Become a Home Bow Mechanic

Want to be a better archer? Learn to tune your hunting rig.


By Bob Robb

Recently, I received an e-mail from a fan:

“I really enjoy the advice you give all us serious deer hunters,” the archer wrote. “I am an avid bowhunter but I have to admit, I have never set up or tuned my own compound bow. In the past couple of years, I have become very interested in learning more about tuning and how to correctly set up a compound, but the problem is I have no idea how to go about learning more. I live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, and there is no archery pro shop within an easy drive of my home. Should I take on the challenge of becoming a home bow mechanic?”

First off, learning to set up your own compound bows, tuning your bow-and-arrow set-up, then performing a few minor repairs will make you a better bow shot and increase your enjoyment of the sport. That should seal the deal in itself.

Even better, it isn’t really all that difficult to do.

First, you’ll need some basic tools and a space in your home, garage, or work shop where you can set up and get the work done.

But before you go out and buy equipment, you need to learn the basics. Since you do not have an archery pro shop close by where you can hang out and learn from the staff, I would make the time to spend a day traveling to the nearest shop within driving distance of your home and hang out for a day. This is how I got started, and it cut my learning curve big time.

That said, there are lots of books, DVDs, and internet videos that can help. One of the best books I ever read on the topic is “Tuning Your Compound Bow, 4th Edition,” by Larry Wise ( You can find lots of books on the topic at, and if you Google “bow tuning videos” all sorts of choices pop up.

As you get into it you’ll soon see that, with the proper tools and accessories, plus properly-spined arrow shafts, getting your bow shooting laser beams with broadheads for hunting is not all that difficult.

It really doesn’t take a lot of equipment: A good set of Allen wrenches, some screwdrivers and nock sets are required. The big investment is a bow press, and for this, I recommend doing some research. You’ll also want some serving material, super glue, insert glue and peep tubing if you choose that sort of peep sight.

After these purchases, you’ll find you accumulate other small items as needed.

Bob Robb is a professional outdoor writer and accomplished whitetail bowhunter from Arizona.

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