Flashlights are always a handy tool to have on hand at all times. Though we may use our phones for illumination now, it can still be a good idea to have a flashlight ready. And if you’re going for a flashlight, why not go for one that is guaranteed to run even after running out of power. This is where hand cranked flashlights become interesting to the potential buyer.
Though with all the capabilities of an average flashlight, mainly providing light of course, hand cranked flashlights have the advantage of being able to be recharged without a power source. So if you’re ever in an emergency and need light, for example during a storm that has knocked out the power to your neighborhood, hand cranked flashlights have got you covered for a much longer time.
What Do Hand Cranked Flashlights Do?
As the name clearly implies, hand cranked flashlights are flashlights that can be charged back up by simply rotating a crank with your hand. So if the power is out or you’re out in the wilds, these flashlights can keep being used with intermittent periods of darkness during which they are recharged. You can probably already see the appeal of these flashlights.
What To Look For Before Buying
Flashlights are not terribly complicated devices in the first place, and adding a crank to them does not change the validity of that fact. It is still just a flashlight, so mostly all you’re going to have to look for are features you’d look for when buying a normal flashlight. Length of charge duration and brightness of the light itself spring to mind. As is expected however, there are some fancier models which are much more than just a flashlight. Other than that, all you’ve got to make sure is that the flashlight unit and the crank are designed well. If they’re not you could find yourself getting sore hands while cranking the thing.
Below we have listed some of the nicest models you can find on the market. These are products that are guaranteed to last and do their job well.
Fashionable and practical, this hand cranked flashlight is pretty to look at and does its job very well indeed. The handle on the crank is ergonomically sound, meaning your hand won’t cramp up after a few spins. It also has a solar panel that is passively charging the battery at all times whenever it is under any sort of light source. And its clip allows you to swing it on the side of your jeans or backpack without any worry of it falling off. You can’t go wrong with this one.
- Excellent charge capacity; up to 10 minutes of light for a minute of cranking.
- Also comes with a sensitive solar panel that can charge the battery off of almost anything.
- Comfortably designed and able to be held for a long time.
- Useful clipping design that can securely clip the flashlight on to anything.
This little flashlight is incredibly light, and has a strap for carrying it around if you do get tired of holding it anyway. Or it could also be swung around your wrist so you don’t accidentally drop it. The cranking lever also has a welcome toggling locking feature. However, before purchasing this model, you should keep in mind that this particular flashlight does not actually come with a rechargeable battery. This one is for people who want a light that stays lit as long as you’re cranking it and providing it with power. So if you’re looking for that sort of a hand cranked flashlight, this is a great one to get. If not, read on. We’ve got plenty more rechargeable hand cranked flashlights coming up.
- Crank has a lock toggle.
- Unit comes with a useful little carry strap.
- Very light and very easy to keep a grip on.
- Full refund or replacement for valid product disputes
Small, light, and extremely easy to carry around, the MECO hand cranked flashlight is a solid choice. Its nicely designed round crank handle and its ergonomic shape make for long cranking without cramping. Also equipped with a solar panel you can have the flashlight charge itself during the day for use at night in case you don’t feel like cranking. And of course, the ever-welcome clip allows for it to be carried around outside a bag or purse or pocket without the need of your hands.
- 6-minute crank results in an hour of light. Excellent charge capacity.
- Portable and easy on the hands.
- Has a useful and very secure clip for clipping on to clothes.
- Has a built-in solar panel for an alternative method of charging as well.
The ThorFire is a beautiful little flashlight. It’s designed very nicely and its crank lever can be locked into place in such a way that it completes the shape of the flashlight instead of getting in your way. Furthermore, it has a water-resistant rating of IPX6, which means it can withstand a lot of pressure underwater and heavy sprays of water too. Want to use it in the rain? No problem, the ThorFire has your back. It has a solar panel too of course, in case you just want to leave it out in the sun until nightfall. However, if you have to crank it, you won’t have to do so for long, because this flashlight has possibly the best crank time to illumination time ratio out of the whole list. It’s just a wonderful little piece.
- Has an exceptional crank to illumination ratio of 1 hour for one minute.
- The unit is waterproof and can be submerged in water for a short period of time.
- Has a solar panel too in case you want to charge it that way.
Another lightweight and very portable hand cranked flashlight, the PrimalCamp flashlight has an easy-to-hold crank handle that rests in a hole in the unit when not in use. This way the flashlight unit looks good and remains comfortable to grip when not being handled. The expected clip is also there, allowing for better portability when not in use but being needed to be accessed in a hurry. And it too comes with a solar panel built in to the unit so that cranking is not the only option when it comes to recharging the flashlight.
- Produces a very respectable one hour of light off of a 6-minute crank.
- Is small, portable, and comfortable to carry around by hand.
- Has a useful and secure clip for clipping on to something.
- Has a solar panel for solar charge capabilities as well.
The Energizer Weatheready is another excellent choice when it comes to hand cranked flashlights. With a pleasing color choice and body design, this flashlight has you covered in any kind of emergency with extreme levels of reliability. With a bright LED light that will never die out and a charge that lasts a good time, you have the illumination aspect covered whenever you find yourself in the dark. Having a pack of these for every member of the family is a very good idea and ensured that everyone is prepared for emergencies. And yes, as expected, this flashlight has a clip too. So, if you want to clip it somewhere within reach, you can most definitely do so.
- Packs a bright light that’s strong and pleasantly colored.
- Useful little clip included for ease of hanging or other clipping needs.
- Produces 3 minutes of bright light for every 1 minute of cranking.
- LED lamp comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Last, but nowhere near the least, we have the Swiss Safe hand cranked flashlight. It’s cheap, beautifully designed, comes in a range of colors, and is overall just a very good addition to your tool kit. It’s got the clip you need, a solar panel with exceptional charging capabilities, and a crank lever that’s easy to work with for long periods of time. It’s light, ergonomically designed, and the perfect size for your hands to not get tired of holding it too quickly. It’s another excellent product and you can be assured you made a quality purchase if you decide to get this for yourself.
- Inbuilt solar panel that can charge up to two hours of light.
- A very good ratio of 1-minute cranks for 8 minutes of light.
- Has a safe and secure clipping mechanism.
- LED bulbs will most certainly not fail any time soon, if ever.
And that wraps up our list of some of the best hand cranked flashlights out there. It could go on forever, but then it would simply become a competition about which model has the flashiest lights or the highest number of fiddly knobs. We hope you were able to find whatever you wanted, and are going to be satisfied by it in the future. In the meantime of course, be sure to check out some of our other pieces, like our post on what you should do with expired solar panels or our piece on an interesting question about single-use batteries.