vortex 125 broadhead

What A Super Huge Cut! | The Vortex Broadhead Test

In this review, I tested a classic broadhead that has been around forever… the Vortex.

I had been hearing about it for a long time and it’s been a staple in the market from the very beginning of mechanical broadheads.

For this test, I used my Bowtech SR6 set at 72 pounds and Bishop FOC King Arrows. I also used the Bishop FAD Eliminator, for the concrete test because they are just so durable. So let’s check out the Vortex 125 grain…

At the end of the review, I will post the score sheet, and give it an overall Lusk grade, so you can see how it did in each of the test and compare it to other broadheads.

The Vortex 125-Grain Broadhead

Let’s take a look at the Vortex 125-grain broadhead closeup…

vortex broadhead in closed position

As you can see it’s just this classic mechanical, over-the-top deploying head. I really like the looks of it.

Vortex sharp blades on front of blade opening

The blades in the closed position have 7/8″ cutting diameter. And, you can see they have the sharp edges going forward, so you’re going to get that cut initially. Plus, the chisel tip is going to put you at over an inch of cut. So, even if the blades didn’t open, you’d at least get that much cut.


#ad


The O-ring on the Vortex head is really stout. It rolls back and is reusable.

vortex wide cut

When the O-ring rolls back, the blades of the Vortex open up, expanding to a full 2-3/4″ of cut, which is one of the widest cuts on the market. Pretty cool!

vortex chisel tip

It has an aluminum ferrule as well as a really stout, strong-looking, steel chisel tip. The blades are 0.032″ thick and are made out of a spring steel to aid in their durability.

I was eager to put this head to the test and see how it performed.



#ad


Initial Sharpness Test

I tested the initial “out-of-the-box” sharpness of the Vortex 125 grain.

vortex initial sharpness test

The initial sharpness of the Vortex came in at 225 (the lower the number, the sharper the blade is.)

Penetration Test #1 (2/3″ rubber mat, 1/2″ MDF, FBI Gel):   

I shot the Vortex into ballistic gel, fronted by 1/2″ MDF and a 2/3″ rubber mat.

vortex ballistic gel mdf test

The Vortex 125 penetrated 6″.



vortex entrance hole in foam

Here is the entrance hole and you see that it cut a one-inch cut through the initial layer of rubber foam mat.



vortex opened in ballistic gel

One inch later after the two layers of rubber foam mat and the MDF, you can see that the blades had opened up well over 2″.


#ad


Edge Retention Test (sharpness after Penetration Test 1):

vortex sharpness after ballistic gel test

I tested the sharpness again after the MDF penetration test and the Vortex came in at 300.



Penetration Test #2 (layered cardboard):

I shot the Vortex into layered cardboard to see how many layers it would penetrate.

vortex layered cardboard test

The Vortex broadhead penetrated through 39 layers of cardboard. And, just like some other long mechanicals, a lot of that penetration was the tip and not the blades. But, that’s how I count it, nonetheless.



Vortex Durability Test (1/2” MDF):

vortex after going through MDF

Here’s the Vortex head after going through the MDF 5 times. Now, I want to point out, you notice all the scratching on the ferrule itself… that’s not for the MDF. That’s from me trying to get it out of the MDF because on the fifth shot, it got like super lodged in there and I had to use a power saw to get it out. But, I was really careful to not bend the blades or the ferrule while I was getting it out, and that’s why I had to get so close like that. I’ve actually never had that problem, with it being so difficult to get out.

The ferrule held together fairly well. There was a little bit of wobble, which is not bad for such a long aluminum ferrule that had 5 impacts of the MDF. And, the tip obviously held together in excellent shape.

vortex extended blades broken after MDF test

As for the blades… the extended part of the blades on either side broke off on then second shot into the MDF. However, I kept going because I still had well over 2″ of cut, which is significant. And, even if at the very end, after the fifth shot, as much as these blades had bent backwards and lost those end tips, there was still 2″ of cut.



So, it’s really significant that it still cut a lot of tissue, even with the bent blades, because the blades are so long. They got a bit bent and after those two broke off on the second shot, then they got a little bit more bent up on the third shot and on the fourth shot. And, then of course, the fifth shot.

So, the good side is, you still have 2″ of cut after 5 shots in the MDF. The bad side is, they did lose those ends to the blades and they did get a bit bent up there.



Concrete Test:

I shot the Vortex into a concrete block, which is extreme, but it helps show durability on extremely hard impact shots. Here’s the 125-grain after impact in the concrete.

vortex after the concrete test

As you can see, the ferrule got pretty jacked up and bent. One of the blades also got bent. They both impacted the concrete a bit and one of them got bent back, while the other one didn’t. The tip really buried deeply in the concrete. It might be the deepest-penetrating tip that I’ve tested. I couldn’t get it out. And it broke off on impact. It broke off at the threading where it goes into the ferrule.

Now, when you’re shooting a broadhead with this wide of a cut, you have super wide blades, so you have to have a really long ferrule.

I know you won’t be shooting this head into concrete and you’re not expecting maximum durability. But, in this test, It actually performed a bit better than I expected it to.



Final Thoughts On The Vortex Expandable Broadhead

OK. So what do you think of the Vortex 125 grain?

You know, it did fairly well. For a really big cut like that, you’re not expecting the most durable broadhead in the world.

But, it actually exceeded my expectations in durability. Of course, you have the damage from the cinder block test and the damage in the center block and yeah, you see the damage in the MDF but that’s what a whooping big cut.

So if you got a really powerful setup or you’re going after a bit of a smaller animal like a turkey, a smaller deer, a hog, man, this is something really worth checking out because it’s going to put a whoop on whatever it hits.

Great job, Vortex!

vortex scorecard
The final scorecard.


vortex lusk grade
The Vortex scored 7 out of a possible 10 golden arrows.
iron will broadheads on arrows

Iron Will Broadheads | An In-Depth Analysis

By: John Lusk

My purpose in this review was to find out how the Iron Will Outfitters broadheads perform when it comes to penetration and durability.

The Original Iron Will Broadhead | Beauty In A Box

I have never held a broadhead and felt like I was about to propose. But, that’s just what I felt like when I received the Iron Will Outfitters broadheads.

The hand-made box that each broadhead comes in is the definition of quality. The broadhead lies flat in the box on a felt background. It’s really impressive.

iron will broadhead and hand made box

The hand-made box gives the Iron Will broadheads a head-start in visual excellence.

But enough about the box, it was time to start checking out and testing the broadheads themselves!

Firstly, even to the eyes, the Iron Will broadhead screams quality. I have tested many broadheads and there are some that you can hold before testing and just know, “this isn’t going to be very good.” However, the broadheads from Iron Will made me go, “OK. This is top tier for sure.”

You are paying for them to be top tier, so you would expect them to be. But, these broadheads literally fit the bill.

To go straight to the testing for each Iron Will broadhead, click the appropriate link below:

Head Design And Construction

The Iron Will broadhead is made of A2 Tool Steel that has been triple heat-tempered as well as cryogenically tempered to produce incredible hardness.

It has Rockwell hardness of 60 but also has an incredible resistance to impact.

Its Charpy C-Notch score is multiple times higher than a typical stainless steel. So, it has a really good resistance to impact and it has a fairly good resistance to wear which will make a difference on edge retention. The bottom line is that it is top-notch steel.

Another thing I like is that it is a “cut on contact” tip, which aids in penetration. It has two larger blades followed by two smaller bleeder blades. Both the main blades and the bleeders are really thick (0.063 inches). All the blades are replaceable as well, which is nice. It also has a solid steel ferrule.

When you take a look at the tip of the broadhead itself, you’ll notice it has a chisel tip, even though it’s a 2-blade head. The chisel tip provides extra lateral strengthening as the ferrule goes up high towards the tip.

iron will broadhead in box

You may feel like there’s a diamond inside the Iron Will Outfitters box, but it’s just a precision-crafted piece of archery beauty.



The Trade-Offs

There are a few things about the Iron Will broadhead that are not my favorite. These are observations regarding design.

First of all, with the 2-blade tip and the A2 steel, the benefit is that you are going to get great penetration. But, you’re not going to get the lateral support that you would get with a real chisel tip or a 3-blade tip where all 3 blades come together. It structurally cannot be as supportive. So, while it’s a plus for penetration, it’s a minus on durability and hard impact.

And, then the protruding ferrule… again, there’s a plus to it in that it strengthens the blade going up pretty high. But, it has a little bit of a lip to it, and I can imagine that it could get stuck, not on flesh but maybe on bone, if it splits bone or a hard material.



Additionally, it’s a component head. And again, this is a trade-off. So it’s several pieces. The set screw has no tension on it that would go against the arrow itself and into the ferrule. But, you have multiple pieces.

Now, the plus side of that is that each piece can be stamped, ground and hardened to extremely high specifications with fine-tuned machining. The negative the the multiple pieces is that, in theory, is, it’s just not going to be as strong as a one-piece broadhead, especially a CNC machined head.

iron will broadhead diagram

The anatomy of the Iron Will Outfitters solid broadhead.




Iron Will (Original) Flight

In addition to the appearance and construction, I like the flight. I got to shoot these out to a hundred yards and it is extremely forgiving. I’ll put the Iron Will up there with the best heads I’ve ever shot in terms of forgiveness, if not the best.

I can pop balloons with this broadhead at 60, 80, and 100 yards fairly readily, and it groups extremely well.

But, how would the Iron Will perform in penetration, durability and hard-impact testing? I decided to test it against the best-selling 3-blade head on the market: The G5 Montec.



Penetration and Durability | Iron Will (Original) vs. G5 Montec

In my first penetration test, shot the Iron Will Outfitters broadhead into about 60 layers of cardboard with a Rinehart target behind it just in case.

iron will broadhead in cardboard

The Iron Will broadhead penetrated further into the layered cardboard than the G5 Montec.

Penetration Test #1: Layered Cardboard

First, I tested the G5 Montec broadhead and then the Iron Will.

For the first penetration test, the Iron Will shined. It penetrated a couple of inches further into the cardboard than the Montec.

For that first penetration test, you really can see that the penetration of the Iron Will shined. It went through 7 layers of cardboard, which was about 1-1/4 inch further than the Montec. Afterwards, the Montec’s blades just slid right across my fingernail. They obviously had been dulled. However, the Iron Will still bit into my fingernail. That’s A2 Steel for you.



Penetration Test #2: Compressed Fiberboard

In the second penetration test, I shot both broadheads through three layers of compressed fiberboard.

The Montec has a diameter of 1-1/6 inches as does the Iron Will. But the Iron will also has 0.75 inches in the cross bleeders. The Montec has only three blades. So, the Iron Will has roughly 1.8 inches of cutting cut, versus 1.6 for the G5 Montec.

iron will broadhead vs montec in fiberboard

The Iron Will also penetrated further into fiberboard than the G5 Montec.

Even with the larger cut of the Iron Will, it buried about a 1/2 inch further than the G5 Montec.

So, even with a larger cuts of animal tissue, you would be getting deeper penetration into soft material as well as hard material.

After this test, the Montec was again already dulled somewhat and would not catch on my fingernail. The Iron Will, even after this second test, shaved my fingernail and was still sticky.

Additionally, the Montec ferrule bent during the test and wobbled during spin, whereas the Iron Will still spun true.



Durability Test #1: 16-Gauge Steel

For the durability test, I shot the Iron Will into a 16 gauge steel plate.

The Iron Will had good penetration into the steel plate, but the top of the ferrule got stuck somewhat and was slightly chipped away. (Other broadheads that I have shot into the steel plate have suffered significant damage).

Iron will broadheads through 16 gauge steel plate

Here is the Iron Will broadhead penetrating a 16 gauge steel plate!

The tip of the broadhead held pretty firm. There was a little bit of a dent on it, but not as much as was expected. The Iron Will did really well compared to all the other fixed blades I’ve tested on the steel plate. The only one that has tested better is the Bishop Holy Trinity, with its 3-blade design of S7 Tool Steel.

The bleeders got a little thinned out and dinged up, but can be replaced.



Durability Test #2: Cinder Block

For this test, I shot another Iron Will broadhead into a cinder block to see how it performed on hard impact.

The Iron Will penetrated well into the cinder block. The bleeder blades did not make it into the block, so it was a relatively small area, but penetration nonetheless. The head got dinged up and the ferrule was cut, but still spun well post-testing.

iron will broadhead in cinder block

The Iron Will penetrated the block, and spun well after testing.




Durability Test #3: Steel Flat Bar

For this final test, I shot the Iron Will at a 1/8-inch fixed steel flat bar. I have shot other heads into this flat bar before and the only ones to survive it have been the Bishop Holy Trinity.

The Iron Will made made a nice cut in the bar and actually penetrated the other side. The ferrule we talked about was actually embedded into the steel bar.

The head itself did not fare too well. It also did not penetrate far enough for the bleeders to touch. The blades just disappeared; I’m not sure where they went, but they are somewhere in my backyard. While the Iron Will punched a hole in the steel bar, it didn’t endure it.

iron will broadhead after shooting iron bar

The Iron Will broadhead penetrated the steel flat bar, but some components went AWOL.



Iron Will Wide

I’ve had one small critique about the original Iron Will, and that is that it’s cut size. It’s 1-1/16 inches wide. It does have bleeders as well that are 3/4 of an inch.

So what that does in a good way is it maximizes penetration and it maximizes long range flight. But, sometimes you’re not going to be shooting over 60 yards and you have no trouble getting a fixed blade broadhead to pass through an animal, but you want a bigger hole, and that’s where the Iron Will Wide comes in.

iron will wide and iron will original broadheads

The Iron Will Wide (on left), is 1 and 3/8-inch wide. And, it has the same bleeders as the original (right), at 3/4 of-an-inch.

Iron Will Wide Flight

I was really impressed with the flight of the Iron Will Wide head. I didn’t expect it to be this good, especially at longer ranges.

Now, I will say that it’s not as forgiving, accurate, and consistent as the Original. With the Original, I can pop balloons even in a crosswind and so forth at all different ranges.

With the Wide, I’ve got to really pay attention to my form and even then, it’s a little bit touchy.

Iron will wide broadhead in a target

I’d feel a lot better taking shots with the Wide under 60 yards. But, as you can see, it can still work out to 80. But, on animal (mule deer, whitetail, elk, etc), I’d shoot the Original if I was going to be shooting past 60 yards.

Penetration Testing of the Wide

iron will original vs wide in ballistic gel penetration test

Here, you can see the penetration of the Wide into the ballistic gel. As expected, the Original penetrated a bit more deeply. It measures 7 and 3/4 inches. And the Wide penetrated 6 and 1/2 inches. The way I have the ruler set up there, you can’t quite see it, but that was the actual penetration, 7 and 3/4, and 6 and 1/2.




Durability of Original vs. Wide

The cool thing about the Original Iron Will vs. The Wide is, you have a choice. If you have a setup where you need to maximize penetration or you’re going after something really big and you need maximum penetration, or if you’re shooting something at really long range, man, the Original is the way to go. It flies like a dart and penetrates really deeply.

But, if you’re shooting something under 60 yards, the Wide shoots plenty well under 60 yards and it’s going to make a really big cut if you have the kinetic energy to handle it.

So, you can have something for any situation. Some people may want to consider putting both in their quiver. Say, if you are like a Western hunter, maybe you have a really long shot, well then, you can use this like a follow-up shot or something.

original Iron Will and wide head after going through steel plate

Here, you see the two heads after going through the MDF, of course into the gel, and then also through a 22-gauge steel plate. As you can see, man, this A2 steel is just – it’s just something. And the Wide on the right, again, has gone through a couple of deer, a raccoon skull with the raccoon in it, the raccoon skull, and a rabbit and into the ground multiple times because of those things. So these heads are just amazingly resilient and resistant to impact. They hold an edge incredibly well.

iron will wide vs original making holes in steel plate

Here’s a good way to see the difference in the hole size. Quite a significant difference. Of course, the Wide on the left and the Original on the right.

The Iron Will Wide Solid Broadhead

In addition to the Wide, Iron Will now also makes a WIDE version of it’s original SOLID (unvented) broadhead. It sports a 30% greater cut than the original.

The blades, as in all of the Iron Wills, are 0.062 inch thick. The ferrules are made out of a grade 5 titanium. This is a really stout titanium that is stronger than many steels, but a lightweight material which allows it to keep the weight down to 150 grains, even in this solid model.

I tested the Wide Solid for long distance flight, edge sharpness and edge retention, for penetration, and for durability. Let’s see how the Wide Solid performed.



Iron Will solid and wide solid broadheads

Here’s a good look at the Wide Solid in 150 grains. It has a cutting diameter of 1-3/8 inches x 3/4 of an inch (30% greater than the original solid). For comparison, the original solid is shown as well.

iron will wide solid edge retention test

I made this edge retention test a bit challenging. After every two strokes of an Easton HEXX shaft over the edge, I did a push paper test over the blades. I gave 2 points for every time it cuts paper after every two strokes.

Iron Will wide solid cutting paper in test

The Wide Solid cut paper after 10 strokes of the arrow.

iron will wide solid vs solid ballistic gel test

In the ballistic gel penetration test, the Iron Will Wide Solid penetrated 7 inches and the double bevel Solid penetrated 7 and 3/4 inches.

Iron Will Wide solid cardboard penetration test

In the cardboard penetration test, the tip of the Iron Will Wide Solid penetrated through the 51st layer. The Iron Will Solid with bleeders cut through 60 layers.

iron will wide solid steel plate test

I shot the Iron Will Wide Solid through a .22 gauge steel plate five times. Here’s the Wide Solid after going through the steel plate 5 times. You can see it’s still in excellent shape. It basically looks brand new. And, it makes very nice holes. You can see those bleeders just widened that hole up and made a really make a nice oval cut. That’s going to create some serious blood-letting.

iron will wide solid broadhead after going through cinder block

Here is the Wide Solid after the fifth shot through the steel plate and then after being shot into the concrete and it still spun very well. So, this head went through a lot (steel plate PLUS broke the concrete in half after the third shot). And, you can see the tip did not curl and that main blade did not bend at all. Impressive!

The Wide Solid by Iron Will is a fantastic head. I’ve always really liked the Wide 125-grain vented version but I like this one even more!



Iron Will Single-Bevel Solid Broadhead

Iron Will also has a single-bevel solid head. They have a 2-blade, as well as one with bleeder blades.

The one with the bleeder blades adds and additional ¾ of an inch of cut.

The bevel angle of these heads is 32 degrees. The thickness of the blades is 0.062 inch thick. The ferrules are made out of a grade 5 titanium.

And it’s interesting with all the Iron Wills that use that titanium ferrule, the blades are completely interchangeable. So, you can interchange the double bevels. You can interchange the Wide series. You can interchange them with any of the heads that use that titanium ferrule.



The blades themselves are made out of an A2 tool steel. They are brought to a Rockwell hardness of 60, which is extremely hard which allows them to get really, really sharp, a fine edge on them.

Because the blades are made of the A2 tool steel, they have an incredible resistance to impact. That’s especially important with a single bevel, because as the head rotates, there’s a lot of pressure that is put on the blade’s leading edge in the rotation.

iron will single bevel solid broadheads

This is the 125-grain version of the Iron Will single-bevel solid broadhead. They’ve got a 2-blade and then also one with bleeders (both shown above). They both have a cutting diameter of 1 and 1/6 inches. It has the bleeders. The bleeders on the 4-blade add an extra 3/4 of an inch cut. The beveled edges on these heads aids in rotation during flight.

In stainless steel or carbon steel broadheads, you’ll often see an edge chatter, or bumps or dents that are in that leading edge as they hit a hard substance. But, given the resistance to impact of this steel, that really should not be an issue.

So, I was eager to put these to the test. I tested them for long distance flight, for edge sharpness and edge retention, for penetration, and for durability. Let’s see how these single bevel Solids performed.

single bevel iron will broadheads in target

Here are the two single-bevel heads at 70 yards, aiming for that lower left circle. As you can see, they grouped really well. Really great flying heads.

iron will single bevel cutting paper

The Iron Will Single Bevel cut paper after 10 strokes of the arrow.

iron will single bevel broadheads in ballistic gel

The Single Bevel without bleeders penetrated 8-1/4 inches. The one with bleeders penetrated 7 and 1/8 inches.

iron will single bevel broadheads after cardboard test

The Iron Will Single Bevel with bleeders cut through the 54th layer of cardboard. The Iron Will Single Bevel with no bleeders penetrated through the 56th layer. Both of the Iron Will single-bevel heads rotated just about 40 degrees, almost identical rotation.

iron will single bevel broadheads after steel plate test

Here, you can see a really good look at the wound channel that’s created by these single bevels. Here, the 2-blade is just your classic S-cut, nice hole. And then here with the bleeders, a nice S-cut going both directions. I’m really glad they made the bleeders single bevel as well, because that is a wicked-looking wound channel. Wow! And as for the heads themselves, you see here in the 2-blade, you literally can’t even tell it has been shot, let alone through steel plate. The onee with the bleeders got a bit more of a rotation and got a little bit more dinged up on the edges. But it’s almost entirely cosmetic.

iron will single bevel embedded in cinder block

The Single-Bevel just embedded in the concrete during the cinder block test.

iron will single bevel after going through cinder block

Here’s the head after going through the concrete. The tip did not curl at all and it held up really well and still spun true. (Since the concrete would keep the bleeders from impact, I did not shoot the 4-blade head into the concrete, since it’s essentially the same head).



#ad


Single Bevel Solid vs. Double Bevel Solid Battle

iron will single bevel vs double bevel solids

I decided to test the 100 grain Iron Will Solids head-to-head!

These heads are identical in every attribute except the beveling.

I used my Bowtech CP28 for most of the shots and the Bowtech SR6 for some others. I used the Bishop Archery FOC King Arrows for most of the shots as well and the Bishop Archery FAD Eliminator for the really hard impact stuff.

The ferrules in these are made out of titanium, which has a really good weight to strength ration. That’s to keep them at a 100 grains.

The blade thickness is 0.062″ both in the bleeders and in the main blades. The cutting diameter is 1-1/16″ this way and 0.75 or 3 quarters of an inch from bleeder tip-to-bleeder tip. this way.

There is one set screw that is not load-bearing. It just holds everything in place there but you don’t have to worry about that pin breaking or anything because all of the pressure goes back on to the arrows insert.



Now, what’s interesting about the 100-grain is they’re the same width, same size cut and the same blade thickness as the 125-grain and yet, they have a shorter overall profile. And, that’s going to make them a bit more forgiving in flight because there is less surface area. I would imagine it’s going to help them to penetrate a bit more because there’s less friction on the blade surface.

single bevel tip vs double bevel tip

Now, one thing I will note is if you look at the double bevel, you can notice that because of the double beveling, the very tip gets really narrow. It’s really pointy, which is impressive.

The single bevel. OK. Same material, same dimensions, but rather than having a double bevel on every side, it has a single bevel and that is brought a bevel angle of 32 degrees which is a really good balance of penetration, sharpness, and still getting a bit of a rotation.

Now as mentioned earlier, you can see that the end of it stays thicker longer because it has a bit stouter Tanto tip to it being single bevel in this design. I would imagine that’s going to make that tip just a little bit more durable, though I expect both of them typically really durable.

So, I was eager to pit these against one another!



Flight Forgiveness Test (1 Field Pt then 2 DB, then SB @ 40 yds):

single bevel vs double bevel flight test 40 yards

Here you can see the flight test results from 40 yards. The unmarked arrow on the farthest right is the field point.

Initial Sharpness

single bevel pre-test sharpness

Pre-test sharpness of the Single Bevel.

double bevel pre-test sharpness

Pre-test sharpness of the Double Bevel.



Penetration Test 1 (2/3″ rubber mat, 1/2″ MDF, FBI Gel):  

single bevel vs double bevel ballistic get

They each penetrated exactly 7-1/2″ (although it might not look like it from this angle.)

Edge Retention Test (sharpness after Penetration Test 1):

single bevel post test sharpness

Single Bevel post-test sharpness was 200.

double bevel post-test sharpness

Double Bevel post-test sharpness was 225.



Penetration Test 2 (layered cardboard):

single bevel vs double bevel cardboard test

They each penetrated through 68 layers of cardboard.

SB Rotation Test ( FBI Gel):

single bevel 15 degree rotation

The single bevel rotated 15 degrees at 10-1/2″ of penetration.

Durability Test (1/2” MDF, 3 shots):

single and double bevel after mdf test

Both of the heads are in absolutely perfect shape after going through the MDF 3 times.

Durability (22 ga steel plate, 2 shots):

single and double bevel after steel plate test

Here are both of the heads after going through the steel plate 2 times and they both did very well. The Double Bevel is on on the left and lost the very tip of the blade. The single bevel on the right got a little bit of edge chatter on one of the top edges. But, otherwise, they both did excellently.

DOUBLE BEVEL VS SINGLE BEVEL IRON WILL METAIL PLAT HOLES

And here are the holes from the Double Bevel on the steel plate as well as the Single Bevel. You could it got a bit more of an S-cut due to that single bevel rotation.

Durability Test (Concrete 1 Shot):

single bevel vs double bevel concrete block test

Here are both heads after going through the MDF 3 times, the steel plate twice, and the concrete block. Notice that the tip is broken off of the Double Bevel. That’s not from the impact, but rather from me trying to get it out with a hammer and a chisel. It still spun true. The Single Bevel didn’t stick in the concrete, but that’s not a knock on the broadhead. There are so many variables that affect that. It took a huge chunk out of the concrete and it stayed perfectly intact and spun true. I was really impressed with the durability here.

double bevel scorecard
iron will single bevel scorecard

Conclusion

The Iron Will was very forgiving, flying very well at long range out to a hundred yards.

In the penetration testing, it out-penetrated the G5 Montec, which has a smaller cut than the Iron Will does. The head also did really well against the 16-gauge steel plate. It did better than all the other fixed plates I’ve tested with the exception of the Bishop Holy Trinity.

And then in terms of a concrete or the cinder block, it did really well, sticking deeply into the block with the two main blades, remaining strong.

The Wide Solid and the Single-Bevels also performed amazingly well.

The only place that the original failed (and you can’t really call it a failure) was when it was shot into the 8-inch steel flat bar, where it just kind of fell apart.

But overall, I have to give this head an A+. I put these broadheads up there towards the very top.



gravedigger hybrid broadhead

Gravedigger Broadheads Review | The Inside Information

In this review, I’m going to be covering a broadhead that has been around for a while. It’s one I’ve actually used in the field quite a bit and been fairly successful with. It’s called the Gravedigger.

The Gravedigger Hybrid broadhead overview

Let’s take a look at the design and some of the features of the Gravedigger Hybrid head (it’s called a “hybrid” because it has both fixed and mechanical blades). Then, I’ll show you how it performed when I put it through my standard array of tests.

gravedigger hybrid broadhead in closed position

Here is the Gravedigger hybrid in the closed position.

gravedigger hybrid broadhead chisel tip

This Gravedigger hybrid model has the chisel tip. (They also make a cut on contact tip where the fixed blades extend all the way up to the top).

The cutting diameter of the Gravedigger Hybrid’s fixed blades is 1 inch. In the closed position, the mechanical blades are ½-inch. So, just in the closed position, if the blades were not to open at all, it would be an inch and 1/2 of a cut, which is no slouch of a cut.

But the mechanical blades do open. They open really well, in fact. They’re not held in place by an O-ring or a retention clip, but rather just by friction, and that’s adjustable with a small Allen bolt.

The cutting diameter in the open position here is a full 1 and 3/4 inches. So, 1 and 3/4″ by 1″ – that’s a lot of cut!

adjustable friction screw on gravedigger broadhead

You can adjust the tension that holds the blades in place. But, when they encounter a medium, they open over the top and they fall back into their fully opened position.




Gravedigger Blade specs

The blades of the Gravedigger are made out of a 416 stainless steel. The ferrule is a 7075 aluminum. It’s a pretty vented blade, but it’s still is a good stout aluminum, and the tip is a hardened steel, really stout, chisel tip.

I couldn’t find any information listing the blade thickness, so I used my micrometer to measure. The fixed blade measured 0.039 inches thick and the mechanical blades were 0.032 inches thick.

Gravedigger broadheads testing

I was eager to see how this head performed in my tests. I did not test it for long range flight, because I know it flies really well.

I consider it like a mechanical in terms of flight in the closed position, and I don’t test mechanicals for long range flight, because they all fly really well, even though this head has the little one inch fixed blade. I know it flies fantastic.

I tested for edge sharpness and retention, for penetration, and for durability.

Let’s see how the Gravedigger performed.


#ad



Sharpness Test

The Gravedigger cut paper after four strokes of the arrow.

carbon arrow shaft dulling the gravedigger hybrid

I use strokes of carbon shaft arrow to dull the blades. I want to see if they can still cut paper after each stroke.

gravedigger broadhead paper cut test

I use strokes of carbon shaft arrow to dull the blades. I want to see if they can still cut paper after each stroke.



Ballistic Gel Penetration Test

The Gravedigger penetrated 6 and 1/4 inches through the foam and ballistic gel.

gravedigger ballistic gel penetration

The Gravedigger penetrated 6-1/4″ into the ballistic gel.



entry hole of gravedigger broadhead in ballistic gel test

Here’s the entrance of the Gravedigger. And you can see that the mechanical blades opened almost 1-3/4″ on impact. That bottom blade for whatever reason deployed a bit more effectively than the top blade. But, both of them opened up quite well for an over the top mechanical.




MDF penetration test

I shot the Gravedigger through MDF five times. Below are the pictures.

I shot the first one in the closed position and the baldes didn’t open very much. But, then on the following shots, I kept the head in the open position when I was shooting, just to test durability.

gravedigger hybrid after going through MDF

Here, you can see the Gravedigger after going through a half inch MDF five times. As you can see, it held up relatively well. The tip is in still in great shape. The ferrule is also in great shape. The fixed blades are in perfect shape. And the mechanical blades also did really well. They didn’t break off.



bent blades on gravedigger broadhead after going through mdf

Now, in terms of a bend, they did bend backwards a bit. The original on the left gives you a frame of reference. After the shots, there is quite a bit of arch to the expandable blades. But you know what? If you’re going to have a problem with the head kind of “failing,” that’s the way to do it. It’s not really a fail, because it’s continuing to cut even after going through this MDF five times. So, if there’s going to be any kind of a problem, to bend in that direction is the way to go. So overall, very impressive.



Final Thoughts

So, what do you think of the Gravedigger?

Going through these tests reminded me why I liked it so much when I first started using it way back.

There are just so many heads. It’s hard to keep using just one. I’m a broadhead junkie and like to keep trying new things!

But, this is definitely a broadhead that’s worth a look. There are some weaknesses to it but there are a lot of strengths to it as well. It performed fairly well for an over-the-top mechanical.

So, check out the score sheet below and see what you think about it, and decide if these broadheads are the right heads for you.

gravedigger hybrid scorecard
Gravedigger Hybrid score card.