With limbs that curve away from the archer when unstrung, recurve bows have been used by archers and hunters since the eighth century B.C. They’re also known as traditional bows, are now often used in the Olympics and other shooting competitions. If you’re into 3D archery, field archery, and bowhunting, then I suggest you get to get one of these bad boys as soon as you can. They’re are also great for training your arm muscles because of the strength that’s required to use one.
These bows are also versatile; they can achieve a 70-80 lb. pull weight in a shorter arm-length than a 6’ tall bow. They’re also generally cheaper than compound bows since they have simpler mechanics. So, if you want to be an archer but can’t afford a compound bow, then a recurve bow can save you MoMo (money and moaning time).
All you have to do now is choose a great recurve bow that will suit your needs. This comprehensive guide will help you with this by presenting you with reviews of the individual models on the market. But not just reviews of any bow— The top recurve bows on the market right now.
4 Best Recurve Bows 2018
The Best Within Different Price Ranges
Most of the time, it’s a bummer when you’ve finally found the best item that will satisfy your needs and but when you check the price, the day turns into an “Oh, c’mon!” day. It’s a headache when your budget is limited, isn’t it? You can’t spend for the best, and you’re forced to settle for less. But that headache won’t even exist if you research for the top recurve bows for every price range. “Research?” you say? You don’t have to worry about that now. We know you’re too busy to read several detailed reviews and note down the best ones to help you decide. That is why we have done the extensive research for you and we now provide you with the best option for every possible budget you may have.
Low Price Range
SAS Spirit 62″ Takedown: Best Option For Beginners
This bow from the Southland Archery Supply (SAS) is made from maple laminations and has two strong fiberglass limbs, making it one of the best budget recurve bows. It’s so durable you’ll have a hard time breaking it. The riser is made of three types of wood: chuglam, gmelina arborea, and beech. This 62-inch beast comes in four draw weights: 26, 30, 32, and 36 lbs. With its flexibility and certified durability, you can definitely shoot for fun and even hunt small game.
- It draws smooth and has a clean release.
- It’s extremely well-designed for beginners.
- It has a sleek design.
- It’s perfect for hunting small game and for bow fishing.
- It’s perfect even for kids and for petite people.
- It’s easy to assemble and to string.
- It’s recommended for shooters whose heights are 5’7” and up. But if you’re shorter, you can still use it. You may have a hard time, though.
- It doesn’t come with an arrow rest, a sight, and a bow stringer.
- There is no way a sight is going to get mounted well unless you drill pilot holes and use screws to hold the sight down.
- There’s no finish on the riser or the limbs.
- The strings aren’t consistent; they may be longer or shorter.
Bottom Line: With an affordable price and perks of a high quality product, this is definitely one of the best recurve bows for the beginner.
Mid Price Range
Samick Sage Takedown
If you can afford more, then go for this well built bestseller. The Sage Takedown is one of the best options for the money. It comes with a B-50 bow string, an arrow rest, pre-installed brass brushings that fit the Samick Sage Hunting Kit, and in eight different draw weights for various shooting capability. The riser is made from Hard Maple, Olive Dymonwood, and Oak. The limbs, on the other hand, are laminated with fiberglass for durability. With the limbs phenolic reinforced, you won’t have to worry about the bow deteriorating. Shooting light arrows at 184 fps, this recurve bow is also one of the fastest ones on the market. It can shoot 8 gpp (grains per pound) arrows at 184 feet per second, but with the laws of physics, the heavier the arrows, the faster this bow can be.
- It comes in different draw weights: 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60 lbs.
- Limbs can be purchased separately if you need to increase or decrease weight.
- It’s durable thanks to its composite materials.
- It’s easy to transport.
- It’s easy to assemble and dismantle.
- It has a gorgeous and well-crafted design.
- It’s powerful, accurate and smooth.
- It’s one of the best takedown bows on the market.
- It’s strung with a Dacron Endless loop bow string.
- The screws are not of great quality and may be misaligned.
- The bow is a little loud so you need a noise muffler for hunting.
- It may break after six uses if not handled with care.
Bottom Line: Aside from its speed and power, this bow also comes with a great left-handed version, making it the best left-handed bow on the market. This is undoubtedly also one of the best picks for the money. You’ll be surprised by how reliable it is once you start using it. It’s the bestseller, the fastest one, and one of the greatest options for left-handed users. What more can you ask for? Do yourself a huge favor and invest in this one.
High Price Range
Bear Archery® Grizzly
Looking for the best recurve bow on the market? Then you’ve found it! Its design hasn’t changed in 50 years simply because there is nothing to alter. It’s a one-piece riser made from a rich reddish hard-rock maple. Its limbs are overlaid with clear maple as well and they are faced and backed with a durable black fiberglass. This bow is finished in satin gloss which protects the bow by serving as a shield to lessen dampness and abrasion. It’s also strung with a dependable Dacron Flemish string, making this 58” model tough and reliable.
- Its crowned, cut-on center arrow shelf with Bear Hair Rest and leather side plate allows smoother draw and better arrow grip.
- It comes with a Dacron Flemish twist string which will save you a lot of money since you won’t be needing a new string when you use this.
- It has undergone FutureWood, Bear’s manufacturing process that gives new physical properties to the wood in the handle section.
- The accessories for this one are limited.
- You’ll need to bulk up to be able to maximize the 60 lbs. of draw weight.
Bottom Line: When your budget isn’t limited, the rules of the game completely change; you’ll opt for the best there is. Great appearance? Check. Great performance? Check. Durability? Check. There’s nothing more to say for this bow.
Best Youth and Women’s Recurve Bow
Weighing only 2.2 pounds, this is the lightest and most portable recurve bow you can ever get. This affordable bow is the best kids and women’s recurve bow on the market. It’s easy to use and assemble and with four available draw weights (20, 25, 30, and 35lbs.), you won’t have trouble drawing this durable, 62-inch, affordable bow.
- It’s very, very light.
- It’s great for target shooting and if you want to be familiar with archery.
- It’s accurate; ranging up to 30 yards.
- It accepts accessories. You can install a sight, a quiver, and a stabilizer on this one.
- This is the most comfortable recurve bow you can get.
- The size of the handle is ideal for kids, youth, and women with small palms.
- It has a Berger button hole for cushion plunger.
- The riser is made of hardwood and the limbs are made of wood laminate, making the bow sturdy.
- Its limbs can be screwed and unscrewed even without an Allen wrench.
- You can’t hunt with this one since it’s not a powerful bow.
- It doesn’t come with an arrow equipment.
Bottom Line: This bow is the best option for children and women simply because of its lightweight design, easy-to-understand mechanism, and extremely affordable price.
Recurve Bow Buying Guide
Recurve bows can either be a takedown or a solid one-piece. It becomes a takedown bow if the two limbs can be separated from the riser. Basically, it means that when you unstrung the string, the bow will break down into three parts. A takedown bow is great if you want a bow that’s easy to transport, maintain, and service. It’s also great for beginners because the draw weight can be adjustable. The limbs can be bought separately, so if you need to upgrade, you don’t have to buy a new bow, you just have to replace your limbs. The limbs are made of wood, carbon, fiberglass, and other materials. The riser is typically made of wood, carbon, or metal.
Based on the information given, you have to decide whether you’ll need a one-piece or a takedown. Aside from that, you’ll have to consider other factors like your purpose, draw weight, riser and limbs quality, and etc. Before I present you the tips on how to choose the perfect recurve bow for you, you need to have the basic knowledge of its parts first. Once you understand the function of every single part, you’ll be able to choose properly and wisely.
The Different Parts
- Arrow rest – is where the arrow rests during draw. These may be simple fixed rests or may be spring-loaded or magnetic flip rests.
- Back – this is the face of the bow on the opposite side of the string.
- Belly – this is the face of the bow on the same side as the string.
- Bow sight – this is an aiming aid attached to the riser.
- Brace height – is the distance between the deepest part of the grip and the string.
- Clicker – this is a blade or wire device fitted to the riser, ensuring the same cast-force each time.
- Grip – this is the part of the bow held by the bow hand.
- Limbs – these are the upper and lower working parts of the bow, which come in a variety of poundage.
- Nocking point – this is the place on the bowstring where the nock (end) of an arrow is fitted
- Riser – it is the rigid center section of a bow to which the limbs are attached.
- String – this is the cord that attaches to both limb tips and transforms stored energy from the limbs into kinetic energy in the arrow.
- Sling – this is a strap or cord attached to the bow handle, wrist or fingers to prevent the bow from falling from the hand.
- Tab or Thumb Ring – usually made of leather, this is a protection for the digits that draw the string that also provides better release performance.
- Tiller – is the difference between the limb-string distances measured where the limbs are attached to the riser.
Here’s a video which also shows the different parts and their function.
Factors To Consider When Buying
There are a few things you need to consider when choosing a recurve bow. They are as follows:
- Identify the use of your bow.
- If it’s for target practice, any bow will do.
- If you’re into archery, you have to determine your archery style.
- If you’re into Olympics, then you must get a takedown bow. As mentioned earlier, that means the limbs can be removed from the riser.
- If you want to shoot at 3-dimensional, foam animal targets, then that means you’re into 3D Archery. The targets in this archery style are placed at different distances from the shooting post, meaning, archers must shoot at ever-changing yardages over the course of one shoot.
- If you just want to shoot for fun, then you’re a recreational archer. This type of archer participates in archery simply because he enjoys shooting a bow and arrow.
- If you want to use the recurve bow the way it was used before, then you’re a traditional archer. It means you generally prefer not using a sight or a stabilizer, but you want to keep it simple with your rests and plungers.
- If it’s for hunting, then you’ll need a more powerful bow.
- You’ll want to buy a durable one that has a comfortable grip, can resist temperature changes, has flexible limbs, and has strings of high quality.
- To save you a lot of money and time, opt for ones made by the trusted brands in the industry.
- The top manufacturers of recurve bows are: Samick Sports, Martin Archery, Bear Archery, PSE Archery, Hoyt, Black Widow Bows, The Great Plains, and Predator Bows.
- Length of the Bow
- The longer the bow, the more accurate and farther your shots get.
- Recurve bows that are 60 inches and up are considered long bows. If a bow is 58-59” long, it’s considered average.
- You’ll want a bow that is twice your draw length. So if your draw length is 29”, then you should get a bow that’s 58” long or more. This is paramount especially if you want precise shots.
- Weight of the Bow
- The weight of the bow is not the draw weight. It’s the weight of the actual bow.
- If you’re always hunting and taking long trips, then the weight should be less than 3lbs., as lighter bows are also easier to transport.
- If you’re into target shooting, the weight doesn’t really matter.
- If you’re a beginner, it’s safe to stick with a bow weighing between 2-3.4 lbs.
- Draw Weight
- The draw weight is the amount of weight you feel while pulling your string.
- If you’re a teenager or you’re petite, go for a bow that has 40lbs. That’s the maximum. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Once you improve, you can get a bow with a higher one.
- If you’re a novice, then go for a recurve bow that has 40-45lbs. of draw weight.
- If you are experienced and you’re confident about your strong muscles, then go for a bow with 45 lbs. of draw weight or more.
- If you want to hunt, go for one with at least 40 lbs. of draw weight.
- If you want to hunt down rabbits, turkeys, and deer, 40 lbs. of draw weight will be enough.
- If you’re a beginner and you’re not sure what you want to hunt, pick a bow with a 45lb. draw weight.
- If you want to have zero constraints, though, choose a bow with a draw weight of 50 lbs.
- If you want to hunt grizzly bears, oxen, and cape buffalos, you’ll need a bow with 55lbs. of draw weight or more.
- Quality of the Riser
- To know if the riser on the bow is of quality, you should first know what it’s made of.
- The riser should be made of hardwood or aluminum since they are both lightweight and durable.
- The ideal riser features an extremely comfortable grip that reduces vibration during string release.
- The riser should also include brass brushings for the installation of additional accessories like stabilizers and a sight.
- Quality of the Limbs
- It’s better to be safe than sorry, so go for bows with limbs that include fiberglass.
- With fiberglass, the limbs become more resistant to bending and breaking.
With proper knowledge and guidance, selecting a great bow becomes easier. When you’re about to choose or are in the selection process already, try to remember the following:
R – Rank your choices and rule out the ones that aren’t recommended for your physique.
E – Equip your bow with the necessary accessories only. Keep it as simple as you can especially if you’re a beginner.
C – Compare potential recurve bows. Once you’ve identified your purpose, you may start comparing several models that will suit your needs.
U – Understand your need for comfort. You may want a recurve bow that’s aesthetic, but your number one priority should be how comfortable it is from the grip, weight, down to the placement of rest.
R – Right arrows are not the same as perfect arrows. What may be perfect for others may not be right for you. If your draw length is 30”, then you should get arrows that are 31 or 32 inches long. The length of the right arrows is then determined by your draw length. Once you improve, the length of your arrows should also increase. Pick decent arrows first and don’t focus on finding the “perfect arrows”.
V – Visit sites that offer reviews. You have to know the positive and negative feedback of the customers because further reading will help you decide if you really need that product.
E – Estimate your budget. You need to know how much you’re willing to pay for a recurve bow. This way, you can save time by scanning the ones that are between your preferred price range.
The quality of these bows has rapidly been pushed throughout the recent years. There are so many products to choose from but hopefully, I have made it a lot easier for you to make up your mind. We also have a compound bow buying guide and an in-depth crossbow guide. Both of these guides will quickly help you find the perfect bow for your needs. If you’re looking to hunt, we also have a hunting bow guide.