What Does A Bow Stabilizer Do (Do You Need One?)

By Andy Ryan


Updated at
bow stabilizer

As an instructor that frequently works with beginners many people ask me, what is a stabilizer and what does it do and why do we have one?

Stabilizers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all perform the same function.

In General, stabilizers accomplish two purposes: they reduce noise and vibration and make it easier to keep the bow steady. Bows without stabilizers might feel unsteady while archers aim, making it difficult to keep the bow still. They may also detect substantial bow vibrations after the arrow is launched. Because of the weight added below the bow’s grip, a stabilizer can aid in keeping your bow more balanced. The added weight on the bow’s lower portion help it to stand straighter, which improves accuracy.

A stabilizer might also assist you in maintaining stable sight while aiming the bow.

Is a Stabilizer Truly Necessary for Your Bow?

Is it Necessary to Use a Bow Stabilizer? The most straightforward response is ” No, you don’t need a stabilizer to shoot a bow,”. That is a personal preference. The bow can release arrows without the use of a stabilizer.” Professional archers have the option of shooting with or without equipment. They win by using the best tools available to them. 

What Is the Difference Between Recurve and Compound Stabilizers?

Recurve stabilizers are easily identified by their design. The curved blade is on the bottom of the unit. Instead of a bar, it is surrounded by a ring. The front bar attaches to the guard, which in turn is connected to a hook that is attached to the lower portion of the bow.

At the base of the recurve stabilizer, you will find two posts that attach to the recurve and a wider surface on the top of the unit to help increase weight. This piece of equipment is slightly shorter than a compound stabilizer but is an additional material that helps to counteract side-to-side changes that the recurve can cause.

Compound stabilizers are very much the same concept as the recurve stabilizer, only with a larger bar. The bar attaches to the front and back of the bow, with two different posts at the bottom. One of these posts attaches to the guard, while the other attaches to the hook on the lower portion of the bow.

They both have a large gap between the bar and the base plate that is small enough for you to fit a quick release, but large enough to prevent your bow from moving around and leaving it without a recurve attachment.

1. Vibration

The vibration from the bow is typically a high-frequency force that can be harmful to the archer, and severe cases of continuous vibrations passing through the wrist and elbow can cause tendinitis, tennis elbow, and carpal tunnel syndrome. As a result, good stabilizers cushion shock and may help archers lengthen their shooting careers. The acceleration of an arrow is hundreds of times greater than gravity’s, which is 9.8 m/s2. With so much force propelling the arrow, and the bow not being a flawless mechanical system—it doesn’t transfer 100% of its stored energy. (1)

Vibrations dissipate significantly faster with stabilizers projecting from the bow and flexible shock absorbers mounted to the bow. As a result, shooting is more enjoyable, and the archer’s bow arm is less likely to hurt.

2. Aiming

Adding stabilizers to your bow smooths the aiming process by increasing the inertia of the bow, which might correlate to less motion. The tendency of an object to remain at rest or continue moving is referred to as inertia. In this scenario, increasing the bow’s mass slows the archer’s bow arm’s movement while aiming, allowing him to aim more solidly towards the target’s center. It is possible, however, to overload a bow with mass weight, resulting in fatigue and poor performance. (2)

Selecting the Right Stabilizer

After you’ve learned about the advantages a bow stabilizer can provide, you can look into a few key factors to consider when selecting a bow stabilizer.

Bow stabilizers are available in a variety of sizes and weights. You must be aware of the many applications for each size and bow type.
Longer and heavier bow stabilizers are preferred because they allow for more accurate and consistent shooting.
Metal, plastic, rubber, or a combination of these materials are commonly used as stabilizers. These can be found both within and outside your stabilizer. The material you choose will have a variety of effects on your shooting ability.
Before choosing a stabilizer, be sure it can be adjusted.

Front Stabilizers

When you’re at full draw, front stabilizers provide your bow with more resistance to movement (a tighter grasp). To some extent, the longer the stabilizer is out front, the greater the impacts of that resistance. The length of a stabilizer is mostly a matter of personal preference. If you hunt from a ground blind frequently, a shorter front stabilizer would be most beneficial. If you hunt from a treestand with limbs that could get in the way, the same could be said for you.

Rear Bars and V-Bar Brackets

When it comes to the right and left a balance of the bow, rear back bars, V-bars, and other components shine. Back bars, as well as the angle at which they are situated, can help you keep your bow from tilting one way at full draw, as well as help you maintain a tighter grip. A front and back bar configuration identical to your truck’s alignment. You’ll have to work to keep your truck pointing straight down the road if it’s out of alignment. The stabilizer is the part of your bow that maintains everything pointing straight ahead at the target you want to hit. Your sight may lean to the right or left, or even up and down if your bow isn’t properly aligned.

Products Recommendations

Some models come in more sizes than those depicted, but choose the one that is optimal for hunting. Go over the advantages and disadvantages of each model, as well as the purpose and ideal use for each, so you can pick the best bow stabilizer for your needs.

Here are our top picks for bow stabilizers. 


What are the Benefits of Using a Bow Stabiliser? 

A bow stabilizer will help you get more accurate shots by increasing shot stability, absorbing shooting vibrations, reducing noise, and managing bow rotation. It can help to Prevent Injury.

A Bow Stabilizer Assists in the Managing of Bow Rotation

The general idea is that you should use a modest weight on a long rod to reduce moments of inertia. Long, thin objects, such as bow risers, will have small moments of inertia, resulting in rotations about the axis due to modest forces. Stabilizers assist you to get a more precise shot by counteracting any minor forces that cause movement.

A Bow Stabiliser Allows you to Make more Accurate Shots

When you’re shooting, being more balanced increases your chances of getting more accurate results. This advantage is particularly apparent when shooting from a long distance. When shooting at objects that are far away, even the tiniest twitch might send your arrow flying. Longer stabilizers are more effective in improving accuracy than shorter models. 

A Bow Stabiliser Will Improve the Stability of your Shot

Bow stabilizers give your bow more forward weight. These will help to balance the bow in your hands and absorb any vibrations caused by shooting. You may need to increase both the weight and the length of the stabilizer for optimal stabilization. The bigger the target, the better the chances of staying on it.

A Bow Stabiliser Helps With Noise Reduction

During each shot, the bowstring generates a lot of noise and vibration. If a deer senses something strange, they will bolt forward, moving 2 to 3 feet before your arrow reaches them. As you may know, hitting a moving target is quite difficult, which is why a stabilizer is such an important instrument for reducing bow noise and improving your chances of making a clean shot.

A Bow Stabiliser Absorbs the Vibrations Caused by Shooting

When you release the arrow towards your target, vibrations are common in your hands. When you launch your bow, you will feel tense. The energy that is discharged from the arm guard area is the energy that causes vibrations. When you draw a bow backward before shooting a shot and when you release it, this energy is absorbed by a bow stabilizer. This vibration reduction will keep your hands from becoming sore. Most importantly, the noise would be minimized, which is a priceless commodity, especially when hunting.

What are the Drawbacks of Using a Bow Stabiliser?

Using a bow stabilizer has a few minor drawbacks.

Stabilizers add to the overall weight of the product.

If you have a lengthy stabilizer, you may not be able to get camouflaged effectively.
A bow stabilizer does not boost your chances of success; rather, it assists you in fine-tuning the talents you already possess.

If You have a Lengthy Stabiliser, You May Be Unable to Hide.

Bow stabilizers can be up to 30 inches long, exposing your hiding places in some cases. Even the bow stabilizers reduce noise, their length, if not handled properly, can reveal your hiding place. Instead of utilizing a 30-inch stabilizer for hunting, opt for an 8- or 10-inch stabilizer. You still get the benefit of precision without the extra length.

Stabilizers Add Some Extra Weight

Adding a bow stabilizer will increase the weight of the bow by ranging from 2 oz (74 g) to 12 oz (200 g) (340 g). The increased weight may make hunting more difficult for the archer, especially if you have to hold the string back for an extended period while waiting for that ideal shot.

The Illusion of a “Quick Fix”

If you’re a beginner at archery, a bow stabilizer won’t make you any better than your current abilities. A bow stabilizer does not boost your chances of success; rather, it assists you in fine-tuning the talents you already possess. No archery accessory in the world will improve your archery form if your form is poor. It’s critical to keep in mind that these are only tools.

Traditional Archery Starts to Lose its Feel.

You begin to lose the traditional archery feel. If you’re a beginner at archery, a bow stabilizer won’t make you any better than your current abilities. Traditional archery is defined by the ability to master the art of getting an accurate shot without the aid of modern gear. Some archers may feel as if they are “cheating” by using a stabilizer on their bow because of the sheer skill that is at the heart of Traditional Archery. Many archers have become reliant on bow stabilizers as a result of their use.

How Can Excess Weight Improve Shooting?

The main advantage of a heavier bow is that more energy is put into the arrow, resulting in increased arrow speed. This has five main accuracy advantages, which I will go through in further depth below. There are two other benefits, which I shall detail later.
To finish off your target, you’ll need enough penetration. However, you don’t want to go too deep because you want the fletching to keep out of the animal. As a result, for some hunters, a heavy draw weight may be required.

(1) vibration – https://www.britannica.com/science/vibration
(2) inertia – https://www.qrg.northwestern.edu/projects/vss/docs/propulsion/2-what-is-inertia.html