Charging our smartphones has become an essential part of our daily routine. However, it can be quite challenging when we find ourselves in situations where a power socket is not available. In such cases, hand crank chargers come to the rescue. These portable devices offer an alternative way to charge our smartphones using manual energy. But the question remains: are hand chargers for smartphones truly effective? In this article, we will explore the concept of hand crank phone chargers, how they work, and evaluate their effectiveness.
What are Hand Crank Chargers & How Do They Work?
Hand crank chargers, also known as hand chargers for smartphones or hand crank phone chargers, are portable devices that generate electricity through a manual hand-cranking mechanism. These chargers utilize electromagnetic induction, wherein a magnet spins within a coil of wire, generating electrical energy. This energy is then stored in an internal battery or directly transferred to the connected smartphone.
Hand crank chargers typically feature a compact design and are equipped with a crank handle that users can manually rotate. As the handle is cranked, the internal mechanism generates an electrical current, which is then used to charge the smartphone.
Are Hand Chargers for Smartphones Effective?
The effectiveness of hand chargers for smartphones largely depends on various factors, including the charger’s conversion efficiency, battery capacity, and realistic usage expectations.
Conversion efficiency refers to the charger’s ability to generate power for each minute of cranking. Higher conversion efficiency means that less time is required to charge the smartphone. Dedicated hand crank chargers tend to have better conversion efficiency compared to multi-use chargers.
The duration of the charger’s operation on a single charge is determined by its battery capacity, which is typically measured in milliampere-hours (mAh). Hand crank chargers with higher mAh ratings can provide a longer charging duration.
Realistic Usage Expectations
It is important to have realistic expectations when using hand-crank chargers. These chargers require physical effort and time to charge a smartphone, and they are typically designed for emergencies rather than as a primary power source. Most hand crank chargers claim to provide enough charge for emergency calls within 5 to 10 minutes of cranking, but the actual charging time can vary depending on the smartphone’s battery capacity.
8 Best Hand Crank Phone Chargers
Here are the best hand crack phone chargers:
FosPower NOAA Emergency Weather Radio
Designed to withstand outdoor conditions, this hand crank charger is both water-resistant and durable. It provides multiple power options, including solar, hand crank, and AAA batteries, while housing a 2000 mAh battery for reliable performance. It includes an AM/FM radio, NOAA weather alerts, and two lighting options.
Zeus Dynamo Powerhouse 60 Hand-Crank Generator
Engineered specifically for off-grid living, the Zeus Dynamo is a high-performance hand-crank charger with impressive power capabilities. It can hold up to 60 watts of power, making it suitable for charging various devices such as cell phones, laptops, and tablets. It includes two USB ports and comes with mounting brackets for easier hand cranking.
American Red Cross Clipray Crank-Powered Flashlight & Phone Charger
Ideal for brief emergency situations, this cost-effective choice is compact and lightweight, ensuring easy portability and convenience. It features a flashlight with three LED bulbs and a strong carabiner clip for easy attachment. It requires continuous cranking while your phone is connected and has a 500 mAh capacity.
RunningSnail Emergency Hand Crank Radio & Power Bank
The RunningSnail charger provides four means of charging, including solar panels, hand cranking, a USB cable, and AAA batteries. It features a 4000 mAh lithium battery, an AM/FM and NOAA weather radio, and a built-in flashlight. Although its size makes it less suitable for backpacking, the RunningSnail charger is well-suited for home emergencies.
Emergency Hand Crank & Solar-Powered Radio
This charger distinguishes itself by offering five different power sources, including a hand crank, solar panel, rechargeable battery bank, USB cord, and AAA batteries. It offers a 4000 mAh lithium-ion battery, an LED flashlight, AM/FM radio, and a large LCD screen. However, its sound quality and antenna durability may be lacking.
Heavy Duty Hand Crank Generator
This crank generator with a military-style design is specifically crafted for survival scenarios and dedicated hikers. It is waterproof, shockproof, and generates power even in low temperatures. With its 30-watt battery, it can charge small power communication stations, laptops, and other large devices. With a compact size that allows for easy storage in a backpack, this device may require some initial familiarization and comes with a slightly higher price point.
Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight & Power Bank
The Goal Zero Torch 250 is a versatile device that functions as a hand crank phone charger, flashlight, and power bank. It features a built-in solar panel for recharging and includes multiple charging options for smartphones, making it an ideal companion for outdoor adventures or emergencies.
K-TOR Pocket Socket Hand Crank Generator
The K-TOR Pocket Socket is a compact and lightweight hand crank generator that allows you to charge your smartphone by simply plugging it into the device. With its easy-to-use design and portable nature, it is a convenient solution for charging your phone on the go or during power outages.
Hand Crank Chargers are Good Options
Hand crank chargers for smartphones offer a practical solution for charging our devices when traditional power sources are not available. They work by harnessing manual energy through a hand-cranking mechanism. While hand chargers can be effective in emergencies, it is essential to manage our expectations. These chargers require physical effort and time to provide a significant change to our smartphones. They are best viewed as emergency backup options rather than primary power sources.
When choosing a hand crank charger, factors such as conversion efficiency, battery capacity, and additional features should be considered. It is important to find a charger that meets your specific needs and offers a balance between functionality and price.
In conclusion, hand crank chargers for smartphones serve as reliable options in certain circumstances. However, they cannot fully replace traditional smartphone chargers in terms of convenience and efficiency. It is recommended to keep a hand crank charger as part of your emergency preparedness kit, providing peace of mind during unexpected power outages or outdoor adventures.