This article will help you to find the best bow release to suit you, your needs, and your budget. We have done all the research to be able to recommend the best bow releases out there right now. All of these bow releases offer quality and durability at a good price.
Best Thumb Release
Tru Ball Max Hunter
Best Thumb Release
Tru Ball Max Hunter
Best Hinge Release
Best Hinge Release
Best Wrist Releases
The Spot Hogg is one of my favorite wrist releases for sure. It is easy and comfortable to use. No matter if you are going to hunt or shoot targets in competition or in your backyard, this bow release will help you to increase your accuracy and comfort with every shot.
When looking for a bow release, I always advise going for one with a good trigger system. Spot Hogg has equipped this aid with a sensitive forward trigger that will help you achieve better groupings. Additionally, most users experience zero trigger travel when using this release.
Easy to Use
In addition to the fail safe trigger, this release is quite easy to use, especially because of its quick loading jaw. Unlike other wrist releases, you will notice that with the Spot Hogg Wiseguy, it is much easier to attach the hook to the D-loop. You can also adjust its length without struggling.
- Comes with a self-reloading hook
- Has the lightest trigger
- No trigger travel
- The wrist strap is lacking in terms of comfort
The TruFire Edge Buckle foldback release is a great option if you are looking to change to a spring style release. This unit has literally no visible defects in workmanship, meaning it will deliver great results. As you would expect, Tru-Fire releases are built for performance and the Edge Buckle Foldback is no exception.
If there is one thing that makes the Edge one of the best bow release aids, its the awesome design. For starters, its trigger has been made to maximize draw length by reducing the space between the trigger and the string at full draw. Secondly, it comes with a spring-loaded trigger that opens and closes easily to allow for quick and easy attachment to the D-loop or string.
Nice Wrist Strap
Just by looking at the wrist strap, you will definitely fall in love with the camo shade. It comes in handy when you are hunting game in the woods. Besides, the buckle wrist strap has a soft and padded inner liner that enhances comfort, especially in a long hunting session.
The Edge release is great when it comes to performance and comfort. This is because you can adjust the buckle wrist strap, the travel distance of the trigger, and the distance of the trigger from the wrist strap.
- The head rotates to accommodate lefties and righties
- Has an equally sensitive trigger
- Allows for smooth release
- Suitable for both beginners and experts
- The calipers might weaken after a few months
- A forward trigger American Made single hook release that...
- Only wrist model to have a head that pivots either left or...
- Features our Evolution buckle strap, the simplist yet most...
The TruFire is one of the most customizable releases you will ever find. It has been designed to allow you to adjust the settings to suit your preferences. For instance, you can adjust the trigger sensitivity to be light or heavy. Secondly, the wrist strap comes with a few holes so you can set it to your desired tightness.
Apart from its stellar performance, this release is very comfortable. The leather wrist strap is well-padded to avoid discomfort when engaging in long hunting sessions. What’s more? The head is designed to fold back, meaning that it won’t get in the way and you can wear it in the field at all times.
- Quiet and more consistent
- The wrist strap is comfortable
- Uses the hook design instead of the caliper
- Not great for beginners
- The head has a limited swivel
The Little Goose makes a wonderful addition to your shooting experience. It’s one of the few single caliper releases that offer stellar performance. You should choose this unit if adjustability and durability are the aspects you are looking for. Here are some of the factors that make Scott one the best bow release aids.
It is evident that the SCOTT company did a great job when making the Little Goose release. The entire unit is made of high-quality components to ensure that you get value for money. Additionally, the wrist strap is made of leather and has a 5-hole length adjustment.
One of the elements that the Little Goose excels at is the trigger system. It has been designed to allow the user to shoot long draw lengths. Moreover, the trigger comes with a micro-adjustment screw that helps to control the sensitivity of the pull.
- You can adjust the trigger sensitivity
- The wrist offers a solid anchor
- Excellent construction
- The adjustment screws might rust after some time
Best Thumb Releases
The Hot Shot Vapor 4 is arguably the best thumb release aid in the market. It has been around for quite some time and it just never ceases to impress archers. This explains why people have been raving about the simplicity and effectiveness of this bow release. You should not shy away from the Hot Shot Vapor if you are serious about improving your shooting precision.
Apart from having an impressive design, the Vapor release has been treated to incredible hardness. By this I mean that this handheld release resists wear at all contact points. The material used to build this unit allows it to function well.
If there is one feature that archers and bowhunters love about the Hot Shot Vapor 4, it’s the wide range of adjustments. For starters, you can tweak the trigger tension to either light or heavy depending on what you prefer. Secondly, you can customize the trigger thumb barrel fore-aft position, the trigger thumb barrel twist, and the trigger thumb barrel position.
- Super quiet
- The thumb trigger has plenty of settings
- Has a lightweight and sleek design
- Offers a smooth release
- Has a non-swivel head
Our first runner-up in the thumb release category is the Tru-Fire Edge. It is a great purchase for newbies who would like to switch to thumb releases. The Tru-Fire handheld bow release is a workhorse and does not disappoint when it comes to performance and versatility. Besides, it is nice-looking shade and will help you to camouflage when hunting in the woods.
Four Finger Design
As the name suggests, this model utilizes a four-finger design that helps you aim for long periods of time without experiencing discomfort. Moreover, the handle is sleek enough to fit in your hands perfectly. The thumb trigger is placed at a great position to enhance your shooting accuracy. You will also love the fact that the unit has a full swivel head that allows you to fire from odd angles.
The TruFire Edge Bow release does not lack in terms of adjustability. You will notice that it comes with plenty of adjustment opportunities on the thumb area and the trigger. You can also adjust the trigger tension and thumb barrel to suit your preferences.
- Has a wide range of settings
- The handle provides good grip
- Has a full swivel head
- May produce a minor clicking sound upon release
The Tru Ball Max Hunter Release is one the best bow releases for stalking your next trophy. It will give you peace of mind during hunting and target shooting. Besides, it has a very unique design compared to its competitors. Let’s see what this release aid has to offer archers.
The most unique thing about this release aid is its design. Unlike other hand-held bow releases, the Max Hunter has a special, different kind of trigger. It also has a three-finger handle design that provides a solid grip.
Other than its special design, the Max Hunter 3 is quite gifted when it comes to functionality. It has a small head and smaller jaws that allow for more draw length, as well as a high bow speed. Even better, this release is quick to load because you only have to activate the trigger to open the jaws and release it to close them.
Additionally, the Max hunter is silent when loading and when releasing. You can hunt comfortably without scaring away game.
- Made and assembled in USA
- Its head swivels 360 degrees
- Offers maximum silence when hunting
- Has an adjustable sensitivity screw
- Might be too small for people with large hands
If you are an archer looking to improve your groups, the Tru-Fire Revolution will help you achieve your goal. As you well know, Tru-Fire releases always ooze quality and elegance, and the Revolution is no exception. It offers minimal movement, consistency, and a smooth release. What more could you ask for?
4 Finger Advantage
The Revolution release is lightweight and compact enough to fit perfectly in your hand. It has been designed to offer placements for four fingers, allowing for a solid grip and stability. Having four fingers on the aid allows for a quick and easy drawback.
This release has a wide range of adjustment settings that will please y’all control freaks. It comes with a five position thumb adjustment system, a trigger pressure adjustment, and a trigger travel adjustment. Besides, you can choose to use or remove the wrist lanyard. It’s quite a remarkable package for a single release.
- Has a 360-degree rotating head that allows you to shoot from odd angles
- Can be used by both lefties and righties
- Provides more torque on the string
- Great for hunters
- Might be difficult to set up for beginners
The TRU Ball Fang is a great release for the money. You don’t have to dig deeper into your wallet to get your hands on this unit. It has slowly gained popularity among archers, especially because of its functionality and affordability. Amazingly, this release comes with a full containment system that allows you to attach the hook on the D-loop.
Easy to Use
Most hunters love using this thumb release because it is so easy to use. With the Full Containment System, you will find it easy to shoot repetitively. You just have to pull the trigger to shoot and then pull it again to reset the hook.
Another key attribute of the TRU Ball Fang Release is that it allows for unlimited customizations. For instance, it comes with a trigger travel adjustment screw, an adjustable thumb barrel and three sensitivity settings. You just have to play with these settings to customize your release adequately.
- Has an ergonomic four-finger design
- Crisp and quiet arrow release
- The hook-style jaw allows for hands-free hunting
- The handle is not as comfortable as other brands
Best Hinge Releases
The Scott Longhorn is definitely a great bow release for those struggling with target panic. It is quite simple to use and does not take a lot time to learn how to fire accurately. Its design is not as complicated as other models. This makes it a great option for beginners and intermediates.
Comfortable & Ergonomic
The Longhorn pro advantage has been designed to offer maximum comfort during long shooting sessions. It features a full tapered handle that provides consistent grip, thus enhancing your overall form. Besides, the handle creates a perfect pivot point for effortless shooting.
This release aid comes with a heavy brass handle that will give you years of service. In addition, the Scott Longhorn Pro has a hinge and nice clicker feature that alerts you when the bow is about to fire.
- Easy to use
- Has a clicker feature
- Only fits small hands
As you’ve noticed, The Scott Archery Company excels at making high-quality hinge release aids. The Longhorn Hunter is yet another model from the same company, and it’s getting popular for having outstanding features. It has not been on the market for long, but users are already praising it.
This handheld release has been designed specifically for hunters who are looking for a unit that shoots using the back muscles. It also has a nice open full radius handle that is attached to a wrist strap. The buckle wrist strap provides additional support and ensures that the release aid is accessible at all times.
The good thing about using a Scott is that it provides unsurpassed accuracy and reliability. Its three-finger design open full radius handle ensures that you are comfortable when aiming for a long period of time. Besides, it comes with a draw-optimizing auto-reset hook as well as a bracket stop that allow for quick and easy loading.
- Comes with interchangeable thumb pegs
- Has an attractive realtree Xtra camo finish
- Offers a smooth release
- The wrist strap is well padded for extra comfort
- Takes time to get used to
- Does not offer a lot of adjustment opportunities
The TRU Ball HT is a great hinge-style release that will compliment your hunting skills. This handheld release is ideal for those looking to improve their shooting accuracy, as well as those who are not doing great with command releases.
The Hot Tension 3 Finger release comes with a few adjustment opportunities so as to accommodate the needs of every archer. You can actually fine-tune your release using the tension screw. It also comes with a clicker that alerts you when the release is about to fire. You can choose whether to use or deactivate the clicker.
This back tension release features aluminum construction that gives it a lightweight feel. Even better, its handle is tapered near the pinky finger and the ring, giving it an ergonomic feel.
- Improves accuracy
- Easy to adjust
- Has a durable construction
- Comes with a clicker
- A bit expensive
The Carter 2 Moons is one of our last picks in this category but that does not mean it is ineffective. In fact, it is one of the latest releases on the market and it has a nice, shiny blue color. Moreover, the Carter 2 has jaws that are designed to be D-loop friendly.
Plenty of Adjustments
This back tension release has a revolutionary clicker that can be adjusted in length. The increments are quite micro, but you will certainly feel the difference. In addition to the micro adjustable clicker system, you can also adjust the speed of the release by two degrees at a time.
The Carter 2 Moons comes with the sleekest, most relaxing handle. It provides a solid and comfortable grip as long as you choose the right size. With the Carter 2 Moons, you have the luxury of choosing between a two, three or four-finger handle design.
- Comes with an adjustable clicker
- Allows for speed adjustments
- Has an appealing design
- The handle is quite comfortable
- Not ideal for hunting
The Tru-Fire Patriot Release is the most popular bow release on the market. It has always been the best bow release for beginners and seasoned archers who are on a budget. Being an entry-level release, it features a very simple design, making it easy to use. Below are some of the key attributes you might like about the Tru-Fire Patriot.
Build quality is one of the main reasons this unit has received overwhelmingly positive feedback. You can use it for years and it just never breaks. Its durability can be attributed to the CNC machined body, hardened trigger, and jaws, as well as the high-quality Velcro strap. Besides, this bow release is sturdy enough to handle a draw weight of up to 70lbs.
The Tru-Fire Patriot does not disappoint when it comes to comfort. It has a thick nylon and Velcro strap that you can easily adjust to fit your hand. Even better, it features a rotating design that makes it suitable for righties and lefties. Its overall design enhances maximum comfort levels without compromising your form.
- Quite affordable
- Can withstand harsh conditions pretty well
- Easy to use and fix on to your wrist
- Has a simple V-strapped design
- You might encounter consistency issues because of the Velcro straps
Types of Release Aids
Before you choose the best release for your compound bow, it is extremely important to familiarize yourself with the various types that are available.
There are quite a number of varieties, but we are going to focus on the three most popular types: Index Finger release, thumb trigger release, and the Hinge release. Each one is designed in its own unique way and they all perform differently in various scenarios.
Index Finger Release
This is the most common bow release among both newbies and expert hunters. This type of release uses the same trigger mechanism that is used in hunting rifles. Release aids in this category have to be activated by pulling the trigger with your index finger. In simple terms, the archer commands the trigger when they confirm that the target is locked.
The key advantage of using a wrist strap index finger release is that one is able to hit the target when it is in motion or during windy conditions. Besides, these releases come with a buckle or Velcro strap for added support. You will always have your release ready for action when you need it.
You will also notice that it’s pretty easy to draw your bow with an index finger release because you are relying on the wrist muscles to pull the string. This makes it possible to execute a shot quickly and smoothly.
Overall, index finger releases are affordable and easy to use. On the other hand, you might encounter anxiety and flinching, which might lead to target panic.
As the name suggests, these releases have triggers that are activated by the thumb finger. People are slowly switching to the thumb release aids because of their consistency and precision. They are a great option for people who suffer from target panic. Just like the wrist releases, the thumb trigger releases come with a few adjustment opportunities.
Most experts and competitive archers prefer using this handheld release because of its lightweight and sleek design. Once you start using a thumb release, your accuracy levels will improve immensely. This is possible because you’ll get used to holding the aid in one position, to the extent that you can recreate the same draw each and every time. The other strength I noticed about Thumb releases is that they are able to provide a consistent and firm anchor.
The hinge release is a special type of handheld bow release aid that does not require any trigger to shoot. It looks similar to the thumb release, only that this one relies on back tension to fire an arrow. Experts recommend the hinge release aid to archers who are unable to control target panic. So, if you were about to quit archery because of your target panic problem, a hinge release will do the magic for you.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Bow Release
Shooting a bow and arrow is not as easy as most people think. In fact, you are bound to miss your target if you fail to use the right bow release.
As a matter of fact, not every release might work out for you. This is why you need to be careful when shopping for the best bow release for you.
Personally, I had to buy two different units until I found the right one. Of course, I would not wish anyone to go through the same ordeal, which is why I decided to add this section. You should definitely take these factors into consideration before you settle for any release aid.
Honestly speaking, there is no way you will shoot your bow and arrow accurately if you are using an uncomfortable release aid. You can easily tell whether a bow release aid is comfortable by checking the amount of padding the wrist strap has. If it is not padded, then you shouldn’t buy it, especially if you tend to have long shooting sections.
If you are using a handheld release aid, make sure you check the handle to ensure that it’s sturdy and well-constructed. This way, you can concentrate on more important things instead of worrying about comfort.
Another important factor to consider is the release mechanism. As we discussed earlier, a release aid might utilize your thumb, index finger, or back tension to fire the arrow. Other than that, you have to check the hooking mechanism. Would you prefer to use a caliper system or fang style hook? I bet you definitely know which style suits you best.
As you know, most bow release aids are quite expensive, and for this reason, you should aim to purchase a unit that will serve you for years. There is no point in spending a couple of hundred bucks on bow releases that won’t withstand several years of shooting.
You should check that the material used for each component is of high quality. If you are looking for a wrist release, go for one with a leather strap. The head should also be made from a strong material, as it will be subjected to harsh treatment. The last thing you want to happen is that you are sitting in your tree stand and your release stops working.
If you are going to be traveling with your new bow release, then I recommend that you get yourself a bow case or a bag to keep them in so that they don’t get broken. Even if the build quality of your bow release is solid, you still need to take good care of it.
As you have noticed from my top picks, quietness is definitely an important aspect when looking for a release aid. You will see the importance of owning a quiet bow release when hunting for game. Avoid purchasing units that produce a clicking sound when drawing or shooting the arrow.
You should also avoid using wrist straps that use velcro, as they tend to make loud noises when adjusting. A buckle system is far better, as it is silent and easy to adjust to the right fit.
It goes without saying that adjustability is one of the key factors archers look for when shopping. No one wants to stick with a bow release that has limited adjustment settings.
Go for a release that allows you to tweak the trigger sensitivity, size, and angle. Competitive archers prefer to have a release that can be customized to meet their needs.
The final factor that comes into play is the string style. As you might know, there are three different string setups. A bow might rely on a D loop string, a metal nock, or a metal type fastener. It is, therefore, important to choose a release that matches the style of your string setup.
Now that you are equipped with knowledge, I believe it will be extremely easy for you to pick the best bow release for either your recurve bow or compound bow. Each and every unit I have reviewed will definitely make a good release aid, but as I said, it all comes down to your needs and budget.
The ball is now on your court, make the right choice!
Andy Ryan is an archery enthusiast who has been practising hunting and target shooting as long as he can remember. He is known for his accurate groupings and humming laughter. His texts are packed with experiences and knowledge about the archery sport that few obtain.