The selection of broadheads on the market today is nothing short of perplexing. If I were to segregate this array into two distinct groups, those would be “modern” broadheads designed for compound bows, and “traditional” broadheads, designed for recurve and longbow hunters. If the former group is like a camp axe, the traditional broadhead is like a 12 pound maul. Modern broadheads are effective, but they take advantage of the speed of modern bows. Traditional type broadheads need to be as strong and efficient as possible to make the most out of a recurve or longbow’s more limited performance. Here are 10 of the most popular, devastating, and time proven points that you can still get today.
Any broadhead that has been around for 70 years, and still in popular use, is one to take note of. The Zwickey Eskimo is probably due credit for taking more animals than any other broadhead. It’s a simple, strong, efficient, carbon steel design, and easy to sharpen and re-sharpen. They are as affordable as they are durable, at just about $6 apiece, and are available in glue-on or screw-in models.
The single bevel broadhead design isn’t new either, and is widely considered one of the best penetrating designs in existence. In his famous papers on arrow lethality, Dr. Ed Ashby found it to be the ideal design for penetration, especially with heavy hide and bone. The single bevel edge, when matched to helical fletching, encounters less resistance, as it cuts in the direction the arrow is already spinning, and has the reputation of splitting heavy bone. The Grizzly Single Bevel is based on that same design, and built to handle the job. They are easily sharpened and come in at about $9 each. The Grizzlies are also available in glue-on or screw-in models.
The Magnus Stinger is a broadhead that bridges the gap between the efficient and tough design of traditional broadheads, and the ease of use of modern compound points. They are hunting sharp and ready to put on your arrows right out of the package, and are very popular with traditional bowhunters. Whether you’re chasing whitetails or moose, they are up to the task. You’ll be spending about $11 apiece on them, but they are covered by a lifetime replacement guarantee.
Another great point, based directly on the aforementioned Dr. Ashby’s design is the Samurai line from Grizzly Stik. They are a robust single bevel point with a lean profile to maximize penetration. They come ready to hunt out of the package, and the blades are a hard, 440C Stainless steel with an aluminum ferrule, and built to handle any game on the planet. They say you get what you pay for, and you’ll pay for these, at around $30 apiece.
Similar in look to the Zwickey, the Eclipse 2-Blade is a no frills, no BS broadhead. They are made from high carbon spring steel, and built to withstand punishment. Like many, you’ll need to put the finishing touches on the edge, but once you do, they will be ready for just about anything you want to hunt with them. They come in glue-on only, but screw-in adapters make them an easy option for anyone not shooting wood arrows. They are also backed by an unconditional lifetime guarantee, and cost about $10 apiece.
Another classic broadhead that is still available today is a version that one of the most famous bowhunters of all time, Howard Hill, used. It’s an old design, and they look like antiques, but broadheads that don’t work aren’t around for as long as these. They have a long, slender design with vented, concave blades. Their profile makes them great penetrators, and the aluminum ferrule is interlocked and riveted for rigidity. These come it at a price of about $11 each.
The Helix broadhead is another in the popular variety of 2-blade single bevel, bone-splitting points. It has a shallow profile at the tip, but the 2 blades flare out towards the back. This allows the point to maintain a good initial cutting efficiency, but still have a large overall cutting diameter without being too long. They are also single bevel-sharpened on the back, so that the point will cut on its way out of the animal if complete penetration isn’t achieved. They are a tough, high quality broadhead with a deadly reputation, and they’ll cost you around $18 each, depending on model.
For every hunter that loves 2-blade broadheads, there is another who prefers three blades. Many find that they get better blood trails with three blades than two. The Woodsman is probably one of the most time-vetted 3-blade models on the market today. It’s 1075 high carbon steel build, and long slender design makes it a great penetrator, and tougher than many 2-blade points. Like many, they are available in glue-on or screw-in, and the Original Series broadheads will cost you about $7 each.
Another design that is still hanging around, and for good reason, is the Bod-Kin 3 blade. They’ve been around since the mid 1940’s, and this is another point that doesn’t get much attention, but would probably put most modern compound broadheads to shame as far as amount of game taken. It’s a simple design, and not at the top of the lot as far as quality control and longevity, but get them sharp, and they will get the job done like they have for decades. You can get these for about $4.50 each.
A relatively new player that is sure to leave its mark is the Blood Eagle. Valkyrie archery designed this point to be a supremely well-penetrating 3-blade model. They have a long, slender, concave blade profile, but a very robust point. They are made of high quality carbon tool steel, heat treated, and ceramic coated for protection against the elements. They are a standard screw in point, and come in at around $25 apiece, but they also offer the Jagger, essentially the same point, using their proprietary center pin and outsert assembly for around $35 each.