Slot cars come in different scales – from the smaller HO scale to the larger 1:24 scale. The best scale size for you actually depends on how much room you can use to work with it and what you are planning to do with the car.
Most slot car drivers these days settle with the generic HO scale. This scale varies from the smallest scale 1:82 to the larger scale of 1:64 and is relatively less expensive than the larger models. Originally, these scale sizes were used to create model railroad accessory cars in the 1960s and later evolved into the now popular HO scale.
This scale size run on smaller tracks and is best suited for home racetracks. The larger scales are equally popular too because of the intricate detailing that is often given to them. They are also more or less the exact miniature copy of the original model and are often raced in hobby shops and clubs. Because of their large size, they are often not seen among enthusiasts who race at home.
The 1:24 scale is the biggest there is. Although generally more expensive than their smaller cousins, this scale is preferred by slot car enthusiasts, hobbyists and collectors as these often feature the exact appearance and even performance of their much bigger counterparts. This is the scale that is often raced in competition circles.
Despite their size, large scales are less maintenance-hungry. Routine maintenance is also very easily done because there are no tiny parts that need extra attention.
The main disadvantage of using cars falling under this scale is that you need plenty of space to race them. The tracks, even while they are digital, need to accommodate the size of the car, about 7 to 8 inches long. If you have enough space, this is the best car for you. If not, it is advisable that you settle with racing in hobby shops or settle with much smaller cars.
1:32-sized cars, which are in general 5 to 6 inches long, are more popular in home racetracks than their larger cousins. These usually have decent detailing and can be modified to perform in the same manner that the original models perform. Only, the performance is scaled down as well.
1:32 is perhaps the most popular competition scale both in competition circles and home racetracks. This often requires an 8 by 16 feet track that could fit any decent sized basement or garage.
HO scales belong to the smallest of commercially available slot cars. Cars under this scale are 2 ½ to 3 ½ inches long and may or may not resemble the exact appearance of the car they are modeled after. The motors of the smaller cars are often bigger than what could actually fit the chassis so manufacturers usually modifying the appearance of the exterior.
As was previously mentioned, HO scales are currently the most popular scales there are. These could be found in home racetracks and are also quite common in competition circles.