How often you should restring your compound bow depends on factors such as how frequently you shoot, how well you maintain and store your compound bow, and your shooting conditions.
But on average, most manufacturers recommend that you should restring once every three years max.
Having said that, your string can last beyond 3 years if you frequently wax it and store the bow indoors when not using it to prevent a stretch.
In fact, one of my buddies has his strings lasting for between 5-6 years without needing a replacement because he keeps it well maintained.
It can also happen that you have been using it for a couple of years and the string doesn’t show any signs of fraying so you’re confused about when to restring it….
Now, in such a case, I recommend that you take your bow to your nearest shop and have it inspected for the telltale signs by a trustworthy professional.
Why you should restring frequently
Restringing your compound bow should be at the top of your to-dos when it comes to your bow maintenance.
Not only does it give your bow’s performance a massive speed lift but it also helps you shoot more consistently and for longer.
Besides, restringing gives you an opportunity to personalize your bow to your taste and maybe install the most recent no-creep materials.
Plus, a new string also looks much better.
How to tell if your compound bow needs restringing
I want us to look at the telltale signs that it’s time for a string replacement, seeing that this question troubles many archers.
1. Prominent string stretch
As you might be aware, string stretch will naturally occur as time goes on.
But if you discover a change in the bow’s nocking point, it, for the most part, means that your string must be changed.
2. Changed brace height
In general, a change in the brace height indicates that your compound bow string requires to be changed.
Here you will need to carefully monitor the brace height.
For example, you can mark the point where the cam(s) currently meet the string with a permanent marker.
Of course, this changing will be a sufficient signal that you need to restring.
3. Clear wearing signs
Overall, a string wears internally even if you wax it faithfully.
However, sometimes you clearly notice signs of wearing.
For instance, some hunters report seeing their whisker biscuit beginning to wear out meaning that time for change is nigh.
Frays and broken strands are also obvious signs that it needs to be replaced.
In any case, a broken strand or buss cable could cause you catastrophic harm so you need to act quickly.
Having said that, sometimes waxing it will solve some of the above signs like being “hairy”.
4. Check the performance
Since you may not always notice your string tearing from the outside, you can try to listen to and note its performance progress.
The formula here is super simple…
Go for a new string immediately you start feeling worse off performances, for example, reduced poundage and velocity.
5. Other warning signs
Many times, you should restring if you notice the following:
- Your peep sight is twisting as you draw your bow back.
- The servings on your compound bow string or cables have started to separate.
- There is heavy fuzzing on your bow string.
You can also ask yourself these questions:
- For how long has this string been on your bow?
- How much has it shot?
- What problems have you been observing and are they really caused by the string (or other factors?)
It’s always advisable to consult an archery shop/professional if in doubt about whether these issues are as a result of a wobbly string before ordering restringing.
Why does the bow string wear out?
Your compound bow string (plus cables) is under extreme tension every single day even if you fire no shots. Hence, this unyielding tension will over time break down your bow’s string material making it stretch and wear out.
For this reason, you will regularly need to change your string (even if you have taken a sabbatical) to achieve satisfactory results during target shooting or the hunting season.
As a matter of fact, ignoring restringing doesn’t save you a penny since you’ll actually end up spending more on to restore your bow’s earlier performance in future.
Then, even if you’re having a championship winning bow, you still have to consider replacing your bow string on time lest you’ll soon start firing blanks when out in the range.
How much will restringing your compound bow cost?
On average, restringing your compound bow will set you back anything between $80-$150.
However, as you very well know, a number of considerations could make this price to change.
First, we know that you have to buy the string.
Now, depending on the string quality and your preferred brand name, you may find yourself coughing up as much as $100 for the string only.
In fact, I have met strings retailing at a staggering $200 especially those that accommodate certain customizations.
On the other hand, there are cheaper types that cost as little as $50.
In addition, the standard installation fee differs from shop to shop.
For instance, my favorite guy charges me $25 while one of my buddies goes to a shop that charges $30.
And so how much you will eventually pay to restring is going to be largely influenced by your brand preferences and the professional you choose to work with.
If you want to bring down this cost, you can consider doing restringing at home by following the steps we are discussing next..
How to restring your Compound Bow at home by hand
Like i mentioned above, you don’t have to turn to archery shop each time you want to restring your compound bow.
I know that for the first time it could as tough as trying to fell a mountain goat in the grueling Owyhee Mountains in southern Idaho.
However, you shouldn’t lose hope…you will soon become a master once you do it a couple of times.
These are the steps to follow to the tee…
- Your new bowstring.
- One Allen wrench
Before starting, you need to be sure that your worn-out bow string isn’t faulty.
You see, a cracked/seriously weakened string might break anytime during removal and cause you serious injury.
Instead of risking with such a severally worn string, carry your bow to a pro for restringing.
2. Loosen the limbs
Locate the limb bolts connecting to the riser. Now pick your Allen wrench and insert it right into the top bolt.
You then turn it counterclockwise one turn to loosen its limb.
Reach for the opposite limb and do the same.
Now go back to the first bolt and make an additional turn then shift to the alternating limb and turn it once more.
Repeat this until both limbs loosen.
3. Flex the bow’s limbs
While holding your bow, step on your old bow string. Now lift your bow up until you the limbs flex close enough together to allow you attach the new string.
4. Fix the new string
Use one hand to slip the new string’s over the teardrop (unoccupied sides).
Remember that the teardrops on either limb have two grooves- one empty, the other with the old string. You slip the ends (of your new string) over these empty grooves. Also, confirm that they’re firmly attached.
5. Lower your bow and remove the old string
Now you want the limbs to resume their normal position so lower your bow slowly.
You’re now ready to unhook the old string.
To do this, step on your new string and draw the bow partially up toward you. Now take out the worn string from each teardrop then lower your bow.
Lastly, tighten the bow’s limb bolts using the wrench.
6. Additional tips
- Rubbing some bow wax over your new string before step 2 can make it easier to install.
- It’s not advisable to restring a bow you haven’t used for long because of the heightened risk of breaking.
- For your safety, always ensure that the old string is present before attempting to restring a compound bow by hand.
- Only compound bows with teardrop-shaped attachments can be restrung by hand. Use a specialized bow press for all other types.
Caring For Your New String
We had said that you can squeeze more than 3 years from your string if you pamper it. Here is how to take care of your new string…
- Regularly wax your bowstring to protect it from drying. For longevity and better protection, ensuring that the wax penetrates adequately into the string fibers.
- Again remember to store your compound bow in conducive places- mostly indoors.
You should restring every three years on average. To know when it’s time, keep an eye on your string for any issues like noticeable changes.
For example, a changed nocking point is an ample warning sign.
Even then, sometimes the signs won’t show so you should always monitor your bow’s performance.
We have also seen that proper waxing and storage of your bow is good preventive maintenance for your string.
Finally, consult a pro if you’ve doubts before going ahead to order a new string.