Many aspects has to be taken into attention when it comes to archery, especially when using a bow. We look and expect for good accuracy, stability, balance with the bow, and target placement. Though some may say that a stabilizer is not necessary with a bow, but when it comes to hunting or target shooting – especially for newbies in archery, trust me, stabilizers does wonders.
About 70% of the work is assisted with the stabilizer where it helps with stability as the bow energy is transferred into the air where it reduces noise and vibration. You’ll only need to complete the remaining 30% with your good target focus, aim and accuracy. (Could use a bow sight for better accuracy when aiming, or you might want to consider single pin bow sights).
There are professionals making use of stabilizers as well for hunting or target archery, but again it arches down to the person carrying out the activity, whether he requires a stabilizer or not.
Top 5 Rated Bow Stabilizers
Now, let’s have a look at the top 5 bow stabilizers available out there for you, and hopefully can assist you in making a wise decision.
|Bow stabilizer||Length (inches)||Weight (ounces - pounds)||Vibration Reduction||Noise Dampening||Price|
|Trophy Ridge||6" or 9"||3.2 - 4.8 ounces||Excellent||Excellent||$$|
|Bee Stinger||6", 8", 8.6", 10" or 10.8"||8.8 ounces - 1.4 pounds||Excellent||Excellent||$$$|
|NAP Apache||8"||1.0 pounds||Excellent||Excellent||$$|
|EBBQ Axion SSG||4" or 6"||6.0 - 8.0 ounces||Excellent||Excellent||$$$|
|LimbSaver S-Coil||4.5"||4.5 ounces||Good||Excellent||$|
Criteria in Selection of Bow Stabilizer
So let me share what are the main criteria you need to look for when purchasing a bow stabilizer so you also will have a clearer view on how it actually helps you in your archery activity.
This is a crucial aspect for a bow stabilizer. The weight between a stabilizer and the bow should be balance, if it’s too heavy for your bow, you won’t be able to hold it right and thus jeopardizing your accuracy, but if it’s too light-weighted, it is also not preferred because the vibration will be more prevalent in this case.
You want a steady bow for an accurate shot – and normally the weights can be placed at different point of gravity to balance your bow, but again it is solely based on user preference for higher balance and stability experience.
A good stabilizer will have the weight focused at the furthest end from the bow to counterbalance. Better to avoid very heavy stabilizers, like a pound and above, because it limits your performance in terms of accuracy, as you lose balance.
When it comes to length of your stabilizer, it depends on the type of bow you’re using, and also in a way your purpose. What I meant by purpose is that are you hunting or target archery? If you’re hunting, you will definitely be moving, therefore a shorter length is preferable if you’re close to your prey.
Short length equals to higher reduction in torque, shock and vibration, thus reducing noise. The action of drawing the bow will create a twisting force in your hand, and when the string is released, it will revolve in the opposite direction – an occurrence is identified as bow torque and by having shorter length, it helps to reduce this affect.
Longer length equals to higher accuracy, precision, and stability, where we can conclude not suitable for hunters as again, because you’re on the move and you wouldn’t want the stabilizer to get in your way.
Longer stabilizers are most suitable for target archery as it has the capability to travel a farther distance, because it involves a more horizontal shooting range in a tree stand and wider shooting paths. You might want to know the common distances in which you will shoot an arrow – using a rangefinder will definitely help.
Vibration and Noise Reduction/Dampening
You know how when you release your bow towards your target, you feel a vibration in your hands? When you fully or partially draw you bow backwards, it is accumulating energy in that space due to the tension of the bow string, and when released, the whole energy is released at the arm guard area causing a distinctive vibration.
So the energy in this case needs to be balanced from the front to the back. Well, fret no more as stabilizer most prevalent function is to reduce that vibration. When your bow is drawn backwards and released, partial of the energy involved in that process will be absorbed by this stabilizer, thus reducing the vibration and in turn noise reduction which is to your advantage.
As we know sound travels fast, and prey having higher hearing capabilities as compared to us, human – so the lesser the noise/vibration, the higher your success.
One of the trustworthy brands in giving best quality bow accessories is Trophy Ridge. It comes in two sizes: 6” and 9” in – with the weight designed for users to experience comfort in its lightness, and giving them the advantage of customizing according to preference and suitability.
When it comes to choosing the length of a stabilizer, it comes down to your objective of archery. If you’re hunting, it’s best to go for the smaller sized, 6 inches, because firstly it will not come in your way while you’re hunting as you are constantly on the move with a moving target. With the shorter length, to your advantage is higher reduction in torque, shock and vibration, thus reducing noise – avoiding your target from getting distracted.
The 9 inches model which is longer would be more suited towards target archery as its focus is on a constant non-mobile object. It helps in providing higher precision and accuracy, keeping your pins from swaying too much and a more balanced feel for yourself as well.
It comes in a few colours, with camo being the most preferred by hunters because it blends in with the topography. With the holes in between the structure of this stabilizer, air flow is not an issue anymore. Air is able to move smoothly across the stabilizer and the bow, making it well balanced and steady.
Many has claimed that their stability when launching a shot towards a target has much improved with this Trophy Ridge stabilizer, whether an amateur or professional archer/hunter. This is because the stabilizer designed by Trophy Ridge is suited to endure harsh weather conditions, for example, when the environment is really windy.
Ballistix copolymer system is used in the manufacture of this model which gives the stabilizer the strength of an aluminium and being light weighted at the same time. Weight really impacts the performance and quality of your archery, so this particular stabilizer comes also with added weights where we are able to alter according to our preference for an added balance.
There are cases where less weight upfront can cause an imbalance. When your bow is heavy, example 3 pounds and above, that is when you need the added weights to have a balance from the front to the end.
Type of coating used also impacts the performance of a stabilizer, and with the use of a soft-touch coating in this stabilizer, it enhances the ability of this stabilizer to reduce vibration and dampen noise.
Unfortunately, this bow stabilizer by Trophy Ridge has been known to be adaptable only to a specific range of bows – such as a recurve bow, it limits the user but otherwise as we can see, the pros outweighs the cons.
Bee Stinger equipment for archery is also one of the top choice of archers. This particular model comes in various lengths and weights: 2.7 oz. / 6” in, 8.8 oz. / 8” in, 1.4 pounds/ 8.6” in, 6.4 oz. / 10” in, and 1.4 pounds/ 10.8” in. Weight in this stabilizer is focused at the end, making it very suitable for target hunters.
This brand gives you a wider choice to choose from, for example if you’re into both target and hunting archery, you can get from the same model a shorter length example the 6 inches for hunting, and 10.8 inches for target archery, you can see many Olympians using a longer stabilizer, because it helps in the stability of the shot, and also able to get a more accurate shot at a further distance.
Lost Camo pattern is the choice of design for this stabilizer, comes in many colours to adapt to the range of users either for men or colours like pink for a women, not that a man can’t use pink. As aimed by most archers to have the feeling of steadiness, the Sport Hunter Xtreme uses ultra-light carbon fibre rod that makes your stabilizer which is not only rigid but also promotes a steadiness when releasing your box towards the target – and therefore higher accuracy attained.
With this stabilizer, vibration is reduced distinctively due to the use of the ultra-light fibre material in manufacturing. This carbon fibre rod is essential to resist the energy when a bow is released, where it helps to absorb the vibration. When assembling the stabilizer, the weight will be positioned furthest from your bow, which gives it the ability to harvest part of the energy released when the bow is launched.
Its structure has incorporated SIMS Internal Harmonic Dampener and De-Resonator component utilizing rubber as the material of choice – causing the vibration on the bow of yours to be reduced drastically. Accuracy is definitely attained here, giving you a steady clear shot, and this bow stabilizer is very comfortable due to the soft coating material used.
It is also said to be highly durable, meaning it is long lasting and you will not need to get a replacement after a short period of use – which comes down to the pricing which is relatively higher compared to other stabilizers, but with the benefits, I think an archer would know best that this is a good catch. It is also used for 3D shoots as well.
This particular stabilizer by NAP Apache is perfect for both hunting and target archery. The reason why is mainly because you can customize on your own. It is 8 inches in length suitable for target archery, but with a minor tweak you can convert it to suit your hunting needs. With the added feature of dissembling the bar, a removable 3 inches long attachment is all you need to remove to have a lighter, smaller sized stabilizer.
When an archer considers to get a stabilizer, weight is a concern as you need to feel the balance. This stabilizer weighs 1 pound, perfect for target activity, and by removing the removable accessory bar which is about 2 ounces – made of carbon fibre, you can feel the weight further away from the bow, and this gives you a grander balance feel.
Users feel this is an advantage they really prefer as they would not need to get another bow stabilizer of either short or long, just to accommodate their needs. So, this justifies their pricing, which is not expensive and yet really reasonable.
Apache patented dampening materials to delete, eliminate out vibration and quiets down your bow at its release. The reduction in bow vibration and noise allows you to make the shot without the animal distracted due to excessive sound travel. Many have claimed that it’s so quiet when they release their shot that they hit their target more than 80% of the time – so this is a definite advantage for Apache’s stabilizer. It only comes in one colour unfortunately, which is Black, so you don’t have much of a choice here based on appearance.
With this stabilizer, shooting beyond 30 yards is no longer impossible, and can be achieved with high accuracy, thus this aspect would jump out to a target archer. Strong wind condition is no longer a subject matter when at outdoors, as this stabilizer by just adjusting it to the shorter length, it work best in balance and stability.
A concern on this NAP Apache bow stabilizer is back to its feature of dissembling to attain the shorter length. The dismantling is not very easy as they are connected by screws and they’re quite small, so it’s not very user friendly. Some users also feel that even by dismantling the removable section of the stabilizer, the balance is not really achieved and the frontal area seems to have higher weight tension.
Among the attractive looking stabilizers, is the one by EEBQ – Axion SSG Silencer Stabilizer, where it come is in two separate sizes, either 4 inches 6 ounces or 6 inches 8 ounces. From these sizes, this would be well suited for all archers who does the activity for hunting purposes.
It is considered to be very light-weighted and being quite small also helps hunters to help adapting to various terrains out there, when you have trees, shrubs or bushes in your way.
When we release a shot towards the target, we want a reduced hand torque so your bow doesn’t rotate much giving you a more clear-cut shot. Many faces this problem because at times you also did not place your hand on the grip properly before fully drawing the bow backwards.
EBBQ has given focus on this and this stabilizer has a CNC machined design, which offers you a higher wind resistance or drag by 80% and also in this case reduces the hand torque. The hollow design in the structure is the reason in minimizing wind drag. Also, it is advised by some that adding a sling can actually improve the performance of this stabilizer in terms of hand torque.
With Mathews proven harmonic damper and stabilizer technology which is helping in cushioning the vibrations, so you can kick out the problem of excessive vibrations and noise upon the release of your shot.
With the actual structure being light and tough, the Harmonic dampeners in the end to take the majority of the weight to the front. There are 4 dampeners in the 6 inches, and 3 dampeners in the 4 inches, which is installed into this structure, so you could imagine the enhanced effect of reducing noise.
This bow stabilizer is also very easy to assemble and install with your bow and the ability to fit any type of bows, so no worries on what type of bow you have at the present, because it definitely can adapt to it.
It’s also highly durable and long lasting, but the colour either Lost, Lost AT or Realtree Extra seems to diminish after certain period time. Appearance wise is slightly minor in long term, but for the value it has, maybe a slight fade in colour can be overlooked.
Affordable, stylish and works wonders – is what can be used to describe this stabilizer by LimbSaver. It comes in various colours, such as pink, green, black and famous ever – camo, but it gives you more options to choose from. But in cases of using for hunting purposes, I would suggest a less distinctive colour, perhaps a colour that blends with the environment, because you wouldn’t want your target to notice something striking out of nowhere.
Its length is at 4.5 inches and weighing only 4.5 ounces, making it very light weighted and small sized best suited for a hunter. With the design also we get to use it in tough weather conditions, especially when it’s windy we need to ensure the bow is stable and travel in the desired direction.
LimbSaver’s copyrighted NAVCOM technology (Noise and Vibration Control Material), the S-Coil’s design intensely increases the material surface area to create nodes that autonomously cancel shock – thus controlling the noise and vibration, giving it a quieter approach.
In turn it provides a quiet shooting experience for users, and this will be most appropriate for hunters especially with its short length and light weight. Many have claimed that this stabilizer is well-balanced and gives them comfort while using without feeling like it is an additional burden.
In an outdoor environment you can’t be certain of the weather condition a 100% of the time, the climate can change almost instantly from a sunny day to a stormy one. In such cases, imagine while you’re keeping your aim on the moving target, the wind is so strong that you are unable to balance your bow and your released shot just passes by your target by inches, it would be such a disappointment. When this stabilizer is installed, with your bow fully drawn backwards, your probability of hitting your target in such weather conditions will be raised immensely.
The installation of this stabilizer brand is relatively taken as easy, so not much hassle or time consuming when assembling. With its one-of-a-kind spiral design, thus the name “S-Coil”, it facilitates in the dampening of noise and vibrations – our important criteria to be met, and bow torque is relatively reduced to provide a smoother feel.
The downfall in this case is that it may not suit for all types of bow, and in some situations not really preferable for long distance targets due to its shorter length – thus not recommended for target archery.
As an archer or a hunter, our aim is to hit the target and that’s it. With a stabilizer, though not many think it’s necessary, the choice is on you – if you’re new or even if you’re a seasoned archer/hunter, and you want to hit your target majority of the time, then get one and you can see the difference for sure.
After all, we want a bow which is steady when it’s fully drawn backwards, and movement minimized after a shot is made – and now it can be achieved with a good stabilizer intact, and giving you higher confidence in your shot. So now, which would you go for, archer?