Types of Nocks

Are you interested in hunting? Hunting and nocks have a strong connection. If you are new to hunting, you may not know about the types of nocks, their fittings, string, and arrow. Many of us think that having a nock is enough without knowing about its types and other aspects.

The nock manufacturers make the different types of arrow nocks in various fittings. Therefore, we will explore the different arrow nocks. Moreover, knowing what type of thread to use for marking the nock point is also crucial.

Table of Contents

What are Nocks?

A nock has a few meanings in archery depending on whether the term is used as a noun or as a verb. As a noun it commonly refers to the small arrow attachments which has a notch between 2 tips (horns) that allow the arrow to attach to the bowstring. As a verb, the action of attaching the arrow to the bowstring through the nocks notch is known as “nock or nocking the arrow”.  The purpose of using a nock is to ensure good arrow positioning and alignment for optimal target shooting. Crossbow nocks also influence bowstring wear, an overall crossbow performance.

Different types of arrows or crossbow nocks come with various purposes. Having the right nocks ensures fewer fitting issues with the arrow. The archers prefer using the nock that helps to target the substance easily.

Before moving to the types of nocks, it is essential to know the general structure of any nock. It will help you differentiate between different kinds of arrow nocks.

Nock Structure

The structure of the nock may look simply, but the manufacturers have designed it with certain key elements. The nocks’ basic structure consists of the following parts.

Nock Fitting

The fitting is the first thing to consider whenever we talk about the different crossbow nocks or arrow nocks. Keep in mind that every nock fit is not suitable for every arrow. You should know about the possible nock requirements and fittings and types available for your arrow and then select the nock fitting and type that best suits your needs. When you have selected the nock type with the proper fitting according to your crossbow arrow, your shot accuracy should improve.

Nock Mouth

The next part of the nock is the concave part that slides through the string – also known as the mouth. If you are using any nock during archery, you may feel the clicking sound of the nock mouth clipping onto the string. Moreover, the bowstring can slide thorough the mouth because the front part of the mouth that clips onto the bowstring part is narrower and ensures that the arrow and string have a strong connection.

Nock Throat

The throat of the nock refers to the deepest part of the slit. It is a broader part than the other slit parts. If you have the right throat size, the arrow doesn’t move or rotate along with the string. It helps you to aim at your target accurately. Do remember that the dimensions of the throat are an essential part to consider while selecting the different types of nocks. Some nocks have too tight throats that it will not allow the arrow to move. Therefore, the throat plays a significant part in the nock type.

Nock Ridge

Different nocks have sideline edging that they refer to as the ridge. The ridge line helps guide the archer to nock the arrow securely to the bow string. The edging might interfere with the crossbow if you don’t nock the arrow in the correct position as it can mislead the archer into thinking the arrow has been nocked. If this occurs the arrow shot accuracy will be compromised.

Construction Material of Nocks and Why does it Matter in its Different Types?

The construction materials of different nocks usually consist of plastic and aluminum. However, if the size and fittings of the nocks are ideal, the nocks’ material is not an issue. It is essential to get the high-velocity crossbow and nocks when you start to hit the target for actual hunt or practice.

However, the high-end nocks containing plastic and aluminum materials support the shooter in achieving sufficient speed to hit the target. The shooters put a significant amount of pressure before unleashing and pulling the trigger. This pressure or force directly impacts the nocked arrow through the string and is essential to cause the elasticity. If the nock isn’t made of durable material, handling the pressure and producing elasticity could be problematic.

Therefore, the crossbow manufacturers also recommend the users get the nocks consisting of aluminum. It will help sustain the pressure and produce elasticity for getting the high speed of the arrow after firing. If you have a better shaped and fitting nock, but don’t have proper material, you may get cracks in it. The plastic nocks also work well to sustain the pressure and hit the target correctly.

Types of Crossbow Nocks by their Shapes

The nock’s material, shapes, and fittings are essential to consider in order to get the one with best quality. Moreover, the illuminated nocks (nocks which contain LED lights) help to track the arrow flight.

The Illuminated nocks contain an illuminating material that give better visualization of the arrow nock during the night hunting. Remember that the crossbow arrow nocks have four main categories: the moon, flat, capture, and hybrid moon nock. Ensure that you get your specific nock shape that suits your crossbow.

Flat Nock

The flat nock is one of the oldest types of nock in a simple design. The name of flat nock also represents that it just has the flat disc that sits flat at the back of the arrow.

It doesn’t require any special configuration when you change the nock on the back of the arrow. Moreover, it allows for slight vertical adjustments of the bowstring over the flat portion of the nock when you fire the arrow. One disadvantage is that because it is flat the string may slip off the nock when firing the arrow leading to dry firing. This however is a rare occurrence if the archer/hunter is careful.

Moon nock

The moon nock is famous as the half-moon nock. It gives a slight concave curvature to the nock. The moon nock allows the crossbow string to sit in the groove (depression) that helps in achieve better string stretch over and below when you fire the arrow. It is famous as the moon nock due to its shape, similar to the half-moon shape.

It is easy to mount the moon nock, even for beginners. Ensure that you load it so that the arrow vane points straight up or down position and the string grooves sits horizontally

Capture nock

Here is another type of nock for crossbows according to the shape. It is one of the most standard nocks among the shooters who prefer using the vertical bow. The nock has a deep groove that perfectly fits or snaps with the bow string to ensure accuracy.

In addition, it has many similarities with the moon nock as it also sits ideally with the vane in a vertical position. You can also point it in the straight up and down position. However, the shooters or archers get the capture nock to reach the target while pointing it perfectly.

Hybrid moon nock

It is the last type of nock according to the shape category. Moreover, it is also the latest nock type that is essentially similar to the moon nock, but also concave with 120 degrees angle of the arrow.

If you are looking for the string-fitted nock, then moon nock and hybrid moon nock are preferable. You can mount it just like the moon nock and the string in configurations with the vane.

The hybrid moon nock provides more freedom to shooters regarding its assembling with the string of the arrow. For example, if you have the trackless arrow, a hybrid moon nock is the perfect option with illuminated features.

Types of Crossbow Nocks by Fitting

After covering the nock types regarding their shapes, you need to know about the nocks based on fittings. There are three different types of nocks based on the fittings: the press-in, fit-over, pin, and cone nocks. Unfortunately, the press-in and pin nocks work well with similar arrows. Whereas the other types of nocks demand different types of crossbows.

However, these three types of nocks are different and essential for various types of work.


The press-in name in the nock demonstrates that you can attach it to the back of the arrow by just pressing on it. The press-in nocks are the most common type of nocks that don’t demand any adhesive material and are easy to use and easy to change. In addition, it is also one of the affordable types of nock as it doesn’t require any glue for attachment, so you can change the nock quickly whenever you need to during the shooting. They are suitable for most carbon or aluminum arrows.

Press-in nocks are available in 2 main sizes: small and large. The small :3/16 in. or 4.5 cm is the most common size among all the press-in nocks that is best for arrow use with 3/16-inch thickness. Thicker arrows require thicker press in nocks usually 1/4 inch or 6.5cm. Ensure that you choose the perfect size according to your arrow requirement and size.


The pin nocks are famous as the protective nocks. It helps to protect the arrow shaft from breaking. Ensure that you get the right and accurate size of the pin nock that helps to get the accuracy and flexibility in firing the arrow. However, the pin nocks provide significant support if you are using expensive arrows and want to prolong their longevity.

Pin nocks are often made of plastic and are usually among the more. expensive nock types., Experts don’t tend to recommend that the beginner shooter start with the pin nock.

The pin of the pin nock, comes in standard sizes which should attach to any insert. The inserts will however vary in size according to the arrow thickness it must fit. You can choose any pin nock and make it fit according to your arrow. There are suitable for both carbon or aluminum arrows.

Fit Over

The fit-over nock is another type of nock entirely different from the press-in nock. It does require the adhesive material for entering at the arrow end. In fact, these nocks do not fit into the arrow butt, they instead fit over the shaft. They are usually reserved for arrows which cannot take an insert such as: Wooden arrows or cheaper carbon arrows used by traditionalist archers. They are also cheap as compared to other nock types.


The cone nock is a less preferable type of nock among others as it has the potential to damage the aluminum arrows. If you are familiar with the press in nocks, you may not like the cone nocks.  However, they are used in preference to the pin and press-in nocks as these nocks can sometimes damage the arrow when you want to insert it into the arrow butt with force. However, cone nocks are best for the aluminum arrows but do require glue to attach them. Remember that it is hard to remove the cone nocks once they are attached.


The built-in nocks are the last and cheapest arrow nock that you can get. The built-in nocks are directly attached to the vanes and are not easy to remove. The experts recommend removing the nock if you want to become a serious archer. Once you attach the built-in nocks, they is not removable nor changeable or re-useable. If anything happens to your nock, it is not recoverable and the arrow should be thrown away.

How the Nock influences your Accuracy?

Now you know about all types of nocks and their usage. But many of us still want to see how the different kinds of nock can influence the accuracy of arrows. Remember that the correct type of nock is everything for the archers to achieve the target.

Here are some factors that help you understand how nock influences the accuracy of your shooting experience.

Throat Sizing

The size of the throat is the most critical factor that can increase or decrease the accuracy of your crossbow arrow. If your nock’s throat size is not according to your arrow type, it can cause the string to roll over your fingers, and you will lose the grip on your arrow. It is also not possible to stay consistent 100 percent every time. Some other factors also influence the accuracy of your shot. However, according to your arrow, you need to ensure that the nock size and throat are appropriate. 

Nocking strength

The nock firmness is another essential factor that can influence accuracy. It helps you determine how much effort or pressure you need to exert to remove the nock from the arrow string. The string of the arrow may have an enormous mouth containing the flexible material. However, cheap nocks usually come with a stiff material that requires more effort to attach to the bowstring. Keep in mind that the nock that gives the firm grip will decrease the speed of your arrow, and you also need to put in more power. Many of us don’t generally notice the fitting of strings with nocks, but it significantly influences accuracy.

Nock Weight

The weight of the nock is minimal, in comparison to the arrow’s total weight. However, the nock weight will influence the arrow shot and the total distance it can travel. It directly impacts the dynamic spine of the nock, but only when it is in the reverse direction. If you have a heavy nock compared to the arrow, then the nock will give you more resistance. It will lead to pulling the arrow straight and giving less flexibility. Moreover, it will decrease the dynamic spine of the arrow.

Nock length

It is the last thing that can influence the accuracy of your shot. Remember that every nock has different lengths as there is no standard. Moreover, the nock length also doesn’t mean the total length of the nock, but it represents how far it extends the arrow shaft length and the distance the bow string is pushed away from the actual arrow shaft. Most nocks range in length size (7-13mm or ¼- 5/10 of an inch) which does not seem much but can impact the overall arrow performance particularly if you are moving from using shorter to longer nock sizes.

Final words

Above we have summarized the most common nock types currently available on the market. Generally, it is preferable for hunters/archers to purchase nocks that are recommended by the manufacturer for their crossbow type. Different Nock types influence your shooting accuracy and effect bowstring wear, arrow longevity and performance. Therefore, choose according to your arrow requirements for a better experience.