One of the most commonly debated topics revolves around the best types of broadheads to use for America’s favorite big game animal, the whitetail deer. You’ll hear people talk about the penetrating power of fixed blades, but then you’ll immediately hear a rebuttal about their inconsistent accuracy. Some will tell you that mechanicals are the way to go, but how many blades? Two? Three? Maybe even four? And if you’re using mechanicals, aren’t you sacrificing durability with those flimsy mechanical blades? If that’s the case, isn’t the best option a hybrid?
As you can see, broadhead selection can get pretty overwhelming. Like with most things, there are advantages and disadvantages to fixed blades, mechanicals, and hybrids alike. It all comes down to what you feel most comfortable shooting, and where you see your success come from. For that reason, I have tested several fixed and mechanical broadheads over the years, and I will give my top three picks for both categories, as well as giving my top two picks for crossbow hunters who might be confused about what heads they should be using.
Best All-Around Fixed Blade Whitetail Broadhead
QAD Exodus – Cabela’s, $49.99
The 2021 deer season was my first time trying out the Exodus broadhead by QAD. A local archery shop owner sent them to me saying that I would never go back to anything else after trying them. While that was a bit of an exaggeration, I was still extremely impressed. The strength of these heads was quite incredible, and the accuracy was surprisingly good for a fixed blade.
I was able to harvest an early season doe with this head and hit her square in the shoulder on a quartering shot. This head blew through the bone with little issue, and left a blood trail that you would expect from a wide mechanical. At less than $50 for a pack of 3, it’s hard to go wrong with the Exodus.
Best Single Bevel Design Broadhead
Iron Will Single Bevel, $119.95
The hype around this broadhead is pretty extraordinary, so I had to give it a shot. What I liked most about this broadhead was how thick the blades were, as well as the quality of metal used. Iron Will designed these broadheads to be used for years, even after several harvests, and that is pretty impressive.
These are single bevel heads, which can turn some people off. However, that design allows the arrow and head to maintain rotation upon impact, allowing it to break through even the toughest bones while maintaining its structural integrity. These broadheads aren’t cheap, retailing at $120 for a pack of 3, but if you amortize that over several seasons due to their longevity, that price won’t hurt as much.
Best Value-Based Whitetail Broadhead
Magnus Stinger – Cabelas. $39.99
One of my good hunting friends couldn’t go on a hunt with me without telling me how great his Magnus Stinger broadheads were. Out of pure annoyance, I decided to try them out. The knife-grade steel blades were extremely durable, and you could tell that right out of the pack.
This head features two bleeders on the side for extra trauma, as well as a 1 1/16″ cutting diameter, which is pretty impressive for a fixed blade. While the company claims that they are all spin-tested, I still found myself having to do some moderate tuning to get them to fly straight, but that can be expected with fixed blades.
Rage Hypodermic NC – Cabela’s, $54.99
Rage has taken some heat over the last couple of years for broken collars, and unreliable expansion of blades. However, I think they have fixed that with their NC model of the hypodermics. The slipcam design of this two-blade makes the deployment extremely reliable, while providing a 2″ cutting diameter. As far as mechanicals go, these are hard to beat.
Best Whitetail-Specific Mechanical Broadhead
Grim Reaper Whitetail – Cabela’s, $49.99
When Grim Reaper came out with their “Whitetail” model, I knew I had to try it. As the name suggests, this thing was made to be used in the whitetail woods. Keep in mind that this head was specifically designed for high-kinetic bows, but on my 60 lb draw weight, it worked flawlessly and shot like a field tip. With three .035″ thick blades, this head has a cutting diameter of 2″, but upon impact you’ll be convinced it’s larger. The three blades sit relatively flush with the point, and because of this, they fly very true to a field tip, so tuning should not be an issue. These heads retail at $50 for a pack of three, and include a practice head, which is something I wish more broadhead manufacturers would take note of.
Best Whitetail Broadhead with a Collar
G5 Megameat – Cabela’s, $49.99
I’ve never been a fan of broadhead collars, but the snap-lock collar on the G5 Megameat proved to be an exception to the rule. For one, the collars are easily replaceable, so there’s no stress of practicing with the real thing, and this is something I suggest to everybody. Secondly, they are made out of a durable plastic that won’t bust from varying temperatures like some of their competitors. Combining that with the strong chisel tips, 3-blade expansion creating a 2″ wound, and reliable deployment, these are a great option for any bowhunter who prefers the accuracy of mechanicals. At $50 for a 3-pack, G5 has set a great standard for the mechanical market.
Best High-Speed Crossbow Broadhead for Whitetails
Some hunters may be confused and feel inclined to use a regular broadhead for their crossbow. This can be a big mistake, as you’ll want something compatible with your bolt, as well as the speed generated from the crossbow. Fortunately, the Trailblazer by Excalibur has just that. The independent blade expansion is designed for bows with speeds over 500fps, so this is an excellent head. The heavy-duty aluminum ferrule is impressive and something that should be seen on all heads, as well as the durable chisel tip for those shots that need to penetrate bone. This head creates a 2″ cutting diameter. The Trailblazers currently retail at $50 for a pack of 3.
Toughest Pick for Crossbow Broadheads
Slick Trick XBow
For crossbow hunters interested in the toughness and durability of a fixed blade, the XBow by Slick Trick was very impressive. The accuracy was extremely surprising for a 4-blade head, and the weight of the head was specifically designed for the shorter lengths of crossbow bolts, increasing that beloved FOC. Slick Trick is known for their trademark Alcatraz bladelock system, and that is featured in this head to give it maximum reliability, as well as ruggedness. The XBow has a 1-1/8th inch cutting diameter, which is respectable for a fixed blade. These heads retail at $45 for a 4 pack, which is a great price for the market.
READ MORE: Thin vs. Thick Arrows: What’s the Difference in Bowhunting?
The post Best Broadheads for Whitetail Deer: Bowhunter Picks for Fixed-Blade, Mechanical, and Crossbow Bolts appeared first on Wide Open Spaces.