As a crossbow hunter, chances are you own a lot of gear. The only piece of equipment that will come in contact with your target, though, is your broadhead, the blade tip that you fit to your bolt.
Traditionally, broadheads were simple tools. Nowadays, however, they are sophisticated and designed to achieve optimal penetration, accuracy, and aerodynamics.
Not all broadheads are the same, and it is worth considering the different types of broadheads and features like cutting diameters, shock collars, and blade sizes. Determining the right broadhead takes a little know-how, and hopefully, we’re going to impart a bit of that in this best crossbow broadheads review guide.
Our Top Pick
Excalibur Boltcutter broadheads are our top pick for broadheads in general as they are a product with all the benefits that a fixed broadhead has to offer. Boltcutter broadheads have three blades, a 1-1/16 inch cutting diameter, and durable stainless-steel construction.
If you require speed, accuracy, and sufficient penetration, Excalibur Boltcutters may be the best option for you.
The Best Crossbow Broadheads Reviews
Excalibur Boltcutter – Top Broadhead Overall
Excalibur Boltcutters are a favorite among crossbow hunters and the model that immediately comes to mind when you hear the term “broadhead.” Boltcutter broadheads feature the following:
- Durable and sturdy stainless-steel construction
- A 1-1/16 inch cutting head with three blades
- Compatible with high-speed hunting crossbows
- Weight: 150 grain
Boltcutter broadheads, with their three blades and 150-grain weight, aim to deliver enhanced accuracy when traveling faster than 300 feet per second. They feature a durable stainless-steel construction to withstand high impacts and optimize the bolt’s penetration power.
This broadhead has a diameter of 1 1/16 inches, which is sufficient for hunting whitetail deer or even larger game like elk. The design is streamlined and skeletonized to reduce wind-resistance, especially over long distances. The broadhead’s design makes it a viable alternative to a mechanical broadhead.
The blades are replaceable, but you can sharpen them and reuse the broadhead as a whole. It is not uncommon for crossbow hunters to hit multiple targets with one of these.
Because of its high performance, this blade is relatively expensive. However, since you can use it more than once, it allows you to save over the long run.
- Optimizes the bolt’s penetration power
- Enhances accuracy over long distances
- Durable stainless-steel construction can withstand high impacts
- Three blades have a sufficient diameter of 1 1/16 inches
- Streamlined design
- High price tag
Excalibur Boltcutters offer the perfect combination of strength, speed, and accuracy.
Rage 2-Blade – Best Mechanical Broadhead
Range 2-Blade broadheads are the go-to mechanical blade for many crossbow hunters. This broadhead has several features that earned it the title as best mechanical broadhead in this review. The features include:
- A rear-deploying SlipCam design
- A 0.039-inch leading edge blade
- 0.035-inch stainless steel expandable blades
- A 2-inch cutting diameter
- A weight of 100 grains
- Shock Collar Technology
- Free practice head included
One of the best things about this mechanical broadhead is its rear-deploying SlipCam design, which primarily solves the problem of mechanical blades that fail to open upon impact.
When the leading-edge blade makes contact with the target, the shock collar opens immediately. This technology is also beneficial if you are shooting at an awkward angle. The stainless-steel blades are 0.035 inches thick and expand to form a 2-inch cutting diameter, which is more than sufficient for most crossbow hunting applications.
2-Blade broadheads are highly streamlined in flight and accurate at high speeds. As is the case with Excalibur Boltcutters, costs associated with 2-Blade broadheads is relatively high, especially if you want to replace the blades or shock collars.
- Reliable shock collar technology to open blades
- Streamlined profile during flight
- A wide cutting diameter of 2 inches
- Suitable for almost all hunting applications
- Durable expandable stainless-steel blades
- Component replacement costs are high
- Rage 2-Blade broadheads are a reliable, high-quality mechanical broadhead for hunting.
G5 Havoc – Best Value Broadhead
Havoc broadheads by G5 Outdoors are a reliable mechanical broadhead that consist of high-quality components. This broadhead’s features include:
- A 2-inch cutting diameter
- A “dual trap” blade retention system
- Replaceable dual Lutz blades
- Elastomeric ring and stainless-steel collar
- Suitable for hunting all game
If you are considering a mechanical broadhead, G5 Havocs may be a viable option. This broadhead consists of high-quality components to optimize accuracy, longevity, and penetration power.
Havoc broadheads have two sharp blades that expand to form a 2-inch cutting diameter. When comparing Havocs to other broadheads with three blades, the fact that it only has two blades may seem like a drawback.
However, the two blades take up minimal space, and it can enter smaller areas. Havoc broadheads are also less likely to hit obstacles like a bone that can prevent penetration.
The reliability and performance of Havoc broadheads are uncommon in this price range. If you want the best value for money, this is the mechanical broadhead to consider.
Since Havocs are a mechanical broadhead, you may encounter typical issues like deployment failure and maintenance issues. If you have a decent crossbow setup, however, this may not be a problem.
- Replaceable blades expand to form a large cutting diameter of 2 inches
- Dual blades can enter small areas
- Durable components allow for streamlined flight, accuracy, and sufficient penetration
- Excellent value for money
- Issues with deployment at certain speeds
G5 Havoc broadheads are a high-quality mechanical broadhead that offers excellent value for money.
Grim Reaper X-Bow
If you’ve been researching broadheads for longer than ten minutes, chances are you stumbled upon this popular mechanical broadhead. Grim Reaper X-Bow broadheads include:
- A weight of 100 grains
- Three replaceable stainless-steel blades with a cutting diameter of 1 ½ inch
- Design for high-speed crossbows
- Tested accuracy at 400 feet per second to a range of 100 yards
- Razor cut SS Broad Head
- Stainless steel penetration tip
Grim Reaper broadheads have a long, sleek design that includes a chisel tip for deep penetration and cutting on contact. The entire broadhead is made of stainless steel, and its mechanism uses friction to open the blades.
This broadhead is suitable for hunting small or thin-skinned animals. The expanding mechanism is reliable, and during flight, the broadhead has a low-profile for reduced wind resistance.
Since Grim Reaper broadheads have a lightweight and low-profile construction, they are not the most suitable option for hunting big game or animals with thick hides like elk. The blade is, however, a viable option for whitetail deer and hogs.
- Sleek, streamlined design for high-speed bolts
- Creates a sizeable 3D hole to cause maximum bleeding
- Designed for deep penetration
- Sharp, stainless-steel tip cuts on impact
- Not suitable for hunting elk or other big game
- Grim Reaper broadheads are an abrasive mechanical broadhead at an affordable price.
Muzzy Trocar Crossbow
Muzzy Trocar broadheads are a fixed-blade crossbow broadhead with several high-end features to ensure accuracy and successful hunting experience. Muzzy Trocar broadhead features include:
- A weight of 100 grains
- A 0.035-inch right-helix design
- A cutting diameter of 1 3/16 inches
- Three fixed blades with an offset blade
- Optimal accuracy and performance at 400 feet per second or higher
- Steel trocar tip
- Made in the United States
Muzzy Trocar broadheads are sharp, three-blade stainless steel broadheads with a design geared towards deeper penetration. Since the broadhead is paired with a solid steel ferrule, it may punch through bone as well.
The 0.035-inch helix design has a right-handed twist to increase stabilization and lower susceptibility to wind resistance. The result is consistent flight characteristics and enhanced accuracy. The compact profile design comes to its full potential at speeds higher than 400 feet per second. You need to pair this with a good scope for your crossbow.
The three replaceable blades constitute a cutting diameter of 1 3/16 inches – large enough for most hunting applications. In addition to 100-grain weight, this broadhead is also available in 125-grain weight.
- Fixed, replaceable blades give a wide cutting diameter
- Steel trocar tip maximizes penetration
- Accurate at a high arrow velocity
- The right-helix design maximizes stability and contributes to the projectile’s accuracy
- You have to keep an eye on the blades to ensure that they are fastened
This high-quality fixed broadhead is suitable for hunting all game, and it has an affordable price tag.
When shopping for a broadhead, don’t settle for the first or most affordable product you can find. Instead, spend some time looking for the right broadhead (and even the right bolt) that meets all your crossbow hunting requirements. The crucial aspects you have to consider before buying are:
Mechanical Blade or Fixed Blade
There are two types of broadheads, namely mechanical blades and fixed blades. In the past, mechanical blades were not as reliable as they are today, and the question of whether you should opt for a mechanic or fixed blade is becoming more relevant.
Mechanical blades are the more technical type of the two. These tips deploy cutting pedals after impact. Before impact, while the bolt is flying to the target, the broadhead has a sleek profile and is not susceptible to wind resistance.
Because mechanical blades can open up after impact, they have bigger cutting diameters than fixed blades. Some mechanical blades have cutting diameters of three inches or more.
So far, mechanical blades may sound like the obvious option, but this type of broadhead comes with some drawbacks. For one, you can never be entirely sure that the broadhead will open after impact. Mechanical broadheads are also weaker than fixed ones, which can be a problem if the bolt hits hard tissue.
Other issues with mechanical broadheads are that cleaning their moving components can be a challenge. If you don’t clean the cutting blades thoroughly, it can cause them to stay closed upon impact.
Many crossbow hunters prefer fixed broadheads as they are more dependable and effective when hunting large or dangerous animals. Since these blades don’t have to open after impact, they are typically thicker and more rugged than mechanical blades.
In some hunting camps in the United States, fixed blades are the only broadheads allowed, as mechanical blades don’t offer the same rugged reliability. Fixed blades are also easier to clean, sharpen, and maintain than mechanical blades.
Since fixed blades have large cross-sections that can’t fold up, however, they tend to catch the wind as they fly. When carrying fixed blades around in a quiver, their exposed edges can be difficult to keep sharp as well.
Another downside of fixed blades is that their cutting diameters are significantly smaller than those of mechanical blades.
Generally speaking, hunters who target big game or animals with tough hides should stick to fixed blades. However, if you have a powerful crossbow with high-draw weight and arrow velocity, high-quality mechanical blades may be sufficient for hunting small and medium-sized animals.
The kinetic energy of your crossbow and the maximum crossbow arrow velocity that it delivers can be significant when deciding on a broadhead. While mechanical blades don’t require a lot of energy to reach the target, they do need a lot of power to open and penetrate the target, whether it’s an actual game or a crossbow targets.
As the bolt travels towards the target, its kinetic energy depletes and for long-range hunting, a mechanical blade may not be ideal. If you are confident in your skill level and crossbow setup, however, and you know that you can achieve a humane kill with a mechanical blade, the sleek profile may be beneficial to you.
Total bolt weight is significant when determining what you can and can’t target when hunting. There are three weight ranges.
Lightweight bolts weigh less than 350 grains and have flatter trajectories. These bolts have little penetration power, but they are suitable for hunting in open areas where it is difficult to judge distance accurately.
Standard weight bolts weigh between 350 grains and 400 grains and are suitable for hunting and target shooting. Standard bolts have more penetration power and kinetic energy than lightweight bolts, but they are slower.
Heavyweight bolts weigh more than 400 grains and are suitable for hunting large animals as they have sufficient penetration power.
For example, if the bolt weighs 300 grains, and you want to hunt whitetail deer, you need a broadhead with a weight of around 100 grains to bring the total weight up, so you have sufficient kinetic energy to achieve a successful hit.
Inserts are what secure the broadhead to your bolt, so they should fit perfectly. You can also use heavier inserts if the total weight of your bolt is too low. Thinner bolts may require special inserts for attaching broadheads, so consider the inserts and broadheads when shopping around for bolts.
Price and Quality
Generally speaking, you will not be able to use cheap broadheads repeatedly. High-end broadheads, on the other hand, not only provide longevity, but they also tend to perform better than their affordable counterparts.
After using a high-quality broadhead, you will be able to clean and sharpen it without compromising its structure and performance. Two sets of cheap broadheads are likely to costs more than one collection of quality broadheads, and they may not last as long.
Sharpening Your Broadhead
Before you go hunting, you have to make sure that the edge is sharp enough to penetrate the target. You can get the best results with an Arkansas stone.
To determine if your blade is sharp enough, use it to shave the hair off your arm. You should also hone the blade when you are between hunts to get rid of corrosion that can dull the blade.
The type of broadhead you use can sometimes be limited by the laws of the state or country. These limitations can take the form of minimum blade diameters or cutting surfaces. Some laws may ban some broadhead types in their entirety.
Before purchasing broadheads for a hunting trip, do some research to ensure that they are legal for use in the area. If your broadheads don’t meet the legal requirements, you may receive a fine, and the authorities can confiscate them.
Before you can select a broadhead for your crossbow hunting needs, you have to consider the differences between fixed and mechanical broadheads.
Each type has its drawback and benefits, and your unique setup and skills also come into play when determining which type is best for you. If you feel that a fixed broadhead is the best for your requirements, we recommend Excalibur Boltcutter broadheads with their three blades and durable stainless-steel construction.
However, if you want a mechanical broadhead, consider the Rage 2-Blade broadheads with rear-deploying SlipCam design and 2-inch cutting diameter.