Yaesu FT-60R vs. FT-65R: A Comprehensive Comparison

Yaesu is renowned for producing high-quality amateur radios that cater to a wide range of users, from beginners to experienced operators. Among its popular handheld transceivers are the FT-60R and the FT-65R. Both radios offer excellent performance and features, but they are designed to meet different user needs and preferences. This article compares the Yaesu FT-60R and FT-65R, highlighting their key differences and helping you decide which one might be the best fit for your communication needs.

Overview of the Radios

Yaesu FT-60R

The Yaesu FT-60R is a dual-band handheld transceiver that has been a favorite among amateur radio operators for many years. Known for its rugged construction, ease of use, and extensive feature set, the FT-60R is ideal for both new and seasoned users.

Yaesu FT-60R DualBand Handheld 5W VHF/UHF Amateur Radio Transceiver - Dual Band

Key Features of the FT-60R

  • Dual Band Operation: Supports VHF (144-148 MHz) and UHF (420-450 MHz) bands.
  • High Power Output: Offers up to 5 watts of output power for extended communication range.
  • Comprehensive Feature Set: Includes over 1,000 memory channels, a wideband receiver, and emergency automatic ID (EAI).
  • Rugged Design: Built to withstand harsh conditions, suitable for outdoor and emergency use.
  • Long Battery Life: Comes with a 1400 mAh NiMH battery, providing adequate power for prolonged use.
  • Extensive Frequency Coverage: Capable of receiving a wide range of frequencies, making it versatile for various applications.

Yaesu FT-60R and Comet SMA24 Antenna Combo Kit

Yaesu FT-65R

The Yaesu FT-65R is a more recent addition to the lineup, offering a modern design and straightforward operation. It is aimed at users looking for a reliable, easy-to-use handheld radio without the need for advanced programming or features.

Yaesu Original FT-65 FT-65R VHF UHF Dual Band Rugged & Compact Handheld Transceiver

Key Features of the FT-65R

  • Dual Band Operation: Supports VHF (144-148 MHz) and UHF (430-450 MHz) bands.
  • Selectable Power Output: Provides 5W, 2.5W, and 0.5W output power settings.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Simple and intuitive controls with a bright LED display.
  • Durable Build: Compact and rugged design, meeting IP54 rating for dust and water resistance.
  • Long Battery Life: Equipped with a 1950 mAh Li-Ion battery for extended operational hours.
  • Affordable and Accessible: Priced competitively, making it an attractive option for beginners and casual users.

Yaesu FT-65R 5W 144/430MHz FM Dual Band Handheld Transceiver with Mars/Cap Modification for Extended Transmit Frequency Ranges

Detailed Comparison

1. Design and Build Quality

Yaesu FT-60R:

  • Rugged Construction: The FT-60R is built to endure rough conditions, making it suitable for outdoor activities, emergency response, and regular field use.
  • Traditional Design: It has a more classic design with numerous buttons and a robust feel, reflecting its long-standing reputation among amateur radio enthusiasts.

Yaesu FT-65R:

  • Modern and Compact: The FT-65R offers a sleeker, more compact design that is easy to handle and carry. Its IP54 rating ensures protection against dust and splashes, adding to its durability.
  • Simplified Interface: With fewer buttons and a more straightforward layout, the FT-65R is designed for ease of use, catering to users who prefer simplicity and efficiency.

2. Power and Battery Life

Yaesu FT-60R:

  • High Power Output: Delivers up to 5 watts of output power, providing strong signal transmission capabilities. The NiMH battery offers good endurance, though it’s slightly less efficient compared to modern Li-Ion batteries.
  • Adequate Battery: The 1400 mAh NiMH battery is robust but might require more frequent charging compared to newer battery technologies.

Yaesu FT-65R:

  • Selectable Power Levels: Offers flexible power options with settings for 5W, 2.5W, and 0.5W, allowing users to conserve battery life or boost transmission range as needed.
  • Longer Battery Life: The 1950 mAh Li-Ion battery provides longer operational hours and faster charging times, making it more convenient for extended use.

3. Features and Functionality

Yaesu FT-60R:

  • Comprehensive Feature Set: The FT-60R boasts an array of features including 1,000+ memory channels, wideband receive capabilities, and emergency automatic ID (EAI). It’s ideal for users who need a versatile radio with extensive functionality.
  • Advanced Memory and Scanning: Supports a large number of memory channels and various scanning options, making it suitable for complex communication needs and monitoring multiple frequencies.

Yaesu FT-65R:

  • Essential Features: While it lacks some of the advanced features of the FT-60R, the FT-65R offers all the necessary functionalities for everyday use, such as dual-band operation, multiple power settings, and basic scanning capabilities.
  • Simple Operation: Designed with user-friendliness in mind, the FT-65R focuses on providing reliable communication with minimal complexity, perfect for new users and those seeking straightforward operation.

4. User Interface and Display

Yaesu FT-60R:

  • Classic User Interface: Features a traditional display and button layout that might be more familiar to experienced radio operators. Its interface, though slightly more complex, offers detailed control over settings and functions.
  • Backlit Display: The display is functional and backlit, ensuring visibility in various lighting conditions, though not as bright or clear as more modern displays.

Yaesu FT-65R:

  • Modern LED Display: Equipped with a bright LED display that is easy to read, the FT-65R offers clear visibility of frequency and status, enhancing user experience.
  • Streamlined Controls: The simplified button layout makes navigation and operation straightforward, ideal for users who prefer a less cluttered interface.

5. Price and Value

Yaesu FT-60R:

  • Established Value: Although it may be slightly more expensive due to its extensive features and build quality, the FT-60R offers great value for users who require a versatile and durable handheld radio.
  • Long-Term Investment: Its robustness and feature set make it a worthy investment for serious amateur radio enthusiasts and those who need reliable performance in demanding conditions.

Yaesu FT-65R:

  • Affordable Option: The FT-65R is priced competitively, offering excellent value for users looking for a reliable, no-frills handheld radio. It’s particularly appealing to beginners and casual users.
  • Cost-Effective: With its balance of essential features and affordability, the FT-65R provides a cost-effective solution for everyday communication needs.


Both the Yaesu FT-60R and FT-65R are excellent handheld radios, each with its own set of strengths and target audiences.

  • Yaesu FT-60R: Ideal for users who need a rugged, feature-rich radio with extensive functionality and advanced capabilities. It’s a great choice for seasoned amateur radio operators, outdoor enthusiasts, and those requiring a reliable communication tool in challenging environments.
  • Yaesu FT-65R: Perfect for beginners, casual users, or anyone seeking a straightforward, easy-to-use radio. Its modern design, user-friendly interface, and affordability make it a great option for everyday communication and basic amateur radio use.


Yaesu FTA-850L Color Bluetooth NAV/COM Aviation Transceiver