Axial SCX10 Deadbolt Review for 2019

If you’re looking to do a bit of trail driving and throw some rock crawling in the mix, Axial’s Deadbolt is the RC crawler for you! This Axial SCX10 Deadbolt Review will cover a range of features and capabilities that place this machine in a league of its own.

Before we get into in, take a look at this video and see what you think.

A Little About Axial

Axial was founded back in 2005. If you’re under the age of 18, I know this might sound like prehistoric history. If you’re about my age, well, it was just ‘2005’. Axial has been kicking butt in the RC arena ever since they got started.

They specialize in manufacturing chassis and accessory products to provide the best experience possible for RC users.

The company is regularly involved in local events which help to keep them in the loop, and better understand what it is consumers are going for. Heck, they’ve racked up a few awards over the years, and with products like the Axial 1/10 Deadbolt, it isn’t hard to see why.

Now, let’s really get into it, and break down the specs and features of the Axial Deadbolt. Don’t worry we’ll be discussing pros and cons too.

Axial SCX10 Deadbolt Review

In this review, we’ll talk about the Axial SCX10 RC rock crawler. This is an RC car that is made for crawling. Keep reading to find out a little about why you should get one for your collection.

Specs and Features

Axial Deadbolt ChassisThe Deadbolt features the upgraded AE-5 ESC (electronic speed controller). This ESC is cool for a few reasons. For one, it’s waterproof. The next thing is you can easily adjust the drag brakes via a jumper on the ESC. If we’re going to nitpick then, it’s probably easy to say the AE-2 ESC is a bit superior, because of the extra control over the drag brake via castle link.

I mean there is some truth to that, but it’s hardly a deal breaker.

The Deadbolt gets a decent amount of power from the 27T brushed motor. The metal gear servo’s pretty cool. The torque and speed aren’t mind blowing, but metal gear is always good. The remote is easy to use, the wheel is in reasonable reach, and you can handle it with one hand. This makes it ideal for when you take the Deadbolt for a spin and feel like filming.

The steel-c channel chassis has cross bracing for reinforcement, and it’s all fitted together with hex-head hardware. In other words, this RC isn’t made of adamantium metal, but it isn’t going to crumble to pieces when you take it for a spin.

The Light Bars are actually Light Bars

Photo of  Axial SCX10 Light BarsWhat I like about this unit is the fact that the light bar is an actual light bar, and you can really light that baby up. Of course, the light bar doesn’t work out the box, but you can always get a LED light kit and light controller.

The Deadbolt ships with a figure in the driver seat, which is pretty neat. He even wears a little skull helmet and everything. Hardly makes the driving experience any better, but I appreciate the gesture.

Let’s Talk Aesthetics

I should probably take this moment to talk about the overall presentation of this model. Axial really went above and beyond. The work they did on the body is out of this world. Seriously, cameras don’t do this thing justice.

Axial SCX10 Deadbolt ReviewThe interior is amazingly detailed: the Sparco seat belts and navigation system. Not to mention the fuel cell in the back adds to the realism, and the matte black finish on the hood is a nice touch.

The unit boasts a Poison Spyder Brawler front bumper that has room for D-rings and LED lights. So if you’re up for it, you can go ahead and throw those on there.

The Deadbolt is great for tackling rougher trails thanks to its oil filled dual rate coil-over shocks. The updated dual slipper clutch makes it pretty solid for turning corners.

About the Whole Waterproof Thing

As far as this unit being waterproof, SOME users have claimed to fully submerge their vehicle in water, snow, and the fires of Mordor. I don’t know if that’s something you’d want to try and find out for yourself. Especially the part about Mordor.

What would I do? I’d reserve a realistic amount of confidence in the fact that this unit can handle some puddles and a bit of splashing, and call it a day.

Can this Unit Really Handle some Sand?

The Axial Deadbolt can also run on sand, and while the stock tires may you give you an ‘alright’ experience on these locations, I’d suggest you upgrade the tires. That way you can really take this thing for a spin. The stock tires are great and soft, but they don’t offer much traction on terrains that are mostly sand or dirt.

For these terrains, you’re going to need a bit more open tread.

Upgrade Away

The possibilities are damn near endless when it comes to the Axial Deadbolt. You can upgrade this unit from now til kingdom comes. The aftermarket support is through the roof too, so parts practically fall into your lap.

But let’s take a break from all that and look at the specs and features in point form:

Deadbolt Features:

  • Four wheel drive
  • Steel-c channel chassis
  • Metal differential locker (one-piece sintered)
  • Powered by 27T motor
  • AE-5 (waterproof) Electronic Speed Controller
  • 2.4GHZ radio system with high torque steering servo
  • 4-link rear suspension
  • Protective box for the radio and transmission cover

Axial Deadbolt Specifications:

  • Length – 21.26 in
  • Height – 9.02 in
  • Wheelbase – 12.32 in
  • Weight – 4.67 lbs

Now for the standout features:

Axial Deadbolt Standout Features:

  • Great and economical way to get into scale trail trucks
  • Aesthetics are mind blowing
  • Versatile machine great for bashing and trail driving
  • Light bars really do light up (though you have to set it all up yourself)
  • With the right setup, this unit even runs on sand
  • AE-5 ESC is waterproof and 3s compatible (but you get 18-turn)
  • Updated WB8 driveshaft

Now it wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t bring the cons to your attention. So without further ado, let’s talk about the bad stuff.

The Bad Stuff

The suspension links are by no means phenomenal, but that shouldn’t stop you from having a good time. The shocks don’t offer sufficient articulation for extensive crawling. Good news is, this can be addressed with shock adjusters.

Finally, the battery mounts in the rear. This isn’t ideal for a vehicle they intended to do some crawling. That weight would be more useful in the front so it could help with climbing.


Pros and cons taken into account, I doubt there’s anything here to make you throw a fit and try and return to sender. You’re getting a great looking, great performing, and versatile vehicle. It’s efficient in bashing, trail driving, AND doing a little crawling now and again.

You really can’t lose if you choose to go with the Axial Deadbolt.

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Axial SCX10 Deadbolt
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3 thoughts on “Axial SCX10 Deadbolt Review for 2019”

  1. I have this crawler and i like it alot but wish i would of spent the 30 more dollars and got the SCX10 II Honcho


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