Whether you’re embarking on a hike, or just standing outside, the cold feeling can really get to your fingers. The best hand warmers, however, can keep them nice and toasty, whatever the weather throws at you. But there are a bewildering variety of hand warmers in the market, which is the right choice for you?
Today, In this article, we’ll answer the most commonly asked questions about all kinds of hand warmers, so you can get a better choice on what is the perfect one for you. We'll introduce the different types of hand warmers, explore how they work, and whether there are any potential dangers of using them.
What kinds of hand warmers are there?
There are many different kinds of hand warmer on the market today. The main types are chemical hand warmers and battery-powered hand warmers.
There are two main types of chemical hand warmers. The first type is the air-activated hand warmer, which emits heat when exposed to the air.
The second is the supersaturated solution (aka crystallization-type) hand warmer, there are some steps are required before use. You immerse it in hot water until it has absorbed the heat. Then when you need to warm your hands, you click a metal disc in its center, and the heat is released.
Finally, the battery-powered hand warmers generate heat through electric battery power and are normally rechargeable via the mains. You just turn on the power switch and it starts to work and heat up quickly. Some battery-powered hand warmers even can offer other functions too, such as operating as a power bank.
Are hand warmers reusable?
Air-activated hand warmers are normally single-use only, making them bad for the environment, and more costly if you need to use them very often.
Supersaturated solution hand warmers can use several times but the using methods are complicated.
Battery-powered hand warmers are usually reusable, making them more cost-effective. Their reusability probably also makes them the most environmentally-friendly option on this list.
How do hand warmers work?
Air-activated hand warmers usually contain cellulose, iron filings, activated carbon, vermiculite, and salt. When exposed to the air, heat is generated due to the oxidation of the iron filings.
The supersaturated solution style works differently. It’s made by adding sodium acetate to cold water beyond the level which can not be dissolved. When the hand warmer is heated, it allows the extra sodium acetate to dissolve into the water and crystallize. Then when the metal disc is bent, tiny particles of metal are released, which creates a chemical reaction that releases the stored heat energy from the solution.
The battery-powered hand warmers' principle is pretty easy to understand. Heat is created by an onboard electrically resistive heating device that is powered by a rechargeable battery. Some complex versions of these hand warmers possess different levels of heat. And in general, battery-powered hand warmers last for several hours per charge. But some can heat for almost 15 hours every charge, like Ocoopa Union 5S.
Are hand warmers dangerous?
It will pose obvious hazards if you use the wrong type of fuel or spill fluid in a dangerous environment. You could scald yourself when placing a supersaturated solution hand warmer in hot water.
Battery-powered hand warmers are safer than air-activated one, As long as a qualified battery-powered hand warmer is used, there is generally no risk to humans. And great hand warmers also have safety devices to ensure your safety when using. It sports all kinds of safety features such as an auto shut-off in the event of overheating or short-circuiting. Plus, they are shockproof, explosion proof, radiation-free, and anti-scald.
All in all, It doesn’t show those hand warmers themselves as dangerous. If they were, doubtless governments would swiftly ban them, or at least put restrictions on their sale. The main danger is in their misuse by people.
Are hand warmers toxic?
Air-activated hand warmers are definitely toxic. If ingested, the iron filings they contain may cause vomiting, diarrhea, stomach bleeding, and ulcers. If large amounts are ingested, symptoms may also include tremors, seizures, heart problems, and kidney or liver failure. For this reason, it’s important to keep chemical hand warmers well out of reach of children and pets, who may try to eat them.
And you don't have to worry about if it's toxic when you are using battery-powered hand warmers. Because it doesn't contain any stray chemicals, and as long as the battery isn't disassembled (which is not allowed), there's no danger.
That's all about all kinds of hand warmers, do you know which is your preferred one now?