Propeller screws won't budge

I was planning to test-drive the drone outside on a hike tomorrow, after unsuccessful indoor flights led to crashes and propeller damage. I had bought replacement propellers. I have managed to unscrew all the old propellers except 3 that won’t budge. I tried using 3-in-1 multi-purpose oil and WD-40, and/or a power drill, either or both of which have always worked before for similar situations involving stuck parts.

I attached photos of the drone with the propellers that are stuck due to the screws that won’t budge, and a photo of the propellers that I was able to remove.

Would the remaining propellers cause issues if they are left on, if I otherwise put new propellers on the rest? If they would cause issues, how would you advise I proceed at this stage?

Propellers are made in sets. Your old ones may be slightly lighter or heavier than the new ones… If you mis-match the props, you might find an out of balance condition….

I written about this numerous times not to use the DJI screwdriver… Get a good set of micro drivers…

In your case, without a good screwdriver or if you’ve ruined the screw head, I recommend you cut off the plastic prop with an exacto knife. Not a moto-tool, as it will get debris in your motor. Then when the prop is cut off, use a pair of pliers to remover the screw…

Here is a posting from the MavicPilot Web Site, it should prove interesting reading…

Now, with tongue-in-cheek, I say, “Quit screwing around…”

Good Luck!

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Thanks for your advice. I have just ordered the Wera 05345290001 2050 PH 000 x 40 mm. I think I’ve seen this particular screwdriver mentioned at least a few other times for these screws so hopefully it works. I already tried a few other screwdrivers today which seemed to fit but none turned the screws. I also ordered a screw extractor set in case the screw is beyond a functional state although I heard luck varies with these.

Your other suggestion and the link you posted also sound interesting so I’ll investigate further.

If worse comes to worse, I’ve been advised to send it back into DJI. However, I don’t have the care package that was offered in the first 48h so I’m not sure what my options are on that end, but I’ll look into it further when needed.

I would still suggest cutting those stuck props off with an exacto knife and then using a pair of plier to unscrew the screw. Those screws are not anything special. I just feel that you cannot get enough torque on the screw with the little screwdriver handle and those tiny slits for a Philips screwdriver, some screw heads are deeper than others.

You can also take a pair of side cutter (dykes) pliers and grip the screw heads straight down, allowing the cutting edges to grip just past the screw heads. Squeeze hard enough to cut through the prop top and just enough to dig a bit into the screw heads. With the other hand, hold the motor housing bell (Green Arrow), One little twist and the screw is loose…

If you send it back to DJI (Fort Worth, TX) the largest cost will probably be the postage…

good Luck!

There were 3 props left.

The Wera 05345290001 2050 PH screwdriver either helped get 1 screw off, or it was already loosened from the 3-in-1 and WD40 applied earlier.

The other 2 screws still wouldn’t budge. I cut off the bulk of the props using scissors so they wouldn’t get in the way. I tried a Be91eiter screw extractor set, but it did nothing.

I figured using the hammer+screwdriver trick could damage other components of the drone.

So I decided to go the exacto+plier root. But I don’t see how the remainder of the props can be effectively cut, based on how close they sit to the drone, the angles required for cutting, and the prop material being quite hard for the knife. Earlier, the scissors actually seemed much more effective for cutting the bulk of the props off than the knife, but obviously scissors are not an option for the prop remainders.

Thanks for any suggestions on this.

Btw, I’m surprised that props on this $900 device are not repairable without tearing it apart (and I evidently didn’t receive a fluke; many people have experienced this issue with this model). Fortunately it was a gift.

I do not understand why you would not use the side cutters (dykes) like I described above and showed a photo of…

You only squeeze the handle enough to cut through the plastic of the prop and only just start to grab the screw head and then turn the cutters just a quarter turn or so and the screw will come right out.

I am not saying to cut the screw head in half, jut squeeze the cutter handle enough to cut an “indent” into the head.

Otherwise, you need to send it back to DJI…

Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll grab my dykes when I’m back at my apartment and will try this.

Please let us know how it goes. There are others who will experience this also…

Now used these:

Klein D275-5 precision flush cutter:

It slowly flaked away at the remaining prop plastic, otherwise didn’t do much else. I aimed for the head but inconvenient angles and/or lackluster function seemed to prevent precise cuts.

Dremel 4300 5/40 with metal cutting wheel, with a plier to hold the gray motor bits in place:

It slowly eroded the remaining prop plastic but after a few minutes seemed to reached a standstill; didn’t notice further erosion. 5,000-15,000 RPM.

Used pliers throughout to turn and yank at the screws.

I’d be sending it to DJI as a next step.

I am sorry to hear that it did not work, but what you showed in the photo was not Side Cutters (Dykes), it was what is called Wire Snips. Side cutters are strong enough to cut through 1/4" bolts. Wire snips are so small they cannot cut a metal coat hanger…
I also do not know why you kept snipping away at the plastic of the prop. In my photo above, it shows a GREEN arrow pointing at the motor bell. You hold that with the thumb and forefinger on one hand and you hold the dykes with the other hand and grip the screw head as indicated in the photo. This way the dykes only make contact with the screw head. If there is any prop plastic around the screw, it just cuts through it without effort.

The photo below shows various size side cutters (dykes) and the Wire snip…

With limited time I used what I had. I was aiming to cut away the top of the plastic covering the screw head, so I could actually get at the screw head, as currently it’s level with it. I’m going on a trip for a few weeks so I’ll continue this afterwards.

Recently returned from my trip and gave it another go.

Removed the last 2 screws using the Klein D275-5 precision flush cutter by chipping away at the top of the plastic around the screw (gradual process but still worked much better than utility knives), then, when the width was narrow enough, using the Klein to grip and turn the screw, with the help of pliers when needed.

Applied new props without issue with the Wera 2050 PH 000 (which had not worked for unscrewing the problematic screws).

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Did a test flight outdoors today. Worked perfectly.

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Keep an eye on the screws, those motors spin those propellers at full power upwards of 10,000 RPM and normal operation is in 5,000 RPM range. The chart below is from the DJI Forum Web Site…