When flying a drone, you need to choose a model that can be not only easy to pilot but also capable of keeping its balance while in the air. A quadrotor drone is one such choice for you to think about using as it will provide you with even coverage in terms of how the rotors are positioned.
Such a drone has, as the name suggests, 4 rotors. For those of you who don’t know, rotors are rotating assemblies that move horizontally to create the lift that the drone needs. When all four rotors are running while a square or near-square shape is formed between them all, the drone will get up in the air and fly as evenly as possible.
This drone can move in any direction on a dime and, as you’ll see a bit later in the article, it is certainly easier to control than most other airborne devices. Even more, since there are 4 rotors and 4 arms, these drones are also called quadcopters and are some of the most popular drone models on the market.
Now, the world of quads is rather diverse in that there are plenty of qualities that can be found in all the different options you might come across. You have to look around quite well if you want to find a drone that will be ideal for your recreational drone needs and this is why we put together a list with the best drones with 4 rotors out there.
Best quadcopters – 5 options worth trying
Traxxas 6608 LaTrax Alias
The Traxxas 6608 LaTrax Alias has a 2.4GHz radio system and the outside body is surrounded by LED lights, to make it more visible at night. Designed with a 1/32 scale, it is an RTF (or Ready to Fly) model. The quad uses a brushed cordless motor and a six-axis auto-leveling system to keep the drone in the air and even while flying.
The quadrotor thrust feature allows all four rotors to take in the same amount of power at once. To move around, the power from one rotor can be shifted to its neighbors based on the direction that you are trying to get the drone to move towards.
The 6608 Traxxas uses a 650 mAh Li-Po battery that can be easily charged using the provided USB drive. The battery can be quickly added into the middle of the drone but it only allows for about 10 minutes of flight time per charge. It also takes about 40 minutes for the battery to be fully charged again.
The transmitter uses a system that will turn off the drone when it gets too far away from it. This allows the drone to gently land on a surface so it will not suffer from any dangerous falls as the rotors will generate energy to let it slowly descend.
Controller sticks are even included with the transmitter and these can replace the preinstalled controller pads in just a few seconds. This may make the drone a little easier for you to control if you prefer a stick-based option.
Velocity Toys Ultimate F2 Predator Fighter Jet
This particular quadrotor is designed to have a jet-like appearance to it. The four rotors are housed within the middle part of the body. These are protected from outside threats while the decorative borders on the outside parts are designed to be as even as possible so the drone will not favor one side while in motion.
The body itself is made out of a high-density foam material that will not inhibit the drone’s movements or weigh it down. The entire drone weighs about 1 pound and measures about 14 inches long and 10 inches wide. At 3.5 inches in height, this will not be easily influenced by wind gusts.
The four-channel radio controls work with left and right trim movements. The controls are made to be very accurate and precise. The controls also work with low and high-speed modes. You can flip a switch to go between the two modes depending on how you want to fly the jet.
The drone even uses a few landing gear parts on the bottom. These include a few wheel-like materials that will allow you to land the quadrotor in a manner similar to a traditional plane. The wheels are rather small though so you will have to be gentle with it just like how a real-life jet would land.
GPToys F2c Aviax Quadrotor Drone
This next option for a drone is a little different in that it features an HD camera built on the inside. The camera is used for taking photos and videos and even works with a 4GB memory card. The radio controller will allow you to adjust the camera by turning it on or taking pictures at different times as you see fit.
Also, you can always remove the memory card as needed and replace it with a new one of up to 4GB in size for your recording needs. The videos and photos that are recorded can be played back on just about any computer or portable device.
GPToys F2c uses a 2.4GHz remote controller and can be controlled for up to 100 meters at a time. The headless mode allows you to control the drone without worrying about the primary direction that you are trying to fly the drone in.
The green and red LED lights on the drone will let you see what direction your drone is heading in while it is in the air. This is essential for when you’re flying the drone at night.
The device uses a 3.7V 650mAh Li-Po battery and can fly for about 8 minutes on a full charge. It also takes about 60 minutes to charge up the battery. A USB charger that comes with it can be plugged into any port that you see fit to get the battery to charge up properly.
GW007 GW007-1 Quadcopter Drone
This is a quadrotor drone that uses a 2-megapixel camera and works with an SD card to record images and videos. The controller allows you to turn the camera feature on or off as needed. The drone uses a 2.4GHz connection and can also handle a six-axis controller.
The rotors will balance themselves well so you won’t have to worry about the drone favoring one side. The strong wind resistance on this model especially ensures that you will get a good control running no matter where the drone is while in the air.
GW007 GW007-1 uses a lithium-ion battery that will last for a while as it will not be at risk of wearing out or losing its capacity over time. It will fly for about 8 minutes at a time before it has to be recharged. With all of these features, the drone is about 7 ounces in weight. This ensures that you will have something that will fly up in the air without being bogged down by too much pressure.
The drone also has a series of landing bars near its base. These landing bars help with making it easier for the drone to land on the ground. Of course, you will need to keep from dropping it down far too quickly.
The last drone model with 4 rotors to check out is this one from MJX. This one uses two different control mechanisms:
- You can use a standard RC control mode that lets you operate it in a traditional manner.
- You can also use a gravity control mode feature that focuses more on how the drone can tilt when moving.
Regardless of which control method you use, you will have a headless drone so you won’t have to worry about setting a direction course regardless of the way the drone is positioned. Even more, the drone is equipped with flashing LED lights that can light up in the evening to create a beautiful look while in the dark.
Meanwhile, the individual rotors have guards at their ends that will keep the blades on each rotor from being exposed so the risk of damages will be reduced. MJX X701 can fly for about six minutes on a full battery charge, which is a 250 mAh 3.7V Li-Po. It can also take 90 minutes for the battery to be charged up.
The drone is 14 centimeters on each side and 3.5 cm in height so it will create an even body that doesn’t favor one side over another. It can also fly for up to 150 meters away from your controller and you will need to get 6 AA batteries for your controller to make it work.
Who should use a drone like this?
A quadrotor drone can be used by anyone who is interested in having something fun to pilot and control in the air. Any of these drones will work well for those who want to get into the world of running drones as these models are often very easy to handle and won’t weigh far too much.
People who are interested in racing air vehicles can always enjoy using these quadcopters. Such drones can fly rather quickly so it will be easy for you to have a fun time with racing one. And speaking of racing, if this sounds interesting to you (and believe us it is!), we suggest checking out our article about drone racing.
The fact that drones like these are often capable of correcting themselves and staying easy to control even when it is windy out makes them enjoyable too.
People who are interested in taking pictures or videos from way up in the air can use drones too. Not all of these quadrotor models come with their own internal cameras, and sometimes, a professional HD-ready camera, particularly a GoPro model, will have to be added at the bottom or side of a drone for it to actually record anything.
What makes them so special?
A drone with 4 rotors is unique in that it uses 4 separate rotors to help keep it up in the air. By keeping the rotors running at the same time, a better sense of balance will be established on the drone’s body keeping it from favoring one direction while in the air.
Also, the quadrotor model uses different throttle features on each individual rotor. This ensures that you can get the drone to move in any direction as you see fit. This will work even better if you have a great six-axis controller. For a better understanding of these amazing flying gadgets, we suggest that you also read our article talking about what drones are.
What makes them different from other types?
A drone that supports 4 rotors is clearly different from a helicopter-based model. Although a helicopter drone can certainly fly further and higher and may be stronger, it is also extremely difficult to operate and maintain. Helicopter drones tend to use fuel instead of batteries as well.
There is also the issue with the singular rotor on a helicopter drone that makes it harder to control. It can take a little longer for it to move from one direction to the next. This is a problem that won’t show up when you’re flying a drone with 4 rotors.
On the other side, a quadcopter drone will not be as tough to handle as a plane drone. Granted, a plane drone can go faster in speed and can be perfect for aerial photography needs but the fact is that the plane will not be able to turn as easily. A plane drone will not hover like a quadrotor and it is difficult for a plane drone to take aerial video shots of just one spot at a time.
It may also be difficult for a plane drone to take crystal clear still images of items unless the plane has an extremely expensive HD camera attached to its body. When using a quadrotor, you will avoid the struggles that come with trying to take videos and pictures as you’ll have a body that is easier to operate with.
Naturally, the drone that supports 4 rotors is not as fast or powerful as many of these other drones. However, this model is still easier to fly and won’t be too much of a challenge to work with as you are trying to create a good experience.
Buying guide: Features to consider
As great as the quadrotor drone can be, you need to look carefully so you can find a great model that is appropriate for your use. Below we listed a few tips that you can use when buying your own quadcopter drone. These are points that are relative to many of the features that you can get out of one of these drones.
How heavy is it?
A great drone (regardless of the number of rotors) will be easy for you to fly around without having to be bogged down by a heavy weight. It is clearly going to be lighter when you use a battery instead of gas or any other kind of fuel. The lightest drones are often the easiest to get off in the air.
The GW007 model mentioned earlier, weighs about 7 ounces, so it can quickly move up in the air without having to use too much force.
How can you land it?
The landing features that are included on your device can vary based on what you prefer to use. You might find drones that feature some bars on their middle parts. These bars are used to keep the drone from hitting the ground directly as it lands and usually are a few centimeters in height.
These will gently let the drone down as you are done flying it. The GPToys and GW007 models listed earlier, both have such bars and they are not too long so it won’t be hard for the drone to get off the ground when used right. Such landing bars can also be useful for when you’re trying to get the drone to lift off.
Some models may also come with wheels on their bottom parts. The Velocity Toys model listed earlier is a good example. This one uses these small wheels to create a jet-like appearance that allows you to easily land the drone while allowing for a slight bit of movement. However, you must still be slow and gentle when landing it like with any other model so you won’t be at risk of struggling with any possible damages.
The headless feature: what is it and how can you use it
The headless feature can make it easier for you to control the drone. A headless drone is designed with no forward or backward features meaning that you can move the drone in a variety of directions without having to use a set pattern for flight. That is, the drone doesn’t have to work like a traditional electric airplane.
Naturally, you might have to keep track of how the drone will move based on the specific directions that you are commanding. Fortunately, you can go forward or backward on a dime without having to turn the drone around too much. The headless feature will work well regardless of the shape of the drone. Even the Velocity Toys model listed can be flown with a headless pattern.
How are the lights?
You might want to take a closer look at the lights that come with your drone. LED lights are very important when it comes to flying it at night.
Some models may even feature LED lights that flash when the drone is moving in a particular direction. You must choose something that is easy to see in any condition, as sometimes even the weather can pose problems.
Brushed vs. brushless
You might come across both brushed and brushless motors in your drone which is why you must understand the difference. A brushed motor is an older option that uses a series of wound wire coils that will function as an electromagnet. The electric current is reversed twice in a cycle through the use of a rotary switch. It is easy to control and can work without the need for any outside electronics but at the same time it requires plenty of maintenance and may struggle to let out heat.
Meanwhile, a brushless motor is made with a magnet external rotor and 3 driving coils. An electronic controller will adjust how the rotors work to control the speeds that they run at. This makes it easier for the unit to move quickly and to adjust its speed on a dime. This can work with a better speed range and will require less maintenance on your end. It is more expensive to get a brushless motor though.
So, to sum it up, a brushless motor will get your drone running quickly but at the same time the brushed option will be easier for you to control in a more precise manner.
Not sure what model to buy?
As appealing as a quadrotor drone can be, you have to look carefully to see that you can find a model that is appealing and worth trying out. The models we discussed today are definitely not the only ones available and, if none seems appealing to you, feel free to continue browsing.
However, keep in mind the features you must consider and why you want to buy such a drone. To make the job a bit easier, we made a short pros & cons comparison. Check it out and see if a quadrotor is the drone you want.
- The rotors are spaced evenly from one another.
- There’s no head to be used on most models.
- A drone can easily get its battery charged up in about sixty minutes or less in most cases.
- You don’t need to get any fuel to make it work.
- Bars or wheels can be used to help you land your drone or give it an easy to handle base to take off of.
- Not all models come with cameras. The ones that do often have low quality
- It might be a challenge to mount an outside HD camera on the body of a drone.
- You need to keep the drone slow as it is landing.
Be sure to consider the quadrotor when looking for a great device to fly up in the air. This air recreational vehicle is designed with a unique arrangement and will be fun to fly around.