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What Are Electric Hand Warmers?

Updated on June 19, 2012

The Features Of Electric Hand Warmers And Ideal Uses For Them

Electric hand warmers are small devices that your hold in your hand for warmth. They are ideal for many outdoor activities, keeping your hands warm when it is cold.

Most of us have to spend periods of our lives outside in the cold. For those of us not fortunate to live in all year round warmth, cold hands can be at times, a fact of life. We can wear gloves but sometimes wearing just gloves is not enough. Either it is bitterly cold and the gloves alone are not adequate, or we have to do something fiddly that requires taking off the gloves. Certain outdoor activities, such as fishing, will require the dexterity of nimble fingers unhindered by gloved hands.

Electric handwarmers
Electric handwarmers | Source

Electric hand warmers are electrically resistive devices that convert electrical power from batteries into thermal energy. They are usually smaller than a pack of cards and will fit snugly inside your hands, generating heat to keep them warm when you are outside in cold weather.

These small devices are easy and convenient to use. They are controlled by an on/off switch so heat is produced only when needed. They are clean, produce no odour and require little maintenance other than changing or charging the batteries.

The more conventional type runs on traditional batteries, either disposable or rechargeable AA size. This type is ideal when the device will be required for use during long periods but where there is no access to electrical mains for recharging. They are limited to the amount of batteries available and this can mean extra weight being carried. The constant use of disposable batteries carries environmental concerns compared with rechargeable options.

More recent developments have seen the introduction of rechargeable handwarmers. These function in a similar way to MP3s and smart phones, producing power from a rechargeable lithium battery. These models commonly take a few hours to be fully charged and can produce heat from between four to six hours depending on battery charge. They can be recharged hundreds of times, making them an inexpensive device to operate, although they do have a more expensive purchase price. They are ideal for use within situations where access to electrical mains supplies are available for recharging, but less so when in remote places away from recharging points for days at a time.

Electric hand warmers are ideal for use during many outdoor pursuit activities and sports, such as skiing, golf and hiking. They are also very handy for the commutes to work in the winter months or when being a spectator at outdoor sports events.


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    • jasmith1 profile image

      Adrian Smith 5 years ago from UK

      I am glad this was useful Steve - it has to be practical too doesn't it? :)

    • STEVEW13 profile image

      Steve Wright 5 years ago from Norwich, England

      These look great, I bought my mum some heated gloves fro Christmas from Thinsulate(i think) and despite getting the smallest size they were just too big for her and there was no way she would be able to do anything wearing them. Other than those heat sachets this is the best idea I have seen. I will look into getting some, thanks for the info :)