Fixed Blade Vs. Mechanical Broadheads
Should You Use Fixed Blade or Mechanical Broadheads?
Hunters and outdoorsman are notorious for wanting the latest innovations and equipment at their disposal, which is probably a good reason as to why the industry is booming. As a group, many people will try anything to find the best equipment and tackle for the job at hand. This has never been more true than for broadheads, and it also has never been debated more. Bowhunters are a group that need precision in nearly everything that they do and a broadhead is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. Deciding whether or not to shoot fixed blade vs. mechanical broadheads is at the top of the list for bowhunters and you’ll find that each has their own pros and cons. Which one is the right broadhead choice for you? Find out now.
Fixed Blade Broadhead Cons
Fixed blad broadheads have been around forever so there is definitely something to say about that. Anything that lasts thousands of years, is probably worth taking a look at. That being said, technology has improved and with faster bows, come greater challenges with arrow flight. Fixed blade broadheads are much smaller now than they were just 10 years ago. This is due to the fact that bows are much faster and the broadhead needs to be smaller to fly straight and penetrate. A fixed blade typically needs to be tuned more to fly straighter but if you’re an avid archer, this shouldn’t be an issue. Time spent tuning your bow to the broadhead is definitely worth it.
Mechanical Broadhead Cons
Mechanical broadheads tend to be some of the most criticized and worshipped hunting products out there. The big problem with mechanical broadheads is that any time something goes wrong with a shot, whether it’s hitting a shoulder, not getting a pass through, or a small blood trail, the broadhead gets all the blame. Bad shooting or judgement on the shot never gets considered, it all ends up on the broadhead.
Of course, there is truth to the mechanical broadhead’s faults. In penetration, the fixed blade usually out performs the mechanical. Mechanical heads are designed to expand and create large entrance and exit wounds, so sometimes the head doesn’t penetrate as far. Mechanical heads do cut larger diameters than fixed blades and can give a very large blood trail with that. The big thing with a mechanical head is that there is a chance that something can go wrong, where as with a fixed blade, if you tuned your bow, it’s unlikely something will from the broadhead’s fault.
Fixed Blade Broadhead Pros
The best thing about fixed blade broadheads are that they are reliable, which is very important in hunting. Most of them are either a single piece-welded design, or have replaceable heads. Fixed blade broadheads have the ability to go through shoulder blades and can really penetrate deep on larger animals as well. While no broadhead is ever without fault, a fixed blade with a good shot is a very good choice.
Bigger game suggests a fixed blade broadhead due to the need to penetrate deeper. With a cut on contact fixed blade head, you’re sure to get some of the deepest penetration possible. Smaller heads offer less shock on the game and the animal may not even know it’s been hit right away. On smaller animals, a wider cutting diameter is good to really do a lot of damage right away, where as the fixed blade is a standard cutting diameter with deep penetration.
Mechanical Broadhead Pros
The origin of mechanical broadheads began to try to tame planing arrows when bows began to shoot faster. Most mechanical broadheads fly very similar to practice tips since the blades are held tight to the arrow. On impact, these blades deploy and cut larger diameter holes than a fixed blade. This causes more damage and can create massive blood trails. The best thing about mechanical broadheads though is the fact that you can shoot so far and straight without the arrows planing, which can be the case with fixed blades. Smaller animals like deer or antelope suffer a lot of damage from mechanicals and there are many out there that have a reputation for massive blood trails.
With some mechanical broadheads creating a 1-2 inch cutting diameter, you’ll see a lot more tissue damage. A cutting diameter this large is impossible with a fixed blade head and the blood trails from a mechanical sometimes look like they were created with a bucket of blood. On a bad shot, such as a gut shot, a mechanical can be a life saver since it can cause a lot more internal damage.
There are many people who criticize mechanical heads for bad shots and say that they do not open after impact. Test after test has been done and mechanicals very rarely do not open after impact. They are built this way and a rear deploying blade is almost certain to open on impact.
What’s Better? Fixed Blade or Mechanical Broadheads?
The answer to the question: What’s better, fixed blade or mechanical broadheads? has an answer and that depends on what you’re hunting. Should you use a mechanical head on a Yukon moose or bull elk? Probably not. Should you be using a fixed blade on a turkey? Not if you can help it. For white-tailed deer however, it is personal preference and both heads tend to take down these animals equally.
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