Bowhunting is amongst the fastest growing types of hunting worldwide. Hunters who have tried and mastered hunting with other weapons find themselves drawn to it because of its ties to the past, and the promise of a new challenge. With so many new hunters, it’s no surprise that questions like “What should be used to screw on broadheads?” come up so frequently.
After all, you need to be sure that you’re using your equipment correctly before you can start worrying about perfecting your aim! While the answer will depend somewhat on the gear you use when you hunt, there are some universal answers to that question that we will be able to share here.
The first thing you really need to know about is what a broadhead is. A broadhead is the metal tip that goes onto the front of an arrow or crossbow bolt. It can be a fixed blade or a mechanical broadhead, which has additional moving blades that are designed to open on or after impact.
As the name suggests, this type of arrowhead is broader than normal, which means it does more damage on impact. It’s also often favored to hunt larger game for this reason. These heads are always sold separately from the arrow or crossbow bolt, and they do need to be attached before they can be used.
As mentioned, broadheads are always sold separately, which allows hunters to customize their hunting equipment to suit their preferences. You can mix and match most types of broadhead with most types of shaft or bolt, and that means you can tailor your arrows to your weight, length, and other requirements.
There are several reasons why you might want to remove a broadhead. One is that the broadhead is damaged, and requires repair or sharpening. In some cases, the broadhead is damaged so much that it cannot be repaired, but the arrow is still good. Or, the arrow it is attached to may be damaged, but the head is still usable on another arrow or bolt.
Finally, you may need to switch broadheads if you are hunting a different type of animal, and you prefer to use a different setup for that particular type of hunt. It may also just be because you have heard great reviews about another type of broadhead, and you want to see if it’s a good choice for you or not.
Being able to remove and replace broadheads without altering your shafts, bolts, or bow means that there’s great flexibility. Additionally, getting your setup exactly right is one of the great joys and challenges of bow hunting.
All modern broadheads come with a threaded attachment that is used to attach the head to the arrow shaft. However, because arrows are subjected to a significant force during use, this is not enough to ensure that they are fastened securely in place. This can not only affect your hunting results but can also be dangerous.
Arrows that come off after they’re embedded in an animal can even cause injuries while you are dressing your kill. A long time ago, we would have done this with homemade glue and thread or other materials, but we’ve come a long way since then! So, while all broadheads do come with a threaded ferrule, instead of relying only on the thread on the head, you will need to either of the two kinds of glue, which are:
Superglue or “cold glue” has the benefit of setting instantly, which means you can theoretically use your arrows sooner than you would with hot glue.
It’s also immensely strong, so it can take a beating. However, this type of glue can become brittle over time, and once it’s set, it’s almost impossible to remove the head from the arrow. This glue is popular with competition shooting when there’s limited time to attach heads to the arrows.
Hot glue might not be as tough as super glue, and it takes longer to harden completely, but it is more forgiving if you misalign your arrow slightly and need to unscrew the head and try again. It can also be softened by reheating the arrowhead, so you can potentially remove damaged heads and reuse the arrow or bolt. Most bowhunters opt for hot glue, as it allows more time to align the head perfectly, and means that arrows are more likely to be reusable.
That said, whichever glue you choose, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and be careful. Glue can be dangerous too!
Here’s how to properly attach your broadhead:
Now that you know what should be used to screw on broadheads, it’s important to remember that there’s a safety element here too. Arrowheads are very sharp, and they’re designed to damage and kill. Handling them incorrectly can result in serious injury, both before and after they are attached to the arrow.
If you’re not sure how to safely attach a broadhead, or you don’t know how to remove them when they are damaged or need sharpening or repair, be sure to refer to an experienced hunter or a professional. Improper handling of these kinds of tips can be dangerous, and it’s never worth the risk!
Jen loves the outdoors and enjoys exploring a wide-range of activities. A mother of 3 whose seen far too many friends suffer from cancer, she believes Pink Crossbow reflects a sport for LIFE. It's a reminder that archery belongs to everyone regardless of age, size, or gender...and real enthusiasts aren't afraid to wear pink!