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Best Crank Radio

10 best crank radio options for any emergency

There’s more to staying informed and entertained in today’s world than knowing which channel to tune into on your car radio. 

If you’re the kind of person who likes to explore the great outdoors, then you might encounter situations where you can’t rely on a typical commercial channel for information. 

More importantly, you may find that you can’t rely on electrical outlets to always be available when you want to charge up your devices.

So, what do you do when batteries and wall plugs aren’t an option?

Turning to the best crank radio could be just the solution you need.

A rechargeable crank powered radio allows you to create your own energy using a built-in cranking system that generates and stores electricity.

Clockwork radios have been around for decades, providing a reliable way to stay connected to news and weather announcements when all else fails.

Most of the best hand crank radio options also come with additional features too, like solar panels or specialist radio stations.

Today, we’re going to deliver some of our top hand crank radio reviews, to help you find the product that will give you peace of mind when you need it most.

Best Crank Radio

1. FosPower emergency crank radio (best with power bank)

The FosPower emergency crank radio is designed for adventurers in the great outdoors that want to make sure they’re always prepared.

Aside from providing a hand cranking feature, this radio also comes with additional power sources to choose from, including battery power, and solar power.

The three available power options ensure that you have the electricity you need when you need it most, whether you’re powering the radio, the lights, or the available SOS alarm.

There are also two light sources, including a reading light and flashlight to keep you from losing your way.

Aside from FM and AM radio, this crank radio also comes with access to the NOAA emergency broadcast stations, which is common among emergency radio.

There’s even a limited lifetime warranty included with each purchase.

With a price tag of around $35, features include:

  • Multiple power sources
  • 2000 mAh power bank
  • 2 light source options
  • SOS alarm
  • AM/FM radio
  • NOAA weather alerts

There are some limitations to this product.

It takes quite a while to charge the device with solar power, and you’re going to need to do a decent amount of cranking to get your smartphone charged using nothing but your crank powered radio.

This is still a good product to have handy in an emergency.

Pros:

  • Great smartphone charger included
  • 2 light source options 
  • AM/FM and NOAA radio
  • SOS alarm included
  • Solar panel as well as hand crank

Cons:

  • Takes a while to charge via crank or solar panel
  • Missing any waterproofing
Best Crank Radio

2. RegeMoudal emergency NOAA radio (best SOS light)

This high-performance emergency crank radio from RegeMoudal has a lot of great features to offer.

Aside from AM/FM and NOAA radio, you also get a super bright LED flashlight and reading light, as well as charging for your USB devices.

There’s an IPX3 waterproofing rating, so your device can withstand some light splashing, and headphone input too.

With a rechargeable battery that you can power via hand crank, AAA battery, solar power, or USB port, there are plenty of ways to keep your radio running.

The RegeMoudal also benefits from being extremely easy to clean and protect too. If you get dirt on your radio, you can just wipe it away with no problem.

The battery even cuts out automatically when you risk overloading it.

For a price of around $40, features include:

  • AM/FM and NOAA radio
  • 2000 mAh power bank
  • 4 charging options
  • 2 light sources available
  • SOS light included
  • Emergency buzzer/ alarm
  • IPX3 water resistance

This isn’t the most robust and reliable hand crank radio that we’ve ever seen.

There’s only an IPX3 rating, which isn’t the best, and it takes about 4 hours to fully charge the device using the crank alone.

This product, however, represents a low-cost and reliable way to stay connected wherever you go – with a great SOS light included.

Pros:

  • Multiple charging options
  • USB charging for phones
  • Solar power or crank functionality
  • SOS light included
  • Easy to maintain and clean

Cons:

  • Not the best water resistance
  • Feels a little cheap in places
  • Not very knock-proof
Best Crank Radio

3. Kaito KA700 Bluetooth (best Bluetooth)

The best crank powered radio doesn’t necessarily need to be an old-fashioned device with limited functionality.

You can also find products out there that act as a fantastic all-in-one music machine for life on the move.

The Kaito KA700 is a great example of one of the best hand crank radio products with extra modern features.

This eye-catching device comes with an emergency hand crank and a solar panel, as well as a micro USB port for charging.

You can use it to play music in a range of different ways. Along with FM/ AM and NOAA radio, the Kaito also includes an SD card, and a Bluetooth connection too.

There’s a recorder for your own notes, and support for hands-free phone calls.

Available for a price of around $80, features include:

  • Ultra-bright LED light
  • Emergency NOAA radio 
  • AM/FM stations
  • Bluetooth speaker access
  • Voice recorder
  • Calendar and text browser
  • SD card and MP3 player slot
  • SOS emergency light
  • Crank and solar power 
  • Device charging

The Kaito KA700 is one of the best crank radio products, and one of the best emergency radios around, offering a host of amazing features in one neat package.

It’s not the cheapest product you’ll find, but it does include features you can’t find anywhere else.

Pros:

  • Recording functionality
  • Range of music options, including Bluetooth
  • High performance and durability
  • AM/FM and NOAA radio
  • Crank power and solar power

Cons:

  • Quite expensive
  • Limited sound quality
  • Can be complicated for some
Best Crank Radio

4. Eton American Red Cross radio (best with alerts)

This American Red Cross branded crank radio actually comes from radio company Eton – a brand well-known for it’s sustainable and durable equipment.

This high-performance radio is great for taking with you on the move when you need something durable and easy to use.

You can crank your way to excess power or use the built-in solar panel instead.

One of the best features of the Eton crank radio is that it comes with a unique patented alert system. This means that the device will continue to broadcast emergency alerts, no matter what.

There’s also a USB charge port for keeping your phone powered up, and an LED flashlight too.

For a price of about $50, some of the features include:

  • Hand cranking or solar power feature
  • LED flashlight
  • SOS beacon
  • USB charging for smartphones
  • Alert weather and emergency function
  • Durable design
  • FM/AM and NOAA radio

There are some more advanced Eton products out there, but the American Red Cross crank powered radio stands out as one of the best for beginners, and one of the best for cranking too.

You can access a good charge pretty quickly with this device, and the alert function comes in handy too.

Pros:

  • Quick charging via solar and hand crank
  • Good durable design
  • Alert function for weather and emergencies
  • LED flashlight included
  • USB charging for smartphones

Cons:

  • Takes a little while to get used to at first
  • Lacking some more advanced features
Best Crank Radio

5. RunningSnail emergency radio (best for simplicity)

If you’re ever in a situation where you are dealing with an unexpected emergency, you don’t want a crank radio that takes hours to figure out.

The best devices in these situations are often simple and straightforward, and that’s exactly what you get from RunningSnail.

This high-performance hand crank radio comes with a solar panel for charging, and a USB port for wall-based charging too.

Convenient and lightweight, the RunningSnail emergency radio won’t take up much room in your backpack, and it comes with an SOS alarm and a flashlight to help you find help when you’re stuck in a tight spot.

Aside from AM and FM radio, the RunningSnail hand crank radio also comes with access to NOAA news alerts too.

It’s not the most advanced product we’ve ever seen, but for a price of around $30 it includes:

  • Hand crank and solar panel
  • FM, AM and NOAA radio
  • Li-on hard wearing battery
  • USB phone charging
  • Lightweight and portable design
  • Easy tuning
  • SOS alarm functionality

Simple, small, and great for beginners who want an affordable emergency radio, the RunningSnail is a fantastic choice.

We particularly like how easy it is to fit this product into a backpack or pocket when you’re off on a camping trip with the kids.

Pros:

  • Multiple charging options
  • Easy to use crank-powered radio
  • SOS alerts and a flashlight included
  • Phone USB charging
  • NOAA, FM and AM radio

Cons:

  • Basic functionality
  • Limited battery life
  • Not the best sound quality
Best Crank Radio

6. VMEI emergency crank powered radio (best design)

VMEI isn’t a name we’ve seen very often here at Radio Fidelity, but on our search for the best crank radio, we were particularly drawn to this product.

Not only does it come with a range of great features to explore, but the VMEI crank radio looks great too, with a compact and lightweight design that can fit easily into your pocket or backpack.

You can even clip the device to the outside of your bag too.

With AM/FM frequencies, and access to NOAA weather alerts, the VMEI has everything you need to tune into radio in an emergency.

You can also charge your device with solar power, USB, and batteries, if you’re not willing to use the available hand crank.

On top of that, all of these radios are guaranteed by both a month-long money-back guarantee, and an 18-month warranty.

For a price of around $35, features include:

  • AM/FM and NOAA radio
  • SOS alarm with flashing lights
  • Four power options, including hand crank
  • 2300 mAh battery
  • Outdoor buckle included
  • 30-day guarantee
  • 18-month warranty
  • Headphone output

This device reminds us a lot of an old-school Walkman, ideal for keeping nearby when you want to listen to music on the go.

The emergency features offer peace of mind, while the music sounds great through your headphones.

One down-side is that the included compass doesn’t seem to work, and the speaker sound quality isn’t great either.

Pros:

  • Great compact design
  • Multiple charging options
  • Warranty and guarantee included
  • Good for headphone listening
  • SOS alarm included

Cons:

  • Not the best speaker sound quality
  • Compass doesn’t seem to work
Best Crank Radio

7. Sangean MMR-88 (best with morse code)

Sangean delivers radio products to people from all backgrounds, with all kinds of needs.

Whether you’re searching for a stunning tabletop radio, or a portable device, Sangean has you covered. It’s no surprise that the company can also deliver a great crank powered radio too.

The Sangean MMR-88 is an AM/FM and NOAA radio with a built-in siren, smartphone charge, and so much more.

This hand crank radio even comes with a Morse-code enabled blinking light.

There’s a battery indicator on this radio, so you can check how much charge you have at any moment, as well as an emergency buzzer for getting attention in a crisis.

You can also rely on a USB charging function for your smartphone and other devices too. The Sangean MMR-88 even comes with up to 19 preset channels included for AM/FM radio too.

With a price tag of around $55, features include:

  • Built-in clock and timer
  • Headphone output for private listening
  • Illumination lamp
  • Emergency buzzer
  • LED flashlight with morse code
  • Hand crank or solar power
  • USB device charging
  • AM/FM radio with 19 presets

This is one of the more feature-rich products that we’ve seen on the crank-powered radio market, although it doesn’t come with access to Bluetooth.

The sound quality is great for the price, although we found that the solar panel wasn’t the most efficient.

Pros:

  • Fantastic LED light
  • Hand crank and solar power
  • AM/FM and NOAA radio
  • Preset stations available
  • Portable and compact

Cons:

  • Takes a long time to charge
  • Not an efficient solar panel
  • No waterproofing
Best Crank Radio

8. Midland ER310 crank radio (best battery life)

The Midland ER310 might not be the cheapest crank radio around, but it is one of the most reliable – and definitely something we’d want in our emergency preparedness kit.

With multiple power sources to choose from, including a solar panel, and a very efficient hand panel, the Midland is a hiker or camper’s dream.

You can recharge the lithium-ion battery at home for up to 32 hours of power too – that’s some of the best battery life we’ve ever seen.

This tiny and compact hand crank radio comes with an SOS flashlight and a beacon, as well as NOAA weather channels in case of an emergency.

Though you do need 6 AA batteries to charge it if you want to use portable batteries, it’s still a great product.

For a price of around $90, you get features like:

  • Emergency hand crank power and solar power
  • In-built option for AA batteries
  • Flashlight with 130 lumens
  • NOAA, FM, and AM radio
  • Signal strobe functionality
  • Phone charging
  • Sensational battery power
  • Ultrasonic whistle

Along with a fantastic battery life, the Midland crank radio also comes with tons of extra features to explore, including an ultrasonic whistle for grabbing the attention of rescue teams.

The biggest downside of this product is that the volume is limited, plus, it’s worth noting that the price tag is pretty high too.

Pros:

  • Ultrasonic whistle
  • Fantastic battery life
  • Battery conservation features
  • Multiple charging options
  • Smartphone charging included

Cons:

  • Limited volume
  • Quite expensive
  • FM signals aren’t the best
Best Crank Radio

9. Kaito KA500 5-way hand crank radio (best shortwave)

Another crank powered radio from the Kaito brand, the KA500 is a five-way powered device, with access to everything from solar power, to hand cranking, portable batteries, and more.

Available in a range of colors, this high-performance emergency radio comes brimming with great technology, including USB input for charging your smartphone, and comprehensive radio coverage.

As well as AM and FM connectivity, you also get 2-band shortwave and pre-programmed NOAA too.

Both a durable radio and an emergency mobile battery charger, this hand crank radio from Kaito has plenty to offer.

There’s an LED flashlight, a red beacon light for emergencies, a telescopic antenna, and so much more. You can even rest assured that your crank radio will stay in good condition for longer thanks to a scratch-resistant exterior.

For about $60, features include:

  • Multiple power options
  • AM/FM and shortwave radio
  • NOAA weather alerts included
  • Emergency smartphone charger
  • 5-LED reading lamp
  • SOS LED beacon
  • Telescopic antenna
  • Easy tuning functionality
  • Durable scratch-resistant radio

One point worth noting with this device is that you probably shouldn’t rely on the solar panels to charge your device on their own. These panels aren’t the most efficient, so you’re likely to need a helping-hand from your crank too.

Pros:

  • Lots of power options to choose from
  • Shortwave radio as well as AM and FM
  • SOS LED beacon included
  • Easy tuning functionality
  • Scratch resistant exterior

Cons:

  • Not the best audio quality
  • Not the most efficient solar panels
Best Crank Radio

10. Kaito KA900 Voyager Max (best listening options)

Finally, we have one last product from Kaito to cover before we finish off our hand crank radio reviews.

This emergency radio, known as the KA900 comes with tons of fantastic features, including a hand crank generator, solar power, built-in wall adapter, and a compartment for portable batteries too.

You’ll have access to AM, FM, and SW radio, as well as NOAA weather channels. What’s more, if you want to listen to your own music, you have plenty of options there too.

The Kaito KA900 comes with a fully-functional MP3 player with sound equalizer, as well as a 3.5mm audio input jack, Bluetooth streaming, and support for micro SD memory cards too.

There’s no limit to what you can listen to. On top of all that, you can access tons of radio pre-set stations, and record your notes with the built-in microphone.

For around $100, features include:

  • FM, AM and SW radio
  • NOAA Weather channels
  • USB input, batteries, solar power and hand crank
  • Audio input cable
  • MP3 player functionality
  • Bluetooth and SD card options
  • Voice recording included
  • Telescopic antenna
  • Hundreds of pre-set memory channels
  • Multiple tuning modes
  • Premium construction

Not only do you get tons of listening options with the Kaito KA900, but you get a durable design too.

There’s an LCD backlit display, a 24-hour clock with alarm functionality, and an emergency battery charger built-in too.

Pros:

  • FM, AM and SW radio
  • Bluetooth, MP3 and other listening options
  • Multiple charging choices
  • Voice recording feature
  • Multiple tuning modes

Cons:

  • No waterproofing
  • Not the best solar panel efficiency

Why everyone needs a hand crank radio

Choosing the best crank radio might seem like a bit of a niche concept in the modern world.

If you spend all your time indoors, tuning into radio systems that connect with Google Home and Alexa, then a crank radio will probably feel too old-fashioned for you.

What happens, however, when the power goes out, and you can’t get the information that you need from the television or internet?

If an emergency happened in your area, like a sudden flood or natural disaster, how would you know what you needed to do next?

Radios with solar panels are great, but they’re not the most reliable when the sun isn’t always shining.

What’s more, many people find that it takes several hours in the sun just to get a solar powered radio to work.

On the other hand, the best hand crank radio can deliver the emergency broadcasts that you need much faster, and with greater reliability too.

You don’t have to be an adventurous outdoorsy person to benefit from the best crank radio. Having a crank powered radio handy just in case could give you some much needed peace of mind in an unpredictable world.

How to choose the best crank radio

If you’re searching for the perfect hand crank radio to keep you connected in times of trouble, then you’ve got a few things to think about.

As our hand crank radio reviews will have proven, there are a lot of different products out there to choose from, and each has its own benefits to offer.

Some of the features you might want to look at include:

  • Flashlight and SOS light: Products like the Midland ER310 come with high-performance flashlights that are sure to keep your surroundings lit in time of danger. You might also want an SOS light, like the one provided by the RegeMoudal NOAA radio, which helps to grab attention with a red glare.
  • Power options: If you’re going to be powering a smartphone from your radio then the first thing that you need to check for is a USB charging port. After that, it’s worth looking for extra charging options, like solar power and battery compartments, for when you’re tired of cranking the included wind-up dynamo.
  • Durability: A great hand crank radio needs to be durable because you’ll be frequently taking it with you on adventures in the great outdoors. A waterproof product will always be a good choice, and it’s worth looking for something that’s scratch-proof too, like the Kaito KA500 five-way hand crank radio.
  • Extra features: What can your radio do besides play AM and FM radio stations? Most emergency hand crank radios come with access to NOAA weather alerts, but you might want something that features Bluetooth or an SD card slot too. The Kaito KA700 comes with Bluetooth access and a voice recorder for making memos and notes too. There’s even a calendar function included.
  • Sound quality: While a crank radio with a great design and plenty of extra power options is great, it’s not going to be much good if you can’t bear to listen to the tinny sound. Try to find something that can deliver a good quality of sound wherever you go.

Finding the right hand crank radio

There’s no one-size-fits-all for finding the best hand crank radio today.

The choice that’s right for you will depend on the kind of functionality you need, from recording, to SW radio stations and more.

One of our favorite options from this review is the Kaito KA700. This powerful emergency radio comes with everything you need for entertainment and information in the great outdoors.

The KA700 is one of the few crank powered radio products we found that comes with access to Bluetooth streaming. The recording functionality might be a good idea if you want to make notes for a review or trip, you’ll be writing up later.

On the other hand, the KA900 from Kaito is also extremely advanced, with a powerful MP3 player built-in, and a micro SD card for extra listening options.

Which crank radio will you be using this year? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to check out our other reviews.

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