Propel RC is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Drone vs Quadcopter: Explained in Details (2021)

By: Propel RC
Updated On: October 19, 2021

With the increasing demand for recreational drones, new types of drones are coming into the market every now and then with new vocabulary that raises few questions like What are the differences between the Drone vs Quadcopter? Which one is better between the Drone vs Quadcopter?

Well, Quadcopter seems to be different when heard but same when seen, but still, Quadcopter somehow differs from drones in numerous ways, especially when they are taken into the perspective of their daily usage.

The Quadcopter is basically an unmanned aircraft that flies by using four rotors fixed at its endpoints, while the Drone is a heavier version of Quadcopter and can carry heavy payloads such as cameras or recording equipment.

Quadcopters are mainly used for recreational purposes, whereas drones are used for aerial photography, film making, and survey purposes. Quadcopters are mainly used for fun; they don't have any specific use.

While drones are widely used in various fields such as military service, police operations, or even search operations. Quadcopters are relatively cheaper than drones when compared to the latter's price range.

Quadcopters are one type of small unmanned aerial vehicle. Drones are another. The difference between the two is that a quadcopter relies on four propellers to move, while a drone has only one or more than one propeller.

But what's really important? Is it the number of blades or how they work? What matters most is whether you're buying for fun, commercial use, or research purposes. If you're looking for something with a low price but not too much power, then consider opting for a quadcopter instead of a drone.

On the other hand, if you need to do the heavy lifting and want to spend more time piloting your device, then go ahead and buy yourself that pricey Drone!

Also Read: Top Best Star Wars Drones of 2021

For better understanding, let's talk about both the devices individually,

Drone

drone vs quadcopter

A drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle. It has no onboard pilot. Drones are used for various purposes such as aerial photography, data collection, or even reconnaissance missions.

The drones can be small and light enough to fit into a backpack, or they can be large enough to carry a fully-equipped cockpit along with a jet engine and turbofan.

A drone is basically a flying robot with an onboard computer, autopilot, and flight controller. Drones are used in various fields such as military service, police operations, or even search operations. Drones are also used by hackers to perform a wide range of malicious activities.

In 2021 many drones use line-of-sight radio control, which limits the Drone's operating range to the visual horizon, about 1.75 miles (2.8 kilometers) with an altitude of 400 feet (120 meters).

This would be further reduced if flying over urban areas as this may interfere with commercial and military radars as well as terrestrial navigation systems such as GPS. A drone can be considered to be a wider term that includes Quadcopters and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Quadcopter

drone vs Quadcopter

A Quadcopter is also an unmanned aerial vehicle that consists of four rotors, usually placed at the corners of a square-shaped frame. Quadcopters are mostly used for recreational purposes, or they can be used as toys to play around with friends and family.

Quadcopters are very simple in design, and it's controlled very easily just by using your palm; you don't even need to know the basics of flying techniques to fly this Drone.

Quadcopters are lightweight devices made up of plastic materials, so they don't cause much damage when crashed, but drones are different since they are built with stronger materials such as aluminum or hard plastics, which increases their durability factor also their size depending on how you want them to be.

Quadcopters usually have a fixed amount of blades or rotors, while drones can vary from 2 to 6 or even more depending on the size and performance factors.

Quadcopters are generally used for short-term operations such as recreational activities, aerial photography, etc., but drones can serve you in many ways from visual entertainment to commercial usages such as video recording, taking photographs from above your head to help you find a suitable home/location, etc.

Basically, drones are built for long-term usages with high durability factors, but Quadcopters are just the opposite which makes them cheap when compared to high drone prices.

Comparison between Drone vs Quadcopter

Let's compare both in detail by different aspects:

Drone vs Quadcopter

Durability

Quadcopters generally have a fixed number of blades or rotors. If you've ever seen videos of quadcopters crashing, then you know that it's not the most durable device in the world. Your propellers will break, and your motors can burn out if crashed at high speed.

On the other hand, drones are built with more advanced technologies; they cost far more than a quadcopter, and they offer built-in durability factors such as strong materials (metal or hard plastics), redundancy systems, etc., which make them perfect for heavy usage scenarios like commercial usages.

Motor

Quadcopters and drones are both unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), but unlike Quadcopters, Drones use more powerful motors to lift their heavy structure, which results in high speed and fast movements, while Quadcopters are lightweight devices with low power motors making Quadcopters less bulky than drones.

Material

A quadcopter is a simple device made up of plastic material, while a Drone, on the other hand, can be built with strong materials such as aluminum or hard plastics. This makes drones more durable than Quadcopters because Quadcopters usually get destroyed when crashed into any obstacle, while drones can handle multiple crashes without damages which makes them expensive too when compared to Quadcopter costs.

Connectivity

Quadcopters and drones both require an onboard computer, autopilot, and flight controller, but Quadcopters are operated by using line-of-sight radio control, while drones can be controlled using Wi-Fi, satellite connection, or even Bluetooth.

Drones offer better functionality when compared to Quadcopters because Quadcopters are designed for short-term usage, whereas drones can serve you in many different fields at the same time like commercial, military services, etc.

Use

Quadcopters are mostly used for recreational purposes, or they can be used as toys to play around with friends and family, while drones are widely used in various fields, starting from police operations to search missions or video recording of important events.

Quadcopters cannot perform more than one task at a time, where drones can perform multiple tasks simultaneously, which results in Quadcopters being cheap and disposable while Drones are expensive and can be used for long term usages.

Number of Blades

Quadcopters have a fixed number of blades or rotors, while drones can vary from 2 to 6 or even more depending on the size and performance factors which mean Quadcopters are easier to maintain than drones where you need to change each propeller blade individually as it gets damaged instead of replacing one whole rotor section as in case of drones.

Quadcopter parts are also cheap when compared to drone parts, but Quadcopter prices are really low, so if your Quadcopter crashes, no big deal, buy another one and keep flying like nothing happened, whereas drone prices may go beyond thousands of dollars because they're built with high-quality materials and can perform many different tasks, so Quadcopters are disposable while drones have a long term usage factor.

Regulations

Drones are mostly used for commercial purposes with the permission of local authorities, but Quadcopters can be used as toys, so it is not required to follow local laws and regulations, which means you can fly your Quadcopter without much hassle, but drones need permission to fly, so if you don't follow the rules, drone operation may get restricted.

Pricing

A quadcopter kit will cost you somewhere around $20-$150, whereas a ready-to-fly (RTF) drone kit costs anywhere from $50 to over a thousand dollars depending on their performance factors and material structures, which make drones almost three times more expensive than Quadcopters when both are compared by price factor alone.

Drone vs Quadcopter: Which is better ?

Drone vs Quadcopter

This is a question that cannot be answered without a lot of buts because it depends on the purpose of the buyer. Quadcopters are mostly used for recreational purposes, or they can be used as toys to play around with friends and family, while drones are widely used in various fields, starting from police operations to search missions or video recording of important events.

Drones offer better functionality when compared to Quadcopters because Quadcopters are designed for short-term usage, whereas drones can serve you in many different fields at the same time like commercial, military services, etc.

It really depends on your needs because if you're looking for a cheap yet durable device that will last longer than usual, go for Quadcopter, but if you want commercial use, product differentiation flexibility, then goes for drones.

Either way, both devices have their own pros and cons while also reaching some common points like less operating time, no obstacle avoidance system, etc., so you need to compare both of them and choose one that suits your needs the best after considering all the facts.

Conclusion

Quadcopters and drones are both unmanned aerial vehicles, but they differ from each other in their durability factors where Quadcopters are cheap but lack high durability levels, where Quadcopters also require line-of-sight radio control for operation, unlike drones which can be controlled using Wi-Fi, satellite connection or even Bluetooth.

Drones offer better functionality than Quadcopters because Quadcopters are designed for short-term usage where Quadcopter parts are replaceable individually as they get damaged instead of replacing it with one whole rotor section like in the case of drones. Quadcopter costs are low, whereas drone prices may go beyond thousands of dollars due to the high-performance levels and improved durability.

Drones and quadcopters are both great tools for aerial photography, but they have their own set of pros and cons. If you're considering purchasing a drone or a quadcopter, the decision can be tough to make- that's why we created this blog post!

We hope this helps you decide which is best for your needs. In general, drones offer better quality photos due to the way they fly as well as their ability to carry heavier payloads than most quadcopters on the market today.

However, if portability is important to you, then a quadcopter may be ideal because many models fit in backpacks with ease. They also tend to cost less upfront than an equivalent size drone does, so there might not be as big of a financial barrier to entry.

magnifiercross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram