This is a guide to find the best 4 finger bow release for hunters. The list provided compares the features of 11 releases that have been recommended by bow hunters. 

The use of a bow release increases accuracy and repeatability for many hunters and shooters. The single contact point with the string eliminates the impact of any inadvertent movement at the moment of release.

There a couple of release styles that dominate the market, namely wrist and handheld releases. Of the handheld releases the types that a lot of people use is the 4 finger release.

For many, the four finger release provides the greatest level of control and comfort while going through the draw and hold phase of the shot.

Immediately below is a table that lists all of the 4 finger bow releases that are examined on this page. You can use this list to get a quick comparison of each of the makes and models available.

Further down the page is a more complete review of each release with a more thorough examination of the features and reasons why it may be your preferred option.

List of 4 Finger Bow Releases

Make / Model








Stan Perfex Thumb Release

Thumb / Resistance



Carter Chocolate Addiction Bow Release






















TRU Ball Sweet Spot II Ultra 4 Release







Detailed Description of 4 Finger Bow Releases

Now that we have had the opportunity to compare some releases and get an idea about their basic individual characteristics we will take the opportunity to go into more detail.

Below is a more detailed review of each make and model including features that might make them the more appealing option. 

Carter Evolution+ Release 4

Best Four Finger Back Tension Release

This is a resistance activated release which means it will fire when resistance is increased. This takes place after you have drawn back into the valley and then taken the thumb off the safety.

As a back tension release there is no trigger to have to worry about and no need to go through any rotation as you prepare to fire.

The release is easy to latch onto a string D-loop.

What makes this release such a good choice is it can help in teaching shooters the way to properly execute the shot. For archers who have had trouble in working out when to take the shot and have experienced an annoying jump at release, allowing the release to make the call is a great alternative.

Stan Perfex Thumb Release

Best Four Finger Thumb Release

There is little doubt that the Stan Perfex provides the bow hunter an enormous amount of freedom in choosing the release set-up.

The Perfex is available as a three finger release or a four finger release with the inclusion of a finger extension. You also have the choice of a short or long neck model to alter the draw length.

If you choose the long neck version, it comes with a spring loaded string keeper allowing you to leave it clipped to the D-loop.

Similarly, the release is available with a resistance activated mechanism if you’d prefer it to the thumb activated mechanism.

The trigger tension is adjustable from extremely light to heavy. You can also set it for zero trigger travel.

So for the greatest level of versatility as well as a solid, reliable and high quality handheld release the Stan Perfex is one of the best releases on the market.

Find out more about the products and the company by visiting the Stan Release Aids website.

Carter Chocolate Addiction Bow Release

Carter Chocolate Addiction Bow Release

The Chocolate Addiction is a high quality thumb release that suits bow hunters who are after a crisp, accurate handheld release.

It is particularly comfortable in the hand and is suited to bow hunters with large hands. The design of the grip fits securely into the hand making it easy to hook into a D-loop.

It has a unique 360-degree rotating head making it appealing to a wide variety of people.

There are three holes at the base of the trigger lever. One adjusts the trigger travel, the other two are spring loaded to control the trigger tension.

This is one of the best thumb releases on the market today and you will pay a premium to use it.

Recent buyers have agreed that the premium price is well worth it because of accuracy and comfort factors.

Visit the Carter Enterprises website for more information about the Chocolate Addiction and other releases in the company’s range.

Tru-Fire Hardcore Revolution Release

The Hardcore Revolution takes the features from the popular original Hardcore release and has added more to make it a more versatile choice.

It has a head rotation of 360 degrees that moves smoothly on an 11 ball bearing system. Once you have reached the position that is most comfortable you can then lock it into place. This pivoting head makes it very easy to find a consistent anchor point which helps with accuracy.

The trigger tension and travel can be adjusted independently at the turn of a set screw. You can also locate the trigger knob in 1 of 16 different positions.

It also comes with an adjustable lanyard so you can keep it on your wrist at all times where it can be quickly used.

Visit the Feradyne Outdoors website for more information about the 4 finger release.

Hot Shot Vapor 4 Release

The Vapor 4 bow release is a great value thumb release that offers plenty of adjustment options in a simple design that can be relied upon to perform strongly.

This is a release that has been initially aimed at the hunter but will also prove very effective on the 3D course. It is lightweight and comfortable and noticeably silent.

The trigger tension is fully adjustable. It has an auto-close hook so there is no cocking mechanism. The design of the hook ensures that the release is torque free from the D-loop.

The design of the release includes an intentionally greater surface area at the fingers compared to other similar releases so that finger fatigue is reduced.

This is a very popular 4 finger release at a great price which means a lot of happy hunters.

More information as well as the instructions manual can be found on the Hot Shot Manufacturing website.

Spot Hogg Whipper Snapper 4 Finger Release

The Whipper Snapper is a high quality thumb release that is designed to assist the serious shooter through the promise of a high degree of repeatability.

It is a narrow contoured release that is designed to fit neatly in the hand for maximum comfort and to ensure it can be properly positioned to make repeatable and consistent shots.

The trigger is crisp and can be adjusted using a single screw that is used for both the trigger travel and the tension. Once the trigger has been set it is locked in and won’t move through repeated use. So that it will suit different hand sizes it is possible to adjust the position of the trigger barrel with two position choices available.

This thumb release is designed for use in a D-Loop hookup only and it is available in open jaw or closed jaw configurations.

It is possible to view video instructions on the Whipper Snapper by visiting the Spot Hogg website.

Tru-Fire Edge 4-Finger Hand Held Release

This is another thumb release from Tru-Fire and it provides a head that rotates a full 360 degrees so that the hand can remain comfortable throughout the entire draw and release process.

The release features a dual hinge opening and the thumb knob is completely adjustable as is the trigger travel.

The release is suitable for all experience levels and represents one of the best value for money options available. This makes it a very good bow release for someone new to using them.

The full head rotation and the thumb knob adjustment means that the release can be used by either a right or a left handed shooter.

The release handle and head is made from CNC machined solid aluminum and it is designed to fit comfortably in the hand.

T.R.U. Ball Max Pro 4 Release

The Max Pro 4 is a thumb release that uses caliper jaws that move slickly and silently. The design of the jaws that are set on a smaller head means that you can achieve a longer draw length and this means faster bow speed.

This is a well-built release that feels substantial in the hand yet it is neatly compact. It features a swivel head that can rotate through 360 degrees making it easier to load when attempting to grab the string loop.

The trigger travel can be adjusted through the use of a screw. Some people have reported that this screw can be loose out of the box and could be tightened using Loc Tite.

The finger grips have been designed with embedded grooves to improve the grip to ensure there is no chance of slipping.

Note - A health warning is included for this product: WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals including Nickel Acetate, which is known to the state of California to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information visit

Visit the Tru Ball website to get more information about this release.

T.R.U. Ball Fang 4 Release

The Fang release is another thumb release. This one uses a hook-style jaw that is paired with a Full Containment System (FCS). When the release is attached to the D-Loop you can slide the FCS forward to lock it on.

It is possible to adjust the tension spring of the release from no sensitivity spring for a light touch to a medium or heavy spring if you prefer a firmer trigger.

The trigger travel adjustment screw makes it possible to position the trigger to the exact preferred spot. It is also possible to adjust the thumb barrel position.

The way in which the release works is that it will fire at the pull of the trigger and then, when the trigger is pulled a second time the hook will be reset and ready for the next shot.

Note - A health warning is included for this product: WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals including Nickel Acetate, which is known to the state of California to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information visit

Visit the Tru Ball website to get more information about this release.

T.R.U. Ball Sweet Spot II Ultra 4 Release

TRU Ball Sweet Spot II Ultra 4 Release

This is a handheld release created with the feature of variable firing positions for the same travel with every shot.

It is a solid thumb release that is CNC machined and assembled in the USA.

The spring loaded head makes reloading quick and easy, hooking directly to a D Loop.

You can control the travel by deciding when to release the thumb lever. Push the thumb lever forward when you draw your bow and then release the lever when you’re ready to begin back tension.

It is easy to adjust the sensitivity with only one set screw.

This is a 4 finger bow release designed to offer the shooter a simple yet highly useful aid. It is all provided at a very competitive price, too.  

Visit the Tru Ball website to get more information about this release.

Carter Insatiable

The Insatiable release is one of the founding fathers of the Carter thumb release range. It is a straight forward release that is simple in design and function and that makes it very popular with pros who expect their equipment to work every time.

The release body is made from CNC machined 6061 T6 aluminum while the internal components are made from 1018 cold roll steel.

It looks different to other 4 finger releases thanks to the arched handle which is designed to put the elbow into a more natural position so that the shooter has greater control. It uses the new Interchangeable tension System (ITS) which allows the springs to be changed with a minimum of fuss.

It has smooth, rounded edges in order to allow the holding pressure to be dispersed evenly across the fingers.

More information about this release and others as well as the instruction manual can be found by visiting the Carter Enterprises website.

Tips For Shooting A Four Finger Thumb Release When Hunting

The following are a few tips that will be useful to help you use your four finger thumb release properly:

Hold the thumb release firmly by placing your fingers in the finger grooves. You should find that all of your fingers sit comfortably within the handpiece as you proceed to hook up.

When you draw the bowstring, place your thumb behind the release’s trigger. Once you reach your anchor point, wrap it around the trigger, and pull until the arrow releases. 

Try to use as little thumb pressure as possible. Steadily draw back until the arrow launches, it will do this as the release rotates naturally like a hinge release.

Use your middle and index knuckles as reference points to find your anchor. Line them up with your jawline at around an angle of 45 degrees.

To get a more in depth summary of valuable tips about the techniques you should try to employ when shooting a thumb release, watch this video.

Hand Held Bow Release Types

When dealing with 4 finger releases we have been exposed to 2 different types of hand held releases: the thumb release and the back tension release.

Thumb Releases

The more preferred option out of these two types is the thumb release or trigger release. As the name suggests this type allows the shooter to control the moment of release by pressing on the trigger with the thumb.

This is a very customizable way of shooting. You can set the tension of the trigger to be quite light or much stronger depending on how hard you wish to push before deploying.

The downside with this type of release is that some people experience string jump at the moment of release because they anticipate firing.

Back Tension Releases

The back tension release can take a bit of getting used to but has been proven to be an aid to greater accuracy.

This type of release works by deploying the release functionality through drawing further back on the bow string. They involve safety switches which are engaged through the early stages of the draw and hold sequence. Once the string is held you release the safety and then draw back further which triggers the release.

Many archers find that due to not knowing the exact moment when the release is going to take place there is little or no jump or twitch experienced and their shots are more accurate.

Why Use A Thumb Release?

The popularity of using thumb releases for bow hunting has been growing in recent years. Hunters have noticed that target shooters use handheld releases but would still like to control when the shot breaks.

A thumb button makes this possible.

Here are a few reasons why you might benefit from making the switch from a finger trigger to a thumb release.

Feels More Natural at Full Draw

When you draw the bow with a thumb release your hand will rotate so that the palm faces away from you.

This puts you in a position of strength and the draw will ultimately feel more natural.

Overcome target panic

The way in which the thumb wraps around the button provides a tight lock. The button is firmly in place at full draw and then the hand extends backwards after the bow is drawn.

The button is triggered naturally as the hand extends.

This replaces a conscious trigger pull that is required with a finger trigger.

Easier to achieve the surprise shot

The advantage of a back tension type of release is that you’re not controlling the shot - significant for shooters who have experienced target panic.

Proper use of the thumb release brings in the surprise element.

Uses a larger muscle group which improves consistent shot execution

The muscle group that controls the thumb is larger than the muscle group for the finger.

This provides greater strength and, ultimately, greater accuracy.

Can hold the draw better

Because the hand anchors with the back of the hand resting against your jaw, you’re in a naturally strong and steady position.

From this position you can hold the draw for a long period without faltering.

Attaches to the D-loop

Once you’ve attached the release to the D-Loop you can leave it there in place as you move around and get comfortable.

It is a quick process to pick up the release, ready to draw.

3 Finger or 4 Finger Release?

Shooters who like using hand-held releases have a choice of handle sizes that they might prefer to use with the most common being either 3-finger or 4-finger releases.

There is no such thing as a “best” type of bow release, but it could be argued that there is one that will best suit your personal preference.

It comes down to what feels the most comfortable in the hand and which type might offer greater control.

Listed below are some of the reasons given as to why shooters prefer either a 3-finger or a 4-finger bow release.

3-Finger Release

4-Finger Release

- People believe they get better feel of back tension on the shot

- Allows more pulling pressure

- You are able to shoot with less torque

- The ability to anchor the pinky makes it more comfortable to draw and release

- You are able to achieve greater consistency and repeatability

- Provides a stable base and is a good starting choice for shooters new to using a handheld release

It is highly recommended to try a number of different handheld releases before making your choice.

It’s common for people to start with a 4-finger release and then, as they progress cut down to a 3-finger and then even a 2-finger release.

The trigger mechanism may also be a factor in your choice with a thumb trigger and hinge style that uses back tension being the options.

It is possible that a 4-finger release combined with the hinge style release is a preferable choice than a thumb trigger.

Is A Release Aid Necessary For A Compound Bow?

You can shoot a compound bow without a release aid, and many people do.

Some compound bows are designed to be finger shooters. Generally speaking, they are longer axle-to-axle bows.

Where the release proves valuable is the accuracy of the shot. Shooting from fingers can cause bias left or right, particularly if you are inexperienced.

Additionally, the draw weight of a compound bow is quite heavy. Repeated draw and release cycles will soon become uncomfortable for the tips of your fingers. Using a release aid is going to allow you to shoot for longer in relative comfort.

How Should A Bow Release Fit?

If you use a release with a wrist strap you should simply wrap the strap around your wrist so that it is snug but not tight. The release should rest at the base of the upturned palm.

When it is comfortable and you have done some shooting with it, put a mark on the strap so that it can be done up exactly the same next time you shoot and the release will be in the exact same spot every time you shoot.

Handheld releases are available in a few different shapes. The Carter Insatiable +, for example has a curved handle that is designed to ergonomically position the hand.

Other bow releases provide a straight handle for those who feel they need to completely align themselves at full draw.

The other fit issue comes with the length of the draw. If you had originally measured your draw length based on drawing the bow with your fingers, the addition of a bow release will alter this slightly.

Once you have taken ownership of your new bow release it will be necessary to shorten the draw length of the bow. This is because the addition of the release hook or caliper reduces your capacity to draw the string as far.

If you are using a trigger release, you will need to set it up so that you position the trigger at the second knuckle of your index finger.

This will allow you to hook the trigger and provide a nice even pull back helping you to use your back tension. A nice even pull means that you will avoid developing issues such as target panic.

And here is a further explanation about why it is important to get this position and how you might adjust your release length to get a custom fit.


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