Best Beginner Compound Bow | Starter / Entry Level Bows (2019)

Welcome to our guide to choosing the best beginner compound bow.

Whether you’re on the market for a beginner’s compound bow for yourself or someone you love enough to give the gift of a hobby, the world of bow hunting or target archery is an exciting choice. However, it can also be an expensive choice. It’s a good idea to start with a more affordable bow until you’re sure you or said loved one plan to stick with it.

Of course, you also don’t want a bow so low quality it either quickly needs replacing or hinders the learning process. Not all compound bows are made equal regardless of their price. So, how do you pick a good compound bow for beginners, and which are the best on the market right now?

Our Top Pick

If we were to recommend the best entry level compound bow, that would be the Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro. The infinite edge pro ticks all the boxes that define the best starter compound bow. It is exceptionally affordable but loaded with valuable features, including:

  • 310 FPS
  • 5-70 lbs. adjustable draw weight
  • 13-31-inch adjustable draw length
  • 7-inch brace height

Weighing a paltry 3.2 lbs, the Infinite Edge Pro is easy to lug around for prolonged periods. It’s ideal for any adult, and the smooth draw makes it easier for beginners to handle. You’ll learn more about this compound bow in our comprehensive compound bow for beginners review in the final section of this article.

Meanwhile, let’s look at our other picks. Later on we’ll also learn how to choose the best beginner compound bow for your needs.  

Eight Top-Rated Compound Bows for Beginners

Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro

Touted as one of today’s best-selling compound bows, the Diamond Infinite Edge Pro comes with a remarkable range of adjustability. It has all the features that a beginner archer would need. It is also reasonably priced.

Key Features

  • Weight: 3.2 lbs.
  • Draw Weight: 5-70 lbs.
  • Draw Length: Up to 31 inches
  • Arrow Speed: 310 FPS
  • Riser made with a solid piece of aluminum
  • Dual-eccentric cam system
  • Parallel limb design
  • Tube Peep Sight
  • 5-inch ultra-lite Octane stabilizer

The Infinite Edge Pro is built with high-quality materials. That makes it highly reliable and durable. The rise is made from a solid piece of lightweight, machined aluminum.

Thanks to this light weight, children and women can use the bow comfortably. It can also be used for prolonged periods without arm strain.  Made from a texturized, hardwearing rubber, the grip ensures users don’t falter during the release. It’s really the best beginner compound bow for adults.

The grip can also fit virtually all hand sizes and is suitable for left- and right-handed users. While the bow is marketed for women and children, it offers a wide range of adjustability to suit all types of archers. Its elliptically-shaped cams are synchronized to each other, allowing an excellent straight shot.

The Infinite Edge Pro can be used to nurture beginning hunting and archery skills and still be used as a pro about ten years later.  What I don’t like about this bow is that it produces some noise, which is not good while hunting.

Pros

  • Versatile – ideal for both sports and hunting
  • Highly adjustable
  • Elegant design
  • Great balance of sufficient and high-quality features
  • Comes with Lifetime Warranty

Cons

  • Not very quiet
  • The square grip may be uncomfortable

Overall, the Diamond Archery Infinite Pro is an excellent pick for small-stature users that will last for many years.

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Bear Archery Cruzer G2 Compound Bow

A powerful, versatile, and lightweight compound bow, the Bear Archery Cruzer G2 can be a solid choice for beginner archers. It’s packed with great features to give users a satisfying experience as they learn the ropes in the world of archery and hunting.

Key Features

  • Weight: 3 lbs.
  • Draw Weight: 5 – 70 lbs.
  • Draw Length: 12 – 30 inches
  • Axle Length: 30 inches
  • Arrow Speed: 315 FPS
  • Let-off: 70 percent
  • Machined aluminum riser
  • Available for right- and left-hand users

The Cruzer G2 fires at 315 FPS, which is very fast, providing a higher chance of hitting prey. Its draw weight can be adjusted from 5 to 70 pounds with a 30-inch draw offer the fastest speed.

This bow has an axle length of 30 inches and is an excellent length for a beginner to start with. The Cruzer G2 has a brace height of 6.5 inches, making it a nice choice for hunting a 3-D target shooting too.

Weighing only 3 pounds, this bow is easy to carry around for long periods.  It also comes with some valuable accessories, including:

  • 4-pin fixed-pin sight
  • Five-arrow quiver
  • Whisker biscuit arrow rest
  • Stabilizer

The major disadvantage of the Bear Archery Cruzer G2 is that it can be very noisy. Fortunately, the stabilizer helps to minimize the noise.

Pros

  • Ideal for beginners and pros
  • Sturdy and fast
  • Lightweight and durable
  • High-quality accessories
  • Available in a selection of styles and colors

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with arrows
  • Can be noisy during arrow release

With its handy accessory selection, quick draw, and versatile design, Cruzer G2 is a great starter kit for beginners, but would likely be best for target practice as opposed to hunting.

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Quest Radical

Here’s another bow that will help beginners develop their hunting and archery skills and also serve well once that beginner has gone pro. The Quest Radical is a lightweight and versatile compound bow. It is marketed as ideal for a younger, beginner archer.

Nonetheless, the Quest Radical compound bow can also meet the needs of mature and more experienced archers. It can also deliver impressive results in bow fishing.

Key Features

  • Weight: 3.25 lbs.
  • Draw Weight: 15-70 lbs.
  • Draw Length: 17.5- 30 inches
  • 7.125-inch Brace Height
  • Axle Length: 29.5 inches
  • Arrow Speed: 295 FPS
  • Let-Off: 75 percent

This bow’s draw weight can be adjusted from 15 to 70 pounds, which makes it a fantastic choice for both young and experienced shooters. With an adjustable draw length of 17.5 to 30 inches, this compound bow can serve a wide range of different shooters effectively.

The major shortcoming of this bow is its low IBO speed of 295 FPS and may not be a good option for hunting at long distances. It can also produce a lot of vibration that may affect your accuracy.

Pros

  • Wide draw weight adjustment range
  • Wide draw length adjustment range
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Quite slow
  • Vibration dampening accessories not included

The Quest Radical is inexpensive and might make a great gift for a child who may or may not like archery, but it’s lack of accuracy and firing speed would prove disappointing for the already-devoted beginner.

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Diamond Edge SB-1

Another inexpensive starter compound bow, the Diamond Edge SB-1 has a lot to offer at a value price.

Key Features

  • Weight: 3.6 lbs.
  • Draw Weight: 7-70 lbs.
  • Draw Length: 15-30 inches
  • Axle Length: 31 inches
  • 7-inch Brace Height
  • Arrow Speed: 318 FPS
  • Let-Off: 80 percent

The most remarkable feature of the SB-1 is binary cam technology.  One cam is a slave to the other, eliminating timing and synchronizing problems. This system minimizes the need to tune the bow, and as a result, delivers perfect shots without compromising smoothness and silence.

The bow can deliver up to 318 FPS and kinetic energy or about 62 to 65 ft-lbs, giving a higher chance of taking prey down. The SB-1 is also very easy to adjust and can be adjusted on the go. It comes with a selection of valuable accessories, including:

  • 3-Pin TRUGLO® Apex Tundra sight
  • Comfort Wrist Sling
  • Octane™ Hostage XL Arrow Rest
  • 5-inch Octane Ultra-Lite stabilizer
  • Carbon peep sight
  • BCY string loop
  • Octane DeadLock Lite quiver

Pros

  • Versatile, reliable, and durable
  • Easy to adjust
  • Smooth and silent

Cons

  • May not be effective for larger game

A step up from the Quest Radical, the SB-1 includes accessories and offers superior sight, accuracy and noise reduction but won’t break the bank. It’s our top pick as a budget buy for beginners.

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SAS Rage Compound Bow

The SAS Rage is one of the best beginner compound bows that allow you to establish a strong shooting foundation.

Key Features

  • Weight: 4.4 lbs.
  • Draw Weight: 55-70 lbs.
  • Draw Length: 26 – 30 inches
  • Axle Length: 35 inches
  • Arrow Speed: 270 FPS
  • Let-off: 70 percent

The SAS Rage fires arrows at 270 FPS, which is sufficient for most hunting applications. This bow offers a draw length adjustment of 26 to 30 inches. The somewhat small adjustment range is excellent for a beginner as it gives an easier time setting up and tuning.  

The 4.4 pounds overall weight isn’t bad for a beginner either, excluding when hike hunting for several days. The major downside of this bow is that most of the components are of average quality. Nonetheless, it is one of the most cost-friendly compound bows for a novice archer.

Pros

  • Beginner friendly
  • Competitively priced
  • Several out of the box accessories that most of its competitors don’t offer.

Cons

  • Some components are of poor quality

The SAS Rage would have been our top budget pick if it were a bit more durable. The corner-cutting on parts with this bow leaves it sure to require replacement after a short while. Of course, most beginners do trade up once they learn the ropes, so this may not be an issue.

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Bear Authority Compound Bow

The Bear Authority is a compact compound bow, but with virtually everything you would expect in the best starter compound bow.

Key Features

  • Weight: 4 lbs.
  • Draw Weight: 50-70 lbs.
  • Draw Length: 24.5-31.5 inches
  • Brace Height: 6.75 inches
  • Axle Length: 31 inches
  • Arrow Speed: 315 FPS
  • Let-Off: 80 percent
  • Aluminum Riser
  • Composite limb
  • Customizable grip
  • Available for both right- and left-hand users

This bow is short and compact, which makes it easy to climb a tree stand with and lug around in the woods. It also features split, parallel limbs.

The limb design gives it a modern, mean look that would be the envy of other hunters. The bow has an excellent customizable grip. You can change the grip for various hand sizes, for glove wearing, and more.

The grip is also perfectly balanced so that it can be held comfortably at full draw for prolonged periods.  The bow’s draw length can be adjusted from 24.5 to 31.5 inches, and you don’t need a bow press to make the adjustments. An Allen Key is all you need.

Unfortunately, the Bear Authority doesn’t come with an Alley Key, so you’ll have to buy a set separately. Additionally, the compound bow is reasonably priced. This could be best compound bow for beginner hunters.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Can be used for hunting virtually any game.

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with Allen Keys

The Bear Authority compound bow is a good choice if you want a bow that looks cool but also performs well. Children, in particular, might be fond of the cool-look aspect.

Bowtech Carbon Rose

The Bowtech Carbon Rose compound bow is one of the few starter bows designed explicitly for women. It is one of the lightest compound bows on the market.

Key Features

  • Weight: 3.2 lbs.
  • Draw Weight: 40-60 lbs.
  • Draw Length: 22.5-27 inches
  • Axle Length: 30 inches
  • Arrow Speed: 302 FPS
  • 7-inch Brace Height
  • Let-off: 80 percent
  • Kinetic Energy: 60.8 ft-lbs.

The Carbon Rose is packed with features that make it excellent for female shooters—from beginners to professionals. The bow is made from tough carbon fiber. This material is not only lightweight, but it also doesn’t conduct the cold, so it keeps your hands quite warm in cold weather.

It also uses Bowtech’s Binary Cam System, which delivers exceptional speed while remaining in tune. You can adjust the bow’s draw length from 22.5 to 27 inches without the need of a bow press.

This draw length adjustment range can suit women of virtually all sizes. The bow has 80 percent let off and feels awesome when at full draw. It also features a slim, comfortable grip for small hands.

Additionally, the Carbon Rose hardly produces any noise or recoil. It is capable of shooting fast and flat with exceptional accuracy.

Pros

  • Impressive  speed
  • Lightweight
  • Smooth and silent
  • Easy to adjust draw weight and length

Cons

  • Limited color options

In addition to its great features, the smooth draw, and positive back-wall make the Carbon Rose is one of the best options for women just getting started with archery.

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Bowtech Archery Diamond Deploy SB RAK

This bow is another lightweight option you can consider. The Bowtech Archery Diamond Deploy SB RAK is designed to produce minimal vibration or noise when the arrow is released, despite being lightweight.

Key Features

  • Weight: 3.2 lbs.
  • Draw Weight: 50 – 70 lbs.
  • Draw Length: 26-30.5 inches
  • Axle Length: 31.5 inches
  • Brace Height: 6.75 inches
  • Arrow Speed: 330 FPS
  • Let-Off: 80 percent
  • Available for both right- and left-hand users

The Diamond Deploy SB is made using carbon composite technology making it lightweight and easy to lug around. Since carbon doesn’t conduct cold, the bow will be comfortable in your hand regardless of the weather condition.

With a draw length adjustment range from 22.5 to 27 inches, while this bow is ideal for women, it may not be a good option for kids. The Diamond Deploy is also equipped with a string suppressor, which helps to minimize vibration when you take a shot.

The major shortcoming of this bow is that its draw weight is not adjustable. However, the manufacturer makes up for that by offering the bow in three main draw weights – 40, 50, and 60 pounds.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Minimal vibration
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Draw weight not adjustable
  • May only be appropriate for women

For the ladies, the SB RAK might be an option, but it just doesn’t measure up to the Carbon Rose in terms of speed and versatility.

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best beginner compound bows

Buying Guide for Beginner Compound Bows

Before buying a compound bow, you need to know a little about bows, so you know what you’re looking at—and that’s just what our buying guide is designed to do.

Here are the fundamental factors to consider when shopping for the best starter compound bow.   

The Purpose of The Bow

The first thing to consider is the intended use of the bow. This will help you sift through the numerous options and pick the best unit for your needs.

For example, if the compound bow will be used for hunting, you want a unit that is not too light in weight. Otherwise, the bow strength might not be sufficient to put prey down in a humane manner. A hunting bow should also be quiet, as a noisy bow may undermine its effectiveness.

Right-handed or Left-handed?

It’s important to understand the importance of eye dominance with bow use as it will help you decide on whether to get a right-handed or a left-handed compound bow. When drawing a bow, the strongest hand pulls, while the non-dominate hand holds the bow. As a result, bow designs vary a bit based on the dominant hand of the user.

Let Off Percentage

If you’re using a recurve bow, you’re required to hold the string when drawing the bow. Over time, this can become increasingly hard as a result of the increased weight. A compound bow’s let off is the point when you’ve pulled it back a given percentage, and the weight on the bowstring drops so you can keep it drawn.

This comes in handy when hunting. Sometimes you want to keep the bow drawn to uphold targeting and aiming efficiency. The let-off percentage for beginner compound bows typically ranges from 60 to 75 percent.

Cams

Cams refer to a mechanical system on which compound bows are built. They encompass the string, harnesses, and cables and play a significant role in controlling the draw, the let off, as well as the arrow speed. There are three major types of cam systems:

  • Single Cam
  • Binary Cams
  • Hybrid Cams

A single cam bow features a cam on the bottom and an idler wheel at the top. These types of bows have impressive accuracy. Unfortunately, they don’t work effectively on all draw lengths and can be limiting.

Hybrid bows are quite similar to single cams. However, they utilize two combined cams. Conversely, binary bows feature cams on the bottom and top of the bow. That makes them deliver excellent power and accuracy.

Draw Length

The draw length is the distance the string covers when the bow is fully drawn. It’s ideal to understand your draw length as it can affect the speed at which arrows are fired, but how do you determine your draw length?

With arms stretched apart, the distance from one fingertip to the other divided by 2.5 is a good starting point for draw length. The lower the draw length, the lower the speed at which the arrow will be fired. Most compound bows come with adjustable draw lengths, so they can be customized to suit different sized users.

Draw Weight

It’s important to choose a compound bow with a draw weight that the archer can handle. For instance, if the bow will be used for hunting, the user should be able to handle at least a draw weight of 40 pounds. Most compound bows come with adjustable draw weight, so you can customize it to suit your needs.

Brace Height

The brace height is the distance from the bowstring to the back of the bow’s handle. It affects how quickly arrows can be fired. A shorter brace height will generally allow more arrows to be shot more quickly than is possible with a longer brace height.

Riser Material

A good beginner compound bow should be lightweight. Therefore, a riser made of aluminum, fiberglass, or carbon fiber would be a great choice. This riser is used to attach various accessories that may be needed.

Your Budget

The amount you’re willing to spend will determine the type and quality of compound bow you get. The price of beginner compound bows ranges from $200 to over $750. However, you’ll typically have limited options to choose from if you’re shopping at the lower end of the market. It’s advisable to go for mid-range compound bows.

Now you know what to look for when shopping for the best compound bow for beginners.

Final Thoughts

Those just getting started with archery or bow hunting are typically confronted with a wide range of compound bow options, along with hundreds of different accessories, when they go shopping for their first bow. The sheer variety of options can be quite confusing to the beginner. With this buying guide for the best compound bow for beginners, you’ll be able to purchase a unit that is appropriate for a successful start.

When you purchase a new compound bow, you’ll want to not only develop your skills with it but also grow with it. Hence, it’s advisable to go for a unit that has adjustable draw weight and length. That ensures you can easily take things to the next level as your skills and strength improve.

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