Let it be known, as I want to be totally honest with all of you reading this bow report, that I’m a flagship guy. It’s just the way I’m built, and, yes, I’ve been spoiled. Every year I’m blessed to test and hunt with a number of top-end models. It’s a responsibility I take seriously and a part of my job I love very much.
As of late, according to many pro shops I visit with on a regular basis, there has been a boost in “budget-bow” sales. Why? As one pro shop owner put it: Many of 2016’s budget bows boast top-end 2015 technologies. It was the “technology” comment that got me primed up to test drive Diamond’s new wallet-friendly rig – the Edge SB-1.
Bowtech/Diamond’s Todd Snader only fueled my fire when he gave me the rundown on the new rig over a lengthy phone conversation.
“First and foremost,” Snader said, “is the bow’s ease of adjustability. The SB-1 is draw-length adjustable between 15 and 30 pounds, and draw-weight adjustable between seven and 70 pounds. Anyone can shoot this bow, and we’ve gone out of our way to make the adjustments as easy as possible. In addition, the bow features our time-tested and proven Binary Cam System. We are really proud to offer our flagship cam system on this wallet-friendly bow.”
When I pulled the Edge SB-1 from its box, the first thing that jumped out at me was how clean the bow looked. The Octane strings and cables were sharp (yellow and gray), and the bow had no noticeable blemishes from top to bottom. At first glance, it looked like a sexy flagship, and the gray Binary Cams married with Mossy Oak Break-Up Country riser and limbs did it for me.
The bow was set to my specs – 29-inch draw and 70-pound draw weight – but I wanted to toy with the adjustments. The EZ Adjust Limb Pockets are a thing of beauty. Labeled with “Max” and “Min” settings with six lines in between, this system means you always know exactly where you’re at. Plus, Diamond placed a little bump – it sticks up off the riser just below the top and bottom limb pockets and allows you to match the lines on the EZ Adjust Limb Pockets up with the small rise. This is huge for those that will grow with the bow and adjust poundage as they grow.
Draw-length adjustment is just as simple. The module is marked from 15 through 30, representing the draw-length range in inches, and Diamond went the extra mile and placed ½-inch laser-engraved marks throughout, allowing the shooter to fine-tune draw length. To adjust, simply remove the three set screws in the module using a 3/32 Allen wrench and rotate the module to the laser-engraved mark on the cam. It’s that easy. And if you find the middle set screw difficult to access because it sits behind the limb, simple reduce the bow’s poundage and, using your hand, pull the cable inward toward the riser.
The Binary Cam System was, of course, a breeze to tune, and I had the bow bare-shaft tuned in less than 25 minutes. And, yes, this was using the included Octane Hostage Rest. During the tuning period I was, perhaps more than any other feature, impressed with the bow’s grip. The grip has always been my biggest complaint when it comes to budget bows, but I found the grip on the Edge SB-1 to thin and flat-backed, and it felt great in the hand.
On the range, set at a draw length of 29 inches and a draw weight of 70 pounds, the Edge SB-1 propelled my 380-grain arrow at 289 fps. Pretty respectable in my opinion. The draw cycle isn’t silky smooth, but it isn’t overly aggressive either. You can feel the poundage build, and transition to letoff comes without surprise. At the shot, the bow does jump forward in the hand, and it produces a minimal amount of noise. How much does it jump? I don’t shoot with a wrist-sling, and I didn’t have to attach one, so not much.
As far as accuracy, I shot the bow with field points, fixed-blades and mechanical heads out to a distance of 40 yards. I didn’t go any further than 40 because I wanted to use the included Apex 3-Pin Sight. The bow is void of draw stops, so you will have that “spongy” back wall, but aside of taking some time for me to get used to it, I don’t feel it hindered my accuracy. Hitting the 12-ring at 40 yards with the Edge SB-1 isn’t an issue, and I have no doubt, even without placing a drop-away-style rest on the bow that you could easily smack arrows together out to 60 yards.