How To String A Bow Without a Bow Stringer (3-Method Guide)

By Andy Ryan


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an archer holding a bow

Hey there! Ever tried stringing a recurve bow? It may seem daunting, but trust me, with a little know-how, you’ll get the hang of it in no time. We’re going to break down the two ways you can do this – with a stringer (yeah, that’s a thing!) and without. Why both? Because it’s always good to have options, right? Plus, you never know when you’ll find yourself stringer-less! So, let’s dive right into it and get you stringing like a pro in no time. Ready? Let’s get started!

How To String A Recurve Bow With Stringer – 3 Steps

Step 1: Positioning the Bow

First, place your bow on the ground with its back facing up. Make sure the tips of the limbs are pointed away from you. Then, hook the top bowstring loop onto the top limb tip.

Step 2: Using the Bow Stringer

Now, attach the bow stringer to each limb tip. Ensure the stringer’s larger pocket is covering the bottom limb tip, and the smaller pocket or saddle is on the top limb tip. Stand on the stringer, near the middle of the bow, with both feet.

While holding the bow’s riser with your dominant hand, pull the bowstring up, and slide it down the string grooves. Gradually bend the limbs as you apply upward pressure. Ensure the bowstring loops remain securely in place.

Step 3: Securing the Bow String

As the limbs bend, slide the top loop into its proper position in the top string groove. Make sure it’s fully seated. Finally, slowly release tension on the limbs by lowering the bow while maintaining control until it’s fully strung.

How to String a Recurve Bow Without a Stringer – 2 Methods

Method 1: The Step-Through Method

Start by positioning the bow’s lower limb tip on your foot. Place the grip behind your knee. Make sure the bowstring has a loop at the ends.

Next, grab the upper limb with your dominant hand. Use your other hand to hold the bowstring. Carefully step through the bow using your rear leg.

While doing so, bend the bow slightly. Slip the bowstring loop onto the upper limb tip. Ensure the string is properly seated. Now, you’ve successfully strung your bow.

Method 2: Foot Bracing Method

First, step on the bowstring with your foot. Make sure you’re wearing shoes for safety. Keep the lower limb tip off the ground.

Hold the bow’s grip with your non-dominant hand. Position its lower limb against the inside of your same-side thigh. Brace your calf against the bow’s back.

With your dominant hand, grasp the upper limb. Apply pressure to bend the bow slightly. Carefully place the bowstring loop onto the upper limb tip. Check proper string seating. Your recurve bow is now strung.

Unstringing the Bow

Using a Bow Stringer

First, place the bow stringer’s pocket over the lower limb tip. Then, put the saddle on the upper limb. Hold the handle and step on the bow stringer’s cord with both feet. Pull up the bow, causing the limbs to bend. Carefully slide the bowstring off the upper limb tip.

Without a Bow Stringer

Place your right ankle between the bow’s limbs. Position the lower limb tip on your left foot. Put the bowstring loop over the lower limb tip. Hold the grip tightly with your left hand. Push the upper limb forward with your right hand while pulling the bowstring loop free.

Remember, unstringing without a bow stringer may damage the limbs and isn’t recommended for beginners.

Safety Tips and Best Practices

Inspecting the Bow

Before stringing your recurve bow, inspect it for damage. Look for cracks, twisted limbs, or deformities. Ensure all parts are secure and tight. Any issues must be addressed before proceeding.

Avoiding Injuries

When stringing a recurve bow, take safety precautions to avoid injuries. Wear eye protection and follow these steps:

  • Use a bow stringer: This tool distributes tension evenly and prevents accidental damage.
  • Maintain good posture: Stand up straight, with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Secure the bow: Hold the recurve bow firmly while stringing, to reduce the risk of slippage or accidents.

By adhering to these safety tips and best practices, you can string your recurve bow confidently and safely.

So, What is The Best Way to String Your Bow?

To string your recurve bow, consider your experience, tools available, and safety. Let’s discuss both methods.

With a Stringer:

Using a bow stringer is the safest, most reliable method. Follow these steps:

  1. Attach string loops to bow limbs.
  2. Slip stringer pockets onto limbs.
  3. Step on bow stringer and pull bow upwards.
  4. Slide string loops into notches, maintaining tension.

Without a Stringer:

Although not recommended, the step-through method works. Proceed cautiously:

  1. Position bow with lower limb tip on ground, curve away.
  2. Step through with leg, capturing lower limb between thighs.
  3. Attach string loop to lower limb tip.
  4. Bend bow, sliding upper string loop into notch.

Weigh pros and cons when choosing a method. A bow stringer prevents damages and ensures safety.Stringing without a stringer can cause harm to the bow or user. The bow stringer method is best.

The safest and easy way to string your bow is to use a bow stringer. What if you don’t have one? Then you’re left with no other option but to do it the old-school way and string your bow with your hands. 

I’ve got you some quick stringing methods for your bow without a bow stringer. And trust me, knowing how to do it will really help you in the long run.