Single or duel cam?


New member
Hi, sorry I know this has probably been asked a lot but what the difference between single and duel cam? My last bow was duel and worked but now I’m looking at singles and wondering what the difference is if any, cheers.


Dual cam (also known as binary on Bowtechs though there is a slight nuance in the design) is where each cam is the same and slaved to each other by the cables. In short this means both cams do the same thing at the same time as you draw back. 1 bowstring and 2 buss cables.

Single cam is where there is just one cam on the bottom limb, and a circular idler wheel at the top (typical of the Mathews solocam bows). This means the 'magic' is happening in only one place and the string just goes over the top wheel and back down. The top limb is then kept in sync by a buss cable. 1 bowstring and 1 buss cable.

Finally you didn't mention (but perhaps you meant when you said singles) the hybrid cam system (all known as cam-and-half on Hoyts). This is somewhere in between Dual and Single where there are two cams, one on each limb, but both different shapes. 1 bowstring, 1 control cable, and 1 buss cable.

If you want to talk differences in terms of advantages and disadvantages, this is where it can get controversial and opinion might come in. Safe to say many people have shot all styles of cam to an excellent level ;) As a rule of thumb, however, Dual cam bows are seen as typically faster and have less nock travel on the draw due to the symmetry. Single or hybrid cam bows are seen as easier to tune and maintain as things are adjusted more as a unit than as two separate cams. In general I would say try bows out and go with what feels good, but the maintenance/adjustability may well be something you want to bear in mind when buying, and it's always nice to know how it works.

I have tried to give a mid-pitch explanation, if you have any more specifics, want something more technical or more simple do let me know!
There is quite a lot of info out there, but it can be confusing. IIRC this video gives a good visual breakdown and discusses advantages/disadvantages.


Answer from >Archery Talk<
Dual or binary cam bows are typically a tad faster. It is easier to design an agressive draw force curve on them. Many have draw stops so generally they have a more solid wall. They are thought to be a little noisier than single cams.

Single cam bows are a tad slower in general, and they are though of as being a little quieter. In addition, they are less likely to go out of tune, and when they do the effect on arrow flight is not as significant as in 2 cam bows. The weakest part in the whole setup is the cable yoke (the Y part that attacches to the limb). If one of the arms of the yoke streches more than the other, the idler wheel might lean. In the past single cam bows where seen as being more precise and easier to keep in tune.

Nowdays with binary cams and non-streching string materials, it is just a matter of preference.

So in summary:

2 cams: faster + solid wall.
single cams: quieter + easier maintenance

Just my 2 cents, of course you will find lots of digressing opinions on this topic


New member
Ok great thank's, that all really helped. Having had a dual I am going to go with a single hybrid to try it out, I was also extremely tired of the maintenance of the first bow so looking forward to only having to adjust one cam now. Cheers both.


No worries.

I should say that you still have to make adjustments to both cams of a hybrid bow, it's just I see it more as adjusting the system as a whole since everything is connected and each cam has its own role.