4 Reasons You Should Switch to Fixed Blade Broadheads


4 Reasons You Should Switch to Fixed Blade Broadheads

Spring is beckoning, and it is that time of year when we start figuring out what gear we are going to take into the new hunting season. Despite shooting roughly the same gear every year, there is always the question of what pieces in your setup you can change to make you even just 1% more lethal in the woods. For many, broadhead choice is something that changes year after year.

For many mechanical shooters, switching to fixed-blade broadheads is often thought about and never acted upon. Mechanical broadheads fly well out of almost any setup, so I get it. Why mess around with a fixed blade broadhead that might not fly as well as your mechanicals?

Well, there are a few reasons that come to mind right away. Your mechanical broadheads may be masking the true face of your bow. What I mean by this is that mechanical broadheads fly well out of almost any setup, regardless of how well that bow is tuned.

By shooting mechanicals, you may be ignoring things that your bow is trying to tell you, and you may not be as lethal as you think you are!

Here are 4 reasons you should switch to fixed blade broadheads this hunting season.

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Your bow will become more accurate

Hear me out here.

When you shoot mechanicals, you rarely have to do any tuning to get them to fly. You get your bow home from the shop, you practice all summer with field points, and you throw on a mechanical head to go hunting once the fall comes around. Easy, right?

By shooting mechanicals, you aren’t going to be aware of how well your bow is tuned, and as a result, your accuracy can suffer. Only a well-tuned bow will shoot fixed blade broadheads.

We recommend paper tuning as the first step to achieving field-point-like flight, and we have thousands of customers who can attest to this. Simply put, shooting fixed blade broadheads requires paper tuning; shooting mechanicals does not. It is more work, but it is well worth it.

When you don’t paper-tune your bow, you are giving up penetrating power and long-range accuracy.

When an arrow is flying out of a bow that is not paper tuned, the back of the arrow is not perfectly following the front of the arrow in flight. The vanes are trying to adjust the flight of the arrow to get through the air with as little resistance as possible.

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It takes energy to do this, and there is some severe drag that occurs while your arrow is trying to do this, slowing down your arrow. Your arrow will lose speed much faster when your bow is not paper tuned, and your long-range accuracy and penetration will suffer.

When you choose to shoot a fixed blade broadhead, your first step needs to be paper tuning.

Once your bow is paper tuned, it will maintain its speed for longer, it will be quieter in flight (because your vanes are not pushing as much air around trying to fix improper flight), and your arrow will hit an animal with more power and therefore penetrate deeper.

Shooting mechanical broadheads often cover up the actual tuning of your bow. If you think your bow is tuned well and you shoot mechanicals, put a fixed blade on and see how they fly. If they don’t match your field points, it isn’t likely the broadhead’s fault.

Your bow may need work, and you can make it even more lethal!

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Fixed blade broadheads are more reliable

This is generally the top selling point in the debate between fixed blades and mechanicals.

Mechanicals do not hold up well against branches, leaves, or dense grass when shooting through thick brush. Sometimes you don’t have the choice to shoot around this stuff.

When that bull of a lifetime is standing 25 yards away, but you have to shoot through a web of leaves and tall grass, will you take any risks?

Mechanical broadheads are designed to open relatively easily. As a result, they have been known to open on impacting things even as seemingly insignificant as some tall grass. The result is often a miss, or worse yet, a wounded animal. They are only designed to fly when they are closed, if they open in flight, it is anyone’s guess where they will go.

Fixed blades are known to pass through this type of stuff without changing their course.

Beyond shooting through the brush, fixed blade broadheads are also more reliable after they have impacted the animal. Broadheads made of many components and held together by a screw, a plastic ring, or a rubber band have many points of failure built into them.

When that head makes contact with a bone, it can easily bust. We don’t plan to shoot animals in bones, but it happens all the time. A lousy shot into the shoulder of an elk or a moose with a mechanical broadhead almost always means a lost and wounded animal.

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A solid fixed blade broadhead that hits bone is infinitely likelier to stay in one piece and do its intended job.

For this reason, we machine Tooth of the Arrow Broadheads out of a single piece of high-quality carbon steel: no screws, rubber bands, or plastic. There is very little to be left to chance when you shoot a broadhead like that.

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Fixed blade broadheads are more lethal

2” wide blades that leave wounds that look like you took a meat cleaver to an animal are cool. There is no debating that. But gore does not equate to lethality.

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, and as a result, they get 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 trying to say that you can’t get a good pass through or good blood trail with mechanicals, I have done it myself many times. What I do know through fundamental physics and personal experience in chasing animals with my bow all over the world is 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.

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Fixed blade broadheads allow you to aim smarter

We are all taught to shoot animals a few inches behind the shoulder. This places your arrow far enough away from the shoulder blade to avoid that unfavorable shot but still within the lungs.

When you shoot a mechanical broadhead into shoulder blades, it generally isn’t good. They often break and stop penetrating quite quickly. The problem with this type of shot placement is that by avoiding the shoulder like the plague, you also aim toward the back of the lungs.

A miss of a few inches back could put your arrow in the liver. A ‘perfectly placed arrow’ aimed at this common spot is hitting towards the back of the lungs, not the center.

Why do we aim here? Well, we don’t have much choice when we shoot broadheads that can break easily and get stopped by scapula easily.

When I started shooting fixed blade broadheads, I made a ‘bad’ shot on a whitetail doe. I hit her right square in the shoulders. Not a spot that you would want to aim at. She dropped like she was shot with a gun, and my arrow exited up to the fletchings on the other side.

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Now, I am not saying this is a good thing. I made a shot I didn’t mean to make, and I certainly wouldn’t aim right into the shoulder blades on purpose. I am happy this happened, though. I learned that if I did make a lousy shot with these broadheads, it would be okay.

My odds of killing on a shoulder shot with a fixed blade are much higher than with a mechanical, and since that day, I have never shot a mechanical again. The broadhead that taught me this lesson on that doe was a Tooth of the Arrow 100gr. V-series XL, long before I ever worked with the company.

After this, I started to dig into the anatomy of a deer much more than ever before. I realized that the center of the lungs is right in that pocket or crease behind the shoulder.

If I miss a little back, I still hit lungs. If I miss a little forward, I will hit the thin scapula and get into the lungs after that. By shooting fixed blade broadheads, I can take smarter aim and not worry if I miss a little and come in contact with some shoulder.

If I shoot a broadhead that can handle it, it is comparable to how many rifle shooters always aim for shoulder shots. Their bullets will penetrate, and the animal won’t go far. I believe that shooting a broadhead that can stand up to shoulders allows you to make smarter shots with less margin of error than with mechanicals.

In conclusion, I know that this is a controversial topic. I am not suggesting that you start aiming at shoulder blades on any big game animal you shoot.

I am, however, suggesting that you choose a broadhead that can handle such a shot if it were to happen. Accidents always happen in bowhunting, whether we want to admit it.

We make bad shots, the wind moves arrows, and animals jump strings. Bad shots happen. Choose a broadhead that can handle an accident, and choose a broadhead that makes you a smarter bowhunter. The animals deserve it!

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If you have any questions or would like to discuss the topic further, please feel free to reach out to us at sales@toothofthearrowbroadheads.com

We are always more than happy to talk arrows and broadheads with fellow bowhunters!

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>