RC Cars – Does Size Matter?

You may have heard the expression size matters. Well in many cases it does. The size of your house matters. There is no point having a two-bedroom house if you have four children. The same goes for your family car. Things need to be big enough. With the radio-controlled hobby most people’s thoughts are on the speed and power of a car. Therefore, a good question to ask is does size matter?

So, does size matter?

You can tell a lot about a radio-controlled car by its size. Sizes in the RC world are generally done as a scale or ratio typically something like 1:24 or 1:12. These numbers can tell you a lot about the size but they can also tell you a lot about what type of car it is. The type of car can also matter. Let’s consider it in a little more detail.

Understanding the scale is the first step. A scale is simply a way of saying how much smaller than the real car the radio-controlled car is. So, a 1:24 scale means the car is a 24th of the size. If the car was 24 feet long for example then this RC car is 1 foot.

This means that the larger the number in the scale the smaller the car. For example, a car that is a 24th (1:24 Scale) of the size is obviously going to be smaller than one that is a 5th (1:5 Scale).

Yes, but does size matter?

So, you now know that the higher the number the smaller the actual car. This doesn’t give you an exact set of dimensions though. For this you will need to look at the specification. Take for example the Marauder 30cc Petrol Radio Controlled Desert Truck and the FS Racing 30cc Petrol RC Buggy. Both are 1:5 scale but what does that mean?

The Marauder is 860mm long whereas the FS Racing Car is only 800mm long. So, as you can see from this example the actual size cannot be determined by the scale. To know the true size, you still need to check.

What the scale does tell you though is the type of car it is or at least give you an idea. A 1:5 Scale car is going to be one powered by petrol. We are unaware of any petrol RC Cars that are not 1:5 scale. Then moving onto Nitro RC Cars, you are going to find that they will be 1:8 scale up to 1:16 scale.

Electric RC Cars can be anything from 1:8 scale right up to 1:24 scale. They are typically smaller cars. You will never see a 1:5 scale car that is powered by an electric battery.

So does size matter?

Yes, it does. Smaller cars are going to be powered generally by a smaller electrically charged battery (Electric RC Car). As you get larger cars they need something with a little more kick to get you shooting around the track. For this you progress onto nitro fuel (Nitro RC Cars). This is a special type of fuel you get from your local hobby shop. Then when you get onto the huge models; the 1:5 scale cars you need a petrol-powered monster (Petrol RC Cars). This petrol is the same as the petrol your family car is powered with (Assuming it isn’t diesel of course).

So, size matters because the size determines the type of car. This determines what level of experience you need. Beginners should start with electric and move up as they learn more about RC Cars. So be aware that size is going to be a factor when looking for and buying a radio-controlled car. The reviews found on the SimplyRC site will help with your decisions.