest in buying expensive ones for a start.
And that is why we have this very affordable string silencer on our list. It is great if you are just starting the sport and need a working string silencer or for practice.
These are synthetic or rubber strands but more commonly known as "whiskers." Although they come in a pack of one, you can separate the strands quite conveniently to make multiple smaller silencers.
What is more, is that you don't need to use a bow press to attach or install them to the string. Its installation is similar to using a fur string silencer; it just needs tying it to the string and pulling out the sides to make the whiskers form a ball shape.
It has possibly one of the easiest and fastest installations among the others, making it more beginner-friendly apart from its price. And when it comes to performance, it is not a letdown either. It reduces up to 40% noise and vibration and doesn’t reduce much energy or power as well.
Alongside that, being made of rubber, it is also waterproof and lightweight. It weighs only 0.16 ounces or 4.5 grams. Plus, as they are kind of a replica of a real whisker’s silencer, so you are not using any animal fur or product.
5. Apex Gear Doubledown
Another easy and beginner-friendly string silencer, and it has the fastest and easiest installation method out of all on this list. But that is not the only reason why we think it is so great and deserves a spot here.
But before we go to its other great points, let us talk about its appearance. It is definitely not the typical bow silencers you see in the market, its bright color and shape might look confusing as to how it works, but surprisingly it does an excellent job of silencing the string.
It reduces the string to almost zero vibrations, making it completely silent! This makes it perfect for hunting. And as we said earlier, the installation is very quick and efficient.
All you need to do is place one of its “arms” underneath the string and insert the other arm through the hole of the silencer, forming a knot. Since it is rubber, it does a great job of staying in place and doesn’t unknot either.
Moreover, it is not that pricey at all, and you are getting a pack of four together. Plus, they don't break off easily compared to other similar rubber bow silencers, making it an overall excellent deal for both beginners and experts.Furthermore, they are suitable to use on all kinds of bows, including compounds. In fact, it may be one of the best compound bow silencers you can find on the market! There is no need to use a bow press at all, making it a quick and effortless process.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the best string silencers for bow?
String silencers made of synthetics, linen, etc., are the most popular among both archers and hunters due to their quick and easy installation and overall good performance.
2. Do bow string silencers work?
Yes, depending on the product's type and quality, it can reduce noise and vibration by as much as 90%! You can really tell the difference instantly after attaching one on your bow.
3. How do you put a silencer on a bow string?
It depends on the silencer type. But the general way for synthetic whiskers and or animal fur string silencers is to wrap it around certain points on the bowstring and tying it or inserting it into the string appropriately.
4. What size string do I need for my bow?
To understand the size you need, start by measuring the distance from one string groove of the bow to the other. Then, depending on the type of bow you use, you will need to cut a few inches from that length for the string.
It is typically 3 inches less for the longbow, 4 inches less for recurve, and compound ones usually specify the length needed.
5. Does using a string silencer affect the arrow speed?
Yes, since it adds additional weight to the string, it lowers the speed. However, this change is very minimal and usually has little effect on speed.
While string silencers can reduce the sound or vibration to an extent, only the best bow string silencers can get you the results you are aiming for. And it will not only make your experience more comfortable but also improve your shooting performance.