The cam system of compound bows is arguably one of the most distinguished and unique features. But many newcomers and even veterans get confused regarding which cam type will be the best for them.
Generally, the discussion resounds around single cam vs dual cam compound bow as both twin cams and hybrid cams are used for specific purposes.
Here, we’ll compare the both compound bow types, their benefits, and issues and help you decide which one is better for you.
Table of Contents
Understanding the Cam Mechanics of Compound Bows
Now before we dive into the details and start comparing double cam vs single cam bow, we need to understand the cam mechanics first. This is because they are the ones differentiating the bows in the first place.
The cam on a compound bow is a sliding or rotating piece of metallic linkage that creates rotary motion to linear motion.
In simple terms, it is a rotating device placed on the rear (around the rotating curve) that works similar to how a block & tackle work on a crane.
When the bow string is pulled back, the wheels that are on the cam are rotated, and the large one is getting the motion first. And then, it triggers the small one which results in a significant volume of force towards the cable connecting limbs located at each end.
Cables that are pulling in those limbs, and as a result, a high volume of force is stored, which spreads across the bow once you release your bow string. This allows you to accumulate strong force without applying much pressure. It also helps with accuracy and using proficiency.
Single Cam Compound Bow
Solocam or single cam compound bow as the name suggests, consists of one cam. The cam is generally found at the lower limb of the bow, while the other one consists of a circular wheel.
It isn’t related to the cam system, just a plain and simple timing wheel to support the functions. This also holds the balance — otherwise, aiming will be quite difficult.
A single cam bow allows precise and almost noise-free performance as there is less string vibration, and the force isn’t overwhelming.
That’s why many professionals and veterans of the sport prefer this version of compound bows instead of the other counterparts.
Double Cam Compound Bow
Dual cam or double cam compound bow consists of two cams, one at the top limb and one at the back limb.
They are connected to the bus cables & control cables. Depending on how they are connected, dual compound bows are distinguished into three different types:
- Binary Compound Bow
- Hybrid Cam Compound Bow
- Twin Cam Compound Bow
Depending on the type, the effectiveness of a double compound bow can differ. But double cam bows have always been widely known for their force generation, aggressiveness, and faster drawing time. The wall is also tougher than single cams.
Let's Compare Between Single and Dual Cam System
Now that we have the general idea of how the cam system works, let’s go through the differences between single cam vs dual cam bow.
When it comes to accuracy, single cam compound bows are superior to double cam ones. The main reason behind this is the power generation of the bows that affects the balance.
Double cam compound bows need to be acutely timed. By doing so, when you pull on, both limbs should have an equal proportion of force when they are released. If the balance of draw is shifted then the accuracy goes haywire.
You don’t have to worry about this issue because the power generation of the limb on a single cam spreads equally. So, they are much easier to balance, and there is a low chance of losing your stance or accuracy after the draw.
That’s why in the accuracy & consistency department, single cam bow is just better than dual cam compound bow.
So, The Winner for Accuracy Is Single Cam
Power draw refers to the aggregate force you can generate on the bow before release. In this area, dual cam prevails because two cams are generating the power, whereas, in the case of single cam bows, there is only one.
That being said, there are high-end single cam bows that are capable to generate a higher power draw compared to some top-of-the-line single cam bows. But the numbers are quite low, and generally, it is the double cam ones that have the upper hand.
Dual Cam Is Clear Winner When It Comes To Power
Noise on bows is generated due to the vibration of bow strings after they are released. The concept is similar to how guitars make sounds but less pleasing.
Due to only one cam working there is less vibration generated when a single cam bow releases an arrow. But that is not the case for dual cams because the two cams are bound to generate more vibrations.
Along with that, if your timing is a bit off, then there will be more force that needs depleting, and this means more vibrations resulting in more noise. Therefore, single cam compound bows are the clear winner in the noise department.
Single Cam Bow Creates Low Noise Than Dual Cam
Drawing speed and arrow speed is superior in double cam compound bows compared to single cams.
Once someone masters the arts of double compound bows, they can put more than twice the number of arrows out compared to someone using a single cam bow.
Dual Cam Is The Winner When It Comes To Speed
If maintenance is concerned, then a single cam bow is obviously the pick as you need to take care of only cam maintenance where there will be two to look after on double cam bows.
That’s not all, due to the high usage compared to a single cam, double compound bows require frequent cleaning and they are quite hard to do so. On the other hand, single-cam bows are easy to maintain.
Single Cam Needs Low Maintenance
Back wall refers to how easier it is to draw the bow’s string than the actual draw speed. Dual cam compound bows have a better back wall than a single cam, as the two cams come really handy and ease the pressure when drawing.
Dual Cam Is The Winner
While the price can be a bit difficult to pin down as there are both expensive versions and cheap versions of both types. Generally, the price of a double cam compound bow is higher than a single cam bow. You are getting an extra cam so obviously; the price should be increased.
Single Cam Bows are Cheaper Than Dual Cam
Who’s the Winner: Single Cam or Dual Cam Bow
As we have seen in this article, both single-cam and dual-cam compound bows have their advantages. Depending on that if you are into bow hunting, then the best choice will be a single cam bow, they are silent offers better accuracy, and are quite easy to take care of.
On the other hand, if you are into target archery, then a dual cam bow is the best choice out there. It offers power, faster-drawing speed, better efficiency, and high speed. The tuning and maintenance can be tricky at first, but if you are passionate, then you can master it quite easily.
We also recommend dual bows if you are just starting out with bows. Yes, the maintenance and noise are better on the single cam, but if you master dual cam first, mastering single cam compound bows will just be a matter of time.
So, from this discussion over single cam vs dual cam compound bow, it is clear that both offer good and bad performance on specified fields. So, look into how and where you will be using the bow and pick the one that is best suited to serve those parts.
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