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Reviews For: ICOM IC-718

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

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Review Summary For : ICOM IC-718
Reviews: 432MSRP: 750 1199 Cdn
HF Transciever
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
WB8ICU Rating: 2022-12-31
great and easy to operate Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought this rig about 2 years ago, and am very happy with it. cheap enough and does everything I need. I work almost totally on cw, so I was happy to find the fl52a filter on ebay. The tuning is a little fast for me, but certainly not enough to bother . The dual purpose number pad makes it easy to change things without getting into set or initial settings. It did bother me a little to hear relays when I keyed. For a solid state 100w rig, you don't expect that. but of course, this rig has been in production for a long time...I thought about getting the 1c7300, but the price is more than twice what the 718 is. It's like we say about Motorola when I was a radio technician. You can get better, but you can't pay more (the 1c7300)
ZL1MTO Rating: 2022-10-14
Very good as a first transceiver or as a spare Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The Icom 718 was my first transceiver when I got my license back in 2017. It was in reasonable shape and I had to replace the DSP unit as the one installed was not working.
I found the Icom 718 to be very good, going beyond my expectations for the features offered.
My transceiver does not have the optional SSB filter but that was OK. I manage to get over 100 DXCC with it in both Voice SSB and FT8/FT4
It's simple to use, the Notch filter is good, NB and NR also work pretty well and it is a very light transceiver what makes it very suitable for DX peditions.

I like the fact that it has a speaker in FRONT on the panel what makes things easier and sounds better.

I definitely would recommend the IC-718 for anyone who is starting in the hobby or would like to have a spare radio to be taken around. I still have mine and even though I don't use it regularly I will not get rid of it.

The only weird thing is that it does not offer a way to control the AGC. It's automatic. The AM reception is poor.

A 4.1 stars out of 5.
AA4WA Rating: 2022-05-16
My favorite radio! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
UPDATE: *May 2022

I have used this radio for several years and it is perfect for my operation, basic, simple and fun. I really love this radio and use it daily for my ham and SWL'ing. It remains my only "modern" transceiver. They are inexpensive enough that I keep a second one as a backup/portable unit. For CW use, try to find a used 500 hz FL-52a Icom filter. *Inrad used to have an aftermarket 400 hz CW filter, but they have listed it as "not in stock" for quite some time, now. For some CW users, that may make a difference in choosing this radio or another.

After more than 22 years of being in production, I think that speaks for itself.

I've seen reviews that say this radio only has one setting of the AGC. That is incorrect. The radio uses fixed AGC settings, depending on the mode selected. Ref: SERVICE manual.
CW and RTTY - fast
SSB - middle
AM - slow

For best operation on CW and SSB, set the volume at a comfortable level (on CW set it for the side tone level you want) and use the RF gain control as your volume control. This has been the standard operating procedure since the beginning. Hams need to be taught this, because it is still just as effective in greatly improving the signal to noise ratio for modern radios, as well as vintage receivers.

This radio is much more than an "entry level" radio. As a ham for 48 years, I greatly appreciate its basic and simple operation. I have no need for bells and whistles, I just want to have a solid and reliable radio to be on the air with, base, portable or mobile, to operate CW, SSB, RTTY and Data. And that's what the IC-718 does.

One problem I have experienced is that static or nearby lightning has blown some of the front end diodes causing the "ATT" issue, where the receiver hears better with the "ATT" on than off. Icom replaced the diodes and repaired the radio in short order.

I now recommend Morgan Systems M-300U coaxial lightning suppressors. They use direct DC shunt to ground on the antenna side, to drain off static charges. Since I installed the M-300U in Aug 2020, I've had no more front end issues.

The IC-718 remains my favorite radio and I hope this information helps others. I will update my review if there are any new developments.

Keepin' it simple with the IC-718

G4AZC Rating: 2022-05-01
Excellent basic good fun radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is the third IC-718 that I have owned, I sold the last one in order to fund the purchase of an IC-7300 which is a truly stunning radio but I never actually enjoyed operating it. So I sold the IC-7300 to go back to the IC-718. Very glad that I did. I love the 718, It is as simple as it gets, it can be mastered in minutes and there is no constantly referring to the user guide. Fitted with the UT106 DSP module which has the best auto notch filter (ANF) I have ever used (try getting one now though), - even the standard non DSP "Noise Blanker" is remarkably effective compared to other radios. Excellent with data RTTY Navtex etc. It is a pleasure to use. I am so glad that I have gone back to one. It has literally re-ignited my enjoyment of amateur radio. Built like a brick out-house and still stands the test of time even 20 years on. I will never part with this one now, it is a keeper. Please just judge it for what it actually is and not against the top of the range models. It does exactly what it says on the tin and I thoroughly recommend it. It is rapidly becoming a classic ! !
WA7KJ Rating: 2022-02-23
OK radio but accessory support from Icom not provided. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've owned the IC-718 for about 6 years, bought it new. It's a good radio for what its role is as a basic, entry-level hf transceiver. However, about a year ago I noticed it doesn't produced full power on CW or RTTY (SSB shows no power output on the indicator although it is putting out some power). It has been to ICOM Service in WA twice, each time reporting that it was putting out 100 watts. I'm not seeing that with my test equipment. Right now it is with MTS service to see what is going on. Although it is a decent radio, I would not recommend buying it because even though it is still in production most of the accessories for it, such as filters, mounting bracket and so on, are no longer available. Mine came with the DSP filter installed but if you want any other filters, such as CW narrow, good luck. The lack of accessory support by Icom suggests to me that it will soon be discontinued, perhaps replaced by a new model. Lots of used ones on the market if you're looking for a starter radio at a lower than new price.

Update: 2/23/2022
Installed the FL-52A 500 Hz filter for CW which makes it much easier to tune in other stations during high activity. The power issue was resolved: Powering the radio from a RigRunner 4005 was like putting a governor on an engine, reducing power output to 50 watts. Powering directly from the power supply allowed full power output in CW and RTTY modes. Overall rating is increased as a result.
K7CID Rating: 2021-12-07
Excellent Rx and Tx. Exceeds my expectations. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Was tempted to buy the ICOM IC-7300 but this rig meets or exceeds my expectations. I used the "extra $" to buy a Spiderbeam mast and G5RV. This is the first ICOM rig I have owned. I have been off the air for more than a decade. Had a Yaesu FT-950 which was also a great rig. I really like the speaker in front. Has all the controls that I need and few menu items hidden. Most controls are knobs and placed where you want them.
W4KVW Rating: 2021-09-23
Better Than I thought It Would Be! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I purchased one Used a couple of days ago along with an ICOM AH-4 Automatic Antenna Tuner & I am Very Surprised at how well it works.It's nothing like my ICOM 7600 or ICOM 746 but it's far from Terrible.It has a very good receiver & the transmit audio reports have been very good as well.It has the UT-104 DSP Unit so it's not a noisy receiver either & I also run it thru one of my ClearSpeech DSP Base Modules so it's very very quiet.I am using the ICOM SM-8 Desk Microphone with it as well but I already had it.I prefer a radio with many more Bells & Whistles but I can tolerate the 718 for a while & play old school radio.I may even take it out in my mobile & play some HF Mobile with it.I have not connected the AH-4 just yet but the 718 works great with my MFJ 929 Automatic Antenna Tuner.I paid less for the 718 & AH-4 than a New 40 Channel SSB CB Radio costs so I'm not complaining at all.For the price I paid I'd buy them all day long every day.It may be 20 year old technology but it sure works very well. {:>)
K6AER Rating: 2021-06-21
Solid HF Radio Design - Old School Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is an update to my previous review. I have used the radio extensively in portable operations along with my IC-7300 and have done many A/B comparisons. At no time was the IC-7300 ever to hear a station that I could not copy on the IC-718. Not bad for a radio designed from over 20 years ago. ICOM has produced more of these radios than any other manufacture model and there is a reason why...solid design. Again this year we will be using the IC-718 for Field Day. With many operators using the radio from different backgrounds I have noticed they take to operating the radio very quickly.


I have the options audio DSP module and the CW filter.

I bought the IC-718 used about a year and a half ago and used it as a back up radio to my IC-7300 in case of a lightning strike. Paid $400 for the radio with the CW filter and the DSP module. The radio is very rugged and performs well. I have used it as a main radio for two Field Day outings with very favorable results. The transmit audio with the original microphone is a bit muffled but using the M-219 microphone from the IC-7300 has improved the audio quite a bit more.

If you have been a ham for a while you can use the radio with little interaction with the manual. If you are new to Hm radio are only have used the newer SDR radios some reading is in order.

Radio puts out 100 watts with 14.0 VDC. There is a mistaken belief that the transistors used in the radio are capable of 150 watts out because they are the same transistors Icom uses in their Marine 700, 150 watt series radio. Both radios use the 2SC2904 Mitsubishi transistors but these transistors are rated for 100 watts maximum at 23 degrees C. The marine version is rated at 150 watts PEP in SSB only for under three minutes. Some hams have had their IC-718 modified for this level output but at their own risk of burning up the finals when the base temperature goes above 50 degrees C. If you need more power buy an amplifier. I can only imagine the IMD output running the transistor into class-C for more power out.

The radio does not have any RX AGC that many new hams have become accustom to. The radio is old school and you need to learn about using the RF gain control. Receive is pretty selective and the recovered audio sounds good as long as you know what to do with the RF gain control. Audio output is good enough to drive a good book shelf speaker to loud volume.

Transmitter is clean if you don’t over modulate and the output level and the power out AGC is pretty constant. I need 40 watts to drive my linear and the radio holds the power level very well.

The radio does very well on CW and the optional CW filter makes a big difference. I have not used the radio on AM or any digital modes.

The radio does not have a built-in antenna tuner but most built in tuners will not cover over 17-150 ohms antenna impedance.

These radios can be found in good condition for under $375. This makes it a great starter radio for those getting into the hobby. The radio has been production for almost 20 years and I can understand why.
W3ALG Rating: 2021-06-21
Great Field Communications Radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased this radio years ago and love it! I currently have it in a "Go Box" that I use for field communications. Along with the AH4 antenna tuner, its spot-on. Fun to use at a affordable price I would recommend it to anyone and especially for the beginner. I hope to see this radio around for a while. I like "easy" and this fits the bill.
N1TLF Rating: 2021-06-21
Good Beginners Radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Excellent radio except for one thing. The AGC is non adjustable. Its on fast all the time and cannot be set to medium or slow. Not sure why Icom hasn't corrected this considering the radio has been in production for so many years. Because of this, even though I live in a pretty decent area as far as RF noise is concerned, to make the receiver tolerable, you have to turn on the ATT and fiddle with the RF Gain control. Receivers in HF radios are important. And because of this, the highest this radio deserves is 4 out of 5 stars.