Bow hunting is often thought of a purer way to hunt. It takes quite a bit more skill, a lot more patience, and it even takes significantly more strength than rifle hunting. Because bow hunting is so much more challenging when you’ve finally got that buck you’ve been tracking in your sights, ready to release your bow your heart is likely to be racing with anticipation.
But keep your composure, remember the fundamentals, and you are sure to hit your target cleanly. But simply lining your target up and release the tension in your bow doesn’t always mean you’ve hit the target, even if you’ve done everything properly.
Because we’re hunting highly intelligent, agile, and athletic animals (like deer and elk) even doing everything just right doesn’t guarantee a kill. This is where the type of broadhead you use comes into play.
Having the proper broadhead for your bow keeps you at a competitive advantage when you’re in the backwoods tracking prey. And yes this is a competition.
But what is the best broadhead for hunting? How do you decide whether you should go with fixed blades or mechanical blades? Is there a universal best option?
Well, this is what we’re here to address today.
Types of Broadheads
There has been plenty of debate in recent years about which is better, fixed or mechanical. Most people are on either side of the argument, but those who understand what bow hunting is about, also understand that the best answer depends largely on the bow you’re using, what you are able to handle best, as well as what type of game you are hunting.
Like a fixed blade knife, a fixed blade broadhead is one where the blades do not move. They are simply fixed to the arrow shaft. Because they are always in the same place, it can decrease visibility when aiming down sites. But they are extremely strong and have a bigger impact on the target.
Additionally, fixed broadheads won’t fly through the air as straight or as quickly as its counterpart, the mechanical blade. The extra surface area causes the wind to catch the arrow, slowing it down and possibly even extra movement, throwing your shot off target.
But, because it is stronger it is infinitely more fatal when it hits its target and can even go through bone. And yeah, maybe it sounds more brutal in theory, but in practice, it ensures the kill shot actually takes out the animal, so there is less suffering involved.
A mechanical broadhead is often touted as the perfect broadhead to use when hunting deer. They shoot easier, fly through the air significantly faster and have a trajectory that approximates normal field arrows.
It accomplishes this by not deploying the blades until the arrow impacts its target. At which point the blades release, creating a large entry and exit wounds. The downside, deploying the arrows upon impact creates more resistance effectively slowing the arrow down. This is the reason mechanical broadheads do not perform well when hitting bones.
There is one thing that you should look into before deciding whether or not you should purchase a mechanical blade. Although mechanical blades are not federally outlawed, some states will not allow you to use mechanical blades. The reasons behind this seem to be arbitrary, but still, a law is a law. If you aren’t sure if your state allows mechanical blades, then you should call your state’s wildlife division to find out.
So which is best?
Again, this all depends on what type of bow you are using, what type of arrow and what grain arrow it is rated for.
Note: You should make sure only to use ammo that the manufacturer of the dow recommends. Using smaller grain arrows can cause significant damage to your bow.
It will also largely depend on what type of game you are hunting. Larger animals will require more powerful ammunition.
Let’s take a look at some of the best crossbow broadheads around today.
Best Fixed Blade Broadheads – G5 Outdoors Montec 100 Grain
Looking for something razor sharp? Well, we’re hunting so…. We better be.
The G5 Montec gives you the sharpness of the blade you’re looking for, and the smooth tip allows the blade to easily enter the body of the animal and make its way through without hesitation. We are talking wrecking pure havoc on the target.
The strong tapered blade design allows you to sharpen the blades easily. But if you would rather forego the sharpening process, like any other blade, it is easily replaced.
You’ll find plenty of success hunting deer and elk with the G5 Montec, but if you are hunting for larger game (like moose), you might want to go with a heavier grain broadhead.
Best Broadheads for Deer – Grim Reaper Razorcut
Another 100-grain arrow, this mechanical blade flies through the air with ease and hits its target before it even knows that it’s on its way. The Grim Reaper Razorcut is made specifically with whitetail deer (and similar sized game) in mind.
You’ll get three broadheads in the pack as well as a practice head; this is great for prolonging the life of the blades. They are super durable and reach their target with speed and intensity, just absolutely perfect for deer hunting.
Best Mechanical Broadheads – G5 Outdoors T3
You are bound to hear the term “field point accuracy” when looking at broadheads and trying to determine which is best for you. But what is that really?
Simply put, field point accuracy is how close a broadhead is to be as accurate as a field point arrow (these are the typical arrows you see without blades). The G5 Outdoor T3 broadhead comes incredibly close to field point arrows, which is why it makes our list of the best mechanical broadheads.
With an all-steel construction, these blades are able to get maximum penetration while minimizing wind resistance as its flying through the air, making this the king of mechanical broadheads.
Best Overall Crossbow Broadheads – Slick Trick Magnum 100 Grain
The Slick Trick Magnum has become the go-to broadhead for bow hunters. It is a very short broadhead giving less surface area for wind resistance to affect the flight of your arrow and packs a punch that can only be obtained by fixed blades, all while flying through the air with blistering speeds.
If you are looking for something that approximates the flight speed of a mechanical blade, while packing fixed blade punch, look no further. The Slick Trick Magnum is your answer.
Runner-up for best-fixed blade – Excalibur Boltcutter 150 Grain
Sometimes you need a heavier arrow, for larger game. If you’re in this boat, then you should take a serious look at the Excalibur Boltcutter. It’s got three fixed blades for in-flight accuracy, and the heavy grain equals more penetration power than many of its competitors.
This is a great broadhead to use on elk and will even have consistent success on larger game like moose.
Best Carbon Steel Broadhead – G5 Outdoors Montec Carbon Steel
This is pretty much the same broadhead as the first one we looked at. The difference being instead of being constructed of stainless steel, it utilizes carbon steel. This makes it fly 25% sharper than the original Montec while still maintaining the devastating penetration of the original. This will come in a three pack at a very friendly price point, and can still be sharpened when needed.
Wrap – Up
Whether you are new to bow hunting, or just got yourself a new compound bow and are looking for new broadheads that can take advantage of the added accuracy and flight speed that it gives you, getting the right type of blade can make all of the difference in the world.
If you’re looking for speed and accuracy over power, then you should be looking at a mechanical blade. If you need something larger for bigger game, go ahead and fix your sights on a fixed blade.
Keep in mind the rules and regulations your state has on bow hunting, and be sure to keep safety first.