Top 5 Best Emergency Hand Crank Radio Reviews
Emergency hand crank radios are most usually only called for in emergency situations, which is why you want to choose the best one possible for you and your home—or to include in your EDC bag. The type of radio you choose will depend on your location, whether urban or rural, your need for information as well as your options for power. For instance, if you can only charge via computer or electricity on rare occasions, you want to look for a unit that will hold a charge for the longest possible time or will run off solar power alone.
These hand crank radios are also great for camping, taking along in the RV or just to use as a greener, more efficient type of radio play. All these emergency radios come with AM/FM reception as well as one or more weather bands that are activated when weather alerts are issued. Even in a remote area, you will be able to keep up with radio and weather alerts and stay on top of the latest news.
Whatever the use, make sure to keep it charged up and ready to go at a moment’s notice and you will never be left without a means for information, light or an extra charging device. This is a definite must have for the bug out bag or just to keep in the car, in the event you need to leave quickly.
Here are our Top Picks
Kaito KA500 5-Way Powered Emergency Radio Review
First off is the Kaito KA500 5-Way Powered Emergency Radio. This unit is an AM/FM/SW/NOAA weather alert radio that features a flashlight, reading lamp and cell phone charger.
It has five different ways to be powered, which is huge for emergency situation. You can power this radio with the hand cranking option, which powers the built in battery, solar power that will power the radio, AA batteries if you happen to have extra, a built in rechargeable battery pack and you can also recharge via USB connected to a computer or other port of some sort.
A solar emergency radio, the Kaito comes with a high quality brushless type generator. The equipped solar panel that aids in recharging is able to tilt into various positions in order to take in more of the suns rays than competitor radios. The lamp is a 5 LED unit that can either be a flashlight or red blinking emergency light. This radio can also be used to recharge several different kinds of small electronics including ipods, smart phones and GPS units. This is a great unit for use in emergency situations as well as camping and other uses where electricity might be an issue or not readily accessible.
- Dimensions: 10.5 x 5.8 x 3.2 inches
- Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Battery Power: 3xAA
- Radio Bands: AM: 520-1717 KHz; FM: 88.00 – 108.00 MHz; SW1: 3.20-9.00 KHz; SW2: 9.00-22.00 KHz
iRonsnow IS-088 Dynamo Emergency Radio Review
Our first model is the iRonsnow IS-088 Dynamo Emergency Radio. This is a compact AM/FM NOAA weather radio that features a powerful three LED flashlight and also doubles as a smart phone charger. Recharge options include self-charging, solar or DC recharge by connecting via USB cord to a laptop or USB AC adapter brick. One minute of hand cranking equates to five minutes of radio play, five minutes of cell phone talk time or thirty minutes of continuous torch light.
The iRonsnow is also equipped with a power indicator to let you know when you are getting low and need to recharge the unit. With three different ways to charge, keeping it charged certainly isn’t a hard task, and you can have the peace of mind in knowing that your radio is up and ready any time that you need it. Keeping an extra supply of AAA batteries will create added peace of mind, as it runs off those as well.
- Dimension: 2.4 x 5 x 1.6 inches
- Weight: 0.45 pounds
- Battery Power: 3xAAA/350 mAh/3.6 volts Ni-MH
- Radio Bands: AM: 525KHz – 1710KHz; FM: 88MHz – 108MHz; Weather Band: 162.40 – 162.55 MHz
Esky Self Powered AM/FM/NOAA Emergency Weather Radio
The Esky Self Powered AM/FM/NOAA Emergency Weather Radio is also a flashlight as well as a 1000mAh power bank. With three easy ways to recharge this device – hand cranking the internal generator, exposing the solar panel to sunlight and DC recharge via USB – you will never find yourself without radio and emergency weather alerts. That is incredibly important during times of power outage, on extended camping trips or in other emergency situations.
This package will contain the radio itself, one mini USB charging cable, and one 2.5mm output charging cable, one 2.5mm connector to USB converter, a user’s manual and a warranty card. Warranties included are a 30-day money back guarantee, 12-month replacement and lifetime support.
- Dimensions: 5.9 x 3.1 x 2.5 inches
- Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Battery Power: Ni-MH
- Radio Bands: AM: 520-1710 KHz; FM: 87-108 MHz; NOAA: 162.40 ~ 162.55 MHz
American Red Cross FRX3 AM/FM/NOAA Weather Alert Radio Review
The American Red Cross FRX3 AM/FM/NOAA Weather Alert Radio is an Eton hand crank radio and also acts as a charger for your smart phone. It is charged by either a solar or a hand crank option and lasts about a week on a full charge. This device has a retractable antenna so the reception is great. It also runs off AAA batteries and comes with an AC adapter so that you can save the internal charge if you happen to have access to electricity. In addition to picking up AM, FM and all seven weather bands, it houses a powerful LED flashlight with a blinking red emergency light.
A couple of notable drawbacks to this particular model are that there is no indicator light to let you know when the charge is weak or low. It is also not waterproof or water resistant so you will have to take care if weather conditions are not prime. Also, since it’s not waterproof, it might not be the best camping radio.
- Dimensions: 6.9 x 5.8 x 2.6 inches
- Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Battery Power: Ni-MH, 3xAAA
- Radio Bands: AM/FM and all 7 weather bands
Midland ER200 Digital AM/FM/NOAA Emergency Weather Radio Review
Finally, we take a look at the Midland ER200 Digital AM/FM/NOAA Emergency Weather Radio. This survival radio features and extremely bright Cree LED flashlight, with 130 Lumens, that also flashes and SOS beacon and Morse code. It has USB output for charging smart phones and contains a replaceable 2000 mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery.
With multiple sustainable power options, including solar power, a hand crank mechanism and a mini USB cable, this wind up radio is ready at any time, with or without conventional power options. The well-lit LCD display can show the radio station, time or weather channel and the backlight option can be set to on or off. The clock can be set to either 12 or 24-hour formats.
- Dimensions: 9 x 2.8 x 6.5 inches
- Weight: 1 pound
- Battery Power: 2xAA, Rechargeable Lithium Ion
- Radio Bands: AM/FM/NOAA, not otherwise specified
My Vote for Best Emergency Radio
Let me start by saying that you can’t really go wrong with any of these hand crank radios. These are the best hand crank radios on the market, and they are the most widely used by survivalists and preppers.
But, my personal favorite would have to be the Kaito KA500—for several reasons.
First of all, it has five different ways to be powered, which means you will be prepared for any disaster. It has a hand crank, a solar option, a AA option, a USB charging option, and it can be plugged in if you do have power, plus you can charge your phones and other devices with it. It has a wide weather band that will allow you to get maximum reception.
It also has a few different light options, which is also a big plus. There is a reading light, an LED flashlight, and a red LED SOS light. While this is the most expensive emergency radio on the list, it has the most features and will suit you the best in any kind of emergency scenario.