➊ ➋ Phillips-head screwdrivers All you need for 99% of RC work are a
number-two and number-one size drivers (usually labeled “P1’ and “P2”). You don’t
need to spend a lot, but don’t get the cheapest of the cheap. Get drivers with a
ground tip (instead of stamped), bonus if they have a gray anti-slip coating.
➌ Bladed screwdriver A quarter-inch tip is all you need. Spend an extra buck or
two and get a good one.
➍ ➎ Slip-joint and needle-nose pliers You’ll use these for snapping e-clips
into place, holding shafts and pins, and dozens of other uses.
➏ Flush cutters A flush cutter’s blades sit flush (hence the term) against the part
they are cutting, so no waster material is left on the part. ;is is ideal for snipping
parts o; their trees (called “sprues”), where extra material might interfere with fit
➐ 4-way wrench Your kit will likely include one. Each arm fits a di;erent nut size,
typically 7, 5. 5, 4, and 3mm.
➑ Scissors You probably have scissors in the junk drawer, but treat yourself to
a fresh, sharp pair for RC work. You’ll use these mostly for trimming decals. ;is
pair has slick titanium-nitride coated blades, perfect for slicing adhesive-backed
➒ Body scissors A must for trimming Lexan bodies. ;e short, curved
blades navigate wheel wells and other tight spots easily. Don’t even try it with
➓ Reamer For making perfect body-post holes. Get one with a cap if you can,
such as the Duratrax Ultimate Body Reamer pictured here.
12 10 11 8 9
1 34 5 6 2
STEP 5. TRAYS ARE YOUR FRIENDS
;e more organized you are, the easier and more enjoyable the build will
be. It’s helpful to pour parts and hardware into parts trays to keep them
from rolling o; your work area and getting lost forever in the carpet.
;ere are many household items that will serve this task well, such
as an empty egg carton or a partitioned paper plate. If you really want
to guarantee against lost parts, use a magnetic parts tray, which will
securely hold any metal hardware or parts in place.
A magnetic parts dish is great for keeping metal hardware from flying o ; your work area
and getting lost forever in your carpet.
11 Hobby knife Choose any handle you like, just be sure to keep a fresh no. 11 blade
in there. Use this to score Lexan, shave excess plastic, trim decals, and scads of
other tasks. Cap the blade when not in use, please.
12 Hex drivers Even if your kit includes “L” wrenches for its hex fasteners,
these are a must. You can build a kit with “L” wrenches, but it’s much easier with
screwdriver-style hex drivers.
STEP 6. THREAD-LOCK FOR METAL PARTS
It’s always a good idea to use some medium strength (blue) thread-lock
on screws that will be threaded into metal parts. Even nicely tightened
screws will succumb to being shaken loose through the vibration of any
nitro or electric car. When you do apply thread-lock, only the smallest
amount is needed to lightly coat the screw. Too much thread-lock and
you might not be able to get the screw out. A simple way to coat multiple
screws with thread-lock is to put a single drop on a discarded parts bag
and spin the screw on it.
You only need to lightly coat
the screw with thread-lock
before installing it into a
Essential RC Tools
You’ll find a few tools included with your kit, but these are really
there to help you along if you don’t already have tools of your
own. You’ll enjoy building kits and maintain your vehicles much
more if you invest in high-quality tools (which don’t have to be
very expensive). Here are the essentials: