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How to Sharpen a Broadhead

Learn how to sharpen a broadhead before the fall hits and you will ensure clean kills when your arrows fly true.

[caption id="attachment_6438" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Getting a razor sharp broadhead to shave the hair right off your arm is a must for the ethical bowhunter. Getting a razor sharp broadhead to shave the hair right off your arm is a must for the ethical bowhunter.[/caption] As hunters, especially bowhunters, we have an obligation to practice a high degree of ethics in the field. Bowhunting requires a much closer attention to ethical conduct since arrows do not cause hemorrhaging like a rifle bullet. Gun hunters must still be ethical, but can get away with poor shot angles and shot placement to a degree. Although bowhunting ethics are different for every hunter, as they should be, there are a few basics all archers should agree on. One of those universal ethical standards is using sharp broadheads in the field. [caption id="attachment_6439" align="alignright" width="250"]Magnus Fixed Blade Broadhead Magnus Fixed Blade Broadhead[/caption] Due to the nature of a broadhead's function you can't afford to fix a dull broadhead on an arrow this fall. Razor sharp broadheads are simply a must have. Many folks will check this box by purchasing broadheads with replaceable blades. These broadheads are exceptionally sharp right out of the package and work great. Other hunters choose to shoot fixed blade broadheads for a number of reasons. If you shoot fixed blade tips, knowing how to sharpen a broadhead is a paramount skills. Not only is knowing how to sharpen a broadhead an important skill for archers, it easily transitions to other facets of woodsmanship such as knives and axes. Learning how to sharpen any of these tools is important for any aspiring woodsman. If you are unsure about the process of sharpening cutting edges, even those on a broadhead, is a skill that takes practice and a keen eye. For those visual learners out there, watch traditional archer Clay Hayes's demonstration on how to sharpen a broadhead. In this case it is an old single bevel broadhead, but the basic process is the same no matter the edge you are honing. The video is pretty straight forward, and you can easily see how effective his methods are. One thing to note is the gradually increasing grit of the sharpener. From the file, to the stone, to the window, then finally the stopping leather, each step takes you to a finer surface to really get a sharp edge on your broadhead. It is just like sanding wood. Gradually get a finer and finer grit until you are satisfied with the results. Another thing that Clay focused on that is worth repeating is to pay close attention to the angle of your file or stone. It is absolutely imperative to keep the angle consistent if you want the razor sharp results like Hayes did. You can see he used a vice to hold his broadhead. Although this tools is not necessary, you can see it is helpful in maintaining an even bevel. On a final note, if you don't want to shave your arm, there is another practical test to put your broadhead though. Create a square frame using wooden popsicle sticks. Next stretch a series of rubber bands criss-cross style over the frame. When you are done it should look like a picture frame with rubber bands stretched both sideways and vertically. Then take your broadhead and thread it through the rubber bands. If it cuts the rubber bands your broadhead is sharp. If it pushes the rubber bands out of the way you still have work to do. Hopefully this fall will find you out in the woods and with shot opportunities. If you've done your homework and put in your time, you will likely find success. Make sure to dot your i's and take the field with a razor sharp broadhead. Not only will it increase your chances at success, but your prey deserves it.

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