Are you looking for something to help you increase your bow accuracy and help you while hunting? If the answer is yes, getting a bow release is a must. It's an archery accessory designed to improve your accuracy and reduce the strain on your fingers.
Bow releases also give you more control and prevent trigger punches. Read our bow release buyer's guide to learn how they work and find the best bow release for you.
Best Bow Release
Best Bow Release Reviews
1. Tru-Fire Hardcore Buckle Foldback MAX
Tru-Fire is one of the most renowned names in the bow release and accessory industry. Their Hardcore Foldback Max wrist release is one of the most popular choices for archers all over the globe. It's a durable, well-designed release that can fit different wrist sizes.
Right off the bat, the Tru-Fire Hardcore Buckle Foldback Max looks and feels like a top-quality product. It features the Plush Black Evolution II Buckle made of some of the best materials out there. It has a leather strap with a thick padded insole that makes it very comfortable. Unlike many similar releases, this one has rolled edges rather than Velcro straps, making it significantly stronger. The buckle folds back and it's stitched well, so it should hold for years.
Next, there are the non-slip hooks with built-in automatic reset that allows you to hook up quickly. The non-slip material enables the hook to hold on the D-loop at all times, even when you move, crouch, or twist. It won't slip off no matter what.
The Hardcore buckle allows you to make all kinds of adjustments on the go, including trigger sensitivity, trigger tension, and torque swivel. The length adjustments are between 5 and 8 inches, so there are plenty of different positions for you to choose from. You can also adjust the trigger travel to suit your style.
Another great thing about this release is the swept-back trigger mechanism added to prevent accidental firing. It prevents your fingertips from setting the arrow off, minimizing target panic and optimizing sensitivity.
What I like
There is no doubt that this wrist release is designed to the highest standards. It's a result of many years of testing and product improvement, and it's one of the best releases on the market. The Tru-Fire Hardcore Buckle Foldback MAX offers top notch materials, fold back design, a wide range of adjustments, and the swept-back trigger system. The rotating head allows 20 degrees of sideways movement.
What I don’t like
This is a high-quality release and has very few weaknesses. However, the only thing that might turn some hunters away is that it is slightly bulkier than the majority of other models.
2. TruFire Edge Buckle Compound Bow Release
The TruFire Edge Buckle offers an excellent mix of features, material quality, and price. It's perhaps the best all-around release because it fits pretty much any hand, has many adjustable features, and it's built to survive Armageddon.
TruFire offers quite a few impressive bow releases, and the Edge is definitely one of them. It's designed for compound bows, and it comes with all the features you need to improve your accuracy and control. The fold-back buckle keeps the release attached to your hand at all times. The Edge hasn't changed much for over ten years because TruFire really nailed the design with this one. What’s more, it is put together in the US.
Edge also has plenty of adjustable features, including draw length, alterable trigger transit, and it works for left and right-handed archers alike. The strap is made from durable, thick leather that should stay true for years. The jaws are powerful, and the head is smaller to give you more control when firing. The jaws are opened when you draw back the set-off. Just release the trigger, and the string will fall into place, allowing you to make quick consecutive shots.
What I like
The Edge is a result of years and years of rigorous testing and improvement. The trigger is very smooth and you can easily adjust it by tightening a small screw on the side. It's super easy to set up, and it outperforms most products in the same price range. It's very durable and comfortable around the arm, as well.
What I don’t like
The only issue some hunters may have is the compact body design. The maximum draw length is adjustable, but it may not be long enough for very tall hunters with long arms.
3. Scott Archery Caliper Bow Release
If you prefer the grip type over wrist releases, the Scott Archery Caliper release is an excellent choice. It comes with a finger trigger that's usually found on wrist strap models, so it brings a fantastic mix of features you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
The Caliper release is a T-handle release with a sensitive trigger that sits well in hand and allows you to draw and shoot arrows without too much effort. It's got a classic look, but it's also packed with modern features that will surely increase your accuracy and efficiency. The housing is made from aluminum, and it's covered with a rubber over-mold that provides a secure, comfortable grip. You can even attach a lanyard to the loop on the back.
When you grab this release, it feels more like a pistol grip than a bow release because of the molded finger holes. The dual caliper jaws are very strong and will stick firmly to the D-loop, making it almost impossible for the string to slip off.
The Caliper is a unique hybrid release that combines two types of releases. The 360-degree rotating head makes it easy to shoot arrows by reducing torque, and that makes it ideal for practicing on the archery range. The rotation is very responsive because of the high-quality bearings inside of the head.
Finally, the adjustable trigger supports the arrow with instant tactile control. You can adjust the sensitivity with an Allen key while on the hunt.
What I like
The best thing about this release is the comfortable rubber handle. It's one of the most comfortable grips you can wish for. It works excellent with bare hands, as well as gloves. Also, the adjustable trigger allows you to customize the firing precisely to your preference. The accuracy it provides is on a very high level.
What I don’t like
The only problem with the Caliper is that you’ll need to show it more TLC than you’d have to with some other models. You should keep the calipers oiled up at all times. Otherwise, it could misfire because the trigger activates on the smallest vibration or pressure.
4. Spot Hogg Wiseguy Release Buckle
If you are looking for the best bow release with a sensitive trigger, the Wiseguy is as good as they come. It's super-lightweight, and it comes with an adjustable trigger and a durable wrist strap. The foldable head is also useful because you can fold it when you are not using it.
This is one well-built, high-quality release. The strap is one of the best in its class. It's very comfortable thanks to the thick padding on the inside. The release makes absolutely no sound, a thing that's usually hard to eliminate in a bow release. The built-in string jaw attachment is very useful in action while the open structure allows you to hook it up to a D-loop with zero hassle.
The forward-facing trigger system is super-sensitive, and it gets the job done correctly. You will be able to shoot quickly without sacrificing accuracy. The travel of this release is minimal. It's designed primarily for hunters who prefer using the wrist belt pattern release. Releases of this type provide the power and accuracy needed to make every shot count.
The Spot Hogg Wiseguy has a simple head made of durable metal. It allows you to position the draw exactly how you want it, further increasing your chances of hitting the target. The fact that it's one of the lightest releases on the market doesn't make it any weaker than the rest.
What I like
The Wiseguy has an incredibly smooth trigger that makes firing arrows almost effortless. The thick padded strap is very comfortable, and it keeps the release firmly attached to your wrist. Also, it's made from high-quality materials and, if cared for properly, it should last you a long time.
What I don’t like
There are, however, some downsides too. The hook is fixed, so it doesn't pivot or swivel and that needs some getting used to. The Wiseguy is also a bit on the shorter side, so it might not be the best choice for hunters with large hands.
5. Scott Archery Shark Double Caliber Release
Scott is another well-known name in the archery department, and the Shark Double Caliper is the best bow release in their dual caliper lineup. It features all-leather construction, a double jaw with an enhanced radius, and it looks great.
Designed for avid hunters, the Scott Archery Shark Double Caliber is a release you can rely on. It's made of top-notch materials, justifying the brand’s worldwide reputation for producing high-quality hunting gear.
The release has an ambidextrous design, so it's suitable for both left-hand and right-hand archers. The large Velcro strap is very strong, and it leaves your hands free when moving. You can adjust the strap to your arm, and it fits almost all sizes. What makes this release truly unique is the fact that it rocks double calipers with an instant opening system. You just have to pull the trigger, and the jaws will open automatically.
The trigger has smooth operation, and you can adjust its sensitivity with a turn of a dial. That allows you to make changes every time before you go on a hunt or even between two shots. The trigger is covered with an anti-slip over-mold, so it works well in rainy conditions, as well. The caliper head has a swivel, making it possible to use it with both hands. You can even pick one of the four available release placements that suit your shooting style. Lastly, it's one of the lightest releases out there.
What I like
The fact that the Shark Double Caliber is Scott’s bestselling release says enough about its quality. With a wide range of customizable options, this release can suit virtually all kinds of shooting styles and the majority of hunters. The maximum draw length is also quite impressive, which only makes it even more versatile.
What I don’t like
The Velcro strap makes this release ultra-light, but it's also prone to wear and tear. The strap is durable and it will last for years, but you can tear it on a tree branch while hunting. The leather version of the Shark Double Caliber feels more rugged.
In this section, we’ll take a closer and more detailed look at bow releases and how to pick the best bow release for you. There are a few different types of releases and not all of them are suitable for all bows. These are the factors you need to consider.
Maximum Draw Length
Every hunter and archer has a different wrist size. That's the main factor you should consider when trying to find which release suits you best. Most releases have adjustable pulling force, trigger tension, and trigger angle.
The maximum draw length will tell you if the release is suitable for you. You should be able to adjust it, however, so you don't have a hard time gripping and activating the trigger. Releases with Velcro straps and buckles should help you draw and set up the bow easier and faster.
You can figure out the right length for you by measuring the distance between your two middle fingers as you draw the bow. Divide the number by 2.5, and you will get the maximum draw length for your body.
The string style also plays a significant role when buying a release system for your bow. There a few different string styles - D-rings, metal nocks, and metal clips. You can't use all of them on a single bow because each is designed for specific string styles. You should look into which type of release works best with your string style and focus strictly on the models that fit the bill.
When you're out on the hunt, it's essential to stay as quiet as possible. Every little noise and sound can scare your prey away, which is why noise, or lack thereof, plays a significant factor when choosing the best bow release for your bow.
Some brands include clickers that create a clicking sound when the bow is ready to fire. Others make a thudding sound when you use them, effectively spooking your target away. It's always a good idea to go with a model that makes little or no sound.
Automation (automatic vs hydraulic)
When it comes to automation, there are two types of releases - automatic and hydraulic. Automatic releases shoot the bow a few seconds after you draw the string. Wrist and handheld releases usually come with the automatic version, and they are costly because they are primarily designed and made for professional archers and hunters. If you're not a pro, and if you don't want to spend a lot of money on a release, a hydraulic release will do just fine.
Bow releases don’t come cheap, so you should go for a brand and model you can use for a long time. Spending a few hundred dollars on a release that breaks after just one season is never a good idea. Therefore, build quality and the materials used are of utmost importance. You should always double-check that all materials are durable and made to the highest standard.
High-quality wrist releases come with leather straps that can take a beating and won't break easily. The head should be made of aluminum or hardened metal that can cope with long-term use. There's nothing worse than having your release quit on you in the middle of a hunt.
Also, if you plan on traveling with your bow, get a bow case or a protective bag. Bows and accessories such as releases can be expensive, so you should do everything you can to protect them from damage during the hunt or on the road.
Bow Release FAQ's
Why Do You Need an Archery Release?
Make no mistake, a rookie or a seasoned archer, a bow release is one of the essential accessories that every hunter should have in their arsenal. It will help you hit the targets much easier than when shooting by hand. Bow releases are also designed to help you enjoy hunting without developing callouses or getting sore fingers.
Pulling a bow with your fingers often leads to a staggered release, especially if you're new to archery. That happens because you release the string unevenly, and it often results in a missed shot. A trigger release takes care of that problem, and it makes sure that your shots are more accurate. It grants the consistency and comfort that's almost impossible to achieve by hand. Bow releases are there to improve your rate of fire and accuracy, especially if you are a beginner.
How to Use a Bow Release?
First, you should nock the arrow and fix the release mechanism. Place the arrow to the string and point it downwards. Pull the line as far back as you can, to reach the maximum draw. Align yourself with the target and aim the arrow towards it. Take a deep breath, focus the tip of the arrow on the target, and press the trigger to release it. Keep your finger away from the trigger until you are ready to fire to prevent misfires.
How to Properly Wear a Bow Release?
There are two distinctive types of bow releases, mechanical and string loop. The former is attached right to the string platform while the latter is used with a string loop. You should always consider buying a bow release that fits your shooting style.
Secure the release to your wrist with straps. Be careful to attach the release neither too tight nor too loose. Find the point that feels comfortable and set up the trigger sensitivity and pulling length to fit your body. Experiment with different setups until you find the one that works best.
Can You Use a Release on a Recurve Bow?
You can, but only for competitive compound bow target shooting. Thumb-rings are allowed to be used with recurve bows because they don't act as a release aid. Most archers using a recurve bow don't use releases because they make it harder to pull the string.
Recurve bows have a longer draw, so it's almost impossible to reach the maximum length and hit the targets effectively. You would need a release with a clicker to tell you when to let go of the string. However, if you are using a recurve bow, you should fire the arrows with your fingers to prevent the "trigger punch."
How Do You Release an Arrow?
The alignment of your body is the most important factor when shooting arrows. You should align yourself with the target, stand upright, and make sure that your feet and shoulders are aligned as well. Place an arrow to the cord and point it towards the target.
Use your fingers to grip the arrow to the cord correctly. Focus the bow on your target and draw the string while keeping the target in focus. When you reach the maximum draw length, relax your fingers to let go of the arrow.
The process is almost the same when using a release, but instead of relaxing your fingers to fire the arrow, you just have to press the trigger. Releases work much better because they prevent trigger punches and greatly improve accuracy.
Getting the best bow release you can find will help you become a better hunter. Bow releases are designed to improve accuracy and rate of fire, but they also make shooting arrows smoother and easier.
If you are looking for the best of the best, you should go with the Tru-Fire Hardcore Buckle. It's got thick padding, a 20-degree head pivot, and multiple trigger adjustments that allow you to fully customize the experience. It will serve you well in the hunt and on the practice range.