VEX IQ: Best axle cutting device

Hi everyone,

I am having a bit of trouble cutting the edges of axle on my robot for the new Slapshot competition. I went to Lowe’s hardware store but they didn’t have anything that worked for me. I just wanted something that would cut the excess axle from the wheels. Would anyone know a specific tool or trick that would help cut the excess bit of axle?

Any help?

Shyam B

Hacksaw, dremel, band saw, tin snips, grinder


If it is in your robot I would suggest a Dremel or we use tin snips

We use tin snips that look like this (this is not my picture, but they look the same)

If it isn’t on your robot I would suggest a hacksaw with a metal cutting blade on it and hold the axel with a bench vise

A lot of people suggest angle grinders but I would stay away from them as they are a lot more dangerous than all the other options, especially for younger kids.


I find that bolt cutters are a very quick and easy way to cut axles. Though they may be a little large, they require very little effort to snap an axle. It’s also easier to use than a Dremel and you don’t need to worry about sparks flying everywhere.


Dremel with cutting disk, can never go wrong with that

Gotta concur with @xTigr that the large bolt cutters are the easiest and the simplest way to cut axles.

Just don’t forget to use desktop grinder or a dremel attachment to remove any sharp edges.

And, as an added benefit, there is nothing more effective for cutting down on goofing among middle school boys, than the sight of Illyana walking down the lab with those cuties… 40 kilonewtons (or about 9000 pounds of force) means serious business.


A die grinder costs a little more than a dremel, but the cutting discs last 100x as long and are practically unbreakable, so cheaper in the long run.


This is axle cutting for VEX IQ, are you sure the sparks won’t burn the plastic? I have already built my robot and just want to cut a bit of the edge.

In a prefect setup, you would mark the axle, remove the axle, cut it, sand it, and reassemble.

You can cut on the robot if you go slowly. You can use an air compressor to blow on the axle and surrounding area to keep them cool. Be aware that the particles from cutting… some of those are going to get into spots you don’t want them. They will act as abrasive particles to cause friction & wear.


there would not be sparks, it’s plastic not steel

IQ uses steel shafts, they’re the same ones as the LS VRC shafts.

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nope! he is using the plastic ones

@ShyamNitin If you are thinking about cutting the plastic shafts, that is illegal, and you should use metal shafts, which you can cut.

No, I think that he is talking about cutting the metal ones and is concerned that cutting them may produce sparks which will harm the other plastic structure.

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good point, that’s prob the concern

I have also used a Dremel with a metal cutting disk to cut a long shaft installed on a bot dozens of times.

I typically mark where the cut goes and pull it out about 3/4". Then I can cut it without the heat damaging the plastic. Some compressed air upside down can help keep the area cool, but not necessary. If you can cool it you can do it faster, otherwise just take your time.

It’s nice because the robot holds the shaft in place. I do one side and wait for it to cool. Then I rotate it 180 and do the other side.

Most importantly, take your time, use eye protection and have an adult help. A Dremel can seriously mess you up. You don’t want to be the “that guy” when they say “Remember when that guy…”

Best of luck!


Can you just push it in farther? As long as the axle sticks out under the inside, isn’t it fine?

why not take the shaft out, I imagine it wouldn’t take that long to put it back

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Also, with any of these options, remember to take a good file and smooth the cut ends so nobody cuts themselves on them.

Yeah one safety tip aleays be aware od where your fingers are and where the blade is…