This cool flashlight runs off of almost any battery you'll find in your home's junk drawer


Close to thirty bucks for a such a weak flashlight is a travesty.


I used to have a nice flashlight that was charged via a kind of shake-weight motion, with a magnet sliding up and down the tube. Not as efficient as a crank model, obviously, but it was completely sealed without any projecting cranks to get broken. It survived for years in my trunk, which is a pretty hostile environment.


I had something similar to this that my wife and I took with us on a one year pacific offshore sailing voyage. Lasted the whole trip but eventually succumbed to corrosion. The flashlight, that is.


Once upon a time, there was such a thing, the Freeplay Torch built by a company called Baygen - a spring-wound unit that powered an LED. (They also made radios.) It was designed to be 3rd-world “forever tech”, i.e., would work forever without needing replacement batteries or bulbs. It was a big chunky unit with a clever double-taper flat-wound spring that produced steady tension as it unwound.

But as rechargeables improved and became more ubiquitous, they gave up and switched to batteries, even though rechargeables have a limited charge-cycle lifespan and must eventually be replaced.

Many modern hand-crank LED flashlights are quite usable devices - the usual weaknesses being a crank handle that’s much too short for proper leverage, and (usually) the lack of any sort of flywheel to make cranking easier.


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