In the past decade, many states have changed from only letting disabled hunters use crossbows to making them legal for anyone to hunt with. Whether you agree with this or not, one thing is for certain, crossbows are here to stay. With the number of crossbows on the rise, so is the need to service them.
One of the most common issues is needing to replace the crossbow string. This brings up the question, “How much does it cost to restring a crossbow?” There are many factors that go into the final price, so I will try to break down the crossbow string replacement cost and explain each one.
The first cost to restring a crossbow is the price of the string itself. You may be able to get a Dacron crossbow string for an older teardrop or recurve-style crossbow in the $20-$40 range. The price of a string for newer bows, using newer bow string materials will be higher, usually in the $30-$50 range. Do your research before purchasing the string to find a company that specializes in crossbow strings, as many stick to compounds.
Many times, we will see customers having sting issues only to find that the string was built like a compound and not correctly for a crossbow. You want a bow string company that has a good reputation and has been in business for a while. There are many that pop up out of nowhere, sell strings for next to nothing, and are out of business by the time you need them again.
Do You Need Cables?
Another associated cost to restring a crossbow can be replacing the crossbow cables. Many people don’t even realize that their crossbow has cables. All too often we hear things like, “My crossbow doesn’t have cables. The string is all one piece.” There is rarely a time that the string gets replaced that I feel the cables should not be replaced too. If the bow string has enough shots on it to need replacing, the cables should go with it.
Likewise, if the string broke as a result of a dry fire or partial dry fire, the cables were under a large amount of force and should be replaced, as well. With that said, less than 25% of our customers opt to replace both the crossbow string and cables at the same time. Adding cables into the mix will raise the cost to restring a crossbow another $75, give or take.
Installation Cost to Restring a Crossbow
The price of installation can be all over the place. I’ve heard of shops charging as little as $10 (which I can’t understand) to as high as $200 for a crossbow string replacement cost. While it may be easy to wonder why anyone would pay $200 when it can be done for $10, you have to understand what is being done during this service. Is the $10 guy just slapping the string on, giving you a handshake, and wishing you a good day? Is the $200 guy doing a full tear down, inspection, adding lube, etc.? I would venture to guess that most shops are somewhere in between both the work being done and the price reflects that.
A teardrop crossbow would be a very quick and simple change. It can often be done without a bow press or with minimal time in a press. A recurve-style crossbow string can be changed very easily with the use of a stringer and can even be done at home. Changing the string on a normal 3-piece crossbow setup isn’t too bad, but if the cables aren’t being replaced at the same time, they should be adjusted for stretch, cam timing, and cam lean. Not doing so can lead to wear issues and decreased performance.
Same thing with the newer 5-piece style crossbows. These crossbow string replacements generally cost more since they take additional time to do properly. A special crossbow press or adapters are generally needed to work on these, as well.
Can I Change Crossbow Strings Myself?
This is another question that we get several times a week. The short answer is yes, but once we start asking questions, the answer is probably no.
The biggest factor to changing these yourself would be owning a bow press. If you do not own a crossbow-specific bow press, then I would not recommend trying to tackle the project. A bow press is used to take the tension off the crossbow so that the string and/or cables can be replaced. I have seen some DIY makeshift presses that got the job done but they looked pretty scary. If something on the press fails, I would not want my fingers in there when 150 pounds of tension let go.
Aside from the press, you would just need general knowledge on changing strings and making sure everything is set up and tuned properly. You would just need to ask yourself if the cost to restring a crossbow is worth buying a $500 press or not.
Crossbow String Replacement Cost
I hope this has helped to shed some light on how much it costs to restring a crossbow. For reference, here at 60x Custom Strings, our install pricing starts at $175 and that includes all string, cables, and installation. If you have any questions, feedback, or bow string needs, feel free to reach out. You can also check out our Crossbow Q&A!