Hunting season is upon us, but before you get too excited and jump right in, this might be the best time to reflect on past successes and evaluate if it’s time to change something regarding your gear. Luckily, the solution could be as simple as switching up your choice of broadhead. Perhaps you’ve noticed you’re not having luck with your broadhead selection and it’s frustrating when your broadhead doesn’t do the job you need. Between the two main types of broadheads, fixed and mechanical, you’ll need to determine which is best to use for your given situation. The debate between fixed vs mechanical broadheads can be endless, but we’ll evaluate the pros and cons of both so you can make the most informed decision, or passionate opinion, yourself before you make a purchase.
Fixed Blade Broadheads
Considered to be the traditional choice of the two, fixed broadheads have been used since the beginning. For beginners unfamiliar with different broadhead types, this is likely what will first come to mind, and many traditionalists swear by them. As the name suggests, fixed blade broadheads are fixed in place. It’s simple but strong design grants experienced bowhunters a clean shot every time.
- Strong design with extremely minimal chance of failure
- Can potentially be reused
- Better and more consistent target penetration
- Some brands can be pricey
- Smaller cutting diameter
- Issues with arrow flight
Also known as expandable broadheads, mechanical broadheads are a relatively newer broadhead style that can really pack a punch. Mechanical broadheads start off looking more like a fixed broadhead, but will expand on the impact of the target, opening up the blades to cut into it for a larger cutting opening.
- Better accuracy
- Generally more affordable
- Larger cutting diameter
- Can potentially fail
- Usually cannot be reused
- Weaker penetration
Fixed vs Mechanical Broadhead Design
The pride of fixed broadheads is its resilient and durable design. Fixed broadhead is a tried and true design, where what you see is what you get. Fixed broadhead fans tend to have a smaller cutting diameter, but you can choose from many different size options and diameters. Unlike mechanical broadheads, the fixed design doesn’t alter in any way when it hits a target, so you can potentially reuse the arrows even after a successful kill. Investing in high quality fixed broadheads may be pricier at first, but can pay off with its reusability.
The blades on fixed broadheads can affect your accuracy since the blades can catch the wind and miss the target, especially if the arrow wasn’t fired straight in the first place. To remedy this, manufacturers typically lower the cutting diameter to help with longer and more accurate arrow flight. This in turn will decrease the cutting diameter on the target, but this isn’t a big deal for certain types of game.
While fixed broadheads possess a “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mentality, mechanical broadheads are all about innovation and advancing broadhead design to aid bowhunters with accuracy and taking down larger animals. Because of its recent explosion in popularity, you can find all kinds of designs, with varying levels of extremity.
The mechanical broadhead blades are tucked in, allowing for further arrow flight and field point precision with each shot. Some beginner bow hunters may find this to be very useful when starting out. The blades expand once it makes contact with the target, opening up to a larger cutting diameter than the fixed broadheads. However, because they are mechanical, there is a small chance of malfunction, where the blades don’t open and, as a result, leave the animal unphased.
What Type of Animal Are You Hunting?
In the end, this debate can truly come down to one thing: which animal are you trying to hunt? Consider the pros and cons detailed above and weigh that against the animal you’re looking to hunt. While you can use the same type of broadhead to take down various types of animals, you may want to have both types of broadheads stocked up if you want to be more strategic during the hunting season.
Smaller targets like pheasants and turkeys mean you have less margin for error. The mechanical broadhead helps with accuracy, which can help you snag those flighty targets. On the opposite end, the larger cutting diameter provided by mechanical broadheads are also useful to take down larger targets like bears, which will require a much larger hole to penetrate through their fatter bodies.
When it comes to the common practice of deer and elk hunting, reaching for a fixed broadhead may be your best bet. Since they are slimmer, having a reliable penetrating arrowhead ensures the best chance of making the kill. Nothing is worse than investing time, energy, and money into your equipment choices only to have it potentially fail on you, or simply fail to execute. With fixed broadheads, you will have no issues taking down elk, as it has been down thousands of times before.
Where to Find the Best Hunting Accessories
Perhaps you’re just starting out and trying to choose the right type of broadhead for you. Maybe you’re a diehard fixed broadhead user curious about making the switch to a mechanical broadhead. Regardless of what type of broadhead you use, you’re going to want the best quality available, and you’ll need plenty of them. That’s where we come in at Specialty Archery. We have you covered with our large selection of hunting accessories.
Since we’re a team of archery experts, we know what bow users of all experience levels need. Connect with us today so we can get you started with the right tools and equipment you need. Whether you’re just starting out or in need of some replacements for some well-worn gear. We’re constantly refreshing ourselves with what’s new in the market, leading us to create innovative products with insightful design.
We know you might have more questions, and we’re always here to help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the choices, just look to us as your friendly archery shop guys willing to help you find what works best for you.