Do you shoot fixed OR mechanical heads? Our answer is we like BOTH.  Here’s the argument for each.
Some of us use fixed broadheads throughout the season, and we have all shot them at different times throughout our lives.  The brands we’ve used include Slick Trick, Exodous, Muzzy, Thunderhead, and G5 to name a few.
Aaron’s Exodus Fixed Blades
The main reason I shot them last year was because they seemed like a better choice for hunting on the ground. Having a fixed blade at the end of your arrow is much less stressful than trying to keep a mechanical head from opening on vegetation.  Once I switched to using the fixed head while hunting from the ground the problem was solved and I was no longer having issues keeping my broadhead in tact. When you hunt from the ground, odds of shooting through vegetation goes up. This isn’t to say we’re trying to shoot through tons of stuff, but if there is a little grass or a leaf in the way owe want to have a broadhead that will drive through without being altered. Our fear with the mechanical in this situation is that the broadhead will expand prematurely and cause for flawed arrow flight.
Ground hunting aside, another pro of using a fixed broadhead is that the penetration is going to be better than most large mechanical heads. If you watch any broadhead test on YouTube you will see that fixed heads consistently get better penetration than mechanical heads.  If you are like me and have a tendency to tuck the shot close to the shoulder where there is more bone, then a better penetrating broadhead will likely be a better option for you.
One knock on fixed heads is the small cutting diameter. This means less room for error and smaller wound channels.  Accuracy is also an issue.  Fixed heads need extra tuning for proper arrow flight vs mechanicals. If you are going to shoot fixed blades it is worth trying different heads to find the ones that fly best for your bow setup.
Our entire crew has also shot mechanical broadheads. The brands used recently include Rage, NAP, and several Rocket models.
Zach’s Mechanical Broadhead (Rage Hypodermic)
A large cutting diameter is the number one reason that we choose to use mechanical broadheads. A large cutting diameter is more devastating on gut and liver hits allowing for better blood trails and faster recoveries.
Arrow flight with a mechanical broadhead is almost always exactly the same as your field points. Obviously you should test your broadheads before hunting but generally speaking most mechanical heads will fly true with no adjustment needed.
The biggest issue with mechanical broadheads is deflection. Especially when the shot isn’t perfectly broadside.  A sharp fixed head will have less risk of deflection and higher odds of penetrating in line with the arrow’s flight path.
Another con of mechanical heads is the risk of them opening prematurely. Whether that be during flight or catching on vegetation as mentioned earlier, this is a real risk when shooting mechanical heads.
In conclusion, as a group we can all agree that everyone has different tendencies and preferences when selecting broadheads. The main thing is to find which type you personally like and try different brands to see what fits best.
For me, I like to have both in my quiver. I have found a fixed head and a mechanical that shoot exactly the same out of my bow setup and I like to have both as an option while hunting. If I am on the ground in a bedding area where I think the shots will be close I will be using the fixed blade. If I’m in a tree stand or even open habitat where the shots could be longer I will likely use the mechanical blade.
One last note, always make sure your broadheads are SHARP! This is something many people overlook when choosing broadheads. There is no better broadhead on the market than the one that you know is sharp and have confidence in.


  • Matthew Behnke,

    I am shooting exodus swept blades at 125gr for my first season. I felt like i would rather have a smaller cutting diameter, but an increased chance of 2 holes as I am shooting 60#. Curious what your thoughts are…

    • Matt Smith,

      I own a archery shop , and have tested many types of heads. By far the Exodus is one of the sharpest and best penetrating heads on the market.

  • Steve m,

    I am unsure about mechanicals having larger margin of error. It depends on the angle the expandable enters. A muzzy 3 blade will have .42-.58 margin of error. A rage 2 blade will have less than .42 30% of the time, less than .58 40% of the time.
    I am also unsure of faster recoveries, seems off the advertisement instead of science.

  • Kevin myers,

    First off nice article. Secondly a lot of people have not heard of Sevr Broadheads mainly because they are only sold on the internet. If you like rage, you will love these. I was a rage fanatic for probably 10 years. Gave sevr a try. Will never shoot another broadhead. They are awesome from flight, to damage, to blood trails.

  • Ryan Spak,

    Zack, one thing to keep in mind, and something to that guys with voices need to remind the new hunters and old alike.. Is that mechanical broadheads require A LOT more energy to penetrate properly. I see a lot of new and young hunters in the last few years shooting 40 to 55lbs bows using large 2″+ mechanicals… All it takes is one rib or a quartering angle and penetration is minimal. Broadhead companies and sponsers will not put this info out much because of obvious reasons… They want to sell as many broadheads as possible. They don’t want to lose market share. I wish they would put out mechanicals with 1.25″ max, and only 2 blades that aren’t too steep an angle. And market them as youth/women/low poundage heads. Another point often missed is the need for a heavy arrow, especially with lower poundage bows. Heavy arrows with 125+ grain heads, just like trad archers. Up the odds of proper penetration and fewer wounded deer. Keep up the good work guys, really enjoy it.

    Indiana public guy.

    • chris,

      Mechanical do not need a lot of energy to penetrate. That’s a myth. I’ve seen a 35 lb draw weight bow put all types of mechanical thru a hanging deer carcass. Ribs, pelvis, you name it. In 25 years of designing broadheads, I’ve never seen a reasonably designed mechanical ever have a penetration problem.

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