A Torture-Test of Four Bow Bladeheads

We torture-tested the hottest and most popular replaceable-blade heads. Here's how the top four models stacked up.

I started with more than a dozen types of 100-grain, replaceable four-blade broadheads. Using Mathews Edition Maxima Hunter 350-grain arrows and a Cabela's Interceptor XP bow, I tested all for accuracy, penetration, and overall performance.

The ones that flew truest and punched hardest got subjected to my torture tests, including the Meat Tray Challenge (MTC), which involved shooting into 50 stacked foam meat trays to judge penetration; the Game-Can Slam (GCS), for which I shot into a metal coffee can full of ballistics gel, with an elk hide stretched over the opening, to gauge true cutting diameter as well as penetration; and the Plywood Double (PD), one shot straight through ½-inch plywood and another at a 45- degree angle, to test durability through a hard medium (simulating bone). Finally, I scored for value, based on what you get for the price. Each was worth up to 25 points, for a total perfect score of 100--plus a bonus point to any head that survived it all.

THE SKINNY

The Slick Trick did second best on the meat-tray test and fairly well on the game-can, showing a true 1-inch cutting diameter. It won the Plywood Double hands down--and was the only head to survive everything intact. Another tester and I shot the tightest groups with Slick Trick heads. I'll be hunting with them this fall.

A flat-out digger, the Maniac ruled in the meat-tray and game-can tests, revealing an as-advertised 1⅛-inch cutting diameter. Having no screws, washers, or rings to mess with, this new head is easy to assemble. We did bend a blade with the plywood-angle shot. Otherwise this model would have been the winner.

The MX-4 delivers a big cut (1⅛ inch) with decent penetration. It didn't light up the scoreboard in any one test category but did pretty well overall, including a good enough score in the plywood tests to justify the company's "Bad to the Bone" slogan. Plus, it's nicely priced, and we loved how it flew on the practice range.

Yes, the Boss performed very slightly below most of the others, but it costs much less. It cut a 1 1/16-inch hole and finished second in the straight-on plywood shot, but it was a little light on penetration in the meat-tray and game-can tests. Still, the Boss is a good head and an exceptional value.

See photos of Deeter's torture tests. Plus, check out more broadhead reviews.