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How should I care for my string?

Updated: Apr 24

Taking care of your string will extend its life and provide endless hours of happy shooting. Here's are a few things to keep in mind:


  • Keep your end loops together to make sure you don't lose your twists. This will help keep your brace height consistent.

    • Method 1:

Illustration showing how to attach end loops
  • Method 2:

Binder clip holding end loops together
  • Do not bend your serving when you store your string. That goes for both the end servings and the center servings. If you do it could cause issues like this:

Closeup of string with broken serving

You can fold up your string by bending the string material.

Folded string
  • Do not leave your bow strung. When you are not shooting unstring your bow, even if you don't completely disassemble it. Not keeping tension on your string all the time can help your string last longer. Unlike compound materials, recurve and longbow materials are designed to have a little stretch. Keeping the bow strung for long periods of time reduces that and shortens the life of your string.

Care & Maintenance

  • Wax your string on a regular basis. If you don't feel any wax on your string or if you are starting to see it get a bit fuzzy, it's time to wax. It's best to just get in the habit of doing this on a regular basis and it can help extend the life your string.

Other Hazards

  • Keep away from sharp objects ... for obvious reasons

  • Also fire. Keep it away from fire.

  • Also Water. Just keep it away from all the elements. A wet string is heavier and shoots much differently than a dry one. If a string does get wet let it dry out or at the very least pluck it prior to shooting to get as much water out as possible.

  • When stringing, make sure the string is in the limb groove before releasing all pressure from the bow stringer.

  • Every effort should be taken to avoid knots in your string. If they are tight they are next to impossible to get out without damaging the string material.

String with a knot tied in it
  • When stringing your bow, the large loop goes on the top limb and the small loop goes on the bottom limb. The top loop is designed to slide down the limb when unstringing. The bottom loop is not. Allowing the bottom loop to slide down the length of the limb can force it open wider than it was built to be and damage the serving material, exposing the string material beneath. This is to be avoided.

String with loop serving separating

When is it time for a new string?

Even the most meticulously cared for strings need replacement after a while just because the string material eventually has no stretch left to it and the shot feels more dead. It’s kind of like sneakers. You often don’t realize how bad your old ones were until you get new ones. When in doubt, it's always a good idea to have a new string on hand and ready to go in case anything happens to your primary string.

Following this simple guide will help you get the most out of your string and enjoy lots of great shooting!

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