Different Types of Bows and How to Find the Right One for You

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With the different types of bows available on the market, it can be challenging to find the one that works best for you. What kind of bow would suit you best? Are you going to use the bow for target shooting or hunting? To help you, we have shared information about the different types of bows in this post. We have also provided tips on how you can find the best bow based on various factors. Read the rest of the post below for more guides and information.

Modern Bows

Compound Bow

The compound bow is developed in the 1960s and known for being lightweight and accurate. It is a mechanically operated bow that makes use of pulleys, cables, and cams that helps the user in holding a heavy draw weight at full draw.

The sophisticated design of the bow includes a cam or a pulley located at the top of the limbs holding the drawstring. When you pull the string, the pulley levering system increases the force and transfer the stored power of limbs to the string. This action results in a powerful shot without much effort for the user.

The compound bow is designed to have stiffer limbs as compared to other types of bows. The stiff limbs are energy efficient and increase accuracy. This bow makes use of materials like carbon, aluminum, magnesium, and fiberglass. This type of bow is ideal for hunters and considered one of the most popular bows on the market.

For a more thorough discussion about what a compound bow is and its different parts, you can watch the video below.

✅ Video – The basics of a compound bow

The video below tackles the basics of a compound bow. There are different kinds of compound bows. You need to choose a bow according to your level of skills as well as where you intend to use it. There are bows that are meant only for archery while there are bows that are only for hunting purposes. Moreover, you need to learn the draw weight and range of the bow so that you can choose the one that suits you best.


This type of bow has been around since ancient times and was used by ancient Chinese warriors in around 500 B.C. The Crossbow is a combination of a gun and a bow. Rather than holding the string back, it makes use of a trigger to shoot smaller arrows. Hunters and target shooters commonly use this type of bow.

The latest models of crossbows are similar to firearms in appearance but with a short bow that is horizontally attached to the muzzle. The bows are drawn back with the use of a crank mechanism. The string is attached to the trigger mechanism and locked in place until the shooter fires. It ha a string that is made from durable fibers and does not quickly unravel with regular use.

The Crossbow is more substantial when it comes to the draw weight, but made with a smaller power stroke. Some models require you to hold it using both hands with one on the trigger and the other on the shaft. Smaller crossbows need only one hand to keep maneuver.

If you are interested in using crossbow as your choice of weapon for archery or hunting, you can find out more about this bow by watching the video below.

✅ Video – The pros and cons of using a crossbow

Below is a video that tackles the pros and cons of using a crossbow. Take note of the advantages and disadvantages that you can get from a certain crossbow so that you can later compare each model and choose the one that suits your preferences and budget.

Recurve Bow

This bow is named for its shape. The center part of the curves of the limbs leans toward the user. The end of the curves of the limbs is away from the user. This design gives the bow more power. Oftentimes, recurve bows are confused with longbows because of their shape. The curves of the bow allow it to store more energy and shoot the arrows further.

This type of bow features a riser, a string, and two end limbs. With its simple design, it becomes one of the most functional bows that are used by beginners. As the users become more skilled, they can add accessories and features that will further advance their shooting skills.

Recurve bows ha two categories, the modern recurve and traditional recurve bow.

Modern Recurve Bow

This recurve bow is usually takedown type. It means that you can separate the limbs of the bow when not in use or when replacement is needed. Modern recurve bows have risers made with laminated wood or metal and limbs. You can use accessories like a quiver, bow sight and many more to upgrade your shooting experience.

Traditional Recurve Bow

This recurve bow is a one-piece bow like you can mostly see in old films. You cannot separate the limbs from the center part. The traditional recurve bow comes from wood. Good examples of this kind of bow are the Hunnic bow and the Mongol Bow.

Below are a detailed explanation and demonstration of the recurve bow and its different categories. If you are interested in this type of bow, you can watch the video below.

✅ Video – Choosing your first recurve bow

The video below tackles how to choose your first recurve bow. If you are a beginner, it is important that you choose the right bow. When starting out, it is best that you choose the simplest and most basic bow that is easy to use. You can upgrade later on when your skills improve.

Traditional Bows


Made from a long piece of curved wood that is as tall as the user, the longbow is one of the oldest bows. This bow is known for its simplicity, and it does not have an arrow rest or sights. As compared to modern bow, this bow is more difficult to aim because it does not have the same velocity that other bows have.

The longbow comes from the wych elm or yew woods. On the other hand, modern longbows have a lamination of various materials to make it light and robust. It takes a lot of patience and practice to master the longbow, but if you are up to the challenge, it is a fun and exciting weapon to have for archery and hunting.

Discover more about longbow, its uses and how to properly use it by watching the video below.

✅ Video – What is a longbow?

The video below tackles the longbow. What kind of a bow is a longbow? This bow is difficult to use as compared to other kinds of bow. If you want to use this bow, you need to practice constantly so that you will be excellent in using it.

Yumi Bow

This bow is commonly used in Japanese archery that is called Kyudo which means “the way of the bow”. The yumi bow is the weapon that is used among the samurai before guns were available. It is designed to resemble the longbow but with round limbs. The bow is taller than the user and is made from bamboo.

✅ Video – How to shoot the Yumi bow

If you are curious about the yumi bow, you can watch the video below to find out more about this type of traditional bow and how it works.

Flat Bow

Also known as the “American Flatbow”, this bow has wide or flat shaped limbs. The center part of the flatbow is designed to be a bit narrow and round which enable the user to grip it easily. To avoid breaking under pressure, the bow features a flat belly and back which spreads the stress evenly into the cross-section wider limb. Maple, sycamore, and elm are the common woods that are used in creating flat bows.

✅ Video – How to make a flat bow

Flat bows are easy to create. As a matter of fact, you can create one using simple materials. To find out how it is done, you can click the play button of the video below.

Reflex Bow

The reflex bow is similar to the longbow but with curved arms that face away from the user. When you pull the string off, the body of the bow will bend forward into a C shape. When making this type of bow, the materials placed under a lot of pressure because of the curves that allow the short bow to have an impressive draw weight and height. The reflex bow generates powerful and accurate shots.

Watch the video below for more discussion about reflex bows and their uses.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Type of Bow


One of the first things that you need to consider when choosing the right type of bow is determining the purpose of the bow. Where are you going to use the bow? Are you going to use it for target shooting or archery? If you will use it for hunting, will you hunt small prey or big prey? Take note that not all bows are ideal for many activities. Some bows are perfect for target shooting but can be lacking when used for hunting and vice versa.

Draw Weight

Another thing that you need to consider is the draw weight. Most bow have limbs that can be adjusted within 10 lbs. A bow with a heavier draw weight can shoot an arrow with a flatter trajectory, which makes aiming easy. However, most people find it easier to shoot bows with lighter draw weights. When choosing the draw weight, you need to consider your strength and ability. You can try holding a bow at a full draw. If you are having difficulties in holding the draw and maneuvering the bow after a few minutes, then the bow might be too heavy for you.

Brace Height

The brace height is the distance between the bowstring located at the nock point and the inside of the bow’s grip. It will affect the accuracy and the speed of the bow. Bows that have long brace heights are slower but are accurate and easier to shoot. On the other hand, a bow with a short brace height has a long power stroke that increases the speed of the arrow, but there is more room for shooting form errors because the arrow stays longer on the string.


Another thing that you need to consider is the adjustability of the bow. It is important most especially for beginners who are still getting familiar with shooting the bow and experimenting with the best ways to shot an arrow. You need to opt for bows designed to grow with the user. Meaning, these bows can be adjusted according to the level of skills of the user. Most bows have draw lengths that can be adjusted from 13 to 30 inches and draw weight that can be adjusted from 5 lbs to 70 lbs.


A quiet bow is always better than a loud bow. When you fire the bow, the energy stored into the working components of the bow is transferred to the arrow to release it. The energy that does not get transferred gets released as vibrations which produce noise. The noise can be crucial, most especially to those who will use the arrow for hunting. Any noise can alert the prey. You need to purchase a bow that lessens the loss of energy. Moreover, there are bow accessories that can absorb the vibration to avoid any noise.

✅ Video – Choosing a bow for beginners

Find out more about the different factors that you need to consider when choosing the best type of bow by watching the video below. The video tackles the advantages that you can get from choosing the right bow as well as useful tips that can help you improve your shooting skills.

Choosing Between Left or Right-Handed Bows

Are you left or right-handed? You need to determine if you are left-handed or right-handed before you purchase a bow. Take note that not all bows are ambidextrous which means that there are some bows that are only meant for right-handed users. If you are right-handed and you use a left-handed bow, there is a big chance that it will affect your shooting performance and aim. So, how can you determine if you are left or right-handed?

✅ Video – Do I need a left or right-handed bow?

The video below tackles the difference between left and right-handed bows. Watch the video below for further tips and information.


Q1: What type of bow should I choose?

It will have to depend on your preference and skills. You need to consider a few factors when you are looking for the right type of bow, especially if you are a beginner. It is best that you try various kinds of bows and find out which one suit you best.

Q2: Are bows expensive?

It depends on the type of bow that you purchase. The price of the bow based on the brand, materials, and quality. It can range from a few hundred dollars to a thousand or more. There is a wide array of the price range that is available, so you can always find the one that caters to your budget.

Q3: What kind of arrow should I choose for the bow?

When choosing an arrow, you need to consider the type of bow that you have. If your bow comes with an arrow upon purchase, you can choose the same kind of arrow for replacement. There are specific arrows for specific bows. For instance, the Crossbow makes use of smaller arrows that are called bolts.

✅ Video – How to choose the right arrows

Watch the video below for more tips and guide on how to choose the right arrow for the bow.

Q4: Can I install accessories?

Again, this will have to depend on the type of bow that you choose. If you want to accessorize, you should purchase the latest model of bows that can accommodate additional accessories like sights and quiver.

Q5: Are bows safe?

Yes, bows are safe, and even children can use it under adult supervision. On the other hand, it is still considered a weapon, so you need to take extra precautions when handling it.

The End

There are many types of bows that you can choose from, so if you are looking for the right one, you should consider various factors. Familiarize yourself with the different kinds of bows and choose the one that works with your preferences and budget. With the wide array of available bows, rest assured that you will find the one that works for you. Thank you for reading!

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