Compound Bows are a relatively new invention in the world of archery. The clever system of leverage which uses pulleys means that you can expel relatively little energy to get great results and a powerful launch of your arrow. Compound bows have become very popular due to their clever design and the fact that they are so efficient, and they’re a wonderful choice for both children and adult archers. If you’re new to it, choosing the best compound bows can seem confusing, and there is quite a lot of choice out there with some brand names you may not have heard of, but we’re here to guide you through the process. As well as looking at which bow to buy, we’ve also put together a guide of what makes a good compound bow as well as how to pick your purchase.
The choice is a minefield for beginners. Even if you are coming from an archery background and are transitioning from a different type of bow such as a recurve (the type used in the olympics and more historically) or are coming in as a total novice. The individual reviews of the models we find on Amazon or elsewhere can be really helpful and explain who they are likely to suit as well as describing their qualities and of course the features as outlined by the manufacturers.
This is vitally important, the length has a big impact on accuracy and a longer bow generally makes it a little easier to get an accurate shot. 38 inches to 46 inches is a super length for beginners and allows you to get to grips with your compound bow.
Left or Right
This can be a little bit of an anomaly, some right handed shooters will shoot left handed and vice versa, and while it is likely that your strong hand will ring true it is still relatively common that you will prefer shooting with your week hand. If you have an archery coach, it is best to have a session using both and get them to assess which you need before you take the plunge and buy your bow.
This is a really important measure, but don’t worry, as with all the jargon you can get a really good feel for what will work for you from the individual product reviews. The brace height is the length between string and grip on your compound bow. Shorter means it spends longer dependent on your hand movement which means longer to mess up, this basically mean that a longer brace height is more easy to get an accurate shot.
Another thing that is a big thing for most of us. Many will just go for the fastest bow we possibly can, but that’s not necessarily the right call to make. The speed of your compound bow can be important when you’re hunting and can help you out a lot if you’re going hunting, but it isn’t the be all and end all and this is a mistake a lot of people make when they go out to buy a compound bow for hunting.
Finances will always play a part when buying a piece of kit like this, and the range in cost is huge, with some bows costing around $50 (especially for juniors) and others costing around $1000 for the professional models. It shouldn’t be the only thing that informs your decision, but it has to play a part for the majority of us. We’ve looked at the best budget models of compound bow below, which is great for those of us who don’t want to spend a fortune getting involved.
This may not be something that comes to mind straight away, if you’re hunting, this can be a big part of your decision, a noisy bow is not just inconvenient and a bit of a nuisance, it can be a hindrance when hunting as your prey will be able to hear you and may run away, making your job a whole lot more difficult.
No rocket science or jargon here, the simple weight of the product (not to be confused with the draw weight) – this basically boils down to your preference and how far you intend to carry your bow for, if you’re hunting and going long distances with your bow, a lighter model may be better, and the technological advances have meant that the lighter bows are still just as good quality. That said, some just prefer shooting with a heavier bow, so personal preference comes into play here.
Best Budget Compound Bow
Cheap doesn’t always mean low quality, and there are budget ranges out there which stack up, and are decent for beginners. SAS are a brand we really like on the lower end of the market in terms of cost, and while they’re perhaps not up there with the amazing models at the very top of the market.
Recommended Compound Bow:
The SAS Rage is an excellent model not just because it is available at a decent price but because it is great for beginner and intermediate archers and provides very good features and excellent value for money.
This product is built to be simple to draw, great for beginners who aren’t that used to the process yet and getting to grips with the world of archery (no pun intended). The bow weighs 4.4 lbs but has a draw weight of 55-70 lbs, and the speed it creates (270 feet per second) is exceptional for the price point. SAS may not be the most widely known brand name, but they’re quickly making a name for themselves and with good reason.
The only ‘drawback’ with this product is the noise, but it isn’t a huge issue. The product isn’t the most silent on the market, but to get this level of quiet you’re looking at spending a fair amount of money, for a budget model the noise is fine, and you can dampen it to try and bring the noise down slightly.
The reviews on Amazon have described this as ‘not an entry level bow’ and though it is priced in line with entry level products, I would have to agree, this punches above its weight in the market and is more than worth the cost, providing superb value for money. Comes with our top recommendation for a budget model, though we don’t consider it the very best on the market.
The Very Best?
One of the best selling, and perhaps the absolute best compound bow available on the market today, is the Diamond Archery Infinite Edge. More costly than the other models mentioned, but worth the extra cost as the exceptional consumer reviews have shown us since this product launched. Made by a company called by Bowtech, the weight and size of this make it a good option for men, women and children, a versatile model with a huge amount of adjustable settings which is great for those with an understanding of what they’re doing and a desire to customize and tune their bow to get the most out of it.
There is a ‘pro’ version and a standard version, the pro coming with extras such as a wrist string and stabilizer, plus has a different sight, making it a slightly better option if you really are looking for the very best.
Coming as a set with everything you need to get started makes this a really good option and a set for the complete hunting compound bow package, yet another reason it works its way into our recommendations.
This is an average rating of 4.6/5 on amazon at the time of me writing this, which tells you everything you need to know. People have complimented many abilities of this including how lightweight it is, yet still suitable for all sorts of hunting applications and great for different age groups. A wonderful option.
Compound Bows for Women
There are specific models of bow targeted at women. There is no sexism here, they are simply designed to be more comfortable for womens’ frames, and while it may be that a bow can be good for both genders, it is worth considering if you are female, and you may want to try out some of the specific models aimed to be best for a woman to use.
Compound Bows for Children and Juniors
Naturally, it follows that children need a different size and weight while they are learning to hunt and there are some good options for children on the market too. The cost is usually a little less, and the weight and size lower to suit a child’s body.
The compound bows out there have reached a whole new level of technology and are proving a great option for those who would previously have used a recurve bow, and a popular choice for beginners as well as the seasoned professional hunters and archers. When choosing, the reviews from consumers on Amazon and other sporting stores can show you a lot of what you need to know and whether they will suit your needs, and the questions and answers sections can also be very helpful. Bow sports and hunting are a great hobby and it is no wonder so many people are interested.