Best Beginner Compound Bows of 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

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Bows are another standard weapon often used for hunting. Today’s compound bows are very versatile and require a good amount of practice before testing them out on the field for a hunting season.

Compound bows are sturdy and make for a reliable choice of weapon. They often vary in draw weight, so it may be difficult to find the perfect option for your particular hunting style and preference.

Luckily, this article will be all about compound bows, specifically the best for beginners.

Comparison Chart of the Best Beginner Compound Bows

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Draw length of 19 to 30 inches
  • Many additional accessories included
  • Draw weight between 15 and 70 pounds
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  • Six Trophy Ridge accessories included
  • Grip design for a stable and smooth draw
  • String suppressor to help eliminate unwanted noise and vibration
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  • Accessory kit included
  • Best compound bow for the money
  • Well built, solid construction for versatile use
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  • Peep sight and d-loop pre-installed
  • Split yoke tuning system for precise adjustments
  • Shoots up to 325 feet per second at max settings
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  • Features 80% let-off
  • Adjustable draw weight of 10 to 50 pounds
  • Aluminum bow riser and CNC milling bow cam
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  • Minimal recoil and noise produced
  • Single-cam technology to prevent tuning issues
  • No specific draw length requirement so it can’t be outgrown
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  • Integrated stabilizer gives best balance and steadier shot
  • Draws adjustable weight from 5 to 70 lbs of force
  • Arrow accelerates to up to 310 ft/sec
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  • Best for Deer Hunting
  • Gives you high quality experience and durability
  • Compressed ABS limb span balance for clear and perfect shot
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What is a Compound Bow?

Compound bows are a form of modern archery; they use a levering system that allows it to bend the limbs. This system is usually made from cables and pulleys, and it grants the user a mechanical advantage.

Their limbs are also much stiffer than the limbs of a recurve bow or a longbow. The rigidity of a compound bow makes it very energy efficient, allowing less energy to dissipate in limb movement, which makes for powerful controlled energy upon impact with a target.  

What to Look For When Buying a Bow

Hunting is a growing sport and one of the biggest segments of growth is archery. Bowhunter numbers are rising for many reasons. Quality equipment is one of them. Even entry level bows are more than capable of performing well in the field. If you’re thinking about buying your first bow, there are a few things to think about before pulling out your wallet.

Pro Shop or Big Box Store

A lot of people buy bows from big box stores or online catalogs. Many of them undoubtedly have good experiences doing so. However, in my opinion, the best place for a beginner to buy their first bow is an archery pro shop. Stop in and visit with staff members and get a feel for what the environment is like. Let them know you’re new to the sport and would like to try some bows out. They should be happy to help you. New customers are vital to their business. Let them know what your price range is up front so they’re not showing you top of the line bows if you’re only looking to spend $500. The big difference between a pro shop and a big box store is setup. Most shops will help you get your bow dialed in for you. At most big box stores you get just that, a big box.

Budget

Speaking of money, what you’re willing to spend will have a big effect on your choices. Being new to the sport, you will need a bow, arrows, a release, accessories like a sight, quiver, arrow rest, and probably a case. If you plan to shoot on your own, you will also need a target. Many shops and manufacturers have entry level packages to get you started. A smart shopper can find all of these things for around $500. An extra hundred or two will get you more midlevel products. If you’re trying to decide what to spend extra on, put the money in the bow. You can always upgrade the accessories down the road as you go.

Bow

Again, generally the more money you can spend, the better bow you will end up with. But this doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to get started. My first bow package was just under $400. That cheap bow killed two deer in it’s first season. The pro shop will help you find your draw length. When it comes to draw weight, I think 60 pounds is the ideal weight for most men. Women and youth should go lighter. If you can pull back more, great but comfort is important. Remember, what feels good in a 70 degree pro shop may not feel so good at ten degrees in a tree stand. A less aggressive cam is smoother and allows for more let off. This will come in handy as you get started in archery.

Accessories

The arrow rest may be the most important accessory for your bow. It holds the arrow as it flies off the bow and heads downrange. Fall away rests are very popular with experienced archers due to their top end accuracy. However, they may not be the best choice for beginners. Whisker biscuit rests are probably on more bows than fall away rests and are virtually idiot proof.

Fiber optic sights are the industry norm. More fiber optic material usually means a brighter sight in low light. If you plan to deer hunt with the bow, low light sensitivity is vital. Experienced archers like a lot of pins in their sights. For beginners, I recommend a three pin sight. This gives you a 20, 30, and 40 yard pin. Most novice archers can’t shoot further than 40 yards and the extra pins will just complicate things.

The stabilizer on most entry level bows is four to six inches long and protrudes out from the front of the bow. The purpose is to balance the bow. Try to get a stabilizer with most of it’s weight at the end that’s furthest from the bow.

release helps you pull the bow back consistently. A loop should be tied into the bowstring for you to attach your release. A buckle style release is quieter and will aid in keeping your anchor point the same shot after shot. A single jaw release is usually more accurate, but also more expensive. If you can afford a single jaw release go for it, but most archers have used dual jaw releases effectively for years.

A lot of archers still use aluminum arrows but the market is now dominated by carbon arrows. Have the pro shop staff help you pick out an arrow that is right for your bow and your budget.

How to Choose Your First Compound Bow

With a variety out on the market, all featuring different benefits, it may be difficult to decide on a bow right off the bat. Take into account what you want to get out one, and what will work best in the long-run. Consider a few key features below that may help with the decision.

Draw Weight

When we talk about draw weight, it is referring to how much applied pressure is needed in order to pull the arrow back. The amount of applied pressure will depend on upper body strength and leverage, so it’s important to be familiar with your own strength and to know what kind of draw weight you can handle comfortably.

Weight

Weight is a very important thing to consider, especially for someone new to using these. How much the bow itself weighs should be taken into account before purchasing because you have to consider traveling with it, and one that is strenuous to carry over time wouldn’t be ideal for a hunting trip.

Material

Durable material is always a plus, as it will last through continuous use and will hold up against the external environment. Fiberglass, aluminum, carbon, and other materials are commonly used as materials, so consider the durability of each and their ability to withstand the natural elements and damage caused by consistent use.

Quick Take | Best Beginner Compound Bows

Just looking for the top three best beginner compound bows? Here they are:

  1. XGeek Compound Bow
  2. Bear Archery Cruzer G2
  3. Leader Accessories Compound Bow

Review of the Best Beginner Compound Bows

There are many great options for compound bows for beginners, and they are offered by a variety of companies and well-known brands. To help narrow your search, we’ve compiled a list of what we think are the best based on their overall quality and price.

Best Overall:
 XGeek Compound Bow

XGEEK Compound Bow,Compound Hunting Bow Kit,CNC Milling Bow Riser,Limbs Made in USA,19'-30' Draw Length,19-70Lbs Draw Weight,Up to 320FPS, (2 Years Warranty)

PROS

  • Extremely accurate
  • Light but well constructed
  • Easy to assemble accessories
  • Easy to adjust in terms of draw weight and draw length

CONS

  • Some tips screw off easily
  • Some extra parts don’t seem to fit anywhere on the bow

The XGeek Compound Bow features an aluminum riser, CNC milling, and durable limbs. This package includes a compound bow, an arrow quiver, 24-inch by 30-inch carbon mix arrows, one braided bowstring, a rubber stabilizer, and other items, making it a package worth the price.

This model has a draw weight between 15 and 70 pounds, making it versatile to a variety of users. A draw length of 19 to 30 inches also allows for adjustability to best fit the user.

The adjustability of this makes it perfect for beginners, and the package ensures that almost every item needed for a beginner is provided. The material is sturdy and durable, and the bow is able to shoot accurately from a distance.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is very much worth the higher price since you are getting a quality bow and a great kit that would be perfect for anyone new or experienced. The kit includes a variety of accessories, and the bow itself is easily adjustable to fit the preference and capabilities of the users.

Some of the tips tend to screw off easily, so make sure you have tools to properly tighten them. This model is accurate and relatively easy to assemble. It is constructed from an aluminum limb, and is lightweight but has a sturdy build.

Bear Archery Cruzer G2 RTH Compound Bow - Kryptek Highlander - Right Hand

PROS

  • Very user-friendly
  • Adjustable features
  • Consistent and accurate shot
  • Smooth, easy to shoot and set up

CONS

  • Some parts loosen easily and fall off

The Bear Archery Cruzer G2 is equipped with six Trophy Ridge accessories, including a four-pin sight, a 5-arrow quiver, a nock loop, and more. This bow is very adjustable and perfect for new or experienced users to handle. The draw length is adjustable between 12 to 20 inches, and the draw weight ranges between 5 to 70 pounds. All adjustments to this bow can be made using an Allen wrench, and there is no need to purchase a bow press.

This compound bow only weighs three pounds, making it an item that is easy to carry during a hunt. It is capable of firing arrows at 315 feet per second, and the super smooth draw cycle allows it to fire smoothly.

The grip design allows you to hold your bow securely for a more stable draw and shoot, enhancing the accuracy of this item. The Endura Fiber Limbs give the user controlled power, and the RockStops offset string suppressor helps aid in eliminating unwanted vibration and noise.

Bottom Line

This item is of good quality and is able to provide the user with all the functions of a good compound bow. The draw length and draw weight are adjustable, making this a great option for a new user who is inexperienced in handling a compound bow.

The Cruzer is very easy to adjust, though some parts loosen easily so make sure to have an Allen wrench on hand to keep everything tightened and secure. Features such as the Endura Fiber Limbs and the RockStops offset string suppressor help make this a quality option, giving the user more control and also working to eliminate excessive vibration after taking a shot.

Best for the Money:
Leader Accessories Compound Bow

Leader Accessories Compound Bow 30-55lbs 19' - 29' Archery Hunting Equipment with Max Speed 296fps (Black)

PROS

  • Easy to set up
  • Solid construction and well built
  • Simple and easy to adjust draw weight and draw length

CONS

  • Not very helpful directions for installing accessories

The Leader Accessories compound bow has a draw weight between 30 to 55 pounds and a draw length of 19 to 29 inches. You are able to adjust the draw length and weight easily with an Allen wrench, and no bow press is needed to complete this task.

The aluminum limbs make this a relatively lightweight option, and this also allows it to be durable. This is great for new or young individuals since it is light and has a lot of adjustable capabilities, allowing it to grow with the individual. Well constructed, this is perfect for any small framed individual.

Bottom Line

This model has a solid construction and is a well-built item that has a good price considering the quality. The option comes with a few accessories, though there isn’t a lot of direction given on how to install the accessories so there is some trial and error involved. The adjustable draw length and draw weight make this the perfect choice for any young and new user, as it will be able to grow with them as they gain more practice and experience.

SWA Raptor (Black, Right Hand)

PROS

  • Smooth action
  • Shoots fast and accurately
  • Fully adjustable and very durable

CONS

  • Instructions aren’t very easy to follow

The RAPTOR compound bow includes an entire kit as well, which features a stabilizer, four arrow quiver, a strong stop, and more. A peep sight and d-loop come already installed on the bow, so there isn’t much that needs to be done before it can be used. The draw length is adjustable between 24.5 to 31 inches, and the draw weight is between 30 to 70 pounds.

This weighs around 3.6 pounds and has an axle to axle length of 30 inches. It is able to shoot around 315 feet per second when at maximum settings with a 350-grain arrow. This option is designed to let off around 75% of the weight, so you won’t have to hold as much weight as the draw weight. A split yoke tuning system also allows for small and precise adjustments to ensure the arrow flies properly.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is a very nice quality option that performs well at a great price. Though the instructions aren’t very easy to follow and it takes some time to make all of the adjustments perfect for the user, once everything is tweaked properly, this bow is able to perform exceptionally well.

It is fully adjustable and has a very durable build. The split yoke tuning system allows you to make small and precise adjustments, ensuring accurate shots. The smooth and fast action makes it great for any level of a hunter.

Compound Bow Ship from USA Warehouse,Topoint Archery for Women, Package M1,19”-30” Draw Length,10-50Lbs Draw Weight,Hunting Bow for Girls,Muddygirl Color (Muddygirl)

PROS

  • Great starter option
  • Easy to adjust and use
  • Includes a lot of accessories

CONS

  • None available

This kit from Topoint Archery features a draw weight of 10 to 50 pounds and a draw length of 19 to 30 inches. This is measured at 28 inches from axle to axle, and has a brace height of 11 inches. The draw weight and length can be adjusted easily without a press, making it very easy to customize to fit best for the user.

The weight of 3.31 pounds makes it easy to hold for an extended period of time, and the 80% let-off allows for easier shooting. An aluminum riser and CNC milling cam fully attached make for a high-quality and lightweight option. A kit is also included that contains a braided sling, a limb damper, string wax, bow stand, and other great items.

Bottom Line

This model from Topoint Archery is a great choice for a first time female user. This is also a great item for a younger individual new to this experience. The adjustable draw weight and draw length allow the user to grow with the model, and the measurements are great for someone of smaller stature or build.

The 80% let-off and total weight of 3.31 pounds makes it very easy to carry and shoot with. Many accessories are included to make for a great kit.

Best for Youth:
Genesis Original Kit

Genesis Kit - RH Red

PROS

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Great starter kit for a young individual
  • Arrows come with tips already mounted

CONS

  • String begins to fray with time

The Genesis kit can be purchased for a right-handed individual, or for someone who uses their left hand, as there is an option for choosing before purchase. This is a great starter for all ages, and with no specific draw length requirement, it ensures that the young individual won’t grow out of it.

This model features a 6061-T6 aluminum riser, sturdy composite limbs, an aluminum cam and idler wheel, and very high strength strings. 

Single-cam technology ensures that there are no tuning issues, and it also allows for less recoil and noise produced for more accurate shooting. The kit itself includes an adjustable arm guard, five aluminum arrows, a belt tube quiver, and more.

Bottom Line

This is a great kit for any young individual enthusiastic to learn how to shoot with a bow. The lack of draw length requirement allows this bow to be used for years to come, as the individual won’t grow out of it.

The string does begin to fray with time and frequent use, but that’s something that can be replaced relatively easily. The single-cam technology allows it to be used efficiently without tuning issues, and it helps minimize recoil and noise. This is a great bow that is easy to set up and use, and the kit comes with everything that could be needed.

Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package, Black Ops, Right Hand

PROS

  • Can shoot arrows at a speed of 310 FPS
  • Extremely affordable and reasonable price
  • Very lightweight at 3.2 lbs., making it easy to carry around
  • Draw is very smooth, making it easier to manage for beginners
  • Highly adjustable in terms of draw weight from 5 to 70 pounds

CONS

  • Not suitable for females
  • Only people with a big build can use it

What Recent Buyers Report

It is a very easy-to-use bow, and understanding how to best use it and maximize your performance is also simple enough. This makes it an ideal partner for most beginners. It is also highly adjustable in terms of draw weight and length, which further makes it easy to use.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This bow has a good shooting range and is lightweight. Furthermore, it is built from high-quality materials and is durable. Yet, it is highly affordable. Moreover, it can be used for a long period of time, even when you become a professional only by adjusting a few specifications.

Bottom Line

All in all, this bow is ideal for most beginners. It provides them with simplicity and accuracy. Furthermore, it can also be used as they level up their skills since it can be adjusted to increase the difficulty.

Southland Archery Supply SAS Outrage 70 Lbs 30'' Compound Bow Package (Camo Pro Package)

PROS

  • Suitable for stricter budgets too
  • Can shoot arrows at a speed of 270 FPS
  • Has an adjustable weight of 55 to 70 pounds
  • Easy to use for beginners in archery or hunting
  • Highly durable and made from long-lasting materials

CONS

  • Relatively heavier and can cause fatigue over long periods of usage

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers find this bow very easy to use. They believe that its strength and durability will help it survive the inexperienced hands of a beginner while teaching him how to shoot. They also find it very smooth to use, and it further allows the shooters to shoot confidently and accurately.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This bow is made from ABS, a highly durable material that ensures that it will last for a long time. It also adds strength to the bow and makes it a powerful weapon while hunting. In addition, it is priced reasonably so you can get the best quality product without spending a fortune.

Bottom Line

SAS Outrage is an ideal bow for beginners who plan on taking down strong animals. It provides them with the right strength. It is also very smooth and accurate to use. In addition, it is made from highly durable materials.

Pros and Cons of Hunting with a Compound Bow

These can be great options for a hunter, but like any hunting item, they can have their drawbacks. It all depends on the hunter, but consider the following pros and cons we’ve listed below.

Pros

Below are the main pros:

Construction

These often feature a sturdy construction that makes them very durable. They are also often designed to be lightweight and easy to handle for an extended period of time.

Power

This type of bow is able to exert a powerful force without bringing too much strain to the user. This is thanks to the let-off features that help lighten the weight.

Accuracy

As more technologically advances, they feature many parts that aid in allowing it to perform well.

Cons

Below are the main cons:

Repair

Since there are more parts that are included with a compound bow, this means that there are more small parts susceptible to damage that affects the performance of the entire bow.

Price

These are often more expensive to purchase, and they are also more difficult to maintain since they have many moving parts.

Tips for Safely Using a Compound Bow

It’s important to make sure that you know how to properly use one so it won’t backfire against you. If you are new to using these, you may want to invest in a type of arm brace until you get used to the weight and power. It’s also important to know what weight you can draw and at what length you are able to best draw the string.

These are lightweight and relatively easy to use, but they still have underlying dangers to them as any hunting weapon would. Make sure these is set up properly, and that nothing is loose or in an incorrect location. If there are parts that are not secure, the bow could potentially cause harm to the user.

Comparison Overview - Compound Bow vs. Recurve Bow for Beginners

A compound bow is basically an upgrade of the traditional recurve bows. They use the same basic mechanics and design.

Similarities

Let’s first look at the similarities between the two. 

Durability

Both the bows are highly durable as they are made from the same high-quality wood and aluminum.

Differences

The following are the factors that differentiate the two. 

Power and Accuracy

Compound bows are more powerful than recurve bows and can shoot arrows at farther distances without straining or exhausting the shooter. Recurve bows, however, need the shooter to use a lot of power to match the performance of the compound bows.

The accuracy is also a major difference since using too much power can make your hands shake. Accuracy is often compromised in recurve bows if the shooter is not highly skilled.

Size and Portability

A compound bow is usually smaller in size, but it has a more complex build with more small parts like cams and pulleys installed. This makes it relatively heavier.

Recurve bows are more portable since they are lightweight and simple. They can be easily dismantled during transportation while compound bows are complex and hence should not be dismantled.

Price

Compound bows are usually expensive since they have a complex build and various small parts. On the other hand, recurve bows are simpler and easy to make; hence they are less expensive.

Conclusion

Compound bows make for great investments, as they are relatively easy for beginners or experienced users to use. They often have a range for draw weight and length, making them good items to grow with during various hunting seasons.

These bows can be a bit pricier since they have many additional parts and are more technologically advanced, but the overall quality they bring to a hunt justifies the price. 

There is a lot to think about when buying your first bow. Luckily, there are quality products at just about every price point these days. Do a little research before heading to the store, but don’t be afraid to ask questions. 

People Also Ask

As a beginner, picking a bow for yourself can be a challenging and overwhelming experience. There are a lot of things to consider, and you might be nervous. However, don’t worry. We understand your concern and have answered some questions that might help ease your mind.

How Do You Lower the Poundage on a Compound Bow?

It is a difficult process, and you might need to find a technician to do it for you. However, in case you plan on doing it yourself, you should first identify the limb bolts and then use a tool to tighten or loosen the bolt to adjust the weight. Each turn is equal to two pounds, and you should adjust accordingly.

What Size Compound Bow Do I Need?

To find the ideal compound bow for yourself, you need to measure the distance between the tip of one middle finger to the other. Then divide that distance by 2.5. This number will be your draw length. As for your draw weight, it is a tricky measurement, and it will vary person to person, so you should try your bow to get the ideal weight.

How to Adjust Draw Length on a Compound Bow

There are various methods to adjust the draw length of your bow. Firstly, you can use a hexagonal wrench to adjust the cam of your bow. It can adjust the length up to 13 inches. Another thing you can do is get a specific length cam. It will automatically adjust the draw length of your bow to your specific requirement.

How to Tell if a Compound Bow is Left or Right Handed

You can usually tell if a bow is right or left-handed by looking at the shape of the arrow rest. It is usually curved to form a crescent moon. If it is inclined towards the right, then the bow is right-handed; if it is inclined towards the left, then the bow is left-handed.

How a Compound Bow Works

A compound bow works by drawing energy from the stretched bowstring. It then transfers that energy into the arrow to make it fly. It uses a complex system of cams and cables that put force on the limbs, which is usually transferred into the arrow. They allow you to shoot the arrow with force without straining yourself.

What’s the Ideal Draw Weight for a Beginner Compound Bow?

Draw weight varies for compound bows and it depends on the individual, but the ideal draw weight for a beginner compound would be 30 to 40 pounds, and even lower for a younger individual. This is a weight that isn’t too overbearing, and it allows you to perfect form. Some beginner compound bows come with draw weights between 5 and 70 pounds, which is a bit excessive but a range may be useful for a growing user.

Can Beginners Hunt With a Compound Bow?

There are many compound bows on the market that make great items for beginners who are learning to hunt with a compound bow. They have adjustable drawing lengths and weights, making them perfect for future use as well. Everyone has to start somewhere, and all it takes is a quality compound bow and patience and practice to make a great compound bow hunter.