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​UHF Radios Versus VHF Radios - One Better than the Other?

2nd Oct 2020

UHF Radios Versus VHF Radios - One Better than the Other? is often asked whether UHF or VHF is better and our answer changes based on who's asking the question. You see, UHF is great for some customers and VHF is better for others. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between UHF and VHF and why you might choose one over the other.

UHF stands for Ultra High Frequency and in the two way radio world we are talking about frequencies from 400 mHz to 512 mHz. VHF stands for Very High Frequency and includes frequencies from 136 mHz to 174 mHz. All of these frequencies are allocated by the Federal Communications Commission to be used for two way radio communications in some shape or form. We could write an entire paper on the frequency allocation and who's allowed to use what.

Generally speaking, UHF is a better option for users who intend to use two way radios indoors or mostly indoors with some outside use. A business like Home Depot with a Garden Center would be better off using UHF while a Plant Nursery should use VHF as they're primarily outdoors. If you're 50/50, UHF is the best bet. VHF works fantastic over water and in wide open spaces but isn't so great penetrating buildings.

Now that we've given you a basis on how to decide between UHF and VHF, lets talk about range for a minute. You'll find two way radios offering wattage from 1 to 6 watts depending on the manufacturer. Consumer two way radio Manufacturers often claim their products will go 35+ miles. Two way radios built for business and industry, rarely make range claims at all. Range depends on where you are physically using the radio, the weather outside, the teraine, and the battery life of the radio transmitting. All of these factors vary as will the range of your walkie talkie. Generally speaking, you can expect the following:

1 Watt Radios - Up to 150,000 Square Feet, 20 Floors, and .5 Miles.

2 Watt Radios - Up to 175,000 Square Feet, 25 Floors, and 1 Mile.

4 -6 Watt Radios - Up to 300,000 Square Feet, 30 Floors, and 2 miles.

UHF Radios will have better performance in the buildings. VHF radios will have better performance outdoors. More expensive two way radios may increase your range by 5-10% but that's not guaranteed so don't overbuy. is a trusted partner for thousands of two way radio users in the United States. Let us help you pick the right radio for your needs!