In my continuing quest to find non-electric tools and gadgets for around my home (that really work!), I recently purchased the Vortex Hand-Cranked Blender:
The Vortex hand-cranked blender needs a wee bit of elbow grease to turn if you have anything frozen to blend, such as ice cubes or frozen fruit. But if you begin on the low speed and then switch to the high speed, it's quite easy to use. Easy enough, in fact, that I'll use it regularly.
The blender is easy to put together and to clean after using. Not many parts and very intuitive. I like that! Plus, everything fits together super well and there's no leaking of liquid. The container is a high-grade food-safe plastic so it won't break like glass would, but I must say that I would have preferred a glass container. (That's just my personal inclination. I realize that this blender was made with campers/backpackers in mind, so the plastic makes sense in that regard. But still...)
It can hold a (surprising) lot of ingredients. One day I made about a quart of smoothie without exerting too much effort. I could have made more with room to spare, so it would be totally usable for a family.
One thing to bear in mind, however, is that you have to crank for a longer period of time to get the frozen bits (say, ice and fruit) to thoroughly break up and the smoothie to become...well, smooth! I probably industriously cranked for two minutes or so in order to get a creamy, smooth end result. Still, it wasn't hard work (although you know you're cranking!), and I was pleased with the results.
I want to try making cream soup because I love, love, LOVE cream of broccoli soup. I'm betting that it'll do a great job.
All this to say, the Vortex hand-cranked blender is a welcome addition to my kitchen. I will continue to use it often, and I'm glad I purchased it!
Blessings to you and yours,