The Diamond Edge 320 vs SB1: Which is Right for You?
We're big fans of Diamond bows, and we've seen a lot of people get into archery using their bows. There's one issue, however, we've seen come up a few times: which of the two high-end Diamond bows is better. The Diamond Edge 320 vs SB1—which comes out on top?
Let's take a look.
The Diamond Line: An Overview
We'll provide a "general overview" first, and then get into the details.
There are (at present), three main bows in Diamond's "Edge" line: the Diamond Infinite Edge, the Diamond Edge SB-1, and the Edge 320.
Here's how they're arranged, according to Diamond:
> The Infinite Edge. This is Diamond's first mass-market bow, and its "beginner-to-intermediate" bow. It's designed to be very adjustable, and it's got some pretty decent specs—FPS of 310, let-off of 80%. The name is a little misleading, because "Infinite" sounds like the ultimate version of a bow, but that's not the case here—the Infinite Edge is actually Diamond's "mainstream" bow.
> The Edge SB-1. This is the step up from the Infinite Edge. It's also adjustable, but designed to be easier to adjust, and its specs are a little more advanced: it still has the 80% let-off, but the FPS is increased to 318 FPS. The main advantage of this is bow is its cams: the Bowtech Synchronized Binary Cam system are a step forward, and they're sleeker and more ovoid and designed for a smoother draw cycle.
> The Edge 320. This is Diamond's premiere bow in the "Edge" series. It has all the benefits of the Infinite Edge and the SB-1 (namely, it's widely adjustable, easy to adjust, and features the Bowtech Synchronized Binary Cam system), but it also features the best-in-series specs: 320 FPS (hence the name, "320"), 85% let-off, and a more forgiving brace height and axle-to-axle length.
The 320 Compared to the SB1: The Details
Now that you know the way that Diamond organizes their models, let's go spec-for-spec, and see how they add up. If you take a closer look, there are a lot more similarities than there are differences, and that muddies the water a bit, but there is a true decisive winner in our minds:
Draw Length: The 320 Has a Longer Draw Length
SB-1: 15 to 30 inches. That's good for just about everybody, including folks up to the 6-foot-3-inches.
320: 15 to 31 inches. Slight advantage on the 320—the bow is good for folks up to about 6-foot-6-inches tall.
Draw Weight: The Same
SB-1: 7 to 70 pounds. Same as the...
320: 7 to 70 pounds. That's a pretty broad range, good for children and younger archers all the way up to bowhunters tracking big game.
Mass Weight: The Same
SB-1: 3.6 pounds. Same as the...
320: 3.6 pounds. 3.6 pounds isn't the best in the world—and somewhat surprisingly, the Infinite Edge is lighter, at 3.2 pounds—but that's not bad, and it's a draw between the two bows.
Brace Height:The 320 Has a Taller Brace Height (But Only By a Bit)
SB-1: 7 inches. This is a matter of personal preference, but a lower brace height (usually) shoots arrows faster, but is less forgiving of imperfections in your form, whereas a higher brace height shoots a little more slowly, but is more forgiving of imperfections in your form. With that said…
320: 7.25 inches. While that .25 inch isn't much, it can provide a *little* more accuracy.
Axle-to-Axle: The 320 is Longer
SB-1: 31 inches. Also a matter of personal preference. Taller bows are harder to navigate and a little more difficult to hunt with, but provide a little more stability/accuracy.
320: 32 inches. The extra inch in the 320 may make it a little more difficult to handle, but it can provide a little more steadiness as you aim.
IBO Speed: The 320 Shoots a Little Bit Faster
SB-1: 318 FPS. Not much of a difference here, but the 320 is the clear winner.
320: 320 FPS. That measurement—320 FPS—is very good. There are bows with a better FPS, but not usually in this tier.
Let-Off: The 320 Has a Higher Let-Off
SB-1: 80% let-off. In the grand scheme of things, 80% is pretty good, but when you consider...
320: 85% let-off. ...but 85% is obviously better. Let-off is a big deal, because it can be so helpful when you aim—especially when you've shooting from a high draw weight, or bowhunting and need to aim for long periods of time.
So... how does all that add up in our Diamond Edge 320 vs SB1 matchup?
The clear winner—and the bow designed to be better, by Diamond the company—is the 320.
You may be saying to yourself, "Well, that's pretty close, and 320 FPS isn't really that much faster that 318..." and you're probably right! So we'll wrap things up with...
Final Thoughts on the Edge 320 / SB-1 Debate
The SB-1 is great, but the 320 comes out on top, in our minds. Both are fantastic bows, and honestly, with proper skill, you can do very well with both of them—both in target shooting and in bowhunting.
We think of it the same way we think about world-class sprinters: once you reach a certain level of ability, little differences can make a big difference. A world-class sprinter who can shave a .01th of a second off his time can stand out from the crowd, because once you get to that level, improvement is very difficult, and that .01th of a second can set you apart.
The same is true for the Diamond Edge 320. The Edge SB-1 is a fantastic bow, with top-of-the-line features for a mid-range bow, and while the advantages of the 320 may seem not much, they add up. So here's our verdict:
If you're the kind of archer / bowhunter who believes that small advantages on a bow can lead to big advantages in the field, then this could be a good option for you. It's got a great FPS of 320 (very fast), the generous axle-to-axle length and the brace height (designed to provide some extra accuracy in your shot), and a truly-getting-up-there let-off of 85% (that will absolutely provide more comfort, especially when you've got the bow dialed up to a higher draw weight). If those features you want, then here you go.
If you don't care about those extras, then the Edge SB-1 or (the Infinite Edge / see our review) are great alternatives. They're almost as fast, they provide almost as much precision, and they have a very decent let-off of 80%.
We hope that helps. Good luck, have fun, and safety shooting!