Best Recurve Bows: The Top 5 Bows For All Skill Levels.

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Video best recurve for hunting

Best Recurve Bows: The Top 5 Bows For All Skill Levels.

As a qualified archery instructor with over 15 years of experience, I’m often asked what bows to buy.

Over the years, I’ve tested and owned dozens of bows and advised everyone, from beginners looking to pick out their first bow to experienced hunters looking for something more powerful.

To help others, I decided to put together this list of the five best recurve bows you can buy right now:

  1. Takedown by Samick Sage (Best Overall) *$159.99
  2. Spyder Takedown by Southwest Archery (Great Choice) *$144
  3. TIDEWE (Great for Beginners) *$109.99
  4. Lightning Archery Bow (Great Reviews) *$129.99
  5. Black Hunter Takedown Bow (Good Choice) *$106.99

I’ve personally tested all five of these bows and know exactly how they compare in terms of performance, features, and shooting experience.

I’ve also read online reviews to see what others think of these bows.

Just keep reading to discover why I rate these recurve bows so highly.

1: Takedown by Samick Sage Archery Best Recurve Bows: The Top 5 Bows For All Skill Levels.

In first place on my list of the best recurve bows is the Samick Sage.

The Sage is a great value recurve bow for novice and intermediate archers and my pick for the best overall recurve bow.

  • Length: 62”
  • Draw length: 28”
  • Brace height: 7.75”
  • Riser material: Maple wood
  • Limb material: Maple core coated with fiberglass
  • String: 14 strands Dacron

The Sage is a beginner-friendly bow suitable for recreational archery, field tournaments, 3D archery, bow hunting, and more.

It comes with everything you need to get started, including a 14 stands Dracon bowstring, an arrow rest, a riser, and two fiberglass laminated limbs.

With draw weights of 25-60 lbs in 5 lb increments, Sage’s interchangeable limbs can easily be swapped for more powerful ones as your strength increases.

The Sage is suitable for right-handed and left-handed archers and has four accessory holes that can accept bow sights, a bow rest, a stabilizer, a cushion plunger, or even a reel for bow fishing.

The Samick Sage is one of the most popular recurve bows among the beginners I coach, and most shooters seem to love it.

Currently rated 4.7 out of 5 on Amazon, Sage has 3,166 global ratings and 83% of customers have rated it 5 stars.

Take Eric, for instance, who says he loves Sage’s breakdown feature and thinks it makes an excellent compact survival bow. Best Recurve Bows: The Top 5 Bows For All Skill Levels.

My Experience with the Samick Sage Best Recurve Bows: The Top 5 Bows For All Skill Levels.

I’ve owned a Sage for four years and often lend it to novices I’m coaching. Here’s why it’s my pick for the best overall recurve bow:

  • The rise is extremely ergonomic and has a comfortable wrist grip position that suits most shooters well. Most of the beginners I’ve coached have found it easy to maintain an even grip when shooting the Sage.
  • The Sage is a great bow to learn how to shoot recurve and is also ideal for hunting or archery competitions if you’re willing to invest in a higher-quality string. Although a pair of new limbs will set you back around $75, the Sage is so popular that you should be able to find buyers for your used limbs and offset some of the cost.
  • Some of the drawbacks of the Sage include the amount of limb vibration after each shot and the medium-quality bowstring that it ships with. I recommend investing in a better-quality bowstring and fitting some string silencers, especially if you plan on hunting with this bow.

Overall, I’d highly recommend a Sage to anyone who needs a reliable recurve bow to learn with or who wants an accurate hunting bow.

It’s definitely the best bow out there for less than $200 and my pick for the best overall recurve bow.

Click here to read more about the Samick Sage Recurve Bow on Amazon.

2: Spyder Takedown by Southwest Archery Best Recurve Bows: The Top 5 Bows For All Skill Levels.

In second place on my list of the best recurve bows is the Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow. The Spyder is a great choice recurve bow that’s ideal for hunting deer, bow fishing, or target practice.

  • Length: 62”
  • Draw length: Up to 29”
  • Brace height: 7.75”
  • Riser material: Naturally sourced wood
  • Limb material: Handcrafted wood with reinforced limb tips.
  • String: 14 strands Dacron
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Southwest Archery describes the Spyder as the “next evolution” of the recurve bow, and when you see this bow in real life, it’s not hard to see why.

Handcrafted from naturally sourced high-end wood, the Spyder’s edges are very refined for a bow under $200.

You might also be interested in our article on the best crossbows we recently wrote.

Available with draw weights of 20-60 lbs in 5 lb increments, the Spyder is both beginner-friendly and suitable for more experienced bow hunters.

It ships with an instruction and assembly video and a free stringer tool to make set-up as easy as possible.

The Spyder’s handcrafted riser has pre-installed threaded bushings for various accessories and a basic arrow rest.

I bought a Spyder three years ago as a backup bow for my novice clients to use, and it has proven really popular.

The Spyder also seems to be highly rated online, with a 4.7 out of 5 rating on Amazon based on 928 global ratings.

With 82% of reviewers giving the bow a 5-star rating, it’s fair to say that most customers seem to love the Spyder.

Take Brandon, for example, who says it’s a beautiful and amazing bow that’s great for target practice. Best Recurve Bows: The Top 5 Bows For All Skill Levels.

My Experience with the Spyder Takedown Bow Best Recurve Bows: The Top 5 Bows For All Skill Levels.

I bought the Spyder as a lighter, more ergonomic alternative to my Samick Sage, and I wasn’t disappointed. Here’s why I think it’s a great choice recurve bow:

  • The Spyder is noticeably lighter and less bulky than the Sage, and the grip is more comfortable if you like to shoot while wearing gloves. It’s prettier, too, with high-quality wood and pleasantly rounded edges.
  • In common with the Sage, the Spyder has quite a bit of post-shot vibration and could benefit from a high-quality string and silencers, especially if you plan on using the bow for hunting or 3D archery competitions.
  • The Spyders limbs don’t have the same tight tolerances as the Sage, but this doesn’t seem to affect performance, and the Sage shoots very accurately. The reinforced limb tips mean you can fit a fast flight string which gives the bow a huge boost in performance.

Overall, the Spyder is a great choice recurve bow for novices and performs great in the field when fitted with a high-quality fast-flight string.

One benefit over the Sage is that the Spyder comes with a 1-year manufacturer warranty if you register online.

Click here to learn more about the Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow on Amazon.

3: TIDEWE Recurve Bow Best Recurve Bows: The Top 5 Bows For All Skill Levels.

In third place on my list of the best recurve bows is the TIDEWE Recurve Bow.

The TIDEWE is an ergonomic bow that’s my pick for the best beginner bow for adults and kids.

  • Length: 62”
  • Draw length: Up to 29”
  • Brace height: 7.75”
  • Riser material: Wood
  • Limb material: Fiberglass and wood.
  • String: 16 strands Dacron

The TIDEWE recurve bow comes with easy-to-read instructions and takes less than five minutes to set up, making it ideal for adults and kids.

I wrote on HappyArcherHQ about how it comes with everything you need to get started, including an arrow rest, finger guard, target, bow stringer, and six carbon arrows with removable field tips.

Suitable for target practice and hunting, the TIDEWE has brass bushings for various accessories such as sight, quiver, and even bow fishing reels.

The limbs are interchangeable, and the available draw weights range from 20-50lb, making the TIDEWE suitable for beginners and professionals.

Currently rated 4.6 out of 5 on Amazon based on 837 global ratings, most customers seem very happy with their TIDEWE recurve bows.

Jesse said he was very impressed by his 40lb bow and loves the power it generates. Best Recurve Bows: The Top 5 Bows For All Skill Levels.

He says the bow is easy to set up and ideal for beginners or anyone trying to get back into archery or hunting after a break. Best Recurve Bows: The Top 5 Bows For All Skill Levels.

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My Experience with the TIDEWE Recurve Bow

I don’t own a TIDEWE but tested one that one of my students purchased. Here are my thoughts:

  • Considering its price, the TIDEWE is surprisingly high quality and features a solidly crafted ergonomic riser with pre-installed brass bushings. The wood and fiberglass limbs seem more powerful than their ratings suggest, and I’d recommend choosing a bow 5 lbs lighter when you order.
  • Unfortunately, the carbon arrows, sight, and arrow rest that ship with the bow is all quite poor quality. But if you’re willing to invest in a better string and aftermarket parts, the TIDEWE will make a great bow to learn with.
  • The TIDEWE bow that I borrowed was fitted with 30 lbs limbs, and after adding a fast flight string, I used it to take part in a 3D archery tournament. I found it performed really well in the field; I was impressed by its consistency and lack of post-shot vibration.

Overall, the TIDEWE is a great choice for novices and my pick for the best beginner bow for adults and kids.

If you’re willing to invest in some upgrades, the TIDEWE should provide years of happy shooting.

Click here to read more about the TIDEWE Recurve Bow on Amazon.

4: Lightning Archery Recurve Bow Best Recurve Bows: The Top 5 Bows For All Skill Levels.

In fourth place on my list of the best recurve bows is the Lightning Archery Recurve Bow.

The Lightning may not be as popular as the top three bows on my list, but it performs brilliantly on the range and is my pick for the best recurve bow with great reviews.

  • Length: 62”
  • Draw length: Up to 28”
  • Brace height: 7.5-8.3”
  • Riser material: Wooden 8-piece bamboo core
  • Limb material: Fiberglass and wood.
  • String: 14 strands Dacron

The Lightning Archery recurve bow is a fantastic beginner bow for target practice and is equally well suited to hunting.

The bow features a wooden riser constructed with an 8-piece bamboo core that has pre-installed threaded bushings for accessories like stabilizers or a spool for bow fishing.

The bow comes with everything you need for training or hunting, including a bow stringer, arm guard, and three carbon arrows.

Available with draw weights of between 25-60 lbs in 5 lb increments, the Lightning is suitable for both novice and intermediate shooters.

The pearl sponge grooves make stringing and unstringing the bow very easy and help improve the bow’s speed and accuracy.

The Lightning seems popular with customers and is currently rated 4.8 out of 5 on Amazon based on 153 reviews.

Brett thinks the Lightening is a great bow for beginners and shoots with it every weekend. He chose a 55 lb draw weight but recommends that novices choose a lighter draw weight. Best Recurve Bows: The Top 5 Bows For All Skill Levels.

My Experience with the Lightning Archery Recurve Bow Best Recurve Bows: The Top 5 Bows For All Skill Levels.

When a student of mine said they wanted my opinion on their new recurve bow, they gave me their Lighting to test. Here are my thoughts on the bow:

  • The Lightning seems great for novices who want to learn to shoot recurve bows. It shoots very accurately when paired with the correct weight carbon arrows.
  • A few aspects of the Lightning give away its low price point, such as the cheap plastic arrow rests and basic string. The post-shot vibration is slightly worse than other bows at this price point but doesn’t hinder accuracy too much.
  • The Lightning I tested had 25 lbs limbs and shot very accurately out to 30 yards, making it ideal for target practice and a solid platform for learning.

Overall, the Lightning is a great choice recurve bow for novices, and my pick for the best recurve bow with great reviews.

Click here to learn more about the Lightning Archery Recurve Bow on Amazon.

5: Black Hunter Takedown Recurve Bow Best Recurve Bows: The Top 5 Bows For All Skill Levels.

In fifth place on my list of the best recurve bows is the Black Hunter Takedown Recurve Bow.

The Black Hunter is an extremely reliable bow that gets my vote for a good choice recurve bow.

  • Length: 60”
  • Draw length: Up to 28”
  • Brace height: 7.5 – 8”
  • Riser material: Wood
  • Limb material: High-elastic fiberglass and bamboo
  • String: 16 strands Dacron
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The Black Hunter is a high-quality recurve bow that’s great for target shooting, outdoor shooting, and hunting. Available with draw weights ranging from 25-60 lbs, the bow’s high-elastic fiberglass limbs use bamboo laminate technology to offer consistent power on every shot.

Designed with novice and intermediate shooters in mind, the Black Hunter comes with a bow stringer for easy stringing and unstringing and features beginner-friendly limb bolts to make securing and changing the limbs a breeze.

A couple of my students own a Black Hunter and have raved about its ergonomic grip and how easy it is to shoot with.

Looking online, most customers seem to love it too. The bow is currently rated 4.5 out of 5 on Amazon based on 353 reviews.

Brina says he’s really impressed with the Black Hunter and thinks it’s great value for money. He’s extremely impressed with the quality and highly recommends it to beginners. Best Recurve Bows: The Top 5 Bows For All Skill Levels.

My Experience with the Black Hunter Takedown Recurve Bow Best Recurve Bows: The Top 5 Bows For All Skill Levels.

I decided to include the Black Hunter on this list based on how popular it is among my students. I recently got my hands on one and here’s my experience:

  • The Black Hunter is incredibly sturdy and has a well-designed grip that is easy to hold for extended periods. The 25-lb draw weight and the 28-inch draw are ideal for beginners and should help complete novices get up and running as quickly as possible.
  • Although the endless loop string supplied with the bow is perfectly good, as the limb tips are reinforced, I decided to fit a 16-strand Flemish twist D-97 string and was pleasantly surprised. With the new string, some string silencers, and some Flex Evo 15 0.19 center serving, the bow shot much better and gave a really solid performance.
  • After setting up the Black Hunter at the correct brace height, I was really impressed by how well it performed. I shot around 300 arrows and had a blast!

Overall, the Black Hunter is a steal for the price and well worth considering if you’re considering a recurve bow.

Click here to learn more about the Black Hunter Takedown Recurve Bow on Amazon.

Best Recurve Bows Recap If you were curious about the best recurve bows, I’m sure that any of the five bows on my list will give you years of enjoyment.

If you do decide to buy any of these bows, be sure to carefully inspect the limbs after unboxing them. Check for signs of warping, cracking, and delamination, and ask for replacements if you find any damage.

Bear in mind that the performance of these bows will depend on how well you set them up; it is extremely important to use the correct brace height and the right type of arrows for limb strength.

With that being said, here’s a quick recap of all five of the best recurve bows and what each does best:

  1. Takedown by Samik Sage (Best Overall) *$159.99
  2. Spyder Takedown by Southwest Archery (Great Choice) *$144
  3. TIDEWE (Great for Beginners) *$109.99
  4. Lightning Archery Bow (Great Reviews) *$129.99
  5. Black Hunter Takedown Bow (Good Choice) *$106.99

While all five of these bows are great, if I could only choose one, it would be the Samick Sage.

The Sage offers the best features, performance, and shooting experience of any bow under $200.

It is hugely popular, so you’ll have no shortage of aftermarket and second-hand parts to choose from. Get your Samick Sage here.

Thanks for reading my article on the best recurve bows, and I hope you found it helpful. Happy shooting!

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