According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a broadhead is “a flat pointed steel arrowhead having sharp edges." As an archer, you will be familiar with this term. Broadheads, however, are usually associated with arrow hunting of big game.
The question that is likely to come to your mind is, “what should be used to screw on broadheads?" As it is important to know the proper method of fixing a broadhead to an arrow, I have gone into detail on this subject.
Installing your Broadhead
There are three known methods of installing a broadhead to an arrow spine, the tie-on method which early man used to tie broadheads with sinew or hide, the glue-on method and the screw-on method. Today the latter two techniques are used, and both approaches involve using glue which we will deal with in further detail later on.
There are three types of broadheads based on the kind of blade used, fixed, removable and mechanical (expandable). Broadheads have extremely sharp edges you may find it handy to use a broadhead wrench which you can easily buy online or from your local hunting store. However, a lot of people use their bare hands which works just as well, if you are careful while handling them. Sharpen your broadheads before each archery session.
The actual broadhead mounting process consists of three stages: preparation, gluing and aligning:
Preparation: Check the parts that need to be fixed thoroughly, the fit, finish, and if required you may need to roughen the surfaces that will be glued using emery paper or a file. You should remove traces of oil or residue by rubbing a few drops of alcohol or acetone. Now your broadhead is ready to be glued.
Gluing: There are two types of adhesives, hot glue, and cold glue. There is a bit of setup required if you are going to use hot glue, so ensure that your equipment is at hand. You should also ensure that you have adequate protection for your eyes and skin, whether you use cold or hot glue. You need to take proper safety precautions as a heat source is used for hot glue.
Aligning: Although this aspect of the broadhead mounting process tends to get sidetracked, it is a critical stage of the whole process. If you screw on broadheads crookedly, your arrows will not fly smoothly and in the predetermined direction.
Broadhead alignment can be done before, during and after gluing a broadhead. You should use a broadhead alignment system which you can purchase or make one at home. A home-made broadhead alignment system may not look all that cool but should work just as well.
As mentioned earlier, we shall now discuss the gluing process in more detail with particular reference to the type of glue that you are going to use. Both types of glue have their pros and cons as we shall see, so let us go into the finer details of these two categories of adhesives:
Hot glue is a very popular choice for gluing broadheads or adapters to an arrow. These glues are convenient and cheap and have been used for decades. If a broadhead has to be removed later, it can be done by heating.
Ensure that you have the heat source (a spirit lamp or a propane torch), the glue and the alignment equipment at the ready. Now heat the glue just enough to melt some to liquid and place a few drops on the broadhead. Insert or screw the arrow to the broadhead and then warm the broadhead up enough to make the glue run uniformly between the two surfaces.
A word of caution: Be careful not to overheat the broadhead because that could ruin the temper of the steel which means that the steel loses its hardness.
While the glue is still warm, place the arrow in the broadhead alignment system, so that broadhead will be well-aligned to the broadhead as the glue sets.
Useful tip: You can also use a hot glue
gun which I have found quite handy for other jobs as well.
- Quick and easy to use
- You can remove broadheads by heating them
- You can align them after gluing, before the glue sets
- Extra care required for setting up
- Chances of getting burnt
- Tempering of the broadhead steel may get affected by excessive heating
Cold Glue is a relatively new concept in archery. A combination of cold glue and superglue is an attractive option today. The process of attaching broadheads to arrows with cold glue is essentially the same as that for hot glue but without the heating process.
As the glue sets instantly (if you use superglue), you need to be quick to align the broadhead before the glue sets. Cold glue is a preferred option for a ‘quick fix' during competitions and tournaments. If you do not use superglue, then the glue needs some time to set. This process is known as ‘curing.' The curing time would be mentioned on the packaging or in the instruction manual if the product came with one.
- Instant fixing possible
- Lesser equipment required
- Totally safe as no heat is required
- No danger to the temper of the broadhead
- Difficult to align the broadhead if superglue is used
- The glue can become brittle on curing
- Broadheads cannot be removed once fixed
What have we learned?
It should now be clearer about what should be used to screw on broadheads. The procedure is quite simple when you know how.
- Broadheads are screwed on an arrow using glue
- There are two types of glue, hot glue, and cold glue
- Each type of glue has its own set of pros and cons
- Fixing a broadhead is not enough – you need to align it as well
We hope you enjoyed reading this article, and now have more clarity on what should be used to screw on broadheads. Please do contact us with any questions, feedback or suggestions that you have, and we will be glad to respond.