Choosing a drop-away arrow rest is quite challenging. There are a lot of different options available, and the price range is huge. The cheapest options start from $10 while the most expensive options cost more than $300.
In this article, I will make your search a lot easier by listing down the 4 best arrow rests, depending on your situation. In the article, I distinguish between affordable and premium arrow rests, so you can choose what fits your budget.
I also distinguish between cable and limb-driven arrow rests. If you are not familiar with this terminology, you might want to read the explanation I provide later in the article.
1. Best affordable cable arrow rest
This generic brand cable-driven arrow rest has surprised me a lot. I have bought affordable arrow rests in the past, which were always made of cheap plastic. Also, the hinge was janky on the previous models.
This arrow rest is made of aluminum and has a surprisingly smooth hinge. The price is a bit higher than other generic brand competitors. But that is worth it, as the product is also better designed and made of higher quality materials. You also get some replacement pads, which can be rather handy when you shoot a lot.
But if you have more to spend, you might want to check out the next product.
2. Best premium cable arrow rest
If you have a higher budget, I recommend the Ripcord Max arrow rest. This arrow rest has a few advantages over the previous arrow rest:
- Easier to adjust with the micro adjustment nobs
- Better arrow retention before the draw
- The arrow rest drops down faster
- Easily adjust the activator cord
The design of this arrow rest works differently than the previous arrow rest. You can pop this arrow rest up before the draw, which makes for a very secure arrow rest. Therefore, the arrow rest is ideal for hunters!
Below is a video showing more details of this arrow rest.
3. Best affordable Limb-driven arrow rest
Limb-driven arrow rests are generally more expensive than cable-driven arrow rests because it’s a relatively new technology. Many of the Chinese archery manufacturers simply haven’t caught up yet to make affordable alternatives.
One of the more affordable Limb-driven arrow rests is the Truglo Updraft arrow rest. The features that make this arrow rest unique are:
- Rubber whale tail which guides the arrow more silently
- Wrap around activator cord which makes it easier to configure the activator timing
- Replaceable arrow pad
If you have more money to spend, you might want to consider the next product.
4. Best premium Limb-driven arrow rest
If you want the best of the best, I recommend the Hamskea Trinity Hunter arrow rest. But to be completely honest, you can’t go wrong with any of Hamskea’s arrow rests. This US-based company has innovated so much in arrow rest technology that many manufacturers struggle to keep up.
The reason why I recommend the Trinity Hunter over other Hamskea’s arrow rest are:
- The limb-driven activator cord system is very flexible with the spring and the adjustable arm
- Features micro adjustment knobs for both windage and elevation adjustment
- Zero stop mechanism prevents bounce-back
Just like all of Hamskea’s products, this arrow rest is extremely reliable and durable. So, once you have bought this arrow rest, you will never have to replace it.
Cable vs. limb-activated arrow rests
Drop-away arrow rests are available in two versions:
- Default down arrow rests (cable activated): when you do not pull the cord, the arrow rest will be down. The spring pulls the arrow rest down. Therefore, the cord needs to be pulled near the end of the draw.
- Default up arrow rest (limb activated): when you do not pull the cord, the arrow rest will be up. Therefore, to keep the arrow rest down when the arrow has been shot, the cord needs to be pulled. When the bow is drawn, the cord will be loosened which allows the arrow rest to go up.
Instead of the ‘’default down’’ and ‘’default up’’ terminology, most archers are using ‘’cable activated’’ and ‘’limb driven’’. But that doesn’t tell the full story because you can also use the cable rod slider and the cable splitter as an attachment point. See the table below for all the options.
|Attachment point||Default up||Default down|
|Cable rod slider||X|
By the way, if you are not familiar with the terminology of the bow parts used above. You can get a quick overview here: the parts of a compound bow.
Both options have pros and cons. Generally, the most advanced arrow rests tend to be of the default up (limb-driven) variety. This is a relatively new technology, and some archers claim that it’s better than the cable-driven system.
In my experience, there is not a huge difference in the performance of the two systems. On the limb-driven arrow rest it is often easier to get the timing right. But it can be more difficult to find a line that doesn’t cause clearance issues because the string stopper and the cables can get in the way.
Which arrow rest I would choose
I can highly recommend the first rest from the list if you are on a tight budget. You get a high-quality arrow rest for a fair price.
If you have a higher budget, I recommend the Trinity Hunter (#4 from the list). This is such a staple in the archery community and with good reason. The micro-adjustment knobs and the spring system give you such precise control that you can completely tune the arrow rest to your bow.
Installing your arrow rest
Once you have bought your arrow rest, you will have to attach it to your bow and tune it. Basically, there are three challenging things that you need to do:
- Centering the arrow rest: you need to put the arrow rest center shot. This means that the arrow rest is positioned directly in the center of the string. This makes sure the arrow is launched in a straight line.
- Connect the activator cord: where you can attach your activator cord depends on your bow and your arrow rest. For example, if you have a default down (cable activated) arrow rest, it needs to be attached to either the cable or the cable rod slider. But since the design of the bow can be different, there may be only one option depending on your bow.
- Set the timing of the arrow rest: this determines when the arrow rest goes up or down. You don’t want the arrow rest to go down too early, because this can cause the arrow to drop mid-flight. But you also don’t want it to stay up too long, because the vanes will then smack into the arrow rest. So, you need to set the timing just right.
If this is the first drop-away arrow rest that you are setting up, you might want to read my detailed article below. It contains a full guide on how to configure a drop-away arrow rest in all kinds of bow and arrow rest combinations.
What are the benefits of a drop-away arrow rest?
Drop-away arrow rests are an amazing invention within archery. When archery manufacturers design an arrow rest, they must balance between arrow containment and interference. You want the arrow to stay securely in the rest before you shoot. But once you release, you want the arrow rest to be free of interference.
Therefore, a lot of normal arrow rests tend to be small and flexible to limit the amount of interference with the arrow. Drop-away arrow rests solve this paradox by moving out of the way once the arrow is launched.
These arrow rests are a bit more complicated to set up and tune. But once you have everything ready, your bow will shoot a lot more forgiving, because your arrow is completely free of interference once the arrow rest is down.
I hope this article helped you to choose a drop-away arrow rest. If you are looking for more in-depth information and guidance on how to choose an arrow rest, make sure to read my detailed article below:
This article also includes information about launcher style and bristle arrow rests. So, if you are not sure if drop away arrow rest fits your needs, you can also consider the other options.
The goal of this article was to provide you with some quick and short information. I have a lot of detailed guides on my blog, but I got feedback from my readers that they also like some shorter content with my recommendations.
If you have any questions, comments, or remarks, please leave them below. I will get back to you as soon as possible!