Ten Important Tips for Maintaining Your Compound Bow

Compound bows are an investment you have to take care of. Imagine that your bow is a human: you must keep it tidy and in good shape in order for him to be healthy. Most of the archer beginners buy a new bow every two years because they can’t manage to keep its maintenance; thus their bows become deteriorated.

Even if you are a beginner or you have been practiced your bow for over a decade, you will want to take good care of your equipment. Remember that your bow is always under lots of pressure. Maintenance of your bow is a time investment that will give you only benefits. Time is money.

In this article, we are going to present you some of the best tips that will help you taking care of your compound bow.

1. Occasionally, inspect your Compound Bow for wear or damage

Stop shooting if you start to hear a strange noise or feel any strange vibrations from your Compound and check if it has any damage. If you can’t find any visual problem, you must take it first to a professional to have it checked out. There are various reasons for the noise, and you might find yourself with a cracked limb if you don’t stop shooting with your Compound the moment you hear it.

Your bow is a mechanical device, meaning that some parts of it will wear and some will become loose over time. Performing a regular check on your bow is crucial. Applying proper adjustments or repairs can eliminate the problems and prevent costly damage.

Compound Bow used at Invictus Games

2. Wax the bowstrings

Think of it like a car engine that needs regular maintenance to keep up with wear and tear; the same thing applies to a bowstring. Your bowstring is the engine that drives your bow. If you need the energy out of the compound bow to propel an arrow, you must put energy into it. To do that, you have to draw the string.

One of the simplest things you can do to take care of your string is to wax it. The real question is: How often should you wax it?

The answer depends on many factors like how often you shoot, the presence of dirt, humidity, etc. To make sure that your bowstring has no dirt and it has a feel of slight tackiness to it, give it a shot of wax. You can apply it every 2-4 weeks while in a period of heavy use, this can be done every week.

If you start to see “hairs” that stick up from the strands of the bowstring, like getting furry to the string, it’s the right time to apply some wax. If there is any specific strand sticking out, it means your bowstring is damaged, and it has to be replaced.

3. Keep the cams synchronized

Using a two cam compound bow, you should make sure that the cams are always synchronized. There are various ways to check if the cams have perfect timing, one simple test is to watch them while drawing the bow. If they reach the let-off position at the same time, it means they are synchronized. If they are not then you need to adjust it and here is how to do it:

When synchronizing the two cams, you have to make sure that the cables are adjusted so that the two cams or the “top metal thingy” and the “bottom metal thingy” are moving together in unison like two mirror images of each other. Tweak the cables so that the upper and lower metal thingies have the flat section of the cam/module BOTH hit the wires at exactly the same instant. Now you have synchronization and a very solid feeling wall.

4. Change the bowstring regularly

Compound Bow Strings

Even if you waxed and maintained them regularly, the bowstring will eventually wear out. You can’t take the risk of dealing with the break of a bowstring because it can harm you. The perfect time to replace your bowstring is once every three years, or if you heavy use it, once every 2500 shots.

As we mentioned above, a big factor for when to change the bowstrings is how much you shoot. As a beginner, you have to consider this fact because you will take more shots than usual because of practice. If the string has serving slippage, top, bottom or center, it could mean one of the strands under is broke. If the peep keeps turning on you, or you have reset the peep once before, and it has twisted again, change the string.

Remember that when you replace a string, you have to replace the whole set at the same time, cables and strings. If bought a second-hand compound bow and you don’t know how old the string is, change it. To make sure you don’t think twice about replacing your strings, you should be aware that a new string is cheaper than a repair after the string was broken.

5. Never “dry fire” a compound bow

Dry firing will most likely permanently damage your compound bow. The bowstring, riser, limbs and cams are often destroyed after doing so. This is why you should not test a bow without an arrow. If you have friends or families who have never held a bow in their hands, you need to let them shoot an arrow and not just pretend.

If you already did this and you accidentally miss-nock or dry-fire, check the bow thoroughly for possible damage. Compound bows are particularly prone to getting a lot of damage after you dry loose the string.

When you pull it, back energy is stored within the bow, and, normally, this stored energy is released into the arrow when you shoot. If you dry fire, no arrow will have the energy stored and it goes right back into the bow where it can do some significant damage to axles, cams, and string. The result can be costly if the string breaks from the pressure that was released.

6. Transport your compound bow with proper equipment

If you are more into the hunting category, a high-quality hard bow case should be your best choice. It will also protect your bow, and it will keep it safe even when you’re not using it. When you choose a bow case, make sure the outer shell is tougher than nails, and it will be able to withstand abuse. If you are carrying it aboard, you should look for a case that will withstand the rough handling of airline travel. The handles must be robust and big enough to accommodate with gloved hands.

A good case will stand up to thousands of opening/closing sequences as well as be impervious to the work of thieves. If you want maximum bow protection, check for a case that comes standard with plenty of foam. Foam offers many protective advantages which include the fact that the proper cleaning of your compound bow ages the foam and acts as a retardant against rust. Also, the full interior foam will allow you to safely place your compound bow and its accessories within the case with no problem, and the thick foam will enable these cases to withstand an enormous amount of rough handling and abuse while keep protecting the contents from damage.

Compound Bow Case

7. Keep your compound bow away from any source of heat

Know the fact that excessive heat, like the one you experience on a sunny day inside a closed vehicle, can cause limb failure. If there is any heat that exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit, it might break down the new synthetic string and cable materials, allowing them to stretch. If you shoot your compound bow outside in the heat, the bow synthetic cables and string are prone to stretching. If the string stretches from heat or old age, the poundage goes up. This is going to affect the synchronization or timing, damaging your bow.

Even if you store your bow in a damp basement, it could also be harmful to any of its metal parts. Remember that a good bow case is going to solve this problem. If you can’t afford one, at least keep it in a dry place at moderate temperature.

If you live in a colder place, you should check for ice buildups before shooting. For example, in the US the deer hunting season starts in the winter. Hours after hours in the woods will make ice accumulate over your bow. Drawing your compound bow with frozen string can cause the bowstring to snap which can damage your body. The ice can also cover cams, and they may dislocate the bowstring from the groove of the cam/wheel as they roll, causing damage to the bow too. This is why you should check the compound before firing with it in the winter. Make a visual inspection of your bow every two hours if you are on a long hunting trip in a cold forest.

8. Inspect each arrow between every shot

If you are already doing this, you are on the right part of archery. Make sure that your fletching, nocks, and broadheads or field points are correctly installed and secured. You should also look for any small cracks at the nocking point end and along the entire shaft of each arrow. If there are any cracks or evidence of stress is apparent, do not use that particular arrow. Any structurally compromised arrow is going to cause severe damage to you and your equipment.  Follow the safety precautions that come with the arrow manufacturer.

Always buy the highest quality arrows especially if you are a beginner. By doing this, you make sure that you won’t have any major problems regarding the damage of yourself and your equipment.

9. Learn the components of your compound bow

As a beginner, you should consider that if you get to know the major parts of your compound bow, you are on the right track. You will be able to differentiate various issues, and you will know when to call a professional or when you can resolve the problem by yourself.

You can look at some YouTube videos or buy an ebook which will explain the essentials of your compound bow and that might be the only thing you need.


With so many components that make the bow, from the split limb to the string dampener, there are so many problems and parts that can be easily damaged and you won’t know why your compound bow stopped working properly.

We advise that you should take your compound bow to a professional if you are not sure why it is damaged or why it makes a “strange noise” from “nowhere.”

10. Visit a professional service store

As we mentioned before in most of the tips, the best thing you can do when you do not know how to take proper care of your compound bow is to visit a professional. They have adequate tools that are going to do easy work out of repairing your equipment.

Most of the service stores offer a large selection of archery equipment, and you might find some useful items that you can use for your targeting practice or even hunt. If you are looking for another kind of bows like a recurve bow or crossbows, they can help you in choosing the proper one for your gender, age, weight, and height.

They will also give you advice on how to properly use your compound bow. Some of the store services have starter and training bows with beginner archery kits at a great value, making equipment selection easy for you.

They are also going to introduce you to the world of archery, giving you contacts and information on local training camps.

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