The 8 Best RC Trucks

Updated June 29, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

8 Best RC Trucks
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
Get your motor runnin' and start having some off-road fun with our list of the best RC trucks on the market today. Whether you are looking for the monster truck variety or something more realistic, you'll find it here, with options that can go as fast as 65 mph. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best rc truck on Amazon.

8. Maisto Rock Crawler

If you want a simple option for the kids, you should consider the Maisto Rock Crawler because of its simple controls, difficult to break body, and use of easy-to-find AA and AAA batteries. The large tires grip well for both on and off-roading.
  • great for climbing
  • front and rear motors
  • not meant for racing
Brand Maisto
Model 83022
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Traxxas Stampede 4X4

The Traxxas Stampede 4X4 is essentially a challenge from the manufacturer to see if you can break it. They brought in everything from factory tuned differentials to waterproof speed controls to make sure you can play in any weather and on any terrain.
  • ultra fast battery charger
  • over 30 minutes per charge
  • requires lipo batteries
Brand Traxxas
Model 67054-1 BLUE
Weight 8.9 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. HPI Racing Savage XS

You can easily fool your competition with the HPI Racing Savage XS that burns larger race trucks as it is fully capable of doing up to 50 mph. It can also take a licking at high speeds thanks to its build quality and engineering.
  • perfect for fans of the ford raptor
  • exact 1 to 12 body scale
  • wheelie bar not included
Brand HPI Racing
Model HPID1225
Weight 8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. K-5 Blazer Ascender

The only thing that beats owning a real classic 1986 Blazer is racing the K-5 Blazer Ascender hobby truck, a 1:10 scale model that features an adjustable wheelbase. You'll love its bright paint job and optimized details, such as the battery's front placement for grip.
  • great suspension for rugged trails
  • fun to put together
  • driveshafts could be better
Model VTR03014
Weight 8.5 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

4. Traxxas Summit 4WD Monster

The Traxxas Summit 4WD Monster off-road truck features industry-leading dual CV telescoping half shafts. It has been built to withstand pain, so go ahead and have it climb objects larger than yourself and get big air with your jumps.
  • gtr oil filled titanium shocks
  • climbs over the roughest terrain
  • massive titan 775 motor
Brand Traxxas
Model TRA56076
Weight 16.6 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

3. Axial SCX10 Deadbolt

The Axial SCX10 Deadbolt is the perfect balance of speed, torque and offroading capabilities. It has all terrain tires with deep tread to give it traction on almost any surface and it arrives ready to drive so you don't have to waste time assembling it.
  • fully waterproof speed controller
  • stable at high speeds
  • high ground clearance
Model AXID9031
Weight 11.7 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Traxxas Revo 3.3

For a monster truck built to impress, check out the Traxxas Revo 3.3. It has digital waterproof bearings, a heavy-duty OptiDrive ­reversing transmission, and factory-installed telemetry sensors. The speeds are so high, it will rapidly become airborne if you gun it.
  • extra wide stance for stability
  • easily upgradable parts
  • bluetooth integration
Brand Traxxas
Model TRA53097-1
Weight 16.4 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. Electric Volcano EPX

For the best balance of price, speed, and durability; we recommend the Redcat Racing Electric Volcano EPX, which can flip, crash, and roll before coming back for more. It handles outdoor terrain with its 4-wheel drive, and will speed away with its high torque servo.
  • waterproof electronic components
  • hard to break polycarbonate body
  • oil-filled shocks
Brand Redcat Racing
Model VOLCANOEP-94111-RB-24
Weight 7.6 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

A Broad Spectrum OF Power

When most people think of RC vehicles, be they cars, or trucks, or some other land-based machine, they often call forth images of children mindlessly ramming toy trucks into walls, failing miserable to control them.

The trucks we're talking about here today are of a different class altogether, though there are a couple on our list designed as bridges between the world of RC toys and a more adult RC experience.

Those gap models are usually electric, receiving a radio transmission from your handheld controls and translating it to movement from an electrical motor that pumps the wheels. There are extremely high-end electric models (some well beyond high-end), as well, that reach incredible speeds and require minimal maintenance.

Other models utilize small internal combustion engines more akin to what you'd find in your actual car, just scaled down tremendously and running on a very different kind of fuel mixture that more closely resembles the mix in a lawnmower. These models will usually operate on a basic throttle, the reverse action of which will apply a kind of engine breaking as it reduces the mixture flowing through the carburetor.

Whatever method of motion you employ, these trucks get more expensive as you add nicer features, like improved shock absorbers and stronger chassis, which will increase the durability of your truck over hard terrain.

And don't be shocked if you get a workout just picking the truck up and moving it from one place to the next. Given the size of some of these motors and the quality of the materials used in their construction, a lot of these trucks get up to around 16 lbs. in weight.

Trucking To The Ends Of The Earth

An RC truck is, by default, a rugged character. I'm tempted to compare them to characters of the old American west for their perseverance, strength, and singular vision, but even there something is amiss. Something about that doesn't quite do these trucks justice.

Perhaps it's that there's a greater variety of applications for a given RC truck than you might get from a lonesome cowboy. They could shoot a gun and ride a horse, and that was about it. These trucks are far more specialized.

Depending on what kind of trucking you do, you'll want to target certain features that some models lord over others. If speed is your game, for example, and RC racing is an active part of your life, than you want to get your hands on the fastest thing out there. If you're more into climbing through rough, impersonal terrain toward the height of some desert or wooded landscape, than a truck with more torque and more flex in its chassis would suit you best, without as much thought for top speed.

No matter what your preference, though, be it speed or strength, or maybe even replication of other classic trucks, there is one variable that will guide you toward your perfect pick: maintenance.

You either love maintaining your RC truck, or you put up with the maintenance of your truck until you can get it back out on the tracks. There's little room in between.

Simply put, electric motors require less maintenance. Sure, a truck with an electric motor will still have a similar variety of moving parts and potential problems in every area other than the engine, but electrical motor maintenance is simply cleaner and less time-intensive. Fueled trucks are going to require greater knowledge and handling of precision parts, as well as an inevitably greater mess.

Some people revel in that mess. You may not be one of them. If you are, then dive into the fastest or the strongest, most complicated machine you can find. Otherwise, look to keep it electric.

Freed From The Slots

Although Lionel and other companies produced remote controlled slot cars as early as the 1910s, wireless RC cars didn't make their way to the market until 1966. That was when Elettronica Giocattoli, an Italian company nestled in between Bologna and Parma, produced an electric 1:12 scale model of the Ferrari 250LM. It hit the UK in December of that year, and the popularity of that and their next model, a 1:10 Ferrari P4, spread through most of Europe by 1968.

US-based companies caught onto the trend and began manufacturing small RC vehicles of their own in the early 1970s. In true American fashion, these vehicles renounced the use of the electric motor in favor of a nitro-powered .21 cc engine.

Within a few years, racing, hobbyist, and enthusiast groups cropped up throughout the country, and gave birth to a craze that still ripples throughout the land. Manufacturers, in response to the specialized intelligence of their particular demographic, have doubled down on an effort to increase the precision and quality of their lineups, offering variety and customization like never before, as well as a whole scale of introductory, beginner, intermediate, and professional models to get you started and keep you trucking.

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Last updated on June 29, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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