Compound bow on a bow press for string to be replaced

How To String a Compound Bow – When And Why? (Easy Steps)

A well-strung compound bow is the cornerstone of a successful archery experience. Properly stringing your compound bow not only ensures safety but also significantly impacts its performance. In this guide, I will take you through a step-by-step process of stringing your compound bow correctly.

Its a very simple process of de tensioning the string with a bow press and replacing the old string with the new one, but you can also follow if you don’t have a bow press, I have mentioned that as well. By following these guidelines, you’ll not only enhance your shooting accuracy but also prolong the life of your bow.

Why Restring a Compound Bow?

Restringing or stringing a compound bow is vital to maintaining form. Over time, the bowstring can stretch or fray, affecting arrow flight and accuracy. Regular restringing ensures that the bow operates at peak efficiency and minimizes the risk of string failure during shooting.

Benefits of a well-maintained bowstring

Below I have listed some advantages of using a maintained bowstring.

  1. Consistent Performance
  2. Enhanced Accuracy
  3. Longer Bow Life
  4. Improved Energy Transfer
  5. Safety

When to Restring a Compound Bow

Knowing when to restring your compound bow is essential for maintaining your form and accurately hitting the target While the general recommendation is to restring every 1 to 2 years, several factors can influence the frequency of restringing.

Factors Affecting the Life Span of a Bow String

1. Frequency of Use:

The more you use your compound bow, the quicker the string will wear out. Archers who engage in regular target practice or participate in competitive shooting may need to restring their bows more frequently, perhaps even annually.

2. Draw Weight:

A higher draw weight places more stress on the bowstring with each shot. As a result, bows with higher draw weights might require more frequent restringing.

3. Environmental Conditions:

Environmental factors can significantly impact the lifespan of your bowstring. Exposure to extreme temperatures, humidity, dust, and dirt can accelerate the string’s wear and lead to premature replacement.

4. String Material:

The type of material used in the bowstring affects its durability. Modern bowstrings are typically made of synthetic materials like Dacron, Dyneema, or BCY-X, each with different wear characteristics. High-quality, well-constructed strings tend to last longer than low-quality ones.

5. String Maintenance:

Proper maintenance can extend the life of your bowstring. Regularly waxing the string helps to keep it supple and reduces friction between strands, preventing premature wear.

6. String Stretch:

Over time, a bowstring can stretch due to repeated use. String stretch affects the bow’s overall performance and accuracy, signaling the need for replacement.

Preparing for Stringing

To begin the stringing process, gather essential tools, including a bow press, a bowstring replacement, and a serving tool. Also have some alien wrenches that suits the bolts of your compound bow.

Safety is paramount during the stringing process, and the use of a bow press prevents accidents by safely de-tensioning the bow.

Selecting the appropriate replacement string is crucial for maintaining your bow’s performance. Consider factors such as material, length, and weight.

Tools needed to string a compound bow

How to String a Non Teardrop Compound Bow with a Bow Press

A non teardrop compound bow can only be restrung with a bow press. We don’t try to string it with hand because it is too risky and can cause injuries plus its difficult to get the string in grooves in the middle of the cam without properly loosening the string. Follow these step-by-step instructions to ensure a smooth and successful stringing process:

compound bow in a bow press

Step 1: De-tension the Bow

Place the compound bow securely in the bow press, ensuring it is centered and stable. Use the bow press to slowly and gently de-tension the bowstring. Most bow presses require you to loosen the weight adjustment bolts on each limb by 4 to 6 turns so the string is out of tension. You should do it together on both limbs. As an example 1 or 2 turns on one bolt, then 1 or 2 turns on other bolt and keep moving on.

Step 2: Remove the Old String

With the bow safely de-tensioned, carefully remove the old string from the bow’s cam tracks and grooves. Inspect the old string for signs of wear, fraying, or damage, which may indicate the need for replacement.

Step 3: Prepare the New String

Take the new replacement bowstring and ensure it matches the length and weight specifications recommended by the bow’s manufacturer.

Step 4: Attach the New String to the Cam Tracks

Starting from one cam, attach the new bowstring to the cam tracks, ensuring it is properly seated in the grooves. Make sure the string follows the correct path through the cam system. Incase of a single cam compound bow, the string comes back after rolling around the idler wheel and follows its track in the power cam.

Bowstring going back to the track and groves in cam.

Step 5: Begin Tensioning

Slowly release the bow press to begin tensioning the bowstring. As the bow press releases tension, the limbs will flex, applying tension to the new string. Ensure the string remains seated in the grooves and tracks. Reverse the step of loosening the bolts on the limbs.

Step 6: Check String Alignment

As the bow reaches full tension, double-check the string alignment on the cam tracks. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure the string remains properly seated.

Step 7: Inspect for Twists or Cams Out of Sync

During the tensioning process, check for any twists or inconsistencies in the bowstring. Additionally, ensure both cams are synchronized and aligned to prevent tuning issues.

Step 8: Finalize String Seating

Once the bow reaches its full draw weight, ensure the string is evenly seated on the cam tracks and limb grooves. Proper string seating is vital for consistent arrow flight and accuracy.

Step 9: Fine-Tune the Bow

After stringing, use a bow square to check the brace height and make any minor adjustments as needed. Proper brace height ensures proper bow performance. Its important to finetune your bow.

Step 10: Apply Bowstring Wax

To prolong the life of your new bowstring, apply a thin layer of bowstring wax. Waxing the string reduces friction between strands and protects it from wear and tear.

Congratulations! You have successfully strung your compound bow.

How to String A Teardrop Compound Bow With a Bow Press

The process of restringing the tear drop compound bow is the same as stringing a non tear drop bow except for one step. After all the similar process of de tensioning just remove the old string by unhooking it from the groves of the teardrop attachment but only after placing a new bowstring in the second groves.

You know that a tear drop attachment has two groves or notches, so you have to first place the hooks of the new bow strings in the unoccupied groves of the teardrop attachment on both sides of the bowstring. After that unhook the old bow string from the groves.

Then start tensioning the string and tightening the bolts. Follow the same procedure afterwards like in a non teardrop compound bow.

labels of groves on tear drop attachment on compound bow

How to String A Teardrop Compound Bow Without a Bow Press

While using a bow press is the recommended method for stringing a compound bow safely and accurately, there are alternative methods available if you don’t have access to a bow press. These methods can be helpful with a tear drop setup.

Step 1: Loosening the weight adjustment bolts

Remove the tension form the bow string by loosening the bolts on the limbs like before. Make sure to keep track of each turn alternating each turn between the upper and lower limbs. Make 3 to 7 turns so the string is loose.

Step 2: Lift the compound bow

Bring your bow closer to the ground with its string facing the ground. Place your foot on the bow string and hold the bow by the grip form one hand. Draw the bow by lifting it. Don’t draw it completely to the draw stop, as there could be a chance of damage. Draw it up to 70%. Your old bow string is in the first groves or notches of the teardrop attachment in the top and bottom of the bow.

Step 3: Attach the bow string to the tear drop attachment

Grab the bow string with your other hand and without removing the old bow string, place the top loop (first loop) of the bow string in the empty grove or notch of the teardrop (in our case second notch) near the top limb. Similarly place the second loop of the bow string in the empty groove on the opposite side of the bow near the bottom limb.

Step 4: Remove old bow string

Lower the bow and remove your foot from the old bow string and put it on the new on. Now similarly draw the bow again and remove or unhook the old bowstring from the notches or groves of the teardrop attachment.

Step 5: Secure the bowstring

Again tighten the bolts of the limbs and make sure that the bowstring is securely places in the groves.

While these alternative method can work, it’s important to note that using a bow press is the safest and most reliable way to string a compound bow. If you plan on using these alternative method frequently, consider investing in a portable bow press or visiting a professional archery shop for assistance. Proper stringing ensures the longevity of your bow.

How Long Does a Bowstring Last?

The lifespan of a bowstring depends on various factors, such as usage, environmental conditions, and maintenance. On average, a well-maintained bowstring can last anywhere from 1 to 3 years.

Total Cost of Restringing

You can easily replace the bowstring by yourself if you have a bow press and some tools. All you have to do is just buy a new bowstring that complements your length and bow.

The cost of restringing a compound bow depends on the replacement string and any professional services you may require. On average, it ranges from $30 to $100.

Maintenance and Replacement Considerations

Proper maintenance and timely replacement of your compound bow string are crucial for maintaining consistency and ensuring safe shooting. Regular care and attention to your bowstring will not only extend its lifespan but also contribute to consistent accuracy and reliability. Let’s look at some key considerations for maintenance and replacement:

1. Signs of Wear and Damage:

Regularly inspect your bowstring for visible signs of wear, such as fraying, serving separation, or damaged strands. Pay close attention to areas near the cams and wheels, as they experience the most stress during shooting. If you notice any signs of wear, it’s time to consider restringing your bow.

2. Waxing and Lubrication:

Waxing the bowstring is an essential maintenance task. Bowstring wax helps to keep the string fibers supple and prevents friction between the strands, reducing wear and tear. Apply a recommended bowstring wax or lubricant regularly, following the manufacturer’s guidelines.

3. Cleaning:

Keep your bowstring clean from dust, dirt, and debris. Gently wipe the string with a soft cloth after each shooting session. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could damage the string’s surface.

4. Environmental Protection:

Protect your bowstring from extreme environmental conditions. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, excessive heat, or high humidity can degrade the string material and shorten its lifespan. When not in use, store your bow in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.

5. String Stretch:

With use, a bowstring may experience some stretch. Regularly check and adjust the brace height (the distance between the grip and string) to maintain the correct draw length and performance. Reducing string stretch can help preserve the overall integrity of the bowstring.

6. String Silencers and Dampeners:

Consider using string silencers and dampeners to reduce vibration and noise during shooting. These accessories not only make shooting more comfortable but also help minimize stress on the bowstring.


Q1: How often should I restring my compound bow?

You should restring your compound bow every 1 to 2 years, depending on usage and wear. However, regular inspection is essential, and if you notice any signs of wear or damage, consider restringing sooner.

Q2: How do I know if my bowstring needs to be replaced?

Regularly inspect your bowstring for signs of wear, fraying, serving separation, or damaged strands. If you notice any of these signs or feel a significant decrease in shooting performance, it’s time to consider replacing the bowstring.

Q3: Can I wax my bowstring too often?

While waxing is essential for bowstring maintenance, excessive waxing can lead to a buildup of residue. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for waxing frequency, typically every few weeks or after prolonged shooting sessions.

Q4: What should I do if my bowstring becomes wet?

If your bowstring gets wet, dry it thoroughly with a soft cloth. Avoid exposing it to direct heat sources like hair dryers or sunlight, as this can damage the string material. Once dry, consider applying bowstring wax to keep it supple.

Q5: Can you restring a compound bow at home?

Yes, you can restring a compound bow at home, but it requires the right tools and knowledge. If you are experienced and confident in your skills, you can follow proper procedures to restring your bow safely. However, if you’re unsure or lack experience, it’s best to seek help from a professional archery technician.

Q6: How do I know if I’m using the correct replacement string for my compound bow?

Check your bow’s specifications and consult the manufacturer’s guidelines to select the appropriate replacement string. Factors such as material, length, and weight are crucial considerations for optimal bow performance.


In conclusion, properly stringing a compound bow is crucial for your game and safety. Regular restringing and maintenance ensure consistent accuracy and prolong the bowstring’s lifespan. Always prioritize safety when handling and maintaining your bowstring. When restringing the bow or performing maintenance, follow proper procedures to avoid accidents and injuries.

If you’re unsure about any aspect of the process, seek assistance from a knowledgeable archery professional. By taking care of your bow’s string, you’ll be well-equipped to enjoy countless successful shots in your archery endeavors.

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