When it comes to compound bowstrings, finding the one that’s just right for you is pretty difficult. You need to consider so many factors like the bow string’s craftsmanship, how it will be used, the material, the type of bow string, and so many more.
If you don’t get a compound bow string that’s suitable for your strength level and needs, then it might end up hurting you or it might not be effective enough.
That’s why we’ve done all the research to help you figure out which is the best bow string for you. So, read on for a detailed overview of the best compound bow strings on the market.
Buyer’s Guide for the Best Compound Bow Strings
In this section of the article, we’ll show you all of the factors that you need to consider when you’re buying compound bow strings. Once you take these factors into consideration, you’ll be able to make better and more informed decisions.
Type of the Bowstrings
There are two types of bowstrings that you can choose from — custom strings and stock bowstrings.
Custom strings are high-quality bowstrings that are specifically used by hunters. They are made with the best materials and are pretty expensive. They are particularly useful because they retain synchronization for extended periods, are highly accurate, and they have firmly wrapped servings that don’t separate.
Stock bowstrings are those strings that are installed in the bow right from the factory. They are mass-produced, which also makes them a lot cheaper. But, for that same reason, they are also weaker in quality, not very durable, and inconsistent. You will also need to tune the bows often and the strings will stretch considerably. The only advantage of getting stock bowstrings is that they’re cheap and easily replaced.
The Material of Bow String
There are four primary materials that compound bowstrings are made of — BCY-X, 8190, 8125G, and 452X.
Bowstrings made of BCY-X material are the best on the market. They are well-balanced, extremely sturdy and durable, and they can offer the greatest speeds and accuracy.
When it comes to recurves and crossbows, 8190 is the primary material used for the bowstrings. They are even more durable than the aforementioned BCY-X and they can enhance the speed.
8125G has great speed and is also highly durable — especially when used with gore fiber. But it has the tendency to stretch when heated.
452X offers greater stability than all the other materials, which is why it is the longest standing material for bowstrings. However, it isn’t as durable as the others and the material starts fraying. Its durability can be improved with gore fiber.
Check Out the Strings Color
The color of the bowstring isn’t important in terms of performance. However, if you have a personal preference for the colors, you should go with that.
If you get a stock bowstring, your options will be extremely limited. So if you want a very specific color for a bowstring, you will probably have to go for a custom-made bowstring.
In addition to plain aesthetic, the color of the bowstring can also affect your hunting. Here’s a general recommendation on which color to use for different purposes.
Target shooters can use any color bowstring that they like.
Turkeys tend to approach red, white, and blue colors. So if you’re hunting for turkey, stay away from these colors for your bowstrings. Instead, you can go for some muted colors that can camouflage into the environment.
Ungulate (Deer, Elk, Camel, Pig) Hunting
Ungulates like deer, elk, camel, and pig are largely color blind. However, they can see blue clearly. As such, blue is the most visible color for them. That’s why you should stay away from blue bowstrings if you’re an ungulate hunter.
How Many Strands is Perfect?
The number of strands used to design the bowstring is extremely important.
Generally speaking, the lower the bowstring, the faster the arrow. But there’s a little more to it than just that.
If you reduce the strand count too much, it will affect the tuning and it may lead to greater vibrations. As a result, the resultant bow will be a lot more unstable and inaccurate.
So you need to strike the right balance. Lesser strands, but only to a limit.
That’s why most bowstring manufacturers place specifications on the number of strands in bowstrings.
The following strand numbers correlate to the bowstring’s masses:
- 12 Strands — 40 pounds.
- 14 Strands — 50 pounds.
- 16 Strands — 65 pounds.
- 18 Strands — 70 pounds.
String Sets: Choose Your Perfect Type
There are two primary types of strings sets out there — Single Cam (aka One Cam String) and Split Yokes (aka Split/Non-Split Buss Cable).
One String Cams have long bowstrings that can be 90” in length. Dual Cams have strings that are smaller at 55”, but they use two Buss Cables.
Split Yokes is a Buss Cable that divides at one end so it can attach to both ends of the bow. Meanwhile, Non-Split Buss Cables are those that don’t divide on either end.
Whenever you’re getting a new string, be sure to use a reliable bow string wax so your string can remain new and firm. The wax should only be used on the exposed string and not on the serving.
FAQs about Compound Bow Strings
The following are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about compound bow strings.
Should I custom build my own strings, find a professional custom string builder, or buy a stock bowstring?
This depends entirely on your needs, preferences, and how much you use the bow.
If you are a beginner to archery and want something reasonable and cost-efficient, you can go for stock bowstrings.
If you are fairly efficient and you have specific preferences, you might have to get custom bowstrings to meet your needs. In that case, if you need a bowstring for just one bow, you can make one yourself. But if you have several bows and need them for several different purposes, it might be a lot more time-efficient to go to a professional custom string builder.
What is HMPE?
HMPE is short for High Modulus PolyEthylene. It is the commonly used name for polyethylene chain thermoplastics, also known as Ultra High Molecular Weight PolyEthylene (UHMWPE) or High-Performance Polyethylene (HPPE).
This is a material that makes high-powered and highly efficient bowstrings. This material is also used for other outdoor activities like climbing, yachting lines and sails, and fishing. In terms of strength and weight ratio, it’s about 8 to 15 times stronger than steel, which is why it’s so widely used in bowstrings.
How do you maintain your bowstrings?
Waxing is the most important maintenance tip for bowstrings of all types. You need to use a reliable bow string wax and apply it gently on the exposed string. You must never apply it on the serving.
The frequency with which you wax your bowstring depends on your usage patterns. If your bow is often exposed to environmental elements or if you shoot every single day, you should wax the bowstring at least once in two weeks.
You should also store your bowstring in relatively cool spaces. Exposure to extreme heat can make the strands of the bowstring come apart over time.
How often do I need to replace my bowstrings?
The frequency with which you replace your bowstrings depends entirely on the cam design, the frequency of use, shots fired, and your level of maintenance.
If you maintain your bowstring perfectly in accordance with the aforementioned tips, you should be able to make it last at least one year. A regular target shooter might have to replace the bowstring once a year. And a regular bowhunter would have to replace the bowstring once in two years.
You can generally tell when your bowstring has run its course and is in need of replacement.
I hope you now have a strong understanding of the different types of compound bowstrings on the market and how to select the one that’s perfect for your needs. As you can see, there’s no one ideal compound bowstring, it all depends on how you’re using it and for what purposes.
So have you been able to find the best compound bow string for your needs? If you found this guide helpful, feel free to let us know about it. We’d love to hear from you!
About me: Hi, I’m Alex N. Ferroni, One of the creators of The Safariors blog and former camping trainer at Tripspot Magazine. I wish some other outdoor, hiking, hunting, fishing and camping enthusiasts have made this blog to share our thought. We are learning a lot through each trip, and we want you to learn that too!