By Jared Bloomgren
Each and every year there are new and “improved” broadheads hitting the market that are supposed to be sharper, stronger, and more accurate than previous models. Many archers go through various broadhead brands and types almost like toilet paper in the neighborhood out-house after a chili feed! I am much different and have found a head that flat out gets it done for me and has numerous years now without letting me down. Of course it is a replaceable blade head and I choose to stick with this style of head for various reasons.
Which is better, fixed/replaceable blade or mechanical heads? This is a question that can get as heated as any political campaign out there when brought up at the wrong time at a pro shop or hunting camp. The argument will go on and on for decades to come I am sure. Or until exploding tips are legal to use…..who knows! Keep in mind that the following is merely opinion and facts based on my own trials with various heads in today’s market. This is a topic that will either earn me some fans or will turn some away. At any rate let’s get to it…..
Let’s look at advantages of both: Like stated previously, I prefer a replaceable blade head for many reasons. The advantages include but are not limited to: strength, replaceable blades to maintain a sharp cutting surface, better penetration, and more confidence in the equipment that I use. The advantages of a mechanical head are improved accuracy with field tip flight characteristics, less wind drag, many now have replaceable blades, bigger cutting diameter, and the sharp blades are often not exposed while not in use thus increasing safety.
Now disadvantages: Replaceable or fixed blade heads often times will not fly as true as a field tip, the blades can cause the arrow to guide off path from a field tip. Mechanical heads have many more disadvantages. Keep in mind this is from my own trials and experiments! In my opinion a mechanical head will rob you of momentum and kinetic energy in order to get those blades to open. This is actually a fact, not just my opinion. Not a big deal to many considering they are way up in the numbers when it comes to KE and momentum. I also think that mechanical heads perform best when given the perfect scenario such as a perfect quartering shot. Why is that? Because no matter what mechanical head you look at on the market, it will cause an arrow to lose some energy when that arrow strikes a surface at an angle. The arrow does not want to continue in a straight line, it wants to kick to the side to open those blades. This causes a loss of energy. When I am shooting at an animal I want extreme confidence in my broadheads. Some states do not allow mechanical heads for elk. I want to use the same head for all my game!
Many believe that a replaceable or fixed blade head will never fly like a field tip. Well I would like to invite you over someday and I will shoot a field tip and any one of my broadheads side by side at yardages out to 120 yards or better to prove my point that it is indeed possible. With a well tuned bow and accessories and the correct spine arrow many (but not all) of this type of heads will fly like field tips. That is why I will always choose a replaceable or fixed blade any day over a mechanical.
To each their own. There are some very reliable mechanical heads on the market. At this time I am not 100% sold on them and will continue to shoot what I have most confidence in. My tried and true replaceable blade heads.
Jared “J-Rod” Bloomgren is a hardcore Do-It-Yourself bowhunter who strives to better himself each year in the outdoor community. As a professional hunter, freelance writer and photographer, he likes to relive his outdoor adventures through written expression and photography making the reader feel as if they were along on the hunt. He attributes much of his success to the vital education he has learned from the various big game animals that he hunts. He is quoted as saying, “In each and every hunt, success or defeat, I learn something from every outing and that I can put in my arsenal of knowledge to use at a later date, a later date that will again put my wits against that of my prey.”