If you're interested in archery, you know it's a sport full of diverse and exciting bow options. One of them is the PSE Archery Razorback, a popular recurve bow designed with beginners and target shooters in mind. Since it's our top recommendation for target shooting, we wanted to provide our readers with a full PSE Razorback review in which we discuss its pros and cons as well as how it stacks up against other bows on the market.
What's Included in the Package?
The PSE Razorback comes with just about everything you need to start target shooting and enjoying archery. First and foremost, this means the bow itself, consisting of the wooden riser and two laminated limbs as well as a bowstring.
Additionally, though it doesn't come with the sight itself, the Razorback has bushings for a sight that can help improve accuracy on the range. Plus, it has a built-in stabilizer, which is an important accessory for target shooting.
Assembling the PSE Razorback
Assembling the PSE Razorback is an especially straightforward process, even more so than other takedown recurve models. The primary step involves attaching the limbs to the riser.
The Razorback has a toolless assembly, so you won't have to worry about finding an Allen key to secure the limbs. Simply slide the limbs into place and lock them in using the built-in locking mechanism. This takes just a couple minutes.
Once your bow is assembled, the next step is stringing it. While stringing a bow is not overly complicated, it is crucial to perform this step correctly to avoid injuring yourself or damaging the bow. If you're new to archery or unfamiliar with stringing a recurve bow, it's a good idea to check out our recurve stringing guide to make sure you're stringing your PSE Razorback safely.
The PSE Archery has draw-weight options in five-pound increments from 15 to 35 pounds. This isn't a big range, but it does give you some versatility based on skill level and upper-body strength. The 35-pound option gives you a decent amount of power, but keep in mind that many states require at least 40 pounds for bowhunting.
The Razorback is rated for a max draw of 28 inches. If you haven't had your draw length measured at an archery shop, you can get a rough estimate by dividing your wingspan (or your height, which is probably similar) by 2.5. In other words, the Razorback is ideal for archers 5'10" tall.
Of course, you can certainly still use the Razorback if you're shorter than this. Just keep in mind that the draw weights are rated for this draw length, so you won't be getting the full power if your draw is less. Similarly, if you're more than a couple of inches taller than 5'10", the draw length may be hard to aim for you and lead to an awkward shot.
Pros and Cons of the PSE Razorback
What We Like
One of the biggest draws of the PSE Razorback is the minimal investment. With a barebones design, PSE Archery kept costs low. This is a big advantage for beginners or those who are just looking to give archery a try to see if they like it.
Bushings for Accessories
Though the Razorback is an inexpensive starter bow, it's nice that PSE included bushings for accessories. This way, if you want to take your archery career to the next level, you can upgrade your bow with ease. The bushings allow you to attach a bow sight specifically, an upgrade that can dramatically improve your accuracy.
Toolless Takedown Design
Takedown bows are great for beginners in general, but the Razorback's toolless design is especially ideal because you basically need no experience, and it's incredibly easy. Plus, if you're interested in target archery, it makes transporting your bow from range to range much more convenient.
We found the built-in stabilizer to be a unique but standout feature for a starter recurve bow. Since it helps minimizes vibrations and maximize balance, it makes it much easier for beginners to improve their accuracy. Plus, it's an ideal feature for target shooting and one of the primary reasons it earned a spot on our overall recurve roundup as the best recurve bow for target shooting.
Low Draw-Weight Options
Another thing that makes the Razorback a good choice for beginners is the low draw-weight options starting at just 15 pounds. This is a lot more manageable for someone just starting out and helps you practice your form without putting too much tension on your shoulder muscles.
The PSE Razorback is just 2.25 pounds, which allows beginners to easily handle and maneuver the bow. It cuts down on shoulder fatigue so you can get in more practice and learn proper form. Even if you're not a beginner, it also helps any target shooter maintain steadiness and control during extended practice sessions or competitions. By reducing the strain on your arms and shoulders, the lightweight design promotes better shooting form and more accurate, consistent performance.
What We Don't Like
Plastic Limb Pockets
Arguably the worst thing about the PSE Archery Razorback is the plastic limb pockets, the areas on the riser where you insert the limbs to assemble the bow. By using plastic, PSE kept the cost of the Razorback low, but it's simply not as durable as metal. In other words, it may not last as long as other, more advanced bows.
The Razorback has a range of draw-weight options that's great for beginners, but if you're looking for serious power from a recurve bow, this isn't your best bet. 35 pounds is the maximum draw, which isn't legal for traditional bowhunting in a lot of states. Even if it is legal, you'll have a restricted range, so we primarily recommend the Razorback for target shooting.
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Is the PSE Razorback Good for Beginners?
The PSE Razorback is an excellent choice for beginners. Its lightweight design, easy toolless assembly and built-in stabilizer make it great for learning form and improving accuracy on the range. The manageable draw weight also allows beginners to learn and practice comfortably, making it an ideal bow for those looking to develop their skills.
Is the PSE Razorback Good for Kids?
The PSE Archery Razorback can be suitable for older children and teenagers who are interested in learning archery since it's lightweight, low-power, and easy to assemble and shoot. However, you should make sure that the draw weight and draw length are appropriate for the child's age, size and strength. With a 62-inch AMO length and draw weights rated at a 28-inch draw, it may be too large for many children. PSE does make a Razorback recurve specifically for kids, which you can see here. For the best youth recurve bows, check out our roundup here.
Is the PSE Razorback Good for Hunting?
The PSE Archery Razorback is primarily designed as a recreational and target shooting bow. While it might be suitable for small game hunting, it may not be the best choice for hunting big and medium-size game like whitetail deer due to its low draw weight. In fact, it may not even be legal for hunting deer in many jurisdictions. For more serious hunting purposes, you may want to consider other options such as the Samick Sage or the Bear Grizzly.
The PSE Razorback vs the Samick Sage
The Samick Sage is a popular—maybe the most popular—takedown recurve bow with a focus on hunting. It has a lot of power contained in a relatively durable design. In contrast, the PSE Archery Razorback is better suited for beginners who want to focus on target shooting and learning archery.
The PSE Razorback vs the Bear Grizzly
We recommend the PSE Razorback for beginners and general target shooting thanks to its its toolless assembly, built-in stabilizer and lighter weight. In contrast, the Bear Grizzly is a renowned, high-quality one-piece recurve bow. It's designed for hunting and suited for more experienced archers. Basically, go with the Razorback for the range and the Grizzly for the tree stand.
The PSE Razorback vs the AF Archery American Longbow
Due to its affordable price, manageable power and included stabilizer, we recommend the PSE Razorback for target shooting, especially if you're just starting out. Meanwhile, the AF Archery American Longbow is a traditional longbow, suitable for experienced archers seeking a more authentic, traditional shooting experience. Pick the Razorback for an entry-level target shooting experience or the American Longbow for a classic archery feel.
The PSE Razorback vs the SAS Courage
Both the PSE Razorback and the SAS Courage are takedown recurve bows, but each is better for a different type of archer. The Razorback is tailored for beginners and those focusing on target shooting. This is because it features a built-in stabilizer, lightweight design and easy assembly. The SAS Courage, on the other hand, is similar to the Samick Sage and designed for traditional bowhunting. Like with the Sage, the Courage is your best bet for taking a trophy buck while the PSE Razorback is a good way to explore the world of archery at the target range.
The PSE Razorback vs the Topoint Endeavor Takedown Recurve Bow
The PSE Razorback and the Topoint Endeavor Takedown Recurve Bow are both great bows for target shooting, but their features cater to different preferences. The Razorback is an excellent choice for beginners with its lightweight design, built-in stabilizer and toolless assembly. On the other hand, the Topoint Endeavor Takedown Recurve Bow is geared towards Olympic competition archery with more focus on draw-weight and draw-length options. We recommend the Razorback for a beginner-friendly target shooting experience, but if you're serious about competitive Olympic archery, the Topoint Endeavor Takedown Recurve Bow may be the bow for you.
Wrapping Up the PSE Razorback Review
The PSE Razorback is an outstanding choice for those who are new to archery or interested in honing their target shooting skills. In fact, it's our top recommendation for target shooting. Its lightweight design, adjustable draw weight and length and user-friendly features make it a versatile and attractive option for target archers of various skill levels.
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