In this guide we’ll look at the best RC tanks.
We’ve compared design, size, features and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Are The Best RC Tanks?
More Detailed RC Tank Reviews
First up, we’ve got the WSN/Tumpeter Russian Battle Tank. In a 1/16 scale with an infrared battle system, this tank is a total beast. The full scale R/C function simulates a motor start-up sound for that life-like feel.
This tank is great to look at with a detailed design. The road wheels have rubber tires and the vehicle has a great working suspension. This tank turns seriously well, but proportional steering helps you to steer while moving forward at the same time.
For what you get, this model is great value. It’s 20” long so a great length, although you will need a whopping 14 AA batteries to get started.
Another in 1/16 scale and we’ve got this Heng Long Sherman Tank. Like the previous model, this RC has a simulative motor start up sound which the kids will love, and the turret will turn 360 degrees left or right.
This model has a maximum climbing gradient of 35 degrees, and it arrives ready to run. The design is highly detailed and control is easy.
The best thing about this tank is the gun. Firing BB pellets up to 25 meters away, this model is all you need to take out the enemy.
Onto our second Heng Long model and it’s the turn of this 1/16 German JAGDPanther Tank Destroyer, which comes with a realistic smoke feature for extra excitement.
Like the others, this model has a simulative motor start-up sound, as well as a machine gun sound, cannonball and emulation action effect. The sound can be adjusted if your family aren’t too keen on playing!
The gun on this model is seriously powerful. It can shoot up to 25m, and the auto reload bullet system means winning the battle is easy. The design is awesome, although this model isn’t suitable for children under 10.
Another US Sherman Tank replica and we’ve got this model from Fisca. This tank has 3 different levels of accelerating speed, and can tackle gradients of up to 30 degrees. At 1/20 scale, this model is a little smaller, but the design no less detailed.
Another with a gun, this turret can rotate 180 degrees from left to right. It shoots 6mm BB pellets up to 9 feet, giving an exciting experience for anyone wanting to take on an enemy tank.
This tank is sturdy, well-made and durable. The gun is deceptively powerful, and the life-like sounds make this tank even more exciting.
Blast away the enemy with this incredible value WWI British Tank by Tamiya models. This beauty is 1/35 scale so a lot smaller than others on this list, but the detail is simply incredible.
For those of you interested in history, this model is a fantastic replica of a WWI tank. The exterior is beautifully detailed, perfectly capturing the tank’s power, with over 300 parts and over 170 tread links.
This tank arrives in a build your own kit and it’s not for the faint hearted. There are no shortcuts and building it requires patience and attention to detail. However, the result is more than worth it and you can paint it yourself.
This model is a lot less of a toy and more a collector’s piece. The perfect family activity but due to small parts it’s not suitable for young children.
Amazing Tech Depot have done a cracking job with their M1A2 Abrams USA Battle Tank. This tank is fun and furious. It has a simulative engine startup and cannon sound, as well as a cannon recoil action for extra excitement.
This hatch can load up to 50 bullets, and it easily shoots forwards and backwards as well as spinning easily. The turret rotates 300 degrees meaning you can take out enemy tanks no matter where they are, and the gun angle adjusts by 20 degrees.
This tank is tough. It can climb up to 30 degree gradients and it has multiple speed control depending on who’s driving. The bullets fire a whopping 9 feet, and this tank can be controlled from 30 feet away. It’s a 1/24 scale making it perfect for a quick zoom around the backyard.
If you’re after the perfect gift for the kids, look no further than the Haktoys HT502 Fighting Battle Tank which comes in a set of 2.
These models are perfect for family fun. It has both a cannon and machine gun turret, both of which can fire, and 4 LED indicators which you can use as ‘lives’ in your battle.
These tanks work on two different frequencies so there’s no interference, and you’ll be evenly matched against your opponent, with both models turning left and right with ease. Fighting distance is up to 20 feet and there’s realistic lights and sounds for added excitement.
In case you get a little carried away in battle, these tanks are durable and made from high quality plastic. Play time is around 30-45 minutes and the tanks are 12” long.
The Cheerwing German Tiger I Panzer Tank may be small, but boy is it mighty! At a scale of 1/72, it’s perfect for kids and has fantastic design detail.
This model boasts a 360 degree rotating turret, and can easily move forward, left, right and backwards. It has realistic lights and sounds.
This model is equipped with a mAh battery which can be charged by the remote. It has a high and low speed switch, and it’s both fast and powerful when you consider the weight and size! Overall, a great little toy.
Another set of 2 to make those battles extra fun, and we’ve got the iPlay RC Battling Tanks, complete with infrared power. These are controlled by a simple transmitter that lets you rotate the gun and fire a cannon. When the tanks are hit by the laser, they will start flashing to indicate damage.
Each of these tanks has a 4 hit lifespan per game. The main gun can shoot as a machine gun or in a large burst action. The smooth pivoting angle means you can shoot the enemy tank from whatever angle.
These tanks are realistic looking and sounding. They’re seriously fun and offer around 15 minutes of run time. Perfect for both adults and kids.
For the best value model out there, the BlueFit German Tiger I Panzer Tank has to be the winner. It’s the perfect birthday gift, and at a 1/72 scale, it’s perfect for both kids and adults.
The design and attention to detail is exquisite, while it also moves brilliantly. It can go forwards, backwards, left or right with ease and the turret can also rotate and go up and down.
This model has a high and low speed switch depending on who’s playing, and it weighs just 60g.
RC Tank Buyer’s Guide
Virtually all tanks I’ve recommended are suitable for children or beginners, but there’s still a few things to keep in mind when buying an RC tank for someone inexperienced. Ready-to-run tanks are usually better catered to beginners, but you can also get beginners’ build-your-own kits that aren’t too difficult to assemble.
Smaller models are best for beginners – think from 1/32 to 1/16 scale. Beginner tanks will have simpler controls and be less powerful, but they’ll also be a lot cheaper.
More powerful tanks will be more expensive and less suitable for beginners. They will require some experience and attention to detail to build, but once built they strongly resemble the real deal.
What To Expect At Different Price Points
Small, ready-to-run models will cost up to $100, depending on the capabilities. Larger, more detailed models can cost upwards of $10,000!
RC tanks specifically designed for battles will be more expensive, while ‘toy-like’ micro tanks are great for zooming around the living room but unlikely to do much damage against bigger models.
Information About The Different brands
The most popular brand of RC tank is probably Tamiya, who sell units all over the world. Another which you’ll have seen pop up a lot on this list is Heng Long, a Chinese brand who products high quality but good value RCs. Finally there’s Cheerwing who create mainly mini tanks – great for kids and usually good value.
What Features Do You Want?
With such a range of prices for RC tanks, you need to consider what features are most important to you.
Like other RC vehicles, tanks are made according to a scale, in comparison to a real life tank. Scales can range from a tiny 1/72 to an enormous ¼. For beginners, 1/32 is ideal, but as you get more experience you could trade it for a larger model. Micro tanks are deceptively speedy and great fun for kids!
RC tanks are fuel, electric, battery or gas powered. Battery powered tanks will have less run time but they will cost less and are more suited for beginners. Gas or fuel powered tanks are more suited to experienced hobbyists.
The gun barrel of a tank will usually rotate, some even at 360 degrees. The gun barrel may also move up and down. The actual tank will be able to spin and climb gradients – usually up to 35 degrees.
Most RC tanks are designed to replicate a specific real life tank. Some will have great attention to detail with extra parts attached like shovels and soldiers, others will be more basic.
Ability To Fire
Tanks that can fire add a whole new level of fun. Rotating turrets mean you can shoot at the enemy from virtually any angle, and some even have automatic reload. Most shoot BB firing units. Other tanks will use infrared signals as their main firing capability.
Most RC tanks will come with a sound system that imitates the noise of a real life tank. This is a pretty cool feature and won’t add much to the cost.
Some RC tanks will have a smoke simulator for added fun. These are great if you’re battling with others, but if you’re more interested in the design and detail, they may be an unnecessary add on.
Ideal for battling against other tanks. Some RC tanks will have LED lights which indicate how many lives you have left.
RC tanks require less experience and knowledge than other RC vehicles that can reach high speeds, but it’s still important to assess what’s most important to you to avoid wasting your money. Larger replicas of war tanks are great for historians, while smaller tanks that pick up a bit of speed are loved by kids. Check out online reviews before you buy.