Best Bow Release for 2020 [Our Reviews and Comparison]

Archery is a fine science if not a particularly new one. It has been refined over several centuries from a means of finding food or making war into an Olympic sport and recreational pursuit for many. Its history goes as far back as Biblical times, and it has been developed independently on several different continents for a variety of practical and ceremonial purposes.

As widespread an occupation as archery has become, it should be no surprise that several different improvements have been made to the original string tensed by a bent bow. Archers throughout the ages and across the world have always looked for ways to improve their accuracy and range, and the result has been a broad variety of bows and a wide range of techniques for making and using them.

The first major change that archery can be said to have undergone is the invention of the longbow. While until then smaller bows had been used for close-quarters skirmishing in military engagements, the longbow represented enough power to threaten an enemy from well beyond striking distance. This made many medieval armies begin to include whole groups of infantry armed with the longbow, as opposed to the peltast of the Greek era which could be seen with slings, javelins, and bolas as well.

A further improvement took place with the creation of the crossbow, which combined simple machinery with the developing science of metalworking to create a bow that could accurately fire over 350 yards, and incorporated a trigger mechanism that allowed the archer to hold a bolt as long as needed before letting fly without any fatigue. Crossbow bolts were also thick and sharp enough to pierce the plate armor that tended to characterize the medieval front lines, making it one of the first weapons that would give an ordinary soldier a chance against a fully armored knight.

The development of archery into a sport saw a significant shift towards making the archer safer as well as more effective. Along with the creation of organized leagues and events for competitive archery, there has been a push to make archery safer for everyone involved; more clearly marked ranges, firing lines, and shooting directions have all come about as safety measures for tournament settings.

Best Bow Release Comparison Table

Product Features Latest Price

1. Scott Archery Quick Shot
  • Leather wrist cuff
  • Single jaw release
  • Trigger on lanyard
  • One size fits all
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2. CUPID C3-3
  • Aluminum alloy
  • Trigger on spine
  • Single jaw release
  • Single-ply safety lanyard
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3. Bow and Arrow College
  • Velcro wrist cuff
  • Rotating clamp head
  • Up to 65 pounds of draw
  • Trigger mounted on caliper rod
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4. TRUFIRE Hardcore
  • Trips from 3 to 16 ounces of pressure
  • Metal trigger assembly
  • Padded wrist cuff
  • 20 degrees trigger travel
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5. Linkboy Archery Caliper
  • 360-degree swivel head
  • Metal trigger rod
  • Padded nylon cuff
  • Velcro cuff fastener
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6. Chuangtong
  • Solid handle design
  • Trigger on the spine
  • Plastic construction
  • Single jaw
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7. TRUGLO Detonator
  • Turnbuckle fastener
  • Single jaw design
  • Stainless steel and high quality plastic construction
  • Open hook
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8. Yls Release Aid
  • 180 degree rotation
  • Double jaw design
  • Velcro wrist closure
  • Up to 45 pounds of draw
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9. NITRUS
  • Stainless steel mechanism
  • Double jaw design
  • Rigid steel and plastic support column
  • 360 degree swivel
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10. SPEED-SHOT XS
  • Dual jaw release
  • Adjustable support rod
  • Plastic and aluminum construction
  • Boa wrist cuff
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Safety equipment has also seen a marked improvement since the early days of archery, some of it simply by being invented. Ancient archers were unlikely to wear eye protection, for instance, or use a grip to prevent blistering on the hand supporting the bow.

One of the most common concerns for the modern archer is that these strings can burn on the way forward, so to speak; traveling at enormous speeds, it is possible for the bowstring to cut skin or scrape it off, both on the hand that draws it back and on the arm holding the bow out. A skillful archer may be able to avoid this simply by adjusting their stance and grip, but few archers on the competitive level want to trust such a thing to skill alone.

Modern safety gear addresses this concern as well; there are armed guards to protect the supporting hand, which put a thick layer of material between the string and the archer’s arm, and a finger guard on the drawing hand that keeps the string from catching and slicing on to the fingers as it is released. While these do make the archer safer, they also make it harder to judge precisely when the string will release, as there is more material between the archer’s hand and the bow and sensory feedback may be dulled as a result.

The solution to this for most professional archers is another piece of equipment called a bow release, which uses a small pair of pincers attached to a trigger to hold onto the string instead of the archer’s fingers. When the archer wishes to shoot, a pull of the trigger opens the pincers immediately and allows the string to fly forward without coming near the drawing hand.

Like any piece of professional sporting equipment, bow releases come from a number of manufacturers and in several different makes and models. Choosing the right one can be critical to your success as an archer, as its malfunction can literally stop you from getting off a shot; it’s enough to make anyone hesitate before deciding to shell out any money for one.

To help you get the right bow release, we’ve put together a list of the best bow releases currently on the market. Find one that fits your tastes and needs and you’ll be all set for your next competition.

Our Best Bow Release Reviews and Comparisons

1. Scott Archery Quick Shot

Product Highlights

This model uses a single jaw that reduces the chance of the string either catching or slipping incorrectly.

Features

  • Leather wrist cuff
  • Single jaw release
  • Trigger on lanyard
  • One size fits all

What We Like About Scott Archery Quick Shot

Using this release gives an ultra-crisp trigger instead of an otherwise shaky hand draw that might throw off your release or aim.

What We Don’t Like About Scott Archery Quick Shot

Supporting the actual trigger with a lanyard instead of a solid base can lead to improper grip and incorrect timing.

PROS

  • Highly durable
  • Can draw compound bows
  • Single jaw design is more secure
  • Infinitely adjustable
  • Precise trigger action

CONS

  • The lanyard can snap back upon release
  • Cuff can be hot to wear for extended periods of time

2. CUPID C3-3

Product Highlights

This model gives you a solid handle to hold onto and a large lever to push when you’re ready to loose a shaft.

Features

  • Aluminum alloy
  • Trigger on spine
  • Single jaw release
  • Single-ply safety lanyard

What We Like About CUPID C3-3

Using a solid metal handle gives a far more intuitive experience than a trigger mounted on a lanyard.

What We Don’t Like About CUPID C3-3

The trigger on this model is pressed with the thumb, something that may throw off someone more used to a conventional trigger grip.

PROS

  • Highly durable metal design
  • Three and four-fingered models available
  • The molded grip is easier to hold and draw
  • Easy tactile feedback from the trigger
  • Firmly locking jaw

CONS

  • Awkward to carry and store
  • Unusual trigger position

3. Bow and Arrow College

Product Highlights

This model uses a double jaw design to ensure that the string comes out quickly and smoothly.

Features

  • Velcro wrist cuff
  • Rotating clamp head
  • Up to 65 pounds of draw
  • Trigger mounted on caliper rod

What We Like About Bow and Arrow College

By using a rigid rod to hold the trigger, this model gives the user an intuitive trigger experience.

What We Don’t Like About Bow and Arrow College

This model is rated for relatively weak bows below 65 pounds of the draw, and so will not be able to pull back heavier longbows and compound bows.

PROS

  • Breathable nylon cuff
  • One size fits all
  • Rigid trigger support
  • String leaves the caliper quickly
  • Good for junior archers

CONS

  • Cannot pull larger bows
  • Double caliper design can let go too early

4. TRUFIRE Hardcore

Product Highlights

This release lets you customize the breaking point to make sure you will be shooting at your most comfortable.

Features

  • Trips from 3 to 16 ounces of pressure
  • Metal trigger assembly
  • Padded wrist cuff
  • 20 degrees trigger travel

What We Like About TRUFIRE Hardcore

With just a few turns of the screws, you can set this trigger to the exact pressure you want, giving an unprecedented level of control over your shooting.

What We Don’t Like About TRUFIRE Hardcore

This trigger is closer to the cuff than most models, making it unsuitable for those with larger hands.

PROS

  • Comfortable padded cuff
  • Fully ambidextrous
  • Adjustable trigger pressure
  • A large trigger travel arc ensure string will stay mounted
  • The sturdy metal trigger assembly

CONS

  • Extra padding makes the cuff tight
  • The trigger is too close to the cuff for larger users

5. Linkboy Archery Caliper

Product Highlights

This caliper is specifically built to handle the higher draw weights found in compound bows, eliminating the worry that the string might slip loose early.

Features

  • 360-degree swivel head
  • Metal trigger rod
  • Padded nylon cuff
  • Velcro cuff fastener

What We Like About Linkboy Archery Caliper

This release uses a solid metal rod and a broad trigger to give excellent tactile feedback and keep your hand steady under higher draw weights.

What We Don’t Like About Linkboy Archery Caliper

Poor quality stitching on the textile parts of this release may make for a relatively short lifespan.

PROS

  • Head can turn a full circle
  • Strengthened to draw compound bows
  • Easily adjustable nylon cuff
  • A wider trigger is more comfortable on the finger
  • Extra thick support rod for added durability

CONS

  • May not be suitable for younger archers
  • Poor textile quality

6. Chuangtong

Product Highlights

This device is intended to make it easier for younger archers to get a better shot with less effort.

Features

  • Solid handle design
  • Trigger on the spine
  • Plastic construction
  • Single jaw

What We Like About Chuangtong

With this model, younger or weaker archers can get a full draw without straining themselves or having the string cut into their hands.

What We Don’t Like About Chuangtong

Apart from the unusual position of the trigger, this model is not rated for heavier draws, making it of limited usefulness to the ordinary adult archer.

PROS

  • Solidly constructed
  • Well molded to the hand
  • Easy to fit to string
  • Suitable for younger archers
  • Fully ambidextrous

CONS

  • Unusually awkward trigger
  • Not rated for heavier draws

7. TRUGLO Detonator

Product Highlights

This is a serious model of release, with a finely ground stainless steel mechanism that will deliver great performance under any conditions.

Features

  • Turnbuckle fastener
  • Single jaw design
  • Stainless steel and high quality plastic construction
  • Open hook

What We Like About TRUGLO Detonator

An open hook means that this model doesn’t even have a fixed second mandible, only a hook, making it a quick and easy affair to reattach the string for your next shot.

What We Don’t Like About TRUGLO Detonator

Having an open hook makes you far more likely to lose the string by accident, as there is nothing holding it in place.

PROS

  • Durable stainless steel mechanism
  • Turnbuckle adjusts strap without removing cuff
  • Simple to attach
  • Wear resistant
  • Finely adjustable trigger

CONS

  • String can slip off easily
  • Support rod is somewhat short

8. Yls Release Aid

Product Highlights

This model is a simple solution for lightweight bows and made of high-quality tactical nylon that will stand the test of time.

Features

  • 180 degree rotation
  • Double jaw design
  • Velcro wrist closure
  • Up to 45 pounds of draw

What We Like About Yls Release Aid

This trigger includes a useful lateral buckle that lets you set the distance from the trigger to the cuff, allowing it to fit different sizes of users.

What We Don’t Like About Yls Release Aid

The release caliper is plastic and may be more fragile than metal counterparts.

PROS

  • High grade nylon
  • Adjustable lateral strap
  • Fully ambidextrous
  • Infinitely adjustable velcro wrist cuff
  • Crisp trigger action

CONS

  • Relatively fragile plastic jaws
  • Only 180 degrees rotation

9. NITRUS

Product Highlights

This model includes hidden wires to reinforce the textile elements and make the trigger action sure and smooth.

Features

  • Stainless steel mechanism
  • Double jaw design
  • Rigid steel and plastic support column
  • 360 degree swivel

What We Like About NITRUS

Using wire reinforcement to an already strong nylon cuff makes this model among the most durable cuffs out there.

What We Don’t Like About NITRUS

Neither the cuff nor the support rod is very adjustable, so getting the right size is tricky at best.

PROS

  • Precision ground firing mechanism
  • Highly durable cuff
  • Caliper can rotate to any angle
  • Fully ambidextrous
  • Ergonomic trigger positioning

CONS

  • Not very adjustable
  • Jaws don’t close over all standard widths of D ring

10. SPEED-SHOT XS

Product Highlights

Despite being a rigid support rod, this model conceals close to an inch of adjustable length for unprecedented convenience.

Features

  • Dual jaw release
  • Adjustable support rod
  • Plastic and aluminum construction
  • Boa wrist cuff

What We Like About SPEED-SHOT XS

Besides the adjustable cuff and support rod, this model comes in five different colors to let you accessorize better.

What We Don’t Like About SPEED-SHOT XS

The materials used in this model are not the best and may not be able to withstand the weight of heavier bows.

PROS

  • Rigid and adjustable support rod
  • Thick and comfortable trigger
  • Soft wrist cuff
  • Fits most D rings well
  • Good value for money

CONS

  • Flimsy construction
  • Plastic caliper may slip

Final Verdict

Linkboy Archery Caliper

There are certainly a lot of things to like about most of these models but the true test of a bow release must come down to which model can pull the most weight and still be relied upon for a clean trigger break and firing action every single time. This model, reinforced to take the extraordinary weight produced by compound bows, is out and away the winner in that regard.

It is worth noting that not every one of these models will be suitable for every buyer; younger archers, for instance, may not have the manual strength needed to operate the heavier releases, and adult archers may not find the child models to be strong enough for their needs.

If going to a tournament, there may be certain kinds of releases not permitted under tournament regulations; if going hunting, local game ordinances may even forbid triggered bows altogether.

It is also important to know that these releases are only part of what is needed to make them usable with your bow; trying to use them alone can cause the string to fray and should not be attempted. The hook on your release will not be applied directly to the string; instead, you will need to get another piece of equipment called a D ring that serves as a dedicated attachment point for the release.

D rings come in many sizes, and you can affix them in several positions, but the most important thing is to make sure that they are not too wide for your release. If the ring is too wide, the release will fail to close and fire your shaft too early; this is both a good way to lose a point or even a tournament, and dangerous to those who might not have expected an arrow coming off your string.

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