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There are many web sites selling pinewood derby products. But which ones are selling products that you can trust?

To answer that question we have reviewed and rated the sites from which we have purchased supplies.

If you have experience purchasing a product from a site not listed below, please provide us with a description of your experience and we will consider including it here. Also, if your site is listed, but the description is no longer accurate please contact us. Our e-mail address is: info@maximum-velocity.com




Pinewood Derby Parts and Supplies

Maximum Velocity! Pinewood Derby Car Plans and Supplies
Maximum Velocity offers speciality supplies for pinewood derby cars including two types of real lead, many forms of tungsten, an Axle Polishing Kit, specialty tools, car kits, and display stands. They also offer a free bi-weekly e-newsletter from October to April. The site is easy to use, all supplies have been in stock, and shipments have arrived in a timely manner. Also, Maximum Velocity's shipping prices are based on weight, so smaller orders have lower shipping prices.

RATING:

PineCar
If you have ever shopped for pinewood derby supplies at a hobby or craft store, then you know that the name 'PineCar' is almost synonymous with 'Pinewood Derby'. The on-line Pinecar store carries the full line of PineCar supplies. The new site design is somewhat tedious to use, but supplies have been in stock, and shipments have arrived in a timely manner. Watch out for high shipping prices for small orders.

RATING:

Tower Hobbies
Tower Hobbies carries most of the PineCar and Pine-Pro lines of pinewood derby supplies. Our experience in ordering from the site has been generally positive. The site is a bit tedious to use, but all supplies have been in stock, and shipments have arrived in a timely manner. Again shipping prices are high for small orders.

RATING:

Pine-Pro
Pine-Pro makes a line of pinewood derby supplies.

RATING:



Construction Guidelines and Speed Tip Booklets

To be perfectly honest, we are the owners of Maximum Velocity! so naturally, we think highly of that site. But regardless, the comparisons below are accurate, so judge for yourself. The page counts exclude the booklet cover. The pages with useful content excludes title pages, table of contents, about the author pages, note pages,and blank pages. Drawing counts exclude those graphics intended only to add visual appeal.

Maximum Velocity! Pinewood Derby Car Plans and Supplies
Maximum Velocity! offers eleven booklets. Ten of the booklets: Car Plans, Car Plans 2, Car Plans 3, Car Plans 4, Car Plans 5, Car Plans 6, Wedge Car Plans, Advanced Car Plans, Advanced Car Plans 2, and Unique Car Plans each contain templates and step-by-step instructions for building three cars. The eleventh booklet, 'Speed to the Finish', contains general information about building a pinewood derby car, and a collection of speed tips. All of the booklets are available for immediate download. Specifics for the "Speed to the Finish" booklet (Version 11) are:

Pages: 46, 42 with useful content
Figures: 33 useful drawings
Speed Tips: ~40
Physical Description: 5.5" x 8.5" booklet
Price: $6.90 for downloadable version, $7.95 + shipping for the printed version ($2 discount for purchasing 2 booklets)

RATING:

Pinewood Pro
In addition to various parts and accessories, Pinewood Pro offers a booklet entitled 'Winning Pinewood Derby Secrets'. The booklet contains general information about building a pinewood derby car, and a collection of speed tips. The booklet can be ordered as a printed version, or as a downloadable electronic version. We purchased the electronic version, so the information below refers to that version. Specifics are:

Pages: 14, 12 with useful content (for booklet format, assume 28, 24)
Figures: 8 useful photos
Speed Tips: ~27
Physical Description: 8.5" x 11" MS Word Document
Price: $5.95 for downloadable version, $7.95 + shipping for printed version

RATING:

Physics and the Pinewood Derby
This site offers a DVD (a downloadable version is available) showing the physics of the pinewood derby, and then applies the principles in making a competitive car. The DVD also shows how to make a test track and an alignment test jig.

Running Time: Approximately 2 hours
Price: $14.99 for downloadable version, $14.99 + shipping for the DVD version

RATING:

PineCar
PineCar offers a booklet entitled 'How-To Book'. The booklet first discusses building the car, and then provides additional speed tips. Specifics are:

Pages: 24, 19 with useful content
Figures: 20 useful drawings, 27 drawings of car ideas and PineCar products
Speed Tips: ~14
Physical Description: 5.5" x 8.5" booklet
Price: $5.99 + shipping

RATING:





Timer, Track, and Software

Microwizard
We purchased the Fast Track P3LCD Elapsed Time Display timer. The timer displays to 1/1000 of a second but the literature states that it keeps time to essentially 1/10,000 sec. We have seen two lanes with the same time, but one was flashing indicating the winner. We have also seen two lanes with the same time, with both lanes flashing, indicating a tie. The timer can easily be installed and removed. It does not require a computer, but can be ordered with the hook-ups and software. Customer support has been good.
- Reviewed by Michael Lastufka

RATING:

Supertimer
We purchased a SuperTimer system years ago. Since our first system we have bought upgrades as our computers became faster. The current system we use is computer-based with hinges that the cars knock over as they cross the finish line. We have had very few problems and if we did we were able to contact SuperTimer (sometimes very late at night because we procrastinated checking our system out) and they were able to talk us through. SuperTimer now has a talking system that we are considering buying.
- Reviewed by Alan Roma

I'm a long time Pinewood Derby race runner. I've been using the Supertimer brand timer for about 8 years. I like it because it is accurate, repeatable, and is not affected by environmental concerns. The finish line sensors are piezeo-electric foils, and thus not affected by car shape or camera electronic flashes. The track timer can even announce the individual heat winners and the times. The system is not inexpensive but it is fast and reliable. My wife and I do 25-30 Pinewoods a year in our council. I don't work for the Supertimer Company but have been a very satisfied user for many years. - Reviewed by Vaughn Martens

RATING:

DT2000 Timer From NewBold Products
This was the first year that I was in charge of the pinewood derby at our pack. I wanted to add the excitement of a finish line timer and a computer display via LCD projector, so I got the DT2000. I found the people at Newbold to be very kind and responsive, and their product is fantastic. They even supplied me with some extra goodies so I could experiment around on my own away from the track. The timer was easy to set up, and it worked flawlesly race after race. The excitement generated by comparing close races (accurate to 1/1000th of a second) was great!
- Reviewed by Kevin J. Mitchell

RATING:

The Judge from New Directions
I recently purchased the Judge for an upcoming race. It worked flawlessly. The kids were extremely excited with their new timer/finish line. I was excited with the quality of the device and the service provided by New Directions. The Judge arrived on time for the race as promised, and exceeded my expectations in performance and ease of installation.
- Reviewed by Jeff Thomas

RATING:

2011 by Randy Davis
Updated April 1, 2011