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Reviews For: Yaesu FT-857 - all flavors

Category: Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - non QRP <5W

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Review Summary For : Yaesu FT-857 - all flavors
Reviews: 435MSRP: 769
Yaesu HF/VHF/UHF Mobile Transceiver
Product is in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N3IPN Rating: 2023-05-06
Great Compact Multimode Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Owned since new, immediately installed in dash/mobile..... used 7 yrs mobile, in sun, and cold, then into house/base... worked well mobile... yes lil noisy receiver... turn IPO on(preamp off), helps immediately...better yet add the SSB filter, its better yet... I do own the ICOM-706mk2, with an SSB filter... I like it too... The Yaesu Menu structure is way easier to configure as you like vs the ICOM menu structure. Multifunction Row "Q" in the menu will help you set up the radio to your liking...(A,B,C keys are programmable)... enjoy!
K5TED Rating: 2023-04-12
Good rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The first time I saw a picture of this rig, several years ago, I noted then and there that I did not like the look or the layout, and it seemed the buttons around the tuning knob doomed the radio to a narrow niche of users.

Fast forward to last month. 6m is coming alive, and my only 6m capable rig was a FT-817ND. Fun for QRP. 6m doesn't lend itself to QRP often just yet, so I started looking around.. I was almost set on a FT-450AT, when I found a deal I couldn't resist on that internet auction site.. $600 plus shipping for what was promised to be a new in box FT-857D. I figured, what the heck... 100w out on 6m, and DSP (albeit AF, not IF like the 450), and could use it as a spare 2m 70cm as well.

I can say I'm absolutely satisfied. I've been using it for phone and 6m digital modes with the new WSJT8 package. The CAT control makes it a "big" rig on my computer screen, and it sounds great on the air (I've been told), with a Astatic 10DA desk mic.

After using the front panel controls,I have to give kudos to the Yaesu engineers for creating a really easy to use layout, menus and all.

edit: not long after, I got a I5XWW 455kHz>12kHz IF converter that plugs right into the filter slot and gives you about 12kHz of panadaptor and SDR all modes/filters/performance with HDSDR. Made a lot of difference in the receive.
W5NM Rating: 2023-04-11
Noisy Receiver Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is a great all around radio and I have had mine for many reliable years with absolutely no problems.
Mine has a very sensitive 2 meter receiver.
The biggest weakness of this radio is a noisy h.f. receiver.
I took mine off the shelf recently and used it for a couple of weeks and it performed flawlessly.
Found that after listening to a FtDX101D and various other hf radios that the 857 causes listener fatigue rather quickly.
All in all this radio has been a good investment and I have enjoyed it for many years.
Its worth more now than when I bought it.

Carmine W5NM
N4MJG Rating: 2023-04-11
Awsome Rig SINCE LATE 2000 Time Owned: more than 12 months.

I had this in my truck for long untill i had a wreck until i use it as a Base with with heil GM4 GOLDLINE mic works great with good clean audio report of 6/9 wihich good for me i set ssb mic gain on 60 pushing about 100 watts no wonder it good rig to use as of base for me it's a keeper for sure !

I had this rig very long time works for me no problem here

SKCC 7305 SINCE 2005
OMISS 11548
LU7BSE Rating: 2022-06-26
Good Radio!!! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The only good thing about this radio is that it is super compact, noisy receiver, a lot of noise and more noise, very small display, very complicated menu functions, good transmitter but very hot, after a few years I sold it, my ears hurt when listening its reception, in vhf and uhf, is passable nothing special
KO4PJW Rating: 2021-03-16
Super radio once your get the menu down. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Purchased new and used in a large go box which is now my primary Shack Radio. This radio is excellent quality and I get many compliments on my signal and and voice on all bands. I hit Canada down to the islands off South America on 20m and 40m using CW. 2m and 70 cm are all band as are all HF bands supported. Read the manual and practice using the menu and you will be fine. I have both filters installed and picking up signals is not an issue. Great rig!!
VA3IPG Rating: 2020-12-10
a working horse! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased this radio in spain about 12 years ago. it has thousands of hours of usage on it. only had a problem that was caused by me(i put some extra power close to the antenna and made it deaf on 2m/70 cm bands). after 12 years of usage, the display shows some missing lines(normal for its age) so i have it doing psk31/sstv ans some times vhf ssb when the propagation allows it. i think after all, that its a great radio to buy even in second hand. mine deliverys 210w full power since the first day in my house. of course i have a good antenna tuner to protect it, so i never had an issue regarding that.
WB7VTY Rating: 2020-11-21
Great Radio with disappointing reliability Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Since Ive owned a FT817nD for 10 years with nerry a hickup, I have wanted an 857D for a long time. When I heard they were going extinct I bought one along with the CW filter about 9 months ago. After I got the rig setup, I instantly loved it. For 9 months Ive used it on the desk as my main rig on a daily basis and chased a ton of SOTA stations, and taken it portable a couple times. Lots of band changes and 95% CW with a fairly low break in delay so lots of fragile little relays getting a work out. You can see where this is going. This was an outstanding radio, right up until the receive became intermittent. Bad relay(s). Tripping the PTT and cycling T/R relays a few times would clear the issue. Next time I would transmit, s7 or 8 signals instantly dropped to s1 or 2 or just plane gone. Primarily on 40 / 30 meters. I did some googling and found out that this is such a common issue that the rig has a relay cleaning routine baked into the firmware. (FYI, so does the FT450D as it has the same issues). You hold down the band up and band down buttons when you power up the rig and the relays chatter a bit and thats it. This routine would also clear the issue. Right up until the next time you transmit. You come back to receive and its just deaf. I think this is so disappointing because I really like this radio. It does everything, it works great, and it is so portable, and it doesnt draw 2 amps setting there doing nothing. Its a great radio. Unfortunately Yaesu has obviously decided to, or perhaps had to, use tiny marginally good enough relays in order to get the rig down to the size they wanted. Either way, Im pretty sure the relays are just not good for the kind of use I put it through. Its obviously a known issue in this rig and the 450D or they wouldnt have the relay cleaning routine programmed into it. SO, unfortunately, after 9 months of fun, its going back to Yaesu. Im confident they will fix it, and I am also confident that it will just do the same thing again in less than a year so I will with much disappointment sell it. Interestingly, a few years ago I owned a FT450D, which I also really liked, and which also failed in less than a year. In hind site its failure may well have also been a relay related issue. It too went back to yaesu, was repaired, and I gave it to a new ham. This is a tough radio to rate. If not for the failure, I would have absolutely given it a 5. If the failure had just been a random fluke, well, that happens and I would still have given it a 4 or 5. However, since this is obviously a known issue, and the radio has been in production for so long with no resolution, I cant even say its average. It also doesnt do much for my confidence in any more yaesu purchases and other potential time bombs they have waiting and havent fixed. Happy to answer any questions. Just shoot me an email at

October 19 2020 Update

After two months, I have received my 857 back from Yaesu repair. Ok, its 2020, the year of the apocalypse and everything is slow, so no strike for the two months. I shipped the radio double boxed, the head, body, mic, power cord, each separately wrapped in multiple layers of bubble wrap since I didnt have original boxes. It was very well packed. You could have kicked it through a goal post and it would be fine. What I got back was my radio, head, and mic thrown in plastic bags, thrown in a box barely bigger than the radio, with packing materials that looked like used junk picked up from a floor sweep. The radio was not wrapped in anything and was right up against the walls of the box on 4 sides. No protection what so ever. Completely unacceptable. When I took the radio out of the box, the plastic front bezel on the body that the head snaps into had a small broken / bent spot that prevented the head from snapping in. Additionally, there is a spot on the same bezel that was clearly touched by a hot soldering iron and melted. It also appears that somebody grabbed the broken section with a pair of needle nose pliers or something and attempted to straighten it. SO... they damaged the radio in service and didnt have the honesty to take care of it, hoping I wouldnt notice, and stole the packing materials that I spent time and money putting together. I have "upgraded" my review to awful. Again, this is a great radio that puts lots of smiles on your face because of its capability and portability. If I had to judge the radio on that alone, I would still give it a 4 or 5.
Its a shame that it had such a failure in the first place. I suspect it will happen again but maybe its a fluke. There are lots of people that have many years of flawless service out of these things. My 817 certainly has been flawless. Worse than the fail itself was the utterly abysmal performance by yaesu service. It appears they fixed the electrical failure but otherwise, horrible service. We all make mistakes and accidents happen and thats all ok. However to steal your packing materials, ship it back as they did, and return a physically damaged radio, tanks the rating. The entire experience wreaks of dishonesty somewhere in the process at yaesu and there is no excuse for that. Fortunately the physical damage was minor enough I was able to repair it myself so Im not about to send it back to Yaesu for another beating unless it fails to function again. My advice is that if you need to send anything in for repair, take pictures of all of it, including how its packaged and send printed copies of the pictures with the radio. There is then no excuse. I thought about that and didnt do it. Thats on me. Yaesu has not responded to my nastygram yet but I just sent it today. I cant say anything about how they will respond to the situation yet. As before, any questions feel free to shoot me an email.

The end of the story - November 21 2020 Update

I did decide to send the 857 back to have the damage repaired. I did get a reply back from Yaesu and to their credit they immediately sent a prepaid shipping label, and repaired the radio and returned it with lightning speed. I had the radio back in less than two weeks I think. I repurchased all the packing materials I used the first time and in a funny twist, not only did they return the radio packaged as I sent it, bubble wrapped and double boxed, they put THAT inside a third box that was about a two foot cube. So, a triple boxed 857 in a 2 foot cube. Very funny. So, the 857 is back to 100% and I have also decided to keep it. Will see how it lasts this time. Again, any questions, feel free to email direct.

M3VXJ Rating: 2020-10-16
Excellent Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had my original FT-857D since January 2007 since first licensed, currently installed in my car.

It's a great performer. I have also an ATAS-120A bought at the same time and am running through a BHI NES 10-2 Mk 2 speaker. The whole setup is the perfect mobile.

The menu system did take a bit of getting used to and I still need to refer to the manual from time to time but all in all excellent.

The only downside has been a failed AM filter which was replaced by Yaesu UK under warranty which caused the thunder and lightening crackles described elsewhere by others.

13 years on. The Ceramic filters have been replaced as the snap, crackle pop came back. The toko units have been replaced with some alternative ones. The radio was a bit dusty having been mounted under the drivers seat of the car for the best part of 10 years. Other than that still working!
N8AUC Rating: 2020-08-09
13 years and going strong Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Well, the old girl is now a teenager, and still working great. I haven't had a lick of trouble with it since it was purchased. Handled Field Day this year with ease, and can't wait to use it again in the Ohio QSO Party in a couple of weeks.

This radio literally does everything, and while it's not the best at anything, it does everything well. And it's small enough to pick it up and take it anywhere. It's even got a CW memory keyer built in, which works very nicely.

Heard that Yaesu discontinued this radio. And while that saddens me, it's not really surprising. It isn't the latest technology, and eventually parts sources dry up for any design. So it kind of "is what it is".

I still absolutely love this rig, and will keep using it until it can't be supported anymore. Hopefully that's a very long time from now.