Best Compound Bows For The Money – Tips & Reviews for 2017

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Bear Archery Cruzer Compound Bow

Best Compound Bow review’s For the Money 2017

The compound bow is part of archery’s evolution. It is widely used for target/competition, as well as field, hunting, and 3D archery. Diamond,, PSE, Bear, and Martin Archery are a few of the long-established compound bow name brands, but by no means the only great products on the market.

Rating

Product

Our Rating

Price

1

Bear Archery Cruzer Compound Bow

2

Diamond Archery 2016 Edge SB-1 Compound Bow

3

Martin Archery Lithium Bow Package

4

SAS Rage 70 lb 30'' Compound Bow

5

FBA Service Compound Bow

Advantages of Using Compound Bows

The construction of compound bows, compared to traditional bows, affects its price, power, speed, accuracy, and weight. Compound bows have their advantages over other bows.

• The compound bow’s mechanical advantage propels an arrow faster than a comparably-weighted traditional bow. Heavier arrows may be used for better penetration as a result.

• A peep sight adds visibility to increase accuracy. The compound bow’s let-off draw weight enables the archer to take time to sight in on the target (not as easy to do with a traditional bow). Tournaments also allow target scopes that allow a more accurate shot on compound bows. This is not permitted on the standard long bow during competition.

• A special release also contributes to making the compound bow extremely accurate. The release device is attached to the bow near the arrow. The device steadies the arrow, while the trigger allows the archer to release the bow string in smooth action (less shaft movement), under consistent pressure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Novice archers frequently have questions they want answered before they invest in a compound bow, arrows, and gear.

Are there left-handed compound bows?

Answer: Yes, they do. Right-hand bows are more common, however, and are held in your left hand and pulled back with your right hand. Conversely, Left-hand bows are held in your right hand and pulled with your left hand. Beginners must orient themselves and select the bow according to which hand they will be using to pull back to shoot (not the hand holding the bow frame).

What is the best draw weight?

Answer: Some states require compound bows to meet a specific minimum draw weight (typ. 50-60 lbs.) to hunt deer and big game. Weights are adjusted to 40 – 50 pounds or 60 – 70 pounds. Some bows offer more weight choices. The weight cannot be adjusted outside the stated range and it is important to find a comfortable range for you.

What peep sight size is used in competition?

Answer: A medium 1/8” size peep sight affords good visibility and aim/accuracy. Competitors and hunters might prefer the smaller 1/16” size for accuracy, although visibility might be less. The large 3/16” size does not help the archer’s aim but it has the most visibility.

How do I determine the right draw length?

Answer: The approximate draw length (how far the bow can be pulled back) may be measured according to the (comfortable) distance (in inches) from fingertip to fingertip of your outstretched (side to side) arms, divided by 2.5. Average-sized archers will likely find this measurement approximately equal to their height. It’s best to adjust the a draw length slightly less than your size if you aren’t sure of your measurement, Too much reduces accuracy or could cause the string to snap your forearm.

What nocking system will keep my arrow from falling off at full draw?

Answer: A direct string with an e-button system works well for long axle bows. The arrow is nocked directly to the bow string. A nocking system that has an e-button adds some cushion between the release and the arrow nock. The arrow doesn’t fall off the string and nock won’t be damaged by the metal caliper. A string loop system works better for short axle bows with a caliper release. The arrow is placed under the brass nocking point.

What are the best arrows?

Answer: The type of arrow depends on preferences and priorities. Plastic fletch vanes are more durable than feathers and the most popular for compound bow owners. They come in colors so they can be more easily retrieved (after a miss). Although feathers are lighter, fly faster, and have a flatter trajectory, they are not durable. Feathers add to the front-of-center balance, which is better for hunters and competitors using lighter tips and have higher broadhead stabilzation.

Feathers automatically have a helical turn. Plastic vanes may be helical, offset, or straight. Straight fletches fly fast but have less long range accuracy. Offset fletches rotate slightly, have more broadhead stabilization. They have less arrow velocity but are stable at moderate distances. Helical fletches rotate significantly (in flight), are preferred with broadhead arrows, and have the best long distance accuracy, although less arrow velocity.

Choosing a Quality Compound Bow

Before choosing a compound bow, consider:

  • If you need a right-hand or left-hand bow (right-hand bows are more common);
  • The age and abilities of the archer;
  • What draw weight is the best for your intended use or type of hunting, and
  • The most-useful draw length.

Comfort and easy draw should be priorities when choosing a compound bow for a beginner or child. They are not as concerned as a seasoned adult archer might be about brand, quality, and specific bow (and arrow) attributes.

A first compound bow should:

  • Be affordable,
  • Provide some latitude to grow with the archer as they gain experience and skill,
  • ​Match your dominant hand (if you have no preference to a dominant eye),
  • ​Have a light draw weight
  • ​Have the draw length measured to aid in better control and accuracy (the draw length should be adjustable so it can grow with the archer’s increased experience and skill)
  • Include necessary accessories (bags, pop filters, shock mounts, etc.)

Prerequisites

  • Cost - Begin with a simple, affordable (inexpensive), quality compound bow that allows the archer a full experience while learning the basics of the sport. If the archer continues the sport, they will transition to more advanced (and costly) equipment as they become skilled and comfortable shooting. Less-costly beginner or entry-level compound bows are no less effective than expensive models.
  • Draw Length - Stance and how the archer holds their body influences their draw length. A beginner’s draw length should account for (lack of) form and be a relatively low draw weight regardless of their strength. A too-short a draw length impacts accuracy. A draw length that is too long can lead to bad back posture and other problems.
  • Draw Weight - Lighter weight, compact bow sizes are easier to manage when hunting. Holding a heavy weight at full draw for extended periods (as hunters do) can result in muscle and joint injuries. A draw weight that is easily drawn and held also permits a steadier and more accurate shot.
  • ​FPS Speed (Foot Per Second) - The faster the bow capably shoots, the more difficult the bow will be to draw and the more aggressive the cam will feel. Beginning archers should avoid an aggressive draw while learning and developing their skill, such as one that has an advertised speed below 330 FPS. Big game can still be hunted using a compound bow that achieves 320 FPS.
  • Let Off - Let-off affects how difficult it is for the archer to draw back the bow and hold it in place while taking aim. The higher the let-off percentage is, the easier the bow will be to hold and maintain in the take-aim position. Beginners, particularly will want a higher let-off that allows more time to learn how to aim and improve their form. A bow with a 75% - 80% let-off is adequate for beginners. ATA (Axle-to-Axle) Length – Suggested axle-to-axle length is less than 33 inches (not over 35 inches) and lighter than 4.3 pounds. A longer bow may be required for competition. They tend to vibrate less and have better stability.

Rating

Product

Our Rating

Price

1

Bear Archery Cruzer Compound Bow

2

Diamond Archery 2016 Edge SB-1 Compound Bow

3

Martin Archery Lithium Bow Package

4

SAS Rage 70 lb 30'' Compound Bow

5

FBA Service Compound Bow

Compound Bow Reviews

I have taken a look at the compound bow's that is currently on the market and have chosen five top bows for your consideration.

1. Bear Archery Cruzer Compound Bow

Bear Archery Cruzer Compound Bow 1

The Bear Archery Cruzer Compound Bow is an affordable, versatile, compact, right-handed, hunting bow. Its design is ideal for smaller spaces as well as for shorter archers. It is constructed from durable, machined aluminum and has a quad-style limb design, which helps prevent the bow from shaking during aim. The Cruzer has max-preload quad limbs that provide exceptional power. Limbs attach to a zero-tolerance pivot pocket system for a locked-in fit, maximum precision, and minimum vibration.

The ready-to-hunt package with advanced accessories including Bear’s Trophy Ridge 4-pin sight, stabilizer and sling, quiver, peep sight, and nock loop.

The Cruzer’s advanced grip increases accuracy by eliminating hand torque, which allows an adjustable draw weight 5 – 70 pounds.

Bear’s MV cam system is the most versatile on the market. It allows the draw length to widely adjust from 12 in. – 30 in. The dual eccentric cam system consistently minimizes jerking for a smooth draw and release at 310 FPS. The 6.5 brace (included) helps beginners practice their aim. And the 75% let-off makes drawing and holding (aiming) easier.


  • Package accessories
  • Lightweight aluminum construction
  • ​Wide-range adjustable draw length and weight
  • ​Smooth; quiet (string suppressor and stabilizer)
  • Advanced grip design
  • Compactness is not conducive to target practice or tournament shooting
  • Bow speed may disappoint professional archers

2. Diamond Archery 2016 Edge SB-1 Compound Bow

Diamond Archery 2016 Edge SB-1 Compound Bow

The Diamond Edge SB-1 is an affordable, cutting edge hunting bow that leads in ease of use, flexibility, and adjustability. It is suitable for left-handed as well as right-handed archers. It is also the compound bow of choice for the beginner as well as the seasoned archer.

What it lacks in advanced higher priced professional bows, it makes up for in its durable, machined aluminum, sturdy and stable limb design construction. This helps prevent the bow from shaking during aim. The Edge SB-1 axle-to-axle length is 31 inches. Limbs attached to an EZ Adjust pivot pocket system minimize vibrations. Its brace height is 7 inches.

Package accessories include sight, quiver, arrow rest, peep sight, and string loop.

The Edge SB-1 is designed for comfort with a grip that fits smaller hands (adjustable draw weight). The draw weight widely adjusts according to the archer’s strength from 7 – 70 pounds.

Rotating Modules allow the draw length to widely adjust from 15 in. – 30 in. The dual eccentric cam system consistently minimizes jerking for a smooth draw and release and approximately 310 FPS (at maximum settings). The effective let-off is 80%.It generates humane kill energy at maximum setting with 350 – 425 grain arrows.

The new Edge SB-1 is powered by the Certified Bowtech Synchronized Binary Cam system, which generates speeds up to 318 FPS.


  • For beginners and adults
  • Package accessories
  • Lightweight aluminum construction
  • Wide-range adjustable draw length and weight
  • Smooth; quiet
  • ​Exceptional speed and accuracy
  • ​Black and Camo print
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Thin grip
  • No string dampener

3. Martin Archery Lithium Bow Package

Martin Archery Lithium Bow Package

The Martin Archery Lithium Bow is an affordable, sturdy, lightweight, all-around hunting and 3D bow. It offers the perfect combination of speed, stability, and smooth-glide operation for more advanced hunters looking for increased power and more features.

The Lithium ready-to-hunt package includes 3-pin and peep sights, quiver, arrow rest, loop and bow sling. Arrows are not included.

Lithium’s twin x4 limbs provide exceptional power, speed, and stability. The comfortable 33.25 in. axel length makes this an ideal bow for teens as well as adults. The (new) one-piece CNC-machined bridge riser stabilizes the x4 twin limbs. Martin’s patented Vibrations Escape system ensures a silent, shock-free shot at 335 FPS.

The Lithium’s widely-adjustable draw weight is 5 – 70 pounds. The versatile, equally-wide draw length that spans 31 in. to 38 in. allows adults and teens to comfortably pack and use this bow. A 7-inch (height) brace also helps the archer aim and guide their arrows.

The innovative Nitro 3 cam system is designed to provide a smooth and silent draw. It is adjustable so the bow can grow with its archer. This cam system also ensures that each draw is easy, sending smooth and accurate shots at speeds up to 335 FPS. The smooth, easy draw eliminates string jerks that waste shots.

The patented Martin Archery Vibrations Escape system is designed to eliminate noise and vibrations. It is a durable, lightweight carbon fiber noise suppression system (STS) that will eliminate virtually all sound and vibration for enhanced accuracy.


  • Lightweight
  • Wide-range adjustable draw length and weight
  • Smooth; quiet (STS suppressor)
  • Camo print
  • Arrows not included
  • Right Hand Only

4. SAS Rage 70 lb 30'' Compound Bow

SAS Rage 70 lb 30'' Compound Bow

Via Amazon


The very affordable, right-handed, SAS Rage 70 lb 30” Compound Bow is an easy draw and aim bow that is designed for beginners. It provides the novice with smooth and consistent performance. The SAS Rage is made of a durable combination of aluminum, fiberglass and plastic materials that withstand repeated misfires by novice archers.

The SAS Rage’s axle-to-axle length is 35 inches. The limbs are held by back a rigid tolerance pivot pocket system that forms a strong connection for enhanced accuracy. The riser is machined aluminum and provides a smooth base for more comfortable aiming. Riser cut outs provide a waffle appearance.

The parallel-designed limbs are made of durable, inexpensive fiberglass. The SAS Rage’s compressed ABS limb spans weight, balance, and strength. The dual aluminum cams allow adjustment of the draw at a comfortable weight of 55 – 70 pounds.

The SAS Sage features a durable dual eccentric cam system that makes it easy to adjust the draw length from 26 in. – 30 in. The dual eccentric cam system consistently minimizes jerking for a smooth draw and release at 270 FPS. The 70% let-off makes drawing and holding (aiming) easier.

The SAS Rage compound bow may be sold separately or with a packages that include 5-pin and peep sights, arrow rest, braided bow sling, stabilizer, and Manual. Thirty-inch carbon and aluminum arrows are recommended.

This Southland Archery Supply three year, full coverage, manufacturer’s warranty. Our warranty covers replacement/repair of defective/damaged products only, as determined by our reseller, SAS techs or RMA reps.


  • Very affordable
  • For beginners
  • Lightweight construction
  • Wide-range, adjustable draw length and weight
  • 3-yr. Manufacturer’s Warranty
  • A little heavy
  • A lesser-known manufacturer

5. FBA Service Compound Bow

FBA SERVICE COMPOUND BOW

Via Amazon


The FBA Service Compound Bow is an affordable, lightweight, aluminum, right-handed bow with a soft touch composite grip. It is a ready-to-hunt package that includes a 5-pin sight, 6pc quiver, brush arrow rest, rubber stabilizer, peep sight, D-loop assembly, limb dampers, bow release, bow stand, arrow, pullier, bowstring wax, Allen key, and carbon mix arrow.

FBA Service’s axle-to-axle length is 28 inches. The parallel-designed limbs are made of durable, inexpensive fiberglass. The SAS Rage’s compressed ABS limb spans weight, balance, and strength. It has a 7 in. base height. The riser is machined aluminum and provides a smooth base for more comfortable aiming. The dual aluminum cams allow adjustment of the draw at a comfortable draw weight of 19 – 70 pounds.

The FBA Service bow features a durable dual cam system that makes it easy to adjust the draw length from 19 in. – 30 in. The dual eccentric cam system consistently minimizes jerking for a smooth draw and release at up to 320 FPS. The 80% let-off makes drawing and holding (aiming) easier.

TOPOINT ARCHERY never authorizes anyone to sell “Compound Bow M1” on Amazon. Be sure you have selected the FBA service seller when you place your order!


  • Wide-range, adjustable draw length and weight
  • Well-balanced
  • Package accessories
  • Forest Camo finish
  • 2-yr. Warranty
  • Cheap arrows
  • No instructions

Conclusion

Compound bows are light and versatile, and designed for hunting, competition, or target practice. Each bow has its redeeming feature(s) that make it “the best” for the beginner or adult archer using it. Our top recommendation is a solid bow for the beginner as well as the higher-skilled adult.

The Diamond Archery 2016 Edge SB-1 Compound Bow is comfortably designed, ambidextrous equipment, which is equally effective for left-handed archers and right-handed archers. It is flexible and fully adjustable (draw length and draw weight). This compound bow is quiet, provides speed and accuracy, is available with a package that includes peep sight, quiver, and arrows. This compound bow has lightweight construction that is durable and long-lasting and comes with a Lifetime Warranty.

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