How to Measure Bowstring Length Correctly

I’ve been a professional builder of bowstrings for three years and one of the most misunderstood factors in archery I’ve had to come to terms with is how to properly measure a bowstring length.

Archery is an old sport. The more the evolution of this sport, the more evidence that there had to be at least a guideline or a kind of standard in place that archers and other people could follow in terms of taking a proper measurement of bowstrings.

Due to the increase in popularity of crossbows and compounds, a lot of the Archery Manufacturer’s Organisation standards (AMO) seem to have been forgotten.

Nonetheless, traditional archery is still as popular as ever, and it has become more important than ever for archers and other individuals alike to understand effectively and correctly determine the actual bowstring length that’s proper for a bow.

First, we need to understand the different types of bowstrings and how to measure each of them.

Types of bowstrings

There are about three basic types of bowstrings;

types of bowstrings

1. Simple Strings

These bowstrings can be manufactured from any type of fiber material. They are made by wriggling fibers into one sole lengthy chunk of cord.

This type of string is very fundamental but it is still utilized in various parts of the world where certain duty strings are not available. These strings are sometimes good just for a few shots from a bow and are not able to function as much as modern types of strings.

How To Measure The Length Of A Simple BowString.

To get the correct measurement for the simple bowstring length, you will need a measurement tape. Utilizing the tape, calculate along the length of the bow limbs from one string groove to the other, this will provide you with the appropriate string length.

How To Measure BowString Length

The length of the bow can also be measured from tip to tip to discover the AMO and then subtract consequently hinging on the face of the bow. Learn to calculate across the top of the bow parts and do not gauge into the handle’s arc.

2. Reverse Twisted Strings

These strings are conventional in America for the majority of natural equipment. Hemp fiber has been mostly used followed by linen. The structure is also utilized for contemporary equipment.

A reverse twisted string is composed of diverse bundles, each of them is solely curled in one direction, while the whole bundle is then curled in the opposite direction. The result is that the weight of the string is tougher and holds stronger than a simple string.

Dissimilar to the simple string, the whole thickness of the reverse twisted string runs around the nocks on the edges of the bow, where it is usually the easiest for it to wear out.

You can also put together extra threads to lay in the nocking points of the arrow and strengthen the bow stave, which are the major points that tear out quickly.

You can secure the reverse twisted string to the bow by a strong knot at each end, usually, a wood snag also referred to as the bowyer’s knot.

These strings sometimes have laid-in loops at one end, making it easier than it is normal for most knots or bolts to stay above the tip of the bow when tying and loosening strings.

The short length towards one of the ends that usually forms the loop when the first is reverse twisted is harder to make. The tip of each of the bundles is then fixed into the original length of the bundle which is in turn, reverse twisted.

Sometimes strings can be made by twisting in a reverse process in several directions both in the outer and main sheets of the string.

How To Measure The Length Of A Reverse Twisted BowString

Allow the bow to lay face down. Correctly determine the measurement from one bowstring groove to the other, just across the curve of the offshoot of the bow. Avoid the grip area of the bow and instead, heed the natural line or paunch of the bow.

How To Measure The Length Of A Reverse Twisted BowString

3. Recurve BowString

Working out the standard length of the string for your recurve is not as complicated as we might sometimes think. Be careful with the bow, check out for writing at the bottom or on the side. You should see something that looks like this, “56”/28#”.

This only implies that you have a 56 inch now from one tip to the other tip and a weight of 28 at a 26 draw size. This means you’ll be needing a 56-inch AMO bowstring.

Nevertheless, AMO measurements have a precise length of strings that is 4-inch less. This means that the 56″ AMO strength is just 52″. This is crucial for you so you can understand when to request against the string or the AMO.


Before measuring the length of your bowstring, it is advisable to first determine its type. If you still have some issues determining the length after then, it is advisable to visit an archery shop and let a professional help you. No man is an island of knowledge. Take note.