A good mechanic can do a few jobs with nothing more than a socket set. But if a socket is the only tool available to him, he won’t be able to fix every problem, install every part, or tune every vehicle to run as it should. Can you imagine an auto shop that has nothing more than sockets? That would be absurd.
Why, then, do we as archers and bowhunters think all we need is a set of hex wrenches to repair, replace parts on, and fine-tune our bows?
Do You Need A Bow Press?
If you want to take your knowledge of bows to the next level – to be able to understand how they work, to know what adjustments will correct or increase their performance, and be able to fix any problems that might arise – then you need to consider purchasing a bow press.
A good bow press starts around $400, so they’re not cheap. But, ask yourself how long you are going to shoot bows… The next 5 years? 20 years? 40 years? Now, think about how much it costs you to have your bow tuned at the shop. Moreover, what if you – like me – don’t have a great archery shop near you?
If I want to find someone that knows, understands, and is intimately familiar with the bow platform that I shoot – someone that I fully trust with my bow – I have to drive an hour away. So, take the cost of the service, then add the cost of gas for the round-trip, then consider how much time it takes for me to make it out there, wait for the work to be done, and drive another hour back. That amount of time is hard for me to find. And what if I have a problem during hunting season?
The one-time investment of a bow press starts to make a lot of sense when you consider all of the above. (And with Christmas coming, maybe you can find some extra cash to make the purchase!)
I hope that introduction gives you some context for what I want to review today – the EZ Bow Press from Last Chance Archery. I’m not one to recommend products for no reason, especially when they cost several-hundred dollars, so I want to let you know where I’m coming from and why a bow press might make sense for you.
Last Spring I started a series on do-it-yourself bow setup, tuning, and repair. And there’s more to come in that series! If you want to be self-sufficient when working on your bows, and dive into some of the tuning and setup topics that we’ll be covering, then you need a bow press. You just can’t get by without one.
The cheapest route is to go with a cable-style press, but they’re slow, tedious, inconvenient, and can be dangerous to yourself and your bow. If you frequent the forums, you’ll also see that there are different plans to build a bow press, but the designs are lacking, and the material costs aren’t all that cheap.
I’ve done the research, and if you want a capable, adaptable, safe and affordable bow press that will literally last you for the rest of your life, I believe that a press from Last Chance Archery is the best investment you can make.
Why I Chose Last Chance Archery
Why Last Chance? Well, let me start with a very important reason – Last Chance’s patented design presses the bow with a “natural” force. Anytime you press a bow you are introducing a lot of force, which isn’t necessarily bad IF the bow is built to withstand the force being applied.
Thanks to the secure “fingers” that Last Chance has developed, the force applied to the bow is safely and evenly applied to compress the limbs, flexing the bow as it was designed to flex. Other presses put undue force and stress on the bow’s riser, and/or on the bows limb near the limb pockets, but bow’s are not designed to withstand this force; they might be able to hold up to it for a while, but you’re asking for trouble by introducing stress that isn’t intended.
While we’re talking about them, I should also note that Last Chance’s press fingers are adjustable to accommodate nearly any bow, regardless of the cam design. The fingers are able to be adjusted individually, allowing them to work with different cam widths. Last Chance also offers a shortened finger design that will work with bows that have a cam-mounted, limb-based draw stop (such as my Elite bows).
Since Last Chance uses a simple, effective, limb-tip activated design, there isn’t anything to interfere with your bow. When I have used other bow presses in the past, there have been times that I have had to remove parts and accessories off of my bow to either get the bow into the press, or allow the press to move freely and have enough clearance to fully actuate. I don’t have to remove a thing to fully operate with an EZ Press. It amazes me how simple and clean Last Chance’s design is, especially when compared to other competitor’s presses that are littered with wheels, bars, brackets, and complicated adjustments.
The next thing that won me over with Last Chance is their construction. “Solid.” That’s the word that comes to mind when I think of the Last Chance EZ Press. The materials, the machining, the adjustments, the welds, the finish – it’s all solid. I have zero doubts that my press will last a lifetime, and then be handed down to someone else. And in the rare instance that a problem does arise, I know that the people at Last Chance stand behind their products.
Finally, I love that Last Chance offers a variety of presses that each have the same level of quality and essential function, but allow for the user to decide how many “extras” they want to add. Most of you will likely choose the EZ Green Press, which was designed for the individual consumer. At the other end of the spectrum, you have the Power Press Deluxe, which replace the manual crank with a motor that will quickly expand and contract the press.
I have the EZ Press Deluxe, which includes an upgrade wheel-style activator and the ability to turn the bow from horizontal to vertical. I also made my press semi-portable by utilizing Last Chance’s optional floor stand. There are plenty of other accessories, too… Wall mount, hitch mounts, tool trays, 2nd-axis adapters… The list goes on.
Not every bowhunter needs a bow press. But if you’re a life-long archer or bowhunter, I think it is an incredibly wise investment to make. Having a bow press will allow you to install peep sights, adjust and straighten peep sights (the correct way!), fine-tune your draw length by adjusting the harness system, change draw-length modules in the bow’s cams, time cam rotation, set cam synchronization, change strings and/or cables, adjust specifications brace height and axle-to-axle length, and a TON more…
If you’re interested in a bow press that’s affordable, functional, and durable, I wholeheartedly recommend that you consider Last Chance Archery.