If you want the most basic bow and arrow without the mechanical complexities of compound bows and other types of bows, then you need to get the best recurve bow.
We did a LOT of research and we listed the 6 BEST recurve bown you can buy in 2018 (so far).
Let’s take a quick look at what we recommend before we go into details:
Mike's Top Choice
(The one we like the best)
Can be used for Bowfishing
Options available for draw weights
High quality and extremely sturdy
Includes a stringer tool
(Check current price down below)
Great for hunting up to large game
You can attached own arrow rest
Nicely polished and offers excellent performance
Strong fiberglass limb made of mapple
This are the BEST recurve bow we took a look at:
- Southwest Archery Spyder TakEdown
- Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow
- Longbowmaker Hungarian Style Handmade
- Toparchery Archery 56″ Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow
- KESHES TakedOwn Recurve Bow And Arrow
- SAS Spirit 62″ Takedown Recurve Bow
Here are the full reviews:
The BEST 6 Recurve Bows
Mike’s Gear Reviews have come up with six of the best recurve bows that you can buy online. Five of these are takedowns, and only one is a one-piece. The specs and prices are from Amazon unless stated otherwise.
From US company Southwest Archery, the Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow and Arrow Set is a good, if not better, copy of the more popular Samick Sage (more on that later). It boasts of being the “new, improved version” of the classic Samick Sage model. And as it is designed by the makers of the Samick Sage, the Spyder is truly an improvement of the former.
|Includes 1 year warranty||No pre-installed nock|
|Can be used for bowfishing||Stringer not included|
|Options available for draw weights|
- Designed by the makers of the Samick Sage: The SWA Spyder “improved” which has been referred to as the Sage 2; total bow length is 62 inches.
- Improvements Over Standard Sage: The hard edges of the riser (handle) and limb pockets have been rounded to provide a sleeker, lighter weight, and more comfortable experience. A layer of wood (found in many high-end recurves) has been added to the riser to make it stand out from the crowd at an impressive value. Flush limb bolts provide a more streamlined look and feel. Limbs still have reinforced limb tips and are fast flight compatible.
- Included: 3-piece takedown bow, allen wrench for assembly, bow string, arrow rest. Good for hunting, bowfishing, target archery
- Required: A stringer tool is needed to take the string on/off the bow.
- Hand Orientation: A right-handed bow will be held in your left hand and the string pulled with the right hand. Left-handed bows are held in the right hand and pulled with the left hand.
As Southwest Archery touts the Spyder, it is often referred to as the Sage 2 because it’s the improved version of the popular recurve bow. The hard edges of the riser and limb pockets are rounded to avoid the hard edges that the Samick Sage had.
This is a high quality and extremely sturdy takedown recurve bow, which can be both the best bow for beginners and the ideal bow for veteran archers. It is perfect for hunting, target-shooting and even bow-fishing. It also does include a stringer, which is crucial in assembling and disassembling the bow.
Overall, this USA-made recurve is a very good bow. And as early as we are on this list, we could even say this is the best takedown recurve bow that we have so far.
And this is the popular Samick Sage.
Seasoned and newbie archers often compare this to many other recurve bows. For some, this is the bar for the best recurve bow. Like the Spyder above, the Sage can also be purchased in either left or right hand orientation. It also has a wide range of draw weights available, from 25 lbs. to 60 lbs. This takedown recurve bow is designed to be newbie-friendly. If you are new to archery, you can’t go wrong with taking the Sage as your first bow.
|Wide selection of draw weights available||Stringer not included|
|Limbs can be upgraded||Slightly heavier than others|
|Can be used for bowfishing|
- This 62” bow includes: B-50 bow string and arrow rest
- Pre-installed brass bushings for brass plunger, stabilizer, sight and quiver
- Limbs are hard maple with black fiberglass; single tapered knob and metal limb pocket design
- Recommended Max Draw Length: 29″
- Recommended Brace Height: 7 ¼ inch to 8 ¼ inch
The Sage is unsurprisingly popular with both beginner and expert archers. This China-made bow from Korean company Samick is almost the perfect bow. Its limbs are made from hard rock maple with black fiberglass coating, making it a sturdy and appealing choice. Its riser is a classic wood design.
You can choose from 25 lbs. to 60 lbs. draw weight. But if you are hunting, choose a minimum of 40 lbs. Otherwise, it is possible that you will just injure your target.
Some users complain of the bow being a tad heavy but not unmanageable. You can also use this for bowfishing if you attach a reel.
The simplicity of its design makes it a really good takedown recurve bow.
The only one piece recurve bow on this list, the Longbowmaker Hungarian Style is a beautifully handcrafted classic design that works for both right-handed and left-handed archers. This China-made one-piece bow is one of the best recurve bows in the market right now.
|Handmade classical design||No arrows included|
|Wide range of draw weights available|
- Draw weight: 20-110lbs
- Bow Body Length: 145cm; String Length: 131cm
- Draw Length: 28 inches; Safe Draw Length: 33 inches
This minimalistic bow is probably the best bow for beginners because it is a no-fuss, easy to use recurve that does the job. It doesn’t have an arrow rest so you can use it comfortably regardless if you are left or right-handed.
This handmade bow has limbs made of laminated wood and fiberglass, ensuring that it is a sturdy piece. It is a basic bow that doesn’t come with extra features or accessories, but it’s one of the most lightweight in the market.
The downside is it doesn’t come with arrows. Other than that, you can enjoy its simplistic and classical design, whether you are a novice or an expert hunter or target-shooter.
Another contender for the best takedown recurve bow, the Toparchery Archery 56″ is a great hunting tool for beginners. It comes as is, no accessories and other extras included. Nevertheless, it’s a strong bow that can perform excellently in hunts.
|Quiet||No option for left hand orientation|
|You can attach own arrow rest||No accessories included|
|Great for hunting up to large games|
- High Strength Casting Aluminum Riser: The bow is very nicely polished and offers excellent performance
- Total Length: 56“
- Max Draw Length: 30″
- Aluminum / carbon arrows are recommended
- Strong fiberglass limb made of maple
- Designed for right-handed shooter
- Strings, bow stringer, rest, tools sold separately
The Toparchery Archery 56″ Takedown Recurve Bow is what you need if you are a newbie hunter. This recurve bow hunting tool makes for a clean kill of larger games. It’s quiet without the accessories, making it perfect for hunting.
There is no option for left-handed people, though. So you might want to consider that before jumping on to buy this.
Target-shooting? You need the KESHES Takedown Recurve Bow and Arrow. This impressive yet inexpensive recurve is the perfect tool that you can pass to your children and the future generations.
|Ergonomic design||Not the best for hunting|
|Comes with accessories|
|Pre-installed brass bushings|
- Includes: Impressive round edge riser; Wooden limbs outside layered with black fiberglass; Knob screws to attach the limbs on the riser, so NO tools are needed; Dacron bow string; Stringer tool for easy and safety assembling – Stick on arrow rest; Eye sight for a perfect aim; Detailed step-by-step instructions
- Extremely Comfortable Grip: Keshes™ Bow riser is ergonomically designed with rounded edges and a fine finished wooden handle which will allow you to have your best experience while aiming on your target at your target shooting competition game.
- Features: Pre-installed brass bushings for any type of upgrade you will ever consider, such as brass plunger, stabilizer, sight, quiver, and can be used for bowfishing as well. With the Takedown feature, you will always be able to change your limb to increase the weight as you grow or decrease the weight to give to your child to practice.
- Right & Left Handed
- 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed: If you are not 100% satisfied with KESHES™ recurve bow, they will refund you 100% of your order, although we are confident that you will love it.
First things first, because it has lighter draw weights, it doesn’t meet many hunting regulations in the US. With a draw weight of up to 35 lbs. only, it’s better used for target-shooting. There is another KESHES variant that has a 40-60lb draw weight that is better as a recurve bow hunting tool.
Like the KESHES Takedown Recurve Bow above, the Southland Archery Supply Spirit 62″ is better for target-shooting than for hunting. Its draw weight of maximum 34 lbs. doesn’t meet most hunting regulations in the US, and so despite being touted as a takedown recurve bow, it is best not to use it as such.
|Quiet||Not for hunting|
|With 3-year warranty|
|Pre-drilled holes for future upgrades and accessories|
- Strong fiberglass limb
- Made of maple laminations
- Recommended shooter heights up 5´7″
- Right or Left hand
- This item is fully covered by Southland Archery Supply 3-year limited manufacture warranty
Even though this isn’t a good weapon for hunting, it is still a superb tool for target-shooting. It is accurate and quite forgiving for beginners who are still trying to correct their poor stance. Therefore, it could be considered the best bow for beginners at its price point.
This recurve bow is also pre-installed with bushings required for installing future upgrades and accessories. The bow, according to its glowing reviews, is quite resistant to limb twist, so this could mean it would last for a long time with minimal damage.
Overall, the SAS Spirit 62″ can be the best takedown recurve bow for new archers for its price.
Best Recurve Bow
Among the best recurve bows listed above, Mike’s Gear Reviews thinks that the Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow and Arrow Set is the most adaptable and efficient recurve bow. Even if it’s also the most expensive on this list, beginners and pros alike would find it the best value for money, and therefore the best recurve bow as well.
What Is a Recurve Bow?
If you want the most basic bow and arrow without the mechanical complexities of compound bows and other types of bows, then you need to get the best recurve bow.
A recurve bow is a type of bow that is curved away from the archer when unstrung. You can easily identify it from other types by looking at its limb tips, which are curved at either end. The curved tips are not just for aesthetics, they store more energy and therefore deliver it more efficiently than straight-limbed bows, propelling arrows faster and more powerful.
This is the only type of bow that is permitted in the Olympics as well.
You might have heard traditional, primitive and modern archery when referring to recurve bows. In Olympics, modern recurve bows are required in archery. Modern archery means you use modern equipment like stabilizers, arrow rests, releases, sights etc. You can shoot an arrow without those things, but they improve your shooting if you used them. As for the bow itself, according to some of the best recurve bow reviews, arrows should also be made of modern materials like aluminum and fiberglass.
Traditional archery is shooting without the use of modern equipment. You might also have heard recurves referred to as traditional, but they still use modern equipment. It could be a little confusing because recurve bows are sometimes called traditional just because they don’t have more complex mechanisms.
Primitive archery, on the other hand, is taking it one step further by using natural bow materials, like wood, horn and sinew. In this day and age, you would most likely find modern recurve bows than the other two.
Do You Need a Recurve Bow?
With other types of bows available, why would you want to settle on a recurve bow? Using other types would be so great as well if you could, but if you can only try out one, you might want to give this a try.
Firstly, it is typically cheaper because it’s a straightforward tool without complex mechanisms. It is by far the simplest definition of a bow: body and a string.
And while it’s cool to know how to use a compound bow and other types as well, knowing how to wield a recurve bow is knowing the basics of archery.
What to look for in a Recurve Bow
There are several things you must consider when looking for the best recurve bow for you. Some criteria should be tailored to you, while others are general ones but just as important. These are the size/length of the bow and your draw length, its draw weight, material quality, right hand or left hand, takedown or one-piece, and where it’s made.
Length and Draw Length
Longer bows usually shoot farther and more accurately than shorter ones. However, it will also not do if you can’t physically handle the bow because it is too large for you. A good rule of thumb is that the bow shouldn’t be taller than you are. The right size or length of the bow will not only be comfortable to use, but efficient as well.
Make sure that the bow doesn’t touch the ground when you hold it in position in front of you.
The right bow size for your height is also dependent on your draw length.
To determine your draw length, extend your arms shoulder length from side to side. Have someone else measure from the tip of one of your middle fingers to the other. Divide that number by 2.5, and the result is your draw length.
The size charts for draw length and bow size have slight differences from one tutorial site to the next. Nevertheless, the bow size should be at least twice as long as your draw length. If your draw length is up to 17″, you can show a bow from 48″ to 54″; if it’s up to 20″, it’s 54″ to 58″; 22″ is 58″ to 62″; 24″ is 62″ to 64″; 26″ is 64″ to 66″; 26″ is 64″ to 66″; 28 is 66″ to 68″; and 30 and over is 70″ to 72″.
Speaking of draw length, it is simply distance you can draw the string back.
If draw length is the distance which you can draw the string, the draw weight is the maximum amount of force you need to pull the string. It is one of the first things that you should consider when looking for the best bow for beginners. You need to be able to pull the string back while still maintaining control of the bow.
Children and those new to the sport start out with lower draw weight than what they can pull. It’s better to start low and then just progress higher as you improve your skill.
The draw weight of the bow can also determine if the recurve bow is for hunting or for target-shooting.
If it’s for recurve bow hunting, you need a minimum draw weight of 40 lbs. to humanely kill small to medium games. If it’s just for target-shooting, you don’t need that much draw weight, or at least it wouldn’t matter as much. You arrow will travel farther with a heavier draw weight, though. But again, if you’re a beginner, a 30-pound draw weight is already good for target-shooting.
We are talking about modern archery here where synthetic materials, as well as natural ones like woods, are used. As for the materials of the bow’s parts, they should either be top-notch, which is always the ideal, or at least strong enough to function as they are supposed to.
For example, the riser, or the center section of the bow, should provide a comfortable grip for your hand and reduce vibration. The material could be aluminum, magnesium alloy, or a type of hardwood.
The best recurve bow should also include brass bushings so you can install additional accessories.
The limbs should be made from materials that are resistant to bending and breaking. These usually include multiple layers of fiberglass and other materials.
Right or Left Hand
The best recurve bow for you depends on your hand orientation.
If you are left handed, you draw the bow with your left hand and hold the arrow with your right, and vice versa. Recurve bows come in either left or right hand orientation. There are some brands and styles that only come in one, though, so you need to check whether the one you are buying comes in the same hand orientation as you are.
One-Piece or Takedown
Many older models of recurve bows come in one-piece, or those bows that have risers and limbs made from a single piece of material. They are carried in one whole piece. But most modern ones are collapsible into several parts. This is called a takedown recurve bow. It can be disassembled into several pieces, usually three pieces, so they can easily be stored. Some takedowns also allow changing of their limbs for higher draw weights as you progress.
Ideally, the best recurve bows are made locally, or at least in the same country as you are. But not everything is made in the USA. There are also quality products from other countries. Nevertheless, you probably still want to know where your bow and arrow are made because you’d know if the ones you are getting are authentic or not.