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There are some seriously expensive compound bows on the market!
Sure, they look fantastic and may help you achieve 5 or 10 FPS more than your current compound bow — but are they really worth the extra money?
In most cases, only highly trained archers can notice a significant difference in the performance of a $1000 compound bow compared to a $500 compound bow.
This guide will take a closer look at the Best Compound Bows Under $500 to help you find the perfect bow for your shooting style and budget.
Top 3 Compound Bows Under $500
Diamond Edge SB-1
Bear Archery Cruzer
Infinite Edge Pro
Dave's Picks - Best Compound Bows Under 500
The following bows are affordable, well-made and a real pleasure to use.
They provide excellent value-for-money and won’t break the bank!
1. Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Package
At less than $400, this bow delivers great performance and excellent value for money.
Diamond Bows is a brand owned by Bowtech, who are one of the largest bow manufacturers in the world.
This bow is extremely versatile, allowing it to be used both hunting and sports target shooting. This high level of versatility also means that archers of all skill levels can use it well.
The draw length and draw weight can be fine tuned to suit your shooting style.
2. Bear Archery Cruzer Ready to Hunt Package
Bear Archery make affordable bows that perform well for both hunting and archery sports.
This bow has been designed for hunters, with an easy motion and shorter profile.
It is easily adjustable to allow hunters to make changes while in the field and it has a very wide draw length adjustment range.
The Bear is designed to be handled by people of all ages, from young children up to adults.
It has a wide draw range and a draw weight that starts as low as 5 pounds. This is a great all rounder and has quality components that are built-to-last.
3. Diamond by Bowtech Edge SB-1
An extremely user friendly bow, the Diamond by Bowtech Edge SB-1 only weighs 3.5 pounds and offers 65 pounds of draw weight adjustability.
It's nice you are able to adjust it without a bow press but if you run into any problems adjusting it to your needs visit a local bow shop to tune it in properly.
The sight it comes with is not the greatest but will get you started at least.
The SB-1 is not the quietest compound bow on the market but the ease of use and effectiveness at a price point under $500 is hard to beat.
4. Bear Archery Species RTH Compound Bow Package
The Bear Archery Species RTH is great for new bow hunters. Weighing only 4 pounds and the effective letoff of 80% means you will be able to handle it easily while bringing your target into sight.
The included 4-pin sight is a welcomed addition along with an arrow quiver and rest, peep sight and nock loop.
Limb dampeners help to absorb the vibration and keep things quiet.
Even though this bow is ready to hunt right out of the box you might want to visit your local Bass Pro Shops or Cabela's if you need assistance getting it setup properly.
5. Diamond by Bowtech Prism Bow Package
Designed for younger hunters in mind, the Bowtech Prism is the ideal compound to grow into.
The package includes a sight, arrow rest, quiver, and string loop.
You will probably want to upgrade the sight but it's nice this package is hunt ready right out of the box.
It's easy to adjust the draw weight as you get stronger which will help to instill confidence in your abilities.
The 80% effective letoff lets you hold a full draw while sighting in your target as well.
Things To Look For...
Choose a bow that matches your shooting style
Different styles of archery benefit from using different types of compound bows. For example, a hunter would benefit from having a compound bow that is shorter and lighter than what a sportsperson would use when performing target archery.
Think about the kind of archery you will be performing — do you need a specialized hunting bow, an all-rounder bow or a bow designed for sports archery?
Look for a bow designed specifically for you shooting style.
Choose the appropriate draw weight
It doesn’t matter if you are using a $2000 bow or a $200 bow — if you have the wrong draw weight, your shooting will be inaccurate!
The draw weight refers to how much strength is required to pull the bow string back. Most compound bows can achieve a specific range of draw weights.
In most cases, an adult male should use a bow with a draw weight of between 45-75 lbs and an adult female should a compound bow with a draw weight of between 25-55 lbs.
Your weight, height, strength and personal preference will all combine to determine how heavy the draw weight on your bow should be.
Some states have a minimum draw weight requirement for compound bows used to hunt animals.
This is to ensure that the projectiles fired at an animal will carry enough velocity to kill the animal immediately.
If you are interested in hunting deer, for example, your bow should have a draw weight of between 40 to 60 lbs to achieve the high velocities necessary for hunting large game.
If you choose a bow with a draw weight is too heavy for you to manage, your accuracy will suffer and you may injure yourself.
Choose the right draw length
The draw length refers to how far you pull the bow string back before firing.
To choose the appropriate length, straighten your arms at should height as if you were forming the letter “T”.
Have someone measure the distance in inches from fingertip to fingertip then divide that number by 2.5.
Choose the correct let-off setting
Compound bows have a lower draw weight towards the end of the stroke. This makes it easier to aim the bow once you have pulled the bow string all of the way back.
If the bow has a high let-off, there is less pressure at the end of the stroke, if it has a low let-off, there is more pressure.
You might be wondering why you would choose a bow with a low let-off?
It’s because it allows the bow can achieve faster feet per second (FPS) speeds. A bow with a high let-off can also feel a bit too “loose” for some people.
Most people opt for a bow with a mid or high let-off, but you might prefer the additional FPS from a lower let-off.
In addition to design, draw weight, draw length and let-off setting, consider the following attributes of the compound bows you look at:
If you are an experienced archer, you might prefer a small 1/16” peep sight on your bow.
If you prefer a peep sight that is easier to use, opt for a 1/8” or even a 3/16”.
Speed: Feet Per Second (FPS)
Faster bows are capable of being more accurate at range and penetrating targets.
However, faster bows will have more draw weight. Only choose a fast FPS bow if you really need it.
Length and Weight of the Bow
If you are using the bow for hunting, you may be shooting from awkward positions. Because of this, you should opt for a shorter bow that is easier to handle.
If you are interested in sport archery, choose a longer bow with more stability and less vibration.