The Best Bow String Wax in 2021

Garret Jacob | |

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Mr Miyagi from the Karate Kid said it best, “Wax on, wax off.” Waxing your bowstring is not only a matter of performance, but it is a serious safety concern. Having a bowstring break is more than an inconvenience, it can cause serious harm to the archer and/or the people around you. 

This man and the people around him are incredibly fortunate that this did not turn out to be an unfortunate injury-causing accident. Check out this short YouTube clip to witness the best-case scenario of having a bowstring snap on you mid-shot.

Waxing your bowstrings is arguably one of the most important performances of routine maintenance that you can do to ensure that your bow is safe and in good working order. Waxing has been known to dramatically increase the feet per second velocity of a bow’s shot. However, just like the expression, “too much of a good thing”, overwaxing is also known to dramatically decrease the feet per second velocity by weighing down the bowstring. 

Below you will find proven techniques to ensure that your bowstrings are properly waxed and ready to perform at the highest possible level. 

Not only are we going to describe for you the correct process for applying bowstring wax, but we are also going to teach you how to identify the warning signs of when wax will not cut it and it is time to change out your bowstring.

And finally, we are going to share with you our top five favorite bowstring waxes. Below is our quick glance chart, however, later in the article, we will break down each brand of wax in further detail.

For our favorite wax selections, we have included something for everyone, from the novice and casual shooter to the professional hunter and competition level archer. .

The Best Bow String Wax – Our Picks

Note: Our individual reviews are below, but you can also click any of the links above to check current prices on Amazon and other retailers

Bow String Wax Reviews

Bohning Tex-Tite Bowstring Wax

At an incredibly affordable price, this quality product is our top pick for any archer. The consistency is a little thicker and harder than a traditional lip balm or chapstick. The hardness of the wax helps with not over-waxing and goes on evenly and smoothly.

What we liked:

  • Designed especially for synthetic fiber bowstrings.
  • Bohning textite bowstring wax is a natural based wax.
  • This product is manufactured in the United States.
  • Lubricates and lengthens string life.
  • Will remain tacky under all weather conditions.
  • Comes in a 1 oz tube.

What we didn’t:

  • Instead of a simple twist extender commonly used in chapstick or lip balm, Bohning’s dispenser used a finger-push tube. This pressure system works fine for dispensing the wax but if over-extended, it is difficult to get the cap back on to keep it from drying out.

Check the price on Cabelas »

Bohning Seal-Tite Bowstring Wax

Bohning Seal-Tite Wax
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

For those that don’t prefer the harder, traditional waxing agents, this silicone brand may be the way to go. It applies buttery smooth and tends to penetrate the bowstring fibers more easily than natural wax. 

What we liked:

  • For high tensile bowstrings.
  • Silicone-based wax.
  • Lubricates and lengthens string life.
  • Remains pliable under all weather conditions.
  • Reduces friction of the fibers during shooting.

What we didn’t:

  • This product contains a chemical called TDI (Toluene Diisocyanate). In the state of California, it has been ruled to be harmful. For more information: www.P65Warnings.ca.gov

Check the price on Amazon »

Scorpion Venom Polymetric Bowstring Wax

Scorpion Venom Polymeric Bowstring Wax
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

This product is a nice alternative to a tube-type applicator. This 20-gram can of bowstring wax resembles shoe polish more than chapstick. Scorpion Venom comes with its own leather applicator for those that prefer to not use their fingers. Besides having a catchy name, Scorpion Venom is a great product that is often preferred by many archers.

What we liked:

  • Scorpion Venom is a polymeric wax that contains conditioning oils of Kokum, Shea, and Mango.
  • Ideal for those who prefer traditional dressing.
  • This polymeric formula is flexible and does not freeze or become brittle.
  • Prevents premature aging and oxidation.
  • Odor-free.

What we didn’t:

  • The suede applicator that it comes with can leave particles on the string if the rough side is used. Be sure to use the smooth side of the leather to apply the product to your bowstrings.

Check the price on Amazon »

Allen Crossbow Wax / Rail Lube

Allen Bowstring Wax for Synthetic Bowstrings, 674
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

This Allen crossbow wax is sometimes described as being a little hard or dry. This is not a disadvantage because it helps to not over-wax your bowstring. Overwaxing can harden the string and slow down the bows overall performance by 15 – 20 feet per second (FPS). It is often a good idea to set it in the sun for a while to soften it up before applying. It is not recommended to heat the wax until it turns to a liquid, but heat it just enough to make it a little soft which will aid in the application process.

What we liked:

  • Comes in a combo package of both string wax and rail lube. 
  • Highly recommended for crossbow maintenance.
  • Reduces overall noise.
  • Increases the life of your stings.
  • Best wax for synthetic fiber bowstrings.

What we didn’t:

  • This product does have a slight floral scent which many hunters may want to avoid when on the hunt.
 Full Review from Lambert Acres

Check the price on Amazon »

Mossy Oak Bowstring Wax

Mossy Oak Bow String Wax
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

Mossy Oak is a well known and respected brand in the sporting goods and outdoor industry. This wax is a great choice for any archer who wants to maintain the longevity of their bowstrings. Mossy Oak bowstring wax comes in a convenient tube applicator that is easy to toss into your pocket or travel bag. Mossy Oak products are manufactured in the USA and are commonly available at most online and outdoor retailers. 

What we liked:

  • Comes in a push tube applicator.
  • Prevents fraying and tearing.
  • Great waterproofing agent.
  • Increases the life of your bowstrings.

What we didn’t:

  • Is a little hard and it is beneficial to warm it in the sun a little before applying.

Check the price on Amazon »

What Type of Bow Strings Need Waxing and Why?

Regardless of your favorite style of go-to bow, whether it’s a recurve bow, a compound, or a longbow, it is essential that you wax your bowstring. If you take care of your bow, your bow will take care of you. 

In modern archery, bowstrings usually fall into one of three categories; simple, reverse-twisted, or looped. All of which require your time and attention. Why? We are glad you asked. Waxing your bowstrings strengthens the bowstring while increasing the performance and overall speed of your shot. 

Additionally, waxing prevents fraying and adds a waterproofing element that helps maintain the proper twists in the bowstring. An improperly waxed bowstring allows water to penetrate. This makes the string much heavier than normal, and in turn, has an adverse effect on sight marks and your ability to group your shots. 

Does My Bowstring Need to Be Replaced or Waxed? 

If you see a broken string, then that is a clear indication that it is time to replace your bowstring. 

Also, for compound bows, always check the cables and cam system on your bow to ensure they are in proper working condition before firing. If you see anything that is suspect, do NOT fire the bow. Instead, take your bow to a sporting goods store or bow hunting pro shop for a full inspection and potential repair

This simple preventative measure may indeed save you from serious injury. 

A frayed or fuzzy looking bowstring is well on its way to being broken. You can attempt to mitigate the situation by applying wax, however, it is often the safest and the best course of action to go ahead and replace it. 

A bowstring can and will become overstretched overtime when it is shot repetitively a great number of times. It is important to recognize when your bowstring is overstretched. This comes from being familiar with what a freshly strung and taunt sting feels like in action.

As a bowstring ages, it can become dry overtime as well. This is often remedied with a fresh application of wax. However, there does come a time when your string will need to be entirely replaced due to being excessively dry. 

A bowstring is most typically surrounded by a layer of thread called the serving. After a great deal of repeated firing, the serving can begin to separate from the string. This is another clear sign that it is time to replace your bowstring. 

And finally, if you know that your bowstring is getting old, then it might be time to change it out even if you do not see any visible signs of damage or wear and tear

How Often Should You Wax Your Bowstring?

The real question you should ask yourself is how often do you shoot your bow?  The recommendation is to wax bow strings after every 200 shots

For most archers, waxing is done every two or three weeks. However, if you know that you are going to be facing inclement weather, be sure to wax before going out. Most archers will complete a fresh wax treatment before competitions as well. A bowstring that is waxed properly should have a smooth and slightly tacky feel to it. If your bowstring begins to show discoloration, feels dry, or starts to look fuzzy, then it’s time to wax

Over-waxing your bowstring can be bad as well. Keep in mind that excess wax added to the bowstring will slow the arrow down as much as 15 – 20 feet per second. Therefore, using a light amount of wax is recommended to achieve optimal performance

What is Good Bowstring Wax Made From?

Bowstring waxes can come in natural, silicone-based, or polymeric wax. All have their advantages and disadvantages. 

  • Natural Waxes: Natural waxes can become brittle when faced with freezing temperatures. This is the main reason beeswax is discouraged among professional archers. 
  • Silicone-based Waxes: Silicone-based waxes are often described as more “buttery” and make for a smoother application. 
  • Polymeric Waxes: Polymeric waxes combine conditioning oils such as Kokum, Shea, and Mango. Polymeric waxes often combine the benefits of multiple types of oils and waxes without the disadvantages of the harder waxes. 

Are Scented Waxes Any Good?

There is really only one deciding factor when it comes to whether or not scented waxes are right for you. Are you hunting, or target shooting?

Every hunter knows that any “unnatural” scent in the wild is a disadvantage as it often alerts wild game to the presence of humans nearby. This is why hunters often use cover scents like these in our best cover scent roundup. Introducing scents will not bring any added benefit in a hunting context, and it can only serve as an advanced warning to potential kills. 

However, if you most often find yourself at the shooting range or involved in competitions, then a lightly scented wax is fine and has no additional disadvantage to be wary of.  

Are There Any Cheaper Alternatives I Can Use?

Simply put, we are afraid not. Besides the fact that bowstring waxes are economical and specifically designed for the task at hand, “alternative” products such as beeswax, petroleum jelly, chapstick, and Labello should be avoided. 

These bowstring wax substitutes often attract dirt. The build-up of dirt on your bowstring gives the string a sandpaper-type abrasive effect. This effect ultimately decreases the life of the bowstring. 

Seeing that a well-waxed bowstring can last an incredibly long time, there is really no scenario where one would need to use alternative lubricants in an “emergency situation”. It would literally be better for you to wait until you have obtained a proper wax than to use any petroleum-based product. 

How Do You Apply Bowstring Wax?

The first step to applying a fresh application of wax is to skillfully remove the old wax from the bowstring. The most common and recommended method to strip old wax is to use an extra piece of nylon string wrapped around the bowstring once. Then gently slide the nylon down the bowstring while applying a consistent and equal amount of pressure. 

You will begin to see the old wax accumulate as the string slowly works down the bowstring. Now that your bowstring is stripped of the old wax, it is time for a fresh application of the new wax. 

As previously mentioned, over-waxing slows down the speed and accuracy of your shot. Therefore, it is recommended that wax is applied lightly and evenly. Over-waxing is often done by over-eager novice archers who tend to rub the wax repeatedly up and down the bowstring. A light pass or two is usually sufficient, and you can always add more later.  

When applying wax directly to the bowstrings and cables, it is important to rub it up and down along the length of the string

To accomplish this many archers use a small piece of leather to reduce friction on their fingers. However, when using this leather technique it is important to use the smooth side of the leather. Using the rough side of the leather to apply wax often leaves behind small particles of suede on the bowstrings

The downside of using leather is the possibility of overheating the wax. Many archers prefer to simply use their fingers so they can feel the temperature and ensure that they do not overheat the wax. 

Waxing bow strings while it’s not under tension, while either loose or on a bow-press is also a common technique. This way the wax is worked into the strands thoroughly. When the bowstring is then placed under pressure, the excess wax is squeezed out and easily wiped off. 

A properly waxed bowstring should be smooth, yet tacky to the touch, however, it should not leave any wax residue on your fingers when stroked. 

For an excellent video explaining how to wax your bowstring brought us by Travis “T-Bone” Turner over at Bone Collector

What are Some Common Waxing Mistakes?

Any archery repair shop can tell you that the two most common mistakes are over-waxing and under-waxing. 

Before applying a fresh application of wax, it is important to remove the old wax. As mentioned previously, this is accomplished by using a nylon string wrapped once around the bowstring and sliding it down the string while applying friction lightly. When waxing, be sure to not wax the serving. Waxing the serving will cause the string to become loose and slippery. Furthermore, waxing the serving attracts dirt and debris which speeds up wear and tear. Important Note: Never drag your bow through the grass when walking in nature. This is one of the best ways to introduce unwanted moisture into the bowstring, despite having a properly waxed string. 

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