It is safe to say that every archer wants to improve their accuracy to meet the greatest extent of their potential. No matter what your prior experience may be, it is equally safe to say that investing in a good release will help you achieve your desired accuracy. Having the best compound bow release aid will give you confidence in your shots, reduce or eliminate your torque, build consistency and good habits, and increase your accuracy. Together, all of those benefits will ultimately tighten your groups. A great bow release is a crucial piece of any archer’s arsenal.
So you might be asking yourself “What is the best bow release?” That is a tough question to tackle, but here you’ll find the top five options currently on the market and everything you’ll need to know to properly arm yourself with the best bow release for hunting or practicing on the range.
Top 10 Bow Releases of 2017 Comparison
Top 5 Best Bow Releases
Even if you know what style of release you want, there’s still a lot to consider when deciding on the best bow release for the money. Each product may perform the same task, but their offerings vary. Some are highly adjustable and others are just enough to adequately get the job done. What features do you desire in your release? Will you need adjustable length? Are you a left handed archer? Do you know what type of jaws your release should have?
Don’t worry, being on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t get the best compound bow release aid for you. Take a look at our best bow release reviews to get an idea of the level of customization and functionality you require.
The Tru-Fire Patriot release is everything an archer would expect from an expensive trigger release, but at a very affordable price point. In fact, it’s surprising just how much value this release provides with the lowest price among the top five products.
It has a very sensitive hair-trigger, which is great for achieving a surprise release. For those who are not comfortable with such a sensitive trigger, it can be easily adjusted to set a heavier trigger. This is where the customization ends, but don’t let that deter you. There’s a reason, more than one in fact, why this is the best bow release.
The thick nylon strap is durable and the velcro adjustable to accommodate moderately large hands. The steel trigger has smooth action and, just like the jaws, it has a protective coating. The head’s swivel design makes it possible for this release to be used by both right and left handed archers. Additionally, the swivel will help eliminate torque when shooting. The build quality is superb for its price and it will last years, even against frequent outdoor use. It can also endure 70lbs of draw weight.
Overall, ranking at number one, it is the best bow trigger release.
Despite being a compact trigger release, the Scott Little Goose has it all. It delivers everything an archer deserves at its mid-level price. As an alternative to Scott’s original Mongoose, it is great for small to medium hands and women archers. The adjustable buckle strap is made from tough nylon and provides a consistent fit every time. Because buckles are quiet, compared to velcro, this makes Little Goose one of the best releases for bow hunting. A steel spring pin attaches the head to the strap, giving it a strong connection and allowing the head to swivel independently of the strap. The outstanding build quality means that this release will last archers indefinitely and can handle upwards of 80lbs draw weight. Should something break, Scott Archery will repair it.
What really makes Little Goose the best of compound bow trigger releases is the sheer amount of customization. This model has five holes of adjustable length - length being one of the most important specifications to consider when buying a trigger release. It also has easily adjustable trigger travel and the trigger can be swapped out with three different options sold separately. The in-line single caliper pivoting head is designed to minimize torque and maximize clearance off the bow string with its unique angled jaw. Lastly, this model comes in aesthetically pleasing Mossy Oak camo.
The Max Hunter Pro 4 is the only thumb style release to make it into the top five list. What makes this one of the best compound bow releases is that it’s feature rich while remaining simple. It has a comfortable handle with indentations for all four fingers, and that ensures a great grip. Using the release is a simple matter of activating the thumb trigger to open the jaws and releasing the trigger to close the jaws. This makes it quick and easy to hook onto a D-loop and because it is a small, lightweight product it can be left attached to the D-loop until the archer is ready to draw.
The ½” head swivels 360 degrees and is completely silent, which are important features to be aware of when shopping for the best bow release for hunting or 3D shooting. It is recommended by fellow archers to oil the calipers before the first use to avoid premature releases. Using an allen wrench the thumb release position can be adjusted for added comfort. There is also a sensitivity screw for controlling trigger travel. The release can be switched between right and left handed users by flipping one of the screws. Even though it has a small design the Max Hunter Pro 4 can handle 70lbs of draw weight.
Tru-Fire Hurricane HC-EX-BW is another great affordable trigger release that brings desired features to the table without breaking the bank. It has around eight inches of adjustable buckle strap to fit large hands and adjustable length between the head and the strap. Tru-Fire calls their Evolution strap the simplest and most comfortable strap on the market and archers agree it is a very comfortable fit.
The trigger and dual caliper jaws are non-stick treated and the trigger takes a mere 35 ounces of pressure to fire. The adjustable trigger pressure is super sensitive out of the box and it is recommended not to touch it until you’re ready to fire. This hair-trigger makes it a great alternative to some of the best back tension releases for hunting. If you’re looking for a surprise release from a trigger, this is it.
It is important to note that while this model does swivel, it does not rotate the full 360 degrees that other Tru-Fire products are known to do. Take this into consideration when choosing the best bow trigger release for you.
Once again, Tru-Fire dominates the top five products with another of the best compound bow releases on the market. The Tru-Fire Extreme Buckle is part of their 360 lineup and offers an aluminum build and the revolutionary foldback buckle leather strap design. The “evolution buckle” prevents the strap from accidentally coming free from the buckle and the foldback refers to the head and jaws being able to fold back along the wrist so it is completely out of the way until needed. These simple features and quality-of-life enhancements are why Tru-Fire is an innovator in the industry.
Being part of the 360 lineup, the Extreme model has a fully 360 degree rotating head and adjustable trigger travel, but does not come with adjustable tension. What really makes Tru-Fire’s 360 models unique is their “Tru” philosophy that the head rotates independently of the trigger to eliminate torque and keep the trigger aligned with your finger. Despite being #5, the generous features makes this one of the best compound bow releases.
Other Great Bow Release Options
The Best Bow Release Brands of 2017
It is Tru-Fire’s mission to develop products that will last the customer for years without a hitch. They take great care in their design process to ensure that durability and dependability are achieved in all of their products. Every detail, down to the specific metal used in the firing mechanism, is thought out. To top it all off, their gear is USA made.
Owner of the company, Steve Tentler, has been part of the sport and industry since he was 12-years-old and helped his family with their company before taking it over and becoming one of the world’s largest release manufacturers. As an archery enthusiast he knows what is important, and this is one reason why Tru-Fire produces releases with features thst are truly useful to the consumer. Check out Tru-Fire Bow Releases on Amazon.
2) Scott Archery
What started in one’s man home has become the industry leader in bow releases. Bill Scott invented the very first mechanical release over 35 years ago and today Scott Archery produces some of the best gear available. They’re an innovative company dedicated to creating the best releases available. In fact, it’s their specialty and are noted as “the #1 name in the release game.” Big name TV hunters prefer the Scott Archery brand, proving their products are some of the best bow releases for hunting.
Their products are made in the USA and they have a “Can’t Beat It Guarantee” - they will repair or replace any of their merchandise without question. To paraphrase Bill Winke: “Scott releases always perform.” Check out Scott Archery Bow Releases on Amazon.
3) T.R.U. Ball
T.R.U. Ball has a history of designing releases that the professionals and competitors win with. They have under their belt 20+ win seasons within four years. On their website they have loads of instructional videos and shooting tips created by their company for the community.
At the foundation and heart of T.R.U. Ball is their Christian principles. Their packaging proudly shares their founded beliefs: “Jesus Christ is the only unlimited resource.” Check out T.R.U. Ball Bow Releases on Amazon.
Factors for Selecting a Great Bow Release
If you’re still trying to decide what is the best bow release for you, consider both the type and the features and how they match your budget. What can you compromise in your bow release and what is non-negotiable? Check out the list of factors to keep in mind when looking for the best bow release for the money.
Style of Release
Determine which style of release will best suit your needs. If you are a beginner or casual archer, the trigger or thumb release may be the best choice. How important is it to you to get a true “surprise” from your release? If you are experienced or competitive, having the edge with a back tension release might be more your speed. Regardless of your style, there are plenty of options available to choose from.
If you plan on purchasing a trigger style release consider your expectations from the strap. Will it correctly fit your wrist? As a hunter, can you accept noisy velcro for the benefit of quickly equipping it? Or do you require the consistent fit of having a quiet buckle? The comfort and durability of the material is also an important factor when considering the best compound bow release.
Both trigger and thumb style releases have sensitivity that affect their trigger travel. Some products have adjustable trigger travel and others do not. Decide what degree of control you need over sensitivity and whether or not you prefer having a hair-trigger or something with punch.
When in the market for a trigger style release it is important to know the maximum length of the release. What adjustments, if any, do you need to be able to make? Some people with larger hands will feel cramped if they can’t get enough length in their release. While shorter models of releases are available for children and small hands. The best trigger releases for bow hunting currently available are highly adjustable.
Your release aid should last years and bring confidence to each of your shots. This is why it is important to buy a release with a strong and lasting build quality that will stand up to regular use. A cheaply made release may prematurely fire your arrow, potentially causing damage to you, a bystander, or the arrow itself. The best bow release will endure years of regular use.
Different Types of Bow Releases
Archery has come a long way in recent years from being fingers on the string to now having a plethora of release aid options. Not only do releases improve accuracy, but they also can alleviate shoulder pain and accommodate for chronic injury that might otherwise prevent an archer from enjoying their sport. With all of the different types of releases and options available, it can be
difficult to know which is the best bow release for you. First, narrow it down to which type is most suiting for your shooting style.
Trigger or Index Release
Trigger releases, also called index release, are a popular option and are comprised of a wrist strap, head, and jaw or hook that closes around the string or D-loop. The archer equips the release around their wrist and sets the attaching piece to the string. Once the bow is drawn, squeezing or releasing the trigger will open the jaws and fire the arrow. It is a simple mechanism, easy to use, and will help significantly reduce torque. Despite the simple design, there are many variations available on the market that bring added comfort and adjustability to the user.
Arguably, the trigger style is the best release for bow hunting. However, due to the necessity of wearing the release on the wrist it may become cumbersome for hunters and restrict movement with one of their hands. Check out Trigger or Index Releases on Amazon.
Handle or Thumb Release
The handle or thumb style is a lightweight release that can be attached directly to the string or D-loop. Their T-shaped design conforms to the archer’s fingers, making it easy to grip and pull back for the draw. A small pressure sensitive button, usually activated by the thumb or pinky, is pressed to release the arrow.
Some archers find the handle style to be much more comfortable than having to wear a wrist strap for the trigger release. Naturally, it comes with the benefit of having both hands free at all times. As an alternative, many models come with the option to add a thin cord-like wrist strap if the archer prefers that over having it attached directly to their loop. A number of models allow minor control over pressure sensitivity and thumb release position. Check out Handle or Thumb Releases on Amazon.
The hinge style of release is also known as “back tension” release and it is generally a more intimidating method due to its lack of tactile control. However, the hinge style is what gives archers a true “surprise” release. Those who use hinge releases believe that the best shots are made subconsciously, without the archer concentrating on pulling a trigger or pressing their thumb. This allows complete focus on aiming - leading to increased accuracy - and the shot will happen naturally once the target has been established. It is called a “surprise” because the archer won’t know exactly when they will release the arrow.
This kind of release takes plenty of practice to get used to and it is recommended that first-time users do not begin immediately with their bow, but instead use a practice aid to get the feel for it first. Once you’ve decided back tension releases are for you it’s just a matter of deciding which one is the best back tension release for hunting or the range. Check out Hinge Releases on Amazon.
Armed with the knowledge of the top five best bow release reviews and the important features archers commonly desire, making a decision should be a little less intimidating. Keep in mind what is most important to you and what will best fit your individual style. Whether you are after the best trigger release for bow hunting or looking to try out a hinge release for the first time, or just want something to help improve your accuracy, there is a product out there that will meet your needs. As a beginner, you can’t go wrong with the tried and true trigger or thumb styles. But adventurous archers and experienced users may be inclined to find out why back tension releases change the way people shoot.