Best Traditional Bows – 2020 Top Picks Reviewed and Rated

Bows are one of the classic equipment in the world of archery and bowhunting. This instinctive sport requires plenty of patience, practice, and commitment. Therefore, a good bow only helps you level the learning curve.

Purchasing a quality, well-designed bow that is built to fit personalized needs and enhance one’s skill is an essential step for succeeding in this endeavor. Not only will such bows allow you to have a thrill but also help you enjoy your experience in traditional bow hunting. To find yourself a good traditional bow, continue reading below for the best options available today.

You will also find useful information regarding the history of archery, the types of bows as well as a brief guide on what features to consider when buying one.

Comparison of the Best Traditional Bows

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Best overall with hard maple limbs and fiberglass
  • Pre-installed brass brushing for quiver, stabilizer, and sight.
  • Metal limb pocket design and includes B-50 bowstring and arrow rest
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  • Made of 4 high-quality kinds of wood
  • Contains pre-installed threaded bushings
  • Available for left and right-hand use, making it the runner up
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  • Smooth drawing limbs
  • Available for left and right-hand use
  • Best traditional longbow with a reflex-deflex design
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  • 28 inches draw length
  • 30-50 lbs. draw weight
  • Best traditional bow for hunting with a fiberglass limb
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  • Best for beginners
  • Pre-installed brass bushings
  • Maple lamination and fiberglass limb
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  • Best Traditional Mongolian Bow
  • Constructed from traditional wood and other trusted materials
  • Draw weight ranging between 20 to 110 lbs
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  • Best Martin Traditional Bow
  • Integrated vibration reduction technology provides smoother action
  • Made with thermal elite grip for improved comfort
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What is Traditional Archery?

Traditional archery is simply a sport that requires the use of only a bow and arrows. It is one of the primal practices and was used as a means of food, protection, and survival. In this modern time, when everything is gradually being replaced by technology, archery is a way to step back into our roots and come in contact with nature.

In short, it is a raw style of arrow shooting. This sport involves the use of no other device or gadget to improve target precision and requires ample focus. It is only with time and practice that archers eventually achieve incredible levels of accuracy.

How Does a Traditional Bow Compare to Other Types of Bows?

Today, for every item, we have a variety of different options to choose from. It could be in terms of its shape, design, and function and so forth. Similarly, there are many different types of bows; each of them manufactured to suit different levels of proficiency and requirements. The most common ones are recurve, compound, and of course, the traditional bows.

A traditional bow has the basic, half-moon shape, and a straight grip. It is also thin and is difficult to torque, allowing a much straighter shot. With these bows, your entire attention is concentrated at your target.

The recurve bow has more of a ‘3’ shape. This shape gives this bow more strength and power and hence, allows the arrow to shoot faster. It is also thicker than a traditional bow and can be used by users with poorer forms.

The compound bow, on the other hand, is much more complex and complicated. It is equipped with a system of cables and strings and pulleys, which can be quite confusing and intimidating for a beginner. Although it is extremely accurate, it is difficult to understand and requires a certain level of skill.

This review largely focuses on traditional and recurve bows.

How to Choose a Traditional Bow

When it comes to ensuring you get the best one, the following factors have to be kept in mind.

Brace Height 

Brace height is basically the distance from the deepest part of the bow to the string. This is an important feature as it is responsible for the speed at which the arrow is shot. The lesser the brace height, the faster the arrow will shoot. It is recommended to start with 1/12 of the height and then make changes according to your own preference.

Draw Weight and Length

These two are a measurement that you should definitely be aware of when buying any kind of bow. Draw weight is the weight you pull when drawing, while the draw length is the distance between the grip and the nock point. Draw weight and draw length are usually dependent on each other and need to be put into consideration when buying.

Quality

You only want the best quality bows. Due to traditional bows consisting of wood and string, it is necessary that you invest in one that is not fragile and will not get easily damaged. A good quality unit will not only enhance your overall experience but will also last you for a long time.

Your Purpose 

Although traditional bows can be used for more or less everything, it is good to find one that is constructed for a specific task such as field archery, etc. It all depends on your chosen discipline and carrying out appropriate research before making a purchase.

Quick Take | Best Traditional Bows

Review of the Best Traditional Bows

Listed below are reviews of the best traditional bows that you can find today. Not only are they high quality and functional, but they also have amazing performance that will surely give you pleasurable hunting sessions.

Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow

PROS

  • High-quality bow that fulfills its purpose
  • Has black fiberglass that makes it look attractive
  • Includes a B-50 bowstring as well as an arrow rest
  • Made of strong maple wood to make sure it remains good for a long time
  • Has brass brushing for brass Plungers, quiver, and stabilizer already installed 

CONS

  • The original string is a bit too long
  • Requires work and effort to make it fit for use

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers are impressed by the quality and beauty of this item. It is said to be extremely accurate with a good grip. It's a sturdy piece of equipment that not only looks good to use but is also good to work with.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This has a lot of options to allow the user to add in accessories such as sight rings, etc. This feature is very helpful in improving aim and targeting when you need additional gear to get a perfect shot.

Who Will Use This Most

This Samick Sage arrow is a perfect piece for beginners. It is simple and easy to use as well as comes at a quite reasonable price. It makes for a great initial purchase for those new to the world of archery and requiring plenty of practice.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The string is quite long and needs to be fixed onto the bow. Instead of the user twisting the string and trying to make the product to work for them, it could have a suitable string length that works well for everyone.

Bottom Line

This is a great model that is equipped with all the necessary features of a good bow. Apart from its slight drawback, that although it could be fixed by oneself, it is a good purchase for a low amount. It is a sturdy piece that is fun to use.

Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow – Compact Fast Accurate 62' Hunting & Target Bow – Right & Left Hand – Draw Weights in 20-60 lb – Beginner to Intermediate - USA Company

PROS

  • Draw weights are 20 lb to 60 lb with 5 lb increments
  • Can be used by left and right-handed people 
  • Another high-quality bow that performs its function well
  • Strong and sturdy as it is made out of natural wood yet quite light weight
  • Features pre-installed bushings for various accessories such as sights and quivers

CONS

  • Arrow rest on this is cheap plastic that is susceptible to falling apart quickly

What Recent Buyers Report

People have enjoyed using this bow and also recommend it to others. Users found it easy to use and assemble as well as it is quite an attractive item. It feels strong and has a firm grip while being accurate as well. It carries all the features of a good bow.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It is a high-quality unit that matches the strength and performance of bows from other more expensive and popular brands. It is highly suited to its function and has incredible accuracy and precision. It is also very lightweight, that makes it easy to use and easier to handle.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great item for beginners as well as habitual archers. Not only is it easy to use, but it is also quite lightweight. Moreover, it can be used by both left and right-handed folks for increased ease of use and compatibility.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The stringer tool is quite flimsy and tends to break quickly. As a result, it can potentially cause injuries to the user if it breaks during use. Therefore, the stringer tool needs to be made out of a better, stronger material to prevent such incidents.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is a strong, firm bow that is quite liked and enjoyed by the users. It is easy to use and assemble. Being lightweight, it can also be used by newbies and people who are not so muscular, therefore being user-friendly.

PROS

  • Smooth drawing limbs make the bow quick and stable
  • The reflex-deflex system improves hunting arrow performance
  • Features a rough-out leather grip and an arrow shelf for ease of use
  • Can be used by both left and right-handed users to allow all users to make use of it
  • Bear’s Archery is a popular name with quality products 

CONS

  • The design of this product may not be liked by all users

What Recent Buyers Report

This traditional bow by Bears Archery is considered to be a complete package. It is equipped with the best of features that make the hunting/shooting session a pleasurable experience. It is strong, accurate, yet quiet, making it one of the best traditional bows out there.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The most unique feature of this is its reflex-deflex system. This feature eliminates hand shock that most archers experience with other regular bows. As a result, they are able to maintain a firmer grip on it and bring about an enhanced hunting performance.

Who Will Use This Most

Bears Archery is not a new name in the world of archery. Therefore, this has numerous fans and users everywhere. It makes for a good initial bow for amateurs to start out with while skilled archers can also enjoy the comfort and thrill provided by it.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The notches that are equipped with the bow are not capable enough to hold the string. As a result, it causes poor results. Therefore, the notches that come with the package need to be improved to enhance overall user experience.

Bottom Line

This is a great product and is bound to win the hearts of all its users. It is good to use and falls well to the hand. Moreover, it is shaped well to allow a firmer grip with your leading hand to bring about accurate, consistent shots.

Best Traditional Bow for Hunting:
TOPARCHERY Traditional Recurve Bow 53”

TOPARCHERY Traditional Recurve Bow 53'' Archery Hunting Handmade Horse bow Longbow 50 lbs

PROS

  • It is also pre-strung to make it easy to use for newbies
  • The draw weight and length are a suitable measurement to fit all needs
  • Made out of fiberglass, giving it a strong limb that can endure shocks

CONS

  • The riser quickly separates from the limb upon usage and breaks, making it almost unfit for use

What Recent Buyers Report

Although most users liked this item and seem to enjoy using it, there are a few unsatisfied buyers who are disappointed with it. It is largely praised for its ease of use and outward appearance but takes negative points for its poor construction.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This bow by TOPARCHERY is pre-strung, which means it is prepared for use as soon as you open it. Moreover, this feature is also great for people who are new to the world of archery and don’t really have any know-how of how to string and unstring a bow.

Who Will Use This Most

This traditional bow is a perfect starting model for beginners who need ample practice before they get the hang of the sport. It is also a good choice for people who are shorter, thinner, and not so muscular and would otherwise struggle with other types.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Although the limbs are fiberglass, the ends are wood which is stuck to the limb with glue and a nylon string. This makes the bow somewhat unsafe and unstable. It is important that manufacturers improve this feature and make it suitable enough for use.

Bottom Line

Despite being a good start-off bow, this item is not for serious archers. It is a good investment for occasional shooters or amateurs as it is fairly cheap. It can, however, make for a good wall hanger that is used now and again as it is a stylish traditional bow.

TOPARCHERY Traditional Recurve Bow 53'' Archery Hunting Handmade Horse bow Longbow 50 lbs

PROS

  • Stylish design and appearance
  • Available for left and right-hand use
  • Perfect for people shorter than 5'4"
  • The pre-installed brass bushings allow easy carrying of a stabilizer, sights, etc
  • Made out of strong maple lamination and fiberglass that give it both strength and flexibility

CONS

  • The string is prone to unraveling quickly
  • Does not come with an arrow rest

What Recent Buyers Report

Much of the feedback from users is all about praising the product. Many loved the design of this item while most considered it makes for a great gift for young children who hold an interest in the world of archery.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The recommended shooter height for this bow is less than 5’4". This means the youth and shorter people who often struggle with regular longbows can now find themselves a traditional bow that fits their needs best. It is comfortable to use and firm to hold for everyone.

Who Will Use This Most

This seems to be the most suitable for children. It makes for a great product for beginners as well as shorter folks with an average build. The draw length and weight are also suitable and comfortable enough for the targeted audience and is, therefore, enjoyed by those who use it.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The package lacks an instruction manual that helps people assemble it easily. As a result, most users who were handling a bow for the first time struggled with putting the bow together and had to do it several times or require help from others.

Bottom Line

This is a fun bow for everyone, particularly children. It is highly recommended due to its sturdy build, ease of use, and good looks. It makes for a great initial bow as well as a gift for friends and family.

Best Traditional Mongolian Bow:
Longbowmaker Pigskin Handmade Manchu Bow

PROS

  • Suited for novice and professional archers
  • Comes with an instruction manual to help you learn how to string properly
  • Efficient design for both right and left-handed shooters; versatility as its best
  • Made with premium materials; Glass steel, pig hide, cow skin, and beech wood
  • Standard measurements, so can be used in a variety of sports and hunts

CONS

  • Leather wrapping won’t hold in the rain
  • Unlike the bow itself, the bow ends aren’t of high quality

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the frequent buyers are professional hunters, and according to them, this item is the perfect thing for their arsenal. Apart from the bowheads that feel slightly cheap, they love the whole thing. It stretches nicely and balances well. Most buyers agree on one thing that it’s an excellent product for the money.

Why it Stands Out to Us

With an item like this, the two most important things are the balance and the material. The high-quality of this material stands out, and the balance is so good that most amateur archers can learn with this bow very easily. Moreover, you will not experience hand shock with it.

Bottom Line

Every archer or hunter needs the very best in his arsenal, and this item is the very best to the core. Longbowmaker bows are handmade from high quality and fine material. It’s efficient, fast, and delivers high performance, low hand shock.

Hungarian Style Handmade Longbow Flagella Recurve Horsebow Archery 30-60LBS H1 (50 LB)

PROS

  • The instruction book is helpful to learn how to string it
  • Handmade, high-quality product
  • High-Quality bow that performs its function well
  • Draw weight and length are suitable to fit all needs
  • Wood, cow leather, and glass steel construction guarantees strength  

CONS

  • The bowstring is quite cheap and almost useless

What Recent Buyers Report

Most users appreciate this product for its build, function, and overall performance. It is said to be a quality item that has incredible accuracy and precision. The draw length and weight are also comfortable enough for use by everyone.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This traditional recurve bow allows extremely accurate shots. Accuracy is quite an important factor when it comes to archery and hence, needs to be considered when choosing a bow. This item is very consistent in its function and allows impressive shooting sessions.

Who Will Use This Most

This traditional bow works well for most archers. They could either be beginners or dedicated archers who have been involved in the sport for quite some time. It is suitable for use for almost everyone, provided they are aware of the basics of using one.

What Could be Improved and Why

The bowstrings are very low quality, and most users have replaced them with newer, better ones, which means extra costs. Therefore, improved bowstrings should be added to this product by the manufacturer to make it a perfect product. This would make more people like and purchase this item.

Bottom Line

This Hungarian style traditional longbow is a great product provided that its bowstrings are made better. Apart from this faulty feature, it is a fairly good item that provides value for the money you pay for it as well as looks good to use.

Best Martin Traditional Bow:
Martin Archery 3503AM40 Saber Elite

PROS

  • Promises versatility and comes in four varied finishes
  • Practical and comfortable Thermal Elite Grip for ease of use
  • Designed with a durable riser for added efficiency and comfort
  • Specially made for right-handed shooters to maximize their potential
  • Designed with integrated vibration escape modules that reduce vibration for fast and smooth shooting

CONS

  • Might feel heavy to some shooters
  • Can only be used by right-handed shooters

What Recent Buyers Report

The make and comfort level of the product is what is most praised by the buyers; all recent buyers have loved it. There is only a slight issue that this is only for right-handed shooters. But this is mostly to enhance the skills of right-handed shooters.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are many things that stand out with this product; the first thing is the vibration reducer. High vibration can cause your shot to miss your target, but with a low vibration bow, you can aim adequately and get a smooth shot every time you hunt. It’s also made out of high-quality material, so it’s both durable and reliable.

Bottom Line

All in all, if you need a high-quality item, this unit should be your first choice. The many qualities in it not only make this perfect for hunting, but the high-profile design will also look great on your wall.

Buffalo Hunting Bow and Arrow Handmade Recurve Horsebow Longbow (60lbs)

PROS

  • Low, reasonable price for a great product
  • Strong, sturdy bow that will surely stay firm for a long time
  • Can be used by left and right-handed people, making it user-friendly
  • The draw weight and length are a suitable measurement to fit all needs
  • Made of wood and fiberglass with a red cobra skin cover gives it a nice appearance

CONS

  • White decoration tape comes off
  • Fairly smaller in size that makes it cheap to the touch

What Recent Buyers Report

Many users absolutely love this item and seem to enjoy it in terms of its looks, performance, and overall function. People commended its smooth draw and release while the others are simply mesmerized by the stylish snakeskin pattern. It is a product that you will surely receive compliments on.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The red cobra skin cover is a stylish feature of this bow. Not only is this bow easy to use and provides satisfactory results, but its classy appearance also makes it look good. It is decorated with white bands and stripes that show that the manufacturers have put in effort in the bow’s performance, and appearance.

Who Will Use This Most

This bow can be used by anyone and everyone. From beginners to professionals to archery enthusiasts, it is a piece of excellent archery equipment for everyone. Its strong build allows it to stay in good condition for a longer time and hence, please all users.

What Could be Improved and Why

The only drawback of this item is that it lacks an arrow rest. This feature is important to a few archers and hence, would be difficult to use by them. Therefore, the addition of an arrow rest would make this product suitable for everyone, particularly children.

Bottom Line

This bow by Buffalo Hunting is a great item. It is strong and sturdy, compact as well as stylish. All of these qualities make it look like an expensive piece of equipment, whereas it is available at a very affordable price.

Traditional Archery Tips, Tricks, and Hacks For Success

Having an excellent shot with a traditional bow is a matter of time, effort, patience as well as technique. However, every sport has a backdoor that we call tips and hacks. By using tips and hacks, you can become successful and refine your technique.

Here are some tips and hacks for success in archery, according to the masters of the sport.

The Weight of the Bow

All bows weigh differently. If you are a novice, start with a lightweight traditional bow to refine your technique and work on your form. Starting with a heavy one will develop improper form and poor shooting habits that are very hard to rectify.

Refine Your Form

Most people, when talking about refining the form when practicing shooting, would tell you to build back tension by bringing your shoulder together, but that’s not how it works. 

The easiest way to build back tension is to go full draw, then imagine someone’s hand on your elbow and push that away. This will build back tension. All this while, do not move your hand from the item.

Aim

Instinctive shoot never works; always keep your mind at aiming. You will become more consistent when you start properly aiming. Come to full draw, align your body, and see your target with one eye. In your peripheral vision, keep your bow in as your focus point. Always keep your arrowhead directly below the target to strike it right in the center.

Longbowmaker Pigskin Handmade Manchu Bow

Pros and Cons of Traditional Bows

Regardless of being a pro or a beginner, it’s always beneficial to learn the pros and cons of bows that you have used or may use in the future. Here are several pros and cons of traditional bows that will help you make a profitable decision.

Pros

Let’s first go through the advantages:

Beginner-Friendly

A traditional item is perfect for beginners, as it is light and efficient. Novice archers can really polish their form on a traditional bow. It is also pretty thin, and you can aim better with it.

Easy Release

With a traditional bow, it’s easy to take an aim and shoot. The long string of the traditional bow spreads out the energy; this results in easy release and smooth shooting. This is the quality that makes the long bow or traditional bow gentle on a hunter or archer.

Cons

Some limitations, however, include:

Hand Shock

The residual energy, after the shot is taken, is called hand shock. A traditional bow’s biggest con is the hand shock. Most of the energy in the string goes in the arrow and propels it forwards when you take a shot. However, a bit of it reverts back and sends a wave of vibration through the body of the archer.

How to Aim and Shoot a Traditional Bow

Men have used bow and arrows for thousands of years now for hunting and sustenance. Nowadays, more than hunting, bow, and arrows are used for sports like archery. If you are a beginner, read through the following steps to learn the basics of aiming and shooting. 

Aiming

For aiming, you need to first learn how to nock your arrow. Place the arrow on the arrow rest of your bow and your arrow’s nock to the bowstring. This helps you nock the arrow securely. The locator is important as it will give you consistency with your shooting.

If you are a left-handed shooter, place the bow in your right hand, and vice versa. Your knuckles should create a 45-degree angle to the bow grip; this is how you know you have mastered the grip.

Draw full-length and build back tension before resealing your arrow. While aiming, make sure you have your arrow pointed directly under the target.

Shooting

Once you have drawn back and your eye is on the target, keep steady and keep your body aligned. Let go of the string; the arrow will propel forward and hit the target. The game doesn’t end here; you need to follow through so that all the energy is transmitted to the arrow. Once you have released the arrow, let your string hand go back to your ears.

If there are any confusions, refer to the shooting video given below and satisfy your qualms.

Conclusion

With the skills and the will to learn, traditional archery is the most basic form that one could indulge in. Traditional bows are also one of the easiest types of bows available today. Using this review of the best traditional bows, you can also find one for yourself or for someone you know and have the joys of this amazing sport.

People Also Ask

Starting a new sport is never easy; you need all the proper equipment as well as a lot of practice. Our guide and review will help you select the best bow for shooting. However, you can also learn from the experience of other archers by checking out the frequently asked questions below.

What Do Numbers on Traditional Bow Mean?

The numbers on a bow tell you the measurements. For example, if it says

#28”

#30/66”

This means that the bow is 28 inches, which is standard, 30 is the weight of the bow, whereas 66” is the draw. It’s very easy to decipher the numbers on the item.

What is the Difference Between a Traditional and Olympic Recurve Bow

That’s pretty simple. With a traditional bow, the archer relies on his technique rather than the bow and the arrow as they aren’t known for their accuracy and efficiency. Meanwhile, Olympic recurve bows are more advanced versions of a traditional one. They emphasize more on the accuracy, speed, and power rather than the skills of the archer.

Why Use Traditional Archery?

Traditional bows in archery are best suited for novice and beginners. This is the reason they are used by people who are learning the art of archery. You can really learn the form, practice your aim, and build your strength with traditional bows. It’s like learning to drive in a manual car rather than an auto one.

How Long Does it Take to Restring a Traditional Bow?

If you have the strings handy, it takes about 15 minutes to restring the bow. However, it can take several weeks for the strings to arrive if you have ordered new ones.

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