Mechanical vs. Fixed-blade Crossbow Broadhed: Which is the Best?

The fixed crossbow broadhead has been most archers’ favorite hunting item. This has changed over the years, thanks to the new and more effective mechanical designs available in the market. Suddenly, it’s no longer about the style of the head but an archer’s idea of what constitutes the ideal terminal tackle.

Some archers focus on penetration, while others are more concerned with the flight speed. Others are looking to make the perfect cutting diameter. While all such arguments are sensible, it all narrows down to using a fixed or mechanical crossbow broadhead. Here’s an overview of each:

Fixed Blade Broadhead

Mechanical vs. Fixed-blade Crossbow Broadhed: Which is the Best? 1

The blade is ideal for archers looking for reliability and strength; not the flight performance. They can survive huge impacts compared to mechanical broadheads because their blades are supported throughout their length.

Modern fixed bowheads are quite aerodynamic, yielding impressive flight characteristics. It is this feature that enhances accuracy and precision most hunters look for. High-quality fixed heads are known to outdo mechanical blades because some of them fail to remain closed during flight. It causes a range of flight inconsistencies leading to loss of accuracy.

The only downside to fixed broadheads is that they are likely to veer off course once shot. It explains why fixed blade broadheads are constructed shorter. Also, fixed-blade broadheads are designed for experienced archers. They should know how to fine-tune the equipment to achieve a more accurate shot.

Mechanical Crossbow Broadhead

This kind solves the most significant limitation of the fixed-blade broadhead-surface area. The mechanical blade has little to no exposed blade surface during flight eliminating aerodynamic drag. As such, the rear of the arrow steers while the front planes. This reduces deviations in arrow flight, maximizing the probability of hitting prey. It explains why mechanical heads are ideal for long-range shooting on thin-skinned game like the pronghorn.

The other notable advantage is its large cutting diameter. Mechanical blades cut up to one and a half to two inches, which is almost impossible when using a fixed-blade head. As such, it is easier to cause more significant tissue damage leading to faster bleed-out and more extensive blood trails.

Modern archers also love the ease with which it is to adjust the mechanical crossbow broadhead. The only downside to mechanical heads is that it lacks efficiency. The heads use ineffective blade mechanisms, which make them fragile.

This makes the heads come apart at impact and penetrate poorly on the prey. Manufacturers are looking to eliminate the shortcomings by using high-quality components and innovative engineering methods. For example, some blades have an opening mechanism upon impact.

There is also the aspect of construction. Mechanical heads use aluminum ferrules while fixed heads use steel, which is sturdier than aluminum.


The debate on whether to use mechanical or fixed blades isn’t likely to get resolved soon. The article should help you determine what suits your hunting style and prowess.

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