Gear We Use: Best Hunting Broadheads

Gear We Use: Best Hunting Broadheads

Ask a dozen bowhunters what the best hunting broadhead is, and you’ll likely get a dozen different answers.

From one-piece fixed heads to three-blade mechanicals to the hybrids that fall somewhere in between, dozens of broadheads saturate the market and make choosing the right model an overwhelming challenge. But with many years of bow kills under our belts, we’ve narrowed down the list to a few of the best options for just about any North American big game on any budget.

What We Look for in a Good Hunting Broadhead

It’s easy to get sucked in by the marketing for the latest crop of broadheads that inevitably hit the shelves each year—outrageous cutting diameters, gimmicky features, and blood trail guarantees. But the best broadhead doesn’t necessarily have the flashiest name or the most aggressive-looking design. When evaluating a broadhead’s quiver potential, these criteria should top your list:

  1. Accuracy
  2. Penetration
  3. Sharpness
  4. Durability

We’re looking for a well-built broadhead that can stand up to bone, create a devastating wound channel, and ultimately result in a quick, ethical kill.

The Hunting Broadheads We Use

Our combined decades of bowhunting experience have helped us weed out the worst and push past the mediocre to tip our arrows with the best broadheads out there. We’ve put these to the test and can vouch for their top-notch performance.

What Makes a Good Hunting Broadhead

While there might be a bit of give and take here, we’re generally looking for high marks in these categories when choosing a broadhead.

1. Accuracy

In a game of inches, accuracy is paramount. While it probably won’t fly exactly like a field point, a solid broadhead should be consistently accurate, even in variable conditions—and a mechanical should reliably deploy only on contact. Many manufacturers spin test their broadheads for trueness, but you can confirm your broadheads are up to par at home too.

2. Penetration

Pass-throughs typically lead to heavier blood trails and faster game expiration, so a broadhead that can penetrate through thick hide, vitals, and even bone is key to an effective setup. A cut-on-contact tip paired with the right strong, razor-sharp blades can result in deep penetration, even with lower-poundage rigs.

3. Sharpness

Sharper broadhead blades will cause more devastating blood loss than duller blades in the same amount of time. Because deer can travel fast and far even when fatally wounded, a razor-sharp broadhead—along with precision shot placement—will give you the best odds of recovery. Some broadheads allow for resharpening or replacing blades so you can keep them in prime condition.

4. Durability

A good broadhead should be constructed of durable materials and built strong enough to stand up to bone. While aluminum might be more lightweight, steel broadheads are typically much stronger and won’t bend as easily. Titanium typically boasts the best strength-to-weight ratio, but you’ll see that reflected in the price. Without weak points or moving parts, one-piece broadheads are generally the most reliably durable.

Field notes from the MeatEater Crew

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