The Best Hand-Crank Water Well Pump for Pumping Water The Old-Fashioned Way

By: Jake Gallagher | September 27, 2023

In a world where modern conveniences rely heavily on electricity and complex machinery, sometimes it’s the simple, time-tested solutions that prove to be the most valuable. If you’re seeking a self-sufficient water solution, hand-crank water well pumps are here to deliver. 

Hand pumps harness the power of manual operation to extract water from wells, providing a dependable water supply even in off-grid or emergency situations. I’ve hand-picked a selection of the seven best hand water well pumps, carefully curated to ensure efficiency, durability, and ease of use. 

Whether you’re living in a remote area, planning a camping trip, or preparing for unexpected circumstances, these pumps offer a sense of independence and peace of mind. Get ready to embrace a simpler yet effective way of accessing the water you need, right at your fingertips.

1. Simmons 1160/PM500 No.2 Pitcher Pump: 9.45/10

  • The best hand-crank water well pump 
  • Price: $82.99

The Simmons 1160/PM500 No.2 Pitcher Pump is a popular hand-crank water pump specifically designed for well water applications. All parts are made from close grain cast iron for strength and durability.

Pros

The Simmons pitcher pump is designed for use with shallow wells and cisterns, typically wells with a maximum depth of around 25 feet. As such, it’s suitable for residential and small-scale applications. You’ll love the classic pitcher pump design that adds a nostalgic and rustic charm to your household.

The pump features a cast-iron construction and reinforced bolt lugs, contributing to its sturdiness and durability. It is designed to withstand regular use and exposure to the elements.

Unlike other hand-cranked pumps, this system has adjustable handle positions that you can configure to your own taste. I was genuinely impressed by the simplicity and sturdiness of this pump system, and it’s not just me; there are hundreds of positive reviews from satisfied customers who can attest to the durability and efficiency of this shallow-well pump.

This pump is also covered by a one-year manufacturer’s warranty against defects.

Cons

Despite the glowing reviews, there are a few cons. The Simmons hand pump is designed for shallow wells, typically with depths not exceeding 25 feet. If your well is deeper, this pump is not suitable. 

Pitcher pumps are also not known for high-volume water output. They provide a moderate flow rate, suitable for basic water needs but not ideal for high-demand applications. 

The leather gaskets supplied with this water pump are the only nondurable part. They tend to dry up if the pump is not used frequently. Regular maintenance is essential to keeping the pump in good working condition. Lubrication, inspection of seals and valves, and prompt resolution of any issues or wear are necessary to maintain its effectiveness and longevity. 

Overall

Despite its few limitations, the Simmons pitcher pump is a time-tested product that is guaranteed to serve you for years to come. If you have a shallow well and need to save on energy costs, the Simmons 1160/PM500 No.2 Pitcher Pump is your best choice.

2. Samger Cast Iron Pitcher Hand Water Pump: 8.7/10

  • Best for durability and versatility
  • Price: $67.99

The Samger Cast Iron Pitcher Hand Water Pump is a sturdy and traditional hand pump designed for extracting well water manually. It harkens to a time when such pumps were common fixtures in rural areas and farms, offering a blend of nostalgia and practicality for those seeking a dependable water source.

Pros

The Samger pitcher pump is made of heavy-duty cast iron, which is durable and resistant to rust. It has a wall thickness of 8 mm, which contributes to its sturdiness and durability, and it’s coated with a lead-free spray paint that helps prevent rust and corrosion.

The pump operates manually, relying on the user’s physical effort to create suction and draw water from the well. Users pump the handle or lever to extract water. This manual operation controls the pumping rhythm, allowing users to match their physical capabilities and well conditions.

This pump is designed for relatively shallow wells with a maximum lift capacity of 25 feet. Users should ensure that their well depth matches the pump’s specifications for optimal efficiency.

It also has a variety of applications. It can be used for gardening, livestock watering, providing water to outdoor fixtures, or serving as a backup water source in case of power outages or emergencies. Its manual operation ensures water access when electrical or motorized pumps are not available.

The Samger pitcher pump is one of the most popular manual pumps on the market. Most users attest to its durability and versatile applications.

Cons

While the Samger Cast Iron Pitcher Hand Water Pump is a reliable and traditional solution, its water output per pump stroke or per unit of time may be limited compared to more modern hand pumps or motorized systems. It may not be suitable for high-demand applications where a large volume of water is needed quickly.

Some users have complained that the pump’s water flow is not as strong as they had hoped. It also doesn’t have any warranty coverage, but users can take advantage of its 30-day return guarantee in case of defects.

Overall

Overall, the Samger Cast Iron Pitcher Hand Water Pump is well built and durable. Its heavy-duty cast iron construction, thick pipe walls, and spray paint surface make it resistant to rust and corrosion, ensuring a long lifespan. 

Whether used for gardening, livestock watering, or as a backup water source, the Samger Cast Iron Pitcher Hand Water Pump offers a reliable and traditional solution for accessing well water. 

If you’re looking for a durable and versatile manual well pump, the Samger Cast Iron Pitcher Hand Water Pump is worth considering.

3. Osea Stainless Steel Suction Pump: 7.84/10 

  • The most affordable hand pump for well water
  • Price: $39.96

The Osea Stainless Steel Suction Pump is a good backup plan for homeowners looking for a low-cost manual pump for when the power goes out.

Pros 

The Osea suction pump is a lightweight pump system made for wells with a depth rating of 32 feet (10 meters). Its robust stainless-steel construction, thick walls, and lengthened pump body ensure a constant flow of water with every pump. The pump handle is reinforced with a plastic anti-skid pad.

Designed for light use, the Osea can deliver a sufficient amount of water for basic needs such as household use, irrigation, or livestock watering. The pump has received favorable reviews online that attest to its efficiency.

Cons

However, there are a few issues you need to consider before purchasing the Osea. Some users have complained about the craftsmanship, with some stating that the welds are sharp and uneven and others complaining that the rated depth of 10 meters does not work at all and they had to find a longer pipe.

Also, I couldn’t find any warranty information from the seller, but in case you’re dissatisfied with your purchase, Osea offers a 30-day money-back guarantee through its retail partners.

Overall

The Osea suction pump is a bare-bones system made for light use. It can come in handy as a backup or as a shallow-well pump for a country home. For more information about this well pump, check it out here.

4. FloJak Original-100 Foot PVC Pump Kit

The FloJak pump system features a distinctive design that utilizes a series of PVC pipes, check valves, and a hand-operated lever to extract water from a deep well. The system is installed within the well casing and uses the suction created by pumping the lever to draw water up from the well. It is capable of lifting water 100 feet from the static water level in your well.

Unlike other deep-well hand pumps that utilize a handshake pump lever, the FloJak deep-well hand pump has a one-of-a-kind “tee-handle” pump with a variable stroke capability ranging from a few inches to over five feet. This enables the manual well pump backup to rapidly adapt to a comfortable pumping position for any user, tall or short. The Tee-Handle design is ergonomically better than other hand pumps since it uses upper body power and weight to pump.

The FloJak pump kit is designed for straightforward installation. It includes all the necessary components, including PVC pipes, check valves, a lever, and instructions for assembly.

While the FloJak deep-well hand pump is designed for relatively easy installation, it still requires some technical knowledge and skill to assemble and set up properly. Extreme weather conditions, such as freezing temperatures, can impact the performance of the FloJak pump kit. Freezing water within the PVC pipes can cause damage or reduce the effectiveness of the system.

At almost $650, this deep-well hand pump is quite an expensive investment. However, in the event of material defects, the unit is covered by a two-year warranty. For information about specifications, visit this link

5. Merrill No Lead PUMP125 Pitcher Pump

The Merrill Pitcher Pump seems to be an exact copy of the Simmons pitcher pump. It has the same cast-iron construction and is designed for use in a shallow well or cistern. The pitcher pump has a simple design, making it easy to install and maintain. It is constructed with sturdy materials, ensuring durability and longevity.

The pump is made of no-lead, brass components, ensuring it’s safe for potable water applications and compliant with lead-free regulations. It can be used in various applications, including domestic water supply, irrigation, livestock watering, and emergency backup water supply.

However, unlike the Simmons water pump, the Merrill unit is plagued with quality issues. The casting quality and piston design are poor, which leads to leaks. Some users had to replace the piston assembly with Simmons parts. There are also customer complaints about rusty components.

To avoid these issues, you should try a tried and tested manual pump like the Simmons pitcher pump

6. VEVOR Antique Hand Water Pump

The VEVOR Antique Hand Water Pump is crafted to mimic the appearance of classic hand pumps from bygone eras. It features a rustic and vintage design, often made from cast iron or other materials that give it an antique look. Despite its strong construction, the pump has been painted with an anti-corrosion coating that enhances its durability. 

This pump is designed with a long and light handle based on the lever principle, which makes pumping water convenient and saves labor. It features a large water flow, and its maximum pumping depth can reach six meters. 

This hand pump serves as a decorative focal point in landscaping and outdoor décor. It’s a conversation piece, a unique element that draws attention to your outdoor environment. 

However, there have been complaints about the pump’s build quality, including issues like missing components and rusted cylinder walls, which wear out the leather seal. Some users lamented having to repaint the pump due to the excess rust that came out with the well water. 

If you need a well-built shallow-well pump that will serve you better and for longer, consider the Simmons 1160/PM500 No.2 Pitcher Pump.

7. Bison Model 1900 Stainless Steel Pitcher Pump System

The Bison Model 1900 is constructed with high-quality stainless steel, which ensures its durability and resistance to corrosion. It features a classic pitcher-pump design, which adds a touch of nostalgia to its functionality.

It is designed to draw water from wells with depths up to 25 feet. While it may not be suitable for extremely deep wells, it can effectively extract water from average well depths. This makes it suitable for a range of applications, including residential use, irrigation, livestock watering, and emergency backup water supplies. 

Because the Model 1900 is a suction pump, it can draw from multiple water sources, such as wells, cisterns, lakes, ponds, and rainfall collection systems. It’s also covered by a lifetime warranty and has freeze-protection, which means it can work well during cold weather.

However, just like the Bison deep-well pump, it comes at a very high cost. At $1,548, there are cheaper and equally durable and effective shallow-well pumps on the market, such as the Simmons Pitcher Pump.

Bottom Line

When it comes to accessing well water without relying on electricity or fuel, the Simmons 1160/PM500 No.2 Pitcher Pump stands out as the best hand water well pump for the job. This time-tested pump combines durability, efficiency, and ease of use to ensure reliable water extraction from wells.

It boasts a range of features that contribute to its superior performance. Its heavy-duty cast-iron construction ensures durability, while the stainless steel components provide resistance to corrosion. The pump can extract water from a maximum depth of 25 feet, which ensures access to water in various well setups.

If you’re seeking a dependable and efficient hand pump for well water, you can’t do better than the Simmons 1160/PM500 No.2 Pitcher Pump.

The Best Hand Water Well Pump: Review Methodology

In this section I explain in detail the process I went through while reviewing these manual well-water pumps.

Step 1: A big list of all available products

To start my review journey, I needed to create a list of all available products in the hand-crank well-water pump industry. This meant going through dozens of retail and manufacturer websites trying to find out which products had made enough sales to warrant a review. I also called a couple of water pump suppliers in my locality to broaden the scope of my research.

In the end I compiled a list of 25 hand-crank well-water pumps. 

Step 2: Online reviews

Now that I had a list of models at hand, I needed to find a way to remove the less reliable models from the list. 

Therefore, I went back to the internet, but this time around, I was going through user sentiment on websites like Consumer Affairs, the Better Business Bureau, Amazon, Walmart, and Angi, trying to figure out how each product was faring in the market.

After 12 hours of screen time, I was able to reduce the number of units to 15.

Step 3: Product/service analysis

To learn which qualities to look for, I needed to ask myself crucial questions about the pumps I was reviewing:

  • What is the cost difference between shallow-well and deep-well hand pumps?
  • What is the benefit of having a manual well-pump system at home?
  • How many variations are there in hand water pumps?
  • What is the common pipe size for shallow- and deep-well pumps?
  • Can a hand pump be installed with another pump system?
  • How many feet into the ground should a hand pump reach?
  • What safety features are included in the design?
  • What is the maintenance and repair procedure for the different types of hand pumps?
  • How durable is each model?
  • Do hand pump manufacturers replace accessories like the pump head?
  • Can a hand pump be installed alongside a motorized submersible pump?
  • Is it difficult to install?
  • What certifications does each model have to attest to its efficacy and safety?

I used this questionnaire to help me understand the nature of the products on my list.

Step 4: Speaking with real customers

For this step, I formulated a plan to find actual customers and ask them about their experience with hand-crank well-water pumps. Since I live in a relatively rural area, this was not going to be a problem; almost all my neighbors have wells. 


So with the help of a few friends, I organized a questionnaire within a 20-mile radius of my home and talked with a few pump suppliers just to get their views on this issue. I admit, it was a costly and tedious affair, but I had to see it through to the end.

Step 5: Interviews with manufacturers

I was keen to know whether these well-water pumps had been subjected to any third-party certifications or independent testing. As a result, I emailed each manufacturer and requested proof of certification for the individual models on my list. After a week, just a handful of them had responded to my email. Those who did not comply had their models removed from my list.

Step 6: Test drives

This was by far the most resource-consuming part of my review journey. Reading reviews and running around talking to random people is not enough. I needed to speak from a point of authority on this issue. This meant I had to run my own tests.

I contacted several pump suppliers in my area and requested they send over several pumps for testing. Despite a few negative responses, one dealer agreed to provide all seven systems on the condition that its technicians be there for the duration of the testing. I had the seven units brought to my house, and utilizing my two wells, I tested each unit over a three-week period.

Step 7: Ratings

For this last step, I needed to rate the pumps based on the following qualities:

  • Durability and reliability
  • Build quality
  • User reviews
  • Water pressure
  • Affordability
  • After-sale assistance
  • Warranty coverage
  • Accessories provided in installation kit

After carefully ranking the seven units on an Excel sheet, I had everything I needed to sit down and write this review.

Final Thoughts

If you’re searching for the best hand pump for well water, look no further than the Simmons 1160/PM500 No.2 Pitcher Pump. This remarkable pump combines the perfect blend of reliability, efficiency, and durability, making it an ideal choice for accessing well water without electricity or fuel. 

With its heavy-duty cast-iron construction, stainless-steel components, and deep-well capability, the Simmons Pitcher Pump ensures long-lasting performance and dependable water extraction from wells up to 25 feet deep.

The pump’s reliability shines in emergencies or power outages when you need a continuous water supply. Moreover, its simple maintenance requirements make it a practical long-term investment that will serve you reliably for years to come.

If you’re considering a hand pump for your well water needs, get the Simmons 1160/PM500 No.2 Pitcher Pump. You won’t regret it.

If you’re eager to learn more about well water pumps, We’ve got some extra resources that can provide you with in-depth information: