How To Restring A Compound Bow (8 Steps By Hand)

By Andy Ryan


Updated at
compound bow - archery

Bowstrings are an essential component of a compound bow and are made up of several smaller strands draped together to make very strong strings. Over a hundred pounds can be applied to the string without it breaking. It is possible for a bowstring to last just as long as a compound bow itself, assuming that it has been properly cared for, which is usually not the case.

If the bowstring is not properly maintained or if it becomes frayed, this becomes a safety hazard since the string might snap without warning and result in an injury. To restring your compound bow, you do not necessarily need to visit an archery store. You can do it at home as well.

A Compound Bow String’s Structure and Function

The energy input of a compound bow is multiplied over distance, thus multiplying its output. In a two-pulley system, one pulley moves with the other. Pulling on the large pulley causes the inner pulley to move with the same energy, but pull the rope a shorter distance. If something moves a shorter distance with the same energy, more force will be applied.

The inner wheels are directly attached to the opposite wheels by cables. Bowstrings connect the outer wheels. Pulling back on the bowstring causes both outer wheels to rotate, which multiplies the force applied to the inner wheels. Due to the cable’s pull, both wheels are drawn together more tightly than the archer can with the string. The result is that the bow’s limbs bend.

To launch an arrow, the compound bow string ties the bow stave’s two ends together. Most of the bowstrings of today are made from man-made materials that do not stretch. Due to this, their tension tends to decrease as time passes. Strings with strong properties, which are lightweight, resistant to water, and resistant to abrasion, are the best.

Why Should You Restring a Compound Bow?

Why do cars need service? You may as well ask this. The wheels wobble, the tires wear, and the gears slip when you ride a bicycle for too long. As a bicycle’s setup ages, it becomes worn. Bows are complex pieces of equipment with moving parts – anything with moving parts will wear out and change over time. (1, 2)

Compound bows go through the same process repeatedly – the string is pulled and released, the cams are rotated, and it is exposed to varying temperatures – over time, the cams and the string wear out. If poorly maintained, a compound bow poses a danger to the archer as well as those around them whether it’s used for target practice, hunting, or any other purpose.

When your bow needs restringing, it’s important to do so to keep the bow working accurately and safely.

Shooting with a bow with a broken cable or elastic string can pose significant safety concerns like damaging the bow itself, or even worse, potentially endangering oneself by breaking it if it snaps without warning.

Restringing a Compound Bow By Hand: A Guide

Fortunately, restringing a bow does not necessarily require a professional. If you want to replace your bowstring, you do not need a press. If you are restringing a crossbow or any other type of bow, you can do so manually.

Restringing your bow can be a simple process, just as professional archery shops do it.

What You’ll Need

  1. An extra bowstring
  2. An Allen wrench
  3. The use of your hands and feet.

The Basic Steps to Doing it Yourself:

Step 1: Locate Your Bow’s Limb Bolts

Insert an Allen wrench into them. At the limb bolts of your bow, the limbs connect to the riser. By reversing the bolts back and forth until they are completely counter-clockwise, a considerable amount of pressure will be removed from the limbs.

Step 2: Step on Top of the Bowstring with Both Feet

When your bow reaches the “full draw” position, you should raise its riser up with your hands.

Step on the stringer once it has reached the ground.

We suggest stepping with two feet and keeping them close together. If you keep them too far apart, your bow will not bend as much as you want it to and you will have to use more force.

Step 3: Hold the Riser with One Hand

Keep the riser steady in one hand. Put the end loops of the bowstring’s replacement on the teardrop fitting of the new string with the other hand. Bow cables are equipped with teardrop fittings on both ends.

Step 4: Begin by Lowering your Compound Bow

Lower the bow to the ground, horizontally facing down.  Once the limbs have reverted to their default position, begin lowering your compound bow.

Step 5: Examine the Bowstring’s Loops

Examine the loops of the bowstring and ensure they are properly seated and seated in the grooves. This is done by fitting the loops into the grooves on the bowstring.

Step 6: Step on the Replacement Bowstring with Both Feet

Simply step on the new bowstring at the beginning and at the end. When you become comfortable drawing your bow, begin pulling on the riser until it reaches its “full draw” position.

Step 7: Remove the Bowstring That Has to Be Replaced

Your compound bow should be lowered after you have removed the bowstring you wish to replace.

Step 8: Tighten the Limb Bolts with the Allen Wrench

Make sure the bolts are properly tightened with the Allen wrench. Tighten the limb bolts by turning them one full revolution at a time. This will assist you in keeping track of the level of tension in each limb.

What are the Signs That Your Bow String is Failing?

Keeping up with your bow shooting performance at all times will be easier if your bowstring is re-stringed in a timely manner. The re-stringing procedure will reduce the chances of string breakage. In addition to being inconvenient, a broken or damaged string can hurt the bow shooter and cause damage to the bow.

Tips for Determining Whether or Not Your Bow Needs to Be Re-stringed

Here are some helpful tips for determining whether your bow needs re-string or not.

Tip #1: Periodically Inspect the Bowstring

In order to provide your bow with optimal performance, you should conduct periodic evaluations. The bowstring is the main area to pay attention to during the evaluation since it is the most critical part.

Tip #2: Keep an Eye Out for Obvious Fraying and Breaks

Upon looking at your bow, you should pay special attention to the bowstring for obvious signs of fraying, as well as any breaks. Don’t delay replacing your bowstrings as soon as these signs become evident.

Tip #3: At the Cams Point, Check the String 

You should also be especially attentive to the area where your bowstring crosses the cams when inspecting the bowstring. In most cases, this is when abrasion and damage take place. You need to replace it immediately if it has been worn out for a considerable period of time.

Tip #4: Examine the Nock Point on the String

Inspect the nocks for any cracks, nicks, or other damage. A damaged nock may not be able to properly absorb the energy from your bow. You may find damaged strands in the nock point of your bowstring if the nock point frays easily. It is advisable that you replace the bowstring in this situation immediately.

Tip #5: Keep an Eye on the Draw Length of your Bow

The draw length of your bow may have grown abnormally long, indicating that your bowstring needs to be replaced. Having a bowstring diagram on hand when trying to replace your bowstring at home can be helpful.

Concluding Thoughts

Since responsible archers always take care of their bows, archery is a healthy, safe, outdoor activity. Shooting successfully depends on a strong bowstring, but it has a limited lifespan, and you must restring it regularly to ensure it shoots straight and effectively.

(1) cars –
(2) bicycle’s setup –