Top 10 Best Compound Bows (Sep. 2019) Review & Buyer’s Guide
- Carolina Pina
Bow hunters look forward to how much potential energy a new product has when its strings are pulled to the maximum. As an archer with a passion for the game, I always setup suitable draw lengths for longer power strokes. I have also used some of the best compound bows to improve my skill and make accurate shots.
There are outstanding bow products with consistent quality that can also improve your performance. More so, you can assume different draw-stroke profiles by changing the cam tracks of compound bows. You might find it difficult to know all the features of a good compound bow if you are not an avid bow hunter. However, this article helps you understand how to chose the ideal product from our list of top 10 compound bows.
What You Will Get Here
- Understanding Compound Bow
- How Did We Pick the Best?
- Things to Consider While Buying Compound Bows?
- Our Top 10 Best Products
- Our Top Pick: Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package
- For All Ages: The Bear Archery Cruzer G2 Compound Bow for Adults
- Beginner's Choice: Get The Genesis Original Bow
- Our Multipurpose Pick: The Leader Accessories Compound Bow
- Good Value for Money: Southland Archery Supply (SAS) Rage 30-inch Compound Bow
- For Deer Hunting: Bear Archery BR33 Hybrid Cam Compound Bow
- List of 4 Others Compound Bows We Reviewed
- Other Tested Products
- Understand the Parts and Terminology of Compound Bows
Understanding Compound Bow
The compound bow has a system of levers, chords, and pulleys. It has a sturdy construction, and the first model was manufactured in 1966 by Holless Wilbur Allen. Unlike traditional recurve bows, the cam system (bow eccentrics) of compound bows regulates the acceleration of arrows.
The compound bow enhances your bow hunting performance more than traditional bows. The latter is more energy-efficient and rigid than other hunting bows. There’s also a greater mechanical advantage while using compound bows for hunting purposes.
However, I can assure you that by using the compound bow for practice, it’s easy to gain greater accuracy and speed. Our products’ guide gives an endless number of models for archers and hunting enthusiasts. You can scroll down and find details that help to make an informed buying decision.
How to Choose Perfect Draw Length for You?
Setting up a bow requires you to know the ideal draw length of its string. After pulling the bowstring, the distance it goes before a stop is the draw length. This set distance allows for convenience and accurate shots on targets.
The span of your outstretched arms (wingspan) divided by 2.5 determines the ideal draw length of your bow. It’s a simple calculation; the draw length is 31.8 inches (79.5/2.5) if your wingspan is 79.5 inches. If you’re an amateur archer, I’ll advise the right measurement of your draw length. It helps to avoid shoulder injuries and inconsistencies while aiming.
While there’s less power for draw lengths that are too long, a short bow’s draw length gives less accurate shots on targets. Usually, it’s proper to ask the archery shop attendant to set up your bow before leaving there.
Know the Recommended Draw Weight for You
Usually, I find the right poundage that’s comfortable to carry and easy to take aims at targets. You’ll find top compound bow brands with at least a 10-pound adjustment gap. Our research shows a list draw weight recommendations for the different type of users.
- Women with small frames (130 lbs max) 25-35 lbs
- Women with medium frames (160 lbs max) 30-40 lbs
- Women with large frames (160 lbs min) 45-55 lbs
- Men with small frames (150 lbs max) 45-55 lbs
- Men with medium frames (180 lbs max) 55-65 lbs
- Men with large frames (180 lbs min) 65-75 lbs
- Older kids (130 lbs-150 lbs) 40-50 lbs
Letting-off is a technique that helps you pull back the bow back while maintaining the position at a full draw. The percentage of mechanical relaxation that your bow reaches is its let-off value. This proportion is equal to the bow’s peak draw weight. As draw weight increases, the power behind your shot increases too. Even at a high let-off percentage, hunters need more skills to control the kinetic energy.
There are extant rules and regulations on the use of bows in every state. For example, a state like Arizona has the minimum poundage of 40 lbs. To contravene this law while hunting animals will constitute an unethical kill.
How Did We Pick the Best?
Our guide to the best compound bows of all time has been put together after much research on their level of accuracy. We are passionate about the quality of the compound bows that we recommend for you. It’s the reason our test team undertakes field evaluations and community-based usage to determine the important factors behind these products.
Usually, it takes two months of testing each model across different environments of bow-hunting, 3D archery, and target archery. It’s important to pick compound bows that suits you and your hunting strategy. It’s not easy to identify a bad-looking compound bow without conducting a bow test. Performance setting with web research on modern compound bows is necessary. It’s a process we conducted before recommending the product that will give less stress to your hands and arms. So, you can trust our product reviews if you’re in need of a top rated compound bow.
Things to Consider While Buying Compound Bows?
How do you know a great bow? It doesn’t matter whether you intend to hunt a deer or take part in archery. Increasing the longevity of bows depends on these necessary factors I have listed below.
1. Accuracy and Speed
The arrow speed of a compound bow correlates with of the bow’s strength. Apart from the arrow’s weight, the accuracy and speed of arrows help you take a good aim at targets.
2. Fit and finish
When considering the quality of bows, the ‘fit and finish’ factor helps to show its degree of flawlessness and durability. Some compound bows come with machine marks and burrs. However, you’ll find features of embossed grip, dampeners, and angular risers on decent bows with high quality.
3. Axle-to-Axle Length
Before you buy cheap compound bows, consider their axle-to-axle length. The measurement is in inches; it’s the space between the cam axles on both limbs. Usually, compound bows have 30 and 38 inches measurements for short and long products respectively. This part of compound bows makes accurate shots easier, especially when it’s taken from blind spots or thick vegetations while hunting. The axle-to-axle length factor also helps maneuverability with shorter bows while hunting animals.
4. Cam Design
The cam design on the tips of the bow’s limbs is a pulley system with high mechanical advantage. You’ll find that when the bow’s string is drawn, it rotates the outer cam, and manipulates the draw weight forces. Compound bows come with better efficiencies than crossbows because their eccentric cams make arrows shoot with better accuracy through a flatter arc.
- Dual Cams: When two symmetrical elliptical cams are present on both ends of the bow, they synchronize to form a dual (twin) cam system. The synchronization (timing) allows both cams to turn at the same time. Without synchronization, the arrow’s nock will shoot inaccurately; in an erratic manner. To maintain the shooting quality of bows with dual cams, you'll need to apply proper maintenance. The dual cam system has wider adjustment ranges; they give accurate shots and impressive nock travel. However, compound bows with twin cams have tendencies for increased noise.
- Hybrid Cams: If you find two asymmetrically elliptical cams on a bow, it's a hybrid cam system. This system's component has a major string, control cable, and a single split-harness. The benefit of using hybrid cams is that it has low maintenance. Hybrid cam bows also give fast, noiseless, nock and liner travel for shots. The top cam is for control, while the bottom cam acts as the power cam. Hybrid cam systems must be correctly timed to enjoy the bow's performance and overall efficiency.
- Binary Cams: Binary Cam is a twin-cam system with three grooves, and 'cam-to-cam' control cables that's able to self-correcting the system. It's the best cheap compound bow without synchronization problems. The binary cam system doesn't use any split-harness control cable. Instead, it's maintenance free, very fast and offers level nock travel for arrows.
5. Limb Design (Parallel vs. Pre-loaded)
Before the evolution of parallel limb designs, compound bows had ‘D’ shapes. When limbs move at angles perpendicular to the bow’s riser, they have equal inertia. The concept of parallel limbs makes compound bow users experience zero recoils. When you draw the bow’s string, the orientation of its parallel limbs assumes a horizontal level. The parallel limbs can also assume the shape of an arc and trigger bow’s limb tips in a vertical movement. The orientation of a pre-loaded limb design is in a vertical position. When the bow’s cables and string exert pressure on pre-loaded limbs, they form distinct arcs.
After letting-off the bow’s string, it releases the potential energy in the bow’s upper and lower limbs. This action also triggers the reduction of recoil felt in the riser. The parallel limb model comes with a complete reflex riser design; this style is its major difference from the pre-loaded design.
6. Noise and Vibration
I believe there were times when you couldn’t get your bow to full draw because the noise and vibration of your arrow rest scare the animal you tried to hunt. Adding small limb-savers to bow limbs and accessories can reduce vibrations and noise. Attaching string leeches to bowstrings also reduces noise. However, most models of compound bows come with string suppression system for the same purpose.
7. Price to Quality Ratio
Price to quality ratios is a necessary factor to consider before purchasing a cheap good compound bow. Usually, higher quality determines higher prices. However, our buyers’ guide helps you in choosing bows with better accuracy and lower prices.
Our Top 10 Best Products
Based on the basic consideration, we tested at least 30 samples and pick these best 10 for you. here comes the list of our top ten best products that are highly recommended if you are looking for a compound bow. Check it out!
We have found and tested our top picks according to the factors that are ideal for new shooters, and archers with intermediate skills. With a weight of fewer than 6 lbs, this compound bow is affordable compared to other products. It fits your gaming and hunting needs regardless of your skill level.
The Diamond Archery package has extended draw length that's ideal for longer draw archers. This high-quality bow is versatile and has a sturdy construction. Its draw length has an extension of 31 inches, and a cam system design that ensures a smooth draw cycle. You can achieve low noise and vibration with its string silencers. There's a built-in 5-inch ultra-lite octane stabilizer for balance. This product also comes in a wide range of draw weights. With an amazing draw weight of 50 lbs, the bow has low recoil and comfortable to carry.
- Multi shooter bow
- Deadlock lite octane quiver,
- Infinite draw setting with an elastic feature
- Comfort wrist sling
- 3-Pin tundra sight
- BCY string loop
- Solid back wall
The Infinite Edge Pro is a utility bow that offers consistent shooting across a wide range. This product's smooth handling is why we picked it in our top of the list for new and intermediate users. It offers an adjustable draw weight that ensures an impressive overall performance and strength. The Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro is the best bow for the money because of its price to quality ratio. Purchasing this product will make your practice draws easy and prevent serious injuries.
Here's another great compound bow from our top picks for left-handed shooters. This product has EnduraFiber Limbs that offers accurate shots, and lethal controlled power. It's meant for you if you desire to purchase a brand that supports RTH (Ready to Hunt) functions. It's one of the best compound bows that money can buy.
The Bear Archery Cruzer G2 Adult Compound Bow has a 30-inch axle to axle length, and it's for different purposes. If you plan to use this product for hunting and archery, you can adjust the draw length range from 12 to 30 inches. The pulley (cam system) offers maximum versatility with greater mechanical advantage. It's ergonomically enhanced with an advanced grip design, and no hand torque issue to guarantee greater accuracy while taking shots. These features increase the user-friendliness of the compound bow. After purchasing the Bear Archery Cruzer G2 Adult compound bow and adjusting it to your preference, you should be ready to hunt and take accurate aims at targets.
- It has superior craftsmanship of maximum versatility for all ages and skill levels
- Buy, set, and get ready to hunt
- Six trophy ridge accessories
- Adjustable draw length range from 12 to 30 inches
- Draw weight that’s suitable for medium-framed users (at most 70 lbs)
- The maximum shot range of 315 feet per second
The super lightweight Bear Archery Cruzer G2 Adult compound bow shoots very fast at a range of 315 feet per second. It's fitted with the RockStops offset string suppressor to reduce noise and vibration. It fits all ages and skill levels and offers to draw weight adjustments of between 5 to 70 pounds. As a beginner, this product will bring you confidence while practicing with archery target. More so, it's aesthetically covered with a camouflage skin to give stealth covers from animals as you make accurate aims.
Are you looking for compound bows to use in school for archery competitions? The Genesis Original Bow design fits beginners and intermediate archers because of its light draw weight. This product is the official bow of the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP).
It has ergonomic features of aluminum material and allows adjustments as the user grows and develops his skills. Kids of all ages with athletic abilities will find the Genesis Original Bow useful. The product is also safe for young users because of its less recoil, and single-cam technology.
Other features include; cable guard, high-strength bowstrings, zero let-off design, and an idler wheel. The manufacturer includes a 3/16" hex wrench to adjust the bow's draw weight.
- Single-cam technology
- A sturdy aluminum construction
- Specifically made for beginners and Intermediate archers
- It has a standard draw weight of 20 lbs that you can adjust to 10 lbs
- The axle-to-axle measurement is 35.5 inches
This product doesn't have large poundage, but it's the best compound bow for beginners and intermediate archers. It helps you achieve target shootings, practice, and develop your skill. The lightweight bow's draw length is suitable for
If you are looking for multipurpose bows, our recommendation is the Leader Accessories Compound Bow. Its let-off measurement is between 75 to 80%, and the axle to axle length is 31.5 inches. With a lightweight of 7.7lbs, this archery and hunting equipment has a maximum speed of 310 (feet per second) fps.
The hand orientation of this bow is made for right-handed. More so, the bow has adjustable draw weight and draw length of between 50 to 70 lbs, and 25 to 31 inches respectively. You'll find the bow pulling smoothly while practicing outdoor aims at targets. This archery package comes with a collection of basic accessories that includes; combo 5-pin bow sight, aluminum riser, arrow rest, peep sight, stabilizer, Allen wrench, and braided bow sling.
- Right-hand orientation:
- 50 to 70 lbs adjustable draw weight
- 25 to 31 inches adjustable draw length
- 310 feet per second (FPS) maximum speed for arrows.
- 75% to 80% Let-off value
- The axle to axle measurement is 31.5 inches
The fit and finish of this product are quite impressive, and users don't need a bow press to enhance the performance. However, the bow was well-balanced during the test and handled nicely improved my shot. Its combo 5-pin bow sight is clear and improves the accuracy of the shot. Veterans and old archers know the mechanics of arrow flight and will find this feature helpful when visibility of the atmosphere is poor during hunts. As a top of the listed product, Leader Accessories Compound Bow has an adjustable draw length of between 25 to 31 inches.
The Southland Archery Supply (SAS) Rage Compound Bow is among our top picks for new shooters that plan to develop their archery and hunting skills. With a net weight of 4.4 lbs, the SAS Rage's sturdy construction gives has a high quality and ensures durability.
It's metallic bow riser, and compressed ABS limb design gives the product a distinct appeal. While testing the SAS Rage, our experts pulled the bow's string at 70 lbs of force and launched an arrow to confirm the 270 feet per second maximum speed. You can adjust the draw weight by loosening or tightening the bolt with an Allen key decrease the draw weight to set a value of between 55 to 70 lbs. More so, the bow's pivoting limb pockets are rigid; they can help you achieve an impressive shot accuracy.
- Axle to Axle measurement of 35 inches
- Durable Compressed ABS limbs
- A maximum Speed of 270 feet per second (FPS)
- A comfortable Net weight of 4.4 lbs
- 25 to 31 inches of the draw length range
- 55 to 70 lbs of draw weight
- The bow has a let-off value of 70%
The Southland Archery Supply (SAS) Rage compound bow has a waffle look because of the cutouts in the bow’s angular riser. The manufacturer recommends the use of either a 30-inch carbon or aluminum arrow with this compound bow. A bow that offers the flexibility of adjustable to set it according to specification is all you need to make quick and ethical judgments. If you are looking forward to sharpening your hunting skills, the SAS Rage bow offers great maneuverability.
I'll recommend one of our top picks if you are ready to hunt after purchasing a compound bow. It's the Bear Archery BR33 Hybrid cam compound bow. The package comes with a ready to hunt (RTH) trophy ridge accessories that include; a nock loop, stabilizer, and the Whisker Biscuit.
While hunting in the wilds, the camouflage body of the Bear Archery BR33 Hybrid Cam Compound Bow gives a stealth appearance. This ergonomic increases your maneuverability and prevents animals from noticing the weapon. The bow is aesthetically beautiful; it has VersaGrip attachment that eliminates hand torque. At 330 feet per second, the bow offers deadly shots like the speed of light.
- An axle-axle measurement of 34-one-quarter inches is impressive
- An adjustable draw length range of between 27 to 32 inches
- Draw weight of between 55 to 70 lbs.
- Hybrid Cam System
- Ready to hunt feature with Trophy Ridge accessories
Our team of experts chose this product to be among the top-of-the-list bows because it has loads of features. Apart from the Bear Archery BR33 Compound Bow's deadly-fast 330 feet per second speed, it has a pair of quad limbs that enhance performance. Archers that are veterans might need a compound bow that offers rapid arrow velocity. Everything about this product changes your perspective; it's smooth feel, and hybrid cam will provide unique experiences for right-handed archers.
List of 4 Others Compound Bows We Reviewed
As one of our top-of-the-range models, the RAPTOR Compound Hunting Bow Kit give value for money. It will be a disservice to professional archers and hunters not to include this product as our top ten best compound bows. Being one of the most accurate bows of the field, it has built-in features like the 5 pins lighted sight and biscuit rest. Grab a blindfold, take a shot with this bow and share your experience.
With breathtaking arrow speeds of 315 feet per second (FPS), this craft displays how it feels to own a special bow. The RAPTOR compound hunting bow features a split yoke tuning system that ensures proper arrow flight and precise adjustments. Its draw weight is adjustable from 30 to70 lbs, while the draw length is between 24.5 to 31 inches.
- A split yoke tuning system
- 30-inch axle to axle length
- A lightweight of 3.6 lbs
- Complete accessories include; a 5 pin sight with light and level, stabilizer, Whisker biscuit style rest, peep sight and pre-installed loops.
You don't need a bow press after buying this product. It's because, within a few minutes, you can adjust the RAPTOR's draw weight from 30 to 70 lbs. It's an ideal archery kit that adults and youth can use for hunting, target, and bow fishing. With the built-in split yoke tuning system, achieving smooth arrow flight and precise adjustment will not a challenge. This is the best deal if you are looking for a lightweight bow that's easy to assemble, and user adjustable.
This product has been included in our category of top picks if you are not satisfied with a bow but need a complete archery package. The Diamond Archery Edge SB-1 Bow is an extremely versatile package with functionality and adjustability.
A hunting bow that has a Deadlock Lite Octane quiver, arrow rest, stabilizer, and basic 3-pin sight with peep-sight is an excellent deal for the money. The Diamond Edge SB-1 bow offers a blazing arrow speed of 318 feet per second. With this intense downrange power, the smooth shooting bow gives archers an amazing field experience. Unlike other bows, this smart Edge Sb-1 bow has synchronized binary cam system that enhances shots on targets. This binary cam system is maintenance-free and makes the product very durable.
- 25 to 75 lbs draw weight
- Synchronized Binary Cam system
- Arrow speed of 318 feet per second
- Lightweight of 3.2 lbs
The Edge SB-1 bow's smooth draw cycle convinced our experts that while using this product, beginner and expert archers will take pleasant shots. Its bow string offers smooth release and sends speedy shots of arrows traveling at 318 feet per second. With a synchronized binary cam system that's easy to maintain, the rotating modules can also be adjusted. More so owning this Diamond Archery bow package is advantageous because the kit comes with essential accessories. If you have a tight budget, it's wiser to purchase a hunting package that comes with cutting edge innovation.
It's not every archer that can afford top of the line compound bows and hunting gears. The Siege SAS is a simple compound bow that is made for shooters that desire improvements of their archery skills. It's cost-effective to own a bow that doesn't have fanciful features. However, the product comes with a strong piece of the limb with a maximum draw weight of 55 lbs.
This bow features an axle to axle dimension of 41.5 inches and a 29-inch draw length. Our experts recommend bows with arrow flights of 206 feet per second (FPS) for adult beginners and archers that have intermediate skills.
- Maximum Speed: 206 FPS
- Adjustable Bow Sight.
- Draw Length: 29 inches
- Axle to Axle: 41.5 inches
- Draw Weight: 40 to 55 lbs
- Let-off value: 70%
- Recommended Arrow: 30-inch Aluminum and Carbon
- Compressed ABS limbs for durability
Investing a modest sum of money on a bow with rigid tolerances for enhanced accuracy might fit your tight budget. However, you can overlook the 206 feet per second (FPS) speed and save money for accessories. With this product, the manufacturer of the Siege SAS Compound Bow makes hunting affordable for adults. Unlike other cheap bows, this product is uniquely shaped with some cutouts in the bow's riser. This customized feature gives it a stylish appeal and qualifies the bow to be among our top picks for you.
Our tester recommends the Quest Radical compound bow for those that choose to combine performance with the bow’s impressive handling. Some of this product's features include; a brace height of 7.125 inches, adjustable draw length and draw weight of between 17.5 to 30 inches, and 15 to 70lbs respectively.
As one of our tops of the line bows, the Quest Radical has more accuracy and gives better shots. It's ideal for men with large frames, and younger adults. While assessing this product during the field test, we arrived at a speed of 295 feet per second (FPS). With an axle to axle dimension of 29.25 inches, the lightweight (3.25 lbs) bow is convenient to carry while hunting. The Quest Radical compound bow has a right-hand orientation and a kit with essential hunting accessories.
- Adjustable draw length with a range of 17.5 to 30 inches
- Adjustable draw weight with a range of 15 to 70 lbs
- Axle to Axle: 29.25 inches
- Arrow Speed: 295fps
- Brace Height: 7.125 inches
With maximum poundage of 70lbs and its short axle length, the Quest Radical compound bow falls into the category of beginners and expert archers. This product has enhanced ergonomics features like the tool-less 4-pin sights that are far better than fiber optic version. When you consider the list of accessories that comes with the Quest Radical bow, it's sure a deal-breaker. Our team of experts recommends this product because it comes with a quiver to hold your arrows, and rubber stabilizer to reduce noise and vibration.
Other Tested Products
Understand the Parts and Terminology of Compound Bows
To avoid shooting yourself in the foot while using compound bows, it's import to understand its features. The various parts of a compound bow and terms will help you make informed decisions. However, the cheapest compound bow might not come with all the parts that have been listed below.
Archery Shooting Form
The position you assume while gripping the bow, the angle of your arm (right or left) and execution strategy will give accurate shots.
It's a bolt that travels in a linear direction with the aim of reaching the target. Usually, it's made from carbon or aluminum materials. The most desirable arrows (typically made of carbon) yield optimal accuracy and strength.
A position on the bow that's above the riser where an arrow stays before it's shot. Some compound bows have a stationary or automatic arrow rest; choose what fits your preference.
This part of the bow prevents finger injuries. It's above the bow's riser and steadily holds the arrow before the 'draw and release' execution.
An optic piece that's made of fiber or glass material to gauge a straight flying arrow. Sights help to you make precise decisions for different hunting styles.
It's not a part of the bow, but an attachment that helps to draw the bow without injuring your fingers. You'll need this component if the compound bow for beginners is your preference.
This technique in archery ensures efficient shots. The strategy requires the tightening of your back muscles before the arrow is released.
On the bow's riser, there's a small hole for screwing the arrow to make it rest firmly in place
The chord that's on the compound bow that's pulled and released before firing shots at targets. However, it's the cam system on compound bows that determines how the bow is strung.
The brace height is determined by measuring a point on the string from the base of the grip. There are more power and speed with shorter brace heights, but it's a challenge for beginners to control their shots with shorter brace heights.
The sharp end of an arrow is the broadhead, and they might fall in weight categories of 75, 85, 100 and 125 grains.
Usually, cables connect from one end of the cam to another. It's because they are tight that you can ensure a release of arrows
They are metal points with grain weights that are attached to arrows, and used during practice sessions; it's why they are also called practice tips.
Fletching or Vanes
You'll find vanes at the end of arrows, and are used to control the trajectory of traveling arrows. Usually, this part of the arrow is the first to strike targets and game animals.
Feet per second is a standard term for rating the speed and distance of the straight traveling arrows that are released from the bow.
It's a term for the weight of arrows.
Nock and Nocking point
It's a small insert at the end of an arrow. The point at which archers attach the nock on the bowstring before a shot is taken is the nocking point.
It's a housing that holds arrows conveniently. Depending on the storage's size and construction, a quiver can be permanently attached or detached.
It's like a camera's viewfinder that might use laser beams to determine distances and help to hit targets that are far from you.
Vibrations and noise can alert your game animals. Instead, archers use silencing aids while hunting with compound bows.
After careful research and compound bow products' review, the best compound bow has been selected for you. It's important to consider your skill level, the price, and technology behind a compound before purchasing any model. Don't forget to ask the local archery shop attendant to configure your product. However, some compound bows come with installation manuals and Allen keys. With do-it-yourself (DIY) techniques, some users can adjust the factory settings without needing any input from professionals. More so, the draw weight, draw length, brace height, axle to axle, and arrow speed is essential factors that you must not overlook while choosing your bow.