Inverter generators are one of the most effective portable power sources on the market, helping you power everything from large appliances to smaller, more sensitive devices such as laptops. Whatever you need one for, there’s plenty of different features that can make your portable generator either more or less effective overall, and finding a design that suits you best can be much harder than it sounds. Unlike conventional generators, a portable generator needs to be both powerful and easy to move, two details that don’t always fit together properly.
Here are ten of the best inverter generators available, what they can offer, and advice on how you can choose between them if you have never bought one before.
View the Best Inverter Generator, Below.
- WEN 56203i Super Quiet Inverter Generator
- Honda EU3000iS Portable Inverter
- A-iPower SUA2000iV Ultra-Quiet Inverter Generator
- Westinghouse iGen4500 Portable Inverter Generator
- WEN 56200i Super Quiet Generator
- Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Generator
- Westinghouse iGen4200 Hybrid Inverter Generator
- Pulsar G2319N Gas-Powered Inverter Generator
- Yamaha EF2200iS Inverter Generator
- Briggs & Stratton P2200 PowerSmart Generator
1. WEN 56203i Super Quiet Inverter GeneratorRead Customer Reviews →
This quiet and lightweight inverter generator weighs just under 40 pounds, making it fairly easy to transport or store away at any time. Thanks to the compact design and noise-reducing features, it can provide up to 1700 rated watts and 2000 surge watts of clean power in an instant. This makes it incredibly easy to charge up important devices without disturbing people around you or making it hard to focus. A special fuel shutoff system extends the lifespan of the entire unit by making sure that the fuel tank is dry before turning off, reducing the need for maintenance or emergency cleaning.
The reduced noise level and compatibility with sensitive electronics make this one of the best choices for smaller-scale use, such as powering laptops.Check Price on Amazon ➞
2. Honda EU3000iS Portable InverterRead Customer Reviews →
The fuel-efficient design of this inverter generator allows it to run for up to 20 hours on under 3.5 gallons of fuel, providing longer-term power for sensitive electronics and devices from a single gas tank. The inverter technology used inside the inverter generator itself is designed to be lightweight and stable, providing plenty of clean power and high run time to give you more consistent results. Not only that, but the oil alert system will shut off the generator if the gas tank is getting low, preventing damage to any internal components and extending the life of the entire generator unit.
This is another convenient option that can easily work for a range of situations, giving you power without any major flaws or downsides.Check Price on Amazon ➞
3. A-iPower SUA2000iV Ultra-Quiet Inverter GeneratorRead Customer Reviews →
This box-style generator has a built-in handle to help you move it around, running for up to 7 hours at 50% load for excellent short-term power and charging. The low idle system conserves gas when the generator is idling, and it produces only 58 decibels of sound when operating - less noise than many conversations! Due to the pure sine wave technology of the inverter, it can easily work with sensitive electronics such as laptops and televisions, allowing them to run without damaging them or putting the user at risk. A built-in gauge can help you track how much fuel is left in the generator, too.
Compared to most portable generators, this model manages to stay effective and versatile while still being very easy to move from place to place.Check Price on Amazon ➞
4. Westinghouse iGen4500 Portable Inverter GeneratorRead Customer Reviews →
This highly-convenient generator has a wireless remote start system that allows you to turn it on from up to 109 yards away, making it a great option for use in wide outdoor spaces. The push-button electric start also makes it easy to turn on, combining the power of a conventional generator with the simplicity of a standard electric tool.
The design contains two USB ports, a 30R 30-amp outlet, and a 120V Duplex outlet, letting you power a range of devices and appliances with ease. A single 3.4-gallon tank can give you up to 18 hours of power, and the low noise levels make it far more comfortable to be around while it is operating.
This is one of the best generators for people who need a portable yet effective solution to short-term power problems.Check Price on Amazon ➞
5. WEN 56200i Super Quiet GeneratorRead Customer Reviews →
This ultra-quiet portable generator creates barely as much noise as people would while talking, giving you power without the uncomfortable noises that a conventional generator usually gives off. The clean power provided by the system ensures that it won't damage sensitive electronics while charging them: devices can be connected through two 120V three-pronged ports, one 12 DC receptacle, and one five-volt USB port, giving you plenty of options.
The generator as a whole weighs only 48 pounds, making it a fairly portable option for use in all kinds of outdoor spaces. It is also surprisingly small, making storage and transport much easier.
This generator works best when you have to keep multiple device types ready to use at a moment's notice, giving you full control over what it can power.Check Price on Amazon ➞
6. Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel GeneratorRead Customer Reviews →
This duel-fuel generator can work with either a gas tank or propane tank, providing up to 3400 watts of power either way. A three-position ignition and varied controls allow you to adjust how the generator works to suit the situation, and the quick-start system makes it easy to turn the power on without much preparation work. At 59 decibels, it is a nice and quiet option for anybody who hates the loud noises of conventional generators, and the clean electricity prevents direct damage to any device that you plug into the system. You also have the option of linking two of these generators together for twice the power.
This is a great choice for people who need control over how effectively they are using their power and fuel.Check Price on Amazon ➞
7. Westinghouse iGen4200 Hybrid Inverter GeneratorRead Customer Reviews →
This hybrid portable inverter generator can offer up to 20 hours of run time from a single fuel tank, giving you 'plug and play' reliability that can feed power to your devices almost straight away. The hardened exterior and reliable power output make it suitable for all kinds of situations, including work areas, but it also remains compact and portable for easier transport. A simple starting system and automatic low-oil shut off extend the lifespan of the generator without making it harder to use, while the water-resistant design allows it to function properly outdoors or in difficult conditions and locations.
This inverter generator works best in situations where you need a long-term power source that can endure bad weather and/or regular movement without failing.Check Price on Amazon ➞
8. Pulsar G2319N Gas-Powered Inverter GeneratorRead Customer Reviews →
The inverter system in this generator can offer up to 1800 watts of power at peak performance, giving you plenty of power compared to the small and easy-to-move frame design. A low noise level of only 61 decibels makes it far less irritating to use for longer periods of time, and the 1.18-gallon tank can give you up to 6.3 hours of run time at half load. A maximum output of 2000 watts, combined with a simple design and good power consistency, makes this generator convenient while still giving you a full panel of controls and cable ports to use.
This is one of the best inverter generator options for people who need to combine minimum size with maximum power effectiveness, giving you a great output rate despise the small design.Check Price on Amazon ➞
9. Yamaha EF2200iS Inverter GeneratorRead Customer Reviews →
The high power output of this portable inverter generator allows it to work well in a lot of situations. The multi-functional LED display system helps you keep track of the current generator status while also being able to quickly start up, switch off, and reset the generator system as needed. This can be done using the overload reset button, which restores power without fully shutting down the unit if a problem occurs.
A built-in drainage system prevents issues with fuel being stuck inside the generator, as well as making it safer to store for long periods of time. Alongside all of that are three handles that improve portability even further.
This is another great inverter generator that gives you plenty of useful features while keeping a small and compact tri-handled body.Check Price on Amazon ➞
10. Briggs & Stratton P2200 PowerSmart GeneratorRead Customer Reviews →
This reliable and portable inverter generator produces under 3% harmonic distortion, allowing it to properly charge a range of different devices and tools that might use sensitive circuits and components. The 59 decibels of operation noise makes it much more comfortable to be around, and the low weight allows you to quickly and easily move it around as needed. Not only that, but it has a two-person handle design to make it even easier to move when you are sharing the weight. The 1700 running watts output and 2,200 starting watts make it surprisingly powerful for its size and scale.
This is a very effective generator that works really well for a range of different tasks, giving you power in a portable and effective form.Check Price on Amazon ➞
Inverter Generator Buyer’s Guide
A portable inverter generator might just seem like an alternate version of some conventional generators, but they are quite different when it comes to how they actually function and how much power they can output. In fact, an inverter generator can be the superior option in a huge range of different situations, especially during small-scale work, where you don’t need an excess of power to get the best results. In extremely small-scale scenarios, like charging a single device, inverter generators can excel to the point that there is no reason to go for conventional generators instead. However, if you are buying one, it is important to understand what you are actually getting and how it can help you.
What is the Advantage of Inverter Generators?
Before anything else, it is good to know what the advantage of an inverter generator can be, since many people overlook just how different inverter generators can be to conventional generators. While they can be similar in a lot of minor ways, there are some key differences that make them unique types of generators, leading to them being useful in different situations or for different tasks.
First of all, is the power output. The peak and surge power outputs of inverter generators are essentially the higher levels of power that will be given out in short bursts to start certain loads. Conventional generators usually have a poor peak level, since they operate on a larger scale and are supposed to be as consistent as possible for powering larger items or appliances. An inverter, on the other hand, can have a very high peak output, sometimes doubling or even tripling their standard power levels. This can be a very niche detail for some people, but it can also be extremely important for specific tasks.
No load power is also a factor here. An unloaded or idling generator still uses power to run, but it will be much less since it isn’t having to send any of that power anywhere. Compared to a regular one, inverters have a highly reduced idle power consumption, making them much more efficient if you have to leave it running without plugging anything in. Some even have power-saving modes or sleep modes that reduce the idle running watts even further.
Sensitive Devices and Clean Electricity
Perhaps the biggest benefit of inverter generators is the way that they interact with sensitive electric devices. The power that they create is very versatile and flexible, although it can be difficult to explain exactly how this works. If you aren’t already familiar, think of it like fuel: dirty fuel might still work well in heavy-duty equipment, but sensitive tools might need pure fuel to work well. The idea is the same here: by creating ‘clean’ electricity, an inverter generator can ensure that it won’t damage ‘weaker’ devices (like a laptop or television) while powering or charging them.
Why does this matter? It all comes down to how you are going to be using your inverter generators. For example, if you are on a road trip and plan on camping somewhere overnight, you will want a way of safely charging up devices that you have with you. A normal generator might lead to them getting damaged or even entirely broken, especially if it has a high output of power, and you plug the device directly into it. Inverter generators are generally designed to avoid this problem entirely, making sure that devices don’t get damaged easily and aren’t going to break if they are plugged in for too long.
This also means that they can offer a wider range of plug ports: for example, many will have direct USB connections since it is safe to plug a USB device into the inverter generator. Not only can conventional generator designs rarely do this, but even if they could, you would usually still need an adaptor or a device that acts as a middleman. Having this direct connection reduces the need for extra equipment, reducing how much you have to take with you.
As you would expect, a portable inverter generator is going to be portable. However, the average inverter generators will still be more portable than regular generators, since they have different design principles and internal parts that change how they are created. Reductions in weight can make any unit far more portable, which is often a good thing considering that most people use generators at a power source for remote areas or long-term trips.
The point of inverter generators is usually to power smaller devices and provide a more mobile power source, which means that most of them are going to be built around weight and size rather than durability. This isn’t a bad thing since it allows them to easily be placed in cars or carried around at almost any time: a regular generator can be far harder to move, especially if you don’t have a vehicle that can easily transport it from one place to another.
Remember that each design can weight different amounts, even if one of the generators looks identical to another. The internal components, including the inverter system, can contribute to any extra weight, so it is important to focus on a weight you can use effectively rather than relying on estimates and guesswork to get the right option.
It is a good idea to think about vehicles when you consider how the weight of your inverter generator will change things, too. In many cases, an inverter generator is at least partially designed to work inside a vehicle, whether it is a car, camper, truck, or even sometimes a vehicle as large as a coach. For that reason, you should always work out what kind of vehicles it would be suitable for: too much weight can lead to your inverter generator massively reducing your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, speed, or ability to get up slopes.
Fuel is one of the biggest concerns with any generator, and inverter generators are no exception. Like all systems in generators, inverters components are supposed to create electricity: they do this through at least one type of fuel. Some generator designs can support more than one type (not at the same time, but separately) while others are built for a specific type of fuel, but all of them follow a similar basic design and functionality.
There are several different reasons why fuel options matter, and some are much more important than others. Don’t buy generators, inverter or not, if you haven’t considered how the fuel system might affect you and your ability to use it properly.
Fuel Capacity and Load
The capacity of inverter generators directly changes the running time and how much overall power a single gas tank can provide. For example, a generator with a 2.4-gallon gas tank can run twice as long as an identical generator with a 1.2-gallon tank. On paper, this usually means that the tank size is the most important part, but it isn’t – still, you don’t want to ignore the tank capacity details, either. The more fuel a generator can hold, the more likely it will be to last for a longer period of time.
Keep in mind that fuel isn’t always used on a 1:1 scale, though. The larger the load on your generators, the more fuel they will use, meaning that a lower load will result in less power usage. For example, a quarter load (where you only attach enough devices to use up one-quarter of the generator’s full capabilities) may result in you getting half or one-third of the fuel usage you would normally get.
On the other hand, leaving inverter generators to idle can result in them using up fuel regardless unless they are fully switched off, and leaving them turned off for too long can damage them if the fuel isn’t drained. Unlike the load, you can’t decide to reduce the amount of idle power used: it is part of the generators themselves. Because of this, some generators will be more efficient when idling, using up less fuel per hour compared to others.
Load is, more often than not, just a percentage. For example, 200MW generators running at quarter load are only using 25% of their total capacity, resulting in them outputting only 50MW (since one-quarter of 200 is 50). This means that less fuel is used up overall, but doesn’t reduce the amount of power going to the device that is plugged in: if it can offer 2000 running watts, that device or appliance can still get 2000 running watts.
There’s also no load details, which is equivalent to the idling rate, as well as full load details that explain how inverter generators will operate when all of their capacity is being used. If you plug in too many devices (such as putting 200MWs of devices into a 100MW generator), then you will see the efficiency drop and might even inadvertently damage the generator. Certain modes, such as an ‘economy mode,’ can reduce the total load capacity, since an economy mode is designed to stop wasting fuel when it isn’t needed.
Some generators rely on particular fuel types, such as gasoline or propane, to function. While there isn’t much else to say about this, it can be important to work out which fuel is more efficient (and cost-effective) for you to use. Some generators might work twice as long on a single gallon of propane compared to one gallon of gasoline, but this might also be far more costly for you in the long run.
The watts put out by your inverter generator are, in many cases, the actual level of power it can create. 2200 watts is directly worse than 2300 watts, at least on paper. Certain tasks or appliances might need a certain amount of running watts to power. Starting watts are simply the watts needed to start a device. Higher starting watts make it easier to “kick-start” a tool or device by delivering all of those starting watts over a short burst. Starting watts are usually higher than running watts but only apply for a second or less since the initial wave of starting watts is only active when you first turn on the inverter generator.
Unlike starting watts, running watts is the wattage applied consistently to the inverter generator’s connected targets. Whether they are applied over 5 hours, 8 hours, or an entire day, running watts are constant. In short, running watts act as the part that keeps the device running, and you often need less running watts to make something operate after the starting watts have turned it on.
This isn’t usually affected by features like a remote start system, but it can be affected by load. These watts are “shared” among each device that needs to use the inverter generator, so a higher load results in more watts getting “used up.”
Noise level is often overlooked, but it can be a large part of any inverter generator. Many inverter generators have a massively reduced noise level due to the inverter systems themselves, and a lot of portable inverter generator designs are specifically made with a reduced noise level in mind. In fact, some inverter generators don’t even read the same noise level as a normal conversation, which can make them much more comfortable to be around.
In some cases, the noise level is tied to the amount of power created and how large the tank and/or output is. Some inverter generator types might have a high noise level because of their internal parts, too. Others will make more noise as they get closer to a low oil state, especially if they have no built-in low oil protection system.
Usually, CARB compliant inverter generators will have a reduced noise level, since they are supposed to use high-quality fuel. However, this isn’t always true, and many CARB compliant inverter generators can still be just as loud as a normal type.
What is the Best Inverter Generator to Buy?
Choosing one best inverter generator from everything on the market isn’t really feasible, and it also wouldn’t be honest. Whether it is a Honda EU2200i or a Yamaha EF2000ISV2, there are dozens of generator reviews that all claim certain products are best. In reality, it comes down to your needs: the best inverter generators can be different for every person, so you need to look at all inverter generators from your own point of view.
For example, take a company like Briggs Stratton. They made good generators, and most Briggs Stratton inverter generators are going to be reliable, but Briggs Stratton might also fall behind other companies in specific ways. Generator King generators could have specific niche benefits that make them more useful than Briggs Stratton options to you or may help you get around a specific problem that you have with many Briggs Stratton designs.
This also applies to individual inverter generators. A good example is the Honda EU2200i, and Yamaha EF2000ISV2 mentioned above. Comparing their features is important since you need to find the best option for your situation. For example, the Honda EU2200i offers 2200 watts of power, with 2200 watts being 200 watts more than the Yamaha EF2000ISV2. However, the Yamaha EF2000ISV2 has some extra features – such as easy controls – that might set it apart from the Honda EU2200i. To counter that, the Honda EU2200i might have another desirable feature that you didn’t expect.
Make these kinds of comparisons with every generator you buy: the Honda EU2200i and Yamaha EF2000ISV2 are just two examples. At the end of the day, the best inverter generator is whichever one fills your needs best, regardless of what they are.
What is the Best 3500 watt Inverter Generator?
Looking for a 3500 watt generator specifically can really help you narrow down your options, as can looking for any specific feature, but it doesn’t mean that there is one single best option to try. You also need to specify what you are looking for: 3500 running watts or 3500 starting watts, for example. You might find some generators that offers 3500 starting watts, but only 2200 watts as standard or might stumble on a 3500 watt generator that only runs for 5 hours with a full tank.
Remember that many generator reviews might also be a bit biased. A lot of sites work for affiliate problems: these will be an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for affiliates to get paid for linking to Amazon, etc. In the program, an affiliate might be given an idea of what to say in certain generator reviews, emphasizing the good (like a run time of 8 hours at full load, or a remote start system) over the bad (a high noise level or low starting watts). Always check on your own terms and make a decision based on the actual specifications of generators. Otherwise, you might end up with something that doesn’t fill your needs.
Is an inverter generator better?
Inverter generators aren’t always the best option, but they can still be better than other types. Larger brands like Briggs Stratton deliberately use the advantages of inverter generators in their products to make each Briggs Stratton inverter generator as good as possible, so there is clearly a difference in multiple ways, but that doesn’t make them superior at all times.
In most cases, inverter generators find use as portable options for people who need one power source that they can take almost anywhere. Even if they only run for 5 hours at full load and 8 hours at quarter load, this can often be all some people need. Inverter generators are more or less designed to work as portable options, but many people also use them as alternate power sources for items they use around the home if they need to. Overall, they work best when they are used in situations that require a portable, lightweight, or easy-to-move generator.
If you are still looking for the best generators inverter option available to you, don’t hesitate to do your own research and use the information above as a stepping stone. Every person might need their own specific features in their inverter generators, so focus on finding an inverter that offers what you need rather than accepting something at face value because it is popular. An inverter is still a generator, and each inverter is going to be built in a slightly different way, so it is important to focus on what matters to you.
There are plenty of inverter options out there that could end up being perfect for you, so take your time and look for products that work best. This is especially important if you plan on using your inverter generator on fragile or sensitive devices since the last thing you want to do is accidentally overload or break them in ways that can’t be repaired. Make sure you consider as much as possible before you make a purchase, and don’t be afraid to turn down an option if it doesn’t feel like its right for you.
You can often link two generators together for double the power if one isn’t enough – check the individual product pages or instructions to make sure.
Did You Know?
Many inverter generators produce around 65 decibels of noise, which is roughly the same as a normal spoken conversation.