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 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 fine edge by the manufacturer. 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 capeng. We highly recommend the KME “knife sharpener “for the TuffHead™ broadhead when there is an imperfection in the blade and metal has to be removed.
When using the KME system, or others, you may find you have to set your
system at something other than 25 derees to properly sharpen the TuffHead.
Why? Check this Q&A from Ron Swartz at KME...
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. Read more on the Dia-Sharp stones.
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 tool meets most of the field needs and is indispensable to the archer. It and all of these fine products are available in our ON-LINE SHOP!
Check out the "How to Strop" page for tips or watch this video on sharpening and stropping using the
The handiest sharpening tool around!
The Heavyweight of Broadheads™