After saving your last few paychecks, you just put enough together to spend on a great compound bow. Before you go hunting (and we know you’re eager to), there are a couple things you’ll need in order to make your hunting performance the absolute best it can be. In this instance, the best bow release for hunting and archery is an important piece of your overall gear selection.
Choosing the best bow release for you will give you more control, offer opportunities to fine-tune your gear for a cleaner, smoother shot, and overall, improve your accuracy. In this review, we’ve chosen the best bow releases on the market today and detailed what you want to look for when picking the right bow release for you. Hopefully, you’ll see the kind of difference a bow release could make in your hunting.
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Top 5 Best Bow (Archery) Release (Summary)
For more detailed and complete product reviews on benefits and features, keep reading.
How to Choose the Best Bow Release
When looking into more advanced bow releases, you will eventually have to decide between a wrist release or hand release model. While different models offer different smaller features, wrist release vs. hand release is the first main factor you want to nail down when choosing the best bow release for you.
Wrist releases are the most popular model with hunters, as they offer comfort, reliability, and quick and easy adjustments at a lower price. The release mechanism in these models is often adjustable, giving you the ability to fine-tune the trigger pressure or reduce torque on your shots.
Overall, wrist releases give lots of control and are very reliable, making them a natural fit for most beginning and intermediate hunters.
Wrist releases will also feature either buckle or velcro straps. While there is no clear advantage to either of these styles, it is important to visualize which strap will be most comfortable in your hand for all-day hunting.
While wrist releases are great for the general population, more and more hunters and archers seem to be switching over to hand release models. The hand release style offers greater versatility, adjustability, and sensitivity than wrist releases, making it perfect for competition archers, as well as those looking to step up their performance.
One great benefit of hand releases is their ability to counteract target panic, or the natural inclination to release arrows before you are fully ready. It does this by using tension instead of a trigger to release the arrow, making sure that the arrow is only released when the tension fully pulls your thumb to press the release.
Here’s a list of differences between wrist release and hand release, just to help in deciding which is best for you:
- More popular among beginning/intermediate hunters
- Trigger release with index finger
- Easier to hold the bow at full draw
- Arm attachment (make sure to get a foldable release, or else it will get in the way when not in use)
- Few adjustments (trigger angle, trigger tension)
- More popular among advanced hunters/competitive archers
- Tension release with thumb
- Without “trigger release”, has smoother feel when pulling back
- Hand attachment
- Many adjustments (trigger angle, trigger tension, pull force, etc.)
- Smaller, lightweight, more portable
- Better for target panic
Overall, wrist releases will be better for the general population of hunters, those looking to save a bit of money on their setup, and those who are already more comfortable with traditional trigger releases. For those looking for greater versatility, however, we recommend looking into a great hand release.
6 Best Bow (Archery) Release Reviews 2020
1. Tru-Fire Hardcore Max Buckle Foldback – Wrist Release
With great padding, lots of adjustability, and a good price point, the Tru-Fire Hardcore Max is a popular model among many hunters. The Evolution buckle strap is considered one of the easiest and comfiest straps on today’s market.
This wrist release features a virtually noiseless buckle design, perfect for those looking to stay quiet while hunting. One of the best features this release offers is an automatically self-closing hook with a 20 degree pivoting head. This feature helps to reduce torque on your shots, resulting in a smooth release while under pressure.
For those looking for adjustability with a wrist release, the Tru-Fire Hardcore Max is a great model. The trigger pressure can be adjusted from 3 ounces to 16 ounces, allowing hunters the ability to use lots of back pressure, even with a wrist release model. The head folds back when not needed, making this model a great choice for when you need it, and not an inconvenience when you don’t.
Overall, we really enjoy the features on the Tru-Fire Hardcore wrist release, and think it’s a great choice for most people in need of a bow release.
2. Scott Archery Little Goose – Wrist Release
The Scott Archery Little Goose wrist release is a very good model, and the Tru-Fire’s main competition. It has been a popular model with hunters over the years, and features Scott Archery’s patent-pending in-line single-caliper design. It features a one-piece trigger, which maximizes draw length and provides comfort and stability.
Speaking of comfort, its strap is constructed from authentic leather, which comes in a great camouflage finish. While it is not quite as adjustable as the Hardcore Max, the Little Goose offers a solid swiveling head that still reduces torque. The trigger pressure and trigger weight can also be adjusted, just enough to utilize some back pressure when drawing back for a shot.
This is a less expensive model than the Tru-Fire Hardcore Max, but still offers enough variability to keep most hunters content.
Scott Archery Bow Release has a solid swivel connector with a patented 5-hole length adjustment. This feature makes it easy to accommodate bows of different sizes.
The dual caliper release is made of leather that is highly durable and tear-resistant. The trigger is sensitive to touch, making it possible to release it with minimal effort.
The knurled-trigger is placed on a forward position on the strap. This position maximizes the draw length for better bow performance.
It is fitted with an oversized head for a better feel and grip. The dual jaw design enhances bow tune-ability.
- 5-hole length adjustment to accommodate a wide variety of archers
- Made of highly durable leather
- Position of the trigger maximizes bow performance
- Trigger might be too sensitive
4. Spot-Hogg Wiseguy – Wrist Release
While it does not have quite as noticeable of a name as Scott Archery or Tru-Fire, the Spot-Hogg Wiseguy is a great wrist release that offers lots of versatility in a lightweight model.
It has a self-reloading hook, the lightest trigger on the market, and many other features that the advanced hunter may be looking for. It offers great support in its armband, with adjustable length to match any hunter, right or left-handed.
It offers a unique forward trigger design with zero travel, which gives maximum draw length and speed. While this model will allow your arrows to fly faster than most other models, its accuracy is in no way compromised.
Smaller features like the foldable head and open jaw for easy D-loop setup make this model extremely easy to use.
Overall, this is the perfect model for the hunters that prefer light triggers, while still keeping with a wrist release.
5. Scott Archery Caliper Grip – Hand Release
The Scott Archery Caliper Grip is a great introductory model that makes it easy for those looking to transition from wrist release to hand release.
As stated earlier, hand release offers greater versatility in that it relies on overall bow tension instead of a trigger finger to release arrows. In this sense, the Caliper Grip is a hybrid of sorts, as it offers both a thumb placement and index finger trigger. This makes it easy to transition between the two styles, while still toying with the variability that hand releases offer.
The Scott Archery Caliper Grip features dual caliper jaws, and the head is adjustable and can rotate 360 degrees on a swivel connector. It provides a great molded rubber grip, and offers a loop for easy clipping to D-loops.
The Caliper Grip is very adjustable, and can be used by both right and left-handed hunters at different lengths.
Overall, this model is great for those who want to try out hand release models or those who do not want the bulkiness of wrist models.
6. Tru-Fire Hardcore Revolution – Hand Release
The Tru-Fire Revolution is a great hand release that comes in either a matte black or full camouflage finish. The Revolution series is known for being the best hand release model on the market year-to-year, and this year’s model is no different.
Like all other Tru-Fire products, it is hand-crafted in the United States, and features a comfortable aluminum handle and head. The head features full free-range 360 degree rotation. This makes the head adjustments not only possible, but extremely smooth. Once you rotate the head to the position you prefer, you can lock it in place, thanks to its 11 ball bearings.
The thumb trigger is extremely versatile, offering 16 unique positions with adjustable tension. It also has very convenient lanyard and D-loop clips to always keep it secure whether or not it is in use.
This model is meant to fit larger hands, so hunters with smaller hands may want to try it out at a local hunting shop first before purchasing.
The Tru-Fire Revolution truly is revolutionary, and is perfect for advanced hunters looking to make the switch to a hand release. We give it a nearly perfect rating, and believe it could be the model to help take your hunting to the next level.
Overall, it is important when looking for a bow release to try different models for yourself before purchasing. Some models are meant to fit different size hands, and some models may simply be more comfortable or offer the features you want.
Whether you’re looking for wrist release or hand release, it’s clear that any of these models will help bring your game up, and help secure that perfect shot.