Do you want to learn something other than using a knife or gun to hunt? Have you thought about archery as a form of hunting, but weren’t sure where to begin? Well, starting your search with the best broadheads is a great way to begin.
If the conversation is about archery, then no doubt, bows, and crossbows, as well as their construction, are the heart of the discussion. But the weapons alone aren’t enough to define the archery experience, you also have to account for the arrows, and by extension broadheads. However, finding the right ones can be quite complicated, and that is exactly why we decided to help you out in your search.
In this article, we will be talking about the most important features you should consider when buying broadheads. Also, you will have a chance to read the in-depth reviews of some of the best models on the market. But first, let’s start with the table of the reviewed products, so that you can have a better insight into what to expect.
Our Top Picks
|Product Name||Type||Tip||Specific Features||Price|
|Rage 2 Blade SC||Mechanical||Cutting||Has 2 0.35 inch blades, stainless steel||Check price on Amazon|
|Muzzy Trocar||Fixed blade||Trocar||Helix blade design, sharp||Check price on Amazon|
|Carbon Express Mayhem EXT||Fixed blade||Cutting||1 inch cutting diameter, steel||Check price on Amazon|
|QAD Exodus Nonbarb||Replaceable||Cutting||.4 in thickness, made in USA||Check price on Amazon|
|Ramcat Black||Fixed||Cutting||Steel body, airfoil around head||Check price on Amazon|
|Slick Trick Magnum||Fixed, replaceable||Steel ferrule||2.25 inch cutting diameter, sharp||Check price on Amazon|
|Thunderhead 100||Fixed blade||Chisel||3 blades, 1 year limited warranty||Check price on Amazon|
Features to Consider Before Buying
Being the very tip of a projectile, the broadhead can make a huge difference, in terms of whether nor a target goes down. It isn’t going to magically hone in on a target, but it can provide every possible advantage to a good shooter when it counts most.
A good broadhead can mean the difference between a wounded animal, and a bad shot. The debate for the best broadhead is one that will never be resolved due to the complexity of the bow hunt. Here is a basic view on the mechanics of the broadhead and which options are ideal for your needs.
This is the tried and tested type of broadhead. They generally have a cut-on tip that is highly effective at penetrating even tougher hides, like that of elk, deer, and bear.
Their high level of dependability does come with a downside. Fixed blade broadheads have to be sharpened from time to time. Bowhunters that have slow shooting speed due to the use of lower draw weights will find fixed-blade broadheads to be a good option.
To maximize kinetic energy, a smaller broadhead is ideal. This will allow energy to be focused to a smaller point on the target, thereby increasing penetrative potential.
These types of broadheads are considered a sub-classification of fixed blades. These will usually perform well with most bows. Eventually, when the blade becomes dull with use, they are easily replaced.
The main disadvantage with this type of broadhead is the price. They are usually among the more expensive options, by virtue of the need to replace them. In theory, they can be sharpened, but this can come at the expense of shot accuracy.
Mechanical or Expandable Blade
These broadheads tend to be the most aerodynamically sound, providing some of the best flight among broadheads. They can also work well with almost any bow.
Their ability to penetrate, however, pales in comparison to other broadhead types. This is worsened during deflections, so sudden movements of a target can mean trouble.
The tip of a broadhead will generally come in two variants. Chisel and cutting. Chisel tips feature a strong, blunt tip that is able to punch through tougher hides before blades are deep enough to be deployed and cause damage. They are also known to be more durable and can take shots through bone without breaking. The blunt tip does disperse some of the kinetic energy leading to slightly less penetration.
Cutting tips, are bladed and are intended to be able to make a cut as it lands. This allows it to maximize kinetic energy and embed itself deeper into the hide. If the shot lands on bone or tougher hide or comes at an awkward angle, it may not be able to do the intended damage.
Size and Weight
The size of the broadhead will affect two things. The first is penetration. A smaller sized broadhead will focus the kinetic energy onto a smaller point. This allows the broadhead more power to penetrate the target.
In terms of creating a blood trail and putting down a target, a larger broadhead may prove to be advantageous as it increases the size of the cut. This increases the chances of severing more blood vessels in the target, this increases the chance of making a kill.
The size of the broadhead, or more specifically, its cutting diameter will impact the ability of the shot to transfer penetrative kinetic energy. Also, the cutting diameter can affect the flight quality of the arrow.
In terms of identifying the right size, a balance must be struck. Penetrative power must be sufficient to pierce the hide of the intended prey and the size, enough to do enough damage to make a kill. It’s important to note, that the ideal broadhead size will have to do largely with what is being hunted.
A Smaller game such as whitetail and turkey can be taken with the biggest broadheads. Thicker hides of larger animals such as deer and elk will require a bit more power to cut through. That has to be factored into the choice.
It’s important to note, however, that penetrative power is not solely contingent on the size of the broadhead, the bow setup factors in as well. Weight will largely consider the shaft of the arrow. Carbon and lightweight aluminum shafts will generally go with 100grains.
Heavy aluminum shafts will tend to go well with 125-grain heads. Note that due to the history of the sport, broadhead mass is measured in grains, not grams. Grains refers to a British weighing system which takes into account the weight of a grain of barley.
If you are using a crossbow, be sure to note the recommended broadhead weight by the manufacturer. Make it a point to never go beneath that threshold. Messing around with lower weight on a crossbow could lead to damage to your weapon, and potential injuries on your part.
Best Products on Today’s Market
To aid in your search for a great broadhead, we have reviewed seven best models on today’ market. Remember which features are the most important to you, and make the right selection.
Price: Approx. $40
Weight: 4 oz.
Dimensions: 2.5 x 2 x 0.2 in
Specific features: 100 grit, 2 in cutting diameter, free practice head, 0.39 in cutting tip
Best use: Mechanical
Description: The Rage 2 Blade SC Broadhead is a prime example of the development the mechanical broadheads have undergone in recent years. This particular model carries on Rage’s tradition of high accuracy and quality wound channels.
The cutting tip works well to work its way into the pelt and the stainless steel blades are dependable in terms of deployment, for so long as the shot is solid. The 2-inch cutting diameter is a conservative estimate as a well-shot Rage 2 can make a cut as big as 3 inches. Others who have used it claim that it flies just like a field point.
The Rage 2 is generally a good option for anyone taking a mechanical broadhead, though some may have a problem with the price.
On the downside, you might experience the blades deploying prematurely sometimes. Also, they have a tendency to rattle around in some quivers, and it might make for a bit of a challenge when stalking deer in dark timber. But on the whole, it’s a good deal for anyone mulling about making the investment.
- Precise and accurate
- Large leading edge
- Shock collar technology for blade retention
- Not for angled shots
- Can ricochet on animal
Related: Before you head out into the field, read up on some essential skills you need while you bowhunt. The Total Bowhunting Manual is a paperback made by Field and Stream that offers up over 250 skills you can learn. From crossbows to compound bows and everything in between, this is the book to have.
Price: Approx. $25
Weight: 1.6 oz.
Dimensions: 2 x 1.2 x 1.6 in
Specific features: Helix blade design, 100 grit, trocar tip, razor sharp
Best use: Fixed blade
Description: The Muzzy Trocar Standard Broadheads feature excellent durability, a hallmark of Muzzy’s 30 year legacy in the field of archery. They offer a right helix blade design which allows for excellent accuracy, courtesy of improved allow stabilization.
The three .35 inch blades work with the trocar’s penetrative power to punch through tougher hide and create an excellent wound pattern. The smaller cutting diameter creates a stronger penetrative force. The thick blades, and the trocar, make these broadheads capable of punching through bone.
Unlike many broadheads on the market today, the Muzzy is able to demonstrate a high-level of accuracy even without a thorough tuning. Being a great fixed blade, the Muzzy is able to remain accurate even under lower drawing weights.
The price of the Muzzy Trocar might be a bit of a deterrent for some newer bow enthusiasts. The fixed-blade structure of the broadhead might scare away a few mechanically inclined archers.
However, through time, the Muzzy Trocar has proven itself to be a strong, reliable broadhead, capable of taking on game, even with shots that aren’t the most ideal.
- Penetrates animal deeply and easily
- Tough ferrule for long life
- Trocar tip is effective
- May not fly true
- Strips out inside insert
- Broadhead is tiny
Related: If you need a rangefinder, the Bushnell The Truth ARC Laser Rangefinder may work well for you. It’s made of quality optics and materials, is durable and has a Class 1 laser built in.
Price: Approx. $15
Weight: 0.8 oz.
Dimensions: 8 x 3.9 x 1.2 in
Specific features: Cutting tip, all steel material, 3 blades, 100 grit
Best use: Fixed blade
Description: The Carbon Express Mayhem EXT Broadhead is a solid, durable, and low-cost option for fixed blade aficionados. It features a cutting tip, allowing it to slice in deep. The three blade configuration allows for some quick, humane kills, especially if the shot makes a clean hit on the broad side.
The low-profile construction allows for excellent flight and aerodynamics, the performance can be likened to shooting with a field point, and the smaller construction also works fine with crossbows. Also, the all-steel construction makes for a solid broadhead that is able to take a beating. The fixed blade structure also makes it a go to option for bow hunters who favor lower draw weights.
At its low price, the Mayhem EXT Broadhead is definitely worth the price. There have been some complaints about an inconsistency in the sharpness of broadheads in the pack. Other than that, it is a good fixed blade option.
- Low profile design
- Durable, strong
- 1 inch cutting diameter
- Can fall apart, break
- Not super sharp like others
- Blades bend
Related: Having an Allen wrench set for your bow can be helpful in the field. The Pine Ridge Archer’s Allen Wrench Set is affordable, has a lifetime guarantee and includes 9 wrench sizes.
Price: Approx. $35
Weight: 8 oz.
Dimensions: 1.4 x 1.1 x 1.1 in
Specific features: 100 grit, 0.4 inch blade thickness, made in the USA
Best use: Replaceable blades
Description: The QAD Exodus Nonbarb is an excellent choice for archers who prefer replaceable blades. Replacing blades is a simple affair with the construction. Lock-up of the blade is also solid. Its ability to penetrate pretty much matches up with the competition.
There is no need to worry about pre-deploying blades with the Qad Exodus. The blades retain their sharpness over long periods as well, making them worthwhile in terms of cost. (However, they are still pretty expensive as far as broadheads go). In terms of the integrity of the structure, it withstands quite a beating.
While definitely accurate under minimal wind condition, the Qad Exodus does suffer a bit during a passing errant wind. Not that it goes significantly of course, but it can tend to deviate from standard field point shot accuracy. The price is also a potential deal breaker, especially for archers who are just starting out or are working with a more limited budget.
- Low profile, flies nicely
- Great shot placement
- Sharp and strong
- Blades are captured behind the tip
- Can ricochet
Related: The Block GenZ Series Youth Archery Arrow Target is a great target that adults and kids can use for practice. It is affordable, sturdy and offers great visibility.
Price: Approx. $35
Weight: 2.4 oz.
Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 1.5 in
Specific features: Steel body, 100 grit, Ramcat Technology, accurate
Best use: Fixed blade
Description: The Ramcat Broadheads are a great lethal option for bowhunters. A huge benefit they provide is the added accuracy. The patented Ramcat Technology incorporated into their construction creates an airfoil around the arrowhead in flight.
This provides added stability, lessening the probability of the shot accuracy succumbing to wind planing. Aside from the accuracy, the Ramcat can put a big hole on game providing excellent blood trails. The stainless steel construction is also great against corrosion and doesn’t need to be maintained much. They’re also notable in the sense that they are extremely quiet in-flight.
While it is definitely a great option, the Ramcat will set bowhunters back by quite a bit. Other than its relatively high price, it requires blade replacements. Some hunters are willing to reuse replaceable blades. For the Ramcat, this becomes a difficult endeavor thick as the blades have a tendency to bend.
Overall, however, if you are willing to spend on your bow hunting, the Ramcat provides an accurate and a lethal choice.
- Highly accurate and penetrates deeply
- Concave Scoop Technology
- Sharp blades, no thread slop
- May not fly properly
- Too thin, bend easily
- Too many counterfeits on the market
Related: If your replaceable blades get dull, you can sharpen them easily. The Muzzy Redi-Edge Broadhead Blade Sharpener allows you to sharpen the blades edge and it has a custom angle that makes it fast to sharpen. The sharpeners are replaceable as well.
Price: Approx. $40
Weight: 1.6 oz.
Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.5 in
Specific features: 2.25 inch cutting diameter, steel ferrule, Alcatraz Bladelock system
Best use: Fixed or replaceable blade
Description: The Slick Trick Magnum Boradhead is a great fixed blade option. The steel ferrule tip provides a strong punch, allowing your shot to penetrate thick hide and potentially bone. The 2 ¼ inch cutting diameter will all but guarantee a quick kill in the event of a clean hit.
The .35 SS Lutz blades are crafted with German engineering precision. It also boasts four of these blades, over the three many broadheads will pack, this leads to increased lethality.
The construction of the broadhead in conjunction with the positioning of the blades, amplify the killing efficiency of the Slick Trick Magnum. Though it is a bit finicky. In order to maximize its accuracy, you may want to take it to a professional to tune it. Also, the blades are replaceable and can be changed after some use. It’s also a tad bit pricey, so the choice is up to you.
- Low profile design, speedy
- 4 blade, short
- Comes in a 4 pack
- Ricochets easily
- Blades can break, tip can bend
Related: The Smartphone Camera Bow Phone Mount is a great mount for use in the field. It is affordable and you can use this with iPhones, GoPro devices, Samsung products and more. It is easy to install and is stable.
Price: Approx. $40
Weight: 1.5 oz.
Dimensions: 8 x 4 x 0.5 in
Specific features: 3 blades, 1 year limited warranty, Micro-grooved slimline
Best use: Fixed blade
Description: The NAP – Thunderhead is a strong fixed blade broadhead for fixed blade aficionados. The Micro-grooved slimline ferrule pushes the shots penetrating power up several notches, not to mention its positive effect on shot accuracy.
The patented Diamize sharpening process gives Thunderhead users some of the sharpest blades available on the market today. The three blades create a 1 3/16-inch cutting diameter creates massive hemorrhaging.
Couple this with the power produced by the and you have a deadly combination ready for use by fixed blade bowhunters. Note that this is not an ideal option for crossbow use. The Thunderbird 100, while a great overall choice for fixed blade users might prove to be unwieldy for crossbow users.
The high-velocity shots that are characteristically made by crossbows have a tendency to weaken the accuracy of the Thunderhead. Durable, strong, and accurate, you really can’t go wrong with the Thunderhead 100. Plus, you can pick the grit you like, either 85 grit, 100 grit or 125 grit.
- 5 broadheads in each pack
- DIamize sharpened blades
- 3 fixed blades
- May not puncture some animal skin
- May not shoot true
- Feel cheap
Related: The Tabiger Arrow Rest for Compound Bow Hunting is a great rest that is affordable and made for left or right handed individuals. It allows you to hold your arrow securely and can account for wind and elevation.
These are only a few of the numerous options available on the market today. What’s important to remember is that choosing the right broadhead is largely an experiential concern. The best broadhead is one that you are comfortable shooting with and one that you’ve practiced on your bow with.
Also, a broadhead doesn’t solve weaknesses in form or shooting quality. It should, however, provide the archer, or bow hunter with a sufficient advantage to successfully take the game. Remember what we talked about earlier as far as size, weight, and blade type as this will help you choose what will work better for your next hunting experience.
Have we missed anything here? What type of archery equipment do you use? When did you get into the sport? We love hearing from you, so please drop us a line in the comment section below and tell us everything you can about your archery experiences.