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8 Best Hand Crank Flashlights For Survival Prepping

A hand crank flashlight is a great tool for survival situations because, unlike other flashlights, it does not require electricity or batteries to function.

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If you are a prepper or a survivalist, it is definite that many nights have found you somewhere deep into the wilderness, away from civilization. A fire-torch may suffice, but it is not convenient to move around with. Besides, it is a recipe for a forest fire.

Thus, you will need a safer, more portable source of light to help you navigate. That is why a flashlight is a must when you are out in the wild, and more specifically, a hand crank flashlight.

A hand crank flashlight is hands down the best for survival situations because unlike other flashlights, it does not require electricity or batteries to function.

Like most other survival activities such as chopping wood and pitching a tent that need manual strength, it is a mechanically powered flashlight.

As long as you are well fed and have the stamina, you can be sure to have some light when darkness comes. All you have to do to light it up is crank its handle as many times as it takes to produce adequate light.

Owning a hand crank flashlight is convenient for surviving in the wild where electrical power is a rare commodity. You do not want to bring with you a device that will run out of charge or batteries at the most inopportune moments.

Still, everything that has advantages has one or two disadvantages. The downside of this flashlight is that it is dimmer compared to battery and electricity-powered flashlights.

Often, survivalists rely on hand crank flashlights as a last resort when the battery-powered torches have died out. Later in this article, we will highlight the 8 best hand crank flashlights that you can choose from.

In a hurry? If you just want to get to our conclusions, here are our top picks and recommendations!

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Types of Hand Crank Flashlights

Depending on the size, position of the cranks, cranking method and energy conversion power, there are three main types of these flashlights: squeezer, shaker and winder.

Squeeze Flashlight

These are the smallest and thus, most portable of the flashlights. The crank is located at the bottom of the flashlight and is squeezed to produce power. On average, this mini hand crank flashlight provides power for an hour and a half when charged fully.

Shake Flashlight

Shaker flashlights generate power by being shaken up and down. The energy produced is stored in a capacitor or a battery. When fully charged, it can generate power for up to three hours.

Winder Flashlight

This is the most popular type of hand crank flashlights in use today. The cranking lever is found at the bottom or on one side of the flashlight. The longer it is cranked, the longer it provides power.

By standard, two minutes of cranking should provide two hours of power, but that varies from one winder flashlight to another. Larger, all-in-one emergency units have bigger cranks that can generate more power.

Two types of hand crank flashlights

Best 8 Hand Crank Flashlights

Energizer Weatheready 3-LED Carabineer Rechargeable Crank Light

If you are a survival prepper who spends a significant amount of time in the wilderness, this hand crank flashlight would be a practical addition to your prepping bag.

With 3 powerful white Nichia LED lights, it provides adequate illumination to enable you to carry on with tasks in the dark. Also, you and companions will be able to see each other in the tent while having late-night conversations.

This hand crank rechargeable flashlight does not need batteries to operate- it obtains kinetic energy from cranking. All you have to do is to turn the handle either in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction for some time to power it up. 1 minute of cranking provides 3 minutes of steady bright light.

As such, the amount of time it will be on will depend on the time and strength put into cranking to produce energy.

Unless you misplace it or it gets stolen, this device will last you a very long time without having to replace anything. The LED lights, for one, never need to be updated or replaced.

The Energizer Rechargeable Crank Light is small, making it very portable and does not take up too much space in your bug out bag. Furthermore, it has a built-in carabiner clip that you can loop to your belt during walks and hang in your tent at night. You cannot go wrong with this one.

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • No batteries required
  • Very portable
  • LED lights do not need to be replaced
  • It is relatively brighter than similar products


  • Limited additional features

ThorFire Solar Flashlight

With this hand craft flashlight, you do not need external power for it to illuminate for you. All that is required is solar energy and stamina to crank it. For that reason, it is a perfect companion for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping and bush crafting.

It does not require batteries to operate so you can be sure it will not go off on you. The efficiency of energy conversion is impressively high, as one minute of cranking generates light for a whole hour. Since it also transforms solar energy into light, exposing the solar panels to the sun for one hour will generate light for two hours straight.

The flashlight is equipped with a LED bulb of high quality that never needs to be replaced. The bulb has three lighting models- 1 LED Mode, 3 LEDs Modes and SOS Flash Mode, making it one of the best hand crank LED flashlights available.

It will take the ThorFire Solar Flashlight more than falling into water for it to stop operating. It is IPX6 waterproof and can submerge in water up to 45 feet without any effects on its functioning. Thus, you can be sure it will serve you for a very long time.

It is compact and will fit your bug out bag without taking up any significant space. Carrying it around is also hardly a task. Light up your wild side with this superb flashlight!

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • It requires no batteries to operate
  • It is IPX6 waterproof
  • It uses solar energy as an alternative source
  • The light is bright enough for the purposes it was intended for
  • It is portable


  • The solar panel is extremely small

iRonsnow Solar Emergency Hand Crank Flashlight

This hand crank flashlight crowns the definition of ‘multi-purpose’ perfectly. Not only does it illuminate for you in the dark, but it is also a weather radio and a USB port through which you can charge your mobile devices.

The iRonshow Flashlight comes with 3 charge options: solar panel, micro USB and hand crank. No batteries are required, so you don’t have to worry about what to do when you run out of those.

When the situation gets tricky, and the weather does not support solar charging, the hand crank aspect of the device comes in handy- you will not remain in the dark. It has a powerful 3 LED flashlight that produces adequate light for you to carry on with tasks in the dark.

At barely 0.5 pounds, the device is light and compact, making it very easy and convenient to carry around. On top of providing you with light, the iRonshow Emergency Hand Crank Flashlight will alert you of oncoming weather changes that you will need to prepare for.

Also, it will power your phone enough to make that emergency call, as it has a USB charging port. This device is perfect for outdoorsmen and preppers, especially during adverse weather conditions such as snowstorms.

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • It does not require a battery
  • It is multi-purpose
  • It has a powerful 3 LED flashlight
  • It has 3 charging options


  • It is not the most durable flashlight.

PrimalCamp Hand Crank Solar Powered Rechargeable LED Flashlight

PrimalCamp is known for producing quality outdoor, camping and survival gear. This flashlight does not fall short of expectations. The dynamo flashlight does not require external power to function as it operates on solar energy and kinetic energy produced by cranking.

It is perfect in a survival situation where electricity is absent, and batteries are not guaranteed. It has 3 LED bulbs that provide you with enough illumination for tasks such as searching your bug out bag, cleaning the campsite after dark or just hanging out in the tent.

Just 6 minutes of hand-cranking will provide you with light for a whole hour. Once the light goes out, you can always crank it up again. Another way of recharging the PrimalCamp flashlight is through exposing it to sunlight. The beauty of it is that it can recharge in both natural and artificial light.

At 6.4 × 3 × 2.3 inches, this PrimalCamp Hand Crank Rechargeable Flashlight is bigger than most hand crank flashlights, but still compact enough to fit in a bug-out bug comfortably. It comes with a carabiner with which you can hook it to your belt for convenience. This no-battery flashlight is perfect for outdoor bugging out.

Furthermore, you know the manufacturer has done a good job when they so confident as to offer you a full refund in the event the product does not deliver.

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • It is a no-battery flashlight
  • It has 3 LED lights for optimum lighting
  • It is portable
  • Excellent after-sale services


  • Handle on the crank is too small

Evelots Hand Crank Flashlight

This product comes as a set of 4 crank lights to provide you with immediate light with just a few cranks. It is a battery-free device which does not external power to work, making it excellent for survival situations.

It runs by the kinetic energy gained through cranking the handle. The more you crank it, the more power it gains and the longer it produces light. It has 2 LED bulbs that provide adequate illumination for after-dark tasks.

The bulbs are made to serve you for long as you will not be replacing them any time soon after purchase. Using it is made so much easier by the on/off switch that it comes with.

On top of that, this Evelots Hand Crank Flashlight has a crank lock toggle and a carry strap to facilitate easy transporting. This device is perfect for camping, hiking and other outdoor activities.

If you do not like it within the first 30 days of purchase, you can easily return the product for a refund. However, that will not be necessary as you are guaranteed 100% satisfaction.

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Comes as a set of 4 crank lights
  • It requires no battery
  • It has 2 LED bulbs
  • It is easy to use
  • It is portable


  • It is fragile

Eton American Red Cross Clipray Crank-Powered Flashlight

If what you want is a quality product that will come in handy during an emergency situation, this is it. The Clipray flashlight makes sure that you always have light even without batteries or external powers. When in the wild, cranking it up for one minute will provide you with light for a standard ten minutes.

Even though it is not the brightest torch there is, it has 3 LED bulbs that will enable you to adjust the brightness to allow you to navigate the woods without straining your eyes. It is effortless to use- you do not need a manual to operate it.

Carrying this flashlight around is hardly an inconvenience as it is compact and has a sturdy carabiner clip that enhances its portability. With the clip, you can attach the flashlight onto your belt or backpack for hands-free use.

The interesting bit is that you can use the Clipray Crank-Powered Flashlight to provide power for your smartphone when you are in a bind. All you need to do is crank it and use the USB port to connect. It is definitely worth every penny!

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • No batteries required
  • It Is affordable
  • Handy
  • It is portable


  • Cranking takes effort

MECO Hand Cranking Solar Powered Rechargeable Flashlight

The MECO Flashlight is perfect for outdoor activities. If you are a survival prepper, this here is a device to invest it. This emergency flashlight can be charged through two ways: solar energy and hand-cranking.

It requires no batteries to operate, making it very convenient for survival situations. When all your other light sources die out in the dark, all you need to do is turn the handle several times, and you will have adequate light for the rest of the night.

Even though it is not very bright, it is practical and suitable for long periods. It has a high conversion power of kinetic energy as 1 minute of cranking provides 10 minutes of light.

The design of the MECO Hand Cranking Solar Powered Rechargeable Flashlight is unique and catchy, and it has a carabiner clip with which you can loop it to your belt or bug out bag as you move around. Weighing a mere 86g, it is very light and portable. With this flashlight, you will never run out of light.

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • No batteries needed
  • It is portable
  • It is durable
  • It is easy to use
  • Can also be charged using solar energy


  • It is relatively dim
  • Not waterproof

CyberTech All-in-One Emergency Flashlight

The All-in-One is an embodiment of different functions that are essential in an emergency situation. Most importantly, it has a hand crank rechargeable flashlight that never runs out of power.

Thus, you can be sure that your path will be lit wherever you may be and at whatever time. Recharge it by turning the crank handle in either direction and watch it provide a luminous light as you cruise the woods.

The light is provided by 3 high-luminance LEDS that have lifespans extending 10,000 hours. Cranking it for half an hour will give the device enough power to serve you for a significant period.

Its water-resistant design is the perfect company for any type of outdoor adventure, be it camping, hiking or climbing.

The CyberTech All-in-One Emergency Flashlight also features a USB port, a seatbelt cutting knife, a compass, magnets for mounting and a safety window breaking hammer. It is sturdy, safe and made with high-quality materials.

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Does not require batteries to work.
  • It is waterproof
  • It is multi-purpose
  • It provides a bright light
  • It has 3 LED bulbs


  • It may be a bit technical for some users
  • It is expensive
  • It is heavier than most flashlights

Hand crank flashlights are usually small and portable which make them ideal to stash in a get home bag or better yet in a survival cache on your way to a bug out location!

Best Hand Crank Flashlight Features

There is a myriad of hand crank flashlights in the market. As such, it may be difficult to choose the perfect one to add to your survival gear.

The best flashlight is that which holds power the longest and provides adequate light for as long as possible.

Here are other features that you should put into consideration as you choose the perfect hand crank flashlight for a camping expedition with your friends:

Flashlight Brightness

A hand crank flashlight does not produce as much brightness as torches powered by batteries and electricity.

Still, it should be able to provide enough light to enable you to navigate the campsite or the woods without straining your eyes out.

The brightness depends on the number of LED bulbs available in your flashlight as well as the capacity it holds.

Hand Crank Flashlight Quality

The last thing you want is a flashlight that breaks down on you when you need it the most.

Imagine a situation where you are stuck in the woods at night and the crank handle of your flashlight breaks while you are turning it. How devastating would that be?

Therefore, ensure to invest in a quality product made with sturdy, durable materials that will serve you well and for a long time. Often, the brand determines the quality of the product.

Waterproof Flashlight

When you are bugging out in the wilderness or just hiking, mountain climbing or camping, it is hard to predict what the weather situation may be like. It may snow, it may rain. Many technical devices do not do very well in wet conditions.

However, if you got yourself a waterproof flashlight, it would be a perfect survival companion. A waterproof flashlight has the IPX6 feature and can submerge in water up to 45 feet without affecting its functionality.

Check out this video if you want to learn more about how a hand crank flashlight works.

Multiple LEDs Vs single LEDs

Many flashlights come with more than one LED lights, which is a fantastic perk. This will allow you to adjust the brightness level to fit the situation.

Some situations require you to use dim light, such as when you are being discreet, or are trying to read something. Low brightness is also less of a drain on the battery.

Other situations such as navigating at night require bright light, and a multiple LED flashlight will make that possible.

A single LED flashlight does not give you many options. For one, it can be too bright, which can be uncalled for in some situations.

Hand Crank Energy Conversion Power

The higher the energy conversion power, the more efficient the flashlight. A flashlight with high conversion energy keeps your flashlight on for longer.

Conversion energy is largely dependant on the size and strength of the capacity of the device. A strong capacity will result in a strong conversion of energy from kinetic or solar to electric.

That is why some flashlights will go for ten minutes when you crank them for a minute, and others will remain on for just two minutes. So, it would be wise to go for a flashlight with high energy conversion.

Flashlight Size

Small hand crank flashlights are a bit less powerful compared to bigger ones. This is because a small device translates to small storage capacity, so you can only get so much output from it.

Keep in mind that the bigger the flashlight, the bigger the beam and the longer it will illuminate for you. Still, be careful not to jeopardize the portability by getting one that is too big and heavy.


When you purchase a hand crank flashlight, you want to still be able to afford other survival gear. Therefore, it is wise to get an affordable piece.

Luckily, most of these flashlights are within a pocket-friendly range. Always ensure that the flashlight you get has value for your money.

Hand Crank Flashlights Additional Features

It is a big bonus if your hand crank flashlight can do more for you than just light up your way. In a survival situation, any functionality that makes the adventure easier and safer is more than welcome.

Some flashlights come with a USB port through which you can crank-charge a cell phone giving it enough power to make a phone call, especially in emergencies.

Others come with a radio that predicts the weather patterns, which reduces the risk of ambush. An FM radio will also keep you entertained while relaxing in a tent.

Other flashlights have tool features attached. As we all know, the importance of tools in a survival situation can’t be stressed enough. A perfect emergency hand crank flashlight is one that has many additional features.


A warranty offers security and confidence when purchasing a product because if anything goes wrong, you know that the manufacturers will take responsibility for the repairs.

Since it is a small item, you shouldn’t expect warranties that exceed two years at best. Still, it is wise to get a flashlight that has a warranty just in case it does not work as expected.

Handcrank Flashlights FAQs

How does a hand crank flashlight work?

Turning the crank of the flashlight causes the magnet within the coil to spin. The result is that electrons are pulled away from the magnetic field with every turn of the crank creating electricity.

The electricity then moves from the wire coil to the flashlight's storage area, which may be a capacitor or a battery in the form of power. This power lights up the LED bulbs for light.

What is the best hand crank flashlight?

The best hand crank flashlight is the one that has features that best fits your needs.

Most importantly, it is durable, bright enough, portable, waterproof, affordable and with relevant additional features.

How long do hand crank flashlights last?

Depending on the conversion power of the flashlight, one minute cranking will provide light for two to ten minutes.

The longer you crank the device, the more power it stores, hence the longer it provides light.

Hand Crank Flashlights Final Thoughts

We hope that this article will enable you to choose the best hand crank flashlight for yourself.

Remember to consider all the features of a good flashlight before you settle for one.

If you need more on the products above or wish to order, please click on the links provided.

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Hi, I'm Russ!

I've been prepping for a long time, but 2020 convinced me that I need to take it to the next level.

This website started as a way to keep me going forward on the path to being better prepared.

Now, I’m turning it into a complete blueprint for anyone else looking to do the same!
Russell M. Morgan
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