Cutting discs were a type of small rotating weapon usually prevalent in the original series of Robot Wars. They were specialised to cut, slice and tear into other robots, targeting their armour, wheels/tracks, aerials, batteries and other sensitive components, and were capable of causing severe or terminal damage. These could range from a standard circular saw to a custom-made cutting blade.

Series 1 champion Roadblock was armed with a circular saw as its secondary weapon, while Pussycat became one of the most successful machines in the show's run by making use of a cutting disc.

As one of the most common weapon types in the earliest series, there is no true pioneer for the weapon - House Robots Dead Metal and Sergeant Bash all used circular saws in Series 1 (with Dead Metal retaining this weapon type for the show's run), while the competitors armed with cutting discs included Roadblock, Scrapper, Plunderbird 1, Uglybot and more. Of these, Roadblock and the House Robots were the first to appear on television.

Definition[edit | edit source]

Pussycat's blades

A cutting disc (also referred to as a cutting blade) is a generally small, thin disc weapon designed to spin and cut into other robots, or grind at their surface. Typical off-the-shelf circular saws and grinding discs meet this definition (such as the weaponry of Roadblock), alongside custom-made cutting discs optimised for greater damage output, like the disc of Pussycat.

Over the course of the show's run, typical circular saws saw less frequent use, with many off-the-shelf discs shearing upon impact like the often-broken rear saw of Sergeant Bash, or Pussycat's original blade in Series 3. The custom-designed cutting disc saw more use throughout the later periods of the show's original run, but both weapon types proved very sparse in the reboot, with modern armour often totally resisting the effect of cutting discs.

Most cutting discs were small in size, although some competitors used larger-diameter discs throughout both of the show's runs. These discs, such as those equipped on the original version of Ming and the Series 8 version of The General, were closer to horizontal or vertical spinners in size, but featured more teeth or pointed edges along their circumference than a typical flywheel and retained the low thickness of a cutting disc.

Cutting weapons could easily be mounted on a moveable arm, enabling them to be brought down from overhead to improve the weapon's effectiveness or allow for a potential synergy with other weapons, such as Dead Metal clamping competitors in its claws before moving its circular saw directly into the trapped robot. Competitors such as Tentoumushi and Haardvark would use similar moving discs, with or without secondary weapons.

The primary purpose of cutting discs is to cut, shred and slice through other robots, unlike heavier and thicker spinners which aim to gouge, tear and concuss.

Advantages and Disadvantages[edit | edit source]

Advantages

Dead Metal sends sparks flying while slicing through Aggrobot

Pussycat's blade enabled it to cause significant damage throughout its Series 4 run, notably to Razer's armour and wheels in its Heat Final

The weight and small size of King B Powerworks' cutting disc allowed its team to equip the disc without compromising on the robot's lifting forks or drive system

  • As with other spinning weapons, cutting discs proved effective in causing damage to not only most kinds of armour - particularly in earlier series - but also wheels, wheelguards or other exposed components. Pussycat's Series 4 run best demonstrated this - not only was it able to cause extensive damage to the armour of Robochicken, Thermidor 2, Dominator 2 and Chaos 2 at various points during this series, but also sever Reptirron's fuel lines and damage the wheels/wheelguards of Razer and Hypno-Disc respectively.
  • Cutting discs could be easily integrated into an invertible design, as Pussycat, 3 Stegs 2 Heaven and the Series 3-5 and 7 versions of King Buxton demonstrated.
  • Compared to heavier spinning weapons, cutting discs are generally less affected by recoil, making them potentially more reliable at operating for full matches.
  • The lightweight nature of a cutting disc meant that any spare weight left over for the wielding robot could be used to incorporate additional weapons (e.g. a second cutting disc), tougher armour or more powerful drive systems. The cutting discs formerly used by King Buxton, for example, were added in such a way that they increased the robot's damage potential without compromising on the robot's armour, motors or primary lifting weapon.
  • Off-the-shelf circular saws and angle grinders provided a very inexpensive way to weaponise a robot in the earlier series of the show.

Disadvantages

Pussycat's cutting blade could only cause superficial damage to M2 in Series 7, resulting in it losing the Judges' decision

3 Stegs 2 Heaven gets its disc tangled in Eleven's hydraulic cables

Shredder's cutting disc is overpowered by S3's vertical spinner

  • Especially in later series, cutting discs very often struggled to damage tough armour, which put robots with them at a significant disadvantage on Judges' decisions. Pussycat's loss against M2 in Series 7 demonstrates this, as its blade could only cause superficial scratches to M2's armour at best. In the reboot era where HARDOX armour was commonplace and almost completely resistant to cutting discs, only a limited number of competitors implemented cutting discs into their design, and only in Series 8.
  • Many cutting discs require sustained contact to output their full damage potential, contact which is often hard to maintain in the arena. When faced with tough armour, cutting discs may also stop or jam upon contact if they cannot cut through.
    • Wild Thing demonstrated a rare example where a cutting disc could not break free from its opponent after cutting through its armour, becoming locked together with Vader after its cutting disc could not break free
  • Cutting discs are particularly prone to entanglement devices (intended or otherwise) and other exposed components, such as when 3 Stegs 2 Heaven's disc was entangled by the cables of Eleven, or when Pussycat's blade was totally stopped by the fur of Diotoir.
  • Being lightweight in nature, cutting discs are generally overpowered by heavier spinners, such as when S3 ripped an entire cutting disc from Shredder with a single blow, or when Fluffy ripped away the blade of Pussycat.

List of Robots with Cutting Discs[edit | edit source]

Robots are listed alphabetically. Robots that are not heavyweight are listed with a green background. Robots that fought in the US 1990s events are highlighted in purple.

Robot Series Appearances with Cutting Discs Notes Image
3 Stegs 2 Heaven Series 5 Was a spinning blade in Extreme 1, replaced with a toothed disc for Series 5.
3 stegs to heaven.jpg
Abaddon Series 3
Abaddon.JPG
Agamemnon 1996 Championship Middleweight champion, used interchangeable weapons with its primary weapon being a circular saw attached to the end of an arm.
Agamennon.jpg

Angel of Death

Series 2 Two cutting discs with estimated top speeds between 10,000rpm and 15,000rpm.
Angel of death.PNG
Atlas Series 3
Atlas.png
Attiller (the Hun) 1996 Championship Lightweight Champion, used a row of four cutting discs with teeth bent outwards.
Atiller the hun.jpg
Automatic Jack Series 2 Rear-mounted. Originally armed with a chainsaw, drill and spike.
Automatic Jack File 2.jpg
Beast of Bodmin Series 3 Series 3 Semi-Finalist and successor to Roadblock.
Beast Of Bodmin Crop.png
Bernard Extreme 2, Series 7 Small cutting blade mounted high up the robot's wedge.
Ex2Bernard.jpg
Black Widow US Season 2 US Season 2 Tag Team Terror Champion, partnered with Rocky-Bot-Boa.
BW.jpg
Bodyhammer Series 2 Front-mounted 6-inch saw, equipped in tandem with a reciprocating spike.
Bodyhammer Series 2 Technical Manual.png
Brutus Maximus Series 6-7 Set of three rear cutting discs connected on one axis.
Brutus maximus.JPG
Bulldog Breed Series 3 Used twin cutting discs before opting for a flipper in future appearances.
Bulldog Breed.jpg
Buzzant Extreme 2 Vertically mounted buzz saw.
Buzzant.jpg
Cataclysmic Variabot Extreme 1-2 Later known as CV. Used interchangeable weapons, but only equipped the axe in its televised fights.
CV Saw.jpg
Cerberus Series 3 Tungsten-tipped circular saw-like disc. Had to be removed before entering the arena due to hardened steel blades being prohibited.
Cerberus with saw.JPG
Challenger Series 2-3 Used a rear angle grinder in Series 2, and front-mounted rotating blades in Series 3 as Challenger 2.
Challenger 2.jpg
Colossus Series 6-7 Main weapon was a rear-hinged flipper.
Colossus.png
Crasha Gnasha Series 3 Cutting saw came from the Swedish Air Force.
Crasha gnasha.jpg
Cruella Series 2 Only used a circular saw in its second series.
Cruella 2.jpg
Damacles Series 2 Lightweight robot. Cutting disc mounted on a spring-loaded arm.
SF&D.jpg
Darkness US Season 2 Pair of cutting blades mounted horizontally.
Darkness 2002.jpg
Dead Metal Series 1-10, Extreme 1-2 Upgraded in Series 2 and again in Series 3 and Series 8. Mounted on a movable arm in Series 1-2, then a head assembly for Series 3 onwards.
2016DeadMetal.jpg
Demolition Demon Series 2 Heat Finalist. Used new weaponry in Series 3 as Demolition Demon 2.
Demolition Demon.jpg
Diskotek US Season 2, Nickelodeon Borrows components and design aspects from Robotica champion Flexy Flyer.
Diskotek.jpg
Disruptor Series 2 Mounted on a movable arm.
Disruptor.jpg
Eddy Evolution Extreme 2 Small cutting blade at the front.
EddieE.png
Elvis Series 2 Disc was added for Elvis' second Robot Wars campaign.
Elvis S2 Crop.png
Flensburger Power Extreme 1 Invited to compete in Extreme after its native German series did not proceed that year due to a lack of entrants.
FlensburgerPower.png
Flextreme Dutch Series 1
G.B.H. Series 2 Two 7-inch and two 9-inch saw blades mounted at the rear, spinning at 6,000rpm. Series 2 Semi-Finalist in this form, although relied on its lifting scoop for victories.
GBH S2 Crop.png
Grinder Series 3 Named after its angle grinder weapon.
Grinder.JPG
GroundHog Series 2 Predecessor to Firestorm.
Groundhog Gauntlet.jpg
Gutrip 1996 Championship Used a milling cutter as its weapon, span slowly but was hugely damaging.
Gutrip.jpg
Haardvark Series 3 Mounted on a movable arm. Was meant to have a circular saw in Series 2, but had to be removed to remain within the weight limit. Interchangeable diamond-edge saw and grinding blade, but the former was prohibited from being used.
Haardvark S3 Crop.png
Hard Cheese Extreme 1 First official Middleweight Champion. Four-toothed cutting blade used only in Extreme, replacing a former hammer weapon.
Hard Cheese 3.jpg
Hippobotomus Extreme 1, Series 5 Also known as Fighting Torque in Extreme 1.
King Buxton Series 3-5, 7, Extreme 1 Disc was mounted at the rear. Spun at 3000rpm as King B3, and 8000rpm as King B Powerworks. King Buxton also competed in Series 2 and 8 without a cutting disc.
King B Powerworks.jpg
Kitty Series 7, Extreme 2 Featherweight. Essentially a scaled down version of Pussycat, with its interchangeable discs including a circular saw and a four-toothed Pussycat-style blade.
Kitty.png
Leighbot Series 1 Rear angle grinder.
Leighbot vs mortis.png
Limpet Series 2 Front-mounted disc.
Limpet.jpg
Lizzard Dutch Series 2 Heat winner in this form, small front-mounted disc used in combination with a sit-and-spin design.
Lizzard.jpg
Mad Cow US Season 1 Front wedge and rear cutting disc.
Madcowside.jpg
Malfunktion Series 3 Robotic Soccer-only competitor.
Malfunktion.jpg
Malice Series 2 Reserve Robot.
Malice.JPG
Maximus Extreme 2 Located in the centre of a front-hinged lifter. Claimed to spin at 18,000rpm.
Max in class.jpg
Mighty Mouse Series 7 Equipped with a pair of horizontal rear discs to comply with the active weapons rule, having previously just used a static swinging tail.
MightyMouse.png
Milly-Ann Bug Series 2 Replaced with static spikes following Series 2.
Milly-Ann Bug S2.jpg
Ming Series 3 Very large cutting disc mounted at an angled horizontal level.
Mingthemerciless.JPG
Minimalistic Extreme 2
Minimalistic1.jpg
Neoteric Extreme 2 Sized closer to a vertical flywheel than a typical cutting disc.
Neoteric.jpg
ORAC Series 2 Mounted on an arm.
ORAC.jpg
Panzer Series 3, Extreme 1 Known as Panzer Wraith in Extreme.
Panzer wraith.JPG
Pathetica Dutch Series 1 Primary weapon was an axe, with a rear-mounted vertical cutting disc.
Sater vs Pathetica.jpg
Penetrator Series 2 Armed with a retractable cutting disc and spikes.
Penetrator offical image.jpg
Plunderbird Series 1, Series 3 Interchangeable with a retracting spike in Series 1 as Plunderbird 1. Unused in Series 3 as Plunderstorm.
PlunderstormDisc.jpg
Prometheus (UK) Series 2
Prometheus.JPG
Prometheus (US) Series 3
PrometheUSteam.jpg
Purple Predator Series 3 Armed with a front-hinged flipper and rear-mounted disc.
PurplePredatorDisc.jpg
Pussycat Series 3-5, 7, Extreme 1-2, US Season 1 Most notable and successful robot with a cutting disc. Series 4 runners-up, as well as winning numerous side competitions. Two- (Extreme 1), four- or eight- (Series 7) toothed custom-forged blades, replacing a standard grinding disc from Series 3.
Pussycat S7 Arena.jpg
Rampage (1996) 1996 Championship Used two cutting discs attached to movable arms that could go up and down.
Rampage1996.jpg
Rampage Series 2 Rear-mounted horizontal disc.
Rampage.JPG
Reptirron Series 4, 6-7 Mounted on a hydraulic arm in Series 4, paired with a flipper in Series 6-7.
Reptirron.jpg
Rippa Raptor US Season 1
Rippa Raptor.jpg
Roadblock Series 1-2 First UK Champion. Use of its saw was limited, with Roadblock mainly relying on its wedge and pushing power.
Roadblock.jpg
Robochicken Series 7 Rear disc described by the team as the "Rooster Rotavator", used in tandem with a flipper and axe.
Robochicken front Series 7.jpg
Ron Series 2
Ron website image.jpg
Rosebud Series 2 Lightweight Championship competitor.
Rosebud.jpg
Rosie the Riveter 2 US Season 2, Nickelodeon US Season 2 Grand Finalist. Active weapon added after the original Rosie the Riveter used only static weaponry.
Rosie the Riveter II.png
Satoru Special 3 1996 Championship Had a small grinding disc attached to the end of a arm which was connected to a rotary turret.
Satoru special 3.jpg
Saw Point Series 7, Extreme 2 Had two angled discs running parallel to each other.
Sawpoint2.PNG
Scar Series 4 Carried three interchangeable spinning discs, capable of spinning different directions.
Scar.png
Scorpion Series 4 Featured two smaller cutting discs in addition to a larger spinning disc at the rear.
Scorpion S4.png
Scrapper Series 1 A set of four vertical saw blades at the front, connected on the same axle, and two horizontal saw blades at the rear. The individual blades were 7-inches and 9-inches in diameter.
Scrapper.jpg
Scrappy 1996 Championship Had a rear cutting disc.
Pokey vs scrappy.png
Sergeant Bash Series 1-2 Removed after Series 2, and replaced with a decorative saw.
Sergeant bash in series 1.jpg
Shapeshifter Dutch Series 1 Used a lifting scoop in Dutch Series 2.
Shapeshifter.png
Shredder Series 5-7 Two small, thin counter-rotating discs were located side-by-side in Series 5-6. Thicker discs were used by Shredder Evolution in Series 7.
Shredder.png
Silver Box US Season 1 Later fought under the new identity Zanzara.
Silver Box.png
Small Torque Series 4 Spun at up to 4,000rpm. Designed to function as a third wheel, allowing the robot to run inverted at speeds of up to 20mph.
Small Torque.png
Stealth Series 3 Armed with a flipper and large rear cutting disc.
Stealth NoBackground.png
Sub-Version Series 7, Extreme 1 Known as Sub-Version 1.1 in Series 7.
Sub-version 1.1.png
Sumpthing Series 5, Extreme 1 Used an axe weapon in place of the discs for Series 3-4 and 6.
Sumpthing Extreme1.png
Sweeney Todd Series 8 Middleweight robot, but entered as a heavyweight. Two angle grinders mounted at both ends of the robot.
Sweenytodd.jpg
T-Bone Series 5
T-Bone white.jpg
Techno-Lease Series 3 Added to a moving arm. First Dutch representative in Robot Wars.
Technolease.jpg
Technophobic Series 2
Technophobic s2 stats.png
Tender Caress Series 2
Tender Caress.JPG
Tentoumushi Series 3 War of Independence Champion. Concealed within a 'smothering shell' which lowered and trapped other robots.
Tentomushi s3 arena.png
Terror Australis Series 3 Used a horizontal cutting disc on the original version, but not its Nemesis replacement.
Terroraustralis.jpg
Terror Turtle Series 7-8 Used a horizontal spinning disc in Series 7-8. Instead used an overhead spinning bar in Extreme 2, and a conventional bar spinner in Series 10.
Terror Turtle 2016.jpg
The Enforcer 1996 Championship A cutting disc was attached to end of its lifter.
The enforcer.jpg
The General Series 8 Dual cutting blades, taller than the robot itself, spinning at between 500 and 1,000rpm.
The General.png
The Master 1996 Championship Featured as a prominent part of Heat D in Series 1, and the VHS release of the series.
TheMaster95.jpg
The Piecemaker Nickelodeon Middleweight robot competing amongst heavyweights with two grinding discs
Piecemaker nick02.jpg
Thermador Series 3 Rear-mounted disc and front-mounted horizontal claws.
Thermidor series 3 official image.png
The Termite US Season 2
Termite.jpg
Thud Series 2 Super Heavyweight Championship competitor.
ThudInside.jpg
Uglybot Series 1
Uglybot official image.JPG
Unibite US Season 1 Very large horizontal disc with serrated teeth. Replaced with a conventional flywheel for US Season 2 when it competed as Unibite 2.0.
Unibite.jpg
VIPER 01 Series 5
VIPER01.jpg
Velocirippa Series 5, Extreme 1 Competed in Series 3, 4, Extreme 2 and 7 without a cutting disc.
Velocirippa.png
W.A.S.P. Series 6
WASP.png
Wheelosaurus Series 4 After first debuting in Series 2, Wheelosaurus used interchangeable cutting blades in Series 4.
WheelosaurusBlades.jpg
Widow's Revenge Series 5 Front-mounted cutting disc and rear mounted drum spinner.
Widow's Revenge.png
Wild Thing Series 6 Series 6 Semi-Finalist. Used a wedge and lifter in all other appearances, incorporating a horizontal flywheel in Series 5.
Wild Thing 2 S6.png
Xenomorph Series 7
Xenomorph.jpg
Zanzara Nickelodeon Repurposed from loanerbot Silver Box.
Zanzara Arena.png
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