Which One Is Best? Recurve bow VS Compound bow

Recurve bow VS Compound bow

If you’re puzzling over getting in archery or bow hunting, you may have spent a while viewing bows online or visiting your native bow store. In both places, you must find the three variants of bows. The most common and simplest version recurve bow, modern version compound bow and the advanced one is a crossbow. Now you have to choose one between recurve bow vs compound bow. Which one will be the best one for you? Read to the end, you’ll find it.

recurve bow vs compound bow

Today I’m discussing on recurve bow vs compound bow. I hope you’ve found some nuggets of information which will be able to help you pick.

Short Description on Recurve Bow

Firstly, a recurve bow is the simplest version of the bow. It is also called a “traditional” bow. The reason for the name “recurve” comes from the form of the bow’s frame. Featuring the traditional style, it offers you a simplistic as well as a historic advantage.

recurve bow diagram

Recurve bows are usually simpler kinds of bows that are composed of a couple of pieces for the frame and a single string.

Basically, the structure of a recurve bow is curved out towards the target, which provides the bow a lot of power once forced back. The largest recurve by the draw can fire several hundred yards at an arc. Though a recurve bow is lighter than a compound bow, it needs more force to draw than a compound bow.

As I said before, the recurve bow is the simplest version of the bow that’s why it doesn’t have the mechanisms that a compound bow or crossbows have. A recurve bow is a kind of conventional bow. The very first recurve bows were produced from wood, and wooden recurve bows continue to be available today.

Short Description on Compound Bow

A popular kind of bow used is known as the compound bow. The compound bow was designed to predicate a system known as the Eccentric System. This system has a string, two cams, and one or two cables or harnesses.

In a typical compound bow, the harness is connected to the cam on one arm and the shaft on the other. As you draw the string, you wrap the harness around the cam and pull the arms towards one another. In this case, there are actually two harnesses that work to create energy. during this case, there are literally two harnesses does that job to make energy. A compound bow is excellent since it allows for numerous poundages to be dialed in on the very same bow.

Compound bows are usually employed for hunting, only because they let the hunter shoot greater distances and put more power supporting the arrow. Short compound bows are normally for people who shoot from a tree stand and wish to be in a position to shoot sitting down. It absolutely has to be durable which would automatically eliminate the newest flagship compound bow.

Compound bow diagram

Wich one to choose?

It is quite difficult to decide what to choose a recurve bow or a compound. Let’s have a look, at who is better to use and gives you more advantages.

Target Shooting


When you compare the performance between a recurve bow and a compound bow, then a compound bow is the better option if you are not a beginner in archery. You’ll see that the top finish of bows is available for the two styles coming in at around 70 lbs of draw weight. As you got before, the compound bows are the most modern version then recurve. So, it’ll give a more powerful shot what a recurve bow can’t give you.

You’d figure the two of them ought to grant a similar power however in actuality the compound arrangement of string and cams is increasingly effective at hurling bolts and winds up being all the more dominant in the field.

A compound bow also gives the facility to use modern types of equipment like bow sight, Arrow Rests, Bow Quiver, Silencers, etc. When a typical recurve bow (Not all recurve) will give you the facility to use a bow sight only. The accuracy of penetration of a compound bow is much better than a recurve bow.

archery practicing

Still, the recurve bow is lighter than a compound bow. Keep in mind, the weight of your bow is a very important part when you are shooting. Especially, when you’re hunting, you have to hold your bow for a long time. If you can handle it, then I can tell you, you should take a compound bow.


You’re going to spend your hard-earned money on your bow. So, you have to keep in mind the durability of the bow you’re buying.

In any kind of bow, longevity mostly depends on its maintenance. Though, the price and manufacturer of the bow is also key factor if I’m talking about durability. A best recurve bow can allow a long even life long lasting smoothly if maintained properly. As the recurve bow is the simplest version of the bow, it has not had many mechanisms on it. Most recurves contain only two limbs, a riser, and a bowstring. That’s why maintenance of a recurve bow is much easier than a compound bow.

On the other hand, an average compound bow may last up to 50 years. In these cases, some people like to shoot with a traditional bow and some are interested in more advanced models. It’s up to you, what you prefer.

compound bow


You can purchase one-of-a-kind sorts of limbs for a recurve bow to enlarge and reduce the power of the bow. An assembled bow with one set of limbs is going to provide you with one range of energy only. You can under-draw a recurve bow to motivate it to shoot an arrow with much less force, then again that’s not absolutely adjustable, that’s simply going to purpose bad form.

Some compound bows can have their draw weight/energy and draw size adjusted via using a tool to tweak the role of the cams. Some bows like the Diamond Infinite Edge permit you to regulate the weight from 5 lbs to 70 lbs and the draw size from 13” to 31” all except the use of a bow press.


Of course, portability is an important part of choosing a bow. Especially when you’re hunting, you have to cross a long way with your bow and other hunting gears. Also in the hunting field, you have to wait for an uncertain time. If you lost your energy you can’t shoot your target.

Recurve bow has an advantage here. It is lighter than a compound bow. Generally, compound bows are twice heavier than a recurve bow. It depends on where you are going to use your bow. If it is near or you have good transportation to your spot. You can choose a compound bow. But if it is not, then the recurve bow will be a good decision.



A suitable mid-range recurve bow will only cost you half of the cost of a well-respected compound bow. There’s more that goes into the making of a compound bow. More gathering parts, assembly and transport is more technical. The recurve keeps it simple and is more reasonable.

Recurve bow vs Compound bow – Which one to choose?

Finally, this is the time to choose the right bow for you. I think after reading all those stuff, you are a bit confused now. Ha Ha, let’s keep it simple.

Think about why you need the bow and which one is compatible with your skill and budget. If you are a beginner, want to get into sports, or try some small hunting then a recurve bow will be the best option for you. Recurve bow is simple to use, does not require much skill, and is also easy to maintain.  But if you want a bow for hunting, have some experience and knowledge about bow then you can take a compound bow.

The compound bow will give you more power to penetrate a stronger target from a safe distance. Though, it requires more knowledge and skill to use. So, the decision is all up to your requirements, skill and of course the budget.

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