Archery | How to String a Bow
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Archery | How to String a Bow

August 11, 2019


This is perhaps one of the most elementary parts of owning a bow. However, as with many things in archery, some people may be surprised to find out they’ve been doing it wrong. Let’s look at how to string a bow. Although you’ll find several methods on youtube tutorials, the recommended method is to use a bow stringer The bow stringer is much easier to use and is the safest option. The reason of this is that the pressure is equally distributed under the limbs… preventing them from twisting and causing permanent damage. It’s worth noting that if your bow is under warranty, this may be the only method you can use to string the bow. There are several varieties of bow stringer, but most of them are designed the same way. One end is the saddle, which sits over the limb. The other end is the limb pocket, which sits over the limb tip. Some bow stringers have two saddles, others have two pockets. To use the a bow stringer, you must first place the string onto the bow. Conventionally, the top of the stringer has a bigger loop, although this isn’t always the case. Slide the string down the limb. Then, take the other end and loop it over the bottom limb tip. Next, place the top of the top of the bow stringer over the limb tip. If it’s a saddle, clip it over the front of the limb below the string. Note that the string sits under the bow stringer. Next, place the bottom of the bow stringer over the bottom tip. If it’s a saddle, this goes over the limb like the first part. Now, position the bow horizontally. Step on the bow stringer. You can you use one foot or two feet, depending on what feels more comfortable. As a small guy, I prefer a wider stance. Use one hand to pull the bow up. Then, bend over and lift the string so that it hawks over the limb tip Remove the bow stringer. Check to see that the string is sitting in the limb groves neatly, and adjust if necessary. Giving the string a few plucks will usually set the string in place as well. To unstring the bow, slip the bow stringer on as you did before. Step on the bow stringer and lift the bow. Slide the top loop down the limb and then lower the bow. If you’ve never assembled a bow before, this may seem a little scary. After all, you are putting a lot of tension on the limbs. But don’t worry, the bow won’t break. This is how the bow actually functions. It’s meant to take this amount of pressure. And in fact, that’s how the bow functions. There’s no more tension on the bow than if you’re actually shooting it. So, don’t stress, the limbs won’t snap. One thing that can happen, is the string spinning around on the tip, and being strung backwards. This can be caused by the string not sitting properly in the string groove. Now, what happens is that when you put the bow under tension, the string slips off the groove and comes around. Often it comes with a very loud snap, but don’t worry, nothing is broken. All you have to do is put some tension on the limbs, and then pull the string back down, then you can string it properly again. Speaking of which, you may see some people pulling the loop off the end of the limb tip. This can work, but in my opinion it’s much easier… to pull the string down the limb and [inaudible]. Now, what do you do if you don’t have a bow stringer? There are two other popular methods: The ‘push pull’ and the ‘step through’. To string the bow using the ‘push pull’ method, start with the string positioned as mentioned earlier: The top loop partly down the limb and the bottom loop over the tip. Place the bottom against the inside of your foot. Put one hand on the grip and one hand and one hand over the top limb. To put the bow under tension, push the bow away from you by pulling the grip towards you. As you push the limb, slide the loop over the tip. Once it sits into the groove, release the tension and check both ends. To unstring, do the same thing. This time, pull the loop down. It’s worth noting that the ‘push pull’ method is easy and convenient if you’re using a light bow. If you’re using a bow with a heavier draw weight, you may find out it takes a lot more strength to get the limbs under tension. In which case you may end up using the ‘step through’ method. To use the ‘step through’ method, step in between the bow and the string. Place the bottom limb across the front of your back leg. To put the bow under tension, use your hand to pull the limb towards you. Slide the string up to the tip. Check to see that the string is sitting properly in the groove, and you’re done. To unstring, do the same thing. Step through, push the limb and slide the loop down. It’s a good idea to keep your head out of the way of the limb tip. It may seem like an easy habit to do, to put it under tension to see if it’s on correctly, but if you slip, the limb will snap back, and you will hit yourself. The advantage of the step through method is that it seems easier to put a heavy bow under tension, and this is because you are using your whole body. However, it’s also the least safe of the three methods. Not only because you might snap yourself on the head, but it’s also the most likely to apply uneven tension on the limbs. Now, what this can do is twist the limbs over time. You won’t notice anything huge like a snap or a crack, but if you continually do it wrong, you may end up warping the limbs and render them unusable. Although this probably won’t happen with cheap fiberglass bows or expensive carbon limbs, it may be more prone to happen to traditional, wooden limbs. So, do be careful if you use the ‘step through’ . I would highly recommend you are to use the ‘push pull’ method, or, even better, get a bow stringer. They’re very cheap, they’re very easy to use, and it’s far safer for your bow than using any other method. Anyway, this is NUSensei, I hope you find this helpful, thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time.

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  1. "We" cover? Who are the other on screen participants in the video.? Sorry, invoking the editorial we doesnt work here  .  ; )

  2. Great video! I've always used a bow stringer, as I feel it's best for the life of my bow/safety reasons, but find it very useful (and badass) to know how to get by without one. Thanks for the great info, as always!

  3. nice vid. thx. maybe a vid on bow / arrow maintenance? if you did one and i mssed it, apologies! thx again.

  4. I will lead with where I agree with you: the bowstringer is the best and safest method for stringing a bow. Now to disagree with your order; your ranking, from safest to least safe is 1-bowstringer, 2-push pull, 3-step through. Mine is 1-bowstringer, 2-step through, 3. push pull. The reason I say that is because with the step-through method, if your hand slips off the limb, it should move away from you and fall; not the best for the bow, but okay for the archer. With the push-pull method, the bow is headed toward you, where it can more easily hit your face, etcetera. As a level three-NTS coach I always recommend a three month minimum introduction period before buying equipment, then starting with an ILF recurve (I am biased, plus, it may just be me, but I think newer compounds have less draw-weight adjustment than older ones-you sell more bows that way) with other shooting essentials (arrows, arrow rest, bowstring, bowstringer, etcetera).

  5. You do the best informative bow vida I've seen so far. I tryed the 3rd option in my new 50 pound samick sage and I just couldn't do it the next day I tryed the push pull, hurt my fingers like hell but after a wile and a few small cuts I finally got the string on, thank god

  6. your a life saver definitely got a subscribe from me. I was so afraid of breaking the limbs when using the bow stringer but learned how to properly use it from this video thank you so much.

  7. That is super helpful! Also it's reminding me of the memory when I with a help of my father and my brother have been trying to put a string on a tiny crossbow. And I'm kind of sorry I didn't record it on a camera because it would get millions of wiews in comedy category. And also I'm happy about the fact that we had only two arrows and that we dumped them both in a thick piece of wood from which we could not retrieve them (saved many lives). 😀

  8. Good video, I use the push/ pull and step through myself. I mainly shoot wooden bows of my own manufacture, so I'm very carefull during the stringing process. I just wanted to stress the point about even pressure on the limbs while stringing. When using the step through method, pay attention that you use the handle as pivot point for the bend. The way you show it all of the bend is in the buttom limb.

  9. i always used the last method ..never ever gone wrong… and when i started in the 80`s that way was the way evreybody did it 🙂

  10. Let us be clear, as he doesn't mention this in this episode. I've seen people literally break cheekbones and it's entirely possible to break your jaw with heavier bows if you're not careful stringing with the step – through. ALWAYS keep your face clear of your limbs no matter how you string the bow, you don't wanna be in the ER explaining to a nurse how you fucked yourself up stringing your bow.

  11. PLEASE HELP. The other day I was stringing my one-piece vintage Bear Kodiak Hunter and while slipping the top loop onto the end, it flipped backwards and it was strung in a way in which the string went diagonally from the top end where it was strung toward the outside, to the bottom end where it was strung on the opposite side of the bow. I don't see any damage, but do you think the limbs could be twisted/damaged? I am no expert and am afraid of shooting it again. I would really appreciate your thoughts on it. Thank you.

  12. Hi Sensei, just need to know if it is normal to have to twist as many times as 30+, in order to get the proper brace height 81/2. My bow is a recurve w&w 66", the string is Fastflight 63"…Or should I get a shorter string?

  13. Hi Nu Sensei, wasn't quite sure where to ask my question; It concerns Brace Height. I use a 66" Win&Win Rapido bow. My brace height is 8 1/2, but I noticed an annoying noise. So, do you think I should lower or increase the brace height in order to eliminate the noise? Do you prefer a higher or lower brace height?

  14. Thanks for the video. I have always been concerned about pulling in the correct place when using a stringer. I noticed that you pull from above the grip area.

    That is the only way I have been able to make my stringer work. I think it has to do with short arms. This method seems to put unequal pressure on the limbs. Can this be a problem?

    Thanks for the help.

  15. Hello from SWEDEN! First I want to thank you for very helpful videos. I bought this tool but I have difficulties getting the string on the limb. Mybee the string is too short? My bow is a Pro HOYT Medalist recurve, and it`s 70" long and 40 Pound draw. The string that came with the bow is 161 cm measured from the top on the both ends of the loop. Regards//Kenta

  16. With this little tool, any of the guests at Peneloppe's could have string the bow and Odysseus would have been screwed big time…

  17. Why he dont show how to string a recurve bow without tools? The little bow he use after the first technique is easy as fuck. Try do the same with the recurve and your fucked as he even said. But happy i invented my own metod for my hardcore 70 inch recurve bow, I used metod 2 + instead of stepping through the bow with the leg ( my quad is huge) I set my foor on the end of the bow and push my hip against the middle of the bow/handle and push it like he do in metod 2 with the arms back. So I just use my hip instead of leg inside bow to control it/lock it.

  18. Btw the string have a end that need to be up and one that need to be down if you have a iron circle on your string. It need to be infront of where the arrow is gonna be.

  19. Hi NuSensei, I have the same bow stringer as you. But my saddle slips down the limb constantly. Is there anything I can do to the saddle to make it grip? Or should I look for a new stringer? Thanks.

  20. Remember to ALWAYS make sure the string is secured in both nocks before releasing the tension at them and after stringing. It's good practice to hold slight tension on the string while putting the pocket end on top of it to make sure it stays.

  21. I actually stumbled onto this video for the first time today even after using NuSensai as a very reliable archery resource.

    It's good timing because my new (and first) bow (SF Axiom+) arrived the other day, and it's only the second time I've strung it. This time so I could have a test shoot at home. I actually had the thing happen where the string spins around and ends up putting tension on the limbs backwards. It scared the crap out of me as the limb was starting to bend back, and I thought I was going to either twist the limb or break it. Thankfully I was able to get some help and put enough slack on it to get the string off. I inspected it and couldn't see any signs of damage or twisting. It went on to fire some low-range test shots without any problems (except my arrows keep falling off the rest, but that's for a separate question). In fact, it fires the arrows quite well, they shoot beautifully straight out of the bow.

    So in short. I know this video is old, but for me it's very timely and has reassured me that my bow is okay! Thanks!

  22. Any idea on how the Mongols did it, their bows were bent back in a c shape there was so much tension. Been trying to find this out, thanks.

  23. I'm so happy I found this video. I was having a hard time on how to put on the string and was worried if I was doing it wrong way. So helpful. Thank you, Sensei.

  24. This was super helpful! I was trying to figure out how to string my 50# Hungarian recurve and the step-through worked perfectly.

  25. I ended up stringing the bow with a stringer and the string went the wrong way on one end. I dont know what to do as trying to put tension on it like normal is putting way more tension on the top ends groove section the wrong way. What way can I unstring it with a stringer with having the string catapult back when I remove it with a bit of tension still or without the tip of the top limb being damaged?

  26. Hello NUSensei,
    Is it okay to stretch in a new bow string by placing reverse pressure on the limb tips with both hands? (placing the front of the riser down on a bed, placing both hands on the limbs where nock servings are and pushing down gently)

  27. thank you very much unlike other people you actually helped and gave good clear advice. you just gained a sub

  28. hey, i was wondering where should i place nock point on my self bow? should the nocking point be right in the center or just a little above the center ?

  29. im new to using bows. i found 2 recurve in a storage unit can anyone tell or show a pic on how the string is suposed to be twisted or not

  30. The step thru method done correctly is keeping the bending point in the middle, NOT where you have it. I find it very easy, safe, and effective.

  31. ok.. here's the thing. I have a 30 pound recurve, and I'm able to shoot it, but I'm too weak to string it!!! What do I do?

  32. Great videos. May I ask something about bow strings? Unstrung, the bow string displays its various strands. To prepare the string, I know you have to twist it a number of times – but how many. How do you know you have done enough twists?

  33. "This is how the bow actually functions. It's meant to take this kind of pressure, and, in fact, that's how the bow functions."
    Sorry if I am making fun of you but this made me laugh really hard. XD

  34. Informative as always. Question — Why do say that this method puts equal pressure on both the limbs? (isnt the saddle end of it about 75-80% distance from the bow tip and hence puts less pressure on that limb as aginst the pocket end which is snug on the bow tip??)
    Just curious.

  35. yesterday, while i was stringing the bow using the stringer, i accidentally put too much force, my classmate told me, that the limb almost made a right angle (almost). Im scared that the limbs would break while i shoot. I'm afraid of shooting again. . I would really appreciate your thoughts on it. Thanks

  36. I am using the push pull method and my string no matter what not staying in the groove. I re-string and re-string with the same result. If I pull the string when aiming the string almost ’flips’ to the side of the limb way out of the groove. WHat am I doing wrong?

  37. So you're saying putting the riser in a bench vise and tieing cinder blocks to the limbs isn't the proper way?!

    Just kidding, seriously good video. 🙂 I knew of the third method but not the second.

  38. 3:10 happened on my 55# … the brass knock hit my pointer-finger, jesus christ its all blue now.

    I why it happened tho…

  39. Good advice as I have twisted the limbs and broke my sage by using the leg method and almost did the same to my Mandrin duck phantom. One question though as I recently got into longbows and my gompy stringer a bit short so I got a bearpaw tip to tip longbow stringer and not sure how to use it safely. The string comes undone on it. I will use my biggest recurve stringer for now until I suss it out.

  40. +NUSensei
    I absolutely love your videos, man!
    They are better than watching a moving!
    You speak with so much clarity that everything you say makes sense and is very retainable!
    So retainable that I can actually explain it to others.
    Thank you very much for your knowledge!
    Asians make the best teachers in my opinion!

  41. i have a bow stringer a buck trail one , but with the having one with two ends instead of the saddle how i am suppose to put the rope in the groove with the end covering it…

  42. Just got my first bow and I found out about the step through method first. Is it better for the bow to have the the riser against the back of your leg so your leg doesn't apply pressure against the limb? Also, the stringer appears to do the same thing, with the saddle actually applying pressure towards the center of the limb as opposed to the tip, right? In any case, I'll invest in a proper stringer, thank you for this video.

  43. I am thinking of getting the Samick Sage. Will i need to unstring it after i use it? Its got a wooden riser and i think metal limbs

  44. first time i unstring and string a bow i felt like i just went on a marathon. shouldve watched this video before.

  45. Hi NuSensei, question about "bracer height", what is the average for it, does it matter? What differences if using recommended height, and high or lower…..

  46. Thank you! I’m fairly new to archery, so I wasn’t sure if what I’ve been doing was ok or not.

  47. I appreciate your help with this. Just got my first recurve bow and while I’m not familiar with stringing, I am confident in my ability to match others movements and gently apply pressure to the bow. Thanks to your guidance, i string it on the first try.

    I will be picking up a stringer soon, as I agree. The unnecessary risk is not worth it. I might screw up one day when I’m less confident.

    Happy shooting.

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