Can A Drone Propeller Hurt You? [ANSWERED]

Can A Drone Propeller Hurt You? [ANSWERED] Blog

Can A Drone Propeller Hurt You? [ANSWERED]

If you’re thinking about getting a drone for one of your kids you might be worried if a drone will be able to hurt them. I know I was. So I did some research and here’s what I discovered.

So can drones hurt you, or are they safe? The short answer is drones aren’t safe at all. While smaller drone blades might not be able to cut into your skin, they can get enough speed to fly into your face and take out an eye. However, larger drones could do even more damage. Their blades are strong enough to cut through the skin and cause severe bleeding.

Obviously how safe drones are, depends on the size of the drone. Smaller drones might not be able to do any damage at all. While bigger drones could take off a finger or even bust out an eye.

So if you’re thinking of getting a drone for a child, make sure you consider the size of a drone first.

What Happens When You Stick Your Finger In A Drones Propellers?

I’m not going to give you the boring answer of “well it depends.” Instead, I’ll give you an example of what happens when you stick a carrot into a DJI spark drone. Enjoy the video!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9XkWk7n01QVideo can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Why you need Prop Guards for your DJI Spark Drone (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9XkWk7n01Q)

Now I’m not sure if the result will be similar on a finger, however, my gut tells me that it won’t be pretty.

Want to hear some real-life stories of people who hurt themselves with their drones? I looked online in some popular drone forums and I found these stories. View the thread here if you want to check out the long thread on mavicpilots.com.

Here’s a summary of the conversation:

  • There was a case in the U.K where a child lost his eye while using a drone.
  • Shoofly said that he cut his pinky finger so deep that he thought he was going to have to go for stitches. OUCH! He also mentioned he gashed his knee. All with a Mavic Pro.
  • Another member mentioned that he tried to catch his drone out from the sky and it bruised his hand, leaving his thumb numb.
  • Cybperpower678 had a similar experience as above. The drone prop caught his index finger. It didn’t break his skin however the veins were bleeding underneath his skin.
  • Another member also hurt their hand while catching a drone while landing.
  • PennStateMatt wrote that his hand injury bled and it hurt. It hurt enough for him to never try and catch it again.

Even celebrities have fallen victim to drones. Here’s a video of Enrique Iglesias hand getting cut open by a drone during a concert. He still carried on with the concert, however, it looked pretty PAINFUL!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOTOymQJMLkVideo can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Bloody drone accident: Enrique Iglesias slices hand at live concert, Mexico (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOTOymQJMLk)

As you can see some drone accidents are minor, however, others can be extremely severe. Another point to note is most of the drone accidents that happened above happened to adults. So when it comes to children you need to try and be even more careful.

While most drone accidents can be avoided, they are definitely not toys for kids. Especially the larger ones. So be careful when choosing a drone.

Drones That Are Safe For Children

Since large drones like the Mavic Pro’s or Phantoms aren’t suitable for children, you’re probably wondering which drones are.

So I went out on the hunt to try and find drones that are safe enough for kids to use. Here are the biggest “safety factors” I looked out for:

  • The drone has to be weaker than the bigger drones. What do I mean by weaker? Here I mean that the overall drone energy capacity is lower. Which generally means the propellers will spin slower.
  • The propellers need to have built-in guards. This isn’t just in case of kids into themselves. But it’s also so that other people will be protected if the drones go rogue.
  • Propellers need to be made out of flexible plastic so that they bend if any fingers decide to go in there. Carbon fiber blades are too rigid and will cut deeper.
  • The drone needs to be cheap. Keep in mind that your child will crash their first drone often. So there’s no point spending hundreds of dollars on something that WILL break anyways.

Here are my top drones that are suitable for kids:

DRONE TYPE: PRICE:
JJRC H36 Mini Drone $26.99
UFO 3000 LED Drone $34.99
Syma X5SW $39.99
DROCON Ninja Drone $59.99
UDI U818A Drone with HD Camera $64.50
Holy Stone F181W Wifi FPV Drone $69.99 
Air Hogs Star Wars Millennium Falcon $165.30

You’ll be able to find all those drones on Amazon.com. However, if you can’t be bothered to search them all out simply click on the name of the drones on the table.

How to avoid drones from hurting you

What about for us adults? Or maybe you have a well-trained kid and you want to get him a big-boy drone. How can you avoid getting a drone-related injury? Well, it’s simple. Let’s try and learn from others before we make their same mistakes.

Here’s a list of what I’ve learned from others while doing research for this article:

  • Drone propeller guards. If your drone doesn’t have them, get them! Not only will it protect you from your own drones blades that are flying around at thousands of RPM’s, but it will also protect bystanders. I especially advise this if you’re new to flying drones.
  • Avoid carbon fiber propellers. A lot of seasoned drone pilots will replace the normal flexible plastic propellers with carbon fiber ones. While they may serve a purpose, if you’re new to flying drones you have no business using them.
  • Drones are not all equal. When buying a drone, keep in mind that some drones will do more damage than others. For example, the Inspire 1 and 2 can hurt you a lot more than a Mavic.
  • DON’T CATCH LAND. Especially if you’re new to drones. When I started flying a drone that’s the first thing I tried, and it HURT! I think from watching hundreds of Youtube videos I must have thought that catch landing is how you’re supposed to land. If you’re going to try it, keep in mind that Mavics are a lot more difficult to catch land than Phantom drones.
  • Let the drone crash. Most injuries come from the pilot trying to save a drone while it’s crashing. If you lose control of your drone rather just let it crash. Don’t try to use your body as a shield.

Can A Drone Kill You

Now that we know how to stay safe, there might be some of you wondering if a drone can actually kill you. Well before I scare you, I want to show you this video I found on YouTube on the popular T.V show Mythbusters.

Before I spoil what happens, watch the video first.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgeRchTHxVkVideo can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Can a home drone kill you? This test with a chicken says maybe! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgeRchTHxVk)

Points to note:

  • They used a standard drone blade turning at standard drone speeds.
  • They’re using a “chicken” as human flesh.

In the video, the propeller did actually cause a pretty significant “wound.” A wound that would probably have caused a fatal injury if it happened on your neck and cut open the jugular.

However, we need to keep in mind that the scenario wasn’t realistic. The Mythbusters team held the chicken stationary, and then they slowly moved the spinning blade towards the chicken, and once it started cutting, they held it in place for a few seconds.

In a real-world scenario, the drone would have just smashed against your neck and probably would have bounced off without having time to cut deep. So the “fatal injury” scenario, although being technically possible, is also highly unlikely.

That being said, while I personally don’t think a normal everyday drone such as the DJI or Phantom can kill you, it’s always good to take precautions. I would be more worried about taking out an eye. So make sure you stay safe!

UPDATE: I came across this video on YouTube that shows some NASTY drone accidents which has changed my perspective slightly. Only watch it if you have a strong stomach! You have been warned.

Where can you get propeller guards?

There are a lot of places you can get them online. For example amazon.com. You could also look at the online store that you bought your drone from. They might have propeller guards specifically for your drone type.

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