Whether you are interested in getting into archery or you want to go hunting during bow season, you’re going to want to find the best recurve bow on the market, right? Of course! But, with so many options available, how do you know which bow is actually the best?
Recurve Bow Buying Guide
We have 7 tips that will help you choose which recurve to purchase.
Tip 1: Find A Reputable Manufacturer
This is going to be the first thing you’re going to want to be mindful when looking for a recurve bow. There are many companies that have recurve bows in their product lineup, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to be good. Often times, the lesser known brands will have one or more of these problems with their bows:
- Bad risers with an uncomfortable grip
- Limbs that aren’t flexible
- Lack of resistance when the atmosphere changes
- Low quality strings
Tip 2: Weight Of The Bow
The lighter the bow, the longer you’ll be able to shoot it, or carry it around with you. The weight of the bow is something you’ll want to consider in terms of what you plan on doing—will you be hunting for several hours a day with the recurve, or will you be at the archery range shooting arrows regularly?
Most recurve bows are going to weigh less than 3 pounds, and if you’re going target shooting, the weight of the bow isn’t going to matter too much.
Tip 3: Choose The Draw Weight
The draw weight describes the amount of force you need to exert when pulling the string back to it’s maximum. If you’re going to be hunting with the bow, you’ll want one that has a minimum draw weight of 40 pounds for small game and at least 45 pounds for larger game.
The larger the animal, the more force you’re going to need to ensure the arrow penetrates the animal and kills it without it suffering.
Tip 4: Length Of The Bow
Longbows tend to shoot further and much more accurately than a short bow. Back during Medieval times, the English longbow was usually a few inches taller than the person shooting it, and the effective range was over 200 yards.
If you have a bow that is over 60 inches, it is going to be long for a recurve, but anything less than that is going to be average. If you’re going to be hunting larger animals from a further distance, than it is understandable that you’ll want a long bow.
In most instances, you can do just as well with a 58 inch recurve. When you’re holding the bow, the bottom tip shouldn’t touch the ground when you’re holding it out in front of you. With that said, even if you do purchase a bow that is a few inches longer than your height, you’ll still be fine.
Tip 5: Quality Of The Riser
The riser of your recurve should be comfortable to hold and it should be able to reduce the vibration when you release the string. It’s a good idea to have brass bushings so that you can install accessories like stabilizers and a bow sight, although these are usually standard with a modern recurve.
The materials that are used to make the riser should be either some kind of hardwood, hardwood laminate, or aluminum. These are going to be lightweight and quite durable.
Tip 6: Quality Of The Limbs
The best recurve bow will usually have fiberglass on the limbs. The fiberglass makes them more resilient and less likely to bend or break after consistent usage.
Tip 7: Do You Want A Traditional Bow Or A Takedown?
A traditional recurve bow is one usually just one piece and the limbs cannot be separated from the riser. A takedown recurve bow is just the opposite. It is a three piece bow where you can detach the limbs from the riser simply by screwing a screw or bolt that connects the pieces together.
The takedown bow is going to be easier to transport and carry, and also, you can change the limbs if/when you want. With a takedown, should something break, you don’t have to worry about purchasing a whole new weapon, instead you can just replace that part that broke.
In taking all these things into consideration, let’s take a look at five examples of some of the best recurve bows the market has to offer:
Best Recurve Bows
Here are our top 5 recommendations for the best recurve bows available on the market:
Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow
For those who are looking for the best bow for the money, then this is going to be your bow. Samick Sports is a Korean company that has been making bows since 1975 and today, their products are sold in 50 countries around the world. So it should be no surprise that this bow looks amazing, but it also functions superbly.
The riser is made from laminated Olive Dymondwood and Hard Maple, which makes the riser long-lasting and resilient. The limbs of this recurve are made from hard maple that has been laminated in fiberglass to give the limbs more durability and resistance while it is being bent.
Although the limbs are long on this take-down, it’s no problem because you can unscrew the screws with only your fingers. Speaking of the limbs, they are tipped with reinforced Phenolic plastic, which allows the bow to use FastFlight strings should you decide you’re ready to upgrade to a new string.
Notable features of the Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow include:
- B-50 Bow String and Arrow Rest
- Pre-installed Brass Bushings for Brass Plunger, Stabilizer, Sight, and Quiver
- Limbs are Hard Maple with Black Fiberglass; Single Tapered Knob and Metal Limb Pocket Design
- Recommended max draw length: 29″ (suggest Samick Journey for longer draw)
- Recommended brace height: 7 1/4 inch to 8 1/4 inch
When looking at the reviews for the product, 94% of customers left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, customers said the overall look and feel of this bow is incredible. They go on to say that setting up the bow is fairly simple and when they start shooting, they enjoy the ergonomic feel of the riser.
They like the how smooth the wood feels in their hand and that it has just enough heft to it that it’ll anchor their draw. A few customers have said they used this bow to hunt with and they didn’t need any accessories, the bow worked beautifully right out the box. Some have even gone so far to say that this was the best recurve bow for hunting they’ve ever tried.
Of the remaining 6% of customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was that the finish of the handle on the bow was marred. One customer said there was scratches on the body of the bow and rust marks where the screws go on their bow. A couple of people mentioned that their bows started to wear down after using it several times—the limb on one bow actually broke.
SAS Courage 60″ Hunting Takedown Recurve Archery Bow
If you’re looking for a basic, lightweight takedown recurve bow, then you’re going to enjoy this simplistic bow that is perfect for beginners or those who are looking for a good backup bow. The takedown design of this bow is really simple because all you have to do is use the Allen wrench to remove the bolts from the limbs.
Speaking of the limbs, they are made from a laminate of Makore and Maple wood. This combination is then faced with fiberglass that adds to its strength and durability, ensuring that the limbs won’t twist on you while you’re using the bow. The riser is made from a laminate of Bintangor, Chuglam and Makore hardwood.
The overall weight of the bow is 3 pounds, so it’s not going to cause you to cramp up or become fatigued while you’re using the recurve.
Notable features of the SAS Courage 60″ Hunting Takedown Recurve Archery Bow include:
- Wood limb with fiberglass face
- Hard wood riser
- Pre-installed Brass Bushings for Brass Plunger, Stabilizer and Sight/Quiver
- 60″ total length
- This item is fully covered by Southland Archery Supply 3-year limited manufacture warranty
When looking at the reviews for the product, 89% of customers left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, customers said that they were impressed by the bow. They said that because it was so light, it was comfortable to hold and they could use it for hours without becoming sore.
They also said that although there is a little vibration when you shoot. Many people felt like this was the best takedown bow and it surpassed other recurves on the market.
Of the remaining 11% of customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was that the bow isn’t prepared for the addition of accessories—you have to go to someone to have them added for you. Customers also felt that the string that comes with this bow is poor quality, saying it didn’t last long at all. Other customers have said the string that came with their bow was raveled up and another said they didn’t receive a string at all.
Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow
The Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow was designed by the same engineers who created the Samick Sage Recurve Bows, thus adding to the popular belief that Samick is one of the best recurve bow brands on the market today. This bow boasts an improved comfort grip, a design that is more durable so it will last for many trips to the archery range or hunting expeditions.
The bow is made from laminated wood and features a beautiful red wood finished riser. The limbs of the bow features rounded edges, limb pockets, and reinforced tips. Also the flush limb bolts that are included with this bow add to the high end look of this bow, but it is much more affordable!
Notable features of the Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow include:
- Kit includes: 3 part recurve bow, Allen wrench, Dacron bowstring and arrow rest
- Red wood finish riser
- Improved Rounded edges and Limb pockets
- Re-infoced limb tips and improved flush limb bolts
- Lightweight design
- 1 year manufacturer warranty
When looking at the reviews for the product, 92% of customers left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, customers said that when they received their package, they were impressed by the packaging and how stunning the bow was. They said that after removing it from the package, it only took a few minutes to assemble the bow.
Customers who previously owned the Samick Sage and upgraded to this one were pleasantly surprised by well this bow performed and thought it was a cheap marketing gimmick to simply call this the “Sage 2.”
Of the remaining 8% of customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was that the coloring on the bow they received was off. Others mentioned that though the bow shoots smoothly, they recommend adding some kind of silencer if you intend on hunting, as it makes some noise. Also, they felt that the limbs felt weak and they would splinter. Fortunately, the limbs are interchangeable.
Longbowmaker Hungarian Style Recurve Bow
If you’re looking for the best traditional bow on the market that is going to be affordable, the Longbowmaker Hungarian Style Recurve Bow is going to be a fantastic option, as it is 100% made by hand. Because it is made by hand, it is tested before it is sold to you, the customer. That means you can rest assured you’re getting a quality product.
Over half of the bow’s body is covered in a fine leather, making it even more of a masterpiece. The limbs are made from laminated wood and fiberglass, making them incredibly durable. The slim structure doesn’t suffer from poor performance, in fact it only reinforces the fact that this is a great bow for target practice or hunting.
Notable features of the Longbowmaker Hungarian Style Recurve Bow include:
- Draw weight: 20-110LBS
- Bow Body Length: 145cm
- String Length: 131cm
- Draw Length: 28 inches
- Safe Draw Length: 33 inches
When looking at the reviews for the product, 94% of customers left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, customers said the bow is impeccably made. They were not able to find any faults in the bow’s construction with little to no issue. Some did say there was a bit of hand shock, but it wasn’t unmanageable.
Others have said that the leather is a nice touch, but if you wanted to personalize it more, you could do that as well. Of the remaining 6% of customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was that their bow cracked after using it.
One customer said that when they strung the bow, they could hear the wood creaking very loudly. When they shot the bow, the string flew off and they couldn’t reserve it, as the serving was done in “an unconventional way.”
PSE Razorback Recurve Bow
PSE was founded by Pete Shepley, who was a product engineer, in 1970. He took his passion for creating and designing innovative archery equipment and created a recurve bow that is suitable for a variety of sports.
The Razorback has the classic recurve style in a takedown design that is going to be your top choice for fly-in or remote area hunting. It’s as smooth as you’d ever hoped it could be and it comes with 4 draw weights (20#, 25#, 20# and 35#) so you can find the perfect weight for you.
Notable features of the PSE Razorback Recurve Bow include:
- Walnut, Burma White Wood and Beech wood riser.
- Maple wood / fiberglass laminate limbs.
- Stabilizer and sight bushings.
- Recommended height: up to 5’7″.
- Length: 62″
When looking at the reviews for the product, 86% of customers left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, customers said that if you’re looking for the best recurve bow for beginners, this is going to be your best bet. Customers have said that the craftsmanship of the bow is beautiful and the riser is their favorite part. It’s stunning, but it is also a good quality riser!
Customers have said they enjoy using this bow for archery because it’s easy to assemble and disassemble—all you need to do is screw the large screw on top of the limbs to connect it to the riser. You don’t even need a screwdriver. A few people have said that the string it comes with is fine, but they wish that it came with a bow stringer.
Of the remaining 14% of customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was that it doesn’t come with an arrow rest, which is a necessary component for a bow. They didn’t like that they would have to purchase and install their own rest. Other customers have said that less than 90 days of purchasing the bow, the fiberglass was beginning to separate from the upper limb.
Our Final Recommendation
Deciding which recurve bow is going to be right for you isn’t nearly as difficult as some people make it out to be. When you take the factors into consideration that we have previously mentioned, the task of choosing the best recurve bow is going to be so much simpler.
If you’re looking for the best bow for beginners, you have several options from the five we reviewed. The PSE Razorback Recurve is a great choice. Not only is the bow smooth and accurate, but it also is available in low draw weights, which will help beginners get more comfortable with drawing the bow.
Another good one for beginners is going to be Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow and the Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow for the same reasons. These are especially nice because once you get more familiar with drawing and shooting, you can upgrade the limbs and the string, giving you more versatility and precision.
Of course, if you want a traditional bow that is both beautiful to look at and easy to use, you can’t go wrong with the Longbowmaker Hungarian Style Recurve Bow. This 100% handcrafted bow features leather and twine details that add to how you grip the bow, but it also adds to the charm of it when you want to put it up for display when it’s not being used.
However, if you’re looking for a takedown bow that is going to give you the speed that you’re looking for, then the SAS Courage 60″ Hunting Takedown Recurve Archery Bow is going to prove to be the fastest recurve bow under $120.
It doesn’t matter what kind of recurve bow you get, you want to be sure that you know how to properly choose the bow for you, and that you understand how to string it and use it correctly.
By choosing a bow that has a draw weight that is higher than you can pull, you’re going to have a hard time drawing the string. If you don’t know how to string the bow correctly, you’re going to risk damaging the bow, but also putting yourself at risk of getting hurt!
We recommend that if you are a beginner and this is going to be your first bow, read a few articles on how to use the bow and how to string the bow with a stringer. Then, once you’re confident you understand the material and you have a good grasp on the safety that is required to use these bows, then you can purchase the best recurve bow that’ll fit your budge and your skill set.