How to choose: buying a quadcopter VS building your own

ByGB Blog Official 2016-10-09 3491

Build or buy your quadcopter? Each way has pros and cons, we can help you make the right choice. Our handy guide is packed full of tips to get you up and flying in no time!

Build or buy your quadcopter? Each way has pros and cons, we can help you make the right choice. Our handy guide is packed full of tips to get you up and flying in no time!

Buying a New Quadcopter

Motivation is the best teacher, but taking the DIY route requires a significant amount of preparation, patience and time. If you’re not experienced (or keen) in assembling tech or doing DIY work, buying is much more convenient.

(1) Main Pros

a. Good to go

You can enjoy your brand new quadcopter right out of the box, and start flying literally within minutes! All the hard work is already done –just install a few crucial items, e.g. battery, camera, and propellers.


b. Enjoy after-sale protection

Any reputable seller will generally be able to provide you with technical assistance to resolve difficulties. For quadcopter pilots who lack a strong technical background, this can be worth its weight in gold.


c. No learning curve

Building a drone is really not a job for the faint-hearted, and is more suited for highly technical minds. If you have no previous RC assembly experience, we strongly recommend purchasing a complete drone package; this is the preferred option for most.


(2) Main Cons

a. Relatively high cost

Compared with assembling a drone by yourself, buying a new one is significantly more expensive. While great deals exist on pre-assembled drones, there is still a price premium so budget accordingly.


b. Cannot be refitted arbitrarily

Generally, most drones comes assembled and ready for action. However, it’s not easy to make significant refits, upgrades or changes. Customers also need to consider parts availability, compatibility, and mounts.

Building your own Quadcopter

For those with a clearly defined technical interest, this a fantastic way to gain hands-on practical experience. If you have the confidence and the know-how, here are the plus and minuses.

(1) Main Pros

a. Much more affordable

Building a drone by yourself will help you to cut down spending. It does mean you have to invest some time but you definitely save money.


b. Customization options are almost limitless

Customization means there are many spare parts (including after-market designs) that can be utilized and integrated into your DIY drone. Every part can also be replaced with something bigger or better.


(2) Main Cons

a. Particularly time consuming

Even for seasoned builders, constructing your own drone require a lot of preparation, time and dedication. Prior to assembly, ordering and checking constituent parts is also required.


b. Minimal technical support

If you encounter difficulties during the delicate installation process, you generally have to figure out the solution for yourself. Online resources (e.g. forums, video guides, and social media) exist, however these might not be designed for amateurs.


c. High in technical requirements

Building a UAV as an amateur is an incredible, yet rewarding, challenge for any of us. It’s a great way to build solid technical foundation, however it still requires a learning curve!


Conclusion: Dream big, start small

We hope this how-to guide highlights the clear advantages and disadvantages between buying a new quadcopter and building your own. We know it’s often hard to make a decision. However, we feel that the easiest way to get started with RC quadcopters is to buy one that suits your own individual needs. Our bestselling JJRC H8 mini quadcopter is perfect for amateurs to intermediate pilots – it’s feature packed yet affordable and our top pick. 


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