Nearly every 2-blade or traditional broadhead is not sharp enough to hunt with out of the packet. Shaving sharp broadheads cut blood vessels cleanly – dull broadheads do not. Blood vessels “roll over” a broadhead with a dull edge and are not cut. Bowhunters who practice with well set-up gear, who know their effective range and hunt within it with shaving sharp broadheads will always be exceedingly quick, humane and efficient at harvesting the feral animals bowhunters target. A broadheads factory grind is only intended to save you a little sharpening time by removing some of the edge material – that’s all.
There’s lots of ways to get a broadhead to a shaving edge. But until I find a way that is quicker way, and more importantly, one that is quicker to use when out hunting, I will continue to sharpen my broadheads as follows…
All you will need is a quality broadhead sharpener like a Muzzy and a decent ‘Flat Bastard’ or a panel beaters ‘Body File’. The file will stay at home (or in camp) after your sharpening session. The broadhead sharpener comes with you, in your daypack, on each bowhunt – use it to return any shot arrow back to your quiver shaving sharp. Start with all your broadheads screwed onto your arrows.
It takes a little practice to draw file, but keep at it, it won’t take long to master. Just keep your ‘other’ hand clear in case you slip so you could don’t injure yourself. Draw the broadhead down the file towards you, keeping the head at an angle of around 20 degrees. The broadhead ferrule will set this angle for you – just tilt the ferrule off the file just enough so it clears and you’ll be good. Do both broadhead edge sides with long even strokes. Apply more pressure at the start and less when finishing and you’ll get a sharper edge quicker. When you’ve mastered draw filing you should be able to sharpen any broadhead from brand new to shaving sharp with a chisel point in under 4 minutes. Look out for the ‘feathered edge’ – it should run the full length of your broadhead. Now your ready to form your chisel point.
File a chisel point by running your broadhead point at a higher pitch and at 45 degrees across the file blade – not down it. A chisel point is better than a needle point as it reduces the risk of a fold over on heavy bone hits. Once you have your chisel point sorted, it’s time to remove the feathered edge.
You’ll use your broadhead sharpener to do this. Be careful and don’t rush – your broadhead is now very sharp. When you have mastered draw filing, the broadhead will already dry shave hair off your arm. It’ll just shave hair that much better when the feather edge has gone and the broadhead sharpener has done its bit.
Test each broadhead on your forearm hair. Safety first – take care doing this. Re-work any broadheads that don’t dry shave hair off your arm easily. You’ll know when you’ve mastered sharpening when every broadheads shaves perfectly on its first go through. Speed up your sharpening session by draw filing all your broadheads at once. Then do all the chisel pointing before moving onto sorting the feathered edge. Be quick to get your sharpened arrows back into your quiver so they are out of harms way.