Bow Review: PSE EVO XF 33

The PSE EVO XF 33, latest in PSE’s EVO family, is surgically accurate and a sensational sequel to the original X-Force.

Bow Review: PSE EVO XF 33

This is the author’s first 50-yard group with PSE’s new flagship bow. 

Many compound bow models come and go, then are eventually forgotten. However, anyone familiar with the PSE brand probably remembers the original X-Force, which launched in 2007, I believe. It was one of the first compounds to feature radical, preloaded limbs, a torching-hot cam system, and a fairly shootable 6-inch brace height. Someone once said, “Don’t forget where you came from . . . ” PSE sure hasn’t, as many of its bow models since the X-Force have been modeled, in one way or another, after it.

An incredible 15 years later, PSE has unveiled a perfect sequel. The 2022 EVO XF (X-Force) comes in two models that pay tribute to the original X-Force. They pack features of recent EVO models along with all-new technologies that collectively produce a top-shelf shooting experience.

I recently ran the 33-inch model through its paces. Here’s what I think about PSE’s latest aluminum flagship bow.

PSE EVO XF 33 in charcoal finish.
PSE EVO XF 33 in charcoal finish.

Test Bow Specs

  • Axle-to Axle-Length: 33 inches
  • Brace Height: 6.75 inches
  • Draw Length: 28 inches
  • Draw Weight: 69.5 pounds
  • Let-off: 90%
  • Bow-only Weight: 4.5 pounds
  • Accessorized Total Weight: 6.2 pounds
  • Velocity: 281 fps (with 468-grain Easton 6.5mm Acu-Carbon 340 arrow)
  • Kinetic Energy: 81.97 foot-pounds
  • Finish: Charcoal
  • MSRP: $1,299
  • Contact:


First Impressions

I always appreciate manufacturers that develop brand-unique bow appearances. The EVO XF 33 isn’t just another me-too. It screams PSE from top to bottom. Quality craftsmanship is readily apparent the moment you see and hold it. Mind you, I didn’t exactly fall in love with the included rubber grip — just being honest. It was an easy fix, though; I removed the rubber grip to expose the direct-to-riser grip underneath. I consider it one of the most natural-fitting bow grips available. It is virtually perfect.

As I mused over the master craftsmanship, my eyes trained on a few new and notable features, confirming this isn’t merely a redesign of last year’s EVO EVL. By every measure, the EVO XF 33 is a new bow, and that’s a definitive selling point. To that end, let’s peel back the technology layers and discuss how they create a remarkable shooting experience.  


Forgiveness and New Cams

Perhaps you recall that the original X-Force had a reflexed riser and 6-inch brace height. It wasn’t the most stable or most comfortable bow to shoot, but it was fast. At the time, a short brace height was the ticket to achieving high velocities. Interestingly, the new EVO XF 33 produces speeds up to 340 fps (ATA/IBO) — similar to the original — but has another .75 inches of brace and a very straight, almost deflexed EVO XL riser, which exudes forgiveness and fosters unbelievable comfort and aiming stability. The bow is also incomparably smoother and quieter. All of these attributes are testaments to how far PSE’s cam systems have advanced in efficiency and performance over the years.

By the way, the EVO XF 30 and EVO XF 33 are offered in three different cam options, including the new E2 and S2. Why are there two new cams instead of one? The E2 Cam is considerably larger and covers draw lengths from 28.5-32.5 inches on the XF 33. The smaller S2 Cam — my test bow came with it — covers draw lengths from 26-30 inches. The two cams are individually optimized to increase speed and maximize performance across all draw lengths.

The E2 and S2 cams also incorporate a reliable new bearing system that’s tougher than the toughest bowhunting destinations. Cam tracks are 15 percent wider than on past cam systems, increasing stability and optimizing weight distribution. Beefed-up draw stops produce a positive wall, and two let-off modules are available. The HL modules adjust between 80, 85 and 90 percent let-off, while the LL modules adjust between 65, 70 and 75 percent let-off.



I oppose any piece of bowhunting equipment that can rattle loose. That gear isn’t fit for wild places and unforgiving terrain and conditions. The EVO XF 33 buries those worries. The Limb Vise pockets, while 15 percent lighter than previous designs, lock down tight via an improved locking system. The Guard-Lok’s mounting bracket has two mounting screws to double the dependability and seal the consistency envelope. The cam module and limb-pocket screws feature Torx heads to minimize stripping common with tightening and loosening hex screws.

The QAD Integrate Rest mount provides the market’s securest arrow rest-mounting option with a proven rest design that’s kind of become the industry standard. Should you choose a conventional-mounting rest, the EVO XF 33’s riser features two Berger holes for added lock-down security. Integrated in the riser are mounts for secure two-piece quiver attachment. And for those long, tough hikes in the mountains, bowhunters will welcome the Quick Disconnect Sling System with integrated riser connections.


Tuning Capabilities

On the tuning end is the new Guard-Lok System cable guard, which adjusts laterally to increase or decrease cable torque while chasing that perfect tune. The PBTS (Precision Buss Tuning System) allows micro buss-cable adjusting to balance the load. And, the new wider limb stance allows more space for shimming the cam(s) left or right on the axle(s).

Those tuning technologies are there if you need them, but I didn’t. I found that fixed-blade broadheads consistently impacted right with my field points all the way out to 70 yards, no tinkering required. Over the years, not many bows have done that for me right out of the gate. This bow shoots arrows like a dream.

PSE Archery’s new EVO XF 33, plain and simple, is fun to shoot. The author found that it shot fixed-blade broadheads right with field points out to 70 yards within an hour of sighting it in, no tinkering required. The EVO XF 33’s aiming stability is superb.
PSE Archery’s new EVO XF 33, plain and simple, is fun to shoot. The author found that it shot fixed-blade broadheads right with field points out to 70 yards within an hour of sighting it in, no tinkering required. The EVO XF 33’s aiming stability is superb.

Shooting Experience

Now that I’ve discussed the features, let me begin my range remarks this way: The EVO XF 33 is purely fun to shoot. It offers fast and easy anchoring and target acquisition with a non-acute string angle. Sighting in out to 70 yards took less than an hour. And after shooting nearly to muscle exhaustion, I found myself saying “just one more arrow” a few times.

Earlier, I commended the EVO XF 33’s incredibly balanced and stable riser, and believe me, it holds like a dream when shooting in a breeze at 70 yards. The new Limb Vise Pocket with a wide limb stance also augments stability. I’ve had few bows shoot so accurately the same day I set them up, and the XF 33’s accuracy repeated over a few days of testing. I’d feel confident carrying this bow on any bowhunt. Seriously. It just puts arrows where my pin is when the shot breaks, so I’ll go ahead and rate the accuracy as outstanding.

While the S2 Cam pulls nicely in combination with the virtually frictionless Guard-Lok System, I found the rollover to be a bit exaggerated. In other words, there’s a definitive hump. That was with the let-off module set to 90 percent. The hump is far more gradual at 85 or 80 percent. Still, I’d probably deal with the hump in order to have the ability to hold at full draw for up to a couple minutes in a hunting situation.

One other minus is the EVO XF 33’s shot noise is slightly louder than other compounds I’ve recently tested, though hand shock wasn’t present. Keep in mind, though, that my test bow didn’t include limb or bowstring silencers. If I were you, I’d add some aftermarket rubbery stuff to help quiet the noise.


Final Thoughts

With movies, sometimes the sequel falls far short of the original film. In this case, the sequel is where it’s at. The USA-made PSE EVO XF 33 is an accurate, dependable, tough-as-nails bow that can tackle any bowhunting challenge around the globe. What more could any bowhunter want?


Additional Notes

The PSE EVO XF 33 was set up using a Last Chance Archery EZ Green Bow Press and EZ Green Bow Vise, and draw weight was calculated using Last Chance Archery’s Digital Bow Scale. A Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph measured the 468-grain Easton 6.5mm Acu-Carbon 340 arrow’s velocity.

In-the-field photos by Darron and Rebecca McDougal


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