Ahh, the age old debate rages on! We’re not here to add any fuel to the already growing fire. Rather, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of each type of broadhead.
First off, out-of-the-box the mechanicals hold the moniker of shooting like your field point. That’s a pretty bold statement and if you’re not planning on tuning your arrow setup to accommodate whatever broadhead you plan to use, then yeah, a mechanical will likely fly more like your field point right out of the package. But before you take this to the bank, a recent test by Field and Stream showed that the differences between mechanical and fixed blades aren’t as different as one might think. In fact, they shot nearly identical groups during a fairly extensive testing regiment – one of which was comparing out-of-box accuracy.
The next argument that commonly arises is how do they perform on actual game. Surely, the fixed blade broadheads have to win this battle because there’s no element of error. The biggest fault hanging over a mechanical broadhead’s head is that there is always a slight chance of failure. Then came the unimaginable, a study backed with supreme data indicating that deer hunters who used mechanical broadheads had 7% higher chance of recovery compared to those deer hunters who used fixed blade broadheads – 89% vs 82% respectively.
You can read the detailed study here: A Comparative Study on the Effectiveness of Fixed Blade and Mechanical Broadheads by Andy Pederson
Of course, one of the main factors contributing to the higher recovery rates in that study may be the larger cutting diameters offered by mechanical broadheads. Whatever way you fall, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and past experience. In the end, as long as you practice with your broadheads and tune your setup so that whatever you are using flies true, both are ethical options to hunt with.