How to Choose a Broadhead: Points to Consideron Jul 15, 2012
We’ll start our discussion with fixed blades, since they are the granddaddy of all broadheads. They’ve been around since the first human affixed a piece of flint to the end of an arrow with sinew and pine pitch.
With fixed blades, you’ve got anywhere from two to four razors protruding from a head shaft that cut on contact. That is, they start cutting the instant they hit a deer. These heads are simple and they have no moving parts to cause problems. And, a lot of them are sturdy enough that you can reuse them after killing a deer simply by re-sharpening the blades.
Fixed-Blade heads are proven to be deadly killers when used correctly and shot from a properly setup bow rig. Pictured here is the NAP Thunderhead Razor.
Because the blades on a fixed-blade head are solidly planted in place, these heads generally are considered the best for penetration. In some cases, you can hit a bone and the head will plow right through. By comparison, the blades on mechanicals tend to be more flimsy because they are not attached to the ferrule at the base.
Because of their design, with the blades perpetually protruding from the ferrule, fixed-blade heads have been known to sail off course during flight. Essentially, the blades can act as rudders, catching a bit of air, and take the arrow away from your aiming point. You’re not going to miss by a couple feet, mind you, but at 40 or 50 yards, your dead-nuts heart shot can turn into a gut shot very fast.
Understand that fixed-blade heads are not designed to sail. In a perfect world, they will fly just like your field tips, because that’s what the manufacturers had in mind when they created them. But we don’t live in a perfect world and sometimes bowhunters shooting fixed-blade heads occasionally have “fliers” – arrows that inexplicably sail off the intended aiming point. So it’s something to consider.
Properly squaring the end of the arrow shaft, as well as the insert, will ensure that the broadhead ferrule sits flush against the arrow; therefore reducing the risk of "fliers".
Often times, fliers are caused by an improperly cut arrow shaft. If the shaft is not cut perfectly straight, then the ferrule that sits inside the shaft is going to list to one side. This will ultimately cause your broadhead to do the same once it is screwed onto the ferrule. That broadhead will surely steer your arrow off course when air hits blades. If you have a problem with fixed-blade fliers, take your arrows to an archery pro shop, and have an expert check to make sure the sailing isn’t related to an uneven shaft cut.
The bigger the blades are, the more prone a head is to sailing. That’s why most fixed-blade heads sport cutting diameters of less than 2 inches. Maintaining accuracy with blades sticking out that far from the head of the shaft is tough to do unless everything is perfect. And, while a foxed-blade head with 1.5-inches of cutting diameter is plenty big enough to get the job done, one of the bonuses of mechanical heads is that you can have cutting diameters of up to 2.5 inches with little worry about the aforementioned problems.