Propeller guards have a very similar function for drones like side wheels on bikes for kids.
You can try to learn both of them without these additional tools.
But using them will ease the learning period.
On the other hand, you might already hear about the negative effects of the prop guards, like drones falling only because of them.
This article was created to figure out why would you buy and use protectors on your aircraft.
- What are drone propeller guards for?
- Do propeller guards affect flight?
- Can you fly a drone without propeller guards?
- Are propeller guards worth it?
- Are drone propellers dangerous?
- Do propeller protectors work, do you need them?
What are drone propeller guards for?
Propeller guards are the easiest and cheapest accessories for drones to protect them.
Their main role is to protect one of the weakest parts of your aircraft.
Many drones have very thin propellers for several reasons.
A good example are silent propellers. They are manufactured to be longer and thinner for reduced noise generation.
They are very sensitive even to smaller contacts with objects.
Propeller guards are functioning like protective walls or frames. They are giving enough room for prop blades to rotate without preventing them from functioning with 100% power.
These propeller guards are offering the following advantages:
- They are avoiding any physical contact between propellers and it’s environment
- The blades are protected in case of impact, so the drone won’t stop working properly
- Additional damages to your drone:
Without protectors at a direct collision with walls or any objects, the propeller can break which will lead to drone malfunction.
Losing a propeller will mean being unable to control it, or even keeping it in the air.
This crash might cause additional damages to your drone.
Plastic parts or even the gimbal might break.
- Protecting everything from the propeller blades
It might seem obvious that these guards are protecting only your quadcopter from possible damages.
But the reality is that these will save you and your properties too from getting damaged.
The blades are fairly strong and thin, rotating fairly fast.
Any contact with your skin might cause fairly serious injuries.
On the other hand, they might break many vulnerable objects like paintings, light bulbs, etc.
Most drone users are starting their practice indoors.
In most cases, this environment might seem the best, but the amount of obstacles you can hit is making this learning period dangerous.
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These propeller guards are very affordable, way cheaper than repairing your aircraft.
On the other hand, they are easy to mount by clipping them on the frame of the drone and are also durable.
They will save your quadcopter several times, not only at the first impact.
Do propeller guards affect flight?
The amount of advantage these protectors have is making them worth their prices.
Unfortunately, propeller guards are affecting the flight in several ways.
Do propeller guards affect speed and flight time?
The first thing you will notice is the maximum flight time and speed.
The optimal capacity of your aircraft can be achieved without any additional elements.
Adding a propeller guard will increase the weight of your quadcopter.
The motors will have to use more power to produce the same speed like without them.
This will cause them to consume way more energy.
Protecting your drone this way is coming with a price.
The additional weight has also a fair amount of impact on acceleration time.
Propeller guards are not the only part of your setup that can affect the flight time.
You might want to check my article about Android vs iOS for drones.
Manoeuvrability with propeller guards
These prop guards will have a fair influence not only on your flight time but on the manoeuvrability too.
Because of their weight and size, these protectors are making your drone slightly less mobile.
The real difference you can feel on a windy day.
With this accessory, your drone has a bigger surface.
You can experience that your drone is harder to control while hovering or taking the same moves as before.
Can you fly a drone without propeller guards?
Even professional trainers are advising you to use these protectors only when you are just starting to learn.
In this phase, you can feel additional safety which can make you less worried about the possibility of crashing your drone.
The answer to this question is a strong yes.
You can and should fly your drone without propeller guards.
At least after you are getting comfortable using your device.
In the long run, you won’t use these protectors every time.
Getting used to the way you need to control your drones right from the start is essential.
If you are using these propeller guards for too long, you can get used to them.
Controlling your drone without them is similar, but still different a little bit.
If you have the possibility, learning to fly a drone in an open area is the best choice.
The chance of crashing your quadcopter in a park without trees around you is fairly low.
So, getting real-life experience with the maximum capabilities of your aircraft will offer more fun.
Using a propeller guard while you are a beginner will lead you to learn a different flying method.
I would like to mention a little example.
Flying with your protectors will require less attention from your side. You don’t have to be careful around objects or trees etc.
But after taking them down, you will need a different flying style.
Flying around objects and even plants requires more skill.
By using the prop guards for too long, you might get in trouble without the experience of reacting fast and properly.
Are propeller guards worth it?
In this section, I would like to find out if these protectors are worth buying from a financial point of view.
- Propeller guards will cost you around $20 – $30 for the majority of DJI products.
- A set of new propellers if you break them will cost you around $10 – $30 depending on their quality and type
You can see that the price tags on these are fairly close to each other.
In this calculation, we need to take into consideration not only broken propellers but other broken parts too.
A collision with an object can easily cause a broken propeller.
But in the next moment, the whole drone will fall, and the size of the damage can be way bigger.
As I already mentioned if you are getting enough experience flying without protectors is the ideal way.
But in several situations using a propeller guard might save you hundreds of dollars on more expensive drones.
- Finding a cheap guard protector on Aliexpress might be the best solution in many cases.
- You can buy these for even $5 and the only real downside is the amount of time you need to wait for your package.
Are drone propellers dangerous?
Propeller guards are used mainly to prevent possible crashes. But in many cases being inattentive can cause serious injuries.
For example, touching the blades while rotating with almost maximum speed can cause fairly deep cuts.
In the following article, you can read about the dangers caused by drones in general and by their blades too.
Do propeller protectors work, do you need them?
In conclusion, we can say those propeller guards are very useful while learning to fly your first aircraft. Even with a fair amount of experience, it is a wise idea to use them when flying indoors.
The number of obstacles and even other people are in the home, these protectors can save you several times.
Propeller protectors are working well indoors or in the hand of beginners.
The best reason for using them is they can reduce the chance of crashing your drone.
Because of this, causing injury or financial damages for you and others too can be avoided.