Hunters using fixed blade broadheads come to a point where they have to make a decision between using a 3 blade or a 4 blade broadhead.
Factors such as arrow flight and tuning must be weighed up against the additional cutting surface.
This is where your fight comes in, looking for the potential for significant wound channels, complete pass-throughs and larger blood trails.
There is an incredible range of fixed blade broadheads to choose from. They all promise to provide devastating results using a range of features, materials and innovations that set them apart.
So, let’s take a look at the strengths of both types to get an understanding as to what might be the better type of broadhead.
Strengths of a 3 Blade Broadhead
Trouble with tuning has meant people have moved from using the 4 blade broadhead to a 3 blade.
In other words, hunters have found that the 3 blade broadheads have a more predictable flight trajectory.
Does the 3 blade broadhead fly better than the 4 blade broadhead? Although the down range accuracy of both types is considered to be very good, many have found that the 3-blade broadhead is just slightly better.
You will get greater penetration from a 3 blade broadhead (over a 4 blade). This means you’re more likely to get 2 holes from your shot and 2 holes means more blood to follow.
Also important for penetration is the width to length ratio of the head with a 1:3 ratio considered to be ideal. A good cut on contact head will help to avoid losing energy as the arrow penetrates.
Strengths of a 4 Blade Broadhead
The theory is that the greater cutting diameter coming from a 4-blade broadhead creates larger blood trails.
In practice, this doesn’t really stand up, particularly when shooting broadside on. The square nature of the wound tends to result in the flaps of skin inhibiting the flow of blood.
When taking a quartering shot, however, the skin tends to be sliced in a way that the blood flows more freely.
If you have taken the time to properly tune your bow with your 4 blade broadheads they will fly truly.
Where using a 4 blade broadhead can be a big advantage is in the event of a poorly executed shot which can produce more significant blood trails.
5 Recommended 3 Blade Broadheads
To help with finding a really good quality 3-blade broadhead we have put together a brief overview of 5 of the most frequently recommended examples.
When hunters discuss the broadheads they have had the most success with and fewest problems, these are the makes and models that are most prominent in discussions.
This broadhead features three right offset .035” thick stainless steel blades. The right helix twist is designed to open wide wounds.
The design promotes consistently accurate flight paths. At the front of the head is a trocar tip for bone breaking strength.
The Trocar is available in 100 grain weight. It comes in packs of 3 and the MSRP is $41.99.
The design of the Boss 3 blade makes it aerodynamic and extremely accurate through the air.
The blade surface area is reduced to 1-1/8” cutting diameter and it sits behind a prominent SST tip.
It is available in either 100 or 125 grains.
It comes in packs of 3 and the MSRP is $39.99.
The compact nature of the Exodus ensures accurate flight. This same feature combined with the razor-sharp blades and trocar-style tip means it hits with enormous penetration, bone-busting devastation, in fact.
The blades are 0.04 inches thick and incredibly sturdy. The blades sweep back and offer a cutting diameter of 1.25”. The Exodus enables blood trails not only from the entrance hole but also from the exit hole.
They come in packs of 3 as 85, 100 or 125 grain heads and retail for $39.99.
This is a two-piece head that is welded together to create a strong one piece 3 blade broadhead.
It is headed by an extremely sharp cut on contact tip and the three blades are extremely sharp.
The cutting diameter is 1-⅛”.
It comes in packs of 3 and has an MSRP of $39.99.
This is the broadhead that was the first to be made using G5’s patented Metal Injection Molding.
The CS in the name stands for Carbon Steel and its blades are noticeably sharper than previously made versions of the Montec. The carbon steel also makes it easily resharpened to keep the blades in top shape.
The cutting diameter is 1-1/16”. The noted downside to this head is the reduced penetration brought about by the extra large vents.
It comes in packs of 3 and has an MSRP of $44.95.
5 Recommended 4 Blade Broadheads
When discussions are held about 4 blade broadheads, the following are among the most commonly cited for their effectiveness and reliability.
Designed to deliver a consistent and accurate flight path, the Magnum head is compact with a low profile design.
The 4 blades are swept back clear of the devastating head. The result is a significant hole rather than deep penetration.
The cutting diameter is 1-⅛” and comes in weight options of 100 or 125 grain.
It is sold in packs of 4 and has an MSRP of $42.99.
The Black Hornet broadheads are made with knife-grade stainless steel blades and they are razor sharp. The ferrule is solidly constructed using aircraft quality aluminum.
The head is available in either 100 grain or 125 grain weights.
The main blade is .059” thick while the bleeder blades are .040” thick. The cutting width of the main blade is 1.25”, enough for some serious damage.
They are sold in packs of 3 and have an MSRP of $44.99.
The Grizztrick 2 broadhead provides the widest cutting diameter out of the entire Slick Trick range.
It is built to offer longer distance accuracy with a tip and blade configuration to allow it to fly like a field point.
The head is available in either 100 grain or 125 grain weights.
They are sold in packs of 4 and have an MSRP of $42.99.
This cut on contact 4 blade broadhead uses a self-aligning blade locking system with a hardened forward section aligning the blade to the ferrule.
The result is a 4 blade broadhead that flies consistently accurately.
It has a cutting diameter of 1” and consists of .040” thick main blades and .027” bleeder blades.
It is available only in a weight of 100 grains.
They come in packs of 3 and have an MSRP of $37.99.
The Dead Right There broadhead from Dirt Nap
It has a cutting diameter of 1-3/16” and gets complete penetration the majority of the time thanks to the work of the stainless steel main blade that is .051” thick.
The other two blades are the bleeder blades measuring ⅝” across.
The DRT is available in 100 grain weight. The 25 grain MWS can be added to the collar to transform it into a 125 grain head.
They come in packs of 3 and have an MSRP of $39.99.
The consensus appears to be that the number and width of the blades don’t really matter.
Either the 3 or the 4 blade broadhead is capable of a) flying accurately with a high level of consistency, and b) producing easy to spot blood trails.
This is definitely the case when using those heads that routinely pass through to create a gaping exit hole.
Tune your bow to suit your broadhead and you will enjoy hunting success no matter whether you’re using a 3 blade or a 4 blade broadhead.
The other option is the 2 blade broadhead such as a single bevel broadhead. Not only do they fly accurately but they create huge holes and frequently pass completely through.