Life Hacks

The Best Hand Crank Generators: A Detailed Guide

A hand-crank generator is a travel device that generates power by turning a pedal or a crank that is attached to the device. The turning creates a mechanical force that helps to create a current that is converted to electricity.

The origin of these devices dates back to the 60s when the military developed portable generators that required an individual to turn the crank to produce electricity.

Things To Consider When Buying A Hand Crank Generator

Power Output

How much power do you need to charge your devices? This is an important question because the last thing you would want is to buy equipment that does not give you the energy you need. If you have a smartphone, flashlight, and other devices that require charging, you need a hand crank generator.

Your Budget

How much are you willing to spend on the device? This is one of the first questions you have to consider when looking for a hand crank generator. However, you have to keep in mind that the cheaper the gadget is, the fewer its essential features will be.

Therefore, go for the hand crank generator that fits your budget and has the features you need.

Durability

People mostly use hand-crank generators while traveling. This means that you may come across harsh conditions. That’s why you need a device that is efficient and can withstand severe weather conditions.

Portability

If you are traveling, you should pack devices that are lightweight as carrying heavy and bulky equipment is inconveniencing and tiring.  Therefore, go for a generator that is portable but efficient.

Benefits Of Having A Hand Crank Generator

Often, phones and other electronic devices run out of power, and there is no available charging point. This is mostly the case when you are in the woods or other remote areas where it’s impossible to come across a power source.

However, with a hand crank generator, you can charge all your devices at your convenience. Most hand-crank generators also provide you with other essential features such as a radio and flashlight, which can make a massive difference during emergencies.

How Does Hand Crank Generator Work?

Hand-crank generators usually work in a straight-forward way. These devices have an inbuilt dynamo, and the power generating process starts when you turn the crank attached to the device. When you turn the crank, mechanical force is created, which is then converted by the inbuilt dynamo to electrical energy.

The electrical energy created is stored in a battery housed within the hand crank generator.  

How Does The Gadget Charge Devices?

Most crank generators have electric sockets where you can plug in to charge any of your electrical devices. However, for a machine to draw power from the hand crank generator, it must have the same voltage and current type. 

8 Best Hand Crank Generators Reviewed

1.      Dynamo Hand Crank 2000mAh

This fantastic hand crank generator has a 6 LED flashlight that is bright enough to cover a wide area. It also has inbuilt batteries, and this means that you don’t have to crank it every time you need to charge your devices.

Dynamo Hand Crank also has a radio from which you can listen to your favorite tunes when camping or listen to the emergency broadcast.

Pros

  • It has a 2000mAh internal backup battery
  • It’s LED flashlight can last up to 20 hours
  • It has an FM radio
  • It works with a wide range of devices including Samsung Galaxy S8, S7, S6, S6 Edge, Sony Xperia Z3, Microsoft, Canon, Apple iPhone 7 Plus, 7, 6 Plus, and 6
  • It’s lightweight – weighs only 8 ounces

Cons

  • It requires reeling once it depletes power

2.      HUABAN Hand Crank Generator

HUABAN Hand Crank Generator is a light 28v generator ideal for outdoor charging. It charges at a rate of 3A. It doesn’t have a battery, but it has a hand crank that allows you to wind power into your electronic devices.

When going to harsh environments, this is the ideal device to carry along as its tough. The cover of this generator is made of aluminum alloy, which enables it to withstand harsh conditions.

Pros

  • It’s portable – only weighs 450g
  • It’s powerful – has an output of 0-28V and 30W
  • It has an alligator clip, a regulator, and a 12mm aviation socket
  • It comes with an LED screen that displays the output voltage every time you crank it up
  • It has a USB 2.0 plug

Cons

  • You have to crank directly to your device as it does not have a backup battery
  • It’s expensive
  • It’s not water-proof

3.      5 Ways Powered Hand Crank Generator

As the name suggests, this hand crank generator has five power sources. The sources of power include the solar panel, the hand crank, built-in rechargeable battery, AC power, and AAA batteries.

This is one of the best hand-crank generators because it provides users with multiple ways of recharging besides cranking.

Pros

  • It’s pocket-sized
  • It has a powerful SOS alarm
  • Has a NOAA alert radio
  • It comes with a 3W flashlight and a 2.5W reading lamp
  • It has a 2000mAh power bank
  • It’s lightweight
  • It has a compass

Cons                                

  • Selecting a radio frequency might be challenging
  • Has a startling alarm
  • Charges slowly
  • The radio does not have an earphone jack

4.      RunningSnail Solar Crank 

RunningSnail Solar Crank is an elegant weather radio and hand crank generator. Some of its amazing features include a 2000mAh power bank, a three-way charging system that allows you to charge the radio using solar, hand cranking, or batteries.

This generator also has a powerful SOS alarm and a table lamp.

Pros

  • Micro USB charging
  • It allows solar charging
  • It’s affordable
  • It has an LED flashlight
  • It can charge your iPhone 5,6, or 7
  • It has an FM/AM and receives up to 7 NOAA weather alert radio channels
  • It’s water-resistant
  • It portable

Cons

  • It’s not waterproof

5.      CrazyFire Solar Hand Crank

CrazyFire Solar Hand Crank is a radio and power device with three charging options. This product also has AM/FM/NOAA that broadcast weather forecast to keep you safe from tornados, hurricanes, and storms.

The generator also comes with a 2000mAh power bank that can charge other devices. It has an SOS alarm usable when you need to call for aid in case of emergencies.

Pros

  • It has multiple charging options
  • It provides you with up to15 hours of bright flashlight time
  • It broadcasts emergency weather forecast using the NOAA option
  • It comes with a loud alarm
  • It can charge your phone and other small devices
  • Long battery life
  • It’s lightweight – weighs 10.1ounces

Cons

  • It does not have a USB button
  • It does not have an earphone port
  • The internal battery is not replaceable

6.      K-tor Power Box 20 Watt

K-tor Power Box 20 Watt is a polycarbonate device with pedals similar to a bicycle. This device serves as a wall socket does; it can charge even a laptop. With this item, you have to pedal, and the faster you pedal, the brighter a lamp gets, or the quicker it charges a phone. It weighs 5 pounds, and it 12 x 3.5 x 5.5 inches in dimension.

Pros

  • It is foldable
  • Easy to pedal
  • I can be fixed on the floor for stable operation
  • It has a universal power socket
  • It can charge several devices concurrently
  • It’s durable

Cons

  • It has no flashlight
  • It has no radio
  • It’s heavier compared to most hand-crank generators – weighs 5 pounds
  • It only comes in one color – black

7.      K-TOR USB 1 Amp Hand Crank Generator

This product is the latest creation from K-TOR, a trusted manufacturer of electronic devices such as inverters, hand crank generators, and splitters. K-TOR Hand Crank Generator is exquisitely put together and has impressive features that make it a must-have for emergencies.

This is a powerful generator, and as the name suggests, it also has a USB port from which you can charge a device.

Pros

  • It is designed with a sturdy material to withstand harsh conditions.
  • You can use it to charge your iPhone and other electronic devices.
  • It has a USB port
  • It’s portable
  • It charges at a similar rate as plugging in a wall socket outlet
  • Has a Velcro strap
  • Offers protection against random overloads

Cons

  • You have to pack flashlights and radio separately, depending on the context you’ll be utilizing it from
  • It’s expensive

8.      ZXMT Portable Crank Generator

ZXMT Portable Crank Generator is one of the most robust hand-crank generators available in the market today.  This is one of the gadgets you should not lack when going to remote areas as it ensures you are connected at all times.

This excellent hand crank generator produces a maximum of 20W, and its crank has speeds of up to 2000rpm.

Pros

  • It can withstand harsh environmental conditions
  • It’s lightweight
  • Can charge a phone, torch, power bank and other devices with USB ports
  • It’s affordable
  • Useful for a long-term power outage, survival training, rescue operations, and different emergency scenarios

Cons                                                

  • It has no inbuilt light or radio
  • It only comes in one color – blue

Conclusion

RunningSnail Solar Crank is the winner for today. The product is water-resistant, portable, durable, and affordable. Besides having a hand crank, it is rechargeable using solar energy. It can charge several devices concurrently, including an iPhone, which most devices are unable to do.

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