Both of these crossbows are different in small but significant ways. For example how they store the tension – important to fire an arrow. The recurve uses the same principle that bows have used for centuries. The bowstring causes two flexible limbs to bend as the string is pulled back. Vintage or traditional in style. The more modern compound crossbow uses a variety of mechanics like cams and cables to create an advantage that will assist the bowstring in bending the limbs. The limbs are far more rigid than those on a recurve crossbow.

A compound crossbow is typically more capable of firing arrows at much higher speeds than the recurve crossbow. The compound and its modern design are known for their ability to speed. Being more traditional and simple to build the recurve also allows for more dependability by using fewer moving parts. This means fewer things are likely to malfunction, breakdown, or require maintenance. The cams on a compound crossbow will need to be regularly tuned or fixed. Cables can snap or be stretched.

Durability is probably even when it comes to both crossbows even though the recurve has fewer parts. As discussed previously more mechanical parts mean more chances of breakdown but today’s crossbows are so immaculately designed that they are very rarely breakdown. Recurve crossbows require more tension and strain on the bowstring as it’s less efficient at storing the tension. This then requires that the bowstring be replaced with more regularity.

The sizes also vary. Recurves need to be bigger. They can not leverage the extra mechanical components of a modern compound crossbow. So more effort is required with the recurve bows with more stature and draw weight required. A common and irritating thing about a compound crossbow is that it doesn’t allow for decoking. After firing your first shot you will have to set up for another shot again which takes time. With a recurve crossbow, you only need to remove the arrow and uncock the bow which is so much more dynamic.

In terms of cost, the recurve will be less expensive. This is typical because of the mechanical parts of the compound crossbow. More manufacturing effort goes into them and that causes the cost of production to rise. Compound crossbows can be two or three more times as expensive as a similar recurve crossbow. This is a point to consider when choosing the best crossbows or best crossbow for the money as a beginner.