Third, they must be easy to sharpen. In today's market of razor sharp, replaceable blades for nearly all screw-in broadheads, many bowhunters are not aware of the fact that the factory grind on most glue-on broadheads is not shaving/hunting sharp right out of the package. This factory grind gets them close to what we call 'hunting sharp', but the bowhunters themselves must put on the final edge. Ease of sharpening is influenced most by the relative hardness of the steel (its Rockwell rating). Basically, the harder the steel, the tougher it is and the softer the steel the easier it is to sharpen them. The key to good broadheads is getting the steel tempered hard enough to give you strength, but soft enough to allow you to sharpen them with a file. For these reasons, we prefer broadheads with a Rockwell rating in the mid to high 40's. Another factor that influences ease of sharpening is the angle of the factory grind. If it is too steep, most of the 'quick and easy' sharpening aids won't work. This means that the bowhunter will have to reduce that angle themselves. For easy sharpening, stick with broadheads with a nice low factory grind like you'll find on the Magnus Broadheads.
Magnus Broadheads require little sharpening out of the package.
Which glue-on broadheads should I buy? Several brands come instantly to mind, and it's only fair to start with the old timers in the industry like Zwickey, Ace, and Hill.
Zwickey broadheads have long been the standard that other broadheads are measured against. They have taken more game than any other head in history and the fact that they're still one of the top producers of glue-on broadheads speaks very well of their entire operation. With longevity comes fame and Zwickey has incredible name recognition. Almost everyone has heard of Zwickey Broadheads. Available in both 2-blade and 4-blade versions, you can't go wrong with Zwickey Broadheads. From the small 5/16" Black Diamond to the famous Eskimo the massive Delta, and their most recent addition, the No Mercy, Zwickey broadheads are hard to beat. They are priced right in the middle of the spectrum too so not only are they quality broadheads, but they are affordable too.
Zwickey offers such popular broadheads as
The Black Diamond, No Mercy, and Delta.
Ace Broadheads, another old-timer in the market, have a loyal following and are actually enjoying a recent revival in popularity. Available in two-blade only, they are another excellent example of a reasonably priced, quality, traditional two-blade broadhead.
The Ace two-blade broadhead enjoys a loyal following.
Howard Hill broadheads, like Howard Hill bows, have a following of bowhunters with a fierce loyalty to the old-time tradition and legendary accomplishments of one of the greatest archers of all time, Howard Hill. These broadheads have a long and colorful history, and die-hard Hill fans are certain to make them a part of their traditional set-up. They're a bit tricky to sharpen and lean a little toward the high end of the price range, yet they are an old time classic with a long and revered history.
Howard Hill broadheads have as rich a history
as the man for whom they're named.
What about the old Bear Greenheads? No article about glue-on broadheads would be complete without the mention of Fred Bear's 'Greenheads', but we're sorry to say, these venerable heads are no longer made in a glue-on version. Too bad... they were one of the best broadheads of all time and many bowhunters are still stalking their prey with quivers full of arrows tipped with their trusted old friend, the Bear Greenhead.
Now, what about the more recent entries in the glue-on broadhead market? Broadheads like Magnus, Woodsman, Grizzly, Eclipse, and Zephyr?
Magnus is, by far, the dominating force in glue-on broadheads today. With more than fifteen different mix-and-match models of glue-on broadheads, available in two-blade, three-blade, and four blade versions, vented and non-vented, they have a broadhead for any situation imaginable. Ever improving, they have an excellent out-of-the-package grind that is almost hunting/shaving sharp, and a new diamond tip that dramatically increases the strength of this already tough broadhead over any 'needle-point' head out there. We have personally used these broadheads for years and have great confidence in them. In addition, they are reasonably priced and carry a lifetime guarantee.
The dominating force in broadheads, Magnus offers a wide variety of heads.
The Woodsman is our bestselling three bladed broadhead at this time. They're long and lean vented three-bladed broadheads that have proven themselves on big game time and time again. They're quickly becoming a household name. They fly well, and once you get used to the three-blade configuration, they're easy to sharpen. This is a 'must have' broadhead for any archer.
A great broadhead for big game, the Woodsman is a bestseller.
Eclipse Broadheads are very reminiscent of the Zwickey Eskimo 2-blade, but they are unique in that they are Teflon-coated for superior penetration. They are a medium priced, two-bladed broadhead designed to penetrate the world's toughest game.
Except for their teflon coating, Eclipse two-blade
broadheads are similar in design to the Zwickey Eskimo.
Grizzly Traditional broadheads have been in great demand ever since their introduction over fifteen years ago. They are almost a 3:1 ratio, very long and narrow. They fly very well, penetrate well, and since they are sharpened with a single bevel, they are easy to finish sharpening to a 'shaving-sharp' edge. They are very popular with bowhunters hunting in Africa as they are nearly indestructible and have proven themselves on the toughest African game. Still very reasonably priced, they are a broadhead worth considering.
The Grizzly Broadhead is popular with bowhunters pursuing African game.
Zephyr Broadheads are quality and precision all the way. Offering cutlery grade stainless steel and shaving sharp blades right out of the package. Their unique bleeder blades sit forward in the ferrule so you don't have to slot or cut off your wood tapers to use them. All three models may be used with or without the bleeders as either two-blade or four-blade heads. All these features do come at a price and you'll pay a little more for a three pack than you will for most other glue-on heads by the six-pack. Still, there are bowhunters out there that don't mind paying for convenience and quality, and these excellent broadheads offer both.
Zephyr offers cutlery grade stainless steel and
shaving sharp blades right out of the package.
Steel Force is best known for their fine line of screw-in broadheads, but they also offer a nice glue-on model with the same 'razor sharp' blades that their screw-ins have. The blades have a smooth grind that ends in a wicked serrated section that is a proven performer, and they carry a free lifetime re-sharpening offer.
Steel Force Broadheads come with a free lifetime re-sharpening offer.
What if one of these broadheads really appeals to you, but you shoot either aluminum or carbon arrows? Don't worry! If you find a rugged, dependable glue-on broadhead that you want to use on your aluminum or carbon arrows, you're in luck! Glue-on broadheads can also be mounted on broadhead adapters to work in carbon and aluminum arrows. Broadhead adapters are made out of aluminum, and even steel. The weight of the steel can be 100 or 125 grains. Most aluminum adapters weigh in at 22-42 grains. If you're looking to add some mass weight to the end of your arrows there are plenty of options.
With the different adapters on the market, you have many options
for mounting your glue-on broadheads on carbon or aluminum shafts.
Traditional, glue-on broadheads are in demand and for good reason. They're solid, dependable, and lethal. Whichever broadhead mentioned above you chose, you now know that these tough, cut-on-contact broadheads are at home on any wood, carbon, or aluminum arrow. So get some on your arrows now and go hunting. Try them, then tell your friends about them. See for yourself why you should be using glue-on broadheads for wood arrows.
Dale Karch & Todd Smith
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