You haven’t fallen in love with any particular archery brand. You might have a mix of equipment, and you’re looking for a good company with excellent product synergy.
Two of the most well-known archery brands on the market are constantly vying for your business and your allegiance, but they do very little to differentiate themselves.
I’m talking about Hoyt and Mathews, two companies that define innovation in archery and excellence in equipment quality. I’ve done the research, I’ve shot the bows, and I’ve experienced their equipment. They’re both solid, but they have their differences.
Hoyt vs. Mathews Comparison
To break it down quickly, I gave a rating to each bow brand, with a maximum possibility of five points per category, or forty points in total. You’re going to laugh at how it boils down.
|Hoyt vs. Mathew: My Rating||Hoyt||Mathew|
|Availability||5.0 / 5.0||5.0 / 5.0|
|History/Experience||4.5 / 5.0||4.1 / 5.0|
|Consistency||4.4 / 5.0||4.8 / 5.0|
|Prices (Avg. Affordability)||4.4 / 5.0||4.2 / 5.0|
|Warranty and Customer Support||5.0 / 5.0||5.0 / 5.0|
|Target Practice||4.7 / 5.0||4.1 / 5.0|
|Hunting||4.1 / 5.0||4.9 / 5.0|
|FPS/Draw Weight||4.8 / 5.0||4.8 / 5.0|
|End Results/Rating||36.9 / 40.0||36.9 / 40.0|
My goal is to help you look at both brands objectively, and define what works best for you and your shooting style, as well as your skill level.
In my archery club, this was a heated debate the other day. Two people went toe-to-toe to either defend Hoyt or Mathews, and they were both making excellent points. I could see the differences, but at the end of the day, it came down to some key details.
Let’s explore those differences together.
Hoyt vs. Mathews Bows: What Is the Best Brand
Well, that’s a bit tricky to answer. Let’s cover what each brand stands for before we start passing opinions.
Back in 1931, Earl Hoyt Jr. technically began the company. He spent time building his own archery equipment, which later transcended into his family name brand.
Always at the forefront of archery innovation, Hoyt was the name attached to the bows that helped Olympians win the gold in both the men’s and women’s division of the 1972 Olympics (the year that archery actually returned to the Olympics).
And now? Well, now they’re running a Salt Lake City manufacturing plant where they continue to dominate the archery world with their top-tier bows and equipment.
Mathews is sort of a play on the first name of their founder, Matt McPherson. When he was 10, he made his very own bow out of a stick, and three short years later, he was fully creating compound bows.
He couldn’t afford to buy one himself, which is why he built it from scratch—they say all you need is hunger and a dream, and that’s exactly what started Mathews Archery.
Offering full-service repairs and maintenance through their popular lifetime warranty policy, as well as top-rate quality craftsmanship right out of the gate, Mathews essentially provides the ultimate package for every bowhunter and competitive shooter out there.
It’s not clear to say which is better, but there are some differences we need to discuss to better help you find out which brand works for you.
Differences Between Hoyt and Mathews Bows (Pros and Cons)
1. Availability: Both Readily Available
Whether you go with Hoyt or Mathew, you’re going to have a ton of options available. As two of the most well-known and quality archery brands, they’ve been making new models of their already excellent bows for years.
And for the most part, many of their previous versions are still in production. You can find some Hoyt bow models that still haven’t been retired, even more than a decade later. Same goes for Mathews.
Initially, I found a lot of people being vocal about their favorite brand (online mostly) and talking about a lack of availability for whichever brand they were speaking out against. But in truth, they both have tons of options.
2. Establishment: Hoyt Has Been at it for Longer
Hoyt originated in 1931, which is pretty darn long. If you consider that Matt McPherson of Mathews was 13 when he made his first compound bow, back in the 1970s, then the level of experience has a pretty wide disparity.
Now, keep in mind that they’re both born from passion, and that with modern advancements in manufacturing, they both have the same ability to create stunning bows. It’s not like this is the 1700s. What this basically means is that older doesn’t necessarily mean better, but it does make you feel better when you’re making a purchase.
When it comes to every other aspect of business, Hoyt and Mathews are pretty even-keeled, and while both are reputable companies, sometimes you just want to go with the company that’s been doing this longer.
3. Quality: Mathews Has the Most Consistent Quality
Despite talking about Hoyt being a much more experienced company, Matt McPherson made a compound bow when he was 13 years old—that’s ingenuity that’s born from passion.
Having shot plenty of different Mathews bows myself, and after using their stabilizers and Zebra Strings, I can say that across the board through all of their gear, it’s consistently Mathews. You know what you’re getting into, what you can expect, and that’s something that’s very important, especially in a world where we buy almost everything online.
For this, I took a lot of data into account, such as customer reports, forum conversations, and reviews about Mathews to see if there was any gap in production quality. They have a spotless record, which gives you the assurance you need when deciding to make a purchase.
4. Price: Hoyt Has a Better Average Price
We both know that Hoyt and Mathews come in above the average bow price range, and for a good reason. The thing is, Hoyt is generally more affordable, whether it’s their kits or single bows, right on down to the equipment. In nearly every category, they’re just a teeny bit more cost-efficient.
I like to have synergy with my bow when I can help it. I use Hoyt for target practice (more on this in a moment), and as such, I use their Carbon Solo Shorty Arrow Quivers alongside my Axius Alpha bow.
If you’re like me and you like to stick with one single brand for your current bow kit, Hoyt saves you a bit of money. Don’t get me wrong—I have mix-and-match bow kits for target practice and hunting as well. It’s not a requirement, just a little bonus.
5. Support: They Both Offer Insane Warranties and Customer Support
It’s literally impossible to tell these two companies apart when it comes to this category, and I only mean that in the fondest of ways. They’re both companies that started from a passion for archery, and it shows in their customer service and warranty programs.
Mathews and Hoyt both offer limited lifetime warranties on all their bows. Yeah, all of that. That’s pretty insane. It gets a little more intricate when you get into the gear, but even then, they offer longer and more comprehensive warranties than most bow brands (from SAS bows to Diamond and beyond).
6. Target Practice: Hoyt Bows are Better than Mathews
Mathews has bows for both target practice and hunting, and while they’re fairly compact, Hoyt gives you a little less visual clutter (by a very small margin, I might add). I just have more confidence that I’m going to land a 75-yard bulls-eye with a Hoyt in my hands.
When it comes to target practice, I like to toy with compound bows, but I get competitive with myself when I’ve got a recurve in my hands. Hoyt recurves are top notch, and when we get into FPS and draw weight ranges later, it’ll become clear as to why.
7. Hunting: Mathews Bows are Better for Hunting than Hoyt
On the flip side, Mathews bows—as well as their accessories—are just better for hunting. Between the quivers, weighted stabilizers, and their strings, it all just flows well.
There’s minimal string vibration, excellent handling (nice and steady for when you sink that shot into your prey), and excellent speed.
There’s not much more to it than that. If you have the opportunity to handle a Mathews and a Hoyt on the same day, you’ll be able to spot the difference.
8. FPS and Draw Weight: They’re Both Excellent
Feet per second is one of the ultimate measures of a bow’s capability, and with compound bows, it can get pretty high. The FPS disparity is so minuscule between some of the different models that it’s negligent to even list it as a negative attribute.
Draw weight let-off is what helps you out when pulling back on your string. Hoyt and Mathews both offer 75%-80% let-off on most of their bows, which is pretty fantastic. It’s basically a draw here: they both have high FPS, high let-off, and they’re smooth to use.
Yes, both brands tied down to the decimal point on my comparison, just with strengths in different areas.
While Hoyt rates higher for target practice and Mathew rates higher for hunting, both would be excellent bow brands to have in your hand in either event—it comes down to very marginal differences (and me being picky, sometimes).
After reviewing Hoyt and Mathew, I wouldn’t even say that they’re necessarily rival companies. I believe that they’re just two honest, tried-and-true bowmakers that offer equal levels of quality. They’re just designed for different types of archers.