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Archery is a sport that depends on your skills, hard work, and equipment. Missing even one factor from these three will hinder your ability to become a good archer. In this article, we learn about taking care of the equipment. Having workable tools is a must when practicing archery.

Without a tuned, functioning bow, you can not begin to practice your archery skill. With that out of the way, it is worth noting that working your equipment also requires practice. The first step towards learning archery is taking care of your equipment. This article is a guide to stringing your bow without using a stringer. 

After checking the bow and bowstring for damage, attach the bottom string loop into the groove of the bottom limb. Grab the top limb and loop, and step into the bow. Adjust the bow such that the recurve of the bottom limb stays near your shin and the grip near your other knee. Bend the top recurve of the bow and attach the top loop. Check if the top string sits in the groove and step out. 

Types of bows 

Recurve bow

Dating back to 800 B.C, it is among the earliest bows. Its limbs face away from the archer, leading to confusion during the stringing process. It is the most tried-and-tested bow type of all.

People use fiberglass, carbon, or wood to make recurve bows. Dry firing (firing without an arrow) can damage the quality of a recurve bow. Recurve bow has a lot of power due to the bend in its limbs. 


The longbow belongs to the medieval era and is famous for its simplicity. It is more or less a curved wooden pole with a string attached to both ends.

People find it hard to handle the longbow due to its simple design. Longbows are also heavy, due to which the teacher needs to be well-built and strong to use them.

The longbow is easy to make but hard to handle, due to which it is an ideal choice for archery masters. People still use the longbow while hunting and target practice. 


The compound bow was born in the 1960s and is an excellent technological advancement in archery. It uses pulleys, cams, and cables to draw heavyweight with less effort.

The initial draw required strength, but you can effortlessly practice your name after it. The compound bow lacks the traditional look of the longbow and recurve. As the name suggests, the materials used to make it are composite. 

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The crossbow adopts the traditional archery style along with a trigger mechanism. Due to its point-and-shoot method, it is easier to work with a crossbow than others.

It is an ideal choice for people who want to learn bowhunting but do not have the time and patience to practice. It uses a crank mechanism to pull back the bowstring. A crossbow is a perfect tool for people with disabilities who find it tricky to use regular bows. 

How to string a bow without a stringer?

You will need keen attention to detail, patience, and stamina while stringing a bow by hand. Be careful with this process to avoid damaging your bow. 

People commonly use two methods while stringing a bow without a stringer. The first method is –

Push-pull method

The most common, easy way for stringing a bow without a stringer is the push-pull method. This method is effective, especially if your bow is not high poundage. 

Step 1:Assemble it and insert the string in the following manner: pass your string through the string-end on the upper limb. After you go past the upper end, fit the other end on the lower limb. You have now placed your string. Ensure that the lower limb end correctly stays secure and the upper limb end passes into the bow’s limb. 

Step 2: Place the lower limb end on the inside of your shoe. The bow should face away from you. Be careful not to damage the leaves in this process. 

Step 3: Using one hand, hold the bow from the riser and place your other hand on the string loop of the upper limb.

Step 4: You should have secured your bow at three points at this stage. These three points are as follows: lower limb over your shoe, riser on your hand, another hand on the upper limb. Keeping this position secured, push over the upper limb and pull from the riser simultaneously. The bow will bend when you do this step. 

Step 5: Push the string on the upper limb and fit it on the limb slit as the bow bends. 

Step 6: Once you finish fitting the string on the limb slit, gradually reduce the force on the riser until the bow reaches its initial form. Your bow will stay strung if you have finished the process correctly. 

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Step-through Method

If you have a high poundage bow, using the push-pull method is no use. A heavy one is hard to pull because its limbs will not bend easily. In such cases, the step-through method is effective for stringing the bow. 

Step 1: Assemble the bow and repeat the first step of the push-pull method. 

Step 2: Hold the bow from the upper limb and place your foot inside it. Ensure that the string faces the front; the bow faces the back. 

Step 3: Place the lower limb between your legs and secure the end with the front of your leg.

Step 4: After you lock the bow with your legs, pull forward from the upper end to bend the bow. 

Step 5: Slide the string loop through the upper limb end while pulling the bow. Keep passing the string until it fits in the groove.

Step 7: Using the step-through method, you have successfully strung it without the stringer. However, ensure that the string stays secure in the grooves, or it might slip and injure you while damaging the bow. 

Stringing a teardrop compound bow by hand

Locate the old string: the bowstrings are inside two grooves in a teardrop compound model. 

Loosen the limbs: After locating the old strings, loosen the limb bolts.

Step on the bowstring: After loosening the limbs, grab the bow with your dominant hand. Use the opposite foot to step on the bowstring.

Lift it: Now, you have to flex the limbs. To do this, gently pull the bow upwards without making a full draw. You should have some space to attach the new string. 

Attach the string: Find the empty groove beside the old bowstring, and slip in the new one. 

Remove the old bowstring: When you slip the new one in place, lower it to get it back in its regular position. Once it gets back in its original state, step on your new string, and unhook the old one to remove it. 


After successfully stringing your bow, ensure that you calibrate before using it for practice. Measure the fistmele/brace height to calibrate it. You will require a tool called the T-square for this process. People use them for measuring the nocking point height, and you can also use a ruler to measure the brace height. Measure the distance from the handle of the riser to the string to know the brace height. 

Unstringing the bow

Several people like to hang their bow on the wall without unstringing it. While you can store your bow with the strings on, it is beneficial to unstring it after every shooting session. Leaving the bow strung for too long causes its limbs to cede and deform. It happens because the strings constantly pull on the limbs. The bow will remain bent, but it will not break. The limbs will lose strength over time, reducing the poundage of your bow. 

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To unstring the bow, follow the stringing steps in reverse order. 

Tips for effective stringing of bow

Stringing a bow by hand is not an easy task, and it can damage the bow or injure the user in some cases. Some tips may come in handy while stringing a bow by hand. 

Check the bow Before stringing manually, check the bow for any cracks. Ensure the new bowstring does not have signs of wear and tear. 

Know your limbs – Ensure that you know the upper and the lower limb of the bow. The heavy side is that of the lower limb. Some brands mark the draw weight on the lower limb, making it easy to string. 

Wear appropriate attire – The right clothes can safeguard you from any injuries. Wear shoes with heavy soles while manually stringing your bow to get a firm grip on the surface. Wear some arm guards to prevent any damage in case accidents happen. 

What is better: stringer or no stringer?

Everything comes down to preference. Some people suggest that archers must know the manual stringing process when using traditional models, like the recurve and longbows.

Stringing a bow without a stringer is an excellent skill! However, you can save a lot of time and minimize the chances of error by using a stringer. Using a stringer is also safe for your bow. It is possible to make a stringer by hand if you do not want to buy one. 


Stringing a bow without a stringer will be challenging the first time. Without precautions, you could damage your bow. However, everything has a first time. This essential skill can help you understand your archery equipment.

Bow stringers are affordable but ensure to check them before making a purchase. They should have a high-quality fabric with a sturdy finish and a flexible limb block.

Never buy a bow stringer with plastic cups because they can damage your bow. Lastly, get sufficient knowledge about stringing your bow before doing anything. 

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