How To Put A Broadhead On An Arrow


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When preparing for any bowhunt, a few tasks are as vital as ensuring that all of your gear is adequately prepared and ready for use in the moment of truth. We, as bowhunters, rely upon our gear to function as intended when needed. It is also our responsibility to the game that we hunt to make sure our archery tackle is capable of executing a clean, ethical kill in every instance. 

Of all of our gear, few items are as vital to success as the broadheads at the ends of our arrows. We rely upon these heads to slice through the vitals of our quarry, unabated by any unforeseen obstacles. While many place ample thought into broadhead selection, few new bowhunters place as much consideration into installing their broadheads until required to do so out of necessity.

The following guide is designed to ease this learning curve by providing every necessary detail required to install your broadheads before use.

Safety First

Before proceeding, we must cover the finer points of broadhead safety. Broadheads are similar in design to razor blades, carrying extremely sharp edges. A broadhead can inflict severe cuts if mishandled, even necessitating medical care. Therefore, caution should be taken when assembling, sharpening, or installing broadheads of any type.

Wear Gloves

It is best to wear gloves when handling broadheads, as this prevents one from injuring themselves if accidental contact is made with one or more blades. Additionally, the use of gloves prevents you from fumbling a broadhead if your hands were to become wet with sweat or slick from the natural oils on your fingertips. 

Use a Broadhead Wrench

K'Netix Universal Archery Broadhead...

Universal Archery Broadhead Wrench

Additionally, a specialty wrench, known simply as a broadhead wrench, should be used to tighten a broadhead in place whenever possible. This eliminates any unnecessary hand-to-broadhead contact, thus preventing needless injury. While some broadheads come with wrenches of this type, others do not. Regardless, broadhead wrenches can be purchased from most outdoor retailers or ordered online

Proper Storage

Loose broadheads that have yet to be installed on an arrow shaft, but have been removed from their original packaging, should be stored inside a closed container of one sort or another. This prevents you, or someone else, from inadvertently becoming injured when reaching for them when stored away.

Installing Broadheads #101

Today, most broadheads are threaded, allowing for securement to a threaded insert placed within the forward end of an arrow. These threads must properly engage those of the insert that the broadhead in question is to be affixed to. However, you must ensure that their broadhead is fully assembled and ready for use before doing so.

Most of today’s broadheads come pre-assembled and ready for installation. However, a limited number of fixed-blade models still require moderate assembly. Typically, doing so involves inserting the broadhead’s blades into their corresponding slots within the head’s ferrule. A tip is then threaded onto the outer edge of the broadhead, securing the blades in place.

Alternatively, some fixed blade broadheads require the placement of a specialty o-ring or retainment collar. These items should be situated and checked for proper fitment before installing the broadhead itself onto any arrow shaft.

In any event, one should carefully follow all manufacturer recommendations regarding broadhead installation. Each broadhead differs slightly in design, and correct assembly can easily serve as the difference between success and a world of regret. If you have any doubts about the assembly of your broadheads, contact the manufacturer directly for additional direction.

Steps To Success

The following steps can be followed to install a broadhead on an arrow shaft. These steps are largely universal, no matter one’s choice in a broadhead.

Step 1: Remove Practice Tip

To begin, remove your arrows’ practice tips by gently threading them in a counterclockwise direction. Place these practice heads in a secure location for future use later.

Step 2: Inspect Insert

Next, carefully inspect your arrow’s insert, checking thoroughly for cracking or damaged threads. Also, check to ensure that the insert is fully seated in the arrow shaft, without wiggle room or free-play. If at all possible, any dirt or debris present within the insert should also be removed before proceeding to step #3.

Step 3: Put On Protective Gloves

You should now put on a pair of protective gloves. Doing so can prevent hand injury if an inadvertent mishap occurs.

Step 4: Thread The Broadhead Into Place

With gloved hands, carefully insert the threaded end of your broadhead into your arrow’s insert. Carefully turn the broadhead clockwise while feeling for the threads to engage. Be careful to avoid cross-threading, as a failure to do so can result in severe insert/broadhead damage. Continue to thread the broadhead in a clockwise direction until the head bottoms out and slight resistance is felt.

Step 5: Tighten As Needed

You will now tighten your broadhead until snug within your arrow’s insert. This should be done with a broadhead wrench to avoid injury if at all possible. If you do not have a broadhead wrench at your disposal, take care to avoid placing your fingertips directly upon the broadhead’s ultra-sharp blades, even with a gloved hand. You will tighten your broadhead until it is moderately snug.

You are then ready to repeat steps #1-#5 with as many broadheads/arrows as desired.

Additional Tip: 

Though it might be tempting to tighten your broadheads as tight as possible, doing so can prove detrimental at best. Overtightening of a broadhead can strip the tip’s threaded shank or the threads of your arrow’s insert. This, in turn, can cause a number of significant issues, including a failure of the broadhead/insert to tighten at all. Remember, a broadhead must be snug but should not be cranked down as tight as humanly possible.

put broadhead on arrow

Broadhead Installation Made Easy

Though somewhat intimidating at first for many beginning archers, installing broadheads onto your arrow shafts of choice can be completed without much to do. After gaining a little experience, you can install an entire quiver’s worth of broadheads without missing a beat in a couple of minutes. Above all else, you should take care around broadheads to prevent injury, giving them the ample respect that they most certainly deserve.

Last update on 2022-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Josh is an avid hunter of over twenty years and strategically manages several properties. Josh is also the Branch President for his local chapter of QDMA (Quality Deer Management Association).

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