Toy vs Hobby Grade RC Cars : What you need to know

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hobby grade vs toy grade rc models

Here at RC Geeks, we sell both RC toys and hobby grade cars. Hobby grade cars differ from ‘toys’ quite considerably, with the concept of a hobby as a recreational activity carried out regularly shows dedication and a willingness to learn and develop a skill or activity, in this case, remote control cars.

Toy grade models often look fantastic and are inexpensive, but can lack performance and longevity

Our hobby grade cars require some level of skill and experience as well as enjoyment of the hobby. They are not designed as one off ‘toys’ to be ‘played’ with, they are designed to be used regularly and maintained after every use. An aspect of the hobby grade, is for the car to be upgraded and pushed to limit

Why they are superior to toy grade cars?

Even the ‘beginner’ hobby grade cars have a lot more power than toy rc’s with speeds range upwards from around 15mph to 70+mph. They are often larger in size with the internal components that can be replaced or upgraded.

Unlimited Desert Racer
Traxxas’ Unlimited Desert Racer is an example of a high end hobby-grade car

With many different designs ranging from on-road drift cars to off-road monster trucks or smaller off-road buggies, there is a car for every enthusiast’s hobby preference.  

Traxxas TRX 4 Mercedes Benz G500 G wagon review Defender comparison lifes a beach wide
The RC Defender has a great selection of upgrades and improvement parts available

You get what you pay for

As with any hobby, the equipment required is available at a range of prices, specifications and performance which is no different with RC cars. Many hobby enthusiasts deliberate extensively to ensure they’ve chosen the best equipment for their personal preferences, just as a tennis player would over their next racket. Like with any hobby, quality equipment does come at a price.  

Kyosho Outlaw Rampage Review on dirt sliding
Kyosho RC Cars prove hobby-grade needn’t break the bank

At RC Geeks, our hobby grade cars range in price from as little as £100 right up to £900+. While we do completely understand that £100 is a lot of money, sadly in the RC hobby it doesn’t get you all that far. However, the cars in this price range are great beginner cars and can certainly tackle a variety of terrain and provide a lot of power. As with many cheaper options within hobbies they are made from respectively cheaper parts that are more likely to break upon impact. That said, given the cars budget purchase price, it does make them a lot cheaper to replace as a whole.  

BSD Racing Flux Marauder Review dirt devil
BSD Racing’s brushless models offer incredible value and performance

The more expensive cars on the market will be more durable but they are not indestructible, impact at any speed can still result in damage. Part of the RC hobby is to push your vehicle to its limit whether that be through top speed, tricks or difficult terrain but this does often result in broken components.

Similarly to full-size cars, with power comes responsibility. Maintenance and care are required at all times, and as with a full-size car, you wouldn’t go full speed at all times – the same care should be taken with hobby-grade RC cars.

BSD Racing Flux Storm V2 Truggy Review unclipped arms damaged easy fix
Upgrading to metal suspension components will improve your models resilience

In turn, this allows you as hobbyists to enjoy repairing and upgrading your car as you see fit.  Higher end models do require maintenance and TLC after every use to keep them running at their best, even after a gentle run around the park.  

Why are spares important?

Spare parts are vital for the RC hobbyist, the cars are not indestructible and they do break. With a part of the hobby being to keep your cars in excellent running order, it’s important to keep a small stock of spares, this will allow for a quick fix to get you back up on the road in no time.  

Some high-end models even ship with common spares included

As with a full-scale car, RC cars also have wear and tear parts that need to be checked regularly and replaced when needed. These include the spur and pinion gears, wheels and tyres. Due to the wear and tear nature of these parts, they are not considered a warranty issue and their replacement and upgrade is part of the fun.

trx4 defender brushless conversion good and bad motor mesh
Spur gears can end up taking the brunt of abuse over time (or from poor installation)

Regularly checking these parts in particular is crucial to ensure great running of your hobby cars as they can become damaged even after one use if the car is not used correctly.  

RC Geeks : RC Enthusiasists

Investing in hobby RC can be daunting. From the cost to the huge selection available, it’s difficult to know what is best. We are here to help! Drop us a message via our contact form and we will be happy to guide you through the models, spares or repair parts that would best suit your requirements.

If you are interested in buying a new model, our hobby grade RC cars are divided up into ‘on road’ models for smooth surfaces, ‘off road’ models that can go anywhere and then ‘small scale’ models for indoor or garden use. Our massive selection of RC accessories can be found here and our equipment listings here. Alternatively, you can browse our range of toy RC cars here.

Do you have a question about hobby grade RC? Leave us a message in the comments section below!



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