PSE Brute Force Lite Review

PSE Brute Force Lite

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  • Compact 30.5-inch hunting bow axel-to-axel measurement
  • 7-inch brace height
  • Speeds up to 332 feet per second with 80% let-off
  • 25-31-inch draw length range
  • $449 bare bow


  • Nothing brand new to PSE is featured


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Editors' review

PSE has found a niche in producing high quality hunting bows at an affordable price. The Brute Force Lite is another installment in this category, which outshoots the suggested retail price of $449 by a long shot. The Madness hybrid cam system offers all the adjustability as the Pro Series models, features the desired 80% let-off cam system, and has a pretty fast speed rating clocking in at 332 feet per second. Did you catch this bow sells for a suggested $449? Shooters disappointed in PSE not outfitting the Brute Force Lite with a roller guard will be stoked to find out, the new AirGlide system featured on the upper end Pro Series models can be purchased and used on the Brute Force Lite as well. There is no brand new technology on the Brute Force Lite, which may upset some shooters on the market for a new rig. However, everything used is high quality, and performs like a bow well outside the $500 bow range. The Brute Force Lite is a nice shooting, compact hunting bow, but when considering the price, this model is hard to beat.


PSE has always done a nice job on the finish of their rigs, and it seems to last a long time with significant usage as well. PSE has lessened the number of finish choices to a total of three, which still offers a wide variety, and a little something for all shooters, but it would be nice to see some additional choices. Shooters wanting a low-key color can opt for solid black, which does look great. Solid black is not offered with the ready to shoot package, but it does look nice and should be a great seller for PSE. Shooters also have the option for Mossy Oak Break-up Country. This camo pattern is offered on all their hunting bows in both the Pro Series and Mainline Series. For shooters wanting something a little more unique, shooters can go with PSE's very own Skullworks 2 pattern. This is gaining a great deal of popularity, and looks pretty fantastic as well. The Skullworks 2 and Mossy Oak Country patterns are each available in the accessory package offering from the factory.


The riser on the Brute Force Lite is machined to have some pretty great looking cutouts. This gives the bow a distinct PSE look, while keeping the bow at a manageable bare bow weight of 3.8-pounds. The bow is fairly compact with an overall 30.5-inch axel-to-axel measurement, but the riser does eat up a large portion of that, which helps the shorter bow feel like a more stable bow down range. There is a carbon string stop rod, equipped with a rubber dampener, and a front stabilizer mounting hole for shooters wanting to off set some of the weight and manage the balance of the bow. Some other Mainline bows feature rubber riser dampeners as well, but the Brute Force Lite does not have this feature.The cable system is a standard slide. The rod and slide system has worked well for many years, but it is far from new technology in the compound bow world, and many shooters prefer a roller or flexing system on 2017 bows. For shooters interested, the Brute Force Lite bow has the ability to add the brand new RollerGlide system offered on the highest end PSE bows for 2017. Although the Brute Force Elite does not come equipped with this from the factory, PSE engineers created the new hinged roller guard system so it would fit any of the other slides in their lineup. The part is relatively inexpensive, and will give the bow a different feel and incorporate some brand new technology.


The grip on the Brute Force Lite is similar to the target line of grips from the last model year, just a bit slimmer. With that being said, the grip is a bit larger than what many PSE hunting bows have featured in the past. This grip is fully integrated into the riser design, and eliminates the rubber grip inserts added as side plates in the past. In place of the side plates, PSE has etched their brand logo into the side of the grip, which gives the bow a higher end look while holding the bow in hand. The blocky grip feels great, and the thick grip back fits perfectly in hand. The underside of the arrow shelf has a thumb groove also, which allows shooters to line up the grip each shot. From a comfort standpoint, this grip is top notch. It is also nice for PSE to use the same grip on their budget Mainline bows as they do on their upper end Pro Series models.


PSE is maintaining the split limb X-Force technology, which has served the company very well in the past. These limbs start off highly pre-stressed, which allows for energy to be easily transferred. It also helps reduce vibration and noise, and creates a more favorable string angle relationship. T2he Brute Force Lite has some really awesome limb adjustment with the 15 turn limb bolts. There is also a limb bolt anchor system designed to be more dependable than the previous version, which just threads through the riser. With 15 turns of adjustment, it is important to keep the limb bolt properly secured in the riser so nothing dangerous happens while the bow is drawn. The peak draw is great as well with 50, 60, and 70-pound options from the factory. Combined with the 15 turn bolts, the draw weight ranges are 33-50-pound limbs, 40-60-pounds, and 46-70-pound limbs. The streamlined polymer limb pockets have a bit of hesitation surrounding them just based on the material. Shooters should be confident in the performance of the polymer material, and these pockets really do function well and keep things securely fastened in place.

Eccentric System

The MH cam system is a fairly popular offering for 2017 PSE models, especially those on the cheaper end of the scale. The Epix, Vendetta VX, and Brute Force Lite all feature the MH cam system, which should speak to the quality and overall shootability of the system. When added to the Brute Force Lite frame, the MH cams create a draw length range from 25-31-inches, which is of course adjustable in half-inch increments with the rotating module. The let-off is also capable of 80%, which allows shooters the high let-off many want to shoot from a budget friendly offering. All this combined with a 7-inch brace height gives shooters a pretty fast arrow rating of 332 feet per second. The hybrid cam system reduces some timing and sync issues possible on other systems, while still being able to shoot fairly reasonable performance numbers. Shooters should have an easy time getting everything rocking on the MH cam system, and the new Livewire strings PSE is using for in house string production really help eliminate the twist and stretch seen on some factory sting sets.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

Like other MH model bows, the Brute Force Lite feels and performs like a legit hunting bow sold for much more money. The Brute Force Lite is a wonderful combination of performance and shootability, which is pretty outstanding for a model at this price point. Often times, shooters are forced to compromise on some shootability characteristics when purchasing a budget friendly bow, but the MH cam on the Brute Force Lite offers high let-off and acceptable performance in the same package. The draw cycle feels like other PSE models with a pretty stiff start all the way to peak weight. Shooters will spend roughly half the draw cycle at peak weight before transitioning smoothly into the let-off and finally the solid back wall. Keep in mind; this is a single cable stop back wall, and not a dual limb stop bow. Shooters wanting a rock solid back wall may be disappointed. However, this wall does feel as solid as bows with two cable stops. In the past, high let-off models have left shooters with a rather significant dump into the valley. That is not the case with the Brute Force Lite. The bow's draw cycle gets easier to pull as the let off starts, but it does not have a dump into the valley, which makes the draw much more manageable. Holding on target, the bow feels amazing as well. For those having not experienced a high let-off system yet, the 80% feels amazing. The compact axel-to-axel measurement of 30.5-inches is nice too. The bow has a decent string angle, even at the upper end of the draw length range, although those at the upper end may be a bit more comfy with a longer framed rig than the Brute Force Lite. After the shot, the bow does have some feedback, but adding some high quality stabilizers and accessories will get rid of most of it.

Usage Scenarios

The PSE Brute Force Lite is a well-designed hunting bow for shooters with a budget. This rig may also meet the needs of growing archers, or perhaps some female shooters given its smaller design. Shooters just getting into archery, or without much money to spend can still purchase the Brute Force Lite and get a ton of advantages from a bow that well outshoots its price point.

PSE Epix vs Brute Force Lite

BowPSE Brute Force Lite
Version 2017
PicturePSE Brute Force Lite
Brace Height7 "
AtA Length30.5 "
Draw Length25 " - 31 "
Draw Weight40 lbs - 70 lbs
IBO Speed324 fps - 332 fps
Weight3.8 lbs
Where to buy
Best prices online

These two bows are more than likely going to attract the same shooters based on the price of the two models. They share the same cam system, which is great, but the axel-to-axel measurement may be the deciding factor between these two models. The PSE Epix has a fancier design, and may fit more shooters based on the axel-to-axel measurement. However, shooters wanting a more compact hunting bow, and not overly concerned with how fancy the riser looks, may very well choose the Brute Force Lite. Both models will be solid shooters, and the Madness cams will meet the needs of just about everyone on the market for a new rig. Left-handed shooters will have an easy decision, because the Epix is only offered in right-handed models.

Available Accessory Packages

PSE has offered package options for their Mainline Series bows for quite some time. This allows shooters the opportunity to completely outfit their rigs without the headache of choosing between the dozens of choices for hunting accessories for compound bows. PSE not only offers a great factory package deal, they offer a total of three stock package options with various options and features to meet the needs of brand new shooters all the way to more experienced ones. The ready to shoot package is the entry-level package, and has a suggested retail price of $549. Included in this package is an AMP sight, a whisker biscuit rest, an FX stabilizer, a Raven quiver, a neoprene PSE sling, a red aluminum peep sight, and a D loop. This package is the most basic package of the group, but it does get shooters set up with everything except arrows and a release right off the shelf to start shooting immediately. The ready to shoot pro package is a slight step up in quality and sells for a suggested $599. Shooters get an AMP micro adjustable sight, a PSE Phantom drop away rest, a Spire stabilizer, a Raven quiver, a PSE neoprene wrist sling, a red aluminum peep sight, and a D loop. The upgrade in a micro adjustable sight, and a drop away arrow rest is really worth the additional $50 is shooters can afford the price difference. There is nothing wrong with the ready to shoot package, but micro adjustability is very nice and the drop away rest is what many shooters are interested in. The final package option is what PSE calls the field ready package for a retail price of $649. This package includes everything offered in the pro package with TrueFire Hurricane release, a Supreme bow case, and a 4-pack of PSE X-Weave arrows added on.


The Brute Force Lite is a solid hunting bow. After looking at the price tag, it becomes one of the best values on the market for a compact hunting bow. It should appeal to brand new shooters, shooters with some growing left to do, or those just looking for a bow a bit easier on the shoulders. The MH cam system won a lot of people over last year, and the use on several models in 2017 really shows how great of a system it is overall. The Brute Force does not feature any of its own exclusive technology, but for those wanting a bow for $449, there is not much else on the market that compares to how high quality this thing is. Shooters looking for a low cost, high performance, well thought out hunting bow should give the Brute Force Lite a try. It even has some package options straight from the factory worth looking into as well.

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