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Best Bowstrings 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Last Updated February 1, 2018
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Edwin GarrettMy name is Edwin Garrett. I have been a freelance writer for 20 years, focusing mainly on technology related topics. After considering 45 of the most highly rated bowstrings and testing eight of them for more than 20 hours, we’re find the best bowstrings of 2018.

Just read here for my top 3 recommendations. Why are these 3 bowstrings on top of my list? Well read on… We take a close look at some of the best bowstrings to help you get ripped.

Best Bowstrings of 2018

Come with me. Like choosing clothes or cosmetics, choosing bowstrings should be based on your purpose, favorite style, and financial condition. Before you spend your money on bowstrings, start by familiarizing yourself with the various types. Here are my top picks with detailed reviews, comparison charts and buying guides to help you purchase the perfect item for your needs.

Test Results and Ratings

Rank №1 №2 №3
Total 4.8 4.5 4.3
Ease of use
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№1 – SAS B-50 Dacron Replacement Traditional Recurve Bow String – Made in USA

SAS B-50 Dacron Replacement Traditional Recurve Bow String - Made in USA

Made in USA
Material: Premium Quality B-50 Dacron
Length: AMO Length (4″ Longer than Actual Length of Bow String)
For such a price and the level of quality it can’t even have any cons, only pick holes.

Why did this bowstrings win the first place?

I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product.


Ease of use












16 Strand B-50 Dacron Material – For Bows Up To 65 lbs. Draw MADE IN USA
A little bit expensive.
Heavy in weight as compared to others in our lineup.

Why did this bowstrings come in second place?

The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture.


Ease of use












Premium Quality B-50 Dacron Replacement Recurve Bow String
String are AMO Length ( Please Read Below )
Color : Black
Not the most affordable on the market.
The knob at the top is rather flimsy.

Why did this bowstrings take third place?

A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time.


Ease of use










Bowstrings Buyer’s Guide

If you keep the before points in mind, you can easily go out to the market and buy bowstrings, right? No!

Optional Items

The rest of these items are handy, but they are not necessary to have. They’ll make your archery a bit more fun, though, so these are definitely things to put on your wish list for later on down the road, when you know that archery is something you’re going to stick with. a) Sight

A sight is used to help you aim your bow. Most recurve bows don’t include sights, because many recurve bow archers prefer the challenge of instinctive shooting, or shooting without the aid of an aiming aid like a sight or another point of reference. Still, sights are perfectly legitimate to use, and can sometimes help the beginning archer learn where to look and how to aim for instinctive shooting. See our guide on recurve bow sights for specific recommendations. b) Quiver

A quiver is a container used for holding your arrows before you shoot them. Sometimes, archers will just stick their arrows into the ground, but this can be tough on the arrows and arrow tips and inconvenient for the archer. Some quivers attach to the bow while some are worn around the waist or shoulder. Quivers make it much quicker to pull a new arrow for the next shot. It’s not an essential bit of equipment, but it’s definitely nice to have. c) String Whisker Silencers

Whisker silencers are lightweight rubber silencers that reduce the noise of your bowstring without compromising the performance of your bow. These are not so important for backyard or target archery, but they are wonderful add-ons to your bowstring when you start bow hunting.

Good to know

Arrows for compound bows aren’t that different from those used with a standard longbow. Both are usually made from either carbon or aluminum.

Do NOT attempt to launch an arrow with a wooden shaft using a compound bow. Extremely high tensile forces in action will probably break the shaft and could lead to injuries.

Custom String

A custom string is a high-quality bowstring specifically designed to meet different hunting needs.

Let me explain: Unlike mass produced stock bowstrings, custom bow strings are made with the best bowstring materials available and are not susceptible to some of the effects that come with cheap alternatives. This makes it ideal for the best hunting and archery experience.

Physical Length

This is the total length of an unstrung bowstring. But how do you find the length of a bowstring? a) Manual Measurement

To find the length of a bowstring, you can choose to manually measure the distance or determine the length from the AMO length.

For compound bows, the actual bowstring length is usually indicated on the bow. But, if you want to measure it manually, you will need a tape to measure the AMO length (from one bow tip to the next one) and subtract the necessary values.

If you fail to attain the appropriate length of your bowstring, it will not be possible to get the brace height and it would also have a negative effect on the bow mechanics.​

Your issue is half solved if you already have a string in your bow. All that is left is to take the measurement of the string from one end to another. But if you don’t have access to any string to measure, there are numerous steps that can be taken to determine the appropriate size of bowstring you would require. b) Check the bow’s factory number

Note that the numbers on all bows are not always precise and as such the numbers stated there might not cover all as regards measurement. Hoyt bow factory numbers, for example, does not show the length of the yoke but shows that of the cable.

The best alternative you can take is to reach out to the manufacturer of the bow to determine the bowstring size you need. This information can often be gotten from the tech support of the company.

Peradventure the company responsible for manufacturing your bow has been shut down, the owner’s manual can sometimes be found online. You may also reach to an expert at a sporting goods shop who can assist you in determining the appropriate length of the string. c) Using a fishing line

Another alternative is to put the bow in a press and make a mock thread using a fishing line. This would aid you in determining the string size you need.

You can also measure from one string groove to the next along the bow limbs. Make sure you don’t bend the tape into the handle curves. It must be straight across the face to get the bowstring length.

The number of strands plays a crucial role in the use of the bowstring. It is true that the lower number of strands, the faster the arrow, but don’t be carried away.

A lot of manufacturers put specifications on the number of strands that you can use on a bowstring. This is because reducing the number of strands can also have other effects. It may affect the tuning of the bow, and it may even cause more vibration as the strands usually absorb some of the energy.

Pro Tips

One essential thing to always take note of when selecting a new string is to always use a reliable bow string wax to keep the string all-new. You also want to only use wax on the exposed string instead of the serving.

Applying the information above can give you some ideas on how to filter out the particular brand that can give you the desired qualities you need out of a bowstring

Beware of Scented Waxes​

If you’re hunting, you may want to think about buying a wax that doesn’t smell too strongly, or simply an unscented wax. Whatever you’re hunting, it’s probably got a stronger sense of smell than you do, and there’s no need to give yourself away and make things harder for yourself! Also—and I don’t have any science to back this up, but it’s my own suspicion—if something is “Forest” scented, that’s still something that animals can smell a mile away. Because, after all—how does a string wax smell like the forest? Through a bunch of weird chemicals, is how, and that’s the sort of thing an animal can smell immediately.

If your main interest is target archery, don’t worry about any of this—feel free to buy any wax your nose desires.

String Materials

Dacron compound bow strings have long been a standard in the bow industry for over 20 years. This string does carry a relatively low tensile strength. If you realize it or not there will be changes to your brace height with the use of your bow. Dacron is a safe and inexpensive string for any type of bow. There are two types of Dacron string the B500 and B450.

Dynaflight9is one of the better string materials on the market today. The materials are made of a blend of Vectran and HMPE (HIGH MODULAS POLYETHELENE). The Vectran gives a special stability as you will not experience any creeping or stretching when installing on bows that has a higher draw weight. Dynaflite9test out to about 12pounds per strand. It is relatively small and is usually light with a 1strand build. This is a good string to use on some of the today’s more technical bows.


Verdict: It is my number one best cheap recurve bow in the market and also a terrific selection for a novice hunter. Several oriented youth groups have used this bow for years. According to their review, the recurve bow tends to be a little bit louder than its size.

I would advise you to use the Whisker String silencers that help to lessen the noise. Overall: It is a decent bow for a 12-year-old and older and an ideal archery starting point.


While they are primarily a Crossbow based manufacturer, they also produce a few compound bows such as the Hunter Vortex for youth archery. They have a team of engineers who actively develop new crossbows and migrate some of that technology to compound bow products.

Know The Components

You should know what all of the parts are that make up a compound bow.

This is important whether you are buying one online or at your local hunting shop. Some bows don’t have features that others do, which could make your shooting experience better or worse.

Here is a short list of the components with a diagram for illustration purposes:

Noise is a common problem for bow hunters. The sound of the strings vibrating after a shot can, and will, spook most game animals. There are string silencers available to help combat this. The way the arrow slides from the bow can cause a tremendous amount of noise. Are your cams noisy? Do the joints creak when you are going in to a fully drawn position? There are mechanisms to reduce and eliminate most noises.

Cheap vs. Expensive

Not only should have you a budget in mind, you should also understand the price range of any particular bow. You also need to know exactly what you intend to use the bow for. Are you using it for competition, hunting, or once in a while target practice?

The most expensive or a cheap compound bow isn’t always the best or the worst bow either. Further up on this page, you can see how important draw lengths and weights will affect an archer.

Some bows are simply more expensive because of branding or small features that some archers will never use. In the case with someone new to the sport, they will overlook these small features and the extra cost will simply be wasted, in which case buying a cheaper one would make more sense. (more on this below).

Local Shops

Buying at a local shop may be more beneficial than just being able to take the bow home right away. Often local sellers will be more keen on giving you a sale or discount on a bow simply because they understand that you will go back to them to buy upgrades and other accessories.

Local shops dedicated to archery sales have people to talk to who have a lot of experience. If you already know what type of bow you want, you may try asking the shop what they recommend for your skill level and intention.

At the very least, you can go to a shop to get fitted for a bow size and check out the latest brands before going for buying the best compound bow on the market online, as there are times when ordering online might be more beneficial than paying at your local shop.

December 18, 2017


This document has been written to explain the different types of bow commonly available, to explain the basic components of different types of bows and to give some guidance intended to help make the choice for your first bow. The advice here is aimed at beginners and it should be noted that the cost of bows with the required accessories can range from low hundreds of pounds through to thousands of pounds for pro level equipment.

Professional Advice

When selecting your initial bow and accessories some professional advice and support is essential. It is absolutely not advised to buy your first bow online as opposed to visiting a shop, trying various options and having your complete package set up for you. Buying a bow at a shop should take a long time, with over two hours to try multiple options, select your bow, have it set up, arrows made and test firing. It is not uncommon for there to be long waits at popular times in shops and so it is advised to turn up early.

Talk to people in the club

As well as the advice given by shops there are a lot of regular archers in the club that have varying levels of experience and have tried out a lot of equipment. Most people are happy to show you their bows and to talk about equipment they like and equipment that did not work out for them. Ask nicely and people may well be willing to let you try some of the different equipment available.

A Cautionary Note

There are a wide range of possibilities buying your first bow from very cheap to very expensive and second hand equipment does not fetch good prices. If you buy a very cheap training bow and regularly attend to shoot you should expect to reach the limits of the bow very quickly and then need to spend more money buying a better bow. If you buy an expensive bow there are still some parts that you will probably end up replacing such as arrows and limbs as you improve and naturally move up to higher poundage limbs. The balance between equipment that you will quickly outgrow and managing your budget is down to the individual but the advice offered within this document is intended to provide a balance that gives a good starting point at a reasonable outlay.

There are main categories of shooting

Barebow – As implied by the name, the bow is shot without any accessories such as sights or stabilisers and in some cases without arrow rests. Traditional bows are typically shot barebow but sometimes recurve bows are also shot his way.

Typical Recurve – Under competition rules recurve bows can be fitted with an arrow rest a sight (unmagnified), clicker, stabilisers and weights / vibration dampers. As an initial starting point it is common to use a cheap sight, good arrow rest and sometimes a long rod with other accessories upgraded or added later. This is the most common style of shooting in the club.

Typical Compound – Compound bows are subject to different rules to recurve bows and are normally easier to shoot with greater accuracy. Compound bows will commonly be fitted with arrow rests, front sights which can be magnified, a peep sign (a small sight inserted into the bow string) and stabilisers.

The Complete Package

The remainder of this document is mostly concerned with the bow and arrows, but it should be highlighted that there will be a number of other items required to properly shoot and maintain your bow. Some typical prices are indicated in the bow sections that include an allowance for the following accessories:

Arm Guard £– from time to time (well quite frequently when you start out) the bow string will make contact with your arm. An arm guard deflects the string and prevents most of the pain and bruising. Arm guards are relatively cheap and available in a range of sizes. If choosing a compound bow choose an arm guard that errs on the side of big and well built!

Finger Tab – if shooting off the fingers (i.e. not a compound bow shot with a release aid) then a finger tab or shooting glove is required. The tabs are there for two main purposes, firstly to protect the fingers from the forces exerted by the bow string and secondly to help the bow string pass smoothly off the fingers with minimal friction. If possible, try out a few different styles to see what feels best.

Arrow Rest £1– some recurve risers come with a free arrow rest, and it is worth every penny that you paid for it! Most archers in the club are guided along the route of fitting a good quality magnetic arrow rest specifically the Spigarelli Magnetic Arrow Rest. A good recurve arrow rest is not particularly expensive at under £20. Compound bow shooters on the other hand are faced with a wide variety of different arrow rests with differing complexities and wildly ranging prices from £20 to £100

Pressure Button – these devices are needed to counteract some of the forces and movement generated as an arrow is shot and deflects with recurve bows. Some recurve risers come supplied with a free pressure button that is suitable for use and does not need replacing until your archery skills are more developed (by which time it is often worn out anyway). – there is a vast range of quality and pricing for sights ranging from a few pounds to several hundred. Top end sights have great stability and very fine adjustments but are only required when shooting long distances. It is recommended that a relatively low budget sight is used initially to minimise outlay whilst allowing the archer to progress to reasonable distances before further investment is required.

Stabilisers £1– these can be added to bow to aid the archer in holding the bow steady as well as reducing the level of vibration, it is common to start shooting a recurve bow without any and then add them later as required. Stabilisers vary greatly in price from £1for a basic long rod to hundreds of pounds for a complete set up. With an initial recurve bow purchase it is not necessary to buy any stabilisers but at most a low cost long rod can be added to the kit. If shooting compound, depending upon the bow configuration it can be a necessity to purchase a long rod in order to be able to use a clip on bow stand.

Bow String – (not compound) there are many different materials and visual options for bow strings but to begin with for a modern recurve a ‘Fast Flight’ type string (Such as Fast Flight Plus, 8190, 8125G etc) should be purchased (and not a Dacaron based string). For traditional bows a Dacaron (aka B50 or B55) string should be purchased.

Arrow Puller – not quite accurately named, they are lumps of silicone to aid the gripping of arrows to make removal from the target boss easier. They are commonly supplied in forms, a small square that wraps around the arrow or a larger cylindrical body with a slot cut in to fit the arrow. At an introductory level it is a matter of preference which is selected.

Bow Stringer – in order to string and de-string recurve and traditional bows it is a requirement to have a bow stringer which fits over the ends of the limbs and allows the archer to deflect the bow sufficiently to install or remove the string. There are other methods of achieving this but the use of a bow stringer is strongly recommended

Stand £– these will hold the bow safely and off the ground when not in use. For recurve and traditional bows there are different designs available but all essentially have a U shaped holder to sit the bow grip into and a small strip that the bow string slots into to keep the bow from moving. Whilst there are some complex stands available the best are generally some of the cheaper ones such as SF Chrome (YAM) stand. For compound bows it is common to use a clip on stand that grips the limbs to provide legs and depending upon the design, the bow either sits on the stand and bottom cam or the stand and long rod stabiliser

Bag / Case £3– to keep the bow and all accessories together and protected, a bow case provides storage for the bow, arrows and ever increasing amount of accessories that archers end up with. Recurve bows are typically carried around in backpacks which include an arrow storage tube and compound bows in hand carried bags. Long sleeves are available for the storage of traditional bows.

Quiver £1– with either its own belt or a clip to attach onto the archers’ belt, the Quiver is used to store arrows and other accessories whist shooting. Available with a wide range of pockets and extra pouches through to a simple arrow holder.

Clickers £–   these are either spring strips or magnetic devices that have the arrow inserted under them until it is drawn back and the clicker is then free to swing back and hit the riser making a clicking noise. Opinion is divided if they should be used during the early stages or archery or not. Clickers help to ensure that arrows are drawn back a consistent distance each time but can lead to problems with archers anticipating the clicker and failing to develop correct and consistent technique.

Release Aid £100 – for use with compound bows, the release aid is used to hold the bow string, or a small loop added to the string with the release aid being held and pulled back to bring the bow to the shooting position. The release aid includes a trigger mechanism that releases the bow to shoot the arrow. Beware of cheap release aids as they can have a tendency to misfire, generally the club takes a dim view of people shooting their fellow members, even by accident. – there are some other small items that can be purchased including string wax (to be applied every few weeks to keep the string in good condition), spare nocks, fletching’s, points for arrows (minor costs but allow for repairs to be made when the inevitable happens)


Traditional bows are normally shot barebow i.e. they have no sights fitted or other modern aids. There are a selection of traditional bows available and Merlin Archery typically have a range available to try. Long Bows and Flat bows are made from staves of single wood or laminated wood strips and then machined to shape. Whilst they have nostalgia, in reality it is possible to shoot a modern recurve barebow with higher reliability and lower cost. If you are so inclined, it is possible to obtain plans for longbows and flatbows and then make your own bow.

Whilst there are a few traditional bows in the club, these are all used as an occasional bow to make a change from shooting a modern bow as opposed to peoples’ main activity. It should also be noted that traditional bows break, hopefully not until they have shot many thousands of arrows.

Typical cost of an entry level Traditional Bow £350 (Bow £250, Wooden Arrows £60, Misc £40)

Materials Used

This consideration is probably the most serious one when you are looking for a pistol crossbow, because this is the consideration that is usually the difference between a cheap Chinese model and a well-constructed pistol x-bow. You’ll want something that is made of durable plastic or aluminum, preferably with an aluminum flight rail. You will also want to look carefully at the string, to make sure it will hold up to continued use.

Avoid any x-bow with reports or sign of the string fraying. Early fraying of the x-bow’s string is a good indication that the string will snap at some point. Like the quote in “A Christmas Story” about the BB gun, you’ll put your eye out with that thing! All humor aside, a string that snaps, even on a low-power pistol crossbow, can cause some pretty serious injury to you or those around you.

Wrapping It Up

A pistol crossbow can be a fun, but dangerous, toy. Make sure you look carefully at how the crossbow is made and all available reviews of that model. Bear in mind that the same model might have a number of different manufacturer names, because they are usually made by a single manufacturing plant in China and then sold by a variety of different manufacturers. You can usually tell from the product pictures that they are the same, so check reviews of various brand names with the same model to get an idea of what the quality is like.

My Notes

Note: This property is not currently for sale or for rent. The description below may be from a previous listing.

Lovely bedroom 3.bath, spacious open floor plan. Invite the outside in by opening the hideaway sliding glass doors to the stunning screen enclosed pool area. State of the art kitchen with granite counter tops, stainless appliances, walk-in pantry and a counter height breakfast bar overlooking the great room and pool area. The great room is bright and airy and enjoys 16′ ceilings, plant ledges, built in shelving and a fireplace. Master suite features high trey ceilings, walk-in closet, and bath with jetted soaking tub, walk-in shower, and double sink vanity. Step out of the master bedroom onto the pool enclosure for a midnight swim. This home is located in a low traffic cul-de-sac in Perdido Bay Country Club.

PSE Surge

The PSE Surge Bow is a great buy because it is moderately priced but delivers top quality and power.

This single cam bow is very adjustable and powerful. It was designed to be used as a hunting bow and is ready to shoot right out of the box.

This is another selection that would be great for a beginner compound bow hunter. It is smooth and quiet while not being too difficult to master. Experienced archers will like this one if they are looking for a decent bow on a budget.

PSE Prophecy

With great features and a moderate price range, PSE made the Prophecy to be one of the fastest bows on the market. This single cam bow is like lightning.

This particular bow is something for bow enthusiasts to get excited about. It is super fast and really packs a punch. This is a bargain for the money as it gives you all you could ask for from a moderately priced bow.

Not your starting compound bow, but it’s the next step up. It is super fast and really packs a punch. This is a bargain for the price as it gives you all you could ask for from a moderately priced bow.

Sure there’s a bit of a kick and some vibration to this bow, but that’s nothing a solid stabilizer can’t fix. Upgrades are your friend, but you won’t need too many with the PSE Prophecy.

Draw Weight

The draw weight is the amount of force that it takes to draw back the bow and is measured in weight. The weight will increase as muscles become conditioned to shooting the bow. Start with a lower weight and work your way up as needed.

Some bows are adjustable to grow with you as your draw weight increases. A greater draw weight will increase velocity to the arrow and it is advised to hunt with a higher draw weight.

Let Off

The let off is the point during the draw when the weight on the string decreases at a given percentage of the total draw. Once the let off engages, the archer can take their time aiming. The full amount of effort is required up until the let off point.

The percentage is usually between 60% and 75%. This is helpful especially when hunting. If you have to pause to track the animal then you will be able to hold your draw until you are ready to shoot.

All things being considered, these are the most important technical considerations when you are shopping for a compound bow.

How To Determine Your Draw Length

Just make sure that you are able to pull the string back to anchor properly (see the image below)! This is really important because if the draw length of the compound is too short you will not be able to shoot with proper form!

What Is Let Off

First multiply Draw Weight (70 lbs) with Let Off (65%): 70*0,6= 45.(that means 65% of 70 lbs are 4lbs)

65% let off is wider than 80% let off. For starting out, models with wider let offs will do better as they make learning to shoot with proper form easier because they give you more room for aiming before pulling forward again. All in all compounds with a wider let-off (for example 65%) are more comfortable to shoot than models with lower let offs (think 80%). Most of the models available today have a let-off around 65% which seems to have become the standard.





How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

You must visit the page of sales. Here is the link. If you don’t care about which brand is better, then you can choose the Bowstrings by the price and buy from the one who will offer the greatest discount.



Final Word

First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.

Most important, have fun and choose your Bowstrings wisely! Good luck!

So, TOP3 of Bowstrings



Questions? Leave a comment below!

Chatting about Bowstrings is my passion! Leave me a question in the comments, I answer each and every one and would love to get to know you better!

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Best Recurve Bows of 2018
Best Longbows of 2018
Best Crossbows of 2018
Best Compound Bows of 2018
Best Bows of 2018


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