How Long Do Bow Strings Last?

Your bow is just as crucial as your arrow when it comes to hitting your target. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a professional archer: a bad bow will affect your accuracy.

The bow consists of the main frame and the bow strings. If your strings are bad or lack quality, you’ll have difficulty shooting. Bow strings also have expiry dates and need to be changed after some time.

We want to look at how long bow strings should last and also give some tips on maintaining your strings. Keep reading to learn how to maintain your custom-made strings.

How Long Do Bow Strings Last?

bow string

There’s no perfect answer to this question of interest, but your strings should be changed every two or three years. You should change them earlier if you notice signs of damage.

The perfect answer to the question above is to change your bow strings as soon as you notice damages. Different factors can affect the integrity of your bow strings, and they all vary with individuals.

What we can do is tell you the factors that affect your strings and also indicate that you need a new string. So if you’re here looking for the perfect time frame to change your bow strings, we have something even better for you.

Type of Bow

recurve traditional bow

Before we dive into the factors and signs, let’s talk about the type of bow.

There are different types of bows, including traditional bows and modern bows. Traditional bows usually consist of a frame and a single string. On the other hand, modern bows, like the compound bow, usually feature multiple strings.

You need to pay attention to the type of bow you own. If you have a bow with one string, you only need to worry about that single string. However, if you own a compound bow, you need to check all the strings, including the ones for bending the limbs.

If you’re using a compound bow, don’t try replacing the strings yourself: get a professional to do it.

Factors Affecting the Lifespan of Your Bow String

Let’s look at factors that affect the lifespan of your string.


The main factor that affects how long your bow lasts is its usage. When you notch an arrow, you apply a lot of force to pull and extend the bow string. Also, when you release the arrow, the string returns to its original position with considerable force.

The constant use of the bow eventually leads to wear and tear, and it’ll show signs of strain on the string.

If you use your bow all year, you must change your string more often. However, your strings will last longer if you only use the bow occasionally.


The weather is another factor that can affect your bow string. You can expect your strings to wear out quickly if you use your bow often under harsh conditions, including rain, snow, and high temperature.


The way you store your bow will affect your bow string. Your bow string will last longer if you store it as you should. However, your strings will wear out faster if you’re nonchalant about storage.

Material Used

Synthetic bow strings have higher durability than those made from natural materials. Although these synthetic brands cost more, they’ll last longer than traditional bow strings.


How you care for your bow and custom strings will greatly enhance their durability. If you properly use bow string wax and other kits, your string will last longer. Poor maintenance will cause your strings to wear out faster.

When Should You Change Your Bow Strings?

Bow Strings

You must constantly inspect your strings with your eyes and your hands. Change your bow strings if you notice any of the signs below. These factors also apply to crossbow strings.


Fraying is the most obvious sign your bow needs new strings. A bow string has many tiny strands, and if your bow starts to fray, it should be replaced: if you keep using a frayed bow string, it can suddenly snap when you aim or after release.


A perfect string is meant to be taut. If you notice overstretching or looseness, your bow needs to be restrung.


The time frame your bow strings will last is dependent on different factors. It’s expected for your strings to last between two to three years, but that’s not always accurate.

We’ve discussed the factors affecting your bow strings and looked at signs telling you when you should get a new string. You can learn more about your bow and arrow here.

Picture of Brad Burnie

Brad Burnie

Picture of Brad Burnie

Brad Burnie

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