Axial Racing SCX10 II Deadbolt RTR 4WD Rock Crawler Review
Review by Adrian Apodaca, RealRCReviews Owner
- Axial SCX10 II 2000 Deadbolt RTR
- 2s 5000mah 35c Lipo battery
- Tactic TTX200 2-channel SLT Radio
Also tested off camera with:
- 3s 4000mah 35c Lipo battery
- Fun, of course, it's an SCX10!
- Interior and driver included!
- Durable parts
- TONS and TONS of aftermarket parts
- New AR44 axle
- AX10 transmission
- Chassis mounted servo
- Great stock tires
- Adjustable, front mounted battery tray
- Star plug
- Water-resistant electronics
- Many kit parts included in parts tree
- Plastic links
Sorry for quoting myself from my other crawler reviews, but, I think it's worth repeating these words:
If you are a hard core scaler, well into the hobby, or an expert on RC specs, scale specs, and what all the numbers, measurements, terms mean, then this review will likely be of zero benefit to you, especially, because you already have one and for that matter, you probably bought the kit version. On the surface side of RC, I am generally a basher, however, I don't like to box myself into categories. Aside from my basher trucks, I do have a buggy (don't race it), I do have a touring car (don't race it), and I have a few crawlers, but I do not compete, nor do I do trail runs in the traditional sense. If you are like me, just a guy/gal who likes variety in their RC collection, and you keep hearing those letters/numbers SCX10 and you want to see what it's all about, continue reading.
Since the SCX10 first came out, it has always been regarded as one of the must have crawlers. Not only does Axial sell RTR versions, but they also sell kits. Some folks have kept them stock, some people upgrade them with hundreds and dare I say over a thousand dollars worth of upgrades and accessories. Almost two years ago, Axial released the SCX10 II. The crawler community rejoiced as the II version had some upgrades and some great changes. Axial was able to make an already great product even better. Although Axial has been releasing new models of the SCX10 II, they only recently updated the Deadbolt to the gen II version. I knew I wanted to see how the new model compared to my Cherokee RTR, so I jumped for joy when Amainhobbies reached out and invited me to do this review. I know my readers/followers know this, but if you are first time reader, it is worth telling you that we at Real RC Reviews pay for 99% of the products we review. The few items that are given to us for review receive the same treatment. We are dead honest to the point that after some negative reviews, a few companies have broken their relationship with us. A product that is provided to us doesn't automatically get a glowing review. We are real and honest 100% of the time. As you notice, we don't run ads on our site and we do not monetize our videos. This is our way of giving back to the RC community.
As I do with all RC products that arrive at my door, I dive right in and get going as soon as possible. Axial knows how to make a nice package and how to present your new toy to you as you open the box. As you slide the truck out with its cardboard retainer, you really don't bother looking at anything else. It does come with a pretty nice Tactic radio and one new great addition is the use of a deans compatible star plug. That takes away the nuisance of having to clip the old Tamiya style plug off to put on your preferred plug. Another thing you get are a ton of parts on the parts trees they package the RTR with. Definitely go through them, as you might find some cool little things you can add to your rig. If nothing else, you may want to switch heads on your driver
To be clear, the Deadbolt version of the SCX10 II, just like the original, is considered the budget version or entry level version. There are no surprises when you get an SCX10 II in your hands. Just like the previous models from Axial Racing, you get a really happy feeling just looking at them and holding them. They look great and feel solid. You can see all of the thought that went into creating this thing. One of the the great changes that Axial made with the SCX10 II that really made me happy was moving the battery tray to the front of the vehicle. Tons of people with the previous editions did that anyway, but this takes away the hassle of having to do it yourself. As for the tires, in my opinion, these are the absolute nicest tires Axial has ever included in an RTR. They are really sweet looking and they feel really grippy right out of the box. Unlike the more expensive versions of the SCX10 II, the Deadbolt has plastic links and an unlicensed body. Those items allow them to cut the costs and get you a nice base model and a very wallet friendly price.
If you are looking for speed, Axial SCX10 IIs are not for you. For that matter, stay away from all crawlers if you are interested in speed. These vehicles are built to look and drive like their full scale counterparts. I didn't bother taking a speed reading with my SCX10 II. I can tell you that with 2s lipo, you are at about a walking pace and with 3s, you are at a slightly faster walking pace.
Our original Deadbolt belonged to my son, now 11. He was excited about this new version, so I let him do a lot of the driving for this review. He did a lot of driving off camera, and all of the driving in the video below. He is not an expert (neither am I), but I gave him things to try and let him figure out how to do it. Rock crawling, going over big roots and stumps, it was all up to him on how to approach the obstacles. It also gave me a good chance to see how well the tires gripped on the surfaces he was scaling. Like the original version, this new Deadbolt both met and exceeded my expectations. Maybe my son is more patient and not so intent on doing everything full speed, but it looked very capable in his hands. With the weight of the battery moved to the front and the sweet stock tires, hitting those roots and rocks is easier. With the nice low-end of the stock motor and the big grippy tires, you'll be pretty impressed with some of the obstacles you can get over. Even going up a good sized curb is easier. I found that if I went at the curb at an angle to avoid hitting my bumper, I could wait for the tires to grip, then straighten out. The weight of the battery kept the tires gripping and I could pull myself up. It is tons of fun.
With the testing I did, the only thing I noticed was that the plastic links flexed a bit during certain tasks. It was tolerable, but having rigid steel does make somewhat of a difference. The good thing about the plastic is that they are super durable, so I can't imagine ever snapping one. Perfect for a young person or a beginner. The awesome thing about all SCX10 IIs is whichever version you have, there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of after market parts available for them. You can keep your Deadbolt stock and have a great driving and very capable truck, or you can dump as much money as you want into it to make it your own unique creation. Either way, it is an excellent platform for the price.
Again, I'm quoting myself from my SCX10 II Cherokee review:
I wish this were a longer review, but since there is nothing really negative to say about the new SCX10 II, it's hard to keep on writing without sounding like a commercial for Axial. Now as Taylor Swift says, "Haters gonna hate hate hate hate..." so I'm sure you'll find a few loons that will complain about this or that, but I recommend you pass that off as nonsense :) Axial listened to it's customers and they made some great changes so that your RTR experience is awesome right out of the box. You won't have to call your more knowledgeable buddy to have him help you mod your truck for better driving characteristics or immediately upgrade anything on your new rig. Sure, like all SCX10s and any other brand crawlers, you can always upgrade more parts for higher performance and more scale appearance, but it is no longer necessary to do any of that with your brand new rig. Just take it out of the box, charge up your batteries and enjoy your ride. You can do your own customizations down the road.
There is a reason that Axial Racing has held a leadership position in the crawler community. They plain and simple just make great products. That is the reason that I own so many different Axial rigs. The only thing I have ever upgraded are tires and links on any of my rigs. That was mostly for looks, though those changes did help in performance. To reiterate, if you are wanting to dip a toe into the world of crawling, or if you want an awesome base model that you can customize and make your own, you can absolutely not go wrong with the Axial SCX10 II Deadbolt. Check out the video embedded below to see my video review and some driving footage, and also check out this link to see my old Deadbolt with the moving head. I achieved this by mounting a cheap servo under the neck and using a y harness with the steering channel. While you are watching our videos, be sure to subscribe! I don't make money off of my videos, but it will allow you to keep up with our latest reviews!
Check these links to purchase the Axial SCX10 II Deadbolt and to see the other Axial offerings at my favorite online hobby shop, Amainhobbies.
Axial SCX10 II Deadbolt: https://www.amainhobbies.com/axial-scx10-ii-deadbolt-rtr-4wd-rock-crawler-axi90066/p763157