Getting Started: Electric or Nitro Powered RC Cars

Just like buying a real car, deciding on an RC car takes research, price comparison and evaluation of your own needs. Though all RC’s have the same components—transmitter, receiver, motor, and power source—they vary widely in size, type, and degree of difficulty.

The first, most important decision to make is whether an electric or a nitro car is right for you. Nitro powered rc cars tend to be faster and more powerful, though their engines require a lot of maintenance and tuning. Electric powered rc cars with brushed motors, on the other hand, don’t run quite as fast, but they’re easier for beginners and run much quieter. The newer, electric cars with brushless motors are more expensive but just as fast as nitro powered cars. Secondly, once you’ve decided whether an electric or a nitro car is best for you, you need to choose between a car that is ready to run right out of the box and a kit that you build from scratch. Ready to run cars are easier for beginners anxious to get to the race, though the build your own kits give you a better understanding of how RC’s work since you build it from the insides out. If you’re not sure, keep in mind that most ready to run kits still include full instructions should you ever want to take apart your RC or replace some of its parts.

Next, you need to decide just where you’ll be driving the car. Just like you wouldn’t buy a gas guzzling SUV if you live downtown and have a long commute, you’ll want to make sure you buy the RC that suits the kind of driving you’ll be doing. On-road RC’s are built for speed, so if it’s racing and road running you have in mind, you’ll want to stick to these lighter, faster vehicles. If you want to practice on rugged terrain and with jumps, the more rugged off-road RC’s are probably best for you.

The last thing to choose is the size and type of RC vehicle you’d like. The most popular class of vehicles are 1/10th scale, but there are also larger 1/8 scale and smaller mini and micro sized cars. Plus, the best part is you get to decide just what kind of RC vehicle you’d like best—there are cars, trucks, buggies, boats, planes and even helicopters to choose from.

Next: Electric RC Cars