How To Tune An Arrow Rest? (Step by Step Guide) is reader-supported. When you buy something through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

There are various things that you need to know and do to become a skilled archer. You cannot become one by just possessing good equipment and accessories.

Practicing your skills regularly and having good equipment would mean that you could become a skilled archer in a few months. Knowing your equipment and how it works is vital. Using an arrow rest is one of the things that modern archers do. However, there are complexities involved with tuning an arrow rest.

Place the nock and adjust the arrow rest to its ideal position. Then align the forward movement of the string with the release aid and screw them tightly. If you have purchased an advanced rest, you will need to tune it. Without tuning, you would not be able to use the rest properly. Your aim will not be perfect if your adjustable rest is not tuned appropriately and if it is not aligned with your bow

Types Of Arrow Rests

These days, bows come with built-in rests that help an archer shoot better. However, some archers prefer to purchase complex rests separately and fix them to their bows. These are the ones that need tuning. Before we dive into it, let us look at the two different types of rest.

  • Side-Pressure Rests
  • Shoot-Through Rests

Side-Pressure Rests

The name gives away how these rest work. This type of rest keeps the arrow a little away from the riser. Archers often use these types of rests along with a plunger. In these cases, the plunger should be in union with these arrow rests.

Shoot-Through Rests

These rest typically hold the arrow right in the middle of the bow. Archers using compound bows use these rest more than archers with recurve bows. There are variations on these arrow rest types, but we would not go too much into them for this article.

The Importance Of Rest Tuning

The flight of your arrow from the moment it leaves the bow can be affected by the setting of the rest. If it were not as accurate as it should be, your aim would take a hit. If you are using a drop-away rest, it will not interfere as much with the flight of arrows.

Read Also:   6 Benefits Of A Recurve Bow (Tips for Buying)

If your arrow is held relatively well by the rest, it will cause interference due to friction with the rest. Speed and accuracy are two things that can be affected by both shoot-through rests, and side-pressure rests if they have friction. 

Steps To Tuning An Arrow Rest

Here is a detailed step-by-step instruction guide on tuning an arrow rest. 

Step 1: Installing the nock should be the first step towards tuning your rest. Although we do not speak in detail about the procedure of installing the nock, it is easy with simple steps. Take enough care to position the nock in such a way that it is above the plunger by 7/8 to 1/4 inches. 

Step 2: The arrow should cross the center of the plunger, which should be in the vertical rest position. The arrow rest can be moved up and down until the desired position is achieved. If you are holding the bow, it would be easier than if it were placed on a table, and it would help with adjustments to ensure they are at eye level.

Step 3: We are now in the horizontal position. The forward movement of the string should be in alignment with the release aid. It would be the opposite if you were a left-handed archer. Using the eyeball level is the best way in order to adjust this.

When this is over, your bow should be pointing away from you and not towards you. It is the ideal method to set the alignment straight for the rest. With simple movements up and down, you should be able to achieve accurate positions. However, it may take a few attempts. 

Step 4: Once these alignments are in place, screw them tight to the bow. It would ensure that the rest does not move at all while you keep it to rest your arrow on it. The tightening of screws would require a specific tool size, which you should have.

Alternative Tuning Options

You will find that there are alternative tuning options for your arrow rest that are available on the market. However, these are often costlier and a little more complex. However, they allow for an easier tune-up than trying to align them with your eyeballs and hands.

The Laser Alignment Tool

By using a laser alignment tool, you can get accurate results that are perfect for the millimeter. It would flawlessly help you align the bow, strings, and the rest and put them in place before you end up screwing them tight together.

Read Also:   How To Practice Archery Without Shooting? (Mental & Physical Aspects)

Professional Tuning Instruments

Some manufacturers provide pro tuning tools to help you align all the parts with the rest. Although these are not as costly as the laser alignment tool, they provide good precision with alignments. You do not have to depend on physical tuning totally.

Tips For Tuning The Arrow Rest

Although we provide you with a step-by-step guide, you must use these other tips too. These tips can help you achieve accuracy faster with better rest alignment before you screw it in place using the tools required. 

Select a Drop Away Rest: Choosing a drop-away rest over the conventional options is always a good idea. These are capable of dropping down the moment you let the arrow go, and therefore, they do not have any friction, which could affect the bow’s path.

Nock Rotation Fine-Tuning: Use typical videos available on the internet to fine-tune the nock. Keeping the nock in the right alignment will always help you achieve better results with the arrow rest. Video tutorials are available for free on video-sharing websites.

Use Beginners’ Rest: If you are a beginner, you can acquire an arrow rest that is not too complex. It would help you learn the setting up process one step at a time. The more you learn, the better you will become at aligning the rest with the naked eye.

After learning to set up and tune easy to install arrow rests, you can move to much more complex ones over time. Doing this can help you garner lots of experience that can be used to select, install, and tune arrow rests that are much more complex.

Ask Experts: When setting up the rest for the first time, consult experts is always a decent idea. With experience, they can teach you how it is done. Once you see it for yourself, it will make it easier for you to do it yourself without any professional help.

Easy Tuning: There is no such thing as easy tuning of the arrow rest. If you are not using technology, you should remember that it will take a considerable number of attempts before you can master the process of tuning. Patience is the key at all times.

Read Also:   How Long Can A Crossbow Stay Loaded? (Explained)

Things To Think About Before Buying An Arrow Rest

If you are in the market to purchase an arrow rest, you can consider the below things before acquiring them. They will help you find the best arrow rest you can use on your bow for practice purposes, competition, or hunting purposes. 

Materials Used: It is a given fact that most arrow rests are made of reliable materials. However, you should also be aware that there are ones that are cheaper and not made of consistent materials. So, always be conscious of the material used to make the arrow rest. 

Cost Factor: Many beginners in archery tend to associate higher costs with quality. It is far from the truth and should be avoided. Find a bow that is reasonably priced. It would ensure that you do not end up with an arrow rest that is not reliable.

Read Testimonials and Reviews: It is always a decent option to read reviews and testimonials about arrow rests to ensure that you are purchasing one of good quality. A reputed arrow rest manufacturer would have people talking positively about their products. So, this can make a massive difference in selecting the best arrow rest that is out there.

Consult Experts: Experts in archery can always tell you which one to choose and those to stay away from. This valuable advice would come from their experiences in the past with specific designs, models, and manufacturers for arrow rests.


Tuning an arrow rest is something that comes with patience and repeated attempts. If you are not an archer who has much patience, then you should intend to spend more and use technology. There are no shortcuts to these tuning skills that require practice. 

So, even if you are following the steps we provided, be prepared to fail a few times before achieving success or 100% results. Always move from simpler designs of arrow rests to complex ones to avoid frustration while trying to set them up. This process would also help you build your levels of patience without getting upset with the tuning rests. 

Leave a Comment