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R/C Vendors

Wow, I can't believe I created this list in one sitting.  But, it was either finish this list, or clean my shop.  This won.

Looking to buy something?  Here is a list of vendors that I have used over the years.

Local Vendors

Hobbies Arts and Crafts, Oakdale
160 North Yosemite Avenue
Oakdale, CA 95361

(209) 847-8772

Hobbies Arts and Crafts seems to focus primality on the Arts and Crafts, but they do have a selection of R/C stuff.  36 miles from my house, they are our closest hobby shop.

Modesto Hobby and Crafts, Modesto
401 Bangs Avenue
Modesto, CA 95356
(209) 529-7310

Modesto Hobby and Crafts has a good selection of airplane kits, and accessories. The also carry some helicopter kits and parts. Customer service has been hit or miss here over the years. At 47 miles, they are the next closest.

R/C Country, Sacramento
6011 Folsom Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95819
(916) 731-5868

At 80 miles away, it's a solid two-hour drive to R/C Country, but it's worth it.  Have you been there?  If not, you should go, just leave your wallet at home.  They would be well-stocked if they were an online vendor, but it's all right there in the store.  About 16 miles from the Folsom Outlets.  Drop the wife off at the outlets, and spend an afternoon at R/C Country.

Online Vendors

I love living in Sonora, but there's not a lot of shopping. I support local businesses when I can, but our local hobby shop has closed. The nearest hobby shop, in Oakdale, is 36 miles away, and that's a small store. R/C Country has a great selection, but is two hours away, traffic permitting. That's why I do most of my R/C shopping online.

Widget Supply
Not an R/C vendor per se, these guys have lots of hobby tools, magnifiers, X-Acto blades, and lots of specialty items.  I've placed a few orders with them, and it's all gone smoothly.

R/C Accessory
These guys carry what their name implies: accessories.  Tools, power supplies, chargers, connectors and more.  

They also carry Power Edge batteries, but they didn't live up to the hype.  I have tried four of them, and they puffed up after a few flights.

Hobby Express
The vendor formerly known as Hobby Lobby.  Due to a name conflict with Hobby Lobby, the Arts and Crafts store, they finally changed their name to Hobby Express.  They have been around for 43 years.  One of the names I remember from childhood.

Precision Aerobatics
PA carries high performance aerobatic planes.  These are the guys that make the "Addiction", one of which is pictured on the banner, above.

A Main Hobbies
A Main Hobbies has had a good selection with average prices.  Customer service has been excellent, or bad.  Now, they are amain.com, Performance Sports and  Hobbies.  They carry bicycles and toys along with R/C.  I can't say what this change will bring.

Ron's RC Helicopters
(Formerly Ron's Heliproz South) Ron is a heli vendor in Corpus Christi, TX.  Low prices, no tax, and free shipping over $100.  If you fly heli's, check them out.  I've gotten some very good deals from Ron.  This is another shop where you can talk to the owner.  A personable guy, Ron sends out newsletters periodically, with some ads and just letting you know how things are going.

Debbie's R/C World
The online presence of a brick-and-mortar hobby shop in Chesapeake, VA.  I've found some hard to find items here.

Grand R/C
Grand R/C is a helicopter vendor in Sunnyvale.  UPS ground orders generally get to Sonora the next day.  They don't advertise it, but seem to have a discount scheme based on the quantity of your orders.  You can get some pretty good prices from Grand.  They carry Pulse batteries.

Grand's customer service is outstanding.  I've made mistakes on orders, and they've bent over backwards to fix it.

Heli Direct
We like to call them "Out of Stock dot com". Presumably, there is a lot of demand for their products, and they have a hard time keeping them in stock. Heli Direct is a helicopter vendor in Massachusetts. They carry a lot of products, at average prices, and no tax. Shipping is higher than other vendors. They are a reliable vendor, provided what you want is in stock.

They seem to be the distributor for Pulse batteries.  Arguably, the best LiPo out there.

Stevens Aeromodel
Stevens Aeromodel makes a variety of laser-cut plane and boat kits.  They also carry tools, which has been my interest in them.

Horizon Hobby
Horizon Hobby is the distributor for Spektrum and JR radios, as well as the E-Flite brand of planes and helicopters.  They have a great selection, and are quick to ship.  Horizon's customer service is second to none.  Expect to pay MSRP, and tax.  They do have free shipping for orders $99 and over.

Multirotor Superstore
A family business in Santa Cruz.  Specializing in multi rotors, they carry a pretty good selection of stuff.  Motors, props, frames, controllers, and FPV.

R/C Dude
Honestly, the name put me off for a while.  But, the dude had what I wanted, at a good price.  R/C Dude, a multi rotor vendor in Pahrump, NV is now one of my favorite vendors.  It seems to be a one man operation; if you call the number on the web site, you'll talk to the owner.  I've placed a few orders with them (him), and did have one issue with a prop size.  He made very sure it was made right.

Tower Hobbies
Tower Hobbies is one of the names I remember from childhood.  They were "the" mail-order R/C supplier back then, and have an online presence now.  Lots of inventory, fast shipping, below average prices, and quantity discounts.

Monto R/C Hobby
Monto R/C Hobby is a husband and wife (and a dog) team in Powell Ohio.  They carry motors, prop's and ESC's for multi rotors.

Empire Hobby
Empire Hobby is a distributor, like Horizon Hobby, but is particular about supporting their dealers.  You can place orders directly with Empire, but you have to select a dealer to get the credit for the order.  This may introduce a slight delay, but it seems to work.  Be sure to pick a dealer in California so that you can pay sales tax like a good citizen.

Sierra R/C
Sierra R/C is an FPV-centric vendor in El Dorado Hills.  One of the few online vendors with which we can actually place a will-call order.  They carry a lot of FPV equipment, with the exception of goggles and monitors.

Hobby Partz
These guys are part of the same group of companies as xheli.com, nitroplanes.com, and nitrorcx.com.  They generally have a bad reputation, but I've had pretty good results.  The only thing that keeps them from getting an excellent rating from me is their failure to pay for return shipping.  Returns are easy, you just have to pay for shipping.   Even if they made the mistake.

They carry "Gens Ace" LiPo's.  Another of my three favorite LiPo Brands.  Strange name, good batteries.

Buddy R/C
A multirotor vendor in Columbus, Ohio.  Good prices, no tax.  The have a wide selection of Sunny Sky motors (a very good motor) and carry Glacier LiPo's.  I have been very happy with Glacier.  One of my three favorite brands of LiPo.

Hobby Wireless
An FPV supplier from San Antonio, TX.  They've got lots of FPV stuff, including monitors and google.   Multirotors, too.

Hobby King
I've placed multiple orders with Hobby King, and have received my stuff each time.  I can't say this is one of my favorite vendors, frankly, they're not.  

On my first order with Hobby King, they shipped the wrong box to my address.  I received an email saying that my package was being held at Hobby King in China, and would not be shipped until I sent back the package they had incorrectly mailed.  They definitely made a lasting impression.

For some items, they are the best option.  I only shop here if there is no other choice.




Next indoor flying:
Thursday, ??/?? 7:00PM
Tuolumne Memorial Hall

Next work day:
Someday, ??/?? 8:00AM
Peoria Flat Field

Next club meeting:
New date:
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Peoria Flat Field

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