- "We hated it (Killerhurtz's spiked axe). We decided to add this broad blade axe so it wouldn't get stuck, it would just keep digging at them..."
- — John Reid after defeating Panic Attack
Bladed axes are a type of overhead weapon found in Robot Wars. The first robot to feature this weapon was House Robot Shunt in Series 1, who would earn fame for his diamond-edged (later titanium) axe in later series.
The first competitor robot to feature a bladed axe was Killerhurtz in Series 2, although it was later replaced with its more famous spiked axe. Other notable robots with this weapon type include its successor, Terrorhurtz, The Steel Avenger, and Thor from Series 8 onwards. Both Terrorhurtz and Thor are also the most successful, reaching the Grand Final and placing fourth in Series 6 and 8 respectively.
Bladed axes typically feature an axe head with a blade featuring a much larger surface area than a spiked axe, which aim to provide a larger area of attack. They are specialised to chop, pound, bend, hack and shake components and armour loose rather than pierce through them, and are among some of the most common types seen in everyday usage - for example, fireaxes which are used to chop wood. Bladed axes come in various shapes and sizes, from fireaxe-style chopping blades, as originally used by Killerhurtz, to curved blades with a spiked tip, as seen on The Steel Avenger, and even double-headed blades as used by Terrorhurtz and the Series 3 competitor Shell Shock.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- A powerful bladed axe can serve as an efficient cross between a spiked axe and a hammer, being able to cause both external and internal damage with equal efficiency. Terrorhurtz demonstrated this effectively in its Series 6 Semi-Final fight against Spawn Again, and Thor punched holes through M.R. Speed Squared's armour and hacked off Shockwave's scoop in their Series 8 Head-to-Heads.
- With their large surface area, bladed axes are the most effective type of overhead weapons for use as a self-righting mechanism, provided that there is sufficient power behind the axe to achieve this. Terrorhurtz and Thor demonstrated this capability quite effectively several times.
- Successful axe blows tend to score well on control and aggression, in the event of a Judges' decision. This is perhaps best shown in Steel Avenger's victory over Shredder Evolution in Series 7, and in Thor's victory over Shockwave in their Head-to-Head battle in Series 8.
- As with spiked axes, the leverage offered by a bladed axe can allow robots equipped with them to drag and push opponents around if the axe head becomes embedded in them. Both Terrorhurtz and The Steel Avenger demonstrated this tactic at various moments across both of the show's runs.
- Alongside hammers, bladed axes were more readily available than most other types of weapons, as they could be purchased rather than manufactured, although purchased weapons proved ineffective outside of earlier series.
- Opposing teams were welcome to modify their designs before a battle in an attempt to nullify axes, by applying additional armour to the top of their robot. For example, in Series 10, both Vulture and Rapid gained extra layers of armour for their head-to-head battles against Terrorhurtz, in order to protect vital components from getting damaged.
- Most bladed axes only functioned in one specific direction - usually forwards - compounding the accuracy issues present in this and all other overhead weapon types. Terrorhurtz's axe is a notable exception, as it was designed to be double-headed in order to strike from both the front and back of the machine.
- If pneumatically-powered, bladed axes can also fail to operate if the weapon is low on CO2, or if the pneumatics system is damaged or malfunctioning. This would also remove the robot's ability to self-right, which was apparent in the defeats of Terrorhurtz, Glitterbomb and Thor throughout Series 8 and 9, with all of them not being able to self-right at various stages due to problems with their pneumatics systems or their CO2 supplies freezing in cold temperatures.
- Pneumatic axes may have their mechanisms exposed to attacks from crushers, or vertical spinners if upside-down. This was most notably shown in Thor's battle with Magnetar in Series 10, where a well-timed attack from Magnetar ruptured Thor's CO2 supply.
- The shaft of a bladed axe may often get damaged or even bent. This was best shown by Thor in Series 9, where Jason Marston had to turn the shaft around to try and bend it the right way, however he did note that continued attempts at this would cause the axe to break due to metal fatigue.
- In some cases, a bladed axe head can cause the wielder and its opponent to become stuck together, requiring separation if the axe is embedded in an opponent and cannot retract on its own. In both of its encounters with Vulture in Series 10, Terrorhurtz was unable to separate itself from the former, requiring the House Robots to prise both competitors apart. Unsuccessful attempts to retract an axe can also use up a limited CO2 supply, reducing the effectiveness of the axe once the robots are separated.
Bladed axes vs Spiked axes
- While a spiked axe focuses on piercing armour, bladed axes focus on causing internal damage by shaking components loose. For example, when the axes of Terrorhurtz and Iron-Awe 2 struck the armour of Barber-Ous 2, the spiked axe of Iron-Awe 2 created outward damage by piercing the plastic armour, while the bladed axe of Terrorhurtz caused significant internal damage and immobilised Barber-Ous 2.
- Although bladed axes are not immune to becoming stuck in a robot's armour (e.g. Terrorhurtz vs Vulture, Series 10), they are far less likely to become stuck in a robot's armour or the arena floor than a spiked axe. This would also allow the axe weapon to strike multiple times more quickly, if it can more easily retract from a robot.
- Bladed axe heads suffer less recoil damage when striking impenetrable armour, as spiked axe heads may blunt or break when failing to pierce armour. For this reason, bladed axes were far more prominent in the reboot of Robot Wars, where hardened steels proved difficult to break through.
List of Robots with Bladed Axes
Robots are listed alphabetically. Robots which are not heavyweight entries are listed with a green background. House Robots are listed with a yellow background.
|Robot||Series Appearances with Bladed axes||Notes|
|Apocalypse||Series 10||Used in tandem with a pair of horizontal grabbing arms, also referred to as 'horizontal axes'.|
|8645T||Series 5, 7||Combined with a rear-hinged flipper, set on the back of a flipper.|
|Bonk||Series 8||Interchangeable with a hammer-type head.|
|Comengetorix||Series 6||The robot only used a bladed axe in Series 6, using a spiked axe in Extreme 1.|
|Glitterbomb||Series 8-9||Uses the axe mechanism from Edge Hog. Returned for Series 9 with twin axes, but was withdrawn.|
|Ivanhoe||Series 2||UK Heat Finalist|
|Killerhurtz||Series 2||Pioneer of the bladed axe, although replaced with a spiked axe in subsequent appearances.|
|Mechadroid||US Season 2||A double-headed axe using both bladed and spiked pick heads.|
|Pathetica||Dutch Series 1|
|Pressure||Extreme Series 2|
|Project One||Dutch Series 1|
|Sgt. Meikle||Series 3|
|Shell Shock||Series 3|
|Shunt||Series 1||Weapon was later replaced by a spiked pickaxe, and then the more famous 'diamond-edged' axe.|
|Storm Force||Series 5|
|Terrorhurtz||Series 5-10, Extreme 2||Most famous and deadly of bladed axes. Only double-sided axe that was capable of striking opponents in front of and behind the robot. Series 6 Grand Finalist.|
|The Steel Avenger||Series 3-5, 7, Extreme 1-2||Only featured a bladed axe during one of its battles in Series 3, the other featuring a pick. Series 4 and 7 Heat Finalist, runners-up in Extreme 2 Tag Team Terror, paired with Lightning.|
|Thor||Series 8-10||Replaced the hammer used in Series 6 and 7. Interchangeable axe heads include a pointed head and a Mjölnir-inspired head. Series 8 Grand Finalist. Five interchangeable heads in Series 10, some of which are referred to as 'hammers' on the official Robot Wars website.|
|Tiger Cat||US Season 1|
|Tomahawk||Series 7, 9-10||Rebuilt and renamed TMHWK in Series 9. Its bladed axe head is spiked on the back end, and the axe head can voluntarily be reversed to change its purpose.|
|Trolley Rage||Series 9|
|Weld-Dor||Series 3||Represented Northern Ireland in the First World Championship.|