how to string a recurve bow

How To String A Recurve Bow | Just 10 Simple Steps

As a bow is fundamental equipment of archery, knowing how to string a recurve bow or traditional bow or longbow is fundamental for using this bow. After purchasing a recurve bow first thing you will have to do is string the bow. Because it comes unstrung.

Stringing a bow is also called bracing. It actually means putting the eye (loop) of the string into the top-notch of the bow. Though it sounds too easy, it requires caution as it could injure you as well as your bow. Perfect tuning is really important for an accurate shot and a perfect tuning depends on how you strung your recurve bow.

Nowadays, you will find a bow-stringer at any archery shop who can help you to string your recurve bow easily and safely. But, what to do when you don’t have a bow stringer? No worries, we are here to tell you how to string a recurve bow with and without a bow-stringer.

Let’s See How To String A Recurve Bow With A Stringer

Get A Bow Stringer

We already told you that we will talk about how to string a bow with and without a stringer but we always recommend having a stringer. This is a cheap tool mostly available at every archery shop out there.  While buying a stringer, you have to confirm that it is designed for recurve bow. Otherwise, it will not fill on the top of the bow limbs. There are two types of stringers that are common, “pocket and saddle” and “double pocket”.

Put The String On The Bow Tips

If you have a takedown recurve bow we assume that you have already assembled it. If you need help assembling the takedown bow you can check the video below.

Well, after assembling the bow let’s perfectly put the string. There are two eyes/loops on both sides of the string. Carefully place them on the right limb. The big loop will be on the upper limb of the recurve bow and the smaller one will be notched on the lower limb. Place the string comfortably.

To identify the correct limb check which part of the riser is heavier. On the heavier side of the riser, you will get the lower limb. The draw weight of the recurve bow is marked at the lower limb as well.

Time To Place Stringer

If you have a pocket and saddle bow-stringer you will find one pocket at one end and a loop on the other end of the stringer. Insert the saddle of the stringer on the upper limb, just behind the string loop about three inches from the tip. The pocket has to be put on the lower limb. Make sure to hold the saddle in place and to reduce friction press it against the limb.

place the saddle of the stringer

If you have two pockets bow-stringer, there are two different sized pockets on the two different sides of the stringer. Insert the small one on the upper limb and the other one on the lower limb. We recommend using two pockets bow-stringer for the recurve bow.

place the pocket of the bow stringer

Hold The Bow Horizontally

After placing string and stringer in the right place, it’s also important to learn how to hold the bow for the stringing process before going to the next step. Hold the riser of the recurve bow and take it in a horizontal position. Hold it with your non-dominant hand so that your dominant hand is near the upper limb.

how to string a recurve bow place the bow horizontally

If you hold it correctly you will see the bowstring and the string of the bow-stringer underneath and the tip of the limbs facing upward.

Step On Bow Stringer’s String

Now it’s time to step on the string of the bow stringer. Sounds easy, but do it more carefully. Step on the string with the ball of your fit so that the string cannot slip away while pulling the bow.

Before stepping on the bow stringer’s string, lower the bow so that string of the bow stringer touches the ground. Some people prefer to step on it with one foot some prefer with both feet. Basically, it totally depends on your comfort but using both feet will assure extra stability. If you step with both feet, leave them closer as possible.

Pull Up The Bow

While stepping on the string of bow stringer, grip the bow gently and pull the bow upward. Never forget to ensure the security of the bow. When you draw the recurve bow upward, it will bend toward the ground.

Some people are afraid of pulling the bow because they think the bow may fracture. There is nothing to worry about, the bow is made in such a way that it can tolerate the force. To get rid of this fear, just imagine your feet as your drawing hand and stringer’s string as your bowstring. So, when you draw the bow upward it will feel the same force as it feels while shooting.

how to string a recurve bow - notch the big loop

Notch The Big Loop

While you drawing the bow back, slide the string until it notches at the tip of the limb. If you do so, it will notch at the notching point, located at the tip of the bow. If you will find it difficult to do, maybe it’s because the string of the bow-stringer is large. In this case, you can tie a knot to make it shorter.

Again, it could feel difficult not always for the larger string, it’s because you are not still used to it. Once you got used to pulling the bow with one hand and notching it with the other hand, there will be no difficulties. It’s just a matter of practice.

Gently Release The Draw

At this stage, you should confirm that the bowstring is securely notched in the groove. Keep your finger over the string so that if it starts to slip off you can stop it while you release the draw.

Now lower the bow slowly until the stringer’s string got loosen. You must ensure doing it steadily otherwise if the bowstring doesn’t notch properly, the bow limbs could slap on your face.

Check The String Again

You successfully strung your bow. It seems everything is done but not. You need to turn the bow so that the tips of the limbs face away from you and check the string whether it fitted well in the groove. You can check it by pulling it just a few inches several times.

If you feel it doesn’t fit properly, repeat the stringing process.

Put Off The Stringer

Here comes the final step of how to string a recurve bow. When you assure that the bowstring is properly strung, at first remove the saddle of the stringer then uncap the other part of the string from the lower limb of the bow.

Few Additional Things To String A Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow

How To Unstring A Bow?

Sometimes you need to unstring your recurve bow for many reasons such as to try a new string. Some people also recommend to unstring the bow after every session and store the bow unstrung. It’s true that if you keep your bow stung too long, the limbs of the bow could deform, and then it will not produce the desired kinetic energy while shooting. Also keeping the bow strung can damage the quality of the string.

To unstring a bow simply reverse the process from the last step to the first. Like, put on the stringer, step on the string of the stringer, draw the bow and release the string from the groove. Do this process gently as well. This is so easy as learning how to string a recurve bow.

Let’s See How To String A Recurve Bow Without Stringer

What to do if you don’t have a stringer? It’s still possible to string a bow when you don’t have a stringer. There are two methods to string a recurve bow without a stringer.

  • Push-Pull Method
  • Step-Through Method

Push-Pull Method

In the push-pull method, you will need to place the big loop of the string approximately three inches away from the tip of the upper limb and smaller loop should be placed on the tip of the lower limb.

After that, place the tip of the lower limb against the inside of your foot. Grip the bow with first hand and second hand on the upper limb. Now push the bow away from you with the second hand and pull the bow toward you with the first hand, it will put the bow under tension. While pushing the bow away with the second hand, gently slide the big loop over the top of the limb.

When the string will set into the groove, release the draw steadily. Afterward, check both ends of the string whether it properly sits in the groove. To unstring the bow without the bow stringer follow the same method and pull the loop off.

Step-Through Method

However, push-pull is the easier method when the bow in your hand is lightweight. But when it’s a bow with high draw weight, it’s a matter of strength. In this case, you need to go for the step-through method of stringing.

In this method, step between the bow and the bowstring in a way that the bowstring faces the front and the bow faces the back of your leg.  Then place the lower limb across the front side of your leg which is in the back. Now lock the bow with your legs and pull the upper limb bent toward you. Finally slide the big loop of the string up to the tip. As always check the string whether it sits well in the groove and you are done.

To unstring repeat the same process. Step through, lock the lower limb in between your legs, push the upper limb and slide down the big loop.

Yeah, that’s all about how to string a bow. The advantage of this method is that it is easier to put under tension even if the bow is heavy.


To end it up, as we always mention, keep the safety of yours’ and the people near you in your mind. Whatever method you are following to string your bow, always keep your head away from the tip of the limb and from the way of it.

Sometimes, we found some new archer used to try a closer look at the limb tip while stringing. In this case, if you slip the limb it will snap back and will hit your face with a huge force. Stay aware of it and always ensure your security.

If you will get hurt, who will hit the target?

We like to mention again that, to string, a bow none of the above methods is the alternative to a bow stringer. Those are just for an emergency moment like you are in an archery range and you forgot to bring the bow stringer besides there is no bow stringer with your fellows as well.

Having a bow-stringer with you is so important as having arrows while you are an owner of a bow. But for emergencies always try to follow the “push-pull” method. It’s far safer for your recurve bow as well.

That’s all about how to string a recurve bow. We always recommend you keep yourself up to date with the world of archery. If this lesson is worth a comment please write it below. Besides, if you have any additional queries regarding recurve bows, compound bows, crossbows, archery accessories, and or archery lessons, feel free to ask below. We will include them ASAP. We always appreciate your feedback.

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