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Archery Gear Accessories

Best Bow Release Aids in 2024 for Consistent Shots

Do you want to make the most of your hunting and archery performance? You’ll need to have all the important accessories while selecting your gear.

If you want the most accurate shots, a quality bow release can help you. They are important straps that are quick to jump off bowstrings and easy to adjust.

I have used different types of bow release aids over the years, but the most impactful were the ones that offered me more control. The ideal bow release mechanism must be impressive and easy to use while adjusting the inclination for reducing torque and fine-tuning the trigger pressure.

The RangerExpert team reviewed a number of these archery accessories and prepared this top 10 list so you can easily identify your best match.

A Quick View of Our Favorites Bow Release Aids

Pick Name Thumbnail Product Name Price
Editor’s Choice Tru-Fire Hardcore Buckle Foldback Bow Release Tru-Fire Hardcore Buckle Foldback Bow Release $105 at Cabelas
2nd TruFire Smoke Adjustable Archery Compound Bow Release TruFire Smoke Adjustable Archery Compound Bow Release $59 at walmart
Good Value for Money Patriot Archery Compound Bow Release by TRU Fire Patriot Archery Compound Bow Release by TRU Fire $27 at Walmart
4th Carbon Express TruFire Hardcore Compound Bow Release Carbon Express TruFire Hardcore Compound Bow Release $125 at Cabelas
Top Wrist Strap Release Tru-Fire Hardcore Buckle Foldback MAX Tru-Fire Hardcore Buckle Foldback MAX $90 at Walmart
Pick Scott Archery Shark Double Caliber Release Scott Archery Shark Double Caliber Release $77
7th Wrist Release Buckle by Spot-Hogg Wiseguy Wrist Release Buckle by Spot-Hogg Wiseguy $135 at Walmart
8th Hot Shot Vapor 4 Release Hot Shot Vapor 4 Release $118
9th Edge 4-Finger Hand-held Bow Release Aluminum by TRU-Fire Edge 4-Finger Hand-held Bow Release Aluminum by TRU-Fire $100 at Cabelas
10th Archery Caliper Grip Release by SCOTT Archery Caliper Grip Release by SCOTT $60
Top Thumb Trigger Release Tru Ball Max Hunter Release 3 Tru Ball Max Hunter Release 3 $80 at Walmart

Best Bow Releases for Archery & Bowhunting

Best Wrist Strap Releases

01 Tru-Fire Hardcore Buckle Foldback Bow Release (Editor’s Choice)

TruFire Hardcore Buckle Compound Bow Release

The Hardcore Camo Wrist Strap Bow Release by TruFire has a flip-back design. This adjustable release aid gives the shooter more comfort while aiming.

Fold-back Strap: The design has a fold-back leather strap with a buckle. More so, this hook style release is ergonomically enhanced with camouflage prints.

The appearance gives bowhunters a stealth movement while drawing a certain length for their bowstrings in front of close-range animals.

Adjustable Trigger Travel: It has 5/8 inches of length adjustment that aligns with left and right-handed users. More so, it comes with adjustable trigger travel and a locking option.

Apart from supporting a hands-free operation, this bow release is adjustable and allows you to secure it to the wrist.

TruFire Centre Technology: The head pivots freely to the right and left at 20 degrees. This technology also helps eliminate torque levels at full draw and the rotation is silky because of the built-in bearing.

Swept-back Trigger: While you hike or walk during your hunting expedition, this release aid can be attached to the D loop without slipping off. There’s no chance of losing this archery accessory because its trigger hook is firm even while running with your bow.


  • Length adjustment: 5/8 inches
  • Rotation: 20 degrees


  • This release aid comes with a swept-back trigger, hook, and adjustable strap buckles
  • The rotation makes a 20-degree left or right movement
  • Suitable for both right-and left-handed shooters


  • Most buyers expected double thread stitches around the camouflage leather strap instead of an all-around single stitch

Our Verdict

This custom-fit Hardcore fold-back release by TRU-Fire can be used by both right and left-hand shooters. Its one-piece trigger minimizes torque at full draw length while providing comfort and stability.

Whether you’re just beginning, or an experienced shooter, this is one of the best compound bow releases you can get today.

02 TruFire Smoke Adjustable Archery Compound Bow Release (Best Thumb Release for Hunting)

TruFire Smoke Adjustable Archery Compound Bow Release

Unlike the Hardcore Buckle Fold-back MAX, this Smoke Adjustable Fold-back wrist release has a 16-position trigger thumb adjustment system. It comes with enhanced features like an improved buckle, and padding that’s 2.5% thicker.

Fold-back Buckle Strap: It’s designed to align with smaller wrist sizes with the strap buckle.

Also, the fold-back construction allows the wrist strap to flip back when not in use, while staying securely on your wrist. As a result, you’ll be able to navigate through challenging terrains without any additional issues.

Ambidextrous: The design allows both left and right-handed wearers to use it accurately. It also features a 16-position trigger thumb adjustment system that makes it more versatile than the wrist styles for easy setup.

Adjustable Trigger Travel: The shooter can adjust the length of trigger travel comfortably. This release offers options for adjusting the trigger’s position during hunting expeditions.

Rugged Construction: The metal hardness increases the efficiency of its internal firing mechanism, and it’s fitted onto a dime-sized head. Also, this release works smoothly and improves the skill and accuracy of the hunter’s skills.


  • Shipping weight: 5 ounces
  • Grip Style: Dual-caliper release
  • Rotation: The head rotates at 20 degrees


  • It comes with durable caliper jaws with a dime sized head
  • This release can be used on either wrist and has an adjustable trigger travel feature
  • The product comes with a 16-position trigger thumb adjustment system


  • This release does not have a 360-degree head rotation

Our Verdict

This wrist strap uses a trigger pressure mechanism that gives you full control and enhances your shooting technique. This is one of the best thumb releases for hunting in terms of affordability and ease of use. Give it a try and see how it works for you!

03 Patriot Archery Compound Bow Release by TRU Fire (The Cheapest on Our List)

Patriot Archery Compound Bow Release by TRU Fire

While it does not have an ergonomic design, this Patriot Archery Compound bow release by TruFire is a great wrist release. Being a delightful outdoor event, compound bow shooting should be enhanced with the right gear.

Apart from being a lightweight model, this wrist strap of this bow hunting release is versatile.

Padded Nylon Strap: This wrist release has a padded nylon strap that’s adjustable. The material makes the release comfortable and tough. The nylon strap is durable, dependable, and offers trouble-free use.

Adjustable Trigger Travel: The trigger travel is sensitive and can be controlled easily. Also, with an improved body and trigger part; this product gives an allowance of one-inch length adjustment between the trigger and the strap.

Great Firing Mechanism: The hardness of the metal construction makes this release reliable. Its firing mechanism works with a dual-caliper design that boosts the accuracy of shots. So, beginners and experts alike can improve their shooting with this bow release.

Ease of Use: It’s a great archery bow release for ambidextrous (right and left-handed) shooters. Also, you can rotate the trigger side-by-side at 360 degrees. So, it’s easy to use and prevents any complicated setups.


  • Compatibility: 70lbs (minimum draw weight)
  • Rotation: 360 degrees
  • Grip Style: Dual caliper jaws
  • Shipping weight: 2.4 Oz


  • This wrist release’s firing components use the same metal and hardness
  • The padded nylon strap is weather-proof
  • Its design allows for 0ne-inch adjustment between the trigger and strap
  • The product is very cheap and suits buyers with tight budgets


  • The Velcro straps are lightweight and not as tough as leather fold-back materials

Our Verdict

Releasing a string on a bow just got seamless with the Patriot Archery release aid by TRU Fire. This accessory for sale comes with a redesigned body that enhances the archer’s skill and accuracy.

The Patriot Archery wrist release is also available in smaller sizes for young users.

If you’re searching for the best bow releases in terms of value for your money, this is a good place to look.

04 Carbon Express TruFire Hardcore Compound Bow Release

Carbon Express TruFire Hardcore Compound Bow Release

If you want to stay with TRU-Fire without breaking your bank, this is one of the best compound bow releases you can get. Combine it with one of the top bows for female shooters, and you’ll have a compact, agile, and dead-precise combo!

Ambidextrous: Both left-and right-handed shooters can use this camo model. The user doesn’t need any special set of tools to carry out length adjustments.

Ease of Use: You can open and close the heat-treated jaws by pulling back and letting off the trigger respectively. The release comes with a caliper and a spring-loaded trigger mechanism that’s easy to use.

Adjustable Trigger Travel: The trigger travel is free-floating and sensitive. Also, the redesigned body gives an allowance of half inch length adjustment between the head and the strap. The length adjustment is also called the wide web connection system.

Comfortable Fold-back Design: The inner lining of this bow release is a comfortable pad while the outer cover has camouflage prints. Unlike the V-style straps, this camouflage nylon evolution buckle strap is easier to wear.


  • Shipping weight: 6.1 ounces
  • Grip Style: Caliper jaws with a spring-loaded trigger
  • Compatibility: 70lbs (minimum draw weight)


  • This product comes with a 1-inch (wide web connection system) length adjustment between the strap and the trigger
  • Instead of a Velcro strap design, the TRU Fire bow release comes with a camouflage nylon evolution buckle strap


  • The trigger travel is very sensitive

Our Verdict

Every archer looks forward to buying a bow release that minimizes torque on their shots. With a hook style that attaches smoothly on the D-loop, this is ideal for archers that want wrist straps with lots of room for adjustment.

05 Tru-Fire Hardcore Buckle Foldback MAX (Top Wrist Strap Release)

Tru-Fire Hardcore Buckle Foldback MAX

The Hardcore MAX wrist release by Tru-Fire has a foldable and impressive buckle design. Its leather strap is well-stitched and can be adjusted to fit different sizes of wrists. When standing or crouching in weird positions, archers can quickly hook the release on D-loops.

Plush Black Evolution II Buckle: The tough leather strap comes with 2.5x pad material. This comfortable strap has rolled edges that make it much better than other similar aids with Velcro straps. Also, its buckle fold-back strap is well-stitched and looks durable.

Non-Slip Hooks: It has a built-in automatic reset feature for faster hook-ups. It also ensures a firm attachment of the bow release’s hook on the D-loop and makes it easy to use when the archer isn’t in the right position.

Length Adjustment: Its design allows for sufficient length adjustment of at least 5/8 inches. Apart from the length, archers can also adjust the trigger tension, trigger travel, trigger sensitivity, and torque swivel.

Swept-Back Trigger: The swept-back trigger mechanism doesn’t allow your fingertips from pulling off the trigger. This swept-back feature minimizes the risk of target panic and finger sensitivity.


  • Weight: 3 oz
  • Length adjustment: 5/8 inches
  • Rotation: 20-degree head pivot
  • Design style: fold-back strap


  • There is no chance for the hook to slip off the D-loops
  • The head makes a 20 degrees rotation of sideways movement that minimizes torque on shots
  • Its adjustable strap fits all wrist sizes


  • It’s quite expensive compared to other wrist releases

Our Verdict

The Hardcore MAX wrist release by TRU-Fire’s trigger pressure and trigger travel are adjustable with a couple of turns of the handle’s screw.

Also, this accessory can be used by both left-and right-handed archers. This wrist release aid might be an expensive brand, but it offers much value for your money. It is one of the best bow releases with wrist straps you can find today.

06 Scott Archery Shark Double Caliber Release (Amazing Adjustability)

Scott Archery Shark Double Caliber Release

If you are looking for a durable leather release for your favorite bow, consider Scott Archery’s Shark 1002BS-BK Double Caliper Release model.

This will not cut a hole in your pocket but will deliver top-of-the-line performance upon which you can put your trust safely. It made us happy as we could easily maximize draw length during every time we took a shot with it.

Solid Metal Swivel Connector: For every release, the swivel connector plays a vital role and the quality of the entire release depends on the quality of this part. It ensures the level of draw length you can achieve with your release.

This particular model has a strong solid swivel connector with a unique 5-hole length adjustment patented by the manufacturer. This is why it is popular amidst a wide range of archers.

Knurled-trigger with forward-position: One of the reasons we got better performance from our bows with this gear was because of the position of its knurled-trigger.

Leather strap buckle: The strap buckle allows the wearer to remove and adjust it easily. It’s a thick leather with a smooth inner leather lining that prevents skin irritation and can adjust the trigger travel.

Ambidextrous: This release is suitable for both left and right-handed shooters. It means if you are not ambidextrous, it can still be worn on either wrist. So, you won’t need any set of tools to carry out length adjustments.


  • Dimensions: 10? x 6? x 1.2?
  • Grip Style: Dual-caliper release
  • Rotation: 360 degrees
  • Material: Leather, metal


  • Leather built
  • Metal swivel connector
  • Durable
  • Ambidextrous


  • Takes time to get used to trigger sensitivity

Our Verdict

We found this unit to be more accurate than the TruFire Patriot model. It is amazingly adjustable and the construction feels solid. The sensitivity is optimal. If you’re seeking the best archery release that’ll help you hit the bullseye every single time, we just can’t recommend this more!

07 Wrist Release Buckle by Spot-Hogg Wiseguy (The Lightest Bow Release)

Wrist Release Buckle by Spot-Hogg Wiseguy

The Spot Hogg Wise Guy bow release might be a simple accessory, but it comes with a forward trigger design that’s unique. We believe this is perfect for bow hunters that need lightweight releases. Also, with Allen keys, you can easily adjust the trigger from its set screw.

A Forward Trigger Design: This lightweight release has an adjustable light trigger with zero travel. The trigger’s sensitivity can enhance the maximum draw length and speed. However, this bow release’s fail-safe trigger is not the spring-loaded type.

Adjustable length: There’s a micro-adjustable length between the strap and the trigger. So, the strap’s circumference can adjust comfortably to any hunter’s wrist. It’s also designed for right or left-handed shooters.

Easy Set-Up: The caliper jaw easily opens for ultra-fast D-Loop hook up and makes it easy to use. Its self-reloading hook enables quick loading draws, and it doesn’t compromise the accuracy of your shots.

Unique Craftsmanship: This hunting release’s strap has a high-quality buckle with padding for comfort. The lightweight design is a unique craft that has been ergonomically enhanced to meet the expectation of the seasoned hunters.


  • Grip Style: Dual-caliper release


  • It comes with a forward-trigger design that enables zero travel
  • Apart from being a lightweight release, the trigger is light too
  • This bow release is designed for right and left-handed shooters


  • Shooters that prefer releases with heavier triggers might not like this product

Our Verdict

Just like the Cameron Hanes Keep Hammering Signature Series, this buckle system also has a self-reloading hook that helps hunters shoot accurately.

If you want a lightweight bow release, this might be one of the best bow releases for you. On the Contrary, any shooter that needs a heavier bow release may not find this product as comforting.

Best Thumb Trigger Releases

08 Hot Shot Vapor 4 Release

Hot Shot Vapor 4 Release

Roller Sear Trigger: The Hot Shot Vapor 4 is an ambidextrous thumb-trigger bow release.  It contains a roller sear trigger system which is adjustable to almost any position and size. The release also features a fully-adjustable thumb barrel and smooth trigger option.

Great Value for Money: The Hot Shot Vapor 4 release focuses on delivering the best value for the price range. If you are looking for an affordable and reliable option, the Hot Shot Vapor 4 can probably make you satisfied with the purchase.

Highly Adjustable: The design and features make this bow release highly adjustable. It comes with a smooth trigger option which helps you draw and hold back the string for longer periods of time with no issues. This release will help you to get the hang of fine-tuning your release.

Heavy Thumb Barrel: The only issue we’ve discovered is the heavy thumb barrel. The thumb barrel can cause some troubles as it’ll make the trigger release and fall off. That’s why we recommend you not to clip the release to the D loop and leave it unless you’re stationary.

If you’re on a mission to find the best bow release for hunting , the Hot Shot Vapor 4 release won’t disappoint you at all.


  • Grip Style: Thumb Trigger
  • Thumb Barrel: Fully-adjustable


  • Comes with an automatic closing jaw
  • Provides a noise-less internal actuating system
  • Comfortable to use
  • Very smooth and quiet trigger option
  • Easily adjustable in any position
  • Durable construction
  • Excellent value for the price


  • Not suitable for users who prefer heavier triggers.
  • Not meant for long, extensive uses
  • Doesn’t come with a strap
  • Not good for high-end target release

Our Verdict

The Hot Shot Vapor 4 Release features an ergonomic design and its moderately priced tag will definitely give you value for your money. It offers maximum adjustability, making it ideal for shooters who want to make finer adjustments to their releases according to their needs.

The heavy thumb barrel may be an issue for some users, but overall, it is a reliable thumb-trigger release that should satisfy most users. It is suitable for both right and left-handed archers, and it offers good value for your money.

09 Edge 4-Finger Hand-held Bow Release Aluminum by TRU-Fire (Best for Bowhunting)

Edge 4-Finger Hand-held Bow Release Aluminum by TRU-Fire

You should never miss your mark with this handheld release aid by TRU-Fire. It will greatly help hunters and tournament archers improve their skills and shooting accuracy. Its camouflaged and redesigned aluminum handle has amazing perks.

Sturdy Construction: It combines a solid, super sleek CNC-machined aluminum handle with the lanyard unit for easy portability. Its camouflage cover keeps the metal body free from corrosion and moisture. Bow releases with a sturdy construction like this product are always durable.

360-degree Rotation: The trigger head rotates at an angle of 360 degrees and provides torque-free shooting. It means shooters may pivot this part towards any side or position of their preference. The bearings are also sensitive and well-lubricated.

Adjustable Trigger Travel: The trigger travel is sensitive; it allows for maximum performance and comfort. This Edge Four Finger handheld bow release also has adjustable trigger travel for fine-tuning, and a thumb knob that’s user-friendly.

Streamlined Handheld: While the TRU-Fire Edge 4 Finger is adjustable, it comes with a streamlined handheld that’s ideal for both tournament archers and hunters. So, it’s a good choice for shooters with smaller hands.


  • Grip Style: Dual caliper jaws
  • Rotation: 360 degrees


  • Has an adjustable knob activator
  • Comes with adjustable trigger travel for fine-tuning.
  • The sturdy metal design is coated with weather-proof camouflage film
  • Rotates a full 360 degrees and reduces torque while shooting at targets


  • Prone to misfiring of shots when the user does not regularly oil the calipers

Our Verdict

The Edge 4-finger by TRU-Fire is a quiet bow release that fits archery, and hunting shooting styles.

More so, bow hunters that love to kill their prey at close-range will find the streamlined handheld and camouflage cover useful for hunting expeditions. It’s a highly-rated product that offers much value for your money.

10 Archery Caliper Grip Release by SCOTT

Archery Caliper Grip Release by SCOTT

Caliper Grip release by SCOTT uses a finger trigger and it’s actually not common to find a T-handle release with this style of wrist strap trigger. However, its sensitivity can be adjusted by a special side screw near the handheld.

A Rock Solid Design: The Scott Archery Caliper Grip release might have a classic appearance, but it has an over-molded rubber grip that covers an aluminum frame. More so, the construction comes with space for attaching a loop on the lanyard.

Unique Orientation: The pistol-like handheld allows for easy grip, and the dual caliper jaws will hold firmly onto your bow’s D-loop. This Handheld Caliper Grip release has a unique orientation that makes it the hybrid type.

All-around Rotation: The head pivots 360 degrees on a swivel connector, and allows for torque-free shooting during archery target practices. Its built-in bearings are very sensitive too.

Adjustable Knurled Trigger: When taking a shoot, the trigger supports the arrow by delivering instant tactile control. Also, you can use the Allen keys to regulate the sensitivity from the small screw at the handheld’s base.


  • Grip Style: Dual caliper jaws
  • Rotation: 360 degrees


  • It comes with an adjustable knurled trigger
  • You can operate this handheld release seamlessly while wearing a pair of gloves


  • It’s prone to misfiring of shots when the user doesn’t sufficiently oil the calipers

Our Verdict

The pistol grip style handle is sturdily built with an underlying aluminum material and soft-covered rubber handle. It allows the user to operate this archery accessory while using a pair of gloves.

Just like Scott’s Quick Shot Release Buckle Strap and Pursuit Release, this is another one of the best trigger releases for compound bows that let you use your thumb to shoot.

11 Tru Ball Max Hunter Release 3 (Top Thumb Trigger Release)

Tru Ball Max Hunter Release 3

Tru Ball Max Hunter Release 3 thumb release earns a spot on our list because it’s great at pulling back massive weights of bowstrings. However, this handheld archery release is suitable for hunting.

360-degrees Pivot: The head pivots can make a rotation of 360 degrees. It means you can rotate towards any side or position of your preference. The bearings are sensitive and well-greased.

Adjustability: The trigger tension is adjustable, and the screws are sensitive. These features allow the user to adjust the trigger stroke and tension by using the handle’s set screws. So, these perks offer more control while using this release aid.

Three Finger Release: This three finger bow release aid is convenient to draw. With the right position, shooters can either fix their first or index finger as an anchor point. Another nice perk is that the head release can rotate 360 degrees. You should know the difference between wrist release vs thumb release before taking your archery endeavors seriously.

Smaller Jaws: The Max Hunter release aids come with smaller jaws for more draw length. It’s compatible with bow weights of 70lb and enhances your bow speed. You can also close the jaws by letting up the trigger.


  • Rotation: 360 degrees
  • Grip Style: Dual caliper jaws


  • This bow release’s hook attaches well to the D-loop without slipping-off
  • The head rotates through an all-around 360 degrees, and it shots quietly
  • It’s compatible with hunting bows of at least 70 lbs draw weight


  • It is quite pricey

Our Verdict

Ergonomic design and versatility of options are two key areas that a bow release can outshine its peers. Max Hunter Release 3 handheld release by TRU Ball excels in both categories with a convenient shape that feels good in hand and its 360-degrees Pivot.

It is also extremely quiet which allows you to release your bow without startling your prey during a hunt, it can also pull back a heavyweight of bowstrings.

This release aid comes in various colors and can be used by beginners and experienced bow hunters. We highly recommend this one.

Wrist vs Hand Release

Wrist Release

Bow Wrist Release

This is the classic style of bow release. They are easy to use and provide decent accuracy. They come with a reinforced strap that’ll keep your hands free. Wrist bow releases work well with high-poundage bows.

Instead of drawing power from only your fingertips, these wrist bow releases utilize all the muscles in your arm. As a result, they provide decent accuracy without putting too much strain on your hand. They work especially well for bowhunters.

Hand Release

Hand Bow Release

Handhold bow releases were mainly used by competition shooters across the globe. They allow the shooter to hold the release exactly the same way over and over again. That means you can easily maintain your draw and achieve better accuracy.

There are also some variations of hand hole bow releases so that you can enjoy a versatile shooting experience. Some shooters just use their thumb to release the bow whereas others may use a hinge, a certain amount of resistance, or the back tension generated while pulling.

Which Type of Bow Release is Right for You?

If you’re New to This

Beginners need something easy to use for a long time. That’s why wrist-strap releases/index finger releases will be the best option in case you’re just starting out. Wrist-strap releases are easy to select and strap on. The trigger at the index finger is also very easy to use.

wrist realese for beginner

That’s why wrist-strap releases are the perfect choice for a novice shooter. This will help the shooter adjust the torque or play around with the pressure, which in terms, can increase the efficiency over time. So if you’re a beginner, stick with the wrist-strap releases.

For Target Shooting

Hand-held releases work like a charm in target shooting competitions. Both thumb releases and hinge releases provide a high degree of adjustability, which can be crucial in target shooting. Handheld bow releases also facilitate more consistent draws, providing better accuracy.

handheld bow release

Consistency is really important in controlled environments like a tournament setting. That is why target shooters usually go for the thumb release and hinge release. Wrist-strap releases are rarely seen in such environments.

If You’re a Bowhunter

Each bowhunter has their own preference. The longer you practice, the clearer your personal preference will become. Wrist releases will provide you convenience as you won’t have to reach for them. However, it can also create some inconvenience for you as it’ll keep dangling off your arm.

On the contrary, handheld releases will keep your hand free, but it can slip out of your fingers, especially if you’re sweaty. Additionally, More experienced bowhunters usually take the thumb and hinge release as the best release for bow hunting. So, it all comes down to your personal preference.

In case of target panic

Target panic is a psychological experience where you find it increasingly hard to focus on a target. Many veteran archers and bowhunters have experienced this phenomenon and surprisingly, hinge releases can help you here.

While using a hinge release, you’re never 100% certain when you release the arrow. This can help you to avoid experiencing the target panic. This is not an option for beginners as using the hinge release is a bit tricky, but it can be a great help for target shooters in a competition.

You just have to focus on the aim. The hinge release will do the rest for you and you’ll enjoy a panic-free shooting experience.

For recurve bows 

Generally, compound archers use the bow release whereas recurve archers use finger tabs or gloves. Recurve bows won’t work well with bow releases, so you will be better off using the traditional tabs or gloves.

Best Bow Release Buying Guide

Bow release buying guide

1. Length Adjustment

Archers and bowhunters have different sizes of wrists. While shopping for a wrist release aid, the trigger angle, pull force, and trigger tension should be easily adjustable.

The Length adjustment of a release aid is suitable when shooters don’t strain just to grip and activate the trigger. Also, the buckles and Velcro straps should be convenient for the user and the bow’s setup.

2. Shooting Style

Bow hunters and competition archers might need different types of bow release aids. The factors to consider when choosing the right type of bow release that fits your shooting style are adjustability, smoothness, and the rotation of caliper jaws.

Always consider what works well for your style of shooting. Based on your choice you can use any of the release styles including the thumb, glove style, wrist strap index finger, rope, and handheld tension releases with both right and left handed versions.

3. String Style

The bowstring’s compatibility with your release aid will help arrows fly straight. Some strings come with the D-loop, fasteners, and metal nocks; while other strings will not work with your release aids. When you plan to set up bowstrings, it’s the type of attachment point that will determine your string style.

4. Target Panic Cure

The target panic condition is a physiological feeling that leads to the misfiring of arrows. It results from the lack of concentration of the shooter’s finger to aim the arrow at the center of a target. Wrist releases are prone to making the user shoot quicker than expected because of an overwhelming urge.

Interestingly, a handheld release counteracts (cures) target panic because its release mechanism relies on the back tension instead of a manual trigger.

So, with the hand release, there’s a low risk of jumpiness at the point of release. This type of release helps cure target panic and execute a proper shot.

5. Attachment

Many models come with a convenient strap with buckles that’s worn like a wristwatch. Wrist release is aesthetically designed and foldable with rotating locking jaws.

Unlike the wrist release, the locking jaw of a handheld release allows users to attach it on the D-loop. Usually, the handheld release aid doesn’t come with Velcro straps, but they can be kept in a hip pocket.

6. Anchor Point

The anchor point is your hand’s position at the time of releasing an arrow. By using wrist release aids, you can adjust the length of its Velcro strap and buckle pins.

Also, the adjustment allows for the inclination angles of your hand and a reference point. However, the handheld release can help you boost the anchor point’s consistency and accuracy with safety.

7. Level of Noise

Some bowhunters worry too much about the noise their archery releases make but the truth is it doesn’t really matter. Deer can hear little noises from 100 yards away but there is no way they will get spooked by the sound of the release considering your arrow’s speed will be much faster.

8. Fit & Comfortability

Precise adjustability always comes first for a quick bow release. If you have to contort your wrist for the proper anchor or extend or shorten up your forefinger to hook the trigger for a smooth string release, you won’t have the right form.

Your wrist strap should be tight enough to be stopped at your hand’s base as you pull the string to anchor, yet not so tight that your blood circulation gets cut off.

9. Budget

It might be tempting to buy release aids with high-end features, but your budget is a great factor here. These aids are usually priced between just $15 to as much as $150. Your budget will be determined by how seriously you take archery and how accurate you want your shots to be.

Why Use a Bow Release

Archery and bowhunting require different accessories for better results. Traditional bows didn’t require any advanced release system, but as the compound bow technology developed, more sophisticated releases became essential.

The bow release (also known as ‘mechanical release’) is a strap with a built-in release mechanism that connects between the bowstring and the shooter’s wrist or hand.

This accessory is designed to release bowstrings when the shooter pulls its trigger from the loop. There is a specific product for target shooting or hunting. The wrist strap of a bow release is designed to ease tension off your fingers. Instead of using your digits and experiencing fatigue, the arm muscles will help you draw bowstrings smoothly.

Archers and hunters rely on the dexterity of their hands to align their shots at the target. A release can assist during cold temperatures, especially when you practice or hunt in the rain. You’ll need your cold fingers to release the arrow precisely even when wearing gloves, especially if you’re using a powerful longbow.

A suitable mechanism of the bow release offers a smooth and steady motion that prevents accidental misfires. Dry firing occurs when the hand inaccurately releases a nocked arrow that affects your shots negatively. In extreme cases, the tension on your fingers could impact on the bow and inadvertently destroy it.

The wrong release may also result in wobbling fingers, jerky movements, poor techniques, and an unsteady side-to-side motion. You might need a little practice with a new unit to get satisfactory results at targets.

However, the target panic, bowstring’s compatibility, anchor point, and the release mechanism are factors to consider when choosing a top bow release.

Types of Bow Release

There are different types of bow releases. However, the two basic categories are the wrist release for hunters and the hand release (T-handle) models for archers.

1. Wrist Strap / Caliper / Index-Finger

The wrist release (finger trigger) has a Velcro strap that loops around the shooter’s wrist and a (caliper jaw) trigger that looks like a fang. The adjustability of the wrist release’s mechanism is easy, and its tension trigger allows the user much control.

Some designs in this category have buckles as wrist closure and allow the use of your index finger. 3 finger and 4 finger models are also available where multiple fingers can do the job. These also come in different colors, including black, red, pink, purple, white, green and brown.

They are very different from the thumb release models because their overall length and trigger positions have an impact on the length of the shooter’s draw. Before you choose a top rated bow release, consider the wrist release that gives a smoother experience.

Benefits of Wrist Releases

  • When drawn back at full back position, it’s less challenging for shooters to retain the bow
  • It’s easy for the youth or hunters with the beginning and intermediate skills to practice
  • Some wrist releases are foldable and have an attachment for the shooter’s arm
  • It has adjustments for the trigger angle, and trigger tension
  • The caliper jaw comes with a 360-degree rotating head that minimizes torque levels when shooting

2. Thumb Trigger/ Handheld Releases

Archers involved in target practices and competitions prefer handheld (T handle/thumb trigger) releases. It’s because these accessories counteract target panic. While setting up an archery bow, archers will find these lightweight thumb triggers and back-tension releases easy to use.

Alternatively, this type operates by using the back tension to release an arrow instead of pulling with your index finger. Usually, accurate shots occur as the shooter increases tension with the thumb. The release mechanism simplifies the compound bow use that even kids can now shoot easily.

Benefits of Hand Release

  • Apart from its easy adjustment (pull force, trigger angle, and tension), the hand release is sensitive and versatile
  • It has a hand attachment that’s ideal for target panic
  • This type of release is lightweight and more portable
  • Similarities Between Wrist and Handheld Releases
  • They both use the trigger mechanism for shooting
  • None of them is better than the other because they suit individual shooting styles


Wrist Release: They don’t counteract target panic and have less accuracy

Hand Release: They are more expensive than wrist releases


Q. 1: Do I Need a Bow Release?

Ans: It depends on the type of bow you are using. If you want to use a modern compound bow, you will surely need the best bow release. It’s ideal to use a release on modern recurve bows for the best results. Again, if you want to shoot with a vintage bow, your fingers are just fine.

Q. 2: Do Olympic Archers Use Releases?

Ans: No. It’s because only recurve bows are allowed at the Olympics for which you can only use your fingers and not any release device.

Q. 3: Can I Use a Release With a Recurve Bow?

Ans: Recurve bows are designed for shooting with only fingers, so recurve archers usually don’t shoot them using a release aid. But you can still use a release if you choose.

About the author

Catherine Weeks

Cathy believes that hunting is not about downing an animal; rather, it’s about enjoying the purity of this challenge and making a connection with nature.

She loves country music, horses, shooting, and hunting; and spends her weekends in the great outdoors with her husband and two kids.

Though Cathy has hunted most of her life, it was not until her partner gave her a bow that she realized she had finally found her passion.

She is always determined to share her missed opportunities, dedication, emotions, and small details that people often forget to mention when they talk about their hunting experiences.

Cathy also works to promote wildlife preservation and protect natural resources. She thinks “patience” is the most important thing that can make a big difference.

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