Last updated: August 10, 2021

Our method

12Products analysed

62Hours spent

35Evaluated articles

125User reviews

Welcome to our big compound bow test 2022. Here we present all the compound bows we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best compound bow for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a compound bow.




Summary

  • The compound bow is one of the most modern bows on the market. Its unique construction ensures a clean and very good shooting behaviour. Subject to the archer's discretion, of course.
  • A striking feature of the compound bow is its two rollers. One at the top of the bow and one at the bottom. They are important for cocking the compound bow.
  • Archery has a long tradition. People have been using bows and arrows for 14,000 years. In the past, mainly for hunting. Archery has been an Olympic sport since 1972. Archery can be practised by young and old.

The Best Compound Bow: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a compound bow

Who is a compound bow suitable for?

Basically, anyone can use a compound bow.

However, it is recommended that absolute beginners practice with simpler bows first. Archery requires good body tension and strong muscles. These can be built up better with other bows.

Furthermore, a compound bow has to be adjusted correctly, which might be too complicated for many beginners. However, for those who already have experience in archery, a compound bow is recommended.

A lot of fun is guaranteed with a compound bow and the right technique.

What does a compound bow cost?

The price range is very wide. Compound bows start at just under €100 and go up to €1700. The difference in price is due to the material of the bow, equipment, draw, etc. You should not forget that you also have to buy arrows. Often, however, there are sets with arrows and bow together.

What variations are there in compound bows?

Basically, every compound bow is constructed in the same way. The bow itself, two rollers (also called cams) and the string. However, you can vary exactly these 3 basics.

There are different cams, strings with extras, the material of the bow. Furthermore, there are additional upgrades. For example, a target sight, a silencer, stabilisers, etc.

Be careful, the more special your compound bow becomes, the more expensive it will be.

What are the alternatives to a compound bow?

In the field of bows, there is the so-called recurve bow as an alternative. In terms of price, it plays in a similar league, but is usually cheaper.

However, if you look at the technique of the compound bow and are looking for an alternative, there is the compound crossbow. In terms of price, it is in the same league as the compound bow.

Type Price range
Compound bow 100€ to 1700€
Recurve bow 50€ to 1200€
Compound crossbow 100€ to 1800€

Decision section: What types of compound bows are there and which is the right one for you?

What distinguishes a compound bow and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The compound bow is characterised by its unique technique. Characteristics of this are the two cams at the top and bottom. This application allows a strong tension of the bowstring with little effort.

This technique is based on the shaft wheel and the law of leverage. The shaft wheel is a machine that is created from a large wheel and a small shaft. This makes it possible to achieve the same small effort with a large end result.

The law of the lever is a principle from physics. The central variable here is torque. This is also found in the compound bow.

The main disadvantage is that there is a lot of technology involved, which pushes the actual archery to the back. Nevertheless, you have to be able to shoot a compound bow yourself.

Advantages
  • little effort for tensioning the bow
  • wide shooting possible
  • high fun factor
Disadvantages
  • relatively expensive
  • a lot of technique weakens the actual archery feeling

What distinguishes a recurve bow and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The recurve bow gets its name from the limbs at the top and bottom of the bow.

These point away from the archer when relaxed and are bent back towards the archer when cocked. Recurve is English and means bent back.

The recurve bow is relatively light and can therefore be carried around easily. Due to its relatively simple handling, the bow is well suited for beginners.

However, it is also popular with experienced professionals, as it is really about archery and there are usually no technical aids.

However, unlike the compound bow, the recurve bow is not as strong and therefore shoots weaker and not as far.

Advantages
  • very good value
  • easy to carry
  • simple to use
  • suitable for beginners
  • great pleasure even for advanced
Disadvantages
  • weaker than compound bow
  • no super long shots possible

What distinguishes a compound crossbow and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The compound crossbow is based on the concept of the compound bow. It therefore contains the same technology, including the cams, which are based on the shaft wheel and the law of leverage.

A great advantage of the crossbow is that after tensioning the string, it is held without force. Due to the compound technique, the material of the arrows is not too decisive for their flight behaviour.

The disadvantage of the compound crossbow, as with all crossbows, is the difficulty of cocking. Usually a cocking aid is used to relieve the strain on the back. In this case, the crossbow points to the ground and is held in place with the aid of one's own foot using the device provided for this purpose.

The actual cocking aid is a strap which is clamped into the actual string with the help of hooks. By pulling on two handles, one can tension the crossbow with half the force.

Advantages
  • hardly any force needed when shooting
  • long shots possible
  • easier to transport than a bow
Disadvantages
  • difficult to cock
  • many accessories needed

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate a Compund bow

Now we want to clarify what you should look for when buying. We will do this on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Accessories
  • Sight
  • Power
  • Price

In the following, we will go into more detail on the criteria mentioned and explain how you can recognise and evaluate differences.

Accessories

First of all, you should check what is included in the compound bow.

Are there any arrows included? Does the bow have different camwheels that allow for variation in shooting? What about spare parts?

If all these accessories are available, you don't have to buy more later. This is easy on the wallet and does not require a longer break from archery.

Certain accessories can be helpful in archery. In the end, however, it always depends on the shooter. Therefore, a beginner should always use as few accessories as possible on the bow to avoid getting confused. (Picture source: pixabay.com / skeeze)

Sight

For those who are a little more advanced, a sight might be appealing. Here, you can aim with a rear sight and a front sight, just like with a rifle, or only with an aiming point.

The sight is used in compound archery for more precise aiming even at long distances. Of course, there are different variants, some better and some worse in terms of magnification and aiming.

Another extra to the sight is a small lens in the bowstring, which shows the magnified image of the sight more sharply.

Power

Archery has a lot to do with strength. The more you draw a bow, the stronger and further you can shoot.

Now, the maximum possible force varies from bow to bow. This is due to the different rollers at the top and bottom of the compound bow. These tension the string differently depending on their size.

Furthermore, the elasticity of the string is also very important. Different tendons mean different power possibilities.

Price

A point not to be neglected in the purchase criteria is the price.

On the one hand, your bow should have a good price-performance ratio and at the same time correspond to your progress and plans.

The most expensive bow is not recommended for a beginner and the cheapest bow is not recommended for a professional.

Do you want to participate in competitions or do you just want to do some recreational archery?

For a competitor, professional equipment is recommended, while for a recreational archer, an advanced bow should be perfectly adequate.

Facts worth knowing about compound bows

How do I set up a compound bow correctly?

Bow and arrow are a system that must be perfectly matched to achieve the best possible results. Therefore, a correct adjustment of the compound bow is of great importance.

The main point here is the arrow rest. It should be orthogonal to the bowstring in the relaxed state. Two commercially available spirit levels help here.

Attach one to a clamped arrow (string relaxed) and one to the bowstring. If the bow is now straight and both spirit levels indicate a zero point, then the arrow rest is at a 90° angle to the string. That is exactly our aim.

Further adjustment possibilities can be found on the internet.

What accessories are available?

There are also useful accessories for archery.

On the one hand, a target serves for targeted shooting. You have a clear target in front of your eyes and can see exactly how accurately you are shooting. In addition, a quiver makes it easy to store arrows on the body. You have the arrows quickly at hand and they don't just lie around everywhere.

Archery exerts great forces on the string. If the bowstring constantly slips along the arm, this can lead to abrasions. To counteract this, there are various arm protectors.

When the string is released, it also has a strong effect on the fingers. That is why there are so-called finger tabs to protect the fingers used or even an entire glove for the whole hand.

If you want to protect your fingers completely, you can use so-called release aids. Here you use an intermediate piece for finger and tendon, which makes it easier to release the tendon.

Which accessories make sense depends on your level of performance and personal preferences and should therefore be perfectly adapted to you.

Image source: 123rf.com / Tom Tietz

Reviews