For such an inexpensive and basic part, propellers are often the most overlooked part of the drone. Yet, without properly functioning props, your UAS could drop out of the sky, fly away, or worse. Don't take our word for it, though, here's a great example of what can happen.
So, here are a few examples of how your props can get damaged:
The biggie for ensuring the health of your drone is making sure you NEVER FLY WITH CRACKED PROPS. Depending on how badly damaged, cracked props can be as bad as flying with no propeller at all, so whether your drone takes off or not, it will be hard to impossible to control.
Chipped or pitted propellers can also be dangerous because they can fail in the air, or effect your drone's flight capabilities. The picture to the right shows a badly chipped prop, but sometimes drones that have been flown in dust, or clipped a tree branch can have small divots or pits on the edge of the blade. Always change out props that have any defects in any capacity.
Last but not least, it may not seem like a big deal but dirty propeller blades can affect the flight of your drone, making it harder to control. And in many cases, the dirt can hide bigger issues your propellers may have. So, whenever your propellers get dirty, either wash them off with a lightly damp cloth, or just replace them to ensure proper functioning.
While your propellers may seem like small part of your overall system, they can play an outsized role in determining how well your drone flies. Make sure you always inspect your props before every flight and replace them if you see anything wrong.