Compound Bow vs Recurve Bow

compound bow criteria recurve bow criteria recurve bow vs compound bow

What's Better a Compound Bow or a Compound Bow?

As a hobby learning to accurately shoot an arrow with a bow can be quiet fun and enjoyable. For beginners choosing archery as a hobby it's important to know what type of bow will be the best fit for you.

For choosing what type of bow(Recurve Bow or Compound Bow) is best for you. It's important to weigh in on both the pros and cons of both bows.

PSE Archery Pro Max Takedown Recurve Bow Set

Typical Recurve Bow : PSE Archery Pro Max Takedown Recurve Bow Set

PSE RTS Uprising Compound Bow Set


Typical Modern Compound Bow : PSE RTS Uprising Compound Bow Set

6 Criteria to Consider When Choosing a Recurve Bow vs a Compound Bow

There are a number factors to consider for choosing a recurve bow or a compound bow. These factors are as follows.


First and Probably one of the most important criteria for choosing on whether to go for a recurve bow or a compound bow is the price. Obviously a recurve bow is way less cheapen than a compound bow. Recurve bows have less parts mostly consisting of a couple of limbs a riser, bow string and a couple of screws.


center point archery sentinel recurve bow set

Some Recurve Bows are Quiet Affordable this Centerpoint Archery Sentinel Youth Recurve Bow sells for only $30.00

Having fewer parts means its sells less some bows can be bought for couple of dollars or less than $200 on the market. For Beginner budget recurve bows for beginners read this article on for picking a recurve bow

While a Compound Bow can be very expensive having lots of intricate and complex parts. Some bows can cost couple of hundreds of dollars to really expensive ones that can cost a few thousands of dollars.

Bear Archery RTH FRED Bear RH70 Compound Bow


Bear Archery RTH FRED Bear RH70


Some Compound Bows can cost hundreds of dollars.


Weight can also be an important criteria for choosing a recurve bow or a compound bow. Having less parts a recurve bow is lighter and easier to carry.

You can shoot for longer using a recurve bow without your arms feeling tired and strained from its weight. A typical recurve bow can weight only a couple of pounds. This makes recurve bows quiet suitable for archery beginners.

A Compound Bow on the other hand can be a bit heavier than a recurve bow. Having extra parts and accessories can contribute to this.

Compound bows cam system and additional accessories like a Bow sight, arrow rest, stabilizer and quiver can add a couple of pounds to a bows weight. A Compound Bow can be double the weight of a recurve bow.

For beginners compound bows do need more practice and time of use for your arms to get use handling and shooting accurately with longer use.


Pack Size

Pack Size can also be a factor to consider when choosing the right bow for you. A recurve bow is easier to carry and take with you. If you choose a recurve bow you can either choose a regular recurve bow or a take down version.

A take down bow is a bow that can be disassembled and easily put back together hence the phrase take down. A light Recurve bow or a take down bow can be easier for transportation.

take down recurve bow

For Pack Size or Portability a compound bow loses out on this regard to a recurve bow.

Compound bows cannot be disassembled easily and to reassemble requires a bow press to be re string bow cables to its cam system. And bringing along a bow press can be cumbersome and impractical.

axis compound bow press

Recurve Bows have better Portability than compound bows. Compound bows are a complicated piece of gear that needs extra tools to maintain.


When in use in the wilderness recurve bows are easier to repair than a compound bow. If for some reason you break or damaged your recurve bow string or cable. You can easily replace the string of your recurve bow.

Whilst if you break or damaged the string or cow caple of your compound bow there really nothing you can do to remedy this in the wilderness.

To restring a compound bow you will also need a bow press to reinstall bow cables on cam system.

If You break your bows limbs either a recurve bow or a compound bow there really nothing you can do cause the bow is destroyed at that point.

Learning To Use

Another criteria to consider is how fast can you learn to shoot with the bow(Recurve bow or Compound Bow). It takes much much longer to learn to use and shoot accurately with a recurve bow.

It can take a  lot of practice to become better and more accurate in targeting. With a recurve bow you would have to learn how to do a better release to be very accurate.

While it is generally easier to learn to shoot accurately with a compound bow having been equipped with bow sights and peep sights. These extra accessories are included to help improve your accuracy and marksmanship.

If you want to get better quickly at archery a compound bow might be your best bet. 


Compound bow are pretty accurate more accurate than a recurve bow. Nothing can beat a compound bow for accuracy. Recurve bows requires a lot of practice to be really accurate at shooting.

A recurve bow cam system helps in improving one's shot by making you have better release. Also Compound Bows have a lot of accessories for improving shooters accuracy like Bow sights, stabilizers, and arrow rest.

Drawing with a recurve bow can affect your accuracy the longer you draw the more effort you need to exert to maintain your draw which can greatly affect your accuracy. While it s easier to make a release with a compound bow with the use of its cam system. This help in greatly improving shooting accuracy.


Compound Bows are Somewhat Expensive and have some complicated parts and a lot of accessories that need care and maintenance. Compound Bows are Easier to learn and very accurate.

For Portability and repairability compound bows are at a disadvantage having complicated parts means they are easy to carry and need additional tools to repair (Bow Press).

A Recurve Bow on the Other hand is light and relatively cheaper than a compound bow. Being light they are easy to carry and unpack ( with some bows having a take down version).

Which make them ideal for hunting trips in the wilderness. They are also easy to repair (restring) in the wilderness. Having less parts means less maintenance and better portability. Although they a bit longer to learn to be accurate.

If your an archery beginner and your on a budget a recurve bow might be the better choice for you. But if you have the budget and want be better and more accurate at shooting faster. Then a compound bow would be a great choice for you.



Recurve Bow

Compound Bow



A bit expensive



Slightly Heavier

Pack Size

Light | Easy to Disassemble

Bulky | Cannot be Disassembled


Can be Restring Easily

Need a Bow Press

Ease of Use

A bit of Learning Curve

Easy to use


Takes Practice to be Accurate

Better Accuracy with Sights and Accessories

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