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Best Handheld Ham Radio 2019 | Best Portable Ham Radio 2019

Our Top Best Handheld Ham Radios 2019

Summary of our top choices:

  1. BaoFeng Walkie Talkie UV-5R
  2. ICOM 2300H 05 144MHz Amateur Radio
  3. QYT KT-8900D Dual Band Mini Car Ham Radio
  4. Yaesu Ft-8900R Quad Band Hi Power FM
  5. President Ronald 10 Meter Amateur Ham Radio
  6. Icom ID-5100A DELUXE 144/440 Amateur Radio Mobile


BaoFeng Walkie Talkie UV-5R

The BaoFeng UV-5R gets our top spot as the best and one of the most affordable ham radios available right now. For less than $40 you get the radio, an additional 1800mAh UV5R battery, a car charger, 1 hand mic and antenna. This set-up you will never run out of battery, as one can be charging as the other is in use. In addition, the antenna included will give you more than enough range, and the display screen makes the device simple to use.

Also included is the programming cable, which allows for easy connection to your PC with the software included in the bundle. Most reports state that battery life is at least several days, and often beats out more technical and expensive units. This is by far the best ham radio for beginners and a cheap way to get everything you need.

You can buy as a single unit or in packs of 6 and 10.


  • Great value for money
  • Many accessories including antenna for imporved range
  • Good battery life


  • Cheaper unit will not be as durable as a more expensive counterpart

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ICOM 2300H 05 144MHz Amateur Radio


The ICOM 2300H 144Mhz is a very solid 2-way radio. The unit has a stable 65W of output, and is an updated version of the popular ic-2200. This is a very solid HAM radio and can take a lot of punishment if necessary, and has been tested to the most recent mil-std-810 g specs for durability. You get 207 alpha-numeric memory channels and get a CD with the software you need to get everything set up. There is also a 3 inch LCD screen with multiple scan functions.


  • Impressive build quality and durability
  • Great sound that can be easily heard on the freeway
  • Simple to use
  • Thorough user manual provided on a CD


  • More expensive than some of the more basic models available
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QYT KT-8900D Dual Band Mini Car Ham Radio

The QYT KT-8900D is a very compact HAM radio, with a frequency of HF 136-174MHz, UHF 400-480MHz and a power output of VHF 25Watt, UHF 20Watt. The speaker and transceiver are both very compact which is ideal for saving space. This doesn’t take away from the performance though, with a clear and loud sound coming from the speaker and 200 programable channels. The display is bright and easy to see even with glare. The unit comes with a programming cable and software (supported by CHRIP or MIKLOR) which is compatible with Windows 10. The radio also comes with a 6ft cable and connects to your cigarette plug port. 


  • Very cost effective compared to other HAM radios
  • Compact build
  • Simple to use


  • Build quality could be better
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Yaesu Ft-8900R Quad Band Hi Power FM

The Yaesu Ft-8900R transmits 50 watts on 10, 6 and 2M, & 35 watts on 440 MHz and has selectable lower output settings.  There is a backlit keypad on the mic for using the radio at night, 800 channels available on the memory and live dual displays, giving the Yaesu some of the best specs on the market. The radio also includes a YSK-8900 separation kit. 

The radio is easy to install and configuring the radio via ADMS software is simple. When up and running the volume is loud on all channels and when coupled with an antenna the quality was great on all bands. This is an ideal choice for anyone looking at the upper end of the HAM radio market without breaking the bank.


  • Very sensitive receiver
  • Backlit screen and handset
  • 800 channels
  • useful repeater function


  • dials are quite small and can be slightly difficult to use
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A few more of our top choices:

President Ronald 10 Meter Amateur Ham Radio Kenwood TM-281A 144MHz FM Transceiver Icom ID-5100A DELUXE 144/440 Amateur Radio Mobile