Understanding Single Bevel Broadheads

Many folks are still confused about single bevel broadheads. A single bevel broadhead is sharpened on only one side of each edge; the opposite edge remains flat. If the bevel (sloped edge) is on the left looking from the base of the broadhead to its point, it’s a left bevel; if the bevel is on the right, it’s a right bevel.

I’m often asked which bevel should be shot with helical fletching. The simple answer is that it depends on whether your arrows have right or left wing feathers (fletching). The image here shows how to tell if your arrows have right or left wing feathers. Left wing feathers make the arrow rotate in a counterclockwise direction while right wing feathers will rotate the shaft in the opposite direction.

A single bevel broadhead will begin to “twist” or rotate upon impact due to the reaction of the single bevel against meat or bone. The theory is that the rotation of the single bevel broadhead should match the shaft’s rotation so penetration is not impeded upon impact.

If your arrows are fletched with right wing feathers, you should use right beveled broadheads; likewise, use left beveled broadheads if you use left wing feathers. (With straight fletching, it really doesn’t matter which bevel you use as there is very little rotation of the shaft.) Failure to match a single bevel with the fletching will result in wasting an arrow’s energy. For example, a left single bevel broadhead trying to rotate counterclockwise upon impact would have to overcome the momentum of right wing feathers rotating the shaft the opposite way.

Buy your broadheads accordingly. If you are ordering directly from the manufacturer, ask them to grind the bevel you want.

Too, remember that the clamps for fletching arrows must also match your feathers ~ either right, left or straight.


About the Author:

T. J. Conrads is the Editor, Publisher and Founder of Traditional Bowhunter Magazine. He has written many articles over the years, and has also written two excellent books: The Traditional Bowhunter's Handbook and Campfire Reflections.

One Comment

  1. David Coulter
    David Coulter October 3, 2018 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    One slight note on my experience. I right wing feathers in a straight clamp. I get plenty of rotation, as the natural shape and texture of the feather will turn the shaft. In theory, I fletch straight to reduce the drag and maybe the noise. I don’t chronograph and my ears aren’t the best so I don’t have any science behind that, just things I’ve read. Best, dwc

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