This product review was performed because of an opportunity that was found on an archery forum posted by FIRENOCK. The objective was provide a truthful review with the Good, Bad, and the Ugly after shooting each arrow at least 100 times with 2 nocks of my choice, against Firenock by Firenock, LLC. The two that I picked were; Tracer by Easton, and Lumenok by the Burt Coyote Company, Inc.
The first product purchased was the Firenock. In order to find this nock, I went to the Firenock website, there I found a guide to determine the correct nock for my arrows at http://www.firenock.com/Productfitchart.htm#top I also found a dealer locator in which, I discovered the local shops in my area; currently do not carry this nock, not even the large Sports and Outdoors Stores. I placed the order online in which I paid 19.95 for the nock and 5.00 for shipping. The shipping was rather quick I ordered it late on Saturday 01AUG09 and I received it 04AUG09.
My second objective was to find the Tracer and the Lumenok, lighted nocks. I found them both at a local shop. The price for the Tracer was 17.95 for a 2 pack which, is the only way I could find them locally. The Burt Coyote Lumenok was 9.99. The local shop had an experienced staff to assist me in purchasing the correct size nocks.
At this point I had everything I needed, to get started testing these products.
Tracer Nock is activated by a magnet that you must stick on your bow. The placement of this magnet is essential for proper operation of the nock. It took me multiple times to put the magnet in a spot, where it did not try to pull my arrow off of the rest and still operate properly. I used this nock last year, the magnet feel off during the season. I checked local shops for the nock with negative results. I emailed Easton tech support to see about purchasing some; they do not currently sell them, however, they offered to send me some this one time ONLY. In the mean time I went to a local craft shop and found a magnet that worked better with my bow, than the one supplied by Easton, for a price of $2.58 for six. I used one of the craft store magnets for this product review, since it was already stuck on my bow. The nock assembly is preassembled. There is a simple sequence that you must follow to activate and deactivate this nock. This process is clearly stated in the instructions.
Firenock required some assembly. Reading the instructions made me a little nervous. First off I was scared to break something, due to the small wires that you wrap around the battery; second it states “Do not allow the battery pin to contact battery wire connector as it may lead to discharge of the battery completely.” I must have done these steps correct; it all worked in the end. I would like to see an online video of the assembly process. The avatar for the Firenock representative is a demo of the battery install process, it is a little to quick to use as a guide. This nock has a G switch which is automatically activated, with at least 65 G as stated in the literature. They call it “G magic”. To turn off the Firenock you simply hold the arrow about six inches above a semi-hard surface, nock down and let the arrow free fall.
Lumenok was also preassembled and is the easiest to install. It is turned on by force applied to the nock at the release of the bow string. To turn off, you wiggle the nock from side to side until the light goes out, the instructions mention not to twist as damage to the connector may result. This nock has a procedure to check the battery/connector by touching a wire or paper clip from the battery and the connector.
My first impression of the tested nocks on Easton Carbon arrows, I placed each arrow the string of my bow independently, I plucked my string like a guitar, and then dropped each arrow on the carpet from approximately 6 inches. The Lumenok was the quietest with no sound, Firenock had a slight vibration, and Tracer was the loudest with a very distinct rattling sound. I started shooting at 6PM on a sunny Friday. In the sun the Firenock was the brightest and seen easily from 20 yards, the Lumenok was next, with the Tracer in last for illumination.
My first shot with the Tracer I forgot to activate it. Did I mention I shot TRACERS last year? So there is a chance of human error. I did not have any failures with this product, even though on sunny days it was difficult to see, the light until I was approaching the target. This light comes on as a solid light, as it passes the magnet and remains solid for approximately 10 seconds, then it flashes until it is turned off with the magnet. I really did not like sticking adhesive on my new bow to keep the magnet on it; however, it did come off after all. The link below is a 20 yard shot with the Tracer.
Firenock was the brightest by far. The Firenock’s G switch removes the human error possibility. My son (9) was an assistant in this process, he said, Daddy I want to shoot the fire one because liked the brightness. I was not sure if it would illuminate with his bow set at approximately 20 pounds, however, it worked and made his day. The link below is a 20 yard shot with the Firenock.
The Lumenok was a little difficult from the start. The first three shots it did not illuminate. So I removed the nock tested and sanded my arrow as directed by the instructions. This corrected the problem. This placed Lumenok back in the running. I was glad to be able to try this nock; I wanted to see how it measured up against its competitors. The 2008 hunting season, I went to a local shop in search of the Lumenok and was talked into the Tracer by Easton, what reinforced my decision to buy the Tracer, the salesman did not even have the correct size Tracers at his store; he referred me to another PRO SHOP, where I purchased it, instead of just trying to sell me the Lumenok. The Lumenok was performing better than I, my fingers we getting tired of wiggling the nock to get it to turn off. At times I would look at them and it would have a faint light on so I had to wiggle again. I find it nearly impossible to get the light to go off without a little twist. Then at shot 22 the Lumenok quit working, so I shot it a couple more times. I noticed it appeared to be illuminating in flight, but, when it hit the target it did not remain lit. I recruited another assistant to film; we confirmed this was the case by capturing it on video and watching in slow motion on the computer. The link below is a 20 yard shot with the Lumenok lighting during flight going off at impact.
END OF FIRST DAY (top-Firenock, Lumenok then Tracer)
I was not impressed with the Lumenok, I would not recommend it. This may have been due to operator error or misuse, but this was a true test of a practical shooter. I tried multiple times to correct the problems in which it worked for short periods of time. The Firenock and Tracer are in my opinion a good choice and I recommend both for dependability. For this review these two nocks were shot over 100 times each equally, into a newer block target or a stiff 3D deer target that has been around since 1995. My biggest regret from this review is; I compared a 20 dollar lighted nock (Firenock) with 2 separate nocks in which their values combined equaled 20 dollars. During the research phase of this, I should have contacted Firenock to find a more comparable priced nock, which they do have, The Lightning Nock Style, which is available for some arrows for a cost of 12.95. Since I purchased the $20 Firenock that is what I had to compare, you do get more for double the price, but for value I would have to give this to Tracer. Firenock was not available at my local shops. So as far the Firenock site where I purchased the product is nice, but contains a lot of information and so many options; it was an information overload for me
(I am Not the biggest computer fan). I did talk to a Firenock representative who gave me a better understanding of the product later in the process. My bottom line is I really enjoyed shooting the Firenock because you could really see it fly and the picture on their site with the streak of light is a true photo. I also videoed the tracer and Firenock and watched in slow motion, the Firenock dominated the light show. After the shooting requirement was met, I disassembled the Firenock, to get a better understanding of the process to removal and install the battery, I did this multiple times and it still worked in the end.