Picture of Personal Heater for the Winter

In this instructable I will be showing you how to make your very own personal heater for when you're outside and it's freezing cold! All you need to do is add batteries and you have over 100 F in the palm of your hands, or pocket, etc. BUT REMEMBER TO WEAR GLOVES OR MAKE SURE THAT YOUR POCKETS WON'T BURN!!!


This heater is easy to do and cheap to buy the materials. BTW: all the materials can be found at Radio Shack. This is where I went to get the materials and they had everything I needed. However, there may not be a Radio Shack near you so just try a hardware store or hobby shop.
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

What you will need for this project are the following:

- 28-30 Gauge Wrapping Wire (at least 30 feet)
- Twin AA - Battery Holder
- 2 AA Batteries
- Hot Glue Gun
- Soldering Iron
- A Small Piece of Balsa Wood the size of the Twin AA - Battery Holder

Step 2: Wrap the wrapping wire

Picture of Wrap the wrapping wire

Now wrap 30 feet of your 28-30 gauge wrapping wire around the piece of balsa wood the size of the twin AA battery holder. Leave about 1 centimeter from both sides of the balsa wood to apply hot glue later on. Also, make sure that both ends of the wire are sticking out so they can be easily soldered (you will need to trim back the covering on the wire for it to solder).

Step 3: Soldering time

Picture of Soldering time

Now take your two ends from your wrapping wire and solder them to the two wires coming out of the battery holder. Almost done, one more step to go!

Step 4: Finally, the last step!

Picture of Finally, the last step!

Now just take your piece of balsa wood and apply a small dot of hot glue to both sides of the wrapping wire (without touching the wire of course). Then just take your battery holder and press it onto the hot glue until it settles and you're done! Just place your batteries in and it already starts to heat up!

This is great for the winter and especially when you're outside with all that snow around you, and you can just keep it in your hands (preferrably with gloves on) or keep it in your pocket! With the two AA batteries, it can run for a good 45 minutes at a great hot temperature (not exactly sure how hot but it's over 100 degrees Fahrenheit!)!

parkmana6 months ago

You might use NiChrome (Nickel/Chromium) wire. It has high electrical resistance and heats up nicely when energized. NiChrome is what the wires in toasters are made of.

ThaiM8 months ago

can i use 26 guage wire cause that the only i can find . Will the size of the wire make the performance of the heater better or worse

lilchumy2 years ago
this is pretty cool im gonna trie it but can i replace the balsa wood with something else like cardboard???
akossoy (author)  lilchumy2 years ago
That's a tough one, cardboard is sort of flimsy but it should work. The only problem is if the unit overheats, because the cardboard would have a much higher chance of burning compared to the balsa wood. However, if you have a high-duty cardboard like the ones that come with packaging "fragile" items, then I think it should be fine.
Good Luck! :D
evilsci3 years ago
Good, but wrapping the wire around balsa wood is a pretty bad idea. Have you ever seen balsa wood burn?
akossoy (author)  evilsci3 years ago
It doesn't burn enough to light the balsa wood, just enough to heat your hands though.
lime3D akossoy2 years ago
If you were to wrap the wire around a piece of iron, you would make an electromagnet!
akossoy (author)  lime3D2 years ago
Will try! :D Thanks!
jeff0123 years ago
this actually isn't short circuiting anything. technically speaking a short circuit occurs when a powered wire comes loose and touches grounded metal. for example, in a home behind the receptacles are metal device boxes, if the powered wire were to come loose and contact the grounded metal this would be considered a short. this method of looping wire is actually a very common practice and is completely safe if there is only enough amperage applied to heat the wires to a comfortable level. the electricity dissipates as it creates heat through the wires, effectively making the wire a "load." most things that create heat operate on the same principle. ie hair dryer, electric stoves. hell, even speakers operate with a continuous wire coil.
akossoy (author)  jeff0123 years ago
Yea, what i meant to say earlier was that the voltage from the batteries was to be going through the wires but to no where that voltage is needed (if that makes sense?!). In other words, the voltage would be going through the wires but only the wires, enough so that the wires would eventually heat up from an overload of voltage.
Are you sure that this isn't the batteries just heating up?
d3monhax0r4 years ago
Won't this short circuit? or is the wire too long for it to?
akossoy (author)  d3monhax0r4 years ago
The idea is to short circuit; the wire IS too long for it to overheat but it "should" short circuit so the wire gets warmer. However, don't worry; i've been using for about a month now on that same pair of batteries and it has gotten just hot enough for me to escape the cold but not hot enough to burn me!
jimmyf akossoy2 years ago
Nice job. How many hours of continuous use do you get out of a pair of AA's?
batman962 years ago
If you have a way of measuring it I would love to know how many Ohms that coil is.
How long do the batteries run for?