3 Fixed Blade Broadhead Myths
Many archers begin their careers as bowhunters by shooting mechanical broadheads, and I get it. They make your job easier as a beginner archer, generally flying with your field points regardless of a poor tune job on your bow. But once that arrow leaves your bow and you have done your job, is the mechanical broadhead still the best choice to complete its intended job?
There is a myriad of reasons why many mechanical broadhead fanatics choose to shoot them and often talk about fixed blades as though they are a ridiculous concept.
In my time in the archery industry, particularly in the broadhead industry, I have heard a lot of reasons why some people refuse to shoot fixed-blade broadheads. Often, it is just a case of simplicity or laziness. Many hunters don’t care enough to take the extra time and tune their bow properly to shoot a fixed blade head. All the power to you, man.
Many times, however, when I ask someone why they choose to shoot mechanicals over fixed blades, they respond with a claim about fixed blades that just isn’t true.
There seems to be a ‘guidebook’ of reasons not to shoot fixed-blade broadheads floating around out there that nobody has ever given me because it is usually the same handful of reasons I am given. Here is the truth about that.
They are all false and generally sound like a justification for not wanting to put the effort into properly tuning their bow to shoot fixed blades. I am not trying to say that you are a lazy archer if you choose to shoot mechanicals. As many have, you’ve likely been caught up in some mistruths about fixed blades.
Maybe you’ve only shot mechanicals, which worked well for you. Regardless of your reasons for choosing mechanicals over fixed, I believe we owe it to ourselves and the time we put into our passion and to the animals that we hunt to take that extra step and see if we can make ourselves even 1% better.
Maybe switching to fixed blades will do more than that for you, as they did for me when I made the switch in 2017.
If you are a mechanical shooter and you’ve gotten this far, thank you for considering what I have to say, and I hope you enjoy reading on!
If you are currently a fixed blade shooter, here to learn something new or confirm your suspicions, I also appreciate your time. Here are three myths you have probably heard about fixed-blade broadheads.
Fixed blade broadheads don’t fly like field points
I will start by saying that this can be true, but it isn’t a cut-and-dry rule. Many factors come into play to make an arrow fly well with a field point, and many more when adding a broadhead.
First, the build quality and design of the broadhead is of the utmost importance. If a poorly manufactured broadhead does not spin square on your arrow, it will not fly like a field point. In this case, the myth is true, but only for that particular head.
Fixed blade broadheads are made of either one solid piece (like all Tooth of the Arrow Broadheads), or they will be made up of multiple pieces held together, often by a single screw in the ferrule or simply by the pressure of the shaft when the head is screwed onto the arrow.
Our philosophy is that fewer moving parts means less room for failure, hence our solid, one-piece construction.
When you have a fixed blade broadhead comprising many components, all the pieces must be manufactured perfectly and fit together flawlessly for that broadhead to be square and spin properly.
Remember, if a broadhead doesn’t spin square, it will not fly like a field point. We make our broadheads out of one piece, meaning there are no moving parts and only one component we need to manufacture properly for the broadhead to work.
Beyond simply the design of the broadhead, the tuning of your bow will play a huge factor in how well a fixed blade broadhead flies. Anytime I hear of a complaint about our broadheads or another fixed blade broadhead not flying well, I think, “does the broadhead not fly like a field point, or does your bow not shoot them like a field point?” Something to ponder.
If your bow is not tuned well, it may not shoot mechanical broadheads reasonably well. There is a better chance of them shooting well out of a poorly tuned bow than a fixed blade.
A common response here is, “why would I put all that time into fine-tuning my bow when mechanicals shoot just fine?” Here is a blog post that will give you an answer in greater detail than I will here, but I would ask you, “is it ethical to shoot an arrow at a living animal out of a bow that you know is not tuned to its greatest capacity?” Again, something to ponder.
The bottom line is that we cannot conclusively say that fixed-blade broadheads do not fly like field points. We can, however, say that poor-quality fixed blade broadheads do not fly like field points and that poorly-tuned bows make them not fly like field points. A well-tuned bow shooting a quality fixed blade head (preferably one that is 100% USA-made ) will shoot like a field point, and after your bow is tuned to its greatest capacity, it will take almost no effort to make the switch.
You owe it to yourself and the beautiful animals that we hunt to do all you can to make yourself more lethal!
Why don't fixed blades have a 2” cutting diameter?
Gore sells. There is no question about that. Quentin Tarantino has made a career of that statement. Gore, however, does not equate to lethality. Allow me to explain.
2” wide blades that leave wounds that look like you took a meat cleaver to an animal are cool, and it may not seem like it gets more deadly than that.
These massive blades, however, take valuable penetrating energy away from your arrow to open up. Because of their size, they offer a lot of resistance and slow down very quickly. Do a quick YouTube search for mechanical vs. fixed blade penetration, and you will see what I mean.
It has been proven repeatedly, mainly through organizations such as the Ed Ashby Bowhunting Foundation, that penetration is a much more significant factor in lethality than cutting diameter.
Wider blades face much more resistance when trying to get through an animal's body, resulting in less penetration. You will get more pass-throughs shooting fixed blades, period.
When you get a pass-through on an animal, that is your best chance at getting a blood trail that looks like a red carpet. I am not saying you can’t get a good pass-through or blood trail with mechanicals; I have done it myself many times.
I know through fundamental physics and personal experience in chasing animals with my bow all over the world that I have had more pass-throughs with fixed-blade broadheads.
More pass-throughs mean more blood trails, which means more recovered animals. That is what we all want and what we owe these animals as ethical bowhunters.
Do fixed blade broadheads make as big of blood trails as mechanical broadheads?
Here is a picture sent to me this week from a guy who shot a cougar with our 1” broadhead this winter. Pretty wicked blood trail if you ask me.
This myth ties right into myth number two.
The best blood trails come from two holes in an animal: an entry and an exit. Where there is only one hole in an animal and the arrow does not make a complete pass through, blood tends to fill up the chest cavity rather than spilling out of the hole, which is plugged by an arrow shaft. An animal may die as quickly as this, but it could be hard to find.
When there are two holes in an animal, the blood sprays. Check out this cool video of my blood trailing a whitetail doe I shot this fall with a Tooth of the Arrow Broadhead.
You can see how the blood pumps out of both sides of her as she runs, matching her heartbeat. Pump. Spray. Pump. Spray.
If you get a pass-through, you can get a nasty blood trail like this while shooting a mechanical. The odds of getting a pass-through with a mechanical are lower due to their size and the energy required to open on impact. Greater odds of a pass-through equal greater odds of a forest painted red. Case closed.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss the topic further, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are always more than happy to talk arrows and broadheads with fellow bowhunters!
If you liked this article, make sure to subscribe below to receive more helpful bowhunting tips, hunting news, and product releases.