Best Handheld Ham Radio For 2018

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In today’s age of technology, we have many terrific technologies around us. From the greatness of technologies, we are now able to communicate with different people from various distances all around the world. You know what; technology has made many things possible that were impossible back then. In the class of communication, handheld ham radios are great example. But since the technology is being updated day by day, singling out the best one is also getting harder every year. Our market is saturated with a number of high quality radios that have advanced features and latest technologies. But in each class, there are always some bests. The ham radio category is not different too. But finding out the best one is always a tricky task. We’re saying that since people usually get confused when they meet a good deal of radios of unique features.

If you are contemplating purchasing a new ham radio, then you want to think about some important features to create the best purchase. We all know, your time is precious and you do not need to waste it. So, so as to help you to purchase the best handheld ham radio, we have created this comprehensive guide so you can grab the affordable radio which works well for you. (Updated on: 7th May, 2018.)

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1. ) BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen): Best Double Brand Handheld Ham Radio

The radio uses high performance V-85 antenna that’s a high gain antenna and ready to double the antenna performance. You can adjust the power settings by Low- Mid- High that are of 1W- 4W- 8W output. This feature lets you save the battery power while you’re on a long mission. The radio also supports wideband and narrowband selectable frequency. You can change it whenever you require. The recommended A PC03 FTDI programming cable lets you make a simpler PC programming.

This fairly great radio was created in the USA with a simpler user friendly layout so you can use it quite easily. That’s because everyone is not a radio expert. We mentioned before, you receive In-depth user manual with it. You’ll be able to customize the radio configurations by the support of the guide. This radio has the newest firmware (N5R-340A) installed. You won’t get this on some other versions. The bigger battery can serve you up to 20 hours even once you need to do heavy and multi jobs with it. The built in flash light is just another terrific addition that’s quite helpful in dark.

2. Kenwood TH-D74A: Best Mobile Ham Radio

The radio include a transflective TFT color display (240×180 pixel) for supplying easier user experience. This one gives you 4 degree power collections of 0. 05W, 0.5W, 2W and 5W so you could get longer service by decreasing the power if you don’t have to. The new IF filtration of the radio presents you enhanced AM/ CW/ SSB reception. Furthermore, this one include DSP based high performance voice recording & sound processing abilities. However, this great device is compliant with Micro USB, Micro SD and Bluetooth.

On the other hand, the radio features Command and Control protocol, External Decode function, Data import/ export features too. The software of this radio is so straightforward and clean, so it is simple to configure and program the applications when you require. We have been impressed with this program. This radio is design for supplying easier user experience and for the compactness; it is also said as the best portable ham radio.  

3. Yaesu FT-60R: Best Ham Radio For The Currency

This radio provides you Alpha Numeric multicolor LED display and lighted keypad. Furthermore, this one also offers scan mode. . This one offers you 3 levels of electricity selection of 0.5W, 2W and 5W (Low- Mid- High) so you can get more service by decreasing the power if you don’t have to use more electricity. This radio has password lock security which prevents accidental frequency changes. The radio can get 108-520 MHz & 700-999. 99 MHz in addition to transmit 144-148 MHz & 430-470 MHz.

This radio has emergency NOAA weather alert and able to get 800-900 MHz in crisis stations. Another incredible thing is, this one has 1000 memory channels. Is not it great? Additionally, the radio has strong 1400 mAh battery which may serve longer. The system includes including charger, bet antenna and clip. This tri band radio provides you the capacity to tune in to 3 brands.

4. TYT MD-380: Best Entry Level Ham Radio

This TYT MD-380 includes a large 2000 mAh battery that’s able to serve you for quite a long time. Another wondering characteristic isthe radio has 1000 channels memory. The Multi Access Time Division feature enables multiple users to utilize the identical frequency and channel by dividing the connected signal to the time slots. Both modes (Analog & Digital) of the radio have added great value. Moreover, you get LCD fully colored screen. This thick and compact radio has multi- purpose key.

One thing that you will need to bear in mind that this one has restricted keypad program. But do not worry; it contains enough that’s needed for a ham radio. The computer programming of the radio added additional value that make easy the usages and user interface. This beginner level radio is actually reliable for the starters.

5. ) Wouxun KG-UV8D: Best Mobile Ham Radio

The KG-UV8D is a multipurpose, versatile and durable ham radio. This one includes a whole lot of features. You’ve got power selection option so that you can alter the settings according to your need. Generally this radio is operated on 5W in very significant frequencies and 4W at Ultra high frequencies. The installed 1. 04 firmware version enables you’ve got 2.5 kHz step. Additionally, you have an excellent added feature, which is, now you can name the channels. This is a FCC 90 accepted radio.

The radio can serve up you to 12 hours. The lithium ion battery is very good. You also receive AC charger, battery, removable antenna, wrist strap, belt clip, automatic present cable, charging tray and user manual with this. The radio has little frame, but it plays a very impressive performance. But this radio is acceptable for heavy duty usages too.

What’s Ham Radio?

Ham radio is non-commercial purposes used radio. This is also called Amateur radio. Handheld ham radio is your potent version of ham radio. Where other regular communications fail, hams (operators of ham radio) don’t get affected. That is because ham radios use different bandwidths than other industrial radios. 

Accreditation Requirements:-LRB-*******)

You want a permit for a ham. There are various sorts of license which are given by person’s taken test. The permit is given predicated on knowledge of the person. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) issues the permit in the United States. The license is essentially free, but you want to pay their expenses. And the permit renewal is often done through telephone.

There are a few divisions of license. The technical permit is the lowest level and the amateur license is your maximum level license. The permit examination generally bas on varying and include multiple choice questions. There are mainly 3 types of permit –

Technical License: 

This is the entry level license. An applicant has to be passed in 35 written inquiries. This is the most basic and simplest license. This license enables the user to utilize very high frequencies (>30 MHz) and restricted operation with high frequencies (3-30 MHz).

General License: 

The top level license of technical permit. The applicant should pass the technical evaluation combined with 35 written inquiries. This is the mid level permit. This permit allows applicants to use nearly 83percent of high frequency bandwidth. Bear in mind, long distance ring segments communications are not permitted by this license.

This is the maximum level license. A profound knowledge and understanding on radio communication is needed to obtain this permit. Applicant needs to pass an overall evaluation and 50 multiple choice questions. This license permits the user to run all amateur radio bands.

Great Handheld Ham Radio’s Benefits:-LRB-*******)

Portable ham radio is a miracle of modern technology and there are loads of benefits to have one. Such as-

Emergency Awareness: 

The ham radio allows you to be mindful all time. In case of emergency, you can call for assistance at your fingertips.


A handheld ham radio is less costly and much convenient than conventional radios.


When making frequent communications are unworthy, communication infrastructures are destroyed or different disasters strike, the ham radios remain unaffected since they utilize different communication frequencies than others.

General Communication: 

it is also possible to use the ham radios for overall communications. Having the supreme ham radio is very useful besides just doing hobby. 

Things To Look Before Purchasing A Ham Radio – (Buying Guide)

People usually say that you will need to check the battery before purchasing since they are mobile and you will need to have a fantastic battery backup. Though handheld radios are easily available, but you want to look after some significant things before choosing. There are two chief aspects in choosing a perfect radio. First, second and bandwidth, frequency level. Besides these, various other things are required to be considered.

Frequency Level:-LRB-*********)

Different Cells have different frequencies of transmission & get. You need to choose that one that has the most suitable frequency that you require. Bandwidth is also essential as you have the ability to use the bandwidth based on your license.


5W power is sufficient to run a radio. Ensure that your receiver has power output setting (Low- Mid- High) so you can set it when you require.


Ensure that your radio supports PC programming. Programming a radio permits you to connect with newer brands. Some radio also support keypad input control.

Memory Slot:-LRB-*********)

For local communication, you simply need around a dozen of memory slot. But if you would like to use it nationally or internationally, then you need 100-200 memory slots. Thus, choose radio depending upon your usage.

Double Band:-LRB-*********)

Dual band is vital for amateur hams (radio operators). That’s because double band permits you to communicate with extended selection.

User Guide:-LRB-*********)

You might be asking yourself why we are discussing the user manual. Well, user guide is needed for easily understanding the operation system and use it. A fantastic user manual will help you in many ways. When you will need to learn something, change a new setting or confront any trouble shooting, you can be assisted by this.

Backlit screen:-LRB-*********)

Backlit screen is necessary for simpler and emergency usages. The display needs to be toggled off & on. Furthermore, this one helps one to the scenario when there’s a supply of limited light.


Handheld radios have a good deal of benefits. These radios are portable, inexpensive, convenient and user friendly. Ham radios enable us to communicate easily and efficiently. You simply have to study about wireless communication & apply for the permit. It is not too tough. So why not have one?

You can quickly select the appropriate one for you from the handheld ham radio reviews mentioned above. We’re saying that because we’ve covered some bests depending all price ranges, power output, variety of attributes and several other points. Hope, you may now able to select the ideal one for you with no confusion. Very good luck.


About the author

Chavi Rajput

Chavi Rajput

With multiple research papers under her belt, Chavi has been a science geek from her school days. She covers research in scientific gadgets that lead to new discovery as well as gadgets that make life of scientists simple.
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