Table of Contents
Why would you want to buy an RC car kit? Do you know what it is? To answer the second question first, an RC car kit is a box or bag of parts which can be put together to create an RC car. These range from kits which come with only a few parts which can be easily assembled to form a car, or kits which only come with the body and require you to buy each other part individually to assemble your car.
To answer the first question, you would want to buy a kit for two main reasons. The first is that it is fun to assemble and then drive your own car. You get a satisfaction from creating your own thing and then using it than from using something which someone else has built for you. The second reason is that you get to see how the car actually works.
As you are building the car (the engine especially), you can see how all of the parts fit and work together. This increases your knowledge of the car and makes it easier to diagnose problems, fix problems, and perform maintenance on your car.
Before you go away and buy a car kit, there are a few things which you should think about first.
RTR vs. Assembled
RTR stands for ready to run. At their simplest, a car kit may come with the car already assembled. You may need to put the batteries in and add some decals, but this is not really what we are after. We are looking for something which we can put together and spend some time on. The question is how much time you want to spend on this. If you are a novice, then you may want to start with a kit which comes with everything you need and some parts pre-assembled.
If you have some experience in RC cars or engines, then you may want to buy every part separately and create a completely customized RC car. This will allow you to choose the exact engine you want, get the power you crave, and be able to maintain your vehicle.
The other thing to think about with your kit is the size of the car. Small cars will be more affordable than larger cars (with larger engines), but they may be harder to put together. The smaller the car and the engine, the more difficult it will be to work with the smaller parts. A small engine will also mean less power when compared to a large engine.
Your second choice is your type of engine. If you are a novice, then we would recommend an electric RC car kit. One advantage of an electric motor is that they will cost less. They are also easier to build and maintain. Added to that is some great acceleration. Your other option for the engine is nitro. These engines are more expensive and need more maintenance, but they give you more power and more speed. When you are looking at the two engine types, you should also think about how you are going to use your RC car. Electric cars will need to be recharged after a certain period of time. Nitro engines do not need recharging, only refilling, so you can get them back on the road quicker. A nitro engine can also last a lot longer than an electric engine when you compare a full tank of nitro with a full battery charge. A nitro engine will also give you an experience similar to working on a full-size car engine, though with the emergence of electric cars, the electric RC cars can also give you that.
Off-road, On-road, and More
You should also think about where you are going to drive your RC car. On-road cars are designed to give you good power, speed, and acceleration. They are built to be driven on roads. Off-road kits are designed for off-road driving. They are more akin to buggies and can withstand being hit, bashed, and flipped.
You would not use your on-road car on an off-road track as it would likely get damaged, and the other way round would give you a vehicle which would not be much fun to drive on a flat road. Make sure to decide which you want before buying a kit or part as it can be hard to switch from one to the other once you get started.
If you want two- or four-wheel drive, make sure you are buying the correct parts for either system, from the beginning.
What Else to Consider?
There are many trusted names in the RC kit world, but it is the reviews which will tell you all you need to know. Look for kits which have positive reviews and in which people have given detailed information about what is in the kit and how easy it is to put together.
When it comes to building the kit, you should always read the instructions and follow them, or go online and find forums for RC kit enthusiasts and get the information from them about how to best go about building an RC car.
The best advice is to start off small with an easy RC car kit and then go from there.
RC Car Kit Reviews
1. Tamiya Hornet Model RC Car Kit
Tamiya has been manufacturing RC cars for over 70 years. Their expertise and craftsmanship are easy to see in the RC car kit. Their very first kit was a wooden car, and they now strive to be the best in the world with RC car kits. The Hornet is a re-release of a classic RC car, and if you want a taste of nostalgia, then this is the car kit for you.
We love the retro racing stripes down the sides of this buggy, and the tail fin at the back. This is a great vehicle if you are looking for something which can deal with any off-road track, and along with being fast, it is one of the most durable RC cars on the market. The materials and components are of the highest quality.
The motor and chassis are included, but you will need to add a steering servo, speed controller, radio and receiver, and battery back. Of all of the RC kits we looked at, this is one of the most fun to put together and drive. The assembly will give you some insight into how the buggy engine runs, and when you have it out on the road, it handles well and has great acceleration.
2. Tamiya Petronas RC Kit
This kit is very affordable; for what is included, the price is almost a steal. The RC car kit comes with a brushed motor, tires, wheels, clear body, foam inserts, decals, and detailed instructions. Putting it together is satisfying and fun. The chassis is bathtub type and stops the bottom from making too much contact with the road. This is an on-road car, but if you want, you can build the car with an extra 4mm of road clearance so you can do some off-road driving. The car is a 4-wheel drive, the motor is brushed and has an aluminum heatsink, and the wheels are heavy-duty nylon. If you do want a brushless motor, then it is compatible.
The kit allows you to build a 1/10 model of the actual car, and when you have it on the road, you will feel as if you are driving the full-size model. The car is really zippy and fast. The acceleration is great, and when you reach the top speed, you can coast at that speed. Corners are not a problem with this car; you can turn sharply, without losing too much speed. We like that you can add some extra clearance, and the decals make it look so much like a rally car that it would be a shame not to treat it as one. A great RC car for drifting around the corners and kicking up some dust.
3. Tamiya RC Sand-Viper
Tamiya really does make high-quality RC car kits. This is another RC buggy kit. One look at this buggy and you can see which it is called the Sand-Viper. The muted yellow design gives it a look which would blend into any sandy area, and you will want to take it to the beach to try it out, as soon as you have it together. The look, with the four spring-loaded shocks and large tail fin, make it look as if it will cut through the sand with ease. The large, powerful wheels at the rear will be able to navigate any obstacle which may come its way.
These kits are becoming harder to find as the popularity of RC car kits continues to grow. The inclusion of the springs for the shocks helps you to understand the inner workings of a buggy better as you are putting the vehicle together. This kit is also a best RC car for kids. There are not so many intricate parts to put you off, but still enough parts to keep you interested and to pose a challenge. If you are completely new to RC car kits, then this kit will keep you occupied for 5-6 hours, and you will enjoy racing the buggy even more after working on it for that long. The instructions are also very easy to follow.
4. Hobbypower Drift Racing RC Car Kit
This is a car kit which you will have a lot of fun with, both in putting it together and driving it. It is also a great kit for beginners. The main part of the car comes already assembled, and there are only a few parts of the car which need to be put together to get the care on the road. Once you do have the car assembled, you will have a 1/10 alloy and carbon, rear-wheel drive, drift racing car. You will spend hours drifting around corners and throwing dust up behind you.
The car is weighted at the back. Care has been taken to center the weight at the rear of the vehicle so that you can slide around those corners better. It also makes it easy to handle around regular corners too.
This kit does not come with the electronics, so you will have to buy them separately and then install them, but everything is set up and ready for the install. Once you have the electronics and battery installed, you are ready to go. You can also adjust the height of the car depending on how the car handles when you are driving it.
This is a great kit for a beginner to work on, and the best part is that you will get a professional car at the end of it.
̀5. ECX RC Truck Kit
We love this truck kit for many reasons, and the clear shell is definitely one of them. When you put this truck together, the shell is clear; this allows you to see the internal workings as you are driving your truck around. If you get bored with the clear shell, you can paint it with paint found at your local hobby shop.
This is another great kit for beginners and will only take you a couple of hours to put it together. Another thing we really love about this kit is that it comes with everything you need to get started. There is no need to buy any additional accessories to get this truck on the road, and it even comes with all of the tools you will need to run it. It comes with decks too if you want to cover the truck up, but we love the clear plastic look.
This is a small electric RC truck and one which will not set you back a lot of money. A great kit for kids to get started with.
Last update on 2019-11-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API