How to Install Arrow Rest on Compound Bow

How to Install Arrow Rest on Compound Bow (6 Easy Steps)

Having a properly tuned arrow rest on your compound bow is crucial for accuracy and consistency. The arrow rest supports the arrow during the draw and shooting sequence, acting as the platform that launches the arrow towards the target.

There are several types of arrow rests made specifically for compound bows, including shoot-through rests, drop-away rests, and containment rests.

While each has its own advantages, all arrow rests need to be properly installed and tuned compound bow to get peak performance from your bow setup. In this guide, we’ll walk through the complete step-by-step process of How to Install Arrow Rest on Compound Bow.

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Materials Needed To Install Arrow Rest on Compound Bow

Before starting the installation, make sure you have the necessary tools and accessories:

Compound Bow – The bow you’ll be installing the arrow rests on. Remove any existing rest.

New Arrow Rest – There are many great options from top brands like QAD, Trophy Ridge, Ripcord, and others. Choose one made for compound bows.

Allen Wrenches – You’ll need the specific-sized wrenches that fit the sight and rest screws. Usually 5/32″, 3/16″ and 7/16″ sizes.

Bow Press – A bow press allows you to safely remove tension from the bow to work on attachments and accessories.

Rubbing Alcohol – This is used to prep and clean the riser section where the rest will be mounted.

Level – A small bubble level will help ensure the rest is oriented perfectly vertical.

How to Install Arrow Rest on Compound Bow: Step By Step

Step 1: Inspect and Prepare the Compound Bow Riser

Before mounting the new arrow rest, you need to thoroughly inspect where it will be installed on the riser. Look for any debris, residue from old tape or adhesives, or any small burrs or irregularities on the surface.

Carefully remove any debris with rubbing alcohol and lightly sand any burrs smooth. The riser section must be perfectly clean and level for proper rest installation.

You also need to position your bow in a secured bow press, engaging the limbs just enough to allow safe removal of the bowstring tension. This allows you to work freely on the riser section without worrying about accidental dry fires.

Step 2: Position and Attach the Mounting Bracket

Each arrow rest will come with a main mounting bracket that attaches directly to the bow riser. Consult your owner’s manual for the recommended position. Generally, the bracket is placed 2-3 inches above the grip section, aligned vertically with the string path.

Lightly screw the bracket into place, checking your markings and measurements twice. Do not overtighten yet. You want snug pressure, but the ability to still adjust and align the bracket as needed. Use a level on the riser shelf and bracket to double-check for vertical alignment.

Step 3: Mount the Arrow Rest and Launcher

Now you can attach the actual arrow rest unit and launcher prongs onto the mounting bracket following the manufacturer’s instructions. For shoot-through rests, the launcher prongs will slide into place on the riser side of the bracket. Containment-style rests have an enclosed capture area that fits around the bracket.

Apply downward pressure when sliding the rest pieces into place. Then partially tighten with screws – tight enough to keep rest from moving, but still allowing adjustments. Do not overtighten launcher screws initially.

Step 4: Set the Launcher Angle

The arrow launcher blades or prongs need to be oriented at the proper angle to properly cradle and guide the arrow upon release. Generally, the launchers are angled slightly down and away from the riser.

To set the angle, first confirm the launcher tension is disengaged so the prongs can move freely. Hold an arrow parallel to the string against the launcher, then rotate the prongs until they make smooth, flat contact. For drop-away rests, the contact angle can be more aggressive since the launchers drop before the arrow releases.

Step 5: Attach the Timing Cord

For fall-away style arrow rests, you must attach the timing cord between the rest and cables correctly for proper function. The cord is connected to the downward bus cable, applying upward tension to raise the launchers into place at full draw.

Attach using quality clamps or knots. There should be just enough tension to reliably lift the launchers before the arrow is released. Too much cord tension can torque the risers at full draw. After attaching the cord, cycle and check the draw several times, ensuring the launchers elevate fully and smoothly.

Step 6: Final Adjustments and Tuning

With the arrow rest fully installed, there are final adjustments and tuning steps:

  • Set the spring tension on the launcher prongs so an arrow is held firmly but can pull away cleanly.
  • Verify even contact and pressure on both sides of the arrow and adjust as needed. Misaligned blades can cause erratic arrow flight.
  • Set the arrow rest height so arrows sit level or slightly above level with the larger hole at full draw.
  • Perform paper tuning by shooting arrows through the paper at 5-10 feet. Look for consistent vertical tears showing efficient arrow flex off the rest.
  • Make micro-adjustments to the windage/elevation of the rest based on bare shaft flight at 20-30 yards.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an arrow rest, and why do I need it on my compound bow?

An arrow rest is a device mounted on the riser of a compound bow to support the arrow before and during the release. It is essential for consistent accuracy and optimal arrow flight.

What types of arrow rests are available for a compound bow?

There are several types, including drop-away rests, whisker biscuit rests, and blade rests. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on your specific needs.

What tools will I need to install an arrow rest on my compound bow?

The tools you’ll need may vary depending on the type of arrow rest you choose, but generally, you’ll require a set of Allen wrenches, a bow square, and possibly some bowstring wax.

Can I install an arrow rest on my compound bow by myself?

Yes, you can install an arrow rest by yourself. However, if you’re new to archery or compound bows, you might benefit from professional assistance for the most accurate setup.

How do I align the arrow rest with my bowstring?

You will typically use a bow square to align the arrow rest with the bowstring. The arrow rest should be perpendicular to the string for optimal arrow flight.

What should I consider when choosing an arrow rest for my compound bow?

Consider factors like the type of archery you will be doing (target, hunting, etc.), your experience level, and whether you shoot with a mechanical release or fingers.


Installing an arrow rest properly is a critical step to get the most accuracy and consistency from your compound bow setup. Follow all instructions carefully, keeping alignment and positions in spec.

Minor adjustments to the rest during the tuning process can take your accuracy to the next level. Quality arrow rests combined with a well-tuned bow will have you stacking arrows in the bullseye.


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