Bow Release Types 101 – Informative Review + Top Picks

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If you are into archery or are just beginning with it, it is important to know some basics fundamentals. Bow releases are an imperative component of archery, and there are a variety of types on the market.

It is essential first to understand and identify the differences between these bow release types before you can go ahead and make a purchase. We hope you find this article informative and helpful in differentiating between bow releases and understanding their various benefits and limitations.

Comparison of Our Favorite Bow Releases Per Type

PRODUCT
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Tru-Fire Hardcore Buckle Foldback MAX

  • It comes with a wrist strap.
  • The bow release weighs 6.4 ounces.
  • Best overall bow release that features a hardcore buckle.
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Tru-Fire Edge 4-Finger Bow Release

  • It weighs 4.8 ounces.
  • It features a torque-free rotation of 360 degrees.
  • The best thumb release featuring a 4-finger release.
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Spot Hogg Wiseguy Release Buckle

  • The product weighs about 2.4 ounces.
  • The release comes with an adjustable length feature.
  • Best index finger trigger release you can get your hands on.
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Tru-Fire Hardcore 4 Finger Revolution Archery Release

  • It features a 360 swivel-based head.
  • The bow release weighs about 4 ounces.
  • The best 4 finger release which ensures comfort.
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Scott Archery Longhorn Hex Two-Finger Release

  • It comes with a strap.
  • Best hinge release which involves using two fingers.
  • It's available in brown and black colors to choose from.
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SAS Finger Tab

  • It has a leather and suede construction.
  • The finger tab release weighs 2.1 ounces.
  • Best finger tab bow release that’s comfortable too.
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Scott Archery Sigma Release 3 Finger

  • The release weighs about 5.8 ounces.
  • It's made of metal and has a metallic finish.
  • Best resistance activated release with 3 finger release.
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Perks of Investing in a Great Bow Release

Before we can go ahead and look at the various options on the market, it is necessary first to understand their role in archery. While many people think of bow releases as optional equipment in archery and many don’t even prefer using it, it is to be mentioned that these can be extremely beneficial. Here is how: 

Experience

If you are a beginner in archery, you would understand the importance of gaining maximum experience. A bow release is a great way to get started with that. It will add a more professional touch to your archery experience and will help you grasp the skill faster and better. 

Complete Your Archery Set Up

One could say that the most important thing in archery is the equipment and set up you own. This is because, without the equipment, archery simply cannot be done. Bow releases are an essential component of that equipment if you aspire to reach a professional level of archery. We strongly recommend that you devote yourself to your research before making a decision in regard to this investment. 

Better Performance 

Shooting with just fingers can be painful and can also hinder your performance. With a bow release, there will be greater safety and support, whether you are target practicing or hunting. Therefore, if you want to improve your performance, then investing in a high-quality release is the way to go.

Types of Bow Releases and Our Top Picks

Now that we've looked at how a good bow release can benefit you, let’s move on to the different varieties that exist, all of which come with their own unique pros and cons. So, to decide wisely, you need to understand the key differences between each type. 

TruFire Hardcore Buckle Foldback Adjustable Archery Compound Bow Release - Black Wrist Strap with Foldback Design

PROS

  • Great choice for hunters.
  • Can fit both left and right hands .
  • Adjustable trigger pressure.
  • Buckle strap is padded to ensure comfort.
  • Wrist strap will ensure that you safely secure the equipment around.

CONS

  • No color variety.
  • Screw can be loose.

What Recent Buyers Report

The buyers of this outstanding bow release absolutely love the product for its versatile design. It is fully adjustable and is particularly loved by left-handed people. It is also reported to be highly comfortable and easy to use. Moreover, some beginners who used this loved how it improved their accuracy and performance.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It stands out to us mostly because of how versatile and diverse it is. It has absolutely every feature you can ask for. While it may be pricier than other models, it still adds great value. Therefore, we think that this is the best overall bow release since it has all the ideal qualities all in one place!

Who Will Use This Most

Since the release is so easy to use and is very comfortable, it is highly recommended to be used by beginners. It can be used to improve your performance. Moreover, with its comfortably padded strap and easy storage, the release is also good for hunters and people going into the woods.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Even though we could hardly find anything wrong with this product, we would still like to comment on the quality of the trigger’s screw. It can be flimsy and get loose after some time of use. Therefore, that could be worked upon.

Bottom Line

To sum it up, this is our favorite bow release from the list. It is an all-in-one package. With little to no complaints from customers and outstanding performance reviews, we highly recommend this to all shooters who are left-handed, beginners, and professionals. 

Index Finger and Thumb Trigger Releases

In traditional archery, people only used fingers to shoot. Nowadays, with advancing technology and innovation, there are several other techniques used. Fingers shooting is also still used by some today as well.

The most popular type used in the present day has to be the index finger trigger release. This uses the index finger to pull the trigger and release the bow. They are highly convenient for hunters since they come with a strap for the shooting hand. This allows the equipment to be safely wrapped around you.

They also use calipers, sometimes even 2 calipers. These improve accuracy and ultimately, your performance too. 

Tru-Fire Edge 4-Finger Aluminum Hand Held Camo Archery Bow Release

PROS

  • Very lightweight.
  • Extremely accurate hook design
  • Allows a smooth and quick rotation of up to 360 degrees.
  • Adjustable trigger level allows more customizability.
  • Known for its comfortable design that adjusts and fits with any hand.

CONS

  • Protective front bar can interrupt.
  • Customer report it to be difficult to set up.
  • Customers largely complain about a rough and inaccurate release.

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love this product for the size and adjustability choices it comes with. They have reported it to be highly convenient for people who are either left or right handed. This is because its swivel base and the 4 finger design allow it to be adjusted according to each hand. However, buyers have also complained about missing their shots and having setup issues with the release.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We love this for its vibrant and attractive design. While the design and the cargo print on the release do not necessarily impact its performance, it is still a plus point. This will make your archery set up more attractive and cool.

Who Will Use This Most

Since it is a thumb bow release and has a comfortable design, this product would be particularly beneficial for beginners. It is appropriate for professionals as well, but we would rather suggest it to be used by beginners and learners mostly.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The biggest complaint that comes from buyers of this product is that it is difficult to set up. Setting up can be time-consuming and frustrating. It can also be tiresome, especially for beginners. Therefore, an easier method to set up this otherwise brilliant release would be a great start that would certainly enhance its overall attractiveness.

Bottom Line

To sum it up, if you are looking for a good thumb release as a beginner or an expert, this product will not disappoint. However, if you are impatient with the whole set up process and want to buy something quicker and easier, then you might want to look somewhere else.

Best Index Finger Trigger Release: 
Spot Hogg Wiseguy Release Buckle

Spot Hogg Wiseguy Release Buckle

PROS

  • Very lightweight.
  • Uses a caliper to ensure accuracy.
  • Great bow release for hunters.
  • Convenient strap allows secure and safe use.
  • Strap and body have a nice and sturdy build.

CONS

  • Not very flexible.
  • Color might not be everyone’s choice.
  • Strap can get in the way sometimes.

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers and users of this bow release particularly love it for its lightweight design. They highly appreciate the convenient strap. While people may be skeptical of the strap at first, users love how the strap easily folds and stays put. However, some people complain about the release not holding the trigger long enough and have also complained about the trigger not being adjustable.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The product stands out to us mostly because of its high-quality build. If you are going to invest in a bow release, invest in one that will last for a long time. This qualifies for that and therefore has made it to our list!

Who Will Use This Most

Since this index finger bow release has a strap to be worn on the shooting arm, it is great for hunters. This is a more professional level product that can be used by already experienced people. It is great for hunters and people who would like to go out in the woods and be adventurous.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The only major problem that bothered customers is how the product was not delivered to them correctly. Therefore, the company that creates this product could certainly improve their delivery system and customer support policy.

Bottom Line

Other than the poor delivery system and some issues with the adjustment of the trigger, the bow release otherwise is amazing! We would definitely recommend that hunters, professionals, and beginners invest in this.

4 Finger Releases

The 4 finger bow release uses the same mechanism as the thumb release. However, it replaces the use of the thumb with the four other fingers. Also, a 4 finger bow model requires your hand to be positioned inwardly. It is one of the most comfortable types since your whole hand is holding down the trigger. However, there may be some issues with the accuracy reported in 4-finger bow releases.

Tru-Fire Hardcore 4 Finger Revolution Archery Release, Black

PROS

  • Features an adjustable trigger.
  • Adjustable 360-degree rotation head.
  • Trigger knob can be adjusted in at least 16 positions.
  • Can be used to fit both left handed and right handed people.
  • Loop trainer design makes it easy to use and suitable for beginners.

CONS

  • Does not come with a strap.
  • Some buyers report issues with the retainers.
  • Does not come with an instructional manual.

What Recent Buyers Report

We could not find any serious complaints or negative remarks about the product other than some issues with the delivery. Otherwise, customers have loved the product for its ease of use and easy setup. They also love how adjustable and customizable it is. Moreover, users have also complimented the build quality and comfortable design of the bow release.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This bow release is exceptional when we talk about build quality and durability. It is built with the best high-quality material and can last you a long time. In fact, it can be your best friend in archery in tough conditions. Therefore, we have added this product to our list of best products in the market.

Who Will Use This Most

With the loop retainer and the easy operation design, this will be a great choice for beginners. We highly recommend it to people who are left-handed. Moreover, it’s also suitable for professional use.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Perhaps, the delivery system can be worked upon. Improving customer support and the delivery system can further satisfy their customers since there is a bundle of complaints regarding issues related to delivery.

Bottom Line

This is a great bow release for people who want something comfortable. It has an ergonomic design that can ensure performance, accuracy, and comfort too. Other than some issues with the retainer and the delivery system, this product is a solid choice of investment.

Hinge Releases

Hinge bow releases are also commonly referred to as back tension releases, and they work by mechanical means, namely the hinge principle, which requires the person shooting to rotate the release then press a trigger.

Once the release is rotated and the hinge is moved to a pivoting point, it releases the bow. It is a great option for professionals and hunters. It is beneficial for tournament shooters. However, these may have the risks of causing more accidents in which shooters often get themselves injured.

PROS

  • Very sturdy and durable.
  • Comes in a variety of two colors.
  • Great for hunters and professional use.
  • Comes with a buckle strap for safety and security.
  • Great for people trying to learn hinge release.

CONS

  • Pricier than other models.
  • Not the best for beginners.
  • Needs to be used with care as there can be accidents.

What Recent Buyers Report

Even though most customers love the construction quality of this product, this might not be the case for some people. Some users have seen rusting as soon as the release was exposed to a small amount of moisture. Customers also love the color variety of the product. They also like the accuracy and professional touch to the product. However, people find it difficult to use and take time to get used to it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This stands out to us mostly because of its construction quality. Just the appearance of the release makes you think that it’s very robust and sturdy. This is a key factor that impacts your performance; therefore, we decided to add this to our list based upon its remarkable build quality.

Who Will Use This Most

Since this bow release requires a lot of care when being used, it’s more appropriate to be used by professionals. It is a great choice for hunters. Therefore, we recommend that professionals use this rather than beginners.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Its price can be problematic for many buyers. They might not want to invest so much money in a bow release while there are many affordable options on the market.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is one of the best quality hinge bow releases. However, it is not the very best choice for beginners or people on a tighter budget. 

Finger Tab Releases

Finger tab releases are widely popular for their smooth and accurate use. They are usually made up of cordovan or leather; both are sturdy materials and do not wear off easily. However, before buying such a model, make sure that it is made with real leather and not synthetic leather. Finger tab releases come with various extra features, such as extra cushioning to support and provide comfort to the hand.

Best Finger Tab Release:
 SAS Finger Tab

SAS Suede and Leather Finger Tab Archery Bow Shooting Youth Adult RH & LH

PROS

  • Extremely lightweight.
  • Cushioning provides good comfort.
  • Simple and sophisticated design.
  • Made with breathable material, ensuring good hygiene.
  • Viable for both left and right-handed archers.

CONS

  • Leather quality can be poor.
  • Customers complain about the chemical smell.

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers of this finger tab release love it for its size variety and lightweight design. What they seem to frequently complain about is the chemical smell that the release has. Moreover, customers have also complained about the poor quality of the leather. Therefore, the construction quality of this release can be problematic.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The reason why this stands out to us is that it comes in a variety of sizes, meaning that you can purchase the size you prefer. Moreover, it is available for both left and right-handed people. We were also happy to see that this product is very affordable and will be great for people on a budget.

Who Will Use This Most

This bow release is a great choice for people who are left-handed since it compatible with left-handed archers. Moreover, it’s also a good option for those who don’t have a huge budget to invest in a bow release.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The definite trend in customer complaints regarding this product is that leather quality is poor and smells unappealing. Improving upon this should be the manufacturer's top priority.

Bottom Line

Overall, keeping in mind the features and the price, this release is a good choice if you're looking for value and accessibility. However, if you want something more durable and long-lasting (and with a more pleasant odor), then you may want to explore further options.

Resistance Activated Releases

The resistance activated release is also called the tension activated release. These work similar to the back tension release of the hinge release, except that this does not use a hinge and rather uses a trigger. The release itself is a trigger.

The benefit of this type is that it can be used by hunters and professionals for surprise releases. The release requires the shooter to use a manual mechanism for safety; therefore, we recommend these for experienced and professional archers.

Best Resistance Activated Release:
Scott Archery Sigma Release 3 Finger

Scott Archery Sigma Release 3 Finger Gunmetal,Black

PROS

  • Available in a variety of colors.
  • Ensures accuracy and smoothness. 
  • Made with stainless steel to ensure no rust.
  • Features an adjustable trigger to give greater control.
  • Ensures the comfort and safety of the user with its ergonomic design.

CONS

  • Comes in only one size.
  • Pricier than competitor models.
  • Does not have an option to fit left-handed people.

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love this for its strong and sturdy build. People have highly appreciated the ergonomic design and say that it is very comfortable to use. However, some people don’t like how it is available in only one size. Many left-handed people have also commented on how they can’t buy this release because it does not have an option for them.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The most outstanding feature of this is its design. We love how the metallic finish of the release complements its strong and rugged build. It may be heavier than other models, but that is only because it uses a stainless metal for construction. We absolutely love the durable and strong construction.

Who Will Use This Most

This product will be primarily useful for right-handed people. Beyond that, this is an outstanding bow release for professional shooters. We don't recommend this to be used by beginners.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Perhaps the manufacturers can come up with a more adjustable design so that it can be adjusted to fit left-handed people too. It is restricted to be used by right-handed people only, and that is a minus point for many potential buyers.

Bottom Line

Overall, if you want to complete your archery setup with the best equipment, then this is what you are looking for. This product may be expensive, but it’s still a good investment as it will enhance your archery experience.

Conclusion

To sum it up, it is fair to say that investing in a good quality bow release will certainly up your game with the bow and arrow. At a beginner or professional level, it can be useful in improving accuracy and performance. So, to complete your archery set up, do not forget to research some of the best archery equipment and make a careful decision.

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