ened edge, and the smooth-honed- stropped edge. The kicker is, they all can harvest game. The big question is, are any of the edge styles more likely to consistently produce the kind of tissue damage that is most conducive to producing quick, clean kills?
The Serrated Edge- I’ve always been a fan of the great Howard Hill. I never met the man and he never taught me to shoot, (long time tradi- tional shooters will get that) but I’ve admired him from day one. He was an amazing shot. His mastery of the bow and arrow was superhuman and if you don’t know of him, do some online research, his feats are mind boggling. It’s doubtful that we’ll ever see the likes of him again. Howard Hill preferred the straight ended longbow, arrows that shot where he looked, and 3:1 ratio broadheads with file sharpened serrated edges.
Years ago, in one of his books, I read about how he would turn his file around, hold it by the front tip and with the arrow pointing toward his chest, he would firmly yet quick- ly rake the edge of the broadhead from heel to nose with the edge of the file to produce a sort of serrated edge. He professed that this was his preferred method of sharpening his broadheads. The thinking is that the
Working a smooth cut file from heel to tip is file sharpening.
serrated edge acts like a mini-saw blade that grips and grabs as it pen- etrates, tearing its way through and creating as much damage as possible while it penetrates. This serrated edge style was certainly effective for Mr. Hill, he took his fair share of big game and we don’t hear many Howard Hill stories about the one that got away.
The author harvested this black bear with a honed and stropped broadhead.
mentor John Dodge preferred the file sharpened edge. His technique was to establish the main bevels with a large yet smooth cut file and then to finish the edges with a small 4 inch to 6 inch smooth cut file. His tech- nique was to simply follow the facto- ry bevel, lightly filing heel to tip until you create a very small burr on the opposite side, and then repeat the process on that opposite side cutting
amount bevels of
of material to keep the the blade balanced. With
less and less pressure until, in short order; he would have a sharp edge that would shave hair, but that if you ran your finger along it, you could feel a slight coarseness to it. The the- ory again was that this sort of edge was best for getting through coarse animal hair, fibrous animal skin and into the vitals.
In my opinion Dean Torges, master bowyer and all around great communicator, wrote the best and most concise description of file sharpening I’ve ever read. His basic premise (and the true secret to
the normal method of
Howard Hill used this technique to put a serrated edge on his broadheads.