How to String a Recurve Bow without a Stringer

Categorized as Archery Tips
how to string a recurve bow without a stringer

Recurve bows are excellent for archery enthusiasts because of their power and accuracy. They consist of two limbs attached to the riser, which is the handle. The bowstring runs between the limbs, and when drawn back, it generates force that shoots arrows with great velocity.

Professionals use special tools like stringers to reduce the torque on the limbs while stringing. But what if you’re in an emergency situation, without access to a stringer or need to replace your bowstring? Don’t worry, we’re here to help!

Stringing a recurve bow without a stringer is possible but requires careful attention to detail to avoid damaging your equipment. The push-pull and step-through methods are two options for restringing your bow.

Here’s an explanation of the steps involved in restringing a recurve bow without a stringer.

Method 1: Push-Pull Method

The push-pull method involves exerting pressure on both the upper and lower limb of the bow until there is enough space to insert the bowstring. It’s simple but requires more effort than using a stringer.

Step 1: Assess Your Bow

Before beginning any process of re-stringing , you need to check your bow’s condition. Look for any cracks, twists or bends in the limbs or handle. Also, make sure that the bowstring is in good shape and not frayed or damaged

Step 2: Make a Bow String

If you don’t have a spare bowstring, you can use string-making material like Dacron or Spectra B-50 to fashion one yourself. Measure your old string and add two inches on each end before cutting. Tie loops at both ends using a bowline knot.

Step 3: Place Your Bow on the Ground

Put your bow on the ground with the handle between your legs, facing away from you.

Step 4: Step Through the Middle of the Bowstring

Take one foot and step through the middle of the bowstring. This will help create some flexibility and slacken tension in between both limbs.

Step 5: Twist One End of The Bow Limb Toward You.

Using your hand, twist one end of the upper limb towards you while holding securely onto another handgrip closer to its center. This should create enough space for inserting new string loops into grooves at limb tips so that they fit snugly over an inner curve which can help to maintain the bow’s shape.

Step 6: Slide The Bowstring Loops Over The Limbs

Take your new bowstring and slide one of the loops over the top end of the limb until it properly fits into the groove. Use your thumb to press down on that loop while you move over to insert another smoothly, being careful not to let go of either limb or string.

Step 7: Bend the Bow Slightly

Once both ends are securely in place, bend the bow slightly towards you with one hand while pulling up on the bowstring with the other to create enough room for sliding loops in their proper positions at outer tips of lower limbs.

Step 8: Check Your String Placement

Make sure that both strings are evenly placed within grooves so that they fit snugly around each curve without any gaps or slackness.

That’s it for step-by-step instructions using push-pull variation. Now, let’s discuss an alternative technique called Step-Through Method which might be more accessible for all archers.

Method 2: Step-Through Method

The step-through method is a safer and commonly used option when it comes to stringing a recurve bow because it avoids putting too much pressure on either limb.

Step 1: Decide on the Direction of the Bowstring

Before you start, determine which direction you want your bowstring to face. This is important as placing it backward may lead to poor performance and potential damage.

Step 2: Position Your Bow on the Ground

Place your bow with its handle in front of you facing upwards, and make sure to check for any cracks or splits in limbs that could impact the process later.

Step 3: Place One End of The String into The Groove at The Top Limb.

Insert one loop of your string onto the top limb’s groove and ensure that it is sitting properly. Hold onto it firmly; this will help prevent slipping when you move over to insert another end.

Step 4: Step-Through with Your Foot

With one foot through the loop located on the lower end of the bowstring, step forward until both feet are next to each other with a leg on either side of it. This action will create much-needed slackness between limbs before pulling them together.

Step 5: Insert Another End Over Lower Limb Groove

While holding onto the upper limb tightly, slide another loop over the corresponding lower limb groove. Make sure both loops are properly seated by using your thumb to press down on them.

Step 6: Pull the Bowstring Upward

Hold onto both ends of the bowstring with both hands and pull it upward, bending the bow toward you gently until it assumes its regular shape. As you do this, ensure that your fingers are not pinched between the string and any part of your bow.

Step 7: Check Your String Placement

Verify that both loops sit firmly in their respective grooves without any slackness or gaps. If needed, adjust the placement by holding one end and sliding another to balance properly. Also, check if there are twists in the string as this may cause improper shooting accuracy.

Step 8: Test Your Bow

Before using your newly strung recurve bow, make sure to test it by drawing back a few times carefully while aiming at a target. It is crucial to take note of any unusual sounds or vibrations during this test procedure to address potential problems affecting performance quality.

The Importance of Checking Your Bow Before Restringing

Before attempting to restring a recurve bow without a stringer, you need to check its condition. The recurve bow consists of two limbs attached to the riser, and any damage or cracks in either part can significantly affect its performance.

Inspect the limbs for any deformities like twists, bends or cracks. Check the handle and make sure that it’s not loose or wobbly as this could lead to instability when shooting.

In addition, make sure your bowstring isn’t frayed, worn out or damaged before replacing it. Using a weakened bowstring might result in injuries due to breakage at full draw.

By carefully checking your recurve bow’s condition before you start to restring it ensures greater safety during use and can add overall longevity for proper handling over time.


Now you know how to string a recurve bow without a stringer using two different methods – push-pull and step-through. Though these techniques appear simple, they need focused practice for comfort.

Remember, using a stringer is the safest and most recommended method for stringing a bow. However, if in an emergency situation or without access to a stringer, these DIY methods can come in handy.

Taking it slow and following the steps carefully is essential to prevent twisting, warping or breaking your bow during the process of restringing. It’s always better to take more time than rush through the process and risk damaging your prized equipment.

So go ahead and give these methods a try! But first, double-check the condition of your bow and use suitable materials to prevent any accidents while stringing.