Guide to Buying RCs

Welcome to the Best RC buyers guide. In this guide we will look at the various types of RCs and the many different things to consider when choosing one. We will be looking at the three most important factors, starting with the scale or size, then looking at the different power sources such as gas nitro or electric. Finally we will talk about the different types of vehicles. We need to split this guide up by vehicle type, as there are many differences between cars, boats, and planes.

RC Cars and Trucks


The size of cars usually are given in comparison in scale to a real car. Where a 1 to 5 scale car would be one fifth the size of a regular car.

1/5 – The one fifth scale car is pretty huge. The nice thing about These big cars is they often run on gas. Which makes them easy, cheap, and convenient to run. You can usually just use gas from the gas station and mix it with some 2 stroke oil. Another thing that is nice is the ground clearance.

1/8 – This is the scale used for high level national racing. They have big nitro engines or electric motors, which makes them usually faster than the 1/5 models. They are highly customizable, and upgradeable.

1/10 – this is the most popular scale, as they are low prices, but fast. They will not be as powerful as the 1/8, but still very fast.

1/16 – Perfect as a car to use in small areas like small back yards. They are easy to transport and cheaper than bigger models. Though they have smaller engines, they are light and are capable of going high speeds.

1/18 – These models are available in electric version only. They are small and light, perfect entry level cars. for children or people looking for a fun car that can be used indoors. These are still different from toy grade.

Power Source

There are three main types:

Gas – Gas cars used to be really expensive, but the prices have dropped making them more affordable. Although they are still more expensive than the other types, because of the size. They are very cheap to run though, because they run on gas and 2 stroke oil, which are also cheap. This type is very convenient, as all you need to do is add gas and go. This type is very loud because of the engine. They have the longest run time because of their large tanks.

Nitro – Nitro RC cars are all about high speed racing. The engine runs on a special nitro fuel, that is available at most hobby shops. This nitro fuel gives the nitro cars incredible power to weight ratio, making them very fast. Even faster than gas models. You also need a glow starter to star these cars. The engines may require some fine tuning.

Electric – these cars are easy to use. Just charge the battery and go. Because they are silent when they run, it is good to use in places where you need to be quiet. Because there is no engine tuning or fuel involved, they are also good for younger drivers. In the electric car category you will find brushless and brushed types, this refers to how the motor is built. Brushless is usually powered by lithium. The brushless ones are faster.

Vehicle Type

There are two major things to consider when deciding which type to go for, ground clearance and gearing. The off road vehicles will have higher ground clearance, which will sacrifice handling. On the other hand, cars have great handling but will do poorly on grass.

Different vehicle types will have different gearing. If you think of a bicycle, they have lower gears for getting up hills, and higher gears for going fast. A radio controlled car will only have two gears, so they must be geared for function. Cars have high speed gearing, and trucks have gearing for hills

Car – Low ground clearance, high speed.

Buggy – High ground clearance, high speed.

Truggy – High ground clearance, medium speed.

Monster Truck – High ground clearance, low speed.