How to String a Compound Bow Using a Press and Your Hand

In the world of archery and all things related, the bow is one of the most important components that you can use. The compound bowing system is a bit complex as it comprises pulleys and stiff limbs; thus, it requires a different set of expertise than traditional bows.

Nonetheless, they have become popular because of their accuracy when it comes to hitting a target. Unfortunately, most archers do not know how to string a compound bow.

In case you are interested, below is a step-by-step guide of how you can do so. You would also find some precautions and tips on how to ensure your safety and the bow’s longevity while doing the process.

How to String a Compound Bow Safely and Effectively

In a compound bow, the bowstring is an essential part and has strands that together form a durable string that can withstand a significant amount of force. Caring for the bow and strings can increase the item’s life, but sometimes the bowstring starts to fray and would need to be regularly maintained. This is a task described as restringing.

When the bow has frayed or worn strings, it definitely would have already lost its strength. At this stage, you should not, in any way, attempt to use the bow as it poses a safety risk to you as the user and those standing nearby. That is because the damaged strings can snap without warning.

For any signs of string wear and tear, it is always better to get things done immediately rather than procrastinate. With that said, as long as you strictly follow the guide on how to string a compound bow that we will discuss below, you can successfully and safely restring your compound bow.

Things You’ll Need

The basic things that are required for restringing the bowstring will be determined by the method of restringing you have chosen. If you choose the bow press method, you will obviously need a bow press, plus a string wax, a pair of safety glasses, a new string and the compound bow.

If you opt to do it by hand, it is a bit less demanding and only requires that you have an Allen wrench, a new bowstring, and the compound bow. For both, if you are not too familiar with the parts of the bow, you should also include a diagrammatic image that identified the parts of the compound bow.

The Techniques

Before you even decide on whether or not you should conduct the restringing activities yourself, you should check the bow for irregularities. If the bowstring shows signs of damage or breakage, you should take it to the archery shop. If the job looks doable, then you should search for the appropriate bowstring to use for the bow. We recommend that you choose between Dyneema, Vectren and Dacron bowstrings.

  • Using a Bow Press

Once you have a new bowstring, you should wax it since it will then be easier to attach it to the bow. When using the bow press, it is necessary that you hold the limbs in an appropriate position. Usually, the manufacturer’s guide will inform you of the most appropriate size and type of bow press for the bow you have.

Using the bow press, remove the old strings. The press will also help hold the bow’s strings in place. It may sound strange, but you should not remove the old string before placing the new string on the bow.

Next, loop the new string on the bow’s limb, and then stretch the strings to the other limb and loop them again. Turn the screws counterclockwise and slide the old string off. Then, carefully turn the screw clockwise to tighten the new string. Finish off by waxing the new strings.

  • By Hand

Stringing a compound bow by hand is a bit of a tedious process. In a counterclockwise direction, turn the limb bolts to release the tension present. Step on the bowstring and pull the bow’s riser until it is in a full draw position.

Using your other hand, loop the new strings through the bow’s fittings and ensure that the limbs get back to their default position when you lower the bow. The loops should be well-fitted into the grooves.

Step on the replacement string and pull until you are again in a full draw position. Remove the old bowstring and lower the bow. Finally, with the help of the Allen wrench, tighten the bolts.

Tips and Warnings

While you can restring a bow by hand, it is recommended that you use a bow press for some types of compound bows. If you use the bow regularly, then you should consider investing in a bow press, which is easily available for purchase at your local archery stores, hunting stores, and online selling platforms.

When using the bow press, you should also wear safety glasses to protect your eyes. Sometimes, the momentum caused by the strings breaking can cause serious injury if you are not careful. Therefore, it is imperative for you to take the necessary precautions when restringing the bow.

If you have any uncertainties about restringing the bow, you should take it to an expert as a failed restring can cause you bodily injury and damage the bow. That is because the shop will have some tools that you may not possess.


Stringing a compound bow can be done either by hand or with the help of a bow press. The stringing process seems simple enough, but it is actually not. The process itself is very intricate and delicate, and it also requires that you should have the right tools as well as a lot of patience.

If you follow the steps, you should be able to string the bow well enough, and it may have a professional finish. However, if you fail to string the bow accurately, or you mess up the process, you should immediately take the bow to an expert as you risk injury to yourself and others, and there is also the risk of you damaging the bow.

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