Hobby Grade RC VS Toy Grade RC – What’s The Difference?

By | February 22, 2018

Howdy friends and welcome back. Today’s topic: Hobby Grade RC VS Toy Grade RC – What’s The Difference?

hobby grade rc vs toy grade rc - what's the difference?

In the R/C world, every vehicle made will fall into 1 of 2 categories…Hobby Grade or Toy Grade.

Think of toy grade as a typical R/C you can pick up at your local big box discount store, while a hobby grade vehicle is an R/C that will most likely require you to swing by a hobby shop, or buy online.

Big box stores deal in quantity and are not going to have the time to deal with people who take their R/C hobby a little more seriously.

This is not to say that you can’t find decent toy grade R/C’s, they are just going to have some differences in what you can expect with a hobby grade vehicle.

In this article, we are going to discuss some of the differences between hobby and toy grade remote controlled vehicles.

Hobby Grade RC VS Toy Grade RC – What’s The Difference?

Availability of Parts & Ability To Upgrade

One of the biggest differences between hobby grade and toy grade R/C’s is the availability and ability to find and replace parts.

Availability of RC parts

When you R/C, you will eventually break something!

There is no way around this fact, so being able to find parts is kinda important.

With a toy grade R/C, parts are basically non-existent. For you to go out and find the parts would basically end up costing more than the price of the R/C.

Toy grade R/C’s are never meant to be upgraded or repaired. More often than not, you can’t even remove the body to get to the insides.

Hobby grade R/C’s are meant to do serious off-roading, driving & acrobatics.

The parts inside are of a much higher quality and just like your own vehicle at home, are designed to be upgraded or replaced.

From an entry level hobbyist to the most seasoned R/C enthusiast, having the ability to find and replace parts is a must. It’s one of the things that makes being an R/C hobbyist so much fun.

Quality & Expected Durability

You can (and should) expect a much higher level of quality with a hobby grade R/C.

Quality Hobby Grade RC

A hobby grade R/C like the Traxxs Slash is going to out perform basically any R/C car you will find in any big box store.

It’s a hobby grade R/C vehicle and thus has much better technology and is designed to do more things better and faster than the toy grade vehicle.

A toy grade R/C is almost never waterproof, while most hobby grade vehicles are.

While even good quality parts break sometimes, they are designed to be able to take much more of a beating.

Hobby grade vehicles are generally much faster than toy grade and the collisions and crashes are much more violent. A toy grade R/C would likely disintegrate with some of the crashes I have seen with the Slash.

And even if you do break something, the parts are usually readily available, whereas the toy grade R/C is headed for the trash.


Your average toy grade R/C bought at the local big box is going to give you a range of about 50 – 100′. If you’re just cruising the driveway and sidewalk, this is perfectly fine. But if you’re hitting the fields or the track, 50′ is not going to cut it.

Your typical range on a hobby grade ground vehicle is more in the 500′ to 1,500′ range. As you go up in price, the distances can go into miles instead of feet, especially when we talk drones.

Another problem with toy grade is that you can usually only run 1 of a certain kind of R/C in the same vicinity due to controller interference.

Most hobby grade controllers and receivers use 2.4 GHz technology that lets you run multiple vehicles at the same time, in the same area.

This is a must if the R/C hobby bug has infected the whole family!


Speaking generally, hobby grade R/C vehicles are going to cost more than the toy grade vehicles that you pick up at big box/discount.

There are multiple reasons why and we discussed some of them in this article.

A hobby grade R/C is generally going to give you a much more enjoyable user experience. The feel and performance is going to be something you look forward to every time you take it out.

If you look at the image in the beginning of this post, you will see a hobby grade Traxxas Slash and a toy grade New Bright VR Jeep.

For a better understanding of the differences between hobby and toy grade R/C’s, check out the full reviews of the 2 R/C trucks with the links below.

Traxxas Slash ReviewNew Bright VR Review

Hobby Grade RC VS Toy Grade RC – What’s The Difference?

Getting a new R/C is something that we look forward to with the utmost excitement. You need to decide exactly what your expectations and plans are.

My advice is this:

If this is your kids first R/C, or you just plan on tooling around the house, go with a decent quality toy grade vehicle.

If you want to experience a thrill every time you pull the throttle and you want to do some off-roading, and maybe even hit a few jumps, then definitely look for a hobby grade R/C.

We hope you enjoyed this article on Hobby Grade RC VS Toy Grade RC – What’s The Difference?

If you any questions or need any advice, please do let us know and we will be happy to help.

Thanks for dropping by ~ R/C Insiders

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