What Kind of Broadheads Should I Use For a Crossbow?

Crossbows are becoming more and more popular, but there is a lot of confusion about what type of broadheads to use with them.  There are …

Crossbows are becoming more and more popular, but there is a lot of confusion about what type of broadheads to use with them. 

There are so many different types of broadheads on the market, that it can be hard to know which one to choose for your crossbow. Do you go with a fixed blade or mechanical? A three-blade or four-blade? What about the weight and size of the head?

In this article, we will discuss what kind of broadheads should I use for a crossbow. We will cover the pros and cons of each type of broadhead so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

How Does a Crossbow Broadhead Work?

A broadhead is the point of an arrow that is responsible for inflicting the damage. It is usually attached to the shaft of the arrow with adhesive or fletching. The broadhead is what makes the arrow fly true and penetrate the target. It is also responsible for causing the most damage to the animal.

When an animal is hit with an arrow, the broadhead does the majority of the work. The head is designed to penetrate the hide and then expand, causing as much damage as possible. 

This is why it is so important to choose the right broadhead for your crossbow. If the head is not up to the task, it will not penetrate the hide or expand properly, and the animal will not be properly harvested.

The Different Types Of Crossbow Broadheads

Fixed Blade Broadheads

Fixed-blade broadheads typically contain three or four blades that are permanently integrated into or attached to the ferrule. In other words, the blades remain stationary during both flight and the formation of the wound channel.

Many hunters prefer fixed-blade broadheads because they feel there is less that can go wrong while the broadhead is in flight that would cause it to deviate off course and miss the intended target because there are no moving elements on the broadhead itself. 

But even while it makes sense in principle to choose a simpler, fixed design over a more complicated, mechanical one to get the highest accuracy, this notion frequently fails in practice when using a crossbow.

The blades on a fixed-blade broadhead frequently have a higher profile and show a larger surface area that air must pass over when the arrow is in flight as opposed to a mechanical broadhead. Due to the additional blade, a four-blade fixed broadhead has a surface area that is even larger than a three-blade.

When fired from a crossbow, fixed-blade broadheads have a tendency to plane or veer off course because of the higher surface area and consequent decrease in aerodynamics. High-performance crossbows will exhibit worsening planning as a result of greater shooting speeds magnifying the effect.

To increase accuracy, your sole option is to adjust the broadhead to the arrow. As most crossbows discharge arrows from a flight rail, paper tuning a fixed-blade broadhead shot from a crossbow is not an option.

Mechanical Blade Broadheads

Mechanical arrows are built with blades that stay closed during the flight but open upon collision. When the broadhead strikes an animal, hinges attached to the ferrule allow the blades to swing open, adding another dynamic to the cutting motion and significantly enlarging the cutting diameter. There are two types of mechanical broadheads: front-deploying and rear-deploying.

Front-deploying Broadheads

The majority of front-deploying broadheads are three-bladed. The blades swing open from the front to the back when the front tips of the blades make contact with the animal.

The blade retention system on front-deploying crossbow broadheads uses springs, collars, or o-rings to keep the blades in place during launch and flight. Blade retention is essential for front-deploying broadhead accuracy since early blade opening will cause the crossbow arrow to plane and deviate from its intended path.

Rear-deploying Broadheads

The blades of rear-deploying mechanical crossbow broadheads are also hinged, but they fold backward in the ferrule such that the back of the blade is closest to the front tip.

The broadhead’s rear portion makes contact with the animal when it strikes it, causing the blades to swing open in a rapid, scissor-like motion. The majority of rear-deploying broadheads only have two blades because of this kind of action.

The removal of a blade further minimizes the exposed blade surface area, making this design of broadhead the most aerodynamic and accurate for all hunting crossbows. This gives it an advantage over the fixed and front-deploying styles.

Perhaps most notably, the construction of a rear-deploying broadhead eliminates the need for collars or springs to hold the blades in position during launch and flight. The rear-deploying, 2-blade design is the greatest option no matter how quickly your crossbow shoots, especially if you are using a high-performance crossbow.

Here are a few to consider:

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Which Broadhead Is Right For Me?

The most aerodynamic and accurate broadhead for a crossbow is the rear-deploying, 2-blade mechanical design. This style of crossbow broadhead is especially well-suited for high-performance crossbows that shoot arrows at very high speeds.

If you are using a lower-powered crossbow or are not as concerned about broadhead accuracy, then you may be better off using a fixed-blade or front-deploying mechanical broadhead. Ultimately, the choice of broadhead is a personal one and you should select the style that you are most comfortable with.

Tips For Using Crossbow Broadheads

While modern crossbow broadheads are extremely accurate and deadly, there are a few things you can do to increase your success even further.

Tip 1. Use field points to sight in your crossbow. This will ensure that your broadheads are hitting where you are aiming.

Tip 2. Paper-tune your crossbow to ensure that it is shooting arrows straight and true.

Tip 3. Use a broadhead wrench to tighten or loosen your broadhead on the arrow. This will help to prevent the broadhead from coming loose in flight.

Tip 4. Make sure that your broadheads are razor-sharp. A sharp broadhead will ensure a quick, clean kill.

Tip 5. Practice, practice, practice. The more you shoot your crossbow, the more accurate you will become.


Crossbow broadheads are an important part of the hunting experience. Be sure to select the right type of broadhead for your crossbow and practice regularly to ensure a successful hunt.

In the guide, we went over different types of crossbow broadheads, tips on how to use them, and what to look out for. With this information in hand, you should be able to make an informed decision on which broadhead is right for you and your crossbow.

We hope you enjoyed the guide. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to us. Happy hunting!