Genuine T-Motor 12″ Carbon Fibre propellers are $65/pair.
Perfection out of the box doesn’t come cheap, but by the end of this article, you may gain a better appreciation for T-Motor products.
Gemfan “T-Style” CF knock offs from BoltRC are much lower cost at $23.05/pair.
A video comparing the T-Motor and Gemfan CF props has already been posted, but in case you missed it (blasphemy!)
Since that video was shot, it was discovered Hobby King also offer an alternative no-name T-Style 12″ CF prop that is even cheaper, and available from the Australian Warehouse.
What could go wrong?
It was decided to buy 3 pairs of these Hobby King CF props, and see what they’re like.
These cheap T-Motor knock-offs all have a shiny outer finish, which inherently reveals that some hand rubbing has been done in the factory, in an attempt to balance them.
Initially, I was hoping these Hobby King generics would be exactly the same as the Gemfans.
Everything from China always comes out of the same factory, right?
No – these have a pronounced curved tip.
Despite the same size and pitch, but with potentially different characteristics, I wouldn’t risk mix-n-matching these with the Gemfans.
Each prop was placed on the DuBro balancer, and checked for balance.
Five out six required some sanding on one side with some fine 240 grit sand paper.
Only one was properly balanced out of the factory.
Admittedly, they didn’t require much sanding at all, and a lot less than the Gemfans did.
I was initially wondering why the second M3 screw wasn’t screwing in, until I had a closer look.
A picture is worth 1,000 words:
One prop required the central motor shaft hole to be filed out, so that it would go over the 4mm motor shaft.
Four props required at least one of the screw holes to be filed out and/or brought into alignment.
So, after a little bit of work, they’re finally ready to fit to the motor, proper.
Here they are fitted to a T-Motor “Navigator” series motor, and do not require any prop adapter, just a cover plate.
At the end of the day, the F550 quad flys well with these. I wouldn’t be able to pick the difference between the T-Motor props, the Gemfans, or these.
How long they last, and how reliable they are, might be another story.
Like the Gemfans, these are a cheap & cheerful propeller to be learning with, but for piece of mind, I’ll be fitting the T-Motor props once I have built up some more stick time with my (relatively expensive) camera platform.
One thing is for sure – you will probably need a small round file to compensate for the poorly drilled holes.