Anyone who is frustrated with power cuts could certainly appreciate the idea of having the best portable generator that would offer you the best job in restoring at least a semblance of modern essentials back to your life. Whether you need the generator just to back up the power supply to use in the event of an emergency power outage or you need the generator for convenience, emergencies, or recreation, there are a number of electrical styles and models of generators. The best choice of the generator can help you to keep your home nice and toasty in the winter or cool as a watermelon in the summer. It also helps you to charge your phone or cook meals. Even to make your camping trips a little more comfortable, the portable generator is an excellent investment.
With the sheer number of portable generators available on today’s market, finding the best one may seem utterly impossible. So check out Top 10 portable generator reviews and select the best one to keep you out of the dark. The reviews allow you to make an informed decision about which portable generator is the best for your needs.
- 1 Our Top Picks
- 2 Best Portable Generators under $1000
- 3 Best Portable Generators under $500
- 4 10 things you Must Know Before Buying Portable Generators
- 5 How Much Power Do I Need?
- 6 Types of Generators and their Properties
- 7 Applications of Portable Generators
- 8 Conclusion
Our Top Picks
|Generator Model||Running Watts||Price||Starting Watts||Weight in lbs||Estimated Runtime (50% Load)|
|Honda EU2000i Generator||1600 W||2000 W||47||9h 30min|
|Generac 5939 GP5500 Portable Generator||5500 W||6875 W||180||10h|
|WEN 56180 Portable Generator||1500 W||1800 W||50||7h 30m|
|DuroMax XP12000EH ||20000W||20000W||269||10h (Gasoline) , 20h(Propane)|
|Briggs & Stratton 30663||3500 W||4375 W||221||9h|
|WEN 56200i||1600 W||2000 W||48||9h 30m|
|Briggs & Stratton 30651 ||1600 W||2000||54||6h|
|Champion 3800Watt Dual Fuel||3800 W||4750 W||122||9h (Gas), 10h (Propane)|
Honda EU2000i generator – The Winner !
Honda EU2000i generator, with an efficient OHC engine and fuel efficiency, consists of 2000W starting power, stabilizing at 1600W continuous power. The throttle system present in this generator is used to controls the speed of the engine depending on the needed load by making the generator engine to work at exact speed rather than working constantly at high speed, leading to max fuel efficiency and less noise level of the generator. This generator weighs less than 46 pounds and is of lightweight and portable. Best of all, this generator runs over eight hours at half load on less than one gallon of a fuel tank and three and half hours at total load.
This feature makes this generator best for overnight power. This generator with reliable, stable power operates sensitive electronics such as computers and other sensitive equipment. With specifically designed dampening sound materials, this inverter generator is incredibly quiet, and your next-door people will surely thank you. Best of all, this generator provides power that is very clean just like your wall outlets at home. This generator has 12 V DC outlet and 125V duplex
Features of Honda EU2000i generator includes 0.95-gallon fuel tank capacity, Fuel type: Gasoline, Engine displacement: 98.5 cc and 4-stroke OHC engine with 4300 – 5000 RPM
- Stellar Reviews
- Parallel Ready
- Very Good Engine (Reliable)
- Not suitable for powering heavy-duty appliances
- Complicated oil checking and changes
- Lacks a fuel gauge
- Lacks an LCD
- No electric start button
- Bit expensive
Generac 5939 GP5500 Portable Generator – Runner UP!
This emergency generator is ideal for restoring power to mission-critical appliances. This best portable generator consists of a Generac OHV engine that is splash type lubrication for improved engine life. Best of all, with 7.2-gallon steel fuel tank and gauge, the generator generates up to 10 hours of power at half load. Its hardened steel tube cradle protects the generator from damage. The big wheels and ergonomic handle facilitate the movement of this generator excellently. The generator produces enough power to run all of the major appliances in a house.
Its mobility kit consists of solid rubber wheels and locking fold-down handles. Both the outlets and the controls are easy to reach and to operate. The hour meter present in this generator reminds you of scheduled maintenance. The low tone muffler of this generator is specially designed to keep noise levels low. As an added advantage, the covered outlets provides added safety and extends the life of the generator. The low oil shutdown feature automatically turns off the generator to prevent damage. All of the components of this generator from the steel frame to the engine are well made, sturdy and resistant to damage.
- The positive things about Generac GP7500E are as follows:
- Excellent durability
- Complete safety
- Great portability
- Easy assembly and maintenance
- Large power output
- Dependable performance
- Convenient use
- The negative things about this Generac GP7500E generator are:
- Oil filling is not particularly easy due to the specific location of the filling pointThe battery for the electric start does not get charged by the engine, and it requires separate charging.
WEN 56180 Portable Generator – Ther Light Weight King!
With WEN 56180 portable generator, you could still use your home and kitchen appliances even in the absence of electricity. With this best portable generator, you can use your slow cooker, blender, TV, computer, microwave, and even refrigerator, when the power in your house is out. This signifies that even without electricity, you can still do your work, watch your favourite TV show, and cook dishes for your family. The main features of this best generator include 1800 Surge Watts and 1500 Running Watts, EPA III, CARB-Compliant Outlets, One Cigarette-Lighter-Style 12V DC Outlet and Low-Oil Shutdown.
This lightweight and compact generator will provide assurance that you could protect yourself as well as your family, and the entire household even while worst weather conditions. Proving its superior efficiency, this generator is of CARB-compliant and certified by the EPA III. It is not only advantageous to the environment but also saves you money in the long run on gas and oil.
For this generator, you can use any device that needs the following outlets: AC 120V, 12.5A three-prong outlets and a cigarette-lighter-style 12V DC outlet.
The WEN uses standard gasoline and is able to provide up to 7 to 8 hours of power on 1.45 gallons when the generator is running at half-load.
- Pros of WEN 56180 Generator are as follows: Ideal for camping
- Has low-oil shutdown
- Has lower emissions and quieter operation
- High lifespan
- Very lightweight
- More flexibility.
- Cons of WEN 56180 Generator are as follows:
- Not great for long-term emergencies
DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator
DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator is one of the best portable generators that consists dual fuel technology that allows the generator to be run on propane or gas. The generator consists of a total power panel along with power outlets, circuit breaker, voltmeter and oil warning light. The quiet muffler of this generator reduces engine noise. This muffler for noise reducing used in this generator uses a spark arrestor, and this utilization makes it as EPA approved for safe use in public places.
The DuroMax dual fuel XP12000EH generator offers the maximum versatility and will have you prepared for any power outages. With this generator you can supply enough power to your essential appliances and also for your required technologies during an unexpected power cut, to keep your family comfortable and to live the life uninterrupted. Run-time on gasoline for this generator at 50% maximum output is 10 hrs. While run-time on propane at 50% maximum output is 20 hrs. Best of all, the generator consists of a full power panel with voltmeter, oil warning light, circuit breaker and power outlets.
- Pros of DuroMax XP12000EH dual fuel generator are as follows:
- Fantastically long lasting and heavy framework device
- Excellent runtime
- Effective engine and exceptional power outcome
- Hybrid power generator enables double fuel sources
- Cons of DuroMax XP12000EH dual fuel generator are as follows:
- Not especially silent despite the sound muffler
- Weighty and limited ease of mobility
Best Portable Generators under $1000
Westinghouse WGen7500 – Heavy Weight Champion!
The WGen7500 gas-powered generator has 9000W starting and 7500W continuous power. This best portable generator has a spark arrestor and is CSA, EPA, and CARB approved. Wheels and handles are present for easy mobilization. This generator is saved with a durable steel frame with roll bars on top. The iron cast sleeve present in this generator gives protection to the gas tank and its unit. Easier portability is an added advantage to this generator. For protection from weather conditions, its outlets consist of rubber covers that are durable. Best of all, the generator features only one 120/240V twist-lock receptacle and two 120V duplex receptacles for home use.
In addition to this digital hour meter feature present on the control panel that makes performing regular maintenance easy. This generator can also be turned off automatically if the if the oil level gets too low, or if the oil overheats: that protects the engine from damage. It also consists of four-stroke OHV durable engine that supplies required power to make all your appliances running in the perfect way. It also features yellow-coloured marks that easily guide anyone through the starting process of the generator. It consists of a large gas tank of 6.6 gallons that is embedded with the fuel gauge for easy control of the level of the fuel. Such a huge fuel tank let it run for over 10 hours at 50% load.
- Pros of Westinghouse WGen7500 are as follows:
- Has the capacity to start up at very low temperatures
- Starting this generator is very simple with a push of a single electric button.
- Fuel efficient
- Supported quiet mufflers that allow it to operate at 64 decibels of noise.
- Built-in low oil shutdown.
- Overload protected, circuit protected.
- Easy to use control panel.
- Cons of Westinghouse WGen7500 are as follows:
- At 64 decibels, it’s not quite enough for camping or good tranquillity time
- More weight
- Not easily portable.
Briggs & Stratton 30663 – The Power House!
The Briggs & Stratton 30663 best portable generator offers instant and clean power to have the appliances and any other important electronics running during a power outage or natural disaster. Known for dependable, efficient, hard-working products, Briggs and Stratton brand is the world’s largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment. This generator produces 25-percent more surge wattage so you can run large appliances and tools at the same time. Best of all, it consists 2100 series OHV 420cc engine and its power surge alternator produces up to 25-percent more surge wattage to run multiple large appliances or power tools at the same time.
It also has 7.5-Gallon Metal fuel tank for an impressive 9-hours of continuous operation at 50-per cent load on a full tank. This generator consists of an hour meter for monitoring gas levels, fuel gauge, key electric start and remote choke for fast, super lo-tone muffler and effortless starting from one central location. With 12-inch never go flat wheels, this generator is easy to move in and out of storage or to new sites.
- Pros of Briggs & Stratton 30663 are as follows:
- Produces approximately 3500 watts of continuous power while it is being able to surge up to 4375 watts
- Comes with 7 inches never go flat tires and a folding handle which makes it easy to move it around
- Free from dust and moisture
- A 250cc engine for a long life
- High performance
- Great fuel economy.4-gallon metal fuel tank which lets it run for 8 hours at 50% load capacity.
- No low oil shut off
- It is pretty heavy for its size is a bit loud as compared to other generators of the same size.
Yamaha EF2000iSv2 generator is Gasoline-powered. The addition of the latest programming lets this EF2000iSv2 to have the great powering ability to give power to a much wider range of applications compared to previous generation EF2000iS. These generators have the good emission engine durability ratings issued by the Environmental Protection Organization. The fuel gauge in this generator lets the fuel level in it to be seen at-a-glance. Apart from all this, gasoline petcock to run the carb dry for storage allow you to turn off the gas and it also helps to eliminate problems of stale gas. This Yamaha generator is fitted with most technologically developed muffler that is so quiet.
- Pros of Yamaha EF2000iSv2 are as follows:
- Very compact
- Easy to store and transport
- Long Run Time
- Greater fuel efficiency
- Good warranty from the manufacturer
- Quiet operation.
- Cons of Yamaha EF2000iSv2 are as follows:
- This generator is in it for the long haul, but even it has its limitations.
- Easy to tip over during transportation if not secured properly
- Replacing the 12v charging plug is a bit difficult
- There is no oil drain, hence need to tilt the unit to drain the oil
- Runs only on gasoline.
Best Portable Generators under $500
WEN 56200i – Best in Budget & Produces Less Sound !
WEN 56200i features overload protection to safeguard the generator as well as the electronics from any damage. This WEN 56200i 2000-Watt best portable generator is a very silent generator that produces clean energy (1600 watts rated, 2000 watts surge) and that does not have any voltage fluctuations. In fact, the WEN 56200i is one of the quietest generators. This generator is equipped with a four-stroke 79.7 cc engine that is very quiet and gives just 51 decibels of sound while operating at 25% load capacity and 60 decibels at 75% load capacity. The silent operation of this generator makes the WEN 56200i ideal for outdoor use when you are hunting or camping, etc.
This gas-powered generator features an eco-mode that lets the generator motor to adjust the fuel consumption as you plug and unplug the electronic appliances and devices to the panel and this helps to regulate the consumption of fuel. This generator is also EPA III and CARB compliant, which produces clean environment-friendly energy. Best of all, the generator also comes with a USB port & other outlets to connect your devices. The unit is very light in weight around 48 lbs and is extremely portable too. The generator is equipped with a low-oil indicator and automatic shutdown when the unit is low on fuel.
- Pros of WEN 56200i generator are as follows:
- Lightweight and portable
- Convenient to carry wherever you go
- Very quiet operation.Could be utilized for outdoor purposes like tailgating, camping, at construction sites, etc.
- Fuel efficient generator
- Excellent customer support.
- Cons of WEN 56200i generator are as follows:
- pouring oil into the generator is quite difficult.
Best Lightweight: Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 PowerSmart
Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 Power Smart is one of the Quietest portable generators. This generator is specially designed with tailgating and camping in mind for efficient power, quiet and lightweight to easily enjoy the little conveniences of home anywhere you are – cooking, lights, fans, a coffee maker, computer or TV. This generator is 38% quieter, and it features USB adapter. It is safe for sensitive electronic and is easily portable with 2-person H-Beam carry handle. Low oil shutdown is on if the important features of this generator as it ensures that the engine goes off when the level of oil gets too low and protects the engine from damage.
The generator consists of 12v DC outlet and dual 120V household outlets. It also has a control panel that has three outlets, and are embedded with the protection of circuit breakers for efficient power usage. It also consists of a parallel connection capability that let you connect two engines for double the power. The generator weighs just 55 pounds and features an H-style handled at the top of the machine. It consists of a tank that has a capacity of 1 gallon, and a fuel gauge for constantly checking out the generator’s fuel level. Run-time of this generator is 8 hours on a full tank at a quarter of the rated load. Best of all, its auto-idle control feature makes it fuel-efficient. It is the best 2000 watt generator available in the market for a low cost.
- More powerful than any other inverter generators in its class
- Can run in a parallel configuration with another Briggs and Stratton Generator
- 38% quieter than a conventional generator of the same Wattage
- Lightweight and portable
- Fuel efficient with auto-idle control feature
- Long-running time.
- Long-term reliability issues
- Difficult to start; requires at least three pulls on the recoil
- 1,700-watts might be insufficient for most uses
- Non-CARB compliant
Champion 3800Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator with Electric Start
This best portable generator for a home with electric start operates off propane or gas straight out of the box. On gasoline, this equipment will give approximately 4000 starting watts and 3500 running watts, and if it’s propane, then it would be 4275 starting watts and 3420 running watts. With frequency: 60 Hz and outlets – 120V 30A, 120V 30A RV locking, this generator secures your appliances from the power surges. It consists of 4750 starting watts, 3800 running watts with up to 10 hours run time on a total tank of gas and up to 11 hours on a 20 lb.
These generators also come with a battery for easy touch start. It makes it a great addition to your RV as well as a convenient and cost-effective solution for power outages or other emergency situations. This 3800w fuel generator consists of a switch of a patented fuel selector that provides safe and quick switching between fuel sources. Best of all, this equipment consists of Volt Guard, that is an inbuilt power surge safer which would save your appliances from voltage spikes or fluctuations above a particular threshold level, along with cold start technology which optimizes the generator to start easily in cold weather. This portable generator is supplied by a 220cc single-cylinder champion OHV engine with automatic low oil shut-off sensor as well as oil capacity of 0.6 qt and fuel tank of 3.4 gals.
- Excellent champion technical support
- CARB compliant in 50 states
- Gas or Propane-fueled
- Multiple VoltGuard Protected outlets
- Powerful and reliable
- Starts easily.
- Not so quiet.
10 things you Must Know Before Buying Portable Generators
Whether you are planning to buy a generator for emergency power or to run work site or to have a recreational use, there are plenty of things to consider when buying a portable generator. So to help you know how to pick a generator among the plethora of options out there, here are few things to concentrate on before you purchase a portable generator.
No one likes the noise. How much noise the generator produces can be one of the factors that you have to consider before you purchase the generator. Of course, a quiet generator will be preferred by all consumers if everything else is equal. Generally, small size generators have the option of a quiet design. If you’re tailgating or camping in an area that allows generators, your neighbours will appreciate the consideration.
Read our Detailed Post on ” What size of portable Generator Should You choose ?”
The bigger the fuel tank, the longer you could go between refuelling. Most of the portable generators have a fuel tank that will give you 7 hours to 9 hours of runtime at a 50% load. You will run longer if you use a lower percentage of the available power and shorter if you use more. Given a choice between a smaller and larger tank, it is best to go for larger.
Most of the generators will not come with a wheel kit. Some require you to purchase the wheel kit separately, so make sure that the generator you buy has wheel kit.
Requirement of voltage
General low voltages of the generators are 120/208 volts three phase, 120/240 volts single phase, 277/480 volts three phase and 120/240 volts 3 phase. If you are unsure of it, then your electrician can provide this information.
Diesel generators will give you better fuel efficiency if you are willing to pay for the upgrade – plus you lose the carburettor that always seems to be clogged at the least convenient time. If you are thinking about a whole-house generator, you will be looking at diesel. Keep in mind that diesel isn’t as easy to find as gasoline.
The standard warranty for the portable generator systems typically ranges from 1 year to 6 years depending on the generator type. On the other hand, industrial generator comes with a one or two year warranty along with operational upgraded. Whereas, the residential generator come with a warranty of two to five years and offer optional upgrades. Before you purchase a generator, it is best to understand the warranty duration and coverage of your standby system.
Who will install the equipment?
It is always better to choose a reputable company that provides installation of generator also. Some purchasers may have a company in mind when deciding to purchase a generator while others may benefit from a referral.
Fuel gauge or fuel level monitor
This feature in generator allows the user to check the fuel level at a glance. It is a very convenient and handy feature to have during long power outages. By this, the user will know just how much more fuel is left in the generator and when to refuel.
Choosing the generator that could shut down automatically when the engine oil level runs low is very beneficial. This feature of the generator protects the engine from any damage by shutting down the generator if the generator oil level falls below the minimum. However, only more expensive models offer this feature.
Number of outlets
The more outlets the generator has, the better it will be for the user. Three or more outlets provide the best use of a generator’s wattage by spreading the load.
Apart from the above-mentioned points, it is also very important to consider how long can a Generac generator run continuously.
How Much Power Do I Need?
To determine your basic home power needs, just think of a few questions – Do you use well water or city? Is your heating system electric, heat pump, or gas or oil forced air? And Is your hot water heater electric, gas, or oil fired? Homeowners can often power most of their household appliances using between 2500 and 7000 watts. If your house has any little furnace and city water, you can generally expect that 2500 watts to 5000 watts will cover your needs. If you have a good pump or larger furnace, you will likely need a 5000 to 6500-watt generator. Another primary factor you need to consider is the size of your AC unit(s). Also check the power requirement of your blender, coffee pot or other appliances you want to use. To determine your power needs, check out the wattage estimation guide in google that can help you to build a quick estimate. Appliances with electric motors need additional power to start.
Types of Generators and their Properties
Electric generators are very essentially systems, and in fact, they are of lifesavers. Generators are backup power sources that convert fuel supply—usually gasoline, diesel, propane, into electrical energy. These systems are the primary sources of electrical supply during power outages. This energy is used in an external circuit. Apart from standby generators, the following generators are not permanently installed in one place, so they are easy to start.
Types of Generators
Mainly, there are three types of generators available: standby, inverter, and portable. Despite few differences, all these three generators generally undergo same maintenance to ensure long-term use.
A portable generator is powered by diesel or gas fuel and could provide temporary electrical power. Portable generators can be of many types and here are few:
#Portable Construction and Industrial Generators:
These portable construction and industrial generators are the ideal choices for the job site and various industrial applications. High cycle generators offer 60 Hz power for standard tools and 180Hz power for high-cycle vibrators
#Portable Residential Generators
It is a perfect choice to power essential items in your home when the power goes out and for use around your yard. Most residential portable generators run on gasoline. However, some models run on L.P., Natural Gas, or all three.
#Portable RV/Recreational Generators
The inverter technology makes them super quiet for recreational use and also provides the cleanest power for sensitive electronics like computers. These generators run on gasoline.
#Properties of Portable Generators
- Uses a governor to control the engine’s speed
- Can power tools and lights
- The engine should run at 3600 rpm to render the standard 60 HZ of current
- Has enough power to run a freezer and television
- Can be used in remote sites
- Can be wired into a facility’s sub panels
- Can plug into electrical appliances or tools via its sockets
- Uses a combustion engine to conduct electricity.
An inverter generator generally uses an engine that is connected to an alternator to produce AC power. This generator also uses a rectifier unlike other generators to convert the AC power into DC power.
#Properties of Inverter generator includes
- Can easily fit into a car, RV or boat.
- Tends to be little and lightweight.
- Its AC can be kept to any voltage and frequency when used with proper equipment.
- More energy-efficient, as the speed of the engine, could be varied depending on the required power.
- Maintains a constant flowing of current to an appliance.
- Outputs AC current, convert it to DC current and finally invert it to AC.
- Undergoes three phases to produce electricity.
- Uses advanced electronic circuitry.
- Relies on high-tech magnets.
A standby generator is a type of generator that works with an automatic transfer switch which commands it to power any device up during power loss.
#Properties of Standby generator includes
- Used in some safety systems for elevators, standby lighting, medical and life support equipment and fire protection systems.
- Is constantly monitoring utility power.
- Undergoes weekly self-tests to check whether it is properly reacting to a loss of power or not.
- Senses the power loss within seconds and boots up electricity so that power loss is felt very briefly.
- Uses an internal combustion engine.
- Will run on the fuel type that is already in use in the facility or home.
- Could operate on natural gas or liquid propane.
- Has 2 components: a standby generator and an automatic transfer switch.
- Delivers permanent power protection.
- Operates automatically.
- A portable generator is mostly used for nail guns, spray guns and refrigerators. Whereas, inverters are used for laptops, vehicle batteries.
- A standby generator is used for emergency settings and hospital machinery.
Applications of Portable Generators
Portable electric generators are very useful and helpful to have in times of emergency and for planned-out uses as well. Portable generators are more powerful and inexpensive as ever. Best of all, the investment made on this generators could be useful for various purposes at home, off the grid, or for other particular uses.
Here are the few best uses of portable generators:
Portable generators are not only used for emergencies. Many people and venues purchase and use these portable generators to power recreational and outdoor events. There are not always structures available to draw power from, so when having outdoor events such as reunions, campsites off the grid, festivals, large family or outdoor event, or barbecues, the use of these generators are very important to power up lights for beautiful illumination at parties, power fans to keep the people and things cool, plug in speakers for music, and other uses.
Though this may sound little surprising, the electric generators are highly popular and useful for emergency farm use also. During storms or any other disasters that bring down the power, farms may come to a stand-still. While gas-powered machinery may still work, lighting and providing electrical help to the farms.
#For a Perfect Trip
Whether you go on a small road trip or a camping trip, having a portable generator along with you lets you take all modern conveniences along with you. Generally, camping sites permit generators that are quiet to power portable freezers, radio, television, and lights. Though you can go on such trips with any power, they are going to leave you and your companions groping in the dark once your campfire burns out.
Some people purchase electric generators solely for the use as an occasional power outage that occurs when a car hits a transformer, or a storm has become particularly bad. Mainly, due to a large amount of elderly in our country, many households have power-dependent medical items such as oxygen-producing machines and scooters that run on electric charges. When the current goes out, you never know how long it will take to come back on, so the occasional user often buys electric generators for small-scale usage as they know it will keep the essentials running until the grid is up and running again.
Construction sites rely more on electric generators to use their industrial lighting, use their nail guns, spray guns for painting, and as an outlet for their power tools.
#Natural Disasters and Emergencies
This is one of the important reasons for use of generators in the country, due to valid concerns over earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other disasters that are common in certain areas of the country. While it comes to natural disasters, there is much chaos, and it takes more time for help to arrive. So until then, using an electric generator allows you to be taken care of yourself.
A portable generator would be the fastest way to whirl back into action if you are facing a sudden power cut in your place but want to use your computer for work today. Differing from permanently fixed standby generator, these portable backup generator unit needs less bucks up front — about $500 to $2,500. Best of all, it is also very easy to get up and to run. You can purchase the best portable generator for a home online, or at a local equipment dealer, or at any big store. Then simply drive it home and store it in the garage or shed. In an emergency situation, just wheel it out, gas it up, pull the starter cord, and you have got your own mini electric plant.