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The answers about brakes are excellent so far and there are a few other things to consider if you have never experienced using brakes. I have found a wide range of opinions on using brakes, some will say they can't live without brakes and others seem to find them useless or they may even hate them, that's becasue there are other things to consider such as the track layout and the cars being used.

Today's cars with very strong traction magents slow down very rapidly so the effect of adding brakes may not be that noticeable. Initially many people do not like the effect of brakes and it may take some practise to utilize them effectively but once one is used to them they won't know how they got by without them. Some cars have good braking and others seem to have very little even with the brakes on the controller connected.

I also think the track layout makes a difference. A track with a long or very fast straight going into a tight turn gives the greatest difference between brakes and no brakes especially with a car without magnetic traction.
 
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