Archery - how to install an arrow rest

Updated February 21, 2017

Archery enthusiasts and bow hunters understand the true value of accuracy when firing an arrow. Many archers use arrow rests to improve their accuracy. These rests hold a nocked arrow in place, preventing the shaft from sliding along the bow and therefore increasing shooting accuracy. There are a variety of arrow rests available for archers. Some might simply come with sticky adhesive, while others may need a bit more work to install.

Carefully remove all of the rest's parts from the container. These rests will contain a variety of small screws and bolts, so carefully set each piece in a safe place where they will not roll or fall.

Attach the containment arm to the rest itself. The containment arm will help to keep the arrow in place when you draw your bow. Use a long screw and spacer combination from you rest kit, and screw the arm into place on the rest with a screwdriver.

Screw the rest onto the riser of your bow using the screws provided. Depending on your rest, you might have only one screw to hold the rest in place against the bow; some might require you to attach two or three. Completely attach the rest to the riser before continuing.

Test the straightness of the rest using a level, ruler or other flat surface. The rest must be completely horizontal to accurately hold the arrow in place. If necessary, loosen the screws and adjust to make sure the rest is level.

Use an Allen wrench to adjust the vertical screw on your rest so the drop of the arrow rest does not contact any part of your bow. The placement of this screw might vary depending on the product. Adjust this screw in small increments until the drop rest is in the appropriate place.

Tie your arrow rest's cord to the downward cable of your bow. Some rests will come with plastic hooks that allow you to attach the cord to the downward cable. Snugly attach the cord to the cable so the rest moves when you draw back the bowstring.

Slide the knot or hook that holds the cord down the length of the cable until the cord forms a 45-degree angle with the rest. Draw the bow back slowly; the cord should slide lightly through your hooks or knot, allowing you to fully draw the bow even though the cord is attached. When you have confirmed the knot or hook still allows the cord to move, tighten it into place so the cord holds firm.

Nock an arrow onto your bow, and gently pull back on your string, centring the arrow as you go. When the rest drops, gently lower the string to its resting position, observing the arrow shaft as it slides forward. There should be no contact between the shaft and rest when the rest is in a down position. If there is, adjust your horizontal and vertical screws as necessary to make sure the arrow flies uninterrupted.


Read and follow all of your arrow rest's instructions and warnings regarding installation. Different brands and types of rest might have different instructions. When attaching your rest's cord to the downward cable, test the pull a few times to make sure your knot or hooks will not interfere with the nearby upward cable. The cord should not hinder your bowstring in any way.


Do not overtighten your bolts and screws when you install the rest, as you may accidentally strip the threads of the pieces, making adjustment or removal difficult.

Things You'll Need

  • Arrow rest kit
  • Screwdriver
  • Allen wrench
  • Level
  • Hooks
  • Arrow
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About the Author

Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.