Of all the gear you drag into the woods, the only piece of equipment that is going to contact your game is the broadhead.
The 9 Top Crossbow Broadheads of 2018: Outdoor Empire Reviews
These are our top recommendations for crossbow broadhead in 2018:
- Best mechanical: Get the Rage 2-Blade (Read 20+ Amazon customer reviews)
- Best fixed: Get G5 Montec (Read 60+ Amazon customer reviews)
- Best for deer hunting: Get Rage 3-Blade (Read 60+ Amazon customer reviews)
|Type||Best mechanical||Best fixed||Best for deer hunting|
|Product|| Rage 2-Blade|| |
|Weight||100 grain||100 / 125 grain||100 grain|
|Cutting Diameter||2 inches||1 - 1 1/8 inches||1.5 inches|
|Technology||Comes with improved shock collar technology to ensure proper blade retention.||All-steel construction with 100% spin-tested accuracy.||Aerodynamic ferrules provide field-tip accuracy.|
|Cost||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
1. Best Mechanical Broadheads: Rage 2-Blade
These are the most well-known broadheads in the market because they are by far the best expandable blade broadheads you can buy.
They are cut on contact broadheads that use a proprietary shock collar to open as soon as contact is made with the front of the broadhead.
The Rage 2-Blade Broadhead is a cut on contact design that makes it a great and reliable option for new hunters or in tight spots where you may encounter a tough angle.
Cost is the only downside of these broadheads. They are expensive up front. It is quite pricey to replace the blades and shock collars that make the design work.
However, it’s worth every cent if you can stand putting up the money.
Rage 2-Blade is also available at:
2. G5 T3
The G5 T3 is an awesome old school rear-deploying broadhead. It uses friction to deploy the blades as the arrow pass through the game, tearing open a wider hole as the friction and pressure increases.
Its tip is a razor-sharp cone that pushes through the animal and aids in opening the broadhead.
It has a stainless design that is easier to clean compared to other mechanical designs but is harder to sharpen. The blades are thin so it is not suitable for thick skinned or big boned animals such as bears or elk.
However, it is ideal for big thin skinned game.
3. G5 Havoc
Of all the mechanical broadheads on the market today, the G5 Havoc is a great choice. G5 always uses top of the line materials to ensure that you have a successful hunt, and the Havoc is no different. This broadhead was designed with 2 blades built to penetrate and cut wide. The manufacturer also claims to use the sharpest metal in the industry.
This G5 boasts a 1-1/2 inch cutting diameter that can help you produce an ethical kill and harvest your prey. The Havoc has been engineered to be effective with crossbows, low poundage bows, and longer shots. This broadhead really can do it all!
The two blades sit nicely inside channels during the initial penetration. They then open up to cut the underlining layers. Having only two blades may seem like a downside, but in reality, it’s a bonus. Less used space allows the broadhead to enter smaller areas. It also reduces the chance of hitting extra obstacles. For sharp and rugged performance, choose the G5 Havoc.
G5 Havoc is also available at:
4. Best Fixed Broadheads: G5 Montec
The G5 Montec broadhead is a perfect example of gear that is made to last. It is tough as nails and will last forever.
They are available in blued and all stainless steel of varying weights. They are hunks of steel but they can be difficult to clean without dulling the blades due to the intricate cuts, just do your best and don’t be afraid to re-sharpen.
They can be used for years as long as they are kept dry, sharp and clean. They are easy to sharpen because of their angular shapes and large exposed edges.
These cut on contact blades are on the expensive side, but you should have 100% confidence in their ability to do their job if you do yours.
G5 Montec is also available at:
5. Muzzy Trocar
The Muzzy Trocar is a classic broadhead that has been used for years. The removable blades that make sure you always have sharp broadheads ready to go are its main strength.
That makes it one of the easiest to sharpen broadheads available.
They come in kits with several replacement blades. Be extra careful as you put them together because out of the box, they’re very sharp.
They may be the best value broadheads available for a hunter looking for decent equipment for little money. The only downside is the thin steel that makes up the blades. I replace them after each kill and keep them sharp as possible.
Muzzy Trocar is also available at:
6. Wasp Boss
The best fixed blade broadhead is the Wasp Boss. I don’t know many hunters who have the endless supply of money and time to find the perfect broadhead. However, you need not go any further than the Wasp Boss! These are some of the toughest broadheads on the market, and their solid steel design ensures that they will hold true.
Wasp is a notable brand that stands by their strong and durable products. The Boss is a three-blade broadhead where each blade forms a right triangle. It was designed to penetrate into bone, and can even survive a shot through a tire. Surprisingly, this quality product holds its form with no noticeable damage at all. To say that it is tough is an understatement!
One of my hunting buddies shoots the Wasp Boss, and I was very impressed with his stories. One of the most respected local hunters recommended it and I was glad he did! These broadheads are great for big game animals that have very thick skin such as bear, elk, and moose.
7. Best Broadheads for Deer Hunting: Rage 3-Blade
Drawing from Rage’s experience as a world leader in mechanical broadheads, the 3-blade design helps with holding open a wound cavity and bleeding out an animal no matter how they run or how much fat is in them.
This model still uses the shock collar and a cut on contact design that all rage broadheads do but it adds a 3rd blade. The 3rd blade added to it opens a 3D wound that is much less likely to close up and seal itself.
With two bladed designs, it’s possible for the wound to be lethal, but the entry and exit may be closed and no blood trail left. Not for these broadheads; they’re good to go for next whitetail season.
8. Grim Reaper Razortip
The Grim Reaper Razortip is a nasty broadhead. It has a longer, sleeker design compared to others. It also has a chisel tip that penetrates deep and cuts on contact.
It is all steel and works by friction deploying the blades open as the arrow passes through an animal.
Suitable for a thin skinned game, the broadhead expands violently and has a three-bladed design that flies straight but opens up a huge 3D hole that bleeds out the game quickly.
I wouldn’t use these broadheads on dangerous or thick skinned game because they are on the lighter side and are lightly constructed but they’re good for hunting deer or hogs.
Grim Reaper Razortip is also available at:
The best broadhead for hunting deer has to be the fixed blade RamCat. The RamCat has three thin and razor sharp protruding blades. This sleek and sharp broadhead was designed to take replacement blades. That saves you money and allows each of your blades to live a full life.
I believe the best part of the RamCat is the blade placement on the front and back ends. This is an amazingly useful component. They not only do damage as they go into the animal, but also as they fall out. There are numerous times when the arrow is knocked out or falls out as the animal runs off. The manufacturer has taken this knowledge and used it to our advantage.
When I shot these RamCats from my compound bow, I was very impressed by their accuracy. They also flew true, meaning that I didn’t have to adjust my crossbow to compensate for the additional weight. I decided to put them to the test with my crossbow and got the same results when shooting out from fifty yards. RamCat broadheads stay true.
RamCat is also available at:
Essential Considerations Before Buying
In some states and counties, there are game regulations regarding the types of broadheads you can carry.
Most have a minimum diameter and number of cutting surfaces you must have, while others ban types of broadheads altogether.
Before you invest in a quality set of broadheads, you have to be sure that the type you’ve chosen is legal for use in your area. If in doubt err on the side of caution. You don’t want a ticket and to have your broadheads confiscated.
Mechanical Blade Vs Fixed Blade
The debate over fixed vs mechanical broadheads is going to rage during campfires and in outfitter’s shops forever. The modern breed of mechanical broadheads is closing the gap of reliability and ruggedness that always existed.
Mechanical broadheads are more technical.
They deploy huge cutting pedals on impact instead of having them deployed while in flight. This allows a slimmer cross-section, less wind resistance and a more on target line of flight.
This gives you the ability to have huge, sometimes 3 ½” cutting diameters.
Their moving parts make for uncertainty because once you disassemble them for final cleaning and sharpening, as you always should before a hunt, you can never be 100% certain that they’ll deploy when it counts.
Their thinner cutting blades also make for a much weaker broadhead when it encounters bone or a very large and hard muscle.
- Straighter line of flight, less wind deflection
- Bigger cutting diameter
- Weaker design compared to fixed broadheads
- Moving parts are hard to clean and less reliable
- More energy is required to open up the broadhead
- You have to disassemble them to clean, lube and sharpen fully
Fixed broadheads are the old standby for a hunter chasing medium, large or dangerous game. You’ll never beat the reliability and ruggedness of a high-quality fixed-blade broadhead.
Many of the premier elk hunting camps out west won’t allow mechanical-blade because they lack performance on heavy and big boned animals.
The downside? The large cross-section makes for a large sail that catches the wind as it flies through the air. You have to watch out for how the broadheads perform on the range to get a feel of how they’ll act when shot at a game.
- Rugged and dependable broadhead
- Easy to sharpen
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Can act as a sail as it flies through the air
- Can be hard to keep sharp in a quiver
A Question of Energy
A big question with the type of broadhead you shoot is the power of your bow and how far you’ll be shooting.
Mechanical or expandable broadheads fly straighter than fixed but they also take more energy to open and it can limit the penetration of your arrow.
This is a hard decision because the further you shoot, the more the strengths of expendables start to show but so does the weaknesses.
The solution is to both switch to a stronger bow and shoot them anyway, or to switch to a lighter weight fixed broadheads and learn your setup like the back of your hand.
Either way, make sure to come up with an ethical decision based on experience with your setup and your skill level.
Before you decide on a brand and model, make sure the broadhead’s weight is right for your crossbow bolt and bow setup. Choosing the wrong weight can be disastrous for accuracy and makes you a less effective hunter.
It is important to make sure that the inserts you have in your arrows fit. Some of the ultra-thin arrows in the market require special inserts that can add to the cost and complexity of your setup.
Price vs Performance
You might be drawn to the allure of cheap discount brand broadheads but consider the longevity of your gear.
Yes, those cheaper broadheads may work under pressure once but they certainly won’t work twice and will need to be replaced.
When you buy two sets of cheap broadheads, you’ve spent more than the cost of good quality broadheads. Make sure you know its cost before you go shopping and allot budget for good broadheads.
After all, the broadheads are the only part of your entire setup that will damage and kill the game you’re after.
What to Do After the Purchase?
When you first pull a broadhead out of the package, you may have to assemble it — this is true for both fixed and mechanical types.
You need to inspect it before every hunt and be sure they’re adequately sharp and in good condition to be called on to shoot.
This is one of the major downsides of mechanical-blade broadheads. Every time you set them up, you can’t be 100% they’ll deploy.
To ensure they have the best chance possible, they should be free of corrosion, no missing parts, no major chips or cracks in the metal, and the broadhead isn’t bent or broken in anyway.
These can all be huge problems when it comes to taking game. Any signs of chips, cracks, or corrosion could mean a damaged internal structure and a wholly unsuitable broadhead for hunting.
Sharpening a broadhead means making sure the edge is sharp enough to get a reliable penetration on the game. The sharper the blade is, the easier the arrow goes in and the straighter the penetration is.
A light honing of the broadhead is generally all that’s needed on an Arkansas stone. A good test is to see if the cutting blade will shave the hair from your arm. If you can see the hairs pop as they get sliced, it’s good to go.
Also make sure you give a quick hone in between hunts because the corrosion that builds up, even if you can’t see it, dulls the blade.
Crossbow broadheads are expensive.
That’s why they should be correctly taken cared of when you store them for transport or for the next season. Always store your broadheads sharp. This reduces the time it takes next seasons to hone an edge.
Make sure they’re 100% dry and clean. Rub a few drops of odorless oil on them to protect the edge from dulling due to corrosion.
When you store them for transport, never let them come in contact with each other and any other surface. Never allow your broadheads to push into the foam on your quiver.
The foam is there for safety reasons, plus foams and plastics dull the blades just as fast as sandpaper.
Remember that the broadhead is the only part of your gear that kills the animal so be sure to get a quality set. Have them ready to go long before the season so you don’t have to worry about it during the hunt.