How To String A Compound Bow? (Beginner’s Guide)

How To String A Compound Bow


Compound bows are perhaps the most notable bows on the lookout and for valid justifications.

However, with the proprietorship of the compound bow comes the requirement for periodic maintenance.

Just like any other archery equipment, you should examine a compound bow every once in a while because normal wear & tear needs replacing.

This is particularly imperative in bowstrings, and without bowstrings, our bows are inutile.

Thus your bowstrings require a touch of consideration explicitly.

Whether you want or no, bowstrings can and do wear out, requiring inevitable supplanting.

When the indications of fraying become apparent and your bowstring begins to age, it’s decision time.

So should you use a sufficient measure of bowstring wax and overlook the predicament?

Or perhaps would it be advisable for you to stretch out beyond the problem and change your bow’s string to facilitate the danger of failure?

Be that as it may, many archers tend to jaunt down the aisle to the local archery shops and get their bow restrung.

That said, many other individuals like me love to learn and replace the bowstring by themselves.

So in the event that you are looking for stringing your compound bow, let me tell you one thing.

You are in just the place, don’t worry if you are not sure where to proceed because I’ve mentioned just the things you need to learn and replace your bowstring.

So I reckon without wasting more time here, let’s plunge into it, shall we?


A Bunch of Things to Consider Before You Get all Pumped Up to Restring Your Bow

There are many factors of pertinence that you should consider before dealing with your compound bow.

The end game here is, you should ensure that you don’t inadvertently damage your bow while stringing the bow.

Therefore you should do it meticulously — especially if you are doing it by hand.

First things First, Just Because there’s an option, Doesn’t Mean that You Should Restring

If I haven’t said this before, I will say this now, look there are many ways you can install a string on your bow, but you’d have to do that meticulously, ensuring that you are not harming the bow and yourself in the process.

Whether you know it yet or not, but not all information is good with regards to maintaining a compound bow.

You should never forget that a compound bow is precision equipment, and so it is prone to damage if you are not careful enough.

And if anything goes wrong — poof! Your bow might not work.

Many people use an Allen wrench to release the tension from their bowstrings and cables.

But I’d not advise you doing the same; you see it can harm your bows limbs and cams, and you as well.

Because it can dislodge under pressure, and that’s the last thing you would want.

To counter this, archery shops utilize a bow press, and that deals with the pressure.

However, as a matter of fact, most people don’t own a bow press, and purchasing one can cost you a fortune, just as going to archery shops.

I’d still recommend getting a portable cable-style bow press that doesn’t cost much.

Trust me; it’s your perfect companion for DIY projects.


Hold On Before You Leap

Hold On Before You Leap

To be honest, restringing a compound bow is a pain in the…(you know what). Sometimes it can prove to be annoying and frustrating.

So if you are doing this the first time, get ready to deal with the vexatious feeling.

This is explicitly true for the cable route and string for your compound bow, and here & there, you can get messed up with it, let alone overwhelmed.

But I have a solution that’s pretty much available with you always and even right now.

You guessed it; it’s your smartphone, a potent tool.

Before starting with your compound bow, you can click some good quality crystal clear photos of your compound bow from every angle — especially from the bow’s limbs and cams.

This way, you’ll not have a hard time remembering the route of the cables.

If you run into some trouble, just quickly glance at the photos.

It will save you a ton of frustration as well as time.


Something Imperative

Honestly, you cannot use the wrong bowstring and expect it to work.

That’s why you must get yourself the bowstring from a reputed dealer. Plus, they can work out by determining which cable to help.

Additionally, if you plan to get the bowstring, ensure you have your bow’s model and the exact make.

Mostly you’ll be asked for such information by the manufacturer.


Coming to the Point — How to String a Compound Bow Using a Portable Bow Press

Now that you are acquainted with all the crucial details, I think it’s time for you to get excited as this is going to be exhilarating.

Here are some steps that you can follow to restring your compound bow.

A word, I have used cable-style bow presses that are readily available and are not costly. So I’d recommend following along with that.

If you have a bow press or don’t have one, don’t worry; I will also go over it.

Learning the Cable Routing

Whenever you are planning to restring a compound bow, it pays to study the cable routing and the fine details associated with it.

Keep in mind and don’t assume that you can easily descent the subtleties of such a fiddly mechanism. Such an attitude can prompt difficulty, as we all are prone to mistakes. Trust me; I learned that the hard way.

And one of the best ways I’ve mentioned is to click some photos for reference. You can go one step further by recording a video. Both approaches work, as long as they give you quick notes and diagrams.

It will save you a ton of time and frustration. While you are studying the cable routing, make sure also to gauge the distance between the peep sight and D-loop on your bowstring. That’ll help you to replicate the setup.


Reducing the Draw Weight Poundage

This is not a necessary step, many people tend to bypass it, but it helps to reduce some undue pressure on your bow’s limb while compressing.

For reducing your bow’s draw weight poundage, you’ll have to turn the limb bolts in a counter-clock fashion towards each junction point at the bow’s riser.

As a general rule of thumb, you should turn the bolt approximately two to three full turns. Make sure that the number of times the bolt is turning from one limb to the next remains consistent.


Attaching the Press Cable

Now you have to attach the press cable to your bow’s limbs of your portable bow press. Remember, each cable-style bow press differs, but the setup remains the same.

My convenient bow press utilizes two rollers with a bolt that pulls the cable’s essential point tension. Depending on your bow press style, you’ll use standard T-shaped or L-shaped adaptors to get a better grasp.

The T-shaped ends will snugly slide into the space between the bow’s split limbs. On the other hand, the L-shaped brackets the end of the bow’s limb. Once everything is in place and good to go, to put the slack into cables and bow’s string, you’ll have to press the tensioner bolt.

For a better understanding, you can check this video out.

Removing the Past Bow String

Now’s the time to remove your old string. To do that, you’ll have to slide meticulously the strings end from the bottom cam. Once done, remove the string from the track or groove.

Now you’ll have one end of your bowstring free and route this end up the bow’s top cam or idler (if single-cam bows). After that, pop the string out from its cable’s track and take out the corresponding bow’s end from the bottom cam.


Installing the New String

 Installing the New String

Now that your old bowstring is out of the way, it’s time to add a new string to your compound bow. You can start by running the end of your new bowstring over the retention post of the cam.

While doing so, make sure that your string is running over the groove in the same way as it was before you remove the old string.

Next, route the bowstring over the top cam of your bow or idler pulley to the opposite post of the bow’s cam by sliding over it.

Now that your new string is in the perfect place as it used to be. Check the pictures or video you took before and compare everything from routing to fitting to ensure that everything is in place, and if anything seems out of place, don’t proceed till you get it done right.


If you want — You can Replace the Buss Cables

This is the ideal chance to supplant your bow’s bus cables. Also, substituting these cables is only equivalent to replacing your bowstring.

For removing the cables, you can start by eliminating the cables from the bottom cam and freeing them from their track.

Once you’ve removed the cables from the opposite ends, you can replace them with your new ones by installing them.


Place the D-Loop and Peep Sight

Before you remove your portable bow press, make sure to install your D-Loop and Peep sight again.

If you’ve gauged the measurement of the distance between D-Loop and Peep sight, now is the time to go back to it and follow it.

When you are installing your peep sight, ensure to leave a little wiggle room so that you can adjust the sight when and as needed. If you are happy with sight placement, try to avoid excessive string serving.


Gradually, Release the Tension Off of your Bow

Release the Tension Off of your Bow

Once everything is in place, slowly let the tension off your bow press. You can keep slight pressure from your hand on the bowstring while letting off the stress. The tension provided by your hand will keep the string from falling off of its posts as it goes under pressure.


How to String a Bow Using a Traditional Bow Press

Now that you know how to string a bow using a cable-style bow press, let’s look at the same thing with a traditional bow presser in five simple steps.

First Step

Talking about the first step, it is simple, all you have to do is place your bow on the bow press.

Whether you know it yet or not, the bow press has two models. One is Bench mounted, and the other is portable. We understand how portable one works, and the bench mounted works a bit differently.

It has a horizontal bar with two angled arms in the bottom that slides back and forth with a rubber roller at the end.

A winch is mounted in the center of the two steel cables, and it is manually operated and wrapped around a pulley that has a nylon harness on each end. Before you tight the wires with the winch, you must wrap the operator around the riser.


Second Step

Once you relieve the pressure from the string, you must scrutinize the cam on each end. From the side of the cam, you should find a small and round stud machined.

Now remove the string manually from the metal stud. However, before you proceed, remember to click photos or take a note of the cable routing so that you can install the new string in the correct manner.


Third Step

Now replace the old string with the new one. And for that, you’ll have to place the string on the studs of one cam while routing it properly.

Next, hold the other side by serving just below the loop of the other string and twist it around 5 to 15 times.

Then, place the string loop on the stud while routing the string in a proper way around the cam.


Fourth Step

Now gradually let off the tension or the pressure on the riser and use a ruler to gauge the brace height, and in the event that it is correct, you are good to go. Just apply some wax before you use it.

On the off chance the brace height is either short or long; you’ll have to follow the steps. If the height is too short, you’ll have to compress the limbs again and twist the bowstring sometime more by removing the string from one cam.

On the other hand, if the brace height is too long, you’ll have to remove some of the twists you initially did to string the bow. And for this, you’ll have to keep repeating the process till you get the proper brace height for your compound bow.


Fifth Step

Finally, once you are good to go with all the other steps, you have to wax your bowstring. For that, you’ll have to get a bowstring wax and rub it over the string both above and below the serving center.

Once you are done with that, you’ll have to grab your bow tightly with your index and thumb finger and move your bow vigorously up and down. This way, the generated heat from your movements will melt the wax and get soaked with the bowstring.

That said, you should keep in mind that it’ll take time for the string to stretch at the final length, and therefore, the point of impact will differ till it does.


What If You Don’t Own a Bow Press?

Bow Press

If you don’t have a bow press, I’d recommend getting one because you will need one to string the bow every time for the newer models, but…

The only compound bows you can string without a bow press are the older models with tear-drop attachment.

However, you should never forget that stringing a compound bow without a bow press can prove to be dangerous. This is because of the tension associated with the process that can prompt the line to snap.

Here’s how you can Replace the String by Your Hand

Though archery shops can help you with your stringing predicament with amazing tools, they might cost you your fortune. And neither does everyone have the time and space as well as money to purchase a new bow press.

So what’s left is to DIY!! So get ready with your hands/feet, bowstring, and Allen Wrench.

  • Begin by using the Allen wrench and locating the limb bolts of your bow. The bolts connect the bow to the riser.
  • Now turn the bolts counterclockwise and remove them from the limbs.
  • Next, place both feet on the bowstring, and with the help of your hands, pull the riser up. Keep doing the same to pull the bow up till you get the full drawn position.
  • Use one hand to hold the riser and the other one to place the replacement bowstring on the open side of the new string’s attachment.
  • Till the limbs get back to the initial position, keep lowering the bow and keep checking the loop of your string to ensure that it is snugly fitted onto the grooves.
  • Now once again, pull the riser till it reaches the full draw by placing both your feet.
  • Lower the bow, remove the used string and then tighten the limb bolts using the wrench.


Some Common Signs To Replace Your Bowstring

You cannot always tell when your bowstring needs to be replaced and to be honest, it’s not easy.

Though you can easily spot if your bowstring is starting to age or fraying, there are other common places on your string that can indicate you should change the string without thinking twice.

  • If your string at the cam point starts to fray or appears broken, you need to pay attention and change the string. It is the most commonplace yet imperative to keep looking at if it starts to wear out.
  • Another place is the nock point of your string. This is another typical victim of fraying, so meticulously look at the string, check if it’s fraying, and replace it accordingly.
  • Lastly, if your draw length is too long, then may it’s time to change your string. It is interesting to look for the draw length. If it’s too long, that’s a sign to replace your bowstring.


In a Nutshell

Even though replacing the string of your compound bow may seem like an intimidating task, as you can see, it is relatively easy — especially if you are using a bow press.

You can even change the string yourself, and that’s not difficult as well, given that your compound bow is an older model and has a teardrop attachment.

As long as you are taking the time and patience needed to replace the task and have the proclivity to do the task, you are good to go, and you’ll easily replace the string.

That said, if you are stuck anywhere, don’t hesitate to come back to our guide or best watch a video.

Should you require any further help, leave a comment below, and I’ll reach back to you.

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