Best Compound Bow Reviews: Complete Buyer’s Guide

Are you looking for the best compound bow for the money? Then read on as we review our top 7 picks along with the Pros & Cons of each.

Looking to add a compound bow to your hunting gear collection? Wondering which one you should choose? In this guide, we provide a well-rounded review of the top compound bow models that are currently available.

Picking the right compound bow is crucial. It needs to fit you, as well as your particular hunting style, otherwise, instead of an enjoyable, successful experience, your hunting excursions will be painful and frustrating.

After conducting extensive research, we’ve compiled a list of the best compound bows currently on the market. We also provide a buyer’s guide that features a run-down of the key factors that you should take into consideration when you are shopping for a compound bow.

Lastly, we end our guide by answering some of the most frequently asked questions that hunters have about compound bows. After reading through this guide, you should have plenty of information to select the right bow for your specific needs.

Top 3 Picks

If you are in a rush and don’t have time to browse through all of the compound bows featured on our list, here’s a quick glance at our top three picks for best, runner-up, and budget models.

Best Pick: Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package

Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package, Black Ops, Right Hand
  • Wide draw length range between 13 and 31 inches
  • Accelerates arrows to up to 310 ft/sec
  • Redesigned cam system for a flawlessly smooth draw
  • Integral stabilizer creates a perfect balance and a steadier shot
  • Draw weight adjustable from 5 to 70 lbs of force

Made by Bowtech, one of the most trusted compound bow manufacturers, the Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Bow is top on our list for several reasons. Firstly, it features a range of adjustable settings, so you can easily get the right fit for you. You can adjust the settings for target practice and for hunting with ease. Additionally, with so many adjustment settings, it could be purchased for a child or teen and it can grow with them, or you can trade it off between hunters, as each person using it would be able to achieve the ideal setting.

Runner Up: Predator Archery Raptor Compound Hunting Bow

RAPTOR Compound Hunting Bow Kit: LIMBS MADE IN USA | Fully adjustable 24.5-31" Draw 30-70LB pull | Up to 315 FPS | WARRANTY & 100% 30 day GUARANTEE | 5 Pin Lighted Sight, Biscuit Rest | Black LH
  • PERFECT PLATFORM – Whether you’re a hunter, bowfishing enthusiast, or into target shooting… this incredibly unique bow offers the versatility for any enthusiast from adult, youth, and even beginner archers!
  • FULLY ADJUSTABLE – With an axle to axle length of 30” and weighing in at only 3.6lbs, the draw length ranges from 24.5”-31” and the draw weight can be adjusted from 30lbs-70lbs without needing a bow press!
  • HIGH QUALITY MACHINING – Both the cams and modules are fully machined aluminum with zero plastic. Compound design allows for 75% let-off and features a split yoke tuning system providing precise adjustments for proper arrow flight.
  • COMPLETE BOW PACKAGE - Includes 5 pin fiber optic sight with light and level, TRUGLO EZ brush rest, stabilizer, 4 arrow quiver, string stop, allen wrench, 2’ paper target, and pre-installed Peep sight and D-loop. (DOES NOT INCLUDE ARROWS)
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY – Every Predator Archery bow comes with an industry leading warranty program that covers any manufacture defect that compromises the integrity of the bow. Be sure to register your bow upon receiving to utilize this special offer.

If you’re on the market for a great-quality compound bow but you’re looking to spend a little less, yet you still want a high-quality bow, the Predator Archery Raptor Compound Hunting Bow is a great choice. It’s sold as a complete kit, which means you won’t have to figure out purchasing additional accessories.

Budget Pick: Southland Archery Supply SAS Rage

If you’re on a budget and you don’t want to invest a significant amount of money, but you still want a compound bow that is well-made, reliable, and easy to use, consider the Southland Archery Supply SAS Rage.

Top 7 Reviews

Now that you’ve had a quick look at our top picks for best, runner-up, and budget compound bows, let’s take a closer look at each model, as well as some additional models that we feel are well worth investing in.

Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package

The Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow is made by Bowtech, one of the most reputable manufacturers in the industry. This compound bow is sold as a package, so you’ll get all of the accessories you need to go along with it and can head out to target practice or the field as soon as you receive it.

Based on a dual cam eccentric system, the cams of the Diamond Archery Infinite Edge bow are elliptical and their movement is synched together, which allows the arrows to travel perfectly straight. The cams are extremely smooth and is designed with a starter-friendly draw cycle, which is ideal for beginner archers, as well as experienced shooters. The cable slide is smooth, sturdy, and it doesn’t pinch the cables.

What really sets this compound bow apart from the crowd is the diverse draw weight and draw length settings. You can adjust the draw length from 13 inches to 30 inches, and the draw weight can be set between 5 and 60 pounds; those are pretty impressive settings! Unless you’re unusually tall, you should be able to find the ideal setting for your needs on this bow.

The IBO speed rating of the Diamond Edge infinite is 310 FPS; however, do keep in mind that IBO ratings are based on a setting of 70 draw weight, a draw length of 30, and 350 grain arrows. The lower the settings and the heavier the arrows, the lower the FPS speed rating will be.

With that said, the same is true for all adjustable compound bows, and regardless, that’s still a pretty impressive speed rating. The draw cycle is smooth and slow. You shouldn’t notice any major “humps” through the cycle, and that smoothness is experienced on all the settings, so you’ll be able to enjoy consistent cycles, no matter how you have the bow set.

The noise level and vibration of the Infinite Edge is very low and it shouldn’t be disturbing – to you or your game. It’s durably constructed and lightweight, so you’ll have no trouble carrying it around, getting it into position, or operating it, and it will be able to withstand all types of weather.

The Diamond Infinite Edge package comes complete with the following:

  • 3 pin Apex compound bow sight
  • Peep sight
  • Octane Deadlock arrow quiver
  • Octane Hostage XL arrow rest
  • D-loop

Additionally, the bow arrives fully assembled and is ready to shoot as soon as it comes out of the box.

  • Adjustable draw weight and length, which includes a wide range of settings
  • Low vibration and noise levels
  • IBO speed rating of 310 feet per second
  • Durably constructed
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with all of the accessories you need
  • Comes pre-assembled and can be used right out of the box
  • While it does come with all of the accessories you need, you might want to upgrade some of the parts

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Predator Archery Raptor Compound Hunting Bow

Next on the list is our runner-up choice for the best compound bow. The Predator Archery Raptor, like the Infinite Edge, is sold as a complete kit, so you’ll get all of the accessories you need and can start shooting right away.

The Raptor Compound Hunting Bow is made of high-quality, durable materials, including machined aluminum cams, so it will be able to withstand excessive wear and tear with ease.

The thoughtful design beautifully compensates for the required weight needed to put into drawing the string; about 75% of the necessary weight is let off, so if you are going to pull 70 pounds, you’ll actually only be holding about 17.5 pounds when you draw the string. This feature makes this compound bow a great choice for beginners, as well as experienced archers.

The draw length can be adjusted between 23.5 inches and 31 inches, and the draw weight can be adjusted between 30 pounds and 70 pounds, and you don’t have to use a bow press. From axle to axle, the bow is 30 inches and it weighs a mere 3.6 pounds.

The IBO speed rating is 315 feet per second when using 350 grain arrows, which is actually slightly faster than our top pick. And, thanks to the split yoke tuning system, you’ll be able to adjust the bow to the proper settings for your needs with ease.

As mentioned the Predator Archer Raptor Compound Bow is sold as a kit, which includes:

  • A 5 pin fiber optic sight with light and level
  • A TRUGLO E brush set
  • A stabilizer
  • A 4 arrow quiver
  • A string stop
  • An Allen wrench
  • A 2 foot paper target

This arrow is also backed by a lifetime warranty, which covers any manufacturing defects that compromise the integrity of the compound bow.

  • Offers a 75% let off, which makes it ideal for all users
  • The peep sight and loop are pre-installed
  • Adjustable draw length and draw weight
  • IBO speed rating of 315 feet per second
  • Weighing just 3.6 pounds, this compound bow is incredibly lightweight
  • Durably constructed
  • Easy to use
  • Comes with all of the necessary accessories
  • Many users said that it needs to be tuned before using

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iGlow Archery Hunting Compound Bow

While the iGlow Archery Hunting Compound Bow may not be the flashiest compound bow on the market, it certainly offers plenty of features and provides a great performance for both hunting in the fields and practicing at the target range.

At first glance, it appears to be a pretty simple and straightforward compound bow, but upon further assessment, it’s actually thoughtfully designed. The riser is constructed of durable, yet lightweight aluminum.

The handle is designed with several cutouts, which helps to reduce the weight of the bow. The limbs are split and comprised of compression molded fiberglass material, which is both flexible and lightweight; however, do note that the material does increase the amount of vibration when the bow is drawn and released.

The grip of this bow is comfortable, so you’ll have no trouble taking consecutive shots. The iGlow Archery Hunting Compound Bow is outfitted with a dual cam system. The cams timing marks are easy to decode, so you can easily adjust the draw length from 19 inches to 29 inches without any issues.

From axle to axle, the iClow Archery Hunting Compound Bow measures 28 inches, making it a compact, lightweight bow that is ideal for tree stand and ground blind hunting. Thanks to the smooth dual cam system, you can easily draw the bow to full length.

With a 70 percent let off, the bow is extremely easy to handle. The bow delivers arrow speeds of 296 feet per second, which isn’t as fast as some of the other bows listed in our review, but it’s still an impressive speed, especially considering the size of the iGlow.

  • Weighing in at 3.3 pounds, this compound bow is very lightweight
  • 70 percent let off weight for easy handling
  • Draw weight can be adjusted from 30 to 55 pounds
  • Draw length can be adjusted from 19 to 29 inches
  • Compact design; measures 28 inches from axle to axle
  • Durably constructed
  • Arrow speed of 296 feet per second
  • Smooth dual cam system
  • Affordably priced
  • It isn’t sold as a package, so you’ll need to purchase accessories, including arrows

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Bear Archery Cruzer G2 Adult Compound Bow

Bear Archery is regarded as one of the leading manufacturers in the bow industry, and their Cruzer G2 perfectly illustrates why their held at such high regard. It’s an extremely well-made, exceptionally powerful, precise, and versatile compound bow; however, it does come with a hefty price tag, which may make it cost-prohibitive for some.

While the G2 Cruzer claims to be an adult compound bow, it can really be used by people of all ages, as it is highly adjustable; the draw weight can be adjusted from 12 inches to 30 inches and the draw length can be adjusted from 5 to 70 pounds. Weighing in at just 3 pounds, children and adults alike should have no trouble toting it around.

The cam system on this bow features Draw Dial rotating modules, which aids in the exceptional performance it delivers. EnduraFiber Quad limbs deliver an impressively fast speed of 315 feet per second with pinpoint precision.

The 32 inch axle to axle measurement and the high brace height add to the accuracy and versatility of this compound bow. This compound bow also features a Whisker Biscuit arrow rest, one of the best-rated arrow rests on the market.

The G2 Cruzer is equipped with a RockStops suppressor, which reduces vibration and noise levels, allowing for smooth and quite operation; your prey will never hear the arrows coming. A Trophy Ridge sling reduces felt recoil and allows you to shoot with an open hand.

The machined riser makes this bow both durable and lightweight, and the 70 percent let off makes it easier to full draw. The advanced slim grip design is integrated into the riser and eliminates hand torque, making handling while shooting a breeze and increasing accuracy.

The Bear Archery Cruzer Adult Compound Bow is sold as a complete package, which includes:

  • Limbs
  • A Trophy Ridge 4 pin illuminated sight
  • A Whisker Biscuit
  • A 5-arrow quiver
  • RockStop string suppressor
  • A sling
  • A nock loop
  • An Allen wrench to adjust the draw weight and draw length
  • Draw length can be adjusted from 12 inches to 30 inches
  • Draw length can be adjusted from 5 to 70 pounds
  • Weighs just 3 pounds
  • Shoots up to 315 feet per second
  • Minimal vibration and noise for smooth, quiet shooting
  • Advanced grip design eliminated hand torque and improves accuracy
  • Comes with all necessary accessories
  • Available in left and right hand
  • 70 percent let off
  • The high price tag, which may be cost-prohibitive for some

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Genesis Original Kit

If you’re a novice and you’re looking for a great starter bow, the Genesis Original Kit is an excellent option. The official bow of National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP), it’s specifically designed for people of all ages, sizes, and builds.

The single cam design means that there’s no draw length requirement, so it can easily grow with the user. The draw weight can be easily adjusted from 5 to 20 pounds.

Made of 6061-T6 aluminum, the Genesis Original Kit is both lightweight and sturdy, so it can easily withstand drops against from beginners hands and the wear and tear of target practice.

Since this bow is specifically designed for beginners, it has a zero let off, which not only makes usability a breeze, but also reduces the amount of noise and vibration the bow makes. When the draw weight is set to 20 pounds, the Genesis Original packs the punch of a 35 pound bow. Since it doesn’t need to be tuned, the accuracy is consistent.

The Genesis Original also features a composite limb design, an idler wheel, a cable guard, a molded competition grip, and stainless steel guard that is coated with Teflon.

As far as usage goes, this bow should be reserved for target practice only. While it could potentially be used for hunting, it is intended to be a starter bow to teach novice archers how to get the bearings and experienced shooters how to improve their skills and accuracy.

The bow is available in both left- and right-hand configurations. It also comes in a wide range of colors, including black, blue, camo, carbon green, orange, solid pink and pink camo, purple, red, and white camo. These choices add to the visual appeal of the bow and increase the fun and excitement of shooting for beginners.

The Genesis Original Kit comes with everything you need, including:

  • A belt tube quiver
  • An adjustable arm guard
  • Five aluminum arrows
  • A 3/16 inch hex wrench
  • The official bow of the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP)
  • Constructed of lightweight, yet durable 6061-T6 aluminum
  • Single-cam system prevents tuning issues, reduces recoil, minimizes noise, and improves shooting accuracy
  • No draw length requirement
  • 5 to 20 pound adjustable draw weight
  • Made for all ages, sizes, and builds
  • Grows with the user
  • Zero let off for improved flexibility
  • Comes complete with a belt tube quiver, an adjustable arm guard, five aluminum arrows, and a hex wrench
  • Available in left- and right-hand configuration
  • Available in a wide-range of colors
  • Affordably priced
  • There were some complaints about derailing with this bow; however, that may be because of improper use or faulty setup

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Bear Archery Brave Bow Set

Last up on our list of the best compound bow reviews is another model offered by Bear Archery, one of the best names in the bow industry. However, unlike the Cruzer G2, the Brave Bow Set is more of a basic bow that is ideal for beginners and the price tag is a lot more affordable.

The Brave Bow is the perfect introductory bow for young archers, as it measures just 26 inches from axle to axle and has a 15 to 25 pound adjustable draw weight and a 13.5 inch to 19.5 inch adjustable draw length.

The limbs and riser of this bow are constructed of composite fiberglass. It’s lightweight enough for youngsters to carry and it’s durable enough to withstand repeat wear and tear and drops from inexperienced hands.

The 65 percent let off makes the bow easy to handle and delivers consistent accuracy for each shot, which will certainly boost the confidence of beginner shooters. The bow measures 26 inches from axle to axle, which further adds to the ease of use for children.

This Bear Archery Brave Bow Set is only available in a right-handed configuration; however, it does come in a variety of colors, including green camo, black, orange, pink, and purple. It comes complete with the following accessories:

  • A 1-pin sight
  • A Whisker Biscuit
  • Finger rollers
  • An armguard
  • An arrow quiver
  • Specifically designed for beginner archers
  • Lightweight and compact construction
  • Comes with the accessories that are needed to get started shooting
  • Made of durable materials
  • Minimal vibration makes for less noise and easier handling
  • Adjustable draw weight
  • Easy to adjust
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Affordably priced
  • It’s only available in a right-handed configuration

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Southland Archery Supply SAS Rage

For the bargain hunter, the SAS Rage Compound Bow from Southland is a great choice. It offers decent performance for new and experienced archers alike, it’s durably constructed, and is affordable.

For the price, this bow is ruggedly built and offers enough performance and features that make it an ideal choice for those who aren’t looking to spend a lot of money but want a durable, reliable compound bow.

Machined from a solid piece of aluminum, the Southland Archery Supply SAS Rage may be a budget compound bow, but it certainly isn’t built like one. It is extremely well built and very durable. The aluminum construction also gives the bow a high strength to weight ratio, which means that it can easily withstand the pressure that is placed on it, yet it is very lightweight and easy to carry.

Aluminum risers allow you to attached pretty much every standard accessory to the bow with ease, such as an adapter stabilizer, which will help to increase the accuracy of your shots and reduce the noise level.

It can also accept a wide range of quivers and sights. Being able to outfit the bow with a variety of accessories is a great feature, as it means that you can customize the bow to your liking.

The risers on the bow feature waffle cuts, which are intended to decrease the weight of the bow without reducing its strength. Regardless of these cuts, however, it’s still pretty heavy, as it weighs in at just over 4 pounds, so it isn’t exactly the lightest compound bow on the market.

With that said, however, users have shared different opinions regarding the weight. Some say that they don’t mind it and that it makes hunting easier, while others say that it makes carrying and maneuvering the bow hard. It really is a matter of personal preference.

The Rage features a dual eccentric cam system, which is machined to identical dimensions so that when the strings are released, the cams turn at the exact same speed.

It has an adjustable draw weight of 55 to 70 pounds and an adjustable draw length of 26 to 30 inches. The speed is a bit slower than the other models we’ve discussed thus far; it shoots at about 270 feet per second.

  • Adjustable draw weight and height
  • Affordably priced
  • Durably constructed
  • Eccentric cam system
  • For a compound bow, it’s pretty heavy
  • The arrow speed could be faster

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Other Best Selling Options

Bestseller No. 1
sanlida Archery 2021 Dragon X8 Hunting Compound Bow and Arrow Package for Adults and Teens/Limbs Made in USA/Limited Life-time Warranty
  • The Pro Package comes with everything you need to start shooting! A 5-pin sight, arrow rest and stabilizer, the extra 12 PCs of Carbon Arrows, a Quiver, a release, an arrow puller, a Bow Stand and a Compound Bow Case.
  • Best budget compound bow. The hunting compound bow with ultimate performance at great value. The compound bow with a large range of adjustable draw length 18-31"; and draw weight 0 -70 lbs without needing a bow press. A bow for everyone. Limited Life-time Warranty on main parts after your registration within 30 days of purchase.
  • BOW SPECIFICATIONS: Axle-to-Axle:30", Brace Height:6.6", Draw Weight:0~70 LBS, Draw Length:18"~31",(Each 0.5"adjustment), IBO Speed:310FPS, Net Weight:3.8 LBS, String Length:58.13" , Cable Length:32.23". For the extra replacement string and cables, B091291VDQ is for the Dragon X8 compound bow.
  • 100% CNC machined cams and modules with the 6061 T6 aluminum. MATERIAL: Aluminum Bow Riser. Bow String : BCY-X,import from BCY USA.
  • The Dragon X8 Compound Bow Package include several related accessories, if there is any issue with any accessory, please feel free to leave a message to us, we will respond within 8 hours! We ganrantee the lowest quote, it will only be incresed, not reduced in the future. We won't do any promotion or discount because the quote is the best ever we can provide.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Bear Archery Cruzer G2 Compound Bow with RealTree Edge Finish
  • Maximum-versatility bow is engineered for all ages and skill levels.Axle-To-Axle 30 inch
  • Ready to hunt bow comes equipped with six Trophy Ridge accessories
  • Adjustable from 12" to 30" draw length range and from 5 to 70 lbs. peak draw weight
  • All adjustments are made using an Allen wrench with no need for a bow press
  • Weighs only 3 lbs. and fires arrows at 315 feet per second. Brace height- 6 1/2 inch. These limbs provide unmatched flexibility and rigidity and allow for maximum weight adjustability for a customized fit for any shooter
Bestseller No. 3
PANDARUS Compound Bow Archery for Youth and Beginner, Right Handed,19”-28” Draw Length,15-29 Lbs Draw Weight, 260 fps (Black)
  • 【SPECIFICATIONS】: IBO Speed: 260fps; Axle-to-Axle: 27-3/4"; Draw weight: 15-29lbs, Draw length: 19”-28” adjustable,Brace height: 6-3/4”, Let-off: 65%, Net weight: 2.5 lbs , Hand Orientation:Right
  • 【PACKING LIST】: 1 x Bow , 1 x Instruction Manual , 5 x Brenches, 1 x Bow sight , 1 x Arrow rest , 1 x Arrow quiver , 12 x Arrows , 1 x Arm guard , 1 x Target paper
  • 【ADVANCED CONSTRUCTION 】: Adjustable draw weight & draw length without bow press ; Available in Red, Green, Blue, Black and Pink ; String stopping function; The speed is higher than the same bow ; Light
  • 【WARM NOTICE】: Please read the manual carefully before you operate the bow. The bow is for Women,Youth and Beginner as an antry-level compond bow.DO NOT DRY FIRE (shoot the bow without arrow)! This will damage the bow and hurt yourself and the people around you.
  • 【MATERIAL】: Engineering Plastic PA66
SaleBestseller No. 4
Compound Bow TOPOINTARCHERY M1 Package, 19"-30" Draw Length,19-70Lbs Draw Weight,320fps IBO Limbs Made in USA (Black camo)
  • WARNING Please read the manual carefully before you operate the bow. This is not a toy and can cause physical injuries if misused. DO NOT DRY FIRE (Release string without an arrow knocked) this can cause physical injuries and possibly damage the bow.
  • BOW PARAMETER: Right handed, IBO 320fps; Axle-to-Axle: 28"; Draw weight: 19-70lbs, Draw length: 19”-30” adjustable,without bow press, Brace height: 7”, Let-off: 80%, Bow weight: 3.31lb
  • MATERIAL: Aluminum Bow Riser,CNC milling 7075-T6 Bow CAM
  • Bow Limbs : Imported from Gordon Composites in USA Bow String : BCY-X,import from BCY USA
  • INCLUDED OPTIONS: 1 x bow,, 1 x Five pin optical bow sight, 1 x Braided bow sling , 1 x brush arrow rest, 1 x rubber stablizer, 1 x bow release,1 x D-loop ,1 x Peep sight ,2 x limb dampers, 1 x Allen keys ,1 x string wax,1 x bow stand, 1 x 6pc arrow quiver, 1 x arrow puller, 18 x 30” carbon mix arrow($200.00 value accessories)

Compound Bow Buyer’s Guide

You’re going to have to carry your compound bow on your person the entire time you’re out; plus, you must be able to shoot it properly.

In order to obtain maximum efficiency, the bow should become an extension of your body, which means it needs to fit you properly. It also needs to offer the proper features that will best accommodate your hunting style. If that crucial factor isn’t met, you’re going to have issue.

The market is saturated with compound bows; some are of excellent quality and some aren’t so good. How can you tell which one will best suit your needs?

Whether you’re a novice hunter who is purchasing your very first compound bow or you’ve been using these weapons for a long time and want to replace your existing one or add to your collection, we’ve taken the guess work out of shopping for you.

We firmly believe that the compound bows that are featured on our list are the best makes and models that are currently available. With that said, however, how do you know which type of bow you need?

In this section of our guide, we provide an overview of some of the most important factors that you should take into consideration when you’re purchasing a bow.

Draw Weight

When selecting a compound bow, one of the first factors that you’re going to want to consider is the draw weight of the bow. Draw weight refers to how much applied pressure will be needed to pull or draw the arrow back, which depends on your upper body strength, as well as your leverage.

As such draw weight varies from person to person. To determine which draw weight will work best for you and that you’ll be able to comfortably handle, you need to be aware of your own strength.

When the bow is pounded at the target, you should be able to smoothly draw the bowstring back; there should be minimal movement when doing so. In order to figure out what draw weight you need, try out different options and pay attention to your positioning.

When you draw the bow, if you need to lean back or forward, or you have to raise the bow toward the sky to achieve a full draw, it’s likely that the draw weight is too heavy for you. Shooting a compound bow that has a draw weight that is too heavy for you to properly handle increase the risk of injury.

Let Off

Compound bows feature cables and cams, which store energy and minimize the holding weight of the bow when it is fully drawn.

This reduction in holding weight is known as “let off”. It’s calculated as a percentage of the overall draw weight of the bow. For example, the peak weight of a bow that has a 75 percent let off would reduce the peak weight of the bow by 75 percent when it’s fully drawn

For instance, so if a 40 pound bow has a 75 percent let off, the bow would be 10 pounds when it is fully drawn.

The average let off for a compound bow is 65 percent; however, there are some bows that have a let off as high as 80 percent. Which should you choose; a lower or higher let off?

There are advantages and disadvantages to both options. For example, a high let off would allow you to hold the bow at full draw for a longer period of time, which would be particularly beneficial when you’re hunting game; however, more energy is needed to hold a higher let off.

A lower let off would be more comfortable to operate, but you won’t be able to hold the bow at full draw for as long.

Draw Length

The draw length of the bow is another extremely important factor that you need to consider. Compound bows can only be drawn back so far, and once they reach the amount they’re intended to be drawn back to, they stop.

This distance is referred to as the “draw length” of the bow, and it’s controlled by a mechanical mechanism (the cams system) on the bow.

It’s important to choose a draw length that is appropriate for your physical size. To give you an example of the importance of the draw length of a compound bow, if you were playing hockey, the skates should need to be sized perfectly to your feet; if they weren’t, your ability to skate would be affected.

The same idea is true for a compound bow; if the draw weight is too large or too small, it’s going to affect your accuracy when shooting.

To determine the right draw length for you, stand with your back against a wall. Stretch your arms out to either side so that they’re against the wall too, and then measure the distance from the end of one middle finger to the end of the other middle finger; the length of both of your harms, your hands, and your chest.

Subtract 15 from this measurement and then divide by 2. That’s your draw length. If you aren’t sure, there are draw length calculators that you can use online or you can get fitted at a sporting goods store.

Brace Height

The brace height of a compound bow refers to the perpendicular distance between the bowstring and the grip on the bow’s riser handle when it is at rest.

Usually, longer brace heights are more forgiving than shorter; however, a shorter brace height can highlight minor issues in shoot form, particularly the torque. But, it should also be noted that bows that have shorter brace heights are usually faster.

The brace height that’s right for you really is a matter of personal preference; however, for beginners, a longer brace height is usually a better option until they have achieved mastery of a compound bow.

Eye Dominance

Eye dominance (or “ocular dominance”) refers to the eye that your brain prefers receiving visual input from. In other words, your brain considers the information from your dominant eye as more accurate than the other eye.

For most people their dominant eye is the same eye as the hand they write with, so if you’re a righty, your dominant eye would be the right one, and if you’re a leftie, your left eye would be your dominant eye; similar to a baseball player’s throwing hand.

However, that’s not always the case. Just like baseball players can be switch hitters, so, too, can archer’s; in other words, your dominant eye may be the opposite of the hand you write with.

Use these simple steps to determine which eye is your dominant eye:

  • Position your hands so that they’re at arm’s length. Press your forefingers and thumbs together so that they create a triangular opening.
  • With both eyes open, look through the triangular opening in your hands and choose something to center on, such as a picture on a wall.
  • Once you’re centered on something, close one of your eyes and keep the other eye open, then do the opposite.

Pay attention to how the item you have centered on is positioned in your field of vision. Your dominant eye is the one that keeps the item you’re centered on in the middle of the triangle in your hands. If you’re right-eye dominant, you are a right-handed shooter, and if you’re left-eye dominant, you are a left-handed shooter.

Axle-to-Axle Length

Axle-to-axle length is the distance in length between the cams of the bow; the cams are the wheel-like devices that power the pow and are attacked to the limb tips.

The axle-to-axle length of the bow should fit the type of shooting you plan on doing. For instance, if you are going to be using you bow to hind in a tight blind, using a bow that has a long axle-to-axle length might make it difficult to do so.

However, if you’re going to be out roaming on an open field, shooting with a longer bow would not only be easier, but it might actually be beneficial because the longer the length of the bow, the more forgiving it will be when you are taking longer shots.

Weight of the Bow

In addition to the draw weight, you’re also going to want to consider the overall weight of the bow. The weight of the bow is important because it will affect your comfort will you’re traveling with it. If it’s too heavy for you to carry, you’re going to have a difficult time toting it around. Generally, the lighter the bow, the more comfortable it will be for you to carry.

The Material

You’ll also want to consider the material the bow is constructed of. Not only does the material affect the durability of the bow, but it also affects the weight. Some of the most common materials that are used for compound bow construction include aluminum, fiberglass, and carbon.

The Accessories

As you can see from the above-mentioned list, some compound bows are sold as packages and some are just sold with the bow itself. Which option you choose really depends on your personal preference; however, if you’re just starting out, it might be easier for you to choose a bow that is sold as a package.

If you do opt for a compound bow kit, consider the accessories that it comes with. Some bows are sold with all of the accessories you need, and those accessories are high-quality, while others are only sold with a handful of the items you’ll need and they are of sub-par quality. Some of the items that kit bows come with include:

  • Arrows
  • Arrow rests
  • Sights
  • Quivers
  • Stabilizers
  • Slings

It’s important to know what type of accessories you’ll be getting and their quality so that you can determine if you’ll need to purchase any additional items after you’ve selected your compound bow.

Compound Bow FAQs

In this section, we provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions concerning compound bows, which may help to make the process of using your bow a bit easier.

What is an anchor point?

The anchor point refers to the point on your face where your draw hand will come to rest when the bow is at full draw and is the location from which you’ll release your arrow. To some extent, the anchor point is a matter of your personal preference and comfort; however, for the majority of shooters anchor the nock point of the bow by the corner of their mouths.

When choosing your anchor point, make sure that you select a spot that feels natural so that you can easily replicate that spot every time you draw your bow and release your arrow. A consistent anchor point improves accuracy, so it’s essential to choose a location that is familiar and comfortable.

How do you aim a compound bow?

To aim a compound bow, try to keep both of your eyes opened while you place the ring of the bow sight into the ring that is formed by your peep sight.

When you see the target in the distance, you’ll want to focus on the sight pin. Aim to choose a small, exact point to aim at instead of the entire target; the center of the bullseye, for example, or if you’re hunting, focus on a small target on the animal in the vicinity that you’re trying to shoot at, such as the a feather or a ruffled patch of fur, instead of a larger location, such as behind the shoulder.

How do you release a compound bow?

The release of a compound bow is similar to the release of the trigger on a rifle. When you’ve drawn the bow and you’re in the right position, release a quarter of it and then slowly squeeze on the trigger while you’re holding the sight on your target until the strings are completely released.

What does follow-through mean?

In archery, follow-through means that after you have released the arrow, you don’t do anything for a brief second. Instead, you just hold the bow in the same position you were holding it in when you aimed. Do not drop the bow until the arrow hits the target.

What type of stance should you take?

When you’re shooting a compound bow, your stance is very important, as it will affect both your comfort and your accuracy. You should stand so that your feet are shoulder-width apart and the arm that you grip the bow with is pointing 90-degrees to the target.

How should you grip a compound bow?

When gripping a compound bow, support the bow with the web of your hand; do not use your fingers or your palm. You should also have a loose grip on the bow; don’t hold it tightly.

When you are at full draw, relax your fingers; you can either place them gently on the grip or let them kind of dangle. Instead of squeezing the grip, allow the rearward force of the draw weight hold the bow to your hand.

You’ll want to relax your hand and wrist so that you don’t create torque or twist the bow when the string is released, as doing so will negatively impact the accuracy of your shot.

The goal is to have as little contact with the bow as possible; you want to just hold it up enough so that you can keep it steady for aiming.

How do you draw the bow?

To draw the bow, push your bow arm (or grip hand) toward the target; however, you don’t want to completely lock your elbow, as you do want it to have a bit of bend.

Once you’re in position, use your release hand to pull the string back so that it glides across your chest, not into your chest. While you are drawing, the elbow of your release hand should point back and up toward the sky. Using the muscles in your back will help you draw the bow.


When purchasing a compound bow, it’s vital that you choose one that is appropriately sized for you. That means that the draw weight, draw length, and the overall weight of the bow are the most important factors to consider when you’re shopping.

In this guide, we have provided a well-rounded selection of the best compound bows that are currently available on the market, as well as important factors to consider when choosing a compound bow and answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the proper use of a compound bow.

With this information, you should be able to choose the right bow for your specific needs. Happy shooting!

Jake is an explorer, he loves all types of outdoor pursuits such as hunting, fishing & hiking. Jake has been a full-time writer & blogger for many years now and he's here to share his passions with the BeActiveOutdoors readers. Contact

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