Compound bows are an infinitely useful and rewarding tool for hunting and recreation alike. Yet, many beginners are apprehensive to enter into the world of compound bows.
Whether this fear derives from the complex appearance of these bows or the sometimes foreign terms used to describe them, there is little reason to avoid buying your first bow.
However, there are numerous considerations you must make before purchasing your first compound bow.
What compound bow is best for a beginner? Here are some of the best beginner compound bow models, and the features and specifications you need to know about.
Last update on 2020-06-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
- 1 Best Beginner Compound Bow Reviews
- 2 Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package
- 3 Genesis Original Bow
- 4 Predator Archery Raptor Compound Hunting Bow Kit
- 5 Leader Accessories Compound Bow
- 6 Bear Archery Cruzer Lite Compound Bow
- 7 Important Considerations When Buying a Beginner Bow
- 8 Remember They Make Left and Right-Handed Models
- 9 Conclusion
Best Beginner Compound Bow Reviews
There are two different philosophies for starting a new hobby. On one hand, it makes sense to buy a cheaper “beginner” model to make sure you enjoy the hobby. Yet, there is also an argument to be made that having nice equipment from the start increases the likelihood of the hobby being a success. The Diamond Archery Infinite Edge falls into the second camp. To be clear, for a beginner compound bow, it is not particularly inexpensive. However, its price is justified.
The best aspect of the Diamond Archery Infinite Edge is its flexibility. The draw length is adjustable from 13 to 36 inches. Thus, this model is exceptionally well suited to a wide variety of body types and aiming styles. Further, this model has an adjustable draw strength, from 5 to 70 ft-lbs. This is a fantastic feature for a beginner, as it allows you to slowly develop the skills and muscle memory necessary to graduate to higher draw strengths.
Finally, the build quality of this bow is unquestionable. I’ve held bows costing twice as much that do not exhibit this level of quality. However, given the price point, I was somewhat disappointed to see that no accessories were included. Simply including a single arrow to test-fire would have been a positive touch. That said, for anyone looking for a high-quality starting point with a great deal of flexibility, this is an excellent option.
- Extremely adjustable
- Great quality
- Very precise
- No accessories included
One of the commonly perceived obstacles to entering the compound bow hobby is the high price of entry. Certainly, a shopper can spend as much money as they can imagine on equipment. However, it is not necessarily needed. The Genesis Original Bow is a basic no-frills compound bow, but it delivers admirable quality in an approachable package.
This model was designed with beginners in mind. The cam mechanism employs a unique zero let-off design, meaning that you don’t need to draw the bow to a specific distance or release it at a specific point to fire accurately. There are two ways to view this. Some of the enthusiasts I spoke with recommended against this style of bow for a beginner, as it doesn’t require newcomers to learn the proper drawing habits. Of course, they have a point. A more forgiving bow can certainly lead to a sloppier form. However, the forgiving nature of this bow allows beginners to achieve more accurate shots sooner. In my opinion, this encouragement is worth the potential trade-offs.
Beyond the offset design, other details of this model are clear nods to beginners. This is a very low draw-strength bow, with an adjustable limit between 10 and 20 pounds. Thus, even fairly young children can handle this machine. The downside to this is that the firing rate is comparatively low. To that end, this may best be classified as a target practice bow or a weapon for small game. There is a lot to like about this model, provided you have the right intentions in mind.
- Approachable price
- High quality
- Very easy to learn
- Low fire-speed
- May teach bad habits
One of the challenges of getting into the compound bow hobby is the confusing amount of accessories and components that are needed. Making sure you get the right combination of arrows, sights, and rests can be an intimidating prospect. Removing this confusion is the largest advantage of the Predator Archery Raptor. Make no mistake, this is an excellent bow. The frame is an innovative but well-conceived design. The fit and finish are excellent. And the specs are superb as well. With a 315 feet per second fire speed, this is a serious tool.
Yet, the highlight here is the comprehensive nature of the kit. For the price of admission, you don’t simply get the bow. Rather, you get the bow, a complement of arrows, an arrow rest, a quiver, and a sight. Thus, this set makes for a no-stress one-stop-shop experience. This is also a very adaptable bow. The draw weight can be varied from 30 to 70 pounds, while the draw length ranges from 24 to 31”. In short, this is a bow that can grow and change with the user.
While this won’t be confused for an expert bow, it represents a fantastic value prospect. If you are on the fence about entering the world of compound bows, this is a great method for getting started quickly without undue complications.
- Comprehensive kit
- Good quality
- Arrows aren’t the highest quality
- No sight included
Reviewing compound bows, especially in the entry-level price point, can be a difficult process. The issue is that there are so many good options that an otherwise good bow can get penalized for falling just short of perfection. That is the case with the Leader Accessories bow. Standing on its own, it is far from being a bad product. The manufacturing quality is excellent, and the design is elegant albeit traditional. However, this bow lacks any superlatives to push it into the category of excellence.
For a beginner model, the specs of the Leader are perfectly adequate. It has an adjustable draw weight from 30 to 55 lbs, a draw length from 19-29”, and a fairly respectable firing speed of 296. Yet, this model is somewhat expensive for the category. Further, there isn’t a kit. You get the bow and nothing else. In short, there isn’t anything bad to say about this bow. But with so many other superb options, I struggle to recommend it.
- Well made
- Fairly adjustable
- Slightly expensive
- Nothing extraordinary
I am a proponent of the idea that instant gratification is a fantastic way to keep a hobby from fizzling out. If results are seen quickly, a person is more likely to stick with the hobby and pursue it further. For that reason, the Bear Archery Cruzer is a fantastic choice for a beginner bow. This is one of the easiest to aim compound bows I have ever used. The draw-strength is adjustable, but in any setting, the bow delivered progressive and predictable shots. Further, this bow can be down-tuned to extremely effortless draw weights and distances to make it easy to start on a high note. Yet, as your skills progress, this can become a formidable weapon.
At its most aggressive settings, this bow can deliver up to 315 feet per second of firing speed from a 45-pound draw strength. That’s an impressive performance for any bow. Yet, my concern here is the complexity of setup. There are a significant number of settings to tweak and alignments to verify. To a novice, this would be an intimidating prospect. I enjoyed my time with this bow and was consistently impressed by its performance. However, I suspect this may be a better choice as a second or third bow, once you have the basics out of the way.
- Great performance
- Very adjustable
- Good value
- Complex setup
- Nothing included in kit
Important Considerations When Buying a Beginner Bow
What makes the best beginner compound bow? Unlike simple wooden bows, compound bows can be extremely complex devices.
A simple glance at a compound bow will clearly show what marvels of engineering these devices have become. Yet, with this complexity comes many features you need to consider. Here are the top concepts to know about when shopping for the best beginner bow.
Remember They Make Left and Right-Handed Models
The vast majority of weapons and equipment are ambidextrous in nature. Thus, it might seem odd to have to choose a compound bow that reflects your dominant hand. Yet, most compound bows are available in left and right-handed models.
Some models can be converted for either use, while others cannot. Make sure you find a model that fits your particular needs.
Find a Compound Bow with the Right Length
Beginner shoppers often overlook the height of the bow or the axle-to-axle length. However, this is an important factor in the use and convenience of the bow. The inherent complexity of a compound bow means that many models are quite large.
This excess size can make the bow difficult to handle and awkward to aim in confined spaces. Further, if the bow is to be used for hunting, an excessively large bow can make certain locations difficult to aim from. While there is no hard and fast rule, a bow that is under 15” in height is a good baseline for a beginner. If you can, try to handle a bow before purchasing it.
The weight and balance of a compound bow can be distinctly different than a gun. Thus, even if you are an avid hunter, you may not know your preferences when it comes to bows. Different bows can be weighted differently and feature disparate grip angles.
Ultimately, there is no “right” layout or dimension. The important thing is finding a bow that makes you comfortable.
Many people mistakenly think that camouflage is only an aesthetic choice. Yet, in many contexts, it is a functional consideration as well. Camouflage is not as simple to design as one might think. Rather, it is a complex art form that few companies invest the time into getting right.
If you intend to use a bow for hunting, it is important to find one that has a well-designed camouflage pattern that is well suited to your hunting environment.
Of course, the optimal pattern will vary depending on your location, the time of year, and the animal you are pursuing.
The best course here is to ask local hunters what they have found to work best. Most enthusiasts are more than happy to help any beginner who is willing to learn, so a few simple questions can unearth a wealth of knowledge.
Find a Full-Featured Set
Buying a compound bow can be an expensive proposition. Thus, it is frustrating that the bow itself is not the only expense. In addition to the bow, a beginner will need to purchase arrows and a quiver.
Further, many enthusiasts consider a basic sight to be an essential hunting accessory. When shopping for a bow, pay careful attention to what is included with each model. Many manufacturers include a comprehensive starter kit, which makes the transition from novice to competent hunter a much speedier and cost-effective process.
Even though you are likely to upgrade down the line, having a one-stop-shop to get started is a great approach.
As mentioned above, a sight is often considered to be an essential piece of equipment for a compound bow. Because of the increased weight and complexity of a bow, the process of aiming can present a steeper learning curve as compared to a gun.
Thus, in the interest of facilitating productive practice and minimizing frustration, it is a good idea to purchase a bow sight from the start.
Don’t Underestimate the Firing Speed
When shopping for a beginner compound bow, don’t make the mistake of underestimating the importance of high firing speed. When used for hunting, it is crucial to have a bow that can finish the job efficiently.
A weak bow can wound an animal without killing it, creating a dangerous situation for both the animal and the hunter. Thus, even if you are buying a compound bow for beginners, make sure to buy one with sufficient power.
Generally, a bow with a firing speed of at least 300 feet per second is required for confident hunting. However, this number may need to be high depending on the game you are tracking.
There can be a lot of complexity when it comes to choosing a beginner compound bow. Yet, with a little research and knowledge, it does not have to be an intimidating prospect. All factors considered, what is the best compound bow for a beginner?
From our testing, one clear winner emerged. The best beginner compound bow is the Predator Archery Raptor. While it is a class-winner in any specific performance metric, it represented a solid value and a well-performing bow. But the comprehensiveness of the kit was what truly won us over.
The ability to make one purchase and be practicing immediately is a great attribute for any beginner model, and that was the ultimate deciding factor.
Regardless of which you choose, compound bows are a fantastically rewarding hobby that you shouldn’t hesitate to try.
- LIMITED TIME SALE: Draw length adjustable 24.5-31" and draw weight 30-70 lbs without needing a bow press.
- Cams are fully machined aluminum with ZERO plastic found in many other bows in this price range
- This bow has a axle to axle length of 30" and weighs 3.6 lbs. It also sports a best in class 315 ft per second when at max settings with a 350 grain arrow.
- Good Quality accessories make this bow an easy purchase; this kit package includes a 5 pin sight with light and level, biscuit style rest, stabilizer, 4 arrow quiver, and string stop. Peep sight and d-loop come pre-installed. NOW INCLUDES an allen wrench set and 2' paper target with 10 point scoring.(DOES NOT INCLUDE ARROWS)
- Compound design allows for 75% of the weight to be let off, if you pull 70 lbs you only have to hold 17.5 lbs! The Raptor also features a split yoke tuning system, allowing for precise adjustments and proper arrow flight.
Last update on 2020-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API