A friend and I both bought one. Ours are the UV-5R. There were several reasons for this. The freq range is open for interops, that means police, fire etc. freq's used during an emergency. I do volunteer work here and could need these. Second was the cost. These are dirt cheap. Ham handhelds are expensive, the freq range is not open, they need to be modified to go outside of the normal band range. I don't know if all can be modified. AND this could be a throw away if it gets broke.