Picking Up Your Best Recurve Bow In 2014

“The history of the bow and arrow is the history of mankind,” said Fred Bear, arguably one of the best archers of all time. This simple statement aptly sums up the connection that exists between human survival on this planet and the bow and arrow.

Even though mankind has developed weapons that are more accurate, more powerful and have a longer range than the bow, for millions of hunters and precision shooting enthusiasts, the bow is still the most effective weapon mankind has ever created.

Martin Saber Recurve Bow

In the past century, the technology surrounding the bow and arrow has jumped by leaps and bounds. Gone are the days when the only option available was a recurve bow. Now hunters and archery enthusiasts can purchase powerful compound bows equipped with laser sights and stabilizers to guarantee the most accurate shot ever.

Nevertheless in the recent years recurve bows regaining fans because of Hollywood,  more girls target archery, inspired by ‘The Hunger Games‘.

With so many options available, individuals who are in the market for a recurve bow may feel overwhelmed.

recurve bow reviews

The purpose of this site is to provide comprehensive information about recurve bows available on the market, what bow is best for what situation and what bow is available in what price range.

In our search for a perfect recurve bow, after researching and reading a lot of customer reviews, we narrowed it down to top bows that offer true quality. So, without further ado, let’s begin the journey.

Our Top 10 Recommended Recurve Bows for 2014



Draw Weight





Martin Saber
Martin Jaguar
Martin Hunter
Samick Sage
Bear Grizzly
Bear Bullseye
Bear Super Kodiak
PSE Razorback
PSE Blackhawk
Hoyt Buffalo

Factors to Consider when Buying

Is the Manufacturer Reliable?

As in any sport or in any endeavor, the results you get are only going to be as good as the equipment used to achieve these results. This is especially the case when we are talking about purchasing a recurve bow. There are a lot of manufacturers out there who produce recurve bows. However, there are only a handful of them who are known to produce a high quality product that will give consistent results, withstand frequent use and bear up to changes in temperature.

Inferior manufacturers will produce a bow that will either have horrible risers with the grips that are extremely uncomfortable, limbs that are not flexible, a bow that will not adapt well to changes in the atmosphere and low quality strings. Often times, these bows are drastically less expensive than higher-quality brands. But you will get what you pay for. If you purchase an inferior bow, you may find yourself at the archery range or in the middle of the woods with a useless bow and broken strings.

There are a few manufacturers that have made a name for themselves by providing high-quality recurve bows. Some of the best recurve bow brands include:

Martin Recurve Bows
This company was started in 1951 by a family of archers. Gail Martin, one of the co-founders and co-owners of the company, had the illustrious privilege of being inducted into the Hall of Fame of Archery. Martin Archery is an international company that has been renowned for their high-quality products for the past 60 years.

Bear Recurve Bows
Considered by many to be the founding fathers of modern archery bows, Bear Archery has built a reputation for providing only the best quality bows available. Their bows are on the more expensive side. However, you will always get what you pay for. They are unquestionably among the best in the market.

Hoyt Recurve Bows
With more than eight decades of experience, Hoyt is staffed with people who understand every single aspect of archery. They have made their name, not just by selling bows but, by loving what they do. The simple fact that they have been able to stay in business for two decades is a testament to the quality product they put out.

PSE Recurve Bows
While this company focuses on producing compound bows, for almost 4 decades they have also been a formidable force in the world of recurve bows. They make bows that are 60 inches long, unbelievably beautiful and suitable for both hunting and target practice. With some of their recurve bows costing only $259, they are definitely in the price range of all who are interested in archery.

Samick Recurve Bows
While not having the same prestige as some of the above-mentioned brands, Samick has definitely made a name for itself by providing a quality product that produces consistent, accurate results. Many first-timers will turn to Samick when purchasing a bow. They do this because they know they’re going to get a good product at a price that is reasonable.

The Weight of the Bow

What we are talking about here is the actual weight of the bow, not its draw weight. The weight of the bow that you will need is going to depend on the purpose of the bow. Are you looking for a bow that you can use for target practice? Or are you looking for a bow for hunting? Typically, if you are going on a hunting trip, you are going to want a lighter bow. You’re going to have to carry it around with you, and so anything more than three or four pounds is going to be too much. On the other side, if you are going to the archery range looking to do target practice, the weight of the bow is not that big of a deal.

The Length of the Bow

Selecting the length of your recurve bow is one of the most important steps in finding a bow that will work right for you. The length of your recurve bow should match your draw length. If you purchase a bow that is too short, you will find that it will stack around the full draw length. As a result, the clicker is going to be hard to use. On the other hand, if your bow is too long, you’re going to lose arrow energy. The result is that you are going to get greater drift.

Determine Your Draw Weight

There is a lot of information out there detailing how a person can determine the correct draw weight for their age and weight. There are a lot of complex calculations and discussions of different theories and ideas on the subject. While all of this makes for good reading, it can become a tad bit overwhelming to an individual looking to purchase their first bow. So, what we’re going to do here is cut to the chase.

Below, you will see a table that is a good guide to use when selecting your starting draw weight. The factors that we took into consideration are the archer’s body weight, their age and gender. All you will have to do is look at the description that is in the left-hand column and find one that best describes you. Then look at the column on the right and you will find an approximate draw weight range that should work for you.

There’s something that we want to make very clear, archery is a progressive sport. This means that the more you shoot, the stronger you will become. As this happens, you will find that you can handle more draw weight. When that happens, a lot of information in this chart can be thrown out the window. You’ll know when you need to make an adjustment after you have shot an arrow a few hundred times. However, for individuals starting out with their first recurve bow, the information in this chart is extremely useful.

Do You Want To Hunt?

When searching for the best recurve bow for hunting, it is recommended that you use a bow with a draw weight of at least 40 pounds. Anything less than this and you are going to find yourself missing a lot of game, especially if you’re looking at shooting from a distance of 20 yards or more. If, based on the above chart, a 40 pound draw weight is more than what you can currently handle, take some time and practice with a bow that is within your draw weight. In addition to improving your proficiency with the bow, you will see that the strength of your back muscles will increase. Within a short amount of time, you will find that handling the best recurve bow for hunting that has higher draw weight will be easier. Eventually you will be able to handle a bow that has a 40 pound draw weight or more when you are out on your first hunting trip.

Riser Quality

Any quality bow is going to feature a riser that has a comfortable grip. It will be designed in a way that is going to reduce vibration during string release. Additionally, the riser should be equipped with brass bushings. These are going to allow you to make additions to your bow, including stabilizers and a sight. For the most part, standard recurve bows are going to come equipped with the above-mentioned features.

The riser material should be either hardwood or aluminum. The reason for suggesting these materials is because they are lightweight, and they are extremely durable.

Limb Quality

This is one of the most important facets of a good recurve bow. The quality of a bow’s limbs is important because the limbs play a role in the speed of the shot and the stability and smoothness of the bow. When an archer decides to upgrade their recurve bow, purchasing higher-quality limbs is a sure fire way to guarantee better results. Of course, you are only going to want to purchase limbs that are of a quality equal to your current shooting level. There is no benefit in purchasing limbs that are more expensive or of a higher-quality than your shooting level warrants. Until your shooting gets better, you are going to see little to no difference in the results you receive from a moderately priced pair of limbs compared to an extremely expensive pair.

Do You Need a Takedown Recurve Bow?

A major reason for the popularity of a takedown recurve bow that it is easy to transport. A takedown bow is going to have three pieces. There will be the two limbs and the riser. The bow can be easily dismantled and carried on hunting trips or to and from the archery range. A second reason for its popularity is that if a part of the bow becomes damaged, the entire bow does not need to be replaced. Takedown recurve bows can be easily upgraded by replacing the riser or by replacing the limbs.

One of the disadvantages of a takedown recurve bow is that because there are more parts being connected and taken apart, there is a higher likelihood that something may go wrong with the bow. Many archers strongly feel that it is difficult to beat the simplicity and reliability of a one-piece recurve bow.

Choose an Appropriate Riser

Risers are the central hub for every component that will be attached to your bow. Often times, the riser is the most expensive part of your bow. Many of the lower end risers are made of wood. They will be designed to attach basic components like a sight and a stabilizer. Higher end risers are going to be made from a mixture of aluminium and magnesium for the lower end and carbon for the top end. These risers are made especially for sport archery. They are designed to have a smoother performance with less vibration when compared to a wooden riser. For an individual looking to take up archery as a sport, this is the riser that they are going to want to invest in.

Bow Grips: Right or Left-Handed?

Certain aspects of selecting a bow have to do more with preference than function. For example, fletching colors, peep types and other accessories that you might want to add. Then, there are other decisions that are fundamental to whether or not the bow will function for you. These decisions you must get right. Included in this is selecting the right bow grip.

At first glance, the question seems simple, a right-handed grip for right-handed shooters and a left-handed grip for a left-handed shooter. And while this is true, often times, people are confused by what is meant by a right-handed or a left-handed shooter. For example, a right-handed bow is actually held in the left-hand. A right-handed bow means that the shooter will drawback with the right hand. So remember, when selecting a bow grip, do so based on the hand you draw with, not the hand you hold the bow with.

Some shooters choose their bows based on eye dominance as opposed to hand dominance. The reasons for this and some of the pros and cons of choosing a bow based on eye dominance will be discussed later in this guide.

Best for Beginners

With such a wide selection of recurve bows available, choosing the right bow for you and your skill level may seem like an overwhelming task. While this is not a complete list of factors you should consider when purchasing a bow, this is a good place for beginners to start.

First, why do you want the bow? If you’re looking at a bow that you can use for archery practice, then just about any bow is going to do. Factors you would take into consideration would be your budget and what bow looks good to you.

If you are looking for a bow that you will use in sport archery, the field gets a little narrower. You’re going to want to look at bows with aluminium/carbon risers and that will support multiple attachments.

If you are looking for a bow for hunting, the field becomes even more narrow. Something that you have to remember is that every single bow will work for target practice. Not every single bow is suitable for hunting. What distinguishes a bow that is suitable for hunting from one is that is not suitable for hunting is the draw weight. The higher the draw weight, the more force the arrow will have behind it and the farther it will travel. It is recommended that any recurve bow you use for hunting have a weight of 40 pounds minimum.

Obviously, there are other factors that you will want to take into consideration such as whether or not your recurve bow will be a takedown bow or not. Also, you will consider the weight of your bow, and in most cases, you’ll want to consider its price.

A good place to start is by looking at a Martin Saber, Martin Jaguar or a Samick Sage. These three bow manufacturers will provide consistent quality at a price that most can afford.

Best By Price Range

Samick Sage ($0 – $200 Range)
If you are looking for a bow that is going to give you the biggest bang for your buck, look no further than the Samick Sage. Moderately priced and equipped with a 62 inch AMO length, this bow guarantees stable and smooth shooting at any draw length. This takedown bow does not require any tools to assemble it, making it perfect for beginners. The limbs of the Samick Sage are made from a hard Maple core surrounded by black fiberglass. The riser is made from a combination of laminated olive Dymondwood and hard Maple providing beauty, durability and an overall well-balanced bow. The riser has been designed to allow you to fully customize your bow to your shooting experience level and to your needs. This bow comes equipped with a Dacron Endless loop bow string. It is recommended that you purchase a bow stringer and an arrow rest to complement your Samick Sage bow.

Martin Saber ($200 – $350 Range)
The Martin Saber is a perfect bow for beginners looking to either get out and shoot some arrows at targets or to go on their first hunt. It is a durable, lightweight bow that is equipped with above par vibration damping technology. It has a well-designed grip that makes it comfortable to hold and a smooth draw that takes some of the stress out of shooting.

The riser is made of aluminium which means that it is stronger and lighter than wood counterparts. The grip on the bow is ergonomically designed, and it is also sweat resistant. Part of the grip’s stellar design comes from the Thermal V protective damping grip that Martin began to use a few years back. The limbs are made of laminated wood and glass. They are durable and are able to send an arrow careening through the air at breakneck speed.

This takedown recurve bow can easily be assembled and taken apart by simply removing two screws. The entire procedure takes right around one minute. When it is disassembled, the bow will easily sit in a medium to large size handbag.

For a bow in this price range, the Martin Saber is an exceptional find. It is rare to find a bow in this price range that is 64 inches. Perfect for a beginner, and still exciting for more experienced shooters, the Martin Saber is definitely a bow to give a second look at.

Bear Grizzly ($350 – $500 Range)
The last time that Mr. Bear made adjustments to the Grizzly was in 1964. Since then, this bow has proven itself time and time again to be worthy of the term legendary. Many shooters trust the Bear Grizzly to provide them with consistent high quality performance on a budget. This is a bow that is perfect for someone who is first starting out in archery. However, it is also of high enough quality to please an archer with more experience.

This one piece bow has a riser that is made from red Dymondwood. The limbs of the bow are made with a clear Maple back and a black fiberglass front. The bow features a 58 inch AMO length and a Dacron Flemish String. At 58 inches, the Bear Grizzly is large enough to provide a smooth shot. However, it is short enough so that it will not inhibit your movements in the woods. It allows you to get certain shots that longer bows just would not allow. Once you get this bow into your hand and you see how amazing it feels, how tight your groupings are at the archery range and how natural it feels when hunting, you just will not be able to put it down. With more than half a century behind it, the Bear Grizzly is definitely a bow that has earned the rank of legend.

Bear Archery Super Kodiak ($500 – $650 Range)
If we were to describe this bow, we would simply say, “A Great Recurve at a Great Price.” With almost half a century of use behind it, this tried and tested design that was introduced to the world in 1967 continues to thrill archers around the world. The Bear Archery Super Kodiak is an amazingly powerful bow that is perfect for hunting while at the same time extremely comfortable to hold in your hands and to draw.

Many individuals who have purchased this bow say that at 55 pounds, the Bear Archery Super Kodiak shoots just as powerfully as other recurves that have a 60+ pound draw weight. The first time you release the string, you may be surprised by just how powerful this bow is.

Obviously, whether or not an archer will be able to hit the mark will depend greatly on the skill level that they has. However, a bow like the Bear Archery Super Kodiak sure gives the archer every advantage. This bow is extremely low maintenance and easy to tune. It is equipped with a high-quality arrow rest that helps you obtain perfect clearance.

Best Recurve Bow for Women and Youths

Over the last few years, there has been a large increase in the amount of women and youths who are interested in archery. No doubt the popularity of certain movies depicting young female heroines deftly using a bow and arrow has played a part in this increased interest.

Bow manufacturers have taken notice in this increased interest, and as a result, they are changing the way that they produce and market some of their bows. Instead of designing bows exclusively for the length of the male arm, bows are now being designed in a wider range of shapes and sizes to fit archers of different genders and ages. Now, women who are interested in getting into archery and who are interested in bow hunting do not need to use their brother’s, father’s, or husband’s bow. Bows are being designed that are perfectly suited to them and their needs.

When looking to introduce children to archery, parents should provide them with a traditional bow and arrow set as opposed to a compound bow. The reason why we say this is that traditional bows are a lot simpler than compound bows. This simplicity allows the child to focus on shooting rather than learning how to tune all of the mechanisms on a compound bow. Additionally, traditional bows are less expensive. If after a month or two of shooting the child decides that this is no longer for him or her, there is very little money lost.

Finally, it is a lot easier for a child to learn on a recurve bow and then transition to a compound bow. A recurve bow is going to allow the child to increase muscle strength and joint flexibility. They will learn the proper way to release a string, and they will learn to shoot based on instinct. All of these skills translate into using a compound bow. However, when the child starts with a compound bow, it is difficult for them to make the transition to a recurve bow.

PSE Razorback
A good example of a high quality youth and small framed adult woman bow is the PSE Razorback. This is the perfect example of a high-quality bow that is simplicity at its best. To assemble the bow, all you need to do is attach the limbs to the risers and tighten the screws. The nice thing is that the screws can be tighten by hand and so there’s no need to use other tools. You’ll need to purchase a stringer in order to string the bow.

The bow itself is not overly powerful. It comes with a maximum draw weight of 30 pounds. This means that it’s not a hunting bow, but it is definitely a perfect bow for youths and women with smaller frames who may have difficulty drawing back a heavier bow. This is a perfect beginner’s bow. Shots taken up to 30 yards are going to be extremely accurate. After that, you will start to notice some arrow drop.

This bow is equipped to extra accessories. You can install a quiver, a sight or stabilizers. This is great because while the bow itself is simplistic, it gives a beginner a good feel for everything associated with archery. And we want to emphasize that just because this bow is perfect for beginners, it does not mean that it is made of low quality material. In fact, the riser itself is made from hardwood, and the limbs are made from wood laminate. Basically, this means that this bow will be around long after the archer has moved on to a more advanced bow. It is a perfect gift to pass on from generation to generation.

Decision time

So up until now, we have given you a basic overview of what to look for as a beginner. We also looked at some of the popular recurve bows for beginners that are on the market. Now the choice is yours. One of the nice things about a lot of the bows that we have discussed so far on this page is that they are to takedown bows. So as you advance in your skill, you can make adjustments to the bow so that it will keep growing with you.

Archery has been with mankind for thousands of years. Undoubtedly, it will be a mainstay of mankind’s existence for millennia to come. You have made an excellent choice in deciding to join the millions archers on the planet who have seen the joy, thrills and satisfaction that archery brings.