Best Thumb Releases of 2019 – Ultimate Review Guide

Big Game Logic is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Every archer or bowhunter wants to select the gear that will help him or her achieve the best shot. To achieve that perfect shot, it is crucially important to select the right type of bowhunting equipment. The one thing that can be quite frustrating for an archer is missing the shot by centimeters or even millimeters.

This is where a good quality thumb release comes into play. They assist archers in achieving an accurate shot and could be the difference between an on-target strike or a missed shot. Thumb releases are the most popular release aids because of their high performance and ease of use.

If you want a thumb release to improve your shot on your next hunting trip, then this article is for you. Make sure you carefully consider our reviews of some of the best thumb releases so that you can find the one that is perfect for you.

Comparison of the Best Thumb Releases

PRODUCT
gm2-table__image

Tru-Fire Edge 4-Finger Bow Release

  • Ideal for string loops and compound bows
  • Best overall product as it improves your archery and hunting skills
  • Boosts an exceptional spring-loaded trigger which prevents string torque
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Carter Chocolate Addiction Four-Finger Release

  • Unique 360 degrees rotation of the head
  • Ease of use whether you are right-handed or left-handed
  • Long-lasting performance and durability make it the runner-up product
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Tru Ball Max Hunter Release

  • Consistency and accuracy makes this product best for the money
  • Completely silent loading process makes it popular among hunters
  • Smaller head and smaller jaws allow more draw length and more bow speed
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Hot Shot Vapor 4 Release

  • Very quiet with zero noise internal actuating system
  • Properly spaced finger placements ensure a snug fit
  • Ergonomically designed to ensure minimum torque on activation
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Carter Enterprises Wise Choice Release

  • It is available in a variety of colors
  • The set screw tension adjustment makes this unit the best from Carter
  • The unit is designed with a self-closing caliper jaw, allowing you to focus more on the anchor point
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Tru-Fire Hardcore 4 Finger Revolution Release

  • Adjustable thumb button allows a custom fit on both right and left hands.
  • The head can be turned on 11 ball bearings for 360 degrees, resulting in uninhibited rotation
  • The CNC machined unit is designed with a solid aluminum handle, making it the best from Tru Fire.
View Latest Price

What is a Thumb Release and How Do They Work?

A thumb release is a device that helps archers fire arrows more precisely. They use a trigger to release the bowstring instead of the archer’s fingers. They help in the quick release of the bowstring and reduce the amount of torque transferred from the archer’s fingers to the bowstring.

Thumb releases have a hook or jaws that hold the bowstring for drawing. A trigger, which is activated by the thumb, opens the jaws and releases the hook, thus causing the bowstring to shoot forward. This is a favorable release among archers as it can be activated like a hinge release while still allowing archers to have control over when to release the string.

However, the two popular ways that the thumb release is activated requires no movement by the thumb. One way is that archers rest part of their thumb at the anchor on the front of the trigger and then pull back with their arm. This action naturally pulls the button into the thumb causing the trigger to trip.  

The second way is that archers rest their thumb on the front of the trigger while relaxing the fingers in the hand that is holding the release. This causes the release to move forward while pushing the trigger into the thumb, causing it to trip.

Some archers use a combination of both these techniques. However, all methods result in surprise releases as the archer is not simply depressing the thumb, similar to the squeeze on the trigger of a gun, to activate the release.

If the archer wants to delay his shot, he can simply take his thumb off the button. This ensures that the release won’t be activated, thus giving archers full control over their shot.

How to Choose a Thumb Release

Before buying a thumb release, make sure to keep the following crucial features in mind:

Weight

It is important to keep the weight of the thumb release in mind when buying because its weight can become a burden, especially if you hold your thumb release for a long time. Moreover, the weight of the release can also have an impact on the torque of your arrow and the angle of your shots. Therefore, if you cannot handle a heavy thumb release for a long time, then look for one which is lighter in weight.

However, the weight of your thumb release should be between 4 to 8 ounces. A thumb release that is lighter than four ounces will probably not be strong enough to give you a powerful and reliable shot. Similarly, a thumb release that is heavier than eight ounces may give you a hard time. It might be difficult to balance your bow while holding it.

Finger Grooves

Thumb releases available today come with two types of finger grooves: three-finger and four-finger grooves. Both of these thumb releases are different. A three-finger groove is comfortable and easy to hold, while the four-finger groove is more firm and stable.

While choosing between the two for the one best suited to your requirements, also take into account the size of your hands and fingers. We recommend holding them in your hand to get a feel for which one is best for you before purchasing a thumb release. Also, make sure the groove track is comfortable against your skin to save yourself from irritation and blisters.

Noise

Noise level is another essential thing to consider when selecting a thumb release. Some products make a clicking sound during the process, while some make zero noise.

Therefore, it is vital to consider a product that makes little or no noise; a high level of noise could startle the animal or spook your target, thus causing a misfire.

Quick Take | Best Thumb Releases

Review of the Best Thumb Releases

Choosing a good thumb release requires good judgment and patience. You should not pick up the first model you see in an archery shop. You should examine each product carefully and learn about the pros and cons to find out which one works best for you.

Here we have reviewed some top thumb releases to make sure that you are well informed as you search for the ideal option.

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

PROS

  • Ambidextrous creation, perfect for everybody.
  • Aluminum CNC handle is very comfortable to use.
  • Accurate and smooth shooting in one simple package.
  • Adjustable travel trigger and thumb enhance ease of use.
  • 360 degrees head rotation ensures a torque-less experience.
  • Easy working mechanism makes opening and closing the jaw very simple.

CONS

  • Makes noise when an arrow is released.

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are very satisfied with the Tru-Fire Edge 4-finger because of its many valuable features. The spring-loaded trigger prevents string release and facilitates bolt release. This feature is very helpful for archers as they do not experience any jerky let off. They also love the fact that the trigger head can be adjusted to their liking.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We are particularly happy with this product as it offers both accuracy and comfort to shooters. It is designed with a dual caliper release, which is the epitome of high-quality and premium craftsmanship. Moreover, the head is designed to swivel 360 degrees, thus ensuring consistently torque-less and smooth shooting. Another great thing about this product is its jaws can be easily opened and closed with the help of the trigger.

Who Will Use This Most

This product is for serious archers who want a high quality thumb release that will provide service for many years. This product uses an extra-small head which works perfectly with the streamlined handle to provide maximum comfort. This release also comes with a limited lifetime guarantee, thus making it an essential addition to your archery gear.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The loading process of the Tru-Fire 4-finger release is not noiseless. We find this an undesirable feature as it may alert game while out hunting. It would be better if this product was noiseless so that your arrow always finds its mark.

Bottom Line

The Tru-Fire Edge 4-Finger is excellent for those who want to try something new. Its sleek and durable design does not compromise on comfort or accuracy. It is a fairly priced device that makes hunting a breeze.

It has all the features of a good quality model, including adjustability, usability, and accuracy. Its comfortable aluminum handle and adjustable trigger head give this product an edge above all other available thumb releases.

PROS

  • Applying the thumb setting is quite simple.
  • High quality materials and great finish ensure durability.
  • Addition of wrenches also helps in adjusting trigger tension.
  • Versatile product that offers easy trigger travel adjustments.
  • Spring-loaded, thus allowing you to customize trigger tension.

CONS

  • Thumb trigger may come loose.

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are very happy with the Carter Chocolate Addiction 4-finger release because of its comfort, crispness, various adjustments, and many more features. It fits their hand like a mold and hooks easily into the d-loop. They have found that their accuracy has improved big time. They are aware that it is an expensive product but are not afraid to pay extra as this product, in their opinion, is worth every penny.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We find the Carter Chocolate Addiction to be an amazing product because of its accuracy and versatility. It leaves no room for error, thus ensuring a perfect shot every time. Its unique 360-degree rotation of the head together with its high adjustability gives this product a competitive edge. We also find the three holes of the trigger base quite an appealing aspect.

Who Will Use This Most

This product is ideal for people with large hands, as the four finger model provides them with greater comfort. Its metal parts and good quality finish ensures durability. Therefore, it is perfect for serious archers who are looking for a product that will fit their hand and stay with them for a long time. This four-finger model provides an extra firm grip, so if you want to improve your accuracy, this product is for you.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Users have complained that the little bolts on the trigger may come loose after some time. Although this is not a major issue and can be easily rectified with the help of some Loctite, we feel that a little adjustment in the design will easily take care of this problem.

Bottom Line

The Carter Chocolate Addiction Four-Finger release is a truly remarkable product. It does not require any struggle with positioning as it only takes a quick spin to get it in perfect position. Using this release is very easy; just attach the hook to the string, push the cocking lever, and the hasp will close the string.

Best for the Money:
Tru Ball Max Hunter Release

Tru Ball Max Hunter Release 3

PROS

  • Easy to open and close the jaws.
  • Consistently smooth and easy release.
  • Economically priced to fit every budget.
  • Adjustable sensitivity screw enhances performance.
  • Torque-free operation due to 360 degrees head movement.

CONS

  • Some hunters may find the neck slightly long.

What Recent Buyers Report

The ease of use has made this product a favorite among users. They have found no problem with the Tru Ball Max Hunter release 3. The caliper rotates, thus allowing you to draw with the trigger at a safe angle. It provides accuracy as well as consistency on target release. Its smaller heads make you shoot to a more draw length, thus extracting maximum performance from the bow.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are many things about this product that we like. First, it is very quiet, which is why it is ideal for hunters. Second, it features a comfortable trigger to open and close the jaw, which ensures maximum loading speed. Also, it has a head that rotates 360 degrees. You can easily hang this release on your D-Loop, thus allowing your hands to be free while you are using your game call or waiting for your trophy buck.

Who Will Use This Most

This product is a perfect tool that will help you immensely while you are out hunting. It has all the hardcore features that seasoned hunters like. Its adjustable sensitive screw and completely silent operation make it perfect for hunting trips. You can add an extra lanyard or strap for extra draw ability.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Some people have complained that this product is too small to work with. They have found that it does not fit their hand very well and does not easily rotate between the fingers. However, a slight adjustment in the unit's dimensions could easily fix this problem.

Bottom Line

When you are stealthily stalking your next trophy, the last thing you want to worry about is your release. This product is comfortable, sleek, accurate, and economically priced. The Tru Ball Max hunter release 3 provides hunters with complete peace of mind.

Best for Hunting:
Hot Shot Vapor 4 Release

Hot Shot Vapor 4 Release, Black

PROS

  • Four finger grooves.
  • Thumb and tension triggers are easy to adjust.
  • Economically priced without compromising on quality.
  • Self-closing hook makes it easier to hang on the D-Loop.
  • Fully adjustable thumb barrel provides many ways to mount the device.

CONS

  • Does not feature a 360-degree swivel head.

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are very impressed with the various features of the Hot Shot Vapor 4. One such feature which has made this product an instant favorite is that it is really quiet. Thus, this versatile product can be used not just at the archery range but while bow hunting as well.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The fully adjustable thumb barrel and zero noise system give this product a competitive edge over the other products available on the market. We especially like the fact that it can be easily adapted to individual styles and requirements. Moreover, its automatic closing jaw makes it more convenient and comfortable.

Who Will Use This Most

This product is ideal for archers who spend their time out in the field. Its silent operation makes it deadly against prey with sensitive hearing. Furthermore, it is very reasonably priced; therefore, it will be able to fit all budgets.

What Could Be Improved and Why

This product does not feature a 360-degree swivel head, which could cause problems for hunters. They will experience missed shots as they will have to hold the bow and release in awkward positions. Therefore, it would be better if the stationary head was changed to a rotating head.

Bottom Line

If you want a thumb release that will not drain your wallet but will still provide you with a perfect shot, then the Hot Shot Vapor 4 is the product for you. Its easily adjustable thumb and tension trigger and silent operation make it an excellent addition to your archery arsenal.

Carter Enterprises Wise Choice Release 3 Finger(Colors May Vary)

PROS

  • Index finger grip ensures a firmer grip.
  • Tension of the unit is extremely easy to adjust.
  • Included cord allows easy access to the release.
  • Requires very low maintenance and is simple and easy to use.
  • Self-closing caliper jaw and good trigger sensitivity allow you to make accurate shots.

CONS

  • Keys tend to accumulate dirt quickly.
  • Expensive as compared to other models.
  • Tension might be too heavy for the first couple of shots.

What Recent Buyers Report

Almost all buyers were extremely satisfied with their purchase and stated that they would certainly buy it again. They also recommended it to other buyers. Buyers were particularly impressed by its high quality, ease of use, and the accuracy it offers. Although the unit is expensive, users agreed that it is well worth the price tag!

Why it Stands Out to Us

One of the things that makes Wise Choice worthy of a mention is the index finger hole. This ensures a firmer and better grip on the release. Its great trigger sensitivity and self-closing caliper jaw further allow you to focus less on the arrows and make accurate, precise shots.

Who Will Use This Most

This unit is ideal for bowhunters and archers who don’t mind spending money on a high-quality thumb release. If you don’t mind spending a lot on a thumb release, then this model is the perfect choice for you!

What Could Be Improved and Why

This product has received immensely positive reviews, and there is very little need for improvement. However, one change that could make this model anyone’s go-to release is if the price was reduced a bit. The cost of this product, which may be prohibitive to some, is really the only thing keeping the Wise Choice from soaring ahead of the competition.

Bottom Line

The Wise Choice is certainly the best release developed by Carter Enterprises. Its high quality construction ensures durability and reliability, while its innovative, simple design makes sure that the arrow always finds its mark. Though it is a bit expensive, the value you'd get from this product is extraordinary!

Tru-Fire Hardcore 4 Finger Revolution Archery Release, Black

PROS

  • 360-degree rotating head allows torque-free shooting.
  • Single claw design ensures easier and quicker loop hook-up.
  • Included lanyard keeps the release accessible during the hunt.
  • Extremely comfortable to use and ensures accurate and precise shots.
  • D-loop is kept closer to the shooting hand due to the four-finger release grooves.

CONS

  • String retainer is thin and can bend easily.
  • Hook might snag and break shooting cords.
  • Might be too small for hunters with bigger hands.

What Recent Buyers Report

Almost all the people who invested in this product agree that it is an absolute hit and stated that they would not hesitate to buy it again. They were particularly impressed by how easy and comfortable it is to use. Buyers also reported that this unit helped them shift from a strap release to a handheld release easily.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The product’s trigger thumb adjustment and 360° head rotation are what makes it really stand out. The unit can be easily adjusted to any of the 16 positions, allowing you to find one which best suits your shooting style. Meanwhile, the rotation further ensures accuracy and comfort for the shooter.

Who Will Use This Most

This unit is the perfect choice if you’re planning on shifting from a strap release to a handheld release. The model features a hook mechanism which is extremely similar to some wrist strap releases. Hence, it helps you adjust if you’re new to the latter.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Although this product has mostly received positive reviews, there are some aspects that could be improved. The string retainer could be designed to be more durable so that the cord is less prone to snapping. Moreover, the quality control of Tru-Fire could also be improved as some customers reported receiving defective products.

Bottom Line

The Revolution Release is certainly the best product designed by Tru-Fire. Its innovative design ensures accuracy and durability, while its ease of use makes it the perfect choice for beginners. However, the cord is prone to snapping.

Pros and Cons of Thumb Releases

Below are the primary pros and cons of thumb releases:

Pros

Highly Sensitive

Many experienced and beginner archers agree that thumb releases provide a high level of sensitivity. They allow hunters to shoot more precisely. It is simple to hang these tools to the string loop, thus making it easier to take a shot unexpectedly and quickly.

Anchor at Full Draw

Another advantage of this product is that it allows users to anchor at full draw with greater comfort and consistency. It provides hunters with a more defined space to work with. They can see the interface between the side of their face, thus making a stable connection with the upper side of their hand.

Adjustable

Almost all thumb releases available today are well adjusted for archers. This high adjustment range allows them to customize the release according to their preference. For instance, you can adjust the trigger tension to a wide range of pulling weight.

Moreover, you can change the trigger travel also. The trigger travel determines how much a trigger moves ahead prior to releasing the jaw. This allows you to adjust the trigger position, size, angle, and much more. Although these adjustments may seem simple, they play an important role in maintaining the most consistent, accurate, and comfortable set-up.

Highly Accessible

Thumb releases are highly accessible as you do not have to wear them on your body. They are hassle-free products that eliminate any irritation or annoyance that can occur if a release is attached to your body.

You can easily store them in a hip belt pocket or a release pouch. This keeps your release out of the way while still accessible within a moment’s notice when needed. Moreover, you do not have to worry about it getting lost as you can easily attach it to the loop of your bow.

Cons

Expensive

Thumb releases are more expensive compared to other releases available.

Target Panic Release

When you spot a target and are ready to shoot, the tension in your shoulders build up. This is a time when you experience target panic, and a thumb release could make you shoot prematurely.

How to Use a Thumb Release

Following are some pointers and tips that may help you use a thumb release properly:

Hold the thumb release firmly by placing your fingers in the finger grooves. If you are using a three-groove release, your grip will be such that your pinky finger will be outside the body of the release.

When you draw the bowstring, place your thumb behind the release’s trigger. Once you reach your anchor point, wrap it around the trigger, and pull until the arrow releases.  

Do not squeeze the trigger with your thumb. Instead, wait for it to automatically release once it reaches the correct angle.

Use your middle and index knuckles as reference points to find your anchor. Line them up with your jawline at around an angle of 45 degrees.

A good indication that you are slightly off-angle is if you feel your ring knuckle on your cheek. In such a case, readjust your hand to angle it away from you.

Conclusion

A thumb release is an important addition to your archery arsenal. Therefore, it is vital to choose wisely in order to get a clean and accurate shot every time. It does not necessarily have to be expensive; however, it should be of high quality to provide professional performance.

We hope that the information in this article will help you choose wisely and get the best thumb release for your hunting bow.

People Also Ask

Finding a good quality thumb release can be a daunting task. You'll have to decide which type is best for you according to your personal needs and requirements. The following are some of the most common queries submitted to us by archers:

Does a Thumb Release Change Draw Length?

Draw length refers to the distance of travel of the nock. It is determined by the length needed from the pivot point of the grip to connect to your anchor point. It is set by the bow and not by the thumb release. Therefore, a thumb release cannot change draw length.

How Should a Bow Release Fit?

It is important to find a bow release that fits your hand properly because if it does not fit properly, you won’t be able to fire it without actively setting it off. Men with small hands, women, and children should pay special attention to finding a release that fits properly, as most of the products available are designed for an average man’s hands.

Do You Need a Release Aid for a Compound Bow?

Compound bows are typically designed with release aids in mind. These release aids work well with compound bows as they prevent target panic in many archers. Archers can try out the various kinds of release aids available to find the one that allows them to hold the bow steadily without shaking. 

Leave a Comment