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Best Compound Bows For Beginners – Top Picks & Buying Guide

If you’re planning to take up a new sport, let’s call Archery, then good for you! Aiming with one of the best compound bows for beginners will bring you not only success but also a passion. Once you hit your first target, you’ll surely want to do it again and fall in love with it. While Archery can be a fascinating skill to acquire, it requires technical knowledge when choosing the right bow. You need to learn about the bow types, sizes, draw length, and much more to keep things running smoothly.

But wait, don’t be discouraged! We are here to guide you towards your archery journey with this comprehensive review. You’ll find information about the ins and outs of a compound bow and other helpful stuff. So, let’s get started!

What’s the Best Beginner Compound Bow?

Here’s a list of 8 of the best beginner’s compound bows that you can choose according to your requirements:

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Buyer’s Guide

In the past, when online shopping was not a thing, people used to go to sports shops. They would select a bow without knowing all the details and test out if it works for them. If it does, then they would go for it. If not, then they would test other bows until they find the right one, which can be exhausting. Plus, there were limited options, and often the best ones were not available on hand. But today, due to the emergence of e-commerce, people have unlimited options when it comes to buying a product. There is more information available about a particular product, which allows consumers to purchase selectively from anywhere.

Whether you purchase online or offline, it will be a huge mistake if you don’t read the specs of a compound bow. As the features are going to help you perform well, you should have a good grasp on the mechanics. If you know exactly what you need in a compound bow, you won’t even have to test out different bows.

Below are the crucial aspects you should learn first before pulling out your wallet:

Draw length

Before purchasing a compound bow, it is vital to take note of the draw length. Draw length refers to how far you can stretch a bowstring towards you before releasing it. It is measured in inches, and it depends on the length of your arm span. To find your draw length, stretch your arms horizontally, and measure from the tip of the middle finger of one hand to the other. Then when you divide the measurement by 2.5, you’ll get the draw length.

If you have longer arms, then you’ll need a bow accommodating longer draw length. If you have shorter arms, then you’ll need a shorter draw length. Shooting with improper draw length may result in a degraded accuracy as well as discomfort. As different bows come in different draw lengths, you need to select the appropriate one.

Draw weight

Draw weight refers to the amount of force you need to exert to pull back a bowstring. It is measured in pounds. When adjusting the draw weight of a bow, you need to match it with your strength. For example, if the draw weight is 20 pounds, it is lightweight, and you will require less force to hold back. If it is 70 pounds, then it is cumbersome, and you will need more strength to pull the string.

If you’re a beginner, it is recommended that you start with less force and then slowly increase as you build muscles. With the appropriate draw weight-adjusted, you can shoot comfortably and precisely.

Axle-to-axle length

Axle-to-axle length or ATA is the distance between the axles of the top cam and the bottom cam. The ATA length varies from bows to bows. Longer bows are heavy, and they allow smooth draw, which is why they are popular among target shooters. On the other hand, shorter bows are lightweight and portable, so they’re an excellent option for hunters.

Brace height

Brace height refers to the distance between the bow grip or pivot point and the string in an unstretched position. A bow’s brace height affects the performance of your shot. The lower the brace height, the faster the arrow will travel because it spends more time in contact with the string. The higher the brace height, the arrow will lose connection with the string earlier, which results in slower speed. Bows having lower brace heights are ideal for use in tree stands, while higher ones for target shooting.


FPS or feet per second refers to the speed at which an arrow flies after leaving the bow. The higher the fps, the faster the speed and vice versa. While buying a bow, you’ll find that many companies use the term “IBO rating,” which is essentially the same.


When you pull the string of a compound bow all the way back, the cams will hold some of the draw weight. This reduced weight is known as a let-off. Let-off is calculated as the percentage of a bow’s total draw weight. The higher the let-off, the better the accuracy.


The riser is the backbone of a compound bow that contains the grip. The cut-out design throughout the body of the riser is used to hold accessories, including bow sight and stabilizer. Risers are typically made of aluminum, magnesium alloy, or carbon fiber. The speed and accuracy of a bow depending on the material of the riser. A riser that is lightweight and sturdy can withstand pressure during a full draw and provide more excellent maneuverability.


Limbs are the two flexible planks that complete both sides of a riser. These are just as important as a riser because they hold the bowstring and store all the energy. Usually, they are made of fiberglass-based composites because of its high tensile strength.

Compound bow limbs feature parallel design instead of the traditional “D” shape. Parallel limbs have the top and bottom limbs parallel to each other, and this style is used in modern bows. These limbs come in either solid or split designs. Parallel limbs are widespread among bowhunters because they have the advantage of reducing noise and recoil while shooting.


Cams are circular or elongated disks attached to the end of the limbs. These are mainly responsible for the advanced mechanism of a compound bow. Traditional bows usually require a lot of force to pull the string back, which can be challenging to achieve. Compound bows, on the other hand, use cams to let-off some of the force required to pull the string at full draw. This allows shooters to aim the target accurately.

Cams comes in four different styles:

  • Single cams- This cam system features an idler wheel on the upper limb and an elliptical cam on the lower limb. Single cams are quieter, easier to install, and require less maintenance compared to other options. Due to their simplicity, they are an ideal choice for beginners.


  • Dual cams- Dual cams or twin cams are symmetrical-shaped cams placed on the top and bottom limbs. This cam system delivers more speed and accuracy when they are tuned to perfection. However, they produce noise and require more maintenance, unlike single cam systems. Also, the cams need to be constantly synchronized to keep up the optimal performance.


  • Hybrid cams- Hybrid cams feature two asymmetrically-shaped elliptical cams on both sides of the limbs. The top cam is known as a “control” cam while the bottom cam is called a “power” cam. The purpose of the “control” cam is to control the draw weight while the “power” cam provides faster speed. Hybrid cams are usually an upgraded version of dual cams where they eliminate synchronization issues. However, they require proper maintenance for the best performance.


  • Binary cams- Binary cams are different from other cams. This cam system features two active cams where the cable is attached cam-to-cam instead of limbs. Due to such an arrangement, binary cams generate more power and accurate shots. They also eliminate cam synchronization and cable stretch issues.

How to Choose the Right Compound Bow

Now that you’ve learned about archery terminology, it’s time to choose the right compound bow. Before you do, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

Don’t rush!

You’re going to buy your first bow, so don’t let disappointment hunt you! We advise you to take your time, do some research, and interact with expert shooters. Not only will you gain more knowledge about Archery but also will know which bow suits you best. All you’d want is to own a compound bow that feels good to you.

Believe in your strength

There’s no way you’re going to get a bow that tests your upper limits. Besides looking for a higher fps, you should know if you’re able to pull the string to achieve that speed. Also, you have to make sure you’re able to see through the peep sight clearly while stretching. To achieve the best performance, it’s recommended that you choose a bow you can comfortably rely on on without getting tired.

Determine your dominant eye

All of us are either right-handed or left-handed. Similarly, we are also either right-eyed or left-eyed. The eye with which we can focus more strongly is our dominant eye. When choosing a compound bow, it’s essential to know about your dominant eye.

If you don’t know which is your dominant eye, then here’s the trick: Stretch your arms and form a triangle with your index fingers and thumbs. Focus on an object while keeping both eyes open. Now, close the left eye. If the object stays centered, then your right eye is the dominant eye. Now close only the right eye. If the object stays centered, then your left eye is the dominant eye.

Now that you know your dominant eye, it’s time to choose either a left-handed or a right-handed bow. If you’re left-eye dominant, then go for a left-handed bow. If right-eye dominant, then a right-handed bow. In case if your eye and hand dominances don’t match, then you can try relying on your handedness.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What’s the Difference Between a Men’s & Women’s Compound Bow?

There’s not much difference between a men’s and women’s compound bow except for draw length. Typically, an average man is taller than an average woman, so they have different draw lengths. A longer draw length is suitable for men, while a shorter draw length is ideal for women.

  1. Can I go hunting with a compound bow?

Yes, you can! Unlike traditional bows, most bowhunters prefer to use compound bows for hunting due to their versatility and effectiveness. You can easily adjust the bow to your comfort and bring down a whitetail deer or other game.

  1. Is it Safe for My Kids to Shoot Archery?

Archery is safe for kids- only when they are trained well enough to know what might cause injury. There are children all over the world doing Archery for decades, so proper instruction and supervision is required.

  1. What’s the Difference Between Compound & Recurve Bows?

There are many differences you can spot in a compound and a recurve bow. Unlike a recurve bow, a compound bow uses advanced technology. There are cams on both sides, a long string, a bow sight, and other accessories for greater accuracy. Most importantly, you have the option to customize the bow for its purpose.

On the other hand, recurve bows have a simple design and a shorter string. Unlike compound bows, they are lighter and easier to maintain. However, large recurve bows can be hard to pull back because you need to give a lot of strength.

  1. What is the best compound bow for 2020?

Based on the number of positive reviews by Amazon customers, the Diamond Archery Pro bow is the best compound bow for 2020. It has great precision, faster speed, and a wide range of adjustability, making it suitable for all ages.

  1. How far can a compound bow shoot?

A typical compound bow can shoot an arrow over 1000 feet. However, the farthest shot ever recorded is 930.04 feet. To reach such long distances, you need to consider several factors- draw weight, draw length, cams, arrow setup, etc.

  1. What lb bow should I use?

The draw weight of a bow entirely depends on your physical capabilities. Different people have different strengths, so the draw weight varies accordingly. As you will be using the bow in the long run, you need to select the draw weight that you’re comfortable with.

One thing you can do is test your strength with a bow of a certain draw weight, say 40 pounds. Simply pull the string at full draw while remaining still for 30 seconds and see if you’re able to hold it like that. If you’re okay with it, you can start practicing, and if not, then you can try testing with lower weights.

Final Verdict

Now that you have seen some of the best compound bows for beginners and have an idea about the factors to consider, it’s time to get your first bow. You may look for a bow that gives plenty of adjustabilities, or a bow that comes with a complete package- everything depends on your personal preference. In this article, we just selected the ones that should give you what you want.

We hope you have a great experience in finding the perfect bow!

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