When you get started in RC, you can get by with some basic tools like screw/hex drivers, needle nose pliers and a hobby knife. Although those tools are fine, stepping up to more specialized tools that are specific for the RC hobby will make assembly and maintenance into such a better experience. Once you try them you will be surprised that you were doing without. With that said, here are 10 Tamiya tools to up your RC game.
Ratcheting Screwdriver Pro—#74152
This is by far one of our favorite tools that Tamiya has recently released and it only made sense to lead of this list of tools that will up your RC game. The Ratcheting Screwdriver Pro is very helpful for assembling kits and even aids in speeding up the process. Inside the handle lives a ratcheting 72-tooth gear which gives this driver a super smooth motion. The key advantage is the ratcheting mechanism that eliminates the need for you to re-grip the tool as you tighten or loosen a screw. Mid-handle, you will notice there is a red tab that allows you to quickly switch between the tightening, loosening and the lock modes. Located just below the tab is a Quick Rotation grip that is molded in a blue rubber material. This allows your fingers to spin the grip while the rounded end of this tool rests in the palm of your hand. It is a speedy way to adjust looser screws.
Each Ratcheting Screwdriver Pro comes equipped with a four inch long PH2x100mm bit for use with Phillips screws and works perfectly for JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) 3-5mm screws. In case you did not know, the JIS hardware is what is found in Tamiya kits. It is machined from chromium-vanadium steel for extended durability and is magnetic. The hex shank end will work in a1/4-inch drive so it can also be used in an electric screwdriver. Tamiya offers other bits for the Ratcheting Screwdriver Pro including a short Phillips style bit, a 7mm box wrench bit as well as a 2mm hex bit and a 2.5mm ball end hex driver.
Electric Screwdriver Set—(PT01)—#74089
The next progression up from the Ratcheting Screwdriver Pro is Tamiya’s Electric Srewdriver Set. This is a 7.2V Lithium-ion battery equipped screwdriver that can make quick work of assembly or maintenance tasks. It features 21 adjustable torque settings that utilizes a clutch mechanism so that a fastener won’t get over tightened into the chassis. Easy to reach forward and reverse buttons are positioned on the side of the screwdriver and can be accessed when the screwdriver is in its pistol grip or straight positions. Speed can be adjusted using a high/low selector switch mounted on top of the driver. A welcome feature is a LED light that helps to illuminate the area you are working on…perfect for tight deep spots on a chassis. The built-in Lithium-ion battery can be completely charged in approximately 30 minutes with the included charger. Tamiya includes a soft case to store the screwdriver and five bits.
Sharp Pointed Side Cutter—#74123
Do yourself a favor and stop using a hobby knife or twisting parts off of the parts trees and get yourself the Tamiya Sharp Pointed Side Cutters. When using this specific Tamiya side cutter, it will perform two steps at once. One for removing the part from the parts tree while at the same time leaving a smooth, clean edge on the part. The key feature on these cutters are the slim and super-sharp jaws that give you pinpoint precision. They allow you to cut off even the tiniest of parts and reduces the need of going back and trimming flash off the part. The handles are equipped with a comfortable PVC non-slip grips that will keep the tool from sliding out of your hand. Located behind the pivot is a convenient return spring for ease of use.
5mm Adjuster Wrench—#53858
When it comes to assembling steering and camber links, they can be a bit of a pain especially if you don’t have the correct tool for this task. The plastic link ends or adjusters are not easy to hold with your fingers when screwing them onto the turnbuckle. You can use pliers, but they can mar the adjuster and are a bit unwieldy for this job. The Tamiya 5mm Adjuster Wrench is a tiny blue anodized tool that helps in a big way for assembling turnbuckles. The plastic adjuster slides into the keyed opening in the end and will securely hold the adjuster without damaging it while you screw in the turnbuckle thus making this step easier than ever.
The Tamiya Non-Scratch Pliers are a good addition to your RC tool lineup and are actually a nice compliment the Tamiya 5mm Adjuster Wrench mentioned above. The intended and main use for these pliers is to securely hold a flywheel stationary during clutch assembly on an engine. The special resin installed in the jaws is used to minimize the chance of damage on the part being held. Inherent in the design of these pliers is that the jaws can close onto each other in a near parallel manner, thus make them a great tool for snapping on the plastic link ends onto ball studs without pinching one side of the ends and can apply equal pressure.
These pliers have an 8-step adjustment that can open to a maximum width of 46mm and are internally sprung to make them easier to use. A special non-slip coating is added to the long handles and one is labeled with the Tamiya twin star logo. You are also able to easily remove the resin grips from the jaws if you want to use them without out or if they need to be replaced.
TRF Damper Pliers—#42276
Owning one tool that can do many tasks well is a bonus and these TRF Damper Pliers do just that. All of the tasks revolve around the assembly of shocks. Although this tool is small, its compact design with specialized shapes and openings in the tool make it an RC shock Swiss army knife of sorts. The TRF Damper Pliers can be used to hold 3- and 4-mm piston rods, the plastic adjusters/shock end, securely holding the shock body for when screwing on the shock cap and to check the straightness of shock shafts. The final task that makes these Damper Pliers so useful is for inserting or removing the balls into and out of the shock ends. The chrome post holds the ball while the other side of the pliers pushes the shock end onto the ball. Tamiya gives this tool its signature bright blue anodizing and tags it with a white TRF logo.
Damper Oil Air Remover—#54152
The Tamiya Damper Oil Air Remover is for those of us that are serious about our builds, especially on those high end RC rides. Just as the name implies, the Damper Oil Air Remover will quickly remove the unwanted air during shock assembly. It creates a vacuum that draws the air bubbles out of the shock fluid. Up to four shocks with fluid can be placed in the tool. It can accept shocks with diameters of 8.9, 10.9, 12.9, or 15.9mm. It can also be easily expanded by taking the outer cup and connecting it to the top of the inner cup so extra-long shocks with up to 3.5-inch long bodies can be used.
TRF RC Car Body Reamer—#42260
The Tamiya TRF RC Car Body Reamer is another one of those tools that earns the special TRF designation and is also one of those tools that you will wonder why you did not get it sooner. It is purpose-built for making perfectly round holds for things like body posts in a polycarbonate body. The ream has a super-sharp point that ensure the hole is started in the exact right spot and will be able to penetrate the body. Along the edge of the ream is a sharp edge that will effortlessly and cleanly open the hole. Numbered hash marks in millimeters along the length of the ream make it possible to stop right at the exact diameter for the specific application. This will keep all the holes in the body look uniform. A blue anodized handle fastens the reamer in place and is decorated with the TRF logo. When not in use, an aluminum cap is included to keep the reamer sharp and safely stored.
What makes or breaks a great looking finished body are the decals. Carefully and precisely trimming the decals from the sheet without leaving any clear sticker material is key. Some decals used on RC car bodies can be extremely small and/or quite intricate and that is where the Tamiya Decal Scissors come in. These small and compact scissors are made of high-quality carbon steel and feature an extreme fine point and are incredibly sharp, perfect for tiny or elaborate decals. The special black surface of the blades will resist the decal adhesive from sticking to them thus keeping the cuts precise. When used on vinyl stickers, they will dull faster, but we feel it is worth it to be able to accurately cut out super small stickers. An added bonus with these scissors is that they work incredibly well for trimming flash off of rubber tires or for modifying race tires. The precision of these scissors allow racers to build a tire for a unique track condition.
You may be wondering why you would want a pair of tweezers in your RC tool lineup, but once you get them you will be glad that you did. We really the Tamiya Angled Tweezers because of their length for plenty of reach, thin profile for access to tight spots, angled tips and rounded edges to prevent scratching. They are ideal for adding stickers to a body, especially the tiny ones that require exact placement. They also keep the oils from your fingers from getting on the stickers which could hinder proper adhesion onto the body. You will also find the Angled Tweezers are great for handling small parts on a chassis or ABS body. And thumbs up to Tamiya for using quality stainless steel and the adding a black cationic finish for a long life.
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