Best Crossbow Review: Top 10 On The Market

by Philip Routh

Crossbows have been becoming more and more popular in recent years both as a hobby and for sport. Modern crossbows are far easier to use than the old ones used to be and many hunters have begun to realise that a crossbow can be very accurate in taking down prey.

The Barnett Recruit Compound Crossbow is the best crossbow we found.

Editors' pick
Barnett Recruit Compound Crossbow

However there are many different styles and designs of crossbows available and deciding to buy one can get a little but overwhelming which is why we have rounded up some of the top crossbows manufacturers around to help you choose.

It is important to do as much research as possible so that it is easier to make an informed decision when the time comes to make your crossbow purchase.

We believe the best around are these listed in the following table.

Crossbow Comparison Table

Draw weight (lbs)
Speed (FPS)
Editors' rating
Editors' pick
Barnett Recruit Compound Crossbow
4.5 out of 5
Best value
Arrow Precision Inferno Fury Crossbow
4.5 out of 5
Barnett Jackal Crossbow
4 out of 5
SA Sports Fever Crossbow Package
4 out of 5
Manticore Wood Crossbow with Scope, Extra Arrows and Rope Cocking Device
3.5 out of 5
Prophecy Self-cocking Pistol Crossbow with Cobra System Limb
3.6 out of 5
Barnett Outdoors Brotherhood Crossbow Package
4.5 out of 5
Barnett Quad 400 Crossbow Package
4 out of 5
Barnett Ghost 350 CRT Crossbow Package
4.5 out of 5
Wirezoll Axiom SMF Crossbow Kit
4.5 out of 5

Different Types of Crossbows

In terms of the different types of crossbows that are available on the market, there are two main designs – the recurve bow and the compound bow. As with most consumer products, each type of crossbow has its own advantages and disadvantages associated with it, so keep this in mind when browsing crossbows reviews. If you want to know if a bow can be a better choice check our crossbow vs bow debate.

The Recurve Bow

The recurve bow is actually the oldest type of crossbow and it is also among the most basic designs. Recurve indicates that the limbs of the crossbow will be facing away from the shooter. One of the key advantages of the recurve bow is that these types of crossbows need far less maintenance. This is largely down to the fact that there are far fewer breakable parts. Even if, for example, the string was to break, it is easy to fix – even when you are out in the field with your weapon. Another advantage associated with the recurve style of crossbow is that it offers a much quieter shot than the compound style. It is because of the simplicity of the recurve bow that it is usually considered to be the best crossbow style for first time crossbow shooters. On the downside, some shooters complain that the recurve bow is slightly less accurate. This is something that is attributed to the lack of a cocking mechanism. Recurve bows are wider than compound bows making them more difficult to manage in tight spaces.

The Compound Bow

The compound bow is a much newer style of crossbow. It features shorter limbs and strings that are attached to a pulley system. In a compound bow, it is common for a cam system to be in place allowing the shooter to draw the bow with a greater level of ease. This is not only great for ease of use, but it also has the knock on effect of allowing the bolts to travel much faster. The design of the compound bow features shorter limbs making it much easier to manoeuvre. Most of these bows also have a cocking system which makes it easier to draw. The main disadvantage of the compound style of crossbow is the weight. The extra parts make it much heavier than the simpler recurve style. Also, with more moving parts comes a greater potential for them to break. Due to the complex nature of the compound bow it is not usually possible to make repairs while in the field.

Top 5 Crossbows

When you are looking to buy a crossbow, it is important to figure out what is the best crossbow to meet your needs. Some of the most important factors to consider is the weight and size, how easy it is to cock, how accurate it is and of course that all important price tag! The best way to make sure that you are making the right choice is to compare some of the top crossbows on the market in order to see which one might be the best fit.

1. Barnett Recruit Compound Crossbow

The Barnett Recruit compound crossbow is one of the best crossbows for women or other hunters with a smaller frame. It is lightweight and compact so that it is easy for smaller individuals to handle, but it certainly doesn’t have a negative impact on the speed and power. The draw weight on the Recruit model is 130 lbs and it care fire bolts at a very impressive 300 feet per second.

This may be a fairly small crossbow compared to others, but it is still more than a match for whatever type of game it is that you like to pursue during a hunt! Another great feature of this bow is that the butt stock is adjustable. This means that this is a great bow for younger hunters since it is able to grow with them for several years. In short, if you are looking for a light, powerful crossbow that is also great value for money, then the Barnett Recruit may well be the best crossbow on the market for your needs.

2. Arrow Precision Inferno Fury Crossbow

The Arrow Precision Inferno Fury crossbow secures its place as one of the best rated crossbows with its extremely lightweight and compact design. This is a great option for first time crossbow hunters looking for an affordable bow to get started with. The crossbow is recurve style with a 175 pound draw weight and can shoot bolts at up to 235 feet per second.

One of the many great features that this particular model has to offer is that it has an ambidextrous auto safety. This makes it easy to operate whether you are left or right handed. It also comes with a 3-dot multi-range red dot scope and an adjustable weaver style scope mount which help to achieve highly accurate targeting. Most users find that there is no need to even adjust the scope as it is already accurate right out of the box. Despite the lightweight design the Arrow Precision Inferno Fury still packs plenty of punch and it is definitely a contender for the best crossbow for beginners.

3. Barnett Jackal Crossbow

The Barnett Jackal Crossbow has an impressive draw weight of 150 pounds and shoots at 315 feet per second making it a strong choice for hunting. The crossbow features a sleek military style with high energy wheels and a synthetic string and cable system.

One of the key reasons why the Jackal is one of the best crossbows on the market is that it offers all the power and features that you might expect from a top of the range crossbow, but at an affordable price. One of the key things that many buyers tend to mention in crossbow reviews for the Jackal is the accuracy of the scope. Most users seem to be happy with the level of accuracy right out of the box and have commented that there was no reason to adjust the scope at all after assembling the crossbow ready for use.

Barnett do recommend that the string is waxed every ten shots which sounds like it would interfere with use, but in reality this is not the case.

4. SA Sports Fever Crossbow

The SA Sports Fever Crossbow is considered by many to be the best crossbow if you are looking for an entry level weapon that is going to be great for target practice and casual hunting. This is a recurve style crossbow with 175 pounds of draw weight shooting bolts at 240 feet per second.

A great feature of the Fever model is that both the auto safety and the rear stock are designed to be ambidextrous. This means that it will be easy to use regardless of whether you are left or right handed. Cocking is made easy thanks the the large boot style foot stirrup and the cocking rope supplied with the crossbow.

The design of the crossbow is lightweight and compact to offer easier handling which is great for beginners and younger or more petite users. Many people have purchased this bow for teenagers looking to learn how to hunt.

5. Manticore Wood Crossbow with Scope, Extra Arrows and Rope Cocking Device

The 150lbs Wizard Crossbow is one of the top rated crossbows on the market at the moment. It is perfect for use in large game hunting. The crossbow carries a 150 pound draw and fires arrows at up to 210 feet per second. One of the features that attracts buyers to this particular model is that it is light and compact while still managing to be robust and powerful.

This is also a crossbow which is safe and reliable thanks to the auto safety cocking mechanism design. If you are looking for a large game crossbow that is suitable for relative beginners then this is likely just about the best crossbow for the money. The Wizard is supplied with 6 aluminum crossbow bolts, a scope and cocking rope.

Buyer’s Guide

There are various different factors that need to be taken into consideration when you are buying a crossbow. The number one thing that you need to check before going any further is what sort of state and/or local laws are there pertaining to crossbow ownership, that way you will know from the very beginning that you are going to be covered. With that out of the way you can then start to consider the key features that will help you to determine the best crossbow for you.

  • Primary Use – Determining what your crossbow is going to be used for is an important factor in choosing one. After all, you do not need to spend money on a heavy duty hunting bow if you will only be using it for target practice!
  • Speed – If you are a serious hunter then speed is going to be a factor. Compound bows can achieve much faster shots than a recurve.
  • Weight – Weight is one of the most important aspects of choosing a crossbow. Heavier weapons are easier to keep steady, but bear in mind that hunters usually have to trek through the woods, so a lighter one is usually preferable! You also need to consider the physical limitations of the user. Above all else, you want your crossbow to be manoeuvrable.
  • Cocking Aids – One of the things that most people struggle with on their crossbows is cocking it. It is not at all easy to cock a crossbow by hand and you need to be incredibly strong! However most of the top 10 crossbows are supplied with a cocking device. Cocking ropes are the most common and they can reduce the workload by at least 50%. Crank cocking devices are also common, but they are more expensive and will take longer to reload. That is why crank cocking is generally recommended for older hunters, or those with a disability.
  • Scopes – If you are going to be using your crossbow for hunting then you will find a scope to be a huge advantage. Some crossbows are sold with scopes attached. It is worth researching which kind of scope is included with the crossbow you are considering buying. If no scope is included then think about how much it is going to cost to buy one.


Choosing the right crossbow to meet your needs can be a little overwhelming, especially if it is your first time purchasing one.

Checking out the top ten crossbows is an excellent place to start. Then you can start checking out the reviews in order to find the one that best suits your requirements.

Think about whether you are only interested in target practice or if you are a serious game hunter. You also need to think about what sort of game you will hunt, after all a crossbow that can take out a wild turkey is possibly not going to be powerful enough for a full grown deer!

Once you know what you are looking for you can pick out your favourites based on their reviews and then from there opt for the one that feels right. Just another thing: have you ever thought that you can build one yourself?