Choosing the Best Arrow Rest

When you get a bow, you need the best arrow rest.  It’s super important and there are several different kinds to choose from.  Why is it so important?  Because it’s what your arrow will be resting on and sliding against as it leaved the bow.  It is the last point of contact the arrow will have and if it affects the arrow too much, you will have some poor performance.  So here are several kinds to help you figure out which one works the best for you.

Shelf arrow rest

This is the most basic rest.  The arrow is sitting on a shelf and slides along it as you shoot.  This is the most common for traditional archers, but I’d recommend for you to try something a little more advanced for a compound bow.  You will also hear these called shoot around arrow rests.  The name comes from the fact that the arrow is not in a perfect line and you are shooting around the bow.

Drop away arrow rest

As the name implies, the arrow rest actually folds down away from the arrow when you shoot.  This allows the arrow to go forward and not hit the fletching on anything.  You need to be sure and hold the bow completely vertical to get the best performance with this type of rest.  It’s one of my favorites and was the first type of rest that I used.  They are supposed to reset when you finish the shot and draw back again.  Just check to make sure that it does.

Whisker biscuit

The type or arrow rest has a bunch of synthetic bristles with a hole in the middle.  The arrow rests in the middle and is kept from falling out.  When you shoot the arrow, the fletchings pass through the bristles.  I put this in its own class because the arrow is surrounded, except for a small notch, by the bristles.  Lots of people like this arrow rest because it holds the arrow very secure.  The downside to this type of rest is that it can slow your arrow down as well as tear your fletchings up more quickly.

Capture arrow rest

This applies to a broader range of arrow rests that have a ring around it to prevent your arrow from falling out of the rest.  You will see variations of bristles, drop away rests, and shelf rests that all have this feature.  It is really handy if you expect to be moving around a bit when you have the arrow drawn, or if you’ll be up in a tree stand.

Features of the best arrow rest

Most arrow rests will use many similar features.  You will find a mixture of materials including aluminum, wool, felt, bristles, teflon and more.  You want to make sure that you have some or all of these features on your rest.

  • Smooth operation
  • Consistently performs the same after 50 – 100 shots or more
  • Clean and without defects
  • It needs to be quiet
  • Does not cause damage to your arrow
  • Fits your bow (yeah, people forget this one a lot)
  • You like it

I hope this information helps you to choose the best arrow rest for your needs.  Try them out if you can and you don’t have to worry because you can always get a new arrow rest if you don’t like the one that you have.

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