As a bow hunter, choosing the right broadhead is essential to ensure effective shots and successful hunts. In our previous blog post, we discussed the advantages and disadvantages of fixed vs. mechanical broadheads. Now, let’s dive deeper into the world of fixed-blade broadheads, specifically comparing single-bevel and double-bevel blade designs. Both single and double-bevel broadheads have their unique benefits, but understanding the differences can help you select the best option for your hunting needs and personal preferences.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the key differences between single-bevel and double-bevel fixed blade broadheads, including factors such as penetration, wound channel, flight characteristics, and ease of sharpening. We’ll also discuss scenarios where each type may be more suitable, helping you make an informed decision about which broadhead design is ideal for your next hunting adventure. So, let’s jump right in and look at the features and benefits of both single-bevel and double-bevel fixed-blade broadheads!
What is a Single Bevel Broadhead?
A single-bevel broadhead is a type of cut-on-contact fixed-blade broadhead used in bowhunting. It features a unique design where only one side of each blade is sharpened, while the other side remains flat. This asymmetrical design causes the broadhead to rotate or twist as it penetrates the target, creating a spiral wound channel.
Recommended Single Bevel Fixed Blade Broadheads:
- Iron Will Single-Bevel Broadhead
- GrizzlyStik Maasai Single Bevel Broadhead
- Cutthroat Single Bevel Broadhead
What is a Double Bevel Broadhead?
A double-bevel broadhead is a type of cut-on-contact fixed-blade broadhead used in bowhunting. It features a design where both sides of each blade are sharpened, resulting in a symmetrical cutting edge. Double-bevel broadheads typically penetrate targets in a straight line, creating a straight wound channel as they pass through the target. Most of the fixed-blade broadheads you find in stores or are heavily marketed through the most popular brands in archery hunting are double-bevel broadheads.
Recommended Double Bevel Fixed Blade Broadheads:
Now that you understand what each type of fixed blade broadhead these are, let’s talk about the features and benefits of each.
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Single bevel broadheads have one side of each blade sharpened, creating a twist or rotation as the arrow penetrates the target. This rotation can enhance penetration, especially when encountering bone or other dense tissues. Due to their design, single-bevel broadheads have a higher chance of breaking or splitting bones, allowing for deeper penetration and increased chances of reaching vital organs.
Double bevel broadheads have both sides of each blade sharpened, resulting in a more conventional straight-line penetration. While they may not offer the same rotational advantage as single-bevel broadheads, double-bevel designs still provide excellent penetration and can deliver lethal shots when placed accurately.
The twisting motion of single-bevel broadheads creates a unique wound channel, which can result in increased internal damage and faster blood loss. This may lead to quicker recoveries of the animal and a higher chance of a successful hunt.
Double-bevel broadheads create a more traditional, straight-line wound channel. Although the wound channels may not be as unique as those created by single-bevel designs, they can still be highly effective when placed correctly.
Both single and double-bevel fixed blade broadheads generally offer stable and accurate flight characteristics. However, individual broadhead designs and arrow setups can vary, so it is essential to test and tune your specific combination for optimal performance.
Sharpening and Maintenance
Sharpening single-bevel broadheads can be easier due to having only one edge to sharpen on each blade. This can be an advantage for hunters who prefer simple maintenance routines. That being said, these types of broadheads rely heavily on blade sharpness for success, so maintenance is essential when using them.
While double-bevel broadheads require sharpening on both edges of each blade, they can still be maintained with relative ease. Modern sharpening tools can help simplify the process, allowing you to keep your broadheads in top condition.
Ideal Hunting Scenarios
Single-bevel broadheads can be particularly effective in scenarios where maximum penetration and bone-breaking capabilities are desired, such as hunting larger or tougher game animals with dense bone structures.
Double bevel broadheads are a versatile option suitable for various hunting scenarios and game animals. They can (and do) provide reliable performance and lethal shots when placed accurately.
Single Bevel vs. Mechanical Broadheads
While we’ve discussed the differences between single-bevel and double-bevel fixed blade broadheads, it’s also worth considering how single-bevel broadheads compare to mechanical or expandable broadheads.
Penetration: Single-bevel broadheads, with their unique rotation and twisting motion, can offer enhanced penetration, especially in scenarios where bone or dense tissues are encountered. Mechanical broadheads, on the other hand, rely on their expandable blades to achieve penetration, and their performance can be affected by the angle of impact or resistance from bone and tissues.
Reliability: Single bevel broadheads, being fixed blade designs, do not rely on moving parts to achieve their cutting potential. This can make them more reliable in various hunting scenarios. Mechanical broadheads, with their expanding blades, can sometimes fail to deploy properly or lose energy upon impact, which can result in reduced penetration and cutting effectiveness.
Cutting diameter: Mechanical broadheads typically have a larger cutting diameter when fully expanded compared to single-bevel fixed blade broadheads. This can lead to larger wound channels and potentially increased damage to vital organs. However, if the mechanical blades fail to deploy properly, the cutting diameter will be significantly reduced.
Flight characteristics: Both single-bevel broadheads and mechanical broadheads can offer stable and accurate flight characteristics, depending on the specific design and arrow setup. However, mechanical broadheads are often favored for their flight characteristics, particularly at longer distances.
Ideal hunting scenarios: Single-bevel broadheads can excel in situations where maximum penetration and bone-breaking capabilities are desired, such as hunting larger or tougher game animals with dense bone structures. Mechanical broadheads can be more suitable for situations where a larger cutting diameter is preferred, and the risk of encountering bone or dense tissues is lower.
Selecting the Right Broadhead for Deer Hunting
In my previous post, I discussed why I prefer to use fixed-blade broadheads over mechanical or expandable broadheads for deer hunting. With that in mind, choosing between single-bevel or double-bevel fixed-blade broadheads comes down to personal preference and hunting conditions. Both types have their advantages, but here are some key benefits of each:
Single Bevel Broadheads:
- Penetration: The rotation created by single-bevel broadheads can enhance penetration, especially when encountering bone or other dense tissues. This increased penetration can be beneficial when aiming for vital organs in deer.
- Bone-breaking capability: Single-bevel broadheads have a higher chance of breaking or splitting bones due to their twisting motion. This can be advantageous when dealing with angled shots or when the arrow must pass through bone to reach vital organs.
- Unique wound channel: The twisting motion of single-bevel broadheads creates a distinctive wound channel, which can result in increased internal damage and faster blood loss. This may lead to quicker recoveries of the deer and a higher chance of a successful hunt.
Double Bevel Broadheads:
- Versatility: Double-bevel broadheads are versatile and suitable for various hunting scenarios and game animals, including deer. They can provide reliable performance and lethal shots when placed accurately.
- Sharpening and maintenance: Double bevel broadheads require sharpening on both edges of each blade, but with modern sharpening tools, they can be maintained with relative ease.
- Straight-line wound channel: Double bevel broadheads create a more traditional, straight-line wound channel, which can be effective in causing damage to vital organs when placed correctly.
Ultimately, the choice between single-bevel and double-bevel broadheads for deer hunting depends on your specific hunting style, conditions, and personal experiences. Both designs have their merits, and by understanding the benefits of each type, you can choose the best option to enhance your deer hunting success.
Choosing the right broadhead for your bow hunting needs can be challenging, with single bevel, double bevel, and mechanical designs each offering unique advantages. Understanding the differences between single-bevel and double-bevel fixed blade broadheads, as well as their performance compared to mechanical broadheads, can help you make an informed decision tailored to your hunting preferences, target game, and personal experiences.
While I have personally used standard double-bevel fixed-blade broadheads for a number of years, I will be making the switch to single-bevel blade broadheads for the multitude of reasons outlined in this post. I have tested quite a few of these types of broadheads and the value and longevity you can get from them are far and above what you can get from other broadheads. The superiority they have in the different characteristics we’ve discussed here shows you why they can provide you with a superior hunting experience to other options on the market.
That being said, whether you prefer the rotational power of single-bevel broadheads, the versatility of double-bevel designs, or the larger cutting diameter of mechanical broadheads, always remember to practice and fine-tune your setup for optimal performance in the field. With the right broadhead choice, you’ll be well on your way to a more successful and enjoyable bow-hunting experience. I hope this post has helped and made things easier in your search for the right broadheads. Happy hunting!
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