Whether you’re a FPV or camera drone pilot, putting your drone propellers on in the right direction will make the difference between a great first flight or an epic drone fail.
Putting your propellers on in the wrong direction will keep your drone from flying, and can cause it to flip over and crash when you’re trying to take off.
Not only is this dangerous if anybody is near the drone, but it can actually break your drone before you can even fly!
Here’s a video of what can happen if your propellers aren’t on the right way.
Here’s how to put your propellers on in the right direction, and to make sure they’re on in the right direction before your first flight.
Normal Propeller Direction
Pretty much every camera drone (DJI, Skydio, etc.) and most FPV Drones will need props put on in the normal direction.
The normal direction has the two propellers on the front spinning in towards the front of the drone, and the two propellers on the back spinning in towards the back.
Make sure that the right propeller is being used by reading the next section. If you put the wrong propeller on, your drone won’t fly!
Clockwise vs. Counter Clockwise Propellers
All drone propellers are angled so that they can scoop through the air and create lift.
There’s two different directions that propeller can spin. Propellers made to spin to the right are called clockwise propellers, and propellers made to spin to the left are called counter-clockwise.
Here’s a picture of a clockwise propeller, that’s made to spin to the right and push air down
Here’s a picture of a counter-clockwise propeller, made to spin to the left and push air down.
Here’s where the clockwise and counterclockwise propellers should go on the drone, using our original diagram!
Reversed Propeller Direction (FPV Drones)
FPV drones have the option to have their propeller direction reversed, which can be both good and bad.
Thankfully, no matter what propeller direction you use your flight performance isn’t going to be affected.
Since FPV drones get in a lot more crashes and dirty scenarios than camera drones, and depending on your type of flying, using a reversed propeller direction might have some advantages for you.
Normal Propeller Direction Pros and Cons
- Keeps your electronics clean
- Keeps your camera clean when using turtle mode to flip your drone
- Gets your camera dirty
- Gets stuck in trees more easily
If you fly in a dry setting most of the time and using turtle mode a lot, normal propeller direction is recommended.
Dirt won’t stick to your camera since it’s dry out, and your electronics will stay nice and clean. When your props do get dirty and you’re using turtle mode, you’ll still be able to see since your camera will be clean.
Reversed Propeller Direction Pros and Cons
- Keeps your camera clean
- Doesn’t get stuck in trees as easily
- Possibility for better efficiency
- Gets your camera dirty when using turtle mode to flip your drone
- Gets your electronics dirty
If you’re flying around trees or in a wet or slightly damp setting, using a reversed propeller direction is recommended.
Not only does it keep your camera cleaner, but the propellers spin out, and push branches away from your drone if you hit them.
It’s also theorized that reversed propeller direction allows for longer flight times, so if you’re a long range FPV pilot, give it a try! Here’s a guide on how you can set it up for your FPV drone.
If there’s one thing to take away from this article, remember this simple trick for figuring out your drone propeller direction.
Take all your props off for safety, and see what direction your motors are spinning. Your propellers should spin in the same direction as your motors, so just make sure you’re using the right propeller for the right direction, and you’re good to go!
If you don’t want take all your propellers off, just remember that the front propellers spin towards the front, and the back propellers spin towards the back.
If you want to try reversed propeller direction, here’s a quick tutorial on how to set it up.
Let us know in the comments whether you prefer normal or reversed propeller direction for FPV drones.