A Guide to Arrow Nocks: Understanding Types and Usage

When it comes to the components of an arrow, the nock plays a crucial role in ensuring proper flight, accuracy, and safety. The arrow nock is the small plastic piece at the back of the shaft that connects the arrow to the bowstring. In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive guide to arrow nocks, including the different types, their functions, and factors to consider when choosing the right nock for your archery needs.


Understanding the Purpose of Arrow Nocks

Arrow nocks serve several important purposes in archery.

Bowstring Attachment

The primary function of the nock is to securely attach the arrow to the bowstring. It allows the archer to draw the arrow and maintain consistent positioning for every shot.

Consistent Orientation

Nocks are designed to ensure consistent arrow positioning on the bowstring, allowing for repeatable and accurate shots. This consistency is crucial for archers, as it helps establish a reliable anchor point and sight alignment.

Clearance for Bow Rests

Different bow designs require specific arrow nocks to allow proper clearance for the bow's arrow rest. Choosing the correct nock can prevent interference with the bow's rest, reducing the risk of destabilising the arrow during the release.


Correctly fitted arrow nocks help minimise the chance of accidental arrow detachment during the draw and release phases, enhancing safety for the archer and those nearby.


Types of Arrow Nocks

Arrow nocks come in various types, each with distinct characteristics and specific purposes. Here are the most common nock types you may come across:

Push-In Nocks

Push-in nocks are the traditional style of nocks that require the archer to physically push the arrow onto the string until it clicks into place. These nocks usually have a small tab that locks onto the bowstring to hold the arrow securely.

Pin Nocks

Pin nocks feature a pin that inserts into a small hole in the back of the arrow shaft. This type of nock provides additional security and alignment, preventing rotation and ensuring consistent positioning of the arrow on the bowstring.

Indexing Nocks

Indexing nocks incorporate an indexing feature in the form of a small protrusion or groove on the nock itself. This indexing allows the archer to consistently orient the arrow in the same position, enhancing accuracy and repeatable shot placement.

Lighted Nocks

Lighted nocks are specialised nocks with built-in LED lights that activate upon release. These nocks are primarily used for tracking the arrow's path, providing valuable feedback for archers during low-light conditions or when shooting at longer distances.


Factors to Consider When Choosing Arrow Nocks

Choosing the right arrow nock for your archery setup requires careful consideration. Here are some factors to keep in mind:


Ensure the nock is compatible with your arrow shaft diameter and the bowstring you are using. Different arrow manufacturers may produce arrows with specific nock requirements.

Bow Rest Clearance

Consider the type of arrow rest your bow utilises, and ensure the nock you choose provides adequate clearance for proper arrow flight and bow performance.

Arrow Weight

The weight of the arrow can affect its flight characteristics. It's essential to choose a nock that aligns with the weight and balance you desire for your arrows.


Consider your archery goals when selecting a nock. Hunting and target shooting may have different requirements, such as lighted nocks for tracking or indexing nocks for improved repeatability.

Personal Preference

Ultimately, personal preference plays a role in the selection process. You may find that certain nocks feel more comfortable or suit your shooting style better, so experimenting with different options can be beneficial.



Arrow nocks may seem like small and simple components, but their impact on arrow flight, consistent shot placement, and safety cannot be ignored. Understanding the different types of nocks available, their functions, and the factors to consider when choosing can significantly enhance your archery experience. So, be sure to assess your specific needs, experiment with different nock types, and make an informed decision based on compatibility, performance, and personal preference.


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