15 Best Recurve Bows – Perfect Balance, Proper Efficiency, and Lightweight

best recurve bows for hunting

Recurve bows are some of the most popular options for traditional hunting and archery, which means that modern archers (or aspiring archers) have a huge variety of options available when looking to buy one of the best recurve bows around.

best recurve bow

This is both a good thing, and a bad. 

Good, because there’s so much variety out there, and bad because, well...how do you choose the right bow?

If you’ve been wondering about recurve bows, and curious about which ones are worth trying we’ve got you covered. We’re going to go over all the best recurves for everything from traditional archery competitions to big game hunting. 

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow

Southwest-Archery-Spyder

Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow

  • Weights :20-60 lb
  • Dimensions:24.8x7.8x2.2
  • Length : 28 inches

Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow

Samick-Sage-Takedown

Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow

  • Hand Orientation:Right
  • Dimensions:27 x7.2 x 2.3
  • Fiberglass:Riser - 2

October Mountain Night Ridge ILF Recurve Bow

October-Mountain-Night

October Mountain Night Ridge ILF Recurve Bow

  • Height: 60 in
  • Weights: 40 lbs
  • Dimensions:25.5x6.5x2.5

Keshes Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow

Keshes-Takedown

Keshes Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow

  • Hand Orientation: Right
  • Weight: 15-60lb
  • Dimensions:25x5x2 in

PSE Archery Razorback Bow

PSE-Archery-Razorback

PSE Archery Razorback Bow

  • Hand Orientation: Right
  • Dimensions:20.75x5.5x2
  • Height: 6-1/2" to 7

Carbon Express Universal Recurve Bow

Carbon-Express

Carbon Express Universal Recurve Bow

  • Dimensions:26 x 4 x 3.5
  • Weight: 18. 5 lbs.–29 lbs
  • Color: Multi

Woarchery Combat Archery Takedown Recurve Bow

Woarchery-Combat

Woarchery Combat Archery Takedown Recurve Bow

  • Length : 54"
  • Weight: 25LBS
  • Color: Red

AMS Bowfishing Complete Bow Kit

AMS-Bowfishing

AMS Bowfishing Complete Bow Kit

  • Weight: 2.5
  • Length: 58
  • Color: Green

Longbowmaker Hungarian Style Handmade Longbow

Longbowmaker-Hungarian

Longbowmaker Hungarian Style Handmade Longbow

  • Weight: 60.0 Pounds
  • Length: 54
  • Dimensions:59.06x6.69x3.15

Top Archery Traditional Recurve Bow

Top-Archery

Top Archery Traditional Recurve Bow

  • Weight: 30.0 Pounds
  • Length:53inches/135cm
  • Material:Wooden

Kainokai 54" Traditional Laminated Recurve Bow

Kainokai-54

Kainokai 54" Traditional Laminated Recurve Bow

  • Weight: 15-55 lbs
  • Color: Right
  • Length: 35"in

Huntingdoor Archery Mongolian Horsebow

Huntingdoor-Archery

Huntingdoor Archery Mongolian Horsebow

  • Length:±55''
  • Weight: 30-60lbs
  • Hand Orientation: Right Left

I-Sport Traditional Recurve Mongolian Horse Bow

I-Sport-Traditional

I-Sport Traditional Recurve Mongolian Horse Bow

  • Weight: 3.3lb.
  • Length: 29"
  • Height: 7".

AF Turkish Bow

AF-Turkish-Bow

AF Turkish Bow

  • Height:17cm
  • Length:114cm
  • Material :Glass Fiber ,bamboo

Cases for Your Recurve Bow

Cases-for-Your

Cases for Your Recurve Bow

  • Material:Wooden
  • Color: Black
  • Dimensions:45.12x19.45x8.35

What Exactly Are Recurve Bows?

The recurve is the one with curves on each end, kind of like a shallow number 3. These curved ends store more energy than a straight bow. More energy translates into more penetrating power and longer flights. 

Recurves bows come in two categories: takedown bows have limbs that come off, while one-piece bows are made from a single piece of laminated materials. Either way, bow limbs can be made from wood or synthetics. 

In terms of accuracy, there's no difference. 

The big difference in the two types is the take-down can be packed in a much smaller case than a single piece. More importantly, the limbs on takedowns are replaceable. Change the limbs, change the draw weight. Also, the limbs on a takedown can be manually adjusted to change the draw weight for the length of the draw. The limbs attach to the grip, or riser.

A one-piece bow has a fixed draw weight that cannot be changed because the limbs are integral to the riser.

best recurve bow for hunting

How Do You Choose the Best Recurve Bow?

Now that you know a bit more about recurve bows, let’s talk about how to choose the right one for you.

Right or Left-Handed

A common misconception in bowhunting is you pull the string with your dominant hand. If you are right-handed, you pull the string with your right hand.

That is not entirely accurate. Pull the string based on which of your eyes is dominant. This is usually the same side as your dominant hand, but not always. Why? Because you sight down the bow with your dominant eye. If you have to lean your head over to see the sight or get a shooting solution, you are not using your dominant eye.

To figure out which eye is dominant, do this: 

Hold your hands in front of you. Overlap your hands to make a hole around the thumbs and index fingers. Rapidly bring this to your face toward your eyes. Stop when your hands are on your face. Whichever eye is not covered is your dominant eye. That is also the hand you need to pull the string with.

best recurve bows

Draw Weight

Draw weight is the amount of pressure necessary to fully draw the bow. The right draw weight for you depends on a lot of things, like your build, age, sex, and experience level.

As a general rule, children less than 100 pounds should start with bows with 10 to 15 pound draw weights. Add an extra 10 pounds for women with small to medium sized builds. Larger women and men with medium frames will probably want to go with a draw weight between 40 to 55 pounds. Large men will typically want a draw weight that’s a little bit higher. 

With all of that said, you want a draw weight of at least 40 pounds for game hunting in order to get adequately powerful shots at a safe distance. Smaller, less experienced shooters will need to work up to that weight before trying to hunt.

Fortunately, you can typically adjust the draw weight.

Bow Length

On average, recurve bows tend to be about 60 inches long and those that aren’t tend to be only a few inches longer or shorter. 

The length of the bow affects how it feels to shoot it. The longer the bow, the easier the draw, even with the same draw weight. That’s because the limbs of the shorter bow have to curve more for the bow to be fully drawn. 

Longer bows therefore tend to be more comfortable, but weaker or shorter limbed shooters will especially appreciate how longer bows allow them to shoot bows with heavier draw weights more comfortably. On the other hand, longer bows can be unwieldy when hunting as they catch in the brush or bang against trees.

best takedown recurve bow

Now let’s get to the recommendations.

Takedown Bows

1. Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow

If you are serious about a takedown recurve, the Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow is the bow to get. You can swap out the limbs and adjust the tension to get 20-60 pounds of draw weight. Beginners can start with this bow and as they improve and get stronger, change the limbs. 

best budget recurve bow

With a 60 pound max draw weight, this bow is enough to take on almost any critter in North America except the biggest bear, bison, moose and musk ox. It's right on the lower limit for elk, but it will get the job done if you can put the arrow in the right spot.

It comes in right or left-hand models and has mounts for stabilizer, bow reels or other stuff you may want. The riser is laminated wood and is a work of art.

When you order, you get a choice of draw-weight limbs. You also can get a package that includes a stringer tool. The stringer certainly makes stringing your bow easier, which is great because bows should never be stored with the bowstring in place.

Southwest-Archery-Spyder

Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow

The price of Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow varies, so check the latest price at

2. Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow

The Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow is tied for first place with the Spyder above. The main difference is the Sage does not have the same vibrant colors on the riser. In fact, Southwest's line of extra limbs fits this one too.

hunting recurve bow

It has mounts for accessories and comes in a right or left-hand model. When you buy this one, you get to choose the limb draw weight to accompany the riser. This bow comes with a stringer. This one also comes with a rubber arrow rest to mount on the shelf. 

I've shot rubber rests and they are better than nothing, but if you want a better rest for your recurve, get a flipper rest because it has less drag on the arrow.

Samick-Sage-Takedown

Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow

The price of Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow varies, so check the latest price at

3. October Mountain Night Ridge ILF Recurve Bow

The October Mountain Night Ridge ILF Recurve Bow is the most expensive bow in this list. It uses the International Limb Fitting (ILF) standard, so you can buy ILF limbs from any manufacturer to fit the bow. 

best hunting recurve bow

This particular model comes in 4 different weights in 5 pound intervals from 35 to 50 pounds. Each weight is available in both black and camo finishes. You can also get limbs ranging from 25 pounds to up to 60 or more.

The riser is aluminum with cutouts to reduce weight even more. It comes with plenty of mounts for accessories and an arrow rest.

This bow is lower on the list because it is right hand only.

October-Mountain-Night

October Mountain Night Ridge ILF Recurve Bow

The price of October Mountain Night Ridge ILF Recurve Bow varies, so check the latest price at

4. Keshes Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow

With an adjustment range from 15 to 55 pounds, the Keshes Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow is an excellent choice for a beginner who is serious about the sport. The bow will grow with the shooter.

best recurve bow for target shooting

 It is available in right and left-hand models. This bow also comes with a single pin traditional bow sight. 

Replacement limbs are available. It comes with a flipper arrow rest.

Keshes-Takedown

Keshes Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow

The price of Keshes Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow varies, so check the latest price at

5. PSE Archery Razorback Bow

good recurve bow

PSE is one of the top names in archery, but most people know the company for its line of compounds. However, the PSE Archery Razorback Bow is an excellent recurve bow.

It comes in 20-35 pound draw weights and left or right-handed models. The 35-pound draw is suitable for small game and small deer.

PSE-Archery-Razorback

PSE Archery Razorback Bow

The price of PSE Archery Razorback Bow varies, so check the latest price at

6. Carbon Express Universal Recurve Bow

best recurve bow for the money

Just for the sheer novelty factor, consider the Carbon Express Universal Recurve Bow. Rather than a shelf, it has a round opening in the middle of the bow. The arrow sits on two prongs in the middle. It is neither a left nor right handed bow, but as it says, it is universal. In other words, if you are ambidextrous, you can shoot with either hand.

The drawback is the bow has a fairly weak 29-pound draw, so it’s better for archery sports like archery golf or archery bowling than for hunting.

Carbon-Express

Carbon Express Universal Recurve Bow

The price of Carbon Express Universal Recurve Bow varies, so check the latest price at

7. Woarchery Combat Archery Takedown Recurve Bow

Like my last recommendation, the Woarchery Combat Archery Takedown Recurve Bow is not a hunting bow. This is a competition, role-playing, or sport game bow that’s good for beginners. It could also be used for bowfishing thin-skinned fish. 

recurve bow reviews

A 50-pound carp at 20 yards is probably more than this can regularly handle, except in the hands of an expert.

It has a 25-pound draw weight, as well as a right and left shelf so lefties or righties can shoot it. The string comes with finger grips/rolls so you don't need a bow glove, but with the light draw weight, you probably wouldn’t have needed one anyway.

The limbs are fiberglass and the riser is hardened nylon. It comes in black, blue, green, orange and red.

Woarchery-Combat

Woarchery Combat Archery Takedown Recurve Bow

The price of Woarchery Combat Archery Takedown Recurve Bow varies, so check the latest price at

Single Piece Bows

8. AMS Bowfishing Complete Bow Kit

The AMS Bowfishing Complete Bow Kit is a ready-to-go bow fishing setup. The draw weight is 40 pounds, entirely enough for bow fishing. The line holder has 35 yards of 350-pound braid. It's up to you to hold on to the monster carp or enormous gar you just stuck.

The fully laminated limbs have a water resistant seal to protect them from drops or splashes in and around the water.

It’s only available with a right handed bow.

AMS-Bowfishing

AMS Bowfishing Complete Bow Kit

The price of AMS Bowfishing Complete Bow Kit varies, so check the latest price at

9. Longbowmaker Hungarian Style Handmade Longbow

The Longbowmaker Hungarian Style Handmade Longbow is a recurve bow made in the Hungarian style, as evidenced by the shape of the limbs and the way they are wrapped. 

recurve bows for hunting

The draw-weights range from 20 pounds to a whopping 110 pounds. A 110-pound draw weight is enough to hunt virtually any game animal on the planet today.

The grip is ambidextrous and does not have a shelf. The arrow will rest on your index finger on the riser.

The traditional appearance of this bow also makes it great for roleplaying, reenactments, and other costumes. It looks authentic, but is also functional, unlike most costume bows.

Longbowmaker-Hungarian

Longbowmaker Hungarian Style Handmade Longbow

The price of Longbowmaker Hungarian Style Handmade Longbow varies, so check the latest price at

10. Top Archery Traditional Recurve Bow

The Top Archery Traditional Recurve Bow is another Hungarian-style bow, but the weights are only 30-50 pounds. That's enough for small to medium game, including large deer. This one is also ambidextrous.

recurve bow for hunting

It has a less authentic appearance than our last pick, thanks to the strong but modern looking fiberglass limbs, but it’s also about $40 cheaper.

Top-Archery

Top Archery Traditional Recurve Bow

The price of Top Archery Traditional Recurve Bow varies, so check the latest price at

11. Kainokai 54" Traditional Laminated Recurve Bow

The Kainokai 54” Traditional Laminated Recurve Bow is available with pull weights from 15 to 50 pounds, in 5-pound increments, depending on the model selected. The 50-pound draw is enough for all but the very biggest game animals in North America and most of the world.

best recurve hunting bow

At 54" inches tip-to-tip this can be a bit overwhelming until the shooter gets used to it. It comes in a right or left-hand model.

It’s another more affordable option, but it also has a sleek appearance that looks phenomenal. Plus it’s made from naturally sourced wood with a bamboo core for durability that’s also eco friendly.

Kainokai-54

Kainokai 54" Traditional Laminated Recurve Bow

The price of Kainokai 54" Traditional Laminated Recurve Bow varies, so check the latest price at

12. Huntingdoor Archery Mongolian Horsebow

The Mongol people created one of the world's biggest empires. They did this in part on horseback with bows they specifically designed to shoot from horseback. The Huntingdoor Archery Mongolian Horsebow is a shootable reproduction that’s just plain cool.

It’s a decent looking bow and solid quality, but the real reason it comes in ahead of the I-Sport below is because it comes with some accessories to make shooting easier and it comes in a wider range of pull weights. It goes from 30-60 pounds and is 55-inches long.

Huntingdoor-Archery

Huntingdoor Archery Mongolian Horsebow

The price of Huntingdoor Archery Mongolian Horsebow varies, so check the latest price at

13. I-Sport Traditional Recurve Mongolian Horse Bow

The I-Sport Traditional Recurve Mongolian Horse Bow is another Mongolian style bow that looks better than the Huntingdoor version above. In terms of slinging arrows, you won't be able to tell a difference.

best hunting recurve

The weight goes from 35-50 pounds. Depending on the draw weight it is either 49 inches long or 55.5 inches. In terms of looks, this one is better eye candy that the Mongolian bow above. 

I-Sport-Traditional

I-Sport Traditional Recurve Mongolian Horse Bow

The price of I-Sport Traditional Recurve Mongolian Horse Bow varies, so check the latest price at

14. AF Turkish Bow

Last up is the AF Turkish Bow. It differs from the ones above in how the limbs are made. The tips hold the string differently and the tip thickness is the difference. Otherwise, the bows are much the same with no shelf on the riser and a leather-wrapped grip. 

best recurve bow brands

At 46 inches, this one is also a good bit shorter than the others. If you hunt in heavy cover or thick brush, this may be enough of a difference to choose this one. I prefer shorter bows because they are easier to carry and store. Draw weights are 20-50 pounds.

AF-Turkish-Bow

AF Turkish Bow

The price of AF Turkish Bow varies, so check the latest price at

15. Cases for Your Recurve Bow

Now before we wrap things up, I want to take a moment to talk about cases for recurve bows. 

You want a hard sided case that’s ideally also lockable with an arrow holder, built-in broadhead wrench, and space to store your sight, stabilizers, and any other accessories. If you plan on traveling with your bow, you can move “lockable” from the “ideal” category to the “essential” category.

Finding a hard-side case for a recurve bow is hard to do. Most cases are soft-sided. 

If you have a takedown bow, the SKB Cases iSeries Double Recurve Case is an excellent option that can stand up to a lot. 

best recurve bow for beginners

For a single-piece bow, you can go with the similar SKB Cases MIL-STD Injection-Molded Recurve Bow Case.

A large double-gun case may also work, or you can try to make your own hard side case from Schedule 40 PVC pipe. 

Depending on the curve of the tips, you may need an 8" or larger pipe. Seal one end and put some foam in that end. Put a screw-on cap on the other end and put foam in that as well. If needed, you can put a hasp and lock on the screw cap.

Cases-for-Your

Cases for Your Recurve Bow

The price of Cases for Your Recurve Bow varies, so check the latest price at

Final Thoughts

While they’re similar, shooting a recurve bow is quite different from shooting a compound bow. 

If you can ride a bicycle and ride a motorcycle, you have some idea of the difference. The pedal power ride and the motorcycle both have two wheels and balancing is almost the same. Actually getting one on the street and heading off takes practice. 

Similarly, shooting a recurve bow accurately takes more practice than shooting a compound bow.

Still, some of the best archers in the world shoot recurves. It just takes practice to get good enough to reach the upper levels.

Did one of these recurve bows get your attention? Do you think you’ll be getting it for yourself? Is there another recurve bow that you love? Let me know in the comments section!

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