How To Level Up Your Building Skills With LEGO Technic

Published: 18/11/2020

If you thought the world of LEGO was both vast and impressive, it’s got nothing on LEGO Technic! Designed to pit the skills of Master Builders against a whole new type of challenge, LEGO Technic sets take the classic LEGO brick and add extra holes for beams, connectors, pins and all kinds of (you guessed it) technical intricacy.

It’s a step above and beyond the LEGO you may have grown up with, and it’s an avenue down which many LEGO fans go exploring when they’re ready for a LEGO set that offers challenge, depth, complexity and, indeed, some impressive mechanical functionality too!

For those looking for their child's first LEGO set click our guide here!


What’s the difference between LEGO and LEGO Technic?

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Just like the original playsets, LEGO Technic sets offer all kinds of creations to build, although they lean more towards mechanical contraptions and vehicles, like a crane system or a LEGO Technic car. LEGO Technic also has the same ability to connect with real-world brands that ordinary LEGO sets have, in order to create sets based on famous real vehicles, like the LEGO Technic Land Rover.

For the real difference between LEGO and LEGO Technic, think of it this way. A LEGO car will encourage you to build the body, the chassis and the wheels. A LEGO Technic car will do the same, but the LEGO Technic set in question will also encourage you to build the mechanism that makes turning the steering wheel inside the car turn the front wheels of the vehicle for real.

It’s no wonder that LEGO themselves give their LEGO Technic sets the slogan “Build for Real”. You’re not only making a LEGO model, but you’re also creating the machinery that makes it operate!


How to make a LEGO Technic gearbox

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Learning how to make machinery with LEGO Technic sets is a good first step towards learning more complex creations, like a LEGO Technic motorcycle or a LEGO Technic Land Rover.

More than just bricks, LEGO Technic features gears, axles, levers and other gizmos that can create motorised marvels in the palm of your hand. It’s little wonder specialist hobby YouTube channels like Lego Technic Mastery have popped up to help builders of all kinds to understand how to construct these amazing creations.

If it seems complex, try breaking down your LEGO Technic gearbox project in your mind. You have the chassis and body, you have the gear mechanisms themselves - cog-shaped pieces threaded onto axles - and you have the gear shifting machinery.

All words and phrases you’d not normally use when making a LEGO set, right? It’s a big part of what makes LEGO Technic so rewarding. Learn to master its intricacies, and you can create some truly incredible creations!


Is LEGO Technic hard to learn?

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Please don’t mistake our enthusiasm in showing off the brilliant inventions you can make with LEGO Technic by thinking it’s all incredibly tricky to learn to build! While it’s definitely a step beyond classic LEGO, and was designed to be, the best LEGO Technic sets recognise that there’s a learning curve involved.

Just as classic LEGO starts you off with simpler sets when you’re young, those who step up to give LEGO Technic a try can find simpler challenges awaiting them at first, which help to get them used to more advanced brick connections and simpler mechanisms.

As your confidence for LEGO Technic builds, so too will your appetite for LEGO Technic sets that challenge you in equal measure. It’s often not long before those Master Builders in the making graduate from their first LEGO Technic car to advanced LEGO Technic diggers, remote control vehicles built by your own hands - even a LEGO Technic International Space Station replica!



The LEGO Technic sets we love

With an understanding of what makes LEGO Technic so good now under your belt, you may well be ready to go get your first ever LEGO Technic sets - or just want to add a new LEGO Technic car project to your already-sizeable collection!

Either way, we’ve fallen in love with plenty of LEGO Technic sets ourselves, so check out which advanced creations we can’t wait to pit our skills against!

LEGO Technic Land Rover Defender

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There’s no obstacle that can thwart a Land Rover, and that confidence has been poured into every brick, cog and axle of the LEGO Technic Land Rover Defender. Made up of over 2,500 pieces, this is more than a LEGO Technic car - it’s almost a scale replica of the Defender, down to the finest detail.

In fact, LEGO and Land Rover collaborated in putting together this LEGO Technic set - stamps of approval don’t get much better than that! Plus, as with many a LEGO Technic set, you’re not just building the vehicles, but the mechanisms too - including full all-wheel drive gearbox systems and moving engine pistons.

You can steer the LEGO Land Rover Defender too, either via the steering wheel within the cabin, or the mechanism on the roof - both of which you built with your own hands to understand how they work, of course! It’s a fantastic replication of a powerful vehicle, rich in both detail and clever mechanics - we love it!

LEGO Technic Rough Terrain Crane

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Ready to really put your Master Builder skills to the test? How does a 4,000-piece LEGO Technic set that can create a fully functional crane that’s over a metre high when fully extended sound?

Whew! That’s a lot to take in. This vibrant red LEGO Technic Rough Terrain Crane is designed to help you build a fully motorised crane set, with details that match how real world cranes work - including stabiliser pads that extend down to root the crane in place if it’s dealing with heavy loads!

The best LEGO sets of any kind are always those where using what you’ve built is just as satisfying as putting it together. That’s definitely the case with the LEGO Technic Rough Terrain Crane, whose engine is a V8 - that’s guaranteed to be pleasing to build for all you motorheads, with pistons that pump in and out realistically too!

Not enough heavy lifting for you? Well, did we mention this is a 2-in-1 LEGO Technic set too? It comes complete with instructions to use the very same pieces to build a powerful piledriver - another challenge that will result in another brilliant piece of machinery!

LEGO Technic Ultra Helicopter

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While it may not actually fly - even LEGO Technic has its limits - this fantastic LEGO Technic Ultra Helicopter is designed to show off both aerodynamic design ideas as much as the mechanisms that make rotors and rudders turn. Better yet, it can be built with the help of an online app that lets you see it coming together with instructions in 3D!

Sleek and intricate, the LEGO Technic Ultra helicopter is a little bit extra-special for two big reasons. Firstly, it’s another 2-in-1 LEGO Technic set, meaning it comes with full instructions to rebuild the Ultra Helicopter as a sleek, almost sci-fi experimental aircraft if you want.

Secondly, it comes with a special LEGO Technic anniversary brick! Only a few of these were ever made, and they proudly celebrate 40 years of LEGO Technic, marked with the dates of 1977 - when LEGO Technic was first released - and 2017, the year the milestone hit.

As you can imagine, you don’t come by those anniversary LEGO Technic bricks very often these days at all, adding an extra level of rarity and collectability to an already-cool LEGO Technic helicopter!


Are you ready to Build for Real?

Even with all our favourites ready to go here, we’re only on the tip of the iceberg of what the vast world of LEGO Technic has to offer. It’s hard not to feel inspired - from challenging build projects to intricate machinery that fully functions, and in many cases is even motorised with batteries, LEGO Technic is where LEGO experts go to pit their talents against the biggest machines the LEGO Company has ever devised.

What will you take on first?