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The best crank radios 2024: Perfect for outdoor adventures and power outages

Outdoor-suitable and crisis-proof: Our recommendations for the best crank radios. Discover the best crank radios in our comparison (with buying guide).

from Martin Gebhardt | Gear | no comment yet | reading time 23 Min
Updated on 13 June 2024 24.641 views 100% found this guide helpful
The best crank radios 2024: Perfect for outdoor adventures and power outages

Martin Gebhardt

From Martin Gebhardt. Check out my “About me” page.


👉 The key facts from this guide

  • A crank radio is a radio that does not rely on conventional energy sources. It uses alternative sources of energy such as a hand crank, solar cells or batteries to function even in exceptional situations.
  • Crank radios enable you to receive news and information, especially during crises or power outages.
  • Midland ER310: This crank radio is my favorite due to its durability and versatile uses, including a 130 lumen LED flashlight, an ultrasonic dog whistle, and an SOS Morse code function.
  • Crank radios come in different price and weight classes, and with different functions. Your personal needs and preferences determine which model suits you best.
  • Many crank radios allow additional functions such as an integrated flashlight, an SOS function, or serving as a mobile power bank.
  • Crank radios are ideal for outdoor activities such as camping and bushcraft, but also for emergency and crisis preparedness.

You know exactly how important it is to always stay informed - especially in uncertain times.

Power outages and crises can happen at any time, and when they do, it's important to have access to news and information.

But what happens when the power goes out and you no longer have access to your television or radio? That can be a real challenge.

The problem is clear: How do you stay informed when the power goes out?

Crank radios are the perfect solution for this problem. They are independent of electricity and still allow you to receive news and information.

They are also ideal for outdoor adventures where you don't have access to electronic devices.

In this article, I will introduce you to my best crank radios that are perfect for crises and power outages.

Let's go through the best models together and find out which one suits you best.

Crank Radio Overview: Which crank radios are the best?

So that you know exactly where you stand, we start with the top recommendation of this article.

My recommendation: The Midland ER310

The Midland ER310 hand-crank radio (buy here) clearly emerges as the favorite in this comparison.

The reasons for this are diverse, primarily the combination of resilience and numerous possible uses. A 130 lumen LED flashlight, an ultrasonic dog whistle, and the SOS Morse code function make the Midland ER310 a true all-rounder among crank radios.

Versatile, robust, easy to use - these three characteristics make the Midland ER310 stand out, and for that reason, I highly recommend it!

Midland ER300 Crank Radio
Midland ER300 Crank Radio

The 7 Best Crank Radios Overview

Here is my top list of the best crank radios. Click on the link and you will be taken to Amazon.

Crank radio Power source Price
Midland ER310 Battery, solar, rechargeable battery, crank $$
Midland ER210 Battery, solar, rechargeable battery, crank $$
Eton – American Red Cross FRX3+ Battery, solar, USB, crank $$
NOAA Weather Alert Radio Battery, solar, USB, crank $$$
Eoxsmile Emergency Weather Radio Battery, solar, rechargeable battery, crank $
Sangean MMR-88 Survivor M8 Radio Hand crank, micro-USB, solar $$$
Kaito Voyager Pro KA 600 Rechargeable battery, dynamo crank, solar, USB, AC adapter $$$

Crank radios are difficult to categorize. You can find them in various price and weight classes, as well as with different gadgets.

As with almost any purchase, your personal situation and preferences in particular will determine which model you ultimately choose at the end of this article.

However, what counts for every article is the added value that you can gain from it.

So let's proceed step by step and make sure that you can make the purchase decision that will make you happy at the end of the day.

What exactly is a crank radio?

A crank radio is a radio that is not dependent on the typical power supply, but instead makes use of other power sources to be able to fulfill its service even in exceptional situations.

But that doesn't mean you have to constantly turn the hand crank to make the radio work.

What is a crank radio?
What is a crank radio?

Usually, the crank radio (also known as emergency radio) is equipped with a battery, which you can charge either in the conventional way or by cranking.

The system of a crank radio is based on a dynamo, which you may already know from your bicycle. When you crank it, you operate the dynamo and thus supply the radio with the energy it needs.

However, the term "crank radio" is often misleading and suggests that this is the only way to supply energy. This is, especially in today's world, incorrect.

Many crank radios or emergency radios often have solar cells or other additional energy sources.

Furthermore, most emergency radios do not limit themselves to the basic function of "listening to the radio", but also come with additional gadgets.

Whether it's a mobile power bank, built-in flashlight, or SOS function, with the right emergency radio, you often have a whole range of additional features that can help you out of a jam in an emergency.

Also read

The best power banks for bushcraft, camping, hiking, and emergencies - Find the best power bank for your outdoor trips. I present to you the 9 best and tested power banks, as well as a detailed buying guide.

Who are crank radios suitable for?

Crank radios or emergency radios are suitable for everyone in principle. You can usually use them anytime and anywhere, regardless of what circumstances you are currently in.

Of course, they were primarily designed for outdoor activities and emergency scenarios, such as:

  • Camping
  • Bushcraft
  • Survival scenarios
  • Emergency/crisis preparedness

Developed, which makes them particularly suitable for it.

If you are interested in camping, trekking, and bushcraft, or simply want to prepare for an emergency scenario, crank radios are perfect for you.

Of course, this also applies if you simply have a desire for a robust radio with numerous additional gadgets.

Also read

What is Bushcraft? A guide to survival and living well in the wilderness (+equipment recommendation) - Learn what Bushcraft means, where it comes from, and what you need to start Bushcrafting. What is the difference between Bushcraft and Survival?

What types of crank radios are there?

Emergency radios can be primarily distinguished by their power supply (not to mention the crank).

  • Crank: The classic crank radio relies entirely on your muscle power, as no other means of energy supply is available. You will actually have to crank the handle regularly. Such crank radios have become relatively rare nowadays.
  • Crank and battery: The crank radio with battery compartment, on the other hand, still allows you to use batteries for power supply. Of course, the crank is still available for all cases, in case no batteries are available, or they are depleted.
  • Crank, battery and solar: The crank radio with solar additionally has one or more solar panels that you can use for power supply. Usually, there are still batteries available as well as the crank in any case.

You see, except in the classic crank radio, the crank is almost exclusively used as an emergency solution when nothing else works.

It is also expected that crank radios will continue to evolve and incorporate numerous new additional gadgets into their repertoire. So, we can be excited about what is yet to come!

What can a crank radio be used for?

Basically, a crank radio is used for the same purpose as standard radios: to receive signals, especially from radio stations, to obtain important information.

This is particularly useful in emergencies, or in places where mobile phone reception is almost non-existent.

Crank radio useful when
Crank radio useful when

Of course, the crank radio can also be used as a source of entertainment on a camping trip with friends.

In addition to their main purpose, as already emphasized several times, most crank radios nowadays have numerous other functions and gadgets, which you will get to know more precisely in the product comparison.

What distinguishes the optimal crank radio?

There are certainly some preferences and personal preferences when it comes to crank radios. However, there are a few factors that you can take a closer look at when making a purchase. These include:

  • Battery life
  • Robustness
  • Charging options
  • Usability

Basically, the focus is on making the operation of the crank radio as easy and uncomplicated as possible, while fulfilling its task for as long as possible. The more reliably these criteria are met, the better.

My 7 Best Crank Radios

In the following sections, I will present to you step by step my 7 best crank radios.

You will learn about their facts as well as their advantages and disadvantages. My intention is that at the end of the article, you will be able to compare the products and make the right purchasing decision for you.

1. The multifunctional masterpiece: The Midland ER310

If you are looking for an emergency radio that can be charged in multiple ways and is easy to use, the Midland ER310 is the right choice for you.

Midland - ER310, Emergency Crank Weather AM/FM Radio - Multiple Power Sources, SOS Emergency Flashlight, Ultrasonic Dog Whistle, & NOAA Weather Scan + Alert (Red/Black)

Amazon
Offer

-14%

Data updated 5 hours ago

Midland - ER310, Emergency Crank Weather AM/FM Radio - Multiple Power Sources, SOS Emergency Flashlight, Ultrasonic Dog Whistle, & NOAA Weather Scan + Alert (Red/Black)

  • MULTIPLE POWER SOURCES - The ER310 features 3 sustainable power sources to recharge your radio: Solar Panel, Hand Crank, & Rechargeable 2600 mAh Battery. SOLAR PANEL - Simply recharge the internal lithium ion battery with direct sunlight. HAND CRANK - Recharge the radio during a power outage or anytime away from a power source. RECHARGEABLE 2600 mAh BATTERY - The rechargeable & replaceable long life battery provides up to 32 hours of radio operation. The ER310 can also be powered by 6 “AA” Batteries (Not Included) as a backup power solution.
  • EMERGENCY FLASHLIGHT - The SOS FLASHLIGHT BEACON flashes Morse code in an emergency scenario and the Bright CREE LED (130 Lumens) can be used to signal for help. Select the Low brightness setting to conserve battery life or the High brightness setting for maximum illumination.
  • NOAA WEATHER SCAN + ALERT - NOAA Weather Scan will automatically scan through 7 available weather (WX) band channels and locks onto the strongest weather channel to alert you of severe weather updates. NOAA Weather Alert will sound an alarm indicating that there is a risk of severe weather in your area. AM/FM radio is also available.
  • CHARGE EXTERNAL DEVICES - Quickly charge your portable devices (cell phones, tablets, etc.) using the USB charging cable (included).
  • ULTRASONIC DOG WHISTLE - Use the dog whistle to assist search and rescue teams in locating individuals during an emergency situation.

$59.99
List Price: $69.99

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This model is an all-rounder that is also suitable for laypeople. The intuitive operation combined with the clear display will never let you lose your orientation.

In addition, it is easy to transport and yet sturdy enough to withstand unfavorable weather conditions or even some falls.

Facts:

  • Product dimensions: 4.88"L x 2.28"W x 7.09"H;
  • Power source: battery, solar, rechargeable battery, crank
  • USB charging port
  • FM / AM radio
  • Rechargeable, replaceable battery
  • 6x AA batteries can be used

Advantages

Choice between solar, battery, crank or rechargeable battery use

Powerful power bank to charge smartphones, for example

Useful additional gadgets such as ultrasonic dog whistle, flashlight, and SOS Morse code function

Disadvantages

Missing protection (e.g., made of rubber) on the corners

Micro switch that switches the type of energy use (battery, rechargeable battery, etc.) is tiny and can only be operated with, for example, a ballpoint pen or paper clip

2. The Affordable Little Brother: The Midland ER210

This model, also from Midland, is something similar to the smaller, more affordable brother of the Midland ER310.

Midland - ER210 Emergency Compact Crank Weather AM/FM Radio - Multiple Power SOS Emergency Flashlight, NOAA Weather Scan + Alert

Data updated 5 hours ago

Midland - ER210 Emergency Compact Crank Weather AM/FM Radio - Multiple Power SOS Emergency Flashlight, NOAA Weather Scan + Alert

  • Multiple Power Sources: The ER210 radio features three sustainable power sources for recharging: a built-in solar panel that harnesses direct sunlight, a hand crank for manual recharging during power outages or away from a power source, and a rechargeable 2200 mAh battery offering up to 32 hours of continuous radio operation. This makes the radio eco-friendly and suitable for emergencies and outdoor activities where traditional power access is limited.
  • Emergency Flashlight: Introducing the SOS FLASHLIGHT BEACON, an essential emergency tool. This flashlight flashes Morse code in critical situations, allowing you to signal for help effectively. Its Bright CREE LED emits 130 Lumens, ensuring high visibility for rescue efforts. Choose the Low brightness setting to conserve battery life or opt for the High brightness setting to maximize illumination. Be prepared for any emergency with this versatile and reliable flashlight.
  • NOAA Weather Scan + Alert: NOAA Weather Scan will automatically scan through 7 available weather (WX) band channels and locks onto the strongest weather channel to alert you of severe weather updates. NOAA Weather Alert will sound an alarm indicating that there is a risk of severe weather in your area. NOAA Weather Radio will also be used to broadcast AMBER alerts for missing children.
  • Charge Your Device: The package includes a USB charging cord specifically designed for charging the radio, ensuring hassle-free and efficient charging whenever you need it.
  • Large LCD Display: Experience the power of convenience with our backlit LCD display! Seamlessly switch between radio station, time, or weather channels, all in one glance. Stay informed and connected with ease using this feature-packed radio. Discover the ultimate level of functionality with our illuminated LCD display, making it easier than ever to access important information at any time.

$49.99

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With its compact size, this piece is a little smaller than the 300 model and lacks a feature or two, but it still does its job as it should.

Facts:

  • Product dimensions: 4.88"L x 2.28"W x 7.09"H
  • Power source: Solar, battery, crank
  • LED flashlight
  • Approximately 24 hours of operating time
  • Li-Ion 2200 mAH battery

Advantages

Comparatively inexpensive

Compact and handy

Easy to use with a carrying strap or attach to a backpack with an appropriate handle

Effective solar charging

Disadvantages

Less stable in terms of falls and shocks

Crank charging takes comparatively long

Low protection against dust and dirt

3. Perfect for longer stays: The Eton American Red Cross FRX3+

While this model may not be quite as optimal for hiking or survival trips where you are on the move a lot, like some other crank radios, it is all the more suitable for longer stays, whether outdoors, at the campsite or in everyday life.

Eton - Amerikanisches Rotes Kreuz FRX3+ Notfall NOAA Wetterradio, rot, Digitalanzeige, Handturbine, Solarenergie, rote LED-Blinklicht, 7 NOAA/Umwelt Kanada Wetterbänder, Handy-Ladegerät

Amazon
Offer

-17%
4,5 (3108)

Data updated 13 hours ago

Eton - Amerikanisches Rotes Kreuz FRX3+ Notfall NOAA Wetterradio, rot, Digitalanzeige, Handturbine, Solarenergie, rote LED-Blinklicht, 7 NOAA/Umwelt Kanada Wetterbänder, Handy-Ladegerät

  • Notfall-Radio: Seien Sie auf Notfälle und Katastrophen vorbereitet mit diesem wiederaufladbaren, wetterwarnenden Radio mit Solarpanel und Handturbinen-Stromerzeuger; kein Notfall-Set ist komplett ohne dieses Mehrzweck-Werkzeug.
  • Bleiben Sie wachsam: Die "Alert" -Funktion sendet automatisch alle Notfall-Wetterwarnungen für Ihre Umgebung; Halten Sie es über Solarpanel, Handkurbel oder einen eingebauten Akku aufgeladen.
  • Multifunktions-Digitalgerät: Dieses AM/FM/NOAA Wetterband Digitalradio mit Display und Wecker kann auch ein Smartphone über den USB-Anschluss aufladen; verfügt auch über eine LED-Taschenlampe und eine rote blinkende Leuchtfeuer für Sichtbarkeit überall.
  • Bleiben Sie in Verbindung: Von World Band und Weather Alert Radios bis hin zu solarbetriebenen Soundsystemen und angeschlossenen Heimprodukten halten wir Sie zu Hause, im Büro, unterwegs oder in der freien Natur immer in Verbindung.
  • Eton Wir sind bestrebt, Ihnen dabei zu helfen, auf alltäglichen Spaß und unerwartete Notfälle vorbereitet zu sein, egal ob Sie auf einer 10-tägigen Rucksackreise unterwegs sind oder einfach nur im Garten grillen.

$58.10
List Price: $69.99

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Unlike some other models, the Eton American Red Cross FRX3+ is not designed like a handy flashlight, but rather like an actual radio that is also equipped with a flashlight.

Facts:

  • Product dimensions: 17.53 x 14.73 x 6.6 cm; 421.84 grams
  • Power source: Battery, solar, USB, crank
  • AM/FM/NOAA digital radio with integrated alarm clock and display

Advantages

"Alert" function automatically transmits all emergency weather warnings in your area and keeps you informed

Reliably serves its purpose

Disadvantages

Larger and more unwieldy than other crank radios

Less suitable for on-the-go/longer distances

Cannot use AAA batteries

4. All-purpose helper in modern design: The NOAA Weather Alert Radio

Handy, clear and modern, the NOAA Weather Alert Radio provides you with all the necessary gadgets you need for emergencies.

NOAA Wetterwarn-Radio - Solarbetriebenes, tragbares Radio mit 4000 mAh Akkuleistung für Handy, helle Taschenlampe für Haushalt, Notfall und Outdoor-Überlebenstraining.
4,5 (1999)

Data updated 13 hours ago

NOAA Wetterwarn-Radio - Solarbetriebenes, tragbares Radio mit 4000 mAh Akkuleistung für Handy, helle Taschenlampe für Haushalt, Notfall und Outdoor-Überlebenstraining.

  • Wetteralarm-Radio für den NotfallDank der neuesten DSP-Chips überträgt das Gerät die neuesten Notfall-Wetterwarnungen von 7 NOAA-Stationen wie Hurrikane, Waldbrände, Winterstürme und so weiter. Darüber hinaus wurde im Vergleich zu anderen Notfunkgeräten die Wetterwarnfunktion hinzugefügt, die die Überwachung von Wetteralarmen rund um die Uhr ermöglicht, um Sie und Ihre Familie zu schützen, auch wenn Sie schlafen. Geben Sie der Familie den besten Schutz!
  • 4000 mAh Notfall-Telefon-Ladegerät Dieses mit einem eingebauten 4000-mAh-Akku ist ideal für den Notfall, was ausreicht, um Ihr Handy oder USB-Geräte für einen kurzen Anruf oder eine SMS während eines Notfalls aufzuladen. Außerdem ist es mit 1-W-LED-Licht und SOS-Alarm ausgestattet, der leicht die Aufmerksamkeit der Menschen auf sich ziehen kann, wenn Sie um Hilfe bitten, während Sie es brauchen. Ein Lebensretter bei gefährlichen Katastrophen wie Tornados und Hurrikanen.
  • Kein Strom? Keine Sorge: Die 4-Wege-Power-Backup-Optionen sind die beste Wahl im Notfall. Außer der USB-Aufladung umfassen die Power Options auch Handkurbel, Solarpanel, 3 AAA-Batterien (nicht im Lieferumfang enthalten), was es einfacher macht, das Notradio während einer längeren Situation am Laufen zu halten, in der Strom ausgeschaltet ist und Batterien verbraucht sind. Egal in welcher Notsituation Sie sich befinden, machen Sie sich keine Sorgen über Stromausfall!
  • LCD-Bildschirm und AUX-Musik-Player: Im Vergleich zu anderen Notfall-Wetterradios auf dem Markt wird das kostengünstiger. Das Notfall-Wetterradio hat einen großen LCD-Bildschirm hinzugefügt, der Ihnen ein klares Bild des verbleibenden Stroms, der Lautstärke, der Kanalinformationen und so weiter gibt. Kommt auch mit einem AUX-Musik-Player, der ideal für Outdoor-Aktivitäten wie Camping, Wandern, Kajak und so weiter ist. Was für ein kostengünstigeres Notfunkgerät es ist!
  • Technischer KundendienstWir kümmern uns um Sie und Ihre Lieben und Ihre Stimme treibt uns an, die Besten zu sein. Wir unterstützen unsere 18-monatige Garantie. Wenn Sie mit diesem NOAA Wetterradio nicht zufrieden sind, werden wir Ihnen sofort die Lösung zur Verfügung stellen, wenn Sie uns kontaktieren. Und unser Kundenservice ist rund um die Uhr für Sie da, was Sie brauchen! Kein Risiko für Ihren Kauf!

$45.90

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An obvious and simple user interface allows even beginners to work effectively with it. However, this is a comparatively expensive model.

Facts:

  • Product dimensions: 20.2 x 9 x 8 cm; 500 grams
  • Power source: Solar, hand crank, USB, battery
  • Built-in 400 mAh lithium battery

Advantages

Bright integrated flashlight

Strong battery performance

Effortless to use

Disadvantages

Costly compared to other devices that provide similar or equivalent performance

Power bank function consumes comparatively high energy and quickly depletes the internal battery

5. Simple and affordable: Eoxsmile Emergency Weather Radio

If you don't value a display, automatic warnings, or other gimmicks, then this option is precisely what you're looking for.

The Eoxsmile Emergency Weather Radio doesn't claim to shine with countless additional gadgets, but simply wants to fulfill its purpose - which it does excellently, by the way.

Emergency Weather Radio Solar Hand Crank Battery Operated Portable AM FM Shortwave Radio with NOAA Alert, Flashlight, Reading Lamp, Cellphone Charger,Earphone Jack, SOS Alarm for Home Outdoor Survival

Data updated 5 hours ago

Emergency Weather Radio Solar Hand Crank Battery Operated Portable AM FM Shortwave Radio with NOAA Alert, Flashlight, Reading Lamp, Cellphone Charger,Earphone Jack, SOS Alarm for Home Outdoor Survival

  • Weather Radio NOAA Alert Keeps You Well PreparedOur weather alert radio is certified by National Weather Service. Choose WB band and one of the 7 preset weather band to tune into your local weather station. When the National Weather Service issues a severe weather alert, the radio will auto make a loud SOS alarm that lasts for 9 secs, meanwhile, the red light flashes.You will never miss it even at sleep. Great 𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗴𝗲𝗻𝗰𝘆 𝗸𝗶𝘁 for tornadoes, tsunamis, Wildfire, hurricane & snowstorm.
  • AM FM Shortwave Radio with Earphone Jack-Best Listening ExperienceEasy to tune into your favorite broadcast, AM Radio(520-1710 Khz); FM Radio(87-108MHz); Shortwave Radio(7-19.00 MHZ). Comprehensive coverage of entertainment, sports, talk-shows or overseas broadcast like The BBC/Moscow/Beijing. The telescopic antenna makes it a portable radio with best reception. Big volume knob is designed for easy volume adjustment and the 3.5mm headphone jack for your enjoying radio shows privately.
  • 5 Power Sources&Long RuntimeThe 5 way-powered 𝗘𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗴𝗲𝗻𝗰𝘆 𝗥𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗼 will always be ready. Built-in 5000 rechargeable battery works as main power, it is easily recharged by solar/hand crank/plug adapter( 5V/2A, not included)and USB cord(included). Besides, the weather radio is also equipped with backup battery compartment(3pcs*AAA batteries, not included). No more power failure concerns in any situation. The full charged radio will last up to 13 hours only playing FM radio.
  • All-in-One Portable Radio with LED Flashlight/Reading LampOur 𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗰𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗸 𝗿𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗼 is also designed for outdoor survival- providing 2 light sources at emergency. The side adjustable 3W LED flashlight emits strong and straight light to light up your surroundings. A very vital survival gear and equipment if you are lost at night. 2.5W Reading Lamp with 2 brightness- Flipping up the solar panel makes the radio a reading lamp with 6 built-in LED bulbs to illuminate your book or camp.
  • Versatile for EmergencyBuilt in USB output port, this 𝗯𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗿𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗼 can charge more than one cellphone for important calls or texts.The side SOS button can make loud Alarm(116dB) with red light to look for help. Besides, the compact light weight noaa emergency weather radio comes with a compass, hand strap, perfect for outdoor camping, field survival, hiking, trekking and night biking. We care you and provide one-year warranty, just email us with any question.

$35.99

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So if you're looking for an affordable and comparatively simple crank radio, then you should take a closer look at the Eoxsmile Emergency Weather Radio.

Facts:

  • Product dimensions: 6.8"L x 2.9"W x 3.7"H, 14.88 ounces
  • Power source: solar, battery, rechargeable battery, crank
  • Reading lamp with motion sensor
  • Replaceable 4000 mAh Li-ion battery

Advantages

Bright flashlight with 3 modes

USB quick charge

SOS function with flashing light

Very handy

Disadvantages

No display

No automatic weather warnings

Relatively slow smartphone charging

6. Numerous options for willingness to learn: The Sangean MMR-88 Survivor M8 Radio

This model offers you many possibilities if you are willing to deal with it a little. It appears to be very robust and resistant, so it will withstand a few bumps and reliably fulfill its service.

Sangean MMR-88 AM/FM/Weather+Alert Emergency Radio. Solar/Hand Crank/USB/Flashlight, Siren, Smartphone Charger yellow

Amazon
Offer

-28%

Data updated 5 hours ago

Sangean MMR-88 AM/FM/Weather+Alert Emergency Radio. Solar/Hand Crank/USB/Flashlight, Siren, Smartphone Charger yellow

  • receives all 7 noaa weather channels & reports
  • 19 random preset stations
  • dc out(5v / 0.3a)usb a type socket for charging mobile phone or mp3 player. dc in(5v / 0.5a)micro usb b type socket for charging
  • powered by handcrank dynamo/solar panel/dc input. public alert-certified weather radio
  • micro usb-b input to recharge lithium battery

$50.45
List Price: $69.99

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The operation seems less intuitive, which makes it necessary to read into the model a little and work with it.

In terms of its appearance, the Sangean MMR-88 Survivor M8 Radio resembles a typical construction site radio, whose primary focus is on its resistance.

Facts:

  • Product dimensions: 5.98"L x 2.71"W x 3.3"H,
  • Power source: hand crank, micro-USB, solar
  • 20 station presets (10 FM, 10 DAB+)

Advantages

Extremely resistant and stable

Many energy options

Powerful power bank

Disadvantages

Not very intuitive operation

Less suitable for beginners

7. High-quality with an environmental touch: The Kaito Voyager Pro KA600

With this comparatively expensive but high-quality model, you not only get a simple crank radio, but also an integrated thermometer and barometer. 335 memory presets allow you to quickly access numerous favorite stations.

Kaito KA600L 5-Wege-Wetterwarnradio AM/FM/SW NOAA mit Solar, Dynamo-Kurbel, Taschenlampe und Leselampe, Digitalradio mit größerer Batterie und Solarpanel (schwarz)
3,8 (11)

Data updated 13 hours ago

Kaito KA600L 5-Wege-Wetterwarnradio AM/FM/SW NOAA mit Solar, Dynamo-Kurbel, Taschenlampe und Leselampe, Digitalradio mit größerer Batterie und Solarpanel (schwarz)

  • AM/FM/LW Kurzwellen- und NOAA Wetterradio mit Hintergrundbeleuchteter Digitalanzeige, NOAA alle Gefahrenalarm & RDS
  • 4 Tuning-Methoden, einschließlich manueller, direkter Zifferneingabe, ATS und Speicher-Tuning mit 335 Speichern für einfachen Zugriff auf Lieblingssender
  • Kalender, Wecker mit zwei Einstellungen, Schlaf-Timer, Thermometer und Luftfeuchtigkeitsmesser.
  • 180 Grad verstellbares Solarpanel mit 5-LED Leselampe
  • AUX-Eingang für externe Audiogeräte erhältlich

$82.00

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Facts:

  • Product dimensions: 20.32 x 5.08 x 13.97 cm; 544.31
  • Power source: Battery / Lithium battery, crank dynamo, solar panel, USB, AC adapter
  • 5-way power supply
  • Thermometer and humidity display

Advantages

Integrated thermometer and barometer

5-way power supply ensures safety during power outages

Easy operation

Effective power bank

Disadvantages

Expensive

Not as sturdy as other devices

Purchasing criteria: Using these criteria, you can find the best crank radio

Finding the right crank radio for you is often not that easy. The numerous models that the market has produced do not make it any easier for you.

It is all the more important that you know a few criteria to pay particular attention to when making a purchase.

Even though you have now compared the different models with each other, continue to stay attentive with me so that you can make a long-term, worthwhile purchase decision.

To choose the right crank radio, it's best to keep the following factors in mind:

  • Weight
  • Portability and usability
  • Battery life and power supply
  • Additional gadgets and price

The weight of a crank radio

You are probably wondering why the weight of an emergency radio is so important. Shouldn't it mainly be able to perform its service in the long term without being prone to errors?

Yes, in principle you are right with this statement, but the weight of the crank radio can still play a role under certain circumstances.

I am not talking about ordinary camping trips or the like, but about actual survival situations, in which you may be walking for several hours or days and have to carry all your luggage with you. Sure, one kilogram of the radio won't make much of a difference, right? No big deal!

As always, your backpack should not be too heavy - keep your luggage generally light
As always, your backpack should not be too heavy - keep your luggage generally light

However, keep in mind that you still have to carry numerous other things with you, such as provisions, water, tools, lanterns (here is my top list of lanterns) etc. Even if these things individually may only weigh a few grams or kilograms, the weight adds up over time, the more that is added.

So, in general, pay attention to the weight of your equipment - crank radios are no exception!

How you prioritize this point is up to you and primarily depends on the purpose you are pursuing.

If you just want a useful camping radio for wind and weather, weight plays a subordinate role. In a survival situation, of course, the whole thing looks different.

Also read

What is Survival? The Ultimate Guide to Surviving in the Wilderness and City (+ Equipment Recommendation) - Learn everything about survival and survival situations in this comprehensive guide and which equipment, attitude, and skills are essential.

The portability and ease of use of a crank radio

You have noticed that some emergency radios come in the practical form of a flashlight and are therefore handy and easy to transport. Others, on the other hand, appear exceptionally designed, perhaps even a little bulky.

On the one hand, I could advise you to get a radio with the design that visually appeals to you the most.

On the other hand, however, this criterion can play a big role.

Here again, it is important to consider the purpose for which the radio is intended. If you need it for a camping trip where no unpleasant surprises are expected, or if you want an all-purpose radio for home use, then this point can be pushed further down.

However, if you are planning to use the crank radio in SHTF scenarios, for example as a prepper (What is Prepping?), then portability and ease of use should be higher on your priority list.

Handiness

Handiness means that you can handle the model:

  • can easily grab
  • can carry around
  • can transport from A to B

In exceptional situations, it may definitely be necessary for you to use the emergency radio as a makeshift flashlight or to make a quick escape with it. So, the easier it is for you to grab and carry, the better.

If you see models whose focus is on stylish design rather than practicality, then you should avoid them if you are interested in crisis preparation.

Usability

When it comes to usability, it's similar, and this point also has its clear justification in everyday life. If the emergency radio is difficult to operate and too complicated in structure, it can be simply annoying in the best-case scenario, and very dangerous in the worst-case scenario.

The term "emergency radio" already carries it in its name: the radio should be able to fulfill its service even in an emergency.

Crank radio usability
Crank radio usability

If you find yourself in an emergency, you need to be able to rely on being able to operate the radio without having to study mechanical engineering or electrical engineering.

In the best case, the model has a simple, intuitive operation that you can quickly learn and apply.

The most important switches and buttons should be easily accessible without any major problems, even with limited perception. Therefore, check if the buttons and switches are visible enough and if they can also be felt in case of emergency.

Battery life and power supply of a crank radio

The best crank radio won't help you if its lifespan isn't long enough or if charging isn't possible.

As a minimum value, you should aim for a runtime of 12 to 24 hours with continuous use. Please keep in mind that it should also run reliably in emergencies where you don't have access to electricity.

Furthermore, make sure that the radio can be charged in multiple ways. Power can fail (like a blackout), solar energy may not be available due to weather conditions, and batteries may also die one day. The more charging options, the better.

Crank radio with batteries
Crank radio with batteries

The additional gadgets and the price of a crank radio

With some other products, I would consider the additional gadgets to be secondary. However, it looks a little different here.

However, this is actually more due to the general market development than to essential reasons for survival situations.

You may have noticed that the price range for emergency radios is quite wide. It is not uncommon for cheaper models to have the same qualities as more expensive models and even come with additional gadgets. So, be sure to carefully evaluate whether the model is worth its price.

In plain language, this means: On the one hand, carefully check the quality of the model and ask yourself if the price-performance ratio is appropriate.

Furthermore, add the advertised additional gadgets and ask yourself if both models have the same features. As long as it fits within your price range, act according to the motto: better to have than to need!

Which crank radio should it be?
Which crank radio should it be?

Crank radios are important: Communication is top priority in an emergency

In today's world, we rely on modern technology with almost every fiber of our being.

No matter what it is, our computers and smartphones are capable of providing us with the information we seemingly need so urgently, almost anytime and almost anywhere.

Communication is key: We can communicate with people from all corners of the world and find out what's going on in the world.

We are informed about important events and the weather, so we believe we are prepared for everything.

This may be fundamentally correct, but what do we do if the entire system on which modern communication is based collapses or access to it is not possible?

Crank radio - communication is important
Crank radio - communication is important

Imagine a disaster, whether man-made or natural, that cuts you off from almost all communication networks.

Your internet connection is not responding, your mobile reception has completely disappeared, and moreover, the battery life of your smartphone is nearing its end.

You don't have access to a power grid - maybe you're even in an SHTF scenario and rely on every important piece of information from civilization.

Crank radios can be a great help to you in this situation, as they can usually receive signals almost always and can be charged and started by hand crank when needed.

So that you know which crank radio is the best for you, this buying guide has been written.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about Crank Radios

What types of crank radios are there?

Crank radios all have the same main purpose, but differ especially in their additional equipment and their power supply.

Basically, you can categorize crank radios in terms of power supply as follows:

  • Solar-powered
  • Hand-crank powered
  • Battery-powered
  • USB-powered

Just to avoid misunderstandings in advance: logically, every crank radio also has a crank, which you can use to supply it with energy in case of emergency.

Although other sources of energy are almost always available nowadays, the hand crank is always available for the most extreme emergencies.

This crank always works thanks to a built-in dynamo, which you should also know from your bike. You use muscle power to make it run and thus supply the radio with energy.

If you charge your crank radio with external power or solar energy, no muscle power is required, in other words, you don't have to crank it yourself.

So if you decide on a crank radio, they do not differ in terms of the existing crank, but only in additional energy sources or additional equipment.

What do I receive with a crank radio?

Which stations you receive with the crank radio depends entirely on which model you ultimately choose. If you have taken a closer look at the radios in my test, you will have noticed that they can also differ in reception or range.

Most crank radios generally receive AM/FM frequencies or shortwave, although the latter is less common.

Crank radio with FM and AM transmitter

Having a proper world receiver or a DAB radio in the form of a crank radio is no longer uncommon in today's time (like the ROCAM crank radio DAB+/DAB/FM with 5000mAh battery). In plain language, this means that the number of stations with AM/FM frequencies is generally somewhat limited compared to radios with DAB.

However, you will most likely be able to receive the local broadcaster or public broadcasters here to stay up to date at all times.

However, if you value a larger selection of channels, you will probably have to invest a little more, but you should also find what you are looking for here.

Are there official and professional crank radio tests, like those conducted by Stiftung Warentest?

Although there are numerous websites, magazines, and individuals who have published reliable and useful tests, there is currently no such crank radio test from institutions like Stiftung Warentest.

How does a crank radio work?

A crank radio works in a fairly uncomplicated way when considering its basic functions and energy supply via crank. By using the hand crank, you charge the integrated battery of the radio thanks to the dynamo. Ideally, not many turns are necessary to get the crank radio running.

If the battery weakens over time, further cranking is necessary if no other power sources are available.

Crank radio with hand crank
Crank radio with hand crank

What is a world receiver?

As the name may suggest, a world receiver is a type of radio where signals can be transmitted and received globally, that is, all over the world.

World receivers can receive radio stations on shortwave. Shortwaves can spread across the entire globe, making global reception possible.

What is a solar crank radio?

A solar crank radio is a commercially available crank radio that is additionally equipped with solar panels. Simply put, you can charge this radio by simply placing it in the sun instead of exerting yourself on the crank. However, this can also have disadvantages.

Charging with solar panels only works on almost cloudless days, as even slight cloud cover can interrupt the charging process unnoticed. Furthermore, charging with solar energy often takes significantly longer than charging via crank or electricity.

What is a solar crank radio?
What is a solar crank radio?

How long does a crank radio last?

The lifespan of a crank radio depends entirely on its charge, usage time, and usage type. In the best-case scenario, up to 24 hours are possible. With energy-efficient models, it may be enough to crank for just a few minutes to get up to an hour of runtime.

Are crank radios waterproof?

Usually, crank radios are not completely waterproof. So be careful, for example, in heavy rain. Most emergency radios are only splash-proof.

Can I use a crank radio during a power outage?

You should definitely use a crank radio during a power outage, as this helpful tool is perfect for this purpose. When all other electrical devices fail, the crank radio is often the only available source of information. As you know, it does not require an external power source to operate.

Where can you buy a crank radio?

You can buy crank radios both online and in certain electronics stores. Both have their advantages and disadvantages that need to be weighed.

  • In a specialty store on site, you can get advice from staff or even test the reception of the radio of your choice. You can take a closer look at the different models, get a feel for the weight and resistance, and also look for other products.
  • On the internet, the selection is of course, much larger, and you can take care of price and product comparisons. Use tests like this one to filter out the best product for you.

My conclusion: Pay attention to the needs

You may have noticed throughout this article that fundamental things make a difference when it comes to crank radios: additional gadgets, power, and portability.

Finding a truly top model is therefore not an easy task, but requires an eye for detail and the overall picture of the model.

Given this, the Midland ER310 emerged as the winner (buy it here on Amazon). Not because it is the unbeatable master of all crank radios that outshines all others.

Much rather, because it shines as an all-rounder, which is suitable for both beginners and advanced users, has useful additional gadgets and has a long lifespan and resilience.

However, simpler models should not be underestimated. This is proven by the Eoxsmile Emergency Weather Radio (buy on Amazon), which stands out for its affordable price and relatively simple design.

Some crank radios are easy to use, while others are a bit more complicated. At the end of the day, however, they usually all serve their purpose: to provide you with information in emergencies, in the great outdoors, or during power outages where no other option is available.

Whether buying a crank radio is worth it can undoubtedly be answered with a resounding yes. Only your preferences will then decide which model is best suited for you.

I hope that this guide was able to help you find the right crank radio for you, regardless of what specific purpose it may serve. Thank you for your attention and the trust you have placed in me.

Take care, Martin
Martin Gebhardt

Author of the guide


Martin Gebhardt

Hey, I'm Martin. On my blog, you will learn the basics and numerous details about living in the wild. I think survival, bushcraft and the good life in nature are the keys to happiness. Find me here on Instagram or on YouTube. You can find more about my mission on the About Me page.

Since this is a gear guide, here ...


🤝8 reasons to trust my recommendation

  1. Practical Experience: I have tested most of the products I recommend under extreme conditions myself.

  2. Independence: As a wilderness mentor, I am not tied to any specific brands - this means my recommendations are unbiased.

  3. Expertise: My many years of experience allow me to understand the intricacies and details of various products that a layperson might overlook.

  4. Target group understanding: I understand the needs and challenges of outdoor enthusiasts, from beginners to seasoned experts.

  5. Quality focus: I attach great importance to quality and longevity. These are characteristics that are crucial in the wild.

  6. Clear communication: I try to explain the pros and cons of each product clearly and understandably so that you can make an informed decision.

  7. Currentness: I always keep my guides up to date and adapt them to new findings or products.

  8. Community Feedback: I work in wilderness schools, teach courses myself, attend courses and am active in various outdoor and survival communities and therefore integrate the feedback and experiences of others into my recommendations.

So when I introduce the best survival knives or flashlights, you can be sure that every recommendation is based on solid experience and extensive knowledge.

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