Monster Truck Madness – Which Grave Digger should you buy?
Hello gang, and a very Happy Thanksgiving to those of you reading in the US!
Due to the holiday season going full swing, I’m seeing e-mails and discussion on the monster truck group pages where prospective r/c monster truckers are asking which Grave Digger they should buy, either for themselves or (as most of the discourse I’ve personally seen) as a gift.
Which should you buy? An Axial SMT10 Grave Digger or Losi LMT Grave Digger?
If you are a regular reader of Monster Truck Madness, you probably are well versed in both vehicles at this point. However, you have to remember that the non-hardcore sees that iconic Grave Digger body and has absolutely no clue what the difference is, save for the price!
You’ve come to the right place, friend. Let’s make sure that you or your little one gets kitted out in the proper vehicle!
The Axial SMT10 Grave Digger retails for $349. The Losi LMT Grave Digger retails for $649.
Both of the vehicles are Ready to Run out of the box, but they each will need a battery and charger. Many articles and YouTube videos exist on this topic but for arguments sake, I’m going to assume you have either a 2S or 3S Lipo battery, both of which these vehicles can handle.
Let’s start with the similarities. Both vehicles –
- Have sharp Grave Digger bodies w/ Monster Jam licensing
- Have a solid front and rear axle, just like a full size monster truck (hence, they are known as “solid axle monster trucks”
- Are 4WD by way of central transmissions with metal internal gears that are durable
- Have rabid parts and aftermarket support. They are proven platforms.
Here are some of the unique selling features of each –
- Scale appearing tube chassis. A more authentic look and experience if you are huge into full scale monsters
- Slower top speeds make for a much easier to control vehicle for a newbie, with less maintenance required
- Very easy to upgrade individual components for customization, durability, or performance. You can build an SMT10 out of aftermarket parts alone!
- Very noob friendly.
- Performance oriented twin vertical plate modular chassis design that many r/c racing vehicles use
- Brushless motor-equipped with fast top speeds. If you want to do the wild stuff the full size Digger does, you can from the first battery pack
- Tunable front, rear and center differentials
- Side mount transmission with anti-shock Kush drive
- Grave Digger body has working red LED headlights
- Vehicle is built to be a turn key performance monster truck from when you open the box
Ok so, what makes up that $300 price difference?
Well, the SMT10 as it sits in the box is more a beginner style vehicle. Now, that’s not to say it IS a beginner vehicle. It makes arguably the best modification platform in the world of solid axle r/c monster trucks. With some upgrades, these trucks can be total animals. But they are pretty tame out of the box. They come with a brushed motor, which makes for slower speeds. They also lack a front sway bar, so you’ll need to add one if you intend to run faster.
The LMT, by comparison, comes with a high powered brushless motor. The top speed of the LMT is MUCH higher. The LMT was designed to give someone the Monster Jam experience from the moment the box is opened, and it does. Just know that with those high speeds, this vehicle is more suited to a hobbyist who knows what they are doing!
Here’s the TL;DR version-
The Axial SMT10 Grave Digger is great for the hobbyist that’s either completely starting out in the world of scale appearing r/c monster trucks and wants something forgiving as they learn, or for someone wanting to get in at a lower price point. The sky is the limit for modding.
The Losi LMT Grave Digger is for someone who wants to open the box and have the true “black and green wrecking machine” experience. The cost of admission is higher, but you are getting a vehicle that features some of the latest tech AND that you can continue to mod to your hearts content, once you get your head wrapped around it.
Both vehicles are fantastic and you’ll find many enthusiasts online (like this one!) that are happy to help you. You can’t go wrong either way. If you have any specific questions, you can e-mail me at email@example.com and I’d be happy to answer them for you.