Common among us here at RC Driver is our affinity for RC tools. Having the right tool for a specific task can make all the difference when wrenching on a vehicle. It can eliminate frustration, speed up the job and even keep parts from becoming marred and/or damaged. When selecting those specific tools, pay attention to its quality so that you end up with a good investment. Tamiya offers numerous quality tools for our hobby and we honed down their offerings to 20 Tamiya tools most worth owning.
Screwdriver Pro (L)—#74120 & Screwdriver Pro (M)—#74119
Although these two screwdrivers look like your ordinary Phillips drivers, they are a bit different and are ideal when building or wrenching on Tamiya cars. They feature a high-precision CNC machine end to prevent damage to screw heads. They will work on your typical Phillips screws, but are designed to fit perfectly with JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) screws which are used in Tamiya kits. Your ordinary Phillips screwdrivers will have a tendency to cam out and possibly damage the screw. These drivers will fit perfectly in the Tamiya hardware. Each have an ergonomically designed 2-color polypropylene and elastomer grip which is comfortable in your hand and offers full control of the tool. The L-model is for PH2 (3-5mm; JIS M3-M5) and the M-model is for PH1 (2-2.6mm; JIS M2-2.6).
Ratcheting Screwdriver Pro—#74152
A step up from the screwdrivers that we just mentioned is this Tamiya Ratcheting Screwdriver Pro and it is by far one of our favorite tools. It is ideal 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. At 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. 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 Screwdriver 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.
RC Tool Set—#74085
The Tamiya RC Tool Set is perfect for your pit box or to throw in your bag when you head out to bash. It has a small compact design with clear plastic cover that acts as a storage case. There are eight tools inside the set plus a handle and a convenient stand to hold each of the tools. There is a 5.5mm and 7mm nut driver, a slotted screwdriver, a No.1 and No. 2 Phillips head screwdriver and a 1.5mm, 2mm and 2.5mm hex wrenches. For extra durability, the drivers are made from Nickel chrome molybdenum steel. A cool feature of the included handle is that it can be used in two ways. You can either slide the driver into the handle to work like your typical screwdriver or you can take the driver and insert it in the opening on the side of the handle to make it a pseudo T-handle for when you need a bit more leverage.
Long Nose w/ Cutter—#74002
Tamiya’s Long Nose w/ Cutter pliers are a multi-function tool with cutting blades at the back of the jaw, perfect for cutting wire and plastic. The large opening ahead of the cutting blades is handy to hold larger round objects so they don’t slip while the long slender nose allows these pliers to hold small objects securely. Tamiya used durable steel construction and completed them with a quality finish so you know they will last. They make a great addition to a pit box because they perform more than one task.
Needle Nose w/ Cutter II—#74146
Along with the Long Nose pliers mentioned above, it is worth picking up Tamiya Needle Nose pliers. They feature long and super slim jaws made of chromium-vanadium steel and offer superb grip. Their design allows them to reach tight confined spaces and work on delicate components. At the base of the jaws is a handy cutter that can easily cut things like mild steel wire up to 1.2mm diameter and brass wire up to 1.3mm. To keep the tool in place, the handles feature a non-slip PVC grip.
Non-Scratch Long Nose Pliers—#74065
For items that you don’t want to get scratched, use these Non-Scratch Long Nose Pliers instead of your standard metal jaw pliers. Plastic grips are screwed onto the jaws to cover the serrated teeth of the pliers and will protect the part being worked on while maintaining a firm grip. The pliers are constructed of steel and feature coated handles, a 2-step opening adjustment and the jaw is spring loaded for added convenience.
The Tamiya Non-Scratch Pliers are a good addition to your RC tool lineup. The intended 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. What we really like about these pliers is a special feature inherent in the design. 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.
You may be wondering why we picked a pair of tweezers as part of the 20 Tamiya tools most worth owning, but once you get them you will be glad that you did. We really like 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.
These Tamiya Curved Scissors are specifically designed for trimming polycarbonate bodies. The blades are extra sharp so that they can easily cut through the thickest polycarbonate. Their short length and curved design allow you to trim out the tightest curves on a body with ease and accuracy. Tamiya makes them out of high-quality stainless steel for exceptional durability.
These Decal Scissors are small and compact, made of high-quality carbon steel and feature an ultra-fine point for trimming intricate decals. When used on standard vinyl stickers, they will dull faster, but we feel it is worth it to be able to accurately cut out super small stickers. They measure 5-inches long with plastic handles that fit nicely to your fingers. The black surface of the blades resists sticking to adhesives so they won’t get hung up while cutting and are incredibly sharp for precise cuts. 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.
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.
Tamiya Modeler’s Knife Pro—#74098
A good sharp hobby knife like this Tamiya Modeler’s Knife Pro is a great tool to always have on hand. This professional knife is ideal for cutting custom shapes into the tape masks as well as score the body when trimming off excess polycarbonate. It comes as a set that includes three straight blades, two curved blades and two chisel blades. Tamiya built the handle out of a super comfortable elastomer grip and uses a metal chuck to secure the blade. When not in use, there is a protective cap for the knife and a plastic spare blade case to store the additional blades.
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.
2mm E-Ring Tool—#74032
E-rings or E-clips are a commonly used fastener on most RC vehicles like on shock shafts or hinge pins. If you are familiar with them, then you know that installing them and taking them off can lead to shooting them across the room if you are not being extremely careful. The Tamiya 2mm E-Ring Tool is extremely useful thanks to its unique shape that is specifically designed with a tip to make it easy to attach and remove the tiny E-rings.
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 pliers 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.
TRF Wrench for Aluminum Turnbuckles—#42236 & TRF Wrench for Blue Titanium Turnbuckle Shaft—#42122
To complement the 5mm Adjuster Wrench, pick up one or both of these TRF wrenches for turnbuckles depending on the type of turnbuckles you have on your cars. They are designed to perfectly fit over the center, squared off section of the turnbuckle to make quick and easy adjustments to the links. Each come with a nicely machined aluminum handle, but have different colored tips so that they can be distinguished from each other. The TRF Wrench for Blue Titanium Turnbuckle Shafts has a titanium tip for long lasting wear and works only with blue anodized titanium turnbuckles. The TRF Wrench for Aluminum Turnbuckles is meant for Tamiya aluminum and standard titanium turnbuckles.
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.
RC Tire Cementing Helper—#53338
The Tamiya RC Tire Cementing Helper is made for standard touring car tires and Tamiya M-chassis tires. It makes the tire gluing process much easier and less messy. When the tire and wheel is placed inside, you press down on the outer ring which creates a nice gap between the tire and the wheel thus making it possible to easily run a smooth and consistent flow of instant glue into that gap. You can then rest assured that the tire has a nice consistent and secure bond. As an added bonus, it also keeps the instant glue from getting on to your fingers.
For more information about Tamiya products, visit: TAMIYA