The Best Compound Bows in 2021

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If you are searching for the perfect compound bows, you likely have a number of questions that you are currently pondering. Which bow is the best? Which is the fastest? How do I get the most bow for the money? The list of questions goes on and on. That´s why we put together this post about the best bows in 2021

In our opinion, a top-notch bow in is the Bear Archery Divergent EKO. We recently also looked at the Bear Archery Cruzer G2 – make sure to read our hands-on review too!

This will allow you to make the most out of your purchase, and help you maximize your enjoyment in the field and on the range.

What Are The Best Compound Bows On The Market 2021

So, which Bow is going to be the best for you? Well, that depends heavily on your personal needs and where you´re at in your current state of bow shooting.

We have looked at nine different possible situations: Fastest, Youth, Women, Best Overall … and so on.

Best Top-Tier Bows

#1 BEST OVERALL Bow: Bear Archery Divergent EKO

Not too long ago we had the chance to put the Divergent EKO to a proper bow test.

While on the range, we didn´t notice any rough spots or points of hesitation within the draw cycle.

This EKO is not as adjustable as Bear Cruzer G2 for example. But the fact that you can choose from two different limb packages (45-60 lbs. and 55-70 lbs.) and its high IBO speed rating of 338 FPS make this bow absolutely our favorite bow on this list.

And yes, the most talked-about feature of the Bear Divergent EKO is its adjustable let-off factor.

Specs:

  • Brace Height: 6.5”
  • Let-Off: 75%, 80%. 85%, 90%
  • Axle-to-Axle: 30 inches
  • Draw Lengths: 26 – 30 inches
  • Draw Wght: 45-60/55-70 LBS
  • Speed: 338 FPS
  • Weight: 4.1 LBS
check latest price

Compact in size, this bow could most accurately be described as one of aggressive performance.

Hands-On Review of the Bear Divergent EKO

If you want to read more, check out our Hands-On Review of the Bear Divergent EKO.

Well, we liked what we found! So as of right now, we would go so far as to declare the Divergent EKO the best bow on this list!

#2 Bear Archery Cruzer G2

The Bear G2 combines both style and functionality to render a shooting experience like none other.

Hands-On Review of the Bear Archery Cruzer G2

We had the chance to review the Bear Cruzer. Read our Bear Archery Cruzer G2 Review

Much of the Bear´s extensive popularity can be attributed to its quality construction.

Specs:

  • Axle-To-Axle: 30″
  • Bow Weight: 3 lbs.
  • Draw Lengths: 12″ – 30″
  • Draw Weight: 5 lbs. – 70 lbs.
  • Brace Height: 6 1/2″

Features:

  • Maximum-versatility
  • Ready To Hunt
  • No need for a bow press
  • Advanced grip design
  • Good draw cycle
  • up to 315 FPS

This bow features Bears´superior durability and versatility.

Best For the Money: Diamond Archery SB-1 Edge

If you are looking for the deal of the century, then the Diamond Archery SB-1 Edge is the bow for you. The SB-1, based off of Diamond’s, enormously popular Edge platform, offers outstanding performance at an exceptional value. We think of it as the best value compound.

In fact, it is my opinion that this bow is on par with many of the offerings from Diamond’s parent company, Bowtech, at half of the cost.

To begin with, the range of adjustability that this bow feature is outstanding. With a draw range of 5-70 pounds, as well as a draw length adjustment of 15”-30”, the SB-1 is truly a bow that fits any archer and one of the best affordable bows available. We also liked its draw cycle.

Combine this with the SB-1’s lightweight 3.6-pound frame, and you have a bow that can hold its own against many offerings in the premium price point range (read.. best carbon fiber bows).

Specs:

  • Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • Speed: 318 FPS

Features:

  • Adjusts from 5-70 pounds, for any archer
  • EZ Adjust pocket system
  • Excellent draw cycle
  • Perfectly symmetrical cams

Also included with the purchase of a Diamond SB-1 Edge are a sight, arrow rest, stabilizer, quiver, peep sight, and D-loop. These items alone easily could save a consumer an additional $150 in accessory purchases.

Not for you? Here you´ll find our favorite takedown recurve bows

Fastest Bow: PSE Bow Madness Unleashed

Just ten years ago bows were barely breaking the 300 FPS threshold. Now, several bows on the market have bested that number substantially. One such bow is the PSE Bow Madness Unleashed.

This bow features a blistering fast ATA speed of 340 FPS. Even more appealing is that this PSE bow looks and feels as good as it shoots.

Much of this speed is due to PSE’s revolutionary 3-track binary cam. It is also worth mentioning that this cam is capable of actuating in an incredibly smooth manner, despite its aggressive profile.

This is something that is seldom experienced out of a bow that features this level of performance.

Specs:

  • Weight: 3.9 pounds
  • Speed: 340 FPS

Features:

  • Good draw cycle
  • 85% let-off
  • Built on stiffer and stronger riser for comfort and speed
  • Comes equipped with ready to shoot package

The PSE Bow Madness Unleashed also makes the perfect bow, due in large part to its substantial let-off factor. When you fully draw the bow, an archer is only left to hold 15% of the bow’s peak draw weight.

This allows any bowhunter to wait out the perfect shot, without succumbing to muscle fatigue, or being forced to let their bow down.

Looking for the fastest bows?

Here is our article about the fastest compound bows

Best For Women: Diamond Carbon Knockout

The Diamond Carbon Knockout is a bow that is specifically engineered for the female archer, offering lightweight handling, notable performance, and a striking appearance in a single package.

This women’s bow comes in multiple draw configurations, including 40, 50, and 60-pound models.

Perhaps the biggest advantage offered to the female archer by the Diamond Carbon Knockout is its ease of handling.

Weighing in at just 3.2 pounds, this bow is light enough to carry on spot and stalk hunts without becoming excessively fatigued, and a compact 30” axle-to-axle measurement offers ample maneuverability.

Specs:

  • Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Speed: 302 FPS

Features:

  • Lightweight with carbon riser design
  • Synchronized binary cam system
  • Nice Draw Cycle
  • Compact 30’ axle-to-axle length

The Carbon Knockout also features an IBO speed of 302 FPS, which is suitable for most any type of hunting situation.

Additionally, the bow’s binary system makes tuning a breeze, keeping you on the range and in the woods, instead of in the shop sorting out poor shootability issues.

Looking for the Best bows for women?

Want to know more about the best bows for women? Check out our top 5 list.

Best For Youth: Diamond Prism

The Diamond Prism offers youth archers everything that they need to get off to an excellent start in the sport of archery.

This bow offers a range of adjustability that is second to none and comes fully outfitted with all of the accessories that your young outdoorsman or woman needs to begin their journey. This bow also works well for target practice.

The Prism features a draw weight range of 5-55 pounds, as well as a draw lengths that adjusts from 18”- 30”. The draw cycle is good

Interested in the hands-on bow test of the Diamond Prism?

We did a review of the Diamond Prism Bow – Check it out!

This creates a unique set of circumstances where any child can essentially “grow-up” with the Prism, as it accompanies them along their archery career all the way into adulthood.

Specs:

  • DRAW LENGTHS- 18-30″
  • IBO SPEED- 295 FPS
  • WEIGHT- 3.2 LBS
  • AXLE TO AXLE- 31″
  • BRACE HEIGHT- 7″
  • DRAW WEIGHT- 5-55 lbs.
  • EFFECTIVE LET-OFF- 80%

Features:

  • Adjustable from child to adult
  • Excellently balanced for comfort
  • Comes with ready to shoot package

This bow features a 3-pin Tundra sight, captive-style arrow rest, quiver, D-loop, and peep sight.

While these are package level accessories, they are indeed of decent quality, and an archer can always update these items at a later date as they see fit.

More Info about youth bows?

If you are looking for more and in-depth information regarding youth bows, feel free to read our review “best youth compound bows

Best Bow for Beginners: Diamond Infinite Edge

You will be hard-pressed to find a better starter bow anywhere on the planet than the Diamond Infinite Edge Pro..

This bow is directly derived from the infinite edge pro model bow that spawned Diamond’s success in the mid-2000s. It´s an awesome bow not only for deer hunting but also for hobby shooting too.

This exact platform has remained the company’s flagship ever since. Most of this fanfare stems from the Edge’s one-size-fits-all form.

A high point of the Diamond Archery Infinite Edge is the bow’s immense adjustability and it´s draw cycle.

Draw weight settings range from 5-70 pounds, while the bow’s draw length can be adjusted from 13”-31”. These features allow archers of all ages, and experience levels to enjoy all that the Diamond Infinite Edge has to offer. The bow is available with a right hand or left-hand configuration.

Although the diamond archery infinite edge is somewhat of a no-frills model, it is still offered in a R.A.K. package that features the necessary accessories to get started in your archery endeavors.

The included bow sight, arrow rest, stabilizer, quiver, peep sight, and D-loop will allow your bow to be set up in no-time, getting you on the range much faster than you would have ever thought possible. A perfect starter bow.

Specs:

  • DRAW LENGTHS: 13-31″
  • IBO SPEED: 310 Feet per Second
  • MASS WEIGHT: 3.2 LBS
  • AXLE TO AXLE : 31″
  • BRACE HEIGHT: 7″
  • DRAW WEIGHT: 5-70 lbs
  • EFFECTIVE LET-OFF: 80%

Features:

  • Easily adjustable for use by archers of all ages
  • Redesigned cam system for smooth draw cycle
  • Stabilizer for perfect balance
check latest price

Although this bow is somewhat of a no-frills model, it is still offered in a R.A.K. package that features the necessary accessories to get started in your archery endeavors.

The included sight, arrow rest, stabilizer, quiver, peep sight, and D-loop will allow your bow to be set up in no-time, getting you on the range much faster than you would have ever thought possible.

Wait: Want to know more about the best bow hunting day packs

Best Compact Bow: PSE Archery Evolve 28

PSE ARCHERY Evolve 28 Compound Bow Kit-Compact-Hunting - 70 lb. Draw Weight - Kuiu Verde
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PSE has never been a company to shy away from innovation, and this becomes quite evident when looking at their Evolve 28 bow.

This bow is extremely compact, featuring a 28 inches axle-to-axle measurement. This comes as a distinct advantage to those who regularly hunt in confined quarters, such as that of a ground blind.

Contrary to what many would expect, the Evolve 28 is also engineered to be forgiving and smooth shooting. This is made possible thanks to PSE’s revolutionary cam system.

These specialty cams also provide an outstanding 80-90% let-off factor, making the Evolve 28 insanely easy to hold at full draw, even for lengthy periods of time.

Specs:

  • Weight: 4.1 pounds
  • Speed: 335 FPS

Features:

  • 28 inches axle-to-axle measurement
  • 80-90% let-off for easy hold at full draw
  • Compact and comfortable
  • draw cycle
check latest price

The Evolve 28 is also no slouch in the arena of performance, turning out an incredibly fast 335 FPS IBO speed.

This is quick enough to qualify the Evolve 28 as the second-fastest bow on this list, finishing right behind the PSE Bow Madness Unleashed.

Check out our article about the best hunting tree saddle

Best Cheap: SAS Outrage Perfect Bow

Southland Archery Supply SAS Outrage 70 Lbs 30'' Compound Bow - Black
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If you are looking to get started in compound archery, but have a restrictive budget to keep in mind, the SAS Outrage Compound Bow is worth a closer look.

This bow is noteworthy due to the fact that it is actually a technically sound bow, that is offered at an unbelievably low price. We think it is the best bow for the price.

With an arrow speed of 270 feet per second, the SAS Outrage is obviously not the fastest bow on the market, but it is certainly speedy enough to take any game that you might decide to hunt.

Additionally, this bow’s 55-70 draw weight range and 25 – 31 inches draw length adjustment means that it is versatile enough to be used by virtually any adult archer (read.. Best Beginner Bow).

Specs:

  • Weight: 4.4 pounds
  • Brace Height: 7″
  • Speed: 270 FPS

Features:

  • Compressed ABS limbs
  • Twin cam idlers
  • Affordable price
  • Smooth Draw Cycle
check latest price

The SAS Outrage is also somewhat striking in its looks. If you were to lay it out on a table, and ask a fellow archer enthusiast what they would guess the Outrage cost, they would not be able to tell that it was a budget bow by looks alone.

A series of stylish, yet functional riser cutouts provide this bow with a decent level of eye-appeal.

Best Left-Handed: Diamond Edge 320

Diamond Archery Diamond Edge 320, Black, 7-70#
check latest price

If you have been around the sport of archery for any length of time, you are undoubtedly familiar with the name Bowtech.

Bowtech is a giant in the bows industry that has been around for several decades. Upon purchasing Diamond Archery, the company set out to fulfill the needs of the masses with bows that catered to every archer.

Out of this mission came Diamond’s Edge 320 bow – a high-quality bow!

This bow can be purchased in both right and left-handed models and offers archers blazing-fast arrow speeds and an unparalleled range of adjustability, all at a more than reasonable price point.

Specs:

  • DRAW LENGTHS – 15-31”
  • DRAW WEIGHT – 7-70 LBS
  • SPEED – 320 feet per second
  • BRACE HEIGHT – 7 1/4”
  • AXLE TO AXLE – 32”
  • MASS WEIGHT – 3.6 LBS
  • EFFECTIVE LET-OFF – 85%

Features:

  • Right or Left Handed models
  • Synchronized Binary cam system
  • Comes with ready to shoot package
  • smooth draw cycle
check latest price

The Diamond Edge 320 is offered as an outfitted R.A.K. package model, meaning that no excess expenditure on accessories is needed.

Read more about our in-depth review of the Diamond Archery Edge 320 here.

This bow also offers a draw weight range of 7-70 pounds, as well as a draw length that adjusts from 15”-31”.

However, the most striking feature of the Edge 320 is its speed. With an I.B.O. speed of 320 fps, a lack of performance is no issue.

More Info about left-handed bows?

You are looking for more and in-depth information regarding left-handed bows? Check out our bow test “best left handed compound bows

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What Is The Best Compound Bow For Hunting?

Searching for the best hunting bow tends to be relative to the particular needs of an archer. Much like the saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, one archer’s impression of what the ideal bow consists of might be completely different than the opinion of the next individual.

It is important to understand what it is you are looking for, and base your decision accordingly.

By taking into account the recommendations mentioned earlier, you will be sure to find a bow that best suits your personal needs. This will allow you to rapidly grow in your archery pursuits and enjoy the experience at hand.

Best Compound Bow Package

If you´re looking for a bow package, we highly recommend the following:

Best Carbon Fiber Compound Bow

Are you looking to find a state of the art carbon bow? Or maybe, you are trying to upgrade your current hunting bow? Either way, carbon fiber is a newer material to archery that is gaining popularity for many reasons worth checking out.

There are many advantages to a carbon fiber bow that can benefit archers of all ranges, including beginners.

Understanding the material better and knowing the market’s products is the first step in finding the best bow to meet all of your archery needs.

If you are looking for the best carbon fiber bow out there and don’t have the time to research all of the products out there, look no further. We have done the heavy lifting for you and have concluded that the Diamond Archery Carbon Knockout Compound Bow is the number one choice overall.

Diamond Carbon Knockout

  • Ultra-Lightweight
  • 80% Let-Off
  • 320 FPS
check price

Are you interested in learning more about the benefits a carbon fiber bow has? Take a look at our top picks today:

Product Quick Comparison

Carbon Knockout

Best Overall: Diamond Archery Carbon Knockout

Diamond Archery Deploy SB RAK Bow Package, Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, Right

Best Technology: Diamond Deploy SB

PSE Carbon Air Stealth 35

Best Dampening: PSE Carbon Air Stealth

Top Carbon Fiber Compound Bows

Best Overall: Diamond Archery Carbon Knockout

Taking the lead with the perfect overall combination of power, accuracy, and consistency is the Diamond Archery Carbon Knockout Compound Bow.

The Carbon Knockout is, hands down, Diamond’s most technologically advanced carbon fiber compound bow for females. This bow is sure to provide significant power with consistent accuracy that competitors can’t match.

Pros:

  • Created by women specifically for women
  • Comes with factory-installed, tuned, and tested accessories
  • Bowtech Synchronized Binary Cam System offering 320 fps and straight arrow flight
  • Rotating module system design with wide-ranging draw length adjustment
  • Draw Cycle
  • Ultra-lightweight at 3.2 pounds
  • Let-off at 80%

Cons:

  • Right-handed version only
  • Super specialized construction with a high price tag
  • Size can be limiting for larger archers
check latest price

Designed for all ranges of arches from beginner to expert, the Diamond Archery Carbon Knockout Bow exceeds all expectations regarding design, comfort, and versatility (read.. Ladys Bow Guide).

Best Technology: Diamond Deploy SB

Diamond Archery Deploy SB RAK Bow Package, Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, Right
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With its aerospace inspired carbon rise, the Diamond Deploy SB Compound Bow does not fall short as one of the favorite compound bow options out there.

This carbon fiber compound bow raises the bar in terms of performance, boasting the combination of power, tunability, adjustment, and accuracy.

Thanks to the Synchronized Binary Cam System, this compound bow has two perfectly symmetrical cams delivering unmatched synchronization.

Pros:

  • Most technologically advanced bow yet from Diamond
  • Comes with factory-installed, tuned, and tested accessories
  • Bowtech Synchronized Binary Cam System offering 330 fps
  • Advanced Carbon Knight ultra-lightweight
  • Ultra-lightweight at 3.2 pounds
  • Draw cycle
  • Let-off at 80%

Cons:

  • Generic styling
  • Only two finishes to choose from
  • Difficult for new shooters with short ATA
check latest price

Although this might not be the best option for beginners, the Diamond Deploy SB Compound Bow offers unmatched technological advances making it an excellent piece of equipment for hunters.

If you want to read a more detailed review, check our article here – Diamond Deploy SB Hands-On Review.

Best Dampening: PSE Carbon Air Stealth

The PSE Carbon Air Stealth is a compound bow of high quality and made 100% in the USA. This high-efficiency carbon fiber compound bow boasts an S-RAC core allowing more natural dampening and overall stability. This compound bow has incredible handling and accuracy matched with an overall lightweight body.

Pros:

  • Longer bow, measuring 35-inch from axle to axle
  • Let-Off 80-90%
  • 320 fps (IBO)
  • Riser made of one carbon piece
  • Single carbon riser is a hollow tube
  • Includes Evolve Cam system
  • Draw Cycle
  • Lightweight at 3.5 pounds

Cons:

  • High price tag
check latest price

Although the PSE Carbon Air Stealth can run a bit pricey, it proves to be a fantastic carbon fiber compound bow option that maintains a lightweight frame.

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Buyers Guide

Let’s look at some of the common questions about purchasing a carbon fiber compound bow.

Why Do I Need a Carbon Fiber Bow?

When doing your research, you will find that carbon fiber is a newer material used for bows that offer a different alternative to the traditional aluminum.

Whether you be a novice or an expert archer, there are carbon fiber compound bow options that are sure to help you step your game up.

What Is Carbon Fiber?

Carbon fiber, also known as graphite fiber, is a polymer known to be a heavy-duty material that is also incredibly lightweight.

In terms of its strength, carbon fiber is five-times stronger than steel and is known to be twice as stiff. Despite the strength of carbon fiber, it is significantly lighter than steel, which makes it ideal for many different uses.

Part of what makes carbon fiber such a strong material is that it is multiple thin, crystalline filaments of carbon that are thinner than human hair, woven together like yarn.

The fibers create a cloth-like form and then are coated in a resin or plastic to take its permanent shape.

In addition to its strength, carbon fiber also has:

  • High stiffness
  • High tension strength
  • Low weight to strength ratio
  • High chemical resistance
  • High-temperature tolerance
  • Low thermal expansion

Because there are so many benefits to using carbon fiber, it is common to find carbon fiber as a popular material for multiple industries outside of archery, such as aerospace, automotive, and military.

The benefit of Carbon Fiber in Compound Bow

As you can imagine, some of the benefits that make carbon fiber a quality material in so many other industries also make it highly sought after in archery.

The lightweight yet durable carbon fiber makes it perfect for easy handling in compound bows for archers of all skill levels.

Typically, manufacturers use aluminum to make compound bows. Aluminum, like carbon fiber, is a lightweight yet durable material.

Although aluminum is an excellent option for archers, carbon fiber proves to be superior because it maintains a more stable surface temperature.

While this may seem like a luxury, having a bow that does not drastically change temperature can be a game-changer in severe weather conditions.

Of course, you don’t want to worry about risking burning or freezing your skin if you leave your gloves at home.

Disadvantages of Carbon Fiber

Of the few disadvantages to opting for a carbon fiber compound bow, the price tag tends to be the most common.

Generally speaking, carbon fiber is a more complicated material to create and, as a result, can cost more than the standard aluminum.

It is important to remember that you are paying for quality, and you will reap the benefits of this in the long run.

One other disadvantage to carbon fiber is that you cannot easily recycle it like you can with other materials. If you choose a carbon fiber compound bow, you might find those sourcing spare parts is a bit of a challenge.

As technology evolves, carbon fiber is becoming a more popular option, and you should see this begin to diminish as a concern if you face it at all.

Carbon Fiber Compound Bow Parts

It is not uncommon to find a compound bow with parts that are entirely different materials. While carbon fiber is becoming a more popular material in archery, you will find that the list of parts available in this material is continuously growing.

Right now, some of the carbon fiber compound bow parts that you can get are:

  • Riser
  • Cam
  • Limbs
  • Idler wheel
  • Arrows

With the right budget, it is entirely possible to find a bow made entirely of carbon fiber if that is the most ideal for you.

Should You Buy a Carbon Fiber Compound Bow?

Determining whether or not you should purchase a carbon fiber compound bow is a decision that is entirely up to your personal inclinations.

Keep in mind that because aluminum has been available longer, it can be easier to find spare and replacement pieces in this material.

As mentioned, though, carbon fiber is continuing to gain popularity as it is a highly durable material, and we anticipate seeing our options continue to grow in the future.

Best Carbon Compound Bow

As carbon fiber continues to gain popularity in the archery world, we will continue to see an ever-growing list of viable options.

We have hand-selected our top picks of the carbon fiber bow options out there, and while all are great options, the Diamond Knockout Compound Bow is hands down the best of the best.

The Diamond Deploy SB Compound Bow might be a better option for larger archers but is not necessarily the best choice for beginners.

Because of the Diamond Knockout Bow’s versatility for all users, it won out as our top pick overall.

Best New Bows From The ATA 2020 Trade Show

This year’s trend is not all about speed, but it seems like manufacturers give adjustability and shootability more weight. Here are some of our favorite compound, bows 2020:

Bear Status EKO

Specs:

  • 33-inch axle-to-axle length
  • 6-inch brace height
  • 4.3 lbs.
  • 344 FPS IBO

Price Point: $999.99

EKO Cam Technology . Customize let-off 75%, 80%, 85% or 90%. Let´s you hold at full draw with ease. One of Bears flagship bows. Find out more over at beararchery.com

Bowtech Revolt

Specs:

Read our article about the Bear Divergent EKO here.

  • 30-inch axle-to-axle length
  • 7 1/4-inch brace height
  • 4.4 lbs.
  • 335 FPS IBO

Price Point: $1,099.99

Smooth shooting bow that features Deadlock technology. No bow press is needed to tune this bow. Most hunters probably would love to call this one their own. Find out more about Bowtechs flagship bows over at bowtecharchery.com

Hoyt RX-4 Alpha

Specs:

  • 29 1/2-inch axle-to-axle length
  • 6 1/8-inch brace height
  • 3.9 lbs.
  • 342 FPS ATA

Price Point: $1,699.00

Fast and smooth. Built for tight spaces such as ground blind or tree stands. Find out more about Hoyts flagship bows over at hoyt.com

Mathews VXR

Specs Mathews VXR 28:

  • 28-inch axle-to-axle length
  • 6-inch brace height
  • 4.44 lbs.
  • 344 FPS
  • Awesome Draw Cycle

Price Point: $1,199.00

The Mathews VXR has an increased cam efficiency due to the new geometry. 28-inch and 21 1/2-inch version available. Find out more about the Mathews VXR over at mathewsinc.com

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Who Makes The Best Compound Bow

Well, we´re only going to mention some of the best bow companies. The list is far from complete; there are more out there. Also, this list does not represent any specific order like from good to … not so good. Just click on any of the names, and we redirect you to their homepage.

Best Compound Bow Brands

What’s your purpose?

One thing you should ask yourself before you make a buying decision is what you´re actually up to with the bow? Do you want to do target shooting at a range or your backyard? Or do you even plan to go hunting with it?

For target shooting, a bow with soft cams is probably the better option than the die-hard hunting bow (there are even bows out there with a single cam).

If you are a beginner, make sure not to pick a bow with the too-high draw weight. Even though it is pretty standard for modern bows to have let-offs from 80% upwards – you still should not go all in.

Do you want to go hunting? Pick a bow with hard cams. It´s going to take more effort, but you´ll be rewarded with higher fps and power if you plan to go small game bow hunting, no need to go overboard with your bow!

A bow with a draw weight of 70 lbs. might be a little too much…

Things you should know about before buying a compound bow

If you are an experienced archer, you will be aware of the stuff mentioned below. But in case you are new to archery, read on – as some of that stuff is really important!

Speed

The more the better right? Well, not necessarily. First of you should know, that two standards regarding speed specifications exist.

  • IBO (International Bowhunting Organization)
  • ATA (Archery Trade Association)

The most commonly used metric is still the IBO rating. Even though the ATA rating is the more accurate one. Why? Because draw- length, height, and arrow weight is set forth for testing purposes.

IBO speed is the speed an arrow with a weight of 5 grains per pound of draw weight, fired from a given bow, has.

There is no requirement regarding draw length, no limits in the maximum weight – as long as the arrow weight is adjusted.

Every added inch of draw length will approximately 10-15 fps of arrow speed …

Does this mean that speed is not essential? No, arrow speed is an important factor. FPS is measured at point-blank range.

The further the arrow travels, the more it slows down. Starting with a relatively high FPS will, in most cases, increase your effective bow range (this, of course, is a simplification as many factors depending on your set up impact arrow speed).

Weight

The actual weight of your bow is essential. Even one pound makes a big difference.

Be it that you are at the range and fire 100 arrows per training session or you are out in the woods, holding your bow at full draw, waiting for the perfect moment to harvest the game you were following the last two days.

Let-Off

Most (all?) modern compound bows offer a let-off of 75% or more. Don´t be fooled by this. It does not mean you are pulling only 25% of the actual weight.

You need to be able to draw whatever draw-weight your bow has. The let-off reduces the weight (by x%) you need to hold when you´re at full draw.

A high let-off will allow you to remain at full draw longer, with less effort.

Draw Length

In easy words, the draw length is the distance between your bow´s riser and the most distant part of a bowstring when you are at full draw.

There are several ways to determine your draw lengths. You can read our article about draw-length measurement here. But honestly, you should go to your nearest bow shop, especially when you´re new to archery!

Draw Weigth

The weight you are pulling. How much you can handle depends on your physical capability. Maybe you can manage to pull the string with a weight like 70 lbs. The question is, how often, and how does your form look like, what about your draw cycle?

Go down to the range and shoot 100 arrows. You´ll find out pretty quickly.

Most modern compound bows allow increments in 5 or 10 lbs steps. Starting from as low as 7lbs. all the way up to 70 lbs.

Brace Height

Brace height is measured from the bow grip to the middle of the bowstring. A higher brace height makes it supposedly easier for a beginner to shoot accurately. Here’s the idea behind it:

Higher brace height = less Powerstroke = less contact of the arrow with the string = less susceptibility to archer torque.

Sights

Trophy Ridge Pursuit Vertical Pin Bow Sight (Right Hand) check latest price

Different types of bow sights exist.

  • Fixed Pin Sight
  • Single Pin Bow Sights / Multiple Pin Bow SIghts
  • Pendulum Bow Sights

The fixed pin bow sights are the ones you´ll find most commonly used. Typically between 3 and 5 pins in quantity. At the range, you are adjusting these pins to the distances you are using the most (20, 30, and 40 yards).

A big advantage is, that when your out in the field, no adjustments need to be made. Just pick the pin that is closest to the yardage your shooting at.

Obviously you need to be able to judge the distance correctly…

An example would be the trophy ridge pursuit (single), or the Dead Ringer Tack Driver DT (multiple)

The Pendulum Bow sight works on a pivoting axis and compensates trajectory discrepancies when shooting at a steep downward angle.

Treestand- or saddle tree hunters will find the use of those sights especially useful. Distances over 30 yards will diminish accuracy quickly.

A good product is the Truglo Pendulum Sight.

Rests

You need your arrow to be in place when drawing and shooting your bow. There are different technologies available.

  • Shoot-Thru Arrow Rests
  • Containment Arrow Rests
  • Drop Away Arrow Rest
  • Pressure Rests
  • 3D & Special Rests

Most likely you´re going to use a containment rest. The Whisker Biscuit as a containment rest is dominating the market. More than 50% off all bows sold use some sort of Whisker Biscuit.

One of the downsides of the whisker biscuit is that it makes contact with the vanes. Other containment-rests hold the arrow at three points and are designed to not to make fletching contact.

Trophy Ridge Quick Shot Whisker Biscuit, One Size check latest price

Also popular are drop away arrow rests. They appeared first during the 1900s. And the main benefit of them is that they won´t make contact with the arrow once it is released.

Quality Archery Products UHXBK-R Right Hand HDX Arrow Rest,  Black check latest price

Release Aid

While traditional archers or recurve bow archers use their fingers to release the bowstring, most compound archers use a release aid for this task.

Modern compound bows feature short axle-to-axle lengths and make finger shooting difficult (finger pinch).

A release aid minimizes the chance of string torque and typically yields an increase in arrow speed and aids in consistent arrow grouping.

TruFire Patriot Archery Compound Bow Release - Adjustable Black Wrist Strap check latest price

Types of Releases

  • Index finger release
  • Thumb trigger release
  • Back pressure style releases

The most favorite release aid among hunters is the index finger release. You can read more about the topic here.

Summary

Well, I genuinely hope that this article was helpful while finding the best bow of 2021. I tried to cover most topics, but there is much more to it. Here is our list of the recommended bows:

Feel free to browse our site. I am sure you find even more informative and useful information for your quest to become a better archer or bowhunter.

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Last update on 2021-01-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Darren Webster
Darren Webster
Hi, My name is Darren, and I am an avid hunter of over twenty years. I am the Senior Editor, and I regularly contribute to this site as an author.

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