How to Choose the Best Hand Crank for Your Needs

Your Guide to buying the best hand cranks


A hand crank, also known as a winding handle or winder, is a tool used to wind and unwind various objects. It is a device used to wind and unwind tension for machines, tools, processes, and other applications. Hand cranks come in various shapes and sizes and can be used for a variety of tasks, from winding thread, wire, and cable, to winding fishing line, to winding up electrical cords and hand tools. This buying guide will provide you with information on the types of hand cranks available, their features and uses, and tips for choosing the best one for your needs.

Key features

  1. Size - Consider the size of the hand crank to ensure it is appropriate for your intended application.
  2. Material - Different materials used in the construction of a hand crank can affect its durability and performance.
  3. Gearing - Different gearing ratios can impact the number of rotations required to achieve a desired output.
  4. Leverage - Hand cranks with higher leverage can reduce the amount of force required to operate the device.
  5. Weight - Heavier hand cranks may provide more stability, while lighter models will be easier to transport.
  6. Capacity - Consider the capacity of the hand crank to ensure it is capable of handling the desired load or application.
  7. Noise - Some hand cranks are designed to minimize noise, while others may be quite loud.
  8. Ergonomics - Look for a hand crank with an ergonomic handle to reduce fatigue and ensure comfortable operation.
  9. Design - Choose a hand crank that is designed to be user-friendly and easy to maintain.

See the most popular hand cranks on Amazon

Important considerations


  • Increased Mobility - Hand cranks can provide more freedom of movement for those with limited mobility, as they don’t require electricity or motors to operate.
  • Ease of Use - Even when compared to other manual tools, hand cranks are simple and easy to use.
  • Low Maintenance - Hand cranks do not need any large or complex parts, so they do not require heavy maintenance.
  • Low Cost - Hand cranks are relatively inexpensive compared to other types of manual tools.
  • Durability - Hand cranks are made from strong and durable materials, which can last a long time with minimal repair.


  • Noise - Hand cranks can be very noisy depending on the materials and construction of the crank.
  • Tiring - Using a hand crank can be physically demanding and can quickly tire out a person’s hands.
  • Limited Functionality - Hand cranks are limited in what they can do; they can’t do complex operations like those performed with a motorized device.
  • Durability - Hand cranks may not last as long as motorized devices. If they are made from lower quality materials, their lifespan could be significantly shorter.

Best alternatives

  1. Electric Motors - Electric motors are used for many tasks that would normally be done with a hand crank, such as opening and closing a door, raising and lowering a flag, etc.
  2. Solar Power - Solar power is also used to power electric motors and other machines, and is a renewable source of energy.
  3. Wind Power - Wind power is another renewable source of energy used to power electric motors and other machines.
  4. Hydraulic Motors - Hydraulic motors are used to power a variety of machines, including machinery used in manufacturing, construction, and agriculture.
  5. Pneumatic Motors - Pneumatic motors are used to power a variety of machines, including machinery used in manufacturing, construction, and agriculture.

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

  • Hand Crank - a mechanical device used for rotating or pumping a handle to generate additional power or movement
  • Crank Handle - a long, curved handle attached to a crank shaft for providing leverage for turning a crank mechanism
  • Crank Mechanism - a device used to change a rotary motion into a linear motion, or vice-versa
  • Crank Shaft - the central component of a crank mechanism, typically a thin metal rod that connects to the crank handle
  • Gearbox - a mechanical device that transmits mechanical energy from one source to another by means of gears
  • Drive Pulley - a pulley wheel used to transmit power from a motor to a crank mechanism
  • Brake System - a system of brakes that control the speed of a crank mechanism
  • Chain - a metal chain used to transfer power from a drive pulley to a crank mechanism
  • Bearing - a device used to support and reduce the friction between two rotating parts

Common questions

  1. What types of hand cranks are available? Hand cranks come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. Common materials include wood, metal, and plastic. They can also be manually operated, electric, or pneumatic.
  2. What is the difference between manual and electric hand cranks? Manual hand cranks are operated manually by turning a handle or wheel. Electric hand cranks are operated by a motor or other power source.
  3. What are the benefits of using a hand crank? Hand cranks are a great way to save time and energy when working on a project. They are also easier to use than other power tools and can provide a smoother operation. In addition, hand cranks are generally less expensive than other power tools.
  4. What safety precautions should I take when using a hand crank? Always wear safety goggles, gloves, and other protective gear when operating a hand crank. Also, make sure to read the instructions carefully and follow all safety protocols. Additionally, be sure to inspect the hand crank for any signs of wear or damage before use.
  5. What maintenance is required for hand cranks? To ensure the longevity of your hand crank, it is important to regularly inspect and clean it. Additionally, check for any signs of wear and damage on a regular basis. Lastly, it is also important to lubricate the hand crank as needed.


In the early 19th century, hand cranks were adopted by some of the world's first personal automobiles. In 1899, The American Motor Car Company introduced a “motor buggy,” powered by a hand crank. The car was the first automobile sold to the public with a hand crank and it included a five-minute training session in how to use it. Unfortunately, the cars proved to be too expensive for the public and the company was forced to close its doors. Despite this, the hand crank endures as a symbol of early automotive history and innovation. Source:

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.