When shopping for radio equipment, you usually want to be sure that you know all of the info that you need about the product that you’re planning on buying. If you’re not adequately informed, then you run the risk of picking up a product that doesn’t fulfill your needs, but there is only so much info that you can get from the manufacturer.
To make sure that our readers know what to expect from their new ham radios, we’ve gone ahead and compared the Yaesu FT-857D with the Yaesu FT-891, two of the best models in their category.
The FT-857D is the more expensive of these two products, and its something of a bigger sibling to the FT-891. This model is designed to be as versatile as possible, and it features several different modes of operation so that you can use it on any system, including CW, FM, AM, F1, and F2.
This model features a max power output of 100 W when it’s operating at 160 m. This ranges down to 5 W when working at 70 cm, so you shouldn’t have any trouble using this radio on your ideal wavelength. It also comes with CTCSS and DCS decoders built in, so you won’t need to get them separately.
The use of a dot matrix display may seem a little dated when you consider this model’s price and modernity, but we found it sufficient for our needs. All of the info is outlined in a logical order, and the screen is backlit so that you can see it in the dark without shining a light on it.
With a 200 channel memory reserve, you can also keep track of all of your favorite frequencies without a problem when you use this ham radio. If you’re looking around for active frequencies, you can instead use the spectrum scope to search for them visually and find them with relative ease.
While this may be the more expensive option out of the two that we’re comparing, overall, this product features an excellent price point. Since it’s more affordable than other upper mid-range ham radios, the FT-857D is a great entry point for users who are just beginning to get serious with amateur radio.
Yaesu Original FT-891
If you don’t mind a slightly narrower selection of bands, the FT-891 from Yaesu can save you a few hundred dollars compared to the previous one. This model can transmit on the bands between 160 m and 6 m, so you miss out on the 2 m and 70 cm bands that are available on the FT-857D.
This radio features a similar power output to its competition, outputting a maximum of 100 W when operating on the 160 m band. It is also equipped with a triple conversion general coverage receiver that is tuned to between 30 kHz and 56 MHz, making this radio even more versatile.
Speaking of versatility, the FT-891 can operate in several different modes, including LSB, CW, AM, and more. There are also a few components that help reduce the amount of noise and interference that you have to deal with when you’re receiving and transmitting using this radio.
It’s equipped with an attenuator, a noise blanker, TXCO, and a few other components that help enhance this model’s performance. If you often use your ham radio at night, then you’ll also appreciate that it features a backlit LCD screen as well as backlit keys so that you can see what you’re pressing.
This model is easy to operate and set up, making it one of the best ham radios on the market for beginners, and it’s a little more user-friendly than the FT-857D. Finally, it also has a quick spectrum scope so that you can search through active frequencies and find one faster.
While the FT-891 is more convenient and affordable, it simply doesn’t have the same level of performance as the FT-857D. Regardless, both of these ham radios from Yaesu are excellent products, and the best one will really depend on the amount of money that you’re willing to spend.
If you want to buy either of these radios, click on the yellow button next to each of them to be brought directly to the Amazon page where you can place your order.