Stealth is imperative for good hunting, but it can be hard with a traditional archery set up. The sound of your shot can potentially scare away game and ruin your time on the trails.
If you are hunting in close quarters with others it may disrupt their experience and your neighbors might also benefit from a quieter bowstring.
Not only is it better for your surroundings and your hunt, but it also reduces vibration and helps your string last longer.
Comparison of the Best Bow String Silencers
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What is Bowstring Silencer and How Does it Work?
String silencers are small attachable apparati that can be fastened to a bowstring to dampen the vibration of the strings and cables, resulting in quieter shots. Vibration occurs when the force of the string is too much for the arrow alone, and excess energy backs into the bow after it is fired. Most arrows aren’t weighted perfectly, so the majority of archers need a silencer to help disguise them from game.
Silencers are made of flexible materials that allow the bow strings to vibrate noiselessly, and thus, allow hunters to practice more silently and efficiently, with less chance of scaring away game. They come in many different styles; some are made of hide and some made of rubber or plastic, but both generally serve the same purpose. Different bows require different silencers, but each variation has a perfect application.
How to Choose a Bow String Silencer
Here's how to go about selecting one of our top picks:
The different materials that string silencers are made of result in different durabilities. Depending on your prospective use and weather conditions, an archer should choose a silencer made out of a material that complements their needs.
A bowstring silencer made of hide is extremely durable and won’t fall apart early on, which is possible with rubber models, but at the same time can be difficult to manage in wet conditions.
Thus, you may need to replace it depending on the model. Rubber silencers are generally better in rain, but, being man-made, are subject to human error and quality issues, so making sure to get a respected brand name product is important.
The weight of your silencer should make sense compared to the size and weight of the bow model you are using. Feathered or whiskered silencers tend to be quite light, while a rubber model may be heavier. Although it might not seem like a few ounces will add much to your load, if you are traveling long distances on the trails, all your customizable parts will add to the weight of your bow and other gear.
The style of the silencer impacts how it is affixed to the string. Some are more complex than others, requiring weaving or twisting, while many of the newer rubber models are more hook-like. A skilled archer may have no problem attaching a more intricate silencer, while new hunters might find it difficult. Your local shop may not only sell a model you want, but many have the ability to install them as well.
Review of the Best Bow String Silencers
Here are five top-rated silencers. Each is a perfect match for different bows and uses and exhibit a variety of options and features.
Not for the faint of heart, The Mountain Man Beaver Balls String Silencer is the best overall string silencer. Made of real tanned beaver hide, they offer a traditional look to any bow that works phenomenally and will impress the neighbors. Beaver hide is durable, easy to clean, and works better than other traditional substances including muskrat, otter fur, or yarn.
They excel in any weather, even rain, as water snaps off them after a few shots. On a recurve bow if you’ve hit the “sweet spot” of brace height, using these string dampeners allows you to skip the string groove silencers altogether. Two of these ¼-inch wide balls work to minimize your string’s acoustics, although cutting them in half longways will make four smaller functional strips that can be rolled.
In terms of installation, patience and a string separator are necessary to maintain an opening for the leather backing to come through. They are easier to install before a string’s waxing, as the hairs can get caught on the residual wax. Make sure to twist with the twist of the strings to ensure a tighter fit.
These all-natural string silencers are an amazing choice for any bowstring set up. They give hunters a traditional flair without compromising performance. This is a reliable and durable option for eliminating all sound.
The Toparchery 2 Pair Bow String Whiskers Silencers are an amazing choice, especially for recurve bow users. It looks similar to other whisker-style silencers but is significantly smaller and more compact. Its size does not compromise its effectiveness though and does a great job of reducing the vibration and noise of your bowstring via its specially-shaped whiskers.
This product is durable, as it lasts a long time and protects the well-being of your string. It comes with two pairs of silencers and string maintenance accessories. It can be used without threat of damage in all weather and won’t get waterlogged because of the materials used. This silencer is easy to tie on with experience, but perhaps not for first-time users. It requires hunters to weave the strings themselves, which can be tedious or tricky for those new to the sport.
The Toparchery 2 Pair Bow String Whiskers Silencers are the perfect option for hunters using a recurve bow. It is light, water resistant, compact, and long-lasting. With an installation process similar to most whisker models, it may take some users extra time, but with practice, patience, or guidance, these silencers are amazing and easy to use without getting in the way.
Rubber Whisker Bow String and Cable Silencers are rated the best cat whisker bow string silencers. This classic whisker style silencer is a favorite of many archers. With high vibration dampening technologies, it performs beautifully over long periods of time.
Perfect for any weather conditions, this silencer will not absorb water even in heavy rain. This simple and straightforward design aids in ease of installation and use, and provides great basic silencing. Perfect for archers with many different setups, or even a family, as they can be split so one pack of strings can be applied on multiple bowstrings.
Similar to other whisker models, the installment is nuanced and takes patience as they must be weaved onto the string, but the outcome is worth it. These amazing silencers are reliable, take up virtually no space, and are understandably a user favorite across bow models.
Rubber Whisker Bow String & Cable Silencers are not only the world’s most popular string silencer, but are light, durable, and compact. These water-resistant rubber strings may be tricky to install but are worth the time to attach them, as they function amazingly.
Mathews Genuine Monkey Tail Silencers are the best monkey tail-style bow string silencer. This style is super easy to install without a bow press, requiring no complex weaving or twisting and can be completed in just seconds. Simply slip the tail through the hole! This is perfect for newer hunters, or anyone who would rather not spend excess time installing.
Once attached, this little gadget is exceptional at silencing string noise and vibrations and will look great doing so. This excellent product is durable and reliable, with no reports of breakage or tears like the whisker models. Its solidness comes at the small price of being slightly heavier than some other bow string silencers, but not by much. It works in all weather including rain and has no change when soaked in water.
This model is perfect for anyone hoping to bypass timely installation, as it can be attached in just seconds. While slightly heavier than some other string silencers, it is small and effective, and made of rubber that performs perfectly in all weather conditions.
Best For Compound Bows:
Mossy Oak String Silencers
The Mossy Oak String Silencer is the best for a compound bow. These lightweight rubber whiskers function similarly to a heavier fur silencer without the impact on arrow speed and are a top choice for many modern archers, especially compound bow users.
Pay no attention to whether these silencers are perfect for reducing the noise of your shots without getting soggy in the rain. They add virtually no weight to your load which is perfect for those using a heavier bow or traveling long distances with it shouldered.
No bow press is needed either, as these silencers can be installed simply by tying onto the string in various fashions. Each band can be separated into multiple silencers for versatile usage and multiple-bow coverage, great for hunters with different set-ups. Although these whiskers aren’t as potentially intimidating as the Beaver Balls, they are also made of less durable material and some disintegration has been reported.
The Mossy Oak String Silencer is a great addition for compound bow users. It is lightweight without compromising performance and is perfect in all weather conditions. It can be divided for use on multiple bows and provides reliable suppression of the acoustics of your shots.
Types of Bow String Silencers
Here are the most common types of models:
Animal hide silencers provide a traditional and natural approach to silencing bowstrings. They are typically lightweight and can be split into multiple segments and used on different bows. They are not ideal for wet conditions but usually will dry after a few shots. They are simple to clean and last an extremely long time, but are sort of bulky. These models are slightly complex to install, but do not involve weaving.
Rubber Cat Whisker
This style of silencer is made of multiple long rubber strands woven together. They vary in length, but can be quite compact. Because of their material, these silencers resist water and work efficiently in all weather. They are, however, susceptible to splitting apart if they are not good quality, or disintegrating over time. This style does require a lot of time and energy to install for some. They can be affixed to a bowstring by weaving, which is difficult for many new archers to manage, but not for others.
Monkey Tail Silencers
These silencers are made of rubber and thus, are sturdy and water-resistant. They are the simplest type to install, and are perfect for younger or newer hunters, as they only take moments to set up. They are slightly heavier than the other models, but last longer because of this quality and their material, and require no weaving.
How to Install a Bow String Silencer
To install a beaver hide silencer, first lay it out and cut it if necessary. If simply using the whole piece, you'll want to lay it out. Then, take the string from your bow and find a spot to unwind it. You can simply use the length of your square. If you have a string spreader, this is the perfect time to use it to separate the cords. Then, take the beaver hide and slip a small amount through.
Next, give it a small twist so there's a quarter inch off and continue to wrap it at an angle around the string. No need to worry about overlap. When you get close to the end, pinch the fir and separate the cord and put the end of the beaver fur through the bundles. Then, pull your string tight. Don’t worry if it's not a neat knot, because after the first shot it will puff up into a more compact ball. Be sure to refer to the video below for more information and a visual demonstration!
Bowstring silencers are an important investment for anyone moving from target practice to hunting game. They absorb the excess energy from each shot, and therefore, extend the life of your bow. They also reduce the noise emitted when shooting, which is perfect if you have ever found yourself scaring away game with the sound of your shot. Bow silencers come in many different varieties and differ in style, shape, size, and material. There is a perfect fit for everyone, depending on your potential use, as well as the bow you have!