John Lusk is an avid bowhunter and broadhead fanatic. He has taken well over 100 big game animals with his bow all over the US, as well as Canada and South Africa. He puts his Engineering degree to use in his broadhead testing and has tested over 50 different broadheads. He has written articles in a dozen different archery publications, appeared on several hunting TV shows, and has well over a million views on his YouTube Channel: Lusk Archery Adventures. There you will find more than 70 videos of his hunts and extensive broadhead tests. When he is not shooting his bow, John serves alongside his wife as the Pastor of the Des Moines Church of Christ, in Des Moines, Iowa.
In this review, I tested the Cutthroat Broadhead. I really like this company. Everything is made in the USA and they have a great reputation.
Cutthroat broadheads have fans all over the world and I have long considered them to be one of the best two blade, single bevel heads made.
I tested it for long range flight, penetration, durability, and edge sharpness and retention. And, as always, I shot with my Bowtech SR6 set at 72 pounds with a 27-inch draw length, and I’m using Bishop Archery FOC King Arrows, with a weight of 460 grains.
Cutthroat Broadheads specs
There’s a lot to like about the Cutthroat. In some ways, it’s just a simple 2-blade single-bevel design. But, in other ways, there are some unique things that make it extra special.
First of all, Cutthroat broadheads come in several different weights, ranging from 125 grains to 250 grains. In this test, I shot the 125-grain version.
The Cutthroat is machined from a single chunk of 41L40 tool steel, which is really a high quality tool steel. And it’s brought to a Rockwell hardness of 55. It’s a good balance between being soft enough to sharpen and yet tough enough to be able to hold its edge well.
In addition, these broadheads are Teflon coated to protect the blades. It also has a really nice Tanto tip to help prevent blade rollover at the end.
The blades are 0.060 inches thick so a nice good thickness to them. And the single bevel is a 25-degree bevel.
I was eager to put this head to the test and see how it performed.
I have found that a 40-degree bevel is superior when it comes to how much a broadhead rotates in flight. So, the rotation of a steeper edge is going to produce a better bone splitting ability and more damage internally. At a 25 degree bevel angle with the .060″ blade thickness, the Cutthroat head should still do fairly well.
In the outof the box sharpness test, I test how many times a broadhead can still cut through paper after a stroke of an arrow shaft across it. I give 5 points for the first cut and then one point for every cut thereafter.
The Cutthroat broadhead was able to still cut paper after three strokes of the arrow, giving it a total score of 7 points.
In this penetration test, I shot the Cutthroat into ballistic get that was fronted by 2/3″ rubber mat and 1/2″ MDF board.
Steel plate test
I shot the Cutthroat five times through a .22 gauge steel plate. The head held up very well.
The head did have a bit of edge folding on each side, which would take a little bit of work to sharpen those out. But, overall, the head fared pretty well for five shots through the steel plate.
The “S-cut” made by the Cutthroat makes it more difficult for entry wounds to close up on an animal after impact. The S-cut also aids in prying bones apart, allow an arrow to slide through.
Final Thoughts on Cutthroat Broadheads
So, overall, the Cutthroat is a very nice head. I’ve long considered it to be a great head and putting it through these tests just proves it all the more.
It has a great price point, it’s made in the USA, and it flies super well. It keeps its edge well and is durable.
The Valkyrie heads are machined out of a single chunk of S7 tool steel. that is brought to a Rockwell hardness of 58 to 60 which is really hard.
Now, it’s important that you don’t compare that to 58 to 60 in a stainless steel, because with an S7 tool steel like this, the impact resistance is many times greater than that of stainless steel.
So, you are getting the benefit of a really hard edge and really hard blade combined with really tough impact resistance as well.
The Valkyrie is a 3-blade design. The cutting diameter is relatively low at 1 inch. But, with 3 blades, you are getting an inch-and-a-half of total cut which is a lot more than most 2-blade heads.
The overall purpose of the Valkyrie design is to maximize penetration. And that’s why this “swept” design in the short Jag head, and in the regular-sized Jagger.
The blades of the Valkyrie heads are also completely coated with a Cerakote ceramic finish. This aids in resistance to the elements, which a tool steel typically does not have. It also provides a less of a glare and it aids in penetration, to give it a bit more smoothness through bone, tissue and hide.
For this test, I’m used my Bowtech SR6 set at 72 pounds and I’m using the whole Valkyrie system pictured below. It comes with VAP arrows 0.166 diameter and with their titanium centerpin and the broadhead. The arrows even have their own fletching.
I was very eager to test these heads. They looked like they would penetrate well. They also spun very true and looked and felt very sharp. I also wanted to test for long-range flight, edge retention, penetration and durability. So let’s get to the results…
To test the sharpness of the Valkyrie Jagger, I examined its ability to cut paper not only out of the box, but also after up to five strokes of the arrow shaft against the blade edge.
And, I will note too that it’s fairly easy to sharpen. When I’m sharpening it, I use a paper wheel. You can use whatever you want or you can just mail it back in. They actually sharpen them or will even repair them if they need repair… all for free. ($10 shipping and handling to send the head in).
The Toxic has a chiseled tip, which adds to its penetrating ability and toughness upon hard impacts. It also spins very true.
I wasn’t able to find any of the specs on the broadhead itself, the type of steel, and the thickness of the blades, and so forth. Usually, on most broadheads, I can find that information and supply that.
However, in this case I just had to gather information based on the test results themselves to test penetration, durability and penetration, durability, draining ability and flight.
Even though I had heard reports of the Toxic broadhead flying well, I had a hard time believing it. I was eager to find out for myself…
To test the overall penetration and durability, I started by shooting the Toxic into my medium which consisted of the following: a half-inch layer of MDF, surrounded by a third-of-an-inch of rubber foam matting, followed by clear ballistic gel.
I then shot it into a 22-gauge steel plate, with the intention of shooting it up to five times, as the blade will allow before they get seriously damaged. In this test, once serious damage occurs, I stop.
For each shot where they don’t get damaged, I give them 2 points for a maximum of 5 shots; a maximum of 10 points.
As in all my tests, I am shooting the Bowtech SR6, set at 72 pounds and 27-inch draw. I’m using a Bishop Archery FOC King Arrow, 460 grains and FOBs and a nockturnal nock.
Into MDF / Foam Rubber / Ballistic Gel Medium
In the penetration testing, the Toxic went a total of 6-3/4 inches into this medium. It was really cool to see the hole created by the “worm technology.” The wound channel created was incredible.
Into Steel Plate
As for the edge retention, which was what I was testing it for, the Toxic really could only handle one shot. After the shot, the tip of this head looked pristine. I imagine it could have gone through steel a hundred times. It would probably stick in concrete as well.
The blades however, got pretty bent and the edges pretty mangled. I’ve had other heads do much better. I had to call the test complete after just one shot through the steel. So, I’ll give that 2 points.
So, the tip held up great. The edge retention? Not so good.
In the water bag drainage test, I was curious to see how quickly the Toxic would drain the water bag. I used this as a test to get an idea of what the wound channel would be like.
Shooting at distance
You might think, “Wow, the Toxic has over 4 inches of cut. That’s impressive!”
However, you might also assume that with 4 inches of cut, “there’s no way that’s going to fly well.”
But, it actually flew relatively well. I could readily pop balloons at 70 yards.
Some fixed-blade heads have flown better, that’s for sure. But, some have flown worse. So overall, a good flying head.
Toxic Broadhead Recap
So, what do you think of the Toxic broadhead?
I have to be honest. When the Toxic first came out and I read about it, I thought it was 100% gimmick. I didn’t see how it could fly well. I didn’t see how it could hold up or penetrate well.
However, after reading some of the reports and seeing some of the damage on animals, I finally got around to testing it. And I have to say, I was impressed.
The primary reason that I think it has done so well is the total cut size that you have as well as the total amount of tissue being cut (over 4 inches) as it passes through something.
The reason for this is the circumference of each of the blades that sort of curl into a circle if you will, is about 1.3 inches total. So, multiply that x3 and you’ve got over 4 inches of tissue being cut.
Compare that cut to some other heads:
Exodus broadheads: 1.875 total inches of cut
Rag: 2 inches of cut
Slick Trick: 1-inch diameter, and 2 inches of cut
GrizzTrick broadhead, 1.25 inches of diameter and 2.5 inches of cut
In terms of penetration, you would think, “Man, with 4 inches of cut, there’s no way that’s going to penetrate well through MDF and rubber foam mat and ballistic gel.” But it actually did. It didn’t penetrate as well as some broadheads, but for 4 inches of cut, it penetrated pretty well.
But the durability… not so good.
So, all of that means is that the blades are not super durable, and you saw that in the steel plate test, as they got pretty dinged-up and bent just in the 22-gauge steel plate. And, while I have certainly had broadheads do much better, I have not seen another broadhead do this poorly in a 22-gauge steel plate.
The Toxic may be a “one-and-done” broadhead. However, the amount of damage that you are going to get from that one shot could be really significant.
So, how would I feel hunting with this head? I would be a little cautious because I worry about the durability if I’m hitting a hard bone, especially if I hit a bone at an angle.
However, with the amount of cut that you get, the good flight and the way it has performed well even through a hard layer like MDF, I would definitely give it a whirl. If it can cut through that much tissue while it penetrates that much and flies that well, it’s definitely worth a look.
So this is certainly not a gimmick. Give the Toxic broadhead from Flying Arrow Archery a second look.