Two-Way Radio Grades - What Do They Mean?

Posted by Two Way Direct on 20th Oct 2022

When researching the different types of handheld radios, you may come across terms such as “Consumer Grade,” “Business Grade” or “Commercial Grade.” So, what do they mean?

Initially, radios were categorized based on the market segment they were created to reach. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) identifies who is able to use these different grades as well as which frequencies are available to each group.

Consumer Grade two-way radios include all FRS/GMRS devices. All of these radios are created with the same frequencies on the same channels, making it easier to connect with other consumer two-way radios. As far as licensing goes, GMRS radios require an inexpensive license while FRS Consumer radios do not require a license at all. These are the most simplistic handhelds available.

Business Grade two-way radios are designed for specialized teams as opposed to consumer radios, which are typically used for non professional situations. UHF and VHF models are limited to the amount of channels and frequencies they possess. Oftentimes, customers purchase these two-way radios and program these handhelds to the same frequencies in order to create a more secure line of communication. While the radios do possess multiple channels, these frequencies are exclusive to the radios among the team. Business grade models are not only more secure than consumer models, but they are also more durable and as a result, more expensive.

Commercial Grade two-way radios are the most durable radio options, with the most available channels, which are on locked down frequencies. With intrinsically safe options, this type of handheld is even more durable than a business grade model. Commercial grade handhelds are able to connect with repeaters and other signal-boosting equipment and work well with industries such as manufacturing and construction.

Public Safety Grade two-way radios are specifically designed for public safety entities such as police, fire and other emergency teams. These handhelds are typically very high-end, expensive radios.


For more information on which type of two-way radios you may need for your business, give us a call at 888-742-5893 or request a quote and we will get back with you.