Comparing the Best Hand Crank Generators

If you choose to live green or simply don’t like having to deal with smelly fuel while powering up essentials during a power outage, a hand crank generator is a great option. It’s also highly portable and safe to use anytime, anywhere. These generators can help you charge other traveling gadgets, including an emergency radio and a flashlight.

You don’t have to stay in the dark or fail to communicate for days just because you don’t have electricity. When you have a hand crank generator, you can make power yourself without depending on fuel, gasoline, sun, wind, or batteries. Here are some of the best hand crank generators:

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Hand Crank Generator High Power Charger for Outdoor Mobile Phone Computer Charging 30W / 0-28V with USB Plug (Green Generator + DC Regulator)
Tech-L Hand Crank Generator 30W 0-28V Portable Dynamo Phone Charger Military for Outdoor Emergency Power Camping Mobile Phone Computer Charging with USB Plug (Green with DC Regulator+ LED Screen)
K-Tor PS2 USB 1 AMP Hand Crank Generator
RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio for Emergency with AM/FM, Flashlight, Reading Lamp and 2000mAh Power Bank (Green)
K-TOR Power Box 50
Eton American Red Cross Clipray Crank-Powered, Clip-On Flashlight & Smartphone Charger, Red

1. HUABAN Hand Crank Generator High Power Charger

The HUABAN Hand Crank Generator is a premium choice due to its durability. Its gears are made of quality steel and cased in aluminum. It’s a lightweight and compact crank charger that can be easy to add to your emergency survival kit.

This generator has an output voltage of 28 volts, with 30 watts maximum power. It can comfortably power a battery with an average of 5 to 28 volts direct current, which is enough for small electronics.

You can quickly crank at an amplified torque with this product. Even if you lower the revolutions per minute, it can still produce the same power but at a minimal time. This product doesn’t include an integrated battery, but you can connect yours, as well as your devices directly. This becomes easy as it comes with alligator clips, a mini USB plug, and a USB 2.0 plug.

However, its high price doesn’t make it practical to buy if you only need a way to charge your phone while you’re camping in the wilderness. But for more serious users and emergency preppers, this hand crank generator from Huaban is a wise choice.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Lightweight and compact
  • USB plug and alligator clips included
  • Output voltage: 0-28 volts
  • Allows you to turn crank as fast as you can for maximum output

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t include an integrated battery

2. Tech-L Hand Crank Generator 30W 0-28V Portable Dynamo Phone Charger 

Tech-L Hand Crank Generator is nearly the same device as the Huaban generator, but this one highlights a high-tech magnetic conversion technology. This 30-watt generator delivers a good output as you turn the crank. The DC output voltages can be converted so that you can use this not only for mobile and portable devices but also for your emergency appliances. It comes with five different connector types and a DC converter.

This hand crank generator is also military-grade. That means it’s extremely durable and can withstand rough situations. The outer case is made of aluminum composite alloy material and is shock- and water-resistant. It may not be entirely waterproof, but you don’t have to worry if a little rain gets to it. This portable generator is capable of withstanding -40-60 degrees Celsius, a relative humidity of 80% to 90%, and altitudes of 5,000 meters.

Overall, it’s a great generator. However, it’s expensive and has several limitations. It can’t charge iPhone 7+ or lithium-ion batteries. The charging time is lengthy, and the hand can be uncomfortable. The power bank indicators can also show false positive power capacity, which can be both confusing and frustrating.

Pros:

  • High tech magnetic conversion technology
  • Water- and shock-resistant material
  • Extremely durable and handy
  • 30-watt generator
  • Military-grade
  • Comes with multiple output adapters and ports

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Can’t charge iPhone 7+ and lithium-ion batteries
  • Power bank indicators show false positive power capacity

3. K-TOR Pocket Socket Hand Crank Generator 

For a durable and reliable option made for charging any mobile phone, the K-TOR Pocket Socket Hand Crank Generator is highly recommended. The K-TOR brand is trusted for its crank generators, as well as pedal ones. At 120 volts, this hand crank generator can produce 10 watts of power. The two-prong outlet interface makes charging easy. Its polycarbonate plastic construction is highly durable, allowing it to withstand the elements if you take it with you camping or backpacking.

This pocket generator is intended to charge mobile phones, cameras, GPS navigators, radios, rechargeable lights, and other emergency devices. It can even charge AA and AAA battery chargers. You need to connect your handset to the generator’s USB socket and start cranking the lever.

This is a very compact and handy device that you can take in your pocket or backpack and use it to have emergency power anywhere. It’s a cool camper companion, thanks to its lightweight profile.

However, its compact design comes with a downside – the crank is too close to the rest of the generator, making turning difficult. Also, the output is only 1AMP, so expect slow charging.

Pros:

  • Small and compact
  • Highly durable plastic construction
  • Easy-to-grip knob
  • Lightweight
  • Two-prong outlet interface

Cons:

  • Uncomfortable to crank
  • Produces only 1 AMP output

4. RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio for Emergency with AM/FM 

RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio is another great hand crank generator option. Since it’s an AM/FM & NOAA weather alert radio, it can be invaluable during emergencies, survival situations, and disasters, like in the event of tornadoes, hurricanes, and severe storms. It even comes with an SOS alarm with a flashing red light for alerting other people in case you have an emergency or you want to warn somebody.

It comes with a 2000mAh rechargeable battery that provides up to 12 hours of light or 4 to 6 hours of radio time. As far as hand crank efficiency and battery life are concerned, this product is excellent and reliable. It can fit just right in the palm of your hand, making it a handy device to bring anywhere.

Besides the battery and the hand crank for manual charging, it also comes with a solar panel and slots for 3 AAA batteries. The micro USB cable and USB port devices allow this radio to charge smartphones to keep you powered.

It’s also well-designed as a portable radio/crank charger. The antenna is collapsible and goes inside the unit for protection. The audio of the radio is clear and good, and the flashlight produces a very bright light.

Pros:

  • Not just a hand-crank generator and charger; it doubles as a radio and emergency flashlight
  • Multiple power sources
  • Comes with an LED flashlight and SOS light
  • Comes with solar panel
  • AM/FM and NOAA alert radio
  • Rechargeable 2000 mAh battery
  • Compatible with AAA batteries

Cons:

  • Plastic construction not built for rugged conditions
  • Pieces might get warped when left under the sun for too long to gather solar power

5. Quianson DIY Hand Crank Generator

Quianson DIY Hand Crank Generator is one of the best hand crank generators for the money. It’s an exceptional product with the capability to charge your phone and give you enough power to make that emergency call.

It’s a lightweight hand crank generator, weighing only 1.76 ounces. You won’t have trouble bringing it along in your backpack or survival kit. Its power output is only 15 volts, making it suitable for small electronics only. The long, easy-to-turn hand crank makes it convenient to use.

This hand-crank generator is an excellent device to use for outdoor and off-grid adventures. It can also be used to charge a flashlight. It’s a high-quality and long-lasting product with a lifespan of 10 years.

However, the leads on this hand crank generator are fragile, which can be problematic if you break them out suddenly while you’re out at the outdoors.

Pros:

  • Portable and lightweight
  • Inexpensive
  • Power output of 15 volts
  • Long, easy-to-turn crank
  • High quality
  • Can charge flashlight

Cons:

  • Leads are fragile

6. K-TOR Power Box 50

While this is technically not a hand-crank generator, it’s worth noting because it’s a powerful crank generator. You may use your hand for this, but it’s not recommended, as some people have hurt their hands trying to do so.

This pedal generator is larger than all generators in this list, and since it’s powered by pedaling, it can generate more energy to as much as 50 watts as you pedal the device. Design-wise, it’s almost similar to another K-TOR product, the Power Box 20.

This device features a direct gear drive for optimal pedaling experience at 1.5 cycles per second. It can charge more than one gadget at a time, and can even be used to charge 12-volt batteries directly. When plugged into an automotive port, it can be used as a 12 volt to USB converter and inverter. This unit can provide about the same amount of charging capabilities a wall outlet is capable of providing.

This pedal generator is beautifully designed. With rubber padding at the bottom, it can rest stably anywhere. The pedals and other parts are very strong and durable because it’s constructed of glass fiber reinforced nylon.

Pros:

  • 50-watt power output similar to a home power outlet
  • Easier to use than hand-crank generators
  • Supports charging for multiple devices at once
  • High-quality, durable construction
  • Lightweight
  • Durable and stable design

Cons:

  • Too bulky to carry on a backpacking trip
  • No onboard battery
  • Too expensive for something that won’t be used often

7. Eton American Red Cross Clipray Crank-Powered Charger

The Eton American Red Cross Clipray Crank-Powered Charger is the cheapest item on this list. It’s a pretty solid crank powered charger that’s super portable and doubles as a flashlight.

This is not a powerful crank charger, but it’s reliable for emergency purposes. Don’t expect it to generate enough power to be able to listen to music or play games at your phone – but it can be powerful enough to make a phone call or check messages on your phone in the event of an emergency.

Cranking this portable charger for one minute can generate enough power to use the flashlight for 10 minutes. The three LED bulbs are amazingly bright, considering its price point. There’s also a light indicator on the side of the device, and it makes a distinct sound that lets you know when it’s charging. But it doesn’t come with a battery for storage – it can only charge a phone when you’re cranking the handle.

The carabiner clip included is a nice touch, allowing you to attach this device to the outside of your backpack or other gear.

Pros:

  • Handy and cheap
  • Doubles as a flashlight
  • Made by Red Cross
  • Efficient crank
  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy carabiner

Cons:

  • No battery indicator
  • Slow, low-power charging
  • Made from very light plastic