How Long Does A Compound Bow String Last?

A lot of people think that replacing their compound bow string should only be done when it really needs it, but were you aware that if you neglect to do this, the life of your bow could be affected?

It is essential to regularly schedule in bowstring changes and get this done sooner if you begin to notice problems with the bow. How often you use the bow and the quality of the string that is installed will have an impact on how long they last but in the main, you can expect your compound bowstring to last around three years.

In this article, we are going to be looking at not only the length of time you can expect your bowstring to last but also what to look for that might indicate it is time for a change – and much more!

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How Long Will My Bowstring Last?

One of the first questions that archers ask when purchasing a new bowstring is ‘how long does a compound bow string last?’ and in short, you would expect this type of bowstring to last for around three years.

However, several things might impact the length of time that you bowstring will serve you. It may surprise you to learn that something as simple as how you store your bow will affect how long the string lasts. For example, if you keep your bow somewhere that is particularly humid, this will drastically reduce the lifespan of the strings. This is mainly because there is a higher chance of mould developing. Furthermore, if the temperature is too high, this could melt the wax on the strings and cause them to fray and the elasticity to be reduced.

Of course, the frequency that you use the bow will also dramatically affect how long the strings last. Each time you draw the bow, the string takes an enormous amount of pressure, and over time, this will cause it to lose elasticity, loosen and potentially become frayed. In correlation with this, how far you draw the bow will also impact the quality of the string over time; the further back the bow is drawn, the sooner the string will wear.

The brace height will also affect the life of the string. If the brace height is shorter, the string will be under more pressure and will not last as long.

The environment in which you are shooting will also impact the lifespan of the bow. However, it is a wise idea to schedule in a bowstring fitting every three years, even if you think that the strings still have some life left in them. However, some manufacturers would suggest doing it even more frequently than this.

How Do I Know When My Compound Bowstring Needs Replacing?

As you practise archery more, you will become more and more familiar with the signs that your bowstring and any other equipment requires repair or replacing. However, when you are just starting, it can feel a little overwhelming, and you may not be as easily able to recognise the signs that your bowstring is on its way out.

There are several things that might indicate it is time to source a new bowstring.

What Type Of Shooting Do You Do?

Believe it or not, the type of archery you do will impact how long the bowstring will last. In the main, if you practise target archery, you may need to replace your bowstring more frequently since you will likely be taking far more shots than someone shooting a bow for bowhunting. In addition to this, target archers tend to use much lighter arrows, and this means that there is far more pressure and tension on the string, causing it to wear more quickly.

Speed And Accuracy

Two of the critical things in archery and speed and accuracy; if your arrows are not fast and precise, you won’t succeed in hitting your target. However, many people complain that their aim is off, and this could be simply resolved by changing the bowstring.

As the string wears over time, this will affect the bow’s ability to shoot quickly and accurately.

Inspecting The String

There is nothing that will give away a worn string more than the visual clues, but these can be difficult to spot, especially if you are not sure about what you are looking for.

On the cams, you will notice timing marks and these indicate where the bowstring should be lined up. In the event that these are off, this is a clear indication that it is time to replace the bowstring.

Furthermore, the texture of the string is a clear giveaway that it might not be performing to its best and needs replacing. If it is time to change the string, you will notice that it feels brittle, dry and fuzzy. You might also see visual clues such as fraying.

How To Prolong The Life Of Your Bowstring

There are many ways that you might make your compound bow string last longer. One of the most popular and effective is to apply wax to the string. This serves a dual purpose; primarily, it will prevent the string from fraying, but it will also make it far more weather-resistant, which is essential if you are shooting in the great outdoors, which most people do.

Storing your bow correctly is also imperative to make the strings last as long as possible. It can be tempting to store the bow in an outbuilding or shed, but the humidity levels in these environments are not conducive with a long lifespan for the string. If you are not going to be using the bow for some time, it is a good idea to remove the string and store it separately.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Compound Bowstring?

The good news is that restringing your bow might not cost as much as you would think, and when you spread this cost out over time, you will see that it truly is very little.

You can save money by purchasing a bowstring for as little as $20 and fitting it yourself. But if you do not have the relevant experience, you can expect to pay around $100-$150 for the string and fitting.

The cost of the string will also depend on the brand and quality; it is preferable to buy a slightly more expensive string that will last longer than buy a lesser quality one that will need replacing much sooner.


Compound bows are very popular thanks to their power and ease of use, but it is essential to understand that if the bowstrings are past their best, your performance will be affected.

In the main, you should replace the bowstring every three years, although this can vary greatly depending on a number of factors. It is important to regularly inspect the string to check for signs of wear and treat it with care to prolong its lifespan.

About Brad Harris