Impressing your adversary in the field, shooting down all targets or taking home that long-desired trophy is easier when you own the best recurve bow. I remember shooting my first arrow like it was yesterday. Excitement and emotions turned down by an unimpressive performance.
Long has passed since then. I’ve changed many bows, tried hundreds of arrows and improved my archery skills so I can handle whatever the woods are throwing at me. Among all bows I’ve tried, the recurve bows impressed me the most.
Ideal for either beginners or experienced archers, a recurve bow is easy to use, well balanced, and the takedown models are even a breeze to carry in your bag.
Here's a list of Top 7 Best Recurve Bows for the Money in 2018
Best Recurve Bow for the Money
Types of Bows
For me, recurve bows are the best. But before digging deeper into the matter and explaining why perhaps you’d like to know what other options you have. Here are the most popular types of archery bows.
- Recurve Bow: Used since the dawn of times by riders, the recurve bow is perhaps the oldest type of archery bow. You’ve undoubtedly seen it present in historical battles depicted on canvases by the world’s greatest artists, and the modern versions of this bow are now used in Olympic events and archery competitions of all kinds. Powerful and easy to use, the recurve bow makes an excellent choice for the beginners and experienced archers alike.
- Crossbow: Just like recurve bows, crossbows have a millennial history, and it is believed they originated in China. Used since the Roman battles against the Greeks but also widely used in the Medieval ages, the crossbow is much more similar to a firearm than a bow due to its peculiar appearance. Ideal for short firing ranges but slightly harder to use, the crossbow is perfect for target archery.
- Longbow: This is another type of bow existing since the Medieval age, and this type of weapon dominated the battlefield until the sixteenth century. Preferred to other kinds of bows due to its simplicity, the longbow has a slightly curved appearance and has the same height as the archer. They have no arrow rests or sights and often require a whole host of patience to master. If you love a good challenge, a longbow could be right for you.
- Compound Bow: A somewhat recent addition to the archery arsenal, the compound bows were designed in the 60s, presenting themselves as an innovative weapon characterized by cables and pulleys intended to assist the archer in holding the weight. This means less fatigue and more time to aim. Accurate in their shoots regardless of the distance and arrow speed, these bows are perfect for the hunters but less indicated for beginners due to their complexity.
Why Choose a Recurve Bow
The above didn’t convince you just yet? Well, to put it bluntly, choosing a recurve bow could be your best decision ever. This type of bow consists of two limbs which curve towards the archer in their central parts, while the tips of the limbs bend oppositely, away from the archer.
This configuration increases the power of the bow and reduces the strength required to use it.
In other words, you don’t have to be an experienced or extremely skilled archer to use a recurve bow.
Due to the reasons above, the recurve bow is the archery weapon of choice for the beginners, but it comes with plenty of advantages for the hunters too. Their draw weight can vary widely from around 20lbs for kids to over 100lbs for hunting and bow fishing.
If you’re a hunter, using a recurve bow means less fatigue and an enhanced hunting game.
Furthermore, most recurve bows come with brass bushings for various attachments like sights, pressure buttons, stabilizers, and clickers. The vast majority of the models come with a takedown design, which means you can dismantle them for easier transport and storage.
And if the recurve bow is the weapon of choice in Olympic events, it must be right for you too.
What to Look for in a Recurve Bow
Picking a recurve bow is no easy thing, and I learned this the hard way. Nonetheless, there are a few things to look for to make your choice easier.
1. Draw Weight
There are two things to consider when choosing the right draw weight. The first is the weight of the archer. The second is the purpose of use. An indicative correspondence between the archer’s weight and the draw weight is highlighted in the table below.
Recurve Bow Draw Weight
Of course, as an experienced archer, you may find yourself in the situation to handle a bow with a draw weight higher than indicated. This often happens when using the bow for hunting, and that’s where experience and archery skills step in.
Regarding the purpose of use, recurve bows are perfect for archery initiation, target practice, and hunting or other recreational activities.
If you’re a beginner or only want to exercise in the field, any recurve bow can suit your purpose as long as you choose the right draw weight as shown above.
Things change if you need a bow for hunting. In this case, you’ll need a weapon with a draw weight higher than 40lbs. But why is that?
Well, the draw weight refers to the force needed to apply to the string to pull the arrow at a distance of at least 28 inches. The higher the draw weight, the more powerful the bow, which means the arrow can travel faster.
This is important if you want to hunt more massive game like deer and elk, while a powerful enough bow allows you to capture even bear and other large wildlife.
Indeed, handling such a bow, especially if you’re a beginner, is far from easy. So, the best thing to do is to start with a bow suitable for your weight and work up on your skills to achieve the desired level of expertise.
There are two types of recurve bows to consider, one piece and takedown.
- One piece recurve bows: Are solidly built, and their limbs and risers are made from one piece of material, typically wood. Some higher-end models present fiberglass lamination finishes that enhance durability; they are elegant and stylish. However, they are harder to transport and store when not in use.
- Takedown recurve bows: Usually consist of three pieces that have to be assembled to form a bow. They are usually easy to put together and dismantle, making them ideal to fit in a backpack or cabinet. Most takedown models come with interchangeable limbs, which means you can keep the raiser while moving up to higher draw weights as you build up your skills.
Another critical consideration goes to the materials the bow is made of. Recurve bows are typically made of wood and fiberglass, although some models have a more robust metal construction.
Wood is a durable choice as long as the material is adequately treated with a sealant. However, the bow will need regular maintenance especially if you intend to use it in adverse weather. The fiberglass usually protects the wood, but this is not the case in all models.
Metal bows, on the other hand, are virtually indestructible, are more flexible, and resist for long.
4. String & Riser
Both the string and the riser are fundaments of the recurve bow. The string comes in various lengths, materials and thicknesses, and it’s crucial to ensure it is the right length. A too short string can easily break while a too long one is loose and incapable of delivering sufficient force to the arrow.
Although you can choose the string in any color you like, I recommend white as it performs better in hot weather.
The riser is perhaps the most important component to consider, especially if you choose to invest in a takedown bow. It can be made of either wood, carbon, or metal, and a durable one will serve you for the years to come even if you choose to change the limbs.
Besides all above, a series of accessories can boost up your archery game. Here are a few things you might want.
Best Recurve Bow for the Money - Comparison Chart
Top 7 Best Recurve Bows for the Money in 2018
1. Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow
The Samick Sage Takedown impresses with a simple, well-polished design that provides a natural grip and perfectly balanced gravitational center. It is ideal for target practice, and its design incorporates plenty of options for accessories. Resilient and durable, this bow will withstand many years of enjoyable service.
The limbs straightening process is smooth and easy. No more worrying for twisted limbs and time lost adjusting. Premium materials guarantee strength and resistance to bending while the combination of hard maple with a layer of black fiberglass adds elegance. The excellent flexibility of the joints also ensures a smooth draw with only a few vibrations released.
The Samick Sage Takedown is an excellent recurve bow for beginners and experienced archers alike. Suitable for target practice or entry level hunting, it comes with left and right hand orientation options and in a wide variety of weights, from 25lbs to 60lbs. An attractive price point and premium materials add up to convenience, making it perhaps the best recurve bow you could come across.
Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow Set Video Review
2. Southland Archery Supply Spirit Take Down Recurve Bow
The SAS Spirit boasts a durable construction with laminated fiberglass limbs and a strong riser made from laminations of three types of Asian wood. Its maple details, although unfinished, give a classy touch to this sleek recurve bow. The Spirit is available in strengths from 22lbs to 36lbs and is perfect for target practice.
Perfect for the novice, the SAS Spirit comes with a nice heft of just over 3 pounds which makes it easy to handle even by the youngsters. Hand cramping or fatigue are things of the past even after hours of shooting; no doubt, this is a perfect recurve bow for someone who’s just getting started in archery.
With its 36lbs maximum strength, this bow is not exactly suitable for hunting. But in the end, the SAS Spirit was designed with range shooting in mind. It comes with predisposed holes for attachments; it’s lightweight and easy to handle. Ideal for shooters up to 5’7’’ tall, this bow makes a great choice for kids and women interested in archery.
Southland Archery Spirit Takedown Bow Video Review
3. Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow
Designed for all archers, the Southwest Archery Spyder comes in a wide range of draw weights that are easy to match with your height and skill level. Like most takedown bows, the Spyder comes with interchangeable limbs which allow you to conveniently switch from lower weights for practice and target shooting to higher draw weights for hunting.
A variety of thread inserts allow using the bow with many accessories for either leisure shooting, hunting, or bow fishing. This bow is capable of mounting almost all types of sights, stabilizers, reels, and many other attachments, depending on the application.
Strong and durable, the Southwest Archery Spyder makes an excellent choice for all types of shooters. The interchangeable limbs allow a swift adjustment of the draw weight for all skill levels and applications. A great selection of materials ensures resistance and flexibility, while the comprehensive user manual and the 1-year manufacturer’s guarantee add further value for money.
Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow Video Review
4. Toparchery Archery 56" Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow
Coming in draw weights from 30lbs to 50lbs, the Toparchery Archery 56” doesn’t excel in ergonomics and balance but impresses with its shooting accuracy. The lower hefts are ideal for target practice while the upper ones make it perfect for the avid hunter looking to take down an elk or a bear.
This recurve bow was built with durability in mind and comes with attractive cast aluminum and fiberglass body that increases its strength and flexibility. The choice of materials also guarantees a manageable weight of only 3.5lbs.
While this bow is not one of the most ergonomic on the market, it certainly delivers decent performance at a more than attractive price. It does its job exceptionally well and adapts to many applications. More suitable for the experienced user than for the novice, the bow is perfect for those preferring a right hand orientation.
Toparchery Archery 56" Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow Video Review
5. KESHES Takedown Recurve Bow
Designed for beginners and perfect for shooters with a draw length of up to 29 inches, the Keshes Bow comes with an ergonomically designed riser that boasts all rounded edges and a smoothly finished wooden handle. Perfectly balanced, this recurve bow aims to provide an enhanced shooting experience to archers of all ages.
Intended for target practice, the Keshes Bow comes with a 14-strand Dacron string and stringer tool, a stick-on arrow rest and a full eye sight set. Included accessories apart, you’ll also have the possibility to upgrade your shooting game thanks to the predisposed brass bushings compatible with a broad range of different accessories.
This 62-inch bow is perfect for the inexperienced archers and designed for family fun. Various draw weights range from 15 to 35lbs, while the 29-inch draw length makes it more suitable for kids and women. Lightweight and greatly balanced, this is one of the best recurve bows for target practice and learning.
6. Spyder and Spyder XL Ready 2 Shoot Set
The Ready 2 Shoot Set is designed to make archery easy regardless of your purpose. The Spyder Bow set is ideal for leisure or the novice hunter and comprises the bow and bow string, an arrow rest, stringer tool, reversible armguard, and three carbon arrows. All accessories are also included in the Spyder XL variant, which comes at heftier draw weights and is more suitable for the experienced hunter.
This archery set can undoubtedly stand out from the crowd thanks to an improved design of the bow, which is sleeker and lighter weight than the previous versions. A layer of red wood adds further value and enhances the flawless aesthetics, while the flush limb bolts provide a streamlined feel.
Including all needed to get started in archery, the Ready 2 Shoot Set offers plenty of choices to archers of all skill levels. Choose from two types of bows, a wide range of draw weights and multiple arrow options. The ambidextrous design also makes it perfect for everyone.
Spyder and Spyder XL 2 Shoot Video Review
7. Longbowmaker Hungarian Style Recurve Horsebow
This Hungarian style recurve bow meets the needs of all shooters thanks to an impressive range of draw weights. The novice can find the perfect balance in a recurve bow between 20 and 35lbs, gradually increasing the heft to comply with the development of the skills. As an advanced shooter or hunter, you can choose the desired bow up to 100lbs.
The Longbowmaker Recurve Bow is perfect for the shooter looking for classical design and past époque lines. This one is made of noble materials like beech wood, cow leather, and glass steel seamlessly intertwined in an ergonomic, lightweight, and perfectly balanced design.
A premium choice of materials and a wide range of options make this bow ideal for beginners and experienced archers alike. Its vintage look and sleek feel will make heads turn in the field and provide a better control over the shoot when hunting. Ideal if you don’t really care about attachments and accessories.
Longbowmaker Hungarian style Video Review
Finding the right recurve bow looks complicated, especially if you’re a novice looking for the first weapon. Whether it’s for leisure or hunting, you’re now aware of some of your top choices. From low draw weight bows perfect for the youngsters and beginners to heavy ones ideal for hunting and bow fishing, the appropriate recurve bow will no doubt help you boost your archery game.