Spiked axes or picks were one of the first kind of overhead weapons to be used in Robot Wars. They first appeared in Series 1, with two competitors - Killertron and Mortis - using a pickaxe and a 'tantō blade' to reach the Heat Final in their first appearances. Killertron would ultimately reach the Grand Final in Series 2 with this weapon, with Mortis reaching the Semi Finals in the same series and later winning the Series 4 War of Independence.
Other notable robots with spiked axes include three-time Semi-Finalist Dominator 2, the Series 3-6 versions of X-Terminator, and double Dutch Series Grand Finalist Bamm Bamm. House Robot Shunt was also fitted with two types of spiked axe during his appearances, one of which also featured elements from bladed axes.
- Spiked axes, as their name indicates, differ from bladed axes in that they typically feature a narrower head with a pointed tip with which the weapon puts all force behind it. This can vary from a simple pointed spike - such as those used by Dominator 2 and Kat 3 - to sharp blades like Shunt's diamond-edged axe and Mortis's 'tantō blade', and even double-headed pickaxes such as that wielded by Killertron.
The purpose of spiked axes is to pierce holes through an opponent's armour, wheels or tracks, often reaching internal components and using the axe to drag them across the arena, as Dominator 2 and Killertron frequently demonstrated. When the axe was used to repeatedly punch holes through a robot's armour, the tactic was often referred to as 'pepper-potting', especially by Jonathan Pearce.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Due to their narrow surface area, spiked axes could quickly and easily pierce through armour, wheels and tracks, especially in earlier series. As a result, they could cause major external and internal damage more quickly and effectively than other overhead weapons, sometimes resulting in an instant immobilisation. This was particularly demonstrated by Dominator 2's two-second knockout of Henry 2 in its Series 4 eliminator, where its first axe blow completely immobilised the latter.
- Spiked axes could score highly on damage and aggression points when they were used to repeatedly strike - or 'pepper-pot' - opponents. Many victories by Mortis and Dominator 2 were attributed to both robots using their axes to cause damage - the highest scoring criteria in Judges' decisions - to their opponents.
- If an axe-wielding robot sticks its axe into an opponent, it can use the leverage offered by the spiked axe head to drag opponents around the arena - as Dominator 2 regularly did - or even onto their sides or backs, as Killertron demonstrated against Behemoth in the Series 2 Semi-Finals.
- As with their bladed counterparts, spiked axes could be used as effective self-righting mechanisms depending on their power, design and amount of leverage in the weapon mechanism. Dominator 2, Iron-Awe and Kat 3 were some of the most successful examples.
- Spiked axes, as with other overhead weapons, could offer an effective weapon synergy with lifting, flipping or gripping weapons. Mortis' lifting arm, Shunt's scoop and Splinter's side arms are among some of the most notable and diverse examples.
- In later series, spiked axes became generally less effective in penetrating through opponents, especially those which adopted tougher armour. This nullified their former advantage on damage potential, as demonstrated by Kat 3's inability to cause significant holes in Bulldog Breed's armour during their Series 7 Heat Final.
- Spiked axes often have a very narrow range of attack, as most of them can only hit opponents which are directly in front of them. This often made them less accurate than bladed axes or hammers, although some, such as Killerton's pickaxe, were capable of swinging at 180 degrees and striking from both the robot's front and back, somewhat circumventing this issue.
- Spiked axes can easily pierce the arena floor, getting the wielding robot stuck on the floor and effectively immobilising it unless the axe can retract. Kat 3 and frenZy were particularly susceptible to this issue, although both robots would successfully free themselves and proceed to win battles where this occurred.
- Most earlier spiked axes did not have the power to self-right without the use of a separate srimech. Killertron's defeats to Roadblock and Wheely Big Cheese were directly attributed to it being unable to re-right itself after getting flipped completely over, while Mortis was equipped with a lifting arm in later series which primarily acted as a srimech. Even some spiked axes from later series, such as the weapons of C.V. and Bamm Bamm, failed to self-right.
- 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 robots.
- Much like their bladed counterparts, the axe shaft of spiked axes were susceptible to breaking due to fatigue of the metal. This most notably happened to Shunt's axe when it attempted to attack Eruption in Eruption's fight with Cathadh during the World Series.
List of Robots with Spiked 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 Spiked axes||Notes|
|Agent Orange||Series 3|
|AM CVn||Extreme 2|
|Anarchy||Series 6||Claimed by Mike Franklin to be as powerful as Chaos 2's flipper. Series 6 Heat Finalist; most successful walkerbot ever.|
|Arnold A. Terminegger||Extreme 1||An overhead axe mounted on the robot's original lifting weapon mechanism; the weapon was capable of swinging a full 360 degrees and acting as a clamp on taller and narrower opponents. Extreme 1 Annihilator runner-up.|
|Axe-Awe||Series 5, Extreme 1||One of the first robots to combine an axe with a flipper.|
|Backstabber||Series 3||The first robot ever to fall to Razer, only ever fired its weapon once, as it fell into the pit.|
|Bamm Bamm||Series 7, Dutch Series 1-2||Mounted on a rotating turret, so it could strike from all sides. Interchangeable with a flipping arm, hammer or club in Dutch Series 1. Dutch Series 1 and 2 Grand Finalist.|
|Bash Gordon||Extreme 2||Double acting flipper and axe, failed to work in its only battle.|
|Behemoth||Series 3, 5-7, 10, Extreme 1-2||Twin rear axes for Series 3, an overhead axe for Series 5-7 and both series of Robot Wars Extreme. The overhead axe was re-fitted for Series 10 as an optional attachment which went unused.|
|Berserk 2||Series 3-4|
|Black Widow||Series 5||Walkerbot.|
|Bumblebot||Series 3||Featured a hammer in Series 2.|
|Cataclysmic Variabot||Extreme 1-2||Interchangeable with a flipping arm, a saw and a spike, but the axe was the only weapon used.|
|Comengetorix||Extreme 1||Used a bladed axe head in Series 6.|
|Demolition Man||Series 6|
|Dominator 2||Series 4-6, Extreme 1-2||One of the most succesful spiked axe-weilding robots, reaching three consecutive Semi-Finals and finishing runner-up in the Series 4 Northern Annihilator.|
|Edge Hog||Series 6-7, Extreme 2||Axe mechanism later used in Series 8 competitor Glitterbomb.|
|Excalibur||Series 3||Once locked axes with Centurion.|
|frenZy||Series 4, MTV Pilot||In actuality a titanium spiked hammer, referred to as an 'axe' on TV or as a 'meat tenderiser'; electrically-operated and capable of self-righting. Finished runner-up in the Series 4 War of Independence and MTV Pilot.|
|G-Force||US Season 2||Featured two axes, both striking forward, one on left and one on the right.|
|Hard Cheese||Series 3|
|Hellbent||Series 7||Paired with a set of pnuematic flipping forks.|
|Hot Pants||Series 6|
|Hydra||Series 7||Hardened steel axe with a pointed tip, capable of puncturing titanium and self-righting. Replaced the sledgehammer previously used in Series 6 and Extreme 2, paired with a rear-hinged flipping arm.|
|Iron-Awe||Series 4, 6-7, Extreme 2||First robot to successfully self-right using an overhead weapon. Original Series 4 version featured a 3kg felling axe head. Iron-Awe 2 (Series 6/Extreme 2) and Iron-Awe 2.1 (Series 7) featured a more powerful axe fitted with a counterweight, paired with a pneumatic rear-hinged flipper. Most later versions, including Series 10 incarnation Iron-Awe 6, discarded the axe entirely.|
|Judge Shred||Series 4|
|Kat 3||Series 5-7, Extreme 2||Closely resembled Dominator 2 from Series 6 onwards.|
|Killerhurtz||Series 3-4||Custom spiked head replacing the bladed axe used in Series 2.|
|Killertron||Series 1-2, 4, Extreme 1||First robot to feature a spiked axe, and was one of the most powerful in its time. Series 2 Grand Finalist, finishing fourth overall. Replaced with a boxing glove for the Series 4 Celebrity Special.|
|Lethal Swan||Dutch Series 1-2||Axe head was modelled on the head of a swan, with a pointed chisel concealed inside.|
|Mechadroid||US Season 2||Uses a double-headed axe with both spiked pick and bladed heads.|
|Mega Hurts||Series 6||Featured 2 sideways axes.|
|Mortis||Series 1-4||A custom-made 'tantō blade', capable of striking at a rate of three hits-per-second and often referred to as a 'hammer'. Paired with a lifting arm in Series 3-4. Series 2 Semi-Finalist and Series 4 War of Independence Champion, as well as the winner of the 'Best Engineered Robot' award in Series 1.|
|Napalm||Series 2-3, 5, Extreme 1||A pair of rear-mounted 'mandibles', originally a starting mechanism for the robot's chainsaw. Repurposed as an overhead weapon after the chainsaw broke, but only capable of superficial damage. For Extreme 1, the 'mandibles' were replaced with narrower twin spikes; Napalm 2 featured a new overhead axe weapon with alternate spiked heads. Series 2 Semi-Finalist with the original 'mandible' weapons.|
|NEAT Machine||Series 7, Extreme 1, Dutch Series 1-2||Horns sounded whenever the axe was fired.|
|Orac's Revenge||Series 3|
|Ripper (Featherweight)||Series 2|
|Ripper's Revenge||Series 3|
|Robochicken||Series 4-7, Extreme 2||A spiked axe (stem and head) was still attached to the top of the flipping arm in Series 7. Dubbed the "poultry pecker".|
|Spike (Extreme Warriors)||US Season 1-2|
|Shell Shock (Series 7)||Series 7|
|Shunt||Series 2-10, Extreme 1-2, US Seasons 1-2, Nickelodeon, Dutch Series 1-2, German Series||Spiked pickaxe in Series 2, later superseded by his signature 'diamond-edged' axe.|
|Splinter||Series 5, Extreme 1||Spiked axe and grappling arms.|
|Suicidal Tendencies||Series 4|
|Sumpthing||Series 3-4, 6|
|The Iron Mask||Series 3|
|The Steel Avenger||Series 3||Interchangeable with a bladed axe, spiked axe only used in its first ever battle, its Series 3 fight against Schumey Too.|
|Thor||Series 8-10||Originally equipped with a spiked hammer, Thor adopted a pneumatic axe with interchangeable spiked and bladed heads for its Series 8-10 incarnations. One of the heads featured a spiked tip intended to pierce through robots with weaker armour, which was used exclusively in its Series 8 Grand Final battle against Carbide. Finished fourth overall in Series 8 with these interchangeable heads.|
|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.|
|TR2||Series 8||Features a small spiked axe on the back of a powerful flipper, nicknamed the "bum axe" by Dara Ó Briain. Removed for the Grand Final; finished third overall.|
|Vercingetorix||Series 4||Similar design to Mortis, with same lifter/axe combination.|
|Wedgehog||Series 1||Described by Jonathan Pearce as a "toothpick".|
|X-Terminator||Series 3-6, Extreme 1-2||Originally featuring a narrow spiked head in Series 3, X-Terminator 2 was also equipped with a larger axe head for the main competition of Series 4, which proved to be exceptionally ineffective and fragile-looking. Both axe heads were interchangeable with a flipping arm in Series 4, where it finished as a Semi-Finalist. The axes of the Series 5-6 and Extreme 1 versions were enlarged and featured self-righting capabilities. Replaced with a more effective vertical flywheel for Series 7.|
|Zeus (UK)||Series 3|