8 Best Model Rocket Kits for Beginners in 2020 (Easy to Assemble Starter Kits)

Best model rocket kits for beginners

If you’re just getting started with rocketry, then you’re probably wondering, what are the most popular brands and model rockets for beginners? 

In this post, I’ll list 8 of the best model rocket kits for beginners that are easy to assemble and get started with for both kids and adults

Then, at the end of the article, I’ll provide some resources that should help you out when building your first rocket model kit.


1. Estes Alpha III Rocket Launch Set

Top Overall Pick
Estes Alpha III Rocket Launch Set

This starter kit comes with easy to follow instructions and it’s the perfect choice for someone who has never built a rocket model kit before.

It’s worth noting that in order to fly this Estes rocket, you need to purchase the following items separately:

Recovery Wadding

Model Rocket Engine

Glue

The kit does come with a launch controller, launch pad, igniter, nose cone, body tube, tail fin unit, and self-stick decals.

Here’s a 30 minute, step-by-step video that guides you through the build of the Estes Alpha III, and shows you what it takes to get it ready to fly:

Runner-up Picks:

If you’re at a beginner skill level and just getting into model rocketry, then I highly recommend that you start with the model I mentioned in the last section (Estes Alpha III). That being said, if you’d like to explore your options, here are a few alternatives:


2. Estes Journey Model Rocket Launch Set Black

Estes Journey Model Rocket Launch Set - Black
  • Skill Level 1, great beginner rocket   
  • This rocket flies up to 1100 feet 
  • Includes a stand, parachute recovery, rocket, and launch controller. Need to buy a motor and alkaline batteries separately
  • Recommended engine for first flight: A8-3 (ESTT1598)
  • Easy to understand instructions for beginner rocket builders and a great value at the current price 
  • Durable and can last multiple launches if you do things the right way


3. Estes Tandem-X Flying Model Rocket Launch Set

Estes Tandem-X Flying Model Rocket Launch Set
  • Very large rocket model (30 inches tall) 
  • This rocket can get to a height of over 650 feet 
  • 18 inch pre assembled recovery parachute included 
  • Aerodynamic fins and nose cone 
  • You can construct the crossfire in around 1 day 
  • In order for the rocket to launch, you need to purchase an engine, recovery wadding, and starters separately. Some customers said they also purchased the following items separately: 
    • Plastic cement, wood glue, and red and white spray paint.


4. Estes Rascal/HiJinks Launch Set

  • 2 in 1 rocket set
  • Ready to fly 
  • This rocket is projected to fly up to 1200 feet  
  • Great launch system


5. Estes 2452 Athena Flying Model Rocket Kit

Estes 2452 Athena Flying Model Rocket Kit
  • This rocket is 16 inches tall 
  • Ready to fly 
  • Great recovery system 
  • This rocket is projected to fly up to 1100 feet  
  • Become a rocketeer and discover what it feels like to launch a rocket and watch it fly up high in the sky!


6. Estes Hi-Flier Flying Model Rocket Kit

Estes Hi-Flier Flying Model Rocket Kit
  • This rocket may reach an altitude of over 1600 feet, making it one of the highest flying beginner rocket models out there! 
  • This kit contains streamer recovery, laser cut wood fins, and self stick decals.


7. Estes Flash Rocket Launch Set

  • Drag resistant design 
  • This kit contains a great launch system, self stick decals, recovery parachute, pre colored body tube, and a nose cone
  • Easy to understand instructions for beginner rocketeers


8. Estes 1491 Taser Rocket Launch Set, Brown/A

Estes 1491 Taser Rocket Launch Set, Brown:A

Great price for the value, solid pick if it’s your first model rocket and you’re budget conscious.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to launch your first rocket model?

This video tutorial does a great job of explaining how to launch/start a model rocket:

How high can Estes model rockets fly?

While every model rocket is different, generally, most Estes rockets can fly from 100 feet – 2,500 feet. 

How long does it usually take to build a model rocket?

There isn’t a definitive answer, since each model rocket is different, and everyone has different skill levels. That being said, generally, it should take no more than a day or two for a beginner to assemble a rocket model kit.

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