Lighted Nocks; Which Is Right For You?on Aug 27, 2012
Admittedly, I spend a lot of time on the Bowhunting.com Forums. When it comes to lighted nocks, the most talked about unit the past few years has been the Nockturnal. So when it came time to test these out, I was pretty excited to see how they would perform.
I picked up a 3 pack of these nocks for around $24 plus shipping, making them roughly $8 per nock. Of all the nocks tested, they are certainly on the more affordable side.
The Nockturnal’s design is unique in that it features a string-activated switch embedded into the throat of the nock. When you release your arrow, the string forces the switch down and activates the nock. The Nockturnal comes completely assembled, and all you need to do is insert it into your arrow and start shooting. You can't get much easier than that.
The unique design of the Nockturnal allows it to sit flush with the back of your arrow shaft, and be triggered by a switch in the base of the nock's throat.
Just like the Laser Eye, the Nockturnal activated each time it was fired from my bow without problem. The one issue I have with the Nockturnal is the method by which you turn the nock off. There is a small hole in the side of the nock where you must insert a small pointy object (I used a field point from another arrow)to slide the switch back into the place. Not only did I find this tedious, but one time I had to force the switch so hard that the entire nock came back out of the arrow. Of all the nocks tested, I felt this made the Nockturnal one of the least friendly to use. At the very least, Nockturnal should include some sort of small tool to use for this duty. Using field tips, or even broadheads, to deactivate the nock after your shot could very well result in some injured fingers if you're not careful.
My other concern with this design is the potential for water or moisture to get inside the nock and effect it's long term reliability. Of course I was unable to test for this, but it is something I felt was worth noting.
Here you can see the tiny hole that provides access to the red switch which deactivates the Nockturnal. Of all the nocks tested, this was the most difficult to turn off after the shot.
My Nockturnal lighted nocks weighed in at 21.6 grains each, making them the 2nd lightest of the group.
When it comes to brightness, the Nockturnal was on par with the rest of the nocks tested. The nock body itself is clear which they claim gives additional light output, but to the naked eye I couldn’t tell a difference. These nocks are solidly in the middle of the pack when it comes to brightness.
My overall impression of the Nockturnal is that it is very well built product and easy to install, but the difficulty in deactivating the nock off after each shot was a real turn off (pun intended).
Price: 4 – At $8/each they’re right in the middle of average cost
Ease of Use: 3 – Installation is a breeze, but turning them off is a chore
Reliability: 5 – worked every time, no problems turning them off. Long term reliability remains to be seen.
Brightness: 3 – average brightness
Weight: 5 – the 2nd lightest of any nock tested