Bludgeoners were a type of rotating weapon used in Robot Wars. Manic Mutant was the first robot to use this type of weapon when it appeared in Series 3, although the name was coined by the Inverterbrat team, whose robot also first appeared later on in the same series.

The most notable and successful robot with a bludgeoner is Combatant, which won the Antweight Championship in the first series of Robot Wars Extreme and reached the final in the following series. Series 5 and 7 competitor Rick also enjoyed considerable success in Nickelodeon Robot Wars, co-winning the International Tag Team Terror with Ming 3 while equipped with a bludgeoner.

Definition[edit | edit source]

A bludgeoner, face spinner or tool spinner is a rotating weapon mounted at a vertical angle and positioned sideways, which can take the form of discs, drums or blades. The top of the weapon faces forward or backwards depending on where it is positioned, and rotates sideways in a similar manner to a drill. Bludgeoners usually have two or more bars, spikes or teeth fixed to the rim, pointing in the direction where the weapon is facing, which are used to catch on and damage opponents when they come into contact.

Advantages and Disadvantages[edit | edit source]

Combatant (centre) sends Pants hurling over the arena wall

Expulsion's larger, more powerful bludgeoner


  • Bludgeoners were fairly simple to construct in contrast to other rotating weapons, simply consisting of a small disc, drum or blade connected to an electric motor.
    • Modern, larger bludgeoners, like that of Expulsion, can output more damage than previous designs.
  • They are very effective in lighter weight categories, especially in Antweight competitions, where they have the capacity to inflict significant damage on, flip and even throw opponents out of the arena. Combatant was especially notable for flinging Pants out of the arena during the Antweight Melee from the first series of Robot Wars Extreme, as well as generally being very destructive throughout its appearances.
  • They are especially well-suited to invertible designs, with Inverterbrat, Combatant and Rick being notable examples.


El-Mower's bludgeoner was largely unable to damage Flextreme after it constantly stopped upon contact with the latter

Rhino's high-mounted bludgeoner had absolutely no effect against the low-bodied Storm 2

  • As a result of the blades spinning sideways, bludgeoners have a very limited attack range, and can usually only strike opponents when in close range.
  • In heavyweight competitions, bludgeoners often struggle to cause damage to opponents, usually due to their small size or their tendency to stop upon contact. This was best shown in the first series of Dutch Robot Wars, when El-Mower was unable to damage Flextreme at all during their first-round battle. Even so, El-Mower still won the jury's decision after it used its weapon to constantly hit Flextreme and help push it around the arena.
  • If improperly mounted, they can prove very inefficient, especially against opponents with low wedges. Manic Mutant and Rhino's bludgeoners proved ineffective in their battles against Gravedigger and Storm 2, as their opponents' wedges were simply able to get underneath the bludgeoner entirely. Rick also struggled in its Series 5 Heat Final against Razer, as Razer was simply able to get underneath and grab it from above.
  • Larger bludgeoners, like that of Expulsion, make the robot front-heavy. As a result, Expulsion ended up on its bludgeoner unable to self-right in three of its five battles in Series 10

List of Robots with Bludgeoners[edit | edit source]

Robots are listed alphabetically. Robots which are not heavyweight competitors are listed with a green background.

Robot Series Appearances with Bludgeoners Notes Image
Armadrillo Series 6 Pair of small drum-like cutting blades mounted at the front, each with two serrated front-facing teeth akin to a drill cutter. Was paired with a rear 12-inch spike.
Combatant Extreme 1-2 Powerful enough to throw another antweight out of the arena, the only bludgeoner to achieve this feat. Extreme 1 Antweight Champion.
Combatant rear.jpg
Conquering Clown US Season 1
Ellie's Little Pink-Bot Extreme 2 Robot never moved, and did not demonstrate its weapon.
El-Mower Dutch Series 1 Small bar attached to the surface of the spinner.
Expulsion Series 10 Largest and heaviest bludgeoner in Robot Wars. Three interchangeable tool spinners; one with two teeth and a tip speed of 92mph, the other two being lighter three-spoked spinners with hinged blades or flails.
Expulsion S10.png
Fatal Traction Extreme 2 Two bludgeoners, one on the front, one on the rear.
Inverterbrat Series 3-4 Series 3 Heat Finalist.
Junkyard Queen German Series Finished the series in sixth place.
Junkyard Queen.png
Manic Mutant Series 3 First robot with a bludgeoner.
Manic Mutant.jpg
Millennium Bug Series 4
Millennium Bug.png
Overdozer Series 8 6,000rpm three-pronged brushcutter blade at rear.
Overdozer un official.png
Rhino Series 7
Rick Series 5, 7, Extreme 2, Nickelodeon Series 5 Heat Finalist and Nickelodeon Tag Team winner, paired with Ming 3; also armed with a rear-hinged flipper, which it used much more. than the bludgeoner.
Rick s5 mag.png
Twister (UK) Series 5 Had a rotational speed of 55mph, and a three-bladed drill cutter attached to the front.
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