2015 Broadhead Test: Fixed-Blade vs. Sheet Metal
July 30, 2015
Our goal is to objectively test key characteristics critical to the successful completion of a broadhead's mission. Tests are conducted with materials and processes that result in accurate, unbiased, repeatable results. Our broadhead-testing program is now in its fourth year, and we use our experience to continuously make enhancements and modifications where they will benefit the testing and, in turn, our readers.
We use technology such as the Velocitip system from Full Flight Technology that generates in-flight data such as drag and retained energy. Other tools include our exclusive Petersen's BOWHUNTING X-Ring Shooting Machine, which is advanced far beyond any commercially available shooting machine, the Silks Outdoors X-Ring operating software and a top-end high-speed video camera to capture slow-motion impact footage of the broadheads in action.
And where we did not have the in-house resources to conduct our tests, we sourced world-class testing services from outside. For example, sharpness testing for all broadhead blades was conducted on a state-of-the-art machine at the Cutlery and Allied Trades Research Association in Sheffield, England. Yes, we shipped broadhead blades across the Atlantic Ocean to get the best sharpness results you'll find anywhere!
Our team of testers and support staff includes construction experts, development engineers, material testing experts, product specialists and computer engineers.
Shots for all tests other than the hemorrhage test were fired using a Mathews NO CAM HTR set up with a 29-inch draw length and 65-pound draw weight. It was equipped with a NAP QuikTune 3000 arrow rest and tuned with Gold Tip Hunter arrows, which were factory fletched with 2-inch, offset vanes and tipped with a 100-grain fieldpoint to match the weight of the test broadheads.
The hard-impact test was designed to simulate the performance of a head after it encounters and passes through a hard material such as bone. This test was performed at 25 yards, and the impact material was .03-inch sheet metal. A thin, dense foam panel was placed approximately 18 inches behind the metal to "catch" the heads after passing through. Results are presented in a matrix defining the level of damage suffered by each head.
Without further ado, here are the video results from this year's hard-impact testing:
Built to withstand anything you can throw at it, the Copperhead is centered on a ferrule made of 17-4 PH stainless steel, which is selected for its strength and corrosion resistance. The Copperhead's ferrule is dressed with a black oxide finish, and three, German-made Lutz blades with a .03-inch thickness create a 1'‰1â„16-inch cutting diameter.
A trocar tip is molded into the head for increased strength, and each head is rotationally tested to ensure straightness and accuracy.
MSRP: $24.99 per 3
The 3-blade Ramcat features blade-over-shaft technology. The one-piece, stainless steel ferrule provides strength for tough shots, while the self-centering chisel tip is machined with deep flutes/lobes advertised to create an airfoil that drafts over the blades, eliminating planing.
A double O-ring system, called Aero Insert Technology, on the threaded shank ensures accurate shaft alignment. Fulton now offers a Deep Six model, practice blades, accessory kit and a specially designed quiver for its unique killer.
MSRP: $39.50 per 3
G5 Montec CS
G5's carbon steel version of the popular Montec is advertised to be 25 percent sharper than the original stainless steel model. It is also expected to retain blade edges longer and allow easy re-sharpening. If you are looking for a hassle-free head that will never lose a blade or have a mechanical issue, the metal injection molded Montec CS is a one-piece unit with no added parts. Just screw it on and shoot.
Each head is spin tested to ensure accuracy right out of the pack, and the cut-on-contact design is preferred by many big-game hunters.
MSRP: $46.95 per 3
The Deep Slice features a 3-blade design that employs a center locking system for ultra-strong blade retention. The stainless steel trocar tip has an elongated shaft that reaches through the ferrule and threads into the base. This allows the ferrule and attached blades to be positioned in any orientation desired before the tip is threaded into the hardened, stainless steel base, clamping the unit together.
Matching tapers on the front of the new base and inside of the body join for a precise fit and alignment. Innerloc calls this Blade Alignment Technology (BAT). Blades measure .027-inch thick and sport a 1'‰1â„16-inch cutting diameter.
MSRP: 39.99 per 3
Muzzy Phantom SC
Muzzy is known for no-nonsense designs and long-lasting durability, and the Phantom SC is built for strength and features a set of four steel blades that measure a stout .05-inch thick and extend all the way to the tip for a true cut-on-contact design. Blades interlock for a solid retention system.
The Phantom SC is compact in length to reduce wind planing for increased accuracy. The head has a 1'‰1â„8-inch cutting diameter.
NAP's new Redneck is 100 percent American made. It has been designed for high-speed bows and crossbows while going easy on your bank account. The three blades measure .027-inch thick and are offset in the ferrule, which the company advertises to create larger entrance holes. Cutting diameter is 1'‰1â„8 inches.
A three-piece system consisting of a lock ring, O-ring and Universal Broadhead Adaptor Ring (UBAR) ring locks blades in place. The UBAR is needed for alignment with small-diameter carbon arrow shafts.
MSRP: $19.99 per 3
The Exodus is built with Blade-Over-Shaft (BOS) technology, that places a portion of the blades on the arrow shaft side of the broadhead-to-arrow interface. Essentially, you are threading the arrow up into the head. This significantly shortens the length of the head beyond the end of the arrow, which naturally adds strength and results in a length approximately the same as a fieldpoint.
QAD advertises that this makes the Exodus fly like a fieldpoint. This technology also allows QAD to maintain a steeper blade angle while making the head compact for better penetration. The Exodus sports a 1'‰¼-inch cutting diameter and .04-inch thick blades.
MSRP: $39.99 per 3
Rexpid Big III
The Big III features Rexpid's Multiplex Screw Mechanism, which rotates the head on impact to enhance rotational and cutting forces. The design, along with the three offset blades, is advertised to increase penetration. Stainless steel blades measure .028-inch thick and are anchored to the ferrule with two small screws.
The head also has a stainless steel trocar tip for added strength. Cutting diameter is advertised at 1'‰1â„8 inches.
MSRP: $39.99 per 3
Slick Trick Standard
Slick Trick broadheads are known for strength, sharpness and durability. The Standard head, which is outfitted with two, double-sided blade bodies (four total cutting surfaces), uses the company's Alcatraz blade-locking system, which interlocks the blade bodies for secure retention. Stainless steel blades come from Germany's Lutz Blade, measure .035-inch thick and reach a cutting diameter of 1 inch.
The company's steel ferrule, with integrated point, ties it all together. Slick Trick offers the Standard head in 85-, 100- (tested) and 125-grain models.
MSRP: $39.95 per 4
Tooth of the Arrow 100
This new player in the broadhead game has entered the ring with a stout, low-profile head that is CNC machined out of a 12-foot long, 100 percent high-carbon steel rod. The heads are then heat treated for strength and durability. Blades measure .04-inch thick and are ground to a 45-degree angle, as the company found this angle results in longer-lasting edges — less sharpening, more hunting.
Advertised cutting diameter is 1 inch. The tip is machined to a chisel point for performance on hard materials such as bone.
MSRP: $37.95 per 3
Wac 'Em Triton
The Triton is a 100 percent hardened 416 stainless steel head that is compact and low profile. Designed for true fieldpoint accuracy, the Triton consists of a single, solid ferrule and tip combination all CNC machined to exact tolerances for consistency and accuracy. The tip is sharpened and complements the .027-inch blades in a configuration that is essentially a cut-on-contact unit.
The forward blade tips push up into a pocket under the tip, which aligns the cutting edges. Advertised cutting diameter is 1'‰1â„32 inch.
MSRP: $37.99 per 4
Wasp Archery has been making broadheads for more than 40 years and in 1972 was the first to offer a replaceable-blade model. The Drone is built on a solid steel ferrule, which allows for reduced surface area, and is outfitted with three, .027-inch thick blades that reach out to a 1'‰1â„8-inch cutting diameter.
The Stainless Smart Tip (SST) is pressed on, and its trocar edges are always aligned with the blades. Each pack of three Drone heads comes with two sets of replacement blades.
MSRP: $29.99 per 3