Choosing the best broadheads for bow hunting might sound simple enough, but the process is actually more complex than you might think. There are a number of factors that go into broadhead design, but hunters want the same outcome from all of them: good field point accuracy with a quick, clean kill, that leaves a decent blood trail for tracking game. To help with the process, here are a few of the factors you should consider when looking for the best broadheads for bow hunting.
Ability to Re-Sharpen
There are some brands of broadheads that come with a lifetime guarantee of factory re-sharpening. Some come out of the package sharp but will need to be re-sharpened after use. There are others that will have to be sharpened right from the start. Which kind you choose is really a matter of personal preference: would you rather pay more to have your broadheads sharpened for you or would you rather pay less and sharpen them yourself?
Number of Blades
How many blades should your broadhead have? Each has its benefits. The two-edged broadhead features the oldest known design and offer the best penetration. The best size for this type of blade is a length that is three times the width. Three-edged broadheads are great fliers and easy to sharpen. A four-edged broadhead will create a wound channel with two planes, making it less likely that your wound will close and more likely that you will have a decent blood trail to follow. A word of caution for the four-edged broadhead: the extra set of blades may prevent penetration.
Mechanical Versus Fixed-blade
Fans of the fixed-blade broadhead will argue that theirs has the more consistent kill record with reliable penetration, and they don’t suffer mechanical failure. On the other hand, those in the mechanical camp will argue that their broadhead is more accurate even at longer distances and requires no special tuning. You may think that despite this the fixed-blade would deliver the more consistent kill because there is no possibilty of mechanical failure. A study conducted at Maryland’s 3000-acre Indian Head Naval Support Facility proves otherwise. The study shows an 82% recovery for fixed-blades as opposed to an 89% recovery for mechanical blades.
Check out this Field and Stream article for more detailed information on the types of broadhead blades.
Practice Makes Perfect
Once you have chosen a broadhead, try it out to make sure you’re comfortable with it. If it does not fly true or does not suit you, then try another broadhead with similar characteristics. Just make sure you get the best broadhead for the kind of hunting you want to do. Once you’re out in the field, there won’t be a chance to change your mind. Practice is also an important part of the equation. Even the best broadheads for bow hunting won’t do what you need them to do with out proper practice.
Once you know what characteristics affect the performance of a broadhead, you’ll be prepared to choose the best broadheads for your next bow hunting trip.