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.
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]
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]
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.|
|Agamemnon||1996 Championship||Middleweight champion, used interchangeable weapons with its primary weapon being a circular saw attached to the end of an arm.|
|Series 2||Two cutting discs with estimated top speeds between 10,000rpm and 15,000rpm.|
|Attiller (the Hun)||1996 Championship||Lightweight Champion, used a row of four cutting discs with teeth bent outwards.|
|Automatic Jack||Series 2||Rear-mounted. Originally armed with a chainsaw, drill and spike.|
|Beast of Bodmin||Series 3||Series 3 Semi-Finalist and successor to Roadblock.|
|Bernard||Extreme 2, Series 7||Small cutting blade mounted high up the robot's wedge.|
|Black Widow||US Season 2||US Season 2 Tag Team Terror Champion, partnered with Rocky-Bot-Boa.|
|Bodyhammer||Series 2||Front-mounted 6-inch saw, equipped in tandem with a reciprocating spike.|
|Brutus Maximus||Series 6-7||Set of three rear cutting discs connected on one axis.|
|Bulldog Breed||Series 3||Used twin cutting discs before opting for a flipper in future appearances.|
|Buzzant||Extreme 2||Vertically mounted buzz saw.|
|Cataclysmic Variabot||Extreme 1-2||Later known as CV. Used interchangeable weapons, but only equipped the axe in its televised fights.|
|Cerberus||Series 3||Tungsten-tipped circular saw-like disc. Had to be removed before entering the arena due to hardened steel blades being prohibited.|
|Challenger||Series 2-3||Used a rear angle grinder in Series 2, and front-mounted rotating blades in Series 3 as Challenger 2.|
|Colossus||Series 6-7||Main weapon was a rear-hinged flipper.|
|Crasha Gnasha||Series 3||Cutting saw came from the Swedish Air Force.|
|Cruella||Series 2||Only used a circular saw in its second series.|
|Damacles||Series 2||Lightweight robot. Cutting disc mounted on a spring-loaded arm.|
|Darkness||US Season 2||Pair of cutting blades mounted horizontally.|
|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.|
|Demolition Demon||Series 2||Heat Finalist. Used new weaponry in Series 3 as Demolition Demon 2.|
|Diskotek||US Season 2, Nickelodeon||Borrows components and design aspects from Robotica champion Flexy Flyer.|
|Disruptor||Series 2||Mounted on a movable arm.|
|Eddy Evolution||Extreme 2||Small cutting blade at the front.|
|Elvis||Series 2||Disc was added for Elvis' second Robot Wars campaign.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Grinder||Series 3||Named after its angle grinder weapon.|
|GroundHog||Series 2||Predecessor to Firestorm.|
|Gutrip||1996 Championship||Used a milling cutter as its weapon, span slowly but was hugely damaging.|
|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.|
|Hard Cheese||Extreme 1||First official Middleweight Champion. Four-toothed cutting blade used only in Extreme, replacing a former hammer weapon.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Leighbot||Series 1||Rear angle grinder.|
|Limpet||Series 2||Front-mounted disc.|
|Lizzard||Dutch Series 2||Heat winner in this form, small front-mounted disc used in combination with a sit-and-spin design.|
|Mad Cow||US Season 1||Front wedge and rear cutting disc.|
|Malfunktion||Series 3||Robotic Soccer-only competitor.|
|Malice||Series 2||Reserve Robot.|
|Maximus||Extreme 2||Located in the centre of a front-hinged lifter. Claimed to spin at 18,000rpm.|
|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.|
|Milly-Ann Bug||Series 2||Replaced with static spikes following Series 2.|
|Ming||Series 3||Very large cutting disc mounted at an angled horizontal level.|
|Neoteric||Extreme 2||Sized closer to a vertical flywheel than a typical cutting disc.|
|ORAC||Series 2||Mounted on an arm.|
|Panzer||Series 3, Extreme 1||Known as Panzer Wraith in Extreme.|
|Pathetica||Dutch Series 1||Primary weapon was an axe, with a rear-mounted vertical cutting disc.|
|Penetrator||Series 2||Armed with a retractable cutting disc and spikes.|
|Plunderbird||Series 1, Series 3||Interchangeable with a retracting spike in Series 1 as Plunderbird 1. Unused in Series 3 as Plunderstorm.|
|Prometheus (UK)||Series 2|
|Prometheus (US)||Series 3|
|Purple Predator||Series 3||Armed with a front-hinged flipper and rear-mounted disc.|
|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.|
|Rampage (1996)||1996 Championship||Used two cutting discs attached to movable arms that could go up and down.|
|Rampage||Series 2||Rear-mounted horizontal disc.|
|Reptirron||Series 4, 6-7||Mounted on a hydraulic arm in Series 4, paired with a flipper in Series 6-7.|
|Rippa Raptor||US Season 1|
|Roadblock||Series 1-2||First UK Champion. Use of its saw was limited, with Roadblock mainly relying on its wedge and pushing power.|
|Robochicken||Series 7||Rear disc described by the team as the "Rooster Rotavator", used in tandem with a flipper and axe.|
|Rosebud||Series 2||Lightweight Championship competitor.|
|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.|
|Satoru Special 3||1996 Championship||Had a small grinding disc attached to the end of a arm which was connected to a rotary turret.|
|Saw Point||Series 7, Extreme 2||Had two angled discs running parallel to each other.|
|Scar||Series 4||Carried three interchangeable spinning discs, capable of spinning different directions.|
|Scorpion||Series 4||Featured two smaller cutting discs in addition to a larger spinning disc at the rear.|
|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.|
|Scrappy||1996 Championship||Had a rear cutting disc.|
|Sergeant Bash||Series 1-2||Removed after Series 2, and replaced with a decorative saw.|
|Shapeshifter||Dutch Series 1||Used a lifting scoop in Dutch Series 2.|
|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.|
|Silver Box||US Season 1||Later fought under the new identity Zanzara.|
|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.|
|Stealth||Series 3||Armed with a flipper and large rear cutting disc.|
|Sub-Version||Series 7, Extreme 1||Known as Sub-Version 1.1 in Series 7.|
|Sumpthing||Series 5, Extreme 1||Used an axe weapon in place of the discs for Series 3-4 and 6.|
|Sweeney Todd||Series 8||Middleweight robot, but entered as a heavyweight. Two angle grinders mounted at both ends of the robot.|
|Techno-Lease||Series 3||Added to a moving arm. First Dutch representative in Robot Wars.|
|Tender Caress||Series 2|
|Tentoumushi||Series 3||War of Independence Champion. Concealed within a 'smothering shell' which lowered and trapped other robots.|
|Terror Australis||Series 3||Used a horizontal cutting disc on the original version, but not its Nemesis replacement.|
|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.|
|The Enforcer||1996 Championship||A cutting disc was attached to end of its lifter.|
|The General||Series 8||Dual cutting blades, taller than the robot itself, spinning at between 500 and 1,000rpm.|
|The Master||1996 Championship||Featured as a prominent part of Heat D in Series 1, and the VHS release of the series.|
|The Piecemaker||Nickelodeon||Middleweight robot competing amongst heavyweights with two grinding discs|
|Thermador||Series 3||Rear-mounted disc and front-mounted horizontal claws.|
|The Termite||US Season 2|
|Thud||Series 2||Super Heavyweight Championship competitor.|
|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.|
|VIPER 01||Series 5|
|Velocirippa||Series 5, Extreme 1||Competed in Series 3, 4, Extreme 2 and 7 without a cutting disc.|
|Wheelosaurus||Series 4||After first debuting in Series 2, Wheelosaurus used interchangeable cutting blades in Series 4.|
|Widow's Revenge||Series 5||Front-mounted cutting disc and rear mounted drum spinner.|
|Wild Thing||Series 6||Series 6 Semi-Finalist. Used a wedge and lifter in all other appearances, incorporating a horizontal flywheel in Series 5.|
|Zanzara||Nickelodeon||Repurposed from loanerbot Silver Box.|