Best Crossbow Cocking Devices – 2021 Complete Review

| Last Updated June 11, 2021

Proper hunting gear makes hunting easier and enjoyable. Anyone who might have used a crossbow knows how important a crossbow cocking device is. 

Without these, you won’t be exerting too much of your strength in cocking your crossbow and would tire out soon. Hence, they are a piece of crucial gear in a hunting kit.

In this article, we will discuss in detail some of the best available crossbow cocking devices on the market.

Comparison of the Best Crossbow Cocking Devices

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Made from heat and abrasion-resistant Spectra 1000 fiber cord
  • Rated to reduce draw effort of any crossbow by 50%
  • Fits easily on most crossbow models on the market
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  • Durable all-machine construction built to last
  • Easy post-and-socket attachment made to fit Killer Instinct crossbows
  • Easy-to-use crank action cocking mechanism
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  • Best for the Money
  • Compact, light-weight design that will not weigh down the crossbow
  • Reduces draw weight to under 10 lbs
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  • Best Barnett Crossbow Cocking Device
  • Installs into the stock assuming a low profile fit
  • ambidextrous design that reduces draw weight to 17 lbs
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  • Best Universal Crossbow Cocking Device
  • Unique mounting system allows easy on/off installation
  • ambidextrous design that effectively reduces draw weight by 70%
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  • Best Crossbow Rope Cocking Device
  • Fits universally on nearly all crossbow models
  • Designed to reduce draw effort by half
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What is a Crossbow Cocking Device and How Does it Work? 

A cocking device helps cock your bow or readies it for receiving an arrow. Only in a cocked state can you insert an arrow on the crossbow. Cocking devices make this task easier so that you have to put less effort and force to cock your bow. 

A cocking device has a rope and hooks. It works like a pulley system. The hooks are attached to the string, and the rope is wound around the cocking string groove. Now when the bow is cocked for loading, the pulley system works so that the user has to pull about only half of the poundage weight. This makes it very easy to bring the crossbow to a state where it could be loaded.

Characteristics of Our Favorite Crossbow Cocking Devices

Cocking devices that give optimal performance have certain characteristics to them. These determine how efficient and long-lasting your device would be as well as which one would be easier for your use. Below we discuss some of the main features.

Rope

Some of the best choices of rope lie in the fibers. Usually, high-end fiber ropes do the job. Make sure that the rope is strong enough to work through constant use and does not lose its structure very soon. 

Another important consideration regarding the rope is abrasion resistance. Since the hunter is constantly cocking the bow repeatedly, the rope is being pushed and pulled throughout this process. In order to make sure that your device lasts long, buy an abrasion-resistant rope.

Retractable Device

A retractable cocking device makes things even easier. In such devices, the rope retracts safely back into a box-like structure, mounted on the bow, when not in use. The hooks, meanwhile, sit neatly on the string. This prevents your device from unforeseen damage by falling, etc. Moreover, it reduces the draw weight of the bow by 50%.

Compatibility With Your Bow

There are different types of cocking devices available that usually differ based on the mechanism. These include a standalone rope cocker, a stock-integrated rope cocker, and a stock-integrated crank cocker. Not all these types will work on every crossbow. Hence, ensure that the one you are buying works with your bow. For someone with multiple bows, a cocker device that fits a wide range would be a real money saver.

Review of the Best Crossbow Cocking Devices

After looking into the types of cocking devices available, you would have gotten the idea of the one that would serve you the best. In this section, we review some of the top choices of the three types of cocking devices with a detailed overview of each.

Best Overall:
Tenpoint Retractable Cord

TenPoint ACURope Retractable Cord Crossbow Cocking Device (HCA-000-B-R)

PROS

  • Reduces draw weight by 50%
  • Features a strong heat and abrasion-resistant fiber rope
  • Compatible with multiple crossbows present on the market
  • Retractable cocking device for easy maintenance and storage
  • Folds into a compact and small shape that is easy to carry and store

CONS

  • Holding case is made of low-quality fabric and does not serve very long

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers consider this cocking device by Tenpoint a valuable purchase. They like how it operates quietly and does not make any sound during the drawing to alert the hunt. They also said that the rope pulls up smoothly and does not stress the serving as a rope cocker would do. 

The belt pouch was hailed as a good addition as it allowed them to attach the pouch to their belts and carry the device easily.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Two of the best features of this crossbow are its retract-ability and its wide range compatibility. Since the rope can smoothly retract into the case when not in use, the device gets much easier to use. While packing, the rope does not get entangled with the rest of the gear. This makes it very efficient and quick to use. Secondly, these devices work on almost all sorts of crossbows. If you have more than one bow, this one cocker device would fit all.

Bottom Line

The Tenpoint Retractable Cord cocking device is a great purchase both in terms of money spent and the characteristics. It has a sturdy but compact build and a high-quality rope. Capable of reducing the draw weight by up to 50%, the cocking device would be a great addition to your hunting gear.

Runner-up:
KI Series Crank Cocker

KI Series Crank Cocker - Assisted Cocking Attachment Exclusively for KI Series Crossbows

PROS

  • Quite easy to use and well-made 
  • A very reliable all-machine manufactured body
  • Comes with a quick post and socket attachments for super fast action
  • Ambidextrous crank handle to make it usable for both left and right-handed users

CONS

  • Only compatible with KI crossbow series

What Recent Buyers Report

The cocking device proved to be of suitable design and satisfactory performance for many recent buyers. The crank worked smoothly. Some customers had shoulder injuries, and for them, this unit worked well to ease the drawing weight. Overall, the buyers were happy with the purchase and appreciative of the solid build.

Why it Stands Out to Us

One of the most outstanding features of this cocker device is its very sturdy construction. Manufactured fully by a machine, the KI Series Crank Cocker has one of the most durable bodies that are capable of withstanding the impact produced while shooting some of the top-tier arrows. 

Moreover, the quick post and socket attachments make it extremely fast for use in instant kill situations. They allow you to draw and load arrows quickly one after the other, making it extremely useful in conditions when your hunt is on the run. 

Bottom Line

For those looking for a combination of dependability and optimal performance, there is a great option in this KI Series cocking device. It is very resistant to damage blows and falls. The solid construction is backed by an efficient working mechanism that is expected of the Killer Instinct Series.

Best for the Money:
SA Sports Crank Cocking Device

SA Sports Crank Cocking Device 575

PROS

  • A crank crossbow for easy rope retrieval
  • Fixes onto the dovetail via a clamp bracket
  • Compatible with quite a few crossbow models
  • Capable of reducing the draw weight to under 10 pounds
  • Lightweight and does not add much weight to the crossbow and is easier to carry

CONS

  • Package does not include instructions for mounting onto the crossbow

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers admitted that the cocking device proved to be of great use during their hunting trip. It made it very quick to load the arrows on the bow. Additionally, the reduction in drawing weight to under ten pounds proved beneficial to limit the hunter’s fatigue during the trips. The crank was smooth and easy to use for both beginners and professionals.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The SA Sports Crank cocking device can actually get attached to the crossbow. It utilizes a clamp bracket to mount on the crossbow via the dovetail rear bracket. This way, it sits securely exactly at the position where you would want your cocker device to be for drawing without having to add much force. 

Moreover, it is compatible with quite a lot of crossbow models, including Vendetta and Ripper crossbows. To further add to the user’s convenience, the device is lightweight and easily transportable. 

Bottom Line

One of the best deals you could get for the price is this cocking device by SA Sports. It provides a great solution in the form of a crank-operated device. The crank is cheaper than a retractable device but still works wonders.

Best Barnett Crossbow Cocking Device:
Barnett Crossbows Crank Cocking Device

Barnett 17450 Crossbows Crank Cocking Device, Black, One Size

PROS

  • Capable of reducing cocking tension to 17 pounds
  • Assumes a low and compact profile onto the crossbow
  • Removable handle for easier shooting once the bow is loaded
  • Handle could be adjusted either way for left and right-handed people
  • A crank cocking device with a long crank that requires lesser effort for rotations

CONS

What Recent Buyers Report

The Barnett cocker device was a great help for many recent buyers. These included both males and females. According to some, the device brought down the drawing weight from 150lbs to 17lbs seamlessly. It took some time for some buyers to work their way around the device, but once they got the hang of it, they were extremely pleased with the results.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Barnett unit is known to put forth quality products in the world of hunting. This device, too, is no exception. It has a sturdy build and proves to be a huge upgrade from rope cocking devices. It could be used by both left and right-handed hunters and saves left-handed users from quite an ordeal. Moreover, the compact size fits well on the bow and does not take too much space on it.

Bottom Line

It is a very suitable device for Barnett crossbows with additional advantages of a small body and left-handed usage. All these little attention to the details make the customer’s experience worthwhile, and that is what Barnett has yet again delivered in the form of this cocker device.

Best Universal Crossbow Cocking Device:
CenterPoint Power Draw

CenterPoint AXCCRANK Power Draw Crossbow Cocking Device

PROS

  • Capable of reducing draw weight by 70%
  • Comes with an easy-to-follow instruction manual
  • Unique mounting system with an in-field on/off capability
  • Strong build with a long crank that requires less force to operate
  • Ambidextrous design suitable for both right and left-handed hunters

CONS

  • Rope may fray soon under constant use

What Recent Buyers Report

For most recent buyers, this is one of the best cocking devices they had used. According to them, the device was constructed with good high-quality material that was capable of withstanding falls and harsh weather. As far as compatibility goes, the device was compatible with a lot of crossbow models by CenterPoint and some other crossbows from other brands.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This cocker device by CenterPoint Archery gives an amazing draw weight reduction of 70%. This is more than any of the devices discussed above and makes drawing extremely easy. 

In addition to the great weight reduction, the crank design makes it usable for almost everyone. The ambidextrous design is a great value addition that deems it usable by both left and right-handed hunters. When combined, all these factors make for a cocker device that would be appreciated by both beginner archers and seasoned ones. 

Bottom Line

This cocking device gives one of the best draw weight reductions. It has a solid, sturdy build and usability that extends not only to other brands but also to left-handed users. It also features a unique field-on and off feature, giving more control over the bow.

Best Crossbow Rope Cocking Device:
BARNETT Crossbow Rope Cocking Device

Barnett Crossbow Rope Cocking Device

PROS

  • Supported by a five-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Adorned with brass cord roller for smooth rope retrieval
  • Rope cocking device can reduce the draw weight by 50%
  • Ensures an evenly cocked bow for maximum shooting accuracy
  • T-handles generate more pull, so the hunter experiences less strain

CONS

  • Not as easy to use as a crank and retracting devices

What Recent Buyers Report

Almost all recent buyers that purchased this device were experienced users. They enjoyed the accuracy that comes with this Barnett rope cocking device, ensuring an evenly cocked bow. Moreover, for those who didn’t mind the labor, the brass cord rollers were a good addition. Its slim design gave them a clear field of view and aid portability.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rope cocking device has a lot of features that make it stand out. The poundage could be reduced by 50% with this. It is easier to carry, store, and transport. The T-handles give a greater pull so that the user’s hands are not badly strained. 

When the 50% draw weight reduction and the T-handle pull are combined, the resultant design assures the user does not tire out after a few rounds. In fact, with this cocker device, multiple loadings are quick and easy. Moreover, the brass cord rollers make it easier to pull the rope. To top it all off, the five-year manufacturer’s warranty is an added advantage.

Bottom Line

For those who like to keep things simple, this cocker is a great option. It is manufactured by one of the leading archery equipment brands and still is not heavy on the pocket. All the features that ease the cocking process combined with a manufacturer’s warranty make for a great product.

Crossbow Cocking Types

Crossbow cocking devices come in three major types. These differ based on their structure, which further affects their working. Let’s look at the three types:

Rope Cocking Device

This type has the simplest design among all three and does not mount on the stock. It is composed of a rope, two hooks, and handles. It works by leveraging the rope in the back of the trigger box or the stock and attaches the hooks to the bowstring. As a result, the front of the bow is anchored to the ground, and the handles are pulled upwards until the trigger mechanism latches the string.

A rope cocking device can reduce the draw weight of your crossbow by 50%. Owing to their simple design, they can be easily carried from place to place in your gear bag. 

These are mostly used by those who do not have any weakness or impairment in the upper body region, especially in and around the shoulders.

Stock-Integrated Rope Cocker

The crank cocking device can be mounted on the crossbow and uses a crank or handle to retract the rope back into the device when not in use. The working principle of this device is almost similar to the rope cocking device apart from the fact that it can mount onto the bow.

These, too, are capable of reducing the draw weight by 50%. They are much easier to use compared to the rope cocker devices because of their mounting. Since, during inactivity, the ropes retract back into the device, they do not get entangled with anything else. As a result, they are saved from unnecessary straining or damage. 

It works faster compared to a rope cocking device and is also mostly used by those who do not have impairment restrictions.

Stock-Integrated Crank Cocker

This one is the easiest to use. It makes use of a rope-mounted sled that is responsible for engaging the string. In addition to that, it has a removable handle or crank that, upon insertion in the device and engaged, pulls the string into the trigger mechanism. 

A stock-integrated crank cocker works by utilizing an internal gear system which is capable of reducing the poundage by 90%.

Such a great reduction in draw weight makes it useful for people of all ages, genders, and strengths. Moreover, it draws the string back in the same exact position every time, aiding to accuracy and ease of use. 

Crossbow Cocking Tips, Tricks, and Hacks For Success

There are a few tricks and tips of the trade that making cocking easier and more successful. We will discuss some of the best ones here.

Adjust the Cocking Device’s String

Cocking devices come with a standard length of the rope. The length is not necessarily right for your crossbow. For optimal delivery, shorten the length of the rope to fit your crossbow. In case you use the long length, you are at risk of developing a shoulder injury and cocking your brow crooked. 

Mark the String For Even Cocking

There is nothing more inefficient than an unevenly cocked crossbow. This is caused by uneven rope lengths on either side of the arrow and can result in a seriously non-uniform arrow flight and a poor aim. 

To avoid this, mark each side of the serving when the bow is at rest. Once cocked, look at the marks and make sure the string is equidistant from both of them. If it is, then your bow is evenly cocked. If not, un-cock the bow and re-cock it for better accuracy.

Minimize Crocked Cocking

Crooked cocking will lead you farther away from accurate aims and a good arrow flight. One way to avoid these is to mark the center of your rope and the stock on the crossbow. Align the two marks so that both the centers are in line. This would make sure that the rope lies exactly where you want it to and would eliminate crooking.

How to Use a Crossbow Cocking Device

In order to use the cocking device, follow these steps:

  1. First, make sure that your crossbow arrows in the bowstring or the flight groove. Remove any arrows or bolts from the bow.

  2. Next, hold the crossbow horizontally with its face down.

  3. Place your foot in the foot claw at the face of the bow. If your instruction manual specifically tells you not to place your fit there, then do not do it. In other cases, this adds to the stability of your bow.

  4. Now take the crossbow off of safety. 

  5. Now place the hooks, clips, or claws on the bowstring. For doing this, take one hook and place it on the string on one side. Now while holding this first hook against the crossbow’s side of the rail, place the other hook on the bowstring on the other side.

  6. Ensure that both the hooks are flush to the stock. To get them in, you should have to pull up on the bowstring about a quarter to half an inch.

  7. If they go before pulling the string by a quarter of an inch, the rope needs to be shortened. If they go after the string is pulled beyond half an inch, then the rope needs to be lengthened. 

  8. Use the method recommended by the manufacturer to draw the bowstring until it cocks.

  9. Put the crossbow back on the fire and remove it from safety.

  10. Release tension on the bowstring and remove the hooks.

  11. Hold the bow back up; now, it is ready for loading.

Conclusion

Cocking devices literally do half of your work for preparing the crossbow for loading. They make for a great and very useful tool that reduces labor so that the user has to impart lesser strength while cocking the bow. They come in three types, and many brands produce models of these three types. The best for you depends on your strength and capability, as well as your bow type. 

People Also Ask

Buying a cocking device might not be as easy as it seems. It requires know-how of the industry and the user’s needs. Some of the areas that needed addressing might have been left undiscussed in the above sections. Therefore, in the following section, we try to satisfy as many of these frequently asked ambiguities as possible.

What is a CCD Latch on a Crossbow?

The CCD latch on a crossbow is where the cocking device latches on to it. This makes the installed cocking device hold its position securely and does not move during usage. The latch also makes it easier for first-time users to recognize where the device would go.

Can You Lower the Draw Weight on a Crossbow?

Yes, it is possible to reduce the draw weight on a crossbow. This is where cocking devices come in. These are used in unison with your crossbow and are capable of reducing the draw weight of your bow by 50-90%, depending upon the type and brand.

Why Has it Become More Important to Use a Crossbow Cocking Aid?

This is because they ease out the whole cocking process, allowing faster and more accurate shooting. The poundage reduction also lessens the strength that would have been required by the user for cocking. Hence, it helps counter fatigue and strain. A crossbow cocked evenly using a cocking device also accounts for more accurate aims.

Can You Uncock a Crossbow?

Yes, it is possible to uncock a crossbow. The safest way to do so is by firing it either using a discharge target or an unloading bolt, which is a specialized arrow made for uncocking. Another safe way to un-cock the crossbow is by using a crossbow diffuser. The diffuser fits inside the crossbow's limb and allows the user to slowly release tension in a controlled and safe way.



My name is Jeff and I have been hunting and fishing for over 40 years. I am an avid archery lover, bass fisherman, and all-around outdoorsman. Currently, I'm obsessed with elk hunting but I'm sure I'll move onto a different favorite soon. You gotta love hunting for that reason :) If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at admin@biggamelogic.com. Read more about Big Game Logic.