There are three methods of attaching broadheads to arrows. They are as follow “tie-on” glue-on and “screw-on”.
The “tie-on” method dates back to primitive time when natives tied their hunting tips on with sinew or rawhide. The glue-on and screw-on systems are both found on modern broadheads. The glue on system is mostly used on traditional broadheads.
This discussion below applies to glue on broadheads and adapters.
There are two types of glue one can use when gluing broadheads to the arrow or screw on adapters to broadheads and that is hot and cold glues. Both systems work well and both have positive and negative attributes.
Hot glues have been used for decades with good results.
are convenient, relatively inexpensive and proven
They are easily melted at later date to remove the broadhead
.The draw backs are that the broadhead has to be heated to
melt the glue when the adapter and broadhead are joined or
when the broadhead is glued directly to a wood arrow.
Heating, if not done properly, that is with a low controlled
heat, can ruin the temper of the broadhead. Excessive heat
will also burn the finish off of most broadheads. TuffHead™
is coated with a ceramic finish which will with stand
temperatures of 1200° Fahrenheit. Excess heat will not burn
off the finish, but will change the temper of the broadhead.
When heating any broadhead do not use a torch. For most
people that is asking for trouble. We recommended that an
alcohol burner be used. It will give off adequate heat,
which is easily controlled without endangering the
metallurgy of the broadhead.
Cold glues suitable to glue heads and adapters have arrived on the scène just in recent years. It seems like there has been an explosion in the quantity and variety of cold glues. Many archers have used cold glues such as two part epoxy and superglue with great success. They are strong, quick and most important do not require heat. They are quit convenient for field use. JB weld is used often by big game hunters as it makes quite a strong bond. However it is almost permanent limiting removal and has an extended curing time.
Cold glues do have draw backs. These draw backs raise questions and they should be taken in consideration when the archer makes their choice of cold glues.
1.How brittle is the glue after curing will it hold up under high impact?.
2 What is the procedure to soften the glue for broadhead removal? Some glues will react to heat others require a special chemical for removal.
We have no recommendations on the different cold glues.
The hot and cold glue methods both work well, it is a matter of choice. There are procedures or steps that should be taken regardless of which glue used. These steps are suggested to ensure that the glue will adhere and the broadhead is mounted true.
Mounting can be divided in three steps. 1. Preparation 2. Gluing and 3. Aligning.
Preparation - Preparation includes inspection of parts to be glued, roughing the
surfaces to be glued with fine sand paper , steel wool or a point brush and finally cleaning surfaces to remove oil residue. Oil residue can be removed with alcohol or acetone (finger nail polish) A handy item for this process is packaged alcohol wipes. Wood arrows, aluminum and carbon should all be cleaned on the gluing surfaces.
Gluing was discussed thoroughly in previous
sections NOTE: When gluing either with hot or cold glues all
safety precautions should be taken to protect the eyes and
skin. It is obvious using hot glues one should guard against
accidental fires and burns.
Aligning the Broadhead is probably one of the most
important factors in the process. If the broad head is
mounted on the arrow crooked the arrow will not fly
The best way to check the broadhead alignment is to
spin the arrow and the mounted broadhead before gluing,
during gluing and after they are glued. There are commercial
aligners on the market like the one pictured to the right.
There are also ones that are homemade that are not as pretty but
To get a true alignment of a broadhead, use a broadhead aligning system as described above. Simply spinning the broadhead with the tip down on a smooth surface will not give you a true reading. The tanto tip of the TuffHead™ is a multiple faceted tip and does not create a defined point or axis to spin an arrow accurately.
This short Youtube video demonstrates the proper use of an alignment tool (in this case, the Dixon Aligner.)
A Homemade broadhead aligner can also do
the same job as a
commercial aligner, and can be cheap
to make and supplies are readily available.
Our good friend Jim Brandenburg has contributed a good article and photos on
Proper Mounting and Alignment Methods that we suggest you look over.
Arrow Footings - as part of your arrow design and building you may want to consider "footings. "
Arrow footings are used to add weight to the forward portion of your arrow while significantly increasing the structural integrity of the arrow. That is paramount when maximizing penetration or making it through a day of killing stumps.
The footings are also beneficial during the arrow tuning process. Depending on the arrow, the ArraFoot single footer, and the BigFoot double footer can have a stiffening affect on the shaft. This can allow for a heavier point weight without changing to a stiffer shaft.
We offer these footings for your carbon arrow shafts created by a dedicated TuffHead archer in our on-line shop. We like them, we use them and we recommend them. Check them Out!
- Dr. Ed Ashby and his Broadhead Lethality Studies
- Ashby .pdf's
- Ashby Jan 2012 Kalamazoo, MI
- Ashby May 2013
- Game Animal Anatomy
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- Selecting the Bevel
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- Sharpness & Bloodtrails - Dr Ed
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Links of Interest
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