Anyone who has experienced having no power can certainly appreciate the value of having the best portable generator that will do the best job in restoring at least a semblance of modern essentials back to your life. If you are looking to go green, see our top 10 list of solar generators. Whether the generator is merely a backup power supply to use in the event of an emergency power outage or the generator is for emergencies, convenience or recreation, there are a number of electrical models and styles of generators.
Some consumers even use portable generators to provide an extra electricity source to the power tools they use daily in their trade or profession. As an alternative and more green way, please do check out our review on portable solar chargers for your home. This handy review covers the many ways a portable generator comes in handy in times of need or fun. This guide discusses a number of ways portable electric generators can be a beneficial or even an essential device to have.
We have researched the features in terms of performance, durability, safety features, size, and affordability, and have boiled down our research to the ten best portable generators on the market. So whether you’re looking for a power supply to provide backup for your home essentials, a unit to take on your next camping trip or one to take to a job site – One of these models may be just the right fit for you.
View the Best Portable Generator on the Market, Below.
- Westinghouse WGen5500 Portable Generator
- Honda EU2200I Super Quiet Portable Generator
- DuroStar DS4000S, 3300 Gas Portable Generator
- WEN DF475T Dual Fuel Gas Powered Portable Generator
- Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Gas Powered Portable Inverter
- Champion Power Equipment 100692 Gas Powered Generator
- WEN 56200i, 1600 Gas Portable Inverter Generator
- Champion Power Equipment 76533 3800 Portable Generator
- Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 Portable Inverter Generator
- Briggs & Stratton 30740 Gas Powered Portable Generator
1. Westinghouse WGen5500 Portable Generator
Since 1886, Westinghouse has been bringing the best to life with innovative products, including portable generators that range in power up to 10,000 watts. The most common type of generator for households are in the 5000 watt range because these will provide enough power to run the most vital appliances and devices like refrigerators, heaters, lights, and computers. This WGen Portable Generator runs on 5500 watts and 6850 peak watts, providing more than enough for powering the average household necessities. In our review we talk about what this generator offers in terms of durability, power, and value.
This WGen 5500 portable generator is packed with many innovative features for a great value. This portable unit comes with its own oil, oil funnel, a tool kit, and a comprehensive users manual for utilizing the unit directly out of the box with only minimum assembly required.
Westinghouse designed their powerful engine to be reliable and long-lasting, with an overhead valve system incorporated that allows the engine to run more economically that uses less fuel, and runs at a cooler temperature than other conventional side valve engines. It also features a Long-Lasting Cast Iron Sleeve with an Automatic Low Oil Shutdown that prevents any damage to the engine’s core components when the oil is down below the minimum level, preventing catastrophic damage.
The control panel contains a digital hour meter that makes it easy to gauge performance, and perform regular maintenance, that ensures a longer life and better operating generator. The WGen5500 engine is EPA III approved and CARB-compliant, which allows for operation in all 50 states.
Another clever feature about this generator is that it is made for easy, convenience transporting with roll bars and a steel frame that offers a variety of other options for transporting and securing the generator. In addition there are two GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) 5-20R 120 volt household duplex receptacles, and one L14-30R 120/240 volt twist-lock receptacles, and all outlet covers include rubber covers for extra added safety - to protect the unit from the environment and inclement conditions.
Lightweight, quiet, and easy to start, this Westinghouse generator (and all their other portable generators) have intuitive yellow touch points that are there to provide easy guidance through the starting process. It is also transfer-switch ready, meaning that there is a convenient 120/240 volt L14-30 twist lock outlet which allows you to connect this portable unit directly to your home through a manual transfer switch, allowing power to all your necessary appliances as you need them the most.
Backed by several positive reviews and online feedback, this unit bears testimony to the great line of products and service provided by Westinghouse. The Westinghouse WGen Series is an innovative line of conventional, open-frame generators that are perfect for using for the home, camping, and for emergency backups. It also has the protection of a 3-Year Limited Warranty. Westinghouse offers Nationwide Customer Service and Support for all its clients. This portable generator model is perfect for those in need of reliable power on the go.
Why We Liked It
We loved how this unit was just about ready to go right out of the box, and the touch points were great for guiding us through the starting process, which was easier than expected. Within 15 seconds of starting the generator, we had our AC, lights, refrigerator, and microwave running smoothly for about 14 hours - quite an impressive run.
The Westinghouse WGen5500 portable generator is a great addition if you are searching for a more powerful, durable mid-size unit for your needs, but still want great fuel efficiency, portability, and an overall consistent experience for your household, camping excursion, or tailgating party. Westinghouse is one of the most trusted names in power equipment, including their many lines of portable generators.
Packed with many innovative features for a great value, this power generator has a large 6.6 gallon fuel tank with a fuel gauge and a 13 hour run time at 50% load, which more than adequately supplies your basic powering needs whether at home or at the campground. Easy, convenient transporting, lightweight, and quiet, this unit is also easy to start and transfer-switch ready for powering what you need the most.Check Price on Amazon ➞
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2. Honda EU2200I Super Quiet Portable Generator
There are several features to consider when it is time to purchase a portable generator. Hopefully, you are not waiting until an emergency happens so you are able to make a clear-headed, informed decision about which unit will work best for your needs in terms of dependability and affordability.
Whether you need a generator for the home, the campground, or simply as an additional backup for other use, this is one of our most recommended choices in our Top Ten Best reviews. Let’s take a closer look at the Honda EU2200I Super Quiet Portable Generator and why we have selected it as our Premium Choice among our Top Ten Best portable generators.
As a lightweight, durable, and user-friendly portable generator, the Honda EU2200i is modeled for optimum performance and will most likely change the way you have always thought of generators. Thanks to its superb industrial design it runs very quietly at 48 to 57 dBA, which is less noise than a normal conversation, and efficiently, and is backed by an extensive manufacturer’s warranty. Providing great functionality without compromising any comfort, this unit handles virtually any circumstance consistently well and offers a smooth flow of power to keep everything running as they should for hours on end, without worries.
At just 47 pounds, it is considered one of the lighter portable units, and it is easy to carry and port just about anywhere. The Honda EU2200i is gas-powered and will run up to 8.1 hours on one gallon of gas. This unit operates conveniently on regular 87 octane that is available at your local gas station. This unit also has great fuel tank efficiency with a capacity of 0.97 gallons (about 3.6 liters), and can run on 3.2 to 8.1 hours on a single tank depending on what is needed to run.
This generator is easy to service the filters, plugs, and other components and has a super-quiet motor to make a huge difference. The pull-start mechanism ensures an easy, smooth start to this inverter generator, and does not show any resistance issues that would attribute to any discomfort with frequent use. The lightweight feature of this unit also adds convenience to the over portability. In addition, this generator is compacted into a smaller unit that makes it easier to maneuver. The comfortable handle is ergonomically designed to be carried with ease to different locations.
Honda goes above and beyond the norm to provide some more sophisticated features to this portable generator, like the design of the Eco-Throttle—which allows for automatic adjustment of the engine’s speed to only produce the power that is needed for the specific application in use—and also has a clean output signal that is suitable for all varieties of sensitive electronic and electric devices including laptops and smartphones.
As the pioneer of smaller generators and celebrating 50 years of its generator design philosophy, Honda's clean, precision inverter technology makes certain that Honda's inverter generators will put out as much reliable power you have always depended on from your own home outlets.
So efficient, you will almost forget your appliances aren’t running on normal power. Over the past 50 years, few other items have accomplished the goal of generators by helping those in need, and Honda is proud to have helped pioneer this handy item for worldwide consumer use.
Why We Liked It
We were pretty hard-pressed to see anything we didn’t like about this portable generator. Honda has a golden reputation for their dependable, efficient generators, and this one is one of our favorites for its size, power, and stability features, and was able to run very effortlessly and consistently with our appliances for several hours on end.
Honda stands behind its portable generators with an ample 3-year warranty for both residential and commercial use, and this alone speaks volumes about its overall reputation and consumer trust, confirmed by thousands of positive reviews from satisfied customers over time. The Honda EU2200i is a great little workhorse that does what it’s intended to do and more - and is in our opinion one of the best portable generators on the market.
Modeled for optimum performance, this inverter unit will most likely change the way you have always thought of generators. Thanks to its superb industrial design it runs very quietly at 53 to 57 dBA, which is less noise than a normal conversation and is backed by an extensive manufacturer’s warranty. At just 46 pounds, it is one of the lightest units in our extensive review. Smooth to start, with an Eco-throttle that allows for automatic speed adjustment, with a clean, precise output. Our Premium Choice selection.Check Price on Amazon ➞
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3. DuroStar DS4000S, 3300 Gas Portable Generator
When considering a portable generator for your home, there are several features to keep in mind when selecting the best option. Generators have gone through many improvements over the years, and there are many different models from which to choose. In this review, we take a look at the DuroStar DS4000S, 3300 Gas Portable Generator and talk about its power and dependability, and why we have selected this model as our Top Pick for the top ten portable generators.
For those who are searching for a mid-range generator that is both powerful and economic, the DuroStar DS4000S, 3300 is a great investment for your dollar. As a consumer favorite and one of the best selling portable units on the market.
This generator is considered to be average, or mid-grade, in power with a maximum 4000 watt output and delivers some great features, including a 7.0 amp air-cooled OHV engine with low oil shutoff, and a heavy duty steel frame with four point fully isolated motor mounts that are for operating smoothly and quietly.
Other features include a full-power panel with an oil warning light, volt meter, along with a circuit breaker and power outlets. This portable generator is perfect not only for powering the appliances in your home, but also for primitive or non-primitive camping as a power backup and for working on jobsites.
The power panel of this DuroStar gas portable generator includes the main controls which are the start switch, volt meter, and circuit breaker. It presents two 120-volt, 20-amp, 3-prong outlets to supply the power to your home appliances, plus has one 120-volt, 30-amp outlet for the high-powered tools. This portable generator has a run-time of 8 hours at one-half load, and the 4-gallon fuel tank comes with a handy gauge that is easy to read.
This unit is able to run quietly with a motor that is mounted on four points, and it reduces engine noise with a recoil start muffler for optimum quietness in operation. The automatic low-oil shutoff helps protect the engine, and there is also an optional wheel kit for easy portability of this unit.
You will appreciate the 4000 wattage this portable generator offers, especially if you need to start and run several appliances or other household necessities, as starting up your appliances can require two to three times additional surge wattage as what they would normally run.
This generator is gas-powered and will conveniently run on regular 87 octane that is available at your local gas station. The engine is an air-cooled, robust 7HP overhead valve with a 4-cycle engine. The 4-cycle versus two stroke provides the benefits of a lower fuel consumption that burns cleaner, with no need for the more expensive two stroke oil.
Easy to Operate
The EZ-Pull starting mechanism makes powering on this generator a breeze with it’s simple, 4-step instruction, and does not require you to be a body-builder to operate. When starting any generator, please keep in mind that you should not have any electrical cords attached.
Always start with the circuit breaker in the OFF position. Please refer to the instructional manual that is included for more detailed directions on starting and operating this unit. Remember that if you do not plan to use your DuroStar unit on a regular basis, you should keep the tank less than full, or use some kind of fuel stabilizer.
Why We Liked It
We tested this portable generator on a few appliances running at the same time, including a refrigerator, coffeemaker, electric stove, two cellphones and a LCD TV, and this unit ran like a champ for over 14 hours before we needed to refuel. For emergency or campground use, this unit provided a nice, uninterrupted function, and for a mid-range generator, provides a great value for the overall price.
Recommended as a first generator, the DuroStar DS4000S, 3300 is considered to be a workhorse and is currently one of the best selling portable generators on the market, with a great price-to-power ratio. DuroStar backs their DS4000S, 3300 portable generator with a one-year limited warranty.
Considered more of a mid-range in moveable generators, this unit, chosen as our Top Pick, is both powerful and economic, delivering a maximum 4000 watt output and a 7.0 amp air cooled OHV engine with a low oil shutoff. With a run time of eight hours at half-load, this unit includes two 120 volt outlets and one 120 volt 30 amp outlet. Easy to start with the EZ-Pull starting mechanism.Check Price on Amazon ➞
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4. WEN DF475T Dual Fuel Gas Powered Portable Generator
Since it was established in 1951, WEN has been known for producing high-quality power tools for worldwide distribution. Headquartered in Elgin, Illinois, WEN backs up its pride and stands behind all of its equipment, including its portable generators, with its significant warranties. With centers that are spread all across the country, they will ensure timely, accurate service.
Whether you need a generator for the home, the campground, or simply as an additional backup, WEN delivers a great portable unit. We took a look at their Dual Fuel DF475T 4750 Watt Gas Powered model, and have selected this generator to make our list on our Top Ten Best Portable Generators as our Best Value for its overall performance, durability, and affordability. Read on:
This lightweight and portable power generator is always ready to provide reliable power whenever and wherever needed with 4750 watts starting wattage and 3800 running watts of continual running power, and provides an essential companion at the campground, job site, or in those home power emergencies, allowing you to run those essentials such as the refrigerator, computer, television, microwave, and more.
The engine is EPA III approved and CARB-compliant, which allows for operation in all 50 states. The 4-gallon tank provides 11 hours of half-load runtime at full tank. Producing 224cc of power, this generator has an internal forced-air cooling system that helps maintain the engine and prevent it from heating up to dangerous levels.
Another safety feature is the low-oil shutdown that prevents any damage to the engine when the oil is down below the minimum level, protecting the engine from destruction. This generator is also smartly equipped with a spark arrestor to help reduce the sparks during operation, making it safe to use in forests or on the campsite.
There is a convenient panel on the side for easy handling and transporting the generator, and it is equipped with two 120 volt AC outlets and one 12 volt DC outlets for more convenient connecting of the various appliances and tools you need to use during a home outage, on the campground, or at a construction site.
The engine rests securely on the motor mounts located beneath the generator, which reduces the amount of vibration when running for a smoother operation, and it is also equipped with a noise muffler, and with both of these features combined works to provide a quieter generator at only 69db when it is at full load.
WEN has pioneered different technologies for its various engines, and this has made it the go-to company for innovative products, that combine power and performance in one functional unit, and it backs its 56155 portable generators with a two-year limited warranty for damage and repairs on all parts.
Whether you are dealing with a sudden power outage due to inclement weather like a hurricane, thunderstorm, or snowstorm, or even if you are searching for that perfect power companion to take on your next camping venture, you want a generator that is not only easy to transport but reliable and powerful enough to handle several appliances and devices for hours at a time. In this day and age of reliance on our electronics, life can be a bit devastating when the power grid shuts down or is non-existent.
Instead of suffering through a bit of the Dark Ages, having a portable generator as a backup provides an excellent short-term solution for restoring adequate power back to your daily operations, and fills that gap until power is restored. When the power grid goes down, look to a portable generator for an excellent short-term solution to get back online without the expense or maintenance of a full-sized home generator.
Why We Liked It
With an easy assemble and startup, this model impressed us with its oil efficiency, running for a longer time than expected, and as long as the directions were followed, it operated with our load without any issue. The motor runs relatively quiet. All in all, this generator provided a solid, dependable power source and endures well for hours on end, all at a very affordable price tag.
If you need a solid, dependable portable generator for those light to medium power needs for the home, an outage, campground, and job site, then this generator makes a great addition for a cost that is quite affordable. Compact and lightweight, the WEN 56155 is easy to handle and transport, which works well for any setting, making this portable generator a great choice for transitioning through those short-term needs.
Known for producing high-quality power tools for worldwide distribution, WEN doesn’t disappoint with this generator. This unit is lightweight and always ready to provide reliable power whenever and wherever needed with a 4750-watt starting wattage and 3800 running watts of continual running power at 11 hours of half-load runtime. The engine is easy to start and is also equipped with a noise muffler, providing a quieter unit at only 69db, and is our Great Value choice for being a very affordable model, chock full of value.Check Price on Amazon ➞
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5. Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Gas Powered Portable Inverter
Yamaha is known for its motor sports, but also exceeds at their line of power equipment which adheres to the same standard of quality that was set forth back in 1953. Packed with the latest technology, their line of portable generators display an enhanced power and performance that boast high standards of durability and reliability. This review talks about the great features of the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Portable Inverter Generator and what it delivers in efficiency, durability, convenience, and more, making this unit one of our Top Ten Best Portable Generators.
Voltage stability is within ± 1%, and frequency stability is ± 0.1 HZ. Worth mentioning, it’s pure sine wave is as clean as or cleaner than the power produced by public utilities. This model runs at 1600 watts and has an air-cooled single cylinder, 4-stroke engine that provides impressive heat control.
The OHV engine is built to last, and includes a steel camshaft and valve train components with a cast iron cylinder liner. There is a smart throttle with a sensor that controls the engine speed, which improves fuel efficiency and helps with noise reduction by automatically adjusting the speed of the engine to match the load.
On one tank of gas, It will run up to 10.5 hours at a one-quarter rated load. Other features include an Oil Watch Warning System that prevents any damage to the engine when the oil is down below the minimum level, protecting the engine from destruction and avoiding any costly repairs.
There is also an electrical overload breaker that will prevent any damage to the generator in case of overload. The fuel gauge can be seen at a glance with the gasoline petcock, allowing you to shut off the gas to run the carburetor dry for storing, and to prevent any stale gas issues.
Equipped with a new controller and advanced programming, this cool retro-style unit has the ability to run a large range of applications than its previous generation EF2000iS and is lightweight, weighing less than 45 lbs for easy portability and storage.
Easy to start with the auto-decompression system that reduces compression and the auto-warmup works to increase the engine speed during those cold starts to better handle those high-demand appliances. Fitted with a sophisticated, technologically advanced muffler system that includes a USFS-approved spark arrestor, this generator runs so quietly that you can carry on a normal-toned conversation beside one and may even forget that its there. The rubber vibration isolation feet helps the unit operate smoothly and quietly.
Why We Liked It
We like knowing that a lot of smart technology has been applied to this generator, and it shows with a consistent, smooth output of power and a long-lasting operation. This compact, sleek design made it very easy to transport anywhere, and we especially liked the the twin tech parallel operation that allows the connection of another Yamaha EF2000iS model (twin tech cable not included) to provide extra power and performance.
In terms of revolutionary technology, Yamaha cannot be beat. This compact inverter generator provides a lot of the latest and greatest features on the market today, and is jam-packed full of impressive components that work together to make this high-quality Yamaha EF2000iSv2 generator run consistently, powerfully, and efficiently.
Yamaha is known for its motor sports, but is also a major player in power equipment and adheres to the same standard of quality for the past 60+ years. This Yamaha EF2000iSv2 generator uses inverter technology with a Pulse Width Modulation, which is a more sophisticated control circuitry to deliver consistent, clean current that supports better fuel efficiency and durability. This unit also has the ability to run a large range of applications and is lightweight, weighing less than 45 pounds for easy portability and storage. And, this generator is CARB-compliant, which allows for operation in all 50 states.Check Price on Amazon ➞
6. Champion Power Equipment 100692 Gas Powered Generator
Marketed by Champion Power Equipment, this 4-stroke 2000 watts portable generator is backed by a reputable company, widely known for producing high-quality power tools for worldwide distribution. Whether you need a generator for the home, the campground, or simply as an additional backup, there are numerous units from which to choose.
Our extensive reviews of portable generators have boiled it all down to the top ten best, saving you a boatload of time when it comes to choosing the best unit for your specific needs. This review covers the Champion Power Equipment 100692 and why we have selected it as one of our top ten favorites.
This four-stroke generator is equipped with a 2hp which allows it to deliver 2000 watts of continuous output and 1700 watts of starting power, and uses a 50:1 gasoline/oil mixture as fuel, using this mixture for all lubrication and therefore not requiring any crankcase oil. This generator can run for 11.5 hours on one tank of fuel at 1/4 load capacity.
There is a simple control panel located on the outside of the generator, that also includes two covered 120V 20A household outlets (5-20R) and a covered 12V DC automotive-style outlet. Plus, this portable generator is also equipped with a recoil rope system for starting the engine. Before starting the engine, ensure that the generator is properly grounded, and there is sufficient fuel in the system.
Regarded as one of the quieter power generators, the exhaust system with spark arrestor puts out only 53dBa at 23 feet, making this certified for safe use in any national forest or park. As a lightweight supplier, the Champion Power Equipment 100692 portable generator is ideal for camping out, running a few appliances at your home or cabin, or those minor emergencies where you need a sufficient power supply to get you through.
It can also be used at the job site for minor needs where it is more difficult to run power cords. Great for running the essentials during power outages. This unit includes battery charging cables and is backed by a limited warranty to be free from any workmanship defects and parts for a period of one year from the date of purchase. The engine is also EPA III approved and CARB-compliant, which allows for operation in all 50 states.
There have been many high ratings of this particular Champion Power Equipment generator claiming how well it functioned to serve their specific needs, and how affordable it is for all that it delivers. There are a lot of consumers who like the fact that it is lighter weight and easy to transport.
Why We Liked It
As some reviews have discussed, we also liked the fact that this is a two-cycle unit, which means there are no oil changes or valve adjustments required. The overall lightweight and compact design worked great for our needs and would be a nice little addition to take along to the ball games as well as using in the home for those basic needs. Overall, this little unit worked consistently well.
For those lighter needs for the home or an extra companion for recreation, this generator fits the bill for durability and handling for running the basic essentials. Compact and easy to handle and transport, this unit is small but mighty and gets the job done in a convenient, durable way.
The Champion Power Equipment 100692 generator is compact and super lightweight - our lightest one reviewed, weighing in at only 40 pounds and a 17.3 x 11.5 x 17.7 size, it is easy to port and includes a carrying handle and four rubber pads. Regarded as one of the quieter power units, the exhaust system with spark arrestor puts out only 53dBa at 23 feet, making this certified for safe use in any national forest or park. This generator has received many high reviews for functionality and affordability.Check Price on Amazon ➞
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7. WEN 56200i, 1600 Gas Portable Inverter Generator
Even though WEN has changed the styling of the 562001 2000 watt inverter generator, the overall features have remained the same as the older model. Since it was established in 1951, WEN has been known for producing high-quality power tools for worldwide distribution. Headquartered in Elgin, Illinois, WEN backs up its pride and stands behind all of its equipment, including its portable generators, with great warranties and support. We took a look at this unit and have selected it to be in our Top Ten Best portable generators for its overall performance and features.
Conventional generators are the most popular and widely used, having been around the longest. They are gas-powered with a motor that is attached to an alternator, producing electricity at a consistent speed that is usually 3600 rpm to produce the required 120 volt current. Conventional generators are restricted to a constant 3600 rpm.
Inverter generators are a relatively new technology that has been made possible through advanced electronics and the highest quality magnets. This functions by outputting AC current like most generators, but then the current is converted to DC voltage and “inverted” back to clean AC voltage.
The advantage to this method is that it keeps a constant flow of current to your appliances. Inverter generators are generally smaller than conventional, and weigh less, plus they can operate at variable speeds, which makes them more fuel efficient. And finally, they are quieter.
Cleaner, Safer Operation
As if the extremely quiet operation isn’t enough to sell you, which, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, is in comparison to a normal conversation, maybe the fact that generates clean power and is EPA III and CARB compliant will.
Besides being a cleaner unit that safely powers your more sensitive electronics, this WEN 562001 2000 watt inverter generator produces a pure sine wave and limits the total harmonic distortion to under 0.03 percent at no load and below 1.2 percent at full load - which means that it is designed to safely operate laptops, smartphones, monitors, and other similar, sensitive electronic devices.
This portable generator also includes two - 3-prong 120 volt outlets, one-12 volt DC outlet and even one 5 volt USB port.Another safety feature is the low-oil automatic shutdown that prevents any damage to the engine when the oil is down below the minimum level, protecting the engine from destruction. An optional parallel kit (sold separately) allows you to link two of these generators together to provide an extra boost for powering more appliances.
You cannot control how often the power grid goes out, but you can control how you react to it — which means being prepared for the worst when it does happen. An inverter generator will not power up your entire home, but it will power the essentials and make your life that much easier during these outages, reducing stress and maintaining what is needed, like preserving your perishables and your home’s heating and cooling system.
WEN has pioneered different technologies for its various engines, and this has made it the go-to company for innovative products, that combine power and performance in one functional unit, and it backs its 56200i 1600 watt portable generator with a two-year limited warranty for damage and repairs on all parts.
Why We Liked It
Being an inverter generator, we already knew it would run efficiently and clean. We were able to successfully run this at half-load for a whole night, and didn’t even know it was there, it was so quiet. This convenient little generator did the job well, and for the price, really provides a great value for having around the home, campground, or even on the construction site.
For an affordable cost, the WEN 562001 2000 is a solid, dependable portable generator for those light to medium power needs at home, campground or job site, Compact and light weight, this portable generator is easy to handle and transport, and works well for any setting, making this unit a great choice for emergencies or those short-term needs.
With a powerful, 79.7cc 4-stroke engine, a compact, lightweight design at 48 pounds, quiet at only 51 decibels, and clean burning, this is an overall great little generator that will pack the required punch for a price that can’t be beat, considering all the quality features you get with this powerhouse. Inverter technology keeps a constant flow of current to your appliances, plus they can operate at variable speeds, which makes them more fuel efficient, and a great choice to have.Check Price on Amazon ➞
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8. Champion Power Equipment 76533 3800 Portable Generator
Even the most primitive-functioning consumers enjoy the luxuries of electricity. And with this 76533 portable generator, the most avid outdoorsman can enjoy the best of both worlds while camping or living through a few days without a power grid. Known for its dependable quality, this unit is RV ready with a standard 30A RV outlet to connect and power your recreational vehicle to the electric world quickly and efficiently, so you can move on to the funner things in life.
This generator also makes a great backup power option for emergency situations and will run the essential items you need, like lights, sump pump, refrigerator, microwave, furnace blower, tv, phone, and more. The 3800-watt portable generator operates at 68 dBa from a distance of 23 feet and has a runtime of up to 12 hours on a full tank of gas at 50% load.
The generator is portable with a durable steel frame, a folding handle, and never-flat tires for easy transportation. Included is a bottle of engine oil. The only thing that is needed is the gasoline. Powered by a reliable 196cc Champion engine with Cold Start allows optimization to easily power up in cold weather.
There are several outlets - one 120 volt locking, one 30A RV, and two 120 Volt 20 A household outlets that are all secured by Volt Guard which protects your appliances from any spikes in voltage above the safety threshold. The intelligauge allows you to check and track power output and maintenance levels.
This portable generator has a wireless remote start - which gives you the ability to start and stop the unit from up to 80 feet away, which is a nice convenience to have. This generator also comes with a battery for easy Touch Start, which is a push-button electric start for an easy, convenient option.
Regarded as one of the quieter power generators, the exhaust system with spark arrestor puts out only 68dBa at 23 feet, making this certified for safe use in any national forest or park.
Champion continues to stand proudly behind its power equipment with a three-year limited warranty and FREE lifetime support of your unit. Champion demands nothing but excellence from their dedicated, trained technicians and service network so you will continue to receive world-class response whenever you need it. Now that is service!
The reviews on this Champion 3800 watt portable generator has generated a 4.5 out of 5 stars which is excellent in terms of ratings. Overall, there are many consumers who are raving about how easy it is to start, its long-term durability with several appliances at a time, and how it runs quieter than other models. All in all, a well-rounded unit that has been well-received by many.
Why We Liked It
Reading the reviews, we had to try it out for ourselves with some serious load. Easy to assemble right out of the box, we put it to the test with a medium load (a 10,000 AC unit, refrigerator, and TV) on a 3.4 tank with no issues. This portable unit ran smoothly and consistently. Not too heavy to pick up, it provided a great overall experience and comes highly recommended for its overall performance to price.
With many years of providing reliable and durable power equipment, Champion remains a market leader in its field, with their products designed and engineered in the U.S. for both the North American and global markets. Champion sets the standard for performance excellence in work, play, and home, and this 76533 portable generator lives up to its Champion name in reliability and durability.
Considered an excellent value and highly rated in terms of starting power, a remote, wireless start, and being CARB compliant which makes it allowable to use in all 50 states, the 76533 3800 watt generator is both a dependable and affordable unit. Champion Power Equipment has done a great job with its 3800-watt generator that operates at 68 dBa from a distance of 23 feet, and has a runtime of up to 10.5 hours on a full tank of gas at 50% load.Check Price on Amazon ➞
9. Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 Portable Inverter Generator
Backed by over 100 years of innovation, Briggs & Stratton is still a name you can trust. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, they are the world’s largest producer of gas engines for outdoor power equipment and a leading designer of power tools such as the portable generator and currently serves over 100 countries worldwide. We evaluated the 30651 P2200 Portable Inverter Generator and selected this model as one of our Top Ten Best portable generators in performance, durability, and affordability.
Let’s face it… We all like to have a little luxury, even in the most backwoods of existence.
The key features of this portable generator include inverter technology that generates very clean power that provides safe power to your electronics. It also includes convenient handling, lightweight, and built to go anywhere, a variety of different outlets for your needs, built-in expandability when needed, and a quiet operation.
This generator with its computer-controlled engine will continually adjust its speed to your power needs for the most efficient, consistent power. And finally, this generator runs much quieter than a conventional unit.
Regarded as one of the quieter power generators, this unit puts out only 59dB at 22 feet, which is quieter than a normal conversation, making this certified for safe use in any national forest or park. This unit also includes a parallel connector port that allows you to link two of these generators together to provide an extra power boost for connecting more appliances without sacrificing a household outlet.
Also included are two - 3-prong 120 volt outlets, one-12 volt DC outlet and includes a USB adapter, giving you the flexibility to connect and power essential appliances and devices. Another extra but useful feature is the oil drain off tray which catches dribbles and spills while filling - also a big bonus when draining oil.
There are many positive reviews that further attest to this Briggs & Stratton power generator from consumers who have been very satisfied with its overall production and performance, providing plenty of power for their needs, and were happy with how quietly it operated.
Why We Liked It
For a great price, this impressive portable generator does a bang-up job. Quiet, yet productive, we were able to hook up our TV, refrigerator, and AC unit to run for about 5 hours, and it purred like a kitten the entire time, providing plenty of power. Very efficient.
Made with those weekend warriors in mind, this Stratton 30651 P2200 Portable Inverter is a sleek unit that’s easy to transport, quiet to operate, and powerful to the punch. Less expensive than its competitors, Briggs & Stratton has done their job right as this unit provides a great value to cost ratio and comes with a 24-month limited consumer warranty.
What better modern day luxury is there than having electrical power? The Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 Portable Inverter Generator was designed with this basic convenience in mind. Ideal in size and transportation, this unit sports an H handle design to ensure easy carrying by one or two people. And having inverter technology means generating clean power that safely powers your more sensitive electronics and is more lightweight, built to go anywhere. A variety of different outlets are included for your needs.Check Price on Amazon ➞
10. Briggs & Stratton 30740 Gas Powered Portable Generator
When buying a generator, you want a name that will get the job done. Backed by over 100 years of innovation, Briggs & Stratton is synonymous with quality and trust. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, they are the world’s largest producer of gas engines for outdoor power equipment and a leading designer of power tools such as the portable generator and currently serves over 100 countries worldwide. We evaluated the 30740 Gas Powered Portable Generator and selected this model as one of our Top Ten Best portable generators for performance, durability, and affordability.
As part of the 7000 Watt Elite Series, this model allows you to power up more appliances for a longer duration and features an OHV 420cc engine that will produce 21 foot-pounds of torque. The 12-inch never-go-flat wheels make it so much easier to transport this generator in and out of storage, or to new locations. And the convenient “T” handle makes transporting this unit easy with two people.
The ample amount of outlets on this unit includes four 120 volt receptacles, and one 120/240 volt 30 amp receptacle with circuit breaker protection. For monitoring gas levels, there is a handy fuel gauge and hour meter. The super low-tone muffler and electric key start with remote choke provide fast, easy starting from one location, effortlessly. A battery is also included for easier starting.
B&S generators have good shock absorbers built in that reduce vibration - not only providing quieter operation but increasing their service life. This Briggs & Stratton power generator comes with engine oil, a quick start guide, and an operator’s manual and includes a 3-year limited warranty that protects against any defects in materials and workmanship.
Why We Liked It
This larger unit is badass when it comes to powering a heavier supply of appliances. Still very user friendly, this unit came easy to assemble - just add wheels and battery - And we tested it to run several larger appliances like an air compressor, microwave, refrigerator, and freezer smoothly for hours on end. For all the power it packs, it was still a relatively quiet unit with good shock absorbers, and rolled around the house with little effort. This unit is so impressive, it will (almost) make you look forward to your next outage.
As one of North America’s largest suppliers of portable generators, Briggs & Stratton is committed to providing only the premium combination of power, performance and value. This 30664 Gas Powered Portable Generator is well-built, powerful, and ready to work for you.
If it is durability you are searching for in a generator, you have found it. This Briggs & Stratton 30740 generator steps up to the plate with an impressive 7-gallon fuel tank that runs for an impressive 9 hours of continuous operation on a full tank at 50 percent load. Delivering 7000 watts of continuous output, this generator is a serious contender in the game of performance.Check Price on Amazon ➞
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Buyers Guide Questions
What is the Best Generator to Buy?
There are two different types of generators – stationary and portable. Stationary units are more costly and should be installed by a professional, and includes the labor for installation. You would also need to check with your town’s municipal permits, noise ordinances, and the proper location. These stationary units start automatically when the power goes out, and they will also run their own self-diagnosis for maintenance requirements, and some can send reports directly to your email or text. These units range from roughly 5000 to 20,000 watts and can cost up to $10,000.
Portable generators are lighter, more affordable, and run on gas or propane – click for garage heaters. A stabilizer must be added to safely store the gasoline. Being portable means you can use them anywhere on your property, but they need to be at least 15 feet away from your home, doors, and windows, not in an enclosed space. Several models have an electric start, and the battery may or may not be included. Their wattage is from 3000 to 8500, and the cost can be up to $1000. Definitely a more affordable choice.
According to online reviews, the best installed generators would definitely include the Generac 6438/6441 11KW Guardian Standby Generator. For under $3000, it provides essential circuit power protection, and will back up a 3-ton air conditioner, well pump, or water heater, including the main rooms of your house.
Portable generators are great to have in various situations that include as a backup power supply for the household, A backup for small businesses, a safety net for residents who live in severe climates, as an electrical course for camping or boating, and as an extra supply resource for construction and job sites.
The best generator to buy is the DuroStar DS4000S, 3300 Generator for both its powerful and economic features, as a mid-level generator that will deliver a maximum 4000 watt output and a 7.0 amp air cooled OHV engine with a low oil shutoff. This has a run time of eight hours at half-load and includes two 120 volt outlets and one 120 volts 30 amp outlet, plus it is easy to start with the EZ-Pull starting mechanism. All in all, an affordable, great value that won’t break the bank.
What is the Best Whole House Generator?
Unlike portable generators, a whole house unit is permanently installed on a concrete pad and connected right to your home’s electric box to provide automatic, uninterrupted power. It is directly connected to a ready fuel source, such as gas, propane, or diesel, that is able to supply all of your electricity needs for days, if needed. For instance, a unit that generates 20 kilowatts can easily power the average home, and you may not have to cut back on normal usage.
It really depends on the size of the home and power needs; and no matter what happens to the power grid, the most durable whole house units will keep things running smoothly until the issue is resolved. Most likely you’ll conserve power to conserve fuel, but if you’re one of those whose loved ones or livelihood depend on electricity being available, the best whole house generator for your budget is vital.
For installed units, we recommend the Briggs & Stratton 40346 20000-Watt Home Standby Generator System with 200 Amp Symphony II AutomaticTransfer Switch that provides ample backup power for average to larger sized homes. Designed to withstand the elements, this system’s outer shell is made from automotive-grade Galvanneal steel that resists rust, with an advanced powder coating that will provide years of protection against the environmental chips and abrasions.
You can install this unit as close as 18 inches away without worry. These generators are fully compliant with the strict standards of the National fire Protection Agency, and in full accordance with the Underwriters Laboratories, stationary engine generator assemblies, and the Canadian Standards Association. Besides being safe, it is also attractive and will not bring down your home’s curb appeal.
The Briggs & Stratton 40346 20000-Watt Home Standby Generator System manages full power to all your appliances with a managed Symphony II Power Management whole house power system – this organizes all your high-demand appliances like your air conditioner or electric oven, along with lower-demand items, plus up to two air conditioners, providing true whole-house power with this smaller, affordable generator without issue.
The dual 200/400 split amp transfer switch replaces any need to have two separate 200 amp switches in a standard split 400 A service homes with two 200A distribution panels, making this convenient and more affordable to maintain whole house back up for larger homes and businesses.
The quick response means that upon seconds after sensing a power outage, this unit kicks in at full operation. There is a transfer switch included that means more flexibility for indoor or outdoor needs, making it easy to install. And the five-year limited warranty consists of parts replacement, labor costs, and travel, which further testifies to Briggs & Stratton’s continued dedication to customer satisfaction.
This unit has an automotive-style exhaust system and sound-dampening technology so this unit runs quietly and is neighbor friendly. The unique airflow system allows these units to run 50 percent quieter than most generators. And if you live on a tight lot line, no worries. As mentioned, you are allowed to place this unit as close as 18 inches from your home, in compliance with the NFPA 37 standard.
Briggs & Stratton (who also make quick turning riding mowers) provides superior customer support for all their generators and will be there every step of the way to ensure you receive answers and support to all your questions in a fast, friendly manner. They know that shopping for the right standby generator can be a bit of a daunting process, so they have partnered with Synchrony to provide special financing solutions that will fit your specific needs. For qualified models, Briggs & Stratton offers to finance through their own Briggs & Stratton StandBy Power credit card.
What is an Inverter Generator?
When talking about inverter generators, let’s first compare inverter to conventional generators: Conventional generators are the most popular and widely used, having been around the longest. They are gas-powered with a motor that is attached to an alternator, producing electricity at a consistent speed that is usually 3600 rpm to produce the required 120 volt current. Inverter generators are a relatively new technology that has been made possible through advanced electronics and the highest quality magnets.
These generators function by outputting AC current like most units, but then the current is converted to DC voltage and “inverted” back to clean AC voltage. The advantage of this method is that it keeps a constant flow of current to your appliances. Inverter generators are generally smaller than conventional, and weigh less, plus they can operate at variable speeds, which makes them more fuel efficient. And finally, they are a quieter model, enabling you to carry on a normal conversation while it runs in the background with no issues.
A few of our favorite inverter generators are the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Gas Powered Portable Inverter, the Honda EU2200I Super Portable Inverter Generator, the WEN 56200i, 1600 Gas Portable Inverter Generator, and Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 Portable Inverter Generator. All of these models provide consistent, durable power in a lightweight unit, and is affordable, delivering full value to its cost.
How much does it cost to run a House on a Generator?
Estimating an accurate cost to operate a whole house generator can be fairly tricky given all the variables involved, but there are ways to calculate an estimate overall for each type of scenario. Most electric generators are powered by gasoline, propane, natural gas, or diesel – with gasoline being the most common for portable generators. These fuel prices will vary, which in turn affects how much you will spend running your generator.
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For instance, a typical 3,500 Watt gasoline-powered generator running at 50 percent load (1,750W), will run for approximately 2 hours on one gallon. So typically you will be spending about $27-34 if you run the generator for an entire 24 hour period, assuming you aren’t running it at full capacity the entire time – and, really, the important thing to consider is comfort and convenience. This is still a lot cheaper than getting a hotel room, or replacing spoiled food!
Who Makes the Best Portable Generator?
As a consumer favorite and one of the best selling portable units on the market, the preferred generator to buy would be the portable DuroStar DS4000S, 3300 Generator for both its powerful and economic features, as a mid-level generator that will deliver a maximum 4000 watt output and a 7.0 amp air cooled OHV engine with a low oil shutoff. As our Top Pick of the top ten best portable generators, This has a run time of eight hours at half-load and includes two 120 volt outlets and one 120 volt 30 amp outlet, plus it is easy to start with the EZ-Pull starting mechanism.
All in all, a great value for your buck. Another favorite of ours is the Honda EU2200I Super Portable Generator (as our Premium Choice) for its lightweight, durable, and user-friendly portability. This unit is made for optimum performance and thanks to its superb industrial design, it runs very quietly at 53 to 59 dBA, almost a whisper, it runs efficiently, and is backed by an extensive manufacturer’s warranty for peace of mind.
This unit provides great functionality without compromising any comfort and it handles virtually any circumstance consistently well, offering a smooth flow of power to keep everything running as they should for hours on end without worries. Finally, the WEN 56180 1500 Watt Gas Powered Portable Generator is packed with features and always ready to supply reliable, efficient power whenever and wherever needed.
It has an 1800 watt starting wattage and 1500 running watts of continual running power, and provides an essential companion for the campground, job site, or mainly, in those home power emergencies, allowing you to run those vital power appliances such as the refrigerator, computer, television, microwave, and more, without worry. As a bonus, this engine is EPA III approved and CARB-compliant, which means that it is allowed to operate in all 50 states.
The 1.45 gallon tank provides 7.5 hours of half-load runtime at a full tank that produces 98cc of power, and has an internal forced-air cooling system that helps maintain the engine and prevent it from heating up to dangerous levels. The low-oil shutdown is a nice safety feature that prevents any damage to the engine when the oil is depleted below the minimum level, protecting the engine from irreversible destruction.
This generator is also smartly equipped with a spark arrestor to help reduce the sparks during operation, making it safe to use in forests or on the campsite. All three of these portable units are highly recommended and have received numerous positive reviews online. So having one of these on your self at home you know you can be prepared for all kinds of uses.
How many watts do you need in a generator?
This answer really depends on your basic home power needs, so ask yourself these three questions:
- Do you use city or well water?
- Do you run on electric, heat pump, or gas/oil forced air?
- Is your hot water heater infrared, electric, gas, or oil fired?
These three answers will better determine just how many watts you will need to power a home, but in general, the average homeowner can often receive adequate power using between 3000 and 6500 watts. If there is a smaller furnace, and if you have city water, you can typically expect 3000 to 5000 watts will cover your needs. For a larger furnace and/or a well pump, expect to need more like a 5000 to 6500 watt generator. Click here to find out more on how they exactly work.
If you are needing a generator that will power a bit more than the basic essentials, then you need to consider the DuroStar DS4000S, 3300. Both powerful and economic, this is a great investment for your dollar. As a consumer favorite and one of the best selling portable units on the market, this unit has a maximum 4000 watt output and provides some powerful features, including a 7.0 amp air-cooled OHV engine with low oil shutoff, and a heavy duty steel frame with four point fully isolated motor mounts that are for operating smoothly and quietly.
This unit claims it will run for eight hours at a 50 percent load. The EZ-Pull starting mechanism provides an easier, non-stressful way to start the unit, and will conveniently run on regular 87 octane. The engine has an air-cooled, robust 7HP overhead valve with a 4-cycle engine and provides the benefits of a lower fuel consumption that burns cleaner, and has no need for the more expensive two stroke oil. Definitely a great value for its affordable price.
As the pioneer of smaller generators and celebrating 50 years of its generator design philosophy, Honda’s clean, precision inverter technology makes certain that Honda’s inverter generators will put out the reliable power you have always depended on from your own home outlets. So efficient, you will almost forget your appliances aren’t running on normal power. Over the past 50 years, few other items have accomplished the goal of these units by helping those in need, and Honda is proud to have helped pioneer this handy item for worldwide consumer use.
At just 46 pounds, this generator is considered to be one of the lighter portable units that is easy to carry and transport just about anywhere. The Honda EU2200i is gas-powered and will run up to 8.1 hours on one gallon of gas, making this an efficient, affordable portable system that serves your electrical needs well, and provides great functionality without compromising any comfort. This unit handles consistently well and offers a smooth flow of power to keep everything running as they should for hours on end, with no worries.
Whether you are dealing with a sudden power outage due to bad weather, or even if you are searching for that perfect power companion to take on your next camping venture in your RV, you want a generator that is not only easy to transport, but reliable and powerful enough to handle several appliances and devices for hours at a time. This lightweight and portable WEN power generator does just that and is always ready to provide reliable power whenever and wherever needed with 1800 watt starting wattage and 1500 running watts of continual running power.
This unit provides an essential companion at the campground, job site, or in those home power emergencies, allowing you to run those essentials such as the refrigerator, computer, television, microwave, and more with little effort. Plus, this engine is EPA III approved and CARB-compliant, which allows for operation in all 50 states. For an affordable cost, this is a solid, dependable portable generator that will power those essentials for the home, in an outage, or in a campground or job site. This generator makes a great addition for a cost that is quite affordable.