Emergencies happen and often unexpectedly when they do. Whether your tire blows out in the middle of night - in the middle of nowhere, you missed the last bus home, the power goes out, car breaks down or you find yourself lost, stranded and scared then a cell phone can be a valuable tool. However, if that cell phone is dead or simply not charged enough to make a call and there's not an electrical outlet or car charger adapter it won't be much use to you. This is where something like a hand crank cell phone charger can make a real difference.

How to Use a Hand Crank Emergency Cell Phone Charger

There are differences among some of the different brands and styles of hand wound chargers, some of which will be discussed here. The most common style of battery free manual powered emergency charger works in the following way: plug-in a compatible USB adapter and attach it to the cell phone then adjust the crank and start turning. Other styles (one of which you will read about below) operates a little differently. The crank functions are the same but instead of a compatible USB adapter some models feature a cigarette lighter adapter. Most of these will require you having your own electronic devices compatible adapter.

What to Expect from Your Handcrank Emergency Cell Phone Charger

These battery free, manual powered chargers are quick fixes but you shouldn't expect to be able to fully charge your phone in just a minute or two. With the crank speed of 120 RPMs you can expect to get anywhere from between 2 to 6 min. of talk time for every 1 min. of turning. If the mobile phone or device is fully dead or drained it may require more cranking to achieve the above talk time. Regardless it can be a true life saver in an urgent situation.

SOS Charger Hand-Crank Emergency Cell Phone Charger with 3 LED Flashlight 

Hand Turn Emergency Cell Phone ChargerThis particular model is compact in size, not much bigger than a cell phone itself and features a 3 LED flashlight built-in. The SOS emergency charger and LED flashlight combo comes equipped with the universal USB adapter as well as charging tips that fit most mobile phones and other electronic devices such as MP3 players, PDAs, iPods, Bluetooth headsets and GPS's. It is important to know that this model and many other will not efficiently charge nor are they designed to charge the iPhone and some other Smart Phones which requires more voltage for charging.

What Will  Charge with this Model Hand Wind Charger:

Some of the phone's that the S.O.S. emergency cell charger will work on are listed below but one should note that it claims to work with other brands and devices that use mini and micro USB inputs, too.

  • Blackberry
  • Nokia
  • LG
  • Samsung
  • Motorola
  • Sony-Ericsson
  • Other handheld devices with compatible recharge requirements and adapters

Freeplay FreeCharge 12V Black- AK060 

Hand Wound Cell ChargerLarger than the style mentioned above this 12 volt battery free hand powered mobile phone charging device features a 3-phase generator and packs more punch in the voltage department but offers a little less "extra's". The FreeCharge won't provide you with an LED flashlight but it will help you get your electronics charged when you need.

The adaptor featured on the AK060 is a generic cigarette lighter adaptor. Most electronics now offer this type of adapter for on the go entertainment and mobility devices so you are in charge of providing your own connector. Simply plug it in and turn the handle and in just a couple of minutes you can: talk on the phone, listen to music or get ready to do some online browsing.

What Will  Charge with this Model Hand Crank Cell Charger:

  • PDA
  • iPod
  • GPS
  • Most Mobile Phones that have compatible adapters

Where to Store Your Hand Crank Powered Emergency Cell Phone Charger

With the size of these devices most can easily be stored in a purse, backpack, glove compartment or if space is limited elsewhere - in the trunk. These make perfect additions to your emergency preparation kits and should be stored in locations that are easy to access at all times of the day.