Best compound bow for beginners reviewed
Gen-X Bow – RH/LH
The Gen-X compound bow is a great choice to start with if you are a complete beginner. You can start learning by using it either in the range or in the field. Powerful enough for hunting, simple enough for anyone to use, it’s one of the best compound bow for beginners in the entry-level category.
It has an axle to axle length of 35.5” and a 7 5/8″ brace height, which should make it easy to use. You get a 6061-T6 aluminum riser, aluminum cam and idler wheel, sturdy composite limbs, and high-strength bowstrings – all made in the USA. It features a progressive let-off design. Draw weight comes standard at 40 lbs and can be safely lowered to 25 lbs. A 40 lbs draw weight might be a bit much for some beginners, so the option of adjusting it makes good sense. And the 40 lbs draw weight is legal in all states so you don’t have to worry about using it everywhere.
It covers all standard draw lengths ranging between 21″-30″, so it gives a lot of flexibility here too. It comes with composite limbs, cable guard, and molded competition grip. The riser is drilled and tapped for standard accessories, so you have a lot of choices here to equip it with whatever accessories you want.
Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package
The Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package is the best compound bow for beginners that you can buy today. If you’re looking for a high-quality, versatile, feature-packed bow, the Infinite Edge Pro is the perfect fit.
First of all you get Bowtech’s Binary Cam System which is comprised of two perfectly symmetrical cams that are slaved to each other, forcing the cams to turn in perfect synchronization. This provides for flawless nock travel and tuning that you can set and forget, maximizing accuracy and consistency.
To start an archery experience off right, great equipment is half the battle. The best feature that you have on this bow is its extreme adjustability. For starters, you can adjust your draw length from 13 to 31 inches. That should ensure the perfect fitting for whatever frame type, age, and height. After that, you are able to adjust your draw weight between 5 and 70 pounds. It’s ready to meet you just where you’re at. With a simple turn of the limb bolt, easily adjust from maximum to minimum poundage, or anywhere in between. The easy-to-read marks provide simplicity in draw weight adjustments for any user.
This compound bow looks to be heavy, but in reality it isn’t, tipping the scale at just 3.2 lbs. This makes it very easy to maneuver, which is a big deal for a beginner user. Moreover, it has an effective let-off of 80%. And with all those advantages, it can fire up an arrow at up to 310 fps. Now that’s a very fast arrow that you will let loose.
All in all, the Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package is the best choice you can make if you are a beginner archer. For the price you pay for it, it gives you the best dollar/usage/features ratio.
Genesis Original Kit
The Genesis original bow is a very good choice for a beginner’s compound bow for someone who wants to get their basics notions on just right from the get go. It speaks to beginners of all athletic abilities and ages. This is the best compound bow for beginners if they are kids. It’s a lightweight bow that you can easily start your journey in archery with.
The Genesis Original Bow is the official compound bow of the National Archery in the Schools Program, so it’s the perfect choice for any kid that starts its archery journey. It’s ready to shoot as soon as it comes out of the box. It has a one size fits all draw length (15”-30”) that you don’t need to worry about adjusting, and a standard 20 lbs draw weight that can be adjusted to 10 lbs.
One of the pitfalls that a novice of archery can encounter is developing frustration from an ill fit compound bow. Having a compound bow that doesn’t feel right in your hands can make you miss your targets or learn an improper technique. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about that with this compound bow. We recommend the set, rather than the single bow, because it makes more sense for a beginner to get a set of arrows alongside the bow itself.
Sanlida Archery Dragon X8 Hunting Compound Bow
If your aim is to eventually go bow hunting, the Sanlida Archery Dragon X8 Hunting Archery Compound Bow is the perfect compound bow for beginners that want to try a budget-saving alternative on their first run, without compromising on quality. It will get you accustomed to the feel of a hunting bow and all its capabilities. You will be able to test out different scenarios, so that, in the end, you will be satisfied with the skills you have gained by learning the basics with this bow.
Specification-wise, you get a 30” axle to axle distance with a 6.6” brace height at a weight of 3.8 lbs. That is on the smaller side of hunting bows, which should help you with learning the basics a lot better. Not having to deal with a large bow whilst learning the skills is a big advantage, one that will help you get where you want to be a lot faster. But you will not be disappointed with the rest of the features, irrespective of their size.
The bow has an adjustable draw length between 18”-31”. You should make do without any issues here, the range in you can adjust it should cover you well. You get up to 70 lbs of draw weight, which is adjustable from 0 lbs. The right feel for you is guaranteed with this option, as a complete beginner or as you move on with developing your skills. With the 70 lbs of draw weight, the arrow that you will shoot will go quite fast: up to 310 fps!
Again, we are recommending getting the set, rather than just the bow, because it makes more sense to do so if you are a beginner. This package includes a 5 pin compound bow sight, a brush arrow rest, a rubber stabilizer, a wrist sling and 2 peep sights which should get you started pretty good on your road to becoming an excellent archer.
2021 Compound Bow and Arrow for Adults and Teens – Bowfishing and Hunting Bow
If you’re in the market for a mid-range hunting-focused bow, the GlassHarrier Compound Bow is a solid option that you should consider and the best compound bow for beginners in that price range. It will guide you through the learning process as well as it will be a trusty companion for when that road has reached the expert point.
Anyone will find a comfortable setting to start learning the basics of archery with this compound bow. You get a manageable 30” axle to axle length with 7.4” brace length. The axle to axle length will be of real help for anyone who starts archery from scratch and it will provide good versatility in the field once you start hunting.
The compound bow features an adjustable 23.5-30.5” draw length, which should cover up the majority of the beginners out there. You should be able to find a good setting that works for you. You also have 30-70 lbs adjustable draw weight with a 75% let-off. This setup, which kind of aims towards hunters a bit more, should help you find the balance you need while you are still in the learning stages and provide satisfying results once you are out in the field doing the actual hunting. And, as an added bonus, your arrow will fly off your bow at up to 320 fps, so it will get to its target in no time.
Again, we recommend buying the set as it will help you as a beginner in the field. The set includes: 4 Carbon Arrows, 5-Pin Sight, String Stopper, String Wax, Release Aid, Rubber Stabilizer, Paper Targets, Step-By-Step User Manual and a Premium Quiver. It’s worthy of mention that GlassHarrier doesn’t use plastics as materials for cams and modules. And you get lifetime warranty for the limbs of the compound bow. All in all, it’s a very good option for a future bow hunter that wants to start its journey in the archery world.
Bear Archery Cruzer G2 Adult Compound Bow
If you are 100% sure that bow hunting is something that you will do in the future, then the Bear Archery Cruzer G2 Adult Compound Bow is a perfect option that you can start your bow hunting journey with and the best compound bow for beginners that will be future bowhunters. From scratch to a seasoned hunter, this should cover you pretty well.
As with all beginners’ compound bows, the size of the bow can help you get those basic notions about archery set in properly. Luckily, you have here a reasonable 30” axle to axle distance with a 70% let-off. This should make the bow itself and the grip feel more natural and you will have a great learning experience because of that. The advanced grip design eliminates hand torque for enhanced accuracy.
You are well taken care off in the draw length and draw weight departments: with an adjustable 12” to 30” draw length you will be able to find the right fit for you without a problem. And with a 5 to 70 lbs adjustable draw weight, you will be able to purposefully use the bow both in training and hunting scenarios. The compound bow weighs only 3 lbs, but you can fire up arrows at up to 315 fps. That will make your hunting experience a very enjoyable one.
Yet again, we advise that you buy the set, rather than the single bow. The bow comes ready to hunt equipped with six Trophy Ridge accessories – a four-pin sight, a Whisker Biscuit, a 5-arrow quiver, a stabilizer and sling, a peep sight, and a nock loop. For whichever use you have in mind, this should be enough for a starting point.
Bow buying guide
What are the terms that you need to get familiarized with?
Draw Length is the distance from the nock point to the throat of the grip plus 1 3/4″. Typically, this length will also be about the same length of arrow needed by the compound archer.
To measure your draw length, stand with your back to a wall stretching your arms out against the wall. Measure the distance from the end of your middle finger to the end of your other middle finger, basically the length of both arms, hands, and chest. This measurement, minus 15 then divided by 2, is your draw length. Do not buy something that has a draw length longer than it should be for you, as it will affect your accuracy. Your wingspan typically is the same as your height in inches. So your height in inches minus 15 and then divided by 2 will be your draw length, or at least a very good starting point.
Draw weight is the amount of force needed to pull a bow, and it’s measured in pounds. It’s basically the grade of bow you have and defines how much power you can expect from the output, and at what speed.
Compound bows have set draw weights. A compound with 50-pound draw weight at 28 inches will remain at 50 pounds if it’s adjusted to a 26-inch draw length. Compound bows can be adjusted to different draw weights by a bow technician. Compound bows typically have about a 10-pound adjustment range, but some adjust over a huge range in draw weight and draw length. The draw weight, arrow weight (measured in grains), and draw length will all define the speed of your arrow, but draw weight is the most important. A best compound bow for beginners should allow you to find the right setting that feels right for you.
You’ll see a lot of hunting bows with a 70 lbs maximum draw weight and a 28” or 31” draw length. That means that it’s just about as powerful as a normal human can muster, and you can expect to see high FPS and KE ratings, which I’ll get into in a moment. The point is, there are a ton of factors that go into your total FPS and power, but the most calculable and important one is draw weight.
What Are FPS And KE?
FPS stands for feet per second, and KE stands for kinetic energy.
The feet per second is simply a measure of distance. You are expected to be within a distance of 300-400 feet of your target, and most FPS in beginner to moderate bows will be around 150-165 FPS, giving you a rough 1.8-2 second span between release and impact on your target. You don’t need a very high FPS if you are a complete beginner, but the best compound bow for beginners is one that will let you adjust this along the way.
However, kinetic energy is used to define something else entirely. It’s used to figure out damage on impact, using the arrow’s speed, or FPS, and its weight (measured in grains). Kinetic energy is power that’s stored in a moving object or body, and it will eventually run out. It’s the energy that allows something to keep moving past the point of its initial push or pull to movement. For some context, a windmill uses kinetic energy: the initial push from the wind, and the movement that continues from momentum after the wind has settled.
FPS and KE work in tandem to calculate the speed and damage, or penetration level and depth, of an arrow. They will be defined by the draw weight, which brings us full circle. You can use the following chart to calculate your own draw weight:
What is the best draw weight for beginners?
From 25 to 40 lbs., depending on your body type and physical fitness. It’s not as simple as just pulling a string backwards, you have to hold the resistance for a while before you can release it. There are 5-20+ seconds that pass before you can release. No archer, unless he’s called Legolas, pulls the bow back and releases it immediately. The best compound bow for beginners that will be good for you will allow for a setting that feels comfortable for you.
You engage quite a few muscle groups that you might not normally use when doing archery. Muscle groups that you will train from archery include the deltoids in your shoulders, biceps, triceps, wrist muscles, core, and obliques. As you gain experience and train those muscle groups, you will be able to draw a higher weight whilst maintaining your accuracy. This is especially important to understand, because you can get frustrated if you use an incorrect draw weight and your results suffer from this.
Eventually, you’ll be able to pull back and raise your bow quickly, and you’ll feel far less resistance; that’s a good indicator that you can move up to the next bracket of weight draw ranges.
Let off: what is it and why it’s important
A compound bow uses cables and cams to store energy and reduce the holding weight at full draw. This reduction in holding weight at full draw is called “let-off,” and is calculated as a percentage of the overall draw weight. For example, a 40-pound bow with a 75 percent let-off would be ten pounds at full draw. Let-off is especially helpful for competition or hunting because it allows shooters to hold a bow at full draw – and place an accurate shot – longer than if they were using another type of bow. This feature might be important for beginners, and the best compound bow for beginners will provide you with it.
What do you need to take into account when buying your first bow?
- Correct draw weight
- Correct draw length
In the end, let’s take a look at some archery terms that you will come into contact:
String suppressors are small rubber items that can be mounted either in between the strands of a bow string, or around it. They are designed to help dissipate noise and vibration caused by the bow string upon release.
Speed Nocks are essentially brass nocking points that are added to the bowstring in strategic locations to give it a little more power, and produce faster arrow speed. Depending on the bow model and manufacturer, these won’t be in the same exact location on every bowstring, but they will usually be in the same general area.
The peep sight is placed between the strands of the bowstring, and is generally held in place by a serving material. When at full draw, you will look through the peep sight and line it up with the sight as another anchoring point, for more consistent accuracy.
Peep sights come in many shapes and sizes. Target archers typically will use a peep sight with a smaller diameter for precise aiming. But most hunters use one that is a little larger because of possible low-light scenarios and the fact that animals have a tendency to move around. Using a larger peep sight allows you to stay on your target a little easier.
Modern archers have adopted the use of a “D-Loop” or “String Loop” when using mechanical release aids to shoot compound bows. The D-Loop is where the nock of the arrow attaches to the string, and where the archer connects the release aid to the bowstring.
It’s important to make sure the D-Loop does not move, or pinch together. If it does move, it can affect accuracy, or create “nock pinch” at the arrow of the nock. Nock Pinch occurs when the D-Loop knots are too close together, thus “pinching” the nock of the arrow, and lifting it off the rest when drawing the bow.
The center serving is made of serving material, which is a little stronger and tougher than regular bowstring material. The purpose of the center string is to prevent the wear and tear from regular use to affect the bowstring. It not only protects the string in the main usage point, but it also provides a better fit for arrow nocks.
In order to keep the cables out of the path of the arrow, and the archer’s arm, a cable guard, or roller guard, is used. This guard pulls the cables off to the side in order to provide clearance for the arrow.
Most cable guards are either made from machined aluminum or a carbon fiber rod, and may use either a Teflon sleeve or metal rollers, to allow the cables to move when the bow is drawn and fired.
Axle to axle length
While axle-to-axle length isn’t a physical part of a bow, it is something commonly referenced when talking about bows. Commonly referred to as “ATA” length, this is the distance between the axles that run through the cams and limbs while the bow is at rest. The best compound bow for beginners will have a smaller ATA, because it will be easier to learn the basics whilst not concentrating to handle a bigger sized compound bow.
Most flagship bows these days seem to have about a 30″- 33″ ATA length. Most tree stand hunters will prefer this length and possible something a little longer as well. And most ground blind hunters and people that hunt out west where there’s more hiking and climbing, will prefer a more compact bow, usually around 27″ – 30″ axle to axle.
Many target archers prefer using a bow with a longer ATA length, anywhere from 38″ – 42″ seems to be the norm. The reason they use a longer bow is because a bow with a longer ATA length will generally be more stable when at full draw. So in return, a smaller bow might be more compact and easier to lug around on a hunt, but you are losing a little bit of stability when choosing a bow that has a smaller ATA.
The bow’s riser is the “middle” portion of the bow which contains the grip and is attached to the bow’s limbs. Most compound bow risers are made from aluminum and are either forged or machined.
The generally feature a multitude of cut-outs that serve to reduce the bow’s overall weight while still maintaining their strength and stability.
In recent years several bow manufacturers have developed compound bows with carbon fiber risers which are said to be stronger than aluminum risers while being extremely light weight and warm to the touch.
Many bow accessories are attached directly to the riser including sights, arrow rests, quivers, wrist slings, stabilizers and more. All mounting holes on a bow riser are universal size and placement, which ensures you can use virtually any accessory on any bow. The riser is truly the foundation of what is known as the modern compound bow.
Limb pocket and limb bolt
The primary job of the limb pocket is to hold the bow limb securely in place. Limb pockets are often made from machined aluminum, although sometimes they are made of durable ABS plastic or other materials.
The bow limb will rest inside the limb pocket, which is then bolted to the bow riser.
The limb bolt is what connects the limb pocket to the riser. Most limb bolts use a standard allen key to adjust them. Tightening the limb bolt will increase the draw weight of the bow, while loosening it will lower the draw weight.
When adjusting limb bolts it is important to adjust them both the same amount. Failure to do so can cause your bow to go out of tune.
The string suppressor mounts directly behind the bow’s stabilizer and is most commonly consisting of either a metal or carbon fiber rod with a rubber bumper on the end.
The bumper serves to stop forward string travel after the shot which helps reduce noise and vibration.
Additionally, a string suppressor can help prevent unnecessary slapping of the bow string on the archer’s forearm. Most technicians recommend a gap of 1/16″ to 1/8″ between the rubber stopper and the bow string. Additionally, it is recommended to always have your bow string served where the bumper will make contact. This helps prevent unnecessary wear on your string.
Most bows don’t come with a stabilizer, but they all come with the stabilizer mounting hole. This universal fit allows nearly any stabilizer to be used with most bows. The best compound bow for beginners should have some sort of a stabilizer system, so that you don’t need to worry about vibrations.
The purpose of a stabilizer is to stabilize the bow when at full draw, and absorb vibration on the shot. Most hunters will use a stabilizer from 4″- 12″ in length. This allows for good stabilization while also maintaining the ability to move around easily in the woods or when at full draw.
Target archers tend to use really long stabilizers anywhere between 24″ – 48″ in length. Having a longer stabilizer isn’t very beneficial in a hunting setting, but since a target archer typically has a small spot they need to hit, and no obstacles immediately in front of them. They can get away with using a long stabilizer.
Many archers like to use a wrist sling when shooting their bow. This sling mounts between the bow’s riser and stabilizer, and serves to hold your bow in place should you lose your grip during the shooting process.
Wrist slings typically don’t come with your bow from the factory and are aftermarket additions. They are available in a variety of sizes, colors and materials to suit the individual archer’s needs.
Measured as the distance between the throat of the bow grip (the deepest part) and the string, the brace height is often used as an indicator of speed and forgiveness.
Bow’s with short brace heights (under 6 ½ inches) are generally considered less forgiving, as they can be more sensitive to flaws in the archer’s form. Bows with longer brace heights, those great than 6 ½ inches, are referred to as more forgiving and easier to shoot. The best compound bow for beginners should fall in the second categories.
There are two major types of cam systems found on compound bows; dual cams and single cams. A dual cam bow utilizes two eccentric cams which are identical to one another on either end of the bow.
In most modern dual cam systems these cams are directly connected to one another via two cables.
Connecting, or slaving, the cams to one another ensure they are less likely to go out of time and thus be more reliable and consistent. This particular dual cam system is referred to as a “binary” cam.
While there are a variety of small differences between the manufacturers the basics of the dual cam system remain the same no matter who puts their name on it. The best compound bow for beginners is one with a dual cam system because you will not need to worry about adjusting it all the time.
Single cam systems use a single, large cam on the bottom limb and an idler wheel on the top. The single cam feeds the string off the track as the bow is draw, while a single power cable that runs from the single cam to the top limb compresses the limbs to store energy.
Many people believe to their simple nature and lack of timing issues that single cam bows are easier to tune and shoot than dual cam systems. Although like most things in archery this is simply a personal preference.
You can get aluminum, wood and carbon arrows.
If you hit the range a lot, you’re probably going to use aluminum ones for the most part. Also aluminum arrows are better suited for beginners, because they work better with beginners compound bows.
Carbon arrows are primarily used for hunting, though people who use a hunting bow can pretty much use any type of arrows.
Wood arrows are still the old-school option and a popular choice amongst lots of people. But they are not to be recommended for compound bow use because they break easily. Compound bows release the arrow at high speed and wooden arrows cannot cope with that. Aluminum or carbon arrows are recommended by the manufacturers of compound bows.