How to sharpen broadheads

Even though sharpening your broadhead could be a monotonous task, this could be the deciding factor for your shot. Sharpening your broadheads all through the season is vital.

Based on your hunting environment, your broadheads can be exposed to external conditions like moisture. This could lead to rusting, and the resultant rust can dull the broadhead edges. This can make them to require sharpening.

Broadheads are also sometimes advertised as razor sharp and they are not. This means once you find out they are not, you will need to sharpen them.

Whether you want to sharpen your broadheads because of rust or because they were advertised as sharp but they are not, you are in the right place. The step-by-step guide below will provide you with all the information you need to sharpen your broadheads. All you need is a dry or wet sandpaper, cereal box, sharpie, WD-40, tape, paper, and a jig. Let us get right into it!

How to sharpen broadheads

There are numerous statements on how to sharpen your broadhead, but we've outlined the best steps for you.

Step one: Prepare your workspace

Begin by preparing your working space. Do this by taping down the corners of the dry or wet sandpaper onto the working surface. Note that as you pass the broadhead and jig across the sandpaper, it will move about. The obvious and immediate solution to stop the unwanted movement is to hold the sandpaper with your hand. However, taping down the sandpaper to the working surface will make things much easier and simpler.

Step two: Connect your broadhead to the jig

Once you are done preparing the work surface, the next step is to attach the broadhead to the jig. Make sure that the edge of the broadhead is flush with your working area. This is vital because if not, you run the risk of altering the blade angle of your broadhead. This could in turn change the broadhead’s symmetry consequently leading to poor flight.

Eyeball it and attempt to rock your jig with the broadhead connected whilst exerting a little downward pressure. If it does not rock, then you can confirm that you have it where it needs to be.

Step three: Check the position of the broadhead

Now that your broadhead is connected to the jig, it is time to use the sharpie. Before you begin sharpening the broadheads, it is proper to confirm that the broadhead’s sharpening surface is flush with your working area. To confirm this, use your sharpie to color the broadhead’s blade edge. If the color of the sharpie evenly wears out, then you’ll know that the two surfaces are indeed flush.

Step four: Begin sharpening

It is now time to sharpen! You will begin with the roughest grit that is available and slowly work your way towards the finest one. Repeatedly move the jig front and back on the broadhead’s sharpening surface, taking note of the number of strokes as you proceed. As soon as you notice a burr beginning to form on the back side, turn over the jig and repeat the same number of strokes on the new side. Once you are done with one edge of your broadhead, change its orientation in the jig in order to sharpen the other edge and proceed to the next grit.

In case you are using a single-bevel broadhead, do not make the mistake of flipping the jig over to sharpen the broadhead’s other side. Simply give the broadhead a light forward push. This is enough to get rid of the burr. Next, change the broadhead’s orientation to sharpen its other side. When the blade is sharpened, move to the next grit.

Always check the position of the broadhead all through the sharpening process, as described in step three above. Do this each time you detach and attach the broadhead in the jig to ensure that the edge of the blade is flush. This will prevent altering the broadhead’s angle and uneven sharpening.

Step five: Test the new sharpness

Before moving to the next grit, it is important to check the progress that you have made. You can either use rubber bands or your arm hairs to do this, though it is more advisable to use a sheet of paper. Position the jig on its end to allow for vertical orientation of the broadhead. Tightly pull the edge of your paper and attempt to cut into it using the freshly sharpened broadhead.

In case you are not familiar with this method (paper method) of testing for sharpness, here are a few things to note. A dull broadhead will emit a ripping or tearing sound when cutting into the sheet of paper. A sharp broadhead, on the other hand, will produce more of a slicing sound. In addition, the amount of effort needed to cut through the paper should reduce after every finer grit.

Step six: Strop

The final step involves bringing out the cereal box to get rid of the tiny burr produced by the finest grit. The cardboards used in cereal boxes create great strops. Just ensure that you are using the side of the cardboard that is not printed on. You can as well use a buffing compound, but this is not a must.

The process of stropping is quite similar to that of sharpening. However, rather than moving the jig front and back, when stropping, you will only pull the jig towards yourself. Otherwise, the broadhead might bite and dig into the cardboard, which will in turn dull the sharp edge that you put a lot of work into. Luckily, the stropping process does not take a lot of time.

Step seven: Prevention of corrosion

Once you are done sharpening your broadheads, spray them with some WD-40. This goes a long way in providing resistance to corrosion. This step is particularly help if you sharpened your broadheads several months before the start of your bow season. After spraying your broadheads using WD-40, use a paper towel to dap up any excess liquid. Also, be carefull with these sharp broadheads while travelling.


As mentioned earlier, a sharp broadhead could be the deciding factor for a successful hunt. There are some broadheads that are sold when quite sharp, but you should not expect them to remain sharp forever. Moreover, reusing your broadheads will save you a lot of money over the course of your bow and hunting seasons.

And as stated above, all you need to sharpen your broadheads is a dry or wet sandpaper, cereal box, sharpie, WD-40, tape, paper, and a jig. Follow the simple steps above to sharpen your broadheads and start hunting with more confidence. Get more information about bow hunting in our blog.

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