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Right-handed people are the undisputed majority everywhere in the world, and it makes left-handed people left out and often hindered by different things. It is because most things in the world are manufactured for right-handed people.

Compound bows are made by manufacturers suitable for both left-handed and right-handed people. It means that you can select your bow per your preference. 

Yes, you can identify if a compound bow is left-handed or right-handed. By recognizing some factors, you can tell if the compound bow is left or right-handed. These aspects include sight’s side, riser, arrow rest, and stabilizers

Compound bows are considered an investment that can almost last a lifetime. So, selecting the right compound bow is very important. We will look at some ways to recognize which hand a compound bow is by depending on a few things. These things would help you identify which hand compound bow you should choose. Helping you make the right decision is what this article is aimed at. 

What Are Compound Bows? 

Compound bows are complex and involve a lot of technology and mechanisms to shoot an arrow or to operate. Various components and accessories make up a compound bow. Some of the elements that make up a compound bow are as follows: 

  • Limbs
  • Riser
  • Cams
  • Bow Strings
  • Cam Systems
  • Cable Guard
  • Cables
  • Arrow Rest
  • Cable Slide
  • String Vibration Arrester
  • Sight
  • Mechanical Release
  • Stabilizer

Some manufacturers sell compound bows with all the essential accessories attached to them. However, archers prefer their compound bows to be flexible and versatile. If it is versatile, an archer can have the chance to choose and fit accessories according to their specifications. 

Therefore, compound bows differ from how a traditional bow looks or operates. You should know that investing in a compound bow has a lot of considerations that you need to make, and one of the primary considerations is finding the correct-handed one for you.

1. Preferences For The Dominant Hand 

This part of the article can get a little confusing for most people. However, the best way to identify which handed compound bow suits you is by trying both of them out. The compound bow can either be left-handed or right-handed. 

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The confusing part is that a left-handed person selects a right-handed bow and vice versa. You will find dominant left-handed archers shooting a right-handed bow, and you will also find a dominant right-handed person shooting with a left-handed bow. 

The draw on the bow is traditionally by the right hand for right-handed people. Likewise, a left-handed person uses their left hand to draw the arrow. However, it can work the opposite way for some people. We will come to the “why” part below. 

2. Dominant Eye

Every person has a dominant eye, the one they use to aim. It is something major that requires consideration before selecting a compound bow. The dominant eye would be the one used to aim with. So, knowing which eye to use is vital for compound bow selection. 

The dominant eye can be either your left or right eye. The dominant hand and eye do not always have to be the same. In simpler terms, a left-handed person can have a dominant right eye. It can work the other way around too, and this is why it can get confusing.

So, identifying the dominant eye for selecting a compound bow is significant. Using the dominant eye to aim, you can choose the left or right-hand preferences to draw the compound bow. 

3. Identifying By The Sight’s Side 

Sight is the one that is located in the bow helping you to aim at a target. If the sight is located on the left, the bow is intended for a person having a dominant right hand. Right-sided sight means that the bow is designed for a person who has a dominant left hand.

Again, there can be personal choices in selecting compound bows, and they can be unrelated to the way the sight would be present. However, identifying a left-handed or right-handed bow can be done by looking at the sight of the compound bow that you are seeing.

4. Identifying Using The Riser 

A riser is a support structure of the compound bow and an integral part of most branded products. The archer can always choose to hold their compound bow with or without a riser. It is also a personal choice as some archers use the riser, while others would not. 

It is positioned in the mid-section of the bow, and you have to use the dominant hand to hold the riser. Therefore, the side on which it is placed can explain if the compound bow is left-handed or right-handed. It is another way of identifying which hand the bow is made for. 

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5. Identifying Using The Arrow Rest 

The name tells you the purpose of this part of the compound bow. When an archer draws the arrow, it will rest on the arrow rest. While some arrow rests retract when the draw is released, others remain in their positions. 

Arrow rests on the compound bows are slightly curved to one side, and it can be towards the right or the left. So, if the rest is on the right-side curving towards the left, then the compound bow is a left-handed design. However, some archers have it in opposite directions. 

It can get confusing to specify which hand the compound bow is by depending on arrow rests. However, we can safely conclude that is how traditional rests are used on compound bows by manufacturers. So, you can decide based on it.

6. Identifying Using Stabilizers

Almost all compound bows come with a stabilizer or have a provision to add one. It would help the archer keep the bow balanced while using the compound bow. We mentioned earlier how the sight is set on a compound bow. 

Likewise, the stabilizer is placed on the opposite side. It means a stabilizer to the left would mean that it is a right-handed design. If the stabilizer is to the right, it is a left-handed design. It is how the manufacturers design the bow.

Useful Tips On Selecting Compound Bows 

After looking at the ways to identify the design of the compound bow, you may need additional tips to consider. These tips can help select the ideal design of the compound bow you wish to use. It has no bearing on whether you are right-handed or left-handed. 

Try And Decide: As we mentioned earlier, unless you try both right-hand and left-hand compound bows, you will not know which one you should choose. Therefore, it may be a good idea to go to an archery range to try a left-handed and right-handed bow before you buy one.

Comfort And Fit: These two things can be crucial in deciding whether to purchase either one of the designs. You have to consider the comfort, how the bow fits your style and technique. Once you are specific about these two things, it will be easier to decide it yourself. 

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Ask Experts: If you have access to expert advice, you should take it. There is no better way to attain knowledge than by speaking with an expert who has handled both bow designs. The valuable knowledge they can impart can help you decide better. They can also provide you with input on what to do with a compound bow purchase. 

Reputed Manufacturer: Purchasing a compound bow is essentially an investment. Therefore, you might as well consider making a wise one. Buying from a trusted brand means that the bow will be worth every penny you invest. You can get to know this by reading reviews of previous purchases. They can give you in-depth knowledge on how a specific manufacturer’s compound bow has fared with use, and they can help you gain a good understanding of a manufacturer and their compound bow designs.

Compare Options: It is something that people do not do. Do not go just with the reputation of a specific manufacturer. You can consider and compare the other options available. There are hundreds of brands available on the market for you to compare and choose from. When comparing different options, you can identify defects, various designs, features, and many other things.

Be Patient: Patience can be the difference between making the right and wrong choices. Do not be in a hurry to make a purchase, and give yourself enough time to come to a conclusive decision. As we mentioned, purchasing a compound bow is an investment that could last a lifetime. So, acquiring the right amount of patience can be a good option. Do not be in a hurry unless you are sure or get an offer that is impossible to turn down. 


It is crucial to weigh all these things mentioned in this article before selecting a compound bow. Do not make an impulsive purchase, and trust your instincts when choosing a compound bow. 

Remember, these compound bows should suit your style and technique for them to be a perfect fit for your archery needs. There is no point in selecting the wrong design and regretting your choice at a later point. 

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