Mathews Inc.
How many sharpen Broadheads?
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
Ucsdryder 12-May-20
Treeline 12-May-20
skipmaster1 12-May-20
Zbone 12-May-20
Glunt@work 12-May-20
Jack Whitmrie jr 12-May-20
Jasper 12-May-20
Woods Walker 12-May-20
c5ken 12-May-20
Z Barebow 12-May-20
GF 12-May-20
Dale06 12-May-20
APauls 12-May-20
pav 12-May-20
Hank_S 12-May-20
drslyr 12-May-20
Tlhbow 12-May-20
walks with a gimp 12-May-20
PECO 12-May-20
12yards 12-May-20
Jaquomo 12-May-20
smarba 12-May-20
KY EyeBow 12-May-20
Buffalo1 12-May-20
Casekiska 12-May-20
elkmtngear 12-May-20
cnelk 12-May-20
Fuzzy 12-May-20
LBshooter 12-May-20
M.Pauls 12-May-20
jdbbowhunter 12-May-20
12yards 12-May-20
smarba 12-May-20
bowhunter55 12-May-20
GLP 12-May-20
Ollie 12-May-20
Empty Freezer 12-May-20
sir misalots 12-May-20
Buffalo1 12-May-20
White Falcon 12-May-20
keepemsharp 12-May-20
GDx 12-May-20
GDx 12-May-20
Heat 12-May-20
cnelk 12-May-20
Irishman 12-May-20
GF 12-May-20
Treeline 13-May-20
Jack Whitmrie jr 13-May-20
cnelk 13-May-20
goelk 13-May-20
Ironbow-cell 13-May-20
Jack Harris 13-May-20
lawdy 13-May-20
Newhunter1 13-May-20
jjs 13-May-20
Bloodtrail 13-May-20
keepemsharp 13-May-20
hawkeye in PA 13-May-20
Errorhead 13-May-20
12yards 13-May-20
GF 13-May-20
Tilzbow 14-May-20
Bloodtrail 14-May-20
Bent arrow 14-May-20
cnelk 14-May-20
lawdy 14-May-20
12yards 14-May-20
Ambush 14-May-20
Highlife 14-May-20
walks with a gimp 14-May-20
'Ike' 14-May-20
Woods Walker 14-May-20
Two Feathers 14-May-20
Highlife 14-May-20
Mountain sheep 14-May-20
GF 14-May-20
joehunter 15-May-20
IdyllwildArcher 15-May-20
altitude sick 15-May-20
altitude sick 15-May-20
altitude sick 15-May-20
Pahaska 26-May-20
Matt 26-May-20
craigmcalvey 27-May-20
12yards 27-May-20
Grey Ghost 27-May-20
GF 30-May-20
Ucsdryder 11-Jul-20
Pop-r 12-Jul-20
kevo 12-Jul-20
From: Ucsdryder
12-May-20
I got some sevr Broadheads and was less than impressed with their sharpness. I ended up running them over an accu sharp then stropping them to hair shaving sharp.

I was talking to a buddy about it and he commented that he should check to see how sharp his are. I think a lot of people just assume they’re sharp out of the package.

Do you check your heads?

From: Treeline
12-May-20
Always.

From: skipmaster1
12-May-20
Replacement blade heads should be sharp out of the package. Most non replacement blade heads need sharpening

From: Zbone
12-May-20
Ya ain't a real bowhunter if you don't sharpen your own broadheads...8^)

From: Glunt@work
12-May-20
Absolutely. Even the ones that claim to be ready out of the package never seem to come as sharp as I would like. I usually shoot mine into a sand pit before they get a spot in the quiver for season. Hit them with a file and then the diamond stone until they shave. Touch them up mid-season after riding in the quiver foam and after they get used as intended.

12-May-20
Touch mine up every morning over coffee, just my ritual. I don't use replacement blades .

From: Jasper
12-May-20
I bet we’d be shocked at how many hunters, especially the newer ones don’t even think about sharpening or checking their broadheads....just open the pack and screen em on

From: Woods Walker
12-May-20
You check/sharpen your knife before you use it if it's dull, but not your BROADHEADS??

Who WOULDN'T check their broadheads? Out of all the hunting gear you use, the tip of that arrow that you've worked so hard at shooting straight and accurately is THE most important piece of hunting gear you own. Literally all you've worked for and dreamed about is at the tip of that broadhead .

Putting a sharp edge on steel has been my "therapy" for decades. I find it very relaxing. But that's me.

I also have an old Gerber folding pocket steel that I carry in my truck. When I'm stopped at a long light or waiting for a train to pass I hone my Leatherman blades with it. It's my version of a "fidget spinner"!

From: c5ken
12-May-20
Looking for a scary sharp B-Head out of the box... Check out Slicktrick Viper tricks. You will not be disappointed...

From: Z Barebow
12-May-20
I sharpen every Broadhead.

From: GF
12-May-20
I’m not good enough to improve on the edges of the factory-sharpened blades that I have used. Not when they’re brand new, anyway.

But I do test every head that goes into my quiver to be sure they’ll spin and shave.

And of course the old-school heads have to be brought up to the same level. I’m considering going to a single-bevel for at least a half-dozen if for no other reason than to find out if I can put (& maintain!) a better edge on one bevel than two.

From: Dale06
12-May-20
For many years, I’ve sharpened 100% of my BHs on a Lansky sharpener. Couple years ago, I switched to Iron Will BHs and find they are good to go when new. I have sharpened them though after a kill shot.

From: APauls
12-May-20
You bet. Rocket steelheads are tough to tune up after use though!

From: pav
12-May-20
As Treeline said...Always.

From: Hank_S
12-May-20
Every one...always.

From: drslyr
12-May-20
Just got a KME for single bevel sharpening. Gone down the heavy arrah route. 650 gr arrah’s

From: Tlhbow
12-May-20
Always sharpen mine. Mostly stainless so a crock stick is all that's needed.

12-May-20
Anything I want to run through a game animal gets a smoothing with a ceramic sharpening rod.

From: PECO
12-May-20
I shoot solid COC broad heads and sharpen them myself.

From: 12yards
12-May-20
The replaceable blade heads I've used seem to be extremely sharp. Those that don't have replaceable blades I usually sharpen. I do always check them before season though.

From: Jaquomo
12-May-20
I don't sharpen Iron Wills out of the box, but do after they run through something. When we used Muzzys we sharpened the trocar tip on a stone to make it COC sharp.

From: smarba
12-May-20
I like sharp heads. Slick Trick fit the bill for me.

But often when threads of this topic comes up I ask whether "decently sharp" or "scary sharp" really makes any difference. The example I bring up is I use practice blades that have already been through an animal, dinged up, shot into a target dozens of times if not more. They are very, very dull to the touch and blade edges visibly poor. As in no way any reasonable person would remotely consider hunting with them. Yet if I happen to shoot too close to another arrow that is already in the target, the dull blades will slice the fletch of the arrow in the target like a knife through butter. Literally slice it end to end smoothly. And that's a relatively flimsy piece of plastic that you'd have a tough time cutting cleanly by swinging your sharpest razor knife against.

Do not get me wrong, I'm not advocating using dull broadheads, but I'm not sure that a new one that out of the package doesn't seem overly sharp is really the problem some make it out to be.

How can you explain how cleanly an incredibly dull blade can slice a fletch?

From: KY EyeBow
12-May-20
In my experience, those single bevel mechanical blades on the old Ulmer Edge and the newer Sevr are sharper than they seem to be. There was more than one thread on that in the past when it was the Ulmer Edge, I believe.

From: Buffalo1
12-May-20
I sharpen all of my BH’s. Only use COC style. Use bastard file, flat diamond stones, jewel stick and leather strop w/paste. Sometimes use cardboard, if leather not available to hone.

From: Casekiska
12-May-20
learning how to properly sharpen a broadhead's edge used to be a rite of passage for a bowhunter. Roy Case, HOF inductee and WI bowhunter used to champion the task and wrote numerous magazine articles in the fourties and fifties explaining how to do it. He constantly preached, "Keep ;'em sharp!" He sometimes would end his letters with that line and oftentimes at the end of a conversation with him the last thing you heard as he walked away was, "keep 'em sharp!"

From: elkmtngear
12-May-20
I always touch up broadheads, out of the package...and again after they've been in my bow quiver for a while.

From: cnelk
12-May-20
Gatco sharpener for me

From: Fuzzy
12-May-20
I use whet stones

12-May-20
I agree with skipmaster, thunderheads and muzzies have always been very sharp out of the box for me. I tried G5 Montecs and realized I had to sharpen them. I never did get as much blood loss it seemed and so I went back to Theads. I am just not great at sharpening them, but the toughness of the heads really impressed me and they do seem to fly more accurately.

From: LBshooter
12-May-20
Sharpen everyone I shoot.

From: M.Pauls
12-May-20
There’s the odd one that comes sharp enough for me. If it’s hair popping, I’m not going to mess with it. But otherwise, yes, and I reuse a lot so I’m at that point where I’m sharpening lots, as I’ve got enough broadheads to last a few years. I should lay off the spending a little in that department.

From: jdbbowhunter
12-May-20
yes I do, KME Sharpener for me.

From: 12yards
12-May-20
smarba, I agree with you. Dull blades going 250 fps are still going to be pretty lethal IMO. But I still believe they should be sharp of course. I'm sure my heads are never "scary" sharp, whatever that is. They do shave hair and catch on my fingernail. But I'm sure they don't earn the "scary" sharp label. But I've never had a blood trail issue because of sharpness.

From: smarba
12-May-20
LOL I'm not sure what the definition of "scary" is either. Just many guys use that term. I just doubt that any name brand is so dull out of the package as to be the cause of a non-lethal wound.

And when I hear stories of guys being so anal as to alternate which arrow they remove from the quiver for a stand setup so as to not overly-dull a particular BH I think that's what it is...anal. Doubtful removing one from a quiver even hundreds of times would result in any measureable amount of reduced lethality.

Still, feel free sharpen them if you want to or it helps your confidence.

From: bowhunter55
12-May-20
I sharpen every broadhead I use. Slick Tricks and VPA Terminators.

From: GLP
12-May-20
Always sharpen!

From: Ollie
12-May-20
Even broad heads advertised as “sharp out of the package” often aren’t. Check them before use.

12-May-20
Maybe one of you guys could do a demo on sharpening mechanical blades, like say Vortex, that are replaceable... Thanks

From: sir misalots
12-May-20
I have 2 packs of 20 year old Anderson Magnums y Razor sharp still to this day. some of the sharpest packaged blades Ive seen. But most are not that way Sharpening broadheads are like turning leaves in the fall. Its just natural.

From: Buffalo1
12-May-20
I think sharpening any blade- BH, knife, axe, hatchet, bush axe, etc. is somewhere between a science and an art.

I have known folks that can sharpen a blade so quick it can may your head swim. Others can try all day and only make a blade duller.

From: White Falcon
12-May-20
Always sharpen my Trad heads.

From: keepemsharp
12-May-20
It aint' easy but its part of the fun.

From: GDx
12-May-20
amazing. for my compound, I have never sharpened my muzzy broadheads. never sharpened the replacement blades either. my recurve broadheads, those i sharpen.

From: GDx
12-May-20
amazing. for my compound, I have never sharpened my muzzy broadheads. never sharpened the replacement blades either. my recurve broadheads, those i sharpen.

From: Heat
12-May-20
I use BB's method to sharpen my Snuffers. Works pretty good. Takes a lot of patience and a bit of practice to hear or feel what you are looking for but the results are worth it.

From: cnelk
12-May-20
I bet many don’t even know the angle of the edge of their BH. Or what is best.

From: Irishman
12-May-20
Broadheads for a recurve, I always sharpen. Broadheads for a compound, I just use them out of the box, and have separate practice broadheads.

From: GF
12-May-20
Who says bad-asses don’t shave their legs?

LOL

From: Treeline
13-May-20
Two blade single and double bevels at 25 degrees. Seems to be about the best for edge retention.

3 blade Snuffers, VPAs, Wensels, etc - use A flat bastard file to remove the factory marks and get to where I have some curl/burr at the edges of all 3 blades then a hard Arkansas stone with oil running flat to take off the burr. Strop a few times with leather and polishing compound to finish. Make sure all 3 blades shave put some chapstick on the edges and take ‘em hunting!

Not the best angle on the 3-blades at around 60 degrees, but never had any issues with them and always good blood trails.

13-May-20
Scary sharp -scared to touch them, scared to get them even close to a bowstring, scared to lay a quiver down where anyone not in the know will touch them and last but not least scared to look at them because they will cut your eyes :) I always touch up my COC heads!

From: cnelk
13-May-20
Some info about angles to sharpen

Under 10 Degree Angles The lowest angles are reserved for edges that are typically cutting softer materials. In this case, the edges are not subject to abuse so the lower angle can be maintained without damage or edge failure. The lowest angles that we typically see are on straight edge razors. These are sharpened to an angle which is roughly 7 to 8 degrees (although the back of the blade is used as a guide so knowing the angle isn’t important and it is not adjustable). A straight razor has a very delicate edge that is very easy to damage. In proper usage, a straight razor would never see the type of use that would damage the edge.

10 to 17 Degrees Angles A sharpening angle of 10 to 17 degrees is still quite low for most knives. With a total angle of 20 to 34 degrees, this is still a very fine edge. This edge is typically too weak for any knife that might be used in any type of chopping motion. Also consider that harder steels are also more susceptible to impact damage because they are more brittle. If your knife is used for cutting soft items or slicing meats, this lower angle can hold up and provide a very smooth cutting action.

17 to 22 Degree Angles A 17 to 20 degree angle covers most kitchen knives. Some knives (typically Japanese manufacturers) will sharpen their knives to roughly 17 degrees. Most western knives are roughly 20 degrees. It is our experience that kitchen knives sharpened to 15 to 20 degrees cut very well and are still durable. These angles are still not highly durable as a total angle under 40 degrees will not respond well to rougher treatment in harder materials.

22 to 30 Degree Angles In this range, the knife edges are considerably more durable. A pocket knife or a hunting knife will inevitably see abuse not seen by knives meant primarily for slicing or chopping softer materials. While the edge may not ultimately cut as well (but you may not notice a difference) it will be considerably more durable.

Over 30 Degrees Angles Any edged tool or knife that is sharpened past 30 degrees will be very durable. Its cutting ability will be noticeably reduced. This durability has an advantage because more force can be used to make the cut. While the majority of knives won’t benefit from this sharpening angle, an edged tool like a machete, cleaver or axe must be durable as the typical cutting action of these tools would damage other edges.

From: goelk
13-May-20
touch my every morning and during lunch too during season.

From: Ironbow-cell
13-May-20
Doesn't matter the type of head or the manufacturer, I check every single head. If it isn't scary sharp, I touch it up. Most replaceable blade heads pre-assembled in the package will get touched up. Bouncing around in the package will dull them. Broadheads kill by blood loss, so they need to be scary sharp. Never just good enough. Perfect hits might work fine with a less than scary sharp head, it is the marginal hits where you want everything the head touches to cut whatever it touches.

From: Jack Harris
13-May-20
with the VPA's i do not expect factory sharp. That's my job. Shoot them a lot before hunting with them. It does take stropping compound and leather strop to get that polished hair popping sharpness though.

From: lawdy
13-May-20
Use a file on my Zwickeys, that’s all I have used for 50 years. They really tear blood vessels open.

From: Newhunter1
13-May-20
I broke out my gatco sharpener...what angle should I use for magnus 2 blade heads and Iron Will 100 grain heads?

From: jjs
13-May-20
10'' millblast file does the trick on my snuffers in very little time.

From: Bloodtrail
13-May-20
Ok. So I sharpen all my knives my hand. No guide. And they come out great.

Are you guys sharpening your tiny little replacement blades by hand or with a guide to get them shaving sharp?

From: keepemsharp
13-May-20
Some have said that a sharp rough edge will tear more vessels than a sharp smooth edge. Vessels have a way of bending out of the way and the rougher edge will cut them?

13-May-20
Yes to the OP's question, sure have found some DULL " sharp" blades over the years. I also resharpen as needed by hand.

From: Errorhead
13-May-20
of course

From: 12yards
13-May-20
keepemsharp, I never bought the vessels move out of the way theory. Your arrow is going into the animal with force and speed. Vessels are going to be cut, not moved out of the way. Even "kinda" sharp blades will cut vessels rather than move them when going into an animal with speed and momentum. The old push the broadhead through rubber bands comparison between the sharp and dull broadhead never convinced me that vessels would move out of the way.

From: GF
13-May-20
Steve - JMO... If you think that, you haven’t studied much anatomy.

Arterial walls are multi-layered and muscular; they have to be able to stand up to quite a bit of pressure, which goes up exponentially with increases in diameter, so those high-pressure lines we all strive to hit are made of some stern stuff...

Of course, they are held more or less in place by the connective tissue, so while the whole vessel is unlikely to be moved any appreciable distance, a dull blade can just slide over the surface, displacing not the vessel but the blood inside it. Like poking a water balloon with your finger.

So, yeah, sharp matters...

From: Tilzbow
14-May-20
I’ve still got about 4 dozen of the original German Kinetic Silver Flame heads that have never been shot. Sharpest head ever, out of the box, or otherwise. I’ve only shot a few through animals and was saving the rest for something.... Now that I’m getting older I need to start shooting them.

That said I’ve sharpened VPAs, Magnus 2 blades, the original Snuffer before and during a hunt and find it to be exactly like tying flys before a big fishing trip. I can get the heads heads sharp but the process might explain why the GKs with the superior edge are still in the cabinet.

From: Bloodtrail
14-May-20
Does anyone have a pic of sharpening a little tiny replacement blade by hand on a stone? Thanks!

From: Bent arrow
14-May-20
Use satilite tnt 125. Can't find em anymore. Have sharpened these a few times. Great cut on contact. Use small stone and b careful.

From: cnelk
14-May-20
@ bloodtrail "Does anyone have a pic of sharpening a little tiny replacement blade by hand on a stone? Thanks!"

If you are referring the the little bleeder blade on the Iron Will, they are a real BEEEATCH to resharpen

From: lawdy
14-May-20
I think the best place to get advice on sharpening broad heads is Leatherwall as many guys on there sharpen and use resharpable heads. Lots of ways to do it. I carry 4 arrows when I hunt deer, but only one Zwickey Eskimo has killed my last 4 deer. The one before that killed several but got ruined when I missed and buried it into a maple and I bent it trying to extract it. Shaved hair off the top of his back.

From: 12yards
14-May-20
"....a dull blade can just slide over the surface, displacing not the vessel but the blood inside it."

GF, I see this stated all the time. And common sense says yes it is true. But has it ever been truly tested? Cuz I've cut the heck out of myself with some pretty dull crap over the years on things travelling far slower than an arrow. I'm not advocating guys go out without sharp heads. Obviously the sharper they are before they contact hide, the sharper they'll be when they contact vital stuff inside. I guess maybe what I need to think is that the broadhead is rapidly slowing down as it goes through an animal.

Anyone out there kill an animal with their practice broadhead by mistake? And if so, how was your bloodtrail?

From: Ambush
14-May-20
There’s probably a few guys that take a razor and shave little bits all over their arms before going to a shoot and wear a short sleeved shirt.

Says while casually putting his arms in peoples faces. “Yeah, just touching up my broad heads on the way over”.

From: Highlife
14-May-20
Why yes I did shot a buck at 20 yards went 50 only blood was where the arrow went in . Broadhead was sticking just alittle little ways through the heart. Side note if my stump arrow hadn't been dipped in baby blue with blue and white fletching I'd definitely been looking alot harder for that buck.

14-May-20
"How can you explain how cleanly an incredibly dull blade can slice a fletch?" It is the speed at which the blade is traveling and the resulting drag and heat from friction. Also the resistance of the material at rest is also increased.

From: 'Ike'
14-May-20
Yup, even touching up my replacement blades...

From: Woods Walker
14-May-20
You know, if you don't like to/can't put a sharp edge on steel, then just maybe hunting isn't the lifestyle for you.

Sharpening stuff is one of the reasons why I love to hunt so much. Knives, broadheads, axes, machetes...whatever. If it has an edge, I want it SHARP, and it can never be sharp enough!

"The Riddle Of Steel".... :-)

From: Two Feathers
14-May-20
I do. 3 blade cut on contact.

From: Highlife
14-May-20
And maybe woodwalker your old ass needs to lighten up ?

14-May-20
I shoot thunderheads 100 gr. so no, I’ve never sharpened a Broadhead.

From: GF
14-May-20
I’m thinking you just gave Woods YOUR prescription!

I’ve been known to shave hair off of my forearm with an axe. I honestly couldn’t tell you if that’s necessary or even beneficial, but it feels awfully good to do it just because I CAN. That said, my broadhead results would not suffer from my learning the craft a little better. I can get them plenty sharp with the tools that I have available, but I would like to get better with just a flat file and a stone.

Just because it makes me happy to master something new.

Some guys hunt for meat. Some guys hunt for trophies. I hunt mostly to get better at it. Meat is just a welcome fringe benefit…

From: joehunter
15-May-20
I shoot Wasp - always shaving sharp out of the package and they stay sharp. Have been for 40 plus years. No reason to have a dull broad head. Ever!

15-May-20
So much of this is BS.

If you shoot a BH with replaceable blades/hard angles, all your sharpening is pointless.

Building on cnelk's post, these razor blade heads don't hold a sharp edge once they penetrate to the level of where it matters.

Look, the whole point of being razor sharp is to slice flesh. If a blade is sharp, it slices things cleanly. If it's dull, it pushes through and rips. Cut yourself with a fresh razor blade and it'll not bleed until you move, but then you can't stop it because the vessels are cut cleanly instead of ramroded and abrased. Cut yourself with something dull and the ragged edges create the perfect nidus for platelets to form a clot. I've been repairing wounds for a living for 15 years and the wounds that are caused by a sharp knife bleed longer and restart bleeding far more than the more dull cut/rip variety.

Look at your disposable heads after they've gone through the chest of an animal. They look like they've been ramroded through gravel for 5 minutes.

Now shoot a BH like a VPA through an animal: You can't even tell it went through it.

I've done this experiment and I encourage any of you who use blades with replaceable heads to do it yourselves. Muzzy's, Thunderheads, even so many people's favorites, Slick Tricks:

The next time you kill a deer, cut off the ribs without removing the hide. It's an easy thing to do. You just separate the hide below the ribs and cut through the abdominal wall muscles, then cut to the spine near the ham and neck and then lift it up like the hood of your truck and saw it off at the spine.

Next, take your hair/hide/ribs (do it while they're still fresh to simulate actual hunting) and put them in front of your foam archery target and shoot your out-of-the-box AND/OR sharpened razorblade BHs through your deer's hair/hide/ribs. Then remove the arrow from the target and look at the broadhead.

By the time it gets to the part that matters (behind a set of ribs, the part that kills them), your broadhead is trashed. I haven't done the test with just hide to simulate a far quartered-to animal as the vast majority of my shots are through ribs, but I bet the results are similar.

I did this experiment after ragging on VPAs for a few years for being so expensive because I killed animals with Muzzy's out-of-the-box without any problems. But I always noticed that they looked torn up afterwards, even if they didn't stick in the dirt.

Then I killed a few animals with VPAs and even if they planted in the dirt, you couldn't even tell they'd gone through an animal unless they hit rocks. And then I killed a deer with the same BH after having shot it through a deer and not resharpened it (same day, last arrow) and it was still sharp...

My point? If you're shooting a BH with replaceable razor blades on it, sharpening it is pointless because it's dull by the time it gets through hair/hide/ribs.

I'm not saying they won't kill animals. I've killed a bunch of animals with Muzzys. When it actually matters is on those occasional poorly hit animals - it's a small percentage of the time. Most of the time, you could have a piece of obsidian on the end of your arrow and it'll do the job.

But on those few animals, the BH that keeps its edge, cutting better and penetrates better is going to theoretically give a better blood trail and possibly kill the animal a bit quicker - but there's no science to prove it either way. The only thing that's certain, is that razor blades are for cutting hair off of skin and for cutting skin without hair.

Think about it: Even a Havalon loses something if you cut through an inch of hair. If you've cut up a bunch of animals with a Havalon, you've seen how they instantly go from razor sharp to sharp the first time you hit a batch of hair or a bone. They're still sharp, but you can see how all that razorblade sharpening is instantly gone.

EDIT: I sharpen my VPAs.

15-May-20
Totally agree idle. I also have killed a fair amount with Muzzys, slick tricks, Thunderheads. All will kill

But there is a whole new world that opens up when you put a thick, high quality, hard steel blade up front.

Add a well tuned straight flying heavy arrow and your killing tool is far more effective.

And of course there will be a lot of deer and elk killed with thin razor blades. They do kill.

15-May-20
Totally agree idle. I also have killed a fair amount with Muzzys, slick tricks, Thunderheads. All will kill

But there is a whole new world that opens up when you put a thick, high quality, hard steel blade up front.

Add a well tuned straight flying heavy arrow and your killing tool is far more effective.

And of course there will be a lot of deer and elk killed with thin razor blades. They do kill.

15-May-20
Totally agree idle. I also have killed a fair amount with Muzzys, slick tricks, Thunderheads. All will kill

But there is a whole new world that opens up when you put a thick, high quality, hard steel blade up front.

Add a well tuned straight flying heavy arrow and your killing tool is far more effective.

And of course there will be a lot of deer and elk killed with thin razor blades. They do kill.

From: Pahaska
26-May-20
I find it a bit sad that most of the posts here respond so similarly about the importance of a "surgically sharp" broadhead and yet most "all" hunters I'm familiar with are mostly complacent about keeping the killing end sharp. To me it's unethical. These hunters wander around the mountains for days or weeks, subjecting their broadheads to dirt, water, handling abuse and I've even seen a few shooting their hunting heads into foam targets! I always try to help these perhaps unknowing folks understand but they usually resist. If I hadn't been raised by an old time bow hunter from the 1930s, 40s and 50s, I might not be so paranoid about touching up the edges on a daily basis. The point on our arrow is the bottom line of our success as ethical hunters.

From: Matt
26-May-20
It depends on the head.

How many guys believe they have lost an animal that they otherwise would have recovered had their BH been sharper or had edge retention been better?

I have one instance in ~100 animals where I think edge detention mattered in how quickly an animal died. He didn't go far so the recovery was never in question, but I personally think the circumstances where a top quality BH with excellent edge retention will outperform an average BH with poor edge retention are few and far between.

Don't take that as an excuse to shoot dull broadheads, just a commentary that on balance the difference and the downside are overstated.

26-May-20
A lot of good info here. I agree that many broadheads are not sharp out of the package. Dull heads can cause poor blood trails even on good shots. If they can shave hair, I wouldn't use them. I've found sharpness and edge retention to be very important in maximizing penetration also.

From: craigmcalvey
27-May-20
Always sharpen mine using a kme. Part of the ritual of hunting for me

Craig

From: 12yards
27-May-20
Like I said, I sharpen them the best that I can which means they typically shave hair. This has served me well with quick adequate blood trails for well over 30 years of bowhunting. How good they are at retaining an edge I have no idea. But they always seem to do the job well. And I would say that shot placement is far more important than having a scary or surgical sharp head. Shaving sharp has always been great if I do my job well getting it where it needs to go.

From: Grey Ghost
27-May-20
People who bash Montecs for not being sharp generally don't understand blade designs. Some blades are designed to cut. They have a very shallow edge angle, like a razor blade, and are easy to get shaving sharp. Other blades are designed to chop or punch thru material, like an ax or a leather punch. They have a steeper edge angle, and will never get shaving sharp. Montecs are the latter design. They have a 60 degree edge angle by design. They punch thru wild game, instead of slicing thru them. That's also what makes them more durable than most broadheads. I have gotten pass-thrus on every animal I've shot with them, with the exception of a Texas heart-shot bull, even though they are never hair-shaving sharp.

Whatever you shoot, shot placement is far more important than broadhead sharpness.

Matt

From: GF
30-May-20
“ Most of the time, you could have a piece of obsidian on the end of your arrow and it'll do the job.”

Objection, Your Honor!

If you’d like to make the point that a field point will do the job when properly placed, then let’s talk about field points.

But a well knapped stone point will be far sharper than any manual or commercial manufacturing/sharpening process can make steel to be. SEMs prove it.

I think there has to be a balance, though, between sharp and sturdy; a hair-popping edge isn’t worth much more than a butter-knife if it gets rolled over to butter-knife quality on a rib.

I’m 100% in favor of having as keen an edge as possible as it passes through lung or vascular tissue; I’m just not sure what the ideal is. Maybe there’s something to be said for serrated edges after all? Not because they “rip and tear” as so many believe, but because at least parts of the edge never touch anything tough enough to take the edge off....

From: Ucsdryder
11-Jul-20

Ucsdryder's Link
I got some mechanicals in the mail. The first head is out of the package and the second was stropped with green compound.

SHARPEN THOSE HEADS!!!

From: Pop-r
12-Jul-20
Good info Brad!

From: kevo
12-Jul-20
Whether I'm shooting a compound or recurve, I have always shot a cut on contact broadhead. Bear Razorheads, Magnus, Snuffers, Woodsman and now VPA's. Part of the fun of bowhunting is getting a broadhead to shave hair and harvesting game with it. For what it's worth, I've found the Woodsmans & VPA's are very easy to sharpen.

  • Sitka Gear