How To Set Up A Compound Bow

To know how to set up a compound bow properly and correctly allows the archer to maximize the bow’s potential in overall performance. Upon ordering your compound bow, immediately inspect all the parts along with the accessories included in box. Since the bow comes set up from the factory, avoid making any unnecessary changes which may cause the bow not to function accordingly and void the warranty.

What you need:

  • Compound bow set

  • Allen key

  • Tape measure

  • Bow square

  • Screw drivers

  • Strings

  1. Adjust the bow weight to your desired setting. Use the allen key to adjust the screw on each limb. To increase the weight, tighten the screw while to decrease the weight, loosen the screw. Refer to the tiller for the weight between the upper and the lower limb. Ensure that the bow grip is at the center of the bow while the arrow rest and the nocking point are placed above the center.

  2. Set up the arrow rest. Arrow rest should be positioned in the bow window allowing the contact point of the arrow just above the pivot point of the bow. Balance the arrow rest by finding the limb’s center.

  3. Get the nocking point. The common nocking point position is in the range of between 3/16 inches to 1/2 inches. Attach a bow square on the string and on the arrow rest to measure the nocking point position. Further adjustments may be needed to achieve a better or stable arrow flight.

  4. Install the nock fit. Nocks are now made to simply snap onto the string to attach it. Ensure that when you install the nock there is still enough space to allow you to slide it up and down freely. It should not apply too much force on the arrow when you draw the arrow back since the arrow has the tendency to rotate.

  5. Adjust the cable guard and the cable slide. Ensure that the cable guards are adjusted to give you enough clearance when the arrow is being released and with enough side force from the cables. The cable slide should be positioned properly setting the cables apart to lessen wearing of cables.

  6. Adjust the draw length. Compound bows may have adjustable or replaceable modules to adjust the draw length. When your bow has replaceable modules you may need to unscrew the module and replace it with the new one.

  7. Install the peep sight by inserting it in the string which is split in half. Remove the tension off the string by pressing the bow in a bow press if needed. Set it at a mid range distance ensuring that it is square to your vision at full draw. Tie strings above and below the peep sight to hold it.

  8. Tune the cams or wheels timing. Both cams should perform together at the same time when drawing and releasing the arrow. Check if both cams reach full draw and rolls over together; if not, then cable adjustments or replacements may be needed. Cam timing is not required for single cam bows.

  9. Set up the bow sight. Ensure that the sight bar and the bubble of the scope are square to the bow string. Set the scope’s axis planes accurately by aligning the scope to the peep sight, ensuring the bubble is square to the sight bar and scope lens should be square to the eye.

  10. Test your bow. Try and test your compound bow. More adjustments according to your ability or to your liking can be done as you practice shooting arrows.



Compound bow performs at its best when in its maximum weight.

For older compound bows, when you change the bow weight you also change the draw length and vice versa; however, this is no longer the case with modern compound bows.

To ease the adjustment process of the bow’s weight, set the tiller to zero which will allow you to easily adjust the wheel timing followed by the nocking point.

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