fbpx
tooth of the arrow original and xl broadheads

Tooth of The Arrow Broadheads Review | Are they right for your next hunt?

Tooth of the Arrow broadheads have been around for while, but I was intrigued and finally got my hands one so I could test it.

Now, Tooth of the Arrow is certainly a cool name for a broadhead, but the company also has a great perk. They are so confident that you’ll like their broadheads, that they advertise that you can get a free sample.

Now that’s guaranteed satisfaction!

john lusk holding tooth of the arrow xl broadhead
Tooth of the Arrow is so sure you’ll like their broadheads that they’ll give you a free sample. Wow!

Tooth Of The Arrow Broadheads | An Overview

The Tooth of the Arrow broadhead is a 4-blade head that is similar to a Slick Trick head.

Each of the blades are exactly the same cutting diameter, so it’s a true 4-blade head. It’s a little bit bigger than a Slick Trick Magnum. But, rather than being 1 and 1/8-inch cutting diameter like the Slick Trick Magnum, this is 1 and 3/16 cutting diameter. So, it makes a little bit wider hole.

For the testing, I shot 450-grain Bishop mammoth arrows, using my Bowtech SR6 which is a 27 inches and 72 pounds.

What makes this head unique is that this is machined out of a single chunk of high-carbon steel. So, there are no blades to be replaced. It’s just one solid chunk.

So, as a negative, you can’t just replace the blades and put in new sharp ones. As a positive way, it’s a pretty stout, strong design. And, with it being such high-carbon steel, it’s not too difficult to sharpen. So, it’s intriguing to see this.

john lusk showing 4 blades of tooth of the arrow xl broadhead
The Tooth of the Arrow XL is a 4-blade head that is machined out of a single chunk of high carbon steel.

I’ve spun these heads and they spin very true. They also fly well for me. I’ve not tested them at super long ranges but they do – well, I think through a well-tuned bow, they should fly well at longer ranges.

I’d heard really good things about the smaller, standard head.

But, I’ll start off by testing the XL, which intrigued me the most because I just like to make a big hole if I can! I was excited to see how it performed.

So let’s see how the Tooth of the Arrow XL did. (Further down I’ll do a head-to-head battle between the XL and the original, so check that out as well!




Penetration Testing

I shot it into my broadhead box where I’ve got four layers of MDF and they’re half inch each, and two of those layers have a rubber foam layer in front to simulate hide and a little bit of soft tissue there in the beginning and the end.

tooth of the arrow XL shot into mdf board
Penetration wise, the XL did just about like most of the heads I’ve tested. It went well into the second layer of MDF. So, it went through that initial rubber foam mat and then through the first layer and then it almost buried the blades all the way into the second layer. You can see it protruding out, bulging out the backend there. It didn’t actually breakthrough the blade but it pushed the board out there just quite a bit.
hole in mdf made by tooth of the arrow xl
OK, it’s 1 and 3/16 this way, 1 and 3/16 this way. So it’s a total of 2.75 inches of tissue being cut. Comparatively, the QAD Exodus has a total tissue cut of 1.875. So, with the 3 blades of an Exodus and 1 and 1/4 inch cut, it’s 1.875 total tissue being cut, whereas, with the Tooth of the Arrow here in their XL model, it’s 2.75. So, it penetrated just about as well the Exodus, and better than the other heads that I’ve tested so far and yet the total cut is about an inch more than most of those heads. So that’s pretty remarkable.
tooth of the arrow xl blades after mdf test
If we examine the head after it went through the wood, it held up extremely well. The blades are in great shape. They are still remarkably sharp. They bite into my nail. It doesn’t look like they were dulled at all. Now, I should add as well that because it’s 4 blades and two blades covers a diameter of 1 and 3/16 inches, that means the total tissue being cut is 2.75 inches. If you see here in the hole that it made, you look and go,



Angled Shot Penetration

Next, I shot it at a 1/2-inch MDF board at a 45-degrree angle to see how it would do through that.

angled shot through mdf of the tooth of the arrow xl
Here is the head sticking out just as it went into the Rinehart target behind it. It protruded that far, which is very similar to the SIK F4 that I tested a while ago. You can see that in a video. However again, this has about almost 1 inch more cut than the SIK F4. So to penetrate that well, again, is pretty impressive and the blades are extremely sharp. There’s no nicks. Looking really good.

Durability Testing

I shot the Tooth Of The Arrow head into a 22-gauge steel plate to see how it would fare.

hole in steel plate made by tooth of the arrow xl
Look at the hole that this thing made. I have to say, I was pretty impressed with that. It’s like a giant square was cut out of the steel. I’ve never seen anything like this. What a hole!
blades of tooth of the arrow xl after going through steel plate
The blades still look pristine. They are in very, very good shape. There are no nicks. They still cut into my thumbnail. Really good. Impressive.

Cinder Block Test

The cinder block is the final test that I do with the fixed-blade heads. I don’t do this test or the steel plate test typically with the mechanical heads, but when you’re using a fixed head, you’re typically doing so because you really want to have some structural integrity and blade strength that’s above and beyond what a mechanical can do.

So, I just like to test the limits. Not many heads hold together after hitting the cinder block. A lot of them take chunks out, but then just kind of bend or fall apart. Very few heads hold together. There have only been a few that have made it. Let’s see how the Tooth of the Arrow did.

tooth of the arrow xl after hitting cinder block
Here’s the chunk that it took out of the cinder block. A finger goes right into it. And then if you look at the head itself, it did remarkably well, completely holding together. The nose got covered in concrete and got a bit nicked up there from the concrete. But, I would say that it’s amongst the top few in terms of structural integrity that I’ve tested. It’s right up there with the QAD Exodus and the Muzzy Trocar and the Trophy Taker A-TAC. I think the only ones that may have done better are the Bishop Archery and the Iron Will.

Man, for the price, the Tooth Of The Arrow XL is one impressive head. I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised. I give it an A+ in all categories.




Comparing the Tooth of the Arrow Original to the XL [Broadhead Battle!]

I wanted to compare the Tooth of the Arrow Original vs the XL version.

Now, I’ve done this in some other instances, like with the Magnus, where I tested the Stinger compared Black Hornet. And in this case, I tested the two models of Tooth of the Arrow broadheads.

The Tooth of the Arrow broadheads are 100% made in the USA.

I tested these heads for long distance flight (I was able to pop a balloon at 80 yards) and I’m going to test them for edge sharpness and retention, for penetration, and for durability.

Let’s see which one prevails!

tooth of the arrow original and xl broadhead
On the right is the Tooth Of The Arrow Original, and on the left is the XL. These are the 125-grain models of these heads. The Original is 1-inch, while the XL is 1-3/16 inches. They are machined from a solid bar of 11L41 steel, so a high carbon steel. They’re brought to a Rockwell hardness of 45. As you can see, they are plated with a black oxide to cut down on glare in the field.
blade thickness of tooth of the arrow broadheads
With the Tooth of the Arrow Original, more than 85% of the weight is kept within the diameter of the arrow shaft. That’s going to really help in long range flight and spinning. With the XL head, more than 80% of the weight is kept within the diameter of the arrow shaft.

These heads have a unique feature about them, in that they keep a lot of the weight within the diameter of the arrow shaft.



Out of the box sharpness comparison

I tested the Tooth of the Arrow broadheads for out-of-the-box sharpness. The purpose is to see if they can still cut paper after a stroke of a carbon arrow shaft. Because both the Original and the XL have the same blades, I only tested one of the heads.

carbon shaft running across blade of tooth of the arrow broadhead
tooth of the arrow cutting paper
The Tooth of the Arrow broadhead was able to cut paper still after 5 strokes of the arrow.

Penetration comparison

I tested the Tooth of the Arrow Original and the XL for penetration. My medium was ballistic gel that was fronted with a rubber mad and 1/2″ MDF board.

ballistic gel test with tooth of the arrow broadheads
The XL penetrated 8 inches. Tooth of the Arrow Original penetrated 9 inches.

Durability comparison

I shot both heads into a 22-gauge steel plate 5 times to test the durability. Check out the holes these heads made in the steel plate!

tooth of the arrow XL holes in steel plate
The holes themselves are really what sets the Tooth of the Arrow apart. OK. Here you can see the holes from the XL. OK. They are just bit squares. They are not just like four crosses or two crosses, four little slits. They are true squares!
tooth of the arrow original holes in steel plate
Here is the Original, the 1 inch. So the 1 inch, the 1 3/16 inch, and you can see even with that, it’s just a nice chunk of a hole. There are very heads that are able to punch a chunk out like that. The Exodus does it in a triangular shape. And as you can see here, the Tooth of the Arrow does it extremely well in a 4-blade shape. So that’s going to be a really difficult hole to close up in an animal.

You can only see on one of the XL blades a little bit of cosmetic marking. I don’t even know if you can pick that up in the picture below. It’s very hard to see.

These heads have extremely impressive durability. Some of the very best that I’ve tested.

tooth of the arrow broadheads after steel plate test
Here are the heads after they’ve gone through the 22-gauge steel plate 5 times. And as you can see, they look brand new. As a matter of fact, it’s hard to tell that these were even shot at all, let alone shot through the steel plate as well as in the penetration test through the MDF. Really impressive durability and edge retention through that really hard medium.

Now, I have heard some reports of people shooting them and hitting them into a big heavy bone and one of the blades bending or shearing off. That can happen with any broadhead.

There are all kinds of crazy things that can happen in the field as you hit heavy bone at different angles. But through the steel plate as you can see in the picture below, they faired extremely well.



Cinder Block Test

Let’s look at these heads and see how they did after being shot into the cinder block.

cinder block after tooth of the arrow shot into it
The cinder block didn’t fare too well!
tooth of the arrow broadhead after cinder block test
Here’s the Tooth of the Arrow after going into that center block and busting it apart. It’s just in incredible shape. It spins perfectly true. The tip is still super pointy and didn’t bend over at all. The blades are in great shape. They only got a just a little bit nicked up on the top of each blade, but they could be sharpened again.
tooth of the arrow broadheads after being sharpened
I spent about 5 minutes touching these blades up just to show how easy it is to do it. And I understand they have a sharpener that you can purchase on their website. I don’t have one of those. But, honestly, I do really well with just a little sharpener. This is the thing that I use. It fits in there perfectly.
sharpening a tooth of the arrow broadhead
This sharpener is from a Spyderco, but you can use any brand. This is like a little file. I just sharpen the blades individually, about 10 strokes on each blade. And, then on the tip, I just use the same thing but I just use it flat ways to cover both blades at once. I don’t know if you’re supposed to do that but it sure worked well for me. And this head, it’s now like shaving nail. I mean it’s just like it was. The tip was super sharp. And this is right after going into that concrete block.

Conclusion

So, what do you think of this broadhead battle, the Original versus the XL?

Each of them has their distinct strengths. In terms of overall flight, the Original flies incredibly well. It’s one of the very best flying and forgiving broadheads I’ve ever tested.

In terms of penetration, the Original penetrated much more deeply. But, in terms of hole size, man, the XL really ruled in that department, though both of them really made a nice square hole in the mediums that I shot them through.



And the winner is…

In terms of which one is the winner, really, it’s a toss-up. I have to call it a tie. I hate to do that. But, this really is a draw. It just depends on your personal setup and what you’re hunting.

If you’re going after a really big animal where penetration is the most important thing then man, the Original is the way to go. If you have a lighter setup and you’re concerned about your penetration, then the Original is the way to go.

If you are going after a really long range shot like a pronghorn or something like that that you’re going beyond 60 yards, then the Original is the way to go.

But, if you are going for a shot under 60 yards and you really want to make a nice big hole and you have the kinetic energy to drive it through, (and honestly, it really doesn’t take that much kinetic energy to drive it through), then man, the XL is the way to go. For whitetail and hog shots under 50, 60 yards, I would definitely choose this one.

What I think is the best combination is to have a few of both in your quiver. If a shot is going to be longer, then you pull out the original. If the shot is going to be shorter, use the XL. And that way, you’re ready for any situation, and honestly, any animal as well.

There are several things to consider when choosing a broadhead. These heads have it all. They are fantastic broadheads.

Great job, Tooth of the Arrow!

score card for tooth of the arrow original broadhead
Score card for Tooth Of The Arrow Original broadhead.
score card for tooth of the arrow XL broadhead
Score card for Tooth Of The Arrow XL original broadhead.


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.

Leave a comment

Cart