How to choose Motor and Propeller for Quadcopter


This tutorial aims to help you choose well performed motor and propellers for your quadcopter. There are some general rules you can follow and consideration to bear in mind when choosing the optimal and effective motor and propeller combination.

Where to Start? Decide on Motor Size First

To begin with, you need to answer these 2 questions:

  • What’s your quadcopter’s planned total weight?
  • What’s the size of your frame?

The total weight of the quadcopter doesn’t have to be exact, as you haven’t built it yet. It should include everything: frame, FC, PDB, wires, motors, ESC’s, battery, payload (such as HD camera and gimbals), etc. Remember this is just an estimation so you can always go back and refine the number when you have better idea which parts you are going to use.

By knowing the size of the frame, you should know what the maximum size propellers that can be used.

By knowing these 2 things, you can now calculate roughly how much thrust the motors need to deliver to life it in the air, by using propellers of the maximum size or smaller.

2:1 Thrust to Weight Ratio

A general rule is that you should AT LEAST be able to provide twice as much thrust than the weight of the quad. This is the bare minimum to ensure you have a stable copter that is easy to control at “hovering” style flying :) If the thrust provided by the motors are too little, the quad would not respond well to your control, it might even have difficulties to take off.

For example if we had a quadcopter that weights 1kg, the total thrust generated by the motors at 100% throttle should be at least 2kg, or 500g per motor (for a quadcopter).

For fast flying like drone racing, you should expect to go much higher than this, it’s not uncommon to see someone build a mini quad that can achieve 8:1, even 10:1 thrust to weight ratio. The quad can perform much more agile and dynamic, and accelerate much faster and corner better. One advantage thought when you have excessively high thrust to weight ratio is the quad would become very hard to control, because a little increase in throttle is enough to “shoot the quad in to orbit”. :)

But if you just plan to fly the multirotor as a slow aerial photography platform, you might want to go somewhere near 3:1 or 4:1. It also gives you room to add extra payload in the future (like heavier cameras, or maybe extra batteries to extend flight time)

What is Motor Size and KV

Brushless motors in RC is normally indicated by a 4-digit number – AABB. AA being the Stator width, and BB being the stator height.

KV is another important parameter, it’s the increase of motor RPM when voltage go up 1 volt without load. Higher KV motor would attempt to spin the propeller faster, but lower KV motor normally generates higher torque. That’s why we tend to use larger props on low KV motors, and smaller props on high KV motors.

If by pairing high KV motors with excessively large propellers, the motor will attempt to spin it very fast like they would do with smaller props, and therefore drawing too much current and generating too much heat. Eventually it could burn out the motor due to overheat and shorts in motor coils.

Frame Size => Prop Size => Motor Size and KV

Most of the times by knowing frame size, we can guess right away what sort of motor we should use. This is not super power, simply just because frame size limits props size, and prop size limits motor size and KV. But anyway, always check motor thrust test data to verify the current draw does not exceed safety rating with the propellers you want to run.

This table is only a simplified example to give you some ideas, you might see people using slightly higher or lower KV motors than this table suggests. Frame size is referring to wheelbase (aka diagonal motor to motor distance).

Frame Size Prop Size Motor Size KV
150mm or smaller 3″ or smaller  1306 or smaller  3000KV or higher
180mm 4″  1806  2600KV
210mm 5″  2204-2206  2300KV-2600KV
250mm 6″  2204-2208  2000KV-2300KV
350mm 7″  2208  1600KV
450mm 8″, 9″, 10″  2212

Reading Motor Spec


When selecting motors, there usually are specification that comes with the motor either provided by the seller or manufacturer. You should be able to find information about the power, thrust, rpm etc. This is an example of the 18-11 2000kv Micro Brushless Outrunner (10g) on Google it if you are not sure what each name represents in the data sheet, they are really basic and I am not going to go over them here.

quadcopter motor data-sheet

quadcopter motor spec


I would be so lost if I was just starting, There are so many choices, I wouldn’t know where to start. So another way of narrowing down the range motors would be checking out other people’s builds, to see what motors they use. After seeing a few builds that are similar to what you are trying to build, it should have given you a pretty good idea what size motors you would need.

Comparing between motors

After you have decided on the size and KV of the motors you want to get, you might already have a handful of motors to choose from. To pick the best motor for your application, you should consider the following factors:

  • Thrust
  • Current Draw – battery
  • Efficiency
  • Weight – Moment of Inertia

So the decision here really depends on your preference, how you want your aircraft to perform.

Higher thrust gives you faster multirotor, but you also need to look at efficiency making sure it’s not using a ridiculous of power that might shorten your flight time significantly. Also current draw of the motors on high throttle can affect your choice of battery too, when they draw large amount of current at full throttle, your battery’s max discharge rate has to be able to keep up in order to provide the power, as well as they don’t overheat and go buff (C rating).

Motor weight is more important in racing drones. It doesn’t only affect the total weight of your quadcopter and thrust to weight ratio, it also affects the moment of inertia of your quad. When your quad is rolling or pitching, it takes sometime to pick up angular acceleration and eventually move to the desired position. If your motors are heavy, it will take longer to do this, and therefore feels less responsive.

It’s all about balance really, or which area you want your copter to excel at.

More tips on Motor Efficiency

A multicopter is more efficient when it’s lighter, so you need to pick a good battery that has good capacity but light weight. This post shows you how to find the perfect balance when choosing LiPo batteries for your multicopter.

Battery and weight is not the only factor we need to consider when it comes to Efficiency, there is also motor efficiency. When choosing motors, apart from motor KV and thrust, we also need to look at Watt’s and efficiency.

It’s like cycling, cycle at lower gear enable you to go faster but it’s harder to peddle. If you are going uphill, and it’s getting steeper, you will eventually come to a point where peddling becomes too heavy and you are getting slower although you are peddling very hard. This is where you lose efficiency.

The same applies to brushless motor, the higher efficiency the better. A 70% efficient motor produces 70% power and 30% heat. A 90% efficient motor produces 90% power and 10% heat.

With less efficient motors not only are you wasting a lot of power (and flight time), you also get smaller thrust on full throttle. Most importantly, because the motor runs so inefficiently, the response time suffers. It will take the motors more time to change RPM and this will have negative influence on stability.

Other Factors Manufacturers Don’t Tell You

  • Response
  • Temperature (explain more in future update)
  • Best props (explain more in future update)
  • Vibration (explain more in future update)

Response – how fast the motor can change RPM. Easiest way to find out about this is by measuring how long it takes for a motor to go from 0 RPM to full RPM. This obviously will have an effect on how responsive the motors are.


If you can find the following data somewhere it can help you even more to identify the best motor for your choice.

Features of Motors that Might Interest You

(explain more in future update)

  • Solid/Hollow shaft
  • Type of Magnets (N52, N54)
  • Arc Magnets
  • Smaller air gaps
  • Soldering tabs on motor
  • ESC integration
  • Cooling design

Balancing Motor

After you received your motors, the first thing you should do is to balance it. Although it’s not always necessary, it’s good practice. I personally only do this on large motors though like 2212 or bigger. For mini quad motors I normally skip this step. (2206 or smaller)

There are so many options, brands you can choose from, it will cause you headache :D For example these are the options for 250 mini quad motors.

Choosing Propellers


Some Basics

A quadcopter uses two clockwise(CW) and two counter-clockwise(CCW) propellers. Propellers are classified by length and pitch. For example 9×4.7 propellers are 9 inch long and has a pitch of 4.7.

Generally, increased propeller pitch and length will draw more current. Also the pitch can be defined as the travel distance of one single prop rotation. In a nutshell, higher pitch means slower rotation, but will increase your vehicle speed which also use more power.



When deciding on length and pitch, you need to find a good balance. Generally a prop with low pitch numbers can generate more torque. The motors don’t need to work as hard so it pulls less current with this type of prop. If you want to do acrobatics, you will need torque propellers which provide more acceleration and it puts less pressure on the power system. Lower pitch propellers will also improve stability.

A higher pitch propeller moves greater amount of air, which could create turbulence and cause the aircraft to wobble during hovering. If you notice this with your quadcopter, try to choosing a lower pitched propeller.

When it comes to the length, propeller efficiency is closely related to the contact area of a prop with air, so a small increase in prop length will increase the propeller efficiency. (pretty much like swimmers with larger hands and feet can swim faster, but also more tiring for them)

A smaller prop is easier to stop or speed up while a larger prop takes longer to change speeds (inertia of movement). Smaller prop also means it draws less current, that is why hexacoptors and octocopters tend to use smaller props than quadcopter of similar size.

For larger quadcopters that carry payloads, large propellers and low-kv motors tend to work better. These have more rotational momentum, and will more easily maintain your aircraft’s stability.

There are a few different types of propellers, such as plastic, carbon fibre etc, check out this post for more info.

Some tips on how to choose Motor and Propeller

There are two ways I usually do.

  • Observe and Research – go on to youtube and search people’s flying video, not only you can see the result of their quadcopters, you can also check out their setup, what motor and propeller they are using. It’s essential to learn from people’s experience because it’s free :-)
  • Understand the maths and Experiment – if you have a great mathematical mind and have spare budget, and could not find any information about the motor and propeller combination you want to use, you could experiment with different setups! Although it requires more money and more time.

Even the for props of the same size and pitch, when they are made of different material and by different manufacturers, the performance also tend to be very different. Here is an example where I compare the 5030 props of two different brands.


With a well balanced motor and propeller combination, your quadcopter should achieve great efficiency, not only improve battery life time, but also allows great user control experience. Hope this post has helped you select the best motor and propellers, and don’t hesitate to share your ideas or questions with us.:-)

118 thoughts on “How to choose Motor and Propeller for Quadcopter

  1. Snuffy

    Aloha Oscar,

    BLUF: Prop will not properly fit motor shaft.

    I am having difficulty locating the correct PROP or PROP Adapter. I have these motors:
    — LHI 4x 2212 920KV (
    and these 10×4.5 blades (

    The blades come with inserts but the motor shaft is keyed (has two flat spots).

    The motor shaft is 7.7mm in diameter and 6.75mm where it is keyed (notched) on each side. The length of the shaft is roughly 14mm but 7mm of that is threaded at a ~ 5.8mm.

    This is on a cat 450 frame. Request to know what 10″ props are already keyed or which prop adapter one should purchase. I do not think I need a adapter since two prop nuts are CC threaded and the other two are CCW threaded.

    Thank you for your valuable time and any assistance you can provide.

    All the Best,

    1. alex

      HI, interesting read.
      If i require a hexacopter or a quadrocopter to lift 12-15kg payload with a flight time of 30 min and range of 3km – 6km what configuration from frame to the entire kit would you recommend?

  2. Hemantha

    I am a newer for RC Tech. I am trying to make RC electric Airplane. I have a A2212/5T 2700Kv motor, 30A ESC, 11.1V 25C Lipo, 6×4 E propeller, Transmitter and receiver. Are they suited for each other? How much weight can be thrust?
    what is the recommend values?
    what is the suitable propeller for A2212/15T 930Kv motor?

    I want to know , Can I use Multi copter propeller for Airplane(correct rotating side )? ‘GWS 10×47 ‘ propeller for Multi copter or Airplane , all are same?
    anyone can help me?

  3. Ankur Rana

    hey oscar i m in serious problem …..
    me n my friends trying to build a drone, we do everything as u said above but when we increases the speed of our motors it suddenly disarm ….so we cannot take off due to this disarm problem can u plzzzz tell us what are we missing now…..

    thank u,

  4. ritik

    i have the motor for my quadcopter with following specification:-
    A2212 1000KV
    – RPM/V :1000
    – Stator Diameter(mm) :22
    – Stator length(mm) : 13
    – Stator Arms(mm) : 12
    – Magnet Poles : 14
    – Motor Winding : 22
    – RPM(KV) : 1000
    – Idle Current(A) : 0.55/8
    – Max Current (A) : 17
    – Max Power(W) : 190/3
    – Rotor Dia(mm) : 28
    – Shaft Dia(mm) : 3.17
    – Motor Length(mm) : 28
    – Overall Length(mm) : 42
    – Biggest Thrust g/S : 1200/4

    i want to know how much mah & max. /min. discharge rate battery would be required for the motor

  5. Hexacopter

    Hi Oscar,

    I am designing a hexacopter and I need motors that have 50% thrust of 850g. Could you suggest any name of motors that are available to buy online?

    Thank you so much and I really appreciate it.

  6. Avishek Sengupta

    Hi Oscar,
    I am using 1000kV motors for my quad. I am aware the lesser the kv rating is higher is the altitude that the quad can climb upto. Now how do you work out the exact altitude in ft/m that it can fly upto using the specs of the motor and other available data. Also how do you calculate the flight time. Is there a particular formula you use? Thanks!

  7. Vivek gr

    hey oscar.Can you suggest me am a bit of confused. My HMF Hexacopter 550mm AUW is 2500gm. What motors and props can I use so that I get enough power at around 75% throttle??

    1. Oscar Post author

      so you want motors that can generate 1KG of thrust each, so you are looking at 2212 size motors that supports 9 or 10 inch props should be sufficient.

      1. Dominic

        Hi Oscar, it seems like not having data for power systems is very common, which is unfortunate. I am from RCbenchmark and we developed this test stand that really helps with ensuring you have the correct setup for your creation. With this you can measure and record to your computer thrust, torque, efficiency, rpm, all in the same device. It sure beats having to time your flights to test every possible combination!

      2. Matt Wallwork

        Hi Oscar/ Vivek,
        I’ve found with 2kg + on a 450 quadcopter, the 2212s are working hard with standard 9545 props or 1045s. I switched to 4006 (3508 would do) 680kv on 3s and 1155 props, it handles the extra weight much better. With these motors for 2.2- 2.5kg I could go to 4s batteries on 11″ props, or 1255 props on 3s with no problems. I’d get bigger than 2212 motors for a 2.5kg quad. Normally, you want a 3:1 thrust: weight ratio.
        Hope this helps!

  8. sanjay kroliya

    Hi oscar, i tried to built my quadcopter with 12*4.5propellers please tell me about motor . which motor is better for my quadcopter..

  9. Jose

    I am currently doing a drone and it is my first time. I followed some videos and they chose to use 1400KV motor and 8*4.5 propeller. I just want to know what consideration they took to decide to use that combination. Can anyone please explain to me please? It will benefit me greatly.

    1. Oscar Post author

      Hi Jose, maybe you should ask them ? LOL
      when choosing props/motor, you need to consider the frame size, thrust they generate, and power consumption.
      If you already have some ideas of other prop/motor combo you want to run, compare the data with this setup, and choose one that fits your need better.

  10. E.L.K.

    Hi Oscar!

    I’m now deep in investigating about building my own 250 fpv quad and I performed a serie of researches on how to find out better combination of battery+motor+prop depending on the weight of rest flying part.

    Sooo…. the main approaches I found is: “approximate by these (random formulas for props) formulas” – this approach gives very rough approximation, “buy and probe” and “look at other’s measurements and approximate”.

    Also there are a bunch of calculators in the internet, but these calculators does not allow to add own elements.

    You are the one, from who I saw the words “try to model it” and thus I’m writing to you to ask for your opinion. I also wrote in the G+ , but I assume that you not reading that post.

    I combined approaches “look at other’s measurements” (actually, I took yours ((: ) and “modelling”. And this lead me to having a bunch of haskell code, which allows me to “guess” parameters for simple mathematical model of prop and motor basing on the test data provided to the system.

    I’m estimating thrust and power absorbtion of prop by simple exponential, like ones found in

    And motor is estimated by motor power formula from here which is:

    Power Out = (V – Iin * Rm) * (In – Io)

    basing on these formulas, this system solves the equation

    propeller absorbed power = motor power out

    for current, which allows to calculate all other params (rpm and so thrust).

    Long story short, to see if this approach provides any reasonable results, I tried this:

    1. From known kv of cobra motor and test data from here I made the system to guess coefficients for cobra motor and gemfan_5030 props.

    2. From guessed gemfan_5030 props and test data from here I made the system to guess coefficients for emax1806 motor.

    3. From guessed emax1806 motor and test data from here I made the system to guess coefficients for the gemfan 4045 props.

    4. I made the system to calculate performance of guessed in last step gemfan 4045 motor with the guessed in first step cobra motor.

    At the step 4 I got next results:

    12v: thrust 234g, current 4.54 A
    16v: thrust 329g, current 5.7 A

    while expected, according to your measurements are:

    12v: thrust 270g, current 4.9 A
    16v: thrust 351g, current 6.7 A

    so predicted parameters are 15% close to the ones got from tests, after 3 steps of guesing parameters, with only small amount of test data.

    Looks pretty promising from my point of view. And I’m pretty sure that if I’d have more data points for guessing coefficients, the results will be much more accurate and thrustworty.

    The ideal situation I dream about is when people will be able to provide the models of the motor and props they tested instead of plain test data, so any modelled prop can be virtually tried with any modelled motor to find out ideal combination for every exact case (like most trust or longest hover).

    Can you, please, share your opinion on this approach? Maybe it is something I don’t know about which makes all this meaningless? Are you interested in participating in developing of such modelling system?

  11. arif hassan

    Hi Oscar
    i need your help to choose right propeller for my 450 quadcopter. i have not test my quad yet because i cannot choose right size of propeller for my quad
    here are my components
    2212/13 t 1000kv brushless motor
    30amp esc
    Q450 frame
    3s lipo 3000mah 30c constant
    and the total weight of my quadcopter is 850-900 grams i am not doing any fpv like thing so please help me to decide right size of propeller Thank you
    please reply

  12. Sebastian


    I have been reading a lot here!!! Really great info all around!

    I am about to build my own first 250mm quad, and I am still a bit unsure about the motor prop combination.
    Was thinking about going Cobra 2204 1960KV with Gemfan 5030, the same setup as you used in your ZMR250 Mini H Quad Build.
    But since the Cobra 2204 1960kv are hard to get I was looking around and found the DYS BE1806 2300kv. The data on the Rotorgeeks website looks nice!
    I would like to use 4S, and I am thinking to get these ESCs even if they are a bit too overpowered.

    The rest if highly comparable to your ZMR250 Mini H Quad Build:
    ZMR 250, Flip32+ (Cleanflight), Taranis, MinimOSD and maybe a PDB for the ZMR250

    Any ideas and thoughts about the motor/prop combination from you would be awesome!

    Thanks for all your help so far (from reading your website)

  13. Vishwanath

    Hi Oscar,
    i need a small help regarding selecting the right propeller size and motor KV (brushless) ?
    In order to fly my quadcopter i need a thrust of each motor 600 GRAMS i.e my total weight of quadcopter is 2500 GRAMS .
    MOTOR -_______(KV)

    THANKS !!! in advance

  14. Poply

    Hi Oscar.
    My question may sound awkward.
    So, can you tell me the specification of a BLDC (for quad) if the weight we wanna lift is 60kg? It’s not impossible right? Please do reply.

  15. Noah Alley

    I was looking at doing a a x8 rotter design for a senior project any suggestion on what type of battery and moters i should use

  16. marcel

    hi there
    your blog is great thank you for this..
    my name is Marcel im from czech republic….
    so my question is how i can improve longer time in air….
    i have this quadcopter…
    total weight is between 650g to 700g without gopro and gimbal….im not sure what battery is best for use ….3s battery but how many Mah for best economy…
    also if i can improve propeller or motors for longest time in air….
    im sorry for this questions but im new…)))))
    best regards

    1. Oscar Post author

      it’s difficult to say without actually test it, every quad setup is different.
      I think for your setup, 3S 2600mah would be a good one.
      But to identify the best capacity VS flight time, check out this post.

  17. Amit

    I am working on a project that has a bot of about 40kgs. Can you suggest motors and prop sizes suitable to lift the bot up?

  18. Kumar Shubham

    Hi Oscar! While I found this article very interesting and useful (thanks for that), yet there are a few doubts of mine which I believe you will be able to sort out.
    I am making a quadcopter for aerial photography, so I have excessive weight in my system. Consequently, I will need more thrust and hence propellers with shorter pitch should be what I am looking for. However, shorter pitch will mean that my drone will take more number of revolutions (and ultimately power) to lift up by the same distance as a drone with propellers having higher pitch would. What should be my approach then- high pull-up capacity with slower pull-up, or low pull-up capacity with(if it works) faster pull-up? Please suggest some dimensions.

  19. jedichen121

    Hi bro,

    I’ve been wondering where did you get the spec of the motor you showed as example. I couldn’t find data like suggested prop, or thrust on the hobbyking website link you posted. Thank you very much.

  20. Mufaddal

    hello bro…
    i want to get thrust of 7.5 kg..means i want to lift 15 kg of weight…i cannot understand which type of motors & which types rotor blade, i can use..i also want flight time around 25 there is an issue about power..for this specification i have to design he whole thing from the start.. i know this is difficult but if you could give me a hint,it will be very nice of you..

    1. Oscar Post author

      first, find out what thrust you are after, then decide on prop size.
      this you will find how much current you will expect and you what ESC you should use.
      but looks like this motor is rated at 16 max current anyway, i think 20A ESC would do (for props smaller than 16 inch)

  21. Pratik

    HI Bro,
    i am using these parts. please tell me which parts should i use

    Avionic PRO C2822 KV1400 brushless motor 41g(from
    DYS BE1806-13 Brushless Motor for Multirotor (2300KV) 24g(from

    5030 Carbon Fiber Propellers CW and CCW Rotation (1pair)(from

    please suggest me a esc for the motors

  22. raj

    i have doubt about the orientation of motor. Some motors like ‘EMAX Motor MT2213’ have the proper orientation clock wise or anti clock wise but other don’t.How to choose motors in that case??

    1. Oscar Post author

      Note that EMAX motors come in Clockwise and Counter Clockwise threads for securing the props to the motors, to avoid loosing props mid-flight… you need two CW and two CCW ..

      1. raj

        thanks, while choosing the propellers , is it necessary to follow the recommended suggestion given on the motor. I have calculated my own thrust using static thrust calculator which is totally different from the suggested one.

        Prop: 10×4.5 with 3S Lipo (11.1V)
        8×4.5 with 4S Lipo (14.8V)
        Max Thrust: 850gms with 3S or 750gms with 4S
        ESC: 20A
        KV: 935/V Wt: 55Gms

      2. Oscar Post author

        It’s not necessary, but it’s safer. Try and see if you can find any thrust tests online, done by third parties. Compare the data and find the best size prop.
        Or if you are still not sure, doing your own thrust test it’s not difficult.

  23. James G. Peter

    Hi, i want to know the real price of Hexacopter Motors with different manufactres, i hope i would see my reply through my email. And i haved prepared everything such as frame, Camera, and Controller but Motors and ESC we don’t have it in our area. i hope you guys you can help me where to get six (6) Motors and six (6) ESC for my new project “Hexacopter”.

    Do you guys export it if i buy it from your company? am in Nigeria – Leaving in Borno State. how many days will take you to bring it back wen i purchase it.

  24. Shivam

    Hey nice article above.
    I am a first year college student.My friends and I are planning to make a very basic quadcopter. We are having problems regarding specifications of motor and battery. It would be very nice if you could help us out. Our quadcopter should be around 1100 grams(1.1kg). We are planning to use wood for frame. It would be very helpful if you could tell what kind of motor should we use and how powerful battery should be sufficient. We plan to use 4 motors and 1 battery only.

  25. Vignesh

    Hello bro,
    I am making a quadcopter using the following parts
    1)hextronik nanowii V01 from HK site
    2)multistar motor type 2213 935KV
    3)10*45 propeller
    4)3 cell 3000mAh tunigy battery
    5)turnigy plush 30Amps*2 for two motors and 25Amps*2 for the other motors
    6)Flysky controller model FS-CT6B.

    So far I have fully assembled my quad all the motor direction and all connections are correct.I used multiwii to program my nanowii controller,so i have set as #define MINTHROTTLE 1150 and #define MAXTHROTTLE 2000 also i calibrated my ESC initially using the #define ESC_CALIB_CANNOT_FLY command in the config.h of the multiwii.ino,but I am facing a problem.
    After I arm the motors and star to raise my throttler one of my motors(rear-right) is staying constant at 1150 for a while while the other three motors raise up.After sometime the fourth motor(rear-right) also increase and at full throttle three motors are running at 1960rpm while the fourth motor(rear right motor) runs at 1660rpm(as seen from the multiwii GUI). Even during the flight it has terrible problems during take off in fact it is not taking off since three motors are at a higher throttle it tumbles over rapidly. Please Help..

    1. Oscar Post author

      Hi Bro, First of all, why are you running 2 different types of ESCs?
      you need four identical ESCs, Then calibrate your ESCs and try again.

  26. puja

    hi oscar, i’ve a doubt. how much weight of propellers are used in helicopters? is each copter can have different speifications r same?

    1. Oscar Post author

      propellers are usually a few grams, of course that depends on the prop size. Usually the weight of the prop can be ignored, size, pitch and material are what matter.

  27. Mike

    Hi Oscar, love your website! New to the scene and looking into building my first EMAX 250 Carbon Fiber FPV. I do not know the pros and cons of motor size between these two. EMAX MT 2204 2300KV or the EMAX MT 1806 2280 kv. After reading this article I assume the 2204 size will draw more power and less fly time. Besides that fact, what kind of characteristics between these two motors will be different?

  28. Nothing

    My model weight specification is:
    – Model weight : 800gram
    – 1400KV motors from Mystery
    – 40A Skywalker ESCs with BLHeli firmware.
    But when I use 8*4.5 propeller, it can’t take off. So, I decide to use 10*4.5 propeller and each motor provides about 600g of thrust. But after small time of running, motors are hot. I wonder if it’s ok or not?
    P/s: the battery is ok, not hot at all.

    1. Oscar Post author

      10 inch prop might be too large for these motors. the recommended prop is 9inch for 3S lipo. What’s the max thrust you can produce with these motor?

  29. Vignesh

    I have got a doubt . I feel like most of the thrust generated by the propellers are being wasted since they are open, So my question is that if it we use some conical enclosure under each motor and propeller assembly and thereby channelizing the power(thrust) or the flow of air, can we achieve greater flight time and greater stability since the interference of the air flow between the motors is reduced? Am I right or wrong?

    1. Oscar Post author

      I think that’s an interesting idea I have not thought about. I am sure I have seen it somewhere, but that’s not a common setup, probably for a reason.
      Somehow I am concerned about the outward air flow within the conical enclosure will bounce off the wall, and interfere the main flow of air even more.
      I can see this theory needs a lot of experiments to verify, and can get extremely academic and deep… :D

      1. Lynn Sim

        Ducted fans, propellers with a short cylindrical tube around each propeller should increase the directionality of the airflow, thus reducing any turbulence caused from mixing with the air form the other propellers, thereby maybe increasing the thrust. However, I’m not sure that the extra weight added by the cylinders would offset the slight gain in thrust. As you noted, good material for experimentation.

    2. oliver

      you add weight which is way more than gained FT.
      plus, you have optimized it for hover, as soon as you start flying in any horizontal direction, airflow changes from vertical to (mainly) horizontal

  30. Radboud

    If i want bigger payload such like a camera on micro Brussless motors. Should i use larger props? Stock is 14cm. I use 15cm witch is better performens and stability. I am wondering of i could use 21 cm props. Would iT give me more stability?

    1. Oscar Post author

      it doesn’t work like that. It depends on how much torque your motor can generate. larger props requires more torque, if your motor cannot deliver it, it will just draw more current and produce less lift, it might burn your motor and ESC.
      You should be able to find out what is the maximum size prop you can use from your motor data sheet.
      Generally smaller props give better stability, because the faster change of RPM.

  31. Alun

    Hi, I am building a 450 alien X quadcopter total weight so far is 1000g.. 25amps q brain 4 in 1 speed controller,no fpv equipment yet but will be adding once i learn to fly….Anyway I have mistakingly ordered sunnysky x2212 1400kv motors… thinking they were the 980 kv ones..!!!!. So have the wrong motors, these took 6 weeks to turn up so dont want to send them back and wait another 6 weeks… the quad is almost ready to fly… i have some graphs of the motor specs if you need them.. any suggestions as to what prop size to run… for an easy quad to operate while i learn i dont want speed just longish flight times, currently have 2 2200mah batteries… please advise….

    thanks Al…..

  32. kaluya moses

    Thanks a lot Oscar for the generous heart to all drone /flight hobbyist like myself now I think now I have got the way to my vision. Though i come from third world country ( uganda) but think you will able to guide me where possible please!
    best regards moses kaluya.

    1. Oscar Post author

      You are welcome Kaluya! it doesn’t matter where we are from, we all love this hobby and we are all having the same fun doing it :D

  33. Ariel

    Hi there,

    Love your blog, it’s no. 1 regarding to getting info and news about multicopters.
    I have a question concerning the meaning of the motor no. let’s say that here you talk about the 18-11 2000kv Micro Brushless Outrunner (10g) So what would the 1811 mean and I already understand that the 2000 in this case is the rpm.
    Another example to my question: I saw this multistar 2206-2150kv on HK, again what the 2206 mean?

    Thank you (-:

    1. Oscar Post author

      1811 is basically the indicator of the motor size.
      first two digit is the diameter (width) of the motor bell, last two digit is the height of the motor.
      so for example, 2204, is a “fatter”, wider motor, but shorter than 1811.

      It indirectly implies, the power of the motor: the fatter and taller the motor is, usually it’s more powerful and heavier too. Also the motor mount screw holes might be different according to the size. But this is not always the case, check datasheet before buying.


  34. sunny

    buddy i want to add a bit of transformers stuff , quadcopter automated to transformer in to all wheel drive car (4 wheels power by 4 motors) but i have no knowledge on electronics it’s not my cup of tea .could you suggest type of micro processor i should look,so that it can work as both automated /semi automated quadcopter and car .it also perform transformation from quadcopter to car then car to quadcopter

    1. Oscar Post author

      wow, that is going to be a huge project if you are doing it alone!
      I would say an Arduino Mega, or two Arduino nano would be ideal.
      There is already open source multicopter project on the Arduino, all you need to do is write the code for the car, and put it together!

  35. Vishal

    I got confused at your equation for required thrust. Maybe you should write it as

    Required Thrust Per Motor, to avoid come confusion.

    otherwise great article!

  36. deepanshu tiwari

    Sir please tell me what is the airfoil section which is used here in the propeller.I want to know how the cord and camber length varies along the radius.which section airfoil we must choose.

  37. Aman Gupta

    Dear Oscar,

    I’m Aman Gupta, class X from Kota (Rajasthan).

    I just want to know some best online stores for motors. I’m making it for the first time so I want it second hand. Can I get it within 150 to 300 rs?

    With best regards,
    Aman Gupta

    1. Vignesh

      Lol you cannot get any motors for 150 to 300 rs. And I don’t know if you can get the motors in second hand. And also I wont recommend it. Just Buy from Hobbyking brand new and you are good to go.

  38. Tomas Preece


    Was nice and useful to find your blog! thumbs up for that!!!.

    My question is the next one:

    i recently buyed a tarot 650 Carbon fiber quadcopter with 3d gimbal

    and i bought this motors:

    NTM Prop Drive Series 35-48A 1100kv / 640w

    i need to know if they are enough to lift an estimated 4kg. of payload (or if im dreaming).

    i will use this propellers:

    Carbon Fiber Propellers 13X4×4%20carbon

    and this ESC:

    Hobbyking 70amp OPTO ESC with 5 Amp External UBEC

    also which setup of batteries (4S) do you recomend for a flight time near 20 minutes or more? one big battery or 2 in parallel? which size of propellers do you reccomend for that setup to maximize my flight time??

    Thanks a lot for your time it is very appreciated.

    Please if you can write me back at my email it would be awesome! so i can reply right away!

  39. vava

    i want to make a hexacopter which could carry 4 kg weight can u help me in choosing the correct motor-propeller combination? :(

  40. 3Dprintedvtail500mm

    hello guy newbie here who 3Dprinted his own vTail quad and outfitted with 1100kv turnigy motors and 11*5 props on a 4s LiPo 3k MAh with a kk2.1.5 board all setup and all but i have a few Q’z b4 i blast off…

    ok i wud like to hear
    pros vs cons as far as my setup ?
    chud i change props?
    will i be able to fly high (clouds)?
    will it be fast or slow?

    i guess this are my main questions , i rather ask before i fly and crash lol

  41. 3DprintedVtaill500

    hi guys i have a newbie question , im running a vtail 500mm 3D printed at home and im putting turnigy 1100kv motor with 11*5 props and a 4s 3k mah and a kk2.1.5 board ……

    any confidence in taking off?
    should i change props?
    will this setup get me high?
    what might be the pros vs con that i might exp?

    im like in my final stage but dont want to risk it so rather ask first

  42. Tristan Semmelhack

    Thank you very much!! I will look into better motors and/or reducing weight.

    P.S- I am also being supervised by a parent! Thanks for your concern though.

  43. Tristan Semmelhack


    I am a 12 year old and have built a small 330 size quad. I am slightly worried about my motors not being powerful enough for the quad. My quad specs are 1.1kg, D2822 Turigy Aerodrive 1100kv Motors (which have a thrust amount of 540g per motor) and a 2200mah, 3s 40c lipo battery. Am I straining my motors? Oddly, the battery, ESCs and motors are barely warm at all after flight. I also carry a gopro and the motors and other parts are fine. I look a the dji phantom which is much lighter and it has 935kv motors… Am I missing something? The quadcopter is also still quite maneuverable has normal flight characteristics as my others. Just want to make sure I don’t damage my quad!

    P.S. I am running 8*4.5in props for lifting more!


    1. Tristan Semmelhack

      Update: the weight is actually 1.2 kg and the motors are also quite warm now after flight and with a go pro, I take off at 1/2 throttle (a bit more in fact). Without a go pro, I take off at less than 1/2 throttle.

      1. Oscar Post author

        Hi Tristan,

        it’s great to see young minds like you picking up this hobby. But I am concerned about your safety since you are only 12! Are you being supervised by an adult when doing this project?
        Quadcopter is not a toy, it can be very dangerous!

        what you have is flyable. But I would use stronger motors, because 330 size quad should be very agile being able to do arobatics, you probably want to have 1:3 weight to thrust ratio, that means having 3KG of thrust in total, 750g thrust per motor would have been better.

        But I think 1.2KG for a 330 size quad, is a bit heavy. I think normally that size should be around 800 to 900 grams (including gopro).
        try to reduce the weight down, and use your current motor should be fine.

  44. Muhammad Ahmad

    I want to make an airplane of weighted about 1.5 kg including all access.
    An esc of 30 amp . A battery of max 2200 mah . 9g micro servo. So which motor you would refer me.
    In runner or out runner , of which rpm and efficency and thrust and propeller size.
    Tell me about that model which is easily available in pakistan and best for me.
    Thankful to you.

  45. Fonse

    Hello, I have a beginner’s question.
    Generally speaking which type of motor will draw more power,
    The Low Kv or the High Kv motor?

    I’m building a quad and I want to get a few more minutes of flying time and I don’t know if I should use a 1000 kv motor or something around 700kv, I know I’ll be using different size propr obviously but which motor requires more power to spin?

    1. Oscar Post author

      Hi, If it’s the same model motor, the higher KV motor will draw more current with the same voltage and prop. For example, the Cobra 2204 2300KV will draw more current (higher power) than the Cobra 2204 1960KV at 3S battery.

  46. Afshin

    I want to make a quad for lifting about 1 kg.and so i required parameter of motor , propeller size and battery required on it.(min flight time is 10 min).
    Thank you very much.

  47. Imi


    Usually I order from hobbyking, but I can’t find at the thrust data in the data sheet of the motors.
    How can I calculate the thrust of the motors? If it possible of course.
    What would you recommend (motor and prop) for 2kg weights fpv flying?

    My quadcopter: SK450 with “landing gear”, KK2, turngy plush 30A, NTM Prop Drive Series 28-26A 1200kv / 286w, 1045 prop.

    First I tried to fly this config with 845 prop, but it could not take off, then I changed to 1045. It lfew for a while but I recognized the motors where to hot, and the battery also, so I stopped. I knew this config won’t enough strong for that flying but I had to try it.

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Oscar Post author

      there is no way you can calculate the thrust of a motor accurately, unless it’s provided by the manufacturer, or measured by yourself.
      have you checked the “file” tab in the product page on Hobbyking? sometimes there is a datasheet file in there, or data from some users.
      If no, try google it, I am sure someone has measured this and share on the internet.

      NTM Prop Drive Series 28-26A – This motor seems to run best with 1060 props, each motor can generate 967g thrust for 19A at 100% throttle, so this motor should be good enough for 2KG quad.

      However, also make sure your battery’s C rating is high enough.
      Good luck!

  48. sandeep krishna

    Thanks for ur valuable comment sir, i would also like to know what will be the flying time with 10×4.5 prop and above said configuration sir.
    And Sir as soon the buzzer of the low voltage alarm starts we need to land the quad sir?

  49. sandeep krishna

    hi sir ,im planning to make a quad the estimated weight with components in 950g-1kg
    i planning to use 30A esc, 980 kv motor, 3300mAh battery 25c/50c(burst) which propellor to choose for this configuration sir ( weight of battery 247g)

    1. Oscar Post author

      I would suggest to try 9 inch and 10 inch propellers, see which is better.
      9 inch should give you better stability, but 10 inch will give you longer flight time.

    1. Oscar Post author

      Total weight of your quad?
      Max Thrust of your motors for the battery you are using?
      Current draw of your motors?
      C rating of your battery?

  50. mohammad ebrahiminejad

    i have read a book about quads and for blade aerodynamics and trust calculating i need some data about the propellers blade airfoil like drag and lift and some angles.
    how can i find these things?i need a can i find it?

    1. Oscar

      you don’t need a university degree to build a quad, forget about “aerodynamics”. Follow what I mentioned in the post and you should be fine. usually thrust data are provided on the product page on the websites, given the size of the prop.

    1. Oscar

      Let’s have a look.
      What is the total weight of your quad when take off, and what is the spec of your motors? (thrust at battery voltage 3.7V per cell, and current draw at that thrust). Size of your battery? (C-rating, capacity and weight)


    I want to make a quad copter for HD video recording . so total weight is around 3.5 or 4 kg so i required parameter of motor , propeller size and battery required on it.

    1. Oscar

      that’s heavy
      you are looking at motors that can produce more than 2KG of thrust each, that is going to be expensive.
      I have never built anything this big before so I can’t give you any useful advice.


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