Limit your downtime and begin creating your own home bow shop today!
Unless you are lucky enough to have a bow shop in your area, any work on your bow requires a road trip. The worst part is many of the alterations take little time, but do a good job of keeping you out of the woods.
Imagine not depending on someone else to work on your bow. That's why you should consider creating your own DIY custom bow shop in your home.
Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was my home bow shop. Certain archery tools can be quite expensive. If you start small, and build your shop overtime, it becomes a much more achievable task.
In three years I was able to acquire all the tools necessary to repair and tune my bow. Gone are the days of driving to the pro shop on Saturday, instead of the woods.
Here are the 15 tools I compiled to make my own "legit" home bow shop in no particular order.
1. Bow Press
This will likely be the most expensive tool to buy. I purchased the Bow Time Machine, because it's a bow press, draw board, and bow vise in one compact unit.
If you don't have a lot of space, and like the idea of one tool with multiple features, this is it. I paid $700 for mine, and have no regrets.
2. Arrow Saw
There are a couple cut off saws out there that retail around $130. I went the DIY route and built mine for less than $45.
Three years, and dozens of arrows later, my arrow saw continues to be a valued tool in my home bow shop.
3. Arrow Square
After I cut my arrows, I clean the end of any burrs with my G5 Arrow Squaring Tool. It leaves the shaft with a straight edge so my inserts sit flush. Look to spend $40 for this tool, the improved accuracy is worth it.
4. Fletching Tool
Again, there is no shortage on fletching tool to choose from. I use the Bohning Helix Tower Fletching Jig.
It is my most used tool in the shop. I can fletch a dozen arrows in less than a half hour. Well worth the $60 it cost me.
5. Arrow Spinner
Obviously, a straight arrow flies best. The Arrow Inspector by Pine Ridge Archery ensures all your shafts are, you guessed it, straight as an arrow.
Just lay your arrow on the rest, give it a spin, and watch for any wobbles. Look to spend $30 for this tool.
6. Postage Scale
Now that your arrow is cut, built, and fletched, how much does it weigh? Arrow weight can affect the speed and kinetic energy produced by your arrows. Additionally, arrows that weigh the same will group better.
Make sure your scale can measure in grains, as that is the standard in the archery work. I picked one up at Harbor Freight for $10.
Not a necessity, but I use my chronograph more now to micro tune my arrow builds.
I purchased a Caldwell Chronograph. It cost $99, and you can download a free app that automatically records your shot history.
8. Allen Wrenches
A nice set of T-handle allen wrenches is a must for any home bow shop. Depending on your bow's manufacturer (PSE), you may need torx wrenches too. Any hardware store should carry them, I bought a set at Harbor Freight for less than $10.
9. Bow Scale
After tuning your bow, or putting on a new string, it's nice to know exactly how much weight you are pulling. I purchased a digital bow scale for $35 from Cabela's.
It has a backlit screen, is battery operated, and accurate within 0.05 pounds.
10. Paper Tune Device
There are a few paper tune devices out there, but I decided to go the DIY route with this too. I spent less than $30 at Lowes for some PVC plumbing pipe and a roll of kraft paper. An invaluable tool when tuning your bow.
11. Bow Vise
I don't have a separate bow vise, but if I didn't use my bow press as one, I would buy the Versa Cradle 360 Degree Bow Vise. It's designed to accept all limb types, unlike some other manufacturers.
At around $180, it's a little pricy, but unless you have three hands, you are going to need something.
12. Serving Tool
The thought of serving my own bow string was intimidating at first, until I purchased Bohning's All In One Serving Kit. The kit comes with everything you need to serve your own string, and an instructional DVD too. For $35, it was worth it.
13. Bow Square
The Easton L Bow Square is less than $10, and is a real asset when installing a new rest on your bow. It has etched reference marks that help with setting your peep sight too.
14. Nock Pliers
I stuck with Easton and purchased their Elite Multi-Pliers. It has a 5-in-1 design that comes in handy when serving, as well as installing a D-loop. They cost more than most nock pliers, but they are more versatile.
Last but not least, every home bow shop should be equipped with a target. I use a Rinehart Rhino Bag Target. I suspend it from the ceiling and test out my freshly built arrows and tuned bow.
Once one side is blown out, I flip it and use the opposite side. It's like getting two targets for the $60 I spent on one.