What’s a Hand Crank Radio and Why Do You Need One?

If you lose power during an emergency, staying in the know is a priority. This is where a hand crank radio comes in. 

But what exactly is a hand crank radio? How does it work and why do you need it?

If these questions live in your mind rent-free, we got your back. This post explains how a hand crank radio works and why you need one.

What Is a Hand Crank Radio? 

what is a hand crank radio

A hand crank radio is a crucial part of any emergency scenario. But before we discuss what a hand crank radio is, let’s see what a hand crank means.

A hand crank refers to an arm (or lever) with a rotating shaft. The arm can be attached to the shaft or be a bent extension of the shaft. When you turn the arm, the shaft reciprocates the circular motion. 

As the term implies, a hand crank powers the radio. Turning the hand crank for two minutes usually powers the radio for up to an hour.

Many hand crank radios include other power sources. Some have batteries, while others can be charged or solar-powered. These radios also have additional features, such as flashlights and LCD screens.

Since these devices don’t rely on power, they can provide you with potentially life-saving emergency information. They’re also extremely helpful during emergencies like house fires and blizzards.  

Additionally, most hand-crank radios are NOAA (National Oceanic Atmospheric Association) weather radios. They can receive emergency and weather updates from the association’s 24-hour radio station. 

So, if an emergency occurs (e.g., you’re affected by tornado season), you’ll be updated with the current situation. This lets you know what to expect and how to prepare for it. 

How Does a Hand Crank Radio Work?

how does a hand crank radio work

The radio generates power by turning the hand crank. As you turn the crank, it heats up and produces power for the radio.

In particular, the crank generates power with the help of a conductive coil wire and a magnet. 

The coil wraps the magnet. As you turn the hand crank, the coil around the magnet rotates. This produces the power the radio needs. 

In addition, a regulator exists to ensure you don’t generate too much power and burn the circuits. 

Hand crank radios have helped many people through fires, hurricanes, and storms. They’ve also helped those in places without electricity and areas to charge. 

Plus, hand crank radios have saved many lives, keeping people safe from danger during emergencies.

Why Do You Need a Hand Crank Radio?

Here’s why you need a hand crank radio in your emergency kit: 

1. Hand crank radios give you weather updates.

hand crank radios give you weather updates

Source: GearJunkie

Hand crank radios are usually weather radios that can receive weather updates from NOAA’s 24-hour station. 

You can receive severe weather and emergency alerts in real time. During a crisis, instant alerts make a lot of difference. 

However, you must choose weather alert radios, not weather band radios. Weather band radios must be tuned in to a local station to work, while weather alert radios update you regardless of the station you’re tuned in to. 

2. Hand crank radios are reliable.

hand crank radios are reliable

Source: Red Cross

During big disasters, hand crank radios are usually more reliable than phones. Disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and volcano eruptions can disrupt cell towers. 

When disaster strikes and the power goes out, hand crank radios are the best option for staying updated. Plus, many hand crank radios have multiple sources of power, including solar batteries and rechargeable ones.

In addition, hand crank radios come with flashlights, clocks, and LCD screens that come in handy during emergencies.

3. Hand crank radios are durable.

hand crank radios are durable

Source: Red Cross

Hand crank radios can last for years. They’re also waterproof and shock-resistant. 

So, you don’t have to worry about getting another one for the next several years. 

Pair Your Hand Crank Radio With a Walkie-Talkie

A hand crank radio may give you the updates you need, but how about your mode of communication?

Do you have a backup if phone lines go down or your phone dies?

Introducing the PowerTalkieX Radio Set— your ultimate emergency companion. 

This radio set has your back when the power is out and phone lines are down.

PowerTalkieX lets you communicate through a three-mile distance and 25-floor buildings with a crisp voice and noise reduction tech. 

It’s also straightforward to use― your entire family will know how to use it within minutes of unboxing.

The PowerTalkieX Radio Set also provides up to 15 days of communication and lasts for 18 to 24 months in storage after one charge.

Plus, it’s as thin as a smartphone, allowing you to hide it from people who want to steal it during emergencies. To top it off,  PowerTalkieX also comes with a hands-free set for easy communication. 

You see, the PowerTalkieX Radio Set isn’t just an ordinary walkie-talkie. It’s a better version of the traditional walkie-talkie. Take a look at the differences between the two:

PowerTalkieX  Regular Walkie-Talkie
Lightweight Heavy
Discreet Easily noticeable
Easy to use Confusing to set up
Rechargeable batteries Non-rechargeable batteries
Fast-charging Needs battery replacements
License not needed Often requires a license
Hands-free Not hands-free

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a hand crank?

A hand crank consists of an arm (or lever) and a rotating shaft. The arm can be attached to the shaft or be a bent extension of the shaft. 

What is a hand crank radio used for?

A hand crank is used to stay updated during emergencies. It provides weather alerts and has sustainable power sources and a flashlight. A hand crank radio can also be more reliable than a mobile phone during massive disasters.

How long do hand crank flashlights last?

Hand crank flashlights last for 2 to 48 hours. They usually have rechargeable Ni-MH or lithium-ion batteries that can store a lot of energy. These batteries are also capable of  500 to 1,000 charges on average before they start to degrade.

How long will a hand crank radio play?

How long a hand crank radio plays depends on the power source (hand crank, solar batteries, or rechargeable batteries). Cranking the radio for one minute gives about 15 minutes of playing time.

How long do you have to crank a hand crank radio?

You have to crank a grand crank radio as long as you need it to work. On average, you must crank a hand crank radio for one minute to get 15 minutes of audio.


hand crank radio

Source: Pinterest

Huge disasters and extended power outages cut your access to important updates. Keep your family safe by getting a hand crank radio.

While you’re at it, get a reliable walkie-talkie that lets you communicate through long distances and tall buildings without distorting your voice.