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For the ShowBot which competes at BattleBots: Destruct-A-Thon live events, see Ginsu (ShowBot).

Ginsu was a superheavyweight robot built by BattleBots co-founders Greg Munson and Trey Roski during the early era of North American combat robotics. Its most recognizable feature was its modular, invertible design with circular sawblades for wheels, which doubled as the robot's primary weapons in each of its incarnations.

Ginsu's first BattleBots appearance was at the inaugural Long Beach 1999 event, where it fought and won a single exhibition battle against heavyweight entries Agrippa and Ronin. Its competitive debut in the superheavyweight division came at the Las Vegas event later that same year, followed by a partly-televised run in Season 1.0 where it reached the Top 8 through World Peace forfeiting its first match.

From that point on, Ginsu would only appear in demonstration battles for Seasons 2.0 and 3.0, only to lose on both occasions to Chinkilla on a Judges' decision. Ginsu's record through this era of BattleBots stood at two victories and four losses, including its win by default against World Peace in Season 1.0, plus two further losses in the Las Vegas 1999 and Season 1.0 Super Heavyweight Royal Rumbles.

Ginsu featured a modular design incorporating multiple box-shaped chassis modules. These included long and short versions enabling a minimum of two or four mounting points for sawblades per module. As such, the modules could be combined together to form several different shapes and utilize as many sawblades as Munson and Roski required. For Long Beach 1999, Ginsu entered with the single long box module with four axle mountings, an appearance that it would again use in Season 3.0 with larger-diameter saws added to the rear axle. For Las Vegas 1999, the robot took on an inverted T-shape consisting of the long and both short modules, effectively giving it six-wheel drive.

Other configurations included a horizontal T-shape in Season 1.0 (with additional sawblades positioned in the center) and an X-shape in Season 2.0 which utilized all three chassis modules and no fewer than four different types of sawblade. The sawblades themselves were typically those made by SystiMatic, the same company who also provided the famous Killsaws located in the BattleBox floor during this era. For Season 1.0, Roski made a lightweight version called Mini-Ginsu. However, it had technical problems and could not compete. Also, during Season 4.0, a gigantic Super Ginsu was showcased backstage, weighing an estimated 500lbs. However, Super Ginsu never made it into the arena either.

Ginsu reappeared as an active BattleBots competitor at the 2007 JavaOne event, where it fought an exhibition match against multiple RoboGames heavyweight gold medallist Sewer Snake. By this time, it was reverted back to its initial Long Beach 1999 design, but now sporting a red and yellow paint scheme.[1] The robot remains in running order today in this condition, and has occasionally been used for demolition work.

Over 15 years after its last recorded match, Hal Rucker was hired by Roski and Munson to redesign Ginsu as a ShowBot for the BattleBots: Destruct-A-Thon live events. In this new form, Ginsu still sports its familiar polycarbonate top armor, but with redesigned sawblade wheels and thick pink armor plating.

Robot History[]

Long Beach 1999[]

Ginsu vs. Ronin vs. Agrippa (Exhibition Match)

Despite not taking part in the main tournament, Ginsu faced Ronin and Agrippa during an exhibition match. Ginsu used its sawblade wheels to show aggression and drive over Ronin and Agrippa for most of the match. Ultimately, Ginsu won the exhibition battle.

Las Vegas 1999[]

Ginsu vs. Mechadon


Mechadon flips Ginsu with its legs.

Ginsu's first competitive match of the 1999 Las Vegas event was against Mechadon. Early on, Ginsu was dominant, ramming Mechadon about the BattleBox. However, Ginsu knocked itself on its side after ramming Mechadon against the wall. With no way to self-right, Ginsu was counted out and Mechadon won by KO. This meant that Ginsu was eliminated from the tournament.

Superheavyweight Royal Rumble

GinsuSHWRumble lv99

Ginsu drives over an immobilized Minion.

Ginsu also took part in the Superheavyweight Rumble at the end of the tournament. Ginsu started moving around the arena and got hit by Ricon from the side. As S.L.A.M. was attacking Minion, Ginsu charged straight at both robots and separated them. Ginsu turned around and drove over the now-immobilized Minion. It then crashed into Ricon and escaped trouble. After taking a few hits from Team K.I.S.S.'s machine, Ginsu charged at S.L.A.M. and pushed it against the spikestrip. Ginsu was flipping itself against the arena wall and S.L.A.M. hit it again, almost throwing it on its side in the process. Ginsu backed up and charged into S.L.A.M. again, but this hit immobilized Ginsu, who was now being attacked by Ricon's saw blades. Ricon backed up and turned its attention to World Peace for the rest of the fight. In the end, World Peace was declared the winner of the Superheavyweight Rumble.

Comedy Central Season 1.0[]

Ginsu vs. World Peace (Forfeit)

Ginsu was scheduled to fight World Peace first, but the Superheavyweight Rumble winner of the 1999 Las Vegas event had technical issues and was forced to forfeit. Ginsu won by default and advanced to the quarter-finals.

Ginsu vs. Ronin

RoninvsGinsu sf00

Ginsu being attacked by Ronin.

Now in the final eight, Ginsu took on Peter Abrahamson and Ronin. Ginsu drove over the hellraisers early on, as Ronin slowly moved out of its starting square. Both robots collided and Ginsu nearly drove over the top of its opponent. Ginsu recalibrated and immediately charged into the side of Ronin again. Ginsu backed up and threw itself into the front of Ronin, but Ginsu got its front right saw stuck on top of Ronin's own saw weapon. Both robots were separated and Ginsu's drive train fell apart. Both robots were moving around the arena but Ginsu was caught on the killsaws, which ripped one of the front saw wheels from Ginsu. Ronin started attacking Ginsu with its saw blade and pushed it against the spikestrip. Ginsu was now showing limited mobility and Ronin took it to the entrance ramp. Ginsu got itself stuck between the entrance ramp and the spikestrip and played little part in the remainder of the fight as Ronin kept on attacking Ginsu. Time ran out and Ronin won on a 7-2 judges' decision and Ginsu was eliminated from the tournament.

Super Heavyweight Royal Rumble

Ginsu also participated the Super Heavyweight Royal Rumble at the end of the tournament. Ginsu started moving but was hit by Gray Matter's spike. It scurried away and began driving into Diesector, before turning its attention to Ronin. Ginsu drove from danger after getting hit by Prompt Critical from the rear, but stopped moving and Gray Matter shoved it against the spikestrip. Ginsu was left on the red square for the rest of the rumble, which Minion ultimately was declared the winner of.

Comedy Central Season 2.0[]

Ginsu vs. Chinkilla (Exhibition Match)

ChinKillavsGinsu lv00

Ginsu gets lifted by Chinkilla.

Despite not taking part in Season 2.0, Ginsu went up against Jay Leno's Chinkilla during an exhibition match. Both robots charged at one another in the opening seconds before Chinkilla flipped Ginsu onto the killsaws. After moving away from the hazard, Chinkilla got its lifting scoop to the left side of Ginsu and flipped it onto its side. Chinkilla celebrated its attack with a victory dance, while Ginsu was attacked momentarily by the hellraisers. Chinkilla then opted to knock Ginsu back onto its feet, encouraging a pushing match between the two bots. Ginsu moved away, only to be caught by Chinkilla's flipper again before crashing into the arena wall. Ginsu landed on an inactive pulverizer but was freed by its opponent. In the closing moments, Chinkilla dragged Ginsu on the killsaws and onto the spikestrip. Ginsu flipped itself against the rear on Chinkilla, but got back onto its feet shortly after, before time ran out. Chinkilla won the resulting judges' decision by a unanimous 45-0 score.

Comedy Central Season 3.0[]

Ginsu, Dreadnought and La Machine vs. Chinkilla (Exhibition Match)

Lamachine 3v1

Ginsu rams into Chinkilla.

Ginsu returned for Season 3.0, and again fought in an exhibition match against Chinkilla (again), La Machine and Dreadnought. La Machine and Dreadnought showed the most aggression of the three challengers and even turned on Ginsu at one point. The time ran out and Chinkilla won on a close 23-22 judges' decision.

BattleBots JavaOne 2007[]

Ginsu vs. Sewer Snake (Exhibition Match)

After being absent from the later Comedy Central seasons, Ginsu fought once again at the 2007 JavaOne event, where it faced Team PlumbCrazy's seasoned heavyweight Sewer Snake in a one-off exhibition battle. By this time, it had reverted to its original four-sawed design. The existence of this fight was confirmed through footage recorded by the SubZero team, who competed in and obtained similar footage for matches from the main middleweight tournament.[1] Starting from the red square, Ginsu immediately turned left and drifted sideways into Sewer Snake, briefly riding up the latter's front lifting forks before reversing into a spiked bumper. It then weaved its way backwards across the BattleBox floor, again riding over Sewer Snake's weapon as it traversed forth and back over the blue square. Ginsu briefly hesitated before approaching Team PlumbCrazy's robot again, once again driving into the spiked bumpers and over the front-right of Sewer Snake. Drifting around near the blue square again, Ginsu charged along the side of the previous year RoboGames runner-up into the left-most wall, only to be turned over by Sewer Snake while reversing over the Californian machine yet again. Ginsu crashed against the side rails, rolling back into the upright position. It next jostled with Sewer Snake in an attempt to push the latter around, but again drove over Sewer Snake before spinning in the bottom-left corner. Shuttling back and forth, Ginsu was slow to dodge a ram from Sewer Snake which launched it upwards into the air. Ginsu briefly retreated, narrowly avoiding one of the pulverizers in the process, before nudging and driving up the front forks of Sewer Snake again. This charge caused Ginsu to tip over and bounce on its side against the left-most Lexan wall, the long axle shafts helping it to land in the upright position. Ginsu responded by immediately charging back at Sewer Snake, but again found itself being thrown onto its side before being subjected to more pressure from Sewer Snake. After lingering near the red square, Ginsu was rammed and flipped again by Sewer Snake, this time coming close to getting tipped out of the arena. Upon escaping, Ginsu briefly dragged Sewer Snake with it as the Team PlumbCrazy machine rode up the top of its sawblades. Both machines retreated to the opposite side of the BattleBox, and Ginsu returned to the top-left corner before driving past a self-righting Sewer Snake. Ginsu was unable to capitalize on its opponent's issues with its top lifter. Instead, it drove up the forks twice and eventually getting shoved into the spiked bumper by the latter. Sewer Snake again drove up the side of Ginsu, allowing Ginsu to drag it back to the blue square before both robots separated and shuttled back towards the center. Ginsu spun simultaneously with Sewer Snake, only to take a hit from a nearby pulverizer. After this, Ginsu again scrambled to the blue square, grazing the spiked bumper and dodging another ram attack from Sewer Snake. Ginsu pirouetted across the BattleBox as Sewer Snake turned itself over against the bumper, only to be bumped by and line up another charge of its own on Sewer Snake. The two robots collided; Ginsu rode upwards again on Sewer Snake's forks and was violently sent tumbling into the right-most wall as the latter self-righted during the same attack. Ginsu turned over upon colliding with the spiked bumper, and again proceeded to drive in between both the red and blue squares. More collisions with the spiked bumper were followed by another drive up the top of Sewer Snake, seconds before the latter had fully reset its lifting weapon. Sewer Snake soon responded by driving under and into Ginsu's side in three more aggressive attacks. This again put Ginsu on the defensive as it was then jostled upwards by Sewer Snake's lifter, before Sewer Snake levered itself up once more on its lifters. Ginsu retreated, clipping the spiked bumper again before ramming and being bowled over by Sewer Snake's forks in front of the non-active Pulverizer. The latter attack left Ginsu with greatly reduced mobility as the fight entered its final 30 seconds, allowing Sewer Snake to ram and again turn itself over against Ginsu's side. Ginsu was rammed and lifted twice more by Sewer Snake until time ran out, after which it slowly made its way to the bottom-right corner while Sewer Snake performed a victory dance. Though announced as being put through to an audience vote, the outcome of this exhibition battle remains unknown.


Long Beach 1999
Exhibition Match
Exhibition vs. Agrippa, Ronin Won
Las Vegas 1999
Super Heavyweight Championship
Round 1
Round 1 vs. Mechadon Lost (KO)
Super Heavyweight Royal Rumble
Rumble vs. Minion, Ricon, S.L.A.M., World Peace Lost
Season 1.0
Super Heavyweight Championship
Top 8
Round 1 vs. World Peace Won by default
NOTE: World Peace forfeited this battle due to technical issues
Quarter Final vs. Ronin Lost (JD)
Super Heavyweight Royal Rumble
Rumble vs. Abbatoir, Diesector, Gray Matter, Grendel, Minion, Odin, Prompt Critical, Ronin, S.L.A.M., Super Rhino Lost
Season 2.0
Exhibition Match
Exhibition vs. Chinkilla Lost (JD)
Season 3.0
Exhibition Match
Partnered with Dreadnought and La Machine
Exhibition vs. Chinkilla Lost (JD)
BattleBots JavaOne 2007
Heavyweight/Super Heavyweight Exhibition Match
Exhibition vs. Sewer Snake Result unknown


  • Wins: 2
  • Losses: 6

NOTE: The JavaOne 2007 battle against Sewer Snake is omitted from this tally.

Competition Wins Losses
Long Beach 1999 Agrippa and Ronin (Exhibition Match) None
Las Vegas 1999 None Mechadon
Season 1.0 World Peace (Forfeit) Ronin
Season 2.0 None Chinkilla (Exhibition Match)
Season 3.0 None Chinkilla (Exhibition Match with Dreadnought and La Machine)
JavaOne 2007 (Exhibition Match against Sewer Snake) Unknown Unknown

Mark Beiro Introductions[]

"From La Ma Motors. It will slice, it will dice, it will never be nice. There's nowhere to hide from the 6 foot wide, GINSU!"

"Here is the BattleBots version of slicing and dicing. Introducing GINSU!"


Any appearances by Ginsu in merchandise are listed below:


  • Although created by Trey Roski, The Man Show's Adam Corolla and Jimmy Kimmel drove Ginsu during the Season 3.0 rumble it participated in.
  • Ginsu was one of at least six robots to battle at the Hasbro Showroom's miniature arena for the 2001 Toy Fair. The other five robots known to have participated are Tazbot, Overkill, Vlad the Impaler, BioHazard, and Diesector.
  • A test video of Ginsu - painted black and fitted with four silver sawblades - was used to illustrate a robot builders' safety message intended to be broadcast during the unaired 2009 Championships. The clips showed Ginsu pushing aside, then launching over the top of an unidentified box-wedge robot chassis - possibly resembling an early incarnation of La Machine - causing it to eject its large batteries within close distance to the camera.[2]
  • One of Ginsu's saw blade wheels from Las Vegas 1999 was among the items auctioned off by Robot Wars competitors Team Toon during their 2017 charity auction for Ty Caraid Africa.
  • In 2019, Ginsu was a part of a static display at the filming of Discovery Season 4 alongside Nightmare.