The 6 Best Arrow Rests Reviewed & Revealed ( Hands-on 2019 Guide )


The Importance of Choosing a Good Rest 

man aiming arrow

Imagine yourself at full-draw on a bull elk of a lifetime. He is 20 yards in front of you, covered in mud, fired-up from a half hour where you have antagonized him with a cacophony of bugles, chuckles and tree-raking.

He takes that final step and you prepare to let your arrow fly. It is a moment you have visualized a thousand times; but imagine now that instead of watching the arrow hit its mark, you watch it sluff off the side of your arrow rest and clank harmlessly to the ground.   

There are far too many hunters out there that do not have to imagine how this or a similar failure would feel because they have actually lived out this moment.

The frustration, let down and disappointment is immense. The tragedy of it is so much broader than just that moment.Consider what it takes to get to that point:

  • the days and days of scouting
  • placing trail cameras
  • practicing with your bow

Think about the energy in miles walked and the dollars spent on your hunting license, bow, binoculars, apparel, rangefinder, GPS, calls, travel and, and, and…

Then think how silly you would feel if, after all that time, money and energy spent, your opportunity was spoiled because you skimped on one of the most crucial components of your bow- your arrow rest. 

Similarly, purchasing and becoming comfortable with a quality arrow rest can give you peace of mind that one factor in the moment will be a constant and not a variable.

Your rest is the last thing your arrow contacts before it is officially sent on its way towards your prey or target. Give yourself confidence and not heartache by choosing your arrow rest wisely.  


Choosing Your Rest 

Nock On RestChoosing between types and brands of arrow rests will be a little about your shooting scenarios and a lot about personal preferences. 

For hunting applications, it is going to come down to either a whisker-biscuit or drop-away style. There are a lot of quality options to choose from in each category and some of the great choices are reviewed above.

Whisker Biscuit  

You may have heard people discussing the “K.I.S.S.” (Keep It Simple, Stupid) method in various contexts and a whisker biscuit is the quintessence of that concept.

Whisker biscuits are simple and foolproof which has led them to be a favorite choice among hunters. Not only is there very little that can go wrong with them, but they are also very quiet as the arrow is released.  


Of course, even the whisker biscuit comes with some tradeoffs.

1. While the odds of something catastrophic happening are almost non-existent, you give up a little performance on a smaller scale.

2. You can figure on losing a little arrow speed compared to a drop-away rest (think two to three feet per second).

3. The whisker biscuit has more contact with the arrow and fletchings than a drop-away rest which will cause slight irregularities in arrow flight.

For hunting purposes, the inaccuracies caused by the differing arrow flights are considered by most to be negligible. 


Drop-away Rest

Still, if optimum arrow speeds and accuracy are your top priority, a drop-away rest is the best choice.

As opposed to the whisker-biscuit style rest where the fletchings contact the rest as it passes through, a drop-away rest falls away from the shaft of the arrow before the fletchings or vanes can make contact.

This is what gives you the increases accuracy and arrow speed.  


1. The downside of a drop-away rest is its complexity. Most people understand that the more complex something is, the greater the chance for failure; and drop-away rests are no exception.

2. Setup, tuning and timing of the drop-away rest are important, and those tasks can be a little overwhelming for new archers. Keeping the arrow on the rest as the bow is drawn and the arrow is raised into position can be tricky for new users as well.

These factors combine to make a whisker-biscuit style the smart choice for anyone new to archery.  


Final Thoughts

If you scour sporting good stores and the internet, you can probably still find standard rests. However, the whisker biscuit has been greatly improved over its time on the market and since drop-away rests joined them as an option, standard rests have become obsolete.    

Considering how much money goes into a hunting experience, deciding on a rest based on cost is not advised. If you find one that is right for you, an extra $50 is minor when you consider the importance of your rest. 

If possible, try shooting some bows with a variety of rest options to determine your favorite before buying. Fortunately, most modern rests are easy to install and remove, so you are not stuck with your initial choice if you decide to go another direction.  

Recommended reading:

10 Best Carbon Hunting Arrows Revealed in 2019 ( For Deer, Elk & Tight Budgets )


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