As many of you are aware, I really enjoy doing reviews for torches that use
alternate means of power, whether it be shaking or hand cranking. Last year I reviewed the
Gadget Brando Battery Free Flashlight, a torch that was powered solely by
hand-cranking. Today, I will be taking a look at a similar product from the same
company, the Gadget Brando
Obviously something was lost in translation when it was given its clunky
name, but that shouldn’t be held against the product. The Hand-Pressing
Flashlight (HPF) is actually a very nicely done two-LED torch that
requires no batteries. An added bonus is that it is roughly half the size of the previously reviewed model,
making the HPF very pocketable. There is even a handy wrist strap permanently
attached to the rear of the torch for added security when in use.
Measuring approximately 4" long x 2" wide by 1" thick and weighing just 3.5
ounces, the HPF packs quite a bit of power into a compact package. The exterior
is composed of smoky blue translucent plastic. It feels quite solid, although
when torqued there is a slight bit of flexing between the molded plastic body and the opaque
gray torch head.
As previously mentioned, the HPF uses hand cranking to power the twin LEDs,
instead of batteries. The hand crank is released by sliding the rear catch to
the back position. The flashlight is powered on or off by sliding the switch
closest to the torch head either to the forward or rear positions.
Once the crank has been released, the user simply holds the flashlight in the
palm of either hand while squeezing the crank with the same hands fingers.
According to the packaging materials, "Constantly using this health torch, it
can benefit your palm, arm and shoulder stretching and blood circulation, so as
to let your hands relax." Well I suppose that this flashlight could be used in a
way similar to the stress balls that we have all seen marketed. because it does
have a strangely relaxing quality as you slip into the Zen of repetitive
squeezing. The only
differences being that stress balls are generally quiet and the HPF will make a
whirring sounds as the crank is squeezed. Of course, the squeezing will provide
the added benefit of producing a fully charged torch, ready to go once needed.
The HPF has two bright white LEDs that produce a fair amount of light once
powered. Although it is not enough light to spot the glow of a raccoon’s eyes
from within a tree from thirty feet, it is sufficient to keep its user from
tripping on a dark hazardous path.
Through a series of simple experiments, I found that starting with a
completely dead flashlight and giving twenty squeezes produced a good strong
beam for over 30 minutes before it began to noticeably taper. Of course, after just one crank the light
immediately begin to glow strong once again.
The Brando site says that the HPF uses two included C2032 batteries. I am not
sure if they are in there or not, as the packaging for the light says "No
Batteries", and without dismantling the torch I can’t confirm or deny their
presence. If this isn’t a misprint and if batteries are present, then it is
possible that they are rechargeable units storing the power generated by the
hand-cranking. Based on the amount of time that the charged light will continue
to glow, I don’t find this too far-fetched.
Perhaps the only thing that I would change about the design of this light is
that while hand cranking, even if the light’s switch is in the OFF position, the
light will shine. I would rather that the light stay off during this time; it’s
just a quibble however, and not necessarily a con.
The Gadget Brando Hand Powered Flashlight is a very well designed inexpensive
flashlight that will provide emergency light whenever needed. It is priced like
a toy, but after two months of use I can say that it does not perform as one,
and at this price it should be feasible to equip every one of your vehicles’
glove boxes with an HPF, as well as utility drawers and first aid kits.
Bright light produced with a minimum of hand-cranking
Perfect to keep in the glovebox or utility drawer for emergencies