Let’s start with a quick definition of what string silencers actually are.
Now, let’s see in more detail how string silencers work and how to install them on your bow.
What Are String Silencers?
String silencers are pieces of fur plastic or wool that you insert into your bowstring in order to reduce the noise that your bowstring makes. Now, obviously, that begs the question: “Do you even need them?” The answer is no. You don’t need string silencers. They are a matter of choice each archer makes for themselves based on their own preference.
If they aren’t necessary, then why do people use them?
The noise. Go figure, I know. While bowhunters need to make as little noise as possible therefore it’s almost a must for them ordinary target archers can simply find the noise to be a nuisance and want to reduce it. Which is fine, to each their own.
Do Bows Make A Noise?
Bows make noise when archers release the bowstring. The main reason for the noise is the movement of the bowstring upon release. As the archer releases the bowstring it transfers the energy of the bow to the arrow. When the arrow leaves the bow the bowstring vibrates violently as it tries to get rid of excess energy from the bow.
This added vibration when the bowstring is released is the main reason why bows make noise. Here is an example of that. Look at this video from between 10 to 35 seconds and pay attention to the movement of the bowstring.
The other reasons for the noise can come from the very design of the bow. If the bow has some parts that can “wiggle” even if a little when used, those small things can add noise to the bow.
Why Do String Silencers Work?
String silencers work because they add a little extra weight to the bowstring which helps to reduce the bowstrings oscillation when the bowstring is released by the archer. This reduction in the bowstrings oscillation means the noise the bow produces gets reduced as well.
Where Do String Silencers Go On A Bow?
String silencers are normally placed on two spots on your bowstring. On the upper third of your bowstring and on the lower third of your bowstring.
A picture will help you out here. So, here it is.
The string silencers are placed as a pair on two points on the bowstring. How far you space them up is usually up to the preference of the archer but you can space them out let’s say 1/3 or 1/4 down the bowstring. So, imagine you mentally separate your bowstring into 4 equal parts.
So, if your bowstring is 100 cm long, you take a measuring tape and measure 25cm of the upper limb and you mark it. Then you take the tape again and you measure 25 cm off the lower limb. And you mark that.
You place your string silencers based on your preferences, these will develop as you test and then test some more. I recommend placing them on every third of your bowstring. So in the previous example that would mean you measure 33cm off the upper and lower bow limbs.
How Do You Install A String Silencer On A Bow In 5 Easy Steps
- Unstring your bow
- Use a tape measurer to divide your bowstring into thirds
- Untwist the bowstring where you decided to place the string silencers
- Insert the string silencer into the loop in the bowstring
- Use scissors to cut through the loops in the string silencer
- Repeat steps 3-5 for the second string silencer
1. Unstring your bow
It is also possible to do this without unstringing your bow. I recommend doing it like that since it seems easier to me. But a lot of people have done it with a bowstring fully strung on the bow.
2. Use A Tape Measurer To Mark Every Third Of Your Bow
Use a measuring tape, to measure a third of your bowstring down from your limb.
3. Untwist Your Bowstring Where You Decided To Place The String Silencers
If your bowstring consists of two strands then simply untwist these and insert the string silencer between the two strands. In the event, your bowstring consists of multiple strands try inserting your silencer between an equal number of strands on each side.
It should look something like this:
This untwisting motion will create a loop big enough for a small finger to pass. That is all you need. You can then proceed to the next step.
4. Insert The String Silencer Into The Loop In The Bowstring
Insert your string silencer in the loop you created by untwisting your bowstring. The string silencer should be even on both sides. So, before you place your string silencer into the loop, mark off half of your silencer and just push the other half of the silencer through the loop.
Once that is done you simply twist the bowstring back.
It should look close to this. The bowstring goes through one-half of the string silencer.
5. Use Scissors To Cut Through The Loops In The String Silencer
This one is very easy. You simply take the scissors and cut the loops on each side of the silencer. This should leave your string silencer like an afro haircut from some weird rapper.
So this is it. You have done one of your silencers. Now for the other one.
6. Do Steps From 3 to 5 For The Other Side Of Your Bowstring
This one is easy. You are halfway there. Now simply repeat the process for the other silencer and you are done.
As I said earlier, you can do this while the bow is strung or unstrung. In both cases, it shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes. I do recommend doing it with an unstrung bowstring.
So this is it. A simple 5-step process to installing your string silencers.
A Useful Rule Of Thumb
If your main goal is to reduce as much noise as possible you should place both of your silencers closer to the nocking point on your bowstring. It will likely cause your bowstring to move more slowly, but the difference should be negligible.
Even with that said, never stop experimenting for yourself. I have heard archers using a 1/3 and 1/4 configuration. With the upper silencer being 1/3 down from the upper limb and the lower silencer a quarter up from the lower limb.
Start with the 1/3 configuration I described above. After a while, feel free to experiment for yourself, since it is easy to shift your silencers up and down your bowstring.
So, that will be it from my end.
If you wish you can take a look at a few of my other articles.
To see which one is better an archery glove or a finger tab go here.
Or if you want to see how to install a bow wrist sling then click here.
And if you want to take a look at how to set up a nocking point and if you even need one then click here.