Finding the Best Bow Releases on the Market Today

If you are looking for an accessory that will improve your shot, diminish or entirely eradicate issues in relation to string torque, and a tool that will foster greater flight stability of every arrow you fire, a bow release is the perfect accessory. In fact, when you use a bow release it lends to the increased consistency of your shot, and will, therefore, improve your competitive outcomes or allow for a fast, ethical kill during a hunt.

The choice you have before you when it comes to bow releases is overwhelming. There are so many makes, models, styles, and options, even avid archers struggle with making a buying decision. The diversity before you ensures you can find a release perfectly suited to you and your needs, but it also assures a confusing shopping expedition if you do not know what to look for; here you will find all the information you need to make sure you choose a top of the line release for all of your archery endeavors.

Bow Release Types

There are two chief bow releases, each of which features a wide range of options: mechanical and non-mechanical bow releases. A mechanical release is sometimes called the handheld or caliper release, with the caliper option being a model that attaches to the archer’s wrist. The handheld model does not attach to the wrist when in use. Non-mechanical bow releases come in multiple designs as well; these models tend to operate based on back pressure or with the use of a looped string. The non-mechanical variants are not quite as popular as the mechanical bow releases, but they are an available option to archers today.

Back Tension – These releases are for the skilled, more advanced archer who already has considerable experience using a release. The back tension models take some time to master because the release is essentially triggerless. The archer does not intentionally push or pull a trigger on the release, but the final pull through, rotation of the handheld device, and tension of back muscles leading to bowstring pressure increase, is what triggers the back tension device.

Caliper – Also known as a wrist bow release, this model has a rope, rod, and a strap as well as a finger-controlled trigger. The caliper release’s strap will attach to the archer’s wrist via included buckles or Velcro®. The caliper is the part of the release connecting to the bowstring. When the archer pulls the trigger of the release, the caliper releases the bowstring so the arrow is fired. This type of release is quite common, popular, and it comes in an array of designs. Some special features include things like rotating heads, adjustable length options, adjustable trigger tensions, and unique straps styles. The caliper release is also sometimes called the trigger bow release.

You will find if you invest in a caliper release that the models featuring continuous straps are faster to get attached to the wrist. The release mechanism is held to the wrist via the rope or rod. It is to your benefit to buy a caliper release with size adjustable features: This ensures the release will fit your hand properly. It is equally beneficial to seek out a release hosting a 360-degree rotating head: This feature will keep torque to a minimum when you are shooting the arrow. If you opt for a release with foldback features, it allows you to tuck away the rod of the unit when you are not using the release.

For full customization of your caliper release, opt for a model with trigger tension adjustments. If you want to be able to attach the release to the bow string quickly, opt for a unit featuring calipers or jaws; whether single or dual ball bearing: It makes for an easy snap on connection. There are fang and hook styles you can choose from as well, hosting a light hook structure perfect for string loop options and a light trigger for ease of firing.

Finger – Also called handheld bow releases, this model features a structure that appears a lot like the capital letter “T.” The archer has to hold the bow release in the hand to use and it is not, at any time, secured to the wrist of the archer. Some archers prefer the finger release because it allows for hands-free movement since the clamp of the release attaches to the bowstring. Archers appreciate the responsiveness of the finger release as well.

The handheld styles are light, small, portable, and you trigger the gadget with your pinky, thumb, or back tension. The tension of the handheld finger releases is adjustable. The unit connects to the bowstring with calipers or a rope loop. Often times, this type of release is the preferred choice of those participating in tournaments.

T- Handled & Thumb Switch – These releases are dependent on the archer’s finger strength in order to work. The archer will hold the bow release in the hand and have it positioned between the middle finger and index finger. This release uses either a thumb switch or back tension mechanism for firing. This type of release is preferred by archers who hunt from tree stands as well as those who perform in competitive archery events. Alternatively, the thumb switch release mechanism has a number of moving components, making it more difficult to use. There is a switch mounted to the T-handle release: This is used to operate the model.

Bow Release Buying Tips

Tip #1: If you are investing in one release, why not invest in two? If you use a release for shot accuracy and you are hunting, it is possible to lose the release as you walk to and from your hunting spot. If you have grown accustomed to using the release and you suddenly do not have one for use, it could ruin an otherwise exciting and successful hunt. It is always best to have a backup release on hand for those just in case scenarios.

Tip #2: A bow release needs to fit you properly if you want it to work correctly. Often times archers end up buying a release that is excessive in length: This can certainly influence shot accuracy in a negative way. If you are given the opportunity to do so, try out the release in te store to make sure it is a good fit.

Tip #3: When you are getting a release, you want one that allows for an ultra smooth transition from your fingers: It should feel as if the bowstring, once released, has floated out of your fingers. There should be an absence of awkward positioning and creating string torque should be unnecessary with the right release.

Tip #4: If you plan to use your bow release for hunting, do not invest in the releases that create a clicking sound once your bowstring is either engaged or released. The noise the release produces can alert your prey of your presence and end your hunt quickly. You will also want to refrain from getting a model that has a long trigger travel prior to its release: This issue can diminish the length of your draw and negatively affect the speed of your arrow once fired.

Tip #5: Since the string on a bow can be setup one of several ways, you want to make sure the release you choose works with the style string your bow has already in place. The release you buy needs to be compatible with the way your bowstring is set up, whether it has a metal type fastener, a metal nock, or a D loop for release connectivity.

Tip #5: As an average archer, you may want to refrain from investing in hydraulic or automated releases. These types of releases will release the bowstring after reaching a time pre-established by you: Usually zero to six seconds. However, they are considerable in terms of expense.

Recommended Products

The Edge Hybrid Foldback Bow Release by Tru-Fire

Tru-Fire’s Edge Hybrid has an affordable price ranging from $78.00 to $87.00. The model features an adjustable trigger travel and length adjustment options. The Tru-Fire’s Edge Hybrid bow release has jaws that open when the trigger is pulled back, and once you let off the release’s trigger, the jaws close again. The Tru-Fire’s Edge Hybrid is an American made option with a trigger that is spring loaded. This dual caliper release features a hybrid strap consisting of both Velcro® and a buck strap cross-between.
The Vapor 4 Finger Release by Hot Shot

Hot Shot’s Vapor 4 Finger Release

Hot Shot’s Vapor 4 Finger Release is a model featuring a Realtree Camo exterior. This finger release features a price between $100.00 and $102.00. The release ahs no trigger-set requirements, a jaw that closes automatically, and a thumb barrel that is adjustable. This release is sold with a three or four finger handle. The internal actuation system is noiseless, and the tension of the device is adjustable.


Clearly, the types of releases an archer can choose from are extensive. Some releases will serve the neophyte archer better than the skilled, and vice versa. Similarly, some releases are suitable for hunting while others are best used on the practice field or during tournament events. Ultimately, the best bow release for you is defined by your skill, the intended use of the release, your budget, and personal preferences.


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