Hand crank radios are your best bet during emergencies or in places with unreliable electricity supply. They are designed to work efficiently using minimal battery power while harnessing renewable power sources like solar energy.
They generally cover AM and FM bands. They also cover weather channels like NOAA bands in places or countries where they are offered.
If you plan a trip to the great outdoors or to less developed countries with unreliable or nonexistent power supply, then hand-crank radios would certainly be of use to you.
With so many options in the market to choose from, it might be difficult to pick the best one for you. Not to worry, we have compiled a list of the best radios in the market today, so you can be sure to pick a radio that won’t fail you when you need it the most.
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Consideration choosing hand crank radios
Since these radios are essential during emergencies, you must pick the best. To do so, you must put the following into consideration.
To choose the best radio, you must take note of the weight. The weight of these radios varies since they are designed to perform different tasks. While some are loaded with multiple functions, others have just a few making them lighter.
The lightweight and simple radios are designed mostly for hiking and camping trips to increase mobility.
The bulkier radios are usually more sturdy and are suitable for heavy-duty use. They are not always very portable radios and are more useful at home or in a vehicle. They feature bigger crank handles and larger batteries. Hence, they stay on longer.
There are also radios that neither compromise on mobility nor functions. They are not so big that you can’t carry them around, and they have batteries that last long enough. These radios are suitable for both home use or camping trips.
Before purchasing any radio, you must think thoroughly about what you want and how much mobility or portability you need.
Since hand-cranked radios are generally used during emergencies, the range is an important factor to take into consideration. In situations where one is secluded or far away from the rest of civilization, the radio must cover a large distance for communication to occur.
Even if the emergency occurs at home, the chances are that you would want to communicate with emergency officials who may or may not be close to your home.
Radios with low range are not so advisable when buying hand-cranked radios since the high range radios are more functional during emergencies.
However, you should note that the range of any radio is affected by the terrain or unpleasant weather. Often, the radio’s manufacturers might promise a range of 35 miles or more, but the radio would only go seven to ten miles. This happens because such radios are tested in ideal conditions.
In the real world, it is difficult to transmit at ideal conditions, so the only way to determine the true range is by reading the reviews of those who have used it.
Wondering how long do hand crank radios last? Nothing beats a radio that is functional and durable. No one wants to buy a radio that functions for a few weeks and stops working afterward, which is the reality of so many radios.
The best radios are those that can withstand accidental falls without breaking apart. You would have to make sure you avoid falls as much as possible even though it can’t be helped, especially when used during hikes or camping trips.
One of the factors that determine if a radio would last is the build quality. Radios that are built with inferior materials will not last as long as those designed with raw materials with great quality.
To avoid that, you need to consider the manufacturer’s reputation of the radio you wish to purchase. The chances are that if the other radios produced by them are durable, then the radio of your choice would also last long.
One of the major reasons why these radios are considered the best emergency radios is because they are usually equipped with different charging options. There is a need for emergency radios to remain powered for as long as possible.
The radios get their name from the crank, usually located at the radio side. In order to generate power for the radio, all you need to do is wind the radio for as long as you can.
In some radios, using the crank handle for about 5 minutes can power up the radios for several minutes and, in some cases, hours. To store up the power generated by the hand-cranked generator, these radios are equipped with rechargeable batteries.
Besides these hand generators, some of the radios also come with solar panels to harness the sun’s energy. They can also be charged using USB ports and chargers.
Before buying an emergency radio, you must consider the battery life. That is how much the radio can stay without being charged. Which includes considering how much power it can store.
The battery life is affected by the number of features in use. Most radios have various features like power banks that you can use for your mobile devices and torchlights in places with no power supply. Using too many features at once will reduce the battery power of any radio.
Most Emergency crank radios come with weather channels, NOAA(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), which can be very useful outdoors. During hikes or camping trips, you would want to be a step ahead of nature as a slight weather change can easily spell out disaster. Knowing if it would rain or shine can make a difference during your trip.
Most crank radios also come with FM and AM frequency bands, which keep you connected. In some hand crank radios, you also get private channels to allow for undisturbed conversations.
Depending on your budget, there are different radio options available. Generally, radios with the most features tend to be more pricy. The cheaper ones usually have less build quality or features. Although, in some rare cases, cheap radios are packed with several features and are also very durable.
Comparing the features, price, and reviews of an emergency crank radio are necessary before purchasing it. An essential thing when purchasing an emergency radio is getting a product with great value at an affordable price. That way, there would be no need to count losses.
In the list provided below, you easily pick out the best radio that fits into your budget and doesn’t compromise on amazing features.
15 Best Hand Crank Radios
1. Midland – ER310
The Midland ER310 emergency crank radio is a must-have for emergency preparedness. The ER310 FM radio keeps you informed and updated on severe weather conditions or emergencies via its built-in FM NOAA alerts. This easy to use, versatile radios have multiple power sources, a LED flashlight for power outages and easy movement in low light areas, an ultrasonic dog whistle for emergencies. They run on both a rechargeable battery and AA batteries. The Midland ER310 is one of the best hand crank emergency radios and offers quality radio reception.
- This radio has multiple power sources.
- The Midland ER310 is durable
- It is not very stable while standing.
- It can’t store radio stations.
2. Aiworth Radio
Aiworth FM radio is regarded by many as the hand crank radio with a usb port. The Aiworth radio has a built-in weather radio with different channels to give you weather alerts; it has a built in LED radio flashlight which also doubles as a reading lamp, a USB output, a 2000mAh high capacity power bank, and it is water-resistant. This solar radio has an excellent sound quality and is perfect for emergencies.
- This radio has an AUX music player.
- It has a super LCD screen and headphone jack.
- This radio has super long battery life.
- This radio doesn’t have a dog whistle.
- It doesn’t have a hands free feature.
3. SOLELOZ radio
Do you want to be prepared for every storm and power outage? The Soleloz radio will help you go through every storm and power outage fully equipped, connected to reports in case of emergencies and always ready. It has NOAA radio to give you important reports for your area, a LED flashlight and a reading lamp. Battery’s out? Just use the crank handle for more power! The Soleloz FM radio runs on multiple power sources, which include AA batteries, rechargeable batteries, solar panels, and the dynamo hand crank handle. It has a USB output and can power up your cellphones, and is ideal for indoor and outdoor use.
- This radio is lightweight and easy to use.
- It has multiple power sources.
- This radio is not water-resistant.
4. FosPower Radio
The Fospower solar crank radio is a rugged, easy to use emergency radio. It is water-resistant. It has an LED flashlight and reading lamp, USB charging cable, SOS alarm, and weather radio. The Fospower solar crank radio has various power sources; it runs on AAA batteries, rechargeable battery packs; it has a solar panel and can be powered using the hand crank. It also doubles as a 2000mAh power bank and can be used to charge your other devices. It is suitable for emergencies, indoor and outdoor activities.
- This radio is rugged and water-resistant.
- This radio has two LED light sources.
- This radio doesn’t have a headphone jack.
- It doesn’t have an indicator to tell you when your battery is fully charged.
5. Puiuisoul Radio
Be prepared for the worst with the Puiuisoul MD-090P emergency radio. This emergency hand-crank radio does more than just warm about an impending storm; during power outages, it can work as an ultra-bright reading lamp, and the SOS alarm keeps you safe. This radio has FM stations and weather channels to give you weather alerts. These radios have excellent sound quality; they are water-resistant; they have a USB output and a USB cable. The Puiuisoul MD-090P radios have multiple power sources, which include the solar panel. When the radio receives enough sunlight to start charging, the power indicator keeps flashing red light.
- This radio has a motion sensor reading lamp.
- This radio has a micro USB cable.
- It has lasting battery life.
- This radio has an SOS alarm.
- This radio is not equipped with a headphone jack.
6. Givoust Radio
The OD-090P emergency weather radio is one of the best emergency radios. It has multiple power options: rechargeable battery packs, solar power via solar panel, USB output and hand crank. This weather radio, alongside it’s FM stations have NOAA weather channels which give NOAA weather alerts. It has an SOS alarm, a built-in LED flashlight, and a reading light. The OD-090P is best suited for all emergencies, indoor and outdoor activities.
- This radio has NOAA weather alerts.
- This device has a USB charging cable.
- It has long-lasting battery life.
- This device is not water-resistant.
7. Sangean MMR-88
When the going gets tough, get tougher with the Sangean MMR-88. This shock-resistant radio can power itself up without relying on a wall charger as it is equipped with a solar panel and a dynamo hand crank generator. Its key features include built-in NOAA weather channels, which give you weather alerts, a built-in LED flashlight, and a micro USB port and cable. The Sangean MMR-88 is best for emergency storms. It gives NOAA alerts and other indoor and outdoor activities; it is a must-have in your emergency kit.
- This radio has a solar charging panel.
- This device charges other devices via micro USB.
- It is equipped with a headphone jack.
- This radio doesn’t give you the option to run a secondary set of batteries.
8. CTXTKER Radio
The CTXTKER emergency solar radio comes integrated with an LED flashlight, reading light, four ways of charging: crank, solar charging via the solar panel, micro USB port and cable, and 3 AA batteries. This radio’s key features include its emergency NOAA weather radio, which receives emergency weather alerts such as tornadoes, hurricanes, and severe storms in advance and helps you keep tabs on important announcements. The CTXTKER radio is best for all emergencies.
- This radio has a built-in 2000mAh battery that can power other devices in emergencies.
- This radio has a danger alarm loudspeaker.
- This device has multiple charging methods.
- It gives NOAA weather alerts.
- This radio is not waterproof.
9. Raynic Solar Radio
What would you do if the sky was falling tomorrow and your mobile phone and computer stopped working? How would you stay up to date with the situation? Wouldn’t you rather get an emergency radio with a battery back up to keep you running? Raynic emergency weather radio will keep you up and running when every other medium fails. This weather radio is a 5-way powered device; its power sources include a crank, a built-in 2000mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery, solar panel, AAA batteries and USB charging. This solar radio has a built-in LED flashlight to help you see in the dark and comes with the SOS alarm. Raynic radio has NOAA weather channels, which give NOAA weather alerts and makes sure you stay up to date during emergencies.
- This radio is durable and efficient.
- It has multiple charging options.
- This radio is waterproof.
- The phone charging feature of this radio is slow.
- This radio takes a lot of hand cranking to power it up.
10. Raddy SW3
Raddy SW3 radio is a multi-functional radio and is one of the best out there with its multiple charging options; solar panel, which uses solar power to power the radio, 2000mAh Li-ion battery, and USB charging cable. This compact radio has a NOAA weather band and gives weather alerts; it is water-resistant; it has a built-in LED flashlight, which doubles as a reading lamp. Raddy SW3 solar radio has an SOS alarm and is ideal for indoor and outdoor use.
- This radio has a long-lasting battery life.
- This radio is durable and easy to use.
- This radio has a NOAA weather alert receiver.
- This radio has a fragile crank handle.
- The on/off button feels a bit loose when tuning.
11. Kaito KA500
The Kaito KA500 is a lightweight and portable 5-way powered radio that is great for outdoor and indoor use. It features an LED flashlight, NiMH replaceable battery as well as other features. The device is solar-powered and features NOAA weather channels and a hand crank for recharging it. This solar radio is one of the best radios on the market and will suit your purpose.
- It features an earphone jack.
- It is the best gift for forest rangers and other outdoor activities.
- It is durable and can withstand severe weather conditions.
- It is great for both outdoor and indoor use.
- It has poor signal reception.
- Its hand crank is very weak.
12. Rocam Emergency Portable Radio
This 5-way portable radio is a powerful radio which also passes for a weather radio. It features 7 preprogrammed weather channels, a shortwave and NOAA weather band and an SOS alarm. It can be charged by solar power and features a hand crank for charging and a USB port, which allows it to function as a power bank.
- It is easy to use.
- It is a powerful multi-purpose radio.
- Great signal range
- It sometimes exhibits crappy signal.
- Its battery gets drained when more than two devices get connected.
13. Dodocool Radio
This radio has weather broadcast feature which helps you contact your family in case of an emergency. The Dodocool weather radio comes with an FRM and NOAA channels, an LED flashlight, a hand crank for manual solar charging and a strap. It is convenient for both outdoor and indoor use.
- It is very easy to use.
- It is durable and can be used in places with low power supply.
- It is convenient to carry about.
- It is a great gift for both adults and children alike.
- It is reliable in harsh weather conditions.
- You could experience poor network sometimes.
- Its battery gets depleted easily.
The Running Snail radio is a powerful radio that can be used for camping activities and during rescue periods. This radio is convenient and portable to carry about. It also features an LED flashlight and a 1000mAh power bank, with a micro USD port, suitable for both iPhones and other smartphones. The radio helps you deliver weather alerts through its FRM and NOAA stations.
- It lasts long when fully charged.
- It features a strong shortwave signal strength.
- It is easy to carry about.
- It cannot be used to charge a phone for too long.
- It has a poor longwave signal range.
Suppose you are a fan of vintage radios with many extra accessories. In that case, the NICEAO weather radio is perfect for you. This radio is designed for use during emergency periods. It features some powerful features, including a USB port and cable to charge phones with its power bank feature, a Solar panel and a crank to charge the device manually. You can get the device on Amazon, and it would be immediately delivered to you.
- It features an NOAA channel band.
- It is great for emergency periods.
- The battery gets depleted easily.
- It cannot be used with headphones.
Overall Best Buy
You might have a hard time choosing one hand-crank radio from the fifteen radios we have listed for you since they are all functional and affordable.
But in the world of emergency radios, our best pick is the Midland ER 310. Although it is not as cheap as the other radios in its class, it is still very affordable.
This radio stands out both in features and quality. It has a very decent battery life and great audio quality making it a great choice during emergencies.
If you are looking for a portable and sturdy radio with great performance, Midland ER 310 is just right.
Best Budget Buy
Hand crank emergency radios are generally affordable, with most of them ranging from 19$ to 60$. Regardless of the price, all of the radios which we have mentioned above function excellently.
The running snail radio is one radio that can easily fit into your budget as it is below 20$.
Where to Buy the best hand crank radios
After deciding which brand of emergency radios to purchase, the next bridge to cross is finding the right place to buy it.
Most people prefer to buy their products online, while others prefer to walk into a physical store to purchase their radios.
Some people prefer to buy their emergency radio from physical stores because they can check out the radio’s condition before buying it. Added to that is the fact that not everyone likes to wait for their products to arrive.
Those who prefer to shop online do so mostly because it’s easier to order a product at the comfort of their homes, pay for it and get it delivered at their doorsteps with no hassle.