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The Skills you need to Build an RC Car

Build an RC Car

One of the fanciest things about the adventurous RC car hobby is undeniably its superb depth-there’s just an extensive collection of skills and stuff to work with. On the flip side, though, the RC car hobby can feel quite challenging to understand, especially when you think of how to design your RC car and use it with utmost confidence. Don’t worry though-everything you should know about how to build an RC Car is outlined in this article. 

Ideally, building an RC car mandates some specific essential skills. All you need to know is how an RC car works, how to use some necessary tools, and, most importantly, some common sense! If you want to venture into  RC car building but need an idea of where to start, this detailed guide will take you through every skill and step necessary to help you achieve your dream. 

But first…

What is the Difference between RC and Car building skills?

The skills needed to build an RC car are similar to those necessary to create an actual vehicle. However, the main difference is that you needn’t worry about the engine or transmission since RC cars are remote-controlled. Similarly, another significant difference is that you will need to have schematics and diagrams reading skills for different RC cars. This is because many RC car parts can be replaced with different ones when they break or wear out.

What skills do you need to build an RC rock crawler?

There are many different skills necessary to build an electric RC car. As aforementioned, the skills needed to build an RC car are similar to those required for a standard model. If you’re new to building RC cars, you may find it easier than making a standard model. While there are different types of skills necessary to help you make a functional RC car, the following list outlines the primary & most essential skills you should have before you start your RC car design & building adventure: 

Basic understanding of how RC Cars work: 

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The first thing you want to have to ensure your design and build functional remote-control cars is understanding of how RC cars work. This includes understanding how batteries, motors, and electrical systems interact.

Basic construction skills:  

Also on the list of essential skills is that you should have basic construction skills like knowing how to use tools like drills and saws. Furthermore, it would be best if you understood how wood works expertly to make wooden parts like wheels or chassis members (i.e., frames). 

Mechanical Know-how

This is the most critical skill necessary for a successful RC car-building project. Why? Mechanics will be used in every step of the design & building process. You need to understand how motors work, how they are connected, and how batteries work. Mechanical knowledge ensures you are familiar with various important aspects like the engine, transmission, differential, and other vehicle parts. 

Electrical Knowledge: 

Another critical skill is electrical knowledge. You need to know how electricity works and how it affects your vehicle’s performance, not to mention how it can be used for other purposes, such as powering lights in your RC car! You also need to understand the concept of electrical circuits and their co-relation with batteries and motors. 

If you need to become more familiar with a voltage or standard current flow process in an electric circuit, this hobby isn’t for you. Furthermore, it would be best to understand how to solder wires onto circuit boards and essential electricity functions correctly. 

Be good with Electronics: 

Electrical engineering (or electronics) is yet another vital skill set necessary in aiding a productive RC building project. Usually, Electronics entails understanding electricity and electronics theory and various circuitry principles like Ohm’s and Kirchoff’s laws. You need to know how to design circuits expertly, allowing them to perform efficiently under different settings like voltage and temperature variations, wear & tear, and other external factors. 

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Ability to read schematics 

This is unique knowledge of correctly reading diagrams that show how things work together. This way, you can build something without relying on someone else to do everything for you! 

General Mechanics and physics understanding

Finally, basic knowledge of physics and math is necessary when venturing into building an RC car. Why? With this knowledge, you understand what makes objects move or not move! Physics and mechanics usually involve understanding scientific concepts like Newton’s Laws of Motion- understanding that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, a scientific law applied in almost all physics applications.

What Factors should you consider before building an RC Car? 

There are many skills that you need to have to build an RC car. You will need to know how to use various tools, understand electronics, and have some experience with the different accessories and materials you plan to use. Even so, having the skills is just one of the puzzles, as you will also need to keep several things in mind to ensure a successful project. Here are some of the main things worth taking into consideration: 

Have a general idea of what your RC car should look like

Before starting your RC car-building venture, you first need a basic idea of what you want your RC unit to look like. Think about the functions it will have and the specific materials you want to use for your unit’s body and chassis. Once you decide on these things, start checking out different parts online or at local stores for accessories that fit your budget and preference.


Next, you need to figure out how much money you can afford for your RC car project. This will help you decide the parts you can afford and how many pieces you need for your project.

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Purchase the necessary tools.

Finally, it’s time to start buying the necessary tools for your RC car project, including drills, saws, and hammers, not forgetting wrenches and screwdrivers, among many others. However, all the tools you need depend on the scale of your project, your specific needs, and, most importantly, your budget. 

Where can you learn the basic skills needed to build an RC Car? 

If you need a specific skill to build an RC car, enrolling in an electronics class is the best way to gain the necessary knowledge. Furthermore, If you want to learn more about RC cars, you can check out  some more resources here: 

  1. RC (Car Building) Books – These are specific books that can guide you through your first RC car-building process. You can get step-by-step instructions on how to build each part of an RC car, with some even including pictures to give you a better glimpse of the actual steps to avoid mistakes. You must search for RC books that include tips & tricks for a more detailed understanding.
  2. Online classes & practice- Secondly, you can learn RC car-building skills by doing real-time RC car projects with your friends. Alternatively, you can also take an online class on designing and building RC cars from a professional institution.
  3. Join RBCA (Robotic Car Builders Association) – The (RBCA) is a global organization focused on robotics research, education, and application development. The organization holds several frequent forums where members share ideas about robotics, including RC car building.


The skills necessary to design & build RC cars are relatively straightforward. However, it is vital to remember that your final RC car will be used by others, hence the need to ensure that your design is safe and secure. Besides the few critical skills mentioned here, the most significant skill for a successful RC building project is your ability to think creatively since this makes the adventure engaging and fun.

Good Luck!

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