What are the differences between a traditional broadhead and a modern or mechanical broadhead?
The traditional broadhead can be found in different configurations, there are glue on heads and screw on heads. There are also two blade, three blade and four blade heads. The common thread on all these heads is that they are all fixed blade, meaning the blades are stationary.
Modern or mechanical heads also are manufactured in different blade configurations but are commonly designed with blades that are mobile and swing out or away. On some heads the blades are expanded on contact with the target.
Traditional broadheads are made from carbon steel or more recently stainless steel. Traditional broadheads are one piece that is that blades and ferrule are manufactured in one piece. The ferrule cannot be detached from the blades .We lump broadheads with ferrules that are attached by mechanical means as modern heads.
Modern heads are mostly designed with a male thread to be screwed in to an arrow shaft with a female insert. Traditional broadheads will accept a wooden arrow with a five degree taper or can use an adapter that has a five degree taper on one end and a male thread on the other end. With an adapter the traditional broadhead can be screwed on to an arrow that has a female insert.
The advantage of traditional broadhead over the modern head is that they are potentially stronger as they are one piece .The ferrules usually transition smoothly into the blade which eliminates possible places to hang up on tissue or bone. Screws, rivets or other obstacles on the ferrule will impede penetration.
Serious big game hunters choose solid one piece broadheads over mechanical heads as they don’t have to worry about blades expanding. They follow the adage of “keep it simple stupid”.
Traditional broadheads are available in heavier weights vs. there modern counterparts. Traditional broadheads make it easy to vary the weight as adapters for screw on arrows come in various weights.
The trend for hunting arrows has been towards weight forward of center arrows (FOC). Dr Ed Ashby a well know expert and researcher on this subject has written reams on arrow configuration and broadheads. You can find information on this subject at http://tuffhead.com/education/ashby.html .
Traditional broadheads can be divided into two groups single bevel heads and double bevel heads. Dr Ashby discusses this subject at length also. He explains the advantage of the single bevel broadhead over a double bevel. For additional information and look at the details of a traditional broadhead visit www.tuffhead.com
Joe Furlong, founder of the Vintage Archery Co., has been hunting with traditional equipment for over 30 years. Joe formed Vintage Archery™ in early 1990 as a manufacturer of custom traditional bows. The company operated as a custom bow maker for several years producing longbows, recurves, flatbows and self bows until it developed the Black Rhino™ line of youth longbows.
After the results of Dr. Ed Ashby experimentation with different broadheads on African game animals came to their attention, Vintage Archery™ started to consider different broadhead designs. Eventually a design blending many ideas, including Dr. Ashby’s evolved into a finished product. Moving from the design phase to manufacturing was not simple or easy. Consideration was given to many manufacturing processes such as casting, machining steel, and laminating using die formed laminations. It was concluded that in order to incorporate the desired features into one broadhead the use of dies to produce laminations would be the most advantageous. Joe Furlong worked with Bob Mayo of Ace Archery Tackle Inc. to develop the dies for the new broadhead It is our belief that the Tuffhead™ is ”the first” and only stainless steel laminated broadhead on the market. Tuffhead™ is solely owned by the Vintage Archery Co™. Some of the manufacturing process of our broadhead is farmed out to specialty companies. The majority of the work is performed in our shop at Charleston, Il. Like the Bowtote™, the Tuffhead™ is proudly made in the U.S.A.
Joe Furlong has been hunting with traditional equipment for over 30 years. He has killed his share of large game with many different broadheads. While they all do their job under normal conditions; few have the features of the TuffHead™ to perform under duress when metal hits an unintended target such as bone.
During his hunting career Joe Furlong has been actively involved with many archery organizations. He is a senior member of the Pope and Young Club, associate member of the Professional Bowhunters Society (PBS, life member of the United Bow Hunters of Illinois (UBI) , and a life member of Compton Traditional Bowhunters. Joe considers support of our archery organizations important in order to protect and propagate our sport.