This is my first bow - it's a low-end recurve with a draw weight of 14kg nominal. At the shop they told me not to string it by bracing it against my foot, because the limbs get twisted sideways. They recommended I purchase a stringer.

However, I am a bit skeptical. Firstly, at the training grounds that I visited several times, the instructor was stringing the (I admit, very introductory, maybe 7kg) bows by hand and foot. Secondly, the guy at the shop also didn't use a stringer when he was test-stringing the bow.

So is a stringer necessary? If not, what is the proper technique to string a recurve without twisting the limbs?

  • 2
    The "without-stringer" instructors are like smoking doctors :)
    – OddDeer
    Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 9:19
  • Interesting. Did archery for years at a couple indoor ranges and several outdoor, was in an informal club for a bit. I never saw anyone use such a device anywhere. Everyone always stepped through and braced against their foot, even instructors. I did not know that there was such a device until I read this question. I have two recurves, and I think they were 50lb on one and 60 or 70lb on the other. The 50lb'er works great to this day. The heavier one is beastly, not easy to string, and the layers did split at the end and I got it repaired twice - maybe from the twisting in question here?
    – Loduwijk
    Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 2:04

3 Answers 3


You can string a recurve by bracing it on your foot. For casual shooting it is okay but I would advise against it. While it can twist the limbs, the actual issue is the uneven stress on the screws / bolts that hold the limbs in place. Believe me, you don't want one of them slipping mid draw.

I would suggest getting a stringer. They save a lot of time and hassle, and increase the longevity of your bow. If you are going to be stringing it several times a week you can understand how it would affect the bow after a few years.

  • Archer for 20 years.

I always take a few moments when stringing to make sure the stringer and bow are as in line and level as possible before actually pulling up. From the position I'm normally in while stringing it often looks misaligned, but it's almost always been because of the perspective and not that it actually is. Though taking a moment to make sure that's the case has been helpful and reassuring as someone new to the sport, and helped increase my confidence in my ability to do it properly. I usually like to take good care of my stuff. I'm not being given equipment either so it only makes sense to take care of that investment. But I'm pretty sure I'd still do the same even if I was having it given to me. Both for peace of mind and that I do enjoy maintaing my tools and equipment with proper care in itself.

I like string without stringer http://hunthacks.com/string-recurve-bow-without-stringer/

Thanks all


This picture shows the proper technique for stringing a recurve bow without stringer. (In @Charlie Fishers link this is called the Step-Through Method.)

It's what all the people in my archery club did when they didn't use the fixed stringer mounted on the club house wall. This included many different recurve archers, including people who shoot (quite successfully) in competitions.

enter image description here

Note that stringing a bow this way can take a considerable amount of strength, especially if you're using a strong bow. As you said you're using a 30 lbs bow this should not be a problem.

In any case: if you have to put too much effort into it chances are you're not keeping the correct form and may twist the bow. So if you're not confident you're strong enough to do it this way, use a stringer.

  • I don't get it. What's the benefit of stringing a bow without a stringer?
    – OddDeer
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 5:59
  • It is faster and you can do it anywhere and without any kind of tools.
    – fgysin
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 6:30
  • I doubt that it's faster but the additional tool argument is valid :)
    – OddDeer
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 6:34
  • There exist different devices which help you stringing a bow, and I've seen the term 'stringer' used for several. If we're talking about a fixed mounted device (like this google.com/patents/US3000628), then I admit that the step-through method is hardly faster... I'd say its faster though than using a "string stringer" :) like in this pic here: images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/…
    – fgysin
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 7:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.