How To String a Recurve Bow

While it’s possible to string a recurve bow by hand, we highly recommend using a bow-stringer. A stringer is made of durable nylon material, it’s very cheap, and will significantly increase your security; if you decide not to use one, be aware that there are many tales of people who got hit in the eye when they attempted to string a recurve without using stringer, so do yourself a favor and avoid their mistake.

How To String a Recurve Bow

Both the string and the stringer have two loops at the end; one smaller, and one bigger loop. The bigger loop on both the string and stringer always goes over the top limb of your recurve bow.

string loops

Bigger (left) and smaller (right) loops on a recurve bow string

Let’s move on to our five easy steps.

Step #1:

Take the larger loop of the stringer and slide the top limb of your recurve bow through it. Snap the limb gripper onto the limb and slide it down the limb until it can no longer slide any further, as seen on the picture below:

step 1 stringing bow


Step #2:

Take the larger loop of your string and pull it through the large loop of the stringer (the one that you just attached to the bow limb). Now place that larger string loop onto the top limb of your recurve and slide it down until it is perfectly flush with the stringer’s limb gripper.

stringing bow step 2

Step #3:

Take the smaller loop of the string and slide the bottom limb of your recurve bow through it. Make sure that the loop fits nicely into the string-groove at the top of the limb.

stringing recurve bow step 3


Step #4:

Take the smaller loop of the bow stringer and slide the bottom bow limb through it, then snap the limb gripper onto the limb and slide it down the limb until it won’t slide any further.

step 4


Step #5:

Grab your bow by the riser and lower it to the ground, then step with both your feet over the stringer (do not step over the string itself!). Now pull the bow upwards with one arm, while using the second arm to slide the top (larger) loop of the string into the string-groove in the limb.

step 5 - 1 Step 5 - 2


That’s it! Your recurve bow is now properly strung and ready for shooting. Just take a moment to inspect the final outcome and make sure that the string is positioned perfectly inside the the limb grooves.

Quick Run Down

Here’s a quick rundown of the steps above for your reference:

  1. Top limb goes through large stringer loop and limb gripper is snapped-on snugly.
  2. Large string loop goes through the large stringer loop, then onto the limb tip and slides down until its flush with the gripper.
  3. Bottom limb goes through the smaller string loop, and then string is fit into the limb groove.
  4. Bottom limb goes through the smaller stringer loop, and gripper is snapped on snugly.
  5. Step on the stringer with both feet, pull the recurve bow up, and slide the larger string loop into the limb groove.

If anything is unclear, please leave a comment below and we’ll be happy to help.


Add a Comment
  1. I greatly appreciate the excellent guidance contained in your Recurve Bow Tuning article.

    All was very clear, but I was left with a few questions and comments regarding Brace Height.

    -The answer’s pretty clear, but could you please confirm that the only variable being tuned is arrow-release sound volume: the quieter the better? As a retired controls & instrumentation engineer, my reaction to this subjective procedure was to make it objective. A sound level meter having peak-hold might simplify this step. Acoustic memory is very short-term. Audio salesmen once relied on this to sell the more expensive system: ”which sounds better, this….(30 seconds later to re-wire the speakers) or this?” Audiophiles countered by insisting on the A/B comparison whereby using a single switch, sound A could be compared to sound B in less than a second. Blush…oboy, did I digress!! I won’t delete it in case it turns out to be helpful. I have a meter but no bow. When I buy one I’ll try it and let you know?
    Returning to the matter at hand,
    -Once Brace Height has been established by twisting/untwisting the string, how can one from then on rapidly restring the bow (ie without counting twists)?
    -I presume that it’s possible to twist-shorten a string to a much greater degree than to untwist/lengthen it. What does one do if the string needs to be longer and all that further twisting does is to begin shortening it again?
    -And finally, should the string be pre-conditioned on the bow for a certain time before tuning? It seems to me that the string will stretch to an equilibrium length and tuning before this has happened would be confusing.

    My sincerest thanks for your generous sharing. Meeting someone who doesn’t hoard their knowledge & experience always is such a pleasure.
    Best Regards,

    1. Hi! After reading this great article, I have the same questions. As I’m confortable with tuning musical string instruments, could I use the same principals?
      After finding the best Brace height, I use a clouthpin, after unstring, to keep the string twist.

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