Syma X8W review

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Syma X8W review

Syma X8W Quadcopter review

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I tested lately a lot of small and beginner quadcopters and finally I received a bigger one, the Syma X8W, which is probably one of the best mid-range quadcopter. Small quadcopters are good for indoor fun, beginner pilots, practicing, etc. The mid-sized quadcopters are an intermediate step to professional ones as they can do almost all the tricks and are available at affordable prices. Of course, you can’t expect to get a GPS system for the price of a Syma X8W (which is around $115) but you will get enough power to lift a GoPro camera and decent flight characteristics and range.

I dream about shooting incredible videos and pictures of nature and cities with a professional quadcopter like the Dji Phantom 3 but I am conscious that I need to practice a lot in order to realize my dream without throwing a lot of money on the window (and, I’m sure, unleash my wife’s “mouth” over my head). I feel that the practice with this Syma X8W quad will bring me closer to my goal.

The Syma X8 family has 3 models, the X8C that comes with a 2MP camera, the X8W that has a 2MP Wi-Fi FPV camera and the latest X8G that steps to a next level with the 8MP GoPro alike camera.

This Syma model was announced few months ago and I already wrote an article about it. Because I don’t want to repeat my self I will skip over the X8W specs and features and I will jump directly in to my review.Syma X8W review and test

Syma X8W review with pros and cons

My first impression was: WOW!!!. The package was well organized inside, everything was carefully fixed with tapes and the build quality was surprisingly good for a Chinese quadcopter in this price range. The design definitely reminds me of DJI Phantom. The X8W doesn’t just look good but it’s also very robust, holding it in my hand I don’t have the feeling that it could fall into pieces like other cheap models. My first quadcopter was also a Syma model (the X5C for $70), the evolution is significant. I admit that the X8W is a bit more expensive but the quality of the two cannot be compared. I think that the main goal of the designers from Syma Toys was to create an easy to fly and good looking quadcopter.

The package contains all the usual things like: remote controller, battery charger, battery, 2 set of propellers, landing skids, screwdriver and user manual but no card reader and memory card as it is mentioned on the seller’s website. After a careful look of the camera I found out why, because it doesn’t has any memory card slot :(.

Syma X8W review – The transmitter

The X8W’s transmitter is unusually big and it comes with a clip that allows to attach your smartphone on top of it. The RC’s battery compartment is designed for 6 pcs of AA batteries but for functioning it requires only 4 of them. The left top button has dual functionality:

– press shortly and you switch between beginner and advanced mode;

– long pressing and you can activate the headless flight mode.

Syma X8W review – Battery and chargerSyma X8W charger and battery

The X8W is powered with a 2 cell (2s) 7.4 2000mAh Li-Po battery that allows more than 10 minutes of continuous flight. Li-Po batteries with multiple cells must be charged with balance chargers for optimal functionality and longer life. For this purpose I already own a SkyRC iMAX B6 Mini but probably the included Syma balance charger will be just as good. A second spare battery can be a good idea considering that a full charge may take longer than 3 hours (the stock charger’s output is rated at only 800mA).

Syma X8W review – CameraSyma X8W 2MP FPV WIFI camera

The 2MP camera has the approximate size of a walnut and a tiny wire that comes out from it (that serves as antenna) indicates that we are dealing with a wireless camera. In order to connect your smartphone to the Wi-Fi camera for first person view flight you must install the Syma FPV application (available for both Android and iOS devices). I will not talk to much about the camera because I’m planning to use the X8W with another camera.

Syma X8W review – first touch and powering ON

When I receive a new quad-copter I’m always excited as a child and I can’t wait to do the first test flights to see how it performs.

In order to prepare the X8W for the first flight, the following steps need to be made:

  • install the landing skids;
  • install and secure the propellers (the correct order of them is marked on the quadcopter’s box);
  • install the 2MP camera and plug in the 3.5mm jack;
  • load the battery in to the quad;
  • load 4pcs of AA battery in the transmitter.Syma X8W before first flight

The Syma X8W is not a racing quad so it will not break any speed records :). If you are interested in something faster and more agile, you should check my X6 review. The X8W quad is more famous about the stable flight that is absolutely necessary for aerial filming.

The headless flight mode has recently become widespread and of course that can be found on this model too. It can be activated by long pressing the left shoulder button. In this mode, the heading of the aircraft is ignored. Regardless which way the quadcopter has turned, the X8W flies in the same direction as the position of the elevator stick is (right stick in mode2).

An awesome feature of this model that allows to make 360 degree flip is called “3D Eversion” and can be activated by pressing the right shoulder button. It is pretty impressive to see a large sized Quad doing such a trick.

I just saw a video with a guy who tested the range of the Syma X8W and he achieved 390 meters in open field without any range hacks. For now, I tested it only indoor and I can’t confirm that range. BTW, is there anyone who tried to hack/mod the X8W’s received board or transmitter’s antenna?

Later, I will go out to make some outdoor test flights and I promise that I will make some videos with it. Not even 1000 words about how it flew can’t beat a real flight test video…

Syma X8W review – Final words

This model is also called poor man’s Phantom :). Why? Because apparently it has the same design and almost the same size. The control range is more than you need for a GPS-less flight and of course no mission planner or other fancy things. The build quality of the Syma X8W is very good and it has enough power to lift any action camera (with weight up to 80grams), don’t ask about the gimbal support if you don’t want to torture it. What else can I say? Maybe that the Syma X8W is probably the best mid-range quadcopter under $120.

I ordered the white version of the X8W but it can be also purchased in orange or black color for $119 from Banggood’s website here

Pros:

  • Excellent build quality;
  • Smooth and stable flyer;
  • Powerful – can carry any GoPro alike camera;
  • Impressive flight rage;
  • Powerful Li-Po battery;
  • 2MP Wi-Fi camera;
  • First person view flights with any iOS or Android devices;

Cons:

  • No flight controls through smartphone;
  • Brushed motors;
  • The camera can’t record videos by itself;
  • Custom made camera mount is required to install a GoPro or Mobius camera.Syma X8W brushed motor

Syma X8W hacks and mods

In order to improve the flight range of the X8W, I’m planning to add a true 5db Wi-Fi antenna to the receiver board and to the transmitter.

Another mod that probably I will do is to paint in red the front propellers and maybe to add a powerful LED light in the rear of the quad to make it more visible. The biggest problem of beginner pilots (like me) is to determinate the correct position of the aircraft. During long distance flights, sometime, I’m confused which is the front and rear of the quadcopter.

I’m planning to replace the 2MP stock camera with a 2.7K action camera, this is the first step to make some quality aerial footages. In order to install my Blackview Hero 1 camera on the X8W, I already purchased a very lightweight carbon fiber action camera mount with damping balls. Now, I have to look how can I attach it under its belly. I could use screws or 3M self adhesive tapes, any idea which would be better and safer?

To protect your investment I recommend to add a Li-Po battery monitor (low voltage buzzer) to the Syma X8W. This will warn you with noisy beeps when the quadcopter’s battery is almost empty so you can safely land before dropping like a stone from the sky, especially when the aircraft is equipped with a “heavy” action camera.

Images with the Syma X8W quadcopter

List of Syma X8W spare parts:

  • X8W-01 – upper body, recommended price $8;
  • X8W-02 – lower body, recommended price $5;
  • X8W-03 – Landing skids;
  • X8W-04 – Propeller guards (they are probably useless);
  • X8W-05 – Rotating propellers (CW);
  • X8W-06 – Reversing propellers (CCW);
  • X8W-07 – Motor base ornaments;
  • X8W-08 – Motor holder caps;
  • X8W-09 – Main gears;
  • X8W-10 – motor A (CW), recommended price $5;
  • X8W-11 – motor B (CCW), recommended price $5;
  • X8W-12 – main stand (motor main shelf);
  • X8W-13 – propeller caps;
  • X8W-14 – propeller lockstitch;
  • X8W-15 – receiver board base;
  • X8W-16 – battery cover;
  • X8W-17 – receiver board;
  • X8W-18 – 7.4V 2000mAh Li-Po battery;
  • X8W-19 – Battery charger and power adapter;
  • X8W-20 – Lampshades (LED covers);
  • X8W-21 – 2MP Wi-Fi FPV camera;
  • X8W-22 – Phone attaching clamp;
  • X8W-23 – Remote controller (transmitter);
  • X8W-24 – Iron shaft (to secure the blades).

63 COMMENTS

  1. In order to charge your X8W battery with the SkyRC charger you should buy a T Plugs Female To 4.0 Banana adapter!

  2. My syma x8w wont start or the light wont blink. When I put on the battery and turn on it only the two motors spin in few seconds and turn off…what do you think is the problem the receiver board or the motors?
    need help please

  3. Great review, I have had my x8w for few weeks, first outdoor flight today. Good range I guess. I flew x5c just after and lost it real quick, luckily it crashed mon the beach only 50m away. A bit concerned about the range on Syma X8W now 🙂
    X8W Plugs: copter has banana but is 2 female, most the adapter for t connectors are one male 1 female. Need to make your own.
    Forget painting the blades – I just ordered a set of orange props and legs, will put on rear of white Syma X8 so I know orientation, though the X8W is much easier to tell direction than the x5. It’s also a lot less nimble than the x5!

  4. Hi
    My Syma x8w will not connect to my phone. When i look at the WiFi settings, the quadcopter doesn’t appear in the settings.
    Thank you for reading this comment and I hope you reply soon

    • I have the X5C with a wireless camera. I turn on the Quad, activate the wifi on the camera, look for a AP named PFV, connect to it, then start the Syma FPV app, and connect to the camera. Hope it helps

      • My X8W will not connect to my phone either. I found the FPV WIFI in my settings and connected to it and the response says it is connected. But Syma FPV will not open.

  5. Hello everyone…can some one help me here please. I have a new syma x8w …it always drift to one direction at the beggining after done a calibration an trimming. It work fine but then if i change the battery and start again, the drifting comes again..i have to restrart the calibration and trimming. It happened on a lower altitude. Is it common? Basicly i have to use the help of the right stick (dirrection) if i want to have a simple hovering. But if i use throttle stick it will alway be “drifting” to one side; forward, left or right and sometime backward.
    Thanks

    • It should hover with no wind, or indoors quite well. If NOT, then you have somethingholding back one motor, a bad prop, grass wrapped around a shaft, or a bad motor. Disassemble, clean, and try again!!! IF this doesn’t do it, then let off the throttle, and see which prop stops First, possibly before the other three! Replace that motor of your X8W!

  6. The FPV mode on this is rubbish, especially in an area with wifi networks in range. Picture break up starts at around 4-5m in doors and 10m outside. Ive sent mine back and bought the x8c instead. Thank god for amazons excellent customer service!

      • If you submit a defect and refund ticket – they will offer you a number of options.
        In my case – keep the problem quad and pay us$100 – claimed to be 70% of cost and carriage $30 in credit or pay to send back to China – in my case AU$55 = about US$33 or so…
        I paid AU$ 165 – so return carriage is a loss on whatever you initial payment was .. and you still have no quad and it would be about 6 weeks plus since from start to finish….. its called… being between a rock and hard place!

        • latest situation from EB – they made offer after offer – but each time I replied and said OK, I Accept, back came a – better offer ! Finally we get to FULL refund to PayPal. Great..24 hours later – Sorry you used “Wallet” cannot refund to PP!

          I replied saying the first X8W quad order was cancelled because they had no stock and told me.. could be weeks or more.. before having stock. So naturally I asked to cancel and a refund. They did refund – not to my PP account – but their “wallet” which is a store credit. Not really perturbed – I ordered the SymaX8W and its being sliding downhill ever since. They admit the repair returns and then send them out again! Mine shows where the front arm stickers have been peeled back to take the top cover off.
          EB stated in one offer… OK no need to send defective item back – you keep – we give a new piece – but you pay $80 to cover shipping and costs! so they are giving nothing! the amount dwindled with each indignant reply I made until – OK we send you new item and free shipping. I replied thanking them and said to make it easy – I will have any color in stock.
          For no reason I can see…. suddenly “Jared”; replied… OK if we give you full refund to your account source.
          Thinking… no stock or not expecting me to remove any quad color issues.. I replied “Great, send money to my PP account ASAP”.
          24 hours later…. Sorry my application to leader for your refund is rejected…because you used wallet! ITS my money from the first canceled order because they had no stock!
          And that’s were I am now! Looks like a PayPal dispute – I assume you can all do this if you have issues and PP don’t mess about!

  7. I have had an X8W for a couple of week – even indoors on take off…it starts to go forward….trying to hover outdoors…it drifts and I swear the Mode 2 is rotated 90degrees! try to go forward.. its moves to the right. Tried trim tabs.. they are useless and I see no change even with Max on any trim!
    I contacted support they offered to replace IF I return this lump of junk so they can ship it out again no doubt. OR Keep it and pay another us$100 to get another sent out or keep it and get $30 wallet (EverB)
    I am stuffed twice because I have two orders still in transit and one not cleared “Processing” yet all told another us$113 in Syma spares. I also have an order on BG for two spare motors.
    How can I sell this on to anybody knowing its junk… and why would I want to get another!

  8. Recieved mine today. (Syma x8w) Charged it. Took it out to fly and it can’t get off the ground. Random engine failures and shut downs. Tried another battery and same thing. Some motors run and some don’t randomly. The most I can’t get is 3 motors turning at one time under full power.. Low power, all motors run fine. Try to give it more stick and it starts to malfunction.. I’m assuming something wrong with the PC board.. Im going to buy a board and try this junk again.
    Anyone else experience this type of power problem??

  9. Hi. I have upgraded to the X8C. Actually got 2 black ones. That way I could “experiement” with one and still enjoy the complete stock version. My “test tube” quad has the exact problem as some stated above.
    Let me first say I replaced the motherboard (reciever) inside the quad. Put it all back together and it flew flawlessy…for like 5 minutes and I brought it down hard and it went back to solid lights no power, no nothing.
    Is there some other resetting/calibration method?? All motors work fine and are connected.
    I’ve also taken the poormans Phantom to a never level by placing a DPVIDEO DVR120 dash-cam (fixed) under the belly of my Quadcopter…quite a surprise.
    I will share video once I fix the above issues.
    Thanks

  10. Hi, After a few flights, my Syma X8W wont start or the light wont blink.
    When I put on the battery and turn on it only the two motors spin in few seconds and turn off…hat do you think is the problem the receiver board or the motors?
    Need help please.
    Thanks.

  11. Hi,

    I recently bought a Syma X8W and I am trying to fly for the first time however it seems like one of the motor is running slower then others and Remote Control is showing the signal keep flashing. Can you please help and do you know why the signal keep flashing? I have already full charged the battery and try to calibrate and re-sync few times.
    The Drone wont fly due to one propeller moving slowly then others.

    Thanks!

  12. I got the Syma x8w for Christmas.
    I followed instructions on setting it up correctly and charged the battery for about 7 hours (Once the green light went off in the charger).
    When I plugged it into the quad-copter, the lights continuously blinked but did nothing more.
    Any suggestions?

  13. I picked up a Syma x8w and I too experienced the drift even after a gyro reset but eventually I mastered the machine and picked up some OK footage (see YouTube, “two days with my syma x8w”)
    After two days though the Quad suffered a motor failure!! (one motor spun after the rest were up to speed, like a lag or delay?)
    It failed in the end and spinning the props revealed at least 2-3 motors were noisy and sounded rough like bearings!.
    The rest of the motors despite sounding rough worked but couldn’t get lift at full power!
    In the end (despite warranty +the expense of sending it back) I opened it up (you have to when replacing any motors etc) and what I found was a load of cheap Chinese crap!!!!.
    No ESc’s, directly connected motors (which isn’t an issue really with cheap builds)
    And other than a control board for the ON\OFF function and combined FPV circuits its just a single board in the middle of the quad that’s completely unbranded with no access for PC adjustments etc (so fixed parameters etc) (cheap) (even a basic board brought on eBay can give miles more!…
    I’m going to keep the quadcopter and replace the motors with better ones than the slightly square crap that they installed, also I’m going to replace the white main board with a 10dof naze board (flight controller) and get a GPS module and then chuck in some esc’s and turn this Chinese rubbish into a decent quad-copter!!
    To be honest they could have easily installed a better host of hardware (with adjustable settings) and better motors for a small increase and it would still have been cheap enough and gained themselves a decent running in the market!! Brushless motors would have been a start plus a £12-15 naze control board!!.
    Very disappointed with the build of this machine and despite it being pretty robust its let down by its rushed build quality!
    Even the blade guards are worthless as they are too weak and the landing gear is weak also!not to mention its a crap design unlike the phantom style legs, that and a better material like carbon fibre legs etc (cost again etc:(
    This quad does fly buts its controls will have you kept busy! and don’t bother with headless mode its not fit for purpose!! abit like the rest of it and the shoddy camera (even the cheap built in cameras are better!!
    Hopefully I can make something from this white and when I do I’ll post some better video from it (using a mini cam or retrofitting an auto focus zoom camera system 12mp or higher with HD preferably 🙂
    When it runs OK its OK!, but nothing great but again what do I expect with the internals!!!

    • Hi Steve and thanks for your comment!
      I think for $100 is a good quadcopter, in this price range is very hard to find multi-rotors with ESC and enough lifting power to carry a GoPro camera…
      Good luck with your X8W mod and please keep us up to date with your project.

  14. Just got my X8W from England…three weeks to ship!

    Who can I deal with more locally that has a quick turn around & comprehensive parts/batteries/chargers?

    What ‘trick’ can I do to use a multiple charger on my X8W without paying $50?

    Does anyone make a ‘charges all’ charger that would possibly charge most of the popular batteries?

  15. Steve….if you are still reading/posting here…
    I read your comprehensive critique & found it somewhat ‘deflating’…
    What quad would you recommend for under $300 usa that has quality parts?
    You keep referring to ‘Chinese crap’…..I thought all quads anywhere this price range (around $100usa)
    were Chinese.

  16. Fair play George, your right ! for the price its a decent footstep into flying quads and again your right about the Chinese point 😉 everything comes out of China lol
    What I ment was that if they had thrown in just on component that wasn’t bottom of the line it would have changed the dynamics of this drones overall rating on the learner/intermediate levels.
    Even just a better camera!(even just alittle better exposure settings on the standard would have been a step in the right direction! (Stops it Darking out)
    I’ve fixed my motor issue and I’m back in the air 🙂
    One thing I’ve noticed and it wasn’t any different with the original motors,the setting for high and low mode! To be able to fly this thing with a decent level of responsiveness you have to fly in high mode! (I guess low mode could be OK) if your keeping steady for a good camera shot but that’s if the drift will let you even with the trim adjusted to perfection..

    But to be fair, its a bloody good bit of fun for the price! and given its everything you need to get hold of the basics to build an improved model from its shell, then fix the floors in its weak spots which will improve it pretty well! (abit of hot glue in certain areas will toughen it up well and still keep the weight down)
    Watch for the screw mounts!! they tend to fail almost straight away and they will keep turning (and I didn’t overtighten):(
    Very fast quad!! And when you do get a nice shot it can hold still pretty well with practise and patients 🙂
    Got a 10dof naze32 board and afew replacement parts and next I’ll get a GPS unit and then start to modify aslong as the transmitter will play ball!
    But as it is its a good 7-10mins of fun and get yourself a spare battery !!!! 😉
    Gonna refers my cheap bargain x5c soon (eBay spares or repair), works fine bar needing a new micro motor or two but it all spins fine and even still had a memory card in the camera (cameras better than the x8w!! 🙂

    Like I said, to be fair its a good starter quad with potential and allot if fun so don’t be put off!
    Its very robust which is impressive!
    Have fun

  17. Hi,
    I just bought one of these and first flight went out of control and lost it is there any way I could buy just a copter without the controller does anyone know and maybe how much it would be? This has been a hard lesson Lois.g it on the first flight
    thanks

  18. Is there any difference between A4 and A3 props? I have both in my set. Also, when ramping up throttle slowly, three motors are spinning but the fourth does not rotate until about half throttle. As a result the quad always pulls to one side and I cannot trim out of it.

    Thanks

      • Thank you for your prompt reply. However, I have the A props on the arms marked “A” and the same with the “B” arms, but I noticed that stamped on the plastic props underside, there are two designations which are A3 and A4, B3 and B4. They look identical in construction and blade angles, but I just wanted to make sure that there is nothing for me to be concerned about.
        I can send photos if needed.

  19. I juts got an x8 and love it…problem is engine auto shut off. is happening about half throttle and the lights blink… Any advice to fix?

    I also got the x8g 8mp HD camera, will that work with my x8w battery?

    Thanks!

  20. Thanks for the review. I plan to buy my first quad drone. What is the best color to choose: black or white ? During the flight, which color could be easier viewed in a sunny or cloudy day ?

  21. I will buy my first quad drone and decided for the Syma X8W model.But not sure which color: black or white ? What are the pros/cons for each color?
    Thanks in advance !

  22. I’ve had mine for a couple months and have enjoyed it, especially for the price.

    I 3D printed a GoPro mount (found on Thingaverse) and the X8W quad still handles pretty well with the added weight. There’s a bit of vibration in the videos when not actively traveling, though, which reduces the ability to make super-smooth DJI-like vids. I’m awaiting a carbon vibration dampener (eBay $12) to take care of that.

    With the GoPro, the stock legs come into the video/picture, so I’ve ordered a set of Phantom 3 legs from eBay for under $4.00 looking forward to getting them. FYI, they fit the 8x perfectly as suggested by YouTube vids.

    In total, I’ll have spent about $165 Canadian for my Syma X8W ($130 quad, $12 dampener, $4 legs, $15 extra batteries), and for that price, with the extras, it’s well worth it for an introductory quad, in my humble opinion.

  23. Hi
    My props are numbered A1 A2. B1 and B2. The arms are numbered A and B Am I right in putting A1 and A2 on A and B1 and B2 on B

    Thank you

  24. Hi….
    Nice review. Your talk about painting the forward propellers red is something I’m doing right now.
    I have the orange X8W unit and I’m flying it without the camera.
    I’m still learning all the skill of flying and I came across a few ideas that should help in orientation. To figure out which way is forward, I painted the battery cover, rear landing legs and the rear propellers super gloss black. The forward propellers and landing legs were painted gloss red.
    What a difference when the Syma X8W is 100 feet away from you! I’ve had no problem with orientation since doing this. I have nothing to do with this company but “KF Colors” work very well at adhering to the plastic parts. Other paints don’t adhere as well.
    The efforts of painting these quadcopter parts pays off well out in the flight field.

  25. This is truly a great first quad. I’ve had mine since Christmas but its hardly recognisable as an Syma X8W anymore. I’ve removed the stock camera and replaced it with an 808 #18 keychain camera with a 200mw 5.8ghz video transmitter for real FPV flying.

    I’ve also done an antenna mod on the transmitter to give some extra range. The field that I fly at is 200m long and I still have excellent control at that range.

    I’ve upgraded the batteries to 2400mah ones from AE and get about 10 minutes of full throttle flight time. Testing the thrust, my one can lift about 800 grams over and above its own weight of 560 grams. Not bad.

    There is some flight footage on YouTube if you search for “RC Noob syma”

  26. I turn my X8W on and all i get is flashing lights, fast, sometimes slow…and the drone icon on the transmitter blinks when i throttle up…what’s happening, just bought it.

    • Can you leave a link to how you wired your transmitter? i’ve looked at EVERY video on doing it and none of the examples look exactly like mine. I have a small gold square next to the antenna wire and a nother wire soldered behind that one. it’s BIZARRE!! appreciate if you can help..mine is only 2 weeks old
      thanks…martin

  27. I lost my X8W this morning at about 9:00 AM and I have not found it yet, I am hoping that when the sun goes down (around 6:45 PM), I will be able to spot the LED lights on the bottom and find it – I just hope that the battery has enough power to keep the LEDs on!!!! Also a great idea is to write your name and PH number on the bottom of your drone in case you lose it and cant find it, mabye someone will find it and ring you.

  28. Hi,
    I have a syma x8w when I take off it pulls and won’t fly straight up I have reset many times and still pulls any ideas?

  29. My X8w came just today from Amazon. This is my first quad-copter and a major disappointment. The props turn the wrong way…all 4 push it towards the ground, blowing air upwards. The props only go on one way so definitely a defect in manufacturing. Also, the wifi disconnects completely at about 3ft consistently. Looks like I’ll never know how well it flies.

    • Hi Kenny,

      Sorry to hear about the problem with your Syma X8W. Usually the Syma products have good quality, but they are still cheap Chinese products…
      Did you got a refund from the seller???

  30. i have syma x8w. all the propellers are correct positioned(A,B), i changed the blades with new one, i made calibration but the problem was not solved: the one propeller starts only when i give full power and because of that i can not control the drone in the air(goes left or right). any solution?
    also, i noticed that the silver blade cover the of the specific blade screws continiously and does not have an end, like the others

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