Release aids are an incredible tool compound archers use to have better control over the bowstring release. This allows the archer to shoot much faster and more accurate arrows, not wasting energy on anything but the arrow’s movement. These aids come in many different shapes and forms, where each type of release is used in a different way.

I’ve actually written a complete guide on release aids, breaking down the different types of release aids and how to use them without falling into the common bad form traps. This article will be different, focused on choosing the specific release aid to fit your needs.

If you’re just getting your first release aid, I’d go with an index finger release, specifically the TruFire Hardcore (link to Amazon). Index finger releases are the most intuitive to use for beginners, and this specific release will be great as a starter. Make sure you keep your form right!

Like all my product recommendations, I won’t be listing the most high-end equipment in the market just because it’s easy. Release aids are a bit different than other parts of your equipment – getting a bad release can result in it breaking and a dangerous accidental shot.

That’s why I do suggest investing a bit more into a good release aid that you’ll be comfortable and safe with, which will probably be useful to you for a longer time.

Note: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means that if you buy through one of them, I’ll earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you. It’s a great way to support the website.

My top release aid picks

I’ve gathered a lot of information and did research on a ton of release aids. I’ve come up with a single recommendation for each type of release aid. I’ll explain the main considerations here.

Index finger release: TruFire Hardcore

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Though a bit expensive compared to other models, the TruFire Hardcore (link to Amazon) is definitely a great investment. You can find other release aids for a more affordable price, but this release aid will probably remain as new for years. It’s good for all archers, but especially for those who are interested in bowhunting.

What makes the TruFire Hardcore stand out, in my opinion, is both the advanced technology it was designed with and the high-quality build. It’s currently the only index finger release with a rotating head, that lowers the torque at full draw. This eliminates effects on the force applied to the arrow that may change its expected path.

The release straps themselves are made of durable leather with added padding for comfort. The quality of the material ensures that it won’t wear off as quickly as other models.

If you’re a beginner just getting your first release aid, this one would be my recommendation. A great index finger release with a wrist strap would be ideal for you, mainly because it’s so intuitive to use. This one is especially good for beginners, mainly because of how adjustable it is: you can change both the size of the straps, the pressure of the trigger, etc. This will help you find the ideal configurations for you.

Note that some customers say that the hook doesn’t always automatically reset itself after the shot, which can be a bit of a hassle. Some do note that with a bit of lubrication this issue is solved.

All and all this release aid is, in my opinion, one of the best in the market. The recommendation is a bit on the expensive end, but I think it’s well worth the price, and that the investment will pay for itself by having a great release that you don’t have to replace because of wear and tear like other models.

If you’re looking for more of a budget option, the TruFire Edge (link to Amazon) is a good choice. It’s around half the price of the TruFire Hardcore, and has most of its features. It’s also as durable. There are obviously models even cheaper than the TruFire Edge, but most of them are non-branded, which I wouldn’t go for. If you’re intimidated to spend a lot of money on the TrueFire Hardcore, I’d go for the TruFire Edge.

Thumb release aid: Carter Chocolate Addiction

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Carter is known to be one of the best release aid brands in the market, and many consider them to be the best. The Carter Chocolate Addiction (link to Amazon) is a great thumb release aid, for beginner to advanced. Like the previous recommendation, it’s a bit on the expensive end, but the value for money is definitely good here.

The main thing this model shines in is consistency. Unlike other models, it will release your arrow in a crisp, quick movement, that will be exactly the same every time. This will enable you to get used shooting with the release and improve your performance quicker.

The build of the trigger itself is also incredible. It’s a bit bulky but feels strong and durable. Some people do note that it takes time to get used to, because it’s a bit big and heavy.

One more thing to note is the adjustability of this release. You can change and tune almost every aspect of the release, including the trigger location, trigger tension, and the trigger travel. That’s really important for making shooting easy for you, and getting the most out of your aid.

Note that some people mention that the release, like many others, clicks a bit when triggered. Most compound bows will make more noise by releasing the arrow, so I don’t think this should be a deal-breaker even for bowhunters.

All around I’m sure you’ll be happy if you decide to go with the Carter Chocolate Addiction release aid. It fits all types of archers, at every skill level. It is a bit on the expensive end but I think it’s a great investment.

Hinge release: Tru Ball Fang 4

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TruBall is another well-known release aids brand with a high-quality line of products. The TruBall Sweet Spot II (link to Amazon) is one of the best hinge releases in the market, with a durable and reliable build with spots for 4 fingers.

What I like about this release aid the most is that unlike other models, it has a safety. This makes it really appealing for beginner archers that are still learning the proper back tension shooting technique. If you’re confident that you’re not going to have accidental shot flying around, you’ll be more relaxed and able to properly perform the shot.

In addition, this model has really simple adjustments for the trigger sensitivity, and an easy trigger reset. In hinge release aids, after taking the shot, most releases require you to ready them to the next shot by resetting the hook to the proper position. It’s really simple to do with this one – you just have to pull the trigger again and you’re ready to go!

This release is very affordable, even though it’s of a well-known brand. I think it’s great for its value for money. It’s a good entry level hinge release, which you can use for learning proper back tension technique. This is a great choice of a hinge release in my opinion.

Resistance activated release: Carter Evolution 3

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Another release from the famous brand Carter, this time a resistance activated release aid. The Carter Evolution 3 (link to Amazon) a really well built, high-quality piece of equipment, but a bit expensive. I think it’s good for the money though – especially for a resistance activated release that archers tend to buy and use for a long time.

The things I like most about this release aid is how accurate and consistent it is. It’s a bit hard to get used to using a resistance activated release aid, but the more consisted the release is, the easier it gets. I think this one is great for that reason – you’ll be able to tune your form and properly perform your shots in no time.

The release’s trigger has an adjustable weight trigger, which is really good for beginners. You’ll be able to take full advantage of your draw weight with it. This release itself is sharp and clean.

if you prefer a 4 finger design, the 4 fingered Carter Evolution release is also available on Amazon. Some people prefer it much better, mainly because they got used to using a 4-finger release or because they feel they have a more stable hold with one. I think both releases are equally good, and though they are a bit on the expensive end, they are a great investment you’ll be using a long time.

How to choose a release aid

There are a few things you should consider when choosing your release aid. It might be a small accessory, but many compound archers use a release aid and improve their archery score significantly as a result. To enjoy the full benefits of your release, here are some things to think about.


Whether you choose a handheld release or one mounted on wrist straps, you’d want to adjust it to your needs. Think about trigger tension, trigger location, the length of the straps (if it has any), etc. You don’t want to have a hard time reaching the trigger, or not being able to pull it because of a high weight setting.

It’s especially important if you’re a beginner because you’ll probably change the settings frequently in order to tune into what’s most comfortable for you.


This is mainly relevant for bowhunters, who don’t want to alert their target by making loud noises when shooting. Some release aids make clicking noises when triggered. If you’re into bowhunting, make sure you get a release that doesn’t make noise when you’re shooting.


The build and bulkiness of the release aid can significantly change the way you shoot with it. You want to get a release aid small enough to comfortably fit your hand, but still be thick and bulky enough so it can hold a high draw weight. It really depends on the size of your hands, though most release aids are designed to be comfortable for people with standard hand size.


Release aids are an incredible accessory for compound archers. I’ve given you my top recommendations for any type of release aid, which I’m sure you’ll be happy with if you decide to purchase. We also went over the top things you should consider when getting a release aid – even if you decide to get a different one, these things are good to think about. I’m sure that by following the tips in the post you’ll be able to get a release aid that fits your needs and you’ll have a good time using.