Remote control (RC) cars are a fun and exciting hobby that people of all ages can enjoy. However, those new to the world of RC cars commonly encounter one issue when determining which RC cars to purchase: how to determine the best size of an RC car for an enjoyable experience.
With so many scales and sizes of RC cars available, it’s no surprise that beginners can feel overwhelmed by the selection process. To figure out where to start with your new hobby, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to understanding all RC car sizes and scales, from the pros and cons of different scales to choosing the right RC car to get the most out of your newest hobby. Let’s get started!
What are RC Car Scales
RC car scales describe the size of your remote control car model compared to the actual car on which the model is based. The most common scales used to measure RC cars are 1:10, 1:8, and 1:5. While the numbers might look confusing, they aren’t too hard to understand–for example, a 1:10 RC car indicates that the RC car is ten times smaller than the race track model.
Pros and Cons of Different Scales
Depending on how you want to use your RC car and how similar you want the RC car to be compared to the real thing, you might consider one model over another. To help you out, consider the following pros and cons of common RC car scales.
How Big is a 1/10 Scale RC Car
The 1:10 RC scale is one of the most commonly found models and an excellent place to start for many newcomers. Some notable pros of going with this model include the following:
- Because of how common the 1:10 RC scale is, there are numerous models to select from for beginners.
- 1:10 RC cars include everything from Crawlers to RTRs for off and on-road racing.
However, like most scales, there are a couple of cons to remember before selecting a 1:10 RC car. Consider the following:
- The 1:10 scale for RC cars isn’t always suitable for indoor spaces
- These cars are not the fastest model, making them unsuitable if speed is your main criteria
A popular example of the perfect 1:10 model for RC beginners is the Xray XB4D 2023 Dirt Edition 1/10 4WD Electric Buggy Kit.
How Big is a 1/24 Scale RC Car
At 24 times smaller than the original car model, a 1:24 truck is for a specific and niche section of hobbyists. However, these cars can still offer a blast for people looking to start small. A significant pro of 1:24 models is that they’re perfect for crawling. If you’re looking for a mini rock crawler, the 1:24 scale is your best bet.
However, these models aren’t always suitable for outdoor environments. Depending on what you’re looking for, this model might not be for you.
One notable example of a popular 1:24 scale model is the Axial 1/24 AX24 XC-1 4WS Crawler Brushed RTR.
How Big is a 1/18 Scale RC Car
A 1:18 RC car scale is a happy medium for individuals not interested in 1/10 or 1/24 scales. These cars are also considered miniature models and include mini rock crawlers for individuals not interested in a 1:24 model.
However, depending on the model, a 1:18-scale RC car might not reach the speeds you’re hoping for or be suitable for specific environments.
An example of this special design is the Axial 1/18 UTB18 Capra 4WD Unlimited Trail Buggy RTR, available in numerous colors to suit your style.
How Big is a 1/8 Scale RC Car
A 1:8 RC car model is among the most popular and exciting options for newcomers and experienced hobbyists. Our expansive line of unique and exhilarating 1:8 RC cars is perfect for both on-road and off-road activities. While on-road 1:8 cars are more limited and come in fewer models, 1:8 off-road models are accessible and always provide a fantastic time.
Whether you’re looking for an electric on-road kit or a nitro off-road kit, this scale offers something for everyone. An example of a popular and unique 1:8 scale RC car is our HB Racing Off-Road 1:8 model, perfect for the niche RC car racers looking for the ultimate off-road experience.
How to Choose the Right Size RC Car
Choosing the right RC car is a big decision for beginners looking to have a fun and stress-free experience. While you might know which model you’d prefer, there are specific factors to consider before selecting the correct size. Consider the following before making a final purchase of an RC car:
- Budget. Typically, the bigger the car, the more expensive the price tag. If you’re buying on a tight budget, consider smaller models like a 1:24 scale RC car.
- Environment. Large models aren’t always best for indoor racing or racing in narrow outdoor areas. Additionally, if you want to race outdoors on rugged terrains, a bigger model is probably best and will have the ability to avoid damage from harsh environments.
- Skill level. Not all RC cars are easy to operate, and if you’re a complete newcomer, you should start with a dependable model like the 1:10. Smaller models are usually faster. Because they are so light, they can be challenging to control. Make sure you’re comfortable operating the size of an RC car before making a purchase.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your RC Car
Once you’ve purchased your first RC car, you might want to jump in and use it immediately. Consider these vital tips to get the most out of your newest RC car.
Maintenance and Care Tips
- Regularly tighten the car’s screws, but avoid over-tightening.
- Don’t use the car if you notice damaged parts, no matter how minor they might seem.
- Thoroughly check your RC car monthly, including checking the fluid within the shocks and replacing it with fresh fluid, and cleaning your driveshafts.
Driving Tips and Techniques
- Take your time getting used to the controls and mechanics of your RC car.
- Don’t drive in areas where your car isn’t suited. For example, avoid driving small models in rugged outdoor terrains, as this can cause significant damage to the car and its tires.
- Purchase the car depending on the terrain capacity you want. Off-road and on-road vehicles aren’t always suited to the same environment.
- Know how a vehicle’s power source will impact your experience. Electric vehicles will run on batteries and often have a higher speed capability, while a gas-powered vehicle is more similar to the actual car model. Nitro-powered RC cars can provide high speed and advanced power, making them a popular choice.
- Modify your vehicle if you feel like you aren’t getting the right experience.
Customizing and Upgrading Your Car
There are a wealth of options for individuals that want to take their RC experience to the next level. Consider some of the following popular upgrades offered by Absolute Hobbyz:
- Upgrade your shock caps
- Replace your control arms
- Try out new tires for different terrains
- Upgrade your battery power
- Replace your transmitter
Whether you’re a newcomer to RC cars or an experienced enthusiast, knowing the different RC car sizes and scales is critical to an enjoyable experience. The tips and advice in this guide will help you choose the perfect vehicle for your needs to take your RC driving skills to the next level.
Looking for multiple models of RC cars of all scales and sizes? We’ve got you covered. Shop all things RC cars at Absolute Hobbyz.