How to choose a Compound Bow

How to choose a Compound Bow in 2023

There are many types of bows on the market today. And, not to mention, there are about a countless different ways for you to choose your bow.

All hunters face the same dilemma: which bow do I buy? Well, you’ve come to the right place to find out! Here’s everything you need to know about how to choose a compound bow for yourself.

Archery is a popular sport for hunters who enjoy the challenge of tracking down their game and then taking them out from close range. Many recreational archers simply enjoy the competitive nature of using their skills to hit a target from a distance.

The fact is that in the U.S, more than 19 million people take part in archery annually, which is a significant number by any standard.

Whether you are already a skilled archer, looking to improve your accuracy, or want to pick up the sport, you want to make sure you’re putting in the right amount of effort, and that means finding the right bow and arrow. A good match will help you improve accuracy and avoid injury, so let us walk you through all the steps.

We understand that you have to make a significant investment to take your archery game seriously. And at such a great time in the year, why would you pass up the opportunity to delve into archery even more.

It may be hard to find the courage and the confidence when it comes to selecting your first compound bow, but with some helpful pointers, we’re sure that this will be a smooth process for you. Because you are investing, you must consider some things in your mind.

How to choose a Compound Bow

The History of Compound Bows:

Before we get into the nitty-gritty about what compound bows are and how they work, it’s important to have a little history lesson. Compound bows were invented in the early 1900s, when people started using them for hunting. Then, during World War 2, compound bows became used by soldiers.

Today, there are many benefits to compound bows over traditional bows. They’re more powerful and efficient than traditional bows, while also being easier to use and adjust.

How to choose a compound bow:

The Right Bow for You:

First, you need to know what you’re looking for in a bow. Do you want a compound bow? A crossbow? An air rifle? What do you want it for? Are you going hunting for deer, turkey, or other types of game? Do you want your bow to be durable and easy to maintain? What length draw weight will you be shooting with your new bow?

There are many factors that go into choosing the right bow. It all depends on what type of hunter you are, as well as what type of hunting you’ll be doing.

In order to make an educated decision about which compound bow is best for your needs, take some time to consider these questions before making a purchase.

Why Choose a Compound Bow?

Before we get into the specifics of choosing a compound bow, let’s look at the bow options available to archers. While there are other styles of bows out there, including traditional recurve and longbow bows, why is the compound bow still king?

Types of Bows:

The sport of archery is as old as the hills ― and over those many years, archers have crafted an array of bows tailored to different forms of competition.

Some bows are longer than others. Longer bows are called longbows, as in Robin Hood. Some bows curve outward again toward the tip, in a shape similar to the letter C. They are called recurve bows, named after recurving the string when designing the bow. Compound bows have cams and pulleys that pack a lot of punch into a small handheld unit. So these are divided into four main types that are longbow, crossbow, recurve, and compound bow.

Longbows can be tough to use with sights or arrow rests included. You have to focus on the classic form factor that’s just the bare essentials of bending the wood and string, making it one of the most ancient types of bows available today. But don’t think because they aren’t as complex means it’s not as difficult to aim.

How to choose a Compound Bow

On the other hand, crossbows require much more involved mechanisms to shoot. You might think that this makes them less practical as effectively as a regular bow and arrow. However, if you’ve ever watched someone operate one you’ll see how quickly they can get off a shot after being cocked due to the lever action of their design. 

How to choose a Compound Bow

Recurve bows are an excellent choice for both seasoned and beginners archers, as they require less physical strength to draw. Because of their bent design, the limbs curve away from the user when the string is pulled back, providing a pulley-like effect that, coupled with the low draw weight usually associated with recurve bows, makes drawn shots easier to achieve.

selecting a compound bow

So that’s why compound bows are now known as one of quite stable and best for hunting and archery.

how to pick a compound bow

Some Features of a Compound Bow:

So let’s now look at what makes a compound bow unique and how to choose the best compound bow for you. Learning about how a compound bow works will help you make the decision about what is best for you and those around you.

Compound bows are, without a doubt, one of the most revolutionary creations to come out of the bow hunting community. First invented in the early 1960s, compound bows are designed with pulleys and cables that help archers draw the string, reducing pressure placed on their muscles. Some archers say they prefer this modern tool over the traditional recurve or longbow.

Compound bows are a better choice for more serious archers because they provide a user with an increased level of accuracy, as well as prolonged use without a significant amount of fatigue.

Personal Factors to Consider When looking for a compound bow for adult:

The first place to look for a compound bow in the market is in the mirror. While it’s important that the archer using a compound bow feel comfortable using it, there are other factors to consider, such as the weight of the compound bow itself, which can make or break your ability to shoot each time you begin to draw accurately.

Look for Handedness

10% of the global population is said to be left-handed. This being the case, most bows have been designed for right-handed users rather than ones who are southpaws by default.

As a young buck looking to buy your first bow, it’s essential to look at products that are specifically on offer to lefty players, especially since they will likely be more affordable than their more mainstream counterparts.

Consider Eye Dominance

How to choose a Compound Bow
Image Credit: Munchkinsmedievallife

Many new archers make the mistake of thinking that they’ll immediately get the best bow if they use their dominant hand. However, it’s also important to consider whether your left or right eye is dominant so you can find a quiver and glove that fits you better.

Most of us have our own preferred hand, but did you know that there’s also an eye that’s the dominant one in your brain? It’s called ocular dominance.

Most people have to like to use both of their eyes and hands to be able to function because there is no form of favoritism, and instead, it comes down to personal preference. However, some people almost like cross-dominance, which means they prefer the opposite hand with their opposite eye.

If you’re unsure about whether you are left- or right-handed, it’s very easy to find out. Start by making a triangle with your hands and holding them out at arm’s length. Look at an object through the hole formed by your hands.

Close one eye, close the other, track objects. Left eye, the object remains in place; right eye, the object jumps to the side. The eye in which the object stays put is your dominant eye.

Whether you’re a left-eyed or right-eyed shooter, you should (traditionally) shoot with that eye. If you shoot right-eyed but are left-handed, then you should switch to shooting with your left eye.

The Draw Length

Next, you’re going to want to find out if you will be using a longbow or recurve bow. As long as your local archery shop is equipped with the right measurement tool, they should be able to help you figure this out on your own at home or in the field.

The first step to evaluate your wingspan is to grasp your hands at their highest point, which is generally straight out in front of you if you’re standing. Then measure the distance between your middle fingers with a tape measure, or just visualize it in your head with another person.

Once you have the measurement of your wingspan, simply divide that number by 2.5. This will get you closer to what your draw length should be. Just remember that a brace height only affects the arrow’s flight characteristics if it is set at an incorrect draw length.

When you wish to purchase a bow, make sure to get one from a reliable outlet because it is crucial that any bow you purchase has the exact draw weight for your body frame. Do not buy a bow without first having tested the draw yourself. Buy from an archery range if possible so that the professionals can help you choose the perfect bow.

Always Consider Axle to Axle Length

One essential feature to consider when choosing a compound bow is the cams. These are axled-to-axled devices that give power to the bow as you draw and make it easier to do so. The axle cam length is what’s between the cams on a compound bow.

When it comes to how long your bow extends, you need to get a bow that fits whatever kind of archery you want to partake in. For instance, if you want to go deer hunting deep into the woods, then going with a shorter bow will be best (keep your arrows close). If you want to participate in long-distance archery, getting a longer bow and learning how to shoot properly will work better.

The Draw Weight

The draw weight of your bow is all about force. If you’re new to archery, look for low draw weight because if you weren’t sure how much strength would be required and tried your hand at something higher, it would be hard to make adjustments mid-draw.

The best compound bow for long-term investment is a bow that has an adjustable axle-to-axle length as well as a draw length. This way, the archer will not outgrow their choice of a compound bow but can continue to make it grow with them at any point by simply moving the nuts.

Look for Bows Made for You

We understand that shopping for the right compound bow might be quite confusing and difficult, but there are ways in which you can get the best quality equipment and supplies. One option is to shop specifically at archery stores. These specialized shops provide customized bows that better suit the needs of archers like yourself.

Accessories Archers should consider:

With the best compound bow in hand, you will need to ensure that you have all of the right accessories to compliment your equipment. Accessories help make using the bow easier, and they will help keep it in good condition.

Arrow Rest

Every archer who uses a compound bow should rest at least one arrow. That way, they can keep the arrow level while aiming to have an easier time focusing on their target. Having the arrow remain level will also help prevent you from hurting yourself when drawing back your bowstring.

Some archers opt for drop-away arrow rests, which eliminates the need to rely on gravity to detach from the bow after shooting an arrow. This helps decrease a lot of friction, especially when there are objects nearby that a conventional arrow rest would usually rub against, and there’s the potential for it to wear down the thing over time.

Bow Sights

Another item an archer can add to their arsenal of equipment is a bow sight. These sights come in all shapes and sizes, but they have in common that they help improve accuracy when taking shots.

Bow sight models featuring LED lights are used mainly by hunters who are shooting at night and need a little extra guidance when aiming. Other models feature pins, which provide the archers with yardage estimations based on how far away the target is.


If you’ve ever tried to pull your crossbow’s strings while not wearing any gloves, then you’ll know that it hurts… and you will end up with some calluses. So it is essential always to wear gloves whenever you draw your bow. These archery accessories may help you give the bow a stronger pull.


Some archers prefer carrying their arrows in a quiver attached to their hip, while others opt for one placed on the bow. The main issue with using a quiver that attaches to your hip is that it limits the number of arrows you can carry since you won’t have room for as many arrows if they’re all attached to your belt.

Another consideration is whether you feel more comfortable having an easy-to-reach quiver attached at your hip or prefer having it on your bow for quicker access.

Silencers and Stabilizers

When shooting a bow and arrow, it is vital that the bowstring not be allowed to vibrate while releasing the arrow. This is because the string’s vibration can alert prey to a hunter’s presence.

As a result, many hunters may choose to utilize string leeches on the strings of their bows. These leeches absorb the vibrating shock from pulling back on the bowstring, which minimizes noise when the archer finally does let it loose. Many consumers prefer lightweight silencers as they wish for them not to complicate flight patterns after the arrow is shot.

Some bows will have a stabilizer to help the bowstring stay strong and steady while it is drawn back. This helps to avoid shaking, which can make aiming more difficult.

Finding Best Compound Bow for Women:

For centuries, archery was considered a predominantly male activity. However, the number of girls and women getting involved in archery is rising. And many female archers tend to prefer compound bows over longbows for specific reasons. 

For example, many female archers might find it easier to draw back longbow limbs than compound bow limbs with pulley wheels attached to them.

Bows can be much more complicated than it seems for women. In a sense, people tend to believe that women use one bow for all the seasons, but this is not the case. 

A good bow, like those sold on the company’s website, must be able to fit the style or preferences of each gender. The best way to find a good quality bow is by understanding your needs and capabilities, so you will know what type of materials and features work best for you.

The last decade has seen a significant increase in interest in archery as a hobby amongst women. As a result, manufacturers have started shifting their focus to this demographic and are now producing compounds specifically for women like the model we’ll cover today, geared towards beginners.

Finding Bows for Kids and Beginners:

Simply, if you’re just getting started or searching for a gift for someone on the younger side, especially one that’s into archery, your options are limited. 

Ideally, you won’t have to invest in an expensive bow if all the shooter wants is simple and easy to use. At the same time, they are more straightforward to use than higher-end models that offer a more varied range of features.

Finding a compound bow that works for you, in the long run, can be tricky if you don’t have much experience with them. Luckily, there are quite a few available user-friendly options while still being robust and sturdy enough to use on a variety of hunting expeditions.

Some Asked Questions about the Best Compound Bow:

When it comes to compound bows, we often ask the same kind of questions that you may have. We’re here to help if you have any concerns about purchasing online or knowing what specific brands are the best for beginners. Let’s take a closer look at some of the common ones.

How Much Should you Spend on a Bow?

Archery can be an extremely costly hobby, whether you’re just starting or you’re looking to continue your journey. While it’s tempting to go with the most expensive bow on the market simply, it can be a waste of money if it doesn’t suit both your skills and your needs.

Some models are available for as low as $50, while other bows can cost more than $500. It’s all about finding the model that fits your style and the type of archer you may be, after all.

There’s a common misconception in the field that you have to pay top dollar to get a good deal when it comes to compound bows and archery equipment.

In reality, though, this isn’t always the case! Sure – there are more expensive compound bows with more features and options than their cheaper counterparts, but make no mistake about it – for many different purposes, investing in a cheap compound bow maybe your best option.

If you are just starting out with archery, you should read up on how it is done before you do anything else.

A lot of equipment goes into the sport, so it’s important to know what is necessary for proper training before diving headfirst. If time allows, it can also be helpful to try out a bow at a local range or sporting event just to see if you actually enjoy shooting arrows and hitting the target.

In contrast, if you want to be successful in archery, it would be best to spend around $300 as it is the optimum price range in order to acquire a high-quality bow.

What Materials are Best for Compound bow?

Selecting the right compound bow involves a delicate balancing act between convenience and quality.

When it comes to choosing your arrows, it’s easy to assume that the most critical factor is the material of the bow itself. However, based on our recent research, we’ve discovered that the fabric of your string plays an overwhelmingly important role in a good performance.

As a bow maker, it’s essential to know that a person should choose well when selecting raw materials. 

For example, using fibers like silk is a good idea because that makes the strings stronger, and this way, they can let your arrows fly faster. Of course, don’t forget to remember that you’re going to need some better material if you want an even better arrow in the future.


You’re now equipped with the knowledge of how to shop for a good compound bow. With that in mind, you should be able to find one at an affordable price without sacrificing quality.

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