You’re probably looking for brushless drones because you know the value of having these kinds of motors in a drone instead of standard brushed ones you can find on toy drones.
In this article we’ll have a look at why you should look for a brushless drone, what are the advantages and also recommend some of the best brushless drones for each budget and requirement (from an actual drone reviewer).
Brushless motors are known as electronically commutated motors and this magnetic system means they don’t use the typical brushes found in brushed motors, making them much more durable and powerful.
All serious drones come with brushless motors, because they are superior in most ways, but also more expensive, and that’s why it’s a challenge to sometimes find a beginner drone with these types of motors.
If you're in a hurry, choose one of these 3 brushless drones that I consider to be the best in their own respective category, be it a mini brushless drone or simply a beginner one. These are in the lower range of prices, so if you want something more serious, read the entire article.
Let’s have a more in depth look at the difference between brushed and brushless motors when it comes to drones specifically.
The main point anyone can draw from this is that the Brushed motors only have the advantage of price and size, being able to be used in cheaper and smaller drones.
Last much longer
Durability is considerably enhanced
Don’t heat as fast
They don’t require maintenance
They are more expensive than the brushed motors
They are usually larger than brushed ones
You choose a brushless drone like any other drone, but people are usually looking for brushless camera drones these days.
Here are the most important things to look for when choosing a brushless drone:
In this section we'll look at some of my most recommended drones, from some of the best brushless quadcopters to some cheaper and sorted by a budget
One of the drones I recommend the most on this site and to my friends, the Mini 2 is definitely the best brushless mini drone under 250 grams at the time of writing this article.
It really doesn’t have much competition in terms of specs for a camera drone this small. The 31-minute battery life, 10 km range, 4k very sharp camera and even good wind resistance make it a great choice even for professional use in some cases.
It is the drone I use the most as a travel drone and definitely one of the smallest brushless drones you can get. Those motors are strong enough to handle winds really well as I’ve shown here in this video comparing the DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2 vs the Mini.
The fact that the mini 2 comes with a stabilized 3 axis gimbal is also pretty impressive for the size making some of the best stabilized footage you can get for the price.
The DJI Air 2s is one of the best professional brushless camera drones you can buy especially if you're looking for a very compact drone.
It comes at a very reasonable price for what it can do and is used both by professional photographers and videographers in commercial ways as well as hobbyists who want to take amazing footage and have a really sold drone.
One of its main features is the outstanding follow me as well as obstacle avoidance capabilities as it comes with all around sensors and a very capable software behind it.
The 1 inch sensor is quite rare to be found in drones of this size and it delivers great low light footage and photos as it can capture more light than a typical one.
The SwellPro Spry + is one of the most affordable yet awesome waterproof brushless drones you can buy.
If you're interested in fishing with a drone, flying a lot over the ocean or if you're boating a lot, this might be the most fun and safe choice you can make.
It also comes with a very fast flying mode and even an acrobatic mode where it behaves like an FPV drone, if you ever get bored of flying the drone in GPS mode.
The camera doesn't have a 3 axis gimbal like all of DJI drones, but instead it uses EIS (electronic Image stabilization) to stabilize the footage without adding too much weight.
This makes it a very durable and overall sturdy drone. One of the reasons for which it has to be like this is it's ability to float on water and even swim underwater in some cases!
It's range isn't the best however, so you'll have to stick around 500 meters from the controller, which in most cases is the legal distance for travel so you still have it in sight. It comes with a pair of FPV goggles which allows you to experience flight from a first person perspective, as well as without any lag or delay (thanks to the 5.8 ghz system).
And of course, being a GPS drone it does return to home at the point in space where the controller is, as well as come with the follow me option and orbit modes.
My favorite GPS drone under $200 by far, the SJRC F11 4k PRO is an outstanding folding quadcopter that comes with a 2 axis stabilized gimbal + EIS for this price which is amazing.
While I have personally tested it, I must admit I had lower expectations since most drones in this price range don't deliver good quality camera or stabilization, however, I was pleasantly surprised that the footage was more than just usable, actually quite good.
It records in 4k and a pretty good one for that. It doesn't really compare to the likes of Mavic Air 2s, but after testing dozens of cheap drones in this price range I can assure you it's really hard to find a better one.
The main point is the 2 axis stabilized gimbal that really makes all the difference compared to unstabilized cameras you can find on amazon for even more than this. So don't get tricked, and trust me on this.
It's basically a smaller version of the popular Phantom models from DJI, but definitely quite far from a cheap toy drone. It's quite capable of shooting great stabilized footage for a very well deserved price.
It comes with a GPS module and therefore a return to home feature and even waypoint mode. So if you're budget is limited around this sum and you're looking for the best camera drone you can afford, the Simrex X11 is the best brushles drone under $200.
The MJX Bugs 3 doesn't have fancy features like GPS, follow me, or even a huge range, however, if you're looking for a brushless drone under $100 the Bugs 3 is definitely the answer.
It's quite incredible how good and solid this cheap brushless quadcopter is considering the rest of its competition on this level are pretty much toy drones, yet the Bugs 3 has a design capable of carrying today's large Gopros and actually some great footage out of it.
Here's an example of the footage you can get from this drone with some preparation:
If you're looking for a beginner brushless quadcopter, the machine Ex5 is what you're looking for.
Especially if you prioritize portability, the EX5 is under 250 grams, so it requires no registration and it comes with some really solid specs for the price.
Its 30 minute flight time makes it really unbeatable in the long-range category, but keep in mind, we're not comparing it with the likes of more expensive drones like the DJI MIni 2 (although it looks like it quite a lot).
It has a dual GPS setup, making it quite a lot more stable in the air compared to others in this category, but keep in mind it doesn't have a gimbal or any image stabilization, which doesn't make it a super great camera drone, but more towards an exploration quadcopter suitable for beginners.
Don't get scared by the aparently bad specs above, the Emax Tinyhawk 2 is probably the best beginner micro brushless quadcopter you can buy.
It's the best for a few reasons, but the battery life of around 6 minutes is typical for small powerful quadcopter like these. Fortunately you can change the battery quite easily.
It is used by FPV beginners to fly around the house at first and then go outside to experience a powerful tiny quad with their favorite goggles.
Thanks to the brushless motors and multiple speed modes it is suitable to face stronger winds as well as be gentle enough if it's necessary.
What's more, it comes in the package with a controller and a pair of FPV goggles so you don't really need anything else (maybe just some additional batteries).
The tinyhawk 2 can use both 1s as well as 2s batteries to make it fly faster or slower depending on the environment and of course it comes with acro mode so that you can go to the next level after you learn the basics of FPV.
This micro brushless whoop drone is not made for beginners, as it requires a more complex setup and also doesn't come with a transmitter.
iFlight Alpha A85 HD 85mm 2Inch 4S Whoop w/Caddx Nebula Digital HD
The Flight Alpha A85 HD is a 2 inch 4s whoop with a digital FPV transmission option and the caddx nebula camera, which makes it compatible with DJI FPV goggles and makes for some really amazing and crisp footage.
However, it is one of the most well reviewed online and comes with both the option to fly indoors as well as outdoors.
It comes with a few connection options including a Plug and Play version with a built in DJI receiver if you want to use the DJI FPV System.
The build quality is second to none, coming with a carbon fiber base underneath and a lot of attention given to details, including it being pre-tested before delivery.
Let's see a few more details about drones with brushless motors in general and what you might want to learn about them.
A drone that uses brushless motors is called a brushless drone and it uses motors that lacks brushes, making it more durable as well as more powerful.
Most serious professional drones come with these types of motors, yet cheaper toy drones have brushed ones to make them cheaper and lighter.
If you're buying a brushless motor drone you might want to know how long they last compared to brushed motors.
While brushed drone motors can last between 100 to 1,000 hours on average, a brushless drone motor can last well above 30,000 hours as there aren't any brushes to wear down. However, the bearings on them might give up at some point.
You probably heard brushless motors are larger and harder to use in smaller drones. If you want to buy the DJI Mavic Mini or DJI Mini 2 you're probably curious with what type of motor it comes, since it's so small.
The Mavic Mini and DJI mini 2 come with brushless motors making it a brushless drone that has typically more power and better durability compared to brushed ones.
With DJI being one of the leaders in the market you'd expect them to use some of the best components, but are they using brushless motors for all of their drones?
DJI uses brushless motors for all of their drones, including the DJI Mini series as well as the larger professional drones. The only exception is the Tello, that is actually not directly made by DJI, but in cooperation with another company called Ryze.
As a conclusion, let's see why brushless motors are so sought after in the drone industry and why people want their drones to have these.
Brushless motors are better for drones because they have a much longer lifespan since they don't have brushes that can wear down. Brushless motors are also more powerful for their size, so they are used in more professional drones that require reliability and power.