How to Choose Fast Pinewood Derby Wheels

Wheels are one of the most controversial modifications when it comes to PWD because so many different things can be done to them that make them better than what comes in the box.  A good set of wheels is the utmost important for speed. Lighter wheels are faster.  Round, true wheels are faster.  The lighter the wheel the less rotational inertia and the faster your car can move.  How to Choose Fast Pinewood Derby Wheels is not a secret.  A builder just needs to look at the dsetails.  These modifications require specialized tooling and the general knowledge of how to use tooling.

We offer both the tooling and the finished products.  After reading this guide, you will see the time and tooling invested into making four little plastic wheels into race champion speed wheels.

Best Pinewood Derby Wheels Molds post Summer 2018

We just processed 2000 wheel sets purchased from  They do have the new labeling.  Wheels seem to be same production as before when compared to previous mold benchmarks.  So hard to say if it is a new batch of wheels or if its an old batch that has been relabeled.

For you to have the Best Pinewood Derby Wheels, you need to start with a good foundation.  I did not go into great detail in measurements of overall diameter, run out, etc.  I machine all acceptable wheels.   Out of 2000 sets or 8000 wheels, I simply grabbed a handful of wheels from the buckets.  I chose to rate Best Pinewood Derby Wheels into 3 different sections for my purpose.  The new gold standard that customers are expecting is a wheel that does not wobble.  In the past, it was simple.  As the mold gets older, it has become a little more difficult to produce an aftermarket Speed Wheel that will meet customer standards.

I sorted out wobble by a simple method.  I took a solid over sized .0930 shaft and spun the wheel without utilizing the hub.  By doing this, I focus simply on 1 variable and ensure the the inner bore is concentric with the outer diameter.  If there is any deviation, this method of sorting will show it.  The wheel is discarded if it does not spin smoothly.  I do not attempt to machine out the wobble, as the only way would be to increase the size of the bore and there is already too great of a gap between a stock bsa axle (0.087″) and the smallest wheel bore diameter which is 0.0960″ and the largest being 0.0985″.

Good mold =  sample size 20 random wheels, 1 or less “wobble”

Spin mold = sample size 20 random wheels says its not really clear for these molds.  These molds each wheel needs to be hand spun with no exceptions.

Bad mold = sample size 20 random wheels nearly every wheel wobbles.

It will be a GREAT idea to purchase a few extra sets of wheels with your kit if you plan on going the DIY route.  Please look over your info.  Remember to save your good wheels, practice on the bad ones first. Wheel passing rate for me is about 60%.  So 6/10 wheels are good.   We suggest getting a total of 12 wheels for each car. Reasons being, we want to only use the best ones.

Below is our Step by Step guide on how to choose the best wheels.

Below is our Step by Step guide on how to choose the best wheels.
First Examine all the wheels to ensure that the wheel hub is center to the wheel.  If it is not, discard the wheel.  Do not attempt to shave these wheels.  It will take way too much time.
Make sure there is no damage to the hub.  If so, get rid of it.  This type of blemish will not give a good result with the tools.
Next Examine Inner Bore using Tangential Lighting.
Now that you have your wheels separated
into good wheels and bad wheels. 

It is now time to start making them CHAMPION wheels.Youtube 30 second version

Pinewood Derby Wheel Tooling

Derby Worx designed and patented 4 tools that are used to correct manufacturing flaws.  Watch the videos to see what they can do for you.  Practice on the bad wheels until you are an expert with the tools, then move to the ones that you put aside as good wheels.
The Pro-Hub Tool is a precision machined tool designed to improve  accuracy and reduce friction in  Pinewood Derby Car Wheel hubs. This tool performs 3 important wheel preparation functions and is the base tool for the Pro Wheel Shaver XT2 and Pro Hub Shaver, making it an expandable tool in your Pinewood Derby Car Building Kit!

YouTube Video

Derby Worx Pro Wheel Shaveris the workhorse of making CHAMPION WHEELS.  If you don’t have a lathe, then this is the tool you need.  This tool addresses the outer tread making an even true flat tread in relation to the inner hub.  If you have a lathe, this would replace a lathe.

This tool also addresses the inner portion of the wheel making sure you have a true, straight edge.

You will also need to purchase the PRO HUB TOOL to use this tool.

YouTube Video

Clean up the outer hub of your wheel with the Derby Worx Pro Hub Shaver. This was an awesome tool for the older style wheels.  This will NOT “cone” your hub like you see on aftermarket wheels.  It simply cleans up the outer hub for a uniform size.  If your axles that have tapered axle heads, this tool would benefit that type of axle.

This tool has to be used with the Pro Hub Tool as well.

YouTube Video

Derby Worx Wheel Mandrel is a great tool if you can only sand your wheels or you don’t want to spend the extra cash on the wheel shaver.  Simply chuck up in your drill and go to town.

YouTube Video

Pinewood Derby Wheel Prep

Polish to Victory

Simple, no smoke and mirrors. Guaranteed results. Get fast pinewood derby cars.  You can hear and see the difference. Increases speed, decreases overall time on my track around .01-.015 seconds on 30.75 feet measuring distance. No reason you can’t get 30+ second spin times with this kit.  we do!  Definitely a major difference.  Get that “mirror” finish that everyone wants!  No cheap “pipe cleaners” with metal cores utilized.  Why would we chance scratching the hub?

YouTube Video


We make our wheels using computer controlled machines.