Using a high quality, razer blade sharp broadhead is extremely important when using a crossbow or other bow for hunting. Unlike field points, these hunting ammos are not used for shooting practice, but for actual game hunting. There are a lot of different units on the market today, which means that you have ample choice to find the best crossbow broadheads that you like to shoot with.
|New Archery Products Spitfire||4.6||Mechanical||100||1-1/2"|
|New Archery Products Killzone||4.6||Mechanical||100||2"|
|Trophy Ridge Steelhead XL 3 Blade||4.8||Mechanical||100||1-1/2"|
|Barnett Cross Game Crusher||4.0||Mechanical||125||1-1/2"|
|G5 Outdoors T3||4.3||Mechanical||100||1-1/2"|
|Grim Reaper Razor Tip Whitetail||4.3||Mechanical||100||2"|
|Slick Trick Nuke||3.5||Mechanical||100||1-4/5"|
|Trophy Taker Ulmer Edge||4.0||Mechanical||100||1-1/2"|
|Flying Arrow Archery T3125 Toxic||3.4||Fixed||100||7/8”|
|Flying Arrow Archery C3100-CB Cyclone||5.0||Fixed||100||1"|
Because of the great number of options available however, it can be quite overwhelming to choose which type you should buy. In this article we will cover a number of the best broadheads for crossbow hunting and some new exciting broadhead reviews that were introduced in 2016. First we’ll give a few tips for when using broad heads and do a quick overview of the different types of broadheads that are available.
Let’s have a more in-depth look at the difference between the different types of broadheads.
Generally, there are three different types of broadheads: fixed-blade, removable blade and mechanical broadheads. All of these types can be used in both regular bows as well as crossbows.
Fixed Blade Broadheads: These fixed types are popular with traditional style bow hunters that use compound bows. The blades on these arrowheads are rigid and unmovable and typically broad. They are usually designed to be glued onto your arrow shaft. Some have screw-in type ferrules that can be used with adaptors placed on the outside or inside of the arrow shafts.
Removable Blade Broadheads: On these ones the blades can be replaced so it doesn’t need to be thrown out when there’s only damage to the blades.
Mechanical/Expandable Broadheads: These have blades that are retracted before the it is shot. The retracted blades deploy when contact with the hunting target is made, exposing the cutting edges that are designed to wound the hunting target. Because it is better streamlined, the mechanical broadhead flies better, but doesn’t penetrate the target as much because some of the arrowhead’s kinetic energy is lost by deploying the blades.
It is recommended to only use these types with bows that are rated at least 50 pounds because of the additional kinetic energy that is needed to deploy the arrowhead’s blades. Because most crossbows carry a 100+ lbs load, expandable broadheads will work fine in most cases.
While what is the best crossbow broadhead is partly a personal preference for many hunters, there are a few characteristics that make certain ones much better suited for crossbow hunting. In the last few years a lot of new, very advanced ones have been brought onto the market, making it impossible to actually try all the available products in the market to find out which one you like best.
Therefore we have created a round-up of our favorite crossbow broadheads below, based on how well they perform with regards to the following factors: shooting accuracy, target penetration, blood trail and wound channel.
These are the 4 testing metrics we track to come up with our top recommendations:
The NAP Spitfire Broadhead is a great mechanical broadhead for both crossbows and regular hunting bows. They come in both 125 grain and 100 grain versions. The advantage of the 125 is that it will achieve more penetration and accuracy. The 100 grain version generally has more speed right after it gets shot out of the crossbow. Regardless of which you buy they run for $30 for a pack of 3.
The mechanical retention system that is used on the Spitfire to keep it from opening in-flight is very reliable. We haven’t had any premature deployments in our own experience and also online there are hardly any accounts to be found of deployment in flight when used with a crossbow.
Because a crossbow generally delivers significantly more torque than a standard bow, you want to use a mechanical broadhead that is very reliable. The ferrule on the Spitfire is micro-grooved, which enhances its accuracy and penetration. The 3 blades on the Spitfire are razor-sharp and cause very large wound channels, leaving large blood trails. The Throphy Tip® improves the bone crushing capability of the broadhead and is very durable. The Spitfire broadheads are great for hunting turkey as well as probably being the best broadhead for deer-sized game.
The NAP Killzone is another great choice for crossbow hunting. The Killzone is a 2-blade mechanical broadhead with rear-deploying blades and comes in both a 100 grain and a 125 grain version, costs are the same at $37/3pk.
While experiences with this one are generally very good, there are some accounts of the grain being quite a bit off the 100 grain mark on the 100 grain version. Some problems with blade deployment and below average performance on penetration have also been noted.
Make sure that you buy the crossbow version of this broadhead if you want to use it for crossbow hunting. It is designed for use in crossbows that shoot up to 400 fps.
The Swhacker won’t win any prizes for best looking broadhead, but is one of the most reliable mechanical units out there. The simple but smart design of the blades helps to more or less eliminate the chances of a deployment failure. Any time you shoot the Swhacker at a target you can be almost 100% sure that the blades will deploy.
The design of the Swacker also helps minimize aerodynamic drag, providing a very accurate flight, while also achieving some of the deepest penetration of all the broadheads on the market. Unlike some other mechanical broad heads, the Swacker doesn’t stand out because of its complicated, innovative design. Instead, its strength lies in its simplicity and solid manufacturing. When it comes to price/value, the Swacker also does very well at about $35 for a set of 3. This is one of our favourite broadheads for deer hunting.
The Rocket Steelhead is one of the cheaper broadheads you can buy ($28), but unfortunately it is also one of the least performant ones. Although penetration is very good with the Rocket Steelhead, in tests it only caused a 15/16 inch cutting diameter, which is well below the 1 1/8 inch that is being advertised. The blades are also much duller than any other ones we looked at. Customer reviews online are still quite positive however, so it is possible that a dud batch was tested. There are many other great units out there though, so it’s probably not worth the risk to possibly waste your money on these.
Some people don’t like crossbow hunting with mechanicals, which is why we’ve also listed a few great choices for fixed blade broadheads.
This 150 grain broadhead with 3 fixed blades delivers a very accurate flight and provides deeper penetration than most of the ones we’ve covered. Its one of the highest rated in the market with a reasonable price tag. When it comes to fixed-blade broadheads, the Bolt cutter is among the best you can buy for your crossbow bolts and arrows.
While the accuracy is still slightly lower than the mechanical ones that we’ve reviewed, it’s still very close to field point. The design of these fixed arrowheads has been in use since medieval times, with its minimal amount of surface area and the slightly higher weight of a 150 grain broadhead, helps it achieve its great accuracy.
Because the cutting diameter on the Bolt cutter is only 1 1/16 inch, the wound channel and blood trail won’t be as impressive as with the mechanical heads that are covered above, but they will still do the job they’re supposed to. It’s a great broadhead for hog, moose and probably the best broadhead for elk and deer hunting if you can’t or don’t want to use mechanical broadheads.
While store brand products are often expected to be cheaper and lower quality, Bass Pro Shops is showing that isn’t always true. Its RedHead Blackout fixed-blade broadhead is equipped with ultra sharp German-made blades that achieve a very deep penetration. The thick (.03 inch) blades aide in crushing animal bone in case of an off-kilter shot. Best to get a good scope though, so you don’t miss your mark. The entire broadhead is strong and well-designed with a great blade retention system.
Muzzy’s reputation of highly reliable and great quality workmanship proceeds it. They are known to collaborate with top crossbow brands in the market, such as Bowtech and Barnett, which helps them produce some excellent products year after year. Muzzy’s Trocar crossbow broadheads come in both 100 and 125 grain versions.
They have a snub-nosed design which gives them a lower profile, helping it better stay on target. Because of the lower weight of these unites compared with the Excaliber they don’t achieve as much penetration, though they will give a wider cut and thus larger wound channels and blood trails.
Barnett Outdoors X mechanical broadheads are available in 100 and 125 grain versions. They are to be used with crossbow arrows of between 20 to 22 inches long and not just for their own brand of bows. The deployment of the blades in the Outdoors X is very reliable though there are a few accounts that we found online of cases in which it broke when hitting the target.
Most recent 2016 customer reviews of these units are very positive, however. The Outdoors X units create a sizeable wound in the animal that will leave a large blood trail. The Outdoors X is one of the best expandable broadheads you can get. Barnett offers a 5 year warranty in case there would be any manufacturing defects on your arrowheads.
G5 Outdoors produces very reliable and advanced products, of which the T3 is a prime example. This one is very durable, sporting a 100% steel construction, and has replaceable blades, which means you’ll be able to use it for multiple kills. The T3 has a 100-grain head and a high-speed crossbow version is also available for the same price.
These Grim Reaper 2″ cut, 3-blade expandable broadheads are a great choice for crossbow hunting whitetail sized game. You can get the Razortip with either a traditional Razortip tip or the Razorcut SS tip. The 3 blades open independently, which is an advantage on quartering shots. They fly true and after having hit your target leave a serious blood trail.
The large head creates a very large cutting diameter, but provides a bit less penetration than smaller heads.
The Whitetail special comes in a three-pack that includes a practice head and are sold for about $36. The practice head flies slightly different than the hunting heads though, so take this into account when sighting in.
In 2015, Rage Broadheads decided to completely redesign its very popular triple bladed arrowhead. The new, bold design features Rage’s new Korea Technology which sports a revolutionary geometric design, made from stainless steel. It has 3 .035 inch blades with a cutting diamater of 1 3/4 inch that guarantees deep penetration and a large blood trail so you can easily track your prey. Definitely worth checking out.
If you’re looking for a very accurate mechanical broadhead for fast bows or crossbows, the Slick Trick Nuke may be just what you are looking for. This Slick Trick broadhead has a 1.3 inch diameter before deployment and a 1.8 inch cutting diameter once the broadhead hits its target and the blades have been deployed.
Deployment of the blades is very reliable due to the EZ Open Blade design that ensures deployment from the moment the broadhead encounters just a small amount of force. This same design, from one of my favorite brands, also makes sure that the blades go back into their flight position when detached from quivers. The blades are extremely sharp, causing serious damage to its target.
The Ulmer Edge has been a very popular, reliable broadhead since it was originally released in 2014. It is being offered in a 100 grain model with a 2 inch cutting diameter. The mechanical broadhead sports a very efficient rear blade deployment design that will reliably deploy the blades at target impact. The well thought-out design on this one allows it to create serious damage with the full cutting diameter of the blades while ensuring deep penetration by pivoting around thick bones.
The back of the blades is sharpened as well, which means that the arrow will cause additional damage if it doesn’t go through the target but backs out where it came in. The blades can be locked in their closed position for practice shots. The broadhead is very well streamlined, which ensures great accuracy when used with fast bows or crossbows.
These fixed-blade 125 grain non-vented broadheads are made from one piece of tool grade carbon, which guarantees unrivaled dependability and strength. Woodsman created a unique cut in each of the 3 blades that they call “Blood Groove”, which helps lower the weight it while maintaining strength and a quiet flight.
The broadhead has a pyramid tip, which adds strength to help pierce hard materials such as thick bone. These high-quality fixed-blade broadheads are made in the USA and come with a lifetime warranty. The 3Rivers Archery Blood Groove uses an 8-32 thread and thus will fit all industry standard carbon and aluminum arrows.
As we stated above, Muzzy has been an industry leader when it comes to producing high quality and reliable products. Many bow hunters and crossbow hunters swear by Muzzy broadheads. The Phantom 4 that Muzzy released in 2015 shows that the company is determined to stick to its high standards in broadhead design and production. The 100 grain Phantom 4 is a 4 blade compact steel design with a 1 1/8 inch cutting diameter that is guaranteed to pierce through any animal hide, no matter how thick. Pricing has largely stayed the same ($30) and so far it has received top ratings all across.
In 2013, Flying Arrow introduced its radical new broadhead, the Archery Toxic that featured a curved blade design that reduces wind drag while still offering almost 5 inches of cutting surface. A lot has been written about this one, with lots of toxic broadhead reviews to be found on the internet, which are all very positive about it.
The Toxic allows for very accurate crossbow shooting and is nearly silent in flight. The Toxic’s bone crushing tip ensures deep target penetration. The broadhead is available in a crossbow version and a version with Deep Six ferrules is also being sold so it can be fitted on Easton Injexion arrows.
After 2013’s introduction of the radically different Toxic broadhead, in 2014 Flying Arrow Archery decided to launch a slightly more conventional broadhead, the Cyclone with a higher priced tag of $42. The Cyclone sports a more traditional style vented blade design with three razor-sharp, curved blades and includes the same chisel tip as the Toxic. A special crossbow version of this broadhead is also available and the blades of the Cyclone are interchangeable with the Toxic.
The quality of choices available today is very high, you can’t really go wrong with most choices produced by established bowhunting brands. Whether you perfer to use mechanical or fixed-blade, choices for the best crossbow broadheads are ample. We suggest to go through the reviews above and pick the best broadheads for deer, elk, or game, that appeals most to you. Don’t be afraid to experiment a bit and try some different ones until you find your personal favourite. Be safe and happy hunting.