Pinewood Derby Weights

Best Weights and How to Add Weights to Your Car

How much weight is needed for my pinewood derby car?

The maximum weight limit for a pinewood derby car is 5.0 ounces. Your car should weigh 5.0oz to be competitive. The car block weighs between 1.5oz and 3.5oz (depending on your car design), so plan on adding roughly between 1 and 3 ounces, which allows .5oz for wheels and axles.

The more weight your car has, the more inertia it has and this extra inertia will make your car faster through the flatter part of the track to the finish line.

How to add weight to a pinewood derby car?

  • Select the type of weight based on your car design and your budget
  • Cut out your car
  • Put your car, axles and wheels on a scale
  • put weights on the scale until it reaches 4.9oz
  • Insert (or attach) your weights, paint your car and make minor adjustments to weights to get to 5.0oz
  • Your weights should be toward the rear of the car to get the optimal center of gravity about 1" in front of the rear axles. See our guide for How to Make a Fast Pinewood Derby Car for more speed tips.

What are the best weights for a pinewood derby car?

Pinewood derby weights come in a variety of sizes, such as 3/8" round cylinder weights and 1/4" cube weights that can be hidden inside the car, stick-on wieghts that can be placed anywhere on your car or screw-on weights screwed to the bottom of your car.

Weights also come in a variety of materials, such as zinc, lead and tungsten. These materials have different densities and costs. Lead is dense and inexpensive but it is toxic so we do not sell lead weights. Zinc is inexpensive and non-toxic but it is not very dense so it takes up lots of space on your car.

Our new composite Flex Weights are a steel alloy that can be cut with a scissors. Flex weights are non-toxic, easy to handle and inexpensive, but like zinc they take up a lot of space.

Tungsten is non-toxic and 1.7 times denser than lead so tungsten is the best weight for pinewood derby cars, but it is the most expensive.

For more information about Tungsten, read our guide about the Advantages of Tungsten Weights.

Plan on adding 1 to 3.5 oz of weight to your car, depending on your car design and the weight of your pine wood block. A chunky car design has more wood so it needs less weight. A thin, small car design has less wood so it needs more weight.

The best way to get the exact weight for your car is to make your completed car 4.8 to 4.9oz. Then add small incremental weights to get the exact weight you need.

The best type of weights to add small amounts are stick-on zinc or Flex Weights, tungsten putty or tungsten BB's. My preference is drilling small holes in the bottom of the car and using tungsten putty because it is dense so you can easily add or subtract small amounts. Then if you need to remove small amounts of weight on check-in, it is very simple to pull some putty out.

Consider purchasing your own scale to avoid last minute adjustments on race day. We offer a large platform scale with a stainless steel tray and a handy little portable pocket scale accurate to .001 oz!

Stick-on Composite Flex Weights

One strip - cut to any length (3 oz total weight)

cutting stick-on flex weights

stick-on flex weights

Stick-on backing allows you to easily place weights anywhere on your car. Just cut to any length with a scissors, peel off the backing and stick on.

Flex weights are a composite weight that is non-toxic and child-safe.

Approximately 3 oz total weight

only $4.50

3/8" Cylinder Composite Flex Weights

Two 5" by 3/8" cylinders - cut to any length (3 oz total weight)

cutting cylinder flex weights

stick-on flex weights

Hide 3/8" cylinder weights inside your car. Just drill a 3/8" hole in the back, side or bottom of your car.
Cut cylinder to any length with a scissors to get exact weight placement.

Flex weights are a composite weight that is non-toxic and child-safe.
Approximately 3 oz total weight

only $4.50

Stick-on Zinc Weights

Two strips, 18 segments (2 oz total weight)

stick-on pine car weights

Stick-on weights are easily applied anywhere on your car. Just peel off the backing and stick them on.
This set comes in 18 convenient segments so you can apply the exact weight you need.

Approximately 2 oz total weight

only $4.95

Screw-On Tapered zinc Weights

Adjustments are easy, just cut off a segment, even on race day!

Attach weight to bottom or counter-sink under the car. Screws included.

Approximately 2oz, zinc

only $4.95

Cylinder Weights

Three 1 oz zinc round weights (approximately 3 oz total weight)
pinewood derby round weights
Round weights are inserted into your car, so they are hidden.

Just drill a 3/8" hole in the back of the block,
cut off the exact amount of weight you need, slide them in and cover the hole with wood putty.

A nice combination is a set of round weights and a set of stick-on weights or tungsten putty to get the exact weight you need.

Approximately 3 oz total weight, zinc

Only $4.95

Tungsten Weights

Why Tungsten Weights are better

Tungsten gives you an advantage because it is about 1.8 times more dense than lead...
which means tungsten is about half the size for the same weight.

Since pinewood derby cars are so small it is important to place weight exactly where you need it.

derby tungsten cylinder weights

The single tungsten cylinder on top (.5oz) weighs nearly the same as the three zinc cylinders (.75oz) on the bottom.

This gives you more flexibility in your car design,
because you can place weights more precisely in a smaller area for maximum speed in the flat part of the track.

Maximum car design flexibility,
precise weight placement

Tungsten Spheres

- Precise weight placement
- Maximum car design flexibility

1 oz bag of spheres (also known as BBs) allows you to add small amounts
of weight to bring your car to precisely the 5oz limit by adding just the right
amount of weight in very small increments.

1 oz total weight

Only $7.95

2 oz of Tungsten 1/4" cubes

tungsten derby weights
Smaller is better!

  • Each tungsten cube is 1/4" on a side (.25"x.25"x.25")
  • Each cube weighs .167 oz (4.8g)
  • Cubes pack together perfectly, so you can create a square cavity in the back of your car and pack the exact amount of weight you need. Glue the cubes in place and then seal the area with wood putty for a nice clean look.
  • Precise weight placement
  • Maximum car design flexibility

  • Twelve cubes for 2 oz total weight

    Only $9.95

2 oz of Tungsten Cylinders

tungsten derby weights

Each cylinder weighs .5 oz.
Each cylinder is 3/8" diameter and only 7/16" long.
Just use a 3/8" drill, insert them and cover the hole with wood putty.

Four .5oz cylinders for 2 oz total weight

Tungsten is non-toxic and child-safe.

Only $9.95

3 oz of Tungsten Cylinders

tungsten 3 oz pinewood weights

Each cylinder weighs .5 oz.
Each cylinder is 3/8" diameter and only 7/16" long.
Just use a 3/8" drill, insert the weights into the hole and cover the hole with wood putty.

Six .5oz cylinders for 3oz total weight

Tungsten is non-toxic and child-safe.

Only $15.95

Tungsten Putty

Tungsten Putty - add weight anywhere on your car!

tungsten putty

Our special Tungsten putty formulation is soft and malleable so it can be changed into virtually any shape or broken off into pieces.

This putty will not harden. It is the best weight to easily and quickly add or subtract weight on the spot at weigh-in!

Tungsten putty is non-toxic and child-safe. There are no toxic materials in it.
Packaged in 1 oz pieces.

Only $8.95

Tungsten Canopy

Here is a cool way to add weight to your car... a cool looking polished Tungsten Canopy!

tungsten canopy

The Tungsten Canopy adds 2.5oz of weight while adding a cool decorative look at the same time.

The canopy has a 3/8" diameter by 1/2" mounting stud on the back. Just use a standard 3/8" drill bit, put glue on the backside and insert. Fast, easy and cool looking.

Tungsten is non-toxic, child-safe and is paintable.
Packaged in 2.5 oz pieces.

Only $16.95

Zinc Brick - snap onto any LEGO part

New, Zinc Brick for cars built with LEGO parts.

LEGO Derby zinc brick weight
Zinc Brick Weights for LEGO Derby Cars

Each package includes 2 zinc bricks weighing .44oz for a total of .88oz

Easily snap your zinc brick anywhere on a car built with LEGO parts. Move the weights to change your center of gravity so your car reaches maximum speed.

Only $3.95

Pinewood Derby Scale

pinewood derby scale image

Don't be surprised at the weigh-in!

Weigh your car with this handy scale that can be used after the race for mailing, food weighing, etc. Weighing tray is stainless steel. Display is blue backlit LCD.

This is our larger scale that weighs up to 13lbs and is accurate to .1 oz
9 volt battery included.

More info on pinewood derby scale

Only $34.95

Pinewood Derby portable mini-Scale

portable pinewood derby mini-scale image

Don't be surprised at the weigh-in!

Weigh your pinewood derby car with this pocket sized, portable mini-scale during your car building stage. You can even slip it into your pocket and bring it with you on race day!

This scale is very precise, weighing up to 500g and highly accurate to within .001 oz

Bright blue backlit LCD is easy to read.
Remove protective cover to increase tray size. Perfect size to weigh your car block, wheels and axles.
2 AAA batteries included.

More info on pinewood derby portable mini-scale

Only $19.95

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      Pinewood Derby
      Tips & Hints

      If you have a bad wheel and you don't have time to replace it, Raise that Wheel so it doesn't touch the track. Since it doesn't touch the track, it won't have any negative affect on your car's speed.

      Pinewood Derby
      axles Tip

      The stock BSA "nails" that come in your kit are mass produced. These nails have burrs, crimp marks and can also be crooked, all of which severely limits your car speed. An Axle Polishing Kit and Axle File are essential to fix your axles and increase your car speed.

      Pinewood Derby
      winning Hint

      Winning Pinewood Derby Secrets contains all the tips you need to win your race. Updated annually with the latest tips and speed products, our book has proven results with 1000's of winners... but don't take our word for it! Read over 90 Customer Reviews and check out our Winners Gallery!

    • Helping Pinewood Derby Racers
      pinewood derby authority
      ...for over 15 years.

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      Trumbull, CT

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Pinewood Derby Weights and Scales