Last updated JAN 2018
Broadheads have got to be the hottest debate among bowhunters aside from what the best bow is. The two major differences in broadheads are fixed blade vs. mechanical. There is this constant debate that mechanical heads – due to their moving parts-are prone to failure at some point. Stories of blades not opening properly or breaking off on impact fill the internet and hunting magazines. The tried and true broadhead seems to always be the fixed blade. While their construction suggests they are more reliable, the fixed blade broadheads can cause many new bowhunters a great deal of trouble in tuning and shooting their bows. So what’s the best broadheads for the money in 2018? Read our guide and find out.
Are Crossbow Broadheads Different than Regular Broadheads?
Well, not really. It’s just that crossbow manufacturers push heavier broadheads (mostly 125 grains) on the market. If you are a crossbow shooter and you are looking for the best crossbow broadhead out there, the decision is very easy for you. You just have to know your crossbow manufacturer’s recommended arrow head weight. Just check the weight of the field points that came with your package or check on your manufacturer’s website or even call them and ask.
NEVER ever use broadheads that weigh less than what your crossbow manufacturer recommends. It could result in serious damage to your crossbow and even injuries.
Now that you know the recommended arrow head weight which for the most crossbows out there today should be 125 grains, click here for some of the best rated broadheads for a crossbow on Amazon.com!
Fixed Blade Broadheads
Often touted as the best broadheads for elk , these heads can be tough to tune out of your bow due to the fact that the blades act as rudders as the arrow is in flight. If your bow is even slightly out of tune, the broadhead will exaggerate the movement and throw the arrow off target. This often results in lousy minute resighting of your bow or adjustments to your rest to make your arrows fly properly. As a result, fixed blade broadhead manufacturers have been shy to expand the cutting diameter of their heads much beyond 1.25 inches. Mechanical broadheads have made huge strides in this area and now offer cutting diameters of 2 inches. One of the benefits of the fixed blade head is just that, the fixed position of the blades. They tend to be very sturdy, so they will withstand and even penetrate bone. Mechanical heads will struggle in this area due to the loss of energy, as the blades open on impact. Click here to see some of the best fixed blade broadheads for elk and deer hunting on Amazon.com.
Commonly regarded as the best broadheads for deer hunting , mechanical broadheads fly like your target tips and open their full cutting blades upon impact with an animal. Fixed blades are tougher – no question, but mechanicals are easier to shoot. The lower profile of the unopened blades offers very little wind resistance while the arrow is in flight. Manufacturers routinely advertise the broadheads will fly just like your field points-and they do. Mechanical broadheads also offer very large cutting diameters that leave impressive entrance and exit wounds, not to mention extreme blood trails. Hunters will find they do not perform well on bone as some energy is lost when the blades open on impact with the animal, but they will certainly penetrate the ribcage. Click here to see some of the best mechanical broadheads on Amazon.com!
The Best Tip
Pay special attention to the tip of your broadhead, regardless of a fixed blade or mechanical design. You will find either chisel tip, which is a basic pointed tip or cut on contact tips which are razor blade tips or small blades mounted at the tip of the head. I would suggest cut on contact type broadheads over chisel tip as it seems to me that especially in the case of a mechanical broadhead, if something goes wrong and the blades don’t deploy, you would still achieve a cut through the vitals. A chisel tip may be stronger and able to withstand a hit to the shoulder of a deer, but I would prefer to think that a cutting tip would result in more damage.
I started hunting with Rocky Mountain fixed blade broadheads and they flew fine out of my bow for years. When I upgraded my bow to a faster model with lighter arrows I couldn’t get them to fly straight so went to mechanical broadheads and have never looked back.
I used a variety of mechanical heads and found some problems with their performance, but I always found well hit deer regardless of which broadhead I used. My mechanical broadheads have always opened on impact, but I have seen many, many broken blades. For this reason I look very closely at the thickness of the steel used in the construction of the blades. I have also experienced a very bad deflection of an arrow on an extreme angle shot – but just once. Even though the deflection was terrible, the arrow passed through and killed the deer within 50 yards. To see the arrow on impact made my heart sink, but it turned out ok. In short, I think you’ll find that if a hunter uses a specific broadhead for enough seasons they are bound to have good and bad experiences. What it really comes down to is the hunters ability to put the broadhead in the vitals of a deer – marginal hits are marginal hits and you should consider yourself fortunate to find those animals as it is due to very little skill and mostly luck. The broadhead is rarely to blame. For elk hunting I would recommend fixed blade broadheads.