Best Hand Crank Emergency Radio
Howard Ruff is known to have said, “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” While said in a different context, the message still resonates in our minds during emergency scenarios from something as simple as power outages to the more devastating ones such as blizzards and hurricanes.
If you’re here looking to complete your emergency kit, we’ll help you check off the list by introducing you to three of the best hand crank emergency radios available. And since they are multi-purpose, you might get through your list sooner than you’ve expected. These products are also great for camping and backpacking.
Bearham Portable Emergency Hand Crank Solar Radio
This yellow and black, beveled-edge, rectangular radio can go from 520 to 1710KHz on AM, 87 to 108MHz on FM, and 162.450 to 162.550MHz on NOAA. Aside from the AM/FM/NOAA radio reception, the 5 x 2.4 x 1.8-inch body of this emergency radio is fitted with a powerful LED flashlight as well as 1000 mAh Li-polymer power bank.
The radio can be charged through a USB, a solar panel, or a hand-cranked generator. It also comes with a USB charging cable and a user manual.
- All functions work well. The radio reception is good and clear. Emergency flashlight provides ample lighting. All charging features are operational.
- A siren or alarm would have been a welcome feature.
XLN-288DUS Crank Dynamo AM/FM Radio
The XLN-288DUS Crank Dynamo AM/FM Radio is a yellow, triangular-shaped emergency radio with grey knobs, trims, and switches. Its FM radio can go from 76 to 108MHz; whereas its AM radio can do 540 to 1600KHz.
Besides a radio reception, it provides emergency lighting for up to a 200-meter distance, mobile phone charging ports, and alarm flashing. It also features a three-way charging system: micro USB, solar power, and a hand-cranked generator, taking 3 hours, 20 hours, and 2 hours respectively to charge fully.
The device can run the lights for 15 hours, the radio for 5 hours, or the blink for 3 hours.
- It is lightweight and compact.
- Along with other common add-on features, it comes with a siren.
- Using the power bank to charge phones may result in faster power discharge.
- The solar cell is not that powerful.
Compass Culture Brand Solar and Hand Crank Radio
This red and black rectangular emergency radio can withstand water. The Compass Culture Brand Solar and Hand Crank Radio can reach 520 to 1620KHz on AM, 87 to 108MHz on FM, and 162.400 to 162.550 on NOAA.
It also has a Powerful LED Zoom adjustable flashlight, reading lamp, 2000 mAh Power Bank, and an SOS alarm with blinking red light. It can be charged in four ways; through solar power, a hand-cranked generator, USB cable, and three (3) AAA batteries.
It also comes with a survival Paracord bracelet with compass, a whistle, a Magnesium flint fire Starter and a strong Paracord.
- It’s not heavy-duty but not fragile either.
- It’s almost a complete emergency kit in itself. It comes with extra features, including a whistle, a distress alarm, a flint for starting fires, a compass, and a Paracord bracelet.
- It can be powered in multiple ways. It runs on batteries, solar power, hand cranking, and electricity.
- The clarity of the stations is not that great.
- Some parts can be flimsy.
- It does not seem to hold power well when stored.
As an emergency radio that charges itself through hand-cranking, all three gadgets tick off the list. In fact, they are also fitted with solar panels and USB ports that allow them to store power through sun exposure and electrical power. Compass Culture Brand’s emergency radio even goes one notch higher by being able to run on batteries.
The AM and FM stations are accessible in all three emergency radios. But, in terms of the weather bands, only Compass Culture Brand’s and Bearham’s portable emergency radios are equipped to do so.
In times of emergencies, WBs are indispensable. Sadly, XLN-288DUS Crank Dynamo AM/FM Radio doesn’t have this.
Compass Culture Brand’s hand-crank radio easily takes the cake in this department. For a small emergency radio, it can do more than just provide a source of information.
It serves as a power bank for cellphone charging, light to illumine dark surroundings or for reading, a siren and whistle for making a distress call, a compass for direction, a flint stone to start a fire, and a 10-inch Paracord for hanging or securing objects. Falling behind is Bearham’s emergency radio, which is fitted only with light and power bank as extra features.
As for the price, Bearham Portable Emergency Hand Crank Solar Radio is the cheapest; Compass Culture Brand Solar and Hand Crank Radio, second; and XLN-288DUS Crank Dynamo AM/FM Radio, the most expensive.
Principally, Bearham Portable Emergency Hand Crank Solar Radio is a good choice for its price. It’s basic, yet it does the job of an emergency hand crank radio, in that it provides access to valuable information through the weather bands and that it can be powered by hand-cranking in the absence of electricity, the sun, or batteries.
It also thoughtfully incorporated a flashlight and a power bank in its design.
But, if you are willing to spend a few dollars more, you can’t go wrong with Compass Culture Brand Solar and Hand Crank Radio either. It’s the closest you can get to some Inspector Gadget stuff for emergency situations you meet on the road, at home, in camp, or anywhere else.
Whichever of the three you will choose, it’s important to have them tested and used once in a while, just to be sure that they are in good working condition. While we’re certainly not looking forward to the time we will have to use them in a real emergency situation, it’s definitely wise to have a hand crank emergency radio whose functions, capacity, and condition you know very well.