Last updated on: February 7th, 2020
When it comes to choosing a mechanical broadhead, the bowhunter of today is truly spoiled for choice. But what exactly makes a good mechanical broadhead? Is there anyone perfect choice? To make the right decision on a mechanical broadhead you’ll have to consider several factors and weigh up the associated pros and cons.
Mechanical broadheads are arrowheads with blades that remain concealed up until the moment of impact. This has the benefit of reducing the ‘wing effect’ that can be experienced by those using fixed blade heads. This leads to greater accuracy and better shot placement.
Accuracy should be at the forefront of your mind when you’re selecting your mechanical broadheads. Due to their small profile compared to fixed blade heads, mechanicals are inherently more accurate, however not all mechanical broadheads are created equal. With varying designs and blade configurations, consideration should be given to the intended purpose when making your selection as shot placement is key. Larger broadheads may be able to deal a more devastating blow but can be less accurate than smaller ones. It is important to strike a balance between the two.
The type of game being hunted should be another factor in your decision. Big or small, there is a mechanical broadhead to suit. Small game can be taken easily with 2 blade broadheads, however, if you’re planning to hunt large game (think elk, moose, bear or similar) then you should always opt for a 3 to 4 blade setup.
Going hand in hand with blade numbers is penetration. Penetration is influenced by both broadhead design and draw weight. Mechanical broadheads work most efficiently with a draw weight of over 50 lb. Any less than this and you risk under penetrating. Especially for large game, a massive amount of vital organ damage is required for a quick, ethical kill hence the need for 3+ blades. This ensures maximum cross grain tissue damage.
Directly linked to the mechanical broadhead itself is the method of blade deployment. Tests have proven that both rear deploying and forward opening blades are both incredibly lethal in a range of conditions; leaving this choice mainly down to personal preference.
You should also factor blood trail into your decision. The larger the blade, the larger the entrance wound and consequently the better the blood trail. Once again this comes down to personal preference and your own style of hunting.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, there is no one right way to make a decision on what makes a good mechanical broadhead. All of the factors mentioned above are linked. There are tradeoffs with each decision; choose a smaller blade you gain accuracy but lose vital damage capability. Choose more blades and you’ll get a lot of internal damage, but may not get the shot placement that you set out to.
Experts have the benefit of experience, but may be stuck in their ways. Novices should be seeking advice wherever possible. The bowhunter of today has the benefit of the internet, there are huge communities of like-minded outdoorsmen and women who are more than happy to share their experiences of different mechanical broadheads.