7 Things to Look for when Buying a Two-Way Radio

Although we were all intrigued by the walkie-talkies as children, they are an essential piece of equipment in many fields. As a device that offers unobstructed communication, military services, as well as construction works, cannot be imagined without a two-way radio.

If you are on your way to purchasing your own two-way radio, there are a couple of things you need to look for which are the reason behind this article. This will ensure the radio is suitable for all your activities, including distance and durability to provide longevity and an overall great experience.


Depending on what your intentions are with your two-way radio and all the activities it will be involved in, you must think about its durability. While they are all made sturdy, be sure they can survive a couple of falls.

In addition, rainy days are usual if you are working outside. No matter how the day begins, the weather can change in no time. For that reason, you need at least a splashproof radio to prevent damage.

However, going for a completely waterproof model might be a better choice. In the future, you might use the radio for other activities, so being sure that water cannot do damage to it can be beneficial. In case you plan on fishing and using the walkie-talkie for coordination, consider getting a model that floats. This will prevent you from going inside the water since you can simply pick it up.

Physical specifications

The physical specifications of the two-way radio are important as well. With plenty of gear, having to worry about carrying large radios can be annoying. For that reason, depending on the activities you plan on doing, the weight and the dimensions of the unit are highly important.

Tinier models are more practical and can easily fit inside the bag, or clip them on the waste of your clothes. To prevent slips and falls of the device it has to be secured properly, for that reason, be sure to look for the best Motorola radio holsters and be sure to check this.

In addition, they are not heavy so they can be transported easily, especially in sports activities such as hiking and fishing. However, that comes with a price since they don’t have as many features and are more fragile.

In case you work in construction, some sturdier models come with impact resistance. Although they are larger and heavier, they make a good fit in that field.

Number of channels and codes for privacy

The number of channels that most models come with is twenty-two. This means you get seven family service channels, eight general channels, and seven GMRS/FMS. You need to understand that you cannot use the GMRS ones unless you get a license for them.

Even though you have access to twenty-two channels, especially if you plan to use it in busy areas, you will surely get interference. To prevent that, there are codes for privacy where only people entering the code can get inside the channel.

Some devices come with more than a hundred codes, so you can come up with a lot of combinations to protect your line. This personalization option makes the communication clear and filters all transmission interferences.

SOS features

No matter whether you are at work, or you are hunting, or camping, having a backup plan in case something happens is essential. For that reason, most two-way radios come with SOS features. If you end up in a situation where you need help, using the radio you can alert the others and seek help.

In case you are not able to reach the device, there is an option to automatically send an SOS signal to the others. It basically acts like an alarm, where you have to snooze it after a certain interval. If you fail to do so, or you are in danger the device alerts the others on the channel and you will be assisted.

Maximum distance

The distance the two radios can reach each other is different depending on the transmission used. For example, the GMRS option that you need a license for can reach up to eighty kilometers, while the FRS only ten. Keep in mind that these parameters are measured in an area that is clear without objects obstructing the signal.

In case you need a communication method for an activity that requires coverage of a large trajectory, look for a radio that has a range more than what you need. Bear in mind that any trees or buildings will reduce the range of power so you might need to test things by yourself.


Another highly important factor you need to consider is the power of the device, or in other words how long does it last. While most devices come with batteries that can be recharged, be sure that you can insert disposable ones as well.

For a wide variety of applications, nickel-metal batteries are better because of their temperature resistance. In addition, lithium batteries are the most efficient since they are getting charged the fastest, and last the longest.

If you don’t want to carry batteries with you, be sure to purchase a radio that can be charged using a USB cable. That way, with a power bank by your side, you can ensure extremely long sessions of using the two-way radio.

Other features

Among the other features, we have the option to activate the radio using your voice. That way, you can keep the device on the holster and speak while having your hands free. This is a great option if you are doing something manually or being constantly active.

In addition, we have the feature of regular weather scans. The device can access a channel where weather information is being shared, and can alert you whenever there is a storm coming. You can also tune the channels by yourself and listen for a more detailed review.

Lastly, we have a Bluetooth connectivity feature. Sometimes, your activity may require you to put on a headset. This includes motorcycle rides and hunting for example. If the cable from the headset gets cut, you are left without a communication method. For that reason, looking for a model with a Bluetooth connectivity option is essential. Even if you don’t need it currently, you never know when are you going to need it.


With so many things to look for, it might get slightly confusing at the start. However, when you consider what are you going to use the radio for, everything becomes clearer.

Bear in mind that the size correlates with the features, so the smaller models are not equipped with many of them. In addition, larger models tend to be more expensive, so considering your needs before purchasing will prevent overspending, and coming up with a suitable device for your needs.

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