How to Change a Bowstring Without a Bow Press

How to Change a Bowstring Without a Bow Press

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Bowstrings are composed of many smaller strands wrapped together to form a sting strong enough to withstand well over 100 pounds of force. Under ideal conditions, and if properly cared for, a bowstring can last for the life of the bow. If the bowstring is neglected, or becomes damaged, the string can start to fray, creating a safety risk, as the string could snap, with violent results, under the force of being drawn. While archery shops use a specially designed press to relieve tension on the string, you can change a bowstring without a bow press if the need arises.

Items you will need

  • Allen wrench

  • New bowstring

Insert the Allen wrench into the bow's limb bolts, where the limbs connect to the riser. Turn each bolt counterclockwise, three full revolutions, to relieve some of the pressure from the limbs of the bow.

Step on the bowstring with both feet. Pull up on the riser with your hands until the bow reaches its "full draw" position.

Hold the riser in one hand. With your free hand place the end loops of the new bowstring on the open sides of the bowstring's teardrop fittings, on each end of the bow cable. Lower the bow until the limbs return to their normal position.

Inspect the loops on the bowstring to be sure they are fully seated into the grooves on the bowstring fittings. Step on the new bowstring with both feet and pull up on the riser until the bow reaches its full draw position. Remove the old bowstring from the fittings and lower the bow. Retighten the limb bolts with the Allen wrench.


  • Use care not to overdraw the bow, or you can damage the limbs.
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