Editors Blog

Best Mechanical Broadheads for Deer Hunting

Even the best mechanical broadheads aren’t much for a deer hunter if he or she doesn’t make a perfect shot on a deer. To get great bloodtrails, you need to combine form, function and the ultimate in shot placement.

bowhunting mechanical broadheads

Today’s best mechanical broadheads open gaping wounds and leave bloodtrails that are impossible to miss as long as you make the best shot on a deer. (Photo: Daniel E. Schmidt)

It doesn’t matter if I’m hunting with a crossbow or compound bow, these days I’m shooting the best mechanical broadheads I can find almost exclusively while hunting deer. It took nearly 20 years of stubborn old-school ways for me to make the switch, but these hole-happy broadheads are definitely worth the wait. This bowhunting season, I’ve shot critters with a wide range of new broadheads, including some that won’t be revealed to the public until well into 2018.

Best Mechanical Broadheads

Here’s a look at the three of the best mechanical broadheads I’ve shot while hunting deer this year. I’ve also included my honest opinions on each one.

best mechanical broadhead from Rage.

The author used the Rage Trypan mechanical broadhead to take down this Wisconsin buck in early November. (Photo: Daniel E. Schmidt)


Style: For compounds and crossbows.
Grains: 100.
Cutting diameter: 2 inches.
Tip: Hybrid Hypodermic tip.
Blades: .039-inch stainless steel.
Retail: $54.99 for three broadheads

PROS: I found Rage’s Hypodermic Trypan 2-blade to be one of the best mechanical broadheads they’ve ever made. It is as impressive as the Rage X-treme. The new broadhead, however, has some nice features, including super-swept-back blades and a grooved retention collar that’s pretty much idiot-proof. If you’ve followed my bowhunting adventures over the years, you’ll note that the Rage Titanium was the first mechanical that I ever truly trusted to be shaving-sharp out of the package. The same holds true here, but the Trypan is an on-steroids version of those earlier styles. The best attribute of this new head is its slap-cut. I’ve shot three animals with it, and the entry wounds have ranged from 3.5 inches to darn-near 5 inches. What happens is when the animal is at a quartering position, the broadhead slices a wider entry wound by “catching” and slicing the hide open as the ferrule penetrates. Nearly every mechanical broadhead on the market produces a slap-cut to some extent, but the Trypan is among the most impressive I’ve seen.

CONS: There’s not much to criticize here, but the Trypan, like most wide-cutting mechanicals, does require some tuning from both compounds and crossbows. A solution that worked for me before my first hunt was to use Rage X-treme practice points. They flew nearly identical to the real-life Trypans. After that, I retrieved a spent Trypan and Super-Glued® the dull blades into the ferrule. This “practice point” lasted for most of the early bow season.

Razor sharp blades are what make the best mechanical broadheads stand out from the competition.

The NAP KillZone mechanical broadhead made quick work of this 10-pointer.. (Photo: Daniel E. Schmidt)


Style: For compounds and crossbows.
Grains: 100.
Cutting diameter: 2 inches.
Tip: Cut-on-contact tip.
Blades: .039-inch stainless steel.
Pack of three costs $44.99.

PROS: One of the best mechanical broadheads NAP has ever produced. It’s built like a tank (both regular and crossbow versions), and relies on NAP’s ingenious Spring Clip retention system to keep the blades closed in flight — no bands or sleeves necessary. The KillZone® produces insanely wide slap-cut entry wounds that can be almost twice as wide as the advertised 2-inch cutting diameter, depending upon the angle of the deer when the broadhead hits it mark. Superb quality control on blade sharpness, and the rugged construction has allowed me to re-use heads more than once. I would advise to never re-use a bent broadhead, but if shots are clean, a quick touch up on the blades with a Smith’s sharpener is possible. The crossbow version is designed for use out of rigs that shoot up to 400 feet per second.

CONS: As is the case with the Trypan, the Shockwave receives very little criticism. We’re talking about the top-end engineering with these broadhead designs. Again, this head might require some fine-tuning at the practice range. NAP makes it easy by offering a dedicated practice head that’s included in each pack of broadheads. They are also sold separately for about $9 apiece. A very good investment for the bowhunter who is brand-loyal and expects to shoot the same style of broadhead in future years.

Best mechanical broadheads will leave wickedly large entry and exit wounds on deer.

TRUGLO enters the best mechanical broadhead category with the Titanium lineup of broadheads, including this blood-thirsty four-blade. (Photo: Daniel E. Schmidt)



Style: For compounds and crossbows.
Grains: 100.
Cutting diameter: 1-3/4 inches.
Tip: TruCut one-piece titanium tip.
Blades: .031-inch stainless steel.
Pack of three costs $44.99.

PROS: A wicked mechanical that truly eats up a deer’s vitals and produces massive bloodtrails. I’ve shot several deer, hogs and even a turkey with these broadheads. The difference with this head (I’ve used both the 2-blade and 4-blade configurations) is that its titanium tip is perhaps the best design of this new wave of heads to hit the market this year. The Titanium X itself is a spin-tested broadhead that flies like a field point, and its blades are scary sharp. The 4-blade model produces insane wound channels. A mature doe I shot in Wyoming provided my lone sample so far of what they will do on quartering-away shots. The head penetrated just above the deer’s right scapula and blew through the chest cavity with no trouble. The deer ran about 75 yards before collapsing. There was no need to look for a bloodtrail because I saw the deer go down, but the bloodtrail was there and was quite spectacular.

CONS: You do have to be careful when placing these in a traditional foam-style quiver, because the blades are somewhat exposed and will cut you if you’re not paying attention.



Deer & Deer Hunting invites you to watch Saturday Night Deer Camp, only on Pursuit Channel.

Saturday Night Deer Camp is a primetime block of shows kicked off each week with the award-winning Deer & Deer Hunting TV. Hosted by Dan Schmidt, Gordy Krahn, Mark Kayser and Steve Bartylla, the show is in its 14th season and covers everything related to deer hunting, from tactics and strategy to gear, biology, great hunts and more.

Following DDH TV, you can watch Destination Whitetail, The Given Right with Kenneth Lancaster and then Land of Whitetail. These four shows make Saturday Night Deer Camp your must-watch viewing this year.

Check your local listings for Pursuit Channel. It’s also available now on AT&T U-Verse, Channel 1644, among other networks.

Saturday Night Deer Camp: It’s all about the people, the places and the camaraderie that make hunting a lifestyle. Only on the Pursuit Channel!