Best Recurve Bows In 2024 Tested And Reviewed

Written By John VanDerLaan 


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Best Recurve Bows

Welcome to our Recurve Bow Buying Guide! If you're here, you've been enticed into the mystical and ancient world of traditional archery. Whether it’s compound or traditional, all archery as a sport gets into our blood. It becomes an obsession. We live it. Breathe it. Put food on the table with it.

Inside you'll find reviews by our in-house experts for fifteen categories of the best-in-class recurve bows. We hope to help navigate new archers through the sea of bows, answer common bow shopping questions, and offer tips to keep in mind through the shopping process.

From the best bow package to the best competition shooting recurve, we cover the categories that new and experienced traditional archers are most concerned with. Balancing value, functionality, and quality here is our list of best recurve bows.

Best Recurve Bows At A Glance

Top Picks

Here you will find our top 3 picks for best recurve bows and if you continue to scroll, you will find all of our picks with reviews.

Samick Sage Recurve Bow

Best Overall: Samick Sage Recurve Bow

  • Tool free Takedown
  • Eye Pleasing design
  • Wide Range Of Draw Weights
  • Pre-installed Brass Bushings For Adding Accessories
  • Smooth, Quiet Shooting Recurve Bow
  • Excellent For Beginners

The Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow is the ultimate recurve bow for beginners and experienced archers alike. It has a wide range of draw weights so that you can replace the limbs as you grow and get stronger, couple that with a very pleasing price and you can see why we chose it as our best pick overall.

Bear Grizzly Recurve Bow

Best For Hunting: Bear Grizzly Recurve Bow

  • Gorgeous One Piece Design
  • Cut On Center Arrow Shelf with bear hair arrow rest and a leather side plate
  • Quiet Drawing And Shooting
  • Available In Sizes To Fit All Archers
  • Legendary Bear Archery Quality

The Bear Archery Grizzly is one of the finest recurve bows available today. It is extremely accurate, smooth and very quiet, making it the ideal recurve bow for hunting.

SAS Courage Takedown Recurve Bow

Best Budget: SAS Courage Recurve Bow

  • Great Entry Level Bow
  • Draw Weights From 29 - 60 lbs
  • Super Light At Only 2.2 lbs
  • Comfortable And Quiet Shooter
  • You Can't Beat The Price For A Bow Of This Quality

The Southland Archery Supply Courage recurve bow is an excellent starter bow that can grow with you as you progress and at a price that doesn't break the bank.

How We Chose The Best Recurve Bows

I have over 20 years experience as an archery instructor and more than 40 years experience hunting with traditional recurve bows. The bows in this article are all bows that I have personally used to teach new archers and to help the archery commiunity perfect their form.

The hunting bows in this article are bows that I personally own and have used to take numerous game animals.

Some of the things that I considered when choosing these bows are:

  • Quality: What are the materials that the limbs and riser are made from? Do the limbs have reinforced tips, etc..
  • Durability: Are the bows made to last.
  • Brand: When it comes to the best recurve bows, there are certain brands that are always at the top.
  • Value: I looked at all of the features compared to the price. Does the bow offer value.

Best Recurve Bow: Reviews And Recommendations

Below you will find our top picks in each category with REAL REVIEWS written by real hunters.

Best Overall: Samick Sage Recurve Bow

Samick Sage Recurve Bow

The hugely popular Samick Sage is a gorgeously crafted takedown bow, with a classic traditional recurve look that is sought out by archery enthusiasts. Pre-installed brass bushings allow the trad archer to add accessories like stabilizers, sights, or a bowfishing rig.

Whether you're bow hunting or target shooting, the Sage features a tool-less takedown so you'll be able to leave the Allen wrench at home. That's great news for those who tend to lose items that aren't attached to their person. Guilty as charged.

With the tool-free takedown, all you do is detach the bow string, unscrew the knobs, and you'll have your limbs off in a few minutes. The tool-less takedown is more convenient than using an Allen wrench to take the limbs off. But it might still feel a little slow if you are used to a bow with snap-on limbs.

The Sage features a beautifully rugged maple and dymondwood laminated riser. It's a great bow that will grow with you because the hard maple and fiberglass composited limbs range from 25 to 60 pounds. As you get stronger, keep upgrading the limbs with ever-higher weights until you hit a satisfactory draw weight.

With an ergonomic and comfortable grip, the Sage comes in left and right handedness options. The Sage is a very shootable recurve bow for beginners and experienced shooters alike.

Not only that, but it is quiet. Even prior to adding string silencers, we would argue that this is one bow that is ready for hunting right out of the box.

An otherwise great bow, the Samick does have a couple of cons to note. At 3.4 pounds, it is a little on the heavy side for modern recurve bows. We have also noted that the accompanying 14-strand Dacron string isn't the best quality.

This can be easily remedied by purchasing one of our recommended best recurve bow strings and replacing the bow string.

In general, make sure your bow has phenolic or reinforced tips before committing to a more high-performance string.

Lancaster Archery Supply suggests that traditional bows made before 1990, should only be fit with Dacron strings. Dyneema or Fast Flight/Spectra is much less forgiving on the tips of limbs due to the lack of "creep."

This can drive excess energy into the limbs that non-reinforced tips can't handle. The result can be disastrous for your bow - splitting your limbs or worse. Luckily, the Sage is a bow that features reinforced tips.

What We Like

  • Eye-pleasing design
  • Wide range of draw weights
  • Comfortable grip
  • Tool-free takedown
  • Excellent recurve bow for beginners

What We Don't Like

  • A little on the heavy side
  • The provided string may not be the best quality

Here's a great video that shows some of the cool features of the Sage, as well as how to set it up and tips for shooting.

The Samick Sage is one of the most popular recurve bows on the market with hunters and target archers alike. With a length of up to 62 inches (64 inches for Samick Journey) and draw weight that ranges from 25 to 60 pounds, it is a great bow that beginners can grow into. You won't find a better recurve bow under 200 dollars.

Click here for our full Samick Sage Recurve Bow Review.

Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow

Great quality with a great value! The Southwest Archery Spyder is a close contender with the Samick Sage. If they seem similar, that's because the Sage and Spyder were designed by the same people. While it is not exactly the same bow, it is very similar.

Unlike the Sage, the Spyder requires a tool for a takedown, but a cool feature is that the limbs are interchangeable with the Samick Sage/Samick Journey.

The Southwest Archery Spyder has a quality, familiar eye-catching design to the Sage. But the Spyder is lighter with a little more narrow grip on the riser.

Handcrafted from white oak, dymondwood, and padouk, the Spyder has a quality build and comes in two AMO lengths - 62 inches and 64 inches.

You get a little more draw weight range out of the Spyder than the Sage. Draw weight increments run from a low draw weight of 20 to 60 pounds, this wide range allows a spectrum of users to choose appropriate limbs for their experience level.

The ability to switch-out limbs is, of course, due to the takedown aspect of the Spyder. Although not tool-free, having the ability to change limbs is an extremely favorable feature.

While we're on the topic of limbs, the Spyder features limbs constructed of hard maple wrapped in fiberglass. The limbs are topped-off with reinforced tips that allow for the use of Fast Flight and Flemish strings.

And don't forget about attachment points! The Southwest Archery Spyder comes with pre-installed threaded bushings for any accessory of your choosing.

Sights, bowfishing rigs, stabilizers, or quivers it's totally up to you. Customize your recurve how you see fit.

There aren't many negatives with the Southwest Archery Spyder. It's a great bow! But there are a couple of things we'll call out.

One is, again, the string quality. The string that is shipped with the bows like the Spyder and others in that price range are not very high quality. Many of these strings are 14-strand Dacron, and sometimes the string serving doesn’t provide enough coverage. But it will get you started.

At some point, you will want to replace the bow string.

Another small complaint is that it requires an Allen wrench to break it down. A small inconvenience, but at least it can be taken apart.

Vibrational noise may be another issue. But that's easily remedied by string silencers, which are put on most bowstrings anyway.

What We Like

  • High-quality construction
  • Takedown design
  • Wide range of draw weights
  • Available in 62" and 64" AMO lengths
  • A model for every member of the family
  • Made In The USA
  • United States based warranty service

What We Don't Like

  • Requires an Allen wrench for assembly and takedown
  • Could be a higher quality bow string

The Southwest Archery Spyder is a great bow for hunting or target shooting. If you're looking for high-quality features packed into a great price, the Southwest Archery Spyder may be just what you're looking for.

Click here for our full Southwest Archery Spyder Review.

Best One Piece Recurve Bow: Southwest Archery Tigershark

Southwest Archery Tigershark One Piece Recurve Bow

Another beautifully designed bow by Southwest Archery - and it's made in the USA!

If you're looking for a more traditional aesthetic instead of the "modern" look of a takedown recurve, the Tigershark One-Piece 60" Recurve Bow might just fit the bill.

As a one-piece recurve, the Tigershark is simple and elegant. Bow models are available in 25-to 60-pound draw weights, perfect for the beginner or intermediate archer. Just use a stringer tool to string it and you're ready to go.

Constructed of dymondwood, tigerwood, white oak, and padouk, the Tigershark one-piece recurve comes in a 60-inch length and the familiar draw weights of 25 lbs to 60 lbs.

Probably one of the best features of the one-piece bow is its simplicity. String it up and shoot! That's it. Of course, that means if you decide you want a heavier draw weight, you'll need to purchase a new bow.

Whisper quiet, the Tigershark is a powerful shooter - two great attributes you want in a hunting bow.

The Tigershark comes with a pre-installed shelf pad and is available in right or left-hand versions. Limb tips are reinforced so they are Fast Flight string compatible.

Ironically, the thing that makes this bow more traditional and aesthetically pleasing is what creates its disadvantages.

That is, you can't transport this bow very easily since it doesn't disassemble. In a similar vein, if any part of the bow is damaged the whole bow has to be replaced.

If you're considering a one-piece recurve bow, this is definitely an issue to weigh. Weight-wise, the bow comes in at 3 lbs, not bad. But the length (60 inches) can cause issues with certain modes of transportation.

All that aside, if you don't perceive any of those things to be problematic, this is a very attractive traditional bow that will appeal to the traditional purist.

What We Like

  • High-quality construction
  • Simple one-piece design
  • Reinforced limb tips
  • Wide range of draw weights
  • Pre-installed shelf pad
  • A model for every member of the family
  • Made In The USA
  • United States bases warranty service

What We Don't Like

  • If damage occurs, the whole bow has to be replaced
  • Difficult to transport since you can't break it down

Best For Hunting: Bear Archery Grizzly

Bear Archery Grizzly Recurve Bow

when it comes to hunting bows, you know you're getting an amazing quality hunting bow when it has the "Bear Archery" stamp. And this one is legendary.

The Bear Archery Grizzly is a little up the scale on price, but certainly worth the money. A beloved recurve since the 1950s, Fred Bear, himself, made the last design change to it in 1964.

It's an accurate and smooth shooting recurve featuring a classic look with modern-day materials and performance.

The Grizzly features a cut-on center shelf with bear hair arrow rest and a leather side plate. The two keep your arrow centered but with a minimal amount of contact.

You can choose between right or left-handed versions that range from 30-pound to 60-pound draw weights. The premium quality limbs are overlaid with clear maple and composited with black fiberglass for optimal strength.

A smooth and quiet shooter, the Grizzly sends arrows downrange with a whisper and very minimal hand shock.

For many folks with draw lengths 28 inches and under, the 58-inch Grizzly bow length is perfect. Shooters with longer draw lengths might find it a problem but not always. When in doubt, go with what feels right.

Like the Southwest Archery and Samick bows, the Grizzly comes with a Dacron string that misses the mark on quality. It's best to go ahead and just get a better quality one at the pro shop.

As high of marks as the Bear Archery Grizzly recurve gets, there have been minor quality issues. Bows with problems such as blemished finishes and tooling marks from the manufacturing process seem to slip through.

But then again, the Grizzly is considered the "working man's" bow.

RELATED: Gifts For Hunters

What We Like

  • High-quality build
  • A good range of draw weights, 30-60 pounds
  • Reinforced limb tips
  • Very minimal hand shock
  • We love the cut-on center shelf with bear hair arrow rest 
  • We like supporting a great company like Bear Archery

What We Don't Like

  • It is an expensive bow
  • 58-inch AMO length may not work for longer draw lengths

Despite the bad string and minor finish imperfections, Bear does a great job with the legendary, Grizzly, bow hunting recurve. You will not be disappointed.

Click here for our full Bear Grizzly Recurve Review.

Best For Deer Hunting: Bear Archery Super Kodiak

Bear Archery Super Kodiak Recurve Bow

If you thought the Grizzly was awesome, feast your eyes on Bear Archery's Super Kodiak!

Made from African shedua wood, the Super Kodiak recurve is a masterpiece and a beast of a deer hunting recurve for under $800. Fred Bear himself, used this model for many years and it was his favorite bow.

The Super Kodiak draw weights run from 30 pounds to 60 pounds at a length of 60 inches. The grip is cut to be ultra-comfortable and you'll feel the difference immediately.

Like the Grizzly, the Super Kodiak features a cut-on center shelf with bear hair arrow rest and a leather side plate. The side plate and arrow rest protect the bow riser as well as keep your arrow aligned.

You can choose between right- or left-handed versions that range from 30-pound to 60-pound draw weights. The premium quality limbs are overlaid with clear maple and composited with black fiberglass for optimal strength.

Super smooth, ergonomic, and comfortable, the Super Kodiak is dead silent and has no detectable vibration. That's one of the things that makes the Super Kodiak such a great deer hunting bow.

With its quiet operation, deer won't have the tendency to "jump the string" as much.

And it's powerful. The Super Kodiak is the perfect bow to chase muleys, whitetail, or blacktail with. Sporting a gorgeous finish and excellent craftsmanship, the Bear Super Kodiak is a stunner both visually and performance-wise.

Limb cores are made with maple laminate overlaid with high-strength black fiberglass, which gives exceptional strength and flex.

Limb tips are handcrafted, layered black and white fiberglass. Meaning, that this is a high-performance bow with reinforced limb tips. So, feel free to use Spectra/Dyneema strings until your heart's content.

But for hunters that would like to mount a sight on the Super Kodiak - you can't. Ports or pre-installed bushings don't exist on the Kodiak. We can hear the "hell yeahs" in the traditional purist's camp!

Another thing to think about is that the bow's draw weight is set permanently. Therefore, you must know what you can draw back comfortably and repeatedly. So, choose wisely. There's no adjusting draw weight on a trad bow.

When you order a Bear Super Kodiak, the color of the bow you get may not be the picture-perfect color you are expecting. Because the bows are made with unique pieces of wood and fiberglass, the swing can be fairly wide darker, or lighter.

Bows with blemished finishes and tooling marks from the manufacturing process are also somewhat common. But consider it part of the bow's charm!

What We Like

  • Premium-quality build
  • Range of draw weights, 30-60 pounds
  • High-quality Dynaflight (D97) string with Flemish twist included
  • Handcrafted and layered reinforced fiberglass limb tips
  • We love the cut-on center shelf with bear hair arrow rest 
  • We like supporting a great company like Bear Archery

What We Don't Like

  • No ports for accessories
  • Wood color may vary by individual bow

Bear knocks it out of the park with this superior bow hunting recurve. If you're looking to fill your freezer with deer, this is your bow. Channel the spirit of Fred with the Super Kodiak. You will not be disappointed.

Click here for our full Bear Archery Super Kodiak Review.

Best Affordable Recurve Bow For Hunting: SAS Courage Takedown Recurve Bow

SAS Courage Takedown Recurve Bow

Southland Archery Supply has built a reputation for "the best quality and best-priced archery products available in the market."

That's why they've earned our pick for the best affordable recurve bow for hunting. The SAS (not to be confused with Survival Archery Systems) Courage offers a great entry-level bow in multiple draw weights and lengths.

Made from exotic African bintangor, makore, and Indian chuglam hardwood, the SAS Courage is a durable takedown bow with stability and power in a minimalist package.

At a very light 2.2 pounds, the SAS Courage won't weigh you down as much as other bows if you're in the field on an all-day hunt. This should please traditional archers that often hunt using still-hunting methods, or hunting from a tree stand.

Sturdy and efficient, the SAS Courage is a great bow hunting and "backyard bow" at a good value. With smooth contouring for the hand, comfort and stability are hallmarks of the Courage.

For such a light bow, it has a durable build, consisting of bintangor, makore, and chuglam hardwoods. The maple and makore laminated limbs combine strength and flexibility to create a fast shooting recurve.

Choose between a 58 or 60-inch bow length, and a range of draw weights from 29 to 60 pounds.

Reinforced tips allow for Fast Flight strings when you're ready to upgrade the string.

Not that it will probably matter much to the traditional purist, but the SAS Courage doesn't feature attachment points. That means no attaching sights, rests, or anything else. But you could have a shop put them in for you if needed, especially if you wanted to turn it into a bowfishing rig.

The supplied string is just the usual "stock string" issue of quality and we've harped on that enough with the other recurves.

There isn't much about this bow we can pick apart. It's a no-frills recurve that is ready to string up out of the box once you stick on the rug rest.

Southland Archery Supply has done it again with another excellent, entry-level budget bow. Light, comfortable, durable, and powerful, this quiet shooter combines the qualities of an upper-end bow at a very affordable price.

What We Like

  • The riser is super comfortable and ergonomic
  • We like the overall ultra-light bow weight
  • Great beginner recurve bow
  • Fast Flight string compatible
  • We love price

What We Don't Like

  • No pre-drilled holes or installed bushings for accessories

Simple takedown makes for easy transport and compact storage. Comes with a SAS Courage bow, Dacron string, and one rug rest. You're going to love this bow!

Click here for our full SAS Courage Review.

Best Affordable Bow for Deer Hunting: Deerseeker Takedown Recurve Bow

Deerseeker Takedown Recurve Bow

So, you're looking for a good quality modern recurve bow for hunting on a budget? The Deerseeker 62" Takedown Recurve Bow is our pick.

Priced right around $100 this super-affordable bow, is an unassuming contender. Visually reminiscent of Keshes Takedown Recurve, the Deerseeker is a quality shooter combining high-density dymondwood with laminated fiberglass and maple wood limbs.

The Deerseeker has a good range of draw weights (25 to 60 pounds) and comes in left and right-handed options.

With a maximum draw weight of 60 pounds, you won't have a problem harvesting deer, elk, bear, or other big game. It is surprisingly fast!

You can choose between right- or left-handed versions that range from 30-pound to 60-pound draw weights. Like the other takedown bows, pre-installed bushings allow for accessories like quivers, stabilizers, rests, and more.

The Deerseeker Takedown Recurve riser features aluminum pockets that facilitate exact limb placement for improved performance and accuracy. The Deerseeker shoots smooth and feels good in the hand.

You wouldn't expect such a great hunting bow package for just over $100! Speaking of which it comes with a Dacron B-55 bowstring, stringer tool, finger tab, arm guard, arrow rest, and Allen key.

The Deerseeker is a smooth-shooting bow with a good amount of power.

Although the kit is a great idea, some of the items are not very useful or of good quality. The finger tab, in particular, is lacking, with incomplete stitching. It's also a split-finger tab, so if you shoot Three Under, you'll need a new tab.

The arm guard could use a little more "meat" to better protect your arm from string slap.

The actual draw weight and stated spec weight can be off by quite a bit. For example, the stated weight of the bow could be 35 pounds, but when you put it on a scale, it's off by as much as 11 or 12 pounds. Luckily, the manufacturer is trying to rectify that issue.

What We Like

  • Good draw weight range
  • Great value at a low price
  • One of the great hunting bows for beginner deer hunters
  • Smooth shooting reflex/deflex

What We Don't Like

  • Some of the included accessories aren't the best quality

All said, the Deerseeker is a good budget reflex/deflex bow with unexpectedly good speed. It features a wide range of draw weights and shoots very well. For hunters on a budget, this is a great choice to get you into trad archery hunting.

Click here for a full DeerSeeker Recurve Bow review.

Best Olympic Recurve Bow - Best for Competition: The Topoint Endeavor ILF Takedown Recurve Bow 

The HYF ILF Takedown Recurve Bow

A true competition bow, Topoint delivers the goods with this ILF competition recurve kit. The Topoint Endeavor 68-inch ILF Recurve Bow has a cool, subtle modern look without being overly flashy. We really like the look of the ILF Recurve.

Available in three different bow lengths the ILF Recurve comes in 66-, 68-, and 70-inch lengths. It looks and performs like a premium-priced Olympic recurve, but for a fraction of the cost.

Budding youth recurve archers will have an easy time drawing this bow back since the lowest draw weight clocks in at 16 pounds and maxes out at 44 pounds.

The machined aluminum riser has several cut-outs, giving it an attractive, modern look and feel while also reducing weight. Weighing in at 2.4 pounds, the ILF Recurve is light (some people are reporting it as heavy) which is perfect for youths, beginners, and smaller-framed archers.

Topoint makes use of the ILF (International Limb Fitting) pocket system, originally developed by Hoyt. It makes life easier when you can quickly snap the limbs into the pockets on the riser. This is common on competition bows in general, and that's exactly what the Topoint Endeavor ILF recurve bow does.

The limbs themselves are strong and well-made from compressed fiberglass with a hard maple core. The fitment of the limbs to the riser is solid.

Another great feature is the streamlined grip. Very similar to the most recent compound bow grip designs, but this one is actually made from wood and is ideal for competitive shooting. We like that a lot.

Shooters on the taller side will really appreciate the 68- and 70-inch versions of the Topoint Endeavor ILF recurve. No matter which length you use, you will enjoy the smooth, even draw and quiet shooting.

There seems to be an unfortunate trend of bow kits containing accessories that are lacking in quality. It's nice to have these items to get you started, but you'll have to replace them sooner rather than later.

The kit comes with the bow, bowstring, covers for both limbs and the riser, four brass nock points, and a bow stringer.

Bow stringers that come with this kit have had complaints about being too big and having to be Jimmy-rigged to work.

The included string itself appears to be adequate, but it may be too long on some of the bow length variants. Could just be bad luck or oversight during product case-up at the plant. The serving might be a little on the short side as well.

What We Like

  • Bow lengths for archers that are taller/have long draw lengths
  • Smooth and quiet shooting
  • ILF pocket system and interchangeable limbs
  • Narrow riser, with wooden grip

What We Don't Like

  • Stringer and other accessories are not the best quality

If you are looking for one of the best bows for competitive shooting at an affordable price, the Topoint Endeavor is a great option for you.

Click here for our full Topoint Endeavor Recurve Bow Review

Best Traditional Recurve Bow: AF Archery Tatar Recurve Bow

AF Archery Tatar Recurve Bow

Oh, we love the Tatar! That unique shape just screams historical 13th-century archery and we can't get enough. AF Archery has a serious knack for handcrafting ancient bows from various Europe and Asian regions. The AF Archery Tatar Recurve Bow is no exception.

You're probably wondering what a Tatar is? During the 13th to 15th centuries, the Tatars were a Turkish nomadic people, and the name was applied to several tribes throughout the region. Eventually absorbed into the Genghis Khan-led Mongolian Empire, the Tatars (specifically the Crimean Tatars) were bowmaking and mounted archery specialists. The Crimean Tatar bow design comes from them.

Originally, the Tatar bow was intended as a cavalry weapon to be used on horseback. The compact design better lent itself to mounted archery than longbows. So, that's where the diminutive 53-inch bow length is derived from.

When the bow is strung, it sits right around 47.5-inches in length.

AF Archery has modernized the Tatar bow design by making a takedown version of it, and it is gorgeous. Let's take a closer look.

Right off the top, one of the coolest features of this bow is the tool-less takedown. But the limbs don't separate off the riser like the typical takedown design we're all accustomed to.

Nope, this one simply splits in half. No knobs to unscrew, it just pulls apart at the grip. Don't worry, under the force of being strung, the bow won't come apart! The limb tips are constructed of black walnut and reinforced with ox horn. As such, the Tatar Recurve is Fast Flight string compatible.

The Tatar's limbs are made of compressed bamboo and a clear fiberglass layer for optimal strength. Aesthetically, this bow has a real elegance with the eye-pleasing bamboo grain mixed with a black walnut riser and tips.

Leather wrapping finishes off the grip on the riser with bone inlays inserted just above it on either side. This enables you to shoot right or left-handed. The inlays help prevent wear and tear on the riser from arrows - a nice finishing touch.

String bridges on both limbs help stabilize spring-back during shooting. Did we mention how extraordinarily light it is? It weighs under a pound.

Not many negatives exist on the AF Archery Tatar Takedown Recurve. However, one side-effect of those bone inlays is the noise it produces.

It's a little loud when the arrow drags across the inlay as you draw. While hunting that may be a problem.

The only other thing is the serving on the string sometimes has issues with unraveling. But, you can just take it to your local shop to have the serving redone. So, that's not a huge issue.

What We Like

  • Compact, perfect for shooting on horseback
  • Eye-pleasing aesthetic
  • Simple tool-free takedown
  • Super-smooth shooter

What We Don't Like

  • Bone inlays create arrow noise
  • String serving may unravel

The AF Archery Tatar Takedown Recurve Bow is an excellent piece of ancient weaponry. It has a durable, quality handcrafted build and feels great to shoot. With a smooth draw and up to 50-pounds of draw weight, it's an effortless but powerful shooter in an unbelievably light package. We can't say enough good things about this recurve!

Click here for a full AF Archery Tatar Bow Review

Best For Target Shooting: PSE Razorback Takedown Recurve Bow

PSE Razorback Takedown Recurve Bow

Maybe you're looking for a modern recurve bow to simply do some target shooting with. If that sounds like you, consider our pick for the best target shooting bow, the PSE Razorback.

The PSE Razorback riser is constructed from walnut, Burma white, and beech wood, with fiberglass limbs that feature a hard maple core. It's a good minimalistic, entry-level 62-inch practice bow that's all about function without the bells and whistles.

One of the least expensive bows on our list, the PSE Razorback is a simple, no-frills bow that is great for working on shooting form. Set at a 62-inch length, it comes in five various draw weights from 15 pounds to 35 pounds.

The Razorback features a built-in stabilizer to help dampen vibrations and shock. Built-in bushings, like many of the other models on our list, aid in customizing the Razorback.

Beginners will love the tool-free takedown, allowing you to disassemble the bow in a matter of minutes without an Allen wrench. The grip is well-contoured and feels good in the hand, though it may take several rounds of shooting to get used to it.

The PSE Razorback has some downsides mostly to do with how stripped down it is. If you're someone who is looking for a visually stunning bow, this isn't that kind of bow.

It has a cool modern look, with white limbs contrasted on the wood riser. It isn't ugly, just not overly ornate. Curiously, the limb pockets are plastic instead of the usual metal. This makes them more susceptible to breakage or failure. It is somewhat rare, but it does happen.

Since these are areas of high stress on a bow, it could send plastic flying into an eye. Food for thought!

What We Like

  • Very economical
  • Tool-less takedown
  • Available in different draw weights
  • Built in stabilizer
  • Cool modern look

What We Don't Like

  • Plastic limb pockets

The PSE Razorback is a good barebones starter bow for a great price. Click here for our full PSE Razorback Review

Southwest Archery Spyder XL Recurve Bow

Big and tall archers, here's your jam! The 64-inch Southwest Archery Spyder XL Takedown Recurve Bow is a durable and stable recurve for archers with draw lengths 29 inches and over.

Like its little brother it comes in right and left-handed versions with draw weights between 25 pounds and 55 pounds. Pre-installed bushings allow for accessories of your choice, whether it is a 3-pin sight or a bow fishing reel.

Sleek and well made, the Archery Spyder XL is an attractive two-tone recurve made from four naturally sourced kinds of wood.

One of the first things you notice out of the box is how smooth, narrow, and contoured the riser and grip are. It fits your hand perfectly.

The Southwest Archery Sypder XL draw weight increments run 25 to 55 pounds, this wide range allows a spectrum of users to choose appropriate limbs for their experience level.

The ability to switch-out limbs is, of course, due to the takedown aspect of the Spyder. Although not tool-free, having the ability to change limbs is an extremely favorable feature.

While we're on the topic of limbs, the Archery Spyder XL features limbs constructed of hard maple wrapped in fiberglass. The limbs are topped-off with reinforced tips that are compatible with Fast Flight and Flemish strings.

And don't forget about attachment points! Like the Southwest Archery Spyder, the Archery Spyder XL comes with pre-installed threaded bushings for any accessory of your choosing.

Sights, bowfishing rigs, stabilizers, or quivers it's totally up to you. Customize your Spyder XL recurve the way you want it.

There aren't many negatives with the Southwest Archery Spyder XL. It's a great-looking and shooting bow. But there are a couple of things we'll call out.

One is, again, the string quality. The string that is shipped with the bows like the Spyder, and others in that price range are not very high quality. But it will get you started!

Another small complaint is that it requires an Allen wrench to break it down. A small inconvenience, but at least it can be taken apart. And some prefer the look of the Allen bolts anyway.

The Southwest Archery Spyder XL is an excellent recurve. Beautifully handcrafted, it's a strong shooter, and vibrational noise is nearly non-existent. The addition of string silencers will bring the noise down even more.

What We Like

  • High-quality construction
  • Takedown design
  • Wide range of draw weights
  • Available in 64" AMO lengths
  • Set up for bow accessories

What We Don't Like

  • Requires an Allen wrench for assembly and takedown
  • The provided string may not be the best quality

For beginners looking to get into archery, Spyder XL is a great bow for hunting or target practice. If you're looking for high-quality features packed into a great price, the Southwest Archery Spyder may be just what you're looking for.

SAS Explorer Takedown Recurve Bow

Step into the woods with the tough-as-nails Explorer from Southland Archery Supply! One of the most affordable quality bows on the market, the SAS Explorer is a tool-less takedown model made of durable aluminum, maple, and fiberglass.

Priced at just over $100, you get a lot of bow for a reasonable price. Considered the next step up from the SAS Spirit, the 66-inch Explorer is recommended for archers up to 6 feet tall.

The high-strength casting aluminum riser is carefully polished and comes in three very cool camo patterns: Black Marble, G1 Camo, and Pink Muddy Girl. The Black Marble variant in our opinion makes a great bow for the blind, due to its dark color.

Limbs are maple laminated cores encased in black fiberglass for durable flexibility.

Draw weights on the SAS Explorer range from 16 to 34 pounds. While the bow is underpowered for big game (draw weight must be 40 pounds minimum), turkeys and other small game are still on the table!

We love the tool-less takedown, no secret there! At 2.2 pounds, the SAS Explorer is a very light bow that won't torque your wrists too bad when hunting all day.

One drawback is that it only comes in right-handed versions for right now. That's a bummer.

Another issue is that it tops out at a 34-pound draw weight, so in many states, it wouldn't be legal to hunt deer, elk, or bear.

The factory string that comes with the bow, as with many of the bows in this buyer's guide, is not very good. We've heard a lot of complaints about them, unfortunately.

What We Like

  • High-strength aluminum riser
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Tool-less takedown
  • Attractive camo patterns

What We Don't Like

  • Right-handed only
  • Not powerful enough for big game hunting

Best Affordable Recurve Bow: SAS Spirit Takedown Recurve Bow

SAS Spirit Takedown Recurve Bow

Just when you thought a recurve bow’s affordability couldn't get any better - here comes the SAS Spirit to outdo all the other bow's price points.

Sitting right at $100, this introductory bow from Southland Archery Supply is another great offering for newbies getting into the art of trad archery.

The SAS Spirit comes right- or left-handed and the wooden riser is comprised of a beautiful mix of chuglam, gmelina, arborea, and beech wood from Asia. Accurate and forgiving, you'll have a hard time putting this one down once you begin shooting.

With an attractive wood riser and durable fiberglass/maple limbs, the SAS Explorer offers the beginning archer a light, easy-shooting bow to train on. The 62-inch length bow is recommended for shooters up to 5' 10".

For such an inexpensive bow, the lack of vibration and hand shock is amazing. It is also pretty darn quiet. The Spirit offering from SAS is another tool-less takedown model - bonus!

Like most of the SAS recurves, the riser on the Spirit also comes with pre-installed bushings to add whatever accessories you'd like

Although a great bow to learn on, you won't be hunting deer on it anytime soon. The maximum draw weight available on the SAS Spirit (36 pounds) doesn't hit the required 40 pounds for big game hunting.

Another curious thing regarding the riser is that it is unfinished from the factory! We suggest having a poly finish put on it.

The Spirit comes with the usual 14-strand Dacron string, that you'll want to upgrade. Unfortunately, the limb tips on the SAS Spirit are not reinforced. So, make sure to stick with Dacron - just higher quality Dacron without a Flemish twist.

What We Like

  • Very affordable
  • Smooth shooting
  • Tool-less takedown
  • Very quiet

What We Don't Like

  • The riser is unfinished
  • Not powerful enough for big game hunting
  • Tips not reinforced

The SAS Spirit is a great intro takedown recurve and is easy and fun to shoot. You may only be able to hunt small game with it, but it's a great recurve to develop proper form and practice traditional shooting techniques. In my opinion, this is the best cheap recurve bow available today.

Click here for the full SAS Spirit Bow Review.

Best Bow Package - Shoot Ready: Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow and Arrow Set

Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow and Arrow set

If you're looking for a more substantial package that includes arrows, a stringer tool, and more, the Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow and Arrow Set has it.

The same great bow, but with more bang for your buck. Especially, if you're a beginner. The accessories are pretty darn good with this archery starter kit. They will give a newbie just about everything they need to get started for the short term.

Here are the positives and negatives about this Recurve Bow and Arrow Set.

Along with the usual bow, bow string, and stick-on arrow rest, the set comes with six arrows and field points. Also included is a finger tab, arm guard, two brass nocks points, a stringer tool, and a quiver.

More experienced archers may not find the arrows and some of the other items high quality. But for a beginner, they are adequate enough to start with. The most important thing for a beginner is to just simply get shooting whether the arrows are aluminum, carbon, or wood.

The arrows are 30 inches in length and should get most archers started. There will be time to upgrade later.

As mentioned before, some of the accessories that come with this kit aren't meant to last. The quiver and arm guard are decent and the bow stringer is good. The finger tab is a split tab, so it reduces the number of shooting techniques you can use like Three Under, etc.

The finger tab itself is made somewhat cheaply and the 14-strand Dacron string isn't the best either. We definitely recommend replacing both of these items as soon as possible.

As mentioned before the bow is slightly on the heavier side, but it's not terrible. There are definitely heavier bows out there.

I think we've covered just about everything here. If you're a beginner without any traditional archery tackle, consider the Recurve Bow and Arrow Set.

What We Like

  • Comes as a kit, including 6 arrows with field points
  • Fast Flight compatible
  • Great for beginners getting started. Just buy an archery target and you can shoot immediately.

What We Don't Like

  • A little heavier than we like
  • Some of the provided accessories may not be the best quality

You'll undoubtedly have to replace the string, finger tab, and possibly the stick-on rest eventually. And replenishing arrows is a consistent expense. But the Sage kit is a great way to get started shooting and working on your technique.

RELATED: TideWe Recurve Bow Review

Top Recurve Bows Compared





Samick Sage Recurve Bow

Best Overall - Samick Sage Recurve Bow

Draw Weight: 25-60 lbs

Bow Length(AMO): 62"

Bow Weight: 3.4 lbs

Best For: Hunting and Target Shooting

Southwest Archery Spyder

Best Takedown -

Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve

Draw Weight: 20-60 lbs

Bow Length(AMO): 62"

Bow Weight: 2.3 lbs

Best For: Hunting and Target Shooting

Southwest Archery Tigershark One Piece Recurve Bow

Best One Piece - Southwest Archery Tigershark One Piece Recurve Bow

Draw Weight: 20-60 lbs

Bow Length(AMO): 62"

Bow Weight: 3 lbs

Best For: Hunting and Target Shooting

Bear Archery Grizzly Recurve Bow

Best For Hunting - Bear Archery Grizzly Recurve Bow

Draw Weight: 30-60 lbs

Bow Length(AMO): 58"

Bow Weight: 3.5 lbs

Best For: Hunting and Target Shooting

Bear Archery Super Kodiak Recurve Bow

Best For Deer Hunting - Bear Archery Super Kodiak

Draw Weight: 30-60 lbs

Bow Length(AMO): 60"

Bow Weight: 4 lbs

Best For: Hunting and Target Shooting

SAS Courage Takedown Recurve Bow

Best Budget Recurve Bow- SAS Courage Takedown Recurve Bow

Draw Weight: 29-60 lbs

Bow Length(AMO): 60"

Bow Weight: 2.2 lbs

Best For: Hunting and Target Shooting

Deerseeker Takedown Recurve Bow

Best Affordable Bow For Deer Hunting - Deerseeker  Takedown Recurve Bow

Draw Weight: 25-60 lbs

Bow Length(AMO): 62"

Bow Weight: 2.8 lbs

Best For: Hunting and Target Shooting

Topoint Endeavor ILF Takedown Recurve Bow

Best Olympic Recurve- Topoint Endeavor ILF Recurve Bow

Draw Weight: 16-44 lbs

Bow Length(AMO): 66",68",70"

Bow Weight: 2.4 lbs

Best For: Target Shooting

AF Archery Tatar Recurve Bow

Best Traditional Recurve - AF Archery Tatar Recurve Bow

Draw Weight: 30-50 lbs

Bow Length(AMO): 53"

Bow Weight: 1.5 lbs

Best For: Hunting and Target Shooting

PSE Razorback Takedown Recurve Bow

Best For Target Shooting - PSE Razorback Takedown Recurve Bow

Draw Weight: 15-35 lbs

Bow Length(AMO): 62"

Bow Weight: 2.7 lbs

Best For: Target Shooting

Southwest Archery Spyder XL Recurve Bow

Best For Tall Person - The Southwest Archery Spyder XL Takedown Recurve

Draw Weight: 25-55 lbs

Bow Length(AMO): 64"

Bow Weight: 3.2 lbs

Best For: Hunting and Target Shooting

SAS Explorer Takedown Recurve Bow

Best For The Money - SAS Explorer Takedown Recurve

Draw Weight: 16-34 lbs

Bow Length(AMO): 66"

Bow Weight: 2.2 lbs

Best For: Target Shooting

SAS Spirit Takedown Recurve Bow

Best Affordable - SAS Spirit Takedown Recurve

Draw Weight: 18-36 lbs

Bow Length(AMO): 62"

Bow Weight: 1.8 lbs

Best For: Target Shooting

Recurve Bow Buying Guide

Woman Shooting a recurve bow

What Size Recurve is Right for Me?

An appropriately sized recurve means that the length of the bow will be about twice the amount of your draw length. So, if you have a 29-inch draw length, you should be looking at a 58-inch long recurve. But that's not the whole story!

RELATED: How To Measure Draw Length

There are other criteria like how you're going to use your bow, what kind of hunting methods, and what feels right to you - what's your preference?

You may opt for an even shorter bow than what is considered normal for your draw length. But that's okay. You're the one that has to shoot it! So, go with what feels best.

Here is a handy guide for How To Choose A Recurve Bow With Size Chart.

What Draw Weight Should I Choose?

The bow's draw weight is one of the most important features of a recurve bow and is determined by draw length, and rigidity/length of the limbs. Draw weight determines the speed with which an arrow flies and arrow speed, in turn, affects penetration and accuracy. So, you want a bow that delivers.

The minimum legal draw weight for bowhunters hunting big game is typically 40 pounds. Therefore, if you plan on hunting with your recurve, let that be your guide. This is more important on one-piece recurves, where the draw weight is set with no opportunity to change limbs.

Takedown bows are very popular for this reason, especially for beginners. A takedown bow allows you to start at a lower draw weight and upgrade limbs to higher weights as you gain experience and build strength.

Click here for a guide to choosing the right bow draw weight for you.

Right or Left-Handed?

Do you need a right or left handed bow?

When determining handedness, consider the hand you will be drawing the bow back with. If you draw with your right hand, then you're a righty. Draw with your left? Well, congratulations you're a southpaw. Easy enough right?

First, make sure you align your dominant eye with your dominant hand. For example, I'm left-eye dominant and I also shoot left-handed.

More than likely you'll instinctively know whether you're right or left-handed when you go to draw a bow. One should feel more natural than the other unless you're ambidextrous of course.

Unfortunate situations actually exist for the unlucky minority where they are right-eye dominant but will naturally lean towards shooting with their left hand. In this case, it's best for the shooter to re-train to shoot with the opposite hand. That's no easy task and will require a lot of work.

What is the Weight of the Bow?

The weight of the bow itself may not seem like a big deal. But don't underestimate this seemingly small detail.

Carrying a heavy bow all day gets tiring and wears on your arms, wrist, and hands. Therefore, it's ideal to get the lightest bow you can find. Consider how far you'll be hiking during your usual hunts.

If you're primarily setting up for target practice the weight won't be as much of an issue. A good rule of thumb is to try and stay under about 3 1/2 pounds.

What is the Bow Made out of?

Wood, wood-fiberglass composites, aluminum, and carbon laminates are the common materials modern recurve bows are made of.

Wood bows usually consist of a wood riser and limbs and the configuration is usually a single-piece bow. Archers are sometimes limited to using Dacron strings since the limb tips of some all-wood bows are not reinforced.

Just make sure to pay attention to which one you have. More than likely you'll leave the bow shop already knowing if yours features phenolic tips or not.

Most of the other current traditional bows that are laminated or composited with synthetic materials, come in both one-piece and takedown models. These recurve bows usually have a double or triple layer of reinforcement on the limb tips.

There are also recurve bows that have aluminum risers. Competition recurve bows and some survival bows are examples.

Ultra-light and super durable, these styles of recurves typically have an aluminum riser and composite limbs.

What is a Takedown Recurve?

The takedown recurve offers a modular version of the traditional bow. A takedown recurve is simply a recurve bow where the limbs are removable from the riser.

Having removable limbs is a benefit in a variety of ways.

First, it makes the bow super-packable and easy to transport. Second, the limbs can be changed out to increase draw weight, which is a huge advantage. Not only can they be changed out, but they are sometimes interchangeable between risers as well.

A takedown recurve's limbs are held onto the riser by either Allen bolts or a hand knob. The hand knob allows for a "tool-less takedown" so you don't need an Allen wrench.

Will You Use the Bow for Hunting or Just Target Shooting? 

Recurve Bow Leaning Against A Tree

This is an important question to ask yourself because you can use just about any recurve for target practice. The same cannot be said if you plan on using your recurve to bow hunt game animals.

Certain speed and power considerations need to be taken into account for hunting - both ethically and legally. For instance, most states have a mandate stating that the minimum draw weight for big game must be at least 40 pounds.

Also, consider proper shot placement when hunting game of any kind.

Plus, you just want to do the right thing to avoid needlessly wounding an animal.

You'll need to determine your main use and buy accordingly. The great thing is you can buy a bow that is perfect for hunting and easily use it for target practice.

Are the Limbs Upgradeable?

The advantages of removable limbs (aka takedown bow) can't be overstated. A takedown bow functions just as well as a one-piece. But you have the ability to remove, interchange, and upgrade limbs so long as the attachment systems are compatible.

One-piece bows are historical and very visually appealing. But they can also be cumbersome to carry around all day and transport. Also, if the riser or limbs get damaged, the whole bow is toast and you'll have to replace it.

The modularity of the takedown recurve gives you a high degree of adaptability. As long as the limb attachment systems match up, you can swap out limbs between risers, and upgrade limbs to higher draw weights so your bow shoots faster.

You also have the ability to replace a damaged limb or riser with ease. That’s not really the case with a one-piece recurve bow.

Choosing the Proper Arrows

Traditional Arrows

Picking your arrows may seem a little daunting. But it's really not that bad. There are just a few things to decide on, like, what are you using them for? Will you be hunting, bowfishing, or just practicing in your backyard?

For hunting arrows, you’ll need a heavier arrow. Target shooters will want to go with a lighter arrow for better distance and speed.

Pick a material: Decide between carbon, aluminum, or wood if you really want to go traditional. Wood arrows have a classic look and fly quieter than carbon or aluminum. But they can warp if they get wet or may bend if they take a hard hit when missing a target. You'll then have to straighten them if they are not too far gone to do so.

The downside of wood arrows is that they require constant maintenance.

You’ll find that the most Port Orford Cedar is the most popular wood for arrow making. Coming in diameters of 5/16”, 11/32”, and 23/64”, they’re a great candidate for arrow shafts due to their natural straightness and uniform texture. 

Just like any other arrow type, make sure to use an arrow spine chart to choose the appropriate spine for your bow. Too weak or too stiff of an arrow will result in erratic flight and a lot less accuracy. You’re already shooting trad – you don’t need that!

Mounting broadheads, points, and nocks on wood arrows will require the use of glue.

Aluminum is another choice for arrow shaft material. Pure aluminum arrows have become less popular over the last fifteen years, as so many archers now use carbon. But they are inexpensive, offer great penetration, and show repeated consistency.

You can find aluminum arrows in diameters of 11/32″, 21/64″, 5/16″, and 9/32″. They’re tough, but if you’re shooing outside in areas like Wyoming and Utah, a glancing shot off the rocky high-desert ground usually spells doom.

Carbon shafts are superior to wood and aluminum in some ways, which is the reason for their rise in popularity. They are very tough, often taking multiple hard hits before cracking. No attempts at straightening are required.

The typical diameter for carbon arrows is 5/16”, but smaller and micro diameters are becoming more popular in recent years. These smaller diameter arrow shafts offer even better penetration

Aluminum and carbon arrows both use inserts for screw-in points and broadheads, and bushings for push-in nocks.

Arrow spine and length: We’ve already talked a little about arrow spine, but the simple definition is that it’s a measure of the amount of arrow stiffness. An arrow can be made to act like a stiffer spined arrow by cutting down its length or manipulating its heaviness by adding heavier points, inserts, changing fletching, and so on.

Deciding on the length of your arrow is part safety and part tuning. If you’re a total beginner, you probably don’t need to worry about the length of your arrows too much. In fact, it’s probably better to err on the longer side so it doesn’t fall off your rest.

But as you look to really dial in the tuning of your recurve bow to the specifics of your draw weight and length, shortening your arrows may become more important.

Arrow patterns and fletching: Woodgrain, camo, solid black – there are all sorts of patterns and colors you can find aluminum and carbon arrows in. Wood arrows have different stains, accents, and finishing touches. With the large variety out there, you shouldn’t have a tough time finding something that is aesthetically pleasing.

You can opt for either feathers or plastic vanes for fletching. For accuracy, feathers are going to serve you better if you’re shooting “off the bench” or your hand. They’ll provide enough flexibility by laying down against your hand or bow’s riser as the arrow leaves your bow. This won’t affect your accuracy.

Plastic vanes on the other hand are much more rigid and will deflect off your hand if you’re shooting the traditional way. Plastic fletching is better left to recurves that are set up with an elevated rest.

Bow Tuning

It doesn't matter if you are using a compound bow vs recurve bow, you still need to tune the bow.

Tuning a recurve bow is easier than tuning a compound bow because there are much fewer moving parts and accessories.

You will still need some basic bow tuning tools, like a bow square and nock pliers to tune your recurve and get arrows flying straight and true.

The best way to make sure that your arrows are flying true is to use the walk back tuning method.

What is the Warranty?

Each bow manufacturer is different. Some offer 90-day warranties, others offer a 5-year, and still, others offer an incredible 30-year on defects in workmanship. Always verify the warranty terms of your specific bow manufacturer.

An important note: most bow companies require you to string your bow with a stringer tool. Failure to do so will void the warranty in most cases.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Far Can a Recurve Shoot?

A recurve bow can shoot a few hundred yards. However, the ability to shoot with repeated accuracy brings that range down considerably. The average recurve archer's "effective range" is 15-20 yards. Less than the effective range of a compound bow and significantly less than the effective range of a crossbow.

Is a Recurve Better than a Compound Bow?

That depends on the experience you're looking for. If you want a traditional shooting or hunting experience without all the accessories, a recurve is the way to go.

Recurves tend to be lighter, less gear-intensive, and an overall simpler experience. But first, you'll have to master the shooting method!

How Much Should a Good Recurve Bow Cost?

Recurve bows range from under $100 to over $7000. That's quite a span. A good price range to shoot for is between $100 and $700. You'll be able to find plenty of high-quality recurves on both ends of that scale.

Can You Overdraw a Recurve Bow?

The short answer is yes. Whether it is bad or not depends on the individual archer.

Since a recurve bow doesn't use cams, there is no "wall" or means to stop the draw like a compound bow.

But every recurve has an optimal draw length. Once you draw beyond that length, the weight increases by 2-3 pounds per inch. This is known as "stacking."

Usually, when a bow stacks, the bow is considered undersized for the archer. It will be harder to draw and harder to hold at your anchor point. This can eventually fatigue the limbs to the point of failure.

However, there are advocates for stacking. Proponents of stacking say it enables them to shoot a smaller bow which results in a shorter, faster arrow. The faster arrow, they theorize, leads to better accuracy.

How Fast Does a 50 lb Recurve Bow Shoot?

A 50 lb recurve can shoot up to around 180 fps. This, of course, is dependent on arrow weight, draw length, and draw weight of your bow.

Is a Recurve Bow Good For Hunting?

Yes a recurve bow is good for hunting . A recurve is a great short-range hunting bow for 20-30 yard shots. But it requires discipline to consistently practice and stay sharp. In fact, it could be argued that a recurve is a superior bow for hunting in some respects.

For instance, quickly getting a "snapshot" off on moving game animal like rabbit or grouse is completely possible with a recurve. This cannot be done with a compound bow.

Don't forget, from the Mongols to Native Americans, ancient cultures all around the world used traditional bows for warfare and hunting for thousands of years.

Some hunting methods lend themselves to the use of a recurve bow better than others. For instance, hunting from a blind, spot and stalk, and still-hunting are three great hunting methods that work well with a recurve bow.

RELATED: Best Headlamp For Hunting

Can You Leave A Recurve Bow Strung?

This largely has to do with the material of your bow limbs. The answer could be yes or no, depending on what your limbs are made of.

If your bow limbs are made of wood, they will be more prone to "setting," which is where the bow maintains the shape in which it was strung. This stiffens the bow limbs, causing them to lose their flex.

The problem is only made worse if it is stored in moist, humid, or warm conditions which can cause the recurve to warp and delaminate. Therefore, it is recommended to unstring a bow with wood limbs and store it in a dry, cool place and in a good quality bow case.

Modern bow limbs that are composited of fiberglass, carbon, and other synthetics should have no issue if they're left strung indefinitely.

How much does a good recurve bow cost?

A good recurve bow will cost between $100 to $500, with most quality recurves coming in between $150 and $400. It is important to consider what you will use the bow for and what accessories you may need.

How fast is a 40 pound recurve bow?

A 40 pound recurve can reach speeds up to 240 feet per second, depending on the weight of the arrow. Most states require a 40 pound draw weight to hunt deer legally.

Can I shoot a recurve bow in my backyard?

Yes you can shoot a recurve bow in your backyard. Just be sure that you have an appropriate backstop that will catch any arrows that miss your target. Safety must be your number one priority.

Final Thoughts

We unpacked a lot there! We hope you found our Recurve Bow Buyers Guide helpful. There are a lot of great recurves on this list, at the most common price ranges. It was important for us to narrow it down to specific choices that balance cost with quality and value.

The beauty of traditional archery is its simplicity and minimalism towards gear. Maybe you're looking for something for hunting or competition shooting.

But there’s something about shooting recurves or longbows. It really taps into those primal urges buried deep within our DNA. It gets its hooks in and doesn't let go. 

When done without adding modern accessories to your bow, trad is the purest form of archery there is; just short of making your own bows, arrows, and pressure-flaking arrow tips made of flint. No sight pins or peep. No drop-away rest or release aid. Just deep concentration and instinctive shooting with your fingers.

Whatever your desired use, any one of the previously mentioned recurves will be a superb addition. Your specific use, experience level, and overall feeling of shooting the recurve will determine which bow is right for you.

From all-wood, one-piece bows to casted aluminum takedowns, we've got you covered. Now you just have to get yourself one and get to practicing. 

Why You Should Trust Us

At we are archery instructors and bow hunting experts with decades of experience that are passionate about sharing our knowledge and experience with others.

These are the actual recurve bows that we use to hunt and to teach others how to shoot and enjoy target archery.

We are constantly updating our list and our reviews of recurve bows in order to reflect the best ones that we are using today, so that you can make an informed decision on which is the best for you.

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John VanDerLaan

John VanDerLaan is the managing editor here at He oversees a team of editors, writers and pro staff that are subject matter experts in hunting and hunting gear. John's expertise includes thoroughly testing all types of hunting gear, as well as hunting all over the U.S. and Canada. While his hunting expertise includes game birds, small game and large game, his favorite game animal is the whitetail deer and he loves to share the knowledge that he has gained over 40 years of chasing the wily whitetail with both archery gear and firearms. John is an active member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America.

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