Choosing a drone propeller might seem like an unnecessary task. Just go with the model suggestion right? Well you can choose cheaper, stronger, or more balanced options instead.
Depending on your budget and on your drone’s purpose, there are 5 things you need to consider when you choose a propeller.
I’m going to walk you through each point and also explain the pros and cons of each choice. That way you can pick whichever propeller best suits your needs.
How Do I Choose A Drone Propeller
Your drone will tell you the optimal design that you should be using, but if you know you can modify it to include a lower pitch or an additional blade, then check out my suggestion to help you with your decisions.
Not sure what I’m talking about? Carry on reading and it will all make sense soon.
What Material of Drone Propeller Should I Use?
Generally speaking, there are two materials that propellers are made out of. They are plastic and carbon fiber.
As you can probably imagine, plastic is the cheapest material and it is also the most lightweight. Because the plastic material is so light, you can often hear the propellers in the video you are filming. The vibrations can also disturb the image.
Another issue you might find with plastic propellers is to do with balance. Plastic doesn’t cut through the wind very well, which means you have to take extra steps to keep your drone on target.
Carbon fibre is an expensive material that can be heavy. This heavier weight means your battery will need to work harder to keep you in the air. Therefore your overall flight time will be lessened.
However, this heaviness creates less vibration and minimal sound, so your images and videos shouldn’t be desturbed. Also, the weight creates a well-balanced cut through the wind, so your drone will keep steady.
I suggest using a carbon fiber material for your drone propeller, but if you can’t afford it, plastic will be okay.
What Pitch Should My Propellers Be?
If you didn’t know, the pitch is how far your drone can fly with one rotation of the propeller. You might think that a large pitch number would be best because it can travel fast and far, but in reality, this means the natural displacement of air will be more likely to disturb your image.
If you have a low pitch number, and therefore a low distance between propeller rotations, this means your drone has better control over the air around them.
What Size Should My Propellers Be?
Again you might think that a large propeller would be a bigger width span and therefore better control over your drone, but in reality, a smaller propeller can give you so much more control.
This is because large propellers need that extra width span to catch up with the mechanics. They need more time to reach the speed and direction you are aiming for.
Smaller propellers act faster and therefore have more accuracy in their movements.
Can A Drone Fly With 3 Propellers?
3 blades are much better than two. With 3 propellers, your drone will react quickly, control its movement better, and hover very still.
You can still use 2 or 4 propellers, but if you couldn’t pick 3 and you had to pick one of the others, then I would suggest 4. The more propellers you have, the more control you have.
How Expensive Will The Propellers Be?
Of course, the plastic propellers will be the cheapest, maybe around $5 for 4, and the carbon fiber propeller will be the most expensive constant between $15 and $300. You should really buy packages with multiple propellers. This way, if one gets damaged or simply needs replacing, you already have a stack ready.
So those are the 5 things you need to be considering when choosing a drone propeller. Some of these things will be selected for you based on the drone you have, but if you do have any choice, use this guide to help you pick the right propeller for you!
Are All Drone Propellers The Same?
One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is the difference between tapered tip propellers and bullnose tip propellers. There isn’t an obvious difference between the two unless you focus on the tips.
Tapered tip propellers have a pointed end, and that means that they need less torque to rotate, and in turn, they create less lift. This means they aren’t as good as bullnose tip propellers.
This isn’t true, however, when it comes to winter. In the winter, tapered tip propellers can cut through the wet air allowing them to stay level for longer.
How Do I Know What Size Propeller I Need For My Drone?
On the manual or on the box the drone came in, you should see the propeller being described in this format “5×4.3×3”. The numbers may be different, of course, but this is the format you need to search for.
The first number (in this case, 5) is the inches of the blade. The second number (in this case, 4.3) is the pitch that I discussed earlier. The third number (in this case, 3) represents the number of propeller blades the drone needs.
So with our example, your propeller blades need to be 5 inches long, 4.3 pitch level, and you need 3 of them to attach to your drone.