TRUGLO Deadenator XS Stabilizer Review
In this post, we'll provide our Truglo Deadenator XS Stabilizer review. It’s probably TRUGLO’s most popular stabilizer, and there are some pretty unique pros and cons to the model, so we’re happy to share our thoughts.
We'll start with a quick summary, and then give an overview of the company, because while there are a lot of true-blue TRUGLO fans out there, there are also a lot of folks who don't know who they are.
SUMMARY OF THE TRUGLO DEADENATOR:
In our humble opinion, the Truglo Deadenator XS is a solid option for the great majority of bowhunters. It’s manufactured to create some balance in the bow and yet short enough to take through thick brush, and with its “fin-like“ design and rubber makeup, designed to gobble up a lot of excess vibration and sound created during arrow release. In the hands of a capable archer, all of that can lead to tighter groupings and more accuracy. There are fancier models out there, but we think this is a great option for most hunters.
OK, First Things First: How Do You Say TRUGLO?
We've had a couple friends say "Trug-Low," which is pretty funny. The name TRUGLO is actually taken from the words "True Glow," which refers to the company's focus on creating products that enhance visibility. One of their company mottos is "When Brightness Counts," and their original product line was mostly fiber optics and sights.
They still have a range of optics-related offerings like hunting scopes, red-dots, and fiber pins, but their focus has extended to various archery, bowhunting, and shooting accessories, including bow stabilizers.
With that said, their most well-known product would probably be...
The Deadenator: Pros and Cons
First things first, our favorite thing about the DEADENATOR is the name. This is absolutely the name we gave to all our toys when we were kids playing imaginary games. "Watch out or I'll get the DEADENATOR!!"
Even TRUGLO themselves poke a little fun at the name in their video here:
All joking aside, there are some fantastic aspects of Deadenator. It's not perfect, but there's a lot to like, including...
The Length: Perfect for Thick Brush
The Truglo Deadenator is 4.6 inches, which is on the shorter side of things for a stabilizer, but for hunting, we think it's just about right. Let's explain:
The longer your stabilizer is, the more stability you'll have during your shot sequence. If you look at the stabilizers on an Olympic recurve, you'll find they can be two feet long or more—in other words, *really* long.
The only problem is, a long stabilizer is a real impediment when you're on a hunt. It's tough to transport through the woods—lugging a bow with a long stabilizer through all that greenery would be an incredibly hassle, and probably pretty noisy, too—and the added length can make aiming at a moving target difficult. And if you're aiming from a ground blind, it would require you to stand back from the aperture in your ground blind, so as not to hit the stabilizer against the blind—making everything a whole lot more difficult.
So, for bowhunting, shorter = better. You want it to be long enough to provide some balance, while also gobbling up some vibration and noise, which is the other great thing about the Deadenator:
It's Got a Lot of Surface Area
We've always found that word "stabilizer" a little lacking. It's true, a stabilizer provides balance and heft to your shot, allowing you to hold the bow steadier (it stabilizes the bow), but that's only half of what it's supposed to do. It's also supposed to dampen vibration and sound.
When you release an arrow, your bow shakes like a leaf. And that's true of even the higher-end bows. A lot of the kinetic energy stored in the limbs when you're at full draw goes into the arrow when you shoot, but it doesn't ALL go into the arrow—a lot of it courses through the bow upon arrow release, and that makes the bow quake. A good stabilizer should eat up some of that vibration (and some of the sound that the vibration causes).
And that may be the real stand-out feature of the Deadenator: the fins. The stabilizer itself is made of rubber, with six fins on each side of the piece. When you release an arrow and the bow quakes from kinetic energy, that energy gets transferred to each of the fins, and they gobble it up. It's the same physical phenomenon that makes string whiskers work—the more areas you have to transfer all that kinetic energy, the less of it remains in the limbs—and the less "bow wobble" you experience.
So that's our favorite aspect of the Deadenator—those fins.
Before we move onto our nit-picking, there are a few other things we like:
At 4 Ounces, It's Pretty Light
Have you ever met someone who just looooooooooooves gear? He or she can take a top-tier bow and put so much gear on it that it becomes hard to use, and VERY hard to lug through the woods. It happens!
If that describes you—and to be honest, it describes us!—it can make sense to stick with lightweight gear. At 4 ounces, this is on the light side of things. There are other stabilizers we like that have a lot of fantastic features, but can add a lot of extra weight (the Limbsaver Windjammer Stabilizer is a great example—it's a fantastic stabilizer, but it's on the heavy side). So thumbs up on the weight. Lastly...
It's Pretty Easy to Install
It's a screw-in model, and the thread count on the stabilizer node is typically a universal, so it fits many bows. We can't go into a bow-by-bow breakdown, but it's made for a wide range of bows.
OK! So that's what we like. As we mentioned, though, it's not perfect. One of the less-than-perfect aspects of it is...
The Design Material: Rubber
We mentioned this as a positive earlier in the post, because rubber is bouncy and those rubber fins gobbles up a lot of the bounce-back after arrow release, but... the sad truth is, rubber is good, but it's not forever. It has a longevity problem.
Higher-end stabilizers—and stabilizers can get *surprisingly* fancy—tend to have a metal/alloy housing, with the vibration-eating material inside of it. That's true for the Limbsaver Windjammer we mentioned above—it's an aluminum casing, with a rubber-like material inside of it designed to dampen vibration. That casing maintains the integrity of the material and extends the life of the stabilizer.
So, that's a mark against the Deadenator—the exposed rubber can limit the tool's lifespan.
The TRU-TOUCH Soft-Feel Technical Coating
TRUGLO mentions that the stabilizer features Soft-Feel Technical Coating. This may be an odd criticism, but... we have no idea what that is! We've scoured the internet high and low, but we can't really figure out what that feature is, or why it's important. It makes the stabilizer feel soft, and that's good for... what? Honestly, we don't know. If you've figured it out and want to tell us, we're all ears.
The last criticism in our TRUGLO Deadenator XS Stabilizer review isn't really so bad:
You Need to Know Your Hunting Environment
The TRUGLO Deadenator is manufactured in a few different camo patterns, so you may need to know your environment—and the colors of your hunting environment—in order to pick the right one. And, if you're switching from one hunting environment to another, you may need a replacement. If that's an issue, we've had good luck with black stabilizers—they're usually good in most hunting environments.
Final Thoughts on the Deadenator
We think this is a great option for bowhunters looking for a mid-range stabilizer. It's not a perfect fit for target shooters—it’s too short for that—but it’s designed to lend a lot of stability and vibration control to hunters aiming at game. There are higher-end models out there, but this is a solid choice for most bowhunters.