Building an RC car from a kit is a great way to learn about the inner workings of the vehicle. It can be a fun and rewarding experience, especially if you are someone who likes to tinker with things and take them apart to see how they work. In this post, we will discuss when you should build an RC car from a kit, and we will provide some tips on what to look for when purchasing your first RC car kit. We will also talk about the different types of kits available on the market today. So if you're thinking about building your own RC car, read on!
Benefits of Building an RC Car From a Kit
Building your own RC car from a kit can be a great way to get into the hobby. Not only do you get to learn about how these cars work, but you also get to customize it to your own liking. Plus, it can be a fun and rewarding experience putting something together with your own two hands. Here are some of the benefits of building an RC car from a kit:
With an RC car kit, You Get To Customize Your Car
When you build an RC car from a kit, you have complete control over what goes into it. You can choose which parts you want, upgrade certain components, and really make the car your own. This is in contrast to buying a pre-built car where you're stuck with whatever comes in the box. It will take some extra time to research the different components, but you will learn about every part on your car. Knowing about each component really comes in handy when something breaks. You will know exactly what replacement part to buy and how to install it.
You Can Learn from building an RC car:
Building an RC car from a kit is also a great way to learn about how these cars work. You'll get first-hand experience with the motors, electronic speed controllers, shocks, and how they fit together. This can be invaluable knowledge if you ever need to do repairs or upgrades down the road. Sometimes you will need to troubleshoot the car's behavior and make adjustment to steering linkages or other drive train components. The only way to really understand what to adjust is to build the car from the ground up.
Building an RC car From Scratch is More Rewarding:
There's just something satisfying about putting together a complex machine like an RC car and having it work perfectly in the end. When you build an RC car from a kit, you get to experience that sense of accomplishment firsthand. It's a great feeling knowing that you built something yourself from start to finish.
So, if you're thinking about getting into the world of RC cars, building one from a kit is definitely worth considering. You'll have more control over your car, you can learn a lot along the way, and it's just generally more rewarding. Plus, it can be a lot of fun too!
Cost Comparison: Pre-Built RC cars vs Kit RC Cars
One of the main considerations when deciding whether to build or buy an RC car is cost. After all, these cars can be pretty pricey no matter which route you go. Let's take a look at the average cost of pre-built and kit cars to see which is more expensive:
Pre-Built RC Cars: $200 - $500
The cost of RC cars can vary widely depending on the make, model, and features. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $500 for a pre-built car. Of course, you can find cheaper models if you're willing to sacrifice some quality and performance.
Most two wheel drive cars will run about $200.
Larger four wheel drive trucks will be more expensive. My Traxxas Slash 4x4 cost me about $480 without a battery and charger.
RC Car Kits: $100 - $800
As for RC car kits, the cost will depend largely on what components are included in the kit. Some kits come with all parts and materials you need to get the car rolling. Other kits give you a more freedom to shop for motors and electronic components like servos and transmitter/receivers.
In general, though, you can expect to pay between $200 and $400 for a decent kit. Again, there are always going to be cheaper options available if you're willing to sacrifice some quality.
Keep in mind that RC car kits may not come with every single part you need to build the car. so it's often worth spending a little extra to get a good kit the has already paired up the best components for that specific model.
How to save the most money on an RC car Kit
By individually selecting each part and component is where you start to see the cost savings of building your own RC car. For example, a pre-built car will come with a stock brushed motor. If you were to try and build a similar RC car part-by-part, you will probably see some significant cost savings.
You also have to factor in the cost of assembly when looking at kit cars. RC car manufacturers probably mark up the car's price because they come fully assembled.
So, buy buying individual parts and installing them yourself, you're looking at a considerable saving by going the DIY route.
Types of RC Car Kits
Now that we've gone over the pros and cons of building an RC car from a kit, let's take a look at some of the different types of kits available on the market:
Ready-To-Run (RTR) Kits:
These are the simplest type of kits and are great for beginners. RTR kits come with everything you need to get your car up and running, including the motor, ESC, and battery. All you need to do is assemble the car according to the instructions and you're good to go.
Almost-Ready-To-Run (ARTR) Kits:
These kits are similar to RTR kits in that they come with most of the components you need to get your car up and running, except the electronic components. They usually don't include a motor, ESC, or transmitters/receivers so you'll have to purchase those separately. ARTR kits are a good option for intermediate builders who want more control over their car's performance.
These are the most complex type of RC car kits and are designed for experienced builders. These types of kits usually include the chassis, and drivetrains. Builders kits may not include shocks, or tires either. so you'll have to source and assemble all the parts yourself. This gives you a lot of freedom to customize your car however you want, but it also requires a fair amount of knowledge and experience to get everything working correctly.
The bottom line with a builder kit is to plan to research every single component and the car. You have to make sure all parts will fit properly and are compatible with each other.
You probably wouldn't want to buy a Traxxas receiver and try to pair it with a Futaba radio. These details are important to research when building and entire RC car from scratch.
What to look for when purchasing an RC car kit
One important factor to consider when purchasing an RC car kit is the level of difficulty.
If you are a beginner, it is important to purchase a kit that is easy to assemble and does not require advanced skills.
Another factor to consider is the size of the car. Some kits come with smaller cars that are easier to control, while others come with larger cars that can reach higher speeds. It is important to decide what size of car you want before purchasing a kit.
Customizability is another factor to consider. Some kits come with pre-painted bodies and decals, while others allow you to customize the look of your car. Sometimes, you can even purchase separate kits to add different features to your car, such as light bars and towing winches. Look for a kit that offers the level of customization you want.
Price is also an important factor when purchasing an RC car kit. Kits can range in price from a few hundred dollars to over eight hundred dollars. It is important to set a budget before purchasing a kit and stick to that budget.
Finally, you will need to decide what type of power source you want for your car. Some kits come with electric motors, while others use nitro engines. It is important to choose a power source that is compatible with the type of batteries you have available.
Final Thoughts on Building an RC car from a Kit
Building your own RC car can be a fun and rewarding experience. It gives you the opportunity to customize your car however you want and save money in the process. However, it is important to do your research before purchasing a kit and make sure you are getting a quality product. With so many different types of kits available on the market, there is sure to be one that is perfect for you.