Best Compound Bow Strings: Reviews and Buying Guide

The bowstring is one of the three fundamental parts of a compound bow.  If it is broken or feels loose or flimsy at full draw, your bow may not deliver the desired results. In that case, it’s time to have the bowstring replaced.

It’s important to choose the right replacement bowstring, though. Your bowstring will affect the fine-tuning of your equipment, the vibration and noise levels of arrows as they are released, and the efficiency of your shot. So, what makes a good bowstring and what are the best compound bowstrings on the market?

Our Top Pick

B-50 Dacron strings top the list as the best compound bowstrings you can purchase in 2019. This bowstring is available in a variety of strand thickness to suit different bow weights. It’s available in a wide selection of lengths as well.

They are also durable and flexible. You can twist and untwist it to adjust the length to suit your specific needs. It’s more affordable compared to its competitors too.

Top-rated Compound Bow Strings Reviews

SAS B-50 Dacron Replacement Bowstring

B-50 Dacron strings are one of the best-selling bowstrings on the market. They come in three strand numbers, so you can pick a string that matches the weight of your weapon. The options are 12, 14, and 16 strands.

The 12-strand bowstring will be an ideal option if you own a 40-pound bow. You will need the 14-strand string if your bow doesn’t exceed 50 pounds.  Conversely, the 16-strand version would be the best option if you’re using a 65-pound bow.

You can adjust the length of this bowstring by twisting or untwisting it. It is also competitively priced compared to other strings in its class.

Pros

  • Available in a variety of strand numbers
  • Durable construction
  • Quite easy to pack the unstrung bowstring into storage

Cons

  • The length indicated on the package may be different from the actual string length
  • Servings opening near the nock and limb tips.

As far as durability and versatility it’s hard to top these strings— and that’s why they top our list.

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Samick Sage & Polaris Replacement Bowstring

If you own a 24 to 45-pound bow, Samick Sage & Polaris strings are work checking out. Like B-50 Dacrons, this string is also available in a variety of strand numbers to suit different needs. Their 14-strand string is ideal for 24 to 40-pound bows.
Conversely, the 16 strand string would be perfect if you have a 45-pound bow or less. The Samick Sage & Polaris bowstring features a flexible brace height so that you can customize it to your needs. The major inhibiting factor for choosing this string is the price. It’s a little pricy compared to its competitors.  

Pros

  • Allows for adjustment to suit your desired brace height
  • The strings come pre-twisted
  • Features serving wraps

Cons

  • Nocks not included

Smick Sage & Polaris make an excellent bowstring, but they don’t come cheap. The price difference was what knocked these strings into second place for us.

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Ace Martial Arts Supply 80 Lbs. Replacement String

The most remarkable feature of this string is that it features strong and thick strands, allowing it to hang on the bow. It is ideal for an 80-pound pistol crossbow. It is quite cheap compared to other strings in its class.

Nonetheless, it is sturdy and quite dependable. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some flaws. Its major shortcoming is that it is highly likely to fray after a while. Overall, it is an excellent choice of string if you have a pistol crossbow.

Pros

  • Sturdy and powerful bowstring
  • Works well for 80-pound crossbows
  • Competitively priced

Cons

  • The string can fray over time
  • Can only fit pistol-type crossbows
  • Servings tend to loosen quickly

When it comes to pistol crossbow strings Ace Martial Arts and Supply makes the best strings at an impressive price point.

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Flemish Fast Flight Plus Bowstring

If you are looking for the thickest bowstring on the market, you might want to try the Flemish Fast Flight Plus bowstrings. These strings are made using 18 strands that are split into three bundles. They are also available in a wide selection of black and bronze shades.

What I don’t like about these Flemish bowstrings is that they are not compatible with many bows. They seem to work well with bows that utilize low-stretching strings. The best thing about Flemish Fast Flight Plus bowstrings is that they are great for high-performance applications.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Ideal for high-performance applications
  • String length is adjustable to suit different bow sizes

Cons

  • Not compatible with some bow types
  • Only works well with high-performance bows
  • Normally needs to be twisted
  • The serving area doesn’t clip some arrows effectively due to slimness

These are really more a specialty string as they only work in high-performance bows, but if you happen to have one of those, and want a thick string, they are the way to go.

Now that we’ve explored some of the best compound bow strings available on the market today, here’s what to look for when you go shopping for a bowstring.

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best beginner compound bows

The Best Compound Bowstrings Buying Guide

Alright, so now knowing the best compound bow string, how did we come to that conclusion? There are several things to consider when choosing the right string for your compound bow. Let’s explore some of the basic considerations:

The Type of Bowstring

Before you go shopping for a bowstring, it’s important to understand the two major types – custom bowstrings and stock bowstrings.

Stock Bowstrings

These are strings that come pre-installed on your compound bow. Stock bowstrings are mass produced. That means they don’t have any special features and usually are of poor quality. They can undermine performance.  

Pros

  • Replacements are easy to find
  • Some are of great quality and deliver an impressive performance

Cons

  • Poor quality materials
  • Undermines efficiency and accuracy
  • Wears out fast
  • Need to tune the bow frequently

Custom Bowstring

Custom bowstrings are specifically designed to meet various hunting and archery needs. They are made from high-quality materials to ensure they can withstand virtually all conditions they are subjected to. If you want the best archery or hunting experience, consider investing in a custom bowstring.

Pros

  • Enhances bow stability
  • Improved accuracy
  • Durable
  • Available in a variety of colors

Cons

  • Using custom bowstring may affect the warranty of your bow
  • More expensive

Bowstring Length

Choosing the right length of the bowstring is important. The length you want will depend primarily on:

  • The riser length
  • The idler wheel diameter
  • The Cam circumference
  • The shape of the limbs

If you have no idea what length to go for, consider using the manufacturer’s specifications. You don’t want to use the wrong length as that may affect the performance of your equipment.

Number of Strands

Strand number is another factor that affects the performance of a bowstring. Generally, a string with a lower number of strands delivers higher arrow speeds. However, most compound bow manufacturers specify the number of strands you can use on a bowstring.

That’s because lowering the number of strands may have some adverse effects, such as vibrations and difficulty in tuning the bow. Here are some of the recommended number of strands for various draw weights:

  • 12 strands – 40 pounds
  • 14 strands – 50 pounds
  • 16 strands – 65 pounds
  • 18 strands – 70 pounds

Here are instructions on how to restring a compound bow, and here’s how to do it without a bow press.

 

Bowstring Material

Compound bowstrings bare made from different synthetic materials. Below are some of the most commonly used.

  • 8190 – If you are looking for the most durable bowstring, you’d want to look at the 8190. There’s a high chance you’ll never have to replace it unless you subject it to poor usage. It is ideal for hunting bows, thanks to its hardiness.
  • Dyneema – This is another tough fiber. It is popular for its durability, minimal stretching, and versatility. You can use it for any high-tech application.
    However, it’s much more expensive than most of the other bowstring materials. The high price inhibits many manufacturers from using it as a stock bowstring.
  • 452x – If you want a cost-friendly compound bow string that doesn’t compromise performance, you would want to choose the 452x. This material is quite cheap as it is only blended with some Dyneema.
    Its major shortcoming is that is has a shorter lifespan. You won’t use it for a long time before it starts to fray. It requires frequent waxing to promote its longevity.
  • Ultra-Cam – This material is composed of 56 percent Vectran and 44 percent HMPE.  Bowstrings made from this material typically have some of the lowest creep effects. It has also been proven to shoot effectively in hot weather.

Final Thoughts

Your bowstring is one of the most vital components of your bow—your weapon would be useless without it. You really want to take the time to find the best bowstring for your compound bow.

If you’re not careful, you may end up with a bowstring that doesn’t promote shot consistency. You can also choose a string that is not strong enough and ends up snapping at the most critical moment in your hunting expedition. You want a bowstring that has all the features that a hunter or archer requires, including noise suppression, better control, accurate shoot, and durability.

While there are numerous types of bowstrings on the market to choose from, we hope that this compound bow string review and buying guide helps you pick the right option for your needs and budget.

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