The 7 Best Recurve Bows

How to choose the best recurve bow? There’s a total of 1630 items that classify as “recurve bow” in Amazon alone, so which one should you pick? First of all, let’s divide these results in three categories: beginner, target practice and hunting bows. Each category comprises models that have a set of common specifications and are meant to be used for specific tasks. You won’t find these categories in the product descriptions, though, so we’ll detail them below.

Right- or left-handed?

Before we continue, let’s mention one important detail. Although it’s popular lore that with a right-handed bow you pull the string with your right hand, many ignore the concept of “dominant eye”. Statistically, about 1/3 people are left eye dominant. No matter which of your arm is stronger, you need to pull the string with the hand that lets you to aim with your dominant eye. For instance, if you’re left eye dominant, you’d want to use your left hand to pull the string, because your aim is far more important than your arm strength.

Best Recurve Bows for Beginners

Recurve bow models that fall under this category aren’t necessarily the cheapest ones. Learning archery is a time-consuming and complicated process; the problem is that if you don’t use the right equipment, you might mislearn some things. It’s a proven fact that beginners who use hard bows (the ones that belong to the “hunter” category) usually tend to learn bad figures. So make sure that you’re starting your archery journey with the right kind of bow. Also, keep in mind that a poor-quality beginner recurve bow won’t perform well, and it’s easy to give up on archery when using cheap gear.

PSE Razorback

PSE has been manufacturing bows and accessories since 1970; no wonder why the Razorback is praised as one of the best beginner recurve bow models on the market. With a ridicule price of $100, the Razorback is a bow model that will “grow up” with you. Its take-down construction makes it easy to carry (you won’t need a specialized bow case), and you’ll be able to upgrade its power from 20 lb to 35 lb draw weight. Although not ILF, its limbs are compatible with every other Razorback limbs. The PSE is longer than the average bow, which will allow you to enjoy an enhanced shooting stability. Once you’ve reached the 25 lb draw weight mark, you can use the PSE Razorback as a target shooting bow as well.

PSE Razorback Jr Recurve

The PSE Razorback Jr is meant both for 8+ children and beginner adults who find it difficult to handle a tall bow. 8” shorter than the “full-sized” Razorback, the Jr is strictly a beginner bow, since it can handle up to 15 lb draw weight. Its handle is specially designed to be held by small arms. Small but not basic, this recurve bow allow you to mount a stabilizer and a quiver. Same as other PSE bows, the Razorback Jr has a great design, reliable materials and lightweight construction.

Martin Archery Alder 25#

Although not as well-known as the Panther or Jaguar, the Martin Alder is a great bow for beginners who want to enjoy all the benefits of Martin quality bows. Alder comes in two lengths - 54" or 62", which makes it a perfect choice both for children and adults. It features a take-down construction with the option to install limbs that support from 15 lb to 30 lb draw weight. When used with 30 lb weight limit limbs, the Alder can be enjoyed as a target shooting bow as well.

Best Recurve Bow for Target Shooting

Not every archer loves hunting. Shooting targets might be a fun experience too, especially if you constantly take part in archery events and competitions. Target shooting recurve bows start with a draw range of 25 lbs. This category comprises bows that are more focused on stability than on speed or power. Besides the PSE Razorback and the Martin Alder we mentioned before, there’s one more model worth checking out.

Samick Sage

Although often referred to as a beginner bow, the Samick Sage is probably the most versatile bow you can ever find. With adjustable limbs between 25-60 pounds, you can configure this bow to fit in any of the 3 categories. The Sage comes with brass slots that allow you to install a stabilizer, quiver and sight. Versatile, durable and affordable, this model is great both for beginners and professionals.

Best Recurve Bows for Hunting

Hunting bows have a draw weight of 40 lbs or more for smaller animals and 55 lbs or more for the bigger and more dangerous ones, like grizzly bears, ox and cape buffalos. Hunting bows often require noise reduction add-ons in order to perform well in the field.

Martin Archery Jaguar Elite

This budget recurve bow fits perfectly to hunt for the most popular game (deer, turkey, elk). It features a Thermal V protective grip that won’t allow your hands to slip easily. The Martin Jaguar Elite comes with an aluminum riser (the riser is the middle part of the bow), which makes it more durable and lightweight; the reduced weight is a valuable feature for a hunting bow. Finally, this model features a signature vibration-dampening technology to reduce the noise generated during use.

Bear Archery Grizzly

Serious equipment for serious people; this high-end recurve bow offers all the features you’ll need for bear hunting. Its design is so great that it hasn’t changed in the past 50 years, and it remains the top pick of many experienced archers. Featuring up to 60 pounds of draw weight, the Bear Archery Grizzly isn’t meant to be used by beginners. Made of durable rock maple wood and fiberglass, this model is meant to be your lifetime companion.


The reason why this bow is listed here is simple- not everyone can afford paying 400$ for a hunting bow. The Atropos F163 is a budged hunting bow that offers many great features: magnesium alloy riser that decreases the bow weight and fiberglass limbs that ensure an enhanced durability and resistance to moisture and low temperatures. Another pro worth mentioning is that the F163 comes with a high-tier Dyneema string, which makes the arrow fly faster than many of other string types. Having no relevant downsides, the F163 seems a deeply underrated (and under valuated) recurve bow model.

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