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Best RC Tanks of 2021

Updated
Find an RC tank for your child that will stand up to heavy play. 

As the mom of five kids, three of whom are boys, and one of whom is a committed RC hobbyist, I’ve gone through a lot of RC toys. Some hold up, while some don’t. So, I’d like to share an experienced view of which RC tanks are the best and what you need to know before choosing one for your child.

Taking my experience, input from our teens’ RC hobby group, and multiple online reviews into consideration, I’ve put together a list of the 10 best RC tanks. I’ve also created a brief buying guide so you can see what factors I considered when choosing them. But first, if you’re worried about the safety of RC tanks…

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features
Product Image of the Rc Tanks,1:28 WW2 German Tiger Army Tank Toys for Boys,9 Channels Remote Control...
Best Rechargeable RC Tank
Infrared Fighting RC Tank
  • Runs on twin tracks
  • 330 degree rotating turret
  • Comes with tank commander
Product Image of the Mostop Remote Control Crawler High Speed Tank Off-Road 4WD RC Car 2.4 Ghz RC...
Best With Pistol Grip Controller
Mostop RC Crawler Tank
  • Pistol grip remote
  • Runs through shallow water
  • Top speed of 10 mph
Product Image of the Modified Edition 1/16 2.4ghz Remote Control US M41A3 Walker Bulldog Tank...
Most Durable RC Tank
M41 Walker Bulldog RC Tank
  • Makes machine & engine sounds
  • BBs firing feature
  • Exhaust smoke option
Product Image of the POCO DIVO Sherman vs Pershing Infrared Battle Tanks 2-Set Combat Fight Pair...
Best Infrared RC Battle Tank Set
POCO Sherman vs. Pershing Tank
  • Includes volume controls
  • LEDindicator for tank battle
  • Spins in the spot
Product Image of the BlueFit German Tiger I Panzer Tank with Remote Control, Battery, Light, Sound,...
Best Budget RC Tank
BlueFit German Tiger I Panzer Tank
  • 1 hour charge time
  • 360° rotating turret
  • Fast running tank
Product Image of the OASO Remote Control STEM Building Kit for Boys 8-12, 392 Pcs Science Learning...
Best Convertible RC Tank
OASO RC Tank Building Kit
  • Fun, non-traditional tank
  • 392-piece build kit
  • Educational as a STEM tool
Product Image of the JJRC RC Tank 1/30 Remote Control Military Battle Tank Toy That Shoots with...
Best Lights & Sounds RC Tank
JJRC RC Tank
  • Good for beginners
  • Simple to operate
  • Climbs up minor inclines
Product Image of the 1:28 RC US MIA2 Army Battle Tank, Remote Control Military Vehicles with Rotating...
Best RC Tank Replica
RC US Army Battle Tank
  • Exceptional controller transmission range
  • Comes with infrared function
  • Realistic lights & sounds
Product Image of the Heng Long 2.4Ghz TK6.0 1/16 Scale Radio Remote Control US M4A3 Sherman (105mm...
Best With Smoke
Heng 1:16 Scale Sherman Tank
  • Tank comes with smoke oil
  • Has 6mm BB ammunition
  • Realistic tank design details
Product Image of the Fisca Remote Control Tank, 2.4Ghz 15 Channel 1/20 Sherman M4A3 Main Battle RC...
Best Shooting RC Tank
Fisca Remote Control Tank
  • Good transmitter range
  • Lots of detail & functions
  • Powerful BB action

Are RC Tanks Safe for Kids?

RC tanks are safe for kids of around 6 years and older. Safety depends upon following the manufacturer’s age guidelines and only giving your child an RC tank suitable for their age.

The strength of the build, the number of small parts, and the RC tank’s top speed are considered when choosing the age rating on packaging (1). So, as long as you follow that guidance, your RC tank should be safe.

Hobby-grade tanks are designed for teens and adults. These tanks have smaller parts, may be more prone to damage, and can be faster than toy RC tanks. Do not give a child under the age of 14 years a hobby-grade or adult-focused RC tank.

How to Choose the Best Rc Tanks

There are the factors I consider when choosing the best RC tank.

Child’s Age

RC tanks are not suitable for kids under 6.

Keep your 6- to 10-year-old child safe by avoiding hobby-grade RC tanks entirely. This will make sure the toy tank you choose:

  • Will be strong enough to stand up to rough play, and small dangerous pieces will not break off.
  • Isn’t capable of excessive speed.
  • Will not fire dangerous projectiles.

Kids between 10 and 14 can enjoy hobby-grade RC tanks under adult supervision.

Over 14’s are good to go it alone.

Size

The best remote control tank for most kids will be a midsize model of between 8 inches and 14 inches in length. Finding something in that size range will be suitable, especially for someone new to the hobby. Generally, very large or tiny tanks are most appropriate for kids of 10 years and over.

Design

Design options are generally limited to replicas of real tanks.

However, there are a handful of non-traditional tank designs out there. Our kids especially enjoyed the build-your-own convertible model.

Durability

The sturdier, more durable tanks with metal components are usually expensive, hobby-grade models. Toy-grade tanks with fewer moving extras, such as a rotating turret, or static extras like aerials, are usually more durable than others.

Power Source

There’s not much to consider when it comes to power sources. All of the RC tanks on our list are rechargeable. There may still be a few battery-powered options out there, but we couldn’t find them.

Budget

The majority of RC tanks of good quality are somewhere in the $50 to $100 range. Palmtop tanks are more affordable, while hobby-grade tanks are $200 and beyond.

Performance

To avoid tantrums and whining, consider how much playtime you’ll get from a fully charged battery and how long it takes for a complete charge. It is often worth buying an extra battery, so you have a fully charged spare.

Look at the tank’s top speed. There are few things worse than a cool-looking RC tank that moves so slowly you can barely see it.

For younger kids and in-home use, the maximum transmission distance between the tank and the controller may not be significant. However, if you’ll be out and about, a longer range can be more fun.

Extra Features

Because real tanks shoot, RC tanks which fire BBs or other projectiles are more realistic, and consequently, more fun. Meanwhile, RC tanks with infrared fighting capabilities which recoil when “hit” provide excellent play value for siblings and friends.

If you don’t want, or need, an RC tank that’s able to fight, then a moving turret, lights, sounds, and smoke make the drive more exciting without the potential safety issue of projectiles.


The Best Rc Tanks of 2021

These are the 10 best RC tanks your child can have at their disposal.

1. Infrared Fighting RC Tank

Best Rechargeable RC Tank

Running on twin tracks and with a turret that rotates 330 degrees, this RC model steers and moves just like the real thing. It comes assembled with an optional turret-mounted machine gun and a tank commander that you can choose to install or not. The tank works the same either way.

Roughly the size of a shoebox, this RC tank has proven to be sturdy, and it runs well on dirt, short grass, and asphalt. If you pick up other tanks in the same line, you can enjoy infrared yet realistic battles.

Pros

  • Excellent value for your hard-earned money
  • Lots of enjoyable features so your child won’t get easily bored
  • Safe for younger children to play with
  • No small plastic pieces to break off and vacuum up

Cons

  • Not the most detailed replica

Additional Specs

Age range 6+
Size 14.28 x 5.12 x 4.35 inches
Transmission range 82 feet
Run time 20 minutes
Charge time 3 to 4 hours

2. Mostop RC Crawler Tank

Best RC Tank With Pistol Grip Controller

With funky gull-wing doors, higher ground clearance for running through water, and a top speed of 10 mph, this RC tank provides off-road play possibilities not found with other models. An LED light bar and loud engine noises add a layer of fun.

The self-adjusting tracks will carry this tank up a 45-degree slope, and the high ground clearance lets you drive through shallow puddles. However, it’s not waterproof, so if your kids are moving through the water, supervise them carefully and keep them out of water more than an inch deep.

Pros

  • Pistol grip remote is easier to use for little hands
  • Will run through shallow water for another element of fun
  • Performs donuts, which kids will love

Cons

  • Not a traditional military tank
  • Not completely waterproof so watch the water depth

Additional Specs

Age range 8+
Size 14.8 x 6.8 x 5.4 inches
Transmission range 80 feet
Run time Up to 25 minutes
Charge time 3 to 4 hours

3. M41 Walker Bulldog RC Tank

Most Durable RC Tank

This hobby-grade RC tank has metal tracks, a metal sprocket wheel, a steel gearbox, and an overall sturdy build for a model that will last for years. There’s a mount inside for a camera, which isn’t included, so you can drive from inside the tank and record your exploits.

The gun barrel moves up and down, fires cat annoying 6mm BBs, has a recoil action when it shoots, and makes a firing noise. Meanwhile, there are machine gun and engine sounds, an option to have the exhaust smoke, and a removable infrared module so you can battle other tanks.

This is my favorite tank but ranks as number three because of the price.

Pros

  • Exceptional running time for kids who don’t like breaks
  • Excellent build quality so it holds up to heavy use
  • Multiple features like BBs and noise that kids will enjoy

Cons

  • High price that makes it best for true hobbyists

Additional Specs

Age range 14+
Size 26.6 x 9.2 x 7.5 inches
Transmission range 150 feet
Run time 2 hours+
Charge time 6 to 7 hours

4. POCO Sherman vs. Pershing Infrared Battle Tanks

Best Infrared RC Battle Tank Set

With two kids and a limited budget, you have three options:

  • Have them fight over one good-quality tank.
  • Get two lower-quality tanks and have them break.
  • Choose this two-for-one pack of decent quality RC tanks at an affordable price.

This sturdy, if lacking in detail, RC tank set has start-up and running motor noises, machine gun and turret sounds, and a post-fire recoiling turret.

Grippy caterpillar tracks help you escape the enemy, even up gentle slopes, and the simple control makes it easy to spin in the spot to celebrate a victory.

Pros

  • Excellent value for bigger households
  • Volume control to help you avoid headaches and annoyance
  • LED indicator for tank battle

Cons

  • 25 feet range for infrared battles
  • Lack of detail, but that might not matter to your child anyway

Additional Specs

Age range 10+
Size 9 x 4 x 4 inches
Transmission range 85 feet
Run time 20 minutes
Charge time 2 to 3 hours

5. BlueFit German Tiger I Panzer Tank

Best Budget RC Tank

This RC tank from Bluefit takes only one hour for a full charge, from which you’ll get roughly 15 minutes of run time. It’s a speedy little thing, which can be frustrating when you’re learning how to control it, so don’t expect this tank to be fun for the younger child.

There’s a decent, realistic rumbling and squeak sound when driving. The turret of the tank rotates through 360 degrees, and the barrel moves up and down by 30 degrees or so.

For a starter tank for a child who may not know how deeply interested they are in this kind of thing, it’s a good value.

Pros

  • Charges from the remote which makes it easy for kids
  • Short charge time which is good because the battery power doesn’t last long
  • Faster than most, which should excite your child

Cons

  • Limited features
  • Indoor only, which may bum out your child

Additional Specs

Age range 8+
Size 3.54 x 1.97 x 1.57 inches
Transmission range 65 feet
Run time 15 minutes
Charge time 1 hour

6. OASO RC Tank Building Kit

Best Convertible RC Tank

With this 392-piece kit, you can build an RC tank, an RC tracked car, and an RC robot. You can only make one at a time, but you can dismantle and build as many times as you like.

This kit’s building element helps your child develop confidence and can be configured in multiple ways outside of the prescribed build. It’ll be fun, but educational.

Pros

  • Fun, non-traditional tank style
  • Additional play value since the building element is added
  • Potentially educational as a STEM tool

Cons

  • Limited range
  • Models can dismantle during rough use
  • Instructions must be downloaded

Additional Specs

Age range 8 to 12 years
Size Varies by model – roughly shoebox-sized
Transmission range 80 feet
Run time 25 minutes
Charge time 2 to 3 hours

7. JJRC RC Tank

Best Lights & Sounds RC Tank

This RC tank has the functional fun you’d expect from a mid-range toy, without the additional features such as a shooting function. However, one function I liked on this one that is missing from other models is the on-off switch for the sounds.

The ability to have silence makes up for some of the other features which I feel were overstated. The turret rotates through 270 degrees and not the 360 degrees listed on the instructions. The gun barrel moves up and down roughly 20 degrees and not the 30 degrees claimed.

Pros

  • Good for beginners who don’t know there are better features on other models
  • Simple to operate so children can play independently
  • It can climb up minor inclines for more play value

Cons

  • Controller feels delicate, which can be worrisome with children involved
  • Slow, under 2 mph, which might risk boring children
  • Short run time which can lead to exasperation

Additional Specs

Age range 10+
Size 8.7 x 5.5 x 5.3 inches
Transmission range 75 feet
Run time Up to 15 minutes
Charge time 3 hours

8. RC US Army Battle Tank

Best RC Tank Replica

This RC tank comes in two models, but you can battle with the infrared function between two tanks that are the same. The tanks do not fire projectiles but do make firing sounds, and they recoil when you fire.

Four lights on the rear indicate your lives left in a battle against another infrared model, but all four light up when not in fighting mode.

Pros

  • Exceptional controller transmission range
  • Fun to battle for when a child’s friends come over
  • Realistic lights and sounds for more entertainment

Cons

  • Longer charging time
  • Loud, which may drive parents crazy
  • Basic features that your child will soon outgrow

Additional Specs

Age range 9+
Size 14.35 x 5 x 5.5 inches
Transmission range 165 feet
Run time 20 minutes
Charge time 3 to 4 hours

9. Heng 1:16 Scale Sherman Tank

Best RC Tank With Smoke

A more affordable hobby-grade tank, this model is predominately plastic, but you can purchase metal upgrade parts at a later date.

The tank comes with smoke oil, a few drops of which you put in the burner at the rear for a smoking exhaust effect. Additional oil is easy to find, as is the 6mm BB ammunition the tank uses.

Pros

  • Decals and lots of detail so children feel it’s legit
  • Large, which can add more excitement to playing
  • It can make moderate climbs, which your child should like

Cons

  • The controller requires six batteries
  • Other hobby grade RC tanks come with more upgrades

Additional Specs

Age range 8+ with supervision; otherwise 14+
Size 12.8 x 4.7 x 5.3 inches
Transmission range 65 feet
Run time 20 minutes
Charge time 2.5 hours

10. Fisca Remote Control Tank

Best Shooting RC Tank

This RC tank from Fisca is more expensive than most toy tanks. The BBs can shoot with enough force to hurt, making it unsuitable for younger kids or irresponsible older kids.

It is well spec’d with lots of functions, but it is too delicate for outdoor use. This is not of a high enough spec and quality to be considered hobby grade. I’d only recommend this as the best RC tank for enthusiasts unable to afford a full-on hobby-grade model for the foreseeable feature.

Pros

  • Good transmitter range, allowing your child a little more enjoyment
  • Lots of detail, so it looks good
  • Powerful BB action for older kids

Cons

  • BBs can hurt
  • Long charging time
  • Indoor use only which isn’t good considering the BBs will be flying

Additional Specs

Age range 12+
Size 14 x 6.7 x 7 inches
Transmission range 150 feet
Run time 30 minutes
Charge time 5 hours

Rc Tank Comparison Chart

Product Best Age range Size Transmission range Run time Charge time
Infrared Fighting RC Tank Rechargeable 6+ 14.28 x 5.12 x 4.35″ 82 feet 20 min 3 to 4 hrs
Mostop RC Crawler Tank Pistol Grip Controller 8+ 14.8 x 6.8 x 5.4″ 80 feet 25 min 3 to 4 hrs
M41 Walker Bulldog RC Tank Durable RC 14+ 26.6 x 9.2 x 7.5″ 150 feet 2+ hrs 6 to 7 hrs
POCO Sherman vs. Pershing Infrared 10+ 9 x 4 x 4″ 85 feet 20 min 2 to 3 hrs
BlueFit German Tiger I Panzer Tank Budget Pick 8+ 3.54 x 1.97 x 1.57″ 65 feet 15 min 1 hr
OASO RC Tank Building Kit Convertible 8 to 12 N/A 80 feet 25 min 2 to 3 hrs
JJRC RC Tank Lights & Sounds 10+ 8.7 x 5.5 x 5.3″ 75 feet 15 min 3 hrs
RC US Army Battle Tank Replica 9+ 14.35 x 5 x 5.5″ 165 feet 20 min 3 to 4 hrs
Heng 1:16 Scale Sherman Tank Smoke 8+ 12.8 x 4.7 x 5.3″ 65 feet 20 min 2.5 hrs
Fisca Remote Control Tank Shooting Tank 12+ 14 x 6.7 x 7″ 150 feet 30 min 5 hrs


Fire Away

The best RC tanks for kids can bring plenty of fun, with noises, lights, swiveling turrets, gun barrels that go up and down, and some recoil when the gun is fired.

Some have an infrared battle capability, but even without this, or other players to war against, an RC tank can be terrific fun.

Headshot of Patricia Barnes

About the Author

Patricia Barnes

Patricia Barnes is a homeschooling mom of 5 who has been featured on Global TV, quoted in Parents magazine, and writes for a variety of websites and publications. Doing her best to keep it together in a life of constant chaos, Patti would describe herself as an eclectic mess maker, lousy crafter, book lover, autism mom, and insomniac.

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