Being able to maintain a thinner, smoother sharp cutting edge is one major advantage of the Single Bevel Broadhead, but few hunters truely understand what that advantage is. Before getting more information on the "how" to achieve a razor sharp edge, you may want to read this brief page from Dr. Ed on the Clotting Cascade and on "why" you should care...
Sharpening for broadheads can be divide into three categories “edge maintenance”, “bench sharpening “ and “field sharpening”.
The TuffHead™ 25 degree single bevel is already established and sharpened to a razor edge by the manufacture. It does not take a lot to maintain the edge as the stainless steel blade is corrosion resistant, cryogenically treated and hardened to a 52 RC hardness. This metallurgical combination and treatment is all designed to enhance and maintain a keen edge. That being said all cutting instruments do need to be sharpened .Broadheads in particular should be razor sharp for good penetration and cutting action as it is hemorrhaging which kills the game we are hunting.
Edge Maintenance When we talk about blade or edge maintenance we are talking about dressing a already sharpened or formed edge. The TuffHead™ factory sharp single bevel can be maintained by stropping with a leather strop embedded with a honing or stropping compound. “Stropping is sharpening “but does not remove metal aggressively. Using a strop instead of a stone eliminates bevel angle change and when done properly removes or aliens the burr on the edge to make it extremely sharp. Stropping the broadhead each day while hunting will ensure that your broadhead will be ready when crunch time arrives.
Bench Sharpening When referring to bench sharpening we mean sharpening a broadhead with a damaged or extremely dull edge. This type of sharpening is done with a sharpener such as the KME “ knife sharpener “which will remove metal while still maintaining the 25 degree cutting angle. This style of sharpener would probably not be taken to the field but used at home on the shop bench or kitchen table. KME offer a “broadhead sharpener” which clamps the broadhead and maintains the blade angle while it is being moved back and forth on a bench stone. It does a fine job on broadheads of low mechanical advantage as their short blades can be easily maneuvered on a bench stone High mechanical advantage broadheads such as TuffHead™ need a wide stone ,when using the “broadhead sharpener” however wide stones are not real common. The KME “knife sharpener“ seems like it was made just for the TuffHead™ and serves a dual purpose by keeping those hunting knives ready for field dressing, skinning and caping.
|We highly recommend the KME sharpening system for the TuffHead™
broadhead when there is an imperfection in the blade and metal has
to be removed.
Watch this short video on the easy and secure operation of the KME system for bench sharpening
Why Should you be concerned with being "Razor Sharp?" Read this article by Dr. Ed on Sharpeness and the Clotting Cascade.
A Tech Note from KME of Setting up the KME System... We've had a few sharpening questions regarding the 25 degree bevel and how to maintain it. Even the KME system might need to be set at slightly different "degrees" to accurately touch up a point or knife. Here is some additional reading on this topic...
Our good friend Jim Brandenburg hones his TuffHeads to a mirror finish
as shown in this picture to the right with
the KME system and provides this descriptive lesson with lots of pictures to
bring your TuffHeads to the same level.
Field Sharpening Field sharpening category refers to sharpening while out hunting. Most hunters try to minimize the amount of equipment that they carry especially if they are running up and down mountains. To keep broadheads” hunt ready” they should be touched up daily even if they are being carried in a quiver. This touch up can be accomplished with a minimal amount of equipment. Many carry a file to do the touch up. While a file will touch up a TuffHead™ it should be used only as last resort. As mentioned under the maintenance section a strop loaded with a good compound will take the broadhead edge a long way without changing angles or removing metal unnecessarily. If the hunter carries a good fine grit diamond stone such as the DMT ® Dia-Sharp® and a strop they can handle most sharpening needs for their broadheads or knifes that would arise afield. The TuffHead™ with its’ wide single bevel can be placed on a stone, with little practice, and honed without changing the bevel angle. Using a 600 grit or finer stone the broadhead can be stroked back and forth or as the old timers did moved in a circular motion. The honing edge can then be refined with a leather strop using a flat back and forth motion.
A real handy pocket diamond hone & strop combination in a credit card size package called bevel-sharp is made in the USA by the Vintage Archery Co.
This handy tool meets most of the field needs of the archer and is lightweight, fits in a shirt pocket or pack, is an effective sharpening and stropping tool and generally indispensable in the field. Don't head to the mountains without one in your pack!
- Dr. Ed Ashby and his Broadhead Lethality Studies
- Ashby .pdf's
- Ashby Jan 2012 Kalamazoo, MI
- Ashby May 2013
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