16 Best Crossbows For Every Budget (In-depth Reviews)

Best Crossbow For The Money

How do you identify the best crossbow among thousands of brands available? You check out the features that each crossbow has to offer to users. Two aspects that affect the precision of crossbows are velocity and draw weight.

The velocity of an arrow is the speed at which an arrow travels to hit the target. Hunting requires a velocity of no less than 300 fps if you want to hit your prey. Otherwise, the prey will run before the arrow reaches its location. The draw weight of a crossbow tells you the power that an arrow can provide. Animals like deer require crossbows that pack a punch to take them down.

Finally, a good crossbow has many accessories that enable the user to improve their aim. You need a good scope, bolts, broadheads, a quiver, cocking and de-cocking mechanism, and an anti-dry fire feature. Ideally, buy a crossbow that comes with accessories instead of shopping for everything separately. Let’s dive into our list of the best crossbows for the money in 2024.

Table of Contents

Quick Recommendations

Low Priced Crossbows (Best Crossbows Under $500)

Mid Priced Crossbows (Best Crossbows Under $1000)

Mid-High Crossbows (Best Crossbows Under $1500)

High Priced Crossbows (Best Crossbows Over $2000)

16 Best Crossbow Reviews of 2024

To help you pick out the best crossbow for hunting and survival, our experts have spent months testing and trying these bows. All crossbows on our list are well-built, powerful, accurate, great maneuverable, and easy to use. We believe that you’ll find the right crossbow for you in this article.

1. Barnett Jackal Package – One Of The Best Beginner Crossbows

Barnett Jackal Package

You will get a quick detach quiver, three bolts, and a premium red dot sight when you buy the crossbow. It camouflages features to ensure that it matches your disguises and doesn’t spook your target. The ADF MIM trigger provides a smooth 3.5 lbs trigger pull, producing high-speed arrows. It is a light bow that weighs 7 lbs and has comfortable hand placement areas when you are taking a shot.

You need to clean and wax the string after every ten shots to ensure maximum efficiency. The package includes a user manual that has video references, care instructions, and safety instructions. You can hunt deer using the bow because it packs a punch enough to take a deer down. It doesn’t matter whether you are right-handed or left-handed because the design doesn’t favor one side. Overall, it is an excellent starter bow for someone who isn’t willing to search for a crossbow and accessories.

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  • It is suitable for beginners.
  • It is simple to use and maintain.
  • Affordable.
  • Sturdy and durable.
  • It takes a few minutes to assemble.
  • Not suitable for serious hunting activities.

2. Barnett Whitetail Hunter II – Best Budget Crossbow

Barnett Whitetail Hunter II

You will get a scope, rope cocking device, quiver, two 20″ headhunter arrows, and lube wax when you purchase the bow. It is built for heavy-duty performance, and it weighs 6.4 lbs, which is light for when you are hiking. You will only spend a few minutes putting it together upon arrival. The anti-dry fire feature ensures that you never fire the crossbow when there is no bolt loaded.

You can adjust the scope to increase your accuracy at hitting the target. Barnett provides lube, which you need to use to wax the string every ten shots. You can shoot a deer with utmost accuracy between 30 yards and 45 yards. Beginners can use this best hunting crossbow to hit targets 30 yards away with ease. Above all, the price is right for both beginners and hunting experts.

Barnett Whitetail Hunter II is the best crossbow for the money from the Whitetail series. You can never go wrong with this crossbow.

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  • The package comes with essential accessories.
  • It offers value for money.
  • It is easy to assemble and use.
  • And it has a MIM trigger system.
  • There is a manufacturer’s warranty.
  • You have to shoot a bolt to remove it because of the ADF feature.

3. CenterPoint Sniper 370 – Great for Entry Level

CenterPoint Sniper 370

You can choose to buy a package that comes in black or camouflage, depending on your hunting gear. The crossbow’s best feature is the CNC-machines rail, especially for the price tag of this hunting crossbow. You will be buying a crossbow rated among the best crossbows by Outdoor Life in August 2016. To this day, CenterPoint Sniper 370 is among the best crossbows for avid hunters.

The package includes a crossbow, three 20-inch carbon arrows, a scope, a parallel quiver, and a rope cocker. You can adjust the foregrip and stock to your liking to fit your shoulder when shooting. Your hunting experience will be improved when you use the machined rail with a shoot-through riser for precision.

You have a quiet and vibration-free string so that you can make an accurate shot. The crossbow weighs 7.9 lbs, and you can carry it comfortably on hunting trails. The manufacturer offers a 5-year limited warranty for the product.

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  • It offers value for money spent.
  • A sturdy and durable crossbow.
  • Easy to assemble and adjust various features.
  • It is accurate.
  • It is suitable for beginners.
  • Performs better than some high-end hunting crossbows.
  • Instructions in the manual are confusing.
  • The bolts are low quality.

4. Bear X Intense CD – A Durable and Fast Crossbow

Bear X Intense CD

It comes with three Bear X TrueX arrows, a 4-arrow quiver, scope, string wax, and a cocking rope. You will be able to go on a shooting adventure when you receive the hunting crossbow and accessories. It is a great product, and it will increase your odds of hitting your target game. Although the design of the crossbow aims for performance, it is compact enough to carry for hunting adventures.

It is an excellent bow, but there are a few issues that the manufacturer is yet to address. The biggest issue with this crossbow is cocking rope tends to break after a few shots. It would be best if you buy another cocking rope for the product separately to avoid disappointment.

Overall, the build of the crossbow is similar to that of high-end crossbows. Replacing the cocking rope will give you better performance. Considering that the product retails at an affordable price, you can afford to upgrade the string. It will last longer once you have a new string on it.

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  • It has a military and tactical design.
  • Affordable.
  • Durable and sturdy.
  • It has camouflage colors.
  • The cocking rope is weak.

5. Barnett Whitetail Pro STR – The Fastest Barnett Crossbow

Barnett Whitetail Pro STR

Several high-performance features set the Whitetail Pro STR crossbow apart from other hunting crossbows. You will get the famous Step-Through Riser (STR) platform that was available for high-performance models previously. Other accessories include a premium multi-reticle illuminated scope, rope cocking device, side mount quiver, two headhunter arrows, and lube wax. There are a Nock Sensor and an anti-dry fire trigger system to ensure you don’t accidentally damage the bow. Other sweet features include string dampeners, crack-cocking capability, tree Picatinny rails, and a bolt self-adjusting feature. Most of the features are usually available on the best crossbows on the market.

Overall, this crossbow will improve your hunting experience because you will have better odds of hitting your target. There is little assembly to do because the product arrives partially assembled. You can match your outfit to the camouflage colors of this best hunting crossbow. The price tag is suitable considering all the amazing features you will get in return. You will get value for your money when you opt for the Whitetail STR Pro crossbow.

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  • Simple to use and maintain.
  • It comes with an efficient scope.
  • Manufacturer’s warranty included.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • It is fast and accurate.
  • It has a Step-Through Riser platform.
  • Not suitable for hunters with small body structures.

6. Excalibur Matrix GRZ 2 – One of the Best Recurve Crossbows

Excalibur GRZ 2 Crossbow

You can choose between a RealTrees Extra finish and a black one, depending on your hunting attire. The Excalibur GRZ2 is an excellent choice for hunting large wild game like bears, moose, and deer. You will receive a crossbow, 4-arrow quiver, rope cocking aid, three Diablo arrows, and a fixed-power scope. It doesn’t include noise and vibration dampeners, but you can find brands compatible with the crossbow online.

You will have a lifetime warranty on the product, and you can request replacement parts because of design flaws. All parts are weatherproof, and you can carry them on your shoulder or on top of your backpack. Arrows will pack a punch because of the recurve technology on the crossbow.

Something that you will appreciate is the unloading process. The rope cocking aid reduces the weight by 50% to allow you to unload arrows with ease. Also, there is an ADF feature so that you don’t accidentally fire when there is no bolt. Overall, you will have yourself an accurate crossbow at an affordable price.

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  • It is lightweight and all-weather resistant.
  • There is a camouflage color.
  • Bolts can hit targets at 30ft dead on.
  • It is simple to unload arrows.
  • Assembly instructions are horrible.

7. Wicked Ridge TenPoint Invader X4 – A Lightweight and Fast Crossbow

Wicked Ridge TenPoint Invader X4

You will receive a crossbow, quiver, arrows, ACUdraw 50, and a multi-line scope. You get three aluminum arrows for target practice. The ACUdraw 50 makes it easy cock and draw when you are hunting game. For hunters who love shooting at long ranges, you will have a multi-line scope that can focus 20, 30, and 40 yards for accurate shots. The focus on 50-yard targets is a bit blurry, but you can still make a good shot.

Carrying the hunting crossbow on trails is a breeze because it weighs a mere 6.3 pounds. Hunters enjoy the comfortable pistol grip that the product has to offer. Hands are well protected when making shots and well below the bowstring when releasing shots.

Unloading bolts is easy because the ACUdraw cocking device reduces the draw weight to 5lbs. Overall, it is an excellent hunting bow for experts, and it is simple to maintain. It comes with some coveted high-end features at an affordable price. One of the drawbacks is the drawstring, and ACUdraw strings are low-quality. You should consider replacing them to enjoy the full capability of this hunting crossbow.

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  • It has a beautiful design.
  • Affordable.
  • It has several high-performance features.
  • It is fast.
  • Drawstring and ACUdraw strings break easily.

8. CenterPoint CP400 – An Affordable Top Tier Crossbow

CenterPoint CP400

The CP400 crossbow may be what you need to take your hunting capacity to a new level. It uses a CNC-mechanized can system and an adjustable stock to increase your accuracy. You are likely to hit your target game because the bolts deliver a deathly blow. An anti-dry fire feature prevents you from firing without a bolt. Also, an auto safety feature keeps the trigger from going off accidentally.

You will receive a crossbow, three 20-inch arrows, a quiver, a 5-year limited warranty, illuminated scope, and a rope cocker. The crossbow arrives preassembled, and you can start target training a few minutes after receiving it. You can carry this hunting crossbow on hunting trails because it weighs a mere 7lbs.

One of the most impressive aspects of the crossbow is that you will hit targets dead because of the design. The scope will give you an accurate view of your target, and the string has little to no vibrations. You will hit any game at a velocity of 400 fps before it sees or hears the movement. You will get the performance of a high-end crossbow at the cost of a middle-range crossbow.

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  • High speed and accuracy.
  • The bow is sturdy and durable.
  • It has a beautiful design.
  • The product is preassembled.
  • A low-quality crank cocking device.

9. TenPoint Turbo GT – One Of The Best Crossbows Under $1000

TenPoint Turbo GT

It has a compact design that is suitable for ground blind spots and restrictive tree stands. You will receive a crossbow, three Pro Elite Carbon arrows, a 3-arrow quiver, a side quiver mount, and Pro-View Scope. The 3X Pro-View 2 Scope greatly increases the accuracy of shots because you can see your target well.

Bolts travel at high speed, and your prey won’t have much time to react before getting hit. An ergonomic foregrip and buttstock make it easy for hunters to balance the crossbow when hunting. Safety wings ensure that your hand doesn’t get hurt by the bowstrings as they retract.

A dry-fire inhibitor prevents the chances of firing the crossbow without a bolt. Unloading bolts is simple, and you don’t have to spend a lot of time on them. It weighs a mere 6.5 lbs, making it ideal for trail hunting or backpacking. You will get a small lube, so you will need to buy that to keep the bowstring in top-notch condition.

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  • It is easy to use and maintain.
  • The crossbow’s accuracy is impressive.
  • It can handle close to 80 yards seamlessly.
  • It has high-quality accessories.
  • Some parts may arrive broken.

10. PSE Thrive 400 – One Of The Best Hunting Crossbows

PSE Thrive 400

The PSE Thrive 400 is among the best crossbows for hunting deer because of its speed and accuracy. PSE Thrive 400 has the performance of high-end Barnett crossbows, and it has an affordable price tag. It has all the features that make a crossbow amazing and makes the hunting game fun.

It comes with dampeners to keep sound and vibrations to a minimum. And it has a CNC precision-machined barrel that is responsible for the accuracy of the crossbow. An illuminated scope reticle will assist you in getting a lock on your target before pulling the trigger. It can adapt to any kind of environment by adjusting the brightness settings.

The ADF technology prevents dry firing, and it assists hunters decock the crossbow with ease. A quiver can hold five arrows, and you’ll have one discharge bolt in the package. Also, you can practice with four 22” carbon bolts that are part of the package. Power from the PSE Thrive 400 comes from the reverse cam system that significantly increases each shot’s punch.

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  • It is a well-rounded crossbow.
  • The package includes rail lube.
  • The crossbow is fast and precise.
  • It has camouflage colors.
  • It provides high performance.
  • It is recommended for men.
  • The cocking string is short.

11. Wicked Ridge RDX 400 – Best Reverse Draw Crossbow

Wicked Ridge RDX 400

Accessories include a 3-arrow quiver, three Wicked Ridge XX75 Arrows, Pro-view scope, and a multi-line scope. You will enjoy speed and accuracy when you use the scope to focus on the target. A reverse-draw feature ensures that the lightweight crossbow can produce high-speed arrows that pack a punch.

You can comfortably hit targets that are 40-50 yards away. You can calibrate the distance on your scope for 20, 30, 40, or 50 yards, depending on your target’s distance. There are noise and vibration dampeners to ensure you don’t spook the prey. You also get a 5-year limited warranty for the products.

The build of the crossbow is magnificent, but the accessories do not perform as advertised. For starters, you will need new bolts because the original ones tend to break. Choose Alpha Nocks when buying the product instead of Omni Nocks. Upgrading the bolts will save you the trouble of replacing the bowstring after a couple of shots.

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  • It is lightweight, weighing 7.6 pounds.
  • It comes with a multi-line focus scope.
  • The crossbow is sturdy and durable.
  • It shoots fast and precisely.
  • The Omni Nock breaks easily and damages the bowstring.

12. TenPoint Turbo M1 – A Light, Fast and Accurate Crossbow

TenPoint Turbo M1

It is among the lightest and best crossbows from TenPoint. It comes with features like the VX-5 inverted cams, T5 trigger, 3X Pro-View 3 Scope, and Acura PRO cocking device. And it is a bit pricey, but the features are worth the price tag. You can shoot like a pro because the Turbo M1 is equipped to do so.

Accessories include Pro-View 3 Scope, Acura Pro cocking device, three pro-elite 400 Carbon Arrows, and white Alpha Nocks. Also, there is a 3-arrow instant detach quiver that has a rubber loop. You can focus on targets that are 20-50 yards away and hit them fast.

The T5 trigger has automatic safety to prevent dry firing, and it is one of the best triggers for hunting crossbows. It is compact, and you can carry it with ease when you are moving on foot looking for prey. You can upgrade to an ACUdraw PRO silent cocking device for the product, and it reduces the draw weight by 50%.

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  • Best value for money.
  • It has a T5 trigger.
  • You get a Pro-View 3 Scope.
  • It weighs 6.4 pounds.
  • Doesn’t have the ACUdraw cocking device.

13. Excalibur Micro Suppressor – The Most Silent Crossbow

Excalibur Micro Suppressor

The best feature about the bow is how accurate it is a hit the target. It uses an illuminated Tack Zone scope which shows the distance in yards. You can hide the crossbow when in the field because of the Realtree Xtra Camouflage. It has a target range of about 60 yards with amazing precision.

Accessories include a scope, three bolts, a quiver, and wax. It takes a few minutes to put it together before use. Instructions are clear and easy to follow, even for beginners. It weighs 12 pounds, which is on the heavier side compared to other crossbows. You can do adjustments to the recurve to suit your shooting preferences.

The draw weight of 280lbs is a lot when you are recocking, and there is no cocking system on the gadget. Overall, it is the best crossbow for hunting because it provides high performance. It is a gem when it comes to hunting seasons, and you will get several deer with the crossbow.

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  • The accuracy level is impressive.
  • It is simple to assemble and use.
  • Value for money.
  • It is affordable.
  • It has all the necessary accessories.
  • Cocking it is tiresome.
  • It’s a bit heavy.

14. TenPoint Viper S400 – A Lightweight & Highly Maneuverable Crossbow

Tenpoint Viper S400 Hunting Crossbow

The Viper S400 is among the best crossbows because it is an elite-level crossbow. One of the best features is the safe decocking method using the ACUslide feature. Decocking crossbows can be hectic, especially after a long day of tracking game, and Viper S400 makes it easy. Also, you can do silent cocking in the field without losing control.

You have better trigger control because if the S1 trigger and you will aim with high accuracy. The MICRO-TRAC Barrel prolongs the durability of the string life up to 1300 shots. Part of the package includes a RangeMaster Pro scope, a 6-arrow tech quiver, and three Evo-X CenterPunch premium carbon arrows.

Shooting arrows accurately at 50 yards will be simple with this bow. A TEC-X Stock reduces the weight of the crossbow to 1/2 pound when you are aiming. You will get a lifetime warranty for the gadget, and it comes preassembled. Overall, you are getting one of the best crossbows with all the bells and whistles.

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  • It comes with fantastic tech parts.
  • A simple decocking system.
  • It is excellent for seasoned hunters.
  • It increases accuracy by 48%.
  • The assembly takes a few minutes.
  • It provides value for money.
  • Some parts may be missing on delivery.
  • There is no left-handed model.

15. Ravin R20 – The Most Compact Crossbow

Ravin R20

The Ravin R20 got an award in 2019 and was named the best crossbow in 2019 by Outdoor Life. You will target accurately at 40 yards. Cams rotate 360 degrees, and you can carry the compact gadget anywhere with ease. Accessories include a mounting bracket, 3-arrow quiver, 6-pack Match Grade arrows, draw handle, and illuminated scope.

You will receive it fully assembled, but you have to do some adjustments to suit your needs. Your scope can focus on 100 yards, giving you a clear view of the target in the woods. There is a safety switch to prevent dry firing and damaging the bow. It is suitable for individuals with left or right-hand orientation.

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  • It comes with 6-arrows.
  • Sturdy and durable.
  • It is user-friendly.
  • It’s quiet and highly accurate.
  • The bowstring is weak.

16. TenPoint Vapor RS470 – The Safest Crossbow

TenPoint Vapor RS470

The TenPoint Vapor RS470 is by far the best crossbow for the money on this list in terms of speed and accuracy. It comes with the entire fancy tech that TenPoint has to offer to hunters. It has the ACUslide feature for silent cocking and decocking, a trigger lock-latch, adjusting the crank handle, and a roller system. You will get an S1 trigger for more control and better accuracy than any other crossbow.

You can get over 1,300 shots from the bowstring before replacing it because of the MICRO-TRAC barrel. All the features on the gadget enable hunters to achieve the same hole accuracy. Accessories include the EVO-C Marksman scope, 6-arrow tech quiver, three EVO-X CenterPunch broadheads, a STAG case, and a Neoprene sling.

You will get six lighted EVO-X CenterPunch premium carbon arrows and six EVO-X CenterPunch premium carbon arrows. Overall, it is a top-of-the-line crossbow suitable for game hunters. The high price point is worth considering the high-quality construction of the crossbow and the accessories in the package.

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  • It has the best accessories for hunting.
  • It offers incomparable speed.
  • The accuracy level is incredible.
  • It is light and has an ergonomic design.
  • Quiet cocking and decocking.
  • Not suitable for beginners.
  • There are no assembly instructions.
  • It is expensive.

At this point, If you are a woman or girl, you may ask are these crossbows above suitable for me?

I regret to tell you that most of these are not suitable for you. But don’t worry, we have prepared a list of the 10 best crossbows for women, where you will find the one that suits you best.

What are the Leading Crossbow Brands?

There are many bow manufacturers specializing in the production and sales of high-quality bows. Some of them have owned a high reputation for their quality of archery equipment.

  • Barnett
  • Excalibur
  • TenPoint
  • Wicked Ridge
  • SA Sports
  • CenterPoint
  • Carbon Express
  • Horton
  • PSE
  • Bear X
  • Ravin
  • Parker

Find the Best Crossbow for Your Needs

Are you enthusiastic about hunting (hunting deer, bear, and moose with a crossbow) or do you just want a crossbow for shooting practice? Which features (accuracy, speed, weight, arrow size, etc.), specific to different crossbows would you like? These are just a few questions that should guide you in determining your needs, and consequently the right crossbow, especially for beginners.

For bowhunters, crossbows offer a completely new and advanced experience. The precision accuracy and short learning curve feature significantly contribute to successful bow hunting. You want to be sure to use a tool that will not take you home empty-handed.

Before choosing a crossbow that suits your needs, it’s important to first understand the different types of crossbows in the market. This helps to further simplify your search for the best crossbow.

Different Types of Crossbows

Basically, there are three major types of crossbows: compound, recurve, and reverse limb crossbow. Each of these has specific advantages, disadvantages, and features that suit it to particular hunting conditions.

Compound Crossbows

Compound crossbows are perhaps the most common crossbows. They have two short limbs and a cam attached to them. This design provides for reduced vibration during firing and minimizes the chances of recoiling. The compound crossbow is made with waterproof synthetic material that enhances durability because of its weather-resistance properties.

Their excellent performance coupled with pocket-friendly prices contributes to their popularity. Their ease of use also makes everything about them interesting. Additionally, a compound crossbow may be used under any weather conditions because of its waterproof capacity.

On the backside, compound crossbows are heavier than the other types of crossbows, thus posing some difficulties in maneuverability. Additionally, they have a low potential to handle impact, thus they can lose accuracy when dropped severally. In addition, these crossbows are very noisy.

Recurve Crossbows

Recurve crossbows trace their origin from the early crossbows made in Asia. Unlike early recurve crossbows, today’s crossbows are made of aluminum or magnesium alloys, making them rust-proof. As the name suggests, these crossbows have curved limbs and a curved end pointing to the direction of the target. The curves serve to keep the string in place thus ensuring safety to both the user and the tool.

The recurve crossbow has a longer draw length that contributes to greater acceleration for the bolt. It works best when used in situations that require a lot of power and speed, for instance in the case of big game hunting.

Like other crossbows, the recurve variety is noisy but not noisier than the compound variety. Another disadvantage pertains to the nature of the design, which causes more pressure on the strings. This makes them more susceptible to tear and wear. This, however, shouldn’t be such a bother because you can always replace the strings, but of course at a cost.

Reverse Limb Crossbows

These are the most recent generation of crossbows, tracing their origin to just a few decades ago. They are typical improvements of the compound and recurve crossbows. Reverse crossbows have uniquely designed limbs in a reverse direction. This limb design provides that the crossbow’s center of gravity is closer to the trigger and more toward the user. The resulting advantage of this factor is that the crossbow will have less front-end weight.

Reverse limb crossbows offer the advantage of high speed or rather a high strike power compared to other crossbows. Additionally, these crossbows are less noisy and have reduced vibration compared to their counterparts.

Since the reverse-draw crossbow is an improvement of the compound and the recurve varieties, all the drawbacks of the latter have been taken into consideration. This variety has no proven disadvantages yet.

Compound vs Recurve

Compound crossbows have shorter limbs and smaller barrels. Additionally, these crossbows have a high reloading speed, perhaps due to their compact size. Recurve crossbows on the other hand have longer and curved wings. They also have less reloading speed as their size is significantly less compact compared to the compound variety.

When fired, the compound crossbow is noisier. It also happens to be heavier than its counterpart because of the additional parts such as the cam. Recurve crossbow is on the contrary less noisy. Its simple design makes up for less weight of the crossbow in general.

Different Parts of A Crossbow

Compound Crossbow Parts

Compound Crossbow Parts

Recurve Crossbow Parts

Recurve Crossbow Parts

A Comprehensive Crossbow Buyer’s Guide

It’s very easy to find crossbows selling in your local store, but it’s significantly difficult to make the right purchasing decision among the options. Of the many brands and options, you just want a crossbow that suits all your needs. So, how to pick the right crossbow for your needs? Please read up on this comprehensive buying guide written by our experts.

The following factors will help you know crossbow well and select the one that works fine for you:

1. Axel to Axel length (ATA)

ATA is the distance you measure between each axle of the compound bow. Thus, a bow may have long, short, or mid-ATA’s. Bows with longer ATAs have a smooth draw circle and therefore better accuracy.

2. Power stroke

This is the length between the crossbow string and its resting point. For your arrow to fly faster, choose a bow with a longer power stroke.

3. Limb

A crossbow can either have long, short, normal, curved, or reversed limbs. Each of these factors determines draw speed, damage, and arrow speed. Be sure to select one that suits your needs based on these factors.

4. Weight

Every shooter has their ideal weight when it comes to a crossbow. A crossbow that is light in weight and has severe recoil is hard to control. When it is too heavy, it can also be too difficult to control. When choosing a crossbow ensure that you are comfortable moving around with it while aiming and shooting.

4.1 Bow Weight

It is very important for the youth, women, and seniors. Every shooter has their ideal weight when it comes to a crossbow. A crossbow that is light in weight and has severe recoil is hard to control. Obviously, the lower bow weight models are perfect for beginners. But when it is too heavy, it can also be too difficult to control. Remember, choosing a crossbow ensures that you are comfortable moving around with it while aiming and shooting.

4.2 Draw Weight

As you know, the draw weight categories vary from less than 160, 160-200, and more than 200. It really affects the ease of handling and arrow speed.

5. Speed

Depending on the crossbow you have, the shooting speed can be between 300-380 fps. Any crossbow with 380fps is fast enough. A crossbow with top speed has cams, increased power stroke, and heavier limbs.

6. Extra Parts

Crossbows have many additional parts including bolts, cocking devices, rail lube wax, etc. Depending on your preference, and of course, how advanced you are in hunting, you might or might not need to purchase these extra parts.

7. Arrow Size and Track

Arrow lengths vary between 20-22 inches long. Safety is a concern with too short arrows as the archer’s hand is in the path of the string.

8. Cocking Mechanism

Consider the draw weight of the crossbow before buying one. Draw weights simply mean the number of pounds needed to take the string back to its cocked position. There are many kinds of cocking devices that the archer can use to lighten their load. Determine the number of pounds you can comfortably drawback. Draw weights do determine the speed of the arrow once launched from the crossbow.

9. Design

Crossbows are quite similar, the difference, however, manifests in the style of the bow attached to the stock. They come in various designs from recurve, and compound to reverse draw. The design affects its functionality, ease of handling, and speed.

Compound crossbows for instance consist of cable and pulleys making them quite complicated to handle. They are however narrower designs giving them an advantage in arrow speed.

Choose a design that suits your needs and prowess in handling.

10. Price

Crossbows do come in different price tags depending on their size, supplier, and even the manufacturer. Before making any purchase, be sure to compare prices from different stores and work with something within your budget. In many cases, quality and durable bows are expensive.

11. Safety

Crossbows are often termed as weapons, which implies that they can hurt someone when not handled appropriately. Bows differ in terms of materials used to make them so is their safety.

With crossbows, safety begins with you as the user. Ensure that you know how to properly and safely use it. In case of any damage, ensure necessary repairs are done immediately.

12. Accuracy

This is an important aspect when it comes to hunting. A crossbow is capable of accurately shooting a still target at longer distances. For a beginner, consider a crossbow with a 30-35-yard reach. Skilled hunters on the other hand can go with a 60-80 yard range.

Consider buying a crossbow with quality bolts and broadheads if you focus on accuracy.

13. Kinetic Energy

A crossbow’s kinetic energy is dependent on the crossbow’s speed. In this light, the best crossbow depends on what you want to hunt. For larger targets, you might want crossbows with higher kinetic energy. The vice versa is true for smaller targets.

14. Noise

When hunting, you don’t want to alert your target. When buying a crossbow, look for one that produces minimum noise when fired.

Recurves are considered quieter than compound crossbows but involve lots of physical work to draw a shot. A Reverse Draw Crossbow is the best when it comes to low noise levels.

Care and Maintenance

Every so often, tools and equipment require to undergo particular maintenance to maintain their functionality and improve their durability. For crossbows, the maintenance procedure includes the following:

Turning: crossbows are made of many moving parts. As part of maintenance, you need to periodically turn the parts to ensure that they are all mounted and aligned properly.

Adjusting: due to constant usage, the brace height of a crossbow might be affected. The balance between the crossbow’s two limbs should normally be equal but with constant use, there could be an imbalance. When this happens, you can note that the crossbow consistently shoots high or low. To prevent this from happening, ensure that you make regular adjustments to the parts accordingly.

Cleaning and waxing: there’s no single piece of equipment that doesn’t require cleaning, whether dry cleaning or wet cleaning. For crossbows, simple cleaning and waxing are necessary to enhance durability. Crossbow strings, except for those at the center should be waxed at regular intervals.

Replacing cables and strings: under normal working circumstances, crossbow strings and cables stretch, making them decrease in their draw weight. This in turn affects the energy, speed, range, and trajectory of the arrow. It’s recommended that you replace the strings and cables every three years, or sooner if need be.

If you want to learn more, please read the tips for crossbow maintenance.


Choosing a bow shouldn’t be a daunting task as long as you factor in all the features that suit your needs. Be sure to find a bow that not only suits your needs but also one that is comfortable in your hands. This way, you’ll have found a good balance, that contributes to the overall success of your bow-hunting activity.

Not all of the best crossbows are made the same. The best crossbows for beginners are not the best crossbows for seasoned hunters. It would be best to choose a crossbow that matches your skill level. A crossbow that is more complex than your experience level will to a disaster in the field. Don’t let the features of premium crossbows tempt you into buying a high-tech crossbow you don’t know how to use.

Overall, deer hunting or big game hunting is so much easier when you have the right hunting equipment. You don’t need to break the bank to find fantastic crossbows. There are high-performance crossbows that are available at a fraction of the market price. Also, consider a make and model that has available replacement parts. At one point, you will have to replace a part of your crossbow right in the middle of hunting season. Amazon is an excellent part to source for crossbow replacement parts.

Finally, fill out the manufacturer’s warranty and deliver it to the nearest drop-off location. Manufacturers will replace faulty parts due to design flaws or damage during delivery. It is always good to have a valid warranty. Hopefully, you found something that works for you from this list.