Sharpening Broadheads April 2019

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Bow Building School

Sharpening Broadheads


Publisher and owner:

Matthias Wiltschko

Gross Gundholz 25, 3920 Gross Gerungs, Austria


Publisher and media owner takes no legal responsibility or liability.

All rights, copying, distribution and translation rights are with the

owner and publisher.

Text, photos, translation and layout: Matthias Wiltschko

No legal responsibility or liability for injuries and damage to property

of the customer/reader and third parties is taken over by the information

provided and by the objects produced therefrom (eg bows,

arrows . . . ). Each customer/reader is responsible for his/her own

safety and safety in dealing with his/her own manufactured bows and

arrows. It is at the measure of the customer/reader to judge the wood

used by him/her on its resistance to breakage.

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The angle of the cutting edge is already given for new broadheads, but

they must be sharpened before they are ready for hunting.

A slowly rotating waterstone achieves the highest sharpness and cutting

edge durability with relatively little effort, whether sharpening knives

or broadheads. It takes me about 15 minutes to sharpen a broadhead.

If you hunt with bow and arrow, you must be sure that your weapon

exceeds all requirements. After the shot, there should be no thoughts

like, “If only I had . . .” You must be able to trust your equipment.

At the specified angle, all blade sides are first sharpened with a grain of

220 grit. Protective gloves are indispensable for double-edged blades!

The broadhead is sharpened until a burr is formed. This ensures that

there is fresh metal at the cutting edge.

At exactly the same angle, the broadhead is now honed on a Japanese

waterstone grit 1000. Do not change the angle and take your time.

The coarse burr is removed by the fine grinding which left a barely visible

fine ridge that is still slightly connected to the cutting edge. Do not

remove the fine burr!

The broadhead is now needle-pointed and would easily cut through

soft tissue with this geometry. But an animal also has bones. Picture

below: The light reflection shows the fine grinding ridge on the lower

side of the blade.

In the next step, the razor-sharp edges are rounded at the rear end of

the broadhead (grit 1000). If you use the end of your broadheads to

control the draw length, you would otherwise cut your finger every time

you reach full draw.

To prevent the tip from bending when bones are hit, it is formed at a

duller angle on the 1000 grit waterstone.

On a leather disc at a steep angle and under the slightest pressure,

the fine burr should be broken as close as possible to the cutting edge.

It takes a few passes from all sides until the burr loosens everywhere.

By no means should you work your broadheads on fast-spinning grinding

or polishing machines. The blade would get hot and the steel would

lose its hardness and cutting edge durability.

Even if you only hold the blade to a polishing disc for a short time, the

cutting edge angle would be rounded off directly at the cutting edge

and the blade would be dulled.

But above all, the risk of injury is extremely high on such machines. If

the broadhead twists easily, it could get caught by the fast-moving disc

and then fly through the workshop at ludicrous speed.

On the next few pages, I‘ll show you how to sharpen your broadheads

without a rotating waterstone.

From the bottom up. Mill Saw File Nr.3, Swiss Key File, Swiss Watchmaker’s

File, DMT Diamond file from the USA. Place the broadhead on

the surface so that the back edge sticks into the board and your index

finger fixes the other side.

With minimal pressure and using the entire file length, the cutting edge

is sharpened at the specified angle. The other side of the blade is

sharpened against the cutting edge. Be careful not to tilt the file here

and round the edge.

Now the blades are finely sharpened with a DMT Diamond File. You

can also form a razor-sharp rounded tip. More complicated, but foremost

slower, is the technique with the waterstone. Leave the stone in

the water until it is soaked and you see no more air bubbles.

At the given angle, the broadhead is sharpened with smooth forward

and backward movements. You can also sharpen your broadheads by

sticking sandpaper on a picture frame. This way you get a flat sanding

surface. Try out what suits you best.

Video - Sharpening Broadheads

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