Multi-Rotor vs. Single-Rotor | Which to Use for Your Next Flight Project

KDE Direct multi-rotor vs single-rotor

Although multi-rotor drones get most of the attention in the UAV world today, they’re not your only option for a flight project. Learn about the basic differences between multi-rotor and single-rotor as well as their strengths and weaknesses.


Key Differences

A multi-rotor aerial vehicle, unsurprisingly, has several rotors to keep it airborne. But contrary to what you’d assume, a single-rotor vehicle only has one plus a tail rotor to help control its heading.



If you want to get your camera into the air for a short period of time, a multi-rotor drone is likely your best bet. A multi-rotor has a distinct advantage for aerial photography due to its excellent control over position and framing for your shots. The downside to multi-rotors is that their speed and endurance are limited due to the need for frequent fast and high-precision throttle changes to keep them stabilized. Rules of aerodynamics dictate that the larger a rotor blade is, the slower it will spin, resulting in more efficiency. That’s why a quadcopter is more efficient than an octocopter but less efficient than a single-rotor.

Flight time isn’t due to battery, but rather weight. If you want your drone to stay airborne longer with a more substantial camera attached, a brushless motor for heavy-lift electric multi-rotor is your best option for longer flight time and zero-vibration operation.

Best for: Aerial photography, aerial cinematography



A single-rotor helicopter or other airborne tech project has greater efficiency than a multi-rotor, but currently fill a small niche in the drone world. Remember the rules of aerodynamics? A single-rotor helicopter allows for longer blades to enable slower spinning and therefore less energy expended. If you need to hover your aircraft with a heavy payload or are searching for high endurance, a single-rotor might be your best bet.

However, single-rotor helis have significantly more vibration that multi-rotor UAVs. They also pose more danger due to their large blades. If a multi-rotor UAV loses its overhead blade, your aircraft won’t feature the backup of several other propellers that a multi-rotor will to keep your craft stabilized. That’s why no matter which you choose to fly, quality components count.

Best for: Hovering for long periods of time, carrying heavy payloads

KDE Direct | Multi-Rotor and Single-Rotor Brushless Motors

From pocket quadcopters for public safety to scanning depths of the ocean floor, KDE Direct constructs durable and efficient brushless motors and propeller blades for your unique application. KDE Direct has designed large motors for heavy lift such as the KDE8218XF-120 down to miniature motors like the KDE1303XF - barely the size of your pointer fingernail.


Multi-Rotor Brushless Motors

The KDE Direct UAS Multi-Rotor Brushless Motor Series presents high-quality engineered brushless motors, specific for multi-rotor and UAS applications. KDE Direct brushless motors are engineered to provide zero-vibration operation for hours of maintenance-free usage and market-leading performance. Our motors tuned and optimized for the KDE Direct UAS Multi-Rotor Electronic Speed Controller Series.

For optimal selection of KDE Direct equipment, reference the Build Your System application.


Single-Rotor Brushless Motors

The KDE Direct XF Single-Rotor Brushless Motor Series is a worldwide leader in single-rotor brushless motors. The new Generation 3 series uses top-tier materials and manufacturing processes to take the limits of efficiency, flight performance,  and maintenance-free durability to new heights with varying flight operations. The "G3" series provides state-of-the-art technology and performance-enhancements for the single-rotor marketplace and UAS applications.

Looking for modifications to our standard product lineup or custom designed components specific to your project's requirements? KDE Direct has the experience and capabilities to achieve your goals.  Our custom components provide ease in system integration and fast time-to-market. Our team at KDE Direct is excited to be at the forefront of product design and manufacturing for the UAV industry.

Please contact KDE Direct ( for sales and design inquiries as well as more information about custom product capabilities.

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