How Many Strands Should a Bow String Have

How Many Strands Should a Bow String Have?

There might not be a limit to how many bows an archer can have. You cannot ask an archer to limit the thing they love, now can you? But there is something to be said about the number of strands on a bow string.

There is a specific number of strands a bow string should have depending on the draw weight and material. In this guide, we will discuss how many strands should a bow string have.

The number of strands on a bow string can influence how fast your arrow travels and how much control you have over it. For seasoned archers, the strands on their string are a big concern.

If you have been struggling with your shots, it might be worth looking into if you are using the right number of strands for your bow string. A small detail, but it can most definitely have quite an impact.

Does the Strand Count Matter?

Yes, it does. The string of your bow is what transfers the force to the arrow, which propels it forward. And the number of strands will determine how fast or stable the arrow is.

If you have a bow string with fewer strands, your arrow will zoom across the air faster. On the flip side, if you have more strands, then you get more control over your shot.

Does the Strand Count Matter

You also need to pair the right strand count with the bow weight as well. A heavy bow with a less-than-ideal strand count will not perform and might just buckle under the pressure.

You can find 18 strand bow strings and also ones that are as low as 10 strands.

How Many Strands Should a Bow String Have?

As we mentioned, it all depends on the weight and the material. How many strands should a bow string have then? Here is a guideline on matching a compound bow string with the weight of your bow.

  • For a 40LBS bow, you can go for 12 strands
  • If your bow is 50LBS, a bow string with 14 strands will suffice
  • A 65LBS bow should be paired up with a 16-strand bow string
  • Last, if you have a 70LBS bow, your best bet will be to look into 18 strands

This is not all there is to it, though. You need to find the right length of string for your bow as well. Chances are you’re either using a recurve bow or a longbow.

When buying strings for a longbow, the string length should be 3 inches shorter than the bow. If you have a recurve bow, the length of the string should be 4 inches shorter than the bow.

If you are dead set on getting a lower strand count, silencers or dampeners will come in handy.

Materials Matter

If you are buying compound strings, the material will matter too. Each material has its own specialties as well.


If you live in a hot place or just want to do some archery when it’s hot out, ultra-cam will work best.


Get your hunter on with the 8190. This material is best suited for hunting. If you are an avid hunter, you can also check out the best hunting gloves you can buy. These gloves are important for protection and grip when hunting.


Dyneema is super cool. It is lightweight and also very strong. You will find Dyneema in high tech applications. They are also on the more expensive end of bow strings.


If Dyneema is out of reach, 452x is an affordable alternative. It will not perform the same but the price to performance of 452x strings is still very good.

Making Your Bow String Last Longer

You can have all the strands in the world, but if you are not taking proper care of them, they simply will not last long. The first step would be to buy high-quality bow strings in the first place. Check out the best bowstrings here.


The first major thing to consider when trying to prolong your bow and your bow string’s life is storage. You can’t just leave your bow anywhere you like. Yes, we know you wouldn’t do that, you care for the tool.

Making Your Bow String Last Longer

However, you need to be a bit more mindful. Storing your bow in a cool and dry place will make sure the strings last longer and your bow remains usable for a longer period of time.


Waxing is also important. In fact, a lot of archers give their bow strings a light wax before each time they use them. You do not need to wax it every day but regular waxing is recommended.

You can find high-quality bow string wax that will surely make them last longer. Also, make sure to give your bow and the strings a quick check before you use it after a while.

You can try running your finger down or give it a visual inspection to see if anything looks funky. If the strings feel especially dry, rub some wax onto your fingers and run them across the strings.

Final Words

Not to stretch this any further, if you are wondering how many strands should a bow string have, the answer is — it depends. Cross-check the weight and the material to ensure you’re using the right number of strands for your bow.

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