How to Choose Fast Pinewood Derby Wheels

How to Choose Fast Pinewood Derby Wheels

Wheels are one of the most controversial modifications when it comes to Pinewood Derby racing 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 details.  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 Boy Scouts of America.  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.

Choosing the Best Pinewood Derby Wheels

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 that 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

[widget id="block_widget-4"]

Copyright © 2012-2021 Machine Envy, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.  Derby Dust® is a registered trademark of Machine Envy, LLC.

Machine Envy, LLC is neither affiliated with nor endorsed by the Boy Scouts of America. Pinewood Derby® is a registered trademark of Boy Scouts of America.

Derby Worx® is a registered trade mark of Derby Worx, Inc. Rail Rider™ is a registered trademark of Derby Worx, Inc.

Awana® is a Registered Trademark of Awana Clubs International. Machine Envy, LLC is neither affiliated with nor endorsed by the Awana Clubs International.