Obviously a question like "where can I buy X" is not on topic, but there is a valid question right now of chinese-brand vs established-brand HTs. This is more of a continuum than an easy boundary line, so where should the line be drawn? Some examples:

Requests for specific product suggestions or comparisons (What model is better for my purpose, a Yaesu VX-7R or VX-8R? / Suggest a good radio for portable APRS use.)

Requests for products fitting certain criteria (What radios can be used for portable APRS use? / Does the Wouxun UV-3R fit these requirements?)

Questions of how to find a product meeting certain criteria (What features or parameters are required for portable APRS use?)

Requests for a brand or product meeting an objective threshold (What brand of ham DMR radio is most compatible with MOTOTRBO features? / What company produces UHF portables with the best adjacent channel rejection?)

Or put in other words - product suggestions? product comparisons? Objective questions about whether a product fulfills a certain need? General questions about how to evaluate products? General questions about what brands tend to meet certain criteria?

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    $\begingroup$ Related: blog.SE post about product recommendations. In a nutshell: General questions about how to evaluate products? is allowed, other questions might not be up-to-date tomorrow. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 22, 2013 at 21:59

1 Answer 1


I'd say something along the lines of "can ABC be used for XYZ" is fine - it has a clear answer that shouldn't change with time.

"What's the best ABC for XYZ" in cases where the topic is broad or talking about a wide range of options tends to be subjective and should probably be closed as opinion-based. (Narrower questions of this nature may be fine.)

"What things does an ABC need to do XYZ" is almost certainly okay; sure there are some subjective elements but a lot of the time there are some empirical requirements or at least guidelines that are usefully served in Q&A format.

"How should I pick an ABC for XYZ" is borderline but probably okay.

"Which is better for XYZ, ABC or DEF" I would say is fine; there's usually some objective criteria on which such statements can be made (but there might be some exceptions if the question is too broad).

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    $\begingroup$ Just be careful not to get tricked by 'trigger' words - "What's the best" is a natural way for many people to ask what essentially turns out to be a rather well & narrowly scoped question (sometimes needs a bit of polishing). Otherwise I think you've got a good summary here, which will hopefully lead to a very open and friendly site. $\endgroup$
    – Tim Post
    Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 12:08
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    $\begingroup$ ABC vs XYZ, I'd add a Gorilla vs. Shark blog post link. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 12:56
  • $\begingroup$ @TimPost Yeah - I'll clarify the "what's the best" aspect slightly, but I totally agree with you. $\endgroup$
    – Amber
    Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 16:11

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