Archery is one of the best sports out there, whether you prefer target practice or you’d rather be hunting in the wilderness.
Unfortunately, it can be an expensive hobby, with some crossbows costing thousands of dollars. Our article will help you choose the best value crossbow, that won’t burn a huge hole in your pocket.
Keep reading for our review of five value crossbows, and a buyers guide that will help you choose the best value crossbow for you.
OUR TOP PICK
EK Archery’s RX Adder Automatic Self-Loading Repeating Crossbow delivers excellent value for money for a mid-range crossbow model.
The RX Adder’s main selling point is automatic loading and self-cocking functionality. In fact, this crossbow is known as the world’s very first repeating, tactical crossbow. The automatic-loading and self-cocking functions save a lot of time and energy on the archery range and make this crossbow highly ergonomic to use.
This crossbow also features a red dot sight, which is generally considered to be the fastest type of reticle for accurate aiming. Once you’ve aimed to perfection, you can fire straight, powerful shots thanks to the crossbow’s very respectable draw weight of 130 lbs, which is only 20 lbs shy of most high-end crossbows.
But the crossbow in itself isn’t the only thing you’ll have to look forward to if you opt for the RX Adder. You’ll also receive 5 bolts, a spare string, a stringer, spare limb tips, and a sack target! Essentially, you can enjoy the benefits of a complete crossbow package for a reasonable, mid-range price.
With that being said, we would recommend keeping contact details for EK Archery’s customer support team on hand since there have been some isolated complaints about advertised accessories not being included with the product.
- Automatic loading - First-ever repeating crossbow
- Self-cocking - Time-saving
- Red dot sight - Faster aiming
- 130 lbs draw weight - Powerful shots
- 5 bolts, accessories, and target included - Complete package
- Inconsistent accessory inclusion - Some reports of parts missing on arrival
CenterPoint Archery is a big name in crossbow manufacture, and the company’s CP400 crossbow model is no exception to CenterPoint’s exacting standards. Moreover, the CenterPoint CP400 delivers exceptional value for an upper-mid-range crossbow.
The construction of the CenterPoint CP400 cam system is CNC machined. CNC, for anyone unfamiliar with mass manufacture, stands for Computer Numerical Control. CNC machines use coded programming to execute machining tasks, ensuring ultimate precision.
Because the CenterPoint CP400 has been put together in this way, it’s optimally balanced, which you can really feel in the draw cycle.
Not only that, but the CenterPoint CP400 fires at a rate of 400 FPS (Feet Per Second), which is higher than average and suitable for almost any archery situation. It’s also rated at 142 FPE (Foot Pounds Energy) because of its kinetic efficiency.
This crossbow features an auto-safety function alongside an anti-dry-fire mechanism. These features combine to make the CP400 safer and more long-lasting by preventing unexpected fire as well as premature wear through dry firing.
Additionally, the CP400 comes with a range of accessories, including 3 carbon arrows, an illuminated scope, a rope cocker, and a detachable quiver.
For the vast majority of CenterPoint’s customer base, the CP400 has proved a great success and a fantastic deal. However, there have been a few reports of damage after minimal use, presumably due to isolated quality control problems.
- CNC machined - Optimal balance
- 400 FPS - Powerful firing ability
- 142 FPE - Kinetically efficient
- Auto-safety features - No accidental or dry firing
- Includes 3 arrows, quiver, scope, and rope cocker - Ready to use out of the box
- Some quality control issues - Reports of premature breakage
Game shooting got a lot more interesting with the Barnett Whitetail Hunter 2 Crossbow.
Barnett Crossbow is one of the leading archery equipment companies in the world thanks to the constant innovation combined with pioneering patents for improving crossbows.
The measurements of the Barnett Whitetail Hunter 2 are:
- Draw weight = 150 pounds
- Overall weight = 6.4 pounds
- Axle to axle = 16.125 inches
- Length = 34.25 inches
- Width = 18.25 inches
This product is made in the USA and comes pretty much already assembled – there are just a few minor things for you to do when you receive the product. Be sure to check the instructions!Included with this crossbow is:
- 4×32 scope
- Rope cocking device
- Lightweight quiver
- 2 x Headhunter arrows (20 inches)
- Lube wax (Barnett recommends that you lube the strings every 10 shots)
This crossbow boasts trigger tech technology, with the 3-pound zero-creep release, making firing shots a lot quicker and easier.
The body and all components are made of stainless steel, making it a strong and durable piece of weaponry.
For your safety, the product also has a mock sensor and an anti-dry fire to eliminate the possibility of dry firing and damaging any limbs of your crossbow.
- Can reliably shoot at 70 yards
- Easy to assemble
- Barnett have outstanding customer service
- Lighter than others of a similar size
- Narrow across the limbs
- May be too large if you're of a smaller stature
- The scope could be improved
- Can be quite noisy when fired
The Bear X Intense CD Crossbow Package from Bear Archery isn’t necessarily one of the most popular crossbows on the market, but we think that needs to change.
The reason we believe the Bear X Intense CD Crossbow deserves more recognition in the archery community is related to its excellent value for money.
One of our favorite features of the X Intense CD crossbow is its compact build, which only comes to 14 inches across when uncocked. With dimensions on this scale, you can expect lightweight, ergonomic handling, and easy storage.
Thankfully, the FPS of this crossbow remains unaffected by the streamlined design, maintaining a rating of 400 FPS.
Possibly best of all, though, is the fact that you can start using your new Bear X Intense CD crossbow as soon as it arrives thanks to the included accessories. The crossbow comes with 3 arrows, a 4-arrow quiver, a scope, cocking rope, and some string wax to get you started on a good note.
The only word of warning we feel we should impart concerning this crossbow is that the cocking mechanism is relatively fragile, so it should be used with care and should not be handled unnecessarily.
- Compact design - Easy to use and store
- 400 FPS - Fast-paced shooting
- Lower mid-range price - Affordable
- Comes with arrows, quiver, scope, rope, and wax - All required components included
- Fragile cocking mechanism - Cocking rope may need replacing
The Tenpoint Viper S400 Crossbow Package may retail for a higher price than most of the other crossbows in our selection but remember: ‘best value’ doesn’t always mean ‘least expensive.’
In the case of the Tenpoint Viper S400, the higher-end price point is completely justified by the incredible range of features, functions, and accessories included in the package. This is undoubtedly one of the best-value high-end crossbows money can buy.
The first thing we noticed about the Tenpoint Viper S400 crossbow is how lightweight it is. The S400 model has a reduced stock size which makes the entire crossbow roughly 0.5 lbs lighter.
This might not sound like a lot, but the weight difference makes this crossbow noticeably ergonomic and easy to handle.
The crossbow also features a 2-stage trigger. A 2-stage trigger breaks each shot down into 2 phases, giving the user more control over each bolt and delivering more accurate shots.
Even better, we can confirm that the 2-phase shooting functionality doesn’t impact this crossbow’s shooting speed.
In fact, the Tenpoint Viper S400 fires at an impressive rate of 400 FPS, enhancing accuracy even further. The multi-coated glass scope also contributes, allowing more light through the scope for clearer visibility and better precision.
Along with the crossbow itself, your purchase of the Tenpoint Viper S400 will get you a set of 3 Evo-X CenterPunch arrows and a 6-arrow quiver.
However, this crossbow does require care and protection while in use and storage because the paintwork isn’t the most durable and may start to peel with heavy-handed use.
- 2-stage trigger - Better accuracy
- 400 FPS - Rapid shooting
- Reduced stock size - Lightweight
- Coated glass scope - Increased visibility and precision
- 3 arrows and quiver included - No separate purchases
- Some reports of paint peeling - Handle with care
Best Value Crossbow Buying Guide
Even budget crossbows can set you back a few hundred dollars, so you want to get your money’s worth. Keep reading for our guide on how to choose the best value crossbow for you.
What Type of Crossbow Shall I Get?
There are different types of crossbow, the main types being recurve and compound. The less common crossbows include the repeating crossbow and the rifle crossbow.
The recurve crossbow is probably the most recognizable of all the crossbows. It’s the oldest ancestor of the modern crossbow, inspired by the delicate curves that mark the ends of the bow that point away from the user.
The curves ensure that the string stays in place – the last thing you need is the string to flick out!
Recurve crossbows are perfect for target shooting, but some aren’t practical to carry out in the wilderness while hunting.
They tend to be larger than compound crossbows, and noticeably more audible. Unless you get an extra high quality recurve crossbow, it probably isn’t your best bet to go for a recurve design when you’re hunting easily-alerted game.
The compound crossbow has a more complex design than the recurve bow, and can, therefore, be more difficult to assemble when you receive it.
This is something worth considering, especially if you’re a beginner or have never had to put together a crossbow before.
However, once you’ve put everything together, it’s arguably easier to use a compound crossbow thanks to the short draw length they offer.
The limbs are shorter than others, which makes the overall design super sturdy.
Compound crossbows also tend to be noticeably heavier, so if you’re not the strongest of shooters, you’re probably best off starting with a different type of bow.
The compound is designed to minimize vibration and recoil, making it a super accurate and quiet device, perfect if you’re a hunter that wants to stay incognito.
As there are so many parts to the bow, it can be complicated to keep up with the maintenance of the bow – so you may have to get it repaired and maintained by a specialist if you’re not familiar with the routine.
What Else Should I Look for In A Crossbow?
Crossbows can be sophisticated devices, and there’s a lot to look out for when purchasing the best crossbow for you.
The speed of the bolt is predominantly determined by the draw weight, so the higher the draw weight the better.
Cam dynamics, kinetic energy, bolt weight, spine and power stroke can all contribute to the overall speed, so be sure to consider this when choosing a crossbow.
Most crossbows tend to fire between 300FPS and 400FPS (feet per second), but the pricier ones can reach higher speeds.
The standard value crossbow should offer speeds of around 345FPS.
Even the quietest of noises can startle a deer, so a loud crossbow will significantly lower your chances of catching your target when hunting.
When you release the bolt or arrow from a compound crossbow, the pulley mechanism can make noise.
For hunting, recurve crossbows are definitely quieter.
As crossbows are weapons, you need to be extra careful when handling one. Be sure to put safety first, as naturally, crossbows can cause significant damage.
Most crossbows come with an anti-dry fire feature or dry fire inhibitor, which prevents you from shooting the crossbow with no arrow in place.
Dry firing can be severely damaging to your crossbow. The energy gets released and goes right back into the bow, causing damage to the limbs, axles, cams and the string.
Similar to the mechanism used on guns to prevent you from shooting by accident, a lot of modern crossbows feature an auto-engaging safety feature.
The mechanical safety works similarly to the safety on a rifle – automatically set as soon as you draw the brow string.
There can be a lot to consider when deciding which is the best crossbow for you if you’re on a budget.
Speed, safety, noise, and the type of crossbow you want are all things you should consider, and hopefully, we’ve made your decision a bit clearer for you.
At Archery Edge, we think the best value crossbow has to be the Killer Instinct Hero 380. Not only is it affordable, but it’s super compact, lightweight, and can shoot arrows up to an impressive 380FPS.
You can shoot arrows super quick within a 1-inch area up to around 60 yards, making it the perfect choice for both target practice and hunting game.
What are your thoughts on the best value crossbow? Have you tried and tested any of these? Be sure to leave a comment below, and don’t forget to give this post a share.