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Choosing The Best Arrow Rest for Your Compound Bow

A compound bow arrow rest supports your arrow for the duration of your shot, giving you a chance to take aim and fire the perfect shot. The majority of archers use one to improve their accuracy, and they are vital for the beginner archer. Just like many compound bow accessories on the market today, you certainly aren’t short on options. We will attempt to demystify your choices so you can make the most informed purchase possible. Rest easy knowing you chose the right arrow rest!

Different Types of Compound Bow Arrow Rests

Drop Away Rests

Drop away arrow rests are relatively new, but have become an immediate favorite for many long time bowhunters. They operate the way the name suggests. Instead of remaining in place after you fire your shot, a drop away arrow rest will drop down once you fire your shot, meaning the arrow is technically shot from mid air. Because of this, drop away rests tend to provide a more accurate shot. Below we will detail more about the two main types of drop away rest; cable driven and limb driven.


Using a cable that attaches to the bottom or top limb of your bow, you can move the limb inward as you draw your bow. Once released, the limb moves back into place and the arrow rest drops. Limb driven rests are easy to repair on the fly since you typically only need to replace the string if something gets snagged.


This time, the cable attaches to the down moving cable, or the bus cable, on the bow. As the bus cable moves downward, the resting cable moves with it, pulling the arrow rest with it. A cable driven rest might just be your best option for achieving optimal accuracy, but with a slight drawback. Unlike the easy set up of a limb-driven rest, cable-driven rests require the cables to be set up in perfect time with each other to work correctly. With a little help with the set up from an archery pro, you might find a new favorite in cable-driven arrow rests!

Full Capture Rests aka The Whisker Biscuit

Full capture rests completely envelope the arrow, so there is no risk of the arrow coming loose once housed within the rest. A full capture rest will keep the arrow stationary between a circumference of soft, fine bristles. Because of the design and lack of moving components, your shots are quieter, an advantage for those hunting game. However, the bristles tend to slightly interfere with the shot, affecting the arrow’s speed and accuracy. Many beginners choose to start with full capture rests since they are the simplest to use and tend to be inexpensive.

Blade Arrow Rest aka Launcher Arrow Rest

Blade arrow rests are relatively simple. The arrow rests on a v-shaped grove within a thin steel blade. Blade rests usually don’t require any set up or accommodation for different arrow sizes. Target archers tend to use this type of rest more often, since the design can lead to the arrow slipping off as there is nothing securing the arrow in place.

What to Consider Before Purchasing an Arrow Rest

Each type of arrow rest has its pros and cons. Finding the right arrow rest primarily comes down to the type of archery you are looking to get into. Hunters may find looser arrow rests to be an inconvenience, since they cannot risk an arrow slipping as their target moves on them or gets away. Target archers can afford more patience and usually have more freedom to choose the arrow rest of their preference. Below we go over the main aspects of an arrow rest’s performance, and what each archer should consider based on what is most important to them.


Although all arrow rests prove to provide accuracy when set up correctly, some tend to interfere with accuracy more than others. For instance, the bristles on full capture rests can influence arrow direction particularly when they start to age or fade. Keeping up with maintenance or replacements can help with this issue. The consensus among archery pros is that drop away rests grant the best accuracy, as long as you have the patience to learn and set up the rest properly.


Similar to accuracy, arrow rests typically do not have too much of an impact on speed. The arrow’s speed is typically more influenced by which type you’re more comfortable with. Once again, full capture rests’ bristles affect arrow speed when worn, and drop away rests create the least amount of friction, therefore delivering the most consistently higher arrow speeds.


In this category, drop away rests are probably the weakest link. However, drop away rests aren’t inherently flimsy. Their lack of durability typically stems from improper set up. The springs or cords can snap easily due to its more complex design. Full capture and blade rests are much more simple, long-lasting, and require less maintenance.


If you’re the type of archer who wants to control every aspect of their bow, you will want to look for arrow rests that come with the ability to make micro-adjustments. All three main types of arrow rests will have models that offer this, but you will typically have to spend a little more money. Cheaper arrow rests tend to offer no adjustability features, but some archers prefer this for a more consistent shot every time.

Where to Find Compound Bow Arrow Rests and More from Specialty Archery

Feeling ready to make a selection? Do you have more questions trying to decide? Either way we’re here for you at Specialty Archery. No matter what type of archery you do or what arrow rest you pick, we have your back with all kinds of arrow rests for compound bows, and more! Browse our selection of arrow rests or contact us today to get started!

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