There are many advantages to purchasing your own bow rather than renting one. For example, if you have a bow, your shooting skills will improve since you’ll have more time to practice. Purchasing a customized bow according to your size, draw length, and personal preferences can make archery even more fun. But, don’t forget to consider buying a bow press.
A bow press helps archers get the most out of archery, and they’re essential for maintaining and tuning the bow. Making a customized bow press that you’d love to use can improve your skills and will make sure your bow is always in good condition.
In this article, we’ll break down a couple of reasons why it’s good to have your own bow press.
- Replace a broken string silencer
- Straighten a crooked peep sight
- Fix cam
- Synchronize cams
- Lubricate axles
- Final thoughts
- Are all bow presses the same?
- Full-sized bow press vs. portable bow press—what are the similarities and differences?
- How do you recognize an excellent bow press?
- How should you use a bow press?
Replace a broken string silencer
Things like string silencers don’t last forever, so you’ll probably have to change them from time to time. When a silencer breaks, it could alter performance to a degree. But the great news is that it is a simple fix if you have a bow press and a couple of spare silencers.
Just press the bow until the bowstring slacks and then separate the strands in half. Put a new silencer in the broken or missing one’s place, and you’ll have a new string silencer. If you’re not confident in doing it yourself, ask a professional to help you figure things out, so next time you can do it yourself.
Straighten a crooked peep sight
A crooked peep sight is a common issue that many people who practice archery have experienced. Some people tolerate this, although it probably is very difficult to shoot with a crooked one. The shooting consistency will probably suffer from this.
To straighten a crooked peep, press the bow until the bowstring is slack. Then, remove it from the cam peg, and rotate until the peep is straight, and replace the bowstring on the peg. It might take a couple of tries, but if it doesn’t work out, just throw it and get a quality pre-stretched string-and-cable set.
Having to fix the cam is another good reason why it’s better to have your own bow press. After buying a bow and shooting for some time, things will settle in. This might lead to a tuning problem known as cam lean. To identify this, you can close the eye that’s not dominant, for example, the left one, and study the cam.
In case the bowstring doesn’t align with the cam’s string track, it’s a sign that the cam is leaning. Once you press the bow, you can tighten the split buss on the side opposite of the lean direction. Do a twist until the cam aligns perfectly with the string track.
Cam timing is a critical aspect of compound bow tuning that every archer should keep in mind. Cams are the workforce of the bow, and they control the string and cables. Correcting the cam lean or cable stretch can desynchronize cam timing, resulting in a dubious back wall. This can be uncomfortable and can cause a low or high paper tear, meaning the arrows will not leave the bow properly when the cam timing is askew.
If you have a 2-cam bow, both of them must roll over in sync with one another. If you want to check the timing on your dual-cam bow, have a friend watch you draw and pay attention to the draw stops to see when they hit. An even better way to check is to use a draw board. To fix the timing, twist and untwist the cable on the cam until it sits properly concerning the timing mark.
Lubricating the axles of your bow is essential for ensuring the smooth movement of both the cables and the cams. With lubrication, you’ll prevent friction when you’re drawing your bow. Just make sure you’re using oil that doesn’t contain cleaning agents, and it’s good to have a bow press to help with this.
If your bow has needle bearings you shouldn’t use oil, instead use a specially formulated grease lubricant on the axles. Most compound bows can be serviced easily with a bow press. That’s why owning one can make it much easier, especially when it comes to lubricating the axles.
Before deciding to purchase a bow press make sure it’s approved for the bow model you’re using. Refer to the bow press owner’s manual and make sure you follow it closely. Remember to check whether the strings and cables are properly connected to the cams before you unpress your bow. If you’re having trouble with your new bow press, don’t hesitate to ask a professional for help.
Are all bow presses the same?
The bow press is a mechanical press that helps archers repair bows, change bowstrings, bow cables, etc. The bow press simplifies these steps as it flexes the bow’s limb to decrease the tension from the string. When you look for a bow press, you have to consider several aspects. The bow presses vary in features and functionality and a detailed buying guide will narrow down your options. Even if bow presses aren’t expensive, you want to buy the best one for your needs right from the beginning.
The variety of bow presses
If you look at the market, you will notice that there are many types of bow presses to choose from. You should start selecting by identifying the type of bow press you need. The rachet-loc and the cable type represent the main types of bow presses.
The rachet-loc bow press is sturdy and reinforced with a long-lasting metal build. This press is strong and able to withstand incredible work pressure. It’s typically made with strong fabrics and aluminum clamps. You have to fasten the arms to improve stability as much as possible. Since the rachet-loc bow presses are made with strong materials, they’re heavier than the cable-type presses and, therefore, more difficult to carry around. If portability isn’t an issue because you value power more than anything else, you should choose a rachet-loc bow press.
Lightweight and compact, the cable-type bow presses are highly portable and easy to carry around. If you need to move your bow press from one place to another all the time, we recommend you pick the cable bow press.
The overall build is the next aspect to examine on your bow press. It goes without saying that an all-metal bow press represents the most durable and reliable model to buy. Such a bow press will withstand high string tension and constant pulls. As a matter of fact, the high draw weight will damage the bow press when the material isn’t strong enough to take on the pressure. Therefore, you need a bow press to take on the excessive draw weight. When handling impressive weights, metal is better than any other material.
If you pick a non-metal cable, you should see that the fabric ribbon handles the product weight.
Ease of use
Even if some bow presses are more complex, most models are pretty easy to use. The previous experience might help for some bow presses, and some users will need to learn how to use the presses. For example, if this is the first you use a bow press, you should get a model with easy-to-make adjustments and a straightforward setup. From this point of view, the rachet-loc portable bow press surpasses other models as it’s effortless to use and really fast too.
Two kinds of brackets are widely available with portable bow presses: the split limb L brackets and the quad limb L brackets. No matter the type of brackets you buy, you need to ensure they are firm enough. Also, examine if there’s a rubber coating on the brackets. A rubber coating will protect the bow from dents and the detail makes the difference when using the bow press.
The market is various and the prices range a lot. You can find dependable and durable bow presses at affordable rates. As long as the bow press suits your bow the best, you should be able to find a bow press without breaking the bank.
Full-sized bow press vs. portable bow press—what are the similarities and differences?
When you look at the options, you will notice that two types to choose from are portable and full-sized bow presses. Here’s how they’re similar and different:
Size can make a difference between portable and full-size bow presses.
It depends on the model, but the portable bow press typically has fewer features than a full-sized model. The latter will allow you to make changes and repairs to the crossbow and compound.
The safety risk when using a portable bow press is significant because environmental changes can impact its performance. Additionally, the bow press isn’t a bench setup, so the risk of injuries is high due to mishandling.
Apart from these aspects, everything else, such as reliability, performance, durability, etc., is similar for the two types of bow presses.
How do you recognize an excellent bow press?
Here’s how you identify an excellent bow press:
You want your bow press to be durable and made from high-quality materials such as aluminum or metal. A bow press with a solid build will handle use for a long time.
Ease of use
Most bow presses have an intelligent design, so the use is pretty simple. Most archers appreciate bow presses with easy setup and straightforward use.
When you look for bow presses, you will notice that some can make any repairs and changes to many types of bows. A versatile bow press will allow you to effortlessly take care of the bows. Even if you only use a kind of bow, you should get a bow press that works on many types of bows.
How should you use a bow press?
The bow press is made to flex the bow’s limbs to remove the tension of the bowstring and cable so that you can do your maintenance work. Even if the models vary a lot, typically, you should follow these steps:
- Adjust the tilt of the presser fingers and the spacing to achieve proper fittings; the limbs shouldn’t twist.
- Expand the presser fingers so that the distance is wider than the bow’s limb tips
- Hold the bow horizontal and press on the end of the limb tips into a set of presser fingers
- Crank the handwheel to compress the fingers against the bow’s limb tip
- See if the cable and string are in the correct position.
- Un-crank the handwheel to remove the pressure off the compound bow