Types of Bows – Details Guide in 2023

Since the beginning of mankind people had to feed and protect themselves. As time went by, more and more efficient ways to fulfill all the basic needs were created. And around 10.000 BC humanity saw its first bow.

Ever since there has been an evolution in the types of bows as well. Bows were used for both hunting and protection and served as an ultimate tool that made it easier for our ancestors to survive.

Types of Bows

In modern times, though you don’t need it for survival or fight, various bows are used for hunting games, archery practices etc., mostly as entertainment and for developing a new and interesting skill.

In this article, you can get a detailed look at the major types of bows used in modern times. Also, we have recommended the top brands that produce each of those particular best-hunting bows.

Types of bows

There are a lot of directions you can take your hobbies in and all of them have some specifications. To fulfil those specific needs we have a variety of bows that will suit any purpose of use.


We are pretty sure that you have seen some of these in many of the action movies as well as TV shows that have been coming out recently. Now, though these kinds of bows look pretty modern, these have been in existence since about 2500 years.


It can be explained as a combination of the mechanisms of a recurve bow or compound bow and that of a gun. The bow, in this case, is used horizontally and not vertically as in case of other bows.

And, these come with a handle and trigger mechanism for shooting. The modern compound crossbows are much easier to draw and use in comparison to the ones that existed traditionally.

The crossbows have a more extended firing range and they are highly accurate in comparison to most other types of bows. They are pretty good to be used in hunting or target shooting as well as archery competitions.

Advantages of crossbows

Given below are the major advantages of crossbows

  • This kind of bows can be used easily by average heightened hunters or archers, as cross bus aa and as long as other bows and doesn’t require too much strength as well.
  • It is very easy to draw an arrow with a crossbow and can be drawn readily. Therefore, you don’t need to draw it in advance or use a lot of strength keeping it that way as in case of other bows.
  • Crossbows found to be somewhat more comfortable and easier to target with for some hunters.
  • Crossbows easy to carry around as well.

Some recommended brands for crossbows

Barnett- Barnett might be producing bows that are somewhat on the expensive side, however as soon as you buy one, you will know that it is completely worthy.

Centerpoint- Centerpoint is yet another reliable crossbow manufacturer that you can rely upon for its smoothness and effectiveness even after numerous shots and hunts. Safety features and quality are the key factors that this brand takes care of.


Clearly, crossbows are becoming more and more popular among Hunters and serious arches. This is more or less because crossbows allow the user to have greater mobility and comfort while stalking or running around their target while at the same time providing greater accuracy.

Given that the bow is shorter in comparison to other alternatives, this can be a great option to the hunters or archers who are not tall.

Compound bows

Compound Bows have grown into the most popular category of bows both for archers as well as professional hunters. Compound bows make use of a levering system that consists of pulleys and cables for bending the bow limbs.

Compound bows

The levering system of compound bows offers an excellent stiffness to the bow which allows the user to draw in a more energy-efficient manner while delivering an accurate shot.

There is an amazingly wide variety of compound bows available out in the market. From primitive single-cam ones to advanced and high-level double cam bows, there will be a compound bow ideal for every type of hunter or archer. Compound bow can be used for target shooting.

Advantages of compound bows

  • Advanced bows that can be used along with the best bow sights thereby making shooting more accurate
  • Compound bows re designed to shoot faster and powerful arrows
  • Compound bows come with a lower draw weight thus preventing fatigue and injury
  • These types of bows can have variable draw length.

Recommended brand for compound bows

Matthew: This is just an inevitable name when it comes to the best compound bow brands. The brand has been around for a while and given how much users love every product from it, it is here for long.


Compound bows are ideal for all type of users as they can be available in different lengths, draw-lengths and designs.

Recurve Bows

The classical bow is more of a reminder of good old days. But what do people use in the modern age? Recurve bows. Their curved limbs give your arrow an impeccable force and speed, which can not be recreated with a classical bow.

Recurve Bows

This bow type is used by archers at Olympic games and other competitive archery exhibitions. You can use them for target shooting, classical archery, and hunting. A big amount of different equipment can personalize your bow – sleek design, power, and authenticity.

Just looking at its shape you can see that it’s where the name ‘recurve bow’ comes from. A positive aspect of this bow is that it doesn’t require a lot of strength from the shooter.

Now, given the simplicity of design, the ease of use and lower strength requirements, this type is one of the most recommended for any archer to start archery practice with.

Moreover, as a person grows more and more comfortable with the bow and gains experience and expertise in archery, more features can be added to improvise the skill.

Advantages of Recurve bows

  • The design of recurve bows let the archer shoot straighter and faster arrows.
  • It is needless to say, the recurve bows are much affordable in comparison to other types of bows.
  • Due to their simple designs and ease of use, recurve bows can be a great alternative for the archers to begin with.
  • While recurve bows are good to start with due to its simple designs, it can also train the archer to be more accurate and precise while shooting. This is because, in the case of recurve bows, there would be no additional accessory for the archer to use to help with the bow sights or aiming.
  • It is extremely easy to store and transport.

Recommended brands for recurve bows

Martin Archery- well over a decade old company, created by a group of passionate archers, Martin Archery has been a well-established name in the recurve bow manufacturing.

The brand eventually became extremely popular among both beginners as well as advanced level users due to the price, durable make and design.

Bear Archery- largely regarded as a pioneer of modern bows, Bear Archery produces some of the finest recurve bows users can get on the market.


The recurve bows are used for hunters and archers who would like to get a bit of excitement by challenging their archery skills.

As discussed above, given that recurve bows don’t have any additional accessory to help with the sight or targets, it would be much of a challenge for the archer to use a recurve bow, putting the skills to the real test.

Further, it is also a great place to start practicing with as well, given its affordability and features. Here you can check the best Mathews bow buying guide.

Classical Bows and longbows

This is the original bow. Made out of a piece of wood with a string attached to both straight limbs directly. Longbow, Japanese yumi and horse bow are also considered as a classic bow. This type of bows is the most suitable for the shoot-in-a-backyard type of archery and a simple target shooting.

Classical Bows and longbows

This is primarily because these are quite primitive in nature. In order to master these and make them actually of some use, you would need some real bit of practice and Because of its simplicity and cheap price (you can also make it by yourself), this type is not recommended for hunting and competitive archery.

You can find a classical bow in different, local and online, archery shops. One of the best examples of these traditional archery tools are the ones made by a legend Damon Howatt. Sliver and Savannah are a display of an enormous amount of craftsmanship, and you can easily find these on the internet.

Advantages of Longbows or such classical bows

  • The longbows are relatively much lighter when compared to other types of bows
  • It is pretty quick and easy to prepare or set up longbows for shooting
  • Longbows are way quieter while shooting
  • Given that classic bows are very lightweight, they are known to cause far less hand fatigue.


Longbows are primitive in design, so it obviously can’t be used in typical competitions or hunting games. It can be used to hunt small animals though, but it can be challenging given a tremendous strength and practice it requires.

Ideally, longbows are suitable for the archers who are looking to take the challenge of mastering longbows. Also, it is useful for those who like to have bows with traditional looks.

Frequently asked questions on bow types

How to pick the right type of bow?

You are becoming increasingly more interested in archery but still bothered with one question: “What bow should I pick?”. To answer this question you will have to set some things straight. These questions will help us to decide on what type of bow suits you the most:

What do you need a bow for?

Hunting, target shooting, competitive archery. Every purpose has a bow that will suit it better. If you are just a beginner, you might want to get the recurve bows or the simpler compound bows.

If you are just looking for a traditional looking bow to get the feel of the gone era, you can get the classic ones. On the other hand, if you are a serious archer or hunter looking for high-accuracy ones, you might want to look for the high-end crossbows and compound bows.

Your budget:

Your budgets influence things too. There are longbows and recurve bows on the cheaper end. Compound bows and advanced crossbows would come on the expensive side.

Very cheap bows will frustrate you with their low quality, but spending a fair amount of your funds on getting an appropriate gear will be a better investment.

Select a product that will help you grow

“Start small” may not always be a correct strategy for archery. Getting bows for beginners and hoping to grow from it will not do you any good. But getting a reliable and well-crafted bow will make you grow fates, and it also will last longer.

Related Guide: Check out best bow press reviews and buying guides.

Which type of bows are suitable for beginners?

Recurve bow is generally the one that is most recommended for the beginners. This is mostly due to the low strength requirements and ease of use.

What types of bows are good to teach kids archery?

Many of the popular bow manufacturers have brought out bows that can be fit for kids. You can buy a short recurve bow or non-complex compound bows to start training your kids in archery.

It’s important to select the right bow though. Here are a few things to take care of while choosing a bow for your kids.

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