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What is better a drop away arrow rest or Whisker Biscuit?

Choosing between a drop away arrow rest and a whisker biscuit is one of the most common dilemmas archers face when setting up a new bow. Both rest types have ardent supporters and detractors, with good arguments on both sides. There is no definitively “better” option – the right choice comes down to personal preference and shooting style.

In this in-depth comparison guide, we’ll examine the key differences, pros and cons of drop aways and whisker biscuits. We’ll look at accuracy, speed, durability, noise levels, ease of use and more so you can determine which is the best arrow rest for you.

Drop Away Arrow Rests

A drop away rest, as the name suggests, drops down and gets out of the way when you shoot. The arrow sits securely on prongs or in a cradle as you draw back. At the moment of release, the rest drops down thanks to spring tension or gravity. This removes any fletching contact and creates an unobstructed path for the arrow to fly off the bow.

Drop Away Pros

  • Minimal fletching contact for straighter, more accurate shots
  • Allows for a clean release and stable arrow flight
  • Can accommodate all fletching types and sizes
  • No effect on arrow speed
  • Simple, lightweight, and durable
  • Easy to set up and tune
  • Compatible with any arrow shaft

Drop Away Cons

  • More expensive than whisker biscuits
  • May bounce back up after the shot, slowing the arrow
  • Timing and adjustment is critical
  • Some noise on release
  • Extra moving parts could fail over time
  • Not good for bowhunters who let down frequently

Whisker Biscuit Arrow Rests

The whisker biscuit rest is the simplest style of arrow rest on the market. Essentially, it consists of stiff but flexible bristles or “whiskers” arranged in a circular pattern to hold the arrow shaft. As you draw back and release, the arrow passes through the bristles while the whiskers keep it stable and on target.

Whisker Biscuit Pros

  • Full arrow containment for confidence when drawing, holding, and letting down
  • Minimal torque and stabilization of the arrow throughout the shot
  • Can accommodate all arrow sizes
  • Virtually foolproof and easy to use
  • Very affordable, great for bargain hunters
  • Extremely durable with no moving parts
  • Available in different brush patterns for fine tuning

Whisker Biscuit Cons

  • Can slow down arrow speed
  • Fletching contact affects accuracy
  • Not compatible with oversized vanes and feathers
  • Traps debris and requires frequent cleaning
  • Makes noise upon release
  • Only works with certain arrow spines
  • Not easy to adjust or tune


In terms of downrange accuracy, a well-tuned drop away rest has the advantage. With no bristles impeding fletching, arrows leave the bow with minimal interference. The lack of torque and friction means their flight path isn’t distorted as it would be with a biscuit. Drop aways provide more clearance for proper stabilization as the arrow moves downrange.

However, whisker biscuits are no slouch when tuned properly. The bristles apply pressure concentrically to the arrow, reducing oscillation as it leaves the bow. For newer archers still developing shooting form, the whisker biscuit’s full capture design can be more forgiving of technique errors.


Due to reduced friction, drop away rests conclusively win when it comes to arrow velocity. The split-second rebound delay of some drop aways mildly compromises this advantage, but even then they allow arrows to get downrange faster than whisker biscuits.

The whiskers in a biscuit unavoidably sap some of the arrow’s energy as it tries to cut through them. This loss of speed is not huge, likely no more than 2-4 fps. But for serious target shooters and bowhunters trying to maximize kinetic energy, drop aways have the definite speed edge.


Whisker biscuits take the cake in this category, hands down. With literally no moving parts, they can survive years of abuse and thousands of shots. The bristles will wear over time, but whisker biscuits function reliably even when badly frayed.

Drop aways employ more fragile components like springs, hinges, and bearings. These parts can bend, break, or seize up over time with heavy use. However, quality drop away models made from strong alloys or composites can still provide many seasons of service with proper maintenance.

Rest Type Durability
Drop Away Moderate lifespan with moving parts prone to wear
Whisker Biscuit Virtually indestructible with no moving parts

Noise Level

For archers trying to stay stealthy in the field, whisker biscuits win for keeping things quiet. The soft bristles make little to no sound when an arrow is launched or passes through.

Drop aways tend to produce more noise on release, though high end models are addressing this. The metal rest dropping combined with the twang of any internal springs is louder than a whisker biscuit. For hunters and competitive shooters alike, noise is an important factor to weigh.

Tuning and Adjustability

Quality drop away arrow rests allow for more fine tuning and customization for optimal arrow flight. The timing, fall rate, tilt, and height are all adjustable on most drop aways. Being able to position the launcher prongs or cradle also helps with leveling and clearance.

In contrast, whisker biscuits offer almost no adjustment potential. The bristles are fixed so you get what you get. Some models have adjustable bristle stiffness, but otherwise biscuits provide a “one size fits all” solution.

Ease of Use

For beginners, whisker biscuits are hands-down the easier arrow rest to get up and shooting quickly. Just stick an arrow into the bristles and you’re good to go. Biscuits also excel for hunters because of their full capture design and ability to securely contain the arrow at any angle or position.

Drop aways take more initial setup, tweaking, and practice to get right. The arrow has to be precisely positioned on the prongs or in the cradle. The elevated launch position also means new users need time to get accustomed to drawing high and seeing fletching clear the riser shelf.

Rest Type Ease of Use
Drop Away Requires more initial setup and getting used to
Whisker Biscuit Very easy “grab and go” usage right off the bat

Price and Value

Without question, whisker biscuits deliver tremendous value for the money. Even premium biscuit models cost a fraction of what most drop away rests do. For those on a tight budget or wanting to maximize value per dollar spent, biscuits carry the day.

That said, drop aways deliver superior performance and versatility for those able and willing to pay a premium. Much like other engineered tools, you tend to “get what you pay for” with drop away rests. The high-end ones pay off their higher prices with better features and results.

Rest Type Average Price
Drop Away $100-$350
Whisker Biscuit $20-$100

Best Uses for Each Rest

Based on their respective strengths and weaknesses, drop aways and whisker biscuits each shine for certain shooting applications.

When to Choose a Drop Away Rest

  • Target shooting and competitive archery
  • Bowhunting from treestands or stationary ground blinds
  • Shooting light target arrows
  • Using oversized vanes and feathers
  • Fast compound bow set ups
  • Experienced shooters wanting maximum performance

When to Choose a Whisker Biscuit Rest

  • Bowhunting on spot-and-stalk, still hunting, or from a saddle
  • Very affordable arrow rest needed
  • Beginner friendly full capture rest
  • Shooting medium to heavy hunting arrows
  • consistent accuracy is priority over speed
  • Forward of center (FOC) front heavy arrows

Final Recommendations

As you can see, both drop away and whisker biscuit arrow rests have legitimate advantages and disadvantages that make them better suited to particular bow setups and shooting scenarios.

For most target archers and tournament competitors, a quality drop away is money well spent. The minimal fletching contact and increased arrow speeds simply can’t be matched by whisker biscuits at this level of shooting.

For bowhunters, either style can get the job done well. Whisker biscuits offer better containment for moving through brush and uneven terrain. But the right drop away performs superbly from treestands and ground blinds where arrow speed really matters.

Try out both types if possible to see what feels best and shoots most naturally for you. Consider your budget limitations, shooting style, and intended uses as well. An informed choice between these two great arrow rest designs will serve you well in all your archery pursuits.