Today we’re going to go through some honest reasons why you shouldn’t buy a drone. If you find yourself in the following situations, you can of course still buy one if you choose (and we recommend that you do!).
However, we just want to mention that it may not be the best idea for everyone.
Here are 11 reasons not to buy a drone:
- Drones are considered to be ‘high maintenance’
- Drones can get expensive
- There are a lot of rules and regulations around drones
- Drones can be dangerous for you and those around you
- You’ll need to constantly check the weather before flying
- Travelling with a drone can be a hassle
- Drones can weigh a lot
- Drones are fragile
- There is a learning curve to flying drones
- Drones have gotten a bad reputation
- Drones are luxuries, not necessities
We’re hoping that by the end of this post, you will know exactly what to expect if you decide to buy your first drone.
Drones Are Considered To Be ‘High Maintenance’
Drones are considered high maintenance products as there are a lot of components in one that all need to be properly taken care of.
The drone’s propellers and batteries are some of the most common parts you will need to replace in a drone.
The propellers are probably some of the most fragile and most exposed parts of a drone.
Therefore, in every crash, they are usually the first to hit and subsequently break because of the force and the high speed (RPM) they spin at.
We highly recommend you check out our full detailed post on drone propellers including the different types, how they work, their different sizes and pitch, their materials, how to choose them and much more.
The batteries, or single battery if you don’t buy extra, are probably the most important components you will need to constantly maintain.
Drone batteries go through charge cycles (meaning how many times you fully recharge and drain a drone battery). On average, they last between 100-200 charge cycles.
Drone batteries can catch fire if there is any physical damage to the battery, such as bumps, cracks or dents.
They can also catch fire if you let them sit for long periods of time (months) as you’ll be letting them discharge (more on this later).
Finally, keeping the body of the drone clean should be done regularly in order to increase the drone’s life expectancy.
Drones Can Get Expensive
It’s safe to say that drones are quite expensive. This is obviously due to the quality of the product, the technology and features inside, and also the power and reputation of the manufacturer selling the product.
Drones can come as low-end cheap toys to high-end expensive professional tools with which people can make a living.
If you’d like to find out much more on the differences between cheap and expensive drones, how hard each are to fly, how long they can fly, some examples and what a good price for a drone is, check out our full post below:
If you think you’ll just be buying a drone and you’ll never need to pay another dollar, you’re very wrong (assuming that you use the drone).
The flight time in most drones is not very long so you may want to invest in spare batteries which are expensive (a few hundred each).
These batteries will go bad after around 100-200 charge cycles depending on how often you use them and how well you maintained them.
The numerous sets of propellers you purchase will also eat into your savings.
If you want to bring it anywhere, you’ll probably need a drone carrying case for your drone, spare batteries and other accessories.
You’ll need to register your drone in the US if it exceeds 250g.
The registration fee with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is nothing terrible as it will only cost you $5 every 3 years,
Ask yourself, are you really going to use it often enough to justify spending a few hundred, sometimes over a thousand dollars?
We recommend you go check out our post on whether or not it’s worth buying a drone where we discuss these laws, why owning a drone may be worth it and why it may not be, drone accessories, some countries that have banned drones altogether and much more!
There Are A Lot Of Rules And Regulations Around Drones
I’m sure you heard a little about the various rules and regulations many countries are now putting in place as they realise how popular drones are becoming in various fields of work.
Rules such as the no-fly zones, no flying within 8km of an airport, always maintain a visual line of sight with your drone, maximum flying height limit of 400 feet and no flying under the influence are very important rules that apply to most countries.
We have a full post that goes into important things you need to know before getting a drone. We dive into the rules and regulations mentioned above, deciding what kind of drone you want, how to be safe when operating one, should you buy or build one and much more:
Drones Can Be Dangerous For You And Those Around You
For this section, we’re going to focus mostly on the issue with drone batteries, or large batteries in general.
All drone batteries have expiration dates!
If you continue using the drone battery after it shows clear signs that it needs replaced, then it can be potentially dangerous.
If it has been damaged at all, it could catch fire. It could also sabotage your drone while it’s in the air causing it to crash.
Another issue is when the battery is left to discharge for long periods of time. This can cause the battery to catch fire.
Take note that drone batteries are most likely to catch fire when they’re charging, discharging and if the battery is physically damaged.
Discharging is when a battery loses energy/charge over a period of time or manually by deep-cycling it.
Cold weather can also negatively affect LiPo batteries.
Never charge your drone battery right after use or when they’re too hot in general. This may be indicated by your battery when you attempt to do so.
Finally, you should always keep watch when your battery is charging as it could also catch fire if you overcharge it (leave it charging after it’s reached maximum capacity).
Make sure you keep your batteries in a fireproof LiPo bag or box to prevent any accidents.
Understanding how to properly take care of your drone battery is very important and should not be taken lightly.
We recommend checking out our full post on how long drone batteries last where we dive into the average flight times for both consumer and commercial drones, including the average drone battery life expectancies, the types of drone batteries, why drones have short flight times and battery life expectancies, how to increase both and more:
It should also be noted that some individuals have been badly cut as their drone’s propellers ran into them or others. Drone propellers can do significant damage as they are relatively hard and spin at a rapid pace.
Make sure you take baby steps before going out and trying to unleash the full potential of your drone. Being safe requires you to be responsible.
You’ll Need To Constantly Check The Weather Before Flying
Weather is another factor you’ll need to take into account when owning a drone.
Drones are not perfect and can be affected by weather such as wind, rain, snow, heat and humidity.
In theory, the higher the wind speeds, the harder it is for a drone to stay balanced. Wind speed is probably the first thing you will look at before you go out to fly your drone.
You also wouldn’t want to expose your drone to rain in order to minimise the chance any water seeps into the drone and damages it
Take note that LiPo drone batteries cannot handle cold weather very well as it slows down the chemical activity within the battery resulting in shorter flight times.
Snow ties back into the cold aspects with reduced flight times and can also include water damage as snow could get stuck inside or around it and melt into its components once again.
Heat is another factor to look at and may be one of the most important. LiPo drone batteries tend to get hot very quick.
The hotter a drone battery is, the higher the chance it may catch fire, especially if you decide to put it to charge when it’s still hot.
Humidity is the final most important factor to pay attention to. Humidity affects a drone in similar ways that rain does. The more it builds up, the more your drone and equipment are at risk.
Things such as fog and precipitation are similar factors to pay close attention to if you live in an area that is more prone to these natural occurrences.
Travelling With A Drone Can Be A Hassle
Travelling with your drone can definitely be a hassle depending on the place you are travelling to and the way in which you will be travelling.
Countries such as Cuba, Algeria, Iraq, Madagascar, Morroco and many more have banned drones entirely. If you bring them to these countries, they will be seized by authorities.
If you somehow manage to smuggle them inside the country and are caught, you could face fines and possibly much more serious consequences.
It’s also important to note that some airlines do not allow LiPo batteries that surpass a certain rating, do not allow these batteries to be stored in checked baggage, and may not allow more than just a few spare batteries on-board the aircraft.
Make sure to check up on what you’re allowed to bring with you when travelling on an airline.
Drones also range in size which can become quite a challenge if you decide to bring one with you when you travel in limited spaces such as a car.
If you’d like to learn more on the different types of drones including the types according to design, payload, range, power source and use cases including some examples of both consumer, commercial and military drones, then check out our full post below:
Finally, there are many drone accessories you may need to bring that you may forget that may make it much easier to fly the drone or much safer.
These can be things such as drone battery chargers, extra batteries, anti-collision lights, extra propellers and more.
Drones Can Weigh A Lot
Another factor that ties into how easy it is to transport your drone is its weight. Some drones can be so big that you’ll constantly need a second person to carry the drone with you when you finish flying it.
This becomes challenging if you can’t get someone to help you carry the drone and makes it much harder for you to do what you love.
We have a full post on drone sizing where we go into not only the various sizes and weights of drones, but we also talk about whether the size of a drone matters, consumer, commercial and military drone sizes, how to measure the frame size of a drone and much more:
This also makes it a more difficult process depending on what country you live in just to fly the drone as you may exceed the maximum weight limit that will require a longer process to be approved to fly it.
Drones Are Pretty Fragile
When you buy your first drone, the first thing that may happen quite soon is your first crash. This is something every drone pilot has gone through and is completely normal.
Drones are not meant to last forever. You can buy and replace many of its components to make it last much longer, however, you will need to replace the drone entirely at some point in time.
Cheap consumer drones are going to need to be replaced much sooner than expensive commercial drones.
If you’d like to learn all about consumer drones, we have a full post on this topic!
Parts such as propellers and batteries are included in how fragile drones are but these parts are meant to be replaced every so often so you are not losing as much as they don’t cost as much to replace.
There Is A Learning Curve To Flying Drones
If you go straight into flying a drone without any sort of guide or training, it could get lost or you could damage it very quickly.
Drones are pretty unforgiving due to this learning curve.
They are very fragile and this can be very stressful for a drone pilot knowing that every mistake they may make could result in them completely losing their expensive flying device.
To battle this fact, you’ll need to take it slow and be as safe as possible when you take your drone out for a spin.
It will also help to understand the basics of drone anatomy and to understand how a drone flies.
These will include reading the article we linked above on drone propellers which goes into detail on how they work and more, and also reading the article we linked above on drone batteries so that you are ensuring that your drone can safely fly for as long as it can without any accidents.
Furthermore, understanding things such as the different types of payloads and how these may affect your drone’s performance is yet another important factor to take into consideration.
If you’d like to find out what a drone gimbal is, what kinds of drone gimbals are available, whether drones need gimbals, how a drone gimbal works, how to choose the right gimbal, how much they cost and much more, check out our post on this topic below:
Drones Have Gotten A Bad Reputation
Drones started out as simple tools used for war and destruction by governments trying to gain the upper hand in combat.
They were used to spy on enemies and drop bombs to name a few tasks.
Even today they are still in use, constantly being improved upon and used to fight for countries.
This fear of drones and what they are capable of has angered many over the fairly recent introduction of drones in not only professional applications, but more so in consumer applications.
These ‘weapons’ have revolutionised many industries, primarily the photography industry. They are continuing to prove themselves as tools to better mankind, and not simply war machines.
Furthermore, many do not like these devices as they can bring up some privacy issues in the sense that some have chosen to misuse them by spying on individuals while in the air.
If any individual chooses to fly their drone in a residential area for example, there will be a sort of reputation built around their name as they are simply seen in a negative light by many.
Finally, some also complain that they make loud noises which we believe is simply absurd as they are no louder, if not nearly as loud as other everyday activities that occur in areas and neighbourhoods such as the use of a lawnmower.
Drones Are Luxuries, Not Necessities
Our last point ties into all of the above points. Drones are in essence toys. They can make you a good living but are most often simply disposable.
If you don’t have sufficient disposable income then your money is most likely better spent elsewhere. This will depend of course on whether your dream for example is to fly drone for a living.
This can justify the expense but it will all depend on you at the end of the day.
If you’re buying a drone just for the sake of looking cool or just to try to impress someone, then we don’t recommend you buy one. If you have a lot of spare money lying around and you know it wouldn’t negatively impact you later on, then go for it.
We’ve already mentioned how high maintenance these ‘toys’ are. There is a lot that could go wrong at any given time.
You’ll even have to constantly take care of the drone’s battery just so it doesn’t catch fire and potentially damage or hurt something or someone.
Drones have a lot of flaws and can be a burden to you if you’re not ready to commit to take care of it.
We believe that overall it is worth the expense if you have a slight interest in them, but we would recommend buying a cheap drone to start you out.
If you feel that the above reasons we’ve mentioned in this article are enough to put you off buying a drone completely, then we strongly recommend checking out some other articles about drones so that you can at least give one a try.
Overall, whether you should buy a drone or not will depend on your current situation and the reasons above will hopefully give you closure on deciding whether you should get one or not.