Many of us grew up playing with Legos, and can remember how much fun it was to build things out of our imaginations with our Lego sets. The Lego Technic line takes that excitement one step further; you can build your very own offroad racer, ocean explorer vessel, or wilder vehicles, like mine excavators and forest harvesters.
The main difference between the Lego Technic sets and the other types of Legos is that Lego Technic sets are made out of interconnecting plastic rods, beams, and other complex pieces. The end result looks astonishingly like its real counterpart.
Kids who love building things will love building their own toys, and adults find that there is an added emotion connection to a model that you build yourself versus buying it in a store. The right one is often subjective, it all depends on what you love most, but within each category, there are those that stand out. We’ve compiled a list of our best lego technic sets that you or your child will love.
Best Lego Technic Sets Available Today
|Pieces||Play Experience||Value for Money||Difficulty|
|Street Motorcycle||375||4.7||4.6||Very Easy|
|RC Tracked Racer||370||4.6||4.2||Easy|
|Heavy Lift Helicopter||1043||4||4.4||Average|
|Porsche 911 GT3 RS||2704||4.2||4.3||Challenging|
|CLAAS XERION 5000 TRAC VC||1977||4.3||4.6||Challenging|
|6×6 All Terrain Tow Truck||1862||3.7||2.9||Challenging|
|VOLVO L350F Wheel Load||1636||4.8||4.5||Very Challenging|
|Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3245||2793||4.6||4.7||Challenging|
|Bucket Wheel Excavator||3929||3.9||4.6||Very Challenging|
Score based on LEGO Shop & amazon.com reviews.
This vehicle gives you a two-for-one deal on either a Muscle Racer or an Off-Roader. Its preciseness goes down to the last detail, including the replica 4-cylinder engine with moving pistons, a functional steering system, and deep tread tires.
Weighing in at just over two pounds, it doesn’t just look solid but feels tough too. This vehicle will be able to do pretty much everything except move on its own.
The manufacturer’s recommended ages are 9-16. It can be challenging for a nine-year-old Lego designer but the effort is well-rewarded. The final product can withstand a lot of play and won’t need to be kept on a shelf, just like the real thing.
2. Street Motorcycle 42036 : Best Motorcycle
This technic set can switch between a Retro Easy-Rider era bike or modernize into a Street Motorcycle. The blue and red color scheme can startle the eyes at first, but in time it begins to grow on you.
Lego Technic Sets have been adding motorcycles for years, but this one really stands out. One addition is the chain, which slides perfectly onto the 16-tooth gear without slipping on its teeth. Lego also added shock absorbents to the front of the bike.
If you are a fan of motorcycles, you will really appreciate the detail that goes into this model. Even though it isn’t powered on its own, all the moving parts go as quickly as you can push it.
The Tracked Racer comes in a 370-piece puzzle box that also includes the receiver, battery box, motor and remote control.
It works best inside, where it can nimbly go backward, forwards, left, right, or spin 360 degrees. We recommend it because it carries all the fun of a motorized truck with the added fun of building it from scratch. The suggested ages are 9+, and many adults have fun with it too.
On the manual, it can be hard to see one important instruction about the motor. You have to reverse the direction of one of the motors on the controller to get both of them pulling in the right direction. Experienced remote racers will know that already, but first-timers may have some confusion.
The 2:1 Ocean Explorer vessel can be rebuilt into the Push Boat and Barge. The overall impression is that it would be a fun toy to imagine sailing the seven seas, plus a buildable submarine and helicopter landing pad for flights and underwater exploration.
Small screws on the roof turn the crane and there are operable moving parts on both the submarine and the helicopter. There is enough space in the cockpits for a small Lego figurine to stand in as the captain of the vessel.
The main drawback is the helicopter landing pad. It is positioned at the front of the Ocean Explorer, instead of the back, and is a little too large for the overall design.
Still, if your child (or you!) dream of sailing the oceans, or have a passion for marine exploration, this will be a good choice to buy or give as a gift.
5. Heavy Lift Helicopter 42052: Best Helicopter
This helicopter can be made with a single Heavy Lift rotor or transformed into a tandem rotor helicopter. The winch and buildable cargo are especially fun to play with when hooked up to the motor for maximum functionality.
Among its best features would be its motorized functions, including a working winch and the contra-rotating rotors. The motor also allows it to light up and open the cargo bay doors. However, while the motor can make the rotors spin, it does not get enough speed to actually take flight, which makes it a safe choice for parents of children who love flying toys.
The end result is a large, serious-looking helicopter that can make for a great toy or an impressive prop on display. We especially recommend it to anyone who enjoys the technic flight sets and can love it even though it cannot fly on its own.
6. Porsche 911 GT3 RS 42056: Best Car Set
The Porsche contains one of Lego’s most complex and detailed car assembly packages. Even though the inner mechanics will not be visible once it is finished, you can still be taken aback by the detail and shine of its outer orange exterior. It even comes with its own collector’s book, detailing the history of LEGO Technic and Porsche GT cars.
This car has a complete 1:8 scale model of every last detail you’d expect in a Porsche, from the detailed racing seats and dashboard to the flat 6 engine beneath the hood.
Still, it will be well-worth the time spent on those 900 steps. The end result looks exactly like a miniaturized Porsche and will be a graceful addition to a car enthusiast’s collection.
7. CLAAS XERION 5000 TRAC VC 42054: Best Design
This 2:1 farming set can become a CLAAS XERION tractor or a CLAAS XERION 5000 TRAC VC with Silage Plow. It contains almost 2,000 pieces for a realistic-looking farming set that looks great on the shelf of any Technic or Farming Machinery collector.
It comes in the standard green, gray and red color scheme of the CLAAS farming tractors and the cab seating is packed with details found on the real thing.
The Power Function motor will raise the cab and turn it 180 degrees and work the versatile crane and outriggers. Manually, you can operate the full-sized wheels and crab steering. You can raise and lower the tree trunk, which is included in the set, using the working crane claw.
The brand new All Terrain Tow Truck is a powerful technic set built for off-roading. It has just over 1800 pieces with two motors, battery box, and remote control that not only handles driving but also maneuvers the crane and outriggers.
The side and rear outriggers stabilize the truck when you use the crane. The secondary function selections are flippable switches on the side of the truck. The four-cylinder engine moves realistically, and you can view it by lifting the front hood. You drive it with the XL motor and steer with an M motor.
It has six huge wheels with rear live suspension. The elaborate, center located gearbox controls all of the realistic functions, so you can do things like extending the crane to just over 20 inches, maneuver the wench to pick up loads and rotate the crane to move loads from location to location. This is one of the most elaborate gearboxes of any technic set.
The truck has bright but somewhat realistic colors. The body is a clean blue with black accents and red detailing. There’s even a cute little teddy bear on the front for your tow truck mascot.
Its secondary model is a Research Explorer Vehicle with four-wheel drive and rear wheel steering. The remote controls driving and steering and also opens the body of the vehicle up so you can see inside. Directions for the secondary model are available as a digital download.
The functions are split into two groups that you select with the selector toggle. It uses an all-wheel drive with a single differential and rear axle steering. There were a surprising number of leftover pieces after building this B model that we would like to see used to make some real “research” functions or at least to cover the exposed backend (which is a little sloppy).
The off-road performance of the Research Explorer isn’t any better than the Tow Truck. There isn’t any real suspension, just like the Tow Truck so it’s easy to topple the wheels. One upside is that it’s fast, so it’s fun to drive on level ground with only a few small obstacles. Not the best B model we’ve seen, but it’s a good time.
9. Mack Anthem 42078: Best Truck
The authentically designed Mac Anthem is a building kit with just under 2600 pieces. It features a six-cylinder L motor engine with realistic piston action and a spinning radiator. It’s a rear wheel drive with front axle steering.
The trailer detaches and features extendable outriggers and landing legs for stability. There are workable crane arms, and the container doors lock. The driver’s cab opens to reveal adjustable seats, a detailed front dash, visors, steering wheel, and a realistic driver’s bunk bed in the back. It even has the iconic Mack bulldog hood ornament.
The self-loading container might not be real-life accurate (a simple container would be more common), but it’s certainly more exciting. They had to get creative to insert piston action in the engine, but the result is visually impactful. The hood bonnet raises so you can see what’s going on inside.
The fifth wheel attaches through a simple pivot lock. The trailer has independent, manual supports for when it isn’t connected to the cab.
The gear rack that controls the back cranes is relatively new and should be exciting (if time-consuming) to build. The front steering mechanism is coupled to the steering wheel and is a nice touch.
It looks a lot like the original Mack inspiration except for some angular pieces such as the front hood, and even though there are bright Mack trucks available, LEGO chose to use darker gray and black. It gives users a lot of new pieces in that color scheme. The truck has an excellent turning radius and drive functions.
The secondary build is a replica of the iconic Mac Garbage truck. It has many complex functions and could rightfully be an A model of its own accord. It’s available as a digital download. It’s one of the best B models we’ve seen in a while.
10. Crawler Crane 42042: Most Revolutionary
The Crawler Crane is a two-foot-high real working crane with an elaborate gearbox. It’s motorized right from the box, and the base is the same for the B model Tower Crane. It has just over 1400 pieces, and it’s a more realistic dark blue color scheme.
It has a remote-controlled crane feature that operates the boom, raises and lowers the claw, and drives the crane on tracks. It has additional capabilities for extending the boom even further (up to three feet). This model is a technically complex one with an elaborate gearbox that controls the movements of the crane. This alone is going to test your patience in a good way; we promise.
The crane uses an authentic pulley system with extra long cabling that’s a few feet in length. The entire structure rotates, extends, and tilts. There’s an exhaust pipe with a ventilation grid for extra realism.
It has big tracks to keep the crane upright even when it’s fully extended. The motor is located deep in the build with the battery pack located on the back. It takes a whopping six AA batteries to run smoothly, but the design makes it easy to change the batteries and turn on the power.
The crane itself is slow to deploy, but in Lego’s defense, there’s a lot of distance to cover here. However, it’s strong enough to lift a few pounds worth of weight if you hold down the back to balance it.
The interior of the cab is well designed and accommodates a mini-figure. There are also stickers that create realism throughout the build. You have the option of building a shorter version of the crane itself first and adding it to it later. If you build the short version, you can use the extra pieces for cargo.
The B model is a Tower Crane. There are no powered functions, but the upside is that the base for models is the same so you don’t have to rip your A model completely apart. The top part is a construction style tower crane that extends forward and backward as well as up and down. The string is still the same non-stretch that winds well, and it has an easy RC option you can add if you want power.
11. Remote-Controlled VOLVO L350F Wheel Load 42030 – Highest Level of Playability
Volvo and LEGO teamed up to create a remote-controlled, realistic replica of Volvo’s powerful wheel loader. It’s another LEGO engineering marvel with a detailed six piston motor that moves when engaged, a working lift arm, and articulated steering.
The front and back are well put together and realistic looking. There’s a pretty wide gap in the side that looks off, but the battery box is hidden from normal view. The bucket is massive. It’s yet another yellow set, but with a wheel loader, it looks natural (unlike other types of large machinery).
The servo motor is a bit jerky, which can make driving it strange. There’s no gradual build up. It’s just a hard pull in whatever direction you choose. The remote control also operates the boom and bucket and handle more smoothly than the steering does. The engine bay opens from different angles so you can see the movement from multiple sides. Nice touch.
It’s an enjoyable build and fun to play with. It may not be the most advanced model, but it’s an impressive one.
The B model is the Volvo A25F Articulated Hauler, another realistic looking construction machine. Building instructions are a digital download. It’s one of the only B models with a set of dedicated stickers, so you’ll have to swap out the A model stickers or invest in a few pieces specifically for the B model.
It’s inspired by an A25F, but right off you’ll notice it’s a four-wheeler instead of a six-wheeler. It uses a four by four drive with a single XL motor and steering uses a Servo motor, which is just as jerky as the A model. The steering wheel is unarticulated.
The back half tips up and down for loading and you control that with a PF L motor. It happens slowly but carries a lot of weight. It has no sides or bottom so you couldn’t move any small pieces without a container.
The engine uses a six-piston motor, but there’s no wheel suspension aside from a small bit of bounce in the chassis. Driving functions are enjoyable because there’s minimal backlash and it powers through small obstacles easily.
It’s one of just a few articulated haulers in the Technic line. It’s easier to replace the battery box here than it is in the A model, but it doesn’t look as much like the original inspiration because of the skeletal front and rear components. Still, it’s a fun build.
12. Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3245: Most Complex / Best Functions
This impressive looking Mercedes-Benz Arocs construction truck almost looks ready to go out on the job site and get work done. It has the rugged construction and careful attention to detail that attract the attention of both kids and adults.
With a large motor and an advanced pneumatic system, you can operate the crane arm mechanism, grabber arm, extend the outriggers, and raise or lower the tipper body just like you are at a construction site. It also maneuvers easily with its twin axle steering, double differential drive, and independent suspension. Its coloring matches the classic white, gray and black scheme of the real-life Mercedes-Benz Arocs.
13. Bucket Wheel Excavator 42055: Biggest Lego Technic Set
With an impressive size – over two feet long and sixteen inches tall – the Bucket Wheel Excavator is the largest Technic Lego set to-date. It has nearly 4,000 pieces and will both challenge and delight even the more experienced Technic set builders.
The set includes a 2:1 design that can show off its multiple powered functions or convert it into a Mobile Aggregate Processing Plant, which is a rare “B-sided” design that is as good as the first. Like the other, it can drive backward or forwards, no steering. The truck stays the same in both models.
For those who don’t know, a Mobile Aggregate Processing Plant follows the Excavator around the mine. It pre-processes the ore via a boom, which for the model is eight inches long.
You might notice that the movements on the machine are very slow and jerky compared to other vehicles with the strongest Power Functions XL motor. This is partially due to its size, but also because it’s based on the full-sized models, which have a top speed of 0.37 mph.
Lego Technic Sets are fundamentally different from classic Lego building sets, but they are based on the same idea; that it is a lot of fun to put things together. The main difference is that the Lego Technic sets really delve deeply into what makes the things around us work, whether it’s a helicopter in flight or a Porsche driving down the street.
Each set comes with many different beams, axles, and other parts, just like the pieces that go into building an actual vehicle. The great thing about Legos and Lego Technic sets is that you can really let your imagination take hold. Even if some of the technic sets do not come with remote controlled options or functioning motors, there are ways to add them in.
While many people have fond memories of Legos from their childhood, the Lego Technic Sets have also brought together another community, known as the AFOL crowd for Adult Fan of Lego. The same skills that go into making model airplanes, or putting parts into the vehicles at the factory can be used to craft these amazingly realistic models.
That detail has made the Lego Technic Set a popular gift idea for young children. In a world where computer screens have made everything virtual, Lego Technic sets stand out because they encourage the much older skill of tinkering and building things from scratch. Some children as young as 6 or 7 become fascinated with the process, which can often lead them to become teenagers and adults working in the STEM fields.
When purchasing Lego Technic sets for yourself or for someone else, you will want to consider a few options.
- What is the age of the person who will be putting it together?
- How much experience do they have with building things?
- How much patience will they have?
- What are their interests outside of building things?
One of the amazing things about the Lego Technic sets is that they come in all different shapes and sizes. Children who are fascinated with construction sets can build their own construction vehicles, then play with them on an imaginary construction site.
Likewise, adults who may have spent their working careers on a research vessel can spend weekends assembling models that closely resemble the ship where they work and gain a new appreciation for how it all comes together. By finding a Technic set that aligns with pre-existing goals, hobbies, and interests, the process of building them will become even more engaging.
Some technic sets are more challenging than others. Even the most challenging sets can be built by a novice user, but others find that it is better to start with simpler models and gradually work up to more complex designs. There are also books which give a detailed run through of how to build Technic models.
Being an engineer might help one to understand the different parts, but this will be a basic rundown.
Studded Vs Studless Beams
There are both studded and studless beams. Studded parts are like the legos we all grew up with, that have raised and indented edges to help them snap together. Starting around 2000, Lego began using studless beams, also known as lift arms, in most Technic sets.
The lift arms are always one unit width high. This matters in building vertically because it standardizes the process, lets things line up more easily, and gives more flexibility in design.
Most motors in the Technic sets are battery powered but some will use a transformer. These motors power the movable parts of the finished products including items like the lift arms, doors, and winches.
This is a relatively new addition to the Technic Sets. Pneumatic lego pieces use compressed air to move the pieces. They are seen in a few of these sets, including the Mercedes Benz Aroc Truck.
Gears have been part of the Technic Sets since the 1970s. They come in different sizes and since 2008 have been optimized for studless construction.
Power functions are the cutting edge of the Technics, fueled by our love of RC vehicles. They use motors, two infrared receivers, a remote control and a battery box to make a Lego Technic set to come to life. Some, like the RC racer, are already set up for the technology and others can be converted using special steps. Lego is currently making more models which can be retrofitted with the Power Functions package.
Technic Action Figures
The “Lego Guy” has been a fixture of the Lego Universe for decades and has even starred in his own movies. So it only makes sense that there should also be Technic Figurines to drive, fly, and race in the models that we create. They are not made anymore but 27 versions were created between 1986 and 2001.
These ten best Lego Technic Sets are just the tip of the Lego that are out there. Each stands out in their chosen category because they are fun to build, cool to look at, and have detailed mechanics and operations that exceed the rest. Whether you are new to the world of building Lego Technics or have been a fan for quite some time, they will all bring fun and exciting challenges to your home mechanic’s shop.
Unlike regular Lego sets, they come with a lift arm, or studless, construction which makes it easier to go vertical and get creative. Even if your set does not come with a remote control function, more of them are being retrofitted by builders with the official Lego modifications.
Nor should you take the recommended ages to heart. Some younger children love the intricate building process, and the love never dies. Many adults find themselves as enthralled as any kid on Christmas.
Updated: Lego Technic 2018 Summer Sets
If you do love putting together Lego Technic Sets, the 2018 Product Wave began on January 1st and more is expected out this summer. Here are some of the new Technics expected to be out sometime this summer. Read this article to learn more about the Summer Lego Technic Sets.
Rough Terrain Crane (42082)
This may be a larger, red version of the 2007 Rough Terrain Crane, powered by an XL motor system.
Volvo Autonomous (42081)
This will be based on a drone-operated loader. It will have a robotic camera on the back and is believed to be an upgrade to the 2014 Volvo L350F Wheel Loader (42030).
Forest Harvester (42080)
The Forest Harvester comes in shades of green, yellow and white. It’s rumored to have a large red circular saw and a Pneumatic System V2.
Forklift Truck (42079)
The yellow and blue Forklift Truck appears to be an upgrade of the one released in 2001.