Waxing your crossbow's string the proper way will result in a rewarding archery experience. As a crossbow's string is pulled, tension and weight is applied to it. And this stress in turn dries up the crossbow's string.
A dry crossbow string is never a good thing. Accuracy will suffer, as well as arrow speed or velocity. Additionally, a bow string's life span may lessen if it's always dry! If you really want to make the most out of your gear, please do make sure to wax!
Also, wax application is really easy - so it's not an excuse to do this! You can either use a wax applicator, or pinch some wax from a tub. Enjoy your crossbow to its fullest - do not forget to wax!
Choose Your Wax!
Crossbow and bow waxes come in different shapes and sizes, however don’t let this fool you - you’ll always have to judge the wax by it’s quality and how it works for you, and not the form it comes in. There’s only little difference in how you need to apply them. The most common packages are:
- A wax tube's main benefit is its portable and fast usage. Make sure to stock yourself up with several applicators if you plan to shoot a lot with your crossbow! Wax Tube – The easiest and most simplest way to wax your crossbow is to use a wax tube. Also known as wax applicators, these crossbow wax essentials are the size of a lipstick. But don't let the size fool you – proper application goes a long way with these beauties!
- Tub of Wax – Originally, crossbow wax came in tubs or bottles. As more archers use applicators, there may soon come a time when you won't see this variant at all. Still, it's always nice to know how stuff was done (and still being done, for traditional crossbow shooters) when waxing your weapon's bow string.Perhaps the main advantage of using this crossbow wax variant is its quantity. Although, you may need to be careful of spills and messy accidents that may happen along the way when bringing it with you during a hunt! But again, it works – and that's what matters.
- Other Shapes – Some waxes come in little round boxes much like hand cremes. Again the shape of the box does not count, only how well it works for you!
How to Wax a Crossbow?
- Make sure that there is no bolt in your crossbow.
- Check that your crossbow's string is in its uncocked position.
- Using a damp towel, wipe off any grime or dirty material found on your crossbow. Do this on the bow string as well.
- Once that's done, replace the damp towel with a dry one. Use the fresh towel to wipe and take out any moisture found in the bow.
- If possible, air dry the crossbow to efficiently take out any moisture (this may take up to several hours, so if you are out hunting, you may skip this step).
- Using An Applicator – Inspect your applicator for any damage – you would want wax of the right consistency for your crossbow strings.
Using a Tub of Wax - Check the wax container for any visible damage. Remember, the right consistency (not too dry, nor should it be too wet) will work best for your crossbow strings. Using your finger, get just the right amount of wax for your bow string (this would most likely be the size of a small pea).
- Coat your crossbow's string with a THIN layer of wax. We're emphasizing THIN – applying too much wax will only damage your bow string!
- Gently and slowly glide your fingers along the bow string. This will allow the wax to melt evenly, covering the fibers deep inside the bow string.
- For better arrow speed and reduced friction, you may also wax the groove where you place a bolt.
In the First Place, Why Should You Wax Your Crossbow?
Now, why would you want to wax your crossbow? It’s messy and sticky - is it really worth it? Well, for starters, yes! And if you really want to bring out the best in your crossbow, you really ought to always have some wax with you. Here are several reasons why waxing your crossbow strings rocks:
Because Speed is of the Essence When You are Shooting Your Crossbow
Velocity plays a key part on why waxing your crossbow string is important. By keeping your bow string smooth, less resistance can be felt whenever you shoot. It has got to do with the fibers found in a bow string - the drier the crossbow string is, the higher it resists wind and friction. In other words, a waxed bow string equates to better velocity and speed. It's a minor application detail but with major consequences, especially so when you're using your crossbow to hunt big game!
Because You Need to Keep that Awesome and Accurate Momentum
Have you ever wondered or noticed that you'd get into a nice shooting momentum, then all of a sudden, you'll slowly lose out on accuracy. Several factors, such as stamina and actual target behavior, play a part in this dip of accuracy. But another important factor to consider is your crossbow string's condition. The drier a bow string is, the higher the chance the crossbow will miss its mark. Make sure to stay consistent with your shots with some crossbow wax!
Because You Need to Protect Your Bow Strings
Perhaps the most important aspect that crossbow wax brings to the plate is that it makes strings strong and flexible. It's as natural as it gets - strings do stretch, after all - but having some wax applied will give you the peace of mind that your bow strings are properly and evenly moisturized. Best of all, proper wax application on your strings can actually lengthen their life span - you'd be shooting those strings for years to come!
When Should You Wax Your Crossbow's Bow Strings?
Now that you know how to wax your crossbow strings, when exactly should you apply some wax, then? Well, that does depend - let us shed some light on this crucial topic, shall we?
Count Those Shots!
Now, here is the confusing part. Some say that you should wax your crossbow after every 50 shots. Some even state that it should be after every 10 shots. How often, then? The best way to resolve this is to check your crossbow itself and your actual shooting behavior. You and your crossbow are both unique - this isn't a cookie-cutter process that will apply for all shooters out there!
A nice rule of thumb to follow is that you are waxing your bow strings to keep them moisturized. You can come up with the best time to wax those strings of yours, depending on the weather elements during a hunt and on how fast or hard you're shooting. So, count those shots of yours, take a breathe, and apply some wax. It's worth it - trust us!
Signs You Need to Wax those Bow Strings!
Also, these warning signs will help you determine when you should wax your crossbow's string:
- Dryness – as we've mentioned earlier, a dry bow string isn't a great thing to have when shooting. If ever you've noticed your bow string to be dry (even when you're in between that shooting count of yours), consider stopping and taking some time out to wax it.
- Oh, No! Fuzzy Strings – those fuzzy fibers found on your bow string is another indicator that it is dry. Not only will this affect velocity and accuracy – these types of bow strings may snag onto twigs – never a good thing to experience!
- Pinch It To Find Out – another really nice way to find out that some wax needs to be applied on your crossbow string is by simply pinching the string. If no wax was pulled off the string, it means the string needs waxing.
- When in Doubt, Wax – don't confuse over waxing during application and actual waxing opportunities. Keeping your bow strings moisturized as much as possible is always a good thing – so there's never such a thing as over waxing opportunities. The only overwaxing you need to take notice of is during the actual application (remember: apply a THIN layer of wax!).
- Frayed String? Replace ASAP – if you do notice your bow string is starting to fray, then, don't wax. Have this replaced immediately. Frayed crossbow strings are the result of dryness. This is what you'd want to avoid in the first place!
- Give Some Waxing Love for Compound Crossbows as Well – aside from the actual crossbow string, a compound crossbows have several cables built into them. These cables are safe (and highly suggested) to wax as well. So, make sure to give a nice waxing session for these compound crossbow cables too!
- Waxing Recurve Crossbows – if you are using a recurve crossbow, you may opt to apply some wax on the tips of its limbs. These portions, where the bow string is attached to, deserve some wax loving as well!
Having these tips in mind will help you know the best opportunities to wax your crossbow's strings!
Should You Wax the Crossbow Rail?
Let us clear up something important first: you do not wax your crossbow rail - you use lube for it! Please don't make the mistake of using wax for your crossbow's rail! It would only damage your gear!
The same logic applies to crossbow strings - you never would want to apply lube on it. Please don't mix these two crossbow applications.
Now, why would you want (and need) to lubricate your crossbow's rail? Simply put, a well-lubricated rail will not only protect the crossbow's string serving - it'll also work wonders in retaining your accuracy momentum.
Also, you may want to keep this in mind when it comes to your crossbow's rail lubricant application. The crossbow manufacturer is the best source to find out when a particular crossbow needs to be lubricated. But unlike waxing a crossbow's string (of not having too much waxing opportunities), too much rail lube may damage your gear. Your crossbow's trigger mechanism is at risk here, so please make sure to lubricate the rail sparingly.
Miscellaneous Tips for Safe and Efficient Crossbow Waxing
We also want to share some helpful nuggets of information when it comes to waxing your crossbow below:
- If you are air drying your crossbow, make sure to do this as naturally as possible. Using a hair dryer (or other artificial means) may mess up the moisture level on your crossbow (especially on the bow strings).
- Keep count of your shots in a notebook you keep together with your crossbow. This way you’ll be able to track when you need waxing, and you may even add notes on crossbow performance, accuracy, and how the shots felt.
- There are all sorts of crossbow wax variants to choose from in the market. Aside from checking your crossbow manufacturer for any preferred brands, factors to consider when choosing a wax would be smell, the chemicals used, and its consistency.
We hope these reminders will help you out in the long run!