A takedown recurve bow provides archers with excellent maneuverability and versatility. Takedown bows have removable limbs which can be stored away, packed up in a backpack, or swapped out to change the bow’s draw weight.
However, with the wrong takedown bow, you could end up with poorly-fitted limbs, splinters, and an unreliable safety hazard. It’s hard to know which of the takedowns on the market today are the winners, and which are the lemons. That’s where we come in!
We’ve gone hunting for the absolute best models out there today. After examining all the numerous takedown recurve models currently available on the market, we have narrowed the list down to the 3 best options on the market based on price, features, and user reviews. We’ve done extensive research to put together our own in-depth reviews, which will talk you through everything you need to know about these three great weapons.
Let’s look at our favorites in turn, as and then help you figure out how you can determine which one is best for your needs.
First, take a quick look at our current most popular recommendations:
The Top 3 Best Takedown Recurve Bows
3. Samick Sage
The Samick Sage is the best-selling takedown on the market, period! It’s been around for more than 25 years, and there are some archers out there who have been shooting the same Sage since they first came out! We love these bows because they have limb options for virtually any draw weight, and are incredibly affordable.
It’s simple, practical, and no-nonsense. This bow isn’t close to the fanciest on the market, but it has all the hallmarks of a classic takedown: smart design, quality materials, and lots of room for modifications.
The riser block is made from a layered wood system. We love the full, exposed grains of the woodwork, which makes this look like a much more expensive bow than it actually is.
The riser also comes pre-fitted with sockets for adding on accessories later. The brass sockets will hold a quiver, sight, quieting device, or other additions as you acquire them.
It’s available in draw weights from 30 to 60, pounds, with all sorts of options in between. Since it’s a takedown bow, you can switch out the limbs as you need to, whether to hunt different game or to adjust as you improve your archery skills.It’s also available in both right and left-handed models.
With so many weight options, this is a takedown you can learn on, and then take into the field on a hunt. Just keep adding stronger limbs as your strength and accuracy develop!
The limbs are made from a combination of hard maple and fiberglass, for an excellent compromise between flexibility and repeatability. While the Samick is a budget bow, it uses very nearly the same materials as the top-shelf models.
As you’d expect from such an inexpensive bow, there are a few quality control issues. Some previous buyers had issues with poorly cut woods, which meant that a limb wouldn’t fit quite properly. That’s something you can resolve during the return window, but it is still a bit of an annoyance. Reviewers also noticed some flaws in the fit and finish, whether it be a messy gloss, or stray bead of glue. Again, this is far from the fanciest bow out there. With that said, it outstrips the budget competition in terms of performance.
We did see a few reports of cracked limbs. However, it was very rare, and the vast majority of buyers didn’t have any issues whatsoever.
The Jaguar is a great affordable bridge between the budget-priced Sage and the high-end Martin takedowns. It has all the key features that make Martins stand out, from the aluminum riser to the thermal grip. We like this one for its smooth shots, as well as the excellent price.
It’s very light. At just 2.7 pounds, this is one of the lightest takedowns on the market! Plus, the 60” length makes it manageable for most archers.
It shoots very smoothly. Previous buyers were overwhelmingly impressed by the Jaguar’s performance, and compared it to much more expensive bows they had shot. This one’s definitely a more reliable performer than the Sage, overall.
The limbs are built from laminated wood and fiberglass, which give you a good balance of flex and stability. At the same draw weight, this one has a bit more snap in its shot than the Sage. That makes it a punchier hunter in the field.
The aluminum riser provides superb strength without much bulk at all. It’s also pre-drilled and threaded so that you can bolt on accessories. We love the pre-socketed aluminum because it means that all the add-ons will fit exactly as they’re supposed to. That’s especially important if you’ll be tacking on a sight!
We also love the riser’s special thermal grip. It helps keep your hands neutral temperature and steady, so you keep a firm grip and make your shot. Between the aluminum riser and the molding of the grip, several previous buyers said this one feels like a hybrid between a gun and a bow.
It’s very easy to assemble, and to take down after you’re done shooting for the day.
It’s more affordable than other Martins, like the Panther or Saber. This one performs like more expensive models, but is priced to compete with budget takedowns like the Sage.
The arrow-rest is very cheaply made, and previous buyers said it felt like a poor after-thought on the part of the manufacturer.
The Jaguar had a few issues with limb fractures when it first came out. Judging by reviews from buyers in the past year or so, that’s not an issue anymore.
1. Martin Saber
The Martin Saber is our top quality recommendation for a takedown bow. It’s a larger, more powerful bow than the Jaguar, and has a lot of the same features that made the smaller Martin one of our favorites. We’re particularly impressed by the Saber’s integrated dampening systems in the riser, which give you a surprisingly smooth, steady shot for such a powerful bow.
It adds some serious size to the Jaguar’s platform. The Saber has a 64” length, compared to the Jaguar’s 60” That might not seem like much, but it adds a serious power boost, so you can shoot harder and faster at the same draw weight.
Translation: you can hunt even larger game without feeling underpowered! The Saber is a takedown you can bring along for harvesting anything from whitetail deer to moose.
The Saber’s riser is made out of the same light, strong aluminum as the Jaguar. It’s a bit larger, so that the limbs aren’t taking on any more stress due to the length of the bow. Most of the pressure is focused on the riser, which actually has double recurves to handle it with ease.
In addition to the thermal grip feature, this one’s riser is loaded with two “vortex” systems for dampening vibrations. That makes for a smoother shot, and really cuts down on the noise. The extra quiet factor makes the Saber a smooth hunter–even with the added power!
Previous buyers were very impressed at the fluid shot. One who had shot both the Saber and the Jaguar said that while the Saber’s riser is longer and heavier than that of the Jaguar, the effect is much less vibration and feedback.
It’s more reliable than the Samick or Jaguar. We didn’t find any reliability or durability issues with the Saber.
The larger size means this one weighs about .7 pounds heavier than the Jaguar. It’s still under 3.5 pounds, but the Saber still isn’t quite as agile as the smaller Martin.
Smaller-framed archers may have a hard time handling the 64” length, as well as the weight.
Just as with the Jaguar, the arrow rest is pretty poorly made. You’ll probably want to replace it eventually.
Best Takedown Recurve Bows – 2017 List
|Martin Saber||our top quality recommendation||isn’t quite as agile as the smaller Martin Jaguar||$$$||4.3|
|Martin Jaguar||smooth shots and excellent price||arrow-rest is very cheaply made||$$||4.2|
|Samick Sage||simple, practical, and no-nonsense||a few quality control issues||$$||4.8|
How to Choose the Top Bow for You
Now that you have an insight into the best takedown recurves on the market, it’s time to decide which takedown model is best for you. Let’s look at what experts believe are the most important factors to consider before making your purchase.
What Factors Should Archers Consider?
•Portability and convenience are the primary reasons takedown bows are so popular. Make sure your takedown bow is simple and easy to assemble. It should have a limb-lock system that’s easy to fasten, but hard to undo by accident. You’ll usually be able to do this just by hand, but do keep in mind that some models require an Allen wrench or some tool that’s included with the bow. If this is not something you are comfortable using, it is a good idea to choose a different one.
•Decide whether you are going to use your bow for target practice or shooting small or large game. While all 3 of our recommendations are designed for hunting, a larger bow with a high draw weight will be necessary when hunting for large game.
Think about your experience level. The great thing about takedown bows is that you can change the draw weight as you improve as an archer. They give you the ability to increase your draw weight as you become more comfortable and accurate while shooting the bow. Instead of buying a new bow, you simply replace the limbs!
With that said, you’ll want to choose the right weight for your experience level and body strength now. Remember that you should always err on the side of comfort. While you COULD pull back 60 pounds, for instance, you probably can’t do it without straining. It’s best to start low, and develop your form before you move up. So, when you’re deciding on your takedown, pick a nice starting point, and make sure you can upgrade from there as necessary.
After taking a closer look at our recommendations, you’re ready to start making decisions. Let’s figure out which of these bows is the best choice for you!
If you’re shopping on a budget, the Samick Sage will be the clear choice. It’s the cheapest option here, by a good $50 or so. The wide range of draw weights available make the Sage an ideal bow for new archers, who need a weapon that’ll grow with their skills. It’s also the best choice for people who want a more traditional-looking bow, since it has a nice wood grain design.
If you’re looking for something a bit more powerful, but still in a small, maneuverable package, you should have a look at the Jaguar. It’s the lightest bow here, and it manages to hit slightly harder than the Sage. It has most of the features of the Saber, in a smaller and more affordable package.
For the best overall performance in a takedown recurve bow, you’ll want to go for the Martin Saber. It’s the most powerful of the three, thanks in large part to the jumbo size. Even with its more powerful punch, it shoots the smoothest, thanks to the smart vibration cushioning system. On the downside, it’s also the largest and heaviest takedown bow here.
Want to compare the rest of the best takedown recurve bows? Check out the best sellers on Amazon!