Bow Tuning Step By Step

AJ Iaquinta

Tags Bow Tuning

I've received more than a few questions about bow tuning. Specifically a lot of people seem to struggle with tuning out hard left or right paper tears. This is something I used to struggle with myself but I've found tuning in the below order eliminates most of the variables and makes for a stress free tune. I provide insight into how to address some of the common issues I've encountered that a lot of instructional videos tend to overlook but if you need a more granular "how to tie a D loop", tune top and bottom cams, etc... I would check out some of Nock On TV, America's Best Bowstrings, or any of the other great YouTube videos and articles detailing these processes. 

How to tune a bow; "step by step"

1. Check nock fit and re-serve center string if necessary.

2. Sync cam timing. 

3. Set nocking point & D loop

4. Install rest (steps 4 and 5 may reverse depending on bow. Center shooting bows like Hoyt and PSE start with nocking point. Hoyt, Prime, etc... Start by setting rest then nocking point)

5. Install Peep, check axle to axle and desired poundage to make sure they are in spec

6. Check for nock pinch. (some bows can run two tied nocks others perform better with just a top or bottom tie in) to check for nock pinch try drawing an arrow back without a field point or order tip inserted. If the arrow lifts off the rest adjust your tie-in and/or D loop.

7. Adjust rest so a nocked arrow runs directly down the center of the riser and sits 90 degrees with bow string. Hold your bow between your legs with a nocked arrow and the arrow rest in the up position. You should be able to look from the tip of your arrow to the nock with the shaft, center of the riser, and cams all lining up.

8. Paper tune - Focus on tuning out nock high or nock low tears first (if tear continues to appear erratic after some adjustment check arrow clearance and/or rest tune. If contact persists with a cable driven rest like a QAD try tying the rest cord a half inch lower on the down cable) Then tune out left and right tears. (If a persistent hard left or right tear is occurring tune this out via yoke tuning for bow's with adjustable yokes like Hoyts or swapping top hat spacers for Mathews. For bows with adjustable cable guides like PSE, Prime and Bowtech, tuning can also be impacted by adjusting cable guide.) If you still aren't shooting bullet holes check for user error i.e. torquing of the bow hand. When at full draw look up at your top cam. If the bow string is not running directly down the center you are torquing your grip.

9. If string is new check draw length, cam timing, Peep etc... After first 2 or 3 dozen arrows.

10. Sight in and #SendIt

Please Note: You can get as anal as you want when tuning but the eyeball measuring system works fine. Perfect bullet holes and straight cams are nice but not critical. Some of the best shooting bows have cam lean and may always exhibit a less than perfect paper tear. Paper tuning is a starting point but the target tells the tale.

Hope this helps. 

- AJ



Last Chance Archery Bow Press


Last Chance Archery Draw Board


Last Chance Archery Bow Scale HS3


AAE Serving Jig


Easton Accessory Pro Shop Kit


Easton Elite Multi-Pliers (If you just want the pliers)


BCY #24 D Loop


Lighter, Tape Measure, and Cutting tool of your choice

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