How to String a Recurve Bow – The Correct Way

How to String a Recurve Bow - The Correct Way

Stringing a recurve bow might seem like a piece of cake, but it's actually an art form that requires skill, patience, and a dash of finesse. Mastering this process will not only improve your archery prowess but also ensure that your trusty bow remains in tip-top shape. So, let's dive into this comprehensive guide and learn the ins and outs of stringing a recurve bow like a seasoned pro.

The Nitty-Gritty: What You'll Need

Before we get down to brass tacks, let's gather the necessary tools and materials:

  1. Your recurve bow (of course!)
  2. Bowstring
  3. Stringer tool (a.k.a. your new best friend)
  4. Nocking points and pliers (optional, but highly recommended)
  5. A keen eye for detail and a steady hand (you've got this!)

How to String a Recurve Bow

Alright, folks, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Follow these steps, and you'll have your recurve bow strung in no time.

Step 1: Identify the Bowstring's Loops

You might be raring to go, but first things first: make sure you know which end is up (or down) on your bowstring. One loop is usually larger than the other, and that's the one that goes on the top limb of your bow.

Step 2: Attach the Bottom Loop

With the larger loop in hand (or rather, at the top), slide the smaller loop into the groove at the bottom of the bow's lower limb. You might need to give it a gentle tug to make sure it's securely in place.

Step 3: Ready Your Stringer Tool

Don't worry; this isn't rocket science. Attach the larger pocket of the stringer tool to the bottom limb tip (the one with the string already attached), while the smaller pocket or saddle goes over the top limb tip.

Step 4: Flex Your Bow (and Your Muscles)

Now's the time to put your back into it. Stand on the stringer cord with both feet, shoulder-width apart, and firmly grip the bow's handle. Slowly lift the bow until the limbs flex, and the stringer cord becomes taut.

Step 5: Slide the Top Loop into Place

With the bow flexed and the stringer cord taut, carefully slide the top loop of the bowstring up and into the groove on the upper limb. Double-check that it's properly seated in the groove.

Step 6: Release the Bow (Gently, Now)

Lower the bow slowly, taking care to keep your fingers away from the string and stringer tool. As you release tension, the bow should remain strung with the stringer cord loose beneath the bowstring.

Step 7: Remove the Stringer Tool

Congratulations, you've strung your recurve bow! Carefully remove the stringer tool, and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.

Nocking Points: Your Secret Weapon

Now that your bow is strung, consider adding nocking points to your bowstring. These little marvels ensure consistent arrow placement and improve your accuracy tenfold.

Use pliers to attach a nocking point about 1/4 to 1/2 inch above the point where your arrow rests on the bow. This is often referred to as the “nock locator.”

2. Attach a second nocking point just below the nock locator, leaving enough space for your arrow's nock to fit snugly between the two points.

  1. Test the placement by nocking an arrow and checking for a level, horizontal alignment. Adjust the nocking points as needed for a perfect fit.

Tips and Tricks for Bowstring Bliss

Here are some insider tips to make the stringing process smoother and keep your recurve bow in peak condition:

  • Always use a stringer tool to avoid the dreaded “bowstring slap” and potential limb damage.
  • Periodically inspect your bowstring for wear and tear. If you see any fraying or unraveling, it's time for a replacement.
  • Wax your bowstring regularly to prolong its life and maintain peak performance.
  • Practice makes perfect! The more you string and unstring your recurve bow, the easier and more natural the process will become.

In a Nutshell: How to Unstring a Recurve Bow

When it's time to call it a day, unstringing your recurve bow is just as important as stringing it. The process is essentially the reverse of stringing:

  1. Reattach your stringer tool to the bow's limb tips, just like before.
  2. Stand on the stringer cord, grip the bow handle, and lift the bow to flex the limbs.
  3. Carefully slide the top loop of the bowstring out of the groove on the upper limb.
  4. Slowly lower the bow, releasing the tension, and remove the stringer tool.

Voilà! Your recurve bow is safely unstrung and ready for storage.


Stringing and unstringing a recurve bow might seem daunting at first, but with practice and patience, you'll become a master in no time.

Remember, safety first: always use a stringer tool, and keep your fingers clear of the bowstring when flexing the limbs.

Follow this comprehensive guide, and you'll be hitting bullseyes like a pro before you know it. Now go out there and let your arrows fly!