Essential Tools for RC Model Making

Like their full-sized counterparts, scale model radio-controlled (RC) cars are comprised of several smaller parts – all working in harmony to deliver the highest performance possible when it matters. And like any decent engineer, you need to have a good selection of suitable, high-quality tools in order to build your RC car without damaging these parts.

While there are a number of tools available for you to successfully build your RC car, we’ve identified the following 4 essential tools that every model maker should have before they pop the hood.


When assembling your RC car, you will often need to fit small parts into cramped spaces, and this is where a quality pair of pliers comes in handy. Make sure you use needle-nose type pliers with either straight or angled jaws to ensure you get reach into tighter spaces.


Many of the top RC cars come with several screws, required to firmly hold some of the larger components in place. As a minimum you should have one medium-sized flat-headed (slotted) and one cross-headed (Phillips) screwdriver, but if possible, it is best to have a complete set of both types. This includes short and long shaft screwdrivers, and getting a set that has magnetic tips will also prove extremely useful for avoiding lost screws.

Hex or Allen Keys

A complete set of hex or Allen keys is vital when building your RC model car, as you will often find fittings and screws that have hexagonal sockets instead of slotted or cross-shaped heads. Whether you choose the L-shaped keys or a more expensive screwdriver bit set, make sure that you choose the highest quality to avoid causing worn sockets and fittings during assembly or disassembly.


Nuts are typically hexagonal in shape and can be plain or self-locking. There are various types of spanners (or wrenches) for tightening and loosening them, the most common being those with open jaws at one end and a ring, shaped internally to grip the nut.

Part of the thrill of owning a remote control car comes from building it from scratch

While this type of spanner can be used on most areas of your scale model RC car build, your model maker’s kit should also include screwdriver-style socket wrenches that can fit into places where repositioning a spanner may not be possible. Overall, the best type of spanner for RC model car assembly is the cross spanner, which is compact and easy to use, and has a number of different sized hexagonal ends.

Part of the thrill of owning a remote control car comes from building it from scratch, and that sense of pride that comes with knowing you got everything just right. By using the above essential tools you give yourself a great chance of building a model car that not only looks good, but also delivers excellent performance on the racetrack or open road.

What are some of the key tools that you can’t live without when building your RC vehicles or other scale models? Share them in the comments!