Kenwood GMRS Radio

I’m investigating setting up a base station with a GMRS radio. I’ve heard the Kenwood KT-8180 is a great alternative but it’s been discontinued so you can only buy used. Kenwood radios appear to have a very good reputation for performance and programming. However, I prefer to buy a new radio to start with.

Does Kenwood make any GMRS-capable radios? Is there a new Kenwood GMRS radios available on the market?

Right now, I’m looking at the Wouxun KG-1000 as the radio of choice given unavailability of a Kenwood. Any recommendations or suggestions would be appreciated.


I’d go with the KG1000 if the money is there. First choice for sure and it’s recently been reworked with a few new features. Personally, I am using a Wouxan HT after I caught a sale on a used amplifier for the GMRS band. Added that, and a hand mic, and now I’ve got about 40W comin’ outta the attic which is serving me well. The wife’s car has a 15W GMRS radio and we can do simplex for a 10-mile+ radius and, fortunately, we’ve got a strong GMRS repeater in town and with that, using only my stock HT’s we can get a 15 mile radius as well. I’ve digressed some but I guess I’m suggesting another option. If you’ve got GMRS HT’s you can use an amplifier and perhaps save a little cash. No match for the KG1000 though so, if the money’s there, it’d be my first choice.

I have been running Kenwood TK series radios for almost a year now. I started with an 880 then went to the 8160 and 8180. They are fantastic radios and can be had at reasonable prices used. Nothing they make is/was ever GMRS specific but many of their models are type 95 approved for GMRS. The Kenwoods are higher quality then any offical GMRS radio on the market. They have great recieve/transmit and features. The downside is they must be programmed from a PC with software. You can change/edit CTCSS codes from the radio but you can’t add frequencies or change power from the radio. The Wouxun KG1000 is a ‘decent’ radio and will be much easier to program/use but it is far more expensive to buy. I still think a ‘used’ Kenwood would outlast a ‘new’ Wouxun.

Thanks for the information and perspective. I need to look at the programming aspect of the Kenwood and how much impact that it has on frequent moves. This set up will be moved often so changing frequency will happen often as moving from one repeater footprint to another. This is an ongoing project so this is another piece of the puzzle I will need to figure out.