We are familiar with a wide range of solar-based portable power systems for off-grid power. What about a cool non-solar, non-wind, and human-powered solution for off-grid power? Yes, that is what the crank power is. We have got some impressive crank and pedal-powered off-grid power systems for the production of human-generated power.
Here goes our list of the best hand-crank and pedal generators. Also known as, human power generators, these crank or pedal-based systems are ideal emergency power backup solutions.
Are you wondering how a hand-crank or a pedal generator works?
It works on a very simple technology. A crank power generator comes with a dynamo and a manual way to rotate it to produce power. It can be either a pedal or a cranking lever.
Obviously, such a system doesn’t require sunlight or any other natural energy sources. You can yourself produce emergency power to charge your handsets in survival situations. Of course, power from such an off-grid power system can even be your life savior though the output volume is very limited.
THE BEST SELLERS AT A GLANCE
Huaban Hand Crank Generator
K-Tor 20W PowerBox
Kaito KA500 Hand-Crank Radio Charger
Table of Contents
Best Hand-Crank Generators for Emergency Power
You can directly charge your handsets and other devices from a hand-crank generator. For that, it equips basic output ports. So, as you pedal or crank it, the connected devices will get the juice. And you can make sure you get help in an emergency or survival situation.
Anyway, we have curated our list of the best hand-crank generators by handpicking some of the most popular models on the market.
Thus, you can easily find a suitable model as per your budget and preferences. Stay tuned for our list that features the best-rated hand-crank as well as pedal power generators.
1. Huaban 30W Hand Crank Generator
- Handy, Lightweight, and Easy-to-Use Crank Generator.
- Hand Crank Generator Made of Aluminum Alloy.
- Max Power of 30W and Output Range of 0V to 28V.
- Multiple Output Adapters and Ports with Cables.
- Military-Grade Product for Rough Outdoor Uses.
- Not a Smoother Cranking Experience.
- Unstable Alternator Output When Load is Connected.
- Not a Much Practical Hand Crank Generator.
- No Battery Pack Inside.
We would like to start with a popular hand crank generator from a brand called Huaban. It is a compact hand-crank generator that can juice up a battery in a range of 0 to 28V DC.
This is a typical hand-crank generator as it allows you to crank at a higher torque and a lower RPM to produce as much emergency power as possible in less time.
As you see, the little Huaban crank generator doesn’t feature a battery pack inside, but you can connect your power banks, battery packs, or handsets directly to it using the included alligator clips, a mini USB plug, a USB 2.0 plug, and other adapters.
This is a very handy and lightweight device as you see in the photo above. With the size of 4.2 x 2.5 x 1.5 in and a weight of just 1.6 lbs, you can take the hand-crank generator right anywhere you go. It can make sure that your gadgets get the basic power to function in case of an emergency.
Whether it is an emergency or an off-grid situation, it will help you survive, for sure. It is indeed one of the top-seller hand-crank power generators on the market, and hope you would love to get a unit of it.
2. Zeus Dynamo Powerhouse 60W Hand-Crank Generator
- 60W High-Performance Hand-Crank Generator.
- 4X Faster Charging from a Hand-Crank System.
- Sturdy Aircraft-Grade Aluminum and Quality Steel.
- Durable and Solid Build for Anywhere Use.
- A Bit Expensive Crank Generator.
- Somewhat Heavy with a Weight of 9 Lbs.
- No Battery Pack Inside to Store Power.
This is a powerful, fast-charging hand-crank generator. The 60W hand-crank generator is capable of delivering a higher output so that you can quickly charge your handsets and USB devices in an emergency.
The Zeus Dynamo hand-crank generator can charge your devices 4X faster than any other model on the market. Thanks to its compact and durable build, you can easily pack it up in a weatherproof bag and take it anywhere.
Of course, the super dynamo comes in a strong and durable case. Made with aircraft-grade aluminum and quality steel, you can use it in the rough outdoors with no worry. Further, it touts a solid steel clamp mount and a pretty bigger hand crank lever, enabling you to crank it very securely and smoothly.
The solar hand-crank integrates a fast-charge controller and two USB outlets; USB-A and USB-C. By cranking for three minutes, this generator can juice up your dead smartphone for an emergency call of five minutes.
You can mount the crank generator on a kitchen countertop or a table to crank it more stably at a faster pace.
3. Shikha 20W Hand Crank Generator
- 20W Compact-Size Hand-Crank Generator.
- Fully Metal Case and Durable Crank Lever.
- Rotating Speed of 2000RMP per Minute.
- Lightweight and Mini Crank Generator.
- Not a Strong and Solid Crank Generator.
- No High Output and Not Good for Big Devices.
It is another cool hand-crank generator on our list of hand-crank generators.
It is a 20W lightweight and compact power source with a strong metal case and a solid crank lever and can offer an output of 3V to 13V. So, it is a super good choice for charging your handhelds and other portable devices.
The rotating speed of the crank generator is 2000rmp/min. So, you can crank the lever to produce enough energy to juice your handsets in an emergency.
The compact crank generator has a lot of takers on the market. With its tiny size of 6.7 x 3.5 x 3.15 in and a weight of under 1Kg, you can take it anywhere on your trips and travels. Made of a strong metallic case, it is indeed fine for rough outdoor applications.
This crank generator is an amazing way for you to ensure off-grid power in any off-grid or emergency situation.
4. Pedal Power 500W Bicycle Generator
- 500W Heavy Pedal Power Generator.
- Perfect for Charging 12V Batteries and Power Stations.
- Permanent Magnet Generator for DC Voltage.
- Highly Durable and Long-Lasting Build Quality.
- Ideal for STEM Educational Activities.
- Not a Small and Portable Hand Crank Generator.
- Not Fit for Individual Applications Like Camping and Hiking.
- No Battery Pack is Attached for Storing Power.
- Not for Permanent Fixing to a Bicycle.
Here is a big-size pedal power generator, not a hand-crank generator. The technology behind the generator is the same as a pedal generator but is all about pedaling a crank to generate power instead of hand-cranking. But you can attach it to a bicycle and produce a good amount of energy through easy pedaling.
So, it comes out to be a perfect piece of off-grid power generator for bikers. Also, you can use it in STEM learning projects. Specs-wise, it has got a crank with 2000 RPM per minute and can produce an output of around 12V, letting you easily recharge your battery packs, power stations, and other storage systems.
Simply, you can connect this pedal generator to a 12V battery via a fuse and blocking diode system. However, take better care while connecting it to a lead-acid battery. The stored power in the lead-acid battery can melt the wires and damage the system.
The brand recommends the Duracell powerpack as the best way to store the power from this cool device. In short, this is yet another incredible product on our list of the best-hand crank generators you can try out to produce alternative energy in an off-grid or an emergency condition.
5. K-Tor 20W PowerBox Pedal Generator
- 20W Portable and Foldable Pedal Generator.
- Pedaling System with Standard Bike Pedals.
- Screwable to a Surface for Stable Operation.
- Pedaling is Not That Much Smoother.
- Fixing to a Floor Recommended for Ideal Performance.
Next, we have K-Tor’s popular PowerBox pedal generator on our list of the coolest crank power generators.
It is also not a hand-crank generator, but a portable pedal power generator. Coming with built-in bike-like pedals, you can easily maneuver it to pedal and produce power.
Specs-wise, it is a 20W pedal generator that sports a universal power socket. So you can plug in the charger of your laptop or other smaller devices to collect the power from the green energy source.
As stated above, it has got standard bike pedals and so you get some workout for your legs along with power. The machine is foldable to a small size after use, making it perfect for portable applications. You can set up this pedal generator anywhere in a matter of time.
For a better and stable pedaling experience, you can screw the base of the pedal generator to the floor. When it comes to customer reviews, this product has certainly received a good number of takers.
6. K-Tor 1A Pocket Socket Hand Crank Generator
- Small and Compact 1A Hand-Crank Generator.
- Solid Plastic Build for Rough Outdoor Applications.
- Integrated USB Port to Connect Any USB Devices.
- Not a Well-Engineered Product for Fast Crank Power.
- Low-Power Crank Power Generator.
It is a super cool hand-crank generator from K-Tor. What you get is a 1A USB hand-crank generator that you can use to charge any USB-enabled device like Apple iPhones. You just need to connect your handset to the integrated USB socket and start cranking.
You get a get cool green power source to recharge your handsets and small gadgets. It is so small and handy that you can take it in your pocket or backpack and use it to enjoy access to emergency power anywhere.
Built with strong and sturdy polycarbonate plastic, it is certainly good for rough outdoors. Take it anywhere and get portable power wherever you head to. Moreover, it becomes a cool camper companion thanks to its compact size and decently lightweight profile. It weighs only under 1 lb and its size goes 8 x 4 x 4 in.
7. K-Tor 50W PowerBox 50
- 50W Powerful Pedal Power Generator.
- Small, Lightweight, and Portable Design.
- Strong and Durable Bicycle-Like Pedals.
- Perfect for Emergency Preppers and Campers.
- Universal Pedal Powered Electricity Generator.
- Expensive Pedal Power Generator.
- Pedaling is Not That Much Smoother.
Next, we have K-Tor PowerBox 50. As you see, it is a powerful and bigger variant of K-Tor’s much-touted PowerBox pedal generator. As its name suggests, it can generate as much 50W of power as you keep pedaling it.
Design-wise, it has the same design as its younger sibling PowerBox 20. PowerBox 50 features a direct gear drive for an optimal pedaling experience at 1.5 cycles a second. You can use it to directly charge 12V batteries. And also plug it into an automotive port and use it as a 12V to USB converter and inverter.
PowerBox 50 is indeed very powerful. It can charge more than one gadget at a time. If you crank it for a long period, you can ensure sufficient power to juice up your phone and tab in an emergency. The power generator has a size of a small box with dimensions of 13.25 x 9.25 x 7.25 inches and a weight of 7 lbs.
You can place it anywhere and start pedaling. With rubber padding on the bottom, it can rest stably on any surface you place it on. The pedals and other parts of the hand-crank generator are indeed very strong and durable.
8. Kaito KA500 Hand-Crank Radio Charger
- Emergency Crank Radio with Solar Panel.
- 5V USB Outlet for Charging Your Phones.
- Built-in NiMH Battery Pack to Store Power.
- 5LED Leading Lamp and Flashlight.
- Emergency Light with SOS Beacon.
- Available in Multiple Color Options.
- Made of Durable and Long-Lasting ABS Plastic.
- Not a Dedicated Hand Crank Power Generator.
- Small Solar Panel and Hand Crank Lever.
Next, we have an emergency radio for campers with a crank lever for charging. Besides the crank, it also features a built-in solar panel and multiple other charging options, including AA batteries, a USB port, and an AC/DC socket. You have it with a NiMH replaceable and rechargeable battery pack to get a longer runtime.
Along with being an emergency radio with a variety of channels for news, entertainment, and weather updates, it also acts as an alternative power source. Thanks to its built-in battery and a hand-crank, you can store enough power to juice up your phones or other devices in an emergency via its built-in USB outlet.
Moreover, the Katio radio incorporates a 5-LED reading light, a flashlight, an emergency light with an SOS beacon, and more. Overall, the Katio is a piece of emergency equipment, which can surely make your exploration into the wild a more amazing experience.
The radio is made of high-quality and durable ABS plastic and it is very compact in design. Hence, you can use it in rough outdoor conditions with no worry. The brand offers the radio in a myriad of color options.
Human Power Generator Vs Solar Vs Wind Vs Hydropower
These are all the cool candidates for green power. Here, let us see how human power differs from other sources of green energy. Solar, wind, and hydropower are the natural sources of energy, which are wasted if not utilized.
We have solar panels and wind turbines to produce power from the solar and wind sources respectively. Meanwhile, hydropower is somewhat different as it requires an expensive and climate impactful construction across a river.
The limitation of all the sources is that each has a prerequisite for the availability of power. Solar energy can be collected only under a bright sun, which happens between 10 AM and 4 PM only.
Wind power comes only from steady wind and the hydropower depends on either the current of the water or the pressure of the dammed-up water.
It is where a human power generator demands no such precondition.
Though limited by the amount of power that a human can produce at the maximum, this works anytime. You can produce human power every moment you need it by just pedaling or cranking.
That has been our list of the best hand-crank generators. We have included all the cool models of the hand crank and pedal power generators on our list. So, it might quite useful for someone to choose the right product to make his/her life outdoors and off the grid powered with pedaling or cranking.
There are actually not many hand-crank power generators, but we have some impressive pedal power generators and crank radios to let you produce manual power for an emergency. Of course, you can’t produce a big volume of power with these little generators, but they are good for survival life.