Sharpening a Single Bevel Broadhead


It is practically impossible to remake a double bevel broadhead into a satisfactory single bevel just as it is hard to sharpen a single bevel broadhead that does not have a machined edge. I have seen some archers that can get a single bevel reasonably sharp with a file but they are far and few between. Most can’t keep the file at a consistent angle to do a reasonable job. A consistent bevel angle is what is required to get the edge to a reasonable sharpness

Most popular single bevel broadheads come ground with a preset bevel commonly about 25 degrees. Broadheads that are factory beveled may be sharpened with a commercial sharpener, which is designed for this specific task. There are several good ones on the market that have capabilities of sharping both knives and broadheads and sharpeners specifically made just to sharpen broadheads. All will accomplish the ultimate goal in different degrees of quality. The quality depends on the person’s ability and experience using these useful tools.

A factory beveled broadhead may also be sharpened with nothing mores than a common natural sharpening stone or diamond stone. Some use multiple grades of “wet or dry” sand paper on a hard flat surface instead of stones. All will work.
Most stones or paper of medium to fine grit will do the job. The finer the grit the slicker the finish of the edge and the sharper it will be.

The common thread to single bevel sharpening is to follow the factory bevel otherwise you will be creating a new bevel, which will end up in unnecessary metal removal with a lot of futile effort. The method I will describe is best accomplished with the broadhead mounted on the arrow.

To insure you are following the factory bevel place the bevel face down and perpendicular to the sharpening surface. By holding on to the tip of the arrow pressure from the thumb or finger,can be place on the broadhead to keep it flat during the sharpening process. The other hand is free to hold the stone or paper. Moving the broadhead in a circular motion rather than back and forth makes it easier to keep the bevel flat on the sharpening surface.. The only pressure required on the broadhead to attain a keen edge is the amount required to keep the bevel flat. When the desired sharpness is attained turn the broadhead over on the flat edge and again place it on the sharping surface this time parallel to the surface edge. Move the broadhead forward and back to remove any burr that remains on the edge. The number of motions required in both of these steps depends on the condition of the blade. Sharpening the backside probably will require just a few strokes

No matter what method used to sharpen the broadhead stopping should always be the final step. Stropping is a polishing of the edge to bring it to the ultimate sharpness. Stropping is not complicated. A scrap piece of leather mounted on a board or placed on a flat surface will work or a piece of smooth cardboard will accomplish the desired effect. The most important thing to remember as in the sharpening step is to keep the broadhead flat on the strop. The stropping is accomplished by dragging the broadhead across the strop away from the cutting edge Pick the broadhead up at the end of each stroke so as not to round the cutting edge. When restarting the stroke insure the broadhead is again placed flat. Both sides of the broadhead cutting edge can be stropped.

To test for sharpness drag the cutting edge, held at an angle and under its own weight, across your thumbnail. It should cut into the nail or snag. If it skips across the nail the edge needs more work!

Joe Furlong