Last updated: January 9th 2018
Ultimately, there is a huge selection of recurve bows to choose from on the market today. As a result, it is easy to become overwhelmed when it comes to choosing the best recurve bow for you.
In the comparisons below and the recurve bow reviews throughout this website, it is not my goal to end by saying, “This bow is the absolute best and all others are inferior!”
Instead my objective is to present the top recent models with enough information to help you to choose the best one for YOU. Many factors go into your decision such as bow size, draw weight, price, whether or not you like the style and color, the technical specs, included features & equipment and so on.
This site lists the top of the line bows alongside the under $250 models, as well as recommendations for recurve bows best suited for women and kids.
Please remember that the bows recommended and reviewed here are very much suitable for beginners as well as advanced archers, so we may or may not include all of the models listed by the major hunting and outdoors publications.
Those publications tend to list only the most expensive models (imagine that!) and those particular models may not be best suited to your particular needs and/or budget. So, the goal here is to give you a comprehensive list of the best recurve bows for the money and help you to make an informed decision on your new bow. As an added bonus, all of the bows we list on this site can be bought online, often at a discount.
Best Takedown Recurve Bow Available
Hoyt Gamemaster II
Takedown bows, as their names may suggest, are recurve bows that you can take down in different pieces. They are very popular among shooters, especially hunters, due to their portability. If you like the portability and storage advantages of a takedown, then the Hoyt Gamemaster II is just what you are looking for. This is a fast and reliable recurve bow which seems very forgiving to beginners. If it were not for its high price I would totally recommend it for starters.
Best Recurve Bow For The Money
The Budget Choice
The Samick Sage is an entry-level bow targetted on beginners who don’t want to spend a fortune to get acquainted with shooting the bow and arrow. The samick sage is everything you would expect from an inexpensive bow and more. Furthermore, the fact that it is a takedown bow, provides even more value for a beginner because because the limps can be upgraded as you become more experienced and your strength is developed. A wide range of draw weights to choose from and both left or right handed version ensures that you can buy the Samick Sage fully adjusted to your needs. The best use of the Samick Sage is target practice but it can be used for hunting as well, although more experienced hunters would propably prefer something a little more quiet.
While not the cheapest bow to buy, the Bear Grizzly is surely the Best Value Bow. It is an all-around bow that can be used for both hunting and target practice. If you are a beginner you will greatly appreciate its low weight (about 2lbs.) and if you are an experienced hunter you will be amazed by its supreme accuracy; an accuracy that even the most compound bows don’t have. Moreover, the Bear Grizzly is perfect for those quiet hunting areas as you can barely hear it when releasing the arrow. The quality of its built is on par with this of higher priced bows and so is its performance. Anyone willing to spend what’s needed for the Grizzly Bear should stop reading right now and just buy it. Rest assured that it is second to none at this price range and maybe for more. If your budget is under $500 then the Bear Grizzly is the bow for you.
The Martin Hunter is being produced for more than 50 years, keeping its classic design almost intact through all these years. Speaking of design, this bow looks really good; for me it is probably the best looking hunting bow available. At 2.1 pounds, this is an easy to carry around bow which will give you a smooth and tireless shooting experience. Although named as the Hunter, this bow is equally great for target practice as well. What really amazed us though, is the sheer power of the Martin Hunter Bow, accompanied with a quiet and vibration free arrow release.
A Recurve Bow – Power In A Package
Bows and arrows have always been part of human history. Since the time when cavemen realized that they can throw their spears only as far as their strength will allow, strings were integrated in the equation to add force and strength to the velocity of the spear, which was later developed into an arrow.
The problem with this equipment is that the distance and strength of the arrow will depend on the length of the string. The longer the string, the longer the trajectory the arrow can take. The shorter the string, of course, the shorter the distance the arrow will travel. Now the length of the string dictates the length of the bow. Since the string should be properly stretched during rest position, the bow should be long enough to accommodate the same.
Imagine if you want to tackle a distance of 700 feet. Usually, you’d need a really, really, REALLY low bow, which can even be longer than your height.
Quite problematic, right?
Thankfully, recurve bows have been invented to deal with the problem. Basically they are bows with edges that curve outwards. Usually, the bow forms an arch, that when held by the archer, extends away from the body with the edges curving inwards. A recurve bow is build as such, as well, only, the edges do not stop their inward curves, instead, they curve outwards allowing for more drawing mileage for the strings.
The result? You have strings that can shoot the arrow at great distances and speed without necessitating a longer bow body. Hence, you’d have a more portable bow that is easier to wield.
It has since become the standard equipment for most archery competitions. In the Olympics, for example, only a recurve bow is allowed to be carried by the participant. This is the reason why most add-ons for archery bows are made with this type in mind.
This shouldn’t be taken to mean that it is only good for sporting competitions, however. Outdoor hunting likewise benefits from the things that a recurve bow brings to the table. Even if the game is many feet away, you won’t have to chug a long and hefty bow to ensure the right speed and trajectory. You’d have better chances of hitting your target with the flexibility that it allows while preparing for the strike.
Tips for Buying
That’s probably the first question you should ask yourse is what kind of you need. If the two limbs can be separated from the risen, then we’re talking about a take-down bow.
There are several advantages these types of bows offer in comparison to one-piece bows. The obvious one is ease of transportation. Depending on your particular location (and the difficulty to get to it), this can be a huge factor when selecting the right bow for you.
Furthermore, these types of bows are easier to repair if something goes wrong. Just fix (or replace) the component that’s broken, and you’ll be on your way to shooting arrows once more. And if you’re a beginner, take-down recurve bows are probably the best fit for you, since you can adjust your draw weight easily.
Don’t get too focused on draw weight. The weight of the bow itself is pretty important too. When picturing yourself shooting, what do you notice? The first thing is the fact that you’re going to be standing at the shooting range for an extended period of time, which means that you should get something that sits comfortably with you.
In case you’re a beginner, anything weighing somewhere between 2 and 4 pounds should be suitable.
Choosing the right draw weight depends on the size of your body. In order to make things as simple as possible, here are the recommended values:
Children: between 10 and 25 lbs
Women: between 25 and 35 lbs
Men: between 35 and 55 lbs
However, you should not take these too literally. This is because in time, your strength will increase, and you will be able to handle more draw weight. If this is the case, you can safely choose whatever fits the level of your strength.
If you’re a beginner or don’t know if you’re going to be dedicating more time to this hobby, stay away from expensive equipment. But if you’re pretty sure you’re going to be doing this for some time, the high-quality parts do make a difference in the overall feel of the bow.
A very interesting option is to borrow limbs. Typically, you should aim to increase the draw length at least every couple of months, depending on how frequently you can find some time for your hobby. Buying a new set every time can get rather expensive pretty quickly, so borrowing enables you to save a lot of money.
You may need some accessories. For example, some people prefer to have a bow sight attached to their bows. It’s important to think about this in advance, because you can easily install such accessories on some bows, while other’s don’t allow for that possibility. If you’re more along the traditional lines, you probably want the authentic experience without any attachments. But maybe you still want a peep sight or an arrow-rest? It’s entirely up to you and your preferences.