Choosing the Best Bow Release 2019: Wrist vs Hand

The high-speed bows preferred by hunters now require the use of a excellent mechanical bow release. Using your fingers to take a 60 or 70-pound bow is unrealistic. The mechanisms and chain angles also dictate using a release aid. Think of these as the important link between a sharp and accurate shooter, to one that jumps off the series, missing the goal.

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There are dozens of models to select from, and it can be easy to get muddled down in the choices. To help, we’ve compiled reviews from several sites and forums to make a list of the greatest bow release aids accessible. Whether you are a beginner or experienced shooter, this manual will be useful in finding the ideal bow release for your type of shooting.

Tru-Fire Hardcore Buckle Max Black(4.7 / 5)Wrist$66.85
Scott Archery Little Goose(4.7 / 5)Wrist$63.33
Spot-Hogg Wiseguy(4.6 / 5)Wrist$115.19
Cabela’s Marksman(4.6 / 5)Wrist$59.99
Scott Archery Shark Buckle(4.6 / 5)Wrist$61.25
Tru-Fire Revolution(4.6 / 5)Thumb$149.99
Scott Archery Caliper Grip(4.5 / 5)Thumb$54.97
Tru-Fire Edge 4 Camo(4.4 / 5)Thumb$88.59
T.R.U. Ball Max Hunter3(4.3 / 5)Thumb$63.77
T.R.U. Ball Max Pro 4(4 / 5)Thumb$94.99

*Our Score is a composite score generated by inputting review data from multiple resources and forums, with some input from our expertise.

Best Wrist Release (Finger Trigger)

Wrist releases are the most popular kind of bow release among seekers. They are easy to establish and adjust, dependable, and most important simple to use. The wrist release style has a lot of sub-types of release mechanisms. You will find the single and double ball bearing caliper jaws, and the hook or “fang” style pliers which work good with string loop setups.

Think about the strap type when looking at a wrist discharge. Some will be hook and loop “Velcro” straps, and others will be buckle style. Straps are normally cheaper, but might cause a “creaky” sound when flexed and under pressure. Start looking for a wrist release with a fold off head, allowing the mechanism to tuck away as you get setup on your stand.

Tru-Fire Hardcore Max — Greatest Hook Style Wrist Release

Best Bow Release
Best Bow Release

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The Hardcore Max is one of the pricier bow releases you can purchase, but this is another example in which you get what you pay for. The Hardcore is constructed with excellent stuff all around.

The buckle strap is thick, quiet, and comfortable, and even easy to remove thanks to the nozzle port. Considering that the thicker wrist strap, it is going to require a little bit of a break in time. Additionally, it is not the best bow launch for girls with smaller wrists and hands.

The release mechanism is well designed, with a great deal of possible adjustments. First, the trigger pressure can be adjusted from a stout 16oz all the way down to a nice 3oz trigger. Now bow hunters can actually shoot using a back pressure technique. Second, there’s a full 1 inch of length adjustment, and the head folds back when not needed.

Many archers have commented on how well the pivoting head (up to 20 levels) functions to decrease torque on their own shots. The hook style attachment is among the smoothest approaches to engage the d-loop, particularly when a excellent shot presents itself and the pressure is on.

Scott Archery Little Goose

Best Bow Release
Best Bow Release

View on: Amazon | Cabela’s

There is nothing little about the Small Goose. It is a regular size single caliper release and a dang good at that. It is just little when compared to the beef up version of the same release, the Mongoose XT. This is a 5-hole buckle strap design, with a great deal of room for modification, from the wrist to the trigger.

The wrist strap is constructed from real leather with some cushioning, making it high marks for comfort. While it lacks the side to side effects of this Tru-Fire Hardcore Max, the mind does have a good swivel which will help reduce torsion on the bowstring.

The adjustment screws do not seem to be high grade stainless steel, so make sure to wash your Small Goose after exposure to moisture. The cause weight is adjustable via the little screw on the mind. It is sensitive enough to attain a back tension release stage, which is a bonus for your precision. Overall the Small Goose is a high quality release that’s adjustable for a wide assortment of bow hunters.

Spot-Hogg Wiseguy

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The Spot-Hogg Wiseguy might be the best bow launch for people who prefer a very light trigger. While there’s adjustable trigger set screw, it’s still on the milder side of discharge weights. That is fine for a whole lot of shooters, but is something to be aware of if you enjoy a heavier trigger.

There’s a lot to enjoy about the construct of the Wiseguy. The head folds to the wrist and from the way when not in use. The buckle strap is made of quality materials with cushioning for comfort. The series jaw attachment is much like the Little Goose, with an open layout which makes hooking up to a d-loop simpler.

Also much like the Small Goose is the forward pointing trigger with zero traveling design. Aside from the buckle adjustment, I enjoy the simplicity of this length adjustment on the sparks head. It uses notched metal bits and a screw for accurate but secure placement.

Best Handheld Release

More bow hunters are shifting to the handheld style release each year. Hunting versions typically are of the T-handle form. If you would like something more responsive, without needing to pull a cause, then a hand release could be worth trying. An additional advantage of this style release is that the small size and light weight. Since they’re not attached to your arm they may be stored in pockets or secured onto the bowstring.

Tru-Fire Hardcore Revolution — Greatest Thumb Release

View on: Amazon | Cabela’s

Once more, Tru-Fire earns the top honour in the handheld release group with its Hardcore 4 Finger Revolution release. It’s a lot of new features that improve upon almost everything that made the first Hardcore 4 finger launch so fantastic.

First, the head is free to rotate a complete 360 Revolution (see what they did there) on the handle. The spinning is silky smooth because of a ball bearing. What is cool about the Revolution is that it may really be locked in place when your rotation hits the ideal spot. While the Hardcore Revolution is highly flexible, it’s a fairly large release which might not be a fantastic selection for hunters with smaller hands.

The thumb trigger has a whopping 16 possible positions. You would be hard pressed to be unable to tune this release to your bow. The wheel on the trigger has an extremely rough knurled finish, so beware that it may rough up your thumbs initially. Some archers have taken to placing a single wrap of tape to minimize the scratching.

All in all, the Tru-Fire Hardcore Revolution is probably the best thumb release for the price today. The quality build, higher quantity of alterations, along with the convenient lanyard and series clips make this model an outstanding choice for bow hunters looking to move out of a wrist to handheld release.

Scott Archery Caliper Grip — Best Handheld Finger Release

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The Caliper Grip launch is a hybrid kind of bow release. It’s a finger trigger just like you would find on a wrist strap launch, but a handheld grip as if you would get at a T-handle release. The difference is the way the handheld is oriented, as it’s on a wrist discharge. If learning to use a thumb release was a challenge, then the hybrid Scott Archery Caliper Grip is a fantastic launch to try next.

So yes, the Caliper Grip differs, but is it any good? Having been available for a decade plus, it’s proven itself to be among the greatest bow release you may purchase. The pistol grip style handle is machined from aluminum and has great handling due to the over-molded rubber grip. There’s a loop for a lanyard, or you can clip the caliper jaws to your d-loop.

The mind is simple but powerful. The length adjusts by the little screw at the bottom of the grip and rotates 360 degrees on a swivel connector. The jaws are the double caliper configuration, and activate itself has mild knurling on it to impart instant tactile control when you go to take. If you want a finger trigger, but dislike the majority of a wrist strap, the Scott Archery Caliper Grip is an exceptional option for a bow launch.

Tru-Fire Edge 4

View on: Amazon | Cabela’s

The Edge 4 is just another wonderful thumb release from Tru-Fire. It is not as fancy as the Hardcore Revolution launch, but it is a good shooter that comes at a lower cost. The main differences you will notice with this release is the trigger mechanism and the jaws. The Revolution has a hook which holds the series, where Edge 4 gets the caliper style jaws that lots of hunters appear to prefer.

Like the Revolution, the head swivels a complete 360, but without the ball bearing. The cause stroke and tension can both be adjusted using the set screws in the handle. As with other Tru-Fire releases, the cause barrel has an aggressive knurl that some folks seem to enjoy, but for others is very difficult on the hands.

Another positive thing is the slim handle shape. Where some will get the Hardcore Revolution to be too bulky, others will discover the Edge 4 to put perfectly in the palms. If you would like to invest in an excellent handheld caliper release, but need simpler variety of adjustments, then Edge 4 is a intelligent option.

Wrist vs Hand Release — Everything you Want to Know

Release Mechanism

The wrist release has an index finger trigger. They’re little mechanical calipers in which the d-loop is released by squeezing the trigger. A hand release uses your thumb or back tension to release the shot.

It seems odd, but on many hand launch aids, your thumb won’t really squeeze the trigger on this sort of release. As you pull, the pressure from the muscles between your shoulders builds and obviously causes your discharge hand to activate the release. The hand launch is becoming more popular since hunters feel as its smoother, without the “jumpiness” of an index finger release.

Anchor Point

Your anchor is the place of your hand in the point of discharge. With a wrist strap design release, you can make adjustments in the strap length, change the angle of your hands, or modify the reference point in which you place your hand on your cheek. Using a handheld release, you might find it to enhance the consistency of your anchor point in addition to your accuracy.


The wrist discharge is worn on your arm, pretty much constantly. While that is pretty convenient a great deal of times, it can also get in the way. Even though it can fold away, the metal head is always dangling off your own arm. If you are not careful, it is going to clatter and rattle off your equipment, and snag in your camo. A handheld release could be kept in a hip pocket, or on your day pack till you need it. Some versions have a locking jaw which lets you clip it to your d-loop.

Number of Adjustment

Apart from the straps and buckles, a wrist discharge usually offers several techniques of modification; the angle that the trigger sits, the cause tension, and the quantity of traveling to activate the trigger. Hand releases are far more flexible and customizable. You can tweak the trigger pull force and traveling, in addition to the angles and dimensions that dictate the launch position. With some practice and work, a hand release can be completely customized to you and your installation.

String Compatibility

The launch has to be compatible with all the serving in your bow. Whether you use chain d-loops, metal tabs, or series attachments, it is critical that your launch is designed for use with that type of attachment point

Noise — For target practice and contests, a release that makes a clicking noise isn’t important. Obviously, as hunters, we do not need that. All our very best bow release selections are designed for searching and take quietly.

Goal Stress Cure?

One of the two chief kinds of release aids, people who have a manual trigger (finger or thumb) often lead to goal anxiety. Some frequent indications of target panic are an inability to hold aim on the middle of a goal, an overwhelming desire to shoot faster than you would like, or jumpiness in the moment of discharge.

The handheld release which uses back tension will help alleviate target anxiety for some bow hunters. The reason is simple. Since the mechanism does not rely on a trigger being pulled, it compels the archer to execute a proper shot. The trigger is just tripped while the tension pulls your thumb to the button, releasing the arrow.

Choose What’s Right for You

Just do not forget that your bow release is a vital part of your setup. It could be tempting to cheap out on the other elements when you have dropped big dollars on a compound bow. Purchasing a high bow release will make certain you get the best performance from your bow.

If you’re newer to bow searching for a fantastic wrist release is going to be an excellent option as you gain experience. They are reliable and give the most control. Look into handhelds if you need more adjustment options, sensitive triggers, and a more natural discharge mechanism.

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