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Are you in the market for a new compound bow but unsure whether to go for a single cam or a dual cam? Let’s break down the differences and find out which one reigns supreme!
In this article, I am going to help you understand single vs dual cam compound bow differences. So that you can make the right decision when purchasing your first bow.
In the past few decades, there has been a tremendous surge in the popularity of compound bows for hunting. These are bows made with limbs that are connected with struts or other materials. The advantage of compound bows is that they can be used for both hunting and archery practice because they allow you to set the pull weight.
Compound bows are often referred to as single-cam and dual-cam bows. As the name represents that a single cam bow has only one pulley; a dual cam bow has two pulleys.
Single Cam vs Dual Cam Bow: What’s the Difference?
The difference between a single pulley bow and a dual pulley bow is quite simple and straightforward: if you want more draw weight on your bow, a dual pulley bow will give you more pull than a single pulley bow, so you get an extra couple of pounds of draw weight.
Moreover, most compound bows now use a dual pulley design, which is more efficient than single-pulley designs.
Compound Bow Cam – Purpose
The purpose of the bow cams or pulley is to make the bow draw easily and fast. It also gives you an idea of the amount of pull you have to your string, which prepares you for the right level of effort for your next shot.
You might be thinking that why should we care about bow cams? The answer is simple, It simply helps you hit the target more accurately.
Compound Bow Types
The design of compound bows makes them fit on one hand, making them easier to use. They have a number of advantages over other types of bows (Longbow, Crossbow, etc), including being very accurate, shooting a heavier arrow, and providing better stability. There are four types of compound bows which are as under:
1. Single Cam Compound Bow
Single cam compound bows or single pulley compound bows are among the most popular in the United States. The term single refers to the number of wheels, or pulleys, which are used to reduce the string pull to a single point. It is made up of a crescent-shaped limb with one pulley at the top and a cable attached to the pulley at the bottom.
Moreover, the bowstring is attached to this cable. When you pull back on the bowstring, the pulley at the top rotates, causing the string to bend. This bends the cable, which then pulls on the pulley at the bottom.
Furthermore, with this type of bow, you can shoot the arrow by pulling on the string, not by manually pulling the limbs into position. The single pulley compound bow is a favorite for deer hunters. It reduces the force needed to draw the bowstring back by using pulleys instead of a recurve-like system.
2. Dual Cam Compound Bow
Many compound bow brands use the dual cam compound bow. It is a simple bow design that consists of a power cable connected to a pulley system at either end of the bowstring.
This creates a “double pulley effect,” meaning there is twice the amount of energy in the bow for an equal amount of force applied by the user. However, This makes it easier for beginners as they can adjust the bow easily.
Moreover, a dual pulley compound bow is made for the hunter who wants a bow with low draw weight, yet wants more power in the back end than an adjustable, recurve style bow can provide. It offers great performance out on the field and a great shot in the game.
3. Hybrid Cam Compound Bow
Hybrid Cam Compound Bows are the new bow you must have. They are an amazing combination of features. This bow gives the hunter the advantages of a compound bow and a recurve bow.
Furthermore, they’re usually more affordable than traditional compound bows and can be shot with a single hand. It has a built-in safety release. The hunter can shoot the arrow at any angle with this bow which makes them far superior to typical recurve bows.
4. Binary Cam Compound Bow
Binary cam compound bows are the lightest compound bows on the market today. They weigh under 25 pounds, which makes them the perfect bow for hunters that carry their equipment on their back. Furthermore, they are one of the strongest and most popular types of a compound bow.
It uses a double-action bow where each limb has a pulley at the top which holds an arrow in place while the bowstring is drawn. They are also the only bow that is made with a single piece of carbon fiber.
Single vs Dual Cam – Comparison
Single Cam Bows
- The single-cam design allows the bow to handle the heavy pulling force required for hunting. However, it limits you to a certain range of pull weights, making it difficult to shoot for long periods of time.
- Single-cam bows are good enough for casual or beginners.
- In most cases, single pulley bows are much weaker. They rely on friction to hold an arrow in place. This makes them prone to lose if they hit a rock.
Dual Cam Bows
- Dual cam bows, on the other hand, are stronger and more stable. They have a much higher draw weight and can be adjusted to suit the strength and arrow flight of any archer.
- If you want to improve your shooting and want something that is easier to use, you should go for a dual-cam bow.
- Moreover, dual-cam bows also produce less recoil than single-cam bows. This means that a dual-cam bow requires less strength to hold up a shot. This makes the dual-cam bow ideal for women, as well as those who have weak hands.
Which One is Better? Single or Dual Bow
Well, it depends. If you hunt whitetail deer or small game, a single pulley bow may be the right choice for you. It is strong enough to handle the force of an arrow impacting your target at speeds up to about 60 miles per hour (97 kph). But a compound bow, with its multi-pulley system, can shoot arrows much faster, at more than 100 miles per hour (160 kph).
Is dual cam or single cam better?
Generally, a dual cam compound bow is stronger as you can shoot arrows at speed of 160kph whereas with a single pulley bow the speed can be up to 97kph. So, it depends on the type of game.
Can you turn a single cam bow into a double cam?
You can easily turn a single cam into a double cam. One method is to cut the string. However, this will reduce the draw weight of your bow to about half of its original weight. This is because the bow is now longer, and the pull force is distributed over a larger area.
Why do bows have cams?
The purpose of the bow cams or pulley is to make the bow draw easily and fast. It simply helps you hit the target more accurately.
The biggest difference between single and dual-cam compound bows is that the latter features a second cam. This second cam can be set farther back from the string than the first cam. This means that the string can be moved farther back to give the shooter a more stable shot, thus increasing accuracy.
However, this difference comes at a price. You need to pay more for the dual-cam bow. A good quality bow will cost on average between $300 and $700.
Additional Common Questions
What is the advantage of dual cam bow?
One predominant advantage of a dual cam bow lies in its ‘Back Wall’. The term ‘Back Wall’ is a bowhunting phrase that speaks to how effortlessly one can draw the bow’s string, not necessarily the draw speed itself. In essence, a consistently solid back wall provides stability and reduces potential variations that might interfere with your accuracy. This translates to a smoother, more comfortable draw and steadier aim—critical aspects for consistently successful bow hunting or target archery. In this context, dual cam compound bows come out on top. They tend to have a better back wall than their single cam counterparts and the two cams alleviate the pressure when drawing. This unique feature of dual cam bows helps archers to maximize their shooting potential. My personal experience with this has been nothing short of amazing. With a dual cam system, the draw cycle is more predictable and this has greatly improved my accuracy in the field.
Is single cam bow better?
When comparing single cam bows with dual cam bows, many would argue that single-cam systems are indeed superior for a variety of reasons. These bows are known for being easier to draw and typically have less recoil, making them more manageable and less physically demanding. This is mainly due to the strategic placement of the single cam which resides at the bottom limb of the bow. It makes the bowstring easier to draw and the recoil much easier to handle, which is particularly useful in high-pressure hunting scenarios. In the line of my archery career, I have specifically selected single cam bows for comfort and ease of use. Single-cam bows are generally considered the better of the two cam types. However, it’s important to bear in mind that the ‘best’ bow can vary greatly based on individual preferences, experience level, and specific use cases.
What is the best compound bow this year?
Determining the ‘best’ compound bow is subjective and largely depends on specific needs and preferences. However, there are a few that consistently get high marks in the archery world. For this year, based on thorough chronograph testing, accuracy evaluation, and handling, three bows have really made their mark: the Elite Era, PSE Mach 34, and Mathews Phase 4. This trio of bows was subjected to rigorous testing through an entire day. Of course, there are other great options out there as well, but these three – the Elite Era, PSE Mach 34, and Mathews Phase 4 – managed to rise above the rest. Personally, my favorite has been the Mathews Phase 4; the combination of balance, power, and precision has made it quite a rewarding bow to shoot with.
What cam system is Hoyt known for?
Hoyt Archery is synonymous with quality and innovation in the archery industry. They are specially recognized for their hybrid cam systems, a distinction that was solidified with their revolutionary “cam and a half” design. The hybrid cam operates similarly to the single cam system, but it swaps out an idler wheel on the top limb for a control cam. This control cam mimics the bottom cam in shape and function, resulting in a more synchronized and efficient system. This unique design from Hoyt has not only made their bows a joy to shoot with but also paved the way for further innovation in the industry.
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