Not all mechanical broadheads are created equal, but when the fixed vs. mechanical broadhead debates rage on, they are all lumped into one group. But brand-to-brand and model-to-model, mechanical broadhead designs vary greatly.
The blade retention system is the first thing I judge a mechanical broadhead on. If the broadhead doesn’t open, blade sharpness, cutting diameter and strength don’t mean a darn thing. I have not found a more reliable deploying broadhead than the Wasp Jak-Hammer, and now the new 2-blade Jak-Knife.
Mechanical broadheads fail because the blades open before impact or don’t open at all. I have been using the Jak-Hammer for five years, and have never had a deployment issue. I have turned my friends and family into Jak-Hammer shooters and never heard them complain. But I read the forums and I know a lot of bowhunters can say the same thing about their broadhead of choice. The difference is, you have to search hard to find a case of a Jak-Hammer not doing its job. I have tried and couldn’t find any mention of failure in my Google searches.
On the other hand, when I type in other mechanical broadhead names with phrases like “broadhead failure,” “broadhead didn’t open,” etc., I get plenty of results of bad experiences. I believe where there is smoke there is fire. If there is enough evidence – even if it’s anecdotal – of a broadhead not performing, I am not going to hunt with it. It’s that simple.
So why is the Jak-Hammer the best mechanical broadhead? It’s because of the simplicity of the O-ring retention and deployment system. I think other brands fail because, in their attempt to “revolutionize” the mechanical broadhead, they have made things too complicated. Tension clips, shock collars, screws…these mechanisms need adjustment. You have to find the sweet spot where the blades stay closed during flight, but open on impact. An O-ring doesn’t operate that way. I can look at the Jak-Hammer or Jak-Knife and realize there is no way it can’t open on impact.
Those are my thoughts, and I know they don’t carry much weight, but I have thousands of other bowhunters and the reputation of the Jak-Hammer to back me up. We documented how it is the best-reviewed mechanical broadhead on cabelas.com and gandermountain.com, and it wouldn’t be the one of the best-selling mechanical broadheads for the past 18 years if it weren’t trusted.