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The best RC helicopters provide hours of fun with tightly controlled maneuvers in tight spaces or free-flying over open air space. Our evaluation criteria focused on size, flight controls, flight duration to charge time ratio, and range. There are lots of other toys you can get for your kids. Find out more in our best rc toys guide.
After more than 25 hours of research and testing, our top pick goes to the Syma S107G 3 Channel RC Helicopter. It offers a sturdy metal frame for crashers, a built-in gyroscope for stability, and the strongest flight duration to charge time ratio on our list (7 to 10 minutes on a 20-25 minute charge)
Award: Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: This RC helicopter boasts an exceptional number of features, including a built-in gyroscope for stabilization, a 3-channel infrared control system for precision movement, auto stable, and a durable metal frame – all ready to fly out of the box. This makes it a perfect model for beginners with a higher initial rate of crashes and a lack of manual dexterity to perform tighter maneuvers.
The Syma S107G 3 flies for 7 to 10 minutes with each charge, with each charge taking only 20 to 25 minutes. It also powers off automatically when chocked and flashing lights help provide visibility at night.
The 6-AA battery controller is ergonomically-sound, with 2 joysticks for up/down and forward/backward/left/right controls, along with A and B frequency switch, trimmer, and an indicator light. Controlling distance is close to 10 meters, which means it can be piloted up to 32 feet above the ground. It beats paper airplanes by a mile, and speaking of, check out Power Up Paper Airplane Motor Makes Your Paper Airplane Flight-Ready.
Award: Honorable Mention
WHY WE LIKE IT: This RC helicopter packs a punch, featuring wide infrared control, 32-level high precision speed controls, built-in gyroscope, and a solid metal body frame that can withstand dozens of crashes, even when the blades hit the ground first. This makes it a solid choice for beginners who prefer to fly indoors with wide infrared control capability.
This RC helicopter is good for a 7 to 10-minute flight time on a 20-25 minute full charge, one of the strongest flight duration to charge time ratios on our list. It also has an operational range of 33 feet, which makes it a hit in large mansions and enclosed patio decks.
No assembly is required, only requiring 4 AA batteries and a USB cable or controlled-enabled charge. Both the receiver and transmitter use the 2.4 GHz band, with 2 frequencies that allow users to fly up to 2 helicopters at the same time. Speaking of dual helicopters, read our Swann Sky Duel Helicopters Review. Another one of the best indoor RC helicopters worth checking out is the Blade Scout RTF Coaxial 3-Channel Beginner RC Helicopter. But if your kids prefer cars, you can check out our best rc cars kids.
Award: Best Controls
WHY WE LIKE IT: This RC helicopter is a jack of all trades, with basic and advanced controls (360 degree turns and hover mode), a 4CH 2.4GHz LCD Transmitter, and a range of 500 feet. This makes it a solid choice for beginner and intermediate level flyers who want to conduct breathtaking flight aerobatics indoors or outdoors.
Its advanced controls really help with stabilization, allowing users to adjust pitch if the RC helicopter tilts and favors one direction. It is an outdoor workhorse, rated at 3-4 on the Beaumont wind scale, which is equivalent to a gentle/moderate breeze enough to raise dust and loose paper.
The remote control is ergonomically sound and full of features, including an easy-to-read LCD display and dual throttle sticks. Flight duration to charge time ratio is below average, with 5 minutes of flying on a 30-minute charge. This is even more fun than the Air Hogs Hover Toy.
Award: Best Budget
WHY WE LIKE IT: This RC helicopter offers basic 3-channel, infrared controls (forward/backward/left/right/up/down), a built-in gyroscope for stability, infrared controller, a flashing light and a metal frame that is capable of withstanding dozens of crashes. This makes it a solid choice for beginners looking to fly indoors with no wind or drafts.
It offers below-average flight to charge time ratio, running 5-6 minutes after a 50 to 60-minute full charge, which pales in comparison to the Syma S107G ‘s 10 minutes of flying time on a 20 or 25-minute charge. For this, we recommend it for older toddlers and elementary school-aged children who can be distracted with other activities with each charge.
Many users have cited impressive durability, with solid performance when exposing to water, dragged, and run through several crashes. This makes it a solid candidate for younger children who appear to have a death wish with every repeated crash into a wall or who prefer to fly in enclosed areas such as garages. Probably not as many crashes as with the Force Flyer though. Another great option if you’re on a budget is the Miecux RC Helicopter with Gyro, which has LED lights for night flying and a remote control distance of up to 15 meters. Have you ever bought trucks for your kids? Find great options in our best rc trucks guide.
Award: Best for Toddlers
WHY WE LIKE IT: This RC helicopter is a solid indoor flyer with attitude, measuring 7.5 inches long with a built-in gyroscope and stable release throttle stick controls that allow the machine to maintain a certain height in the air. This is an excellent choice for beginners or kids looking to get their feet wet without advanced controls to distract them.
This RC helicopter’s flight to charge ratio is below average, offering 8 minutes of flying time on a 1 hour charge using the accompanying USB cable or transmitter. This ratio makes it best suited for kids who are performing multiple activities at the same time.
A remote control distance of 20 meters is respectable, perfect for flying in a large room. Controls included a dedicated button for takeoff and landing and LED flashing lights on the sides to keep little kids engaged. For an added bonus, the product includes a replacement blade to use in the event the originals snap off. That’s something you don’t always see in the best RC toys and we appreciate it..
Award: Best Beginners
WHY WE LIKE IT: This RC helicopter is the perfect indoor flying, with basic controls, a built-in gyroscope for stabilization in the air, infrared controls, and 2 control modes with high and low speeds. It is ideal for younger children or beginners looking to perfect aerial maneuvers before advancing to longer-range RC helicopters.
Lifespan is a big-ticket, with sturdy light-alloy construction and reverse connect protection to extend service life. It also includes flashing LED lights, making it a neat choice for flying in dark rooms. The flight distance is 10 meters, providing enough coverage for a medium size 107 square foot room.
Two frequencies allow 2 helicopters to run at the same time, making it a cool choice for siblings or semi-competitive younger children looking to shoot the breeze. That’s a feature you generally don’t even see with the best robot toys for kids and we like it. For beginners just getting started, some of the best remote control helicopters are made by SYMA, including the SYMA S109G and SYMA S111G 3.5 Channel RC Helicopters. Both are RC helicopters with gyros and some of the best RC helicopters on the market.
Finding the right RC helicopter could mean the difference between hours of trouble-free operation and exasperation with a flimsy plastic part, lack of stability in the air, and an outrageous flight to charge time ratio that forces you to discard it after 2 uses.
In determining which RC helicopter to buy, you should consider a solid flight to charge time ratio of around 7 to 10 minutes on a 20-25 minute charge for adults and 5-6 minutes of flying time and a < 60-minute charge for toddlers, which is suitable for each group’s attention spans. Our evaluation criteria also took into account its construction (preferred crash-resistant metal alloy over plastic ) and a built-in gyroscope to maintain stability in the air.
Our evaluation also prioritizes controlling distances, with our better picks maneuverable as much as 32 feet off of the ground. This presents more intriguing options with movement, speed, and interaction with the environment (hello, rooftop!) over indoor-friendly units with 10 to 20-meter ranges.