Choosing a quadcopter kit for your first DIY drone build is a very smart choice, as it makes things easier, yet still satisfying.
In this article I’m going to cover most questions one might have about acquiring a quadcopter kit, what parts you might be missing and which are the best drone kits on the market.
Even though the kit itself will come with the parts already tested and compatible with one another, you still need to learn the basic build of a drone to make sure you have everything and understand the basics.
I have written a complete detailed article on how to build an FPV drone that explains things a lot better.
There are more types of drone kits, as we’ll see down below, but here are the main components that you’ll find in a typical DIY drone:
The minimum amount of tool you need in such a build are some soldering tools, but here’s what I would buy if I was a beginner:
A soldering iron - This is by far the most important piece of equipment if you are working on a DIY drone as you’ll need something to solder all those wires with.Buying a good one will make a difference, so don’t go cheapest with this choice.
4 in 1 hex screwdriver - Pretty much the best tool you can get, this Hex screwdriver from Banggood is the one I use and works amazing for pretty much every screw you’ll face.
Pair of wire clippers - Anything really works when it comes to clippers so choose one of these from amazon.
Multi tester - You’ll need at some point to test the voltage or make sure something doesn’t get a short. A multimeter will be super helpful.
A good Lipo Charger - This one is a budget one I recommend that’s still very good ( I don’t recommend buying cheaper than this)
You’ll find that quadcopter kits can vary quite a lot, but the ones I present on this list are situated somewhere between $100 and $700, the typical quadcopter kit costing about $300 for everything.
When thinking about why you’d want to build your own quadcopter, I need to emphasize that you won’t be able to build something better than big companies like DJI, so there’s pretty much one main advantage to doing this: the satisfaction of having built something of your own.
In this section we’ll have a look at my top quadcopter kits, and while I do have them in a list, each is the best in their own category, like FPV or camera drone kit etc, so make sure to check them all.
The qWinOUt 450mm Airframe is my top choice as the Best quadcopter kit on this list, but you definitely need to check the others, as it depends a lot on what you want to build in the first place.
RTF means ready to fly, and that’s why this quadcopter is on this list because it’s quite a hassle to buy a kit and needing to buy additional parts for it afterward.
It’s an overall great build with solid parts and even a GPS module and battery included in the package.
It comes with the FLysky FS i6 which is one of my top recommended drone controllers for beginners.
Unfortunately, I haven’t found any solid FPV quadcopter kits, so I built one myself.
You can check my full article on how to build an FPV drone and the parts you need to buy for it.
In my opinion, building an FPV quadcopter is the most worth it out of all of these quadcopter builds, as the final result might be even better than what you can currently find RTF on the market.
It’s an intermediate level FPV build with the following components:
Another drone from QWinOut, this is a smaller quadcopter compared to the first one on the list and doesn’t come with a ready-to-fly package, as you won’t receive the transmitter in the package (but it’s great if you already have your own transmitter).
This drone comes with motors, frame, propellers, flight controller and GPS, but there are some parts like the camera mount that you might need if you want a camera build. You’ll also need to buy your own battery for it to work.
If you want to have your kids building something, using their brains, and cooperating with each other, this might be the best solution.
It’s a simple to install mini quadcopter kit that comes with everything included, from the batteries to the motors, propellers, and even lego building blocks for the body.
The kids will have to solder the wires of the quadcopter, so make sure to have a soldering iron.
Overall a great choice if you want to teach your kids something and help them feel accomplished.
One of the best drones under $100, now coming in the EDU build which allows you to program the behaviour of the drone in Scratch, python and swift. This programming also works with the standard version of the tello (I tested it myself).
It’s awesome for teaching kids programming (and pretty much anyone), as it’s way cooler to see your programming have a direct effect in real life.
The drone has a 12 minute battery life, electronically stabilized camera and can even do some interesting stunts.
Let's see a few more details you should know about foldable drones before you head out and buy one.
Usually the batteries are not included in quadcopter kits, as there can be issues during shipping (especially if they come from China).
However, the first drone on the list does come with an included battery and is shipped locally through amazon.
I did search online quite a bit for a good quadcopter kit that comes with a decent camera but couldn’t find anything. That is because usually the camera is modular anyway and you typically have two choices, either get an FPV camera and use FPV goggles or get a Gopro or any other action camera to record with it.
Building a drone is very entertaining and educational, and whatever you build from this list, it’s going to be a lot of fun and the surefire way to get your project ready and not worry about parts not matching is by buying the perfect quadcopter kit for the job.