How To Sharpen Broadheads
Today I am going to discuss how to sharpen a broadhead and the best tools on the market to do so. The table below will show you those tools at a glance. Keep on reading for full details on how to use each of them, plus other helpful information on keeping your broadheads in tip-top condition.
Recommended Tools For Sharpening Broadheads
1. Spot Hogg Archery Products Bloody Buddy Broadhead Sharpener
||Dedicated Broadhead Sharpener||NO LONGER AVAILABLE|
2. Lansky Broadhead Sharpener with Wrench
||Dedicated Broadhead Sharpener||Check Price|
3. Stanley 21-106 8-Inch Mill Bastard File
||File Sharpener||Check Price|
4. DMT WM8EF-WB 8-Inch DuoSharp Diamond Stone
||Diamond Sharpening Stone||Check Price|
What is a broadhead
Okay, so you will already know this, but for the sake of clarity a broadhead is the name used to describe a type of arrowhead used in hunting. The benefits of using a broadhead arrow is that they are extremely accurate and offer deep penetration.
There are two main kinds of broadhead available, fixed blade and mechanical. (Our recent article on the best available broadheads on the market in 2016, covers the subject in detail.)
Why sharpen your broadheads?
Well simply put, hunting with blunt arrows is like brushing your teeth without toothpaste. The sharper a broadhead, the more likely the arrow to pass through an animal, resulting in a quicker cleaner death. It is more humane and easier to do!
Also quite importantly you need a sharp broadhead to leave a clear blood trail. If you are tracking an animal, and don’t have a good sharp broadhead, your trails will be harder to spot making tracking difficult.
The best tools for sharpening broadheads
There is more than one way to sharpen a broadhead, as there is more than one tool to use. Depending on price bracket, which arrows you use and what works best for you there are a few options.
You can use a file or a whetstone for cheap convenient sharpening of your broadheads however this can be harder when sharpening three pronged broadheads or on the higher end of the spectrum you can purchase dedicated broadhead sharpeners and other tools.
Sharpening Broadheads With Specialised Tools
There are a number of handy specialised sharpeners that are designed specifically for broadheads. Many of them are small and portable meaning that you can take them out in the field with you.
We recommend having at least one broadhead sharpener as part of your kit, (with either a file or sharpening stone for more heavy duty maintenance when at home).
The Bloody Buddy Broadhead Sharpener
Tools such as the Bloody Buddy, take all the guess work out of sharpening your broadheads. Excellent for either reconditioning, honing and sharpening dull broadheads new or old, you can very simply sharpen your heads without removing them from the arrow.
It really is an impressive little tool. It maybe on the expensive side for some, however you are getting some quality features with the Bloody Buddy from Spot Hogg.
It utilises two independently mounted diamond coated sharpening stones, with each of the stones being micro-adjustable. This allows for exact angle precision for sharpening 2, 3 or even 4 blade fixed or mechanical broadheads. (It will also work with offset blades).
If you have the money and you want to keep your broadheads in tip top condition, this is the dedicated sharpener to buy.
Lansky Broadhead Sharpener with Broadhead Wrench
If shopping on a budget, the Lansky Broadhead Sharpener (with wrench) is a great little tool to buy that easily fits into the kit bag.
The low-V tungsten carbide head sharpens nice and close to the blade tip, in an easy to use operation. The bright orange colour is good for hunter visibility, and the comfortable, non-slip handle means you can pull this out and use in wet and slippery conditions.
The wrench is good too, and can be used with 2, 3, 4, and 5-bladed broadheads. If you’re after a cheap and convenient dedicated broadhead sharpener, you won’t go wrong with this.
Sharpening Broadheads With A File
A low cost and efficient way to sharpen a broadhead is using a bastard file. This works best on 2 blade broadheads as the three blades can be tricky with this method.
First simply screw your broadhead into an arrow, and you can use a tool like an arrow grabber, to hold your arrow still at a suitable angle. You then gently file the edge of your broadhead from the back edge to the tip on both sides. Then you flip your arrow and repeat until you get a razor sharp “wire” edge.
Recommended Bastard File
Stanley 21-106 8-Inch Mill Bastard File
Stanley are renowned tool makers and their simple yet effective 8 inch mill bastard file is the one we recommend. The flat file with a tapered width is versatile enough to handle general and fine material removal.
Broadheads and Sharpening Stones
A three bladed broadhead is a different and arguably easier process but requires a different tool. This method can also be used to sharpen 2 blades but the explanation below will focus on 3 blade heads.
So what you need for this method is a sharpening stone. Or alternatively a course diamond stone. There are several types and grades of sharpening stone on the market so you can find what suits you and the condition of your blades.
First, you need to place your sharpening stone on a flat surface. Get your broadhead (attached to your arrow) and place it flat against the stone so that 2 of the 3 blades are touching the surface and are sitting flat.
You then place you index finger on the shaft of your arrow right where it meets you broadhead, applying pressure.
You slowly draw the broadhead back and forth against the sharpening stone, counting strokes as you do so to simultaneously sharpen the tip and rear of your broadhead blades.
Count around 10 stroke on that edge, then rotate the broadhead so as the sides that have not yet been sharpened now touch the stone and once again draw around ten strokes back and forth.
Repeat this process on all three blades (3 rotations) and you will have successfully sharpened your broadhead.
Recommended Sharpening Stone
DMT WM8EF-WB 8-Inch DuoSharp Diamond Bench Stone
We’ve reviewed the DMT WM8EF, in great detail here. In fact it was our top pick best diamond stone on the market this year.
The sharpener provides excellent counter or bench use for sharpening all manner of sharp edged tools, (from expensive chef’s knives, to workshop blades and of course your broadheads). You can even flatten whetstones it is that versatile.
The continuous diamond zone for small and pointed tools is especially useful. The two sided sharpener has a fine grit to create a razor sharp edge and extra-fine side to polish and refine. No oil or water is required to lubricate the sharpener either.
If you’re after one of the best diamond stone sharpeners to look after your broadheads, this is the one to buy.
These are the foolproof sharpening methods, however in some ways this only scratches the surface of the many ways to keep your broadheads sharp. However, with these tools you cannot go wrong.
That’s all for today, remember for better trails and cleaner shots keep your broadheads sharp.