RC can stand for remote controlled or radio controlled.  RC on this site is in reference to vehicles that are controlled with a radio transmitter.  These vehicles are either powered by electricity in the form of batteries or with combustible energy, labeled nitro.


1/10 Scale

RC trucks come in many sizes and shapes.  The scaled truckes resemble their larger siblings, just smaller. The most common scales are 1/18, 1/16,  1/14, 1/10,  1/8, and 1/5 scales.  Often people who are just getting into RC start out with 1/10 scale trucks.   1/10 is an excellent size to start out with while trying to perfect driving skills.  This size also has a vast market for do it your self kits (DIY kits), ready to run packages (RTR), accessories, parts replacement and aftermarket support.

2WD vs 4WD

RC trucks are available in 2 wheel drive and 4 wheel drive configurations.  Beginners often have difficulties trying to figure out which one is best to start with.  They both have many key differences.  Some enthusiast claim 2wd is more fun to drive while 4wd trucks can go faster and handle better.  A lot of it is personal choice.  Lets take a look at the two.

Two wheel drive RC trucks are usually cheaper, when comparing the same models.  4WD’s have better handling, can go faster when hitting straight aways but they can be a lot to handle for rookies, just starting out.  2WD’s have fewer parts, less maintenance and they can be harder to control in corners, jumps and loose dirt.  Many say they are more fun to drive than 4WDs and driving skills are developed at a quicker rate.  Both 2WD and 4WD are great options and often RC enthusiast own both types eventually.



Most nitro vehicles currently use glow plug or combustible engines, fueled by a special mixture of nitromethane, methanol, and oil (in most cases a blend of castor oil and synthetic oil).



Electric models use small motors that are powered by batteries.  There are currently 3 main types on the market; nickel-cadmium , nickel metal hydride, or lithium polymer cells.  The motors fall into 2 classes; brushed and brushless.


Off-Road vs On-Road

Both electric and nitro RC are available in off-road, course and on-road vehicles. Off-road RC vehicles have more rugged suspension and wide tires with aggressive tread patterns and can go almost anywhere. Course/Stadium trucks are usually set-up to run fast on dirt tracks, able to take tight turns and catch big air. On-road RC vehicles are built to run on smooth surfaces like concrete and pavement. Many have suspensions that can be adjusted like their full-scale siblings. Hobby grade RC vehicles can reach speeds between 40mph – 60mph, while some manufactures claim that they have cars that can reach 100mph.


Hobby Grade RC

Ready to Run (rtr) and RC Kits. RTR’s usually have everything inside the box to run the vehicle once the batteries are charged by the consumer. Kits require the consumer to build the vehicle, thus delaying the gratification of actually operating the RC. Seasoned RC hobbyist tend to gravitate more towards the kits, especially those that intend to race their car or truck. People new to the hobby, often prefer to RTR over kits for obvious reasons. A third option is purchasing a “roller,” often just a chassis and suspension and the hobbyist builds their RC from almost scratch.