The RC car industry is full of innovative products—many of which are geared toward wrenching-oriented tasks. Over the years, many tools and accessories have been developed with RC use in mind, and others although non-RC specific, lend themselves extremely well to RC use. Some RC tools are a bit expensive. While some may scoff at spending $20 on a single hex wrench, or $150 on a soldering iron, many of these products are actually worth the money in the long run. The following is a list of some of the best tools and wrenching accessories that are worth the splurge.
High-quality wrenches and drivers
A great place to splurge is on high-quality aluminum wrenches. Ditching the Allen keys and 4-way wrench that came with the car in favor of these bad boys is wise. Using good wrenches and drivers will help prevent stripping fasteners, will last forever and help create an excellent fit and finish.
There are literally hundreds of uses for a roto-tool in regards to RC, and each is more valuable than the next. With adjustable speeds and a multitude of bits available, you can cut, sand, polish and grind just about anything. Dremel makes excellent roto-tools and is the go-to rig for RC.
While a cheap soldering iron is sufficient for portability, investing in a soldering station is a wise investment. They have variable output, apply heat evenly and offer many replacement parts and tips.
Using a body reamer, instead of a drill, is a much better method for cutting bodies. Buying an expensive body reamer will make reaming tasks easier, results in cleaner cuts and allows you to ream holes precisely and smoothly.
Investing in a good set of curved Lexan scissors will make cutting bodies much easier. Straight scissors pinch Lexan and are difficult to make circular cuts with, while the curved scissors cut the plastic clean and allow for easy straight and curved cuts.
Keeping your pit area well-lit is extremely important when working with small, intricate parts. The soft, bright light will prevent eyestrain, and an illuminated work area will prevent you from losing small parts.
Purchasing an anodized flywheel puller is a must for any nitro wrencher. It is integral when disassembling a clutch or engine and is a much better alternative to banging on the flywheel to try and free it from the crankshaft.
For measuring duties, nothing bets a nice set of digital calipers. You should always use digital calipers when accuracy is important: shock length, preload, turnbuckles, measuring fasteners, ride height, and the list keeps going.
Especially if you are on on-road enthusiast, purchasing a setup board and hardware is valuable in maintaining a correct setup: toe, caster, camber, ride height, and more. Although the margin of error is a bit larger, off-road racers also benefit from using a setup board.
Digital temperature gauge
Although there are some cheap ones on the market, throwing-down on a high-quality digital temperature gauge will give much more accurate readings. Since a matter of ten degrees can make a big difference, accuracy is important in engine tuning and monitoring battery and electric motor temperatures as well.
With a multitude of different performance connectors currently available on the market, manufacturers are now producing all-in-one soldering jigs that hold connectors in place for soldering purposes. Some of the jigs even hold different gauged wires. Using a soldering jig will result in cleaner soldering jobs, which will result in greater electrical efficiency and performance, not to mention a lower chance of burning your fingers!
To be honest, not every product on the market is actually worth the money for hobbyists on a budget. While it may seem extravagant, however, throwing-down some dough in the right place is actually a good investment in the long run. Splurging on the right tools can make wrenching easier, more efficient and effective. Also, making the purchase right the first time can save you money in the long run with durability in mind. – Michael Wortel
Have any other expensive tools or accessories that are definitely worth the money? Share them with us below!