Home Forums Bows and Equipment Difference between low and high quality bow

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    • Bandit19
      Post count: 1


      I’m relatively new to the Traditional archery world (only been shooting for a year and a half) and have been shooting a Samick Sage bow. I’m getting confident out to 20 yrds and the bow seems to do fine as long as I do my part. I’ve been looking at bows and see a wide range of them but cant tell what the differences are between the “high” quality and what I’m shooting outside of looks. I quickly give appreciation for the art and looks that go into the high end bows but would like to know the biggest functionality differences. I really like the takedown design and would prefer to stick with that so if the advise of info could pertain to that I also apprecitate it.


    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      Sent you a PM…just one man’s perspective and experiences.

      Others will have different views, for sure!

      Good luck!

    • James HarveyJames Harvey
      Post count: 1130


      I’ve noted a couple of functional differences or shortfalls of the Sage vs some pretty high end bows.

      The first is speed, the functional benefit of which is a flatter trajectory and hence less challenging aiming.

      The second is robustness of design. This is just a prediction, but I look at those little screws that hold the limb sockets onto the riser and think they can not last forever. It’s true they’re not really under any load as it’s the limb bolt that takes up the resistance to the limb, but still they look like a weak point to me, especially if your bow is going to be getting wet or exposed to salt water.

      Beyond that the differences appear mostly aesthetic to me. I’m saving for a new ‘high end’ take down as well, for a number of reasons, none of which will include the new bow making me a better archer 😉


    • Larry O. Fischer
      Post count: 92


      Almost all bows will shoot an arrow, just like a gun will fire a round. However, just like a firearm the design of the bow especially the limb designs dictates how well the projectile(arrow) will preform. Speed and accuracy, but also shootability of the bow. The other factors are fit and finish just like a fine firearm this plays into the price and demand of the bow as well as the reputation of the bowyer.

      Enjoy the journey, you have only just begun and soon you will have your eye on another bow then another… And so on. Like a certain potato chip you can’t just have one!

    • David Petersen
      Post count: 2749

      Welcome here, Bandit. Good advice up there, especially Larry’s not to get in a hurry but rather, enjoy the search (same for hunting and life). First, you should check out the Sage thread currently active here and the advice to replace the factory string with a fast flight to increase performance.

      Beyond that, the differences I’ve found fairly consistent in factory vs. custom bows only can be detected by shooting lots of bows. And oddly, some older factory bows, like Bear and Wing and many others, tend to be better than newer factory bows.

      Anyhow, I’ve noticed that factory bows are more likely to stack, tend to have more hand shock, tend to be louder than good custom bows (there are, definitely, some lame customs). And often, if you’re willing to wait a bit, you can get a great custom bow for about the same price or even less than many factory products. I had one factory bow limb break in my life, and one custom limb break, so they’re equal there.

      This is personal preference but I’ve never like the large-handled, heavy three-piece takedown recurves. Custom bowyer make take-downs with smaller handle sections and lower weight that look indistinguishable from one-piece. Mostly these are deflex-reflex “longbows,” but two-piece recurves are also available. I personally don’t believe that any of the highest-price custom bows are worth their price, while some of the best are remarkably economical for the quality ($700 plus and minus). Too bad you missed Kalamazoo, the best place I know to shoot zillions of great custom bows. IMHO …

    • Stumpkiller
      Post count: 193

      The difference between a high and low quality bow is about $1,400.

      85% cosmetic and 15% performance.

      The difference between a new and used bow is one arrow released.

    • jpcjpc
      Post count: 170

      I got a Black Douglas Border bow ( made in Scotland)

      42 Lbs @ 28

      This bow shoots 401 grains arrows 190 / 197 fps

      401 grains with 42 Lbs bow are 9,55 grains per Lbs

      This is a litle difference between first and hight price bow

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      I second what Dave said about some of the older Bear bows, if you are looking for quality and performance but cant justify spending a shed load of money try a few.

      Damn now you got me looking again.


      pm Sent.

    • Tyfrei7
      Post count: 5

      About four magazines ago their was a article about a person who wrote about his high end recurve and his low end Bear recurve and at 25 yards he stack his arrows in the same spot. I have owned many many bows around 60 or so.- The best bow hands down for the money that I like is the Bear Montana longbow- If your into longbows I suggest that- For recurves you cannot beat a Bear recurve- they are priced right, shoot great- The only slight difference between a Bear and a true customer bow is the Bear slightly stacks- I am thankfull I live 40 minutes from 3 rivers archery and I can shoot 5 of the same Bear bow and hand pick the best feel Bear bow- Their is a difference from one or another out of the box- Take your time and research bows. 3 rivers has ratings for each of their products- I always look up the ratings when I ordered anything.

    • William WarrenWilliam Warren
      Post count: 1384

      Quality in mass produced bows is highly subjective but one can be surprised at the quality of some of the current offerings at very low cost. A custom bow will cost you more but you are paying for a hand made work of art that should last indefinitely. But so will many of the mass produced bows as is evident in the various classifieds. I have a 25 year old Hoyt Huntmaster which is basically the same riser as the Samick Sage but with shorter limbs. I recently got some Sage limbs in 40# @ 28″ for it to make a 62″ bow just for target shooting and thought it might help my ailing form. I was surprised that at my draw of 26″ it sent my 45-50 spine cedars down range perfectly and pretty fast too. Otherwise, I shoot 1916 aluminums with 145 gr field tips in it and they shoot the same as the cedars with 125 gr field tips. If a factory Sage shoots a as good as my setup I would definitely recommend it for a starter bow for someone who is just starting out and needing a bow at a low price.

      I shot my Huntmaster for a long time before getting into any custom bows. I shot it with limbs from 45 to 55 pounds by investing in extra limbs instead of extra bows.

    • jpcjpc
      Post count: 170
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