Tips For Buying A Used Bow: Save Money, Reduce Waste, And Make A Wise Purchase

According to recent statistics, buying a used bow can be a smart and eco-friendly choice for archery enthusiasts. Not only does it allow you to save money, but it also helps reduce waste by giving a second life to a perfectly functional piece of equipment. However, purchasing a used bow requires careful consideration and research to ensure a wise investment. In this article, we will provide you with valuable tips for buying a used bow that will help you make an informed decision. We will discuss what to look for when inspecting a used bow, including checking for cracks, examining the condition of the cams and bow string, and even shooting the bow to assess its performance. Additionally, we will provide guidance on taking care of your bow to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. By following these tips, you can confidently navigate the used bow market, save money, reduce waste, and make a wise purchase.

Key Takeaways

  • Research options for quality and safety.
  • Choose a reputable bow manufacturer.
  • Read online reviews for insights.
  • Check availability of replacement parts.

What to Look For

When buying a used bow, it is important to carefully inspect the condition of the bow, including checking for cracks and the condition of the cams, as well as examining the bow string for signs of poor care such as frayed or broken strands and uneven wearing near the cam system. Common signs of poor bow care can include a lack of waxing the string, which indicates a lack of proper maintenance. Additionally, it is crucial to research reputable bow manufacturers to ensure the quality and safety of the used bow. By understanding the common signs of poor bow care and conducting thorough research on reputable manufacturers, buyers can make a wise purchase and ensure the longevity and performance of their used bow.

Inspecting the Bow

Inspecting the condition of a pre-owned bow is crucial in ensuring a satisfactory and reliable investment. Bow maintenance plays a significant role in determining the overall performance and lifespan of the equipment. When inspecting a used bow, it is important to carefully examine for any cracks or damage to the limbs and riser. Additionally, the condition of the cams should be assessed, as any signs of wear or damage can affect the bow’s functionality. Bow string condition is another important aspect to consider, as it indicates the level of care provided by the previous owner. Common issues to look out for include frayed or broken strands and uneven wearing near the cam system. Lack of waxing the string can also indicate a lack of maintenance. To further assess the bow’s condition and performance, it is recommended to shoot the bow and pay attention to any odd sounds, vibrations, or irregular arrow flight. Furthermore, asking questions about the bow’s history, maintenance, and servicing can provide valuable insights. It is crucial to find out if the bow was ever dry fired, as this can lead to significant damage. Knowing how the bow was stored is also important, as improper storage can affect its condition. By thoroughly inspecting a used bow and performing due diligence, one can make a wise and informed purchase decision.

Taking Care of Your Bow

To ensure the longevity and optimal performance of the bow, proper care and maintenance are essential. Bow maintenance involves regular cleaning and ensuring that all components are in good condition. After each use, it is important to inspect the bow for any signs of damage or wear. Cleaning techniques for a used bow include using a soft cloth to wipe away dirt and debris, as well as using a bowstring wax to keep the string in good condition. It is also important to store the bow in a dry and cool environment to prevent any damage from moisture or extreme temperatures. Additionally, it is recommended to periodically check the bow’s limbs and strings for any signs of fraying or weakening, and to replace any worn-out parts as needed. By following these maintenance practices, the used bow can maintain its performance and reliability for a longer period of time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some reputable online platforms for buying used bows?

Some reputable online platforms for buying used bows include ArcheryTalk, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace. These platforms provide a wide selection of used bows from various sellers, allowing buyers to compare prices and models. When inspecting the condition of a used bow before purchasing, it is important to check for cracks and the condition of the cams. Additionally, examining the bow string for signs of poor care, such as frayed or broken strands, can provide insights into the overall condition of the bow.

How can I determine the draw weight and draw length of a used bow?

Determining the draw weight and draw length of a used bow is crucial when buying one. Draw weight refers to the force required to pull the bowstring back, while draw length is the distance between the bowstring and the grip when the bow is fully drawn. To determine these measurements, it is recommended to visit a professional archery shop where they can assess your physical attributes and use a bow scale and draw length measuring device. These factors are essential in ensuring that the used bow is suitable for your specific needs and shooting style.

Are there any specific brands or models that are known for their durability and longevity?

When considering specific brands or models known for durability and longevity in used bows, it is important to note that the performance and lifespan of a bow depend on various factors, including maintenance and care. However, some brands have established a reputation for producing reliable and long-lasting bows. For example, Mathews, Hoyt, and PSE are recognized for their durable and high-quality bows. As for tips for inspecting a used bow before purchase, checking for cracks, examining the condition of the cams, and assessing the bow string’s condition are essential steps to ensure a wise purchase.

Is it possible to upgrade or customize a used bow?

Upgrading a used bow and customizing it to fit one’s preferences is indeed possible. There are various upgrades and customization options available for secondhand bows, allowing archers to enhance their performance and shooting experience. These options include replacing the bowstring, upgrading the sight or rest, adjusting the draw weight or length, and adding accessories such as stabilizers or dampeners. However, it is important to consult with a professional or experienced archer to ensure compatibility and proper installation of any upgrades or customization.

Are there any specific accessories or equipment that I should consider purchasing along with a used bow?

When considering purchasing a used bow, it is important to take into account the various accessories and equipment that can enhance your archery experience. Factors to consider include the type of arrows and broadheads that are compatible with the bow, as well as a quality bow case or bag for protection during transport. Additionally, accessories such as a bow sight, stabilizer, and release aid can greatly improve accuracy and shooting comfort. It is crucial to research and choose accessories that are compatible with the specific model and specifications of the used bow.


In conclusion, buying a used bow is a practical and environmentally-conscious choice for archery enthusiasts. By following these tips and guidelines, buyers can save money, reduce waste, and make a wise purchase. Symbolically, the act of purchasing a used bow represents a commitment to sustainability and resourcefulness. With careful inspection, consideration of specifications, and joining a community for support, buyers can ensure they find a quality bow that meets their needs. By taking care of the equipment and performing due diligence, buyers can enjoy the benefits of their purchase for years to come.


About the Author

Trey is a lifelong hunter and avid camper. He lives outside Denver, CO with his wife Kaci and their lab mix Ziggy. They spend as much time as possible outdoors - hunting, fishing, and camping.

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