Playing with RC cars can be quite a fun-filled and exciting activity both for you and your children. In fact, the enthusiasm for RC cars
can be the beginning of a passion for becoming a professional sports car driver or even an automobile engineer. After all, nothing beats the happiness of controlling a 1:10 scale remote-controlled car rushing at an astonishing speed of 70 mph or even 100 mph in a park or your backyard.
But have you ever thought about what the 1:10 scale or any other similar figure on an RC car model represents? Well, this article is all about helping you learn a few more exciting and technical aspects related to your favorite toy.
So, let’s begin this ride.
What is an RC car?
The term RC stands for radio-controlled. In simple words, RC cars are almost exact looking but small-sized miniature model toys of real cars or trucks. RC or radio-controlled means that they can be wirelessly controlled from a distance with the help of a specialized signal transmitter or remote control.
Depending on how much you are willing to spend, off-the-shelf models of RC cars can have a speed limit of up to 70 miles per hour. In addition, some specially customized RC cars can even have a speed cap of about 100 Mph. Honestly, these speed limits can, in certain cases, be more than what some people usually drive at in actual cars.
Types of RC cars and their application for your choice of track surface
One of the remarkable things about RC cars is that these miniature models, just like their full-scale counterparts, are made to perform most realistically. This means that they are partially equipped with features and design functionality to run on different tracks.
For example, an RC car might be suitable for driving on a smooth and plain surface. On the contrary, an RC truck would be a preferable choice for an uneven, rough, sandy, and bumpy surface.
RC cars generally come in various types and categories, each of which can be used for a different application. Based on this approach, RC cars can easily be categorized into the following types –
Perfect for flat and smooth surfaces made of tiles, marble, concrete, or asphalt.
Including any type of flat surface, these four-wheelers are a fit choice for sand dunes, dirt and gravel-laid terrains, and even grass.
Again, a fit choice for any type of flat or rough surface.
Works fine only on flat surfaces.
This small beast can hit any surface and overcome different height hurdles on its way to the finish line.
What does scale mean in RC cars?
This is perhaps one of the most unusual things to be noted about RC car models. Each RC car model has a scale assigned to it in terms of a ratio. For instance, 1:8 (1/8th), 1:10 (1/10th), 1:12 (1/12th), 1:16 (1/16th), etc., are some of the scales that you probably know about or might have seen.
But have you ever even considered what these scales mean and what is the purpose of mentioning them?
Well, RC cars are made as per a specific scale that is mentioned on their packs. As discussed above, RC cars tend to be miniature or smaller-sized versions of much bigger cars and trucks in the real world. Based on this, the scale mentioned simply denotes how small the RC car is in contrast to its actual counterpart.
For example, if an RC cars box mentions that it is a 1/10th or 1:10 scale RC car, it simply means that it is one-tenth or ten times smaller in size than its full-size model.
- How big is 1/8, 1/10, 1/12, 1/16, etc. scale RC car?
RC car scales typically range from bigger sizes being 1:8 (1/8th scale) to much smaller models being 1:64 (1/64th scale). Besides, there are customized versions, which may differ from the regular RC cars scaling system.
Some people often confuse this scaling system by reading it in terms of an inch measurement. This is entirely wrong for two apparent reasons.
First, the actual real-life models are much bigger, and thus, measuring the RC car in terms of inches as a comparison is somewhat unrealistic.
Second, each real-life car or truck has a different size depending on its model, brand, and actual design specifications. It means that two cars having the same scale, such as 1/8, might vary in size.
Therefore, the simplest rule here is that 1/10 scale RC car indicates ten times smaller, 1/8 scale RC car stands for eight times smaller, etc.
However, understanding the scaling system of the RC car is quite simple and easy. The following table mentions a general size criterion followed by most RC cars. Again, some car models may differ from this guide as it isn’t a standard criterion.
- What scale is popular among RC car buyers?
RC cars come in various scales. This thing leads to many first-time buyers asking about the most appropriate and the best RC car scale.
While the most common RC car scale, usually preferred by many buyers, is either 1:8 (1/8th) or 1:10 (1/10th), this isn’t the only thing to be considered.
Before making any buying decision, you need to understand that RC cars carry some specifications based on their real-life models. Therefore, the scale you choose should be based on many other factors as well
, including body material, weight, applicability to various types of track surfaces, maximum speed, brakes, suspensions, power consumption, controls, road or surface grip, handling, etc.
- Which is the best scale for RC cars?
Selecting the best scale for RC cars merely depends on what exactly you are looking for in it. Based on your specific demands, the RC car scale that meets all or most of your needs is the one that you should probably purchase.
For example, if you are willing to participate in some RC car competition, your purchase should be between the minimum and maximum range as per the requirements of the category you plan to take part in.
- How to tell what scale your RC car is?
Knowing the scale of your RC car is quite essential. In fact, it may become necessary on certain occasions. For example, not knowing your RC car’s scale will prevent you from entering the correct category while participating in any RC car event.
Typically, new RC cars have their scale mentioned at someplace outside or inside their box. The salesperson might also guide you about it. You can also confirm it from the internet if you know the model number of the RC car mentioned on the box or in the RC car’s manual.
However, if you are purchasing an RC car from someone or do not remember the scale you already own, you can either ask the seller or use the model number to search online for it.
Now that you have read the complete guide on RC car scales, it is time to review the most important points of this article.
• RC cars are remote- or radio-controlled toy cars.
• RC cars tend to be much smaller miniature versions of actual full-size cars or trucks.
• The size of the RC car depends on its scale.
• RC car scale is merely a way to compare the toy car with its real-life counterpart.
• Two RC cars having the same scale can vary in size.
• 1/8th and 1/10th scale RC cars happen to be the most popular among RC car buyers and enthusiasts.
• Buying the right scale RC car depends on several factors.
We hope that the above guide on the RC car scaling systems provides all the much-needed information to find the most reliable RC car scale model according to your needs.