RC cars come in various different sizes called scales or ratios. For example, you can get RC car scales that are 1/10th (1:10) scale.
So, what are these scales? And do they matter? Which size RC cars should you buy?
Read on to find out!
What Are RC Scale Sizes?
Let’s say you bought a 1/10 scale Ferrari. The “1/10” means that your RC Ferrari is ten times smaller than the actual full-sized Ferrari it’s designed after. So when we’re talking about the scale of an RC car, we are talking about the size comparison with its full-scale counterpart.
Simply put, a bigger number means a smaller car.
There’s another meaning of scale in the RC car community. While it usually refers to the size of the car, the term “scale” is also used to define the realness of the RC car, as in, how realistic it is. If you go to an RC car shop and ask for a scaled version of a jeep, you’ll probably get an RC jeep that looks very realistic with a proper paint job, performance, and detailing.
Most Common RC Scales
The most common RC scale is the 1/8th or 1:8 scale. This is what most people in the RC car community would be rocking. For mini RC cars, the common scales used are 1/28th and 1/64th. Also, just because two RC cars are the same scale doesn’t mean they are the same exact size. For example, if you compare a 1/10th scale tank and a jeep, the tank would be much larger as the actual size of a tank is greater than that of a jeep.
Smallest RC Cars
The smallest RC car is 1/90th scale of the original car. This car was designed by Michihiro Hino from Japan in 2002. He designed it after the Mercedes Benz Smart car, and the resultant RC car was only 1 inch in length, setting a Guinness World Record!
Pros of Small RC Cars
- Tiny RC vehicles are cheaper to buy. A large off-road RC vehicle can set you back $1,000 or more, but the most basic tiny RC vehicles start at $20.
- You can use small RC cars inside your home. Driving your giant 1:5 scale RC monster truck is probably not a very good idea. But if you have a small RC car, you can play around with it indoors all you want!
- Tiny RC cars are much easier to store. To put this into perspective, you can store a lot of 1:64 scale RC cars in your drawer, but a few 1:10 cars will fill up your closet!
Cons of Small RC Cars
- Less drivable surfaces: You cannot drive your tiny 1:76 scale car anywhere. For tiny RC cars, a pebble is like a boulder. This is usually not a problem for bigger RC cars.
- Less accurate controls: Smaller RC cars do not have sophisticated controllers. You have way less control over these cars, much like playing an old racing video game. With a larger RC car, you have access to a better controller.
Largest RC Cars
This is the largest RC truck in production. The Mammuth Rewarron towers at an insane 1:3 scale and is the largest RC truck in production. It is a whopping 78 inches in length. Coming in at number two, The Raminator Monster Truck is a behemoth RC truck designed by Primal RC. At 1:5 scale, the truck is 42 inches long.
Pros of Large RC Cars
- Easier to repair and customize. Large RC cars are usually upgradeable and repairable if things go south. Small RC cars are pretty much disposable.
- Large RC cars are usable on rough terrain. While small RC cars might get stuck in the grass, large RC cars have greater ground clearance and can be used on uneven terrain.
Cons of Large RC Cars
- Expensive: Large RC cars are very expensive. Primal RC’s Raminator costs $2,999, whereas the full-option Mammuth Rewarron will set you back a whopping $15,000!
- Difficult to store: Large RC cars take up a lot of space and have a lot of complicated electrical systems inside. This means you need to store them carefully in climate-controlled areas.
What Scale Should You Pick?
When it comes to choosing the right scale for you, it really depends on what you’re looking for in an RC car. If you’re just starting out, I would recommend going with a 1:10 or 1:8 scale car. These are the most common scales and will offer you the most options when it comes to parts, upgrades, and accessories.
If you’re looking for something a little more serious, then you may want to consider a 1:5 scale car. These are usually hobby-grade cars and can be quite expensive. However, they offer the best performance and are the most realistic in terms of size and weight. Some even use a proper gasoline engine. But these RC cars are quite a lot harder to control, so to stay on the safe side, go for a 1/10th scale car and slowly work your way upwards if you feel RC Car Scale Sizeslike it!
Peter has been building model trains for longer than he can remember. An avid fan of HO and O scale this blog is a creative outlet to allow him to dive further into other scales and aspects of the model train community and hobby.