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Best Compound Bow For The Money – 2015 Reviews

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Best Compound Bow

Choosing the right bow out of the hundreds of options available today, may seem overwhelming and confusing. We, at Pickabow, are aware of that fact, so we decided to smoothen that burdensome process for you. Whether you are a professional archer, a beginner, a woman or just a parent who wants his child to learn the ins and outs of archery, we will guide you to the best choice for your money.



The 10 Top Rated Compound Bows

SpeedDraw lengthDraw Weight (lbs.)RatingPriceBest Used By
PSE's Surge RTS
312 fps19-1/2" to 30"50-70
4.4 Stars (4.4 / 5)
Diamond Archery's Infinite Edge310 fps13" to 30"5-70
4.4 Stars (4.4 / 5)
Diamond Archery Carbon Cure 325 fps27"-30.5"60-70
4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)
$$$$$Male Hunter
Martin Archery Lithium 335 fps26" to 31"50-70
4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)
$$$$$Male Hunter
SAS Rage270 fps26" to 30"55-70
4 Stars (4 / 5)
PSE Brute X 312-320 fps25"-30"60-70
4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)
$$$$Male Hunter
Bear Archery Apprentice265 fpa15"-27.5"20-60
4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)
PSE Prophecy340 fps25"-30"70
5 Stars (5 / 5)
$$$$$$Pro Hunter
PSE Brute X320fps25"-30"50,60,70
4.7 Stars (4.7 / 5)
$$$$Male Hunter
Genesis Pro Bown/aUp to 30"15-25
4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)

Best all-around compound bow:


Martin Archery Lithium

If you are looking for a high roller bow to accompany you on your hunting expeditions or you 3d archery shooting, then you should strongly consider Lithium by Martin Archery. Having shot my fair share of Martin bows, I can reassure you that their quality has improved over the years. But, what about speed? At 335fps with an 80% let-off and a draw weight up to 70lbs., i can’t imagine there is game you can’t take down. Moreover, Lithium is a surprisingly quiet and accurate bow that drops dead in your hand when you release the arrow; absolutely zero vibrations. To summarize, we feel that every bowhunter should try shooting this rig as it offers the best hunting experience you can have. It is the perfect bow for your never-ending quest to that perfect kill.

Best Beginner Compound Bow:

Diamond Infinite Edge

Infinite Edge

Diamond bows are manufactured by Bowtech, one of the world’s largest archery suppliers. Infinite edge is the most versatile and one of the best-selling bow in the world. The wide range of adjustable settings on Infinite Edge makes it the best choice for beginners and children of every age. Draw length can be adjusted to anywhere between 13″-30″ while draw-weigh can range from 5 to 70 lbs! Unless you were a giant, you can adjust it to you liking for sure. If you reasonably wonder whether a bow perfect for starters can be used by an adult male too, I have good news for you. At maximum settings, it can be used for hunting, as it produces the necessary kinetic energy to take down the largest game from as far as 50 yards.

Best youth compound bow:

Genesis Original Bow

Genesis Original

While Infinity edge is a great all-around bow that your kids can use for years it is not the most economic choice. That, lower price spot is taken by Genesis Original Bow Kit. It Is widely used in Archery Training programs across the nation and it is a very easy to shoot and setup bow. Furthermore, the draw length adjustability feature makes this bow suitable for kids of every age wanting to learn the basics. Genesis can not produce the necessary power needed to hunt though, so it should only be used for target practice.

Most suitable for women:

Bear Archery Siren

If you are a top-tier female archer you shouldn’t settle for an upgraded youth bow or a detuned man’s bow. Siren is a bow specifically designed for women, focused on delivering everything that a girl-shooter would demand. Bear has been extra careful with the design of this bow, trying to please their female clients who are interested in looks, as well as in performance. It can accommodate a wide range of strengths and sizes with draw weights and lengths ranging from 40 to 60 lbs and 22 to 27 inches respectively. While it can be used in 3D competition with great results, only an experienced female-hunter will use it to its full potential.

Top Choice for Under 500:


PSE Surge RTS Compound Bow

The PSE surge is a high-performance bow coming at a great price. Surely, it’s not the fastest compound bow available but for its cost that thing shoots pretty fast. What we really like about the Surge is how effortless the draw-cycle feels, when compared to 70 lbs. draw weight bows at this price range. If however, your first priority is speed, then maybe surge isn’t the right choice for you. On the other hand, for those who are looking for great accuracy and are willing to sacrifice some fps for a smoother overall eperience there is nothing better at this budget! Actually, the surge can beat a lot of higher priced bows. Pick A Bow recommends that you should Pick A Surge as soon as possible.
fastest compound bow

Fastest Compound Bow on the Market:

PSE Full Throttle

This is the king of the kings when it comes to speed. Full Throttle is strongly focused to the experienced, performance-centric shooter or better yet, the speed freaks. PSE has, yet again, pushed the limits and provides us with a rig that clocks in at a whooping speed of 370 FPS. Taking this outrageous speed into consideration, Full Throttle seems quiet enough with little to zero vibrations. This is what modern technology can achieve- a state of the art, solidly built and very accurate bow
Outrageous speed. Keep in mind that while you can back this bow down quite a few pounds and enjoy a smoother draw and reduced vibration, shock and noise, this bow isn’t for anyone. If you aren’t o pro-hunter looking to test his limits, there are maybe better options for you out there.

Fastest Single Cam: PSE Prophecy

PSE prophecy became famous as the fastest single-cam compound bow available. For a bow that can produce 340fps IBO speed, the draw is as smooth as it gets. Moreover, it combines this unparalleled speed with lots of features and relatively low cost. While suitable for both experienced and less advanced users, this is a hunting compound bow made for bowhunters searching for raw power, reliability and simplicity.
How to choose a compound bow

What is a compound bow?

First developed in 1966 by Holles Wilbur Allen in Missouri, the compound bow uses a levering system involving cables and pulleys or “cams” to bend the limbs or ends of the bow. The compound bow’s system of cams and cables provide a mechanical advantage that allows the archer to exert much less physical effort (poundage) when the bow is at full draw.

By requiring less effort to keep the bow fully drawn, the archer achieves better aim and increased accuracy. The system also allows you to store more energy into the highly rigid bow which translates into higher velocity upon release. Compound bows represent distinct design improvements over traditional longbowsand recurve bows.

Generally acknowledged to provide superior accuracy, velocity, and distance in comparison to other types of bows, compound bows have several other advantages which have made them the dominant form of bow in the United States, used in tournaments as well as for hunting. The ability to maintain the bow at full draw for extended periods without relying on brute strength makes it especially suitable for women and even small children for recreational purposes. For much the same reason, compound bows are also attractive to hunters stalking game.

Chances are, you’ve already seen compound bows in action. Different types of compound bows have found their way into several blockbuster movies like Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rambo III, Charlie’s Angels and Blade Trinity.

One of the main advantages of compound bows over traditional bows is their durability. Unlike traditional bows made of wood, the different materials used on compound bows are not prone to warping with changes in temperature and humidity. This makes them more reliable in different environments.

The main shaft of a compound bow, known as the “riser” is usually made of either magnesium, aluminum or an alloy of both, making it very strong but lightweight. Leading brands generally use aircraft quality 6061 aluminum alloy which has high tensile strength. Tensile strength is extremely important because the shaft and limbs have to withstand tremendous tensile forces from drawing the bowstring in order to store all that energy when the bowstring is drawn.

Incidentally, because the bows are so rigid on compound bows, manufacturers can also add other pieces of equipment to the bow like sights and stabilizers without interfering with its performance.

Good to know:

Arrows for compound bows aren’t that different from those used with a standard longbow. Both are usually made from either carbon or aluminum.

Do NOT attempt to launch an arrow with a wooden shaft using a compound bow. Extremely high tensile forces in action will probably break the shaft and could lead to injuries.

Types of Compound Bows

Compound bows are classified by the type of cam system they use (called the bow eccentric.) The most popular types of compound bows on the market are Single Cam (sometimes also called One Cam or Solocam), Hybrid Cam, Dual Cam and Binary Cam. Less common designs like Quad Cam and Hinged are a little harder to find.

Here’s a quick reference for the most popular design types:

Compound Bow Type Features The Good The Bad
Single Cam
  • “idler wheel” at the top
  • elliptical “power-cam” at the lower end
  • Easy to use
  • Quiet
  • Harder to tune than other designs
Hybrid Cams
  • Control cam on top end
  • Power-cam at bottom end
  • Easy to tune
  • Requires less maintenance
  • Reduced nock travel
Twin Cams
  • Uses two cams which can be round or elliptical, on each end of the bow
  • Accuracy
  • Level nock travel
  • High velocity
  • Highly complex design translates to frequent maintenance and tuning
Binary Cams
  • Similar to twin cams but top and bottom cams are slaved to each other instead of the bow’s limbs
  • Very high velocity
  • Level nock travel
  • Highly complex design translates to frequent maintenance and tuning


Buying a compound bow

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind before you go out and buy a compound bow:

1. Keep it simple –If you’re new to compound bows, focus on finding a bow that matches your body’s proportions and strength and think about all the extras down the road when you’ve gained more experience. It’s easy to think of compound bows as being “high tech” but it’s still a relatively simple device with few moving parts, constructed from readily available materials. In other words, technology won’t help you learn how to master the compound bow any faster than a simple, well designed one will.

2. Know your strength- Don’t be tempted by a compound that advertises it can shoot arrows at 300 fps unless you have the muscle to pull the bowstring far enough to achieve that speed consistently. Even with the mechanical advantage of compound bows, you’re still the one supplying the energy needed to make it work. Choose a compound you can comfortably use and you’ll get more enjoyment out of using it.

3. Know your options- When choosing a new compound bow, it’s good to consider some technical considerations that have an effect on your accuracy and performance.

Technical Considerations for choosing a Compound Bow

Axle length is the total length of the compound bow. Shorter bows are easier to maneuver but harder to shoot and require more practice on your part. Hunters who hunt from tree stands tend to prefer short bows for this reason. On the other hand, longer axle lengths are more forgiving and are your best option if you’re new to bow hunting as a sport.

Draw length is the distance between the grip and the bowstring when you’re at full draw. You can have the draw length adjusted (up to a certain extent) at your local shop; but if you have to choose between “less” or “more” go with less since too much draw length will have a more negative impact on your speed and accuracy.

Brace height is the distance from grip and the bow string at rest. Lower brace height translates to a faster bow, but is less forgiving and more difficult to shoot as well. A higher brace height is slower but more forgiving. On average, you’ll find compound bows that have a 7” brace height. Take the time to try out different brace heights, then choose a bow that matches your needs best.

Draw weight, expressed in pounds, is actually the amount of work or effort you need to get your compound to full draw. Choose a bow that you can comfortably pull back slowly and smoothly. To put things in perspective, a bow with a draw weight of 50 pounds or more is enough to kill a whitetail if you plan to go hunting. Higher draw weight means a faster bow, heavier arrows and arrow points too.

Overall Bow Weight should be considered if you plan to use it for hunting. Lighter bows may be easier to lug around the woods, but they also tend to be louder because they vibrate more. Heavier bows, on the other hand, can be tiresome to carry around all day but absorb more vibration and are subsequently quieter. As always, the choice is always yours.

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