How to Restring A Recurve Bow: A Step By Step Guide

How To Restring A Recurve Bow: A Step By Step Guide

Do you have a recurve bow you need to restring?

While that might sound like a hassle, restringing your bow is important to do regularly to ensure that your arrow shooting remains as accurate as possible.

Recurve bows are easier to restring than compound bows, but you still need to be aware of a few important tips.

Do you need a bow stringer to restring your recurve bow?

A bow stringer is an essential item that you’ll need when replacing the string on your bow. Although there are different ways to restring your bow, using a bow stringer is the safest one.

How a bow stringer works is that it enables you to flex your bow so that you can replace its string, without worrying about how to flex it and replace the string on your own, which is definitely safer because you don’t want a string that snaps off and whacks you in the face!

Here’s everything you need to know about bow stringers and how to restring your recurved bow without a hassle.

Bow Stringer 101

Leather Bow Stringer

A bow stringer can be bought at various places, such as your local archery shop or online.

It’s worth mentioning that the bow you’ve purchased might’ve come with a bow stringer included.

The problem is that sometimes these bow stringers aren’t of high quality, which means you might have to purchase a new one.

That’s something to look for when you buy a new bow. Although there are different types of bow stringers, they all essentially do the same thing.

However, to purchase the best one that will work effectively and not give you a hassle, make sure it has the following features:

  • It should be pre-knotted. When the stringer has knots tied into the string, this makes it easier to use. You’ll be able to use it immediately after unpacking it, which is a bonus.
  • It should have a strong string or rope. These are found around the rubber limb block of the stringer. They can also get damaged, so you should always check that they’re strong and not frayed. If the rope or string is damaged in any way, such as if it’s a bit frayed, don’t use it to restring your recurve bow as that can cause harm to you. Again, who wants a string to snap off and hit them?

How To Restring Recurve Bow

Restringing Recurve Bow

Now that you’re ready to restring your bow with the stringer, you should follow these steps.

  • You’ll need to attach the bow stringer to your bow. You should do this carefully, starting by placing the loop or ring of the string over your recurve bow’s upper limb.
  • The smaller ring should be placed onto the notch of the bow’s lower limb. Make sure that it is secure.
  • The stringer will have a pocket. It should be secured over the bow’s lower limb, on its tip.
  • Now, some bow stringers come with two pockets. If that’s the case with the stringer you have, then the bigger one should be secured onto the lower limb. The second pocket is smaller and should be placed over the tip of the bow’s upper limb.
  • A quick note on pockets: The pocket is intended to be like a cover for the string’s loop to keep it in place. If it still doesn’t feel tight enough, you can use an elastic band to keep it in place.
  • Your bow stringer might have a pad made of leather or rubber (sometimes referred to as a saddle). This should be placed on the top limb of your bow, approximately two or three inches away from the tip (found behind the string loop).
  • Now, you want to hold the bow in a horizontal way so that your hand is close to the bow’s upper limb. This limb should be facing towards you like the bow’s other limbs. The bow’s string (and bow stringer) should be underneath. Once you’ve ensured that, you can move on to the next step.
  • Step onto the bow string with both feet to keep it secure, and then while you’re holding the bow move it upwards. It’s like you’re drawing the bow up to you.
  • Now, here’s the tricky part: While you’re holding the bow and drawing it, your other hand should place the new string’s ring onto the notch (located close to the bow’s tip). You might need a friend to help you out with this.
  • While you’re standing on the string, carefully lower the bow to the ground. Take your time with this so that the string doesn’t snap off and hurt you.
  • Check the strings to ensure they’re securely attached. Only remove the bow stringer when you have checked this.
  • Don’t forget to remove the rubber band in case you used one earlier.

Can You Restring Your Recurve Bow Without The Use Of A Stringer?

It is possible to restring a recurve bow without the use of a stringer.

The important thing to note, though, is that it’s still a better idea to restring your bow with the use of a bow stringer.

It’s just safer and easier to do so. However, that’s not to say it’s impossible to restring your recurve bow without the use of a stringer.

It can be done, so if that’s the only option available to you, then this is how you should do it:

  • Take your recurve bow and hold it towards you.
  • Take the tip of the bottom limb and place it underneath the arch of your shoe. Now, hold the upper limb’s tip in your hand and gently pull the bow’s riser to you.
  • Take the string and slide its large ring onto the bow’s upper limb.
  • Put the lower string loop on the nock of the string.
  • Your one hand should be holding the bow and pulling it, while the other hand should be bending the bow. This enables you to see that the string is holding the bow’s limbs in place. Again, it might help to have a second set of hands for this task.
  • Make sure that the hand that’s on the bow’s upper limb will put the string in place.
  • Check to make sure that the string’s loops are in the string’s notches.

Important: Ensure that you don’t dry-fire the bow during the string-replacement process! Doing that even once can damage it.

What To Wear When Restringing Your Bow

Man Restringing Bow

Whether you’re restringing your recurve bow by hand or using a bow press to help you out, you still need to take some safety precautions when it comes to your feet and hands.

There are some important accessories to wear to keep yourself safe.

  • Wear heavy-duty shoes. This is important because you’re going to be stepping on the string during the restringing process. If that string detaches, it can snap your feet and be painful. Having heavy shoes is also beneficial to keep the bow’s lower limb securely in place.
  • Wear an armed guard. This will protect your lower arm if the bow’s string detaches and snaps your arm.
  • Finally, wear some protective gloves. Ideally, these should have a good grip and be thick enough to protect your hands.
  • Wear long sleeves to give your arms extra protection.
  • Wear pants that are made of heavy fabric, such as denim.

Related Questions

What stringer is suitable for a recurve bow?

It’s been said that the “pocket and saddle” stringer is recommended for recurve bows.

However, you can also use the “double pocket” stringer. Always make sure the stringer is compatible with your bow’s length and draw weight.

Is it a good idea to keep your recurve bow strIng?

It’s really not, as it can cause damage to the string – unless you have a fiberglass bow, that is, in which case you can leave the bow strung all the time, even when it’s not in use.

For bows made of natural materials, you want to remove their string when they’re not being used.


When you need to restring your recurve bow it shouldn’t cause you stress or make you feel like you have no choice but to ring in the pros who can help you.

With the tips in this article, you’ll be well on your way to replacing your bow’s string and enjoying a new one in no time.

This piece has also touched on some important safety features so that restringing your bow doesn’t become a literal pain!

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