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"The lesson will be taught in due time, Aloy. Until then, we wait."
This article contains heavy spoilers. Read ahead with caution.

"It's... huge. How do you defeat it?"
Aloy, encountering a Sawtooth for the first time

The Sawtooth is a machine in Horizon Zero Dawn. It is a medium-sized Combat Class machine, one of the first known machines of this class. It was developed by the artificial intelligence (AI) HEPHAESTUS as a graduation in its efforts to protect Zero Dawn terraforming machines from human predation.


Unlike the Zero Dawn terraforming machines, which were designed and controlled by Zero Dawn’s governing AI GAIA, the Sawtooth was designed by HEPHAESTUS, which had previously manufactured the machines under GAIA’s direction. When GAIA self-destructed, HEPHAESTUS gained absolute control over machine design and management as well as the manufacture of at least 11 known Zero Dawn Cauldrons. Hostile toward humans for their predations on the terraforming machines for parts and resources, HEPHAESTUS made the machines hostile to humans, a phenomenon the tribes call the Derangement, with Watchers as lookouts against hunters. It then began producing Sawtooths and other combat machines as the next logical step in protection. It produced Sawtooths at Cauldron SIGMA.

Sawtooths therefore represented a significant escalation in the Derangement. Units proved to be far more dangerous than any other machine previously encountered by the tribes. Hunting of terraforming machine herds became far more perilous due to the presence of Sawtooths guarding them. Many previously safe trails and wildlife hunting areas such as forests became high-risk due to the presence of Sawtooths. In the Nora tribe's Sacred Land territory, they attacked villages and hunting lodges, killing and maiming many Braves, who worked diligently to eliminate them.

The name “Sawtooth” was coined by the hunter Khuvam of the Carja tribe. A Hawk of the Carja Hunters Lodge, Khuvam responded to a request to the Lodge from the prefect of the Carja fort Daytower to find and eliminate a mysterious heretofore unknown machine that had dismembered all of the soldiers in his best cohort. Khuvam found and destroyed it, losing his left arm to the machine’s lethal jaws. Presumably upon observation of the pair of two long, serrated toothlike structures in its mouth, Khuvam dubbed the machine a Sawtooth. He then took said blades as a trophy.[1]

The hunting and killing of a Sawtooth was the final test given to the Nora huntress Aloy by her guardian Rost as part of her training for the Proving. It also served as a lesson to impress upon her the role she would have in protecting the tribe as a Brave.


HEPHAESTUS appears to have modeled the Sawtooth after Smilodon fatalis, an extinct feline apex predator of the Pleistocene epoch, commonly called the saber-toothed cat. Like the saber-toothed cat, it is heavyset at the front, with a large, broad chest, neck, and shoulders, powerful legs, and no tail. Its mouth is equipped with a pair of curved, scimitar-like serrated spikes, like a saber-toothed cat's fangs. Two optical sensor arrays are located on its face, in the same position as a saber-toothed cat’s eyes. Each is composed of two sensors in a vertical configuration. A long, metal crest-like structure runs along the forward area of its back, and an array of three long antenna-like structures protrude from its back in a fan-like pattern, just behind the shoulders. Its paws are equipped with non-retractable claws. The shoulders, head, and neck are heavily armored. A power cell sits atop its hindquarters, and a canister of Blaze is ensconced in its chest.


Sawtooths are usually deployed singly or in groups of up to three to protect herds of terraforming machines such as Grazers and Lancehorns. While the terraformers are busy working, the Sawtooth patrols around the herd, on a constant lookout against perceived threats. The distinctive, heavy sound of its servomotors and its deep, fearsome growls are easily heard. Frequently they are deployed in tandem with Watchers as a primary threat response, immediately converging on the position of any Watcher that sounds an alarm. They may also be found patrolling circuitous paths near areas that humans use as travel routes, especially if herding terraformers are in these areas.


"An entire lodge, wrecked?"
―Aloy, surveying the carnage wrought by Sawtooths

Despite its size and heavyset chassis, a Sawtooth is highly agile and is capable of great speed. It is designed for rapid sprinting and pouncing, and will very quickly close the distance to an identified threat. Sawtooths carry no ranged weapons, but their speed and ferocious melee attacks effectively compensate for this. However, they are highly vulnerable to weapons that utilize fire. Their attacks center on lunging with violent claw slashes and bites, giving enemies little time to retaliate.


Name Damage Type Primary Damage Trigger Range Description
Berserker Fury Melee 300 3m - 10m Multiple lunging claw slashes
Claw Swipe Melee 140 7m - 11m Single lunging claw swipe
Jaw Smash Melee 140 1m - 8m Single swipe with jaw
Jumping Jaw Smash Melee 180 16m - 23m Single swipe with jaw after pouncing


Image: Component: Information: Weakness: Strength:
Sawtooth-Body.png Body Hard outer casing to protect synthetic muscle and operational systems. Fire-Icon.png Fire None
Sawtooth-BlazeCanister.png Blaze Canister Blaze Storage Canister. Shooting this with Fire arrows will trigger an explosion. Shoot off this component to collect the Blaze inside. Fire-Icon.png Fire
Tear-Icon.png Tear



  • Despite Rost telling Aloy that machines can communicate non-vocally, Sawtooths roar and growl like a lion.
  • If significantly damaged, Sawtooths will begin limping, holding up one of their front paws in a manner similar to cats. Their 'panting' will also become less regular, further indicating their injury.
  • During the game's development, Sawtooths were referred to as "Greywolves."[2]
  • In Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, the RYNO 8 has a chance of summoning the Sawtooth.
  • Sawtooths were mentioned to have been spotted in the Forbidden West,[3] but have not been observed in Aloy's time there.




Horizon Zero Dawn
Acquisition Class Broadhead - Charger - Fireclaw - Frostclaw - Glinthawk - Grazer - Lancehorn - Rockbreaker - Scrapper - Snapmaw - Strider - Trampler
Chariot Class Corruptor - Deathbringer - Metal Devil
Combat Class Ravager - Sawtooth - Scorcher - Stalker - Stormbird - Thunderjaw
Communication Class Tallneck
Recon Class Longleg - Watcher (Redeye Watcher)
Transport Class Behemoth - Bellowback - Shell-Walker
Unknown Class Control Tower
Horizon Forbidden West
Acquisition Class Bristleback - Clamberjaw - Fanghorn - Plowhorn - Scrounger - Spikesnout - Sunwing - Tideripper - Widemaw
Combat Class Clawstrider - Dreadwing - Grimhorn - Shellsnapper - Slaughterspine - Slitherfang - Specter - Specter Prime - Tremortusk
Recon Class Burrower - Skydrifter
Transport Class Leaplasher - Rollerback