Yaesu FT-60R Review

Whether you’re a brand-new ham or you typically use mobile or base station transceivers, the Yaesu FT-60R is a fantastic choice if you want a 70-centimeter and 2-meter band handheld transceiver (HT). It’s barely changed since it was introduced in 2004 – and in this case, that’s a good thing. It combines a low price with excellent performance and a no-frills, simple design that’s easy to use, even for newcomers. Let’s take a deeper look at it now.

Good

  • Solid, rugged build – The FT-60R is water-resistant enough to use in the rain and has a solid overall build quality, though it lacks an official IP rating. It’s simple and robust enough to handle dents, drops, dings, and drips.
  • 5W transmit power – Plenty to reach local repeaters The rubber duck antenna seems to do a very good job. My first contact was with a repeater that was about 25 miles away and I got to speak to someone that was 200 miles away
  • Simple controls – You won’t find a touchscreen, complicated menu interface, or other frills on this radio. Instead, you’ll find some buttons, a manual squelch knob, and simple controls that are easy to learn and easy to use.
  • Loud and clear speaker – The 1-watt speaker provides plenty of power, making this radio usable in mobile situations and in loud environments. Combined with a solid receiver, you’ll get great audio from this HT.
  • Incredible value – The Yaesu FT-60R provides tons of performance without requiring you to plop down a ton of cash. If you’re on a tight budget but want a fully-featured 70cm and 2m radio, you’ll have a hard time finding a better bargain.

Bad

  • Stock antenna is just so-so – The stock “rubber duck” antenna is fine, but if you’re looking to reach more distant repeaters or operate at longer distances, you’ll definitely want to invest in an aftermarket replacement.
  • Batteries wear out quickly – With frequent use, the battery cells used in the Yaesu FT-60R tend to degrade, especially in hot environments. Regular users may want to invest in some backup batteries. You also have the option of powering it with 6 standard AA batteries in a pinch, which is a feature that’s lacking in most newer radios.

Bottom line

It’s far from flashy. You won’t find digital features, a touch screen, or any other fancy features on the FT-60R. What you will find is a high-quality handset that can hold up to a ton of abuse, and has an affordable price and surprisingly good TX and RX performance. Experienced hams may eventually find themselves wanting more features, but newcomers will love this HT, and even veteran operators may want to keep one on hand as a backup or rough-weather radio.

Product Specifications

Frequency Range Receive108 – 137 MHz
137 – 520 MHz
700 – 999 MHz (Cellular Blocked)
Frequency Range Transmit144 – 148 MHz
430 – 450 MHz
Channel Steps5/10/12.5/15/20/25/50/100 kHz
Repeater Shift±600 kHz (VHF)
±1.6/5.0/7.6 MHz (UHF)
Emission TypeF2, F3
Supply Voltage6 to 16 VDC Negative Ground
Current Consumption125 mA (Receive)
19 mA (Standby, Saver On)
0.8 mA (Auto power off)
1.3 A (TX 5W VHF)
1.5 A (TX 5W UHF)
Antenna Impedance50 Ohm SMA Type
Case Size2.3 (W) x 4.3 (H) x 1.2 (D) in. (58 x 109 x 30 mm)
Weight13.05 oz. (370 g.)
Circuit TypeDouble-conversion superheterodyne (VHF/UHF)
IFs: 1st47.25 MHz & 450 kHz
Sensitivity (12dB SINAD)0.16 µV (VHF 140-150 MHz)
0.2 µV (UHF 420-470 MHz)
Adjacent Channel Selectivity>__ dB (VHF)
>__ dB (UHF)
AF Output @7.5V, 10% THD400 mW @ 8 Ohm
RF Power Output (@7.2V)5, 2 & 0.5 watts
Frequency Stabilitybetter than ±5 ppm
Modulation TypeVariable Reactance
Maximum Deviation±5 kHz
Spurious Emission>60 dB below carrier (High and Mid)
Microphone Impedance2k Ohm

Expert reviews

  • In his review, Ham Radio Crash Course called the FT-60R his “go to” handheld, and praised the long battery life, rugged design, and simplicity of the radio. He called it “bulletproof” and one of the best options for simple TX and RX purposes, particularly if you replace the “rubber ducky” antenna with an aftermarket antenna.
  • Tony, KD8RTT reviewed the FT-60R on YouTube, and praised the versatility of the FT-60R, which he used as a handheld, in his vehicle, and as a base station, and he called it a great general purpose radio. He also liked the robust case design and water resistance of this HT, calling it great for everyday use. He also loved the physical squelch knob, a feature that’s rarely present in newer radios. His only major complaint was that the 3.5mm jack in the radio is loose, so headphones and microphones tend to slide out of the jack during use.
  • In a written review from The Prepared, Jonnie Pekelny compared the FT-60R to the much cheaper Baofeng BF-F8HP, and concluded that the Yaesu HT was a much better pick, despite its significantly higher price. He said that it’s “more durable, has more functions, better and more accurate documentation, and easier programming.”

User reviews

  • On GigaParts, users have given the FT-60R a rating of 5 out of 5 stars, across 6 total reviews. They called it a “very good radio,” said that it’s “built like a tank,” and praised the “user friendly and easy setup.” Users also praised the programming software and low price.
  • DXEngineering users have given this Yaesu HT a rating of 4.95 stars out of 5, across 41 total reviews. They called it the “best non-C4FM HT Yaesu offers,” “rugged, well-built, and user-friendly,” and “an excellent rig for new hams.” They also had good things to say about the user manual, overall build quality, and easy-to-use controls.
  • eHam.net reviewers have rated the Yaesu FT-60R at 4.6 out of 5 stars, across 323 total reviews. They called it a “great radio,” “very reliable,” “well worth the price,” and “incredibly easy to program by hand. They also praised the overall audio quality, rugged design, ease of use, and great value offered by the FT-60R.

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