Traxxas Slash Short Course Truck Full Review
A decade ago, Traxxas launched the Slash. At that time, the Slash was an all new kind of truck. In fact, the Slash was the first short course truck to hit the market. It took a few years for other manufacturers to realize that the Slash changed the RC world for bashers and for racers. The Slash became the most popular truck and won many prestigious prizes. The Slash is also responsible for the short course racing class and introduced many persons of any age to the RC hobby.
Tires and wheels:
The tires are a little on the hard side and should last a little more than typical race tires. The thread design is made for all around surfaces and the tires have good traction on most of them.
The wheels are chrome with a red ring, they look very well. All four wheels use 12mm hexes so you can swap front and read tires/wheels at any times.
The body is awesome and extremely well detailed. The black and red body is covered with nice decals from licensed companies. Remember that the Slash’s body is used for real 1:1 short course truck! The body fits perfectly and is made of tick lexan. The body will handle most crashes and lasts a long time. Front and rear bumpers are wide and flexible to absorb shocks. They add extra protection to the a-arms and others suspensions components.
So let’s start with the radio. As for all Ready-to-run vehicles on the market, the Slash comes with a basic 2.4Ghz radio. The only adjustment available is the steering trim. Being basic doesn’t mean not comfortable. The Traxxas’s radio fits extremely well in my big hand and the steering wheel is covered by a grippy foam/rubber donut for comfort and precision.
Motor and ESC:
The Slash comes with a 12T Titan 550 brushed motor with an integrated fan to keep the motor running cool and for a long time. The motor is not the fastest but it’s quite fast for having a blast running the Slash. During my tests, the motor comes slightly hot but never overheated.
Traxxas knows that the Slash will see a lot of action, this is why the Slash comes with a waterproof XL-5 speed controller. The XL-5 is a programmable speed controller.
Just like the XL-5 speed controller, the steering servo is also waterproof. The servo’s internal gears are protected by a servo saver. The servo is not the fastest or the one with more torque but it has sufficient speed and power to react quickly and to keep the wheels pointed in the right direction.
I’m surprise by the suspension. First, shocks are pretty smooth and use progressive springs to better handle small ruts and huge jumps. You can easily adjust ride height by adding some of the included shock spacers. I don’t know what oil viscosity is used but during my tests, the shocks were doing well.
The a-arms and the shock mounts are all made of thick plastic, so they can handle a lot of abuse. There are no real weak points. All suspension components and turnbuckles are oversized for a 1:10th truck. Some key suspension parts are made of different material to increase resistance.
First, let say that the drive train is smooth like butter. Everything spins freely without any slop. Sealed ball bearings are used everywhere for longevity and for smoothness. An adjustable slipper clutch protects the transmission gears and the spur. The Slash uses a gear differential that requires minimal maintenance and will last long time. The axles and made of two durable plastic parts that slide into each other as the suspension compresses. I first thought dirt would get into the splines but it is not the case. The splines stay clean and never seemed to be problematic.
What included in the box:
The Slash and included accessories are well packaged. The body is protected by a plastic bag while the radio is also well protected in a foam compartment. A well detailed instructions manual explains everything you should know about the truck. Also included, a stickers sheet, a warranty registration card, another manual with exploded views and all parts numbers. The manuals are written in 4 different languages. Traxxas didn’t skimp with extra parts and tools. Shock spacers and pistons, extra spur and pinion for different gearing option, battery spacer and basic tools to maintain and repair the Slash. To charge the included 7 cell NiMh battery 8.4v 3000map, a 4A charger is also included but it only works with car cigarette lighter outlet.
Here’s the funniest part of a review. After having fully charged the included 8.4v battery, I took the Slash out for a ride.
I first ran the truck in my driveway and on the street to get used to the truck. The top speed is Okay for a 12T brushed motor, however, the accelerations are surprisingly fast, The Slash gets to its top speed quite fast. On the street, steering was good and the turning radius is good for a short course truck. On tight turns, the weight transfer is present which is also normal for a short course truck. Running in the street is fun but is funnier on dirt!
On dirt, the Slash turns into an incredible fun truck to drive. Rooster tails and donuts are on demand and I felt like I was a teenager again! As predicted, the suspension is smooth and keeps the truck controllable. The suspension absorbs small ruts and surface imperfections with ease.
Jumping was also nice even if a short course truck is a little more difficult to control in the air due to its huge body. The Slash reacted well to my speed and brake inputs so keeping the Slash flat in the air was not really an issue. However, it doesn’t mean I never landed the Slash right on the top or directly on the bumpers. Every time, the Slash was okay and ready for more action.
What I like:
- Nice detailed body
- Waterproof electronics
- Built for durability
- Tons of option parts available on the market
- Fast and fun enough for new comers and more experimented drivers
- Easy to work on.
What could be improved:
- Included charger limited to 12v car outlet
- No AA batteries included for the radio
The Traxxas Slash surprised me, I knew the truck but I had never had the chance to take a closer look at it and to what it offers. The truck is extremely well detailed, well-built and can be upgraded in every way you want. For new comers, the Slash is an excellent and affordable option to get easily and quickly into RC. You can bash or race the Slash in its stock form on most race tracks. Alone, the Traxxas Slash has changed the RC industry and it is considered has being a reference. If you wanna have fun without braking the bank, the Slash should be on the top of your list!
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