There are several basic tools that you will need to get the most out of your RC helicopter.
Basic Tools for RC Helicopter Repair & Maintenance
The basic tools that you will need are as follows:
- Standard pair of needle nose pliers
Screwdrivers, both standard, and Phillips
- Hex drivers of various sizes
Hobby knife with assorted blades
- Rulers – both metric and imperial scale
- Drill – cordless is best
- Sandpaper – several grades
- Glue – thin and thick CA, slow and long cure epoxy
- Soldering iron and solder
- Wire cutters
- Rubber bands
- Grease and light oil
- Loctite to prevent parts from vibrating loose
There are several other, more specialized tools that you may need as well. They are:
- Rotary tool – Extremely useful for grinding, polishing, and sometimes drilling
- Servo tape – Comes in several different thicknesses, double-sided and good for securing radio and other components
- Ball link pliers – These make it easy to remove ball links from your servos
- Ball link driver – like hex nut driver, but holds a ball link
- Small screwdrivers – Sometimes really small screws are used in model construction
- Metric tap and die set
- Open-end wrenches – you only need the smallest ones
- Toolbox – to carry your tools with you and store them in an organized way
If you have all of the basic tools, and even some of the more specialized ones, you will have a complete toolbox that will help you in both building and repairing your RC heli.
RC Helicopter Field Accessory List
There are many different accessories that an RC helicopter pilot will use. Certain accessories will be necessary wherever you fly your model. We will look at a sample of the different items that are good to keep on hand, and what they are used for.
- Spare Batteries and Charger – A good battery is an essential part of your RC helicopter system. Your battery must be able to supply enough power to operate your electronics for at least one entire flight plus a safety reserve. You will need a charger to top up the battery between uses or have a spare battery to use while the depleted one charges.
- Hex and Nut Drivers – These are essential for maintaining (and also building) your RC helicopter. A good set will last a long time, and make adjusting hard to reach bolts at the flying field easier.
- Ball Link Pliers – Ball link pliers are specially designed to disconnect the ball links on your model. These pliers make disconnecting ball links easier, but the same task can be performed with a pair of needle-nose pliers.
- Pitch Gauge – To adjust the pitch of the RC helicopter’s rotor blades, you will need a pitch gauge. Make sure to get one with a large, easy-to-read scale.
- Fuel and Fuel Accessories – In addition to adequate fuel, a mechanical or electrical fuel pump with a few feet of fuel tubing makes filling easier. Spare silicone fuel tube to replace worn lines, a spare fuel filter, and a spare air filter are good to keep on hand.
- Glue/Filler – When you are flying your model, it is always useful to have some glue to do repairs with. With both CA glue and epoxy, you will be prepared for most minor mishaps.
- Spare Fasteners and Rotor Blades – Spare nuts and bolts are needed in case one on your RC helicopter breaks. Keep a small case of these in your field box. Spare rotor blades are very important because a broken rotor blade can put an end to a practice session.
- Field Box – A field box is ideal to carry all of your tools, fuel, and other accessories in when you fly your RC helicopter.
Having these parts along with you when you go out to fly your RC helicopter can be a great time saver.
by Todd Acosta