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How to String a Recurve Bow With or Without a Bow Stringer

As an archer, you must know how to string a recurve bow. It is one of the essential parts of your archery. Mastering this skill will help to string or unstring easily without any harm. There are two ways to do this procedure. One is manual, and the other one uses a bow stringer tool. 

We will share both ways with you, and then you can decide which is best suited for you. First, we will share the most common way of stringing a recurve bow without a bow stringer. Later, we will discuss the recommended way to do it with the help of a bow stringer. Without any delay, let’s talk about them in detail.

How to String a Recurve Bow

If you know how to string a bow, you will hit your target more accurately. As we all know, a loose string always threatens you and your game. The first way we are going to share requires more strength and accuracy. It can be dangerous if you are unable to do it properly. So we recommend proceeding with caution. 

First Way: How to String a Recurve bow without a Stringer

Step1: Check your Equipment

To begin with, you need a bowstring and a recurve bow. Ensure that you have the right length of the bowstring. Moreover, make sure that it is in good condition and not damaged. 

Step 2: Adjust Your Bow

Look for a flat surface where you can lay down your bow. Place your bow on the ground or a table with the bowstring facing up.

Step 3: Step on the Bow

Now, stand with one foot on either side of your bow, with the bowstring between your legs. Ensure your feet are shoulder-width apart and your toes are pointing towards the bow.

Step 4: Hold the Bow Firmly

With one hand, hold the bow grip and hold it steady. Use your other hand to pull the bowstring towards your chest. Ensure the bowstring is not twisted as you are about to perform this step.

Step 5: Bend the Bow

While holding the bowstring in one hand and the bow grip in the other, slowly bend the bow by pushing down on the centre of the bow with your foot. As you do this, your bowstring will slip into the notches at the end of each bow limb. 

Step 6: Adjust Your Bowstring

Once the bowstring is in place, adjust it according to your requirement. The bowstring should be tight but not overly tight. You can test the tension by plucking the string in the middle and listening for a clear, ringing sound. If the string is too loose, adjust it by tightening it. If it’s too tight, adjust it by pushing it toward the centre of the bow. 

Step7: Check Your Bowstring

Finally, check the bowstring to ensure it’s properly seated and centred on the bow. The bowstring should be straight and not twisted. If it’s twisted, adjust it by pulling it towards the centre of the bow and straighten it out by twisting it with your fingers. 

Second Way: How to String a Recurve Bow with a Stringer

Using a stringer to string a recurve bow is an effective method, especially if you are trained and know how to use a recurve bow stringer.

A stringer is a tool where you will find a “loop” at one end and a “pocket” at the other. The idea behind the invention and usage of a stringer is to protect you and your bow from injury. If you want to learn how to string a recurve bow more effectively – here is another method of stringing a recurve bow with a stringer. So, without further ado, let’s find out how to use a recurve bow stringer together.

Step 1: Check Your Equipment

Before you begin the process, you must ensure you have all the necessary equipment. You’ll need a bowstring, a bow stringer, and a recurve bow. Double-check to confirm that you are using the correct length for your bow and it’s not frayed. A bow stringer is used to string and unstring a recurve bow safely. It’s an essential piece of equipment you should always use while stringing your recurve bow. 

Step 2: Prepare your Bow Stringer

First, slide the large loop of the bowstring onto one end of the stringer to prepare your bow stringer. Then, place a smaller loop of the bowstring over the tip of the opposite limb of the bow. Make sure the bowstring is centred on the bow. 

Step 3: Position Your Bow Stringer

Once your bow stringer is prepared, you need to position it properly. Stand facing the bow stringer with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place the bow stringer’s pocket over the limb of the bow. Slip the bow stringer’s saddle over the upper limb. Make sure it is centred on the bow limb. 

Step 4: Bend Your Bow

Once your bow stringer is in place, hold the bow grip with one hand and the handle with the other. Slowly bend the bow limbs by pushing down on the handle. As you do this, the bowstring will slip into the notches at the end of each bow limb. Please verify that the bowstring is properly seated in the notches and centered on the bow. 

Step 5: Adjust Your Bow String

Once the bowstring is in place, adjust its tension as required. Tight your bowstring, but it should be tight enough. Check the tension as we did above when stringing without a bow stringer. Repeat the same steps as we did there. 

Step 6: Check Your Bowstring

Lastly, check your bowstring to ensure it is properly installed and centred on your bow. The bowstring should be straight and not kinked. 


How long can a recurve bow stay strung?

We recommend unstringing you recurve bow or any bow soon after you finish shooting. Modern recurves and longbows are made from synthetic material and can be left strung for up to two and a half weeks. But, if you don’t have plans to use them shortly, then it’s best practice to unstrung them. 

Can we string a recurve without a stringer?

You can string a recurve bow without a stringer, but this process is complex. It would be best if you were much stronger and more accurate. A little mistake, and you will miss it completely. You can do it easily if you do it with proper guidance and concentration. 

How many times can you twist a recurve bow string?

The number of times you can twist a recurved bow string depends on various factors. It includes the type and quality of the string, the material it’s made of, and the specific bow you’re using. Generally, it’s recommended to avoid twisting the string too much, as excessive twisting can cause damage and affect the bow’s performance. 

Should you wax a recurve bow string?

Yes, it would help if you regularly waxed a recurve bow string to keep it in good condition and ensure optimal performance. Waxing helps protect the string from damage caused by friction and the elements and reduces noise and vibration during shooting. Waxing your bow string after every few hours of use or whenever it appears dry or frayed is generally recommended. However, it’s important to use a wax specifically designed for bow strings and avoid over-waxing, which can cause build-up and affect the bow’s performance.

Which loop goes on the top of a recurve bow?

When stringing your recurve bow, the upper loop should be placed over the top limb tip, with the lower loop on the bottom limb tip. To ensure that the bowstring is properly aligned and centred on the bow before shooting to prevent damage or injury.

Should I unstring my recurve bow?

Yes, you should unstring a recurve bow, especially if traveling somewhere with your bow. It will take less space and help you protect the bow during travel. Further, unstringing a recurve bow is an excellent practice to make the cleaning and maintenance service faster.


Stringing a recurve bow seems challenging initially, but with the right equipment and technique, it’s a straightforward process. We’ve covered both ways to do it, with or without a bow stringer. When you are running low on budget or don’t have a stronger bow, you can go with the manual process. 

However, the manual process is risky and requires much effort and accuracy. At the same time, the safest way to do it is by using a bow stringer tool. Using this tool, you can easily string or unstring your bow without harm and achieve high accuracy. Follow these steps as we’ve mentioned understanding how to string a recurve bow.

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