10 Top RC Brands and Best-Selling Products

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This guide looks at the top RC brands and a few of their best-selling products. There are good reasons why some RC companies stand out above the pack. No radio-controlled manufacturer gets to “reputable” status because they say so. Nor can they buy their reputation. These companies are at held in high esteem because we the buyers have put them there.

Dependable RC makers sell more models than the competition. They’ve earned a reputation for excellence over a long period. Loyal customers rely on these leading RC brands. That’s because they’ve come to trust them and the products they sell.

What About Lesser Known Brands

The world of radio controlled models has become overcrowded and cutthroat. That’s good for consumers in some ways as competition keeps prices down and quality up. The problem is that a lot of cheap rubbish also finds its way into the search results. Such products look great on the sales pages and lure newbies to the hobby—who often shop in ignorance.

It’s difficult for new RC makers to market their models. The problem is we don’t know how good their stuff is until we buy it. Early shoppers of new products always take a gamble.

User Feedback Matters

Online stores that have rating systems and allow user feedback soon identify low quality. But that’s only useful with sites that have rating systems in place. All new products need to sell enough models to get sufficient feedback to rate them fairly. There are some excellent lesser-known brands out there too. RC’ers who buy from them can only hope the products live up to their promises.

What to Look for in Quality RC products

There are a few things to consider when looking for a new RC model. Even the top brands don’t always excel in every area. What’s vital to one hobbyist is less significant to another.

The seven-point list below shows the typical features that informed buyers consider:

  1. Model scale size if applicable
  2. Reliability
  3. Build quality and materials used
  4. Cost and availability of spare parts and upgraded components
  5. Battery life (running time) and the cost of spare batteries
  6. Battery charging times
  7. Control range: the distance the model can travel from the controller

Overwhelming Choices

This guide is not exhaustive as there are too many worthy names to include in a single piece. I have narrowed the choices down to a handful of well-established RC brands. I have also focused on RC cars, trucks, and aircraft so the choices don’t become overwhelming.

These RC manufactures cater to all levels from raw through to seasoned experts. The latter group are hobbyists who know what they want and are not afraid to pay big bucks for their models. Most RC’ers start small and progress as their enthusiasm grows.

About My Top RC Brands Guide

There are several brand names in this guide. The first three have mini-reviews for a few of their popular products. Below those are other admired names in the industry with links to some of their best-selling models. There are short intros at the start of each section. These preambles tell you a bit about the company and why they’re favorites among RC enthusiasts.

The models for each brand named here are based on personal research. I also took the opinions of industry experts and real user reviews into consideration.

The table below gives a snapshot of the top RC brands highlighted in this guide.

Top RC BrandFamous for
Arrma RCHigh-speed radio-controlled models and super-tough RC dirt-blasting action.
Axial RacingMarket leaders in RC cars that users can modify. Excellent customer support.
Team LosiHigh-quality RC racing cars and accessories for all budgets and skill levels.
TraxxasBroad range of exceptional easy-to-use RC models for. Leaders in innovation.
HPI RacingReliable, powerful nitro & electric RC cars. Replicas with outstanding details.
Redcat RacingExcellent value for money radio-controlled land vehicles
BladeLeaders in radio-controlled helicopters
DJIWorld-renowned for high-quality RC multirotor camera drones
WLToysExcellent first brand for kids and entry-level RC fans

ARRMA RC Cars & Trucks

ARRMA makes tough, powerful, high-speed RC monster trucks and cars. The company offers a broad range of models that are—for the most part—easy to operate. They are especially popular among dirt-blasting fans who demand products that meet the challenges. ARRMA’s range includes trucks, buggies, and formidable all-terrain vehicles. Their models cater to different budgets and skill levels.

1. ARRMA GRANITE VOLTAGE MEGA 2WD Monster Truck

ARRMA GRANITE VOLTAGE MEGA 2WD Monster TruckView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

First up is the affordable, ready to run (RTR) Arrma GRANITE VOLTAGE. It’s a perfect introduction for monster truck newbies who are getting serious. This hardy truck comes with three skill level settings.

  • Best feature 1: Three skill level settings
  • Best feature 2: Unique battery cradle
  • Plus points: Two batteries, mega 20T 540 brushed motor, waterproof electronics, fast
  • Minus points: Short playing time, long charging time

Arrma 2WD GRANITE VOLTAGE 1:10 Highlights

Anyone can enjoy blasting across any challenging terrain whatever their skill level. Newbies can practice at a comfortable pace using the Rookie, Intermediate and Pro settings. One of the truck’s highlights is its unique battery cradle. The cradle lets users choose between different battery types, i.e., LiPo, Li-ion, and NiMH. Every VOLTAGE truck comes with two 18650 Lithium-ion batteries.

Arrma’s 2WD GRANITE VOLTAGE has plenty of oomph and protection. The model sports a powerful mega 20T 540 brushed motor. The motor is part of a 3-in-1 power system that combines the ESC, receiver & servo electronics. All the electronics are fully-waterproofed. This truck is fast for a monster and can reach around 25 mph with LiPos and the sock 7.4v Li-ions.

The Not So Good

The two biggest gripes with the Arrma’s 2WD GRANITE VOLTAGE are battery related. The battery cradle is fantastic as it gives users options to maximize running times. However, the stock Li-ion batteries only last 5–7 minutes when pushed to the limits. The charging time is somewhere around the 3 hour mark. Those who buy this truck will need a couple of extra batteries at least.

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Tech Specs
Model type: 2WD Monster Truck
Model Scale: 1:10
Dimensions: 16.5 x 13.4 x 7.4”
Product Weight: 3.8 lbs.
Battery: 1500Mah lithium-ion (x2) accommodate more
Running time: 5-7 minutes
Charging time: 3 hours
The Pros
Three skill level settings
Unique battery cradle
Two batteries included
Drives on any surface
Mega 20T 540 brushed motor
Fully-waterproofed electronics
Fast top speeds
MEGA SRS 3-in-1 Power System
The Cons
Short playing time
Long charging time

2. ARRMA SENTON 4×4 MEGA Short Course SC Truck

ARRMA SENTON 4x4 MEGA Short Course SC TruckView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

The Arrma SENTON 4×4 MEGA is a fast, mud-blasting dirt-stirring short course (SC) truck. It’s a hardcore, affordable model that arrives ready to run (RTR), prepared for any environment.

  • Best feature 1: Detailed decal, eye-catching body aesthetics
  • Best feature 2: High-quality waterproofed electronics
  • Plus points: All-terrain, all-weather, coil-over oil shocks, dBoots Fortress ST tires, easy access
  • Minus points: Dirt shields need rethinking, long charging time

ARRMA SENTON 4×4 MEGA 1:10 Highlights

The makers say it’s rugged and unstoppable though such claims are a little over the top. It’s still a hardcore truck and an excellent entry-level model guaranteed to impress. The detailed decal and eye-catching aesthetics are part of its appeal, but there’s much more. The vehicle’s high-quality waterproofed electronics and coil-over oil shocks make it an all-terrain, all-weather challenger.

ARRMA’s SENTON 4×4 MEGA arrives with dBoots Fortress ST tires mounted on multi-spoke wheels. The tires’ design provides an aggressive grip and perfect balance to conquer all surfaces. Fans of the Arrma SENTON appreciate the trucks easy-access to power, electronics, and diff modules. They make maintenance and upgrades quick and easy.

The Not So Good

The dirt shields on the Arrma SENTON 4×4 MEGA look good, but they’re not very useful. There’s still plenty of debris clinging to the chassis after a dirty run. The long 4+ hour charging is another setback. And the running time is average at only 15–20 minutes max. Spare batteries are must-have extras.

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Tech Specs
Model type: 4WD SC Truck
Model Scale: 1:10
Dimensions: 22 x 11.7 x 8.2”
Product Weight: 6.3 lbs.
Max Range: Xxx
Battery: 7-cell 8.4V 2400mAh NiMH
Running time: 15+ minutes
Charging time: 4+ hours
The Pros
Detailed decal, eye-catching body aesthetics
High-quality waterproofed electronics
All-terrain, all-weather capable
Coil-over oil shocks
dBoots Fortress ST tires
Easy access to modules
The Cons
Dirt shields need rethinking
Long charging time

3. Arrma 4WD Notorious 6S BLX Brushless RC Stunt Truck

Arrma 4WD Notorious 6S BLX Brushless RC Stunt TruckView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.9/5

The imposing vintage 50s look of the hobby-grade NOTORIOUS 6S impresses everyone. It’s the kind of truck newbies inspire to and model enthusiasts pay for. Keep reading to find out why.

  • Best feature 1: Incredible stun potential
  • Best feature 2: 6S brushless power
  • Plus points: High durability, real steel effect, insane top speed, dBoots tires, waterproof
  • Minus points: Battery not included, price

Arrma 4WD Notorious 6S BLX 1:8 Highlights

No RC truck is indestructible though this beast is close. The model lures drivers to push it to the max, and every fan loves the challenge. It has incredible stunt potential like prolonged wheelies and eye-popping backflips. There’s little risk of severe damage too. However, scratches to the paintwork are always welcome. Scuffs reveal ARRMA’s REAL STEEL effect that adds to its rough and rugged charm.

Power comes from the ARRMA BLX 185 Brushless system. Users can push the truck to an incredible 60+ mph when they need to—leaping & flipping as they go. The tough 5-spoke wheels have chunky tread dBoots tires that provide superb grip and assist stunt performance. A fully-waterproof radio receiver box, steering servo, and ESC let drivers compete in all weathers.

The Not So Good

The Notorious BLX has a large battery tray that does an excellent job of securing packs. It’s 6S LiPo-ready, but there’s no battery included. The truck is quite expensive, yet buyers need to add batteries to the total cost. At least it includes a Tactic TTX300 channel 2.4GHz SLT radio system.

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Tech Specs
Model type: 4WD stunt truck
Model Scale: 1:8
Dimensions: 21.4 x 18.1 x 9.1”
Product Weight: 7.79 lbs.
Battery: 6S LiPo (not included)
Running time: Depends on the battery
Charging time: Depends on the battery
The Pros
Incredible stun potential
6S brushless power
5-Spoke wheels
Ultra-grip dBoots tires
Wheelie bar
High durability
Real steel effect
Insane top speed
large battery tray
Full waterproof protection
The Cons
Batteries sold separately
Quite expensive

Axial Racing

Axial produces exceptional RC cars that focus on two core areas. One, users can modify their products. And two, the company makes sure replacements and upgradable parts are readily available. That may seem logical, but many RC makers fall short in these areas. So, Axial cars have a certain appeal among tinkerers. That means enthusiasts who need to add unique features and functions to their models.

1. Axial SCX10 II Deadbolt 4WD Off-Road Rock Crawler

Axial SCX10 II Deadbolt 4WD Off-Road Rock CrawlerView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

The Axial SCX10™ II Deadbolt is an exceptional 4WD off-road electric RC rock crawler with attitude. The model’s solid chassis and ultra-compact transmission equip it for punishing trailing.

  • Best feature 1: SCX10™ II chassis
  • Best feature 2: Ultra-compact transmission
  • Plus points: Waterproof, single-piece axle, Nitto Trail Grappler M/T Tires, adjustable tray
  • Minus points: Batteries and charger not included

Axial SCX10 II Deadbolt 1:10 Highlights

Axial’s Deadbolt™ is a competent waterproof crawler with a bulging hood and outer cage. Heck, there’s even a realistic driver figure at the wheel. The vehicle also comes with a light bar though it doesn’t include the LEDs. The compact transmission gives the model plenty of gearing choices. And the AR44 single piece axle provides extra ground clearance and better driveshaft angles.

On the four wheels are 1.9” Nitto Trail Grappler M/T large block Tires. The tires are a durable S30 compound and have a significant bite across different terrains. Another welcome feature is the Deadbolt’s adjustable battery tray. Its positioned well for ultimate weight distribution and center of gravity (COG). The tray accommodates 3S 5000 mAh batteries.

The Not So Good

The Axial SCX10 II Deadbolt 1:10 isn’t going anywhere until it has batteries. There’s no battery charger included either. So, both battery and charger need adding to the total cost.

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Tech Specs
Model type: 4WD Off-Road Crawler
Model Scale: 1:10
Dimensions: 24.5 x 14 x 12.8”
Product Weight: 8.25 lbs.
Battery: 2-3s LiPo or 6-cell NiMH (not included)
Running time: Depends on batteries
Charging time: Depends on batteries and charger (not included)
The Pros
SCX10™ II chassis
Ultra-compact transmission
Waterproof protection
Single piece axle
Nitto Trail Grappler M/T Tires
Adjustable battery tray
Steel parts
Coilover shocks
Adjustable wheelbase
The Cons
Batteries and charger sold separately

2. Axial SCX10 II ’69 Chevrolet Blazer 4WD Rock Crawler

Axial SCX10 II '69 Chevrolet Blazer 4WD Rock CrawlerView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

The Axial SCX10 II ’69 Chevrolet Blazer is a 1/10 scale 4WD rock crawler. It’s a model that you either love or hate the appearance of. Still, it’s the performance on the track that matters most.

  • Best feature 1: Realistic scale details
  • Best feature 2: WB8 HD Wildboar driveshafts
  • Plus points: AR44 single piece axle, all-steel suspension links, Falken WildPeak M/T tires
  • Minus points: No battery or charger included

SCX10 II ’69 Chevrolet Blazer Highlights

This classic Chevy Blazer boasts some incredible, realistic scale details. It has a chrome-look grill, mirrors, and door handles. The light buckets have clear headlight lenses. There are two LED off-road lights as well. The vehicle even comes with windshield wipers (show only) and a driver figure.

The WB8 HD Wildboar front & rear driveshafts are an updated, stronger, more flexible design. Axial’s SCX10 II also sports an extremely durable AR44 one-piece, hi-pinion axle. And the all-steel suspension links provide added strength to the suspension and steering mechanism.

There’s excellent support from the ground too. The truck uses 1.9 METHOD hole wheels and all-terrain Falken WildPeak M/T Tires. The tire’s traction is phenomenal on challenging surfaces.

The Not So Good

Axial’s SCX10 II ’69 Chevrolet Blazer is incredible value all things considered. It would be more valuable if there were a battery and charger in the box—but there’s not. They are must-have extras and therefore additional costs unless you already have them. The adjustable battery tray can house batteries up to 32 x 44 x 147mm (3S 5000mAh).

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Tech Specs
Model type: 4WD RC Off-Road Crawler
Model Scale: 1:10
Dimensions: 22 x 9.5 x 9.2”
Product Weight: 8.9 lbs.
Battery: 2-3S LiPo or 6-cell NiMH (not included)
Running time: Depends on battery
Charging time: Depends on the charger (not included) and battery
The Pros
Realistic scale details
Waterproofed components
WB8 HD Wildboar driveshafts
AR44 single piece axle
All-steel suspension links
1.9 METHOD Hole Wheels
Falken WildPeak M/T tires
AX10 Metal Gear Transmission
Adjustable battery tray
The Cons
No battery or charger included

3. Axial Wraith 4WD RC Rock Racer Off-Road 4×4

Axial Wraith 4WD RC Rock Racer Off-Road 4x4View on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

The Axial Wraith is a 4WD off-road rock crawler/racer. It’s unique in that it combines monster truck bash-ability with competent crawler capability. It’s a good-looker too, and that always helps.

  • Best feature 1: Monster truck resilience w/ crawler capabilities
  • Best feature 2: Highly detailed interior
  • Plus points: LED lights, OCP-Axle, True 4-Link suspension, tube frame chassis, Ripsaw tires
  • Minus points: Mostly plastic, no battery or charger included

Axial Wraith 4WD RC Rock Racer Highlights

Axial Racing has paid a lot of attention to the inside details. The fully-licensed race seats by Corbeau LG1 add to the vehicle’s already fitting interior. The outside continues the theme. There are 4 sleek 8-spoke Raceline Renegade Wheels surrounded by 2.2 Axial Ripsaw tires.

Axial’s Wraith has an AR60 OCP (Off-Center Pumpkin) axle. Its benefits over a conventional design are more strength and extra ground clearance. The car’s true 4-Link suspension helps to reduce torque twist and axle steer. It also protects against excessive high-powered suspension wrap-up. And the tough tubular frame chassis guards the Wraith from the rigors of high-speed adventures.

The Not So Good

This 4WD RC Rock Racer is quite robust and crash-resistant as you’d expect from this category. However, it’s mostly plastic aside from the metal gear steering servo. That means it’s not as durable as models that have more metal components. The other gripe is that a new model doesn’t include a battery or charger. The battery tray can accommodate a 7.2V 2S LiPo pack or 2V 6-cell NiMH stick.

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Tech Specs
Model type: 4WD Off-Road Rock Racer
Model Scale: 1:10
Dimensions: 13.5 x 11.6 x 9”
Product Weight: 5.37 lbs.
Battery: 7.2V 2S LiPo pack or 2V 6-cell NiMH stick (not included)
Running time: Depends on battery
Charging time: Depends on the charger (not included) and battery
The Pros
Monster truck resilience w/ crawler capabilities
Powerful 20T motor
Detailed interior w/ driver figure
Bright LED lights
OCP-Axle
Oil-filled shocks
True 4-Link suspension
Tube frame chassis
Ripsaw tires
The Cons
Mostly plastic
No battery or charger included

Other Top RC Brands to Consider

The above section gives some idea of the kinds of products produced by the top brands. The next part of this page takes a briefer look at some of the other top RC names. These companies have a broad range of models between them for land, water, and air. They are the names on the lips of most RC enthusiasts these days, though there are others.

Feel free to explore other options and any startups that come onto the market. There’s bound to be a few good ones. Always be wary of no-name or unheard of brands with offers too good to be true.

Losi, Team Losi | leaders in RC Innovation & Design

Team Losi is one of the biggest names in the radio-controlled car world. Their extensive range of high-quality products caters for raw beginners through to experienced users. Team Losi is also famous for producing some of the fastest models around. The company also stocks an incredible range of accessories and provides excellent customer support.

The trucks and buggy below highlight a few of Losi’s quality models:

Traxxas | The Fastest Name in Radio Control

Traxxas is a part of RC history. The company started back in 1986 and has thus stood the test of time. It continues to excel in outstanding ready-to-run (RTR) radio-controlled cars. Most of their RC vehicles use high-quality components. Users can also easily replace or upgrade various parts. The combination or RTR models with hobby-class appeal is what helps them to stand out.

The trucks below highlight some of Traxxas’ quality models:

HPI Racing | A Leader in RC Cars, Trucks, & Buggies

HPI has been around since the 1980s. It most likely has one of the best—if not the best—design teams out there right now. HPI continues to make a splash in areas of innovation and creative design. It produces brilliant Ready to Race (RTR) products that users can fire up and drive straight out of the box. Race enthusiasts get to choose from a wide range of nitro engine and electric motor drift cars.

The cars and truck below are some of HPI Racing’s quality models:

Redcat Racing | Excellent Value RC Vehicles

Redcat Racing has been around since 2005. The company is well-known today for its fast, affordable radio-controlled surface vehicles. It provides ready-to-run (RTR) models in electric (battery) and nitro (fuel) options. Redcat also has lots of products that appeal to novice RC’ers. It backs sales up with excellent support and available spare parts & accessories. Scale models range from 1/24 scale to 1/5.

The Truggy, Buggy, and Crawler below are some of Redcat’s quality models:

Blade | Leaders in Radio-Controlled Helicopters

Blade is a brand name well-known for RC models that fly. Their primary focus is on drones and helicopters. Blade’s models include lots of choices, features, and pilot-friendly controls. They even have camera copters that are starting to catch on among RC fans. There’s a whole range of Blade products to suit all budgets, interests, and skill levels.

The RC helicopters below highlight some of Blade’s quality models:

DJI | Leaders in High-Quality RC Camera Drones

DJI has its Headquarters in Shenzhen—now considered China’s own Silicon Valley. It has become the biggest name in flying robots, especially camera quadcopter drones. These radio-controlled birds have incredible optics and stabilization systems. This company continues to be forever innovative. It brings out new or updated models and technology all the time.

DJI’s easy-to-pilot range of crafts covers a broad family of products. There are the affordable, sophisticated pocket-sized quads up to larger, cinematic-quality pro filming drones.

The RC drones below highlight some of DJI’s most sought-after camera quadcopters:

WLToys | Excellent Brand for Entry-Level RC

WLToys are best known for their dependable, high tech radio-controlled cars and aircraft. The vehicles include racing cars, trucks, buggies, and rock crawlers. They have a range of products to suit all ages and skill levels. It’s an excellent RC brand that won’t break the bank.

The RC Crawler, Monster, and Heli below highlight some of WLToys quality models:

Conclusion

That concludes our Top RC Bands review. You can now see why some of these names have earned a reputation for excellence. There is a constant stream of new startups, some of which will go on to be the best RC brands of the future. The names above are only as good as their next products and ability to update and innovate. For now, though, these are brands that you can buy from with confidence.

5/51 rating