Bow Cam Types


When you're looking to purchase a compound bow you should be familiar with the various types of bow cams. There are four main different bow cam types that are produced today, and each of them serve their own function and have a place. Picking the right one will help ensure that you get exactly what you're looking for from your compound bow, in terms of performance and functionality. Take a look at the four compound bow cam systems below to help find begin the selection process of finding your perfect compound bow today.

Single or Solo Cams: One of the most popular cam systems is the basic single cam setup for a compound bow. In this setup, you'll see an idler wheel at the top of the bow and a cam at the bottom limb of the bow. This offers an easy to operate system that's quick and efficient. It is also relatively quiet, which is always a positive factor particularly when you're attempting to stay concealed while hunting.

The main downside to the single cam is that the simple design doesn't always allow for easy tuning. What you see is what you get for the most part, and fine adjustments can be difficult. However, single cams offer a strong combination of speed, smoothness and accuracy, making them a solid choice for beginners as well as shooters and hunters of all skill levels. It's the classic setup and while new systems have emerged such as the ones that follow below, the improvements they offer sometimes come with disadvantages as well.

Dual or Twin Cams: As opposed to the single cam system described above, a dual cam compound bow features two cams at each end of the bow. The cams can be either spherical or elliptical in shape, however they will each be the same. The advantages to the twin cam setup are that it offers more customization and adjustment options. Speed, accuracy and feel can all be improved. This comes however with an increased need for maintenance and care. Additionally, dual cam compound bows are generally a bit noisier than the single cam systems. Because of the fine levels of feel and control, dual cam bows are great choices for serious training and shooting and advanced users.

Binary Cams: As you may be able to tell from the name, binary cams also feature two cams just as the dual cam systems described above. However there is a key difference that changes the performance, control and shooting that you'll experience. A binary cam system on a compound bow has the top and bottom cam move and adjust with each other. Additionally, the cams move independently from the limbs, and so are truly only moving in relation to one another. This will help reduce such issues as limb deflection.

Binary cams are still relatively new, but they have already found a huge fan base because of the great control that they provide. Fast and accurate, binary cams are ideal for maximum accuracy and pinpoint control with the elimination of disturbance and other factors. A far cry from a traditional compound bow however, some shooters prefer a more authentic feel as opposed to the increased ease.

Hybrid Cams: Hybrid cams are basically designed to give you the control and feel of the dual cam compound bows with the ease of use of the single cam system. As opposed to a dual cam which features two symmetrical cams, a hybrid cam features two different ones, one for control and one for power. The two are strung together as well as strung to the limbs.

They shoot straight and are easy to aim, and for the most part are easy to adjust and tune as well. This combination of features had made them quite popular over the last few years. As with binary cams, they offer a great deal of advantages however many shooters and hunters prefer the simpler and more classic single or dual cam systems.

In addition to these four main varieties you'll also find various other incarnations of cam systems for compound bows, including quad cams and hinged systems. At the end of the day, the bow cam system that you choose is of course entirely up to your own set of criteria.

You must make a few key choices to help narrow down your selection. Consider your price range, the level of ease versus control that you'd like to enjoy and additional factors such as whether noise is an issue for your intended usage. There's a great compound bow out there for everyone, so familiarize yourself with these cam systems and find one that works for you.