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Author Archive

John Lusk

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.
cutthroat broadheads

Cutthroat Broadheads Review | The Inside Information

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

cutthroat broadheads lineup
The cutthroat broadheads lineup ranges from 125 grains to 250 grains.

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.

cutthroat broadheads specs
Above are the specs for the Cutthroat Broadhead.

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.

Balloon test

cutthroat broadhead balloon test
The Cutthroat head was able to pop a balloon from 70 yards out.

Out of the box sharpness test

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.

out of the box sharpness test of cutthroat broadheads
The Cutthroat head cut paper after three strokes of the arrow.

Penetration testing

In this penetration test, I shot the Cutthroat into ballistic get that was fronted by 2/3″ rubber mat and 1/2″ MDF board.

cutthroat broadhead ballistic gel test
In ballistic gel test, the Cutthroat penetrated 7-1/4″ with 45 degrees of rotation.

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.

steel plate test with cutthroat broadhead
The Cutthroat provided a good “S-cut” that you get from a single bevel broadhead.
cutthroat broadhead damaged blade
The Cutthroat had some dinged blade edges on each side after the test.

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.

If you are looking for broadheads that are 2-blade and single bevel, this is definitely worth a look.

Great job, Cutthroat.

John Lusk archery goat
John Lusk of Lusk Archery Adventures.
valkyrie jag and jagger

Valkyrie Broadheads Review | The Inside Information

Many people have asked me to do a review of the Valkyrie broadheads, and I finally got to do it.

Many people have asked me to test this broadhead. If you have read any of my other reviews, you know that I test a lot of high quality broadheads. The Valkyrie definitely fits the bill.

valkyrie broadheads side by side
Here you can see the Valkyrie close up. And man, upon close inspection, you don’t wonder where the money went in what you just purchased. These are some really high quality, well-constructed heads that just look wicked cool. I love the way the Valkyrie heads look as well as the overall design.

Valkyrie broadheads | An overview

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.

valkyrie broadheads
Pictured is the 180-grain model and the 200-grain model. They go from 160 grains and some of them are vented like that all the way up to over 300 grains. So some are vented and some are not vented based on the size and based on the design. But the overall purpose is to get one tough head that penetrates extremely well.
valkyrie broadheads double beveled edges
The blades are .054 inch thick, yet they are much thicker at the front, due to being tapered from the front back and because of the chiseled tip. As you go away from the axis, they get a little bit thinner and are brought to a double bevel edge.

The Setup

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.

valkyrie arrow set
The Valkyrie Arrow System

Valkyrie testing

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…

Sharpness test

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.

valkyrie broadheads arrow stroke sharpness test
This head cut paper even after five strokes of the arrow shaft.
valkyrie broadheads paper cut test
Still cutting paper after 5 strokes of the arrow!

You can learn more about the Valkyrie arrow system by visiting their website, valkyriearchery.com.

Long Range Flight | Balloon test

valkyrie broadheads long range flight test
Both the short Jag and the Jagger flew true enough to pop balloons from 70 yards.

Penetration testing

In the ballistic gel test, the short Jag penetrated 8 inches.

valkyrie ballistic gel penetration test
The short jag head penetrated 8 inches through the MDF, rubber mat and ballistic gel.

In the steel plate penetration test below, notice the holes that the Valkyrie heads make. They are not just slits, they really put those nice triangular holes in the steel plate.

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).

valkyrie steel plate penetration test
Here’s the Valkyrie after going through the 22-gauge steel plate 5 times. And as you can see, it’s in pristine condition. It looks brand new! The only signs of wear are a little bit of the Ceracoat finish got stripped off of the edges. That’s it. Nothing on the blades… no nicks, not even scratches. This is amongst the very best in terms of durability through the steel plate that I’ve seen so far. Very impressive.

Final Thoughts

So what do you think of the Valkyrie? I’ve got to tell you, I was impressed. I was expecting quite a bit from these broadheads and I have to say, it exceeded even my high expectations.

This is one very well-designed, very well-constructed broadhead.

If you are looking for something that’s high quality that’s going to last you forever and that you can use on anything in the world, this is a head worth checking out.

Overall, the Valkyrie is just an incredible head, well-worth checking out especially if you are going after a really big-bodied animal. This is something that is really worth investigating.

Great job, Valkyrie.

Best of luck on your next bow hunt!

(Be sure to visit our deer hunting tips page to get ready for the upcoming season!)

John Lusk archery goat
John Lusk of Lusk Archery Adventures
toxic broadhead test

Toxic Broadheads Review | The Inside Information

In this review, I test a broadhead unlike any I’ve ever seen… the Toxic Broadhead from Flying Arrow Archery.

I love innovations and this broadhead definitely fits the bill.

Toxic Broadheads At First Glance

closeup of toxic broadhead
The Toxic broadhead has a chiseled tip and six single-bevel blades.

The Toxic broadhead has is six curved blades, each of which come together to form three different circles, and they call this the “meat worm technology.”

That’s a nasty-sounding name, but it describes how the head literally cuts three cores of tissue out of animals, leaving a devastating wound channel.

Head Structure

Each of the six blades on the Toxic come together at the top of the head, but there is a little space between them. Like some of the 2-blade broadheads that I have tested, they are single bevel blades, which is supposed to allow them to be able to flare out a little bit and go around bones, leaving a devastating wound channel. (I’ve seen them take down a moose, and it is definitely devastating).

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…

Penetration Testing

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.

toxic ballistic gel test
In the initial few inches, there was a lot of “craziness” in the gel. After that initial couple of craziness, it just seemed to normalize. I’m not sure what happened, but it looks like a normal wound channel after that.
toxic meat worms
When I pulled the arrow out, it literally created these “meat worms,” hence the name “meat worm technology” that is used by Flying Arrow Archery’s Toxic broadhead. I can imagine this would do some serious damage on an animal.

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.

toxic steel plate test
Here is the hole made by the Toxic in the steel plate. I’ve never seen a broadhead make this size of a hole in the plate.

Water drain test

toxic broadhead water drain test
The Toxic drained the water bag in just 1.4 seconds, which is astounding. This is a result of the incredible amount of cut that this head provides.

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.

The Toxic flew surprisingly well. I was able to pop a balloon 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
toxic blade damage
Now, the big drawback with the Toxic is durability. The chiseled tip is extremely strong. However, the blades themselves are relatively thin and then they come to a pretty thin point as they wrap around into the circle. They are sharpened at a single bevel.

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

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