Are you looking for the best compound bow on a budget? Look no further! This article will discuss some great bows that are all under $500. These bows are perfect for anyone looking to get into archery or those who want to upgrade their current setup.

We will go over the pros and cons of each bow so that you can make an informed decision before purchasing one. Keep reading to learn more!

All bows reviewed were tested by our expert team and chosen based on their performance, quality, and value.

+ Bear Archery Paradox RTH Excellent balance of cost and performance. A perfect all-around bow for archers of every experience level
+ Diamond Edge 320The 320 offers a range of adjustability that is quite impressive, featuring a variable draw length of 15″ -31″ and a draw weight range of 7-70 pounds
+ Bear Divergent EKOThe Divergent EKO features an adjustable let-off factor, which can be set as desired in just minutes
+ PSE Uprising RTSA compact-sized compound bow that, due to its brace height of 6 ⅝”, is ideal for beginners

“Did you know that, according to an extensive research study funded by the Multistate Conservation Grant Program, both firearm and bow hunters face significant financial challenges regarding their equipment and ammunition expenses? 38% of firearm hunters and 42% of bowhunters have reported finding it quite expensive.”

Source: 2022-Special-Report-on-Hunting-The-Shooting-Sports

In response to these concerns, we’ve put together this in-depth article that delves into the world of compound bows under $500. We aim to help hunters discover reliable and budget-friendly options to enhance their hunting experience while keeping expenses in check.

Bear Archery Paradox RTH

A Man shooting a Compound Bow

As luck would have it, Josh Boyd (one of our bowhunting experts) was recently presented with the opportunity to test and review the Bear Archery Paradox RTH. And he was pretty impressed with what he found. After shooting it, Josh had this to say:

“The Bear Archery Paradox RTH is an excellent all-around bow. It’s perfect for beginners and experienced archers alike. The draw weight is adjustable from 45-60 (55-70) pounds, making it perfect for just about anyone.”

Bear Paradox Bow Specifications

Let-Off: 80 percent
Weight: 4.3 pounds
Brace Height: 6.25 inches
Axle-to-Axle Length: 32 inches
Speed: 330 fps
Draw Weights: 45 – 60 or 55 – 70 pounds
Draw Lengths: 23.5 to 30.5 inches
Finishes: TrueTimber Strata
Suggested Retail: check price

The Bear Paradox offers a single let-off factor of 80% and utilizes the company’s proprietary EKO adjustable cams.

Josh found that upon reaching full draw, a rock-solid back wall – he feels that such a trait aids in consistency. No noticeable hand shock at the time of release, and the IBO speed of 330 FPS added to the Paradox’s list of impressive features.

Bear Paradox


  • Fast
  • Minimal Hand Shock
  • Quiet


  • Grip
  • Actuation of Cam Slightly Harsher

The RTH (ready To Hunt) package allows you to get your Paradox with accessories already installed. This saves you both time and money, as the sight, rest, and stabilizer that come with the RTH are top-notch products that would cost extra if purchased separately.

Read our in-depth, hands-on review of the Paradox RTH here

Diamond Archery Edge 320

A man shooting a compound bow

There are several technical talking points worth mentioning with the Edge 320. It’s all about the bow’s adaptability to any archer’s needs. 

With so much draw length and draw weight adjustment, this bow is great for men, women, and kids. Despite these capabilities, adjustments can be made quickly and easily. All you need is a hex wrench.  

After setting the bow’s draw length and draw weight, Josh was shooting arrows downrange in no time.

Diamond Archery Edge 320 Bow Specifications

Let-Off: 85 percent
Brace Height: 7 1/4 inches
Mass Weight: 3.6 pounds
Axle-to-Axle Length: 32 inches
Speed: 320 fps
Draw Weights: 7 to 70 pounds
Draw Lengths: 15 to 31 inches
Finishes: Mossy Oak Break-Up finish, Black and Purple Blaze Finish
Suggested Retail: check price

Josh said the Diamond 320 felt balanced overall, without the clunkiness and uneven weight distribution common in bows in this price range.

Josh noticed how smooth the Edge 320’s draw cycle was right away. During the cycle, the draw weight rose evenly, and the bow transitioned into the valley as the cams actuated gradually. The Synchronized Binary Cam System perfectly manages everything.



  • A blazing fast 320 fps I.B.O. speed
  • Draw Length Range
  • Draw Weight Range
  • Smooth Draw Cycle
  • Solid Back Wall
  • Quiet Shooting Performance


  • 3-Pin Sight Is Minimal In Features
  • Quiver Mount and Cam-Lock Design Can Be Cumbersome

Read our in-depth, hands-on review of the Diamond Edge 320 here

Bear Archery Divergent EKO

man shooting the bear divergent eko compound bow

Josh immediately noticed how striking the Bear Divergent EKO is in its visual appeal. Everything about the EKO, from its aggressively swept limbs to its purposefully placed riser cutouts, gives it a unique look. In terms of appearance, the bow looks aggressive.

No noticeable rough spots or hesitations during the draw cycle and the bow pulled into the valley without much effort. As Josh wanted to see what all the hype was about, he adjusted the let-off to 90%.

Once in the valley, it felt like the Divergent EKO would hold itself at full draw without effort!

Bear Archery Divergent Bow Specifications

Let-Off: up to 90 percent
Weight: 4.1 pounds
Brace Height: 6.5 inches
Axle-to-Axle Length: 30 inches
Speed: 338 fps
Draw Weights: 45-60 or 55-70 pounds
Draw Lengths: 26 to 30 inches
Finishes: TrueTimber Strata
Suggested Retail: check price

Upon releasing my shot, the true performance of the Divergent EKO became evident. At 20 yards the release of the arrow and its impact with the target seemed to occur simultaneously and was nothing short of immensely impressive.

Josh Boyd

Despite its lightning-quick arrow speeds, the Divergent EKO emits virtually no sound upon release. There was also only minimal hand shock!


  • I.B.O. Speed of 338 FPS
  • Virtually no noise is emitted
  • Hand shock is minimal
  • You do not need a bow press
  • Let-Off: 75%, 80%. 85%, 90%


  • Some archers might not find Draw Weight adaptable enough.

Read our in-depth, hands-on review of the Bear Archery Divergent EKO here

PSE Uprising RTS Bow Package

Shooting the PSE Uprising Compound Bow

Of note is the Uprising’s compact size. This bow measures only 30” axle-to-axle while weighing in at just over 3 lbs. These characteristics should be appreciated by those who routinely hunt in tight confines, such as a ground blind or a well brushed-in treestand.

Josh Boyd

PSE Uprising RTS Bow Specifications

Let-Off: 70 percent
Weight: 3.2 pounds
Brace Height: 6 5/8 inches
Axle-to-Axle Length: 30 inches
Speed: 302 fps
Draw Weights: 15 to 70 pounds
Draw Lengths: 14 to 30 inches
Finishes: Black, Mossy Oak Breakup Country
Suggested Retail: check price

There is a set let-off factor of 70% in the PSE Uprising. Though this is lower than most modern compound bows on the market today, most archers should still have no problem holding at full draw, assuming the draw weight was chosen correctly.  

The Uprising’s draw cycle was much smoother than I expected, especially for the price point. Uprising’s cams also actuated smoothly, settling into the valley effortlessly.

PSE Uprising Bow Featured Picture_Small


  • Whisper-quiet
  • Hand shock is minimal
  • Forgiving brace height
  • Weighs 3.2 pounds


  • The minimalist grip (well, it might not bother others…)

Read our in-depth, hands-on review of the PSE Uprising Compound Bow here


All compound bows in this article are excellent choices for anyone looking for a new bow that doesn’t want to spend a fortune. We tested all bows and found that they all have impressive features and specifications that set them apart from other bows on the market.

Our top pick is the Bear Archery Divergent EKO, but any of these bows would make an excellent choice for your next hunting expedition.

We are happy to answer any questions you might have about these bows, so please feel free to leave a comment below!

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