The 10 Best RC Tanks
We spent 35 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. Nothing stirs the human heart quite like the sight and sound of a massive, powerful tank rumbling along. Unfortunately, owning and operating a real one tends to stir up law enforcement personnel as well, so it's probably best for you to stick with one of these remote control models instead. These RC versions offer realistic noises and responsive handling, and some even fire actual projectiles. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best rc tank on Amazon.
Why Tanks Rule Radio Control
The other excellent thing about RC tanks is that the vast majority of them are based on designs for original machines of war.
It should come as no surprise, then, that within the RC world, the tank is one of the more robust and capable options in a sea of high-tech vehicles.
Outside the world of radio control, there aren’t many vehicles that can rival the tank. Whether it’s the durable treads that allow it to effectively tackle an enormous variety of terrain, the practically impenetrable armor covering every surface, or the impressively destructive firepower, a tank is far more than the sum of its parts.
Tanks first made their debut on the stage of the World War I, where allied forced needed a solution to the trench warfare stalemate along the Western front. These machines could cross the kill zone between trenches, protecting the soldiers inside from bullets and shrapnel, while obliterating the layers of barbed wire that littered the fields.
It should come as no surprise, then, that within the RC world, the tank is one of the more robust and capable options in a sea of high-tech vehicles. The radio version might not come with the same degree of armor, and they certainly don’t boast very much firepower by comparison, but their treads perform in much the same way as those of the real thing, allowing you to take an RC tank places no other remote car can go.
The other excellent thing about RC tanks is that the vast majority of them are based on designs for original machines of war. That opens these units up to a healthy demographic of history enthusiasts. These customers can get their hands on faithful reproductions of tanks from the days they were first introduced into warfare through to their high-tech modern counterparts.
Agreed Upon Imagination
When selecting an RC tank, you must ask yourself a question or two about the intended recipient. If that recipient is you, then the answers should be readily available. If not, the process may require additional investigation, though I bet you could surmise the majority of the solutions.
For starters, how old is this tanker? If he or she is just a kid, they likely won’t have as much regard for the nuances and detail of a scale model. They’d be better off with something that has more firepower, or something that can climb more advanced terrain.
In a battle tank scenario, these BBs aren’t going to do too much damage to an opponent’s tank.
By contrast, an older individual — perhaps a collector — wouldn’t be as interested in the tank’s ability to climb walls or put out the neighbor cat’s eye. A scale model with as much intricate detail as possible would rather be the way to go. The same is also true for certain children who have an opportunity to play with their new tank in the presence of such a collector, or alongside a [military veteran] who could shine the light of knowledge and experience on a tank outing.
In either case, there’s an agreement that must take place between the owner and their tank, and especially between the owners of tanks set out to battle one another. Older collectors know they don’t have a functioning tank that’s been hit with a shrinking ray and packaged to sit on a shelf for all time. But they agree to imagine, to use the tank as a kind of conduit to remember or imagine terrifying and exhilarating conflicts.
Younger RC tank owners enter a different kind of pact. Some of the tanks on our list have the ability to fire BBs. In some cases, these BBs can have enough force behind them to do some real damage to humans (or pets), particularly to the eyes. For the most part, however, they fire tiny plastic balls at a reasonably slow rate of flight. In a battle tank scenario, these BBs aren’t going to do too much damage to an opponent’s tank. That’s a good thing for parents’ wallets; if every spent shell also resulted in an exploded RC tank, the bills would rack up fast. This way, the biggest expense will be replacing lost BBs (and maybe replacing a vacuum cleaner that’s been clogged with them).
In order for a battle to prove satisfactory then, children have to enter a kind of pact. It’s rather healthy for them to do this at an early age, as it will increase their level of sportsmanship. When their tank gets hit, the BB will not leave any mark. There’s no explosion, and certainly no paint splatter. It’s up to the kids at play to determine the score, to be honest with one another, and to fight fair.
A Few Words About RC Tank Safety
RC tanks may not pose the same level of threat that a real tank would — especially a real tank under a child’s control. That doesn’t mean that they are entirely safe, however, and in order to protect their operators, anyone within striking distance, and the tanks themselves, it’s important to follow a few safety tips.
RC tanks may not pose the same level of threat that a real tank would — especially a real tank under a child’s control.
For starters, never fire at an unsuspecting target. Very few of the tanks on our list can fire BBs with enough force to cause actual pain on most of the body, but it’s hard to know how the victim will react. The surprise can be enough to knock them off balance or cause them to drop something valuable, breaking either bone or glass in the process. This rule doesn’t just apply to humans, either. Firing on pets or wild animals is downright cruel, and Fido will be far less apt to come to your defense should burglars break in if he’s off licking his wounds somewhere.
Next, in battle tank scenarios, whether you’re shooting at stationary targets or other tanks, always wear protective glasses. One of your parents went out on a limb to get you that tank, so you’d better not prove the other one right by putting your eye out. You’ll both end up in the doghouse with Fido, who isn’t too happy with you to start with since you shot him while he was eating.
Finally, never operate a tank out of your line of sight. It’d be far too easy to drive it where it doesn’t belong. It may become a tripping hazard for unsuspecting pedestrians, or, worse yet, find its way into the road, where either it or a much larger vehicle may end up in an accident. Above all, use common sense, and don’t shoot anyone or anything that doesn’t want to be shot.
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