What is a pressure button?
Adam Miller is here with another blog post to take the pressure away from choosing the right button for your bow.
Some call it a pressure button, some a plunger button and yet to others it is a cushion plunger. Whatever you call it, this little device can help to make or break a shot.
What does the button do?
In simple terms, the pressure button helps to centre the arrow, then stabilises the arrow's flight as it leaves the bow. If tuned correctly, it can help to give you a more forgiving shot.
Can it be used to fix a badly spined arrow? you may wonder. The straight forward answer: that's not what it was designed to do. Unfortunately, most people try this anyway.
How should the button be used?
In a perfect world, you only setup a button once you have confirmed your arrows are correctly matched to your bow (one good way is by using the stiff button method). The spring tension (or stiffness of the spring) is then only used for micro tuning.
If you are struggling to get your un-fletched arrows to fly true, you might need to consider other options like bow weight, arrow length, point weight or a different set of arrows.
Always ask for advice if you're buying a new set of arrows, especially if you are new to archery. The spine charts can be a little confusing (see our article on spine selection https://thearcheryshop.co.uk/blog/arrow-spine-selection for help if you need it).
Barebow archers use buttons in a different way to recurve archers, and everyone you meet will probably give you their own view on the subject. For now, all you need to know is that it is an essential piece of equipment and if you haven’t already bought one, it's about time you did.
There are many different methods to help you tune your bow by using a pressure button, but that's a whole different topic, so in a future article we will explore in more detail what the button actually does, how you can use it to help tune your bow and to help you to understand how to adjust it correctly.
For now, let's look at the device itself. In these 2 diagrams you will see a break down of the most important parts for 2 different styles of buttons.
The 3rd diagram below shows a basic setup of how the button is placed on the riser.
Which button should I buy?
There are many, many different brands and prices for pressure buttons. Some fairly cheap, some very expensive, so which one is right for you?
This all depends on your budget and your current level of experience. If you are just starting in archery and are on a tight budget, then any of the lower priced buttons should be fine for you to start with, buttons like the Cartel - Triple Cushion Plunger.
If you have been in the sport for a while, upgrading to a higher price button is always a good idea, maybe one of the mid range ones like the Shibuya - DX Gold Tip Cushion Plunger. A button like this is a great choice, as it is reliable and won’t break the bank. It also comes in many different colours - thats always a bonus - the gold tip helps to reduce arrow wear and it is supplied with several different stiffness springs so you can be sure you’ll get the best results from it.
If your budget allows and you are taking your first steps into more competitive archery, then a micro click button is essential. The most popular, and the most expensive one being the Beiter - Pressure Button. This is the button of choice for most of the top archers in the world, manufactured with precision engineering and allowing micro click adjustments. Numbers and lines have also been added to the barrel of the button so it's easy to make a note of the settings in case you decide to change arrows. Is it worth the high price? Yes, it’s the most popular with the best archers in the world for a reason. Once it's set, that's it.... as long as you look after it, it will stay accurate for many years to come. The button comes complete with spare tip, springs and all of the tools needed to make adjustments. And, like the Shibuya DX, it comes in a variety of colours. Not to mention that it's very easy to get spare parts.
There is also the option to try a magnetic button, this uses magnets to increase or decrease the stiffness of the button, no springs needed. There are advantages and disadvantages to this idea, but it could be another option, if you like to experiment a bit with your equipment.
Some people might pick a particular make, just because they like the way it looks. You might want to start with a lower priced one and upgrade as your archery journey continues. Especially if you're looking to upgrade your bow in the near future, you might want to buy one in a colour to match your new bow! Which ever one you choose, if you check and clean it once in a while it’ll last you for many years to come. Just remember: it is a small piece of equipment but it has to be in a good working order to do it's job. Look after it and, as with most equipment always have a spare, just in case!