How To Install An Arrow Rest On A Recurve Bow? (Step By Step Guide) is reader-supported. When you buy something through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Archery, like every other sport, requires multiple skills to master. Besides owning good archery gear, a skilled archer knows how to take care of their equipment. And maintenance of a recurve bow is not as easy as a compound bow. However, using a recurve bow can be an enjoyable and satisfying experience if done correctly.

For instance, working with an arrow rest can stabilize the arrow when the bow is fully drawn. Both experts and beginners use it to increase their accuracy and improve their shooting game. This article will discuss how to install an arrow rest on your recurve bow easily. 

How To Install An Arrow Rest On A Recurve Bow?

Position the arrow rest correctly so that the arrow will sit on the arrow rest square. It will ensure that the plunger receives even side pressure during release. The minimum possible arrow rest arm must protrude from the arrow, so cut the excess as it can cause clearance problems when the arrow moves forward.

If you have a glue-on arrow rest, you can stick it to the bow’s shelf using adhesive or double-sided tape. However, if you possess a screw-in-type bow, you need to use a screw to attach it to the bow’s riser. It is important to note that screw-in rest is a permanent installation and leaves holes if you remove it.

Different types of arrow rest

Some recurve bows arrive with readily installed arrow rests. But if your bow does not have a built-in rest, you can choose one depending on the type of arrows you plan to nock. We have described the options briefly so you can compare their uses and drawbacks.

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Thick plastic stick-on arrow rest

Such arrow rests are reliable and easy to replace. They are also affordable and retain the arrow if an archer uses improper techniques. Hence, novices usually prefer glue-on plastic rests while training. The downside, however, is that they are less flexible and interfere with the arrow.

Thin plastic stick-on arrow rest

Like thick plastic rests, they are inexpensive but less durable. But if you are gentle, it will last longer than the previous option. Also, such rests are flexible and do not restrain the arrow much. However, you cannot change the elevation of an arrow, so you need to bend the plastic shelf, which is not ideal.

Stick-on metal rest

The attachment mechanism of a metal rest is the same as the plastic ones. The noticeable difference is its metal body, which is fully adjustable. They are also stronger and use a magnetic feature to minimize arrow interference. Cheaper options include a spring feature. But no spare parts are available, so you will have to replace the entire set if something breaks.

Screw-in metal rest

The arrow rest is held together with the bow with a screw. The metal arm extends to fit under the pressure button in such rests. It is more advantageous than stick-on rests as it does not fall off due to vibrations. Although expensive, its sturdiness makes up for the price.

Whisker biscuit arrow rest

This arrow is very different from the rest. It is designed specifically for hunting purposes and retains the arrows exceptionally well. However, the same feature reduces its accuracy as the rest interferes with the arrow. Long-distance shooters generally do not prefer a whisker biscuit rest.

Advantages of using an arrow rest

Arrow rests are an incredibly inexpensive way to modify your recurve bow. They are worth a try if you are a beginner at archery. Here are some important benefits of using an arrow rest with your recurve bow.

  • Improved aim and accuracy.
  • Stability for the arrows.
  • Preventing wear and tear of the bow.
  • Increased lifespan of the arrows.
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Steps for installing an arrow rest

Although installing an arrow rest is rather unchallenging, the focus should be on the details. You will find a step-by-step process compiled down below.

For a stick-on rest

Step 1: Clean your workstation of any dust and grime. Next, remove any grease from the arrow riser surface.

Step 2: Measure the arrow rest and the bow. Outline the riser and cut the arrow if it is oversized.

Step 3: Apply glue on the plates’ bottom to stick it with the riser. If your rest is self-adhesive, peel off the paper and press it on the bow.

Step 4 – Align the bow’s handle and the arrow plate, leaving some space between the two.

Step 5 – Attach the arrow rest to the bow by applying mild pressure for a few seconds.

For a screw-in arrow rest:

Step 1 – Dust off your table and remove any grime residues.

Step 2 – Slowly fasten the screws in the riser’s second hole. Tighten them carefully to prevent breaking of the parts.

Step 3 – Loosen or tighten the riser bolt as per your comfort. Make any other adjustments if desired. 

An alternative way for installing

If you face difficulty aligning the gear manually, a laser alignment tool can help. It will measure the exact length before you start adjusting the screws.

Tips for installing an arrow rest 

  • Do not try to bend the wire if the arrow rest keeps detaching. Since the wire is very stiff, it may break. Make a notch using a glue gun or solder to prevent the arrow from falling off.
  • If you are not confident enough to complete the installation alone, you can ask a professional for help. It would be wise to do so because archery is a dangerous sport, and you can injure others or yourself. You can also visit an archery store to get it installed. Although they will charge a small fee, your bow would be in safe hands.
  • While installing a stick-on arrow rest, ensure that it is aligned correctly. If you try to dislocate it, the sticky ends will lose their strength. Always keep a sticky tape handy because the rest might fall off in hot and humid weather.
  • Before setting out to hunt, test the arrow rest by shooting some arrows. Adjust the nocking point upwards if the dart goes too high and downwards if the fired arrow is too low.
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Things to consider before buying and installing an arrow rest

Interference with the arrow

Arrow interference determines the accuracy of your shot. An arrow passes through the arrow rest. Therefore it can disturb the arrow’s path. Rests that retain the arrow will interfere more and vice versa. 


More complex an arrow rest, the more maintenance it requires. It is also difficult to install and use, so beginners do not prefer such rests.


An arrow rest’s objective is to hold the arrow in its place. This quality is known as the retention factor. Some rests are better at their job than others.

Where metal rests do not cause much inconvenience, plastic arrow rests interfere more and do not show retention. It is important for hunters that the rest should retain the arrow. But if you are aiming in a field, it would not make much difference.  


To install an arrow rest perfectly, you should pay attention to the details. It is a piece of cake if you know your way around the shooting gear.

However, it may be difficult for novices. So they can seek help from experts or use some tools. Like other activities, you will master the installation process after some practice. 

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