When I bought my latest Traxxas Slash at Hobby Town, I was again confronted with the same dilemma: Should I get a 2S or 3S LiPo for a Traxxas Slash? Since most Traxxas vehicles don't come with a battery or charger, you must buy both items separately. If you are new to RC cars, you probably won't have a battery and have to pick between a 2S or a 3S LiPo for your new Slash. But which one is the right battery for your Traxxas Slash model? In this post, we'll compare 2S and 3S LiPo batteries for the Traxxas Slash and help you decide which LiPo is best for your new truck. Let's dive in!
What Difference Will A 2S or 3S battery Make In A Traxxas Slash?
Before we get into the details of what battery I suggest for a Slash, let's talk about what 2S and 3S means for the truck. The "S" marking on a LiPo battery stands for the number of cells the battery has. LiPo batteries for RC cars are almost always wired in series to provide more voltage to the motor.
A 2S battery has two cells wired in series, while a 3S battery has three cells in wired in series. The number of cells your LiPo has directly affects the voltage of the battery pack. So, A 2S LiPo produces 7.4 volts while a 3S LiPo pushes 11.1 volts.
More volts means more power! So a 3S LiPo will provide the most power to the motor. In other words, running a 2S LiPo in your Slash will be like driving a four-cylinder Kia, and a 3S LiPo will be more like driving a V8 supercharged Camaro.
2S Vs 3S LiPo In A Brushed Slash 2WD
If you own a 2WD brushed Traxxas Slash, the biggest LiPo you can run is a 2S pack. You cannot run a 3S LiPo in a Traxxas Slash with an XL5 electronic speed controller (ESC). The XL-5 ESC has a maximum rated input voltage of 8.4v. If you try to run a 3S LiPo in a Slash that does not have the VXL-3S speed control, you will break your truck by burning up the ESC. Remember, the 3S LiPo packs 11.1v. So, the XL-5 ESC simply can't handle it. So, stick with the 7.4v 2S LiPo in the base model 2WD Slash.
You CAN upgrade your 2WD Slash 2 to a 3S system by purchasing the Velineon VXL-3S ESC and motor combo. All Slash models come "3S Ready." All that means is the drive train, spur gear, and pinion gear can handle the added power a 3S system produces. So, you won't break the mechanical components that drive the vehicle if you upgrade to a 3S motor and ESC.
2S Vs 3S LiPo In A Slash 4x4
The Slash 4x4 comes in 3 different configurations, and they are:
- A brushed version
- the VXL 3S version
- The ultimate version
If you own the brushed 4x4, you are in the same boat as the 2WD brushless model. You cannot run a 3S LiPo without risking damage to your ESC. If you want to run a higher voltage pack in your Slash 4x4, you will need to upgrade to a brushless system, just like the 2WD model. There are many great 3S ESC and motor options on the market, but the Velineon VXL-3S is what Traxxas recommends in the Slash.
What Battery Should You Get For A Traxxas Slash VXL?
There are many great batteries on the market, but I like to run Traxxas brand LiPos in my Slash. The most common LiPo (and the battery I recommend) is a Traxxas Power Cell 5000 mAh 3S 25C pack. It will provide about 30 minutes of runtime, even if you are driving aggressively and on the throttle most of the time. You can also shop for a higher capacity battery and run it safely in your truck if you want a longer runtime.
What Battery Should You Get For A Traxxas Slash Brushed Model?
If you are running a brushed Slash, the Traxxas Power Cell 2S 5800 mAh pack is what I recommend. It is a large-capacity battery that will provide 30 minutes or more of runtime. 5800 mAh packs feel like they last forever! You can find smaller capacity packs on the market, but I prefer the extra run-time to the minimal performance gains of a lighter weight, lower capacity battery.
2S Or 3S LiPo In A Traxxas Slash 4x4 VXL
If you are about to buy or are researching the Traxxas Slash, get the VXL model. It comes with a better motor and ESC. The VXL brushless model is SO much faster than the brushed 2WD and 4WD models. The first time you drive the brushless Slash, you won't believe how fast the truck can move! It can reach speeds up to 60 miles per hour.
To reach these insane speeds, you will need to run a 3S LiPo. If you can't afford a 3S LiPo right away, you can still run a 2S 7.4 volt LiPo in the VXL version of the Slash. But, the VXL Slash won't perform near as well on the lower voltage 2S pack.
If you're wondering what the difference is between a 2S and 3S LiPo for a Traxxas Slash, a 3S battery will give you better torque, acceleration, and top speeds.
Pros and Cons of a 2S vs 3S LiPo in A Traxxas Slash
I have already established that a 3S battery is going to make your RC truck go faster than a 2S. But there are some pros and cons to think about when picking between a 2S and 3S pack.
Pros of 2S LiPo batteries:
- They are smaller and lighter than 3S batteries.
- They are less expensive than 3S batteries.
- And they may have a longer runtime than a comparable capacity 3S pack
Cons of 2S LiPo batteries:
- They have a lower voltage output and provide less power to the motor than 3S packs.
- They might be too small for the battery tray and slide around (no good)
- The ESC might not be compatible with a 2S pack (read the owner's manual)
Pros of 3S LiPo batteries:
- They have a higher voltage output and therefore provide more power than 2S batteries.
- They are better suited for larger, heavier RC trucks
- They could provide longer run times compared to 2S batteries if they have more mAh per pack
Cons of 3S LiPo batteries:
- They are larger and heavier than 2S batteries.
- They are more expensive than 2S batteries.
- If your ESC isn't rated for 3S, it could damage the speed controller
So, you need to research to see what your ESC and motor specs call for and try to pair the right battery to your vehicle. If you look at the Arrma Kraton 4S, the manual says you can't even run a 2S pack in that truck. This truck has a minimum voltage requirement.
The take-home point here is to read the owner's manual and research online before you buy!
FAQs For 2S or 3S LiPo For A Traxxas Slash
Will a 4S LiPo work in a Traxxas Slash VXL?
No, the maximum voltage aSlash VXL-3S ESC can handle is 11.1 volts. If you power a stock VXL-3S Slash with a 4S LiPo, you can damage the ESC and break the truck.
What is the max voltage LiPo a Traxxas Slash Can Handle?
Brushed models with the XL-5 ESC can only handle a 2S 7.4v LiPo pack. If you have a Slash with a VXL 3S ESC and brushless motor, you can power it with a 3S 11.1 volt LiPo.
What Is The Difference Between a 2S and 3S LiPo Battery in a Traxxas Slash?
A 3S LiPo has three cells that produce 11.1 volts. A 2s LiPo only has two cells that produce 7.4 volts. So, a 2S LiPo battery will not make the car go as fast as a 3S pack.
Conclusion For 2S VS 3S LiPo For A Traxxas Slash
By now, you know that a 3S LiPo will produce way more power than a 2S pack. But, 3S LiPos are more expensive, have a lower runtime, and are heavier. You have to weigh these options when picking out a battery for your new RC truck. If you bought the 2WD brushed version, get a 2S LiPo (don't bother with a NiMH pack) because that's the most voltage you can run in the brushed version. If you dropped the extra cash and picked up a VXL model, definitely get a 3S pack. You already spent the money on the truck. It deserves the best of the best battery!