Recently ordered this AKA tool (updated version),
Getting home early this morning from work I just had to play with it a bit. I had read the reviews on this product prior to ordering and figured I'd give it a shot. I had seen the first gen tool before and I was really liking the way AKA had updated the tool. Seemed to be a much better, or more secure, setup. Already knowing there could be some excess friction from the rubber sealed bearings, I set out to pop out the bearings (a 1.5mm wrench is all you need to pull the shaft apart) and was going to do some fairly routine bearing prep to help,free them up. I first tightened the small screw some to see if the tool would be too tight, which it was. Once apart, I was looking for a small shim to set the end play a little looser once the screw was fully tightened, in the hopes that the bearings would spin a bit more freely. Just as I was about to add in a small shim, I found a larger shim behind one of the bearings (guessing about a 0.10 thickness). Pulling that shim out and reassembling the tool and getting the screw as tight as I was looking for, I had just a bit of end play and the bearings spun with out too much friction, and were better than I thought they would be for rubber sealed bearings. Next up was going about balancing a set of 1/8th Buggy tires I had ordered at the same time I ordered the tool. Overall, I was pretty happy with how the tool worked and balanced a set of tires. Only slight issue I had was trying to hold the tool steady enough to not influence any extra movement on the tire/wheel. Took a little time to get it held right, but worked. I'd say it's worth the money and has more pluses than minuses overall. Small, lightweight, pretty easy to use, easy to store, and can be used on more than just 1/8th tires/wheels without needing to buy extra adapters. Not as stable as other types of balancing tools that aren't hand held. So I'll give it a 4 out of 5
Quite frustrating. It fits my JConcepts 1/10 wheels front and back, it fits my AKA EVO rear wheels. It works alright, although rubber sealed bearings is a terrible decision in my opinion. You can definitely see the resistance caused by the seals, not sure if they did that on purpose to help it come to rest sooner, but I'd prefer have the precision of lower friction bearings, I might even try replace them with ceramics. But the biggest problem of all is that the two little O-rings that friction fit the 'plug' into the handle piece have been completely sheared in half when inserted into the handle after just 8 wheels. Which makes it near useless without trying to find some tiny O-rings that fit it and replace them after every 8 wheels or so. I'm really quite frustrated by this because it looks like it's going to be hard to find replacement O-rings that fit well.
Also, this friction fit does start to slip out and give the wheel lots of play, so you have to constantly push it all together to keep it tight and accurate.
Honestly, I'd be embarrassed to sell this product if I owned AKA, especially with the great reputation they have for their wheels and tires. Why didn't they just use a taper fit for the pin that inserts into the handle (like an R8 taper that milling machines use to hold their tools) and have it magnetically lock together? Perhaps it would cost more for a magnet and a steel washer than two crappy little O-rings, but at least you'd have a product that works over and over.
It has a very nice finish, all in AKA brand color, and the surface of the tool is second to none.
But: They should have used some more time testing this tool out, here we go:
1. It don't fit all rims as it should, even AKA rims do not balance in this. But that is not all, see #2.
2. When you mount the balancer on a freshly built wheel (or any wheel of that matter), the pin with the o-ring that is supposed to hold the tool and wheel together when you spin it will slide out due to the weight of the wheel making the pin slide out and get the balancer and wheel unbalanced. I tried to wipe of all oil of the pin and o-ring to get it to be a better fit with some resistance in it, but the o-ring is very small (Due to pin diameter). This pin should have been maximized in diameter so the pin and o-ring could be bigger and giving the proper resistance making the tool holding the tire together while balancing. The way it is now, you can easily just use a hex driver with the same diameter as the holder in the rim as a balancing tool, because that is what it does really... To bad, it is great looking tool and small enough to have with you and I can't really understand they did not notice this under development.
I will be buying a HUDY balancer instead, but I really wanted a simple, small balancer I could have in my field set-up to bring to races, but instead I could just used my screw drivers I already have and saved the money on this one.
However, I will see if I can improve it and come up with an solution to this, if so I will post it here.
Only 3 point, and that is one to much but I give them that one extra for trying... And it did come with some clay as well.
More show than go! The fit and finish is very nice, but the threaded pin isn’t long enough for stadium truck wheels. I’d expect them to test all common wheels.
I was very disappointed with this product. Maby I was expecting too much but you can honestly just leave the tire on the car, disconnect the driveshaft and get a more accurate reading than mounting the tire to this unit. Ceramics would help a bit but they should come standard in the first place. 2 stars only
I really wanted to like this balanncer. I didnt buy it at amain, but will tell you my thoughts. The idea is great.. problem is the execution has some issues. The fit on wheels isn't too good, it's looser than what it should be. This includes new or used. Also, the mounting hub spins off center and is crooked. The other issue that comes to mind, is that the axle is sticky and doesnt move too freely.I ended up taking apart the bearings and cleaning off the grease that should of never came in this tool. The axle now spins much better, but its still crooked.
I called aka for support and got voicemail. They never called back to help. I picked up a second one fearing that the first was defective, it was better, but pretty much same story. Another annoying observation was that the clay was not packaged tightly and was hardened in both packages.
I use this to get a baseline and then go to my trusty magnetic balancer that always picks up a bit more imbalance for me to take out.
Message to AKA: fix these minor issues and you will have a winner. Also, return customer calls in a timely manner. Better yet, just return them in the end.
I was going to get the stand up balancer from losi but I decided to get this because of the price and the fact that it is more compact and easy to carry around. I am happy I chose to do so. Yes, the bearing does have a bit more resistance than I think it should but overall this is a great balancer. I might try to replace the bearing but it really doesn't matter. When you use a wheel balancer, all you want to do is get the wheel more balanced, not necessarily perfectly balanced. Anyways, this is a great product that looks great and I recommend it.
The Balancer is Awesome but i had to change the bearings to some smoother and faster ones. The ones that it comes with dont really do the job !!
I have been very hesitant to purchase this after reading the reviews, but I finally decided to order and see for myself. I am very glad I did as it works perfectly for my 1/10 scale SC Truck and buggies. At first, I didn’t appear to work for my B5 wheels as it seemed the wheel had too much offset for this to work, but then I realized I didn’t have the balancer seated in the wheel completely. The updated balancer works just as described and I've yet to find a 1/10 scale wheel that it will not work for. The only upgrade I think would have been nice would have been the addition of full ceramic zero drag bearings. The price would probably double, but it would be worth it. The factory bearings do have a little drag with them, but even my 2wd buggy front wheels still balance with it. All and all…a very good product and well worth the price.
For the most part I like this tool. It is a good way to judge how much patience you have. I`ve used a Dubro unit for more years than I want to admit to. But the AKA balancer takes balancing to a new level. The clay it comes with is very appropriate too. Very small amounts of it can be placed for precise balancing. BUT, there is a fault. What`s absolutely necessary is for the small end of the balancer to snap securely into the hex of the wheel. I have many brands of rims, Proline, Assoc, Avid, JCI, and DE. They all fit securely into the balancer. BUT, guess what, three of my AKA rims don`t fit securely and can`t be balanced with this device!!!!!!!!! A little disappointing. UPDATE: I just today bought a set of pre-mounted AKA tires/wheels, NONE of them can be balanced on this device!!!!!!!!!!!! Poor quality.
I am just a weekend warrior that only "races" at the club level. I recently noticed how lop-sided my wheels were on my truggy (Tekno ET-48) when coming down the straight full throttle... so I decided to give this little fella a try! Well, I must say - it definitely makes a huge difference having your wheels balanced! The biggest difference I have noticed is coming out of corners on power... The truggy really seems to feel more stable fo_sho' ! All in all - It's pretty easy to use (I would recommend watching the video on youtube!) The tool itself is nicely crafted out of aluminum and feels great in your hand. I have never used a wheel balancer before, but I would recommend one of these if you are wanting to get the most out of your R/C experience on the track!
I really wanted to like this more. I thought the tool was perfect to fit my needs with it having direct 1/10 scale option with the additional two more sizes built in.
The problem is in the execution. The balancer is not smooth there is obvious resistance on the spinning pieces. I noticed on the removable tire fitting the red cap does come off with a rubber ring on the inside which leads me to think you have to balance the balancer as in a couple occasions it has its own balancing issues. When you pay 33 bucks or so for two sets of bearings in simple machined part you might hope to see more precision. After fixing it up a bit the thing is a bit better but kills the simplicity of just getting something thats ready to go. The different sizes do work well but if you have say a losi 22-4 and balancing the front shallow hexes comes up you may or may not be out of luck. On mine it did just barely catch the inside edge but its so little that if you worry about this application you should stear clear.
There are better options out there but it does support 3 wheel types at lower cost than most.
I purchased the older version some months back and it really will not work because of the o'rings that are used to hold it together.
The o'rings broke after couple time of use. amain did send me some replacement o'rings but they broke as well.
I feel AKA should trade me the updated version for my older version.
How about that amain hobbies, help out a good customer.