The Best Hand Crank Phone Charger: A Buyers Guide

best hand crank phone charger - tent

A hand crank phone charge has its place for anyone travelling in the wilderness. While carrying a powerbank might be wise, what happens when it runs out? If you are heading out past the edge of civilisation, you might consider investing in a hand crank phone charger.

However, as you are literally trading your calories for electricity. they also require a bit of muscle power to get a decent charge, and so are not to be relied on for day-to-day charging, unless you live in a wilderness cabin.But when your phone dies, these can be give you just enough juice to make an important call.

This could be the difference between being able to make an emergency phone call, or not…. and is not reliant on the weather or time of day like solar chargers. This makes them useful for camping tips, hiking expeditions, and emergency situations like power outages.

Our Top Pick: The Crank Monkey


crankmonkey phone chargerThe Crank Monkey is a robust emergency solution. Power is delivered instantly upon winding, and the manufacturers state that if you keep cranking for 10 minutes you will be able to make an 18 minute phone call! This should be plenty enough time to describe whatever dire emergency situation you find yourself in.

The anodised aluminum lends a military, outdoorsy aesthetic to the charger, which is also IP65 rated – meaning it will survive rain and exposure to moisture. There is also a lifetime guarantee, which makes it ideally suited to the wilderness adventures it is likely to be useful for.


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The K-tor Power Socket


hand crank phone chargerK-Tor are run by a specialist company that produce human-powered generators, and the pocket socket 2 is one of their two main products. It is good for charging smaller electronics like phones and tablets etc. According to the maker one minute of cranking is equal to one minute of talk time, it can be draining to crank for longer – but useful for a quick boost

It is also well-built, durable, and very portable, so can be chucked in a backpack and forgotten about until needed. However it is a little bit weighty, and you will expend alot of energy if you use it for more than just a quick top-up! You are literally trading your calories for electricity!

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Epica Emergency Charger


hand crank phone charger - epica

This interesting device incorporates a crank and a solar panel charger with a flashlight and FM radio. Although the solar panel isn’t up to much, the device is Amazon top-rated for it’s rugged build, multifunctionality, and decent charging ability.


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Eton Boost Turbine


eton hand crank phone charger

This product is a 2000mAh powerbank, but with a crank, which lets you top up the powerbank as you go.

However, users report that it is incapable of reviving a completely dead phone, even with minutes of cranking, and it’s low capacity isn’t enough to charge larger devices. However, it should be fine as a backup for smartphones, and It’s rugged design means you can chuck it in a backpack and forget about it until needed.

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For the Camping Trip: K-tor Power Box


pedal generator

Not one for the backpack, but ideal for a camping trip. The K-tor Powerbox is a pedal generator; letting you generate electricity by turning the pedals as if on an exercise bike, which does require alot of physical effort.

It may be a bit noisy, but the output is suitable for tablets and netbooks etc, with multiple outputs to charge several devices simultaneously. This could be useful if you experience frequent power outages or just as part of your emergency kit.

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About the Author

george gallowayHaving grown up in deepest darkest Scotland, George graduated in Media & Communications, and promptly escaped to a life on the road. He is currently based in Costa Rica, Where he writes mainly about travel, technology, and environmental issues.



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