Which Tooth of the Arrow Broadhead is right for you?
January 30, 2023, by Leigh Hauck
We get asked the same question all the time. “What is the best broadhead for my setup”. The best broadhead for your setup is the one that flies the best and penetrates the deepest. But that still isn’t quite a complete answer. We have designed what we believe to be the best fundamental broadhead design out there and have expanded our line over the years to include a variety of takes on that core design to suit any bow or crossbow hunter out there.
The key aspects of a Tooth of the Arrow Broadhead that make them so dependable begins in the manufacturing. Our broadheads are machined from solid steel. Basically, we take a bar of high-carbon steel and mill a four-blade broadhead out of it.
This, combined with our heat-treating process, creates an extremely durable blade that can be shot and sharpened repeatedly.
The next key design piece in a Tooth of the Arrow Broadhead lies in the profile of the head. We make four blade broadheads because they poke amazing holes. Our broadheads have been known to cut square holes through animals that don’t clot up easily or get plugged up by thick hair on an animal like muskox or bear. The four-blade design does a lot of cutting, opening many vessels and does not tend to close up. The result is fantastic blood trails and short-tracking jobs.
These are the fundamental pieces in the design of all our broadheads, but there is much more to get into when you start breaking down our different models. The cutting diameter that you choose will have an impact on your flight characteristics and penetration, as will the choice to go for a solid or a vented broadhead. Here is a breakdown of every broadhead in the Tooth of the Arrow lineup, to help you find the best broadhead on the market for your setup.
The first decision will be whether you want a solid (S-Series) or vented (V-series) broadhead. Both have their advantages.
The V-Series is the Original Tooth of the Arrow Broadhead. It is the design that gave us the reputation we have today. The venting in the blades is the only difference between the S-Series broadheads, which come with a few character changes.
The venting in the blades allows us to put more of the weight of the broadhead in the ferrule. The ferrule is the center mass of the head, the part that is in line with your arrow shaft. In theory, the more weight you have in the center of the head, the more it is like a field point and the more accurately it will fly.
When comparing the flight of an S-Series and a V-series broadhead, you will not notice any difference out of a well-tuned bow.
However, if you are not so sure of your bow’s tuning, you may want to opt for a V-Series broadhead for this reason. Along with the enhanced weight distribution, the blades' venting allows air to pass through the blades in flight, making them slightly less prone to wind planing.
Again, if you have a well-tuned bow or shoot a slower arrow, you will not notice a difference.
We created the S-series to satisfy that part of the market that is so sure of their bow's tuning that they aren’t worried about the effect that not having venting will have on the flight of the arrow. And if your bow is in check, you won’t have to worry about it either.
The S-series is virtually silent head. With no air passing through the vanes in flight, there is no chance of any noise coming from the head.
The S-Series is also known to penetrate better than the V-Series because the lack of venting creates less drag when the head passes through an animal. The downside of not having the venting in the blades is that as your arrow slows down on a long-range shot, it may be more susceptible to moving around by the wind.
So, you need to consider what type of hunting you do. If you primarily hunt out of treestands, you cannot go wrong with an S-Series head. Yet, if you rarely take a shot under 60 yards while hunting in the open country, you may want to choose the head that boasts better flight at long range.
Remember, when we get to this level of analysis, we are almost splitting hairs. I would have complete confidence in any broadhead in the lineup to work on any hunt, but it sure is fun to take that extra step in crafting the perfect arrow for your bow!
1” Standard vs. XL
When discussing the difference in cutting diameters that we offer, it again comes down to what type of shots you tend to take.
The XL line of broadheads has a 1 3/16” cutting diameter, while the standard head is 1” in diameter. Naturally, the smaller head will fly better on average than the bigger head because the weight is more centered, and there is less mass to be moved around by the wind. Again, with a well-tuned bow, you will not notice a difference in flight.
For lower-poundage setups, we recommend the 1” broadheads because they will penetrate slightly better than the larger XL head. Less mass means less resistance, which means better penetration. Yet, if you shoot a 60 or 70-pound bow, the odds of you getting a pass-through with either head are very good, so you may favor the XL.
If you are a bowhunter that spends most of their time in the open country, then accuracy is very important, particularly at long range, and you may want to opt for the smaller head. I do not personally believe that 3/16” of an inch makes a huge difference in the lethality of each head. Accuracy and penetration are the primary factors that will kill animals.
However, the XL is perfect for archers with a well-tuned bow and perhaps higher poundage. The XL broadhead allows you to reap all the benefits of the 1” with the bonus of cutting more flesh and producing more blood.
The XL may also be favorable if you rarely take long shots. If you primarily hunt the backwoods out of a blind or treestand, you don’t care how your arrow penetrates after 70 yards of flight and will likely choose the bigger head.
What weight broadhead do I need to shoot?
This is a question that has no objective answer. The most popular weight in the industry is 100gr. It facilitates most setups very well and is readily available anywhere you go. Choosing to go up in weight has its benefits and potential drawbacks.
Increasing your point weight will make your arrow fly slower, but this is not always bad. As many of you have likely heard me discuss in the past, I believe that the Golden Rule of Arrow Building is to shoot the heaviest arrow you can while maintaining an arrow speed of between 270 and 280 fps.
Arrows fly best in this range.
That is not to say an arrow won’t fly well at 310 fps, for example, but we know that they fly tremendously well in this 270-280 range.
Every projectile has a speed at which it will fly optimally, and this is where an arrow’s prime zone is. So, suppose you are shooting speeds that are well above 280 fps. In that case, you can benefit by going to a heavier broadhead to slow your arrow down, showing off better flight characteristics and increasing your arrow's momentum simultaneously.
Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. It is a foundational law of physics and one that we discuss all the time in archery. A heavier arrow is harder to slow down when it hits an animal and will penetrate better. If someone throws a baseball at you at 40 mph and then a ping pong ball at the same speed, which one will be harder to stop?
The other point to consider when choosing what weight you will choose is the change in weight distribution. We design our 100-grain broadheads to have as much weight in the ferrule as possible.
This ensures that they act as much like a field point as possible. However, when we go from 100 to 125 grains, for example, an extra 25 grains are added to the ferrule. The result is that a higher percentage of weight stays in the ferrule, and the broadhead will act more like a field point.
So, in theory, our heavier broadheads will fly more like field points than our lighter ones. Whether or not you will see this in the real world is harder to predict, as the weight distribution of even our 100gr. heads are so good that it maintains its status as our most popular head and their reputation as the most field point-like fixed blade broadhead on the market.
Putting it all together
To provide an example of how all this information comes together, I will explain the thought I put into which head I shoot personally.
I shoot a 70lbs bow at a 30.5” draw length. At that weight and length, I would have no issue getting an XL head to penetrate, so naturally, I look in that direction.
I hunt primarily in Alberta, but I do travel. Typically, my hunts outside Alberta are animals like Caribou and sheep or goats, animals which will likely be long shots, so accuracy and getting great penetration at long range – after my arrow has slowed down a lot – is crucial.
For this reason, I am going with a 1” broadhead this year. Historically, I have shot the XL and have had nothing but great success with them. So, so perhaps my decision to go with a 1” this year is more about expanding my experience with the lineup than anything else. Still, I do know that at 60+ yards the odds of getting a pass through with a 1” head will be slightly higher than with the XL.
I am also choosing the shoot the S-Series. Since we released that lineup, it has been my go-to. My bow is well-tuned, and my arrow flight is great. I have thoroughly tested the differences between V-Series and S-Series broadheads at long range, and I see no difference in my setup.
For that reason, I am shooting the 100gr. 1” S-Series this year for optimal accuracy and penetration. However, I will note that I typically keep some of each broadhead in my chosen weight while I hunt.
They all fly the same for me, so if I have a very close shot, I will grab an S-Series XL. If my shot is far and in the wind, the 1” V-Series comes out. This is my best recommendation, as there is no better way to stay prepared in any shot scenario than to give yourself every option!
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!
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