What Is a Hinge Release in Archery?

A hinge release is one of the common release aids used in archery. They have a different appearance and mechanism from other types. Hinge release archery is quite common among professionals. 

In this article, we’ll talk about what a hinge release is, how it works, its benefits, and its downside. 

What Is a Hinge Release in Archery?

In archery, a hinge release is a type of release aid that increases the precision of your arrow. It is also called a back tension release and works by rotation. 

This hinge-release archery doesn’t require a trigger, which makes it beneficial in some ways (more on that later.) It’s common in compound target archery, practicing, competition, and even hunting. 

Unlike other types of release aids that require you to press a trigger, hinge release archery requires you to draw the bow with your thumb and index finger, then shift the weight to your middle and ring finger until the shot breaks. 

How Does a Hinge Release Work in Archery? 

archery release

Although hinge releases have different appearances, they always incorporate three essential parts – the head, hook, and handle (the handle is usually brass to make it heavier). The hook rests against the head of the hinge to lock it in place. 

A second pin ensures the handle and head of the hinge are connected – you can adjust the handle by simply moving it around the second pin. 

Contrary to popular belief, the hinge release uses a simple process. It works by incorporating the fingers and other parts of your body to produce a surprise release. 

Although there are different ways to make a hinge release work, the most common one is by relaxing the back of your hand to allow the release to rotate on its own. Then transfer the weight from your thumb and index finger to your index, middle, and ring finger, to evenly share the weight. 

Since it’s triggerless, there’s no one style of release. To produce a nice weight needed to release the shot, you can put your elbow behind your head. The other style of release is by pulling your shoulder blades together to produce tension. 

In hinge release archery, the archer has no idea when the release will be triggered, which supports clean releases. Since the archer doesn’t anticipate the shot, there’s little to no flinching when it goes off.

There’s a click setting in some modern hinge releases that enables you to manipulate the number of rotations you need before hearing a click. You can make adjustments to allow the click sound before it’s about to fire, or earlier on. Though this setting can increase anxiety and anticipation, it can be turned off. 

If you’re a beginner, you should experiment with this setting to see if it suits you. Also, you should consider setting the release to be quite difficult to fire to give you room to settle, especially if you’re used to other types of release aids. After a while, you can make it faster to fire. 

What Are the Benefits of a Hinge Release in Archery? 

hinge release

1. Reduces Target Panic

Since there’s no trigger, hinge-release archery reduces the risk of accidentally setting off the release. So if you have target panic issues, you’ll find this hinge release beneficial.

2. Improves Form

It’s almost impossible to find a hinge-release user with a bad form. Since archers are typically not focused on releasing the aid themselves, it gives them a chance to focus and perfect their form.

3. Clean Shot

Hinge releases produce a clean and perfect shot since the archer doesn’t press a trigger. There is also a decline in shot anticipation, which allows the archer to relax and apply a nice weight.

What Are the Downsides of a Hinge Release in Archery?

1. Harder to Learn

Unlike other releases, hinge release is harder to use and it’s possible to make use of the wrong fingers to produce tension. This can sometimes cause injury. 

2. Doesn’t Give Control 

The archer doesn’t have control over when the release will be triggered and this can cause panic to some. If you’re used to using an index or thumb release, you might find this lack of control a challenge. The bright side is, as you continue to use it, you begin to adapt.


Now that you know the important information about hinge release archery, it’s time for you to try it out to see how different it is from other types of releases. Please note to read the instructions provided on your hinge release before using it.

To learn more about archery, read through our collection of articles

Picture of Brad Burnie

Brad Burnie

Picture of Brad Burnie

Brad Burnie

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