7 Urgent Signs: Time to Change Your FPV Drone’s Propellers!

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Time to Change Your FPV Drone’s Propellers!

Your FPV drone’s propellers are one of the most important parts of the aircraft. They keep your drone in the air and allow it to maneuver smoothly.

As soon as you suspect something is wrong with your propeller, it is really not worth risking your $1,000 drone dropping from the air.

These propellers can cost as little as $10 for a pair, so I always check my propellers regularly for any damage.

In the comprehensive guide, I rounded up 7 signs to look out for that indicate it’s time for new propellers.

Let’s dive in.

1. Collisions during flight can harm propellers

One of the most common ways propellers get damaged is by coming into contact with objects while flying. This includes things like:

  • Tree branches or leaves
  • Walls
  • The ground on landing
  • Bugs
  • Tallgrass

Even if you don’t see any visible damage, any collision can potentially cause tiny fractures or chips in the propeller surface. These weak points can eventually cause failure.

After any contact, carefully inspect each propeller blade for damage. Run your fingernail along the leading and trailing edges to feel for bumps, cracks, or roughness. Pay special attention to the prop tips that likely made contact first.

Even very minor prop damage is reason enough to replace the propellers. The cost of a new set is negligible compared to a potential crash.

2. Heavy or off-center landings

Admit it: Not every landing goes smoothly. Sometimes, unpredictable wind gusts can tilt your drone, resulting in the propellers touching the ground. Even the slightest contact at high speeds can cause unseen damage.

After a hard landing, run your fingers over the propellers to check for any irregularities, such as scuffs or chips on the blade edges, indicating a substantial impact.

3. Listen for changes in your drone’s sound

Get to know the normal sound of your drone’s motors and props in flight. Then, you’ll quickly notice any abnormal changes.

Listen for increased noise or vibration that suggests more strain on the motors. Also, watch for any motors that seem to be working harder to maintain control.

This often indicates worn-out propellers that are pitched improperly. The motors have to speed up and work harder to create the needed thrust.

Sometimes, noise changes will point to a specific rotor that has developed a problem. Replace all the props, or at least the noisy ones, to restore normal performance.

4. Inspect props frequently for visible damage

Carefully inspect each full propeller for any visible damage:

  • Cracks or fractures on the blade surface
  • Chipped trailing or leading edges
  • Bends in the blade
  • Discoloration

Also, check the prop hub and shaft where it connects to the motor for damage.

Spin each prop slowly and look for wobbles or extra vibration indicating an issue. If you spot any obvious damage, don’t fly the drone until you’ve swapped out the propeller.

5. Adhere to recommended flight hour limits

Last but not least, keep track of those flight hours! If your drone has clocked between 300 to 500 flight hours, it’s a good idea to swap out the propellers. 

Why? Even when props look perfectly fine, the plastic and composites degrade over time. The stiffness and balance of the props change as internal stresses take their toll.

Don’t rely on looks alone. Note down your flight hours and replace props regularly based on usage. Keep spare props specifically for this purpose.

6. Replace all propellers after crashes or accidents

Accidents happen, often through no fault of your own. A crash landing, flipping over in a tree, or even a bad landing can damage propellers in ways you can’t see.

After any incident, assume the worst and replace all propellers. Never attempt to fly a drone with props that may have sustained invisible damage. It’s simply not worth the risk.

Inspect the full drone carefully and replace any other damaged components as well, like the body, gimbal, or landing gear. Better safe than sorry.

7. When in doubt, replace your props

If you notice your drone flying differently and can’t pinpoint the reason, the propellers are a prime suspect.

Vibration, reduced flight time, loss of power, inability to maintain position – these can all stem from prop issues.

If you have even the slightest suspicion that the propellers might be the issue, don’t take any risks. Swap them out and get back to smooth flying. Propellers are cheap insurance for avoiding a potentially expensive crash.

Bonus Tip: Keep Spare Props on Hand

With frequent prop changes, you’ll go through them faster than you might think. Keep at least 1 or 2 full sets on hand when needed.

Store spare props properly in a temperature-controlled area away from chemicals, sunlight, crushing, or other damage. Please don’t keep them in your flight bag long term.

When it’s time to replace the props, you’ll be glad to have fresh spares ready so you can get back in the air quickly.



Your FPV drone’s propellers demand close monitoring and timely replacement. With normal wear and tear, accidents, and regular use, they pick up hidden flaws and damage over time.

Inspect props thoroughly and often, watching for any signs of trouble.

Swap them out at the first hint of issues. Remember, propellers are a small investment that prevents costly drone repairs and crashes.

Stay safe out there, and happy flying!

Let us know if you have any other propeller tips and tricks.

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Written By Kristen Ward

My name is Kristen R. Ward. I’m an adventure Filmmaker and I run a production company based out of New York. FPV drones are integral to my business. I'll be teaching you everything I've learned over the years creating videos for clients.

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