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Buying a radio control model: aspects to consider

It is the eternal doubt of all those who start in this hobby... which model to buy? We have seen the wide range of radio control products, due to the variety of modalities: cars, planes, helicopters... Where do we start? In this article, we are going to try to guide you, so that you know how to start focusing on your purchase.


The first aspect that worries the buyer is the economic one. Radio control... is it an expensive hobby?

How much does it cost you to go to the movies with your partner and children? And to enjoy just a couple of hours... Or how much can a night of drinks cost you? Actually, all leisure has a price, but unlike other hobbies, radio control is a hobby that pays for itself over time. Yes, if you run more, you will spend more on parts, batteries, wheels... but the higher initial cost such as the car, spare batteries... will pay for themselves quickly, so the leisure hour can end up being quite cheap. Think about it.

So, everything will depend on the model we want, but today we can choose from so much variety, that we will surely find a model that suits our possibilities and needs. The first thing we have to be clear about is how far we are willing to spend, that is, establish an initial maximum budget .

Once this is done, we see in what range we can move; Within the products offered by the market:

* If we are in the range of €25 to €65, surely we will not be able to opt for large models, except for some toy model for the little ones.

* Then there are the first slightly more serious RTR (ready to run) initiation models from €85-100 in cars (called RTF or ready to fly in the case of aircraft), which are quite simple and small-scale cars (up to 1/18 usually), for interior or small exteriors. Among these, to the 1/18 scale ones, an improvement can be applied over time, which is the change from motor with brushes to brushless motor and the necessary step with the change from motor to Lipo battery, which will give us something more useful time for the game as well as more speed and power, with which we will be able to prolong the useful life of these cars while we perfect the technique and handling of them (they are valid for both kids and adults who start in RC) .

* If we can afford between €100-200 we can also opt for RTR models but on somewhat larger scales such as 1/18 (especially brushless), 1/16 and some 1/10 with electric motor.

* Between €200-450, we will opt for models that are also RTR but with much higher performance, especially in the more powerful engines.

* For budgets greater than €450 there is a wide market to choose from, as they can even go to models for competition optimized to the maximum. The only thing to keep in mind in these models is that, unlike the RTR, they usually come disassembled, so it goes without saying that the user already has some experience to carry out the proper assembly and adjustment.


Radio control is a very complete hobby and it is a positive hobby that is worth promoting among young people: it is fun, but it requires training (therefore, tenacity and effort), it is generally practiced outdoors (we eliminate the "simulations" of the videogames and we move on to a real playing field), it is a sport on the rise (there is competition and competitiveness), but it involves teamwork (it promotes the meeting and exchange of knowledge between fans, mutual learning), it supposes in the long run the learning of knowledge in mechanics, electronics, DIY (do it yourself), and allows self-learning with countless tutorials on YouTube and a lot of information on forums and amateur websites...


We have already said that in some models a greater experience is needed on the part of the buyer, since this hobby, already taken to other levels, requires certain knowledge in mechanics, electronics, etc... It is easy to confuse the radio control with a game of children for uninitiated people, but radio control covers much more, and it can be as simple or complicated as we want to do, it will depend on our knowledge and budget.

If you are new to RC, the best advice we can give you is to start with an RTR model, which is already assembled, and therefore will allow you to enjoy driving from scratch. Once you have a certain ease with the controls, and control certain aspects of the model, you can consider changing the model to another of greater complexity and also of higher quality. You should also bear in mind that, in general, electric models have easier maintenance and tuning than nitro or gasoline models, so they are also more recommended for those who are just starting out.

Within the RTR models, you can choose a cheaper brushed model, or brushless (with brushless motor), more powerful. If you choose this last option (with a somewhat higher price), you have the advantage that many brushless rc models such as the Himoto have a transmitter where you can limit the speed and power (both forward and reverse independently) , so you can adapt the car according to your learning and expertise, with which you will be saving on the total cost, since buying a first-class brushless is cheaper than buying a brushed and buying the motor and Lipo battery later (although the initial outlay will be higher, of course).


It is another important aspect to take into account. It is not worth spending a large amount of money on a model that is going to stay in the closet most of the time, as there are simple models that for a hobby from time to time will serve us perfectly. In addition, depending on the model we choose, it will require more or less time on our part for cleaning, maintenance, etc... so that the next time we go to pick it up, it will be in perfect condition. For this reason, it is essential to first consider how much time we are going to dedicate to this hobby, and based on that, decide if we need a basic model or something more complex.

There are models with few possibilities or need for adjustments or modifications, simpler, while other rc have a great capacity for adaptation through adjustments, and replacement of parts... with which we can have a very versatile car with greater durability in the future. that, yes, we will have to invest more time and effort.


Although we probably already have an innate attraction towards one or another type of radio control (drifting, touring, offroad, crawling...), we must also take into account the possibilities that our town or province offers us to enjoy our hobby to the fullest.

In our immediate environment we can often enjoy "improvised" tracks or race zones thanks to industrial areas, parking areas or construction sites, mountains and nearby dirt roads... We must also consider this aspect and have it into account to hit the model for which we decide. A person who lives in the mountains is not the same as someone who lives in the city. Perhaps the former is more interested in a crawler with which to rockcrawl and getaways to the mountains; while the second may be more attracted to a track or TT model (if we are talking about cars) because it has several nearby circuits prepared to shoot those models, or it has an industrial area with a large area of asphalt nearby...

If we have nearby circuits, we must make sure if they are dirt or asphalt, as they make an important difference when choosing the car model with which we are going to shoot.

And that's all for today! With these recommendations, we hope we have helped you to take into account the most important aspects when buying your radio controlled car.

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