What’s the Best Recurve Bow in 2017?

It’s difficult to say definitively which is the best recurve bow for 2017 or for any year for that matter, different people want different things, depending on whether you want the bow for hunting, field, 3D, target, flight, clout or even mounted archery your requirements will be different. Are you traditional? Do you need sights, stabilisers, upgradeable limbs? Should you bow be takedown or one piece? How much do you want to pay? All these things have an impact on your decision.

​We’re happy recommending bows for particular uses such as The Best Beginner Recurve Bow 2017 but the best recurve bow overall is a tough call, and we’ve by no means reviewed all the bows available in the market today, only a small cross-section.

​So with these things in mind, find your draw weight, your ideal bow length, your handedness and then... here's all our data, we'd rather you take a look and make your own decision with all the facts in front of you.

Recurve Bow Comparison Table

This table shows you all the top level specification data about all the bows we've reviewed, once you know what you are looking for in terms of AMO length, takedown, handedness, finish, draw weight etc, this table should allow you to narrow down your choice quickly.

Clicking the little arrows in the column headers below will allow you to sort this table by any specification you want. Longest AMO? Highest Weight? Lightest Bow? Just click the little arrow in the relevant column and you can sort by whichever you choose. If you're on a mobile device or tablet this table is scrollable, just swipe across to see the columns hidden to the right.

*The links to check prices in the table below will take you to Amazon and the links on the bow name will take you to our review page (if there is one)

Recurve Bow

Award

Price Range

Hands

Bow
Weight
(lbs)

AMO
Length
(inches)

Riser
Finish

Min
Draw
(lbs)

Max
Draw
(lbs)

Takedown

Best Buy

L&R

2.3

62, 64 (XL)

Wood

20

60

Yes

Best Buy

L&R

3.4

62

Wood

25

60

Yes (tool free)

Low - No products found.

L&R

3.4

64

Wood

30

60

Yes (tool free)

Low/Med - Check Price

L&R

3.5

58

Wood

30

60

No

R

3.5

64

Metal

29

55

Yes

L&R

3

60

Wood

35

60

Yes

R

2.6

60

Metal

29

55

Yes

SAS Spirit

R

3

62, 66

Wood

26

36

Yes (tool free)

L&R

2.5

62

Wood

20

35

Yes (tool free)

SAS Explorer

R

2.4

66

Aluminium

22

34

Yes (tool free)

Junxing Competition

R

2.6

68

Wood

24

32

Yes (tool free)

Bear Bullseye

R

2.1

48,54,62

Wood

25

29

Yes (tool free)

Price​ & Affordability

It’s a sad fact of life that for most of us price is a factor in most everything we do, we can’t all afford the best of everything. Price has to be a factor in your choice of bow. How much you spend isn't something we can advise on. Different retailers have different prices at different times and for this reason you'll be unlikely to find any actual prices listed on our site but we do try to list the price point or range of prices of various bows so you can make a comparison. 

Draw Weights

We’ve a guide to finding your draw weight, that depends on your sex, build and general strength so take a look at that, but in general you don’t want to go heavy unless you're experienced. A draw weight that’s too high will result in you being ‘Over Bowed’ (the bow is overpowering you). This will affect your technique. You need a weight that you can comfortably draw with good form. One you find yourself familiar at a weight only then you may want to consider moving up to something more powerful. A bow with interchangeable limbs that can be upgraded with differing draw weights is always a good choice.

If you're a hunter then you're probably going to want to look for a higher draw weight. The higher the weight the more powerful the bow and the more potential you have to produce a lethal shot at further distance. There are more factors involved in a well penetrating shot than just the bows draw weight. The weight of your arrow and your draw length with also affect the amount of kinetic energy you impart onto an arrow. The tip of your arrow also has a bearing. Lots to think about, however a good rule of thumb is that a hunter should be looking for a draw of 40 lbs or greater.

You can shoot a target at 70 m (Olympic distance) with anything from a 25 lbs draw weight up-to the maximum available. Male Olympic archers can draw anywhere from 45-55 lbs and females 40-50 lbs. A final thought however on draw weight is that you need to be sure that you can draw the weight comfortably. You need to control the bow, not the other way around!

Every bow draw weight is measured at a specified draw length, i.e. 50 lbs @ 30" draw. The further you draw past this length the more force you will impart but it will stack. As a general rule of thumb each inch you overdraw a bow would add somewhere in the region of 2 lb to the draw weight you will end up pulling.

Fore and Draw Curve for 28

Fore and Draw Curve for 28" Recurve

AMO Length / Bow Size​

Bows are nomally sized in AMO length. AMO (the Archery Manufacturers Association), is a standard that defines the length of the string a bow takes. If you have a 60" AMO bow, you can buy a 60" AMO string and be sure that it will fit. The actual size of a 60" AMO string is probably around 56"-57".  This length as well as being a way of ensuring you order the correct replacement string for your bow is an indication of the size of the bow.

A larger bow will give you a longer maximum draw length and some say a more forgiving shot.​ You don't know your draw length, use our guide.

Weight​

How physically heavy the bow is in your hand will only have a bearing on your choice if you are yourself of a slight build OR your intention is to use and carry the bow for extended periods of time. You’re raising the weight of the bow in one outstretched arm so they are generally built to be as light as possible. 

Material​

A wooden riser will be cheaper than a metal one unless you are purchasing a quality traditional bow. Wooden risers are usually a lot nicer to look at than metal ones. Well at least that's my preference!

The riser of the bow can also come pre-drilled for a variety of accessories such as a stabiliser, arrow rest and sight. Wooden risers that aren't pre-drilled can by DIY drilled, but this may void your warranty.​ Knowing what types of accessory you want to use on your bow is a good idea. Are you a bowfisher? A hunter who needs a quiver attachment? A target archer who wants stabilizers? Do you want to shoot barebow or use a sight?

Handedness

Some bows only come in right hand variations, and some one piece bows available in both handedness will restrict draw weights on one hand or the other. Ensure your bow comes in the right handedness for you. See our left or right handed bow guide to find which you need.

Styling

How your bow looks is going to be down to personal choice, unless you’re a hunter who doesn’t want white limbs covered with lettering and a bright blue riser you’ll find the overall aesthetics is a personal choice thing. So go there with something you like and something you’ll be happy seeing in your house.

Takedown

Bows are pretty large things and they need to be unstrung to be stored, you shouldn’t store your bow with the string under tension. When a bow is unstrung it gets even bigger! With that in mind you’ll find that unless you have a lot of room, or a wall to hang your bow on a take-down bow will be a good choice. Then you’ll be able to purchase a carry case and store your bow  somewhere. Some take-down bows can be assembled without tools, whether you prefer this option or not is really down to personal preference, will you always remember to take the necessary tools everywhere you take your bow?

Limbs / Upgradeability

Take-down bows (bows that can be assembled and disassembled into parts) can normally have their limbs replaced. Replacing the limbs of a bow is cheaper than buying a whole new bow and this is also a way of increasing or decreasing the draw weight. Buying a bow with readily available limb replacements that lets you progress from a lower to a higher draw weight is a good idea if you are a beginner, or if other people will use the bow. Or maybe if you just aren't sure exactly which weight is right for you.

Warranty​

There are many ways you can damage a bow, stringing it incorrectly or without a stringer (don’t do this)… This will most likely void any warranty you may get. Dry-firing or shooting it without an arrow (don’t do this either), and just general misuse and abuse.

Different manufacturers give different warranty periods with their bows and will generally only ever cover the riser and limbs and not things like strings or arrow rests. Bows can have quality issues, limbs may break earlier than expected due to a manufacturing defect so a warranty is a good idea. Manufacturer warranties can be full for a period and limited for a period after that. A limited warranty will usually cover part of the cost of replacing the defective component after a certain period. 50% limb cost after 12 months for example. Manufacturers warranties will also usually come with caveats which will void them such as dry-firing and misuse and abuse.

We'd always suggest purchasing your bow from a large online retailer with a good track record in customer service. That way, no matter what the manufacturer warranty, you can always return to the retailer if you have any concerns.

Recent Articles and Reviews

Recurve Bows, Kits and All-In One Packages
Nowadays you can get some recurve bows kits containing everything you need to get you started in shooting target or hunting.
Bows Compared : The Vista Sage vs Samick Sage
Not sure which to pick? Let's take a detailed look at the Vista Sage vs the Samick Sage, features, specs and the top alternatives you may not have seen.
Courage Takedown Recurve » SAS Bow Review
Our review of the Courage, an SAS bow (Southland), all the info on the specs, draw weights, sizes and styling of this bow. Take a look!
Martin Jaguar Elite Takedown Recurve » Bow Review
The Martin Jaguar recurve bow, our review has the lowdown, the specs, styling, draw weights, shooting, assembly, everything you need to know!
The Best Beginner Recurve Bow 2017
What is our pick for the best beginner recurve bow in 2017? Take a look at our buying guide and mini-review from the Sage to the Spyder and more!
PSE Razorback Recurve Takedown » Bow Review
The PSE Razorback recurve is one of PSE's heritage line of bows. Take a look at our review for full specs, and a detailed look at this bow.
Bear Grizzly Recurve » Bow Review
A legendary bow that's been around since the 1950's so it has some history behind it, read our review for everything else you need to know!
Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve » Bow Review
The Southwest Spyder takedown recurve bow, better than the Samick Sage? Our review has the lowdown, everything you need to know!
Martin Saber Takedown Recurve » Bow Review
The Martin Saber recurve bow, this is the lowdown, the specs, styling, warranty, draw weights, accessories, attachments, everything you need to know.
Samick Journey Takedown Recurve » Bow Review
The lowdown, the specs, styling, warranty, draw weights, accessories, attachments, overview. Everything you need to know to make an informed decision!
Samick Sage Takedown Recurve » Bow Review
The lowdown, the specs, styling, warranty, draw weights, accessories, attachments, overview. Everything you need to know about the Samick Sage bow!