Fuse, Crossover, The Mule, Bee Stinger MicroHex
In this article I cover a review of 4 archery bow stabilizers, and more specifically compound bow archery stabilizers for the hunter. A lot of archery hunters look at stabilizers as simply a need to reduce vibration on your bow when you release that fatal arrow. Some hunters look at and purchase a stabilizer because “the guy at the store told me it works.” And yes, there are a few archers out there, and you may be one of them, that looks at a stabilizer as a tool in their craft to help them increase their accuracy to a fine detail.
What I’m saying is that we all have our own ideas on what we need out of our stabilizer. I do agree with a lot of the above. I myself bought my first stabilizer because the guy at the shop said it would work. It was relatively inexpensive and I do suppose it worked for what I bought it for…way, back then. Today, after many years of shooting and hunting with my bow, I look at the stabilizer as a necessity. A necessity to help improve my follow through, dampen my bow’s vibration, as well as a tool to carry my bow when I’m hiking miles and miles up and down mountains chasing whatever game I’m after.
In this review I will take you through 3 of the latest stabilizers on the market, as well as a stabilizer that has been on the market for some time. I think it’s important to give you a looksee at what a standard stabilizer looks like and compare it to some of the newest in the industry. One of the stabilizers is so new you may not be able to get your hands on it yet.
The equipment used in this comparison: Hoyt Carbon Defiant, Tight-Spot Quiver, Montana Black Gold Sight, and a Trophy Taker fall away rest…
The features I looked for in this comparison:
• Vibration control
First let’s start off with the Fuse. This is a very common and one of the most affordable stabilizers on the market. Many hunters out there use this stabilizer and it serves a purpose. This specific model is 8 inches, and simply attaches to the front of your riser. It offers vibration dampening capability in a small little package. It’s a very simple design and is something you should find in any archery shop, or on-line at various dealers. Yes, this is the old style. It’s my opinion that its main use is to dampen vibration and that’s about it.
You might be able to use it as a carry handle when the bow is laying across your shoulders, but it’s not long enough to really be comfortable as a carry handle. The things I liked about this stabilizer are that it was simple to install and no complex adjustments needed, and it did dampen vibration a little. The downsides of this stabilizer were that it didn’t have any other use cases, nor did it offer me stability during and after my shot. If I were new to archery, it’s something I’d be ok with as its relatively inexpensive and has a simple design.
Bee Stinger MicroHex Counter Slide Dovetail Stabilizer
This is the one of the newest stabilizers on the market. The version I tested was the 12” version. This design allows you to make multiple adjustments to counterbalance your bow on multiple sides. You can adjust the stabilizer forward, out in front of your bow, or slide it back towards the rear of the bow. This allows you to move the weight of the stabilizer, if you like to have more assistance in your follow through. This stabilizer also has an adjustment to move the stabilizer out away from your bow opposite to your quiver and sights in an effort to counterbalance their weight, or you can move the stabilizer closer to the center of your bow.
The Bee Stinger comes with 5 one-ounce plates that you can attach to the front or rear of the stabilizer. This gives you a lot of control and adjustability to find the perfect forward and rear balance of your bow.
There were a number of things I liked about the Bee Stinger MicroHex Counter Slide Dovetail Stabilizer. It was pretty simple and easy to install. You simply attached a knuckle adapter to the front of your bow with an Allen® wrench. As mentioned earlier the knuckle allows the slide arm to adjust the stabilizer in, or out and away from the side of you bow. However, the big plus with this design is that it allows you to easily remove your stabilizer, so you can store or transport your bow in a case.
This stabilizer also checked off most of the other boxes, such as dampening the vibration of my bow significantly after the shot, and it offered me stability with my shot. I could make many adjustments to find that perfect balance in my shot. The other thing I liked about this stabilizer is I could easily carry my bow over my shoulders using the stabilizer as a handle.
With all these pluses, you’re probably thinking I don’t have any negatives or suggestions with the design. Well, I did find a little annoyance. The adjustments to move the stabilizer to the front or rear of my bow required me to adjust 4 hex screws. This was a bit cumbersome and time consuming.
All in all, it was an impressive stabilizer and one that I’d use on a back-country hunt or even just target shooting.
Where to buy: Bee Stinger
Crossover 12 to 33”
Back to the basics, almost, is the Crossover. This stabilizer has a simple design that is easily installed into the front of your bow. The model I tested was the most basic out there, as I didn’t have any special attachments. This stabilizer comes with 3 one-ounce weights you can attach to the front of the stabilizer to help you with stability as well as follow through. This stabilizer allows you to easily adjust it from a base length of 12” out to a total extension of 33”. You don’t need any special tools to make the length adjustments. You simply turn an adjustment screw with your hand and slide out the end and then tighten the screw back down. Very simple.
This is what I would call a “crossover” stabilizer! I had to say it…It almost gives you the feel of a target archery stabilizer, as it can really reach out and give you great follow through capability.
The things I liked about this stabilizer: it was very simple to install and adjust. I could move it out fully extended, or shrink it in to 12”, which I would probably feel more comfortable with in the coastal range hunting Roosevelt.
This stabilizer also offers decent vibration control, not awesome, but decent. The option to throw my bow over my shoulders and carry it using the stabilizer as a handle was there as well. The most important part for me was that it could be adjusted to give me great stability forward of my bow, to help with my shot control and follow through. Again, I like to shoot long ranges for practice and fun and this stabilizer checked off that major requirement.
Where to buy: Crossover 12 to 33″
The Mule – 10″
Here’s one of the newest stabilizers on the market. I was fortunate enough to have two different models in my greedy little hands. I had the 8” and the 10”. I took a quick test drive of the 8” but then turned my focus to the 10”, as I mentioned before…I like to ensure I have decent follow through and the stabilizer helps me in that regard.
As you can see by the design it’s rather simple. It has an aluminum core with a special rubber type coating. The design of the front has multiple purposes. It puts some extra weight out front, but also has a unique design so that you can easily carry your bow with comfort, as well as use it as a kick stand for the bow. The creator of this stabilizer had a goal to make a stabilizer that had multiple functions, and still meet the demands of the hunter. I think he nailed it with this design.
Some of the things I liked about this stabilizer were that it offered a simple design with multiple purposes, handled my bows vibration after the shot, and offered some stability. I know what it’s like hiking up and down mountains carrying your bow. You get fatigue and continually shift how or where you carry your bow. The unique design allows you to cup your forearm and carry the bow by its grip. What a novel idea, carry your bow by the grip…The other cool feature of this design was that you can easily set your bow down, if you need to stop and take a break or want to get a photo of your trophy.
One of the challenges I had was installing this to my bow. It’s really simple to install, but adjusting it so they “V” shape was in the right location took me a few minutes. I think after getting used to the adjusting nut it would go quicker, but it was one thing that I didn’t care for with the initial install. Even with this minor annoyance I was very happy with how this stabilizer performed. I would consider “The Mule” as a true hunter’s stabilizer one that I would certainly use.
Where to buy: The Mule
If I had the option too, I would purchase each one of the stabilizers I tested. Each had their own pluses and minuses. Some, like the Crossover, gave me more follow through with my shot and others like “The Mule” provided me with more carry comfort. If I had to narrow down and purchase only one of the stabilizers, I’d probably go with the Bee Stinger. The main reason I’d go with the Bee Stinger is I can adjust it to balance out my bow many different ways. Again, like I previously mentioned each one of the stabilizers I tested has its own special use case. I hope you found this article helpful in deciding what to look for in your archery stabilizer. Please let us if you want us to take a look at something else before you make the purchase.