Bow-release

Best Bow Releases in 2020 – Top 6 Archery Releases

Best Overall

Tru-Fire Hardcore Buckle
Available at Amazon
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Most Popular

Tru-Fire Smoke Adjustable
Available at Amazon
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Best Accuracy

Tru-Fire Edge 4
Available at Amazon
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The modern age is that of technologically advanced weaponry. Archery and the classic bow and arrow have been limited to hunting, recreation and competitive sport. With the development of the traditional bowstring to become more precise and lightweight, the use of bow releases entered the picture.

A bow release or “mechanical release” is a strap or device that goes around the archer’s wrist that is used to pull back the bowstring. Although the traditional bowstring did not require a bow release, advancements in the bowstring design meant bow releases becoming an essential tool.

We have reviewed the best bow releases to help you find the one that suits your budget and needs the best.

Best Bow Releases

In a hurry? Here are the bow releases on the market today.

Best Overall: Tru-Fire Hardcore Buckle
“those who prefer a hands-free experience would love this product”


Most Popular: Tru-Fire Smoke Adjustable
“The 16 levels of customization give one a lot of options for a convenient setup”


Best Accuracy: Tru-Fire Edge 4
“Its durability is among the best on the market”


Best for Children: Tru-Fire PT-JR Patriot
“It has been designed to increase people’s fondness for archery”


Great for Hunters: Scott Caliper Release
“The leather strap buckle can be removed and altered easily by the archer”


User Friendly: Tru-Ball Max Hunter Release 3
“This product features smaller jaws that allow the archer more draw length”


Best Overall: Tru-Fire Hardcore Buckle

Reasons to buy:

  • Fits both right and left-handed people
  • Highly adjustable trigger
  • Camo design
Reasons not to buy:

View at Amazon

This is perhaps the best all-rounder product on the market right now. Tru-Fire’s Hardcore Buckle release certainly packs some unique and noticeable features. It has a flip back design that is highly adjustable, which makes it the most convenient option on the market.

It also comes in an impressive camo-outlook which would be a popular choice among hunters.

The most noticeable feature of the device should be mentioned first. The design features a fold-back leather strap with buckle. The foldability allows you to tuck it away and use your binoculars or some other equipment.

The design eliminates any unnecessary torques by allowing the head to pivot freely left to right at around 20 degrees. Furthermore, the trigger travel is highly adjustable and comes with a locking option. The device can also be adjusted to fit both left and right-handed archers. The length can be increased and decreased within the range of 5/8 inches, depending on the size of your hands.

It also comes with a wrist band that can be secured to your arm, eliminating the risk of losing it somewhere. Losing the release is an archer’s worst nightmare. However, Tru-Fire’s design enables it to be attached to the D-loop securely. It doesn’t slip off, so you can be sure that you won’t misplace this accessory. Even while running (in case of hunting) it doesn’t come off.

While having a handheld release may have some advantages, those who prefer a hands-free experience would love this product.


Most Popular: Tru-Fire Smoke Adjustable

Reasons to buy:

  • Highly adjustable trigger
  • High durability and a sturdy construction
  • The foldability of the strap is a big advantage for adventurers
Reasons not to buy:

  • Does not feature a 360 rotatable head

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Smoke Adjustable Fold-back wrist-release boasts 16 levels of trigger thumb adjustment that surpasses any other product on the market. Its buckle is better compared to Tru-Fire Hardcore Buckle and features thicker padding.

Just like its sister Tru-Fire product mentioned above, it has a fold-back buckle. Thanks to the adjustability strap it can align itself quite nicely with small wrist sizes.

The best part of this release is that the strap can be flipped back, allowing you to use other things when taking breaks in-between hunting. Whether you’re trekking through difficult terrain, looking through binoculars or having a sandwich, having your strap tucked away yet still at hand is a blessing.

Just like any self-respecting archery release, this product is ambidextrous. Both type of users can use it with high precision. Speaking of adjustability, the trigger travel is also customizable. Depending on your need and preference you can have a light touch or a heavy hand. But this is not where Smoke’s adjustability ends. The 16 levels of customization give one a lot of options for a convenient setup.

An overlooked feature is the smooth operation of the release. It may be the most underrated factor in improving a hunter’s precision. The metal and leather combination is a tough one that does not yield so easily. This product will definitely last you a while.


Best Accuracy: Tru-Fire Edge 4

Reasons to buy:

  • The trigger can be fine-tuned from very sensitive to very resistant
  • Water-proof coating that resists corrosion
  • Rotates 360 degrees but also has the capacity to reduce torque
  • It carries an activator for the knob that is also very adjustable
Reasons not to buy:

  • Strict maintenance required. If the calipers aren’t oiled regularly, there can be problems with accuracy

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This is Tru-Fire’s foray into the handheld release market. It can definitely be called a solid attempt. It will be hard to miss your shot with this product designed for accuracy. This is a versatile product that can be used by both hunters and professional archers. The camouflage paint job is always welcome.

This product has one of the most robust constructions on the market. It weighs 4.8 ounces and has dual caliper jaws. Most importantly, the sophisticated and sleek aluminum has been machined using CNC equipment. The design supports lanyard installation, which always is a great plus.

Its durability is among the best on the market, thanks to its paint job that prevents damage from corrosion.

Like many of the top products on this list, Edge 4 features 360-degree head rotation. However, this rotation also applies to the trigger head. This makes the product highly adaptable to a wide range of consumers, as anyone can pivot the trigger according to their preference. By allowing users to change sides of the triggers, the product can claim to be ambidextrous.

The smooth and well-lubricated movement of the trigger is not its only adjustability feature. The travel can be changed too, making the sensitivity of the trigger very customizable. Combine that with a four-finger grip and you have something marvelous.

If you have smaller hands, do not worry. The product boasts a streamlined handheld feature that is suitable for any occasion – whether it is a hunting trip or a competition.


Best for Children: Tru-Fire PT-JR Patriot

Reasons to buy:

  • Velcro strap with padding provides comfort and convenience
  • Perfect for kids and beginners
  • Due to the metallic design, the trigger is very durable
Reasons not to buy:

  • Calipers don’t self-close

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The Tru-Fire PT-JR Patriot is a product designed with beginners and amateurs in mind. Consider it your foray in the world of archery. If you have a kid interested in this sport, then JR Patriot would be the perfect gift. It has been designed to increase people’s fondness for archery. Therefore, it is great for young and adult beginners alike.

The release features a metal trigger, instead of a plastic one. This ensures that the build is robust and that it lasts you a while. To close the clamp, the trigger has to be pushed, which is contrary to most popular releases out there. The length of the release can be adjusted as well.

Furthermore, the design has the option of installing a D loop, which can help you not lose your precious release.

Since we have mentioned that this a good product for beginners, especially kids, you might be wondering if it would properly fit your kid’s hands. Worry not. The design is very adjustable. Just make sure that the kid’s fingers are clamped firmly at the back of the trigger while they are aiming. The Velcro strap can then be closed and there will be no issues of looseness.

The draw strength of the item is another question that might be on your mind. Tru-Fire claims that its product has been designed to handle any common draw weight. Keeping the young users in mind, the orientation of the release has been crafted to ensure that it is compatible with any small to medium-sized bow that they might use.


Great for Hunters: Scott Caliper Release

Reasons to buy:

  • Sturdy leather build and is very durable
  • Swivel connector helps enhance adjustability and draw length
  • Can be used by both right- and left handed
Reasons not to buy:

  • Trigger sensitivity can take some time getting used to

View at Amazon

Some people just can’t get enough of leather and they need their leather products to be durable. If that sounds like you, then Scott’s Caliber Release might just be your best friend. It a highly cost-effective option that gives you a reliable, consistent and high-quality performance. There is a reason why this is Scott’s best-selling release accessory to date. The sheer number of features it packs allows the users to maximize their draw length.

It has a unique design aspect called the swivel connector. This feature optimizes the extent of draw length an archer can attain. Caliber Release’s swivel connector has an unorthodox 5-step alteration mechanism that is unique to Scott. This is why it is one of the best-selling options on the market, as it provides something no other product can.

The leather strap buckle can be removed and altered easily by the archer. The outside is thick and robust, but the inside has a smooth leather lining which protects the skin from chaffing. Furthermore, the product features a knurled trigger which allows for a nice grip.

Scott Caliber can be used by both left-handed and right-handed players. No extra equipment is need to make this release suitable to your style. Everything you need is already within the product.

User Friendly: Tru-Ball Max Hunter Release 3

Reasons to buy:

  • Head can rotate 360 degrees
  • Great for heavy hunting bows
  • Highly customizable
  • Very quiet
Reasons not to buy:

  • A bit pricey

View at Amazon

One of the best thumb trigger releases on the market, Tru Ball Max Hunter Release 3 is among the best archery products out there. One of its most prominent features is its ability to stretch large weights of bowstring.

The Max Hunter’s head can rotate 360 degrees. This means your hand can be angled at any position of your preference while making the shot. The bearings are well-greased and, therefore, respond well to your actions.

It features a convenient three-finger release. It feels very natural and makes the draw considerably easy. Archers have multiple options of choosing their anchor point while aiming to shoot. This, combined with a 360 rotatable head, makes the whole process of preparing your shot very user-friendly.

We like that this release is so adjustable. Depending on your preference, the sensitivity of the trigger can be altered. Using a set of drivers and Allen keys, the screws can be adjusted, which can transform a tight trigger into a hair trigger.

This product features smaller jaws that allow the archer more draw length. This design can support around 70 pounds of bow weight and significantly improves your bow speed. By releasing the trigger, the jaws can be closed and fixed around the bow. This will allow you to be ready to shoot in a millisecond, which is really helpful while hunting.


How to Choose the Best Bow Release for You

The powerful modern-day bowstring is hard to control, and it requires a lot more energy to pull back the arrow. This means added pressure on the shooter’s fingers and wrist. On a rainy day, water between the shooter’s fingers and the string can lower the friction and cause an early release. On a cold day, when the dexterity of the archer might be compromised due to gloves, a bow release can make all the difference in the world. A bow release can reduce the tension in the shooter’s digits and reduce the risk of breaking the bow. Dry firing, which is caused when the arrow is released inaccurately, can be minimized by using the correct bow release.

It is very important to use the right bow release. Although practice with a new bow release is essential, the wrong bow release can cause various issues like unsteady fingers, spasmic movements, early releases and unsteady side-to-side movements. Choosing the correct bow release depends on factors like: Target Panic: the nervousness a shooter faces in the beginning of their shoot, Bowstring Compatibility: how well the bow release compliments the bowstring, Release Mechanism: bow release compatibility with the shooter.

Types of Bows

When choosing a bow release, it is important to decide based on your activity – an archer, for example, would use a hand-release model while a hunter would be suited to a wrist-release model.

Wrist-Release for Hunting

The wrist release is tied around the shooter’s wrist with Velcro. The string is pulled back through the jaw-like structure and released using a finger-trigger. The release is adjustable and can easily be personalized based on the user. Some wrist-release designs use buckles instead of Velcro and make use of the index-finger for release. Other models feature 3 and 4 finger releases so that the shooter can choose their preferred finger for release. The models come in a range of colours ranging from dark camo colours to brighter colours like red, pink and purple.

The wrist release mechanism complements the overall length and wrist position that hunters use. For this reason, when buying a bow release, it is important to consider how a wrist-release will benefit the shooter’s experience.

Hand-Release for Archery

The hand-release is more widely used by competitive archers and in target practice. This is because the hand-release model allows the shooter to relax their back and wrists by using a thumb to trigger the release. The pull-back tension is minimized which allows the shooter to shoot accurately without the fear of target panic. The hand-release model is easy to use and minimizes strain on the fingers which allows for minimal dry firing. The release-bow makes the release mechanism very easy to use and can be used by children during recreational target practices.

Having discussed the details of each release, it is important to note that although the hand-release model is more expensive than the wrist-release model, one model is not better than the other. User preference is key when choosing a bow release. Furthermore, shooting styles come into play when buying a bow release.

Other factors that are important when selecting a bow release are listed below.

Shooting Style

This factor is very much dependant on the shooter themselves. For example their wrist rotation, choice of finger for trigger and left or right-handedness. Understanding personal preference and shooting style will help the user determine if they need a release with rotation adjustability functions or smoothness of pull.

Length Adjustment

The bow release should be adjustable to individual needs. This includes wrist size, as wrist sizes can differ for archers and bowhunters. The angle of the trigger can make a lot difference depending on finger length, so trigger angle adjustability is very important. Other factors like trigger tension and pull force can also be affected by adjustability, and so selecting a bow release that can adjust to these things is essential. Buckles and Velcro straps can allow the user to adjust the bow release so that there isn’t any strain on the thumb or wrist.

String Style

The type of bowstring on the bow will determine the type of release you should be buying. For example, some bow releases have a clasp that go around the D-loop, while other releases can go around the string without the need for a loop. In both cases, it is important to know what type of bowstring you are buying the release for.

Target Panic Cure

Shooters often underestimate the role anxiety and nervousness can play when shooting, especially for performers. Target panic occurs when the shooter is too nervous and cannot focus on the target. The wrist-release mechanism, in cases where the shooter is nervous, might release the arrow early and miss the target. In these cases, hand-release models are often the better option. They give the user more control over the release as the model focuses on the back-tension instead of the thumb.

Anchor Point

The anchor point is the orientation of the wrist when the bowstring is pulled. The wrist-release model allows the user to adjust the buckles and Velcro to suit their anchor point without adding strain on the pull. This allows for a more accurate shot with more consistency and safety for both the user as well as the bow.

Attachments

When carrying around a bow and arrows, it is important to keep your hands free. The attachment function of the bow release can relieve the user of carrying the bow-release around and potentially dropping it in the woods. The wrist-release comes with clamps that can be used to hang the release from loops. Since the hand-release uses bowstring loops to clamp the release to, the hand-release models don’t come with clamps. But they do have Velcro on the sides and are easy to fold and fit into the back pocket.

Budget

Given the factors above, it is easy to select a bow release that can do all the above. However, price does come into play. Bow releases range from cheap to expensive. As such, it is important to select what factors are important to you and what factors are not that important, so you know exactly what you are paying for.

Conclusion

A bow release can make a world of a difference to your shooting experience. By releasing the tension from your fingers and giving a stronger grip on the bow string, the bow release allows for more accurate shots and safer shooting environments. Determining the bow release that works for you depends on many factors. While we cannot choose a single bow release as the best one for all users, we have reviewed several excellent options. You can choose one that suits you well based on the different factors that we have explained above.