Bowling Ball Finger Inserts Or Not? [Pros And Cons Discussed]

One of the trickiest parts of bowling is getting the ball to fit your fingers. If you bought a bowling ball and the finger holes don't fit your fingers, then you might be considering finger inserts. But are they worth it? Let's take a look at the pros and cons below.

The pros of using finger inserts or grips are as follows:

  • Better grip
  • Customizable
  • Better release
  • Finger protection

Now let's examine the cons:

  • Cost money
  • Periodic replacement
  • Not for everyone

Finger inserts may be new to you, but they may help improve your game. That's why in this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of using finger inserts or grips. In addition, we will answer other questions about bowling, so keep reading!

Man's hand holding a red bowling ball ready to throw it - Bowling Ball Finger Inserts Or [Pros And Cons Discussed]

Should I Use Bowling Ball Finger Inserts?

It's important to understand what they are and how they work before we get into the pros and cons of using finger inserts. Finger inserts are small urethane tubes that have gripping holes. The tubes are placed into the finger holes of a bowling ball and then glued in.

Now that you know what they are, let's look at the pros and cons of using them. Let's look at the pros first.

Close-up hand of woman is holding ball against bowling alley.

Better Grip

One of the main reasons people use finger inserts is for better grip. When you have a good grip on the ball, you can control the ball better and make it go where you want it to. In addition, as you get better at bowling, you will get a better feel for the ball and will be able to make subtle adjustments when needed.


Another benefit of using finger inserts is that they are customizable. You can select the size and shape of the holes so that you can get a perfect fit for your fingers. This allows for better control and accuracy on each shot. This is good for bowlers who bought a bowl with pre-drilled finger holes too big for their fingers.

Having finger holes that are too big makes it difficult to control the ball and can cause inconsistency in your shots.

Better Release

Another advantage of finger inserts is that they can help you get a better release. When the holes are the right size for your fingers, you can grip the ball tighter and have more control over your shots. This can lead to a more consistent and powerful release.

You will find that professional and league bowlers often use finger inserts to get a better release.

Finger Protection

One last benefit of using finger inserts is that they can protect your fingers. If you are prone to getting calluses or blisters on your fingers, then finger inserts can help. The urethane material will help protect your fingers from the friction of the ball.

If you bowl a lot or plan to bowl for a long time, then this can be a big benefit. Take a look at this guide that further discusses finger inserts:

Now that we've looked at the pros of using finger inserts, let's take a look at the cons:

Cost Money

One downside of using finger inserts is that they cost money. Depending on the quality and brand, they can cost anywhere from $50-$150. This is a major drawback for many bowlers, especially if they don't see results right away. They may feel like they wasted money on something that didn't help.

In addition, it can be expensive for someone who doesn't bowl often.

Periodic Replacement

Another downside of finger inserts is that they need to be replaced every 60 games. This is because the urethane material will start to break down and wear out over time.

This can be a hassle for many bowlers, especially if they don't have easy access to a replacement. In addition, this can add up to a lot of money over time.

Not For Everyone

Another negative of using finger inserts is that they are simply not for everyone. So, you take the risk of buying them to find that they don't work for you.

This can be frustrating and disappointing, especially if you spent a lot of money on them. This is why it's important to do some research before making your decision.

Friends having fun while bowling and spending time together

How Tight Should Bowling Inserts Be?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as it will depend on a number of factors such as your individual finger size and the type of bowling ball you are using.

That being said, generally speaking, most experts recommend that bowling inserts be tight enough to provide a good grip without causing discomfort or pain.

You shouldn't have to jam your fingers into the inserts, but they shouldn't be too loose either. If you find that the inserts are too loose, you can try using a smaller or different type of insert.

What Is An Alternative To Finger Inserts?

An alternative to finger inserts is buying a bowling ball and having custom finger holes drilled into it. However, as you gain experience, you might still want finger inserts down the road.

The reason being is that you might want more control over your shots and a better release. Most bowling shops will ask you if you want finger inserts when having the holes drilled. That's a good time to ask them for recommendations.

Do New Bowlers Need Inserts?

No, new bowlers don't need inserts. In fact, many new bowlers find that they don't need them at all. But, again, this is because they are still learning and adjusting to the game. As they get better and their shots become more consistent, they might find that they need finger inserts to help with their grip or release.

In addition, it's hard to say if a new bowler will continue to bowl for the long term. So, it's important not to invest too much money in finger inserts right away.

Child bowling with ball in alley

How Do You Remove Bowling Ball Finger Inserts?

It is relatively easy to remove bowling ball finger inserts. You will need a flathead screwdriver and a pair of pliers. Take the screwdriver and wedge it in between the insert and the bowling ball to loosen it.

You will need to work your way around the insert until it is completely loose. Once it is loose, you can use the pliers to pull it out. You might need to use a little force, but be careful not to damage the insert or the bowling ball.

For a visual demonstration of the process, take a look at this video guide:

Can You Reuse Bowling Ball Finger Inserts?

You can reuse bowling ball finger inserts, but it is not recommended. That's because the inserts will start to wear down over time and eventually break. This can cause the insert to not fit properly in your bowling ball. So, it is best to purchase new ones as needed.

If you are on a budget, you might be able to reuse one or two inserts before having to replace them with new ones. If you have a spare bowling ball and the inserts are in good condition, you can always put the used ones in the spare ball.

How Do You Know What Size And Type Of Finger Inserts You Need?

One way to determine what size and type of finger inserts you need is to consult a bowling pro shop. They will be able to assess your finger size and help you choose the right insert.

The bowling pro shop will also look at your bowling ball to see what size insert fits in it, and they will also measure your fingers to see which size insert you should use.

Another option is to do some research; look at different types of finger inserts and what other bowlers have used successfully. However, keep in mind that everyone's hands are different, and what works for one person might not work for another.

Do Bowling Gloves Help?

Bowling Glove

Yes, bowling gloves can help with your grip on the ball, although they are not necessary. Some bowlers find that wearing a glove helps them feel more comfortable and secure when holding the ball.

In addition, bowling gloves will give support to the muscles in your hand and wrist. This can help prevent injuries such as tendonitis.

However, bowling gloves are not required, and some bowlers find that they don't need them. Ultimately, it is up to the individual bowler to decide whether or not they want to use a glove.

However, if you are planning to bowl for years to come, it might be a good idea to invest in a comfortable and well-fitting bowling glove. This can help you prevent injuries and enjoy the sport for longer.

Final Thoughts

Overall, bowling ball inserts can be great for helping new bowlers develop a better grip and more consistent release. However, they are not necessary for all bowlers, especially beginners.

If you are unsure about whether or not you need finger inserts, it is best to consult a bowling pro shop. They can assess your fingers and help you choose the right insert for your bowling ball.

Made it to the end? Here are other articles you might like:

Why Is My Bowling Ball Speed So Slow?

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