Updated April 01, 2019 by Daniel Imperiale

The 10 Best Ham Radios

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Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive

We spent 19 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Whether you're a hobbyist looking to invest in a new communications system or a cautious prepper making sure that you have all the necessary gear to survive natural disasters, alien invasions, and the zombie apocalypse, one of these ham radios should be perfect for your needs. We've included models that are suitable for a wide range of budgets and applications. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best ham radio on Amazon.

10. President Ronald

9. Kenwood Original TH-D74A

8. BaoFeng BF-F8HP

7. Icom ID-51A Plus2 D-Star

6. TYT MD-9600 Dual Band

5. Yaesu Original FT-450D

4. Kenwood Original TM-V71A

3. Yaesu FT-857D Amateur

2. Icom 2300H

1. Kenwood TS-480HX HF/50

Editor's Notes

March 28, 2019:

For much of this category, there's a pretty direct relationship between wattage and price, meaning that the farther out you want to be able to talk or listen, the more you're going to have to spend, especially if you don't want to have to make additional investments in larger antennae or amplifiers. The Kenwood model that made it number one, offers the most power of anything on our list.

Another Kenwood model that should have earned a higher spot is their TH-D74A, which would be an incredible performer in emergencies with its reliable GPS location and color screen, but its best features also wound up being the things that killed its battery life.

Anyone new to the hobby would do well to start out with the one BaoFeng piece that we included, as it's a cheap, but steady selection.


Daniel Imperiale
Last updated on April 01, 2019 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel Imperiale holds a bachelor’s degree in writing, and proudly fled his graduate program in poetry to pursue a quiet life at a remote Alaskan fishery. After returning to the contiguous states, he took up a position as an editor and photographer of the prestigious geek culture magazine “Unwinnable” before turning his attention to the field of health and wellness. In recent years, he has worked extensively in film and music production, making him something of a know-it-all when it comes to camera equipment, musical instruments, recording devices, and other audio-visual hardware. Daniel’s recent obsessions include horology (making him a pro when it comes to all things timekeeping) and Uranium mining and enrichment (which hasn’t proven useful just yet).


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