The Best Emergency Radios of 2023
In this digital age, where we rely on our phones for so much information, it’s easy to overlook the good old radio. But an emergency radio will keep you informed with news and weather when the power is out or you’re off grid. They also have helpful features like chargers and flashlights built into them. While there is a list of viable products on the market, I helped you narrow down that list by testing five of the best emergency radios available.
- Best Overall:Midland ER210 Weather Alert Crank Radio
- Best for Preppers:Eton Sidekick
- Best Rated:Eton FRX3
- Best Budget:Midland Emergency Alert Radio ER10VP
- Best Portable:RunningSnail Emergency Crank Radio
How We Picked The Best Emergency Radios
Each emergency radio has different capabilities and standards, so there were some variances with each device. To get a feel for a radio’s most basic feature, I tested the radios in town as well as in the mountains to see how strong of a signal I could receive. Impressively, I didn’t find a whole lot of difference between the areas where I easily had cell phone service and the areas with rolling hills where a radio would be necessary.
Here’s a breakdown of the other items I tested.
- Solar panels – The Etons, Midland Emergency Radio and the RunningSnail radio all come with a solar panel. They’re all more or less the same size, but each radio has different features and size batteries so I imagine this isn’t an exact science. I simply left them outside to see how quick they could charge and evaluated who’s battery charge went up the most.
- Hand Cranks – A hand crank is fairly standard on most emergency radios, and similar to the solar panels, I simply compared how well the hand crank-powered each device.
- Bluetooth – This is probably a newer feature for a lot of these classic radio companies. Only one device has this, so I simply connected it.
The Best Emergency Radios: Reviews Recommendations
Best Overall: Midland ER210 Weather Alert Crank Radio
Why It Made the Cut: When it comes to emergency radios, Midland is a household name, and this radio is one of their most popular. Plus, it’s certified by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, better known as NOAA.
- AM/FM/Weather Band Radio
- Additional weather alerts
- USB charger
- Headphone jack
- Solar panel charging
- Crank army charger
- Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.25 x 2 inches
- NOAA certified
- Simple design and easy to use
- USB charger can charge phones and other devices
- Strong solar panel charging capabilities
The Midland ER 210 is what probably comes to mind when you think of emergency radios. The simple device does exactly what it’s meant to do, keep you informed and safe during severe weather like flooding, wildfires, and hurricanes. Right out of the box, it is very easy to navigate the different channels and find a radio source no matter where I used it. There’s a solar panel on the radio, and during testing I found that it charged impressively fast for such a small solar panel. Especially considering I only had it outside a short amount of time. While it’s not a true con, as the product does exactly what it is, the simplicity may have some shoppers looking at other options that include additional accessories. I will say the most surprising feature of the ER 210 was the USB in and out. The modern amenity means you can charge the radio with a USB while also using the radio to charge other items like a smartphone.
Best for Preppers: Eton Sidekick
Why It Made the Cut: The Eton Sidekick is the Swiss Army Knife of emergency radios. It can do just about anything you would expect from a radio and then some. While it’s a higher price tag, there’s no beating this list of accessories.
- AM/FM/Weather Band radio
- Bluetooth connection
- Larger ambient light
- USB charging and to charge smartphones
- Solar charging
- Crank charging
- Headphone jack
- Durable design
- Dimensions: 2.9 x 7.8 x 12.7 inches
- An endless list of capabilities even compared to the next best competitor.
- Super durable design and a handle at the top allow the Sidekick to be easily carried.
- The does-it-all concept makes this a great device for emergencies or camping trips.
- One of the more expensive products on the market
- The solar panel doesn’t charge that well
The Eton Sidekick is an emergency radio, but in a lot of ways, it’s more than that. With the added Bluetooth and phone charging capabilities, this is a great device to also take camping, or in some cases, one of the best emergency radios for preppers. Having the laundry list of capabilities makes this a great device in any situation.
The added Bluetooth was my favorite advantage of the product, as you can stream music or other audio from your phone. That was followed by a close second of the ambient light that makes up the entire backside of the radio. This is a great light to have at night in a tent or sitting around a campfire without being too bright. All the radio capabilities and Bluetooth also worked at home and in the mountains, meaning you can take it anywhere. Plus, the battery lasts a very long time. It also has one of the easier cranks to use as the product’s face is flat, and it’s easy to turn.
However, the small solar panel grid at the top of the product was lacking compared to the best solar panels for camping. It didn’t do much to add a charge but would work for someone using this solely for emergency reports in a dire situation.
Best Rated: Eton FRX3
Why It Made the Cut: After Midland, Eton offers some of the top emergency radios on the market. This includes the FRX3, which is certified by the American Red Cross. This radio is similar to the Eton Sidekick but with a cheaper price tag.
- AM/FM/Weather Band radio
- USB smartphone charging
- Solar panel charging
- LED flashlight
- Glows in the dark
- Headphone jack
- Dimensions: 6.9 x 5.8 x 2.6 inches
- Red Cross endorsement creates an added piece of mind
- The crank arm works great
- Additional buttons for volume and tuning
- Pricier compared to the Midland radio, which is its main competition
- Eton sells the Sidekick for just a few dollars more for a product with added durability and abilities
- The solar panel is underwhelming
The FRX3 is similar to the Sidekick in many ways but without the added durable feel. As far as capabilities go, it’s on par with the Midland ER 210. Out of the box, it feels noticeably less durable than other products. This is Eton’s design for a product that is solely for emergencies. That said, the product did everything it said it would. With the same-looking solar panel as the Sidekick, the FRX3 also didn’t generate a charge very quickly, but unlike the Sidekick, the charge was enough for the intended job of this being just a radio to alert you during severe weather. The price tag is fairly high on this one, but the American Red Cross stamp shows the extra cash may be worth it.
Best Budget: Midland Emergency Alert Radio ER10VP
Why It Made the Cut: This is it if you’re looking for an emergency radio for extreme weather or other similar situations. Small enough to store in a kitchen drawer or wherever else, it still has the same radio power as the Midland ER210.
- AM/FM/Weather Band radio
- Headphone jack
- Dimensions: 5.98 x 5.28 x 1.46 inches
With a NOAA certification but at half the price and even simpler than the other Midland radio, the Midland ER10VP is an item that should be found in every home. Out of the package, the radio is the size of two decks of cards stacked and is very easy to use. It can easily fit in a kitchen drawer or somewhere else for easy access if bad weather were to move in. This could also be carried by weight-conscious backpackers and other campers who simply want to get a weather report and have a flashlight, in addition to their primary best flashlight.
Unlike some of the other radios, this one still uses standard batteries, which I see as being a plus or minus depending on who you ask. There’s also no other way to charge it if the batteries die, and I would recommend keeping three extra AAA batteries in the event of an emergency.
Best Portable: RunningSnail Emergency Crank Radio
Why It Made the Cut: Similar in size to the Midland ER210, the RunningSnail Emergency Crank Radio has a few added accessories that make this a great product the best portable emergency radio. This includes a great added light under the solar panel and a more efficient SOS system.
- AM/FM/Weather Band radio
- Solar panel charging
- Crank charging
- USB charger for smartphones
- SOS Alarm
- Two different lights
- affordable than similar emergency radios
- SOS system with flashing lights and an audible alarm
- Power solar panel system for charging
The RunningSnail Emergency Crank Radio out of the box looks a little bit more like a toy compared to other products but works just as well. I left it outside before charging it otherwise, and it was quickly charged with the help of the sun. This radio has one of the most impressive solar panel charging abilities as it charged quickly and lasted a very long time. Many of the radios also have an SOS system that flashes the flashlight, but on the RunningSnail, it flashes red and sounds an alarm. The sound was enough to scare my dog and seems like a great addition to any device that could be used to save your life. These added benefits and low price makes this a great portable radio to bring with you on trail or overlanding.
Things to Consider When Looking for the Best Emergency Radios
Weather radios provide communication from the outside world and multiple other options like flashlights, phone chargers, and more to keep users prepared for almost any situation. The top emergency radios are a growing spectrum of and accessories, so here’s how to find the best weather radio for you.
The majority of emergency radios are affordable to most users. Still, it’s fair to say there are some poor-quality models on the market, so reading reviews and trusting a brand with certification from an organization like NOAA or the American Red Cross adds additional reassurance to the product.
Ease of Use
Most of the radios are easy to set up for the average user. Still, people with questions can find a long list of local meteorologists and others who have created YouTube videos to answer any additional questions you may have.
From a basic outlook, most emergency radios come with FM, AM, and weather Band radio, allowing users to get updates from the media and emergency broadcasts in certain situations. Additional features to help people prepare for power outages include hand cranks, solar panels, flashlights, and SOS signaling that could be vital in disastrous situations. While the chargers on emergency radios are fantastic, they aren’t a replacement for one of the best power banks for camping. For anyone looking to get additional accessories or to use their radio for outings like a camping trip, multiple radios have features like Bluetooth and charging capabilities to make it a great device for the backcountry as well. Some of these capabilities may be worth spending a few more dollars to have a more well-rounded product.
Q: Should I get an emergency radio?
Federal agencies like NOAA recommend having an emergency radio in your home. These simple devices can make a big difference, especially now when there’s an overreliance on smartphones and the internet. If you were to lose power or a cell tower went down, you would be left with nothing. Having this as an inexpensive backup item could make a difference.
Secondly, they work in areas where your phone may not have a signal and could warn travelers about current and upcoming weather conditions.
Q: What should I look for in an emergency radio?
This is dependent on the person. For the most part, however, some basic accessories can only upgrade your product in an emergency. Simple additions like a hand crank allow you to power your radio when batteries have died. Other more elaborate accessories like Bluetooth may just make the item more appealing to the user.
Q: How much does an emergency radio cost?
It’s fair to say most cost between 20 to 100. The price variation is broken down by how many added capabilities each radio has. From solar panels to USB charging and added lights, each radio is different. It’s up to you to decide your budget and to figure out how many accessories you want for your radio.
Final Thoughts on the Best Emergency Radios
You might never need to use one of the best emergency radios. But, if you do need it one day, you’ll be glad you have it. While and capabilities vary, plenty of today’s radios have added features like Bluetooth and lighting that can make them useful while camping or at home. Plus, these radios bring the benefit of peace of mind that you’re prepared for an emergency—and that’s priceless.
Best Hand Crank Generators: Top Picks for 2023
Hand crank generators offer a reliable and eco-friendly solution to power your devices during emergencies or outdoor adventures. These portable devices convert mechanical energy into electrical energy, providing easy access to power. As technology advances, hand crank generators become more efficient, lightweight, and versatile, making them a crucial addition to any camping gear or emergency preparedness kit.
When looking for the best hand crank generator, it’s crucial to consider factors such as power, output voltage, portability, durability, and additional features. The generator should have a high enough output to charge devices such as smartphones, radios, and flashlights. Also, its size and weight should be suitable for the intended use, whether you plan to take it camping or store it in a car or at home for emergencies.
High-quality materials and sturdy construction increase the lifespan and reliability of the device. Besides, some generators may also include additional features like built-in flashlights or solar charging capabilities, providing even greater versatility. Selecting the right-hand crank generator is a balance between these different factors, and finding the ideal one can be challenging. But, the reward of having easy access to power when you need it the most is well worth the effort.
A well-chosen hand crank generator can make all the difference when faced with unforeseen circumstances or in remote locations. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to help you choose the best hand-crank generator to meet your needs and preferences. The following sections will delve deeper into the crucial features of hand crank generators, comparing and contrasting some of the top models on the market. When you finish reading this guide, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to decide and choose a hand crank generator that will serve you for years.
Best Hand Crank Generators
Discover our carefully curated selection of top hand crank generators, showcasing their pros and cons to help you decide on your energy needs.
RunningSnail Emergency Crank Weather Radio
We highly recommend the RunningSnail Emergency Crank Weather Radio for its powerful features and reliable emergency performance.
- 4000mAh rechargeable battery
- Multifunctional: radio, flashlight, and motion sensor reading lamp
- Four charging methods: USB, solar, hand-crank, and battery
- Some users reported solar panel issues
- Radio reception may vary based on the location
- The price may be higher than other emergency radios
The RunningSnail Emergency Crank Weather Radio provides confidence and peace of mind when faced with unforeseen circumstances. It’s evident that RunningSnail listened to customer feedback and upgraded its design. With its high-capacity 4000mAh battery, this unit can charge more than one smartphone, making it a crucial tool during an emergency.
On top of that, the radio boasts impressive features such as access to 7 NOAA stations, ensuring that you stay informed in the face of extreme weather conditions. Besides, including a super-bright 3-mode flashlight and motion sensor reading lamp make it a versatile tool that can be used in a range of situations.
The four different charging methods give you added security, so you never run out of power. But, some users have identified issues with the solar panel’s charging capabilities. Finally, although the price of the RunningSnail Emergency Crank Weather Radio might be higher than other options, its rich feature set and reliability make it a worthy investment for emergency preparedness.
Eoxsmile Emergency Radio with NOAA Weather Alert
The Eoxsmile Emergency Radio is a reliable and versatile tool for those seeking to stay prepared and informed during emergencies and outdoor adventures.
- NOAA Weather Alert ensures timely weather warnings
- Multiple power sources for longer runtime
- Additional features, such as S.O.S. Alarm and flashlight
- Tuning AM/FM stations can be difficult
- Alert tone may be too loud for some users
- Color options may not cater to everyone
The Eoxsmile Emergency Radio is designed with safety and preparedness in mind, making it a great addition to your emergency kit. The built-in NOAA Weather Alert system provides crucial warnings for severe weather events, ensuring you are well-informed during natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, and wildfires.
One of the strengths of this radio is its multiple power sources, including solar, hand crank, USB, and battery options. This ensures a long runtime and reassures you that you can access crucial information even when the power goes out. Its versatility is also demonstrated by additional features such as an L.E.D. flashlight, reading lamp, and S.O.S. alarm, making it ideal for outdoor activities and emergencies.
While the Eoxsmile Emergency Radio offers numerous benefits, it has some drawbacks. Tuning into AM/FM stations can be challenging, and the loud alert tone may bother some users. Additionally, the limited color options may not cater to everyone’s preferences. Despite these disadvantages, the Eoxsmile Emergency Radio remains a valuable tool for those who need a dependable, multifunctional device in times of crisis or outdoor adventures.
Esky Emergency Hand Crank Radio with 3 L.E.D. Flashlight
The Esky Emergency Hand Crank Radio is a versatile and reliable choice for those needing a weather radio with multiple charging options and additional features.
- Three charging methods: USB, solar, and hand crank
- 2000mAh power bank for charging small devices
- Built-in bright 3 L.E.D. flashlight
- Not the most compact design
- Some users may find the sound quality tinny
- Requires frequent cranking to maintain power
The Esky Emergency Hand Crank Radio provides peace of mind during severe weather or emergencies. Its unique three charging methods ensure that you’ll never be without power. The USB port, solar panel, and hand crank allow for easy and convenient charging, even when access to electricity is limited. This portable weather radio also features a 2000mAh power bank, letting you charge your phone or other small electronics when running low on battery.
With its built-in 3 L.E.D. flashlight, the Esky Emergency Hand Crank Radio is valuable during power outages and other dark situations. This powerful 140-lumen light helps to increase visibility in your surroundings, keeping you safe and informed. Besides, the radio’s rugged design is durable and water-resistant, making it suitable for several environments and conditions.
While the Esky Emergency Hand Crank Radio does provide many useful features, there are some drawbacks to consider. The radio isn’t the most compact option on the market, and some users may find the sound quality a bit tinny. Additionally, frequent cranking may be necessary to maintain power. But this emergency radio is a reliable and practical choice for those seeking a versatile weather radio with additional features.
Mesqool 5000 Weather Radio
The Mesqool 5000 Weather Radio is a crucial emergency tool that offers versatility and reliability for various situations.
- Multiple power sources, including a 5000mAh rechargeable battery
- NOAA weather alerts and AM/FM/Shortwave radio reception
- Built-in flashlight, reading lamp, and cellphone charger
- Plastic construction may feel cheap
- A.C. adapter not included for charging
- Limited shortwave frequency coverage
Due to its multi-functionality, the Mesqool 5000 Weather Radio is a valuable addition to any emergency preparedness kit or outdoor adventure. The radio has AM/FM/Shortwave channels and seven pre-configured NOAA weather alert stations, ensuring you stay informed about weather conditions and potential emergencies.
The radio’s 5000mAh replaceable and rechargeable Li-ion battery can power phones in case of a power outage. There are five different power source options to keep the radio charged, including a solar panel and hand crank, ensuring you won’t be left without power when you need it most. Along with its radio capabilities and smartphone charger, this device also features a flashlight, an L.E.D. reading lamp, and an emergency cellphone charger.
Although the Mesqool 5000 Weather Radio includes many valuable features, some drawbacks must be considered. The plastic construction may make the device feel cheaper than other options on the market, and an A.C. adapter for charging is not included. But its robust features, reliable performance, and versatile power options make it a valuable addition to your emergency preparedness plan or outdoor activities.
Raynic Weather Radio 5000 Solar Hand Crank Emergency Radio
We recommend the Raynic Weather Radio 5000 for its multiple power sources, NOAA alert feature, and portability, making it a reliable choice for emergencies and outdoor adventures.
- 5-Way power sources for increased reliability
- Noise alerts for life-threatening weather events
- Compact and lightweight for easy portability
- Requires manual tuning for NOAA alerts
- Headphone jack necessary for private listening
- Water-resistant, not waterproof
The Raynic Weather Radio 5000 is a versatile and crucial tool for emergencies and outdoor travel. The five power source options, including solar and hand crank, ensure the radio remains functional even during prolonged power outages.
Equipped with an NOAA alert radio feature, this device is crucial for receiving warnings during severe weather events like hurricanes and tornadoes. But, it requires manual tuning to a local weather station to receive these alerts.
Aside from its emergency use, the compact and lightweight design of the Raynic Weather Radio 5000 makes it a perfect companion for hiking and trekking trips. The included compass, S.O.S. alarm function, flashlight, and reading lamp provide additional utilities for adventurers. Remember that this radio is water-resistant, not entirely waterproof, so caution is needed in wet conditions.
Kaito KA500 5-way Powered Emergency Radio
The Kaito KA500 is a reliable and versatile emergency radio, perfect for those looking to stay informed and prepared during unexpected situations.
- Multiple power sources for versatile charging options
- Comprehensive radio coverage, including NOAA weather channels
- Built-in flashlight, reading lamp, and S.O.S. beacon for added functionality
- NOAA weather channels and PEAS are available for the U.S.A. and Canada only
- Wall power adapter sold separately
- Small and fiddly selector switch for on/off options
The Kaito KA500 5-way Powered Emergency Radio offers various charging methods, ensuring you always have power when needed. This radio is prepared for any situation by utilizing a hand crank generator, solar panel, compartment for 3 A.A. batteries, USB input, and wall power adapter.
A noteworthy feature of the Kaito KA500 is its extensive radio coverage, including AM, FM, 2-Band shortwave, and seven pre-programmed NOAA weather channels. This allows you to stay informed about news, sports, and entertainment from across the globe while providing real-time weather updates for the U.S.A. and Canada. The advanced semiconductor circuitry and L.E.D. signal strength indicator ensure precise radio tuning.
Additionally, the radio comes equipped with a 5-LED reading lamp, L.E.D. flashlight, and red L.E.D. S.O.S. beacon light, making it a valuable tool in emergencies. Its impact-resistant and water-resistant A.B.S. material ensures durability for both indoor and outdoor use. Remember that some of the radio’s features are limited to specific regions, so plan accordingly based on your location.
Puiuisoul 4000mAh Emergency Weather Radio
The Puiuisoul 4000mAh Emergency Weather Radio is a versatile and reliable choice for a hand crank generator with multiple features.
- 4000mAh large-capacity battery
- IPX3 waterproof rating
- 3-mode flashlight and motion sensor reading light
- Not as compact as some other options
- It may not be suitable for extreme conditions
- Hand crank and solar charging are not as efficient as USB charging
Equipped with a 4000mAh battery capacity, the Puiuisoul Emergency Weather Radio offers increased power compared to other models on the market. This hand crank generator allows USB charging alongside solar and hand crank charging options, ensuring you can maintain control even in difficult situations.
The IPX3 waterproof rating makes the Puiuisoul Weather Radio a favorable choice for outdoor enthusiasts or those needing a device for unlit areas, such as camping, hiking, and kayaking. over, the 3-mode flashlight and motion sensor reading light provide valuable illumination in a range of conditions.
While its dimensions may not make it the most compact option, this emergency radio offers plenty of value through its numerous features, durability, and versatility. The Puiuisoul Emergency Weather Radio ensures you and your family stay informed and prepared during unexpected situations.
TENROOP Emergency Radio
This versatile hand-crank generator is a reliable choice for emergencies and outdoor adventures.
- A.A.A. batteries not included
- The headphone jack might not be ideal for everyone
- Limited color options
The TENROOP Emergency Radio is designed with preparedness and convenience in mind, featuring a sizeable 5000mAh power bank that can charge small devices in case of power outages or while you’re on the go. With a 4-way power source, you’ll have multiple options for keeping the radio functional, including a hand crank, solar panel, built-in rechargeable battery, and even room for A.A.A. batteries if needed.
This portable radio is not s you connected to AM/FM/NOAA weather alerts but includes an S.O.S. alarm and a powerful 3W speaker for emergencies. The reading lamp offers three light modes, ensuring you can continue reading or performing tasks even when it’s dark outside. The 3.5mm headphone jack also allows you to tune in without disturbing others, making it a versatile tool for a range of situations.
Overall, the TENROOP Emergency Radio is an excellent investment for those who want a reliable hand-crank generator for emergency preparedness or outdoor activities. Its impressive power bank capacity, multiple charging options, and added features like the S.O.S. alarm and reading lamp make it a valuable addition to your toolkit.
ROCAM Emergency Radio Hand Crank Solar
The ROCAM Emergency Radio Hand Crank Solar is an excellent choice if you need a versatile and reliable hand crank generator.
- Multiple power sources for added reliability
- Includes flashlight and reading lamp
- S.O.S. alarm and compass for emergencies
- Solar charging may not work in all conditions
- No earphone socket as shown in photos
- expensive than other emergency radios
The ROCAM Emergency Radio Hand Crank Solar is equipped with AM/FM/Shortwave Radio NOAA Weather Alert, making it a valuable companion for outdoor enthusiasts and emergencies. With its various power sources, you can keep this device running even in the most challenging conditions.
Lighting features such as the 3W flashlight and 6 L.E.D. reading lamp make this unit stand out from similar products. In addition, its loud S.O.S. alarm and attached compass ensure your safety in times of crisis or navigating unfamiliar territory.
Despite its higher price and minor drawbacks, the ROCAM Emergency Radio Hand Crank Solar offers robust features that make it well worth considering for your next outdoor adventure or emergency preparedness kit.
Aivica Emergency Hand Crank Weather Radio
The Aivica Emergency Hand Crank Weather Radio is a reliable and versatile choice for those seeking a high-quality hand crank generator.
- Emergency radio with NOAA and AM/FM signal reception
- 10000mAh power bank for device charging
- Multiple charging methods, including Type-C, solar, and hand crank
The Aivica Emergency Hand Crank Weather Radio is designed to keep you informed during emergencies, providing crucial weather information and AM and F.M. signals to stay connected. It is equipped with a 10000mAh power bank as an all-in-one device, ensuring all devices remain charged when needed.
Aside from its functionality as an emergency radio, this hand crank generator includes a built-in flashlight with three modes, a reading lamp, and even an S.O.S. alarm for added safety. The compass on top of the box of radio is a practical addition, making it a Smart choice for outdoor activities like hiking and camping.
Despite its many features, some users have noted concerns about the tuner quality and the speed of solar and hand crank charging. But, the Aivica Emergency Hand Crank Weather Radio remains a versatile and practical option for those needing a reliable hand crank generator.
There are a few factors to consider when looking for the best hand-crank generators. This buying guide will discuss crucial features and tips to help you choose the right product.
The power output of a hand crank generator is a significant factor in determining its usefulness. Consider the devices you plan to charge and their power requirements. A higher power output ensures more efficient charging and better performance.
Hand crank generators should be easy to carry and transport. Ensure the hand-crank power generator is compact and lightweight, making it ideal for emergency kits, outdoor adventures, or off-grid situations.
A durable and sturdy build is crucial for a reliable hand-crank generator. Opt for high-quality materials that can withstand rough handling and varying weather conditions.
Some hand-crank generators have extra features like built-in flashlights, radios, or USB ports. These can provide added convenience and functionality in different scenarios.
Always consider your budget when purchasing a hand-crank generator. The market has numerous options, from affordable to high-end models. Make sure you find one that meets your needs within your budget.
Pros Cons Higher power output for more efficient charging. Higher power output may come at a higher cost—compact and portable design for easy transportation. Smaller models may have lower power output. Durable build quality ensures reliability and longevity. High-quality materials may increase the generator’s price. Extra features provide additional convenience and functionality. Other features may result in a more complex and less user-friendly design.
We often receive questions regarding hand crank generators and are here to provide answers in this F.A.Q. The section will cover some of these versatile devices’ most frequently asked questions.
Why should we consider purchasing a hand crank generator?
Hand crank generators are a great addition to any emergency preparedness kit. They are portable, require no electricity or batteries, and can generate power simply by turning a crank. This means that in times of crisis or natural disasters, you’ll have a reliable power source to charge crucial devices like mobile phones, radios, and flashlights.
Pros Cons Portable and lightweight Not as powerful as conventional generators No need for fuel or electricity Requires physical effort to generate power Works in any situation Not ideal for long-term, heavy usage
What devices can a hand crank generator charge?
Most hand crank generators are versatile enough to charge small electronic devices, like cell phones, radios, flashlights, and G.P.S. devices. Some models even come equipped with USB ports, making it easy to charge devices that use a USB cable for power. But remember that these devices are not meant to power large appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, or televisions.
How long does charging a device with a hand crank generator take?
The charging time for a device using a hand crank generator varies depending on the generator’s efficiency and the device’s power needs. You can expect to charge a smartphone in hours with continuous cranking. To keep the generator’s usability, we recommend taking breaks to avoid fatigue and to rotate the responsibility among multiple people if possible.
How to choose the right-hand crank generator for your needs
When selecting the best hand crank generator for your needs, there are a few factors to consider. To make the most informed decision, we’ll discuss some key aspects to help you choose the perfect generator for your situation.
First and foremost, consider the primary use for your hand crank generator. Will you use it for emergencies, outdoor adventures, or as a backup power source at home? Understanding the intended purpose will help guide your decision-making process.
Next, evaluate a range of hand crank generators’ power output and charging capabilities. The generator’s size and weight will often determine this. Consider how much power you’ll need to set your devices or small power appliances, and choose a generator that provides enough output for your requirements. Remember that a more robust and heavier generator may not be the best option for portability, so it’s crucial to strike a balance.
Another factor to consider is the build quality and durability of the generator. Look for generators with sturdy construction and materials, such as metal housings and reinforced handles. Additionally, it’s helpful to read product reviews and gather opinions from other users to determine the reliability and longevity of a particular generator.
How does a hand crank generator work?
As enthusiasts of hand crank generators, we must understand how these fascinating devices work. A hand crank generator is a mechanical device that converts kinetic energy created by turning a handle into electrical power. The critical components inside the generator include a crankshaft, gears, and a dynamo.
When we turn the handle, the crankshaft rotates and transfers the motion to the gears. These gears multiply the rotation speed, and the mechanical power is subsequently fed into the dynamo. The dynamo comprises magnets and coils that create an electromagnetic field.
As the input mechanical energy increases, the magnetic field also grows, producing electrical energy. This electrical energy is then transferred through wires. It can generate electricity to power a range of devices, like radios or batteries, making hand-crank generators an excellent choice for emergencies or off-grid adventures.
Best Hand Crank Phone Chargers in 2023
No matter how far technology advances, it remains a struggle to maintain a device with enough charge. Charging ports are installed in almost all public places for general use. However, that’s not enough when we are constantly on the run or when we’re in a power outage. In these cases, a Hand Crank Phone Charger is what you need to resolve the need to charge your phone or other devices.
The Hand Crank Phone Charger has a dynamo that converts mechanical energy into useful electrical output. The product available on the market does more than just charge:
- It can be used as a power bank.
- It has a built-in LED flashlight.
- It has a radio for tuning into the weather forecast and other channels.
Top 5 Hand-Crank Phone Chargers and Radios:
FosPower Hand Crank Phone Charger:
The FosPower hand crank radio and charger comes with a 2000mAh battery that can work as a power bank to charge your devices. The battery can charge using the solar panel provided, by using the hand crank, and also by using the USB cable.
The emergency crank, when rotated, will generate sufficient energy to power the 4 LED reading lights and a 1-watt flashlight, the radio, and for charging purposes. The radio service allows you to tune into your favorite radio station and weather forecast alerts.
The FosPower charger has IPX3 water resistance certification, protecting the product from rainfall. There is also an SOS alarm that makes a loud noise upon pressing.
|Item Weight||0.68 Pounds|
|Power Consumption||2 watts (max)|
|Specifications||2000mAh, Solar panel, 4 Reading lights, LED flashlight, NOAA emergency weather alert|
Specifications of FosPower Hand Crank Phone Charger
The DaringSnail hand crank phone charger comes in handy as an all-rounder when there is a power cut in your area. The added features like weather forecast alert, flashlight, and 2000 mAh power bank allow you to keep your mobile charged with decent battery life.
You can charge with the product from two different sources: the solar panel and the hand crank charging to the Li-on battery. It takes about 3.5 hours to charge the radio crank charger fully. The DaringSnail crank charger is compact, so it fits perfectly in a With a spin of 130 rotations per minute, the phone crank charger can light the flashlight for 18 minutes and the radio for six minutes.
The special feature of the Eton American red cross radio charger is that it has a multi-functional digital radio and an alarm clock with a display. The product features an LED flashlight and a visibility beacon red light. On rotating the crank, the product charges at 1.5X the normal charging speed.
The Eton crank charger broadcasts emergency weather alerts in your surroundings. The product is compact, and you can carry it around anywhere. The hand crank generates enough electricity to power your smartphone by connecting it to a USB charging cable.
2600 mAh rechargeable battery acts as a power bank to charge your smartphone. You may directly tune in to seven environment weather bands of FM/AM/NOAA digital radio stations and stay connected worldwide.
The Kaito KA500 is a six-way powered hand crank phone charger and radio through solar panel, USB, rechargeable battery, three AA batteries, and external adapter. The antenna increases the sensitivity of the radio signals up to 14.5.”
The product features two bands of shortwave and seven bands of the weather forecast, sports, and news channels around the world. The product is made with strong ABS material that is shockproof and water resistant.
The analog display has an LED indicator for pin-point accuracy. The hand crank charger can charge other devices such as GPS trackers, audio players, cameras, and more. The built-in speakers provide clear audio quality along with a 3.5mm jack to plug in your headsets.
The PPLEE crank charger and radio are loaded with a massive 5000 mAh battery that can charge your smartphone and other electronic devices. The product is powered through five different options, from USB to hand crank. You may spin the hand crank at two spins per second to generate up to 350 mAh of power.
The PPLEE crank charger features a 3-watt illuminated flashlight and a 2.5-watt reading light. It also has a 3.5 mm audio jack where you can plug in your earphones and an adjustable antenna for clearer audio output.
The bigger knob helps you to tune in hassle-free to your favorite channel, from sports to weather forecasts and alerts. The product provides great reception for FM/AM/Shortwave Radio signals.
|Item Weight||1 pound|
|Specifications||5000mAh battery, Radio service, Powerful flashlight, reading lights, 3.5 mm audio jack, SOS alarm|
Specifications of Kaito KA500
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some useful features of radio in hand crank phone chargers?
The hand crank chargers come with seven bands of weather forecasts and information channels, which will send an alert during severe weather conditions.
In what ways can I charge the hand crank phone charger radio?
You can use the solar panel provided on the product, or through the USB cable, by using specified batteries, and also by the hand crank lever.
Are there any additional features in hand crank chargers?
The hand crank charger has an LED flashlight, reading lights, SOS alerts, and an emergency alarm.
How long does the hand crank phone charger take to charge the phone?
A hand crank phone charger is not ideal for fully charging a device. It is best to charge the device to a few percent of power until you can reach a proper outlet.
I hope this article has shed light on your search for hand-crank phone chargers and radios to a great extent. All the necessary information and details of the products have been clearly pointed out for you to make a choice based on your requirements.
Do check out these products and tell us what we missed in this article.
Jessika loves practically any that runs on electricity. Discovering new technology, trends, and the latest gadgets have been her favorite pass time for years, so having the ability to make a living writing about her discoveries is a dream come true. When Jessika isn’t writing articles, researching new, innovative gadgets, or playing with new tech, she is teaching Zumba, writing Middle-Grade Fantasy novels, running her kids around the house, or diving into a new anime with her amazing husband.
Hand Crank Phone Chargers: Do They Actually Work?
With each new invention in the digital age, consumers are more connected to their technology than ever, but what happens when you need your device charged in the middle of nowhere? Hand crank chargers have been around for quite some time but now, they are more accessible than ever, and can even be used to charge things like cameras and Smart devices while out enjoying nature.
Furthermore, have you ever been in a situation where you needed your phone while out in the woods or in the middle of an emergency situation but all the power had already been used up and you were unable to use it?
Or how about when you’re out in the back country for a long weekend and only brought your phone to take photos and listen to music around the fire, but it dies sooner than expected? In both of these examples, and many more situations avid outdoor goers might find themselves in, a portable hand crank charger could easily be the solution for staying connected when you need it most.
Since their early days, hand crank chargers were more commonly used to power weak flashlights, and to be honest, they didn’t do such a great job of it. However, technology today is much more efficient than it has ever been making hand crank chargers more accessible and reliable then ever for a growing number of electrical needs.
How Hand Crank Phone Chargers Work
Hand crank phone chargers work in the exact same way, albeit on a much smaller handheld scale, that a wind turbine or a hydroelectric dam works. In all three, a turbine is turned producing friction which produces electricity. These turbines are already connected to a rechargeable battery like in a hand crank phone charger or the power grid of society so that the energy created is not wasted.
With the hand crank charger however, nature does not do the work. The actual act of a user physically turning the crank on the side of the charger is what produces the electricity needed to power compatible devices.
One of the main complaints of hand crank chargers is the effort it takes for them to work and how efficient they actually are when charging devices. Most companies who make hand crank chargers claim that turning the crank on their device for around 10 minutes or so will give you at least one emergency call. To be fair, having that one call can certainly make a difference in a life or death situation.
However, this low level of efficiency might not be worth the effort for some people. Especially when considering the fact that certain portable charging banks can hold as many as three full phone charges, a hand crank might not always be the best option.
If you are thinking about buying a hand crank charger for emergency purposes, do some research and figure out if it is best for you. Users on longer trips taken in more remote areas could easily benefit from having a portable charger in their hands, but if you are only going out for less than a week, there might be other option that are easier to use and much more efficient.
Practical For Backpacking?
Hand crank chargers can be very practical for backpacking and other overnight trips. They are often times fairly light weight, compact, and can be used over long periods of time to slowly charge devices as needed. I will say though that on shorter trips that are less than a week long, there is definitely other more efficient option to effectively keep your devices charged.
Portable charging banks (basically a tiny battery that is recharged and has a USB port for any charging cable) as well as portable mat solar panels might be put to better us depending upon the trip you are taking. Again, just do the necessary research to decide the best way for your to keep devices necessarily charged.
Best on the Market Right Now
Here is a short product guide to some of the best hand crank chargers that are on the market right now for purchase.
Ampware Hand Crank Phone Case (Small)
This incredible hand crank phone case is perfect for those that just want to have the option of giving their device a little extra juice whenever they need it and is for those that are often away from power outlets.
Users will have to purchase the case specific to the phone they use however once they’ve got one, their phones will always be plugged into this remote hand charging station.
The case can even produce up to 1 amp of power when needed.
The lone drawback to this product is that it can be too big of a phone case for some users making their device a bit clunky in hand. However, no other phone case on the market can do what this one can making it highly unique and desirable.
K-Tor Socket (Small)
This tiny hand crank charger is just what it says it is, an electrical socket that can fit right in your
It works just like the phone case or any other tiny hand crank and connects to your device through a USB port which is what most phone chargers use today.
It also produces about 1 amp of power which is pretty good for a device that is so small and portable.
If you cannot find a phone case hand crank that fits your needs, this tiny handheld one should work just fine.
American Red Cross FR1 (Medium)
Unlike the smaller hand crank chargers and phone cases on this list, this hand crank will offer quite a few more features that can be convenient in any outdoor situation.
Besides having a hand crank lithium rechargeable battery and USB port, this device will also give weather updates from AM, FM, and NOAA weatherband, and NOAA weather alerts.
It also has a headphone jack and an LED flashlight input.
This charger will put out about 2 amps worth of power at one time.
Eton FRX3 (Large)
Finally, this hand crank charger is probably one of the best on the market right now.
It will put out near 2.6 amps of power when being cranked and comes with all of the features of the American Red Cross FR1 and more.
Beyond having AM and FM digital tuning and a digital display, it also receives all 7 NOAA/ Environment Canada weather bands.
Furthermore, it has solar power charging capabilities, a long lasting LED flashlight, a red LED flashing beacon for emergency signaling, and an alarm clock function.
If you wanted a product that keeps your devices charged and has a wide range of essential functions for camping or any survival situation, this is the hand crank generator for you.
DIY Hand Crank Generators
When it comes to the people who want to build a hand crank generator themselves, here is a pretty good tutorial for making one and there are plenty more pages online with instructions and tips for those interested. I would suggest everyone do their own research on building one and to not mess around with electricity unless you completely know what you are doing.
I’d also caution that in an emergency situation, you do not want to be fiddling around with the wires on a hand crank charger you built at home. If you are thinking about one for emergency situations, I’d recommend against building it yourself unless you are very confident in your abilities.
Don’t let that dissuade you from building your own though, this can be a delightful little project though for learning about basic circuits and how generators truly work. Hand built crank generators are very inexpensive and fun to mess around with so find instructions to the one you’re interested in and assemble the parts.
Other Power Source Options
There are quite a few other ways in which to keep devices powered while out in the wilderness or backpacking away from civilization. Not only do hand crank chargers work but so do charging banks at even greater efficiency than ever before. Now, small devices half the size of your phone can hold between 3 and 7 full charges.
This can be a great option if you only need to recharge your device a handful of times. But, if you think you will need to recharge more than this because of a longer trip or for other reasons, the old reliable hand crank charger will work great.
There is also many different solar panel charging devices on the market today. These will work much better if you are able to set them down in a sunny area to let them charge up while you are off doing other things. Because of this, a base camp situation is more ideal when using solar panel charging units because you can leave them out and come back to charged devices.
Solar charging devices are a bit heavier than hand crank chargers and charging banks so these will not be as good when you are hiking all through the day to reach your next camp. The sun could be down by the time you are ready to lay out your panel and charge something up.
Final Thoughts on Hand Crank Chargers
Honestly, the method needed to keep devices charged in a variety of different situations is going to completely depend upon that situation. For those that are going to be off the grid for weeks at a time, hand crank chargers are more efficient than ever and work great.
Besides hand cranks though, there are a bunch of other products on the market that will work to charge devices remotely. Users just need to figure out which ones will work best for the types of activities that they love.
Cameron is a freelance writer with a FOCUS on hiking, fishing and photography. He studied English and Creative Writing at the University of Colorado Boulder and now calls Chicago, Illinois home.
USB Hand Crank Generator
The Socket USB 1Amp is the latest hand crank generator to come from K-Tor. It provides power from a standard USB, Universal Serial Bus, socket. It provides this power on this standard interface at up to one amp. And, it can charge any device that can be charged from a USB.
This makes this model the most powerful sized hand crank generator on the market by far. It’s advanced features include a Smart chip that converts directly from the generator to the USB 5 volt specified output at a high level of efficiency making this generator the highest power delivered to the USB device being charged and at the lowest possible effort cranking. The Smart chip also has electronic current limiting and thermal protection to protect against accidental overloads. This new model now comes with a Velcro strap to attach the body of the unit to the hand holding it so that those with small or weak hands will have no trouble holding it and it takes minimal effort for this hand. The device can also be attached to a solid object. The Socket USB 1Amp comes in the same housing as the venerable Socket 2 that has sold over 35,000 units. It has the same size and weight at 15 oz and about the size of a water bottle. The Socket USB 1 Amp is now the preferred solution for USB charging applications.
Small, Light Weight and Portable
The size of a water bottle, the Socket weighs less than a pound, making portability one of its best features. (Size: 2.5″ x 2.25″ x 6.875″. Weight: 15 oz.) The Socket USB 1Amp comes with a Velcro strap to help you hold the unit or attach it to a solid object. This means those with small or weak hands will have no trouble holding the unit and the work is done by the cranking hand, with little effort by the hand holding the unit.
Charge All Your Devices
The Socket is the only hand crank charger that can charge:
Hand Crank Chargers Advantages
Hand crank chargers are used worldwide for:
- Those traveling to areas that don’t have electric power. The Socket is a great universal travel battery charger for digital cameras, cell phones, flashlights, your GPS, iPhone and more. This is a great vacation device that you can rely on to charge your small electronics.
- Camping and hiking so that a back up source of electricity is always readily available. The Socket generates electricity for flashlights, mobile phones, radios, cameras, rechargeable lights and other devices critical for campers, hikers and those in the great outdoors away from an AC outlet.
- Emergency personnel and those in a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, hurricane or tornado. The Socket can make a difference between life and death in natural disasters that interrupt electricity. You can generate electricity by hand power when electrical sources are unavailable.
- Emergency supply and survival kits for a home emergency, car emergency and general emergency preparedness. The Socket should be included in every 72 hour and emergency survival kit. It can be the difference between life and death in an auto, weather or natural disaster.
- An alternative to solar powered chargers that rely on the sun to generate electricity. Solar powered generators don’t work at night or in the shade. Our hand crank generator, The Socket, works all the time, at night and in bad weather when the sun is not available.
Never hike with a dead phone again.