What HF Radio Should I Buy?

ICOM IC-7300 - ICOM IC-7300 HF Plus 50 MHz Transceivers

I see this question posted a lot. Unless you want to spend more than $1,000, and you are interested in buying a new, first HF radio, you should buy an Icom IC-7300.

“But I only want to spend $450”, you say? Save longer and get the Icom.
Don’t buy a QRP radio as your first HF rig. You’ll be frustrated.

There are lots of great used radios out there. There’s nothing wrong with them. My first rig was a used Kenwood TS-440SAT that I bought in the flea market at Hamvention in 2002. I love it. I still have it. It is in the background of the header image for this site.

But today, in 2019, if you are going to buy a new radio — save yourself the frustration, don’t buy a Yaesu FT-450D or god forbid a FT-818. Just get the Icom.

Something like the FT-991 might be tempting, because you get 2m and 70cm too. I get it, but it doesn’t perform that well on those bands. It’s a valid option, but I think you’ll be happier on HF with the 7300, and something else for VHF/UHF.

Dollar for dollar, the 7300 is an absolute steal for ~$900*, and you’ll love it.

Update Dec 7 2020: You might also be interested in “What power supply should I buy?

Update 01/01/2021: Click here if you’d like to see my other recommendations.

*At the time of posting, the IC-7300 is priced at $898.95 at DX Engineering after rebate.

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