Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: MFJ-891

Category: SWR & Wattmeters & Dummy Loads

eMail Subscription

Registered users are allowed to subscribe to specific review topics and receive eMail notifications when new reviews are posted.
Review Summary For : MFJ-891
Reviews: 11MSRP: 109.95
"GIANT" Cross-needle SWR/PWR meter covering 1.6 to 60 mhz. Three power levels (20, 200, 2000 watts). Active Peak Reading and Average metering. LED back lighting. 3-5/8" meter.
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
AA5I Rating: 2020-03-20
Works get after I calibrated it Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Both me and my son-in-law got one last year. I ready didn’t need it as I have a Bird 43, but it has a large screen and easy to read. The thing I noticed right away was that both were really far off on readings. After searching for schematics and finding none, I set out to see if I could calibrate it myself. After a few hours of playing it, I was able to get it very close. Not as accurate as the Bird, but close. Email me and I will send you the picture of what control on the main board sets. There is only one on it that not sure what it does, but the other ones set the forward and reverse power. The one on the smaller board sets the decay delay for PEP readings. You will need to have a known good meter to calibrate it against.

W8HK Rating: 2019-01-01
Junk, junk and junk Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Got this thing from Amazon (from Gigaparts) for $120. WILL NOT read an accurate SWR. Both the radio and tuner give a 1.1.1; this POS gives a >6.
Cross needle on the tuner and this hunk of junk aren't even close. Getting a refund.
K3MD Rating: 2018-08-06
Not good Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I ordered mine to replace my peak-reading Heathkit HM-102, since I moved my Coaxial Dynamics wattmeter over to 2M KW position. My first meter was OK, except, in the CW/RTTY mode of the rig, with peak-reading feature enabled, reflected power reading erratically increased and decreased. I got a replacement direct from MFJ, and the replacement meter did the same thing, even with a continuous carrier. This a design flaw due to a leaky capacitor or something similar in the reflected peak-reading circuit. Sold to a friend for $20, a $90 loss.
KB9ERU Rating: 2018-04-15
Works! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Perhaps I got one of the decent ones. So far, so good.

It seems to agree with I compare it to the other watt meters that I own, and with the built in SWR meter on the FT-450D.
N8FVJ Rating: 2017-07-02
More Bad News Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Found out if into an almost perfect SWR, the peak watt functions seems to be close. However, when into a 2 to 1 SWR it reads about 20 watts vs the 140 watts it should read.

I get rid if it and bought a Yaesu YS-60. I will never lose money again on MFJ products.

Earlier 2-star review posted by N8FVJ on 2017-06-01

I have to revise my excellent review of MFJ-891 watt meter. During testing I use 200 watt scale and meter performed ok.

I recently tried it on a CB radio. The low scale is about useless as it appears the meter needs more power than a 4 watt output CB provides.

I ran a 1.8 to 1 SWR and meter showed about 2 watts out. Then, I placed thru a tuner for flat SWR and got no power reading at all. I changed to low scale calibration inside meter to show 4 watts at flat SWR. When I placed on same antenna without the tuner. It showed 20 watts out with 1.8 SWR.

Bottom line- meter is useless on the 20 watt scale.
Earlier 5-star review posted by N8FVJ on 2016-11-25

The MFJ-891 is a good meter. It is not a Bird, but for $100 is good as any meter in this category. It reads fairly accurate RNS average watts & PEP watts plus SWR. Large face is easy to read. What more do you want for $100? That is why I rate it a 5.
I believe MFJ gets low rating just because it is MFJ. MFJ does build some good products.
W7MY Rating: 2015-02-08
OK, sort of... Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This is a repackaged Jetstream JTWXHF SWR bridge with a MFJ label but the Jetstream JTWXHF get better reviews.

The good.
1- Big meter easy to read
2- Great back lighting LED
3- Three power ranges

The bad.
1- The manual is totally useless
2- No schematic, anywhere to be found
3- The meter zero drifts
4- The PEP reading does not work without external power, not stated in the manual

The meter is very usable as-is and the large lighted display is good. Without a schematic, you will not be able to repair or calibrate the meter if you need to.

N4QT Rating: 2015-01-08
Well made accurate meter Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Just replaced an old auteck swr meter with this new MFJ 891 meter. Seems to be as accurate as my old auteck which was known for being very accurate. Not made in miss. Like most MFJ products it's made in Taiwan ! Seems to be well made. I like the big meter even though it's a cross needle meter.its easy to read good peak reading meter . No stray RF problems. So far so good. No problems with this meter.
K2PJW Rating: 2014-11-23
Nice Big Display Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I love this huge meter. It is accurate for me and works as it should. I like that they now use an LED for the backlight. I have never had a problem with MFJ products. I actually took this meter apart before I put it inline just to make sure everything looked good. Other review made me nervous. Everything checked out.

What more can I say. It's a meter that works as advertised and is really easy to see, which is important to me. I love it. The backlight actually matches my Icom 7410.

The price cannot be beat. I am a fan of the many MFJ products. I think they are filling a very important role in ham radio. They have so many different accessories. I hope they are around for a very long time and continue their innovative product line.
AB9CA Rating: 2013-11-26
MFJ quality control strikes again Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Further to my review down the page . . . mine started acting up again, this time when running into a dummy load. I took it apart again and found that I had earlier overlooked the fact that the wire running from the DC power connector in the back to the ckt board in the front was not soldered at the power connector. There was solder on the connector and on the wire. However, there was also an air gap in between the two. Resoldered that, of course.

As of now it seems to be working OK. Not great. There is about a 5% difference between the 'Peak' and the 'Avg' reading on 10m. Looks like a freq response issue since this happens only on the higher bands. It also reads lower than my other meters, but not by a whole lot. It appears to indicate SWR reasonably well. Keep in mind that this one does not cost much. You tend to get what you pay for. I suspect the Elecraft W2, at twice the price, does better.

And I also found that the 'Avg' setting does not require DC power for operation. In that setting the meter is an ordinary, non-active, SWR/Pwr meter. Dunno if this is standard industry practice for so called 'active' meters or not.
K7PP Rating: 2013-11-22
Commonly known moniker dead on. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
The first unit I received read backwards (needle going opposite direction)on the middle range.
Had to wait weeks to get a replacement under warranty and sales person treated me like I didn't know Ohm's law. Duh...I've been Commercially licensed for over half a Century. Then the new unit arrived and worked on all the ranges except that when used on 10 meters it would generate it's own VSWR. I verified this with two Bird Wattmeters because I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It did, however report there was VSWR. I finally took it out to the dumpster and pitched it. I'm totally disgusted.

Earlier 0-star review posted by K7PP on 2013-05-21

Looks pretty good. That's where it ends.
Watt meter is inaccurate and in the middle range, the reverse needle reads backwards. Reads normal in the other two ranges.
You might think I have a bad antenna or cable. Not so. My old Dentron meter as well as my Bird Watt meter work normally with the same cables and antenna.
Sent it back to MFJ only to find out it will be a month before they can ship me a new one because they are out of stock. Technical help was almost impossible to get even after a very long wait on hold.
Tried an on line case ticket and it just sat there unanswered.
Last MFJ product for me.