hand crank flashlights

Pros and Cons of Hand Crank Flashlights Explained

No one wants to be in the line of danger, but disasters and accidents do happen. However, your survival chances depend on how equipped you are. The hand crank flashlight is one vital gadget to have in case of an emergency where the power supply is cut.

Hand crank flashlights offer many advantages over regular flashlights, such as reliability, user-friendliness, and eco-friendliness. However, they may not be as powerful as the common battery-powered flashlights.

This article explores the pros and cons of hand crank flashlights in greater detail. I’ll also provide some product examples, including factors that should inform your purchase decisions.

The Pros of Hand Crank Flashlights

Hand crank flashlights are excellent alternatives or backup to more expensive and conventional flashlights because they present numerous advantages. Let’s check out some of them below:

The Hand Crank Flashlight Is Dependable

You can always rely on the hand crank flashlight. With this flashlight, you’ll always have light source no matter what situation you find yourself in.

While regular flashlights may let you down when you’re in a pinch due to a dead battery, the hand crank flashlight will not as it doesn’t require any power source. To start this small machine, all you need is to crank the flashlight to generate energy and charge the battery that powers the gadget.

The Hand Crank Flashlight Is Eco-Friendly

You may not be concerned about the environmental impact of a flashlight, but the issue is now a big deal. Daily use of fossil fuels has altered our climate a great deal. One significant effect is the depletion of the ozone layer, increasing the number of UV rays reaching the planet.

We know that UV rays are hazardous to human skin. Unlike the components of conventional flashlights, such as batteries, the hand crank flashlight can easily be recycled.

The Hand Crank Flashlight Is User-Friendly

The hand crank flashlight is very easy to operate. You don’t need a manual to use it. Crank the handle a few times.

Most hand crank flashlights have their handles on the side, like this BFVV Hand Crank Flashlight (available on Amazon.com) that requires you to wind the crank a few times. The longer you wind, the longer it stores power. For most hand crank flashlights, the light can stay on for as much as an hour if you wind for a minute.

The Hand Crank Flashlight Does Not Need an External Supply of Power

Getting an external power source can sometimes be difficult, especially if you’re moving. This is where hand-crank flashlights offer a better choice.

You won’t need external power to turn them on. Just keep cranking for illumination, which isn’t such a hard thing to do. Having total control of your light source is one advantage of hand crank flashlights.

Pros of hand crank flashlight

Some of the Hand Crank Flashlights Have Multiple Functions

Some hand-crank flashlights do more than produce light. Some come with additional features like a radio, charging port, or even a hammer (an essential survivalism tool). These features enhance the overall user experience.

This Mesqool Weather Radio Solar Hand Crank (available on Amazon.com) is a perfect example of a hand crank flashlight with multiple features. It’s a 5-way powered hand-crank flashlight that incorporates a weather radio, USB charger, a compass, an alarm, headphone jack, and a power bank in one device!

This Puiuisoul Emergency Hand Crank Flashlight (available on Amazon.com) takes the multi-feature concept a notch higher. Some of its functions include working as an emergency radio, a solar power storage device, and a power bank. In addition, it has a motion sensor reading lamp.

The Hand Crank Flashlight Serves as an Essential Survival Tool

If you’re always on the move, you’d be better off having control of the uptime and downtime gadgets you use. Depending on external sources (which may be hard to come by) can result in disappointment.

The hand crank flashlight takes care of these concerns. This makes it an essential survival tool. The gadget ensures you’re always in time for a response in an emergency or danger.

You Can Store the Hand Crank Flashlight Away

For most regular flashlights, keeping them away for too long is a factor that contributes to them being unable to function correctly later. This is not the same for the hand crank flashlight. The hand crank flashlight can be stored after use, along with other camping gear or survival kits, and used when needed. It will still be functional.

Tip: You can indeed store your flashlight after use and return to it later, and it will still be functional, but this does not mean you should dump it just about anywhere. It would be best to store your hand crank flashlight in a cool, dry place, away from the reach of rodents.

The Hand Crank Flashlight Stores Charge

A supercapacitor is charged in the hand crank flashlight, enabling the gadget to store charge. For some hand-crank flashlights, with ten minutes of cranking, they can store charge for thirty minutes.

For other hand-crank flashlights, with the same ten minutes of cranking, they can store charge for sixty minutes. Whenever you switch it on, after you have cranked it for ten minutes, it can work for thirty to sixty minutes.

The Hand Crank Flashlight Does Not Need a Continuous Cranking During Use

An important rule to keep in mind is not to crank the hand crank flashlight while in use. Unlike other flashlights, which may need to be pumped while in use, nothing needs to be done to the hand crank flashlight while it is in use. With the hand crank flashlight, you only use it after you are done cranking.

Tip: When using a hand crank flashlight, it is best to bring it closer to your body. This way, the light emitted will not spread out, making it last longer.

The Hand Crank Flashlight Is Portable

This is another advantage of the hand crank flashlight. It has an ultra-compact design that enables it to be moved easily from one location to another. The hand crank flashlight also can stay through adverse conditions, like in the case of natural disasters.

Even hand crank flashlights which have multiple functionalities are also specially designed for convenience and portability.

The Cons of Hand Crank Flashlights

We’ve covered some pretty incredible things about the hand crank flashlight. However, this remarkable device also has some limitations. We’ll discuss them below:

The Hand Crank Flashlight Is for Emergencies

It’s important to remember that although it’s a good idea to have the hand crank flashlight, the device is primarily for emergencies, not your regular flashlight. Even though some include multiple functionalities, it remains an essential survival tool, as discussed earlier.

The Hand Crank Flashlight Does Not Retain Enough Power

The hand crank flashlight may not be able to maintain enough power after cranking. It will keep power for the most part, but it may not meet your requirements. It may be necessary to crank multiple times to keep a small amount of power.

The Hand Crank Flashlight Isn’t As Bright as the Conventional Flashlights

Battery-powered flashlights are usually significantly brighter than hand crank flashlights. This limitation can be a concern in emergencies when you need to have your environment wholly illuminated. That’s why hand crank flashlights are better suited as a backup for your regular flashlights.

Some Hand-Crank Flashlight Handles Are Hard To Crank

You’d expect cranking to be easy to execute for a device that requires cranking to generate power. However, this isn’t the case with some hand-crank flashlights. You’d find some quite hard to crank. This makes using the device more of a chore than fun.

Some Hand-Crank Flashlights Are Not Durable

An essential survival tool should last as long as possible. You wouldn’t want to crank on your device at some point and not have it respond. However, some hand crank flashlights are not durable.

And on a relative scale, putting hand crank flashlights head to head with regular flashlights, you may not have better results. If you want a more durable hand crank flashlight, you may need to invest in a pricier option with excellent reviews.

Extra Cost for the Hand Crank Flashlight

You may need to try your hands on different hand crank flashlights before knowing which is best for you. The implication is that you’d spend money on gadgets you may not use. Consumer reviews may help you decide on a brand, but sometimes you may have many contrary opinions.

Using the Hand Crank Flashlight Could Be Exhausting

You could get exhausted quickly if the hand crank flashlight is your only means of getting a power supply because you cannot build an enormous amount of electricity from cranking. While the hand crank flashlight can store charge, depending on the extent to which you want to use the hand crank flashlight, you may have to crank it now and then.

The force expended by the hand crank flashlight is not the same as that of a windmill or a power plant. Hence, there is no way the hand crank flashlight can generate enough force to maintain a good amount of charge.

Hand Crank Flashlight vs. Regular Flashlight

A hand-crank flashlight provides light without using batteries. Sure, we love our battery-powered flashlights, but they’re not ideal for emergencies. At some point, the batteries lose their power and wear out.

Being in an emergency can be perplexing. Being in the dark in an emergency is even worse. Hand crank flashlights are a much better option because they’re more reliable. The hand crank flashlight requires just a few cranks on the hand, and in no time, your light is up and running.

For a person whose primary means of a light source while out there is through battery-powered flashlights, it will be fascinating to hear about a flashlight that does not require batteries. That said, how exactly does a hand crank flashlight work?

How Do Hand Crank Flashlights Work?

Hand crank flashlights need mechanical energy to work, just like you use energy to chop some wood in the forest.

Hand crank flashlights work by using kinetic energy. Cranking the flashlight stimulates some gears in the flashlight; these simulations transfer mechanical energy to the electric generator, which transforms it into visible light.

Factors To Consider When Buying a Hand Crank Flashlight

Are you shopping for a hand crank flashlight? Here are some essential factors to consider before choosing a brand.

Your Needs

Unless you’re an item collector, it’s best to stick to what you need at the moment. As I’ve mentioned earlier, hand crank flashlights were made for emergencies.

Although many models now include extra features like radio and USB charging, there’s no point in buying them if you’re not going to use them. However, some features like weather functions may come in handy if you’re more of an adventurer.

On the flip side, these features can be helpful in the wake of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, a storm, or an earthquake.

The radio will keep you informed while you try to sort yourself out, and the USB charging will be a valuable power source for your cell phone and keep communication lines open. In a nutshell, the purpose will define what you need and inform your purchase decisions.


You don’t want to compromise on your safety gadgets when it comes to survival. Your life may depend on it. If you’re getting a hand crank flashlight, then get a quality product. They may not come cheap, but they’re definitely worth the trouble.

And one more thing, consider getting a waterproof flashlight. It will help you when you’re in the rain or in an area where you’ll be dealing with plenty of water, such as flood. The Raddy SW5 Emergency Hand Crank Flashlight (available on Amazon.com) is one excellent example. The manufacturers made this flashlight with situations like hurricanes and violent storms in mind.


The numerous benefits of hand crank flashlights explored in this article highlight their significance as an essential survival tool. Some advantages discussed include:

  • Reliability
  • Eco-friendliness
  • User-friendliness
  • The versatility of some multifunction models

However, they also have some limitations. They include:

  • Lower light intensity than regular battery-powered flashlights
  • Recharging through cranking requires time and effort
  • Low durability of cheaper models

These limitations don’t take away the fact that hand-crank flashlights are helpful devices during emergencies or disasters. The multifunction models provide radio and USB charging features to enhance the user experience.