Best Hand Crank Flashlights

Don’t you just hate it when there is a power outage and your flashlight batteries are dead? What you need in this case is a hand-crank one. Hand crank flashlights is a unique style of illumination that operates without the use of batteries. This cranking is what creates the power to energize it without any batteries.

When the lights go out unexpectedly, having one of these gadgets for lighting will ensure you are not in the dark for long. In addition, one of the features includes an AM/FM radio, which will also keep you entertained as you await the power to be restored.

The following review of the best hand crank flashlights is intended to help you find the one that fits your needs best.

In our opinion the 6 Best Hand Crank Flashlights in 2020 are:

  1. MECO Hand Cranking Solar Powered Rechargeable Hand Crack Flashlights
  2. Energizer Weatheready Hand Crank Flashlights
  3. ThorFire Solar Flashlight Hand Crank Flashlights
  4. PrimalCamp Hand Crank Solar Powered Rechargeable LED Flashlight
  5. LifeLight LED Emergency Hand Crank Flashlight
  6. Kaito KA404W Wind-up 5-LED Hand Crank Flashlight
Table Of Contents

Hand Crank Flashlight Comparison

RANK
Picture
Name
Rating
#1

MECO Hand Cranking Solar Powered Rechargeable Flashlight

MECO Hand Cranking Solar Powered Rechargeable Hand Crack Flashlights

Battery Life: 98
Ease of use: 97
Portability: 95.5
Power outage: 96.5
Size: 97
Average: 96.8

#2

Energizer Weatheready Hand Crank Flashlight

Energizer Weatheready Hand Crank Flashlights

Battery Life: 97
Ease of use: 96.5
Portability: 95
Power outage: 95.5
Size: 95
Average: 95.8

#3

ThorFire Solar Flashlight Hand Crank

ThorFire Solar Flashlight Hand Crank Flashlights

Battery Life: 96
Ease of use: 94.5
Portability: 95
Power outage: 93.5
Size: 95
Average: 94.8

#4

PrimalCamp Hand Crank Solar Powered Rechargeable LED Flashlight

PrimalCamp Hand Crank Solar Powered Rechargeable LED Flashlight

Battery Life: 94
Ease of use: 93.5
Portability: 93
Power outage: 94
Size: 92.5
Average: 93.4

#5

LifeLight LED Emergency Flashlight

LifeLight LED Emergency Hand Crank Flashlight

Battery Life: 93
Ease of use: 92.5
Portability: 93
Power outage: 92.5
Size: 92
Average: 92.6

#6

Kaito KA404W Wind-up 5-LED Flashlight

Kaito KA404W Wind-up 5-LED Hand Crank Flashlight

Battery Life: 92
Ease of use: 91.5
Portability: 91
Power outage: 92.5
Size: 91
Average: 91.6

Best Hand Crank Flashlights Reviews

1 MECO Hand Cranking Solar Powered Rechargeable Hand Crack Flashlights

MECO Hand Cranking Solar Powered Rechargeable Flashlight

Battery Life 98%
Ease of use 97%
Portability 95.5%
Power outage 96.5%
Size 97%
Average 96.8%

This tiny hand crank unit made by MECO is solar powered and rechargeable. It comes with a quick snap clip which can be attached to a backpack. It is powered by 8 lumens and is ready for any weather conditions.

Rechargeable Battery 

The MECO rechargeable Hand Crack Flashlight is the ideal survival tool. There is no need for an external battery because it comes with a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts for hours. It is also an ideal tool for children as well as an excellent addition to your survival gear.

Design is Classic 

The hand crank flashlight was created in a classic design that is Army Green vs Dim Gray. It makes the perfect gift for the outdoor/survivalist on your gift list.

Cost & Value 

The moment you see the price of this little gadget you are going to be pleased. However, the price is not what gives it the greatest value. It’s dimensions are a mere 4.92 x 1.77 x 0.91 inches or 125 x 45 x 23 millimeters. Ideal size for clipping to a backpack or other bag to take along when climbing, hiking, or camping.

Pros:
  • Requires no external batteries
  • Excellent gift for kids
  • Ideal tool to keep in your vehicle
  • Easily attaches to backpack or other bags
  • 6 minutes of cranking = 1 hour of illumination
Cons:
  • The light might seem a little too dim
  • May not hold a charge long

2 Energizer Weatheready Hand Crank Flashlights

Energizer Weatheready Hand Crank Flashlight

Battery Life 97%
Ease of use 96.5%
Portability 95%
Power outage 95.5%
Size 95%
Average 95.8%

Energy Weatheready makes this rechargeable cranking light. It will never require batteries because as you crank it you create kinetic energy needed for illumination.

LED is for Life 

The Energizer Weatheready 3-LED cranking unit of illuminating is the perfect addition to your emergency preparedness kit.  Should there be a power outage, you now have the ability to illuminate a complete room.

Security during an Outage 

Next time the lights go out unexpectedly you will have the security of knowing you have adequate lighting. This hand-crank light is a lantern that is folding and pivots to give the user a complete range of 180 to 360 degrees.

Cost & Value

The value of this hand crank flashlight illumination device  is much more than the low cost of it. You will be capable of engineering yourself throughout a dark home with the ease of a few hand cranks.

Pros:
  • 3 lighting modes--high, low, and nighttime
  • Carrying handle is integrated for compact, easy storing
  • Excellent addition to your emergency preparedness kit
  • Capable of illuminating a complete room
  • 1-minute cranking = 3 minutes of light
Cons:
  • May not hold charge adequately
  • Doesn’t always provide a bright light

3 ThorFire Solar Flashlight Hand Crank Flashlights

ThorFire Solar Flashlight Hand Crank

Battery Life 96%
Ease of use 94.5%
Portability 95%
Power outage 93.5%
Size 95%
Average 94.8%

The ThorFire Solar hand-cranking lighting tool is a solar-powered, and rechargeable. It is a waterproof LED unit for emergencies. With a Dynamo lighting system that is the ideal lighting solution for when you are backpacking, climbing or hiking.

Absolutely Zero Batteries Required 

This hand crank light requires no batteries to operate it. It is the ideal emergency tool you will need should there be a power outage or if you are in the wilderness needing some light.

Efficient Energy Conversion

ThorFire Solar product offers extreme energy-efficient conversion. Just one minute of cranking this lighting tool provides a full hour of light.  

Cost & Value

The cost and value of this lighting product go far beyond its price. In addition to a remarkable product, there is also a complete year of service following the purchase.  

Pros:
  • Excellent tool during a power outage
  • 1-minute cranking = 1 hour of light
  • Waterproof and can be submerged up to 45 feet
  • Can be recharged by exposure to wind or sun
  • The super bright LED lighting
Cons:
  • Spotlight feature very small
  • The light produced was dim

4 PrimalCamp Hand Crank Solar Powered Rechargeable LED Flashlight

PrimalCamp Hand Crank Solar Powered Rechargeable LED Flashlight

Battery Life 94%
Ease of use 93.5%
Portability 93%
Power outage 94%
Size 92.5%
Average 93.4%

This product is a solar-powered hand-cranking rechargeable LED made by PrimalCamp. It is a lighting tool that can be used while hiking, camping, fishing, backpacking or boating. The ideal emergency pack for all weather conditions.

LED Bulb is Brilliant 

PrimalCamp solar-powered Hand Crack Flashlights has a torchlight that is furnished with a bulb that is LED. This ensures a much brighter light than other smaller gadgets do.

Portable and Compact 

You can attach the carabiner to any keychain or backpack for the convenience and ease of portability. This little lighting equipment is the ideal addition to your emergency survival kit or backpacking and hiking gear.

Cost & Value 

You will be amazed when you see the low price of this little illuminating device. In addition, you get a complete guarantee of satisfaction with a full refund should you not be 100% pleased.

Pros:
  • Excellent for an emergency survival kit
  • The light is supplied with a LED bulb
  • Winding for 6 minutes = 1 hour light
  • Complete refund if not 100% satisfied
  • Easily attaches to backpack or other gear
Cons:
  • Handle on the crank is small
  • Durability is questionable

5 LifeLight LED Emergency Hand Crank Flashlight

LifeLight LED Emergency Flashlight

Battery Life 93%
Ease of use 92.5%
Portability 93%
Power outage 92.5%
Size 92%
Average 92.6%

This emergency lighting tool is made by LifeLight is a bright LED Hand Crack Flashlight, essential for all emergency toolkits. It creates your toolkit for emergencies into a multi-purpose survival kit. This light is extremely powerful, with an ergonomic, anti-skid grip designed in a plastic body that is extremely durable.

The flashlight is Dynamo Equipment 

Next time the power goes out you will have nothing to worry about. You have the power of a lithium-ion, rechargeable battery on your side.

Recharge your Cell Phone 

With the simple crank of this light, you can recharge any gadget with a USB. This includes recharging your smartphone! You are no longer dependent on batteries, power banks, or sunlight.

Cost & Value 

The cost of this product is a bit more than the others. However, you will be impressed with what it offers. You will love the way this makes your outdoor activities more fun and enjoyable. Whatever outdoor activity you participate in, you can count on the reliability of this illuminating emergency tool.

Pros:
  • Excellent addition to your emergency kit
  • Lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • Great for all outdoor activities
  • Can be used to attract rescue team
  • Even recharges your smartphone
Cons:
  • Handle on crank not durable

6 Kaito KA404W Wind-up 5-LED Hand Crank Flashlight

Kaito KA404W Wind-up 5-LED Flashlight

Battery Life 92%
Ease of use 91.5%
Portability 91%
Power outage 92.5%
Size 91%
Average 91.6%

The Kaito Hand Crack Flashlight is a 5 LED wind-up tool.  It comes equipped with an NOAA weather radio, siren, and charger for your cell phone. It also comes with a micro USB port and cable.

Multi-Functional 

It has a built-in DC 5V port for output. It can be used to charge your cell phone or any other portable device that is compatible.

Extra Bright 

This 5 LED emergency tool provides a brilliant light that is long-lasting and energy-efficient. The speaker and antenna that is telescopic provide a crystal clear reception and sound quality.

Cost & Value

The cost and value of this product will prove to be more valuable that it’s cost alone. It is not only a lighting unit, but also a radio self-powered and ready for outdoor usage and emergencies.

Pros:
  • The hand crank is multi-functional
  • Not made with fabric
  • Illumination and radio is self-powered
  • Speaker and telescopic antenna built-in
  • DC 5V port for charging cell phone
Cons:
  • Crank handle not secured
  • Doesn’t list supported cell phones it charges

Criteria Used for Evaluation

best hand crank flashlightsDurability

When you are in an emergency situation, you want the hand-cranking light to work. Durability is an important factor to consider. You will not want to have the handle snap and break off in the middle of winding for light. The last thing you need is to end up in the dark without a durable source of light.

The durability of a hand-cranking product is dependent on how well it has been manufactured. You want to ensure that the tool you purchase is made out of durable materials and there is a money-back guarantee for faulty parts.

Effectiveness

The effectiveness of a hand-cranking item like the ones in this review most commonly means how bright the beam of illumination it provides. Some of the more standard ones have just one setting for light options. However, you want one that has several modes of illumination. This allows for more flexibility without your constantly having to crank it to get more light.

Some modern hand crank flashlight tools provide ten minutes of light for every minute spent cranking the handle.

Water Resistance

Although some lights get praised for their efficient LED brightness providing lots of visibility. The feature that gives its greatest value is the IPX6 rating that makes it waterproof. With this feature, one can completely sink this light up to forty-five feet in the water and it would not be damaged in the least bit.

This type of waterproof ability even extends to the hand crank. Even though it is a moving part, it will not be damaged either due to this water submersion.

Support

This feature can teach me a variety of things. It can mean how well the item stands alone and supports itself or it can be customer support. In this case, we are talking about customer support–hence, the warranty.

When you buy something as small as a hand-cranking light is, one shouldn’t expect a long warranty. Perhaps a year or two, but that is basically about all you are going to get. In the event it is faulty when you receive it, this warranty information should be readily available.

Before you actually take it out in the “field” ensure that you do a test run on it. Crank it to full capacity and see how it does for an hour of run time. Pretend you are in a crisis situation and see if it passes the test. This will determine if you need to make good with the warranty and order a replacement or refund.

Advanced Features

Some of the advanced features that come with a best hand crank flashlights for lighting are an NOAA weather radio and an AM/FM radio feature. These two hand features will ensure you are up-to-the-minute on weather alerts or any other emergency situations.

We may have internet access via our smartphone; however, you might be in a location where this feature is limited. In addition, you can always use the radio feature for entertainment purposes.

A hand-crank lighting device includes the following items: gears, crank, electronics, diodes that emit light, electric generator, and a battery. The user cranks on the handle which turns the gears and begins to generate enough power to create illumination. Every time you crank on this type of flashlight it creates up to an hour of light.

As you will discover, a hand crank flashlight like these are not your typical LED tactical lighting gear. A regular tactical one is large, bulky and often cumbersome; they also come equipped with many supplemental attributes, as well. The following review is about the best six hand crank flashlights available on the market currently. We have included all the special features and characteristics of each of these in hopes that you are well informed on the subject.

More Advanced Features

There are many features available when it comes to hand-cranking ones. Each of these has a particular need that it is required to meet should you be facing an emergency. Below are only a few of these special features:

  • Radios: You will discover that most of the best products for illuminating are hand crank have some type of radio. This radio may come in the form of an emergency, weather, or just a simple AM/FM radio. Some of these may even have a radio that is shortwave.
  • USB Ports: This feature is one of the most common with the current brand of hand crank lights available. A USB port/jack can be used to permit the user to charge their tablet, mobile devices, or cell phone. The energy one forms when cranking or shaking it will not harm this feature either.
  • Solar Cells: This is a characteristic which permits the user to enhance their squeezing, shaking, or cranking with the use of solar energy. An emergency lighting tool with this feature has a tendency to have a longer running time than any of the others in the same category.

Some other characteristics you will find to be common with hand crank illumination devices are cigarette lighters, A/C adapters, tire gauges, and even tire inflators. This feature permits the user to ensure their vehicle is cared for in the event of an emergency. In addition, these features allow for substitute ways you can regenerate the power in this hand crank flashlight so it is not always in need of a new hand cranking.

Expert Tips/Advice

How a Hand-Crank Flashlight Operates

The action of cranking the permanent magnet motor creates enough electric currents to illuminate the LEDs within it. Typically with a standard lighting tool, the execution of the permanent motor magnet creates a rotating interchange. This is done by adjoining the DC current across the terminals it supplies.

How a Motor becomes a Generator

The motor can simply transfer the electric generator in an action that overturns the motor’s functions. What this translates into is the channel employs the torque that is rotating the outside mechanical forces. This results in electricity being created throughout the stations it supplies.

The marvel of how a cranking light operates is acquired by the outside mechanical influences that are achieved by manually cranking the handle. This creates an enhancement that makes the gears operate in an effective manner.

This translates into how the permanent magnet motor is influenced by a revolving action of manual efforts. This occurs so the electricity can be observed as it is expressed through the ends of the wire.

Stating this, the energy created by a hand crank flashlight may become somewhat unstable. Therefore, the process of lighting LEDs must be followed exactly in order for it to work appropriately. In an effort to ensure the motor is safely and properly applied to the LED it is critical that there is an electronic circuit.

In order to completely comprehend the way a cranking one works, there has been an in-depth study done on the subject.

The Primary Parts of a Crank Flashlight

There are five major parts to a crank lighting tool:

  • The first part is associated with the cranking mechanism system and is called the gearbox.
  • Next is the filter capacitor or bridge rectifier
  • Illumination is a requirement for LED units
  • Resistors that limit the current
  • Lastly, an optional rechargeable battery

When the common device for a cranking light is opened the first thing you will recognize is all the above items within the casing. This is how the complete system of the crank tool operates:

  •  As the motor is manually cranked it starts generating an electrical current through the wires until it gets to the bridge rectifier phase.
  • This ensures how the motor rotates in order to achieve a polarity that is constant and a pure DC result.
  • Connected to the bridge rectifier is the filter capacitor. This ensures the DC is level and filters through the ripples, creating a DC that is clean.
  • The DC level is between 3 and 5 Volts. This is almost the same as the specified operating voltage of the motor.
  • The DC output on a 3V motor following rectification and filtration should be around 4V to 5V.
  • The 3.7V rechargeable cell is related directly to a 4V or 5V cell. This cell permits the system to accumulate energy every time the mechanism is cranked.
  • This stored energy later becomes available at the switch of a button. Increased cranking by the user then reinforces the amount of illumination provided to the LED.
  • The capacitor is then able to be upgraded into a supercapacitor which is 4700uF/10V.
  • These LEDs are typically connected in a parallel fashion which allows for the resistors to control the LED’s supply of current.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does a hand crank flashlight work?

A: The way a hand crank flashlight works is the magnet within the coil spins as you turn the crank. Electrons are pulled away from the magnetic field as surfaces repeatedly pass. This action creates electricity. This charge of electricity then goes from the wire coil to the device's storage area. This is either a capacity or battery which sends power to the LED bulb.

Q: How long do hand crank flashlights last?

A: When you crank it one time it gives you 30 minutes to an hour of illumination. A crank-powered light does not require you to continuously pump it unlike some of the shake lights do.

Q: Who was the inventor of the hand crank flashlight?

A: The English inventor by the name of David Misell, in 1899, was the creator of the first-hand crank flashlight. This first hand-cranking device had three D batteries; each selectively placed inside a tube that presented itself as the handle to this device. The batteries were fueled off of an incandescent, small electric light bulb. These batteries had a switch that was a simple contact control which enabled the light to turn on and off.

Q: What was the reason for these tools being named flashlights?

A: The main purpose for using the term flashlight to describe this gadget is that it establishes the connection to luminating sources that are branded for a short period. The initial lighting gadget that was most trusted was invented around 1896--named the “flashlight”. Another item that was similarly named were portable electric lights. They were given this moniker because of the steady stream of illumination they produced.

Q: How long will a hand crack flashlight last?

A: For every two minutes of illumination one must do one minute of manual hand cranking. There are also two modes of light--bright and half-bright. In addition, there are numerous options of illumination provided to its user. The battery that is internal is 4400mAh and gives the user an extreme 7 to 48 hours of runtime. This is dependent upon which setting is preferred for usage.

Q: What is referred to as a wind-up torch?

A: The wind-up torch is another popular form of a crank-engineered light. This type of lighting device is battery controlled and can be recharged by a hand crank generator found on this lighting device itself. When this gadget illuminates, there is a spring that automatically unwinds and turns the generator on to fuel it into illuminating.

Q: How many lumens does a hand crank flashlight produce?

A: A handheld crank light produces eight lumens. It is always prepared for any type of condition the environment may have to offer.

Q: What did people use before there were flashlights?

A: Prior to being referred to as flashlights, they were called electronic hand torches. The light source on these torches was often poor and weak due to bulbs and batteries were still in the testing phases. Because of the connectivity issues, they were only putting off flashes of lights. Hence, they were called “flashlights” by a nickname, and this name soon stuck as being their official name.

Sources

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MECO Hand Cranking Solar Powered Rechargeable Flashlight

MECO Hand Cranking Solar Powered Rechargeable Hand Crack Flashlights

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