A small wind turbine blade was designed using blade element momentum (BEM) method for a three bladed, fixed pitch 1 kW horizontal axis wind turbine. The new blades were fabricated, fit to a Bergey XL 1.0 turbine, and tested using a vehicle-based platform at the original designed pitch angle, plus with 5 deg and 9 deg of additional pitch. The new blades had better aerodynamic performance than the original Bergey XL 1.0 blades at high speed, but in some cases at lower speeds the original blades performed better. The results demonstrated that selecting the blade pitch angle on a rotor is a tradeoff between starting performance and power output in high winds. The BEM simulations were evaluated against the test data and demonstrated that the BEM simulations predicted the rotor performance with reasonable accuracy.