Pincers (also known as jaws or claws) are the name given to a type of gripping weapon found in Robot Wars. They usually consist of a pair of blades designed to apply force to two sides in order to pinch, cut or grip robots.

A favoured weapon of the House Robots (with Growler, Sergeant Bash, Sir Killalot and Mr Psycho all using them for most of their careers), the weapon first appeared on Series 3 Semi-Finalist Pitbull in the form of jaws; the slicing pincers debuted later on in the same series with Agent Orange. The original General Carnage had smaller claws mounted on extended arms. Dual pincers first appeared in basic form on the original Judge Shred.

Aside from Pitbull, Chompalot and Crushtacean/Krab-Bot have enjoyed reasonable success with this form of weapon.

Definition[edit | edit source]

Pincers are a type of weapon that rely on crushing or gripping from two sides simultaneously. They take their name from the tool, which used mechanical advantage to apply pressure to two blunt concave jaws arranged like the blades of scissors, used for gripping and pulling objects. Most pincers were designed to grip opponents, although a few were designed to pierce through them as well.

In Robot Wars, pincers can take many form and are often called jaws or claws rather than pincers, where they are designed to resemble mouths or hands respectively. Jaws in particular can vary in length, width and operation - some such as the weapon of Pitbull were better suited for grabbing, whilst others such as Chompalot's were designed with crushing in mind.

Advantages and Disadvantages[edit | edit source]


Even as the arena spike fired, Pitbull was able to hold onto Fire Storm

Sir Killalot's original pincers cut into Dreadnaut's lifting forks following the latter's Series 2 loss

Mr. Psycho's arm-mounted claws could not only grab competitor robots, but also lift and carry them across the arena, such as Panic Attack during Extreme 2

Chompalot manages to grip Gabriel with its pincer to prevent Gabriel's sword from swinging

  • Depending on the design, a set of pincers can be designed to double as another weapon type, such as a lifting weapon. Lambsy and S.M.I.D.S.Y. are notable examples.
  • Pincers can often display effective weapons synergy with lifters or overhead weapons, as demonstrated in the designs of Agent Orange, General Carnage and Judge Shred. Lambsy was able to incorporate a pneumatic spike into its jaws, and Draven combined its jaw with a lifting mechanism which also enabled it to potentially self-right.
  • Pincers have enormous grip strength. In the Series 3 Semi-Final battle between Pitbull and Fire Storm, the former was able to continue holding onto Fire Storm despite being bounced by an arena spike.
  • Pincers can be incorporated into an invertible design, as demonstrated by S.M.I.D.S.Y, Lambsy and General Chompsalot.
  • Pincers are designed to target the underside of other robots, often considered to be their most vulnerable part. They can often cause considerable damage to the underside, or even lift opponents off the floor as a result. Chompalot achieved the latter in its Extreme 2 Iron Maidens final against Pussycat, with Crushtacean later replicating the feat with Cerberus.
  • Pincers can be especially effective in damaging or destroying narrow components, for example beams, weapon arms and aerials. The various versions of Sir Killalot's jaws achieved this on numerous occasions, often snapping entire components in half, such as the axle for Dreadnaut's lifting forks in Series 2, Iron-Awe's axe in Series 4 and Gabriel 2's mace in Series 10. Additionally, Crushtacean immobilised Mr Nasty in Series 6 by slicing its aerial off with its claws.
  • House Robots equipped with pincers also possessed unique benefits with their usage of said weapons. For example, Sir Killalot and Mr Psycho could use their much larger arm-mounted jaws/claws to hold competitors high off the floor, carry them around and even dump them out of the arena.
  • Pincers, like other crushers, can prevent another robot from using its weapon, although not to as much of an extent as vertical crushers. This was best demonstrated in Chompalot's Head to Head in Series 8, where it managed to prevent Gabriel from using its torque reaction weapon to damage Chompalot.


Dara Ó Briain discusses the limited attack range of Draven's jaw

Crushtacean's pincers are left broken following an attack from Supernova

Dara Ó Briain: "You have to drive it very carefully just to get the exact right place to grab somebody."
Team Draven: " long as something happens between there, we get ahold of it..."
Dara Ó Briain (holding his forefinger and thumb beside Draven's pincers): "You're talking about - this is the zone of danger, this size of area here."
— Dara expresses doubts about the attack range of Draven's jaw
  • Pincers have a very limited attack range as a result of their narrow width, which makes them one of the most difficult to position effectively for an attack.
    • Pincers which were combined with lifting mechanisms could prove especially easy to avoid as a result of their aforementioned characteristics. General Carnage's Series 3 fight against Behemoth especially demonstrated this shortcoming.
  • As they are thin, pincers can easily be broken or bent out of shape by rotating weapons. Crushtacean's claws in particular were broken by Supernova's disc during their battle in the Third World Championship, as was Draven's jaw following attacks from PP3D in Series 9.
  • Gripping pincers such as the jaws of General Chompsalot are not usually designed to cause damage, making it very difficult for robots equipped with these weapons to score damage points in the event of a Judges' decision.

List of Robots with Pincers[edit | edit source]

Robots are listed alphabetically. Robots which are not heavyweight entries are listed with a green background. House Robots are listed with a yellow background. Robots equipped with gripping jaws (designed to prioritise holding a robot rather than causing damage) are listed in bold.

Robot Series Appearances with Pincers Notes Image
Agent Orange Series 3 Also featured an overhead pickaxe.
Agentorange outside.jpg
Aggrobot Series 6-7, Extreme 1 Could change from horizontal to vertical orientations as well as exert a supposed 17 tonnes of crushing force in Series 7. Combined with a front lifter.
Automatic Jack Series 2 Super Heavyweight competitor.
Automatic Jack File 2.jpg
Behemoth Series 9 One of Behemoth's four interchangeable weapons was a pair of grabbing arms that held robots onto a lifting platform. Only used in its Series 9 battle against Cherub, with the use of this weapon resulting in its loss and elimination from the series.
Behemoth with Grippers.jpg
Bluemax Dutch Series 2 A collaboration of the Blue and MaxiMill teams, but the first gripping weapon from either team.
Cerberus Extreme 1-2 Used a spike to clamp opponents against its head. This design was made for Series 4, but weight constraints prevented the head from being used.
Chompalot Series 6, 8, Extreme 2 Extreme 2 Iron Maidens champion. Only the upper jaw was active, which functioned in a similar way to a vertical crusher.
Chompalot 2016.jpg
Constrictor Series 7 Used a lifter as the primary weapon with the clamp on the bottom.
Crocodilotron Series 3 Only the top jaw moved, which had teeth lined along the bottom and could double as a flipper/lifter.
Crushtacean UK Series 5-7, 9, Extreme 2, Dutch Series 2 Designed to resemble a crab, with a dual set of claws operated by motion-sensitive gloves. Dutch Series 2 Grand Finalist as Krab-Bot.
Crushtacean series 9.png
Destructosaur Series 6 George Francis expressed fear of Destructosaur's pincers.
Diotoir Extreme 2 An overhead arm paired with a spring-powered lifter.
Draven Series 8-9, Extreme 1 Mounted on a lifting arm which could double as a srimech. Four tonnes of crushing force.
Lord Draven.png
Dundee Series 3 Pair of upper and lower crushing rams, each lined with metal teeth driven by chains. Upper ram also included a circular saw, and could double as a flipper/lifter when lowered.
Dundee RWS3.jpg
Eleven Series 5 A walkerbot.
Eric Series 3-4 Main weapon was a lifting arm; two sets of teeth underneath it enabled the weapon to double as a clamp when opened.
Eric s3 mag.png
General Carnage Series 3 Mounted on a lifting arm.
General carnage.JPG
General Chompsalot US Season 1-2 Recurring runner-up finisher in side events. Known as General Chompsalot 2 in Season 2.
General chompsalot 2.JPG
Gnasher Series 3 Competed exclusively in Robotic Soccer.
Gnasher football.jpg
Growler Series 6-7, Extreme 2 Jaws modelled on a dog's head, with four tonnes of crushing force.
HIGH-5 Series 9 Based on the version of S.M.I.D.S.Y. owned by the team, with clamping/lifting jaws shaped like a pair of hands. Lifting capacity of 280kg.
Judge Shred Series 3 Two pincers mounted on a pair of lifting arms, alongside a rear axe. Used flipping weapons in subsequent appearances.
Judge Shred S3 Crop.png
Lambsy Series 5, Extreme 2 Jaws were also used as a flipper, and concealed a retracting spike.
Major Tom 3 Series 7 Designed to trap opponents on the robot's ramp for pushing.
Major Tom 3.jpg
Mr. Psycho Series 6-7, Extreme 2, Dutch Series 2, German Series Designed to resemble a clawed hand, mounted on the end of his left arm.
Mr Psycho.png
Pitbull Series 3 Series 3 Semi-Finalist, and the only robot to reach the Semi-Finals using a pincer weapon.
Pitbull mag.png
RCC Dutch Series 1 Rear-mounted pincers with a primary axe weapon. Successor RCC 2 used only pincers.
Reactor 2 Series 5 Main function was as a flipper, nicknamed a "flamp".
Reactor II.png
Red Dragon Series 3
Red dragon arena.jpg
Sabretooth Series 8 Uses a single grabbing arm in combination with a steep wedge to grab opponents; the arm was also intended to enable the robot to self-right. Also featured a spinning drum on the other side of the machine.
Sabretooth 2016.jpg
Saw Point Series 7, Extreme 2 Known as Sawpoint 2 in Series 7.
Saw point 2.JPG
Sgt. Bash Series 3-7, Extreme 1-2, US Seasons 1-2, Nickelodeon, Dutch Series 1-2, German Series Replaced a front ramming blade initially used for Series 1-2. Initially a set of jaws of life similar to Sir Killalot's, upgraded to custom-made pincers for Series 4 onwards.
Sir Killalot Series 2-10, Extreme 1-2, US Seasons 1-2, Nickelodeon, Dutch Series 1-2, German Series Hydraulic jaws mounted on his left arm. Originally a set of jaws of life, replaced with custom jaws between Series 4-7 and a cutting claw for Series 8-10. Known as Sir K in Nickelodeon Robot Wars.
Sir Killalot 10.jpg
S.M.I.D.S.Y. Series 3-5, Extreme 1 Jaws could also function as a lifter or a ramming wedge. Modified into and replaced with a lifting scoop in later series.
Snake Bite US Season 2 Pair of biting 'fangs' mounted on the front wedge.
Snake Bite US.png
Sobek US Season 1
Spartacus (Lightweight) Series 2
Spartacus US Season 1, UK Series 7 US representative in The Third World Championship.
Spartacus 2 in S7.jpg
Tartarus Series 7, Dutch Series 2
THE BASH Series 10 World Series competitor, representing the Netherlands. Resembled a smaller version of the House Robot Sgt. Bash.
Trilobyte US Season 2
Tyranabot US Season 2, Nickelodeon Nickelodeon Robot Wars US Champion.
Tyranabot Final.jpg
Wowot Series 5, US Season 2 Jaws were mounted on a vertical arm, and could function as a vertical crusher.
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