Fixed vs Mechanical Broadheads: What’s The Difference?

Wondering which hunting broadhead might be the most suitable one for you? Archery hunters often ask that question. You might have heard- tuning the blades is everything. Maybe, your hunting mate works only on this.

But no, my friend! That’s not the only solution for better hunting. Clearly, several differences exist between fixed and mechanical broadheads– the top two types available right now. 

What are the main differences between fixed vs mechanical broadheads? The main differences between fixed and mechanical broadheads are their penetration capabilities, cutting diameters, and blood trails.

Which is better then? In terms of shooting accuracy, both of them are almost the same. If you count penetration along with this, fixed blades will stand out first. Meanwhile, mechanical broadheads provide larger cutting diameters and better blood trails. 

Still, you need to get more metrics! Our job is to unfold the best one here in front of you! Till then, stick with us. Alongside this, you will get to know about key factors. 

Fixed vs Mechanical broadheads: A Quick Overview

Before heading into the main discussion, let’s fetch a small overview of these broadheads. Consider this as the tip of the iceberg.

Comparing FactorsFixed BroadheadsMechanical Broadheads
Materials & DesignPreferableAverage
Demand of TuningRequiredNot Necessary
Cutting DiameterSmaller than mechanicalsLarger, 2 inches or more than that
Blood TrailsSmallerLarger
Transport-friendlinessDangerous due to exposed bladesHighly suitable
How to distinguish between fixed and mechanical broadheads

Are these enough? Not at all. You require to know more details aside from this chart. Let’s get them all. 

Excited? So do we! 

Fixed vs Mechanical broadheads: Unfolded In-Depth Comparison

The more factors you know about, the better! And, we suggest comprehending all of them before buying and selecting the right broadhead while considering your priority, hunting sizes, and a lot more.

We have stored a dedicated section for the final judging. Before that, let’s unfold the factors one by one in detail.

Material & Design

Whether you go for fixed or mechanical, both offer thick broadheads made of stainless steel. Try to pick one of them! 

In terms of design, both have to offer some unique features to users. While fixed blades serve good quality stainless steel, mechanicals can bring an aerodynamic pattern. Each of them plays a big role in successive hunting.

Experts suggest that fixed blade broadhead design is preferable compared to mechanical. Your better performance in hunting demands fixed blades that are meant to be made of stainless steel. 

A long time ago, broadheads were highly introduced to aluminum alloy. Over time, every manufacturing company tries to come up with better materials for their broadhead production. 

Several tests also direct the fixed blade as the winner over mechanicals nowadays. You can resharpen this type of broadhead so easily. 

As a result, using it over and over might not be a sign of damage indeed. In the meantime, the design and used materials of the mechanicals are not satisfying enough. 

However, your target should be buying any of them having a blade thickness of more than 0.03 inches. Telling you once again- every brand is almost the same when it’s to material, construction, and design patterns. 

Till you add weight here, the whole game will be changed. No matter it’s mechanical or fixed, you need to pick the handy and comfy weighted blades to get you to the target perfectly.

Meanwhile, buying a set of replacement blades is always a life-saver. And look, there’s a little bit of an advantage for mechanical pickers. On the other hand, fixed broadheads can not be replaced which is a key downside. 

Demand of Tuning

You already know how accurate a mechanical broadhead is in flying like your field tips. Does it require any special tuning or does it go smoother by default? And interestingly, this type requires no extra fine-tuning. 

Meanwhile, there’s a requirement of tuning the blades and bows to expect better and straight flights from fixed blade broadheads. This re-tuning is especially beneficial when you send arrows down-ranged at animals.

Along with that, fixed blades are more prone to produce noise when they pass through the air. 

Unlike mechanicals, they come with more exposed blades resulting in this occurrence. So, depending on the situation, be ready to re-tune your fixed broadheads. 

However, users claim fewer models from mechanicals might be in need of tuning. Worry not, simply fix the alignment and verify the point of impact is enough for that. 

Cutting Diameter

Blades being able to retract boost mechanical users in executing better hunting. Simply, it will allow putting bigger blades on the heads. 

At the same time, no sacrifice in accuracy will be there. Now, you get some ideas about why we are backing the expandable broadheads, don’t you? They mostly come with a 2 inches wide cutting diameter or even more than that! 

Mechanical manufacturers suggest some heads might go up to 2 3/8 inches cutting diameter! 

You will experience them cutting better from the liver to the guts. Also, it gets through the rib center, ham perfectly. In the meantime, creating a better blood trail enables users to find the animal as quickly as possible. 

On top of everything, all you need is to have a perfect shot. Just a bad shoot and you might end up the day without any hunting. No matter whether you have got a larger cutting diameter or not!

Conversely, fixed broadheads can not afford larger diameters. As a result, they fly straight as usual. So, don’t expect larger diameters on it.

Even if it does contain, the straight flight might not be achievable. In the meantime, carrying higher speed finds obstacles due to the same reason.

Shooting Accuracy

arrow accuracy

Buying guide remains incomplete without discussing shooting accuracy, isn’t it? We find users mostly rely on mechanicals in terms of getting better accuracy out of the blades. 

These blades require almost no tuning. Meanwhile, you are allowed to utilize them so often. At the same time, longer-range shots are achievable throughout these. 

Lack of this skill mostly puts fixed blades struggling. And remember, you can not go longer ranges with them. On top of this, adding bow re-tuning issues will keep it behind while choosing a user-friendly broadhead. 

Professional hunters often back mechanical broadheads where better flight with higher shooting accuracy comes as the plus. Shooting like field points ends every doubt further. Still, confused about picking mechanicals? 

What alternative should you look for then? But do you think fixed blades are the perfect substitute for your solution? These blades often catch air which sends arrows off target. 

Meanwhile, mechanicals can save you time. Less effort with better accuracy. Yes, if you think tuning is not an issue, then going for fixed blades might be a smart move too!


Just like the shooting accuracy, you can not ignore the blade’s penetration skill. Animals might escape even though you hit right, just because penetration is lackings. 

Fixed blades are simply beasts when the topic comes to this. However, both of them can penetrate small animals like deer and antelope nicely. 

As soon as you demand bigger animals like elk, moose, etc., mechanicals can not be reliable. And, they lack enough force against bone. 

Final Verdict

The truest designs can be found in fixed blades. And, they offer better penetration.

Other than these, mechanicals rule on having better blood trails, providing larger cutting diameters. Thus, these are better suited to crossbow hunting.

Also, you will find them store-friendly, durable and safe to transport. No re-tuning will be required in the long run. 

However, it’s a sad fact that mechanicals sometimes behaves weirdly and bring big failures too. 

Overall, we would like to recommend mechanical broadhead.

Finally, do your planning correctly and try to pick according to that. Also remember, hunting sizes, and animal types also bring differences here. Be conscious of that!


Can I put mechanical broadheads in a quiver?

Yes, you can do this while picking a quiver containing two contact points. As a result, the arrow will be secured into the quiver hood without any stuffing. The head floating in the hood ensures the blades stay sharper.

What broadhead leaves the best blood trail?

The front-deploying broadhead- three-blade Spitfire XXX is considered to provide the best blood trail. Its 3 inches cutting diameter easily breaks through bones.

Why do my broadheads fly differently than field points?

If you fail to deliver the arrow straight by the bow, your broadhead will end up flying differently than field points. Also, there is a chance that your bow comes with straight-nock travel. Learn more about common broadhead problems here.

Can I use mechanical broadheads with a compound bow?

Yes, you can use it with a compound bow along with longbows and recurves. No minimum or maximum draw weight is defined here. You can utilize fixed blades here too.

Wrap Up

Now, you know everything that matters between fixed vs mechanical broadheads. 

We have attempted to fill you in with the most crucial information. Hopefully, our article may solidify your decision on the right track! 

That’s all for today! Before signing off, we invite you to share thoughts through comments.

Keep hunting!

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