So, what is the best portable generator for you?
It depends on what you are wanting to use the generator for. However, I will give you my best all rounder recommendation. This generator will perform well for most of your needs.
But, if you are looking for a generator for a specific purpose, I have listed my top 3 below in different categories.
Best Portable Generator Our Top 3 Picks:
The Westinghouse WGen 5500 is a powerhouse for its compact package.
It weighs in at 170 lbs., with this impressive little generator rated at 5500 watts and 6850 peak watts, thanks to a 420cc 4-stroke OHV Westinghouse engine.
It is well-designed for use as a portable emergency power supply. The WGen 5500 can run for 20 hours nonstop on its 6.6-gallon gas tank. It is also equipped with a Transfer Switch outlet that connects straight to standard home outlets, allowing you to power your entire house.
The user-friendly control panel includes the VFT Data Center program, which sends real-time updates on its current operating status for easy maintenance and long service life.
Some attractive additional features of the WGen 5500 portable generator include:
- a hardened tubular steel frame,
- remote start function,
- heavy-duty roll bars,
- ergonomic foam handles for extra comfort and mobility,
- puncture-proof wheels, and
- rubber outlet covers for added protection against the elements.
It is also backed by a 3-year warranty for dedicated, lifetime technical support.
- High power output with minimal risk of high-risk overloads
- Up to 40 percent more efficient than other generators in its class
- High-capacity tank for extended operation
- CARB Compliant
- Heavy—requires considerably more effort to move than expected (even with the wheels)
- No grounding rod connection to protect against electric shock
The Westinghouse WGen 5500 portable generator packs a loud and powerful punch, despite its small size. It can easily power most household appliances for prolonged periods, making it an excellent backup power supply during emergencies.
The Transfer Switch Ready outlets also make it easy to connect with electronic devices (without the need for additional power cords or nearby power outlets). Its size and loud operational noise require that it be stored at an ample distance from the house or camp while it is running, though. Thanks to its remote start system, this snag doesn’t pose much of a problem.
The Wen 562001 2000W is ideal.
It’s EPA- and CARB- compliant, with a 79cc 4-stroke OHC engine free of voltage spikes and drops. The unit cranks out a maximum of 2,000 watts and 1,600 rated watts. It can also be connected to FIVE devices simultaneously.
Despite the potent power output, the 562001 has an average operating noise of only 51 decibels. It’s no louder than an air conditioner or a normal conversation.
It also generates a harmonic distortion of 1.2 percent on full, making it safe enough to recharge sensitive electronic devices, such as laptops and smartphones.
The Wen Eco-Mode is another key feature of 562001 generators—allowing the generator motor to instantly adjust its fuel consumption based on the number of appliances and devices that are plugged in. It cuts down fuel wastage significantly and saves you money in the process.
Other great features include:
- parallel connection support,
- overload protection, and
- an ergonomic carrying handle.
- Extremely quiet operation
- Lightweight design at only 48 pounds for easy transport
- Minimal harmonic distortion making it safe to use with sensitive electronics
- Low fuel tank capacity
- Overloads when connected to large equipment or high-drainage electronic devices
- The plastic shell makes it more vulnerable to cracks and damage
The Wen 562001 2000W portable inverter generator is primarily designed with weekend getaways in mind, complemented by its quiet operation.
A maximum 2,000-watt output means this generator cannot reliably serve as a backup power supply for your home but is perfect for campsites and tailgates where you only need to charge your phone and power small devices.
The lightweight design and plastic construction also make it easy to carry and transport by hand. Its Eco-Mode function also decreases the fuel consumption rate, which is especially useful for the unit’s limited fuel storage capacity.
Are you looking for a portable generator that offers more flexibility?
The Champion 3400W is just the solution.
The Champion 3400 watts Dual-Fuel Generator runs on gas or propane. There’s no need for any additives or complicated procedures: just fill up the generator with gas or propane, and it will run instantly.
The 4-stroke air-cooled 192cc engine can run up to 8 HOURS on gasoline and nearly 15 HOURS on propane. It generates clean energy that’s safe enough to use with sensitive electronic devices, like laptops and mobile phones.
The Champion 3400 W generator is also designed for quiet operation. It has an average operating noise of just 56 decibels, which is slightly higher than the level of normal conversation.
The unit is also fitted with an electric start button and can be connected to another Champion inverter generator for additional power.
Other features include:
- a cast-iron sleeve,
- low oil shut-off protection, and
- a Quick Touch panel for easy access over the controls.
- Dual-fuel support allows either gas or propane
- Lightweight, portable design makes it easy to transport
- Clean power that’s safe to use with mobile phones and other sensitive electronic devices
- Plastic parts are fragile, and gas smells leak while running
- Low power output makes it unsuitable for use on large devices
Other compact inverter generators are geared towards power and durability, but the Champion 3400W is focused on adaptability.
Its ability to use both gas and propane as fuel gives it an advantage during emergencies where refueling may prove to be difficult.
The lightweight design, low operating noise, and sleek profile also make it suitable for use in campgrounds and tailgating. Despite its portability, though, it is durable enough to take a beating thanks to its heavy-duty metal sleeve.
The only major drawback is its power output, which is comparatively low compared to other portable generators of its class.
The Westinghouse Wgen 7500 is a powerful, easy-to-use generator. It is designed to provide reliable power during emergencies as a portable power source.
The 420 cc 4-Stroke OHV engine can generate up to 9,500 watts with 16 hours of running time, thanks to the high-capacity 6.6-gallon tank. The engine’s patented overhead valve design also enables it to run at lower temperatures, burning less fuel than other generators in its class.
In addition to power, the Wgen 7500 is designed for ease and reliability.
The one-touch electric start allows you to turn on the generator with a push of a button or via a remote key fob. It is also transfer-switch ready with water- and dust-resistant GFCI household outlets, and a 12-volt battery charger.
The generator is fitted with a heavy-duty cast iron sleeve, roll bars, and puncture-proof wheels to ensure a long operating life. Each Wgen 7500 also comes with VFT Data Center Support for real-time maintenance updates.
It comes with 3-year Warranty and Excellent Nationwide Customer Service and Support Network.
Other features include:
- a digital hour meter,
- foam handles, and
- an intuitive control panel.
- High power output is suitable for applications with varying power demands
- Rugged steel frame and never-flat wheels for heavy-duty use
- The large gas tank allows for a longer operating time
- Its weight makes it difficult to transport
- Alternator cover dents easily
The rugged design and high power output make the Westinghouse Wgen 7500 watts an excellent choice for situations that require a steady power source in tough conditions.
The engine can run reliably in severe weather conditions, while its transfer-switch ready configuration makes it easier to power up appliances and equipment without the need for extension cords.
The heavy-duty metal frame also provides extra protection, particularly in construction sites or in outdoor environments. Some metal parts are dented easily, though. The weight and price tag may mean it is not the best option for camping or tailgating use.
5. Honda EU2200IC 2200-Watt Companion Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
Note: Honda is recalling about 340,000 portable generators because of a fire and burn hazard. Ten fires have already been reported. The recall is for Honda EB2200i, EU2200i, EU2200i Companion and EU2200i Camo Portable Generators
Designed to replace its predecessor, the Honda EU2200i generator provides a reliable backup power supply in a compact, lightweight package.
The 120cc GXR engine has a maximum output of 2200 watts, which is enough to power large appliances and construction equipment. It also has a built-in inverter so that it can safely charge mobile phones and other sensitive electronics.
The operating noise of just 57 decibels has it far quieter than most of the competition.
The key feature of the Honda EU2200i is its patented fuel injection system. Unlike other generators with carbureted engines, the EU2200i’s engine blends fuel and air more efficiently. It results in a cleaner burn with less waste.
There is also an automatic decompressor system that makes startups easier and more reliable.
For power saving, the Honda EU2200i has a built-in EcoThrottle system. The technology allows the generator to adjust its fuel consumption to the current load, allowing it to run for up to EIGHT HOURS without refueling.
- Fuel injection technology for better fuel efficiency and cleaner emissions
- Low operating noise for comfort and convenience
- Lightweight design with ergonomic carrying handles makes it easily portable
- Does not come with an automatic starter and emits a strong gas smell while running
- Limited fuel capacity due to a small gas tank
The Honda EU2200i is designed as an improvement to its predecessor, the EU2000i—and it delivers.
It has a 10 percent higher power output and is more fuel-efficient, thanks to its fuel injection and patented EcoThrottle system.
Despite its improved fuel efficiency, the 1-gallon tank can quickly dry up, especially when the generator is used at full capacity. It also has no electric starter system, which is now a standard in portable generators of its class.
The Honda eu7000is portable generator is a versatile device capable of serving as an emergency backup supply for your home and a portable power source for outdoor use.
Its 389cc GX390 engine produces up to 7000 watts of power for up to 18 hours, thanks to a high-capacity fuel tank. If that’s not enough gusto, the generator can be connected to another EU7000iS unit for a WHOPPING 14,000 watts of combined power.
Another key feature of the Honda eu7000is is its Electric Fuel Injection system. Unlike other carburetted portable generators, the fuel injectors make the fuel burn more efficiently, resulting in better fuel mileage, zero engine choke, and reduced wear on the engine.
Each eu7000is comes with the Eco-Throttle system, which adjusts the fuel consumption based on the load.
Other features of the Honda eu7000is include:
- an i-Monitor control panel,
- GFCI and duplex outlets,
- built-in circuit breakers, and
- folding handles.
The Honda eu7000is portable generator is also covered by a 3-year warranty.
- The impressive power output that can support a variety of electronic devices, power tools, and machinery
- Great fuel mileage, thanks to its fuel injection system
- All-metal construction for increased durability
- Heavy and may prove to be difficult to transport
- High price tag and heats up easily in desert environments
The Honda eu7000is portable inverter generator is a red behemoth compared to other products in Honda’s line of portable generators. The maximum rating of 7,000 watts can support power-hungry devices with ease, like large appliances and power tools.
Despite its high power output, the eu7000is is incredibly fuel-efficient, thanks to the fuel injectors and Eco-Throttle system.
The hefty outlook also comes with a cost—a suggested retail price of nearly $4,900. The Honda eu7000is is one of the expensive options in the market. The price, coupled with its size and weight, makes it unsuitable for applications where high power out is not a priority.
If you are looking for a portable generator, look no further than the Honda Eu3000is! Following the success of the customer’s favorite Honda Eu2000is, the Japanese company released another exceedingly well-built generator.
Much like its’ predecessor, the Eu3000is boasts an extremely sturdy build. Due to its’ steel frame, the durability of this powerful generator leaves little to be desired. Besides, the frame itself acts as protection from damaging external conditions, such as bad weather. As a result, the Honda Eu3000is is ideal for the outdoors.
There is no question that Honda has built a reputation for itself, and this generator lives up to that standard. The 4-stroke Honda engine can deliver up to 3000 watts of power. Even though the Honda Eu3000is has a potent engine, you don’t need to worry about the noise it produces. The generator operates at around 50dB. For reference, a normal conversation is about 60dB.
Another perk of this mighty generator is its’ fuel efficiency, due to Honda’s Eco-Throttle system. The system manages fuel consumption. As a result, you can rest assured that you aren’t haemorrhaging money while using the generator.
- It’s very quiet, especially when used at a low capacity.
- It’s highly efficient. Due to its’ use of the eco-throttle, the Eu3000is one of the most fuel-efficient generators on the market.
- It’s highly reliable. By using inverter technology, this portable generator guarantees clean, stable power.
- It’s expensive. The generator’s high price might deter some customers.
In conclusion, the Honda Eu3000is generator is extremely powerful, very well built, and highly efficient. It is portable, making it ideal for your next camping trip. Honda uses a patented eco-throttle technology ensuring the generator’s engine doesn’t waste a single watt of power. As a result, it will last longer than many other engines.
Not only does the eco-throttle reduce fuel consumption, but it also reduces the noise level of the engine. Consequently, the Eu3000is very quiet despite its power output. All of these things combined make a reliable, sturdy, and powerful generator that is sure to last you a long time.
The Champion 3500 Watt portable generator is one of the most versatile on the market. While it is generally marketed for camping and RV use, you can also find an excellent use for it in your household. Even if you have an emergency, the Champion 3500 Watt will have you covered.
Champion Power Equipment has been around for a long time and, as a result, knows its’ customers well. With this in mind, the Champion 3500 Watt generator lives up to expectations. By using a 4-stroke single-cylinder overhead valve engine, the generator produces an enormous amount of power. As a result, it can run nearly all household and RV appliances, including refrigerators and air conditioners.
Another great thing about the Champion 3500 Watt generator’s engine is its reliability. In freezing conditions, engine oil becomes thicker – making it harder for the engine to work correctly. While this is an issue for other generators, the Champion 3500 Watt features a cold start technology. As a result, the generator works even in extreme weather.
- It can be used remotely. The Champion 3500 Watt does not require any manual input.
- It comes with free lifetime technical support. Dedicated experts will make sure that your generator lasts a long time.
- It is cheap compared to other generators on the market.
- Due to the lack of wheels, it is not easily portable.
The Champion 3500 Watt is terrific for the outdoors. It was built with the needs of RV users in mind. As a result, it comes with an electric remote control that enables you to control it without leaving the comfort of your RV. The remote access, paired with unique cold start technology, makes this generator the perfect addition for your next camping adventure.
Even though this generator is relatively cheap, it is very high-quality. The design is very pleasing to the eye, making the generator desirable for any customer. In addition, the Champion 3500 Watt is quite fuel-efficient, saving you even more money. In conclusion, this generator is highly versatile, optimized, and will fulfill all of your power needs.
The Duromax XP4850EH portable generator might be relatively small, but don’t let its size fool you – this bad boy generates impressive amounts of power. This generator runs on an astounding 3850 watts, while its maximum reaches a whopping 4850 surge watts. As a result, the amount of power it provides is an excellent fit for blackouts and emergencies.
Duromax XP4850EH comes with a mighty four-stroke engine that is capable of running every appliance in your home. Additionally, the engine can use both gasoline and propane. While it primarily depends on propane, utilizing dual fuel adaptability makes this generator highly convenient. Finally, the engine is air-cooled for improved aeration.
Are you worried about assembly? It’s not a problem with the Duromax XP4850EH, as it comes fully assembled. The generator might seem a bit heavy at 130-lbs, which is a hard task for a single person to carry. Luckily, it comes with its’ own set of wheels, which takes all the weight off your shoulders (figuratively and literally).
- It comes with its’ own set of wheels, making it very portable.
- Even though it is powerful, the generator is relatively compact and easy to carry.
- It runs on both propane and gasoline, which is quite convenient.
- It can get quite noisy, primarily when used at full capacity.
To sum up, this generator outputs an enormous amount of power. However, safety is not a concern despite its’ effectiveness, as it comes with a circuit breaker. The Duromax XP4850EH relies on more than one source of power. As a result, it is excellent for emergency situations, especially one power source runs out. Another reason why it is useful in emergencies is its’ portability. Not only does it come with a set of wheels, but it is also relatively small, making it easy for carrying it from one place to another.
This generator is robust, reliable, and efficient. Therefore it is guaranteed to be a safe purchase for any potential customer.
The eye-catching Champion 3100 W is designed for camping. As a result, it provides a steady power source for long periods of time. Equipped with a 171cc single-cylinder engine, it runs on 2800 watts. Additionally, the generator uses Champion’s Inverter Technology. This technology ensures better fuel economy and prolonged engine life. In addition, the Champion 3100 W has a low oil shut-off sensor, designed for safety.
The generator arrives fully assembled, with built-in handles and wheel kit. Therefore, it is practically made to be carried around. Not to mention its’ weight of just 83lbs, which is quite low for a portable generator. Because of these characteristics, the Champion 3100 W is one of the most convenient generators on the market.
Even though this generator is highly reliable, it’s not foolproof. However, you need not worry as it comes with free lifetime technical support. Experts from Champion Power Equipment are readily available to provide any assistance you may need. Champion Support also includes a 3-year warranty.
- It has a quick touch panel – making it very easy to control.
- It comes with built-in wheels and two handles for improved portability.
- It is very compact, lightweight, and easy to handle.
- Some reviewers mention that the generator produces a higher volume in dB than advertised.
In summary, the Champion 3100 W is a great generator. Due to its small size and relatively small weight, it is excellent for traveling or camping. Besides, the generator is equipped with a set of wheels and handles for even more convenience. Not only is it easy to carry, but it is also simple to use because of its’ Quick Touch Panel.
Champion Power Equipment does not disappoint when it comes to generators, and the Champion 3100 W is no exception. It is highly reliable, portable, and fuel-efficient. This generator’s quality definitely justifies its’ price point. It is exceptionally well built, highly functional, and worth every penny.
The Duromax XP12000EH is an absolute beast. This portable generator boasts an enormous amount of power, 12,000 watts, to be specific. As a result, it is sure to fulfill all of your electrical needs. Not only is it incredibly powerful, but it is also quite flexible due to its’ dual-fuel feature. Given the fact that it runs on both gasoline and propane, it is excellent for emergency situations. Consequently, you can save on any additional running costs by using propane instead of just gasoline, as it is more affordable.
Another great advantage of this model is its’ sturdy build. It is an excellent addition to any worksite due to its’ heavy-duty design and steel frame. In addition, the Duromax XP12000EH comes with a set of solid fill wheels that are great for any terrain. Just make sure to assemble the wheels as soon as possible, as this piece of machinery is quite heavy at 260lbs. As a result, it can be tough to carry around manually.
- It is a hybrid model, meaning it can run on both propane and gasoline.
- It automatically shuts off with low oil.
- It is highly portable, as it comes with a set of wheels and handles.
- It might be hard to find a service that can fix any issues that might arise.
The Duromax XP12000EH is an extremely powerful, sturdy, and dependable piece of machinery. Regarding its’ colossal power output, it surely justifies its’ nickname ‘The Beast.’ This generator’s heavy-duty design makes it ideal for any construction site. In addition, it can also be used in emergencies and power outages due to its’ longevity.
Because it comes equipped with durable wheels and handle-bars, it is reasonably easy to move despite its’ heavy build. Another aspect of the generator that makes it accessible is the simple to use control panel. In other words, the Duromax XP12000EH is an excellent choice for anyone looking to buy a reliable but powerful generator.
Champion Power Equipment still has not disappointed with its’ generators, and the Champion 3800 Watt is no exception. This reliable generator is powered by a 224cc hybrid engine. As a result, it can reach up to 4800 watts starting power. While its’ continuous power is slightly less at 3800 watts, it is still a force to be reckoned with. However, keep in mind that using propane will lower the amount of continuous power to around 3400 watts. Do not be discouraged, as this is more than enough to fuel any RV and household electronics.
You will also be delighted to hear that the Champion 3800 Watt comes with an electric starter. As a result, starting it in cold weather is not a problem. Additionally, it can be used for 9-10 hours of continuous work, depending on the type of fuel you are using. In other words, this portable generator is highly reliable. As a result, it is excellent for prolonged usage in potential emergency situations.
- It has a dual-fuel engine, which means it runs on both gasoline and propane, so it is highly flexible.
- It comes with excellent technical support that lasts a lifetime.
- It is highly reliable due to its’ 224cc Champion engine.
- Some users might be deterred by its’ relatively high level of noise
To sum up, the Champion 3800 Watt is sturdy and highly dependable. With Champion Power Equipment’s lifetime technical support, you can rest assured that the generator will last you a very long time. No matter if you are using it to power an RV for your next camping trip or you need a reliable generator for blackouts, this generator can do it all.
Another great feature of this generator is its robust build. Due to its’ steel frame, it is durable and somewhat heavy. Luckily, it has wheels that make it highly portable despite its’ weight of 122 lbs. The Champion 3800 Watt delivers terrific quality for its’ price.
What Makes A Great Portable Generator?
A blackout will leave you without heating/air conditioning systems, refrigerators, freezers, lighting systems and water pumps – all the conveniences that make for modern living.
If the outages last for several days – like when caused by a natural disaster – your home could quickly become uninhabitable. The food preserved in your freezer will spoil, your security systems will fail, your sump pump will not work, your water pipes could freeze and burst.
Fortunately, situations like these can be avoided by investing in a portable generator. While not offering the huge output and automation of a standby generator, this relatively inexpensive solution will let you continue living in relative comfort through any disaster-induced power outage. A good portable generator will allow you use your vital appliances and lights till the power is restored.
Portable generators are also needed for where power is not available like campsites, outdoor activities, and work sites. The probable use for portable generators are as varied as the number of models in the market.
If you’re looking for a portable generator, there are some key features you need to consider depending on your intended usage of the generator. But there are some general considerations that will help you get the right portable power solution
1. Power Output
A good portable generator should be able to comfortably run essential household appliances. The output power of portable generators is rated by startup watts (or peak power) – the momentary power boost required to start an appliances’ motor, and running watts. So before you purchase a portable generator ensure that it produces enough juice to handle the startup wattage as indicated for each appliance. There are energy calculators online to enable you to determine the total power required to run your home in a blackout
2. Fuel Efficiency
It might be impossible to get fuel during a natural disaster. Hence, a portable generator that can give you the most hours on a full tank of gas is most desirable.
3. Running Time
Closely related to fuel efficiency, running time is the number of hours a single full tank can last. It has to do with the tank capacity and the size of the generator. There are powerful portable generators that can run for up to 11 hours nonstop. This is quite important if you need backup power all through the night.
Portable generators are designed to be moved around. But they are not all equal in this regard. The higher the output, the heavier the unit becomes. So if the intended usage for your unit requires constant movement, you should consider the weight and other features like handles and wheels that enhance manoeuvrability.
5. Conventional or Inverter Generator
Conventional generators run on full, constant speed and can produce lots of power. But your sensitive devices are better off powered by an inverter generator because of the clean power output they generate. Also, inverter generators can adjust engine speed according to load, and are therefore more fuel efficient and run quieter – properties which make them better suited for recreational pursuits. More about traditional vs inverter generators here.
6. Safety Features
Because electricity can be dangerous, safety features are a must for portable generators. When choosing a portable generator, Insist on a unit with:
- Inbuilt surge protectors- which protects your appliances from voltage spikes.
- Low oil shutdown – a feature which shuts down the engine automatically when the oil is low to prevent permanent
- Spark arrestors – which stops the generator form emitting flammable particles that can cause fire incidences
- Built-in circuit protection sensor – to protect you from electrocution
7. Control Panel Features
Premium portable generators can be started with a push of a button. Other useful control panel features are multiple household plugs, transfer switch ready, voltage selector switch and an odometer which shows in hours how long the generator has run. A clearly visible fuel gauge is also a plus.
Our #1 Recommended Portable Generator is…
The Westinghouse WGen5500 Portable Generator is an all round impressive unit packed full of features. A powerful, rugged machine that’s easy to use, totally reliable, runs quietly and is relatively cheap