Just about anyone can operate a radio-controlled (RC) car, right? Stepping it up to hobby-grade RC, though, takes patience and skill. Do-it-Yourself RC models take a lot of time and know-how.
There’s quite a bit of engineering that goes into an RC car. In fact, Grand Canyon University’s Principles of Mechanical Design class requires senior mechanical engineering students to design and build RC cars.
Like anything, there’s a learning curve. Newcomers to RC racing need an entry-level vehicle. The best RC cars for beginners have two features that benefit the novice. The first is Ready-to-Run and Electric. Let’s find out more.
Ready-To-Run RC Cars for Beginners
A Ready-to-Run (RTR) RC car or truck comes with everything you need. Some models don’t come with everything included. You have to supply a few components yourself, like a battery or transmitter.
A more experienced person has easy access to such components. For the novice, the best beginner RC car is an RTR. An RTR has everything you need to start driving. Right from the box, the vehicle is just about put together.
You may have a few tasks to complete like attaching the body. You may also have to glue that tires. All that’s left is to charge the battery pack and go.
Electric RC for Beginners
An electric RC’s motor runs off a battery pack. Thus, it’s easier to operate than a nitro-fueled RC. It’s much safer for the beginner. Electric RCs require less prep time and assembly than a nitro RC. This applies to RTR models as well.
The Best RC Cars for Beginners
Next, let’s take a look at some of the most popular RC cars and trucks for beginners, and see which one is for you.
Traxxas Slash Short Course Truck
The Traxxas Slash Short Course Truck is a solid beginner RC truck. While it does not complete fully ready-to-run, it is electric. Out of the box, it’s fully assembled. Though, you’ll need to purchase a transmitter, receiver, and battery.
You can paint the clear polycarbonate body any color. The GTR shocks are hard-anodized and PTFE-coated aluminum and thus deliver track-ready suspension. The Traxxas Slash is known for reaching high speeds of over 60mph.
These speeds are possible because of the brushless motor and rigid chassis with a low center of gravity. This added stability allows you to maintain those speeds around corners.
This RC truck enables the beginner to reach high speeds right from the start. It’s optimized for smooth performance with refined control capabilities.
The Redcat Racing Shredder XTE
The Redcat Racing Shredder XTE is a favorite across the RC community. This is an RTR model with both forward and reverse transmission.
It also features aluminum-capped oil filled shocks and a 2.4GHz radio. Note that you will need to purchase the battery separately.
This truck is a fantastic value for the beginner. Redcat Racing’s goal is to provide RC enthusiasts of all skill levels the opportunity for large-scale fun without an inflated price. The truck weighs in at 15.2 pounds. The truck is ⅙ scale.
It’s heavy and stocky, with thick tires and larger shocks than other models. All the muscle gives it an extra edge on the tack. Yet, you can control it easily. It’s also waterproof so that you can maintain that control in any weather.
Redcat Racing is known for producing sturdy trucks that you can upgrade for more power. And, the Shredder is no exception. Out of the box, the brushless motor can reach speeds up to 40mph.
You can upgrade the motor for something more powerful. The same applies to batteries and other components.
Traxxas Unlimited Desert Racer
The Traxxas Unlimited Desert Racer is notable, to say the least. This RC Race Truck is a 1/7 RTR and weighs about 13.4 pounds. It does not come with a battery, unfortunately. So, you will need to purchase one separately.
It has a four-link rear suspension with a solid link axel. It also has GTR shocks at each corner that replicate actual desert truck performance. The extreme suspension provides impressive off-road stability.
You take large jumps and other obstacles with confidence. The Traxxas Unlimited Desert Racer is as close to the real thing as you can find when it comes to function.
It precisely replicates the design as well as the performance of an actual desert racer. Thanks to the brushless motor, you can reach up to 50mph and still maintain fine control. Talk about an adrenaline-charged drive!
Now, this model is more expensive. Though, you get some bang for your buck when you consider the stunning framework and quality parts that come ready to ride.
The Redcat Racing Everest-10 Rock Crawler
The Redcat Racing Everest-10 Rock Crawler is a striking 1/10 RC truck that comes in red, red and black, blue, and blue and black. It’s tough, super sturdy, and easy on the eye. It’s a fun drive and well-suited for beginners.
It comes RTR, included battery and all. This RC comes with everything you need, including front and rear multi-link suspension. It also includes front and rear transmission, brushed motor, and a battery with a charger.
So, it’s one of the best RC cars for beginners (or trucks). It provides even steering and speed control for those with less experience.
Because it’s a rock crawler, it’s not made for speed. Its top speed is a mere 10mph. The fun in driving it comes from its ability to scale obstacles. This rock crawler does not disappoint.
It has beadlock rock-crawling tires, and aluminum-capped oil filled shocks. You can upgrade the model should you decide more power is better.
In addition, it features a 2.4GHz radio for easy navigation on extreme terrain. The Redcat Racing Everest can handle the most generous rocks with ease. And, the electronics are waterproof, which means you can take it out in any weather.
Traxxas RTR 1/10 Rustler Stadium Truck
Perhaps the best RC truck for beginners is the Traxxas RTR Rustler Stadium truck. Not as fast as some (speeds up to 35mph), it is a reliable and stylish choice for the beginner RC. The truck comes with a powerful 8.4-volt Ni-Mh battery.
The Rustler comes in your choice of four colors. It’s attractive and striking with stand-out, 2.8-inch, mirror-chrome, All-Star wheels. The price of the Traxxas RTR is reasonable and offers a lot of durability for your dollar.
Other features include waterproof electronics that enable you to drive in any weather, even snow. It also has a formidable brushless motor and a waterproof steering servo with two times the power of standard steering servos.
As mentioned, the ease-of-use makes the Rustler an excellent choice for beginners and kids. Though, even someone more experience can appreciate this model. You can upgrade the battery to a Li-Po pack to increase speed.
There’s even an optional 28-tooth pinion gear for extra speed. Another option is a high-performance bellcrank steering system. With this feature, you increase stability around corners.
One downside is that the charger underperforms. Many users report that it takes too long to charge and doesn’t last. Many have purchased replacement chargers. Nonetheless, the Rustler is a great performer at a great price.
Ready to Race?
RC racers say that racing is a hobby that allows them an outlet for stress, as well as a way to be competitive without risking injury.
Thinking about buying your first RC car or truck? This article presented some of the best RC cars for beginners.
The best beginner RC car or truck for you depends on your budget and how much speed you want your first vehicle to have. Please contact us with any questions about RC cars and trucks.