Choosing The Perfect Arrow Head – A guide to Arrow Head Types & their uses

Arrow heads play a crucial role in determining the accuracy, penetration, and effectiveness of your shots. In this article, I will provide you with a comprehensive guide on arrow head types, their differences, and suggestions for selecting the most suitable one for your needs.


When it comes to archery, the arrowhead is the part of the arrow that makes direct contact with the target. It determines how the arrow behaves upon impact and affects factors such as penetration and wound channel size. There are various types of arrowheads available, each designed for a specific purpose. Recently, researchers from Tel Aviv University have delved into the fascinating world of arrowhead types used by ancient civilizations, shedding light on their historical significance and the development of military tactics throughout history. Understanding these arrowhead types not only enhances our knowledge of ancient warfare but also provides valuable insights into the cultural and technological advancements of those times

Understanding Arrow Heads


Broadheads are primarily used for hunting purposes. They feature wide blades designed to cause maximum tissue damage, ensuring a clean and ethical kill. There are different types of broadheads, including fixed blade, mechanical, and hybrid.

Field Points

Field points, on the other hand, are primarily used for target shooting and practice. They resemble the shape of a broadhead but lack the wide blades. Field points are designed to be more durable and reusable, as they are used repeatedly without the need for expansion or cutting.

Bullet Points

Bullet points are specialized arrow heads used for small game hunting and varmint control. They feature a small, rounded shape that minimizes tissue damage, making them ideal for preserving game meat or controlling pests without causing excessive harm.

Choosing the Right Arrow Head Types

Selecting the appropriate arrow head depends on the purpose of use, whether it’s hunting or target shooting, and several other factors.

arrow head types

Purpose of Use

If you’re primarily a hunter, broadheads would be the most suitable choice. On the other hand, if you’re an archer who enjoys target shooting or participating in competitions, field points are the way to go. Bullet points are specifically designed for small game hunting and varmint control.

Hunting vs. Target Shooting

For hunting, the type of game you pursue will also influence your choice of arrow head. Larger game animals may require a more powerful and penetrating broadhead, while smaller game animals may call for a bullet point to minimize tissue damage.

In target shooting, accuracy is paramount. Field points offer consistent flight characteristics and are easier to retrieve from targets, making them ideal for practice and competition.

Factors to Consider

When selecting an arrow head, consider the following factors:

  1. Weight: Different arrow heads come in various weights. Heavier heads provide more kinetic energy and deeper penetration, but they may affect arrow speed and trajectory.
  2. Blade Type: Broadheads come in different blade configurations, such as fixed or expandable blades. Fixed blade broadheads offer reliability and are less prone to mechanical failures, while expandable or mechanical broad heads have blades that deploy upon impact, increasing the cutting diameter.
  3. Blade Material: The material used for the blades can impact their durability and sharpness retention. Common blade materials include stainless steel and carbon steel. Consider the intended use and the specific characteristics of each material.
  4. Penetration: For hunting, penetration is crucial to ensure a clean kill. Consider the design of the arrow head and its ability to penetrate through the game animal effectively.
  5. Accuracy: Choose an arrow head that maintains accuracy and consistency in flight. Different arrow heads may have varying effects on the arrow’s stability and precision.

Once you have considered these factors and determined the purpose of use, you can make an informed decision about the type of arrow head that suits your needs best.


Broadheads are the go-to choice for hunters, providing effective tissue damage and ensuring humane kills. There are three main types of broadheads:

  1. Fixed Blade Broadheads: These broadheads have blades that are permanently fixed and don’t move upon impact. They offer excellent durability and reliability, making them suitable for a wide range of hunting situations.
  2. Mechanical Broadheads: Also known as expandable broadheads, these feature blades that open up upon impact, increasing the cutting diameter. They offer a larger wound channel but are generally less durable than fixed blade broadheads.
  3. Hybrid Broadheads: Hybrid broadheads combine elements of both fixed blade and mechanical broadheads. They have a fixed main blade with smaller mechanical blades that deploy upon impact, offering a balance between reliability and increased cutting diameter.

Field Points

Field points are designed for target shooting and practice sessions. They closely resemble the shape of a broadhead but lack the wide blades. Here are a few points to consider:

  1. Practice Tips: Field points are commonly used as practice tips due to their similarity in flight characteristics to broadheads. They allow archers to hone their skills and familiarize themselves with the arrow’s trajectory.
  2. Target Shooting: Field points are ideal for target shooting due to their durability and ease of removal from targets. They provide consistent performance and reduce the risk of damaging or losing arrows.

Bullet Points

Bullet points serve specific purposes, such as small game hunting or varmint control. They have rounded shapes and are designed to minimize tissue damage while still delivering effective shots. Here are a couple of scenarios where bullet points excel:

  1. Small Game Hunting: When hunting small game, such as rabbits or squirrels, bullet points are preferred. Their rounded shape prevents excessive damage to the meat, making them suitable for harvesting game.
  2. Varmint Control: If you’re dealing with pests or varmints, bullet points provide an effective means of control without causing unnecessary harm. They deliver accurate shots while minimizing collateral damage.


Selecting the right arrow head types is essential for archers and hunters to achieve their desired outcomes. Understanding the differences between broadheads, field points, and bullet points is crucial in making an informed decision. Consider the purpose of use, hunting or target shooting, and factors like weight, blade type, material, penetration, and accuracy. By carefully evaluating these factors, you can choose the arrow head that best suits your needs and enhances your archery experience.


Q: Are mechanical broadheads more accurate than fixed blade broadheads?
Both mechanical and fixed blade broadheads can be accurate, but it depends on various factors such as arrow tuning, bow setup, and archer’s skill. Properly tuned equipment and consistent shooting form are key to accuracy.

Q: Can I use field points for hunting?
Field points are not recommended for hunting as they lack the cutting diameter and design required for effective and ethical kills. It’s important to use broadheads specifically designed for hunting to ensure clean and humane kills.

Q: What is the benefit of using bullet points for small game hunting?
A: Bullet points are designed to minimize tissue damage and preserve the meat of small game animals. Their rounded shape reduces the risk of excessive damage, making them ideal for hunters who want to harvest game for consumption.

Q: How do I determine the appropriate weight for my arrow heads?
The weight of the arrow head should be matched to the specifications and recommendations of your bow manufacturer. It’s important to find the right balance between arrow speed, trajectory, and penetration. Consulting with a knowledgeable archery professional can help you choose the appropriate weight for your setup.

Q: Can I reuse broadheads and field points?
A: Field points are designed for reuse and can be easily removed from targets without causing damage. Broadheads, on the other hand, may require maintenance or replacement after use. Some broadheads are designed for multiple uses, while others may need to be sharpened or replaced depending on the condition of the blades.

Q: Are there any legal restrictions on arrow head types for hunting?
A: Hunting regulations can vary by region and game species. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific regulations in your area. Some regions may have restrictions on broadhead designs or blade lengths for certain types of hunting. Always check local hunting regulations and consult with wildlife authorities to ensure compliance.

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Mike Jones

Archery Explorer is the culmination of my love for nature and archery, offering a space where both beginners and seasoned archers can come together to learn and grow. Whether you're looking for advice on selecting the right equipment, honing your shooting technique, or discovering breath-taking archery spots around the world, you'll find it all here. So, grab your bow, join me on this adventure, and let's explore the world of archery together, one bullseye at a time!

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