Gemfan released their version of foldable propellers, so let’s compare them to the original DAL Fold. These are currently the only two brands that have released foldable props for FPV drones, I expect more will follow as there are many benefits to foldable propellers.
Where to Buy
Gemfan Floppy Proppy 5″
- Banggood: https://oscarliang.com/product-azoo
- GetFPV: https://oscarliang.com/product-zy8c
- RDQ: https://oscarliang.com/product-3x9f
DAL Fold 5″
Benefits of Foldable Props
I explained in great detail why you might want to use foldable props when I reviewed the DAL Fold, but I will reiterate the key points here:
- Less damage upon impact, hence more durable
- Cheaper – you can change only the damaged blade instead of the whole prop
- Less likely to get caught on branches or racing gates
- Easier to get drone out of a trees when stuck
- Less likely to burn ESC with turtle mode
Gemfan Floppy Proppy vs DAL Fold
Apart from the mouthful name, the Gemfan Floppy Proppy looks pretty similar to the DAL Fold. It also comes unassembled like the DAL, and the construction looks identical. However the dimensions of the hub and holes are all different, so you cannot interexchange blades between the two brands.
Despite the similarities, there are the major differences.
In a way, I really like how compact the DAL Fold is when folded. The folding angle of the Gemfan is not as wide as the DAL, meaning there is more space between blades when folded and so it’s less likely the blades are going to run into each other when it hit something during flight.
The Gemfan has much tighter tolerance between the blades and hub, and so there is more resistance when moving the blades around the hub.
The DAL folding props are more sloppy and flexible – the blades are basically free to move around without resistance. There is even some up and down play with the blades. There is no up and down play in the Gemfan’s at all.
It’s extremely hard to change blades on the DAL without breaking the hub.
On the other hand, the Gemfan folding props are very easy to change blades, the hub just pops right off without much effort. This is really useful if you damage a blade, you can easily change it out without replacing the whole prop.
Comparing to a traditional non-foldable prop, the DAL Fold is slightly less in every performance aspect, such as speed, power and efficiency, but it’s really not bad at all given all the advantages you get in return.
The Gemfan folding props has ever so slightly better performance than DAL, maybe that has something to do with the tolerance we mentioned earlier, and the design of the blades as you can see in the image they are quite different.
However, the Gemfan Floppy Proppy is a bit heavier, at 4.7g each, while the DAL is only 4.3g. Because of this, I feel like the DAL is ever so slightly more responsive than the Gemfan.
And the Gemfan is almost a whole gram heavier than traditional props of similar size and pitch, the responsiveness difference is even more pronounced. But I wouldn’t lose sleep over it, because I fly mostly freestyle, smoothness is more important for me, and both folding props really exceed my expectation in that regard.
If any of the benefits interests you, you should definitely get a few sets each to try them out :)