Skip to main content

2018 Mechanical Broadhead Test

We put 14 popular broadhead models through the wringer; here's how they stacked up

2018 Mechanical Broadhead Test
Getting a bunch of bowhunters together and trying to discuss broadheads definitely becomes a "popcorn topic," as in, "Somebody grab the popcorn; this is going to get goooood!"

Yep, trying to get folks to agree on broadheads tends to be about as successful as getting everyone to agree on Ford vs. Chevy (sorry Dodge, you still don't make the cut!), Trump vs. the world or Red Sox vs. Yankees. Just like those arguments, discussions regarding broadheads typically come with tons of emotion, plenty of chest thumping and countless tales of an uncle (or cousin or good buddy) who can back up your claims. THAT is a good show! It's definitely a popcorn-worthy topic if ever there was one.

Now, I love good entertainment as much as the next person. But when it comes to picking the broadhead that may find its way into my "trophy of a lifetime," I don't want any of that. I want the truth, and yes, I CAN HANDLE THE TRUTH! Can you?

Look, I'm sure your bowhunting buddies and the online chat boards you visit have some good advice when it comes to broadheads, but it can be awfully hard to discern what is worthwhile information and what is not. To me, it just isn't worth the risk of getting it wrong.

So, let's skip the anecdotes and unknowns and get to the good stuff! Are you ready to do some serious research on 14 of the top mechanical broadheads available in 2018? We have the solution to all the hearsay flying around in cyberspace – the most thorough and technical broadhead test on the planet! We put in many hours, use top-notch equipment and develop processes that even out the playing field for all involved; no dividing factor needed! There is zero bias among test staff – we test and report the results. It is really that simple. So, sit on the edge of your seat, get your pen ready to take notes and read on as we put the contenders through their paces in a battery of tests that includes sharpness, accuracy, aerodynamics, durability, penetration, hemorrhage speed and more.


You can read the full article and get complete test results in the September issue of Petersen's Bowhunting, on newsstands now. In addition to the detailed test results included in the article, we used high-speed video equipment to capture slow-motion footage of the broadheads in action in our hard-impact (sheet metal), zero-penetration (field stone) and hemorrhage (simulated blood drainage) tests. You can view those action-packed videos here.


Tests & Results

Hemorrhage Test

One of the more entertaining tests in our lineup is the hemorrhage test, so named because it is designed to provide a relative measure of how much bleeding each broadhead will cause. A series of thick plastic bags were filled with exactly two gallons of red water and marked with a reference line near the bottom. Each bag was also vented to ensure an equal amount of pressure. We then suspended the bags in front of our target and used a Barnett Whitetail Pro crossbow to shoot each test head through one of the bags. We recorded elapsed time from the instant the arrow was fired to the time the water level drained to the reference line.

Hard-Impact Test

The hard-impact 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 20 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. High-speed video equipment was also used to capture these shots in slow motion.

Zero-Penetration Test

The zero-penetration test was a violent test of the broadheads' durability. It was conducted by shooting into the flat surface of a field stone at 20 yards and evaluating the overall condition of the head after impact. High-speed video equipment was also used to capture these impacts in slow motion.

Looking for Arrows & Broadheads

Check prices, read customer reviews or buy it at Everest

Check Prices

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

First Look: Mathews Vertix Bow

First Look: Mathews Vertix Bow

"Petersen's Bowhunting" editor Christian Berg and Mathews design engineer Mark Hayes talk the smooth, quiet and fast shooting qualities of the new flagship Vertix bow from the Wisconsin bowmaker.

Center Shots: How to Improve Your Bow Tuning

Center Shots: How to Improve Your Bow Tuning

Field editor Bill Winke goes over steps you can take to improve the tuning on your bow.

Ravin R29X Crossbow – New for 2020

Ravin R29X Crossbow – New for 2020

The new Ravin R29X Crossbow includes everything you need for blistering speed (450 FPS!) and deadly downrange accuracy (3-inch group at 100 yards).

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Follow these 4 steps to early-season success.How to Pattern Bucks in the Early Season Whitetail

How to Pattern Bucks in the Early Season

Clint Casper

Follow these 4 steps to early-season success.

Paper makes perfect when it comes to bowhunting. How to Paper Tune a Bow How-To

How to Paper Tune a Bow

Patrick Meitin

Paper makes perfect when it comes to bowhunting.

These recent findings can help you better manage your buck population.New Deer Management Study: Small-Antlered Bucks & Stump Sprouts Whitetail

New Deer Management Study: Small-Antlered Bucks & Stump Sprouts

Jason Snavely - August 10, 2020

These recent findings can help you better manage your buck population.

Crunching the numbers on North America's most important game species2020 State of the Whitetail Report Whitetail

2020 State of the Whitetail Report

Jason Snavely - June 29, 2020

Crunching the numbers on North America's most important game species

See More Trending Articles

More Arrows & Broadheads

Check out our list of the best new hunting arrows from the 2019 ATA Show!Top New Arrows for 2019 ATA Show

Top New Arrows for 2019

Tony J. Peterson - January 10, 2019

Check out our list of the best new hunting arrows from the 2019 ATA Show!

From fixed blade to mechanical, these are the top new broadheads debuting at the 2020 ATA Show. New Broadheads for 2020 ATA Show

New Broadheads for 2020

Brian Strickland - January 09, 2020

From fixed blade to mechanical, these are the top new broadheads debuting at the 2020 ATA...

Building different arrows for different bowhunting situations is both fun and purposeful. Try these choices for your next hunt!Different Arrows for Different Game Arrows & Broadheads

Different Arrows for Different Game

Jace Bauserman

Building different arrows for different bowhunting situations is both fun and purposeful. Try...

We put 14 popular broadhead models through the wringer; here's how they stacked up.2018 Mechanical Broadhead Test Arrows & Broadheads

2018 Mechanical Broadhead Test

Jon E. Silks - August 16, 2018

We put 14 popular broadhead models through the wringer; here's how they stacked up.

See More Arrows & Broadheads

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Petersen's Bowhunting App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Bowhunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now