Chronologically, Oliver has used 5 bows; a traditional carbon fiber longbow, a recurve bow, an Oneida Kestrel compound bow, which was later modified slightly, and a League of Assassins takedown recurve bow.
The first of Oliver's bows, a longbow, was originally Yao Fei's, and he used it frequently during his time on Lian Yu, as a way of hunting,surviving and attacking, and also as a way for him to hunt and provide food for himself and for Oliver. After Yao Fei's capture and Shado's rescue, the bow was then brought to Oliver, so he could assist in Yao Fei's rescue. Shado began training Oliver on how to shoot and she proved to be, like her father, an expert archer. However, also much like her father, Oliver struggled to learn to shoot the bow. Later on, Oliver showed more interest in the bow, and Slade realized that Oliver was not able to draw the weight of the bow. Shado took it upon herself to strengthen Oliver by making him slap water, and by the end of it, he was easily able to draw the bow. He eventually used it to kill Edward Fyers. After Yao Fei's death, however, Shado mainly used the bow until her death at the hands Antony Ivo. The bow was then inherited by Oliver Queen and used during his time on the island and in Hong Kong. After his primary bow he used as The Hood was destroyed by Malcolm Merlyn he reverted to the first bow during the Undertaking and used it to defeat Merlyn.
After he returned to Starling City, Oliver began using a recurve bow, albeit an oddly short one. It featured standard recurve limbs and a riser that had a metal enclosure for the hand. This likely was for increased damage when hitting targets with his bow hand. Its design was short for a man of his size. Oliver used this bow to great effect, but it met its end when it was destroyed by Malcolm Merlyn.
After his previous bow was destroyed, Felicity Smoak had a bow custom-made for him, an Oneida Kestrel compound bow. It featured lever-style limbs, meaning it used compound cams to store energy from bending the power limbs, but transferred this power to the arrow using the recurved outboard limbs. The resulting bow made for a great-looking weapon as well as a very functional one in a small 43" size. When Oliver first handled the bow, he remarked it to be perfect.
Following their defeat of Slade Wilson's army, The Arrow began using a newer bow, which uncurled to its full length when needed, but was otherwise "curled" into a smaller size. The bow itself was still an Oneida Kestrel compound, but with extra modifications. Following Oliver's apparent demise at the hands of Ra's al Ghul, John Diggle began suiting up as The Arrow and using the bow. After Oliver returned to Starling City, he began using his bow again.
After he had given in to Ra's al Ghul, Oliver travelled to Nanda Parbat and became Al Sah-him. Oliver was then given an all-black, Martin Saber Takedown Recurve Bow which had more power and efficiency than his previous bows.
- The bow used by Oliver at the end of his tenure on Lian Yu in 2012 is the same as the bow he used as the Hood in first season.