Bow string silencers may come in many shapes and sizes, and materials. But its purpose is the same. Modern bow string silencers and dampeners are designed to reduce the vibration and noise by up to 90 percent and keep the bow quiet when it matters most.
Let's take a look at the different types of bow string silencers, why you need them and how they work.
Why Do I Need Bow Silencers?
The most common answer to this question is simple, so a deer or game doesn’t hear the arrow leave the bow. But there is a little more science to consider. A deer’s hearing isn’t necessarily that much better than a human’s. They do hear higher frequencies much better than low frequencies. The faster the vibration, the higher the frequency.
Humans have the advantage in the lower ranges and are handicapped in higher frequencies. When the arrow leaves the bow, a high frequency is emitted. Deer also have ears that can turn and scan the area the sound is coming from.
Deer have such acute senses and they are wound super tight, so when they hear a sound, their reaction happens in a split second.
Bow hunters have experienced deer "jumping the string".
What this means is that the deer's reaction time is so fast that when the arrow is released, they are in the process of jumping from the sound. This usually results in the arrow going over the deer's back, because a deer first drops in preparation for jumping.
Yes, you can make a perfect shot at your target and miss because the target moves before the arrow gets there.
Welcome to deer hunting!
You can see deer jumping the string in the video below.
Some studies have concluded that deer are not the only thing you do not want to hear you in the woods. Look to the sky because birds are tattletales. Deer understand the distress call of birds. They are also alerted by other animal behaviors, including squirrels. So anything you can do to keep sound to the absolute minimum will benefit you.
Another less discussed advantage of using silencers is the longevity of your weapon. Unrestrained residual energy could potentially crack or weaken the bow over some time. A silencer absorbs this energy to prevent damage keeping you ready for the next kill.
How Do Bow Silencers Work?
As objects move back and forth, they generate sound waves. This explains the twang heard when shooting an arrow. A bow silencer disperses energy in the bow. Therefore, there is less vibration in the bow and string. This diminishes the vibration of the bow itself and reduces the sound generated by the string.
However, it is crucial to keep in mind that some of this kinetic energy is absorbed by the arrow itself during release. Although quieter, the power of the shot is diminished by using silencers. Usually, the loss is minor.
Compound Bow String Silencers
Rubber Bow String Silencers
Rubber bow string silencers, made to attach to the bowstring, are lightweight, cheap, and easy to attach to your bowstring. The rubber material, as a rule, performs better in the rain. Rubber silencers are manufactured and subject to human blunder and quality issues. Choosing the best product is essential.
Compound Bow Limb Dampeners
A limb dampener is a gadget placed on the compound bow’s limb and is designed to diminish noise and vibration. Limbs and risers experience vibration throughout the span of regular shots. They enhance a bow's covert qualities and decrease the fatigue and impact that shooters experience. Dampers were created to bear the shock from the compound bow and the archer.
Best String Silencers For Compound Bow (Reviews)
Bowjax 1036 Ultra Bow Jax II String Silencer
The Ultrajax II String Silencer has been a leading model with archers and bowhunters. It's been a best seller because of its strength and longevity. Ultrajax II String Silencers installation requires a bow press. They slip on the bowstring to efficiently suppress the sound, vibration, and oscillation that takes place after the shot. The bow will not lose velocity when using Ultrajax ll. Research reveals a usual increase of 1 - 3 fps. For compound bow users seeking dampening ability, try an Ultrajax II.
Reviewers reported That Ultrajax ll Did wonders in lowering string noise. “I was considering buying a new bow, but these worked great. Installation requires removing strings, but not all that bad.
In my opinion, these are much better than monkey tails and are clearly more durable than whiskers.”
- No velocity loss
- Needs a bow press for installation
Bowjax 1036 Ultra Bow Jax II String Silencers are long-lasting with no loss in velocity. Bowhunters love the silencer, and for a good reason. It has been a best selling product since its production.
Mathews Solocam Monkey Tail Bow String Silencers
Mathews Solocam Monkey Tails were created to silence your bow with a minimal speed loss of 1-2 FPS. The Mathews Monkey Tail String does not need a bow press, and it installs in seconds.
This is a do-it-yourself string and cable damping system that will annihilate noise and vibration. Mathews pledges to give you the best shot possible.
Experienced Archers say you can't go wrong with Matthews products. “These are easy to install and do help to quiet the release of the bow. I like Monkey Tails. They have been the best string silencers for me for the last 40 years of archery. I scarcely lose a monkey tail. I just replaced the first one on my HTR bow that I bought in June 2015. I shoot a lot too; 4000 arrows on that bow.”
An avid bowhunter gives these silencers five stars and says, “I have the monkey tails on both my bows (Bowtech and Elite). I am happy with the way they work. I do think they are a bit overpriced, but hey, they work.”
- Installs without a bow press
- Minimal speed loss
- Tricky to install
Mathews Solocam Monkey Tail Bow String Silencers are fantastic for those without a bow press and still want superior execution. Mathews is a trusted name in the industry and is known for its outstanding products.
Pine Ridge Archery Wishbone String and Cable Dampener
The Wishbone String and Cable Dampener will produce an apparent reduction of noise and vibration on your bowstring and cables. This dampener is easy to install and does not require a bow press.
At 14 grains each, the Wishbone will not cause a loss in velocity but, in fact, could increase speed undoubtedly with certain setups. Pine Ridge Archery Wishbone String and cable dampener is made in the USA. It works on crossbows and vertical bows alike.
- Silences down your bow
- Looks cool (IMHO)
- Comes in four
- Cheap Price
- Good quality
- Set up is a little tricky, but stretching them helps
Pine Ridge Archery Wishbone String and Cable Dampeners are 100% made in the USA. This dampener works beautifully to cut down on sound and vibration. And all the while, never losing any speed.
The LimbSaver Broadband Dampener for Solid Limb Compound Bows
The LimbSaver Broadband Dampener for Solid Limb Compound Bows is first-rate and uses state-of-the-art technologies for vibration and noise reduction dampener in solid limb compound bows. They are produced with LimbSaver's proprietary NAVCOM material to deaden vibration and excessive noise.
LimbSaver dampeners help generate a quieter shot by significantly reducing vibration caused by your limbs. This low-profile, lightweight design is quick and easy to install and suited for use in all weather conditions and is engineered to reduce up to 70% of vibration at wide frequency levels.
The Broadband bowhunting limb dampener from LimbSaver is for use with solid limb compound bows. LimbSaver products are proudly engineered and hand-made in the USA and used by outdoor enthusiasts, military, law enforcement, etc.
- Works as advertised
- Made in the USA
- Plastic seems to come apart after several shots
The LimbSaver Broadband Dampener for Solid Limb Compound Bows has been manufactured with technological advances. This technology has been used to create LimbSaver's proprietary NAVCOM material, which deadens vibration and excessive noise. Experience and technology breed innovation.
The LimbSaver SuperQuad Split Limb Dampener
The LimbSaver SuperQuad split-limb dampener is aimed at decreasing bow noise and vibration. It is intended to fit 95% of all standard and wide split limb bows, regardless of width or length between the limbs.
The SuperQuad can be positioned in two position options for either wide- or narrow-spaced limbs. This dampener is a quick and effective solution for rattle and oscillation in split-limb compound bows. The SuperQuad reduces up to 70% of limb vibration for a quieter and smoother shot.
It's constructed with LimbSaver's proprietary NAVCOM technology, which is a noise and vibration control material. It effectively absorbs a wide range of frequencies to disperse energy and vibration. Installation is quick and easy, and it’s built to be used outdoors in harsh environments.
LimbSaver products are proudly designed Using state-of-the-art technologies and hand-made in the USA. LimbSaver products are used by many outdoor enthusiasts, military, and law enforcement.
- Fits 95 percent of all standard and wide split limb bows
- Two orientation options
- Made in the USA
- Can be Difficult to install
The LimbSaver SuperQuad Split Limb Dampener fits up to 95% of all bows. These dampeners are used by law enforcement and the military and are proudly made in the USA.
Recurve Bow String Silencers
Cat Whiskers Bow String Silencers
Cat Whisker bow string silencers are one of the most common silencers. They have been preferred by archers and hunters for generations.
These lightweight rubber silencers attach without issue to your bowstring and do a superb job of diminishing noise with little to no change in performance.
The rubber nature of these silencers means they will last for a substantial number of shots without becoming impaired or detrimental to the bowstring. Because they are all rubber fabrication, they are 100% waterproof.
Beaver Fur Bow String Silencers
Beaver Fur Bow String Silencers are crafted from tanned beaver hide, which is naturally waterproof and very quiet. Sometimes, beaver fur silencers are called "Beaver Balls." These fur silencers work extensively, reducing the noise of your bowstring by between 50% to 75% more than other string silencers available in the trade.
Beaver Balls are the original and traditional string silencers and can't be exceeded for their capability to quieten your bowstring. Beaver Balls are a must have for those who are classic shooters. They outwear all rubber type silencers and stifle the twang emitted from a bowstring after the shot.
Wool Bow String Silencers
Wool bow string silencers are made from a variety of different types of wool. Wool is wrapped around the top and bottom of the recurve string. This works to keep the limb from thumping when the string is released.
They are often referred to as “puffs.” They are handcrafted and one of the oldest types of silencers. Wool is naturally waterproof and has a traditional look. Wool yarn can be used to craft a cat whisker silencer also.
Bowstring Groove Silencers
Bowstring Groove Silencers are engineered to dampen the string thumping noise on recurve bows. They work by adding cushioning right where the bowstring joins the recurve limb.
Often made with calf hair, they come with an adhesive back and are pre-cut for easy installation on your bow. Bowstring Groove Silencers will stop noise without slowing down your bow.
Best String Silencers For Recurve Bow (Reviews)
Many archers believe Navajo Wool Bow String Silencers are perfect for compound, long, and recurve bows. They have a “traditional” look that is so appealing.
Each wool string silencer is handmade from 100% Navajo Churro wool, therefore naturally water repellent in inclement conditions. When you place them an equal distance from each limb tip on the string of your traditional or recurve bow, you will immediately hear and feel the difference.
These wool silencers are easy to install and arrive with step-by-step instructions to make setup a cinch. This Wool is acquired and spun in a small cottage mill in Colorado, making it a made in the USA product. Navajo silencers are ultra-lightweight and maintain performance while deadening vibration.
- Easy installation
- Classic look
- Loses material during the first few shots
Navajo Wool Bow String Silencers are tried and true. These have been used for hundreds of years and still make the top of the list. They have a great classic look and work beautifully.
Mountain Man Beaver Balls Bow String Silencer
Mountain Man Beaver Balls are crafted lightweight, long lasting, tanned beaver hyde. This String Silencer is beloved among many archers and works in all weather.
Beaver Balls are the traditional and original string silencer. They do a fantastic job of reducing the sound of your bowstring by between 50% to 75% more than other string silencers on the market.
Many believe they are the best and cannot be outperformed. They are reasonably priced and outlast most rubber silencers. These Beaver Balls work well on longbows, compounds, and recurves. The traditional look makes it a must-have for traditionalists.
- Reasonably priced & will outlast rubber silencers
- Suits compounds, longbows & recurves
- A must for traditionalists
- Directions are a little difficult to read/follow
Mossy Oak String Silencers
Mossy Oak String Silencers are what archers refer to as a cat whisker type. They are produced with weatherproof, manufactured rubber materials. This unique rubber will not dry rot, keeping your bow silencer ready for many seasons.
Managing bow noise is a great priority for a bowhunter. Preventing deer or other game from "jumping" the bowstring because they heard the arrow leave the bow can be the distinction between a kill, miss, or a hurt animal.
Installation of these cat whiskers is simpler than the traditional Beaver Balls because there is no need to separate your string. However, it might be challenging to get the tie-on installation to look as nice as the advertisements. This tool is effective in reducing noise.
- Effective in reducing noise
- Tie-on installation never resembles pictures
Silencers that are attached to the bowstring are not the only option. Groove silencers attach at the tip of your recurve bow to stifle the sound created when the string hits against the limb. This type of silencer can be a perfect addition explicitly aimed at those hunters who use recurve bows.
Traditional Archery - Recurve Bow Bowstring Groove Silencers are crafted from organic leather. These silencers are constructed to last over many hunts. They have an adhesive backing for simple application and include cushioning for further vibration absorption.
- Silences your shots better than many styles sold today
- Choose between three available colors, black, tan, and brown
- Silencers are made from tough, durable leather
- The adhesive is unforgiving and can fail
Traditional Archery Recurve Bow Groove Silencers are made with genuine leather and are great for recurve bow shooters. These can be used in addition to string silencers for excellent performance.
Homemade Bowstring Silencers
You can make a bowstring silencer out of so many things, limited only to your imagination. DIY’ers have used such materials as Yarn, wool, fabric, parachute cord, hair, fur, and many other materials that can be frayed.
If you are resourceful and like to work with your hands, you can craft an inexpensive silencer that may rival the top manufactured types. Many Boy Scouts have learned to tie on some leather pieces and make yarn pom-pom silencers.
When you craft your own, you can repeat the process as many times as you need and experiment with different designs. If this intrigues you, I am sure there are many videos on the web to provide ideas.
Whether you use a compound bow or recurve, with so many options available, there is no excuse for a hunter to miss a kill because of a loud bow, which causes the deer to react before your hunting arrow gets there. There are so many choices it is impossible to list them all, but with a little bit of research, you should be able to find just what you need.
The craftsmanship and technology are available in many different types and applications. It is up to you to experiment. Each bow and archer is unique, drop away arrow rest, regular arrow rest, bow mounted quiver, type of bow sight, etc. It will take some time and practice to find your perfect setup.
The point is that it is necessary to become an excellent bowhunter to explore your approach. Noise is an enemy and should be diminished as much as possible.