Best Broadheads for Deer and Elk Hunting – Reviews and Buying Guide

When I was a kid, my dad used to take me on hunting trips with him to get elk.

The area around our house was full of these noble beasts, and every hunting season we would bag ourselves a couple of elk to both feed ourselves and share with friends and family.

For a long time, we hunted with rifles, but once I started hunting on my own, I began to use a bow and arrow. I like the natural simplicity of a bow, as well as the silent aspect.

For years, I’ve been hunting with a recurve bow, since I like to do things the old fashioned way. However, lately my friends have been hunting with me, and they all use crossbows. When it comes to broadheads, I have always used fixed blades, but with a crossbow, mechanical blades are much better.

If you don't have enough time to read, here's our top 3 picks:

Top 3 Fixed-blade Broadheads For Deer & Elk

Top 3 Mechanical Broadheads For Deer & Elk

Today I’ll discuss how to choose the best broadhead for hunting deer and elk, and I’ll show you some of the best fixed and mechanical heads, just in case you’re like me and like to shoot both.

What to Consider When Buying a Broadhead for Deer and Elk

The most important thing to think about when purchasing an arrowhead is the amount of damage it will do to your target.

Because you will only be able to get off one clean shot before the deer (or elk) runs off, you have to make sure that the tip will sufficiently wound your prey, allowing you to not only track it but hopefully have it die without needing to shoot it again.

Besides the level of damage, however, there are some other things to consider when buying a broadhead, as listed below.

Price

Because of the nature of hunting, you will be going through multiple heads during your hunt. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to recover pristine heads every time you go out, but sometimes you hit the target wrong, and the blade breaks or the bolt sticks in your prey and you cannot find it again.

Regardless, you have to assume that you will be buying many broadheads over your hunting career, so keep in mind the price.

Usually, heads come in packs of three, but you will still have to invest in multiple packs, depending on how often you go out and how good a shot you are.

Fixed vs. Mechanical

If you’re a purist like me, you want a fixed blade head. However, if you just want to do maximum damage, then a mechanical head will do the job.

  • Fixed blades are one piece and look like a traditional arrowhead. These broadheads typically have up to four blades for maximum cutting diameter.
  • Mechanical blades open upon impact, doing more damage than a fixed blade. However, because of the complex nature of these heads, they can break or damage more easily than a fixed blade. Also, mechanical blades can be more expensive.

Cutting Diameter

As I mentioned, the most important thing an arrow head can do is damage to your target. One of the best ways to ensure maximum lethality is with a large cutting diameter.

The wider your head, the less aerodynamic it will be, but you will create a bigger hole, which usually means a lot more blood for tracking.

Typically, a large cutting diameter will do more damage, but if you are a skilled archer, you may not need something so big. Smaller heads are better at full penetration and accuracy.

Durability

When hunting, you are only as good as your equipment. If you get blades that constantly break or bend upon impact, you will not only have to replace them more frequently, but you can also lose your target since the blades don’t go through or do enough damage.

Thus, make sure that your broadheads are built tough. I prefer solid steel heads, but there are hybrid models out there that use steel and aluminum, which can be just as durable.

Accuracy

The best way to improve accuracy is to practice as much as possible. However, your broadhead may also affect how accurate you are when shooting, due to the size, shape, and spin of the head.

Ideally, you will want to practice with a broadhead before you go out in the field, so make sure to get a model that is either cheap enough to replace, or comes with a practice head so you can master your shot.

Best Fixed Blade Broadheads for Deer and Elk

Even though each blade type has its own benefits, some hunters prefer either a fixed blade or mechanical blade, regardless of the pros or cons of each.

For that reason, we will be looking at both systems, and show you the best blades for each type. When it comes to fixed blades, these are the top rated broadheads out there.

G 5 Outdoors Montec 100 Grain 1-1/16" Cut Broadheads

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Comes with multiple heads for easy replacement
  • Super sharp design to penetrate better
  • Thin blades will dig deeper into your target
  • Resharpenable and reusable
  • 60 degree blade angle
  • Lightweight
  • Warranty ensures quality of materials

Cons

  • In some cases, the head may not be as accurate as it should be
  • Can be noisy while in flight
  • May not be as accurate in longer range

First on our list is the G 5 Outdoors Montec Broadheads. G 5 is one of the top brands of broadheads out there, and it’s Outdoors series is a testament to the quality construction of G 5 heads.

The Montec design is a bit sleeker and tighter than other heads, making it more accurate and giving it better penetration. This is one of the best broadheads for deer.

Highlighted Features:

  • 100-grain weight
  • One and 1/16 inch cutting diameter
  • Made of 100% steel
  • Designed to cut on contact
  • Super sharp diamond cut design
  • Comes with one-year limited warranty

G 5 Outdoors Striker 100 Grain 1-1/16” Cut Broadheads 

Pros

  • Lightweight design
  • Durable construction
  • Tested for spin for greater accuracy
  • Larger cutting diameter can do more damage
  • Superior locking mechanism
  • Comes with three heads for easy replacement
  • Warranty ensures quality of materials
  • Designed to cut on contact

Cons

  • Wound does not produce a lot of blood, making target difficult to track
  • Can be delicate at times and break if mishandled
  • May not be as accurate in long range

Next on our list is the G 5 Outdoors Striker. When comparing the Striker to the Montec, there are virtually no differences concerning weight and cutting ability.

However, the biggest distinction between the two models is the fact that the Striker has a bit wider head and larger cutting diameter, meaning that it can do a little more damage than the Montec.

Fortunately, the broader head doesn’t add any weight, so the Striker is still as formidable and versatile as the Montec. Ultimately, if you are deciding between the two, it will just come down to personal preference.

Highlighted Features:

  • 100-grain weight
  • One and one-eighth cutting diameter
  • .30 inch blade thickness
  • 100% steel
  • Tested for spin control
  • Comes with proprietary ANIX locking system
  • Has a one-year limited warranty

Muzzy 225 Screw In Broadheads

Pros

  • Lightweight design
  • Durable construction
  • Blades are made of steel, and body is made of aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Super thin blades cut with superior penetration
  • Small cutting diameter will drive deep into your target
  • Penetrates skin, flesh, and bone with ease
  • Comes with six heads for easy replacement
  • Hollow Muzzy Trocar tips are highly accurate

Cons

  • If the head hits hard bone like a shoulder blade, it will deflect
  • May not pass through your target, resulting in light blood trail
  • In rare cases, tips may bend on impact
  • May require sharpening upon arrival

Much like G 5, Muzzy has made a name for itself as one of the top brands for archers.

Muzzy broadheads are well known in the hunting community for their accuracy and damage, and as a result, the company makes one of the best broadheads out there.

In fact, these broadheads are perfect for elk.

Highlighted Features:

  • 100-grain weight
  • One and 3/16th-inch cutting diameter
  • .020 inch thick blades
  • Made of aluminum and steel
  • Hollow-ground Muzzy Trocar Tips

Muzzy Mx4 100 Grain Broadhead Blade

Pros

  • Lightweight design
  • Durable construction
  • Steel blades are housed in aircraft-grade aluminum tip
  • Designed to cut through skin, flesh and bone with ease
  • Comes with three heads for easy replacement
  • Wide cutting diameter does more damage

Cons

  • Not ideal for long range shooting
  • May not be as accurate as other broadheads
  • Inconsistent flight path in rare cases
  • May not be as strong as a three blade head

Another winner from Muzzy, the Mx4 Broadhead is designed to do some damage. When comparing the regular 100-grain Muzzy broadheads to the Mx4, there are some important distinctions.

Both have the patented steel and aluminum construction, but the Mx4 is a bit more stocky than the standard model, with a wider cutting diameter and slightly thicker blades.

These broadheads are designed for a bit higher impact, making them ideal for deer or elk.

Highlighted Features:

  • 100-grain weight
  • One and 1/8th-inch cutting diameter
  • .025 inch thick blades
  • Patented Muzzy aluminum tip houses steel blades
  • Has four blades
  • Shorter and stockier than the standard Muzzy model

Stinger Buzzcut 4 Blade Arrow Broadhead 

Pros

  • Customizable weight options
  • Serrated blades cut better and leave better blood trails
  • Wider cutting diameter does more damage to your target
  • Durable construction will last
  • Lifetime guarantee ensures quality of materials
  • Spin tested for supreme accuracy during flight

Cons

  • In rare cases, blades may snap if they hit hard bone, like a shoulder blade
  • Depending on your shot, the head may not leave a blood trail
  • In rare instances, the blades may be dull upon arrival

The last fixed broadhead on our list is the Stinger Buzzcut. What differentiates this head from the others is the fact that it only has two blades (plus a small barb), and it’s serrated.

The design of the blades themselves is such that it will cut through flesh much easier, similar to how a bread knife cuts through a dinner roll.

This is also one of the few broadheads that have a lifetime replacement guarantee, so you know that they are top-quality.

Highlighted Features:

  • Comes in a variety of weights, from 85 to 150 grain
  • Serrated blades
  • Durable 420 stainless steel construction
  • Tested for spin to provide better accuracy
  • One and 1/8th-inch cutting diameter
  • .04 inch thick blade
  • Comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee

Best Mechanical Broadheads for Deer and Elk

Now that we’ve looked at fixed broadheads let’s look at the best mechanical broadheads for hunting deer and elk.

These are expandable and do a lot more damage to your target, making these some of the best broadheads for elk.

Rage Hypodermic Standard Broadhead

Pros

  • Durable steel construction
  • Hybrid tip will do more damage
  • Razor sharp blades will cut further into your target
  • Compatible with crossbows or regular bows
  • Shock collar system ensures blades don’t engage until they need to
  • Comes with three blades for easy replacement
  • Practice head helps you get more accurate

Cons

  • In some cases, blades may break if they hit hard bone
  • Blades may bend in different circumstances
  • Can be a little difficult to attach to your bolt at first
  • May not have full penetration, depending on your shot

First on our list of mechanical heads is the Rage Hypodermic Standard Broadhead. Although the name may sound a bit off-putting, this broadhead is a top-quality and lethal tip.

Made in the USA, Rage has been one of the top companies making broadheads, and the Hypodermic Standard is no exception.

Highlighted Features:

  • 100-grain weight
  • Chisel-style tip in front, razor sharp blades on the sides
  • .035 thick blades made of 100% stainless steel
  • Made in the USA
  • Standard or Deep Six compatible
  • Three standard blades, one practice head
  • Aerodynamic design
  • Shock Collar blade retention system
  • Blades deploy in rear

Grim Reaper Razor-Cut SS Whitetail Special 2-Inch 3 Blade

Pros

  • Large cutting area will do more damage
  • Barbed blades will generate much more blood for tracking
  • Razor sharp blades will cut deeper
  • Chisel tip drives further into your target
  • Practice head helps you get more accurate
  • Comes with three heads for easy replacement
  • Head design is aerodynamic for better accuracy

Cons

  • In rare cases, blades may break off if they hit hard bone (such as a shoulder blade)
  • In some cases, blades may not open, although they do close after going through the target, leading to confusion afterward

Next on our list is the Grim Reaper Razor-Cut SS Whitetail Special. As the name suggests, this is one of the best broadheads for deer.

With a long chiseled tip and three barbed blades, this broadhead will do some incredible damage to your target.

With a name like Grim Reaper, you’re sure to make a few kills with this head.

Highlighted Features:

  • 100-grain weight
  • Two-inch diameter cutting area
  • .035 inch thick blades
  • Chisel tip
  • Barbed-style blades with rear deployment
  • Made of 100% stainless steel
  • Three standard blades
  • One practice blade
  • Designed for fast crossbows (400 fps or faster)

Swhacker 100 Grain 3 Pack Cut + 1 Practice Head & Dvd

Pros

  • Patented Swhack system has two sets of blades for maximum damage
  • Primary “wing” blades cut through hide
  • Secondary “main” blades cut through internal flesh and organs
  • Razor sharp blades cut further into your prey
  • Carbon steel chisel tip drives deep
  • Durable construction
  • DVD and practice head help you master your shot

Cons

  • In rare cases, blades may fail to open
  • In some instances, blades may bend or break if they hit hard bone

Of all the broadheads on this list, only one brand has a name that is also the sound the head makes when it hits your target. Swhacker broadheads supposedly open so fast, that you can hear the “SWHACK” of the tip hitting your prey.

If you want a durable, efficient, and damaging broadhead, the Swhacker is for you.

One of the best things about this model is that it comes with an instructional DVD, which is helpful for those who have never shot a mechanical blade before. A practice head also helps you master your shot.

Highlighted Features:

  • Two broad expandable blades create a huge hole in your target
  • Two sets of blades do more damage
  • .032 inch thick blades
  • Durable materials
  • Carbon steel blades
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum ferrule
  • Carbon steel tip
  • Three standard blades
  • One practice blade
  • Includes instructional DVD

Grim Reaper X-Bow Mechanical Broadhead Razor Tip 1 1/2-Inch Cut 3 Blade

Pros

  • Durable steel construction
  • Sharp, barb-style blades do massive damage to your prey
  • Thick cutting diameter leaves large blood trail
  • Practice head helps you master your shot

Cons

  • In rare cases, blades may fail to open
  • In some instances blade may bend or break if it hits hard bone
  • Sometimes the head may not go all the way through the target, reducing the blood trail

Moving along, we come to the X-Bow Mechanical Broadhead, which is also made by Grim Reaper. When comparing this model to the Razor-Cut SS Whitetail, the biggest distinction is that the X-Bow looks a lot more menacing.

A thick chisel tip and three barb-style blades look like they will tear through any target with ease, and go looking for more trouble when finished.

The X-Bow model also has a slightly smaller cutting diameter but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s somehow less effective.

Both heads by Grim Reaper will take down your target and leave massive blood trails for easy tracking.

Highlighted Features:

  • 100-grain weight
  • One and a half inch cutting diameter
  • Razor sharp .035 inch thick blades
  • Barb style blades will do more damage than traditional tips
  • Designed for high-speed crossbows (400 fps or higher)
  • Chisel tip drives into your target
  • Three standard heads
  • One practice tip
  • Made of 100% steel

Rage Outdoors X-Treme Crossbow Broadhead

Pros

  • Large cutting diameter does more damage and leaves a massive blood trail for easy tracking
  • Razor sharp blades cut on impact and will go through your target with ease
  • Shock collar helps keep blades intact
  • Durable construction
  • Aerodynamic design helps you stay on target every time
  • Chisel tip drives deeper into your prey
  • Practice head helps you master your shot

Cons

  • In rare cases, blades may not open
  • If the blades impact hard bone, they may break or bend
  • In some cases, blade may break off inside the target

Finally, we come to another model from Rage, the X-Treme Crossbow Broadhead. As I mentioned earlier, Rage is one of the most dependable brands out there for broadheads, and the X-Treme is a perfect example of the company’s commitment to excellence.

The first thing you’ll notice about the blades on this model are that they don’t fold in flush into the head. Instead, they stick out at the front and turn into “wing” style blades once you fire.

This may seem like a downside, but the design doesn’t really affect the power of these heads.

The other reason for this design is to create one of the largest cutting diameters of any broadhead out there.

Highlighted Features:

  • 100-grain weight
  • Huge 2.3-inch cutting diameter
  • Razor sharp .035 inch blades
  • Shock collar system
  • Hybrid tip
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum ferrule
  • Stainless steel blades
  • Aerodynamic design
  • Designed for high-speed crossbows
  • Three standard heads
  • One practice head

Final Verdict

As I mentioned above, I love to hunt with my recurve bow. Whenever I am by myself, I prefer to hunt the old-fashioned way, as I love a challenge.

That being said, I typically prefer a fixed blade broadhead, and my favorite models are the G 5 Striker or the Stinger Buzzcut. I especially like the serrated edge of the Stinger, so I always carry a few of them with me.

I also love the fact that the company will replace my heads for life, so I don’t have to worry about damaging or losing one.

However, since I’ve started using a crossbow, I love the barb-style blade design of the Grim Reaper models.

Rage is another good brand, but I prefer a broadhead that is pure steel since I’m a bit wary of aluminum.

My friends have gotten good results from Rage, but I’m just a purist at heart.

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