Are you stuck in the process of choosing best crossbow in 2018?
Do you need some help from experts who had mastered in hunting with the crossbow for years and years? Then surely you are at right place.
Today you are going to see My list of 10 top rated crossbows,
How I made this list? By investing 52-54 hours I selected bows on the basis of Speed, Draw weight, Bow weight, and Safety. I have also picked some highly recommended bows from my fellow hunter group and reviewed it with my friends John and Steve (trust me these reviews are totally unbiased). [You can read detailed buyer’s guide down, below the product reviews]
Why should you trust me? because I am into hunting at least for 30 years and I know my stuff, as well as I, have several hunter friends who helped me in this.
- Best Crossbows 2018 (updated list)
- EXCALIBUR MATRIX 380 CROSSBOW PACKAGE – Best crossbow for hunting
- BARNETT GHOST 410 CRT CROSSBOW PACKAGE – the fastest Crossbow!
- WICKED RIDGE BY TENPOINT INVADER G3 CROSSBOW
- BARNETT QUAD 400 CROSSBOW PACKAGE – Best Crossbow under 500
- TENPOINT STEALTH FX4 CROSSBOW
- BARNETT WILDCAT C5 BLACK CROSSBOW
- CARBON EXPRESS INTERCEPT AXON CROSSBOW – Best reverse crossbow
- BARNETT OUTDOORS GHOST 360 – Value for Money
- BARNETT JACKAL CROSSBOW PACKAGE – Best beginner crossbow
- SA SPORTS FEVER CROSSBOW PACKAGE – Best cheap crossbow under $200
Best Crossbows 2018 (updated list)
Best Rated Crossbow Reviews and comparison 2018
The Excalibur Matrix 380 is a recurve crossbow that leaves most of the people who ever tried it speechless. At 35.6 inches, 5.9 pounds and with 260 pounds draw weight, it can reach speed up to 380 feet per second. Usually, compound crossbows are much more popular among hunters due to the greater power and speed, but this one is just as good, if not better thanks to the fact that for being a recurve it’s much quieter. Among Recurve crossbow it is the best crossbow on the market. it is 2018 excalibur crossbows available in the market.
- Outstanding performance
This recurve crossbow performs in a way superior to many compound crossbows out there. It’s as smooth, comfortable and easy to use as it can be, and with the speed it reaches, the power it generates, and the superb accuracy you can be sure that every kill you make will be as quick as painless as possible.no doubt it is best crossbow you can buy in 2018.
- Compact design
Recurve crossbows tend to be wider than the compound ones, which often times doesn’t make them quite suitable for hunting as the limbs can get stuck in the branches or it doesn’t fit in narrow spaces. However, the design of the Matrix 380 is very compact and can be used and handled during hunting much easier than other recurve, and also compound crossbows.
Recurve crossbows are known for generating less noise than a compound when an arrow is shot. Additionally, this specific crossbow includes suppressors that help to further reduce any noise, making it perfect for hunting as it will not startle your prey.
- Accurate and powerful.
- Lightweight and quiet.
- Built to last.
- It performs amazingly in whatever weather conditions.
- Easy to put together and maintain.
- Guardian Anti-Dry Fire System included.
- The package includes everything needed to start using the crossbow.
- It’s quite an investment.
- There are reports of the scope fogging up in damp conditions.
BARNETT GHOST 410 CRT CROSSBOW PACKAGE – the fastest Crossbow!
This is the true beast available on the market. It has no real competition when it comes to speed, accuracy or power, and it’s no wonder there are hardly any bad reviews about it out there. At 7.3 pounds and 22 inches, it’s one of the most compact crossbows, yet it’s almost one of the most powerful ones with the draw weight at 185 pounds and speed at 410 feet per second. THE FASTEST CROSSBOW!
The super-light carbon riser (or CRT – Carbonlite Riser Technology) makes this crossbow extremely comfortable and easy to handle and aim. This is mainly due to the fact that the weight of the crossbow is closer to the body, which makes it much easier to maneuver. It also makes it much lighter, so you’ll hardly notice its weight while hunting which makes it best crossbow in 2018 for deer hunting
- Speed, power, accuracy
It’s very difficult not to speak about one without mentioning the other. It takes a lot of power to produce 410 feet per second, and since the Ghost 410 CRT is one of the most accurate crossbows thanks to the overall design and high-quality scope, the power and speed always give the results you want, whether it’s when shooting a target or while hunting.
- Exceptional comfort
The comfort of this crossbow is exceptional. The fore-grip, which is resistant to moisture, helps keep the hand warm and also keeps your fingers safely away from the flight rail. The shoulder plate is large enough to ensure you can take your time while aiming without feeling any discomfort. And when you finally decide to pull the extremely smooth trigger, there’s little to no vibration since the limbs have split design and there’s less air resistance.
- Extremely lightweight and narrow – fits in most places.
- One of the most accurate crossbows currently available.
- Everything needed to start using it comes included in the package.
- One of the easiest crossbows to assemble.
- Anti-dry-firing safety.
- The fastest and most powerful crossbow on the list.
- Great quality scope.
- Such quality comes at a high price.
WICKED RIDGE BY TENPOINT INVADER G3 CROSSBOW
This makeover of the Invader HP, its very popular and successful predecessor is another lightweight compound crossbow to keep an eye out for. At only 6.6 pounds and 37.8 inches, reaching up to 330 feet per second speed and with a 165-pound draw weight, it is a more than suitable companion for target shooting or hunting trips.
- Less weight, more strength
Everything about this crossbow is meant to assure excellent performance. The Aluminium riser has cutouts placed on strategic places that help reduce the weight and increase the overall strength of the crossbow. However, this doesn’t, in any way, influence the balance. If anything, it’s even better, making it very easy to handle.
When it comes to a crossbow, safety is extremely important. The Invader G3 has a skeletal stock that works not only to improve function and performance but also increase the safety by keeping your hand out of the string’s way at all times. There are even safety wings above the grip on the stock to further assure your safety.
There is practically nothing more you could wish for when it comes to this crossbow’s performance. Its speed, reliability, smoothness and overall comfort make a great impression on the vast majority of archers or hunters, beginners or not, women or men, young or not-so-young, it doesn’t matter – such an amazing performance is universal.
- Reasonably priced.
- Easy to handle.
- Amazing balance.
- Stable in almost every condition.
- Smooth draw and powerful.
- Great for both beginners and advanced archers or hunters.
- Very easy to assemble.
- If used for hunting, it can be a bit too loud. It’s recommended to use a dampening system to address this issue
BARNETT QUAD 400 CROSSBOW PACKAGE – Best Crossbow under 500
The reason behind the Barnett Quad 400 is clear – to provide a compound crossbow as fast and accurate as possible and by doing so create the ultimate hunting tool. It’s 37 inches long and weighs 9 pounds. With its 150 pounds draw weight it can shoot as fast as 345 feet per second, this is one of the most powerful crossbows on this list.
- Gas Assist Stock
The high in density gas assist stock is the most signature feature of this crossbow. It’s the innovation that makes the bow lighter and stronger and there’s no other crossbow with this feature out there. And reducing the crossbow’s weight is rarely a bad thing.
- Thumbhole grip
One of the most noticeable improvements is the slot for the thumb, which helps get a better grip. This means that it’ll be easier and much more comfortable to be using this crossbow for hours at a time, along with helping improve the overall accuracy of your shooting.
Speed, along with accuracy, is what this crossbow is all about. The 15.5-inch-long power stroke with a parallel limb design is one of the main reasons behind the impressive 345 feet per second your arrows can reach before hitting the target.
- Easy to assemble, it shouldn’t take longer than 20min.
- Very simple to handle.
- The package includes everything you need to start using it.
- Maintains the same high level of performance in almost all weather conditions.
- Extremely powerful, accurate and reliable.
- If you ever decide to add a cocking deviceto your Quad 400, the attachment’s already there, making it much simpler to do.
- After a while, it can get heavy to be carrying around.
- There are many reports of the crossbows’ limbs and strings breaking.
TENPOINT STEALTH FX4 CROSSBOW
If you try searching for information online about this crossbow, a description you’ll come across quite a few times is “beast”. The Stealth SS successor, and at only 6.8 pounds, 34.4 inches, 185 draw weight and 370 feet per second speed, this description is not entirely inaccurate. It’s an extremely powerful compact compound crossbow, with a performance that impresses every time it’s used and quality that will keep this crossbow by your side for a long, long time.
- FST & Aluminum barrel
The size and weight of this crossbow make it perfect for hunting since it doesn’t take up a lot of space and it’s not too heavy to carry around. The FSB (Functionally Superior Bullpup) stock makes sure the weight is distributed in the most optimal manner and this, in combination with the Aluminum barrel, help reduce the weight to the impressive 6.8 pounds.
- Rubber dampener/safety wings
These connect the stock and the barrel and have a two-fold function. On the one hand, they keep the hand and the fingers safe and out of the string’s way, and on the other, they reduce vibration and noise. Thus, not only it works towards your safety, but also provides for an even more comfortable experience overall.
This crossbow is the successor of the Tenpoint Stealth SS, one that was well known for its outstanding performance. Although in weight, length and draw weight they are the same, the Stealth FX4 can produce a much higher speed, mainly due to the improvement in the limbs and an inch longer draw stroke.
- Considering the draw weight, it’s very quiet.
- Extremely powerful, accurate and fast.
- Very easy to cock.
- The package it comes in is complete, nothing else is needed to start using it.
- Smooth draw and excellent performance.
- High-quality scope included in the package.
- On the more expensive side
BARNETT WILDCAT C5 BLACK CROSSBOW
The Barnett Wildcat C5 is based on one of the most sold crossbows and for good reason. The combination of speed, performance and comfort are virtually incomparable and at 8.5 pounds, 35.2 inches, 320 feet per second, 150 draw weight, it can easily turn out to be your perfect companion whether you’re hunting or target shooting.
Being that it’s one of the main arguments, it only makes sense there was quite a bit of thought put into this feature. The thumb-hole grip fits any hand perfectly and keeps the fingers out of the string’s path, and when shot there’s little to no vibration and/or recoil. You’ll also notice that the trigger is as smooth as it can be and the travel distance is similar to that of a rifle (neither too short or too long).
Made in the USA and using GAM (Gas Assisted Molding) technology to work on the compound materials, which is a process that creates different components and, as an end result provides more a more durable product, the Wildcat C5 won’t disappoint.
Despite the bow being on the heavier side, it’s perfectly balanced, in combination with the high-quality design, it’s all that’s needed for accurate shots at any distance.
- Excellent value for money!
- Excellent performance and accuracy even when shooting over 50 yards’ distance.
- Made to last.
- Anti-dry-firing mechanism.
- Great for beginners as it doesn’t need a lot of maintenance.
- Very quiet for a compound crossbow.
- Easy to aim thanks to the overall balance of the crossbow.
- The 3-dot sight in the package is on the average side and requires regular adjusting.
- It’s on the heavier side, so it might take some getting used to.
CARBON EXPRESS INTERCEPT AXON CROSSBOW – Best reverse crossbow
This is a unique crossbow, taking into consideration that it’s highly customizable. You can literally make it your own when it comes to length (from 30.25 to 35 inches) and add the accessories you wish thanks to the Picatinny Rail. At 175 pounds draw weight and 8.3 pounds it can reach speed over 360 feet per second, making it one of the fastest and most powerful crossbows available.
- Picatinny Rail
The crossbow includes a patent-pending 29 inches long Picatinny rail where you can add the accessories of your choosing and thus make it entirely your own and even adapt it for a specific situation you know you’ll be using it for. It accommodates most of military and commercial AR parts, so there truly are next to no limits to how you can personalize your crossbow.
The scope that comes with the crossbow is of excellent quality. It’s sighted in quickly and no matter the time, the usage or the transportation, the zero holds. This way you can always count on being able to use the crossbow with no previous re-sighting it in.
Given that this crossbow is completely customizable, one might expect it to perform better or worse with more added accessories or at certain lengths. It’s quite the opposite. Regardless of your preferred settings and the accessories you add, the Carbon Express Intercept Axon remains just as powerful, accurate, fast and comfortable, making for an extremely reliable crossbow.
- Extremely accurate.
- Completely customizable.
- Compatible with most military and commercial AR accessories.
- Compact design, making it perfect for hunting.
- Anti-dry-firing mechanism designed for right and left handed hunters/shooters.
- Powerful, fast and accurate.
- On the heavier side.
BARNETT OUTDOORS GHOST 360 – Value for Money
This compound crossbow is an excellent choice if you’re looking for speed, but are not willing to compromise on the size or the weight. At only 7 pounds and 36 inches, this is considered a compact crossbow, one that’s easy to carry around all day long. However, the 165 pounds draw weight and 360 feet per second speed make for an extremely powerful and effective piece of hunting equipment.
- Carbon Riser Technology
This patented technology is the reason this compound crossbow is as light as it is. To put a number to it, it’s 43% lighter than its competitors and this difference can make all the difference in the world if you plan on carrying it around all day long.
- 5-in-1 safety
This is a feature that Barnett uses in its premium crossbows, and its sole purpose is to protect the archer/hunter and anyone around as much as possible. However, this also works towards making the crossbow last longer, since it’s not being destroyed by dry firing.
- High-Quality materials
Only the best and most enduring materials are used to make the Ghost 360. The flight track is made of Aluminium and limbs are custom composite laminated. All of these make for a crossbow that keeps its original shape, accuracy and speed for a long, long time.
- Lightweight, at only 7 pounds it’s perfectly balanced and thus suitable for shorter or not-as-strong hunters as well.
- Fast, accurate and reliable.
- The package includes everything needed, there’s no need for additional purchases.
- Extremely easy to assemble, it should take less than 20min.
- The scope can be adjusted to the hunter’s preference.
- The scope is not the best if your target is more than 40 yards away.
- It can be a bit loud for hunters.
BARNETT JACKAL CROSSBOW PACKAGE – Best beginner crossbow
The elegant and sleek design, top notch technology and high-quality materials of this compound crossbow make it perfect both for beginners and expert archers/hunters. It weighs 7.7 pounds, is 35.5 inches long, and has a 150 pounds draw weight. It’s available in a package with everything you need to start using it almost immediately.
- Speed and accuracy
For those who are looking for speed, this is an excellent crossbow. Its maximum speed is 315 feet per second, making it an excellent choice both for hunting and target shooting. It takes a lot of power to produce such speed, but the amazing part about this is that, with all the power and speed, it’s not any less accurate.
- Automated safety
Dry firing (firing without an arrow) can be very damaging for the crossbow, and sometimes even for the people that are around it when it happens. The Barnett Jackal has an anti-dry-firing technology which activates as soon as the crossbow’s cocked, keeping it in safety mode until fired.
- Red Dot Sight
The crossbow comes with a red 3-dot sight, which can greatly assist the archer/hunter when it comes to hitting the target. There are a variety of brightness settings available and it can also be used in red or green. However, it runs on batteries, so it’s recommendable to always have some with you, just in case.
- It’s one of the most affordable crossbows available.
- Since it comes in a package, there’s no worrying where to get the rest of the equipment involved.
- Extremely powerful, accurate and fast.
- Lightweight and smaller than other compound crossbows.
- Made to last.
- Very easy to put together.
- An excellent choice for beginners.
- Some hunters find it to be a bit loud.
- The package doesn’t include a rope cocking device.
SA SPORTS FEVER CROSSBOW PACKAGE – Best cheap crossbow under $200
The first recurve crossbow on this list is one that is the go-to option for many hunters out there, due to its reduced weight (4.85 pounds), length (31 inches), draw weight (175 pounds), speed (240 feet per second) and easy of use and maintenance. Once received, everything that’s needed to assemble it, go out and start using it, is included in the package.
- Safe and easy to cock
It has an included rope-cocking device and once it’s cocked, the automated safety mechanism prevents from the bow firing automatically. This makes it perfect for crossbow beginners.
- Scope included
The crossbow includes an adjustable 4×32 Multirange scope. It’s an excellent addition to the crossbow, with great fog protection and works great in daylight and even during those cold winter days, and it will help improve your aim.
- Light and compact
The overall design of this crossbow, its weight and size, make it a perfect companion for any hunting trips. Not being heavy or huge, it’s easy to carry around all day long, and being easy to cock means you can have it ready to shoot in almost a blink of an eye.
- The package includes everything needed to get started.
- Great value for money.
- Very easy to assemble.
- An excellent choice for beginners.
- Ambidextrous safety to keep the crossbow from firing automatically once it’s cocked.
- The quiver that comes in the package is easily detached and of great quality.
- High-quality materials.
- It’s not as accurate as one would hope for.
- It’s not the best choice for hunting big animals (a moose, for example).
Types of Crossbow
Crossbow buyer’s Guide
Over the years more and more crossbow manufacturers launched their ideas of the best crossbow, therefore when trying to find one that’s perfect for you, the situation can quickly become overwhelming. Here are a few things you should always take into consideration when buying your first or next crossbow:
- Speed of the crossbow
Depending on the overall purpose you plan on using the crossbow for, you might be looking for the highest possible speed. If that’s the case, then you should consider using a reverse crossbow or a compound one. Another thing that you should check when it comes to speed is that the bolt used is of the correct strength and size to assure maximum speed.
- Draw weight of the bow
The draw weight can be very different from one crossbow type to another, depending mainly on the how much pull it takes to draw the crossbow. It has a great impact on speed, the highest the weight, the faster the arrow speed.
- Bow weight (lighter is better for long hunt)
Choosing a heavier crossbow will help when it comes to assuring stability because it won’t be moving around and it will be easier for you to control. However, if you plan to use your crossbow for hunting and you know you’ll be walking around all day, carrying it, a lighter one might be a better idea. In any case, and despite the fact that a crossbow is rather easy to handle, always also take into consideration your strength and how much you can carry without getting tired.
Noise is a big factor if you plan on using your crossbow for hunting, for example. You’ll want your crossbow to be as quiet as possible, and although there have been great advancements in aspects, the recurve crossbow remains the quietest type. However, a recurve is not as fast as a compound or reverse one, therefore you’ll be forced to choose between noise or speed.
Each brand or manufacturer is different to the other, which is why you should take the time necessary to go to a store and try as many as possible before making a final decision. You’ll be surprised the difference you might feel between one crossbow and another, despite the specifications being very similar.
Once you decide on the brand, the next step should always be to research the internet and consult other archers or bowhunters that might have experience with the specific brand. You want to get as much information as possible before making the purchase.
There are expensive crossbows and there are cheap ones. As appealing as it might be to spend the smallest amount of money possible, especially for your first crossbow, remember that you’ll be getting what you’re paying for. Usually (although not always), quality costs, and having a low-quality crossbow is something you should definitely avoid.
CONCLUSION FOR BEST CROSSBOWS 2018
In this article we’ve gone through our top 10 recommendations for best crossbow 2018 . They each have their advantages and disadvantages, and it’s always advisable to take time and go to a reseller to check them in person. That much more so if you’re thinking about purchasing one of the more expensive options, but have never seen or held it.
Whichever your final choice might be and whichever crossbow you decide to buy, make sure you get enough information on how to maintain it and that you always do your best to assure the safety of the people around you, as well as yourself. The good thing is that crossbows nowadays come with a safety mechanism and, especially recurve ones, are very easy to maintain.
Using a crossbow is an amazing and exciting experience like few others. Although it’s technically a bow, the way it’s used is very different, and there’s not so much need for technique and upper body strength as there is with a bow. This makes the crossbow the perfect choice if you’re in it for the thrill of power and speed, and not the challenge of mastering the technique.