Cheap Rangefinder for Bow Hunting – Buyers Guide

Cheap Rangefinder for Bow Hunting

When you are hunting there is nothing more frustrating than trying to guess the distance to your target. You can often be left totally misjudging the distance and missing your target.

Though when you get a rangefinder you won’t have this problem and you can get to the most important thing at hand, the actual hunting.

The great thing is you really don’t have to break the bank to get a good quality rangefinder. There are rangefinders out there for a fraction of the cost can do an impeccable job. Below are my favorite 3 options that offer quality and affordability.

Cheap Rangefinder for Bow Hunting – My Top 3

#3 LaserWorks LW1000SPI

LaserWorks LW1000SPI

While this LaserWorks rangefinder isn’t the best option when it comes to quality, I simply had to include it in my top 3 because of how great a product you get for such a low and affordable price point, let me explain why.

First of its design is quite simple and basic and it is coated in an almost rubber like material which makes it easier to grip. This design offers water resistance and dust resistance too which not only protects from water and moisture in the air but this will undoubtedly increase the life span of this rangefinder.

For general functionality, you have 2 buttons one to switch the mode and the other to measure the distance to the target. There is no power button as it automatically powers off after 15 seconds. Its range goes from 5 all the way up to 1000 yards and can reportedly go all the way up to 1600 yards for a reflective target. You also have access to a 6x magnification which is a surprising feature to be included at this low price point. When it comes to the actual speed of measurement it is lightning fast and almost immediate.

For this low price point I was a little concerned that the lenses and the general viewing may be subpar but I was pleasantly surprised, it’s nice and clear and I found it quite good and effective to use.

When it comes to downsides if you want pin point accuracy this probably isn’t your best bet. Though in my testing for short range it was always within 1 yard of the actual correct distance. Also, if you want more features like being able to judge the effective distance and angle for firing a bow you won’t find this here.

Advantages
  • Very cheap
  • Simple to use
  • Compact
  • Waterproof
Disadvantages
  • Limited feature set

#2 Nikon 16224 Arrow

Nikon 16224 Arrow

If you didn’t immediately notice this Nikon rangefinder is called the Arrow for a reason. Its designed primarily with bow hunting in mind. Though of course you can use it for other tasks as well if you need to.

The design of this Nikon is quite simple yet its small and lightweight and about the size of my palm for reference. It has one button for getting the range and the other for changing the mode you are currently using.

For its range effectiveness, it works from 6 yards all the way up to 550 yards which is more than enough for any hunting target. It’s just a matter of lining up and pressing the button to get the perfect distance. In terms of accuracy its very good and I always found it to be about perfect with the biggest offset being 0.5 yards which is impressive for such an affordable device.

As I mentioned there is a mode button, this switches between the standard mode and the ID mode which stand for incline/decline. Basically, what is does is it measures the horizontal distance from your position to the target. This is mainly useful if you are hunting in a big slopping area, getting this horizontal distance instead of the line of sight distance makes hitting your shot that much easier.

It’s also worth mentioning it has a scan mode where if you hold the range button it will continuously update the range for a maximum of 8 seconds. This is most useful on a moving target of course.

Once in a while it won’t give the measurement on first attempt, this is usually because it couldn’t pick up your target, after a couple more tries it always did work, though it was a rare occurrence it did happen a handful of times in my usage.
Advantages
  • Great value
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Durable
  • Accurate
  • Great horizontal distance mode
Disadvantages
  • Occasionally won’t read certain objects on first attempt

#1 Bushnell Team Primos The Truth

Bushnell Team Primos The Truth

Bushnell are known for creating quality products and this rangefinder is no different. It has a small and lightweight design that you can easily carry in your pocket or even around your neck using the included neck strap. You also great a nice quality carrying case with is which is handy for storage. The rangefinder is made from a nice material which is easy to hold even in the rain.

The device is also rainproof which means any little dampness or rain will not do it any harm though it’s not fully waterproofed.

For its effective range, it works from 7 yards all the way up to 850 yards. Though for tree ranging its effective range is more like 600 yards and for deer ranging 200 yards.

The one thing that I really liked with this rangefinder is the “bow mode”. So basically, how it works is when you press a button for the yardage the standard LOS (line of sight) distance will be displayed. Then you will press and hold the button again for 2 seconds then you will be given an angle compensated yardage and an angle which is displayed in degrees. This feature is mostly useful when trying to measure your effective distance on more slopping ground. You also have access to 4x magnification which is helpful for longer range target acquisition.

In my testing under 100 yards the accuracy was amazing and was usually only 0.1 or 0.2 yards off the actual distance at most which was very impressive for such an affordable device.

On a final note when you are making use of the bow mode the screen becomes a bit cluttered with numbers which I am not a fan off.
Advantages
  • Affordable
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Very accurate
  • Effective bow mode
Disadvantages
  • Screen can become a bit cluttered when using bow mode

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David Gray is a 26 year old blogger. He is website designer that graduated from Queens University with a BSc in Computer Science.

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