Best Ham Radio SWR Meter

Looking for the perfect ham radio SWR meter can be overwhelming, but fear not! We’ve narrowed down the top contenders for you based on performance, accuracy, price range, and safety features. This will help you make an informed choice and enhance your ham radio experience.

What to Consider when Buying the Best Ham radio SWR meter

When choosing the best ham radio SWR meter, you should consider the accuracy and performance of the meter, the range of frequencies it can measure, and the impedance it can handle.

Performance and Accuracy

When purchasing a ham radio SWR meter, it’s crucial to assess its technical specifications and calibration process for optimal performance and accuracy. This includes;

  • Frequency Range: This should cover the frequency range of your ham radio equipment.
  • Power Handling: Consider the maximum power the meter can handle to avoid damage during high-power transmissions.
  • Calibration: Look for a meter with easy and accurate calibration processes to maintain precision.
  • Display Accuracy: Check the accuracy of the meter’s display to ensure reliable readings.
  • Build Quality: Evaluate the construction and components of the meter for durability and long-term accuracy.

Assessing these factors will help ensure that the ham radio SWR meter performs accurately and reliably.

Frequency Range and Impedance Measurement

Choosing the best ham radio SWR meter involves considering the frequency range and impedance measurement. The frequency range sets the limits for the frequencies the SWR meter can measure. It’s important to ensure the SWR meter covers the frequencies used in your ham radio setup.

Additionally, impedance measurement capability is crucial for matching antennas and feedlines. An integrated frequency counter in the SWR meter allows you to measure the frequency of the signal along with SWR. This helps in understanding the signal’s behavior across different frequencies.

Furthermore, the antenna analyzer function in the SWR meter provides detailed information about the antenna’s impedance at different frequencies, aiding in antenna tuning and optimization.

When choosing an SWR meter, it’s essential to consider its RF meter capabilities and its ability to measure impedance accurately across the desired frequency range.

Price Range

When considering a ham radio SWR meter, it’s essential to analyze the price range and features that suit your needs and budget. The meter’s frequency range, impedance measurement capabilities, accuracy, and portability are crucial factors to evaluate. Additionally, durability and outdoor usability, as well as extra functionalities like built-in coaxial cable meters, should be considered.

The price range for a SWR meter should align with your budget and the features you require. Quality and accuracy are vital attributes to prioritize, ensuring reliable radio frequency measurements. Portability and ease of use are equally important, especially for portable SWR meters used in different locations. Durability is a key value to seek, particularly for outdoor and field use, where robustness is essential. The presence of built-in coaxial cable meters can add significant convenience, making the meter more valuable for your investment.

Power Handling and Safety Features

Ensure your selected ham radio SWR meter can handle your transmitter’s power output to prevent damage. Look for built-in safety features like reverse polarity protection and surge suppression to safeguard your equipment.

High-quality, properly insulated coaxial cable connectors are essential to minimize signal loss and prevent interference. Additionally, consider an antenna tuner to manage power levels and protect your transmitter.

Understanding the power handling capabilities of your SWR meter and ensuring the presence of safety features is crucial for maintaining the efficiency and longevity of your ham radio setup.

User-Friendly Interface and Calibration Features

A digital SWR meter provides accurate measurements with an easy-to-read display. If you prefer a traditional dial display, consider an analog SWR meter.

For simultaneous forward and reflected power readings, look for a cross-needle SWR meter. Ensure the meter has a calibration knob for precise adjustments.

Choose a meter with intuitive controls and a clear display for ease of use. These features will provide you with a versatile and user-friendly SWR meter for your ham radio setup.

Best ham radio SWR meter Reviews

The best ham radio SWR meter is the Diamond SX600, which stands out for its dependable performance and accuracy. The Diamond SX600 impresses with its accuracy and reliability, making it a top choice for ham radio operators.

The Palstar PM2000A is especially effective for impedance matching. The Palstar PM2000A excels in impedance matching, ensuring optimal performance for your radio setup.

If you’re on a budget, the MFJ-828 offers a cost-effective option without compromising quality. Meanwhile, the MFJ-828 provides a budget-friendly alternative without sacrificing quality.

1. Diamond SX600: Best Ham radio SWR meter

The Diamond SX600 SWR meter allows amateur radio enthusiasts to monitor transmission parameters with precision. It supports connection to two transceivers simultaneously, enhancing operational flexibility. The meter features a 12V DC input for powering illumination and display LEDs, catering to various operating conditions. Additionally, it operates without an external power supply, ensuring adaptability.

With two separate RF sensors and a switch for switchover between sensors, it seamlessly connects to transceivers. The selectable power meter mean value/PEP and display options for forward power, reflected power, or VSWR offer monitoring and adjustment flexibility. Available in models such as SX-27P, SX-100, SX-200, SX-400, and SX-600N, this SWR/power meter covers different frequency ranges and power levels, providing compatibility with diverse radio setups.

Best For: Amateur radio enthusiasts and operators seeking a high-performance SWR/power meter with dual transceiver connectivity and versatile power options.


  • High precision in monitoring transmission parameters
  • Capability to connect to two transceivers simultaneously
  • Versatile power options with 12V DC input and the ability to operate without an external power supply


  • A precision of ± 10% of full scale may not be sufficient for some users

2. Palstar PM2000A: Best impedance matching

The Palstar PM2000A ham radio SWR meter delivers precise and reliable impedance matching for amateur radio operators.

Its large cross-needle meter allows simultaneous measurement of forward and reflected power, enabling efficient impedance matching.

The meter covers a wide power range of up to 2,000 watts and frequencies from 1.8 to 30 MHz, ensuring versatility across various ham radio bands.

Additionally, it features a built-in frequency counter with a digital display for accurate frequency measurement.

With its robust construction and accurate readings, the PM2000A is an indispensable tool for achieving optimal antenna performance and ensuring efficient power transfer in your amateur radio setup.

3. MFJ-828: Budget Option

The MFJ-828 SWR meter provides a versatile solution for amateur radio enthusiasts. It offers power range options of 25, 250, or 1500 watts, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of setups.

The meter’s continuous frequency coverage from 1.8 to 54 MHz caters to various frequency bands. Users can adjust the alarm SWR from 1.5 to 3.0, providing added protection for equipment.

The lighted cross-needle SWR/wattmeter with auto-ranging delivers clear and accurate readings, while the multifunction backlit LCD display with contrast control ensures visibility in different lighting conditions.

Furthermore, the built-in bootloader allows for field upgradeable firmware, enhancing the meter’s longevity and functionality.

The MFJ-828 is a compelling budget-friendly option for amateur radio enthusiasts seeking essential features.

Navick Ogutu
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Navick Ogutu
Navick Ogutu

- Hiking
- Birdwatching
- CB Radios
- Ham Radio
- Rock Climbing
- Skiing

Avid hiker and hiking enthusiast based in Nairobi, Kenya with over 20 years of experience exploring the country's most famous trails and natural wonders.

Navick has hiked extensively across Kenya, traversing renowned trails like Mount Kenya, the Aberdare Ranges, Hell's Gate National Park, and the Maasai Mara.

He provides hiking expertise on topics like outdoor skills, wildlife spotting, safety, and employing leave no trace principles.

Navick studied Urban and Regional Planning at The Technical University of Kenya.

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"I want to share awe-inspiring landscapes, slopes, and products for hiking, rock climbing, bird-watching and skiing--not just in Kenya but globally."

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