A successful journalist and news reporter in the past, George is now focused on freelance work to be able to dedicate more time to the most important things in his life: family, friends, his dogs, and fishing.
John is an avid traveler, hiker, and RVer. Moreover, it seems like he knows everything when it comes to fishing and hunting: his father started sharing all the tips and tricks he knew when John was a kid. No wonder we trust his opinion every time a new article is being created.
Last updated: August 20, 2021
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The bow and arrow are an age-old concept that the majority of people will be familiar with. Commonly associated with ancient hunters, bow and arrows are also widely used for modern sports and pastimes such as archery, bow hunting and bow fishing. The recurve bow contains limbs that curve away from the archer when unstrung. Knowing the huge variety in recurve bows in the current marketplace, this article aims to help you choose the best recurve bow to suit your needs.
There are 10 different recurve bows reviewed in this article. The bow’s reviewed each has specific qualities and specifications such as being best suited for younger people, best for hunting or the best budget recurve bow. Our editor’s choice for the top best recurve bow is the Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow. This bow is one of the best-balanced bows available in the market and is accessible to the majority of archers and hunters. The price is also accessible, so you will not have to break the bank.
The features we consider important when reviewing the products include length, draw weight, draw length, speed and warranty information. We consider these important because they provide essential insight into how the recurve bow will perform and feel. The reviews consider comfort and strong performance as the two most important reviewing criteria. The article begins with a comparison table of all the reviewed products, followed by the 10 in-depth product reviews. The buying guide outlines all the essential information you need to know when purchasing a recurve bow.
The Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow is the editor’s choice for the best recurve bow currently available to purchase due to its high-quality performance for an affordable price. Measuring a length of 62” with a draw length of 29”, this recurve bow competes well with premium bows in terms of speed and power.
One of the best features of the Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow is its accessibility to any handler. A common flaw in many recurve bows is their difficulty to operate and use effectively, the Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow overcomes these issues by using laminated dymonwood, an oak and hard maple riser to ensure strong and secure performance. The use of these woods in the bow design also ensures the product looks great, leaving you with the best-looking bow on the range.
The Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow is compatible with fast flight strings as well as coming with a striking riser with strong limbs constructed of fiberglass. These design elements give you extra options when shooting. The bow is known for being interchangeable between limb weights with no tools, making it easier for any person to use the bow.
The Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow comes pre-installed with a brass plunger, sight, stabilizer and quiver to give you all the necessary kit to start firing powerful and accurate bows. Also, the SAS bow stringer which is also included assists the setup of the string after purchase. The Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow is a fantastic value recurve bow which will leave the vast majority of users satisfied.
What do we love it for?
Accessible to recurve bow users
What were we disappointed with?
Sometimes limbs can arrive damaged, they can be replaced
The Southwest Archery Tigershark is known for being one of the best one-piece bows currently available to purchase. Created by engineers and manufacturers from the pioneering Samick Sage range, this recurve bow has a high-quality design made from four naturally sourced wood. The natural design not only provides strong and sturdy performance but also gives great visual appeal.
A great advantage of purchasing the Southwest Archery Tigershark is that it is available in both left or right-hand designs, ensuring all customers have the option to choose their preferred design preference. The Southwest Archery Tigershark also has a draw weight range of 25lb to 60lb with 5lb increments which allows a vast range of draw weights to be used. The bow is perfectly suited for traditional bowhunting as well as archery.
You do not have to spend time assembling or disassembling the Southwest Archery Tigershark as it comes as one handcrafted piece. Although this means having a bigger case to carry around, it will save you a lot of time when you’re out on the range. The bow includes a 14 strand Dacron as well as a shelf-pad that is already installed. The package comes with detailed step-by-step instructions to guide you in how to use operate the bow – especially useful for first-timers.
If you want to disassemble your bow, you can pay extra for a stringer tool which is essential to conduct the process safely and ensure the bow will perform strongly over a long period. All in all, the Southwest Archery Tigershark offers fantastic value for money given the naturally sourced materials and accessible use.
The D&Q Archery Recurve Bow and Arrow Set renowned for being of the best recurve bows for beginners due to its smaller length and easy operation. Designed specifically for American hunters, this bow has a classic, ergonomic design that provides hunters with a robust bow that can handle all of the natural elements.
One of the best advantages of the D&Q Archery Recurve Bow and Arrow Set is its high comfort level. The lightweight design ensures the bow is not too heavy to carry and the smooth grip which is ergonomically designed ensures your hand fits comfortably to guarantee a strong shot. These characteristics make the D&Q Archery Recurve Bow and Arrow Set one of the most sought-after recurve bows for beginners as well as professionals.
The D&Q Archery Recurve Bow and Arrow Set are also very easy to store and transported. When arrived in the initial purchasing package, the bow’s string, riser and limbs are all taken down and need assembling. This could prove slightly annoying for first-time bow users as it requires a bit of detailed knowledge to ensure the bow is set up properly and ready for use. It is also necessary to use a bow stringer to fit the string securely.
The purchasing package of the D&Q Archery Recurve Bow and Arrow Set is very comprehensive and includes 12pcs Carbon, string nocks, arrow rest, bow stringer finger glove and arm guard. You will be fully equipped to start your bow practice.
The KESHES Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow is one of the best hunting recurve bows currently available to purchase. The quality of the design is comparable with the highly revered Samick Sage, guaranteeing very strong performance. The KESHES Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow combines Keshes risers with multiple varieties of naturally sourced wood. These design elements ensure the bow can handle both high and low draw weights while also being lightweight.
The KESHES Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow is suited to both beginners and more experienced hunters. It is accessible for both because of the large range of draw weights from 15lb to 55lb. The bow includes threaded brass brushings which are helpful for any upgrade you may wish to make to the bow – such as a bow fishing reel, stabilizer, quiver or sight.
The KESHES Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow has a very impressive build. It includes a Riser that is round-edged, black fiberglass wooden limbs and most usefully, knob screws to attach limbs to the riser. The addition of knob screws means that you do not need any additional tools to assemble or disassemble the bow, which is a significant advantage. There is a detailed step-by-step guide for assembling if you are new to the bow building process.
Firing at 200 fps, the KESHES Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow is one of the fastest recurve bows on the market. If you are a hunter who is specifically after a bow that guarantees high-speed performance, the KESHES Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow is a great choice. This combined with the lightweight feel, allows you to feel at ease when on long hunting trips.
The Bear Archery Grizzly is widely regarded as one of the best traditional recurve bows that are typically used for archery. This beautifully crafted bow has a solid natural wood riser and maple limbs to give an aesthetically pleasing archery bow. Available at a premium price, this recurve is best suited to experienced archers, or those who know they will use it regularly.
Weighing at 2lbs, the Bear Archery Grizzly is on the heavier side of recurve bows currently in the market. The added weight should not be a huge issue though for archers who have the comfort of a stationary position to fire from. The length is also on the moderately long side but this extra length ensures greater control over firing. A bow of this size is best suited to adults.
Although speed is not everything in archery, at 200 fps the Bear Archery Grizzly compares very favorably to other recurve bows when it comes to speed. The large range in draw weight of 20-65lb also ensures greater efficiency of the bow when shooting. Greater efficiency increases the likelihood of shooting those top scores.
Another great feature of the Bear Archery Grizzly is its durability. The natural wood and maple construction is very robust and can handle the majority of weather conditions without any damage. This is a real bonus for archers who want to continue during tougher weather conditions. The Bear Archery Grizzly is an expensive purchase can provide experienced archers with a solid framework from which to shoot.
The PSE Razorback is one of the best recurve bows for starters in the bow game. Measuring at a length of 62”, this is one of the longest bows currently on the market, with the added length providing that extra stability for recurve bow handlers. Although the PSE Razorback is not one of the most powerful bows, this is ideal for a starter who does not want to be overwhelmed with an all-too powerful bow.
The draw weight of the PSE Razorback ranges from 15-35lb which is significantly less than other recurve bows. Despite this, the bow is very well constructed and is known for delivering great results. If you are purchasing this bow, it is best suited to archery as the length and restricted power are a hindrance when hunting.
The solid natural wood riser of the PSE Razorback is very secure and is appealing to those who prefer the traditional style of recurve bow. The maple and fiberglass limbs are also very good quality and ensure a strong degree of balance when firing.
The PSE Razorback has a one-year limited warranty agreement which provides sufficient purchasing protection. It is always a good option to read the terms of the warranty so that you are aware of what you are protected against. The PSE Razorback is a reasonably priced recurve bow that’s larger features suit the additional support required from new starters. This is the ideal purchase for beginners.
The SAS Spirit Jr is renowned for being one of the best recurve bows for young people due to its restricted bow length and fire speed. For younger folk who want get into bow sports, this junior bow is a perfect choice. Constructed from top quality lamination wood for the riser and maple laminations for the limbs, this bow not only feels comfortable to hold but looks aesthetically pleasing.
The SAS Spirit Jr is suited to shooters with a maximum height of 5’4” otherwise the draw length will feel completely insufficient. The bow is fully furnished with brass bushings for stabilizer as well as a bow sight. Although this product is primarily targeted at kids, the full complement of equipment makes the purchasing experience similar to a premium adult recurve bow.
No matter whether you are left or right-handed, the SAS Spirit Jr has an option. One downside is that the bow stringer is not included in the purchasing package. This piece of equipment is essential for stringing the bow. It can be bought separately from the same provider.
With a draw weight of 12lb to 22lb, the SAS Spirit Jr has less draw compared to many adult recurve bows and speed is also much less at 110 fps. What it lacks in speed, it does not lack in accuracy. These modifications have been made purposefully to give younger people the chance to easily operate a recurve bow. Comfortable handling improves the chances of accurate shots.
The Mandarin Duck Phantom is one of the best takedown recurve bows, known for its prowess when bowhunting. Featuring an aluminum alloy riser which may look more modern compared to traditional wooden bows, the Mandarin Duck Phantom is supremely lightweight which allows it to perform well when having to make swift movements during a hunt.
At a bow length of 56”, the Mandarin Duck Phantom is on the shorter end of the scale when it compared to the rest of the recurve bow market. Having slightly shorter length is also helpful when hunting as it reduces the chances of being caught on stray branches. The black color of the riser is also helpful for camouflage, helping to the Mandarin Duck Phantom to get a reputation as a highly reputable bow hunting machine.
A good purchasing feature of the Mandarin Duck Phantom is the 30-days return policy. If you are new to the recurve bow seen, this is ideal as you may not know what you are looking for in a recurve bow. Do check for any restrictions on the 30-day policy, but it gives you a little bit of protection in case you do not like the product.
The Mandarin Duck Phantom is pretty powerful – it has to be to enable it to secure prey when hunting. A draw weight of 20-50lb gives more than sufficient power on the arrow that is fired. A draw length of 29” is also very competitive compared to other recurve bows. Although this is not an original mandarin duck construction, the performance more than makes up for slight falseness in advertising.
If the goal is to find a bow that you can grow along with the SinoArt 58,” Takedown Recurve Bow is a great choice. Before stringing, the bow measures 58,” as suggested by the name, which makes it moderately long. The size obviously shrinks after stringing since it uses a 54” string. Also, as evident from the image above, the bow is quite attractive.
It features bamboo construction for the riser. While this might bring up some questions about the bow’s durability, we found there’s nothing to worry about. After all, the parts of the bow that will be doing most of the bending, namely the limbs, are made of black fiberglass, which is much more durable than bamboo.
The bamboo components are not left behind either since they’ve been put through German laminate technology to make them sturdier. Also, the riser is shaped to include ergonomic round edges, which make for a comfortable grip. This is in addition to being available in both left-handed and right-handed configurations.
As we mentioned before, it has the capacity to grow along with you on your archery journey. This is because the take-down design allows you to change the limbs at will. Of course, the draw weight will change along with the limbs, with the full range of options being between 30 and 65 lbs.
If treated well, this bamboo + fiberglass bow will likely last you through many seasons as you get more archery experience.
What are our favorite features?
What could be better?
The bamboo riser is not as durable as other wooden options
Noisy release and even the provided silencers are not up to the task
The Tongtu Takedown Recurve Bow is the budget pick for the best recurve bow currently available to purchase. Available at a bargain price, this recurve bow is the perfect choice for someone new to using a recurve bow. The cheaper price is a result of using synthetic alloy materials for the bow. While this material should be sturdy enough for most users, it lacks the supreme strength of natural wood and be less durable.
The Tongtu Takedown Recurve Bow is only available as a right-handed design which may put-off any left-handed recurve bow users. The use of alloy material enables the Tongtu Takedown Recurve Bow to be very portable as it can easily fold into a smaller case. This makes the bow perfect to use for practices and on occasions where significant travel is required.
The toughness and power of the Tongtu Takedown Recurve Bow are guaranteed through the good quality lamination technology. The fiberglass and bamboo limbs are also robust and durable to regular performance. The draw weight of the Tongtu Takedown Recurve Bow ranges between 30lb to 40lb. While this provides some range in draw weights, it lacks the larger ranges found on more expensive recurve bows.
The Tongtu Takedown Recurve Bow has been routinely tested to ensure a strong level of performance. For the affordable price, you can be assured of a decent quality recurve bow that is very straightforward to disassemble and store. The bow is suited to both beginners and more experienced recurve bow users.
Why did it make our list?
Perfectly suited for new users
What is not ideal about it?
No instruction manual
Lacks long-term durability
Things to Consider
For beginners in archery, selecting the perfect recurve bow can be hard as there are a lot of recurve bows in the market and each one of them has different features. This buying guide will give you information about recurve bows to enable you to purchase one that fits your needs and preferences.
The many advantages of a recurve bow
The recurve bow has quite an interesting history which is credited to originate with the Mongolians who used the bow on horseback. The advantage of the short stature of the recurved design is that those on horseback are able to quickly move between the left and right position of the horse to hunt. The design of the recurve bow is all about efficiency – maximizing the chances of hunters to find their prey.
The following are the advantages of owning a recurve bow:
The first advantage of a recurve bow is that it is easier to carry around while hunting because it is lightweight and has a collapsible feature.
Recurve bows do not have wheels or pulleys that may require maintenance over time. However, this does not mean that you should not maintain your recurve bow, it just requires no or a few tools for maintenance if need be.
Recurve bows last longer because they are able to take in the bangs, bumps and drops without being damaged.
You can replace the limbs of recurve bows easily when you have more experience and skills of using the recurve bows.
Recurve bows can shoot straighter and faster bows.
Recurve vs compound – which is better?
Below is a comparison between recurve bows and compound bows. Choosing one that is better between the two will depend on your skills and preferences when using either the recurve bow or the compound bow.
Effective kill range
An effective range is the distance that a bow can deliver a life-ending and lethal shot. The maximum effective range is always determined by the arrow’s kinetic energy at impact and its speed. Kinetic energy means the penetrability of the arrow.
Compound bows have a greater effective kill range compared to a recurve bow as they shoot at defined distances with defined speeds.
Ease of use
Recurve bows do not have moving mechanisms or parts that you can mess around with, hence, it is easy to use them. Most recurve bows have removable limbs that you can change if you want to make the bow easier or harder as you draw depending on your skill level. It makes them more versatile and can be used for either archery, fishing or hunting.
As a beginner, you will need a bow that is easy to use and a recurve bow is the type of bow that you can easily use. It is cheaper and easy to transport and maintain. And you can also change the limbs as your skills and experiences grow when you want to increase the power and the distance you want to shoot.
Recurve bow shooting tutorial for beginners
The following video will get you started on archery and how you can use a recurve bow for shooting if you are a beginner.
It is important to consider your budget especially if you are buying a bow for the first time. As a beginner, start with a simple and cheaper recurve bow and walk your way up as you get the experience and skills of archery. The recurve bows reviewed above have a price range of between $150 to $450.
Choose the best recurve bow by the following features
Before purchasing a recurve bow, you need to know how you are going to use it and your fitness and strength level. Below are a few factors that you need to consider to find the best recurve bow:
How would you use it?
Before purchasing a recurve bow, you need to know how you are going to use it. There are two main ways of using a recurve bow: hunting and hitting targets. Identifying the purpose of the bow will help you understand the specifications that you need to consider before buying it.
Most models for recurve bows will work if you are using it for hitting targets. For competitive archery, there are two types of recurves used for target shooting: barebow and Olympic recurve.
The main difference between the two is the parts used, Olympic recurve have extra items such as stabilizer, sight and clicker, to help with your consistency. Shooting with Olympic recurve is as challenging as using a barebow.
If you want a bow for hunting, recurve may not be suitable because you need a bow that has more force. Most hunters prefer to use crossbows.
Riser shape and material
Risers are usually made of aluminum or wood, and sometimes a mixture of both. Aluminum risers are lightweight, rigid and strong. The rigidity helps to reduce the flex when firing, making the shot more accurate.
Metal risers are useful when there is more stress on the bow either from repeated firings or high draw weight.
Wood risers are lightweight compared to metal risers, cheaper and have unique aesthetic quality with a more traditional and warmer feel. Some modern wood risers use treated wood consisting of layers of hardwood combined under high heat and pressure. This will improve the resistance to moisture and strength while retaining the appearance of the wood.
However, some riser manufacturers will combine both worlds by using an aluminium riser and a wooden grip. It is attractive but can be expensive.
Some bows are designed for people who are left-handed while others are designed for right-handed people. However, these types of recurve bows tend to restrict your draw weight on either of the hands. For a beginner, a right-handed bow is recommended.
Proper draw weight
Draw weight refers to the power that a recurve bow can deliver. There are different draw weights for the different types and sizes of bows. The average draw weight for children is between 10-25 pounds, for women 25-45 pounds and men 30-60 pounds.
However, these are just estimates, the best way for you to find the perfect draw length is to test the bow before buying it and also consider your strength of drawing. If you are a beginner, draw weight of between 15-25 pounds is recommended, depending on how often you shoot and your fitness level.
This is the distance between the outer edge of the riser and the bowstring when you hold the bow at a full draw.
Draw length is an important factor to consider when buying a recurve bow. The draw length of your bow is directly proportional to the power of your shot as well as the comfortability of your arm. Recurve bows with larger draw lengths such as the SinoArt Takedown Recurve Bow are likely to be more powerful.
Later in this article, you will learn how to measure the draw length for your recurve bow.
This is an important feature to consider when buying a recurve bow. It is the distance between the deepest part of the bow grip and the string. Brace height is beneficial because it affects the bow forgiveness and arrow speed. For speed, a shorter brace height will produce a higher speed.
Forgiveness is about reducing imperfections and bows with shorter brace heights give less forgiveness for mistakes in aim and draw. Always ask the retailer for the ideal brace height of the specific bow that you want to buy. Most brace heights fall between 7 and 9 inches depending on what is comfortable with you.
The limbs have different types of materials and it is important to choose a limb with good quality material. Most common limb materials are fiberglass, wood and carbon fibre. Quality material will enable you to draw smoothly at peak weight. A poor-quality limb can twist during firing affecting the accuracy of the shots.
Most manufacturers make limbs using laminated wood and reinforce it with fiberglass for great performance at a cheaper price. Newer models have incorporated carbon fibre to make them less susceptible to warping.
Top manufacturers use entirely carbon fibre and built it around a synthetic core such as ceramics or hard foam. They are lightweight and resistant but have a higher price tag.
Having a guarantee of your recurve bow is a security for any future problems that you might have with the bow.
Manufacturers offer different guarantees on recurve bows. It is always important to check with your manufacturer on the guarantees that they have on the recurve bow as a whole or parts of it. The recurve bows reviewed above have guarantees starting from 30-day return policy with the Mandarin Duck Phantom to a 1-year warranty which the majority of recurve bows have.
Eventually, strings will wear out and finding a durable string will save you money which you would have used for upgrades or replacements.
Most of the strings for beginner bows will be of good quality. Strings such as a the 14-grade Dacron string on the KESHES Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow are particularly good quality.
The recurve bow that you purchase should be durable so that you get value for your money. Some recurve bows are manufactured with durable materials that can withstand extreme weather conditions.
If you are planning to use your recurve bow for hunting purposes, make sure that you purchase a bow made with durable materials as it will be exposed to outside elements such as wind and water, hence wearing easily.
Consider the recurve bow brand
The brand does matter if you are looking for a reliable weapon that’s been time-tested for the building quality. Some brands are more loved amongst archers than the others for their performance not only in sports, but for being responsive during the hunt.
If you are new to archery, the following accessories are important to have when buying a recurve bow:
Bow stringer: will help you to string a bow and be safe when shooting.
Arrow: are naturally a purchase that you are going to make when buying a recurve bow. It is recommended to buy them at the same place as you buy the bow so that the salesperson can help you in finding the right sizes according to your draw length.
Nocking points: will provide you with a consistent place to put your arrows when shooting.
Armguards: are a recommended accessory as you will use them to cover your arms when realizing the bow.
Finger tabs: will protect your fingers while drawing the string so that you do not get blisters.
Arrow rest: is not a must-have but it will enable you to become more comfortable with the bow.
Bowstring wax: will protect your string from outside elements and water as well as prevent the fibers on your string from fraying.
Sights: are designed for you to aim better when shooting. Not all bows come with sights, you may want to invest in one.
Quiver: will provide you with a convenient way to carry your arrows and you can either wear it on your shoulder or waist.
Whisker silencers: will reduce the sound produced by the strings without affecting its performance. It is an object made of lightweight rubber.
The following questions are frequently asked by recurve bow customers and owners.
There are two ways for you to measure a draw length for your recurve bow at home.
Spread your arms and make sure that your shoulder blades are not pulled together and your arms are parallel to the floor. Have a friend to measure the distance between both of your middle fingers using a tape measure. Divide the value by 2.5 and you will get an estimation of your draw length.
Face a wall sideways and extend the arm you use to bow in front of you. Form a fist with your extended arm and place it against the wall. Make sure that your arm is parallel to the floor. Now turn your head and face the wall and have a someone measure the distance between the corner of your mouth and the highest point of your fist.
The value is your draw length. Ideally, you will want to do both the two methods for confirmation purposes. If the two methods give you slightly different values, add them up and divide by 2 to get the average, and this will be your draw length.
Your recurve bow may be making noises because all the bits that are bolt to the riser including the clicker, stabilizers and sight are loose.
To silence your recurve bow, start by removing all these bits. Get the brace height correct by increasing it a small amount then shoot and let a friend listen if the bow is still making noise. Record this brace height for future use. Now, add the bits and make sure all the fittings and screws are tight.
You can use string silencers but they silence your recurve bow by slowing the string down.
The following YouTube video will show you how to silence a recurve bow.
Finding the perfect arrow for your recurve bow is important and knowing the arrow length will enable you to get the right arrow for your shooting purposes. Once you have determined your draw length using the steps shown in this article, add 1 to 2 inches to it and you will get your arrow length.
Another important factor to consider when selecting arrows for your recurve bow is the total arrow weight. If you are a beginner and want an arrow for practice, a lighter one is preferred but if you will use the arrows for hunting, you need a stronger arrow to penetrate through thick flesh.
Hopefully, this article has given you all the essential information that you need to know to help you buy the best recurve bow to suit your needs.
Our verdict on the top three best recurve bows is: