DRONES ACCESSORIES

Best Quadcopter Kit Overview: The DIY Method of Making A Drone

Building LHI Emax
Jack Brown
Written by Jack Brown

A quadcopter kit is a dream came true for DIY enthusiasts as it allows anyone to make a drone. So, if you’re used to making amazing things from scratch, this article is the best start!

For those of you who aren’t aware, quadcopter kits are simply kits containing different parts and accessories that you would otherwise find when you disassemble a drone.

For example, a kit could contain the frame, arms, motors, propellers, ESCs, battery, wires, zip ties, screws, and everything required to put together and entire quad. Of course, available parts differ from one kit to another, so make sure you have everything you need before ordering it.

The best part with kits is that you learn a lot about the assembly/disassembly of simple machines like the quads. Even though it may seem complicated at first, the quadcopter is definitely one of the simplest machines on the market. However, being able to tear a quad to pieces, allows you to troubleshoot problems when they occur with the drone. For a better understanding of this topic, we suggest checking out our article that talks about how to build your own drone.

So the kit can be beneficial for someone who doesn’t know a lot about drones but would want to learn before buying an expensive model. It also saves you a lot of trips to the service center since you can solve those problems by yourself.

Best Quadcopter Kits

Some people have advanced to the point where they make custom chassis and do lots of modification on their drone, taking the DIY to another level. If that is something that sounds interesting to you, then buying a quadcopter kit will be nothing special.

Best Quadcopter Kits On The Market

Now, if you took a look around, you may already know that there are plenty of options out there. However, if you’re new at this, so many options are quite confusing. To help out a bit, we reviewed some of the best kits on the market and pointed out their most important features. So, take a look bellow and let us know if you found something you like.

LHI QAV 250mm Quadcopter Race Copter Frame Kit

LHI QAV 250mm Quadcopter Race Copter Frame Kit

Type of Kit: RTF (most of the pieces have been assembled)

Items Missing: 35c 1500mah battery and charger for the remote control

Frame Material: carbon fiber

Description: The QAV 250mm Quadcopter Race Kit is considered and RTF kit because most of the items have already been assembled. Also, the wiring it’s done and the power board is connected to the motors and propellers.

You will only have to buy the battery and the battery charger for the controller, mount the propellers, and put the drone battery in place.

If you’ve never worked with a kit before, you’ll notice that the final result looks more like a drone made out of Lego bricks than the drones you see in videos.

Well, drones you buy completely assembled have a special chassis to protect the inside components, but this kit is equipped with an open frame. This is actually extremely useful as it allows you to make customizations (add more items) without having to open the chassis every time.

The kit also has support for an HD camera, but there isn’t that much stability. Considering the fact that the resulting drone was designed for speed and not for picture taking, you can understand why.

A word of advice: there is no instruction manual or starter’s guide provided anywhere but you can easily get an idea on how to assemble this quadcopter. The manual was not included since the kit is almost completely assembled. This feature is very important if you’re a beginner in the art of DIY quads as you get to see all the components and understand their main role.

LHI Emax for 250mm

LHI Emax for 250mm

Type of Kit: ARF (not assembled)

Items Missing: Battery, remote control, accessories pack

Frame Material: 3k Carbon Fiber

Description: If you are on an extremely tight budget but still want to get a quadcopter kit that’s worth every penny, then the LHI Emax is something that we recommend.

At just about $100, it’s not only the best in terms of value for money, but also offers features and accessories that are on par with the other quadcopter kits in this list.

The assembled quadcopter is both sturdy and shock-resistant, thanks to a well-included combination of a carbon fiber frame and rubber dampeners. This also decreases the vibration during flight and stays fairly light-weight due to the nature of carbon fiber material.

The downside is that the company had to cut some corners in order to make the kit budget-friendly. This means no included battery, or a remote control, and not even an accessories pack for that matter.

You’ll need to buy the assembly tools and the remote controller separately in order to make it work. But this can be an advantage for those who already have tools needed to build this machine such as a hex wrench and a soldering kit.

So all in all, great features, great price, and only a single negative trait that isn’t deal-breaking, much like every other quadcopter kit on this list.

Pros:

  • Great Price
  • Extremely Lightweight
  • Very durable

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include accessories kit

Flysight F250 FPV Racing Quad All inclusive Kit

Flysight F250 FPV Racing Quad All inclusive Kit

Type of Kit: RTF (almost fully assembled)

Items Missing: none

Frame Material: 3k carbon fiber frame

Description: This is one of the most complete racing drone kits you could buy! With everything put together, and mounted, your job is extremely easy: just open the box and start racing!

Even more, the kit is delivered with a specially designed backpack that makes moving the drone around a breeze.

The bag’s interior is filled with protective foam cut in the shape of the drone so nothing will move or bend during transportation.

The Flysight F250 FPV Racing kit comes with the drone fully assembled, an RC controller (WFT07), and FPV goggles that help you keep track of your drone’s flight path.

There is also an integrated camera and an NAZE32 flight control. The drone supports a transmission range of about 1KM and the 2200mAh battery offers about 12 to 14 minutes of flight time.

The F250 is one of the best racing drones out there as it features great video transmission (no lag), amazing speed, and the possibility to perform aerial stunts.

Pros:

  • Lightweight body
  • The kit is fully assembled
  • The frame is durable
  • Great speed and camera

Cons:

  • The kit is quite expensive

Walkera F210 Deluxe Racing Drone Add 3D Edition

Walkera F210 Deluxe Racing Drone Add 3D Edition

Type of Kit: RTF (fully assembled)

Items Missing: none

Frame Material: 3k Carbon Fiber

Description:  This is another racing kit that will definitely be your pride and joy! That, if you can afford it! The Walkera F210 Deluxe Racing Drone costs about $900 which is why we don’t recommend it for beginners.

It is a fully functional and equipped with a wide range of racing features like the 3D Aerobatic Mode for amazing stunts, the body is anti-crash and the parts are easy to assemble and disassemble.

We can’t move any further without discussing the night vision camera. With one million pixels and HD lens that can see through the night, the camera is equipped with sensors that adjust according to the light brightness. In combination with the 5.8G Goggle-3 3D Glasses (included in the kit), you will be one of the best drone pilots in the race.

The controller is very simple, but it provides you with important data from the field. Thus, there is a low battery indicator, the signal received alarm, horizon line, and many other details which are important in a drone race.

Pros:

  • Fully equipped drone
  • Great camera for racing
  • The speed and drone functions can be customized

Cons:

  • The kit is quite expensive

Walkera Runner 250 Advance GPS Race Quadcopter

Walkera Runner 250 Advance GPS Race Quadcopter

Type of Kit: RTF (fully assembled)

Items Missing: none

Frame Material: Carbon Fiber

Description: Are you ready for war? Well, not war per se, but a fierce race where drone pilots proudly display their latest acquisitions.

The Walkera Runner 250 is quite a mean war machine that won’t let you down regardless of scenario. First of all, you’ll notice that the drone is pretty small, but the carbon fiber frame is light and durable which is great considering the amount of equipment it has to carry.

This kit comes with integrated GPS system, 800TVL camera, a video transmitter and connects with a 5.8G ground monitor or specially designed FPV goggles (which are included in the kit). The drone is also equipped with lights to shine the path in case the race takes place at night.

The controller is a Devo 7 with on screen display which is extremely useful if you are not wearing the goggles. Of course, like with any kit, you can add items but you must consider how their weight will affect the flight time and drone speed.

Since this drone is designed for racing, it is pretty fast and powerful and you need to be extremely gentle with the controls. That’s why it is recommended for people with flight experience and maybe some racing under their belt. A beginner might crash this cutie in the first obstacle. Therefore, if this model sounds interesting to you, we suggest checking out our Walkera Runner 250 in-depth review, before deciding to order it.

Pros:

  • Great design
  • High speed and power
  • The kit is complete and comes with accessories
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Not recommended for beginners

FPV Drone Racing Kit – DYS XDR220 RTF FPV Racing Drone

FPV Drone Racing Kit - DYS XDR220 RTF FPV Racing Drone

Type of Kit: RTF (fully assembled)

Items Missing: none

Frame Material: Carbon Fiber

Description: This cute little drone racing kit packs a lot of power and speed, but some of the most amazing features come from equipment details like the impressive HD CCD Camera or amazing flight control system.

Also, the DYS XDR220 Racing drone can be used by anyone, regardless of the flight experience or number of races.

The chassis is extra-light and durable protecting the main items in case of a crash. With a wide range (about 1500m in the air), the DYS racing drone is extremely fast which makes it a powerful advantage for any pilot.

The powerful brushless motors and the propellers specially designed for speed are two of the factors that will be of great help in any type of race, day or night.

You can enjoy a first person view experience with the included 5.8GHZ FPV goggles which can be securely placed on your head due to the straps system. However, if you prefer to race without goggles, the 2.4GHz controller has an integrated LCD screen where you can see whatever the drone sees in real time.

Pros:

  • High speed and power
  • Light and durable chassis
  • Great accessories
  • Powerful battery

Cons:

  • Price is a bit high
  • The drone is pretty small

Hobbypower X525 Quadcopter Glass Fiber Folding Kit

Hobbypower X525 Quadcopter Glass Fiber Folding Kit

Type of Kit: ARF (not assembled)

Items Missing: 4-9 Channel Radio set, 3S LiPo battery 2200mah-5000mah

Frame Material: Glass Fiber

Description: If you want to build a drone with a glass fiber chassis instead of your regular plastic model then, the HobbyPower X525 is the one to go for. At just a bit over $100, it is quite affordable considering the features.

However, since there are plenty of customization possibilities, the overall cost can go anywhere from $400 to $1000 depending on the components and accessories you add.

Since it can support batteries ranging from 2200 mAh up to 5000 mAh, you can expect a flight time of 15 to 30 minutes depending on what other components you add.

We do want to point out that assembling the parts into a full drone is a tiny bit complicated with this one mainly because it requires that you have soldering knowledge (nothing is pre-soldered). Even more, the instructions are not very clear or of quality.

Pros:

  • Great Durability (due to glass fiber frame)
  • Supports higher capacity batteries (3500 mAh+)
  • Company offers many variants of the same part (for selecting between more performance or lesser overall cost)

Cons:

  • Not very beginner-friendly
  • Instructions not clear

What Else Do You Need to Know?

Up until now, we talked about the best quadcopter kits on the market. From now on, we will continue the discussion with a short, but efficient buying guide that will show you what to buy according to your experience and needs.

First off, let’s talk about the differences between a glass fiber and carbon fiber body, since those were the chassis materials of the quadcopter kits that we just reviewed. Scientifically there are many differences between the two but all that matters is that in the end carbon fiber is stronger than glass fiber, but not by a very considerable margin.

However, a kit that promotes a glass fiber body is to be preferred, mainly because even after the chassis does get damaged and (say) you bend a propeller, the glass fiber material allows you to easily bend it back into its original shape. This simply means that you would be getting a lot more longevity with a glass fiber body compared to a carbon fiber body.

FPV Drone Racing Kit

Secondly, we did mention in the quadcopter kit reviews that some of those quadcopter kits are meant for someone who is experienced with DIY projects, soldering and connecting wires. That is something that you must take into consideration for every kit you purchase. If the one you like is not on our list, do your homework.

Read a few reviews, find out what it has to offer, see if it’s complicated to put together and then make the decision of buying it. This prevents you from a situation when you’ve spent $100 on a piece of equipment that you don’t know how to work with.

So the natural process is as follows: beginner kits, then getting information and practice on equipment, and then moving on to advanced stuff should be the way to go.

Keep in mind that almost every quadcopter kit states that it’s only meant for people above a certain age limit (usually 12) and it makes sense to follow those rules.

Even though the assembly of a beginner quadcopter kit is generally not dangerous, some medium to advanced ones do require soldering and other activities that should not be done without adult supervision and the appropriate safety gear.

Also, you must note that any damage done to the quadcopter which was a result of your mistake isn’t covered by the warranty at all. So if you are someone who doesn’t know a lot about assembly, this is one more reason to avoid such quadcopter kits because you can’t get a refund or repairs.

Not Sure What Kit to Buy?

The choice of buying a quadcopter kit or any product for that matter, in the ‘bang for the buck’ department is probably the hardest choice. This may also be due to the fact that the ones on our list are just so neck-in-neck with each other that it’s impossible to tell you to pick one over the other.

A lot of variables are applicable to different people, which is why a pros and cons section should be able to help you make that decision. You can easily see what’s good and what’s not good about each of the products, see what’s best (for you) and then buy it. So, without any further ado, let’s see the pros and cons of a quadcopter kit.

Pros:

  • Flexibility to choose your own parts and accessories (camera, battery, controller, etc.)
  • Versatility – you can make a quadcopter according to your budget. You can add more expensive parts for better performance or budget parts for better value for money.
  • Many quadcopter kits are now beginner-friendly and they require less experience in soldering and other mechanical processes.

Cons:

  • An assembled quadcopter can sometimes be more expensive than a regular quadcopter bought from a store. Beginner mistakes can cause problems and replacement parts can mean an overall less value for money.

So, knowing all these, it’s clear that a quadcopter kit is meant for you if you are the DIY-kind of person. Even if you aren’t, we’d still recommend you to buy it solely for the sake of getting some experience in building a quadcopter which can be very satisfying when everything works properly.

It’s very similar to assembling a computer so PC enthusiasts are already aware of what we are suggesting you do. So, don’t let the sight of a completely disassembled quad scare you! Have some fun with it and search for that amazing feeling you get when learning new things.

About the author
Jack Brown
Jack Brown

Jack is the Chief Pilot at MyDroneLab.com bringing experience, expertise and knowledge in this quite new industry. He is a graduate of the Drone/UAV Pilot Training Certificate program and member of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Besides having all the necessary technical knowledge when it comes to drones, Jack and his team love to spend the time outside by the ocean, working on new features and teaching others how to pilot these amazing and exciting new robots.

  • Andrew Miller

    This is what I call “a toy for real man”. Puzzles, then LEGO, now this. You don’t even need to be an engineer, I think my grandma can make such drone 🙂

  • Yes, little knowledge is enough to make them work.

  • Frendrick Anderson

    First of all, do it yourself type of drones have many better features than the regular ones. They are flexible for choosing your own parts which means that you can buy more expensive parts for the features you need and cheaper parts for the features you don’t need. However, the new DIY drones are much easier for building and don’t require complicated constructing.

    • Totally agree with you on this one Frendrick. The new DIY kits are more beginner friendly.

  • John Whitehouse

    Do it yourself drones can be a lot more interesting then the “ready for flying” drones, but sometimes it can be a really hardworking process, especially it you are a rookie in this field. I personally vouch for YKS 250 kit which comes with a controller, cutting the time you lose in searching for a suitable controller.

    • Yup, you get the right controller from the start, and you can cross out that issue from the list 🙂

  • Howie McTrevor

    Tried the LHI QAV 250MM. Items were neatly packaged. Frame quality was good but achieving balance was a bit challenging. The ESCs and motors are nothing special and are good enough for entry-level hobbyists. Thanks to Youtube tutorials.

  • Jack Brown

    The youtube tutorials are real life savers for many 🙂 including myself! Whenever in doubt, ask YouTube 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience with the LHI QAV 250, Howie.

  • Pauline Smith

    As an inexperienced drone assembler, I would love to go with the semi-assembled LHI Full Carbon Fiber 250 mm Quadcopter Race Frame Kit. I like its sturdy carbon filter frame. It’s also powered by a strong battery even though not included in the package. maybe as time goes I will learn how to assemble the more complex drones that are not RTF.

    • Jack Brown

      Oh, don’t worry, you will definitely learn how to assemble a drone, especially if you start flying the racing models because they tend to need repairs from time to time 😉

  • Anas Akkawi

    Thanks for the helpful article.
    I’m just starting to build my first quad and needed an expert opinion on which kit to get. I’m deciding between the QAV250 or RoboCat 270 kit which looks kinda cooler as well.
    Which one you reckon I should get.
    The QAV is slightly cheaper but both are within the same price range.
    Thanks.

    • Jack Brown

      Well, the 270 is slightly bigger. It depends on what you plan to use your drone for? I would go for the bigger kit, as it would offer me more space for customizing 🙂 But, the choice is all yours at the end as both frames are practically similar, performance wise.

  • Jefferson

    We have youth groups who we want to have the experience of assembling and flying a drone. After flying their kit we want them to take it apart for the next group to assemble/disassemble. Accordingly, we would like something simple preferably that doesn’t require soldering, but a little soldering is not a problem. Any suggestions for kits would be appreciated.

    • Jack Brown

      Well, as far as the no-soldering part goes, the best one would be TBS Vendetta because it has a modular design that doesn’t need soldering. But, it is a really fast racing drone that is not for kids 🙂 Plus, it is quite expensive. Now, for kids, I would recommend the LKTR120 Micro kit, or the HobbyKing – Super-X Brushless 125mm Micro Quad. But, there will be some soldering involved in any kit you choose.