Best Portable Generator 2019 – Buyers Guide & Review

Last Updated: December 1, 2019

Our team undertook extensive research of the portable generator market, submitting the units to rigorous test, and in this post outline their pick of the best portable generators of 2019

by Generator Ratings
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BEST PORTABLE GENERATOR REVIEW IMAGE SOURCE: HONDA

Searching for the best portable generator leaves the prospective purchaser a little spoilt for choice. There is a huge number and variety of portable units from the leading names in power generation.

This is why our team has undertaken extensive research of the portable generator market, and submitted them to a range of rigorous tests and assessments.

Here’s a video prepared by our reviewers, giving you an ‘at a glance’ flavour of some of the best machines in the portable power generation segment.

 


 

10 Best Portable Generators in 2019

Our reviewers have identified the following 12 portable units to be the best portable generator units available on the market currently. Take a look at the list below, and click through or scroll down for our reviews of the each of these best portable generator units, and a thorough breakdown of our criteria and methodology.

 

 

 

Too Noisy? Try These 5 Best Quiet Portable Generators

If the above list of overall best portable generators are too noisy for you and your preference in peace and quiet check out our list of quietest portable generators. Read Full Review >

 

 

 

Too Expensive? Try These 6 Best Cheap Portable Generators

If the above lists of best portable generators are too expensive for your budget check out our list of cheapest portable generators. Read Full Review >

 

 

 

Best Portable Generator Review

In the course of our best portable generator review we took a look at a number of elements. We looked at aspects such as design, features, pros and cons from a list of the 10 best portable generator units that are out there on the market. We also took a look at how long they run, what fuel they use and what specifications are featured on each machine.

When looking for the best portable generator for you, you will want to identify what each machine does, how it stands out from the competitors and any issues that you might encounter when using the machine. We looked at over a dozen machines and have tried to highlight all the aspects of each that you should look out for when making a decision about which of the best portable generator units to buy.

Whether you are looking for one of the best portable generator units to have as a stand by in your home or whether you want one to use when going on camping or holiday trips these best portable generator unit reviews should give you a clear idea of what is best for your specific needs.

A word about running time

The best portable generator units on the market should operate for a decent length of time and provide your home with power using just a single tank of whatever fuel the machine uses. In our reviews, we identified two machines that will last almost up to 12 hours using a single tank of fuel. The best machines will shut down when no power is being used which allows you both to save on your fuel but most importantly on your overall spend every year.

When looking at the selection of of best portable generator units and deciding on a type to buy you should look at the various safety features that each possesses. There are a number of standard safety measures that all should have. The first would be if it features a ground fault circuit interrupter. This feature is specially designed to help prevent the risk of electrocution should the current travelling from the device take a change of path. You should also look out for a low oil shutdown feature which shows you that the machine will cease operation if the oil is running low, preventing your new machine from any potential long-term damage to its various parts. Other safety features include an automatic voltage regulator that allows the generator to maintain a consistent level of power. They also have circuit breakers in case an outlet becomes overloaded.

 

Best All-Round Portable Generator – Honda EM5000S

Our best portable generator reviews noted that the Honda EM5000S is a machine that you can rely on and is one that is safe to use. These are the two things you should be looking out for in the event of a sudden power outage in your home. You are using electricity which is a dangerous element and you want to be secure in your mind that the machine you purchase will provide you with backup power safely and efficiently.

This machine is also considered by our review team to be a sturdy product that will last the day to day uses it is exposed to. Whether you are using it for day to day home use or using it on a bigger contract job you can be safe in the knowledge that you will be purchasing a safe, reliable and quiet machine.

 

Portable Generator Review – Mini Generators

When looking for the best portable generator you should also keep an eye out for their size and what is best for your particular usage needs. Most of the machines in our review were neat medium sized unit that can be easily transported or stored in your home. If you have a small living space, don’t need too much power or want to make sure the unit fits you home then the size of the best portable generators are a key factor to take into account. You have the option to consider purchasing what we call mini generators which are not too big for your home, don’t weigh a lot and use less fuel. However, because of the size of their fuel tanks they tend to run out of fuel easier and you will therefore need to have a backup.

 

Best Mini Generator – WEN PowerPro 56101

From our best portable generator reviews we identified the WEN PowerPro 56101 as a great option. It is light, it produces a lot of power and it is easy to store in your home. It uses a 1-gallon gas tank and will give you enough energy for over 5 hours using a half load. There are two outlets featured on the machine – one giving 120 V and the other with 12V. This portable generator is a very quiet machine and will only emit 60dB of noise when in operation. You will also find that this machine is very cost affordable and you should pick one up for just about $125 – worth noting considering the price of larger units.

 

Portable Generator Review – Tri-Fuel Generators

When looking at the generator market you will notice that most machines use just one form of fuel. But there are machines out there that will use all three – gas, propane or natural gas. Having the option to use various fuel types can be very handy and give you flexibility. If you come across a Tri-fuel generator you might want to consider it from a flexibility perspective.

 

Best Tri-Fuel Generator – Sportsman GENTRi9K

The Sportsman GENTRi9K Tri Fuel Generator is a great option as it scores very strongly in terms of the surge watts and the running watts it provides. Most importantly you are in control of the type of fuel you use with three different options. Other portable generators are powered exclusively by propane, natural gas or gasoline – the GENTRi9K can use all three, making it much handier in situations where your preferred fuel type is not available.

This machine has an excellent control panel and offers eight outlets which will allow you to connect a diverse range of electrical sources to the machine. It will also allow you to receive up to 10 hours of power when using gas or five hours of power when using propane on a half load.

 

Portable Generator Review – Diesel Generators

If you decide to go for a diesel generator you should be aware of a couple of things. Diesel will give you better efficiency and will tend to operate much quieter than other machines. However, they do cost more to run.

 

Best Diesel Generator – Pulsar PG7000D

One of the best diesel-fuelled portable generators is the Pulsar PG7000D. This is a 7000W portable unit with many features, and good surge and running wattage. The 4-gallon tank will last just as long as the larger tanks of other machines. It uses a 418 cc OHV engine which is a better design than the average piston engine. There are a number of electrical outlets offered and you will be able to connect most types of electrical items to the machine. It is slightly larger and heavier than others we reviewed so it will be a bit more difficult to transport or store in your home. As is the case with most diesel machines, it will cost you more to use but we consider it a superior product and one that might be worth the extra cost.

 

Portable Generator Review – Camping Generators

If you are the outdoor type and tend to enjoy camping trips you will be aware that purchasing a strong portable generator is very important. Camping generators tend to be designed specifically for what they say they do and are not suitable for home use. They are light and easily transported but still give you enough power to keep most of your necessities operating on your camping trip.

 

Best Camping Generator – Champion Power 75537i 3100-Watt

The best camping generator we reviewed was the Champion Power 75537i 3100-Watt Invertor Generator. This is a strongly designed hardy machine that is lightweight and transportable. It gives you a good amount of power and is a particularly quiet machine emitting only 58dB of sound. It uses gasoline and has a small 1.6-gallon tank that will last for about 8 hours using 25% of load. This means it is not ideal for a home backup supply but will be invaluable for camping trips, tailgating parties and daytrips.

 

Best Portable Generator Review: Solar Generators

One of the latest innovations in portable generators are machines that operate by using the power of the sun via specially designed solar panels. These machines will take the suns energy and store power for use later on. They don’t recharge however when disconnected from the panels so you will need to ensure that the battery is fully charged before you head away. Most of the best of these types of generators will allow you to charge battery from a wall socket.

There are dozens of portable generator models to choose from. You should look out for weight, noise and power from each as well as what type of fuel they use. Also look out for the number of power sockets on each. Whatever your needs we hope these reviews will be of use.

 

 

1. Best All-Round Portable Generator – Honda EM5000S

 

Portable GeneratorBrand & ModelCheck Price
Honda EM5000SCheck Price >

 

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In times when you have the need for help in the event of a sudden loss of electricity in your home the Honda EM5000S portable generator is a good option. It is reliable, safe to use and is a well-made machine that can easily withstand everyday wear & tear. It is also suitable for contract or home use. The Honda EM5000S will not let you down—it’s a safe, secure and quiet generator.

 

Honda EM5000S – Specifications

Rated Watts4000
Surge Watts7000
Voltage120/240 Single-Phase
Tank Size6.2 Gallons
Fuel TypeGasoline
CC389cc
Ignition Type(s)Recoil & Electric
BatteryIncluded

This series of Honda generators have excellent power ratings. Starting at 4k watts and going as high as 10k watts, the user should identify the number of appliances that require power before choosing the best machine for you. If you are looking to cover a common family home, then the 5k generator will suffice. This unit also has a 7k watt surge rating.

The Honda EM5000S comes with a 6.2 gallon gas tank, not the biggest our reviews identified. We did note the fact that its 389cc engine means the Honda EM5000S portable generator is one of the most efficient of the non-inverting from those we reviewed.

Featuring a pull ignition as well as an electric ignition the Honda EM5000S offers a number of options. An electric ignition will save you back strain by powering the device with a touch of a button. There is a pull ignition option should you find your battery needs replacing.

The Honda EM5000S portable generator is not a noisy device. In fact, it does come in as one of the quieter emitting a noise level not too dissimilar to the average vacuum cleaner.

 

Honda EM5000S – Convenience & Efficiency

Run-time @ 50% Load11.2 Hours
Noise Level72 dB
Automatic Voltage RegulationYes (iAVR)

Our Honda EM5000S review identified an intelligent automatic voltage regulation system. Voltage regulators are a feature of all power generators but not all of them feature the iAVR system which our reviewers considered to be a world apart. These features mean that your machine will feed a cleaner and more consistent power output to the various devices in your home. Any generator that is powered by an engine can occasionally see a fluctuation in terms of the power levels and this is something to be aware of.

The Honda EM5000S review shows that this unit’s iAVR system will eliminate any such power fluctuations by half that seen in other machines that don’t have such a system. A good feature but one of the reasons why this unit comes in that bit more expensive.

The Honda EM5000S’s circuit breakers will cut out overloading. It also has a low-oil shutdown which will automatically shut down the machine should you be out of oil, saving any potential damage to your device.

 

Honda EM5000S – Design

Outletsx4 Household AC
x2 120v/240v
x1 12v DC
Weight232 Pounds
Length41.1 Inches
Width27.8 Inches
Height30.5 Inches

In terms of design this machine features a control panel with four 120-volt AC household plugs, two twist-locking 120/240-volt plugs for large appliances and a 12-volt DC outlet for charging a car battery.

The machine includes a voltage selector switch giving you the option to isolate voltage and maximizing the efficiency of the machine.

 

Honda EM5000S – Safety & Warranty

Ground-Fault Circuit Interruption (GFCI)Yes
Low-oil ShutdownYes
Customer SupportYes
Warranty3 Years

One of the extra features also includes ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets which are not seen in all other devices. This feature measures the current going to and from your various appliances and will remove power if the returning current drops. This is a very useful extra safety option and can be lifesaving in certain scenarios.

 

Best Portable Generator Review – Honda EM5000S – Summary

Our reviews found that the Honda EM5000S is one of the better machines of its kind. It runs for longer, it offers an electric start option, is not noisy and is extremely safe. This is a device that will work well in both emergency and everyday scenarios reliably and safely.

 

Honda EM5000S Portable Generator - Pros and Cons
ProsCons
Pull-cord and electric start options available.Perhaps a little too expensive for mass taste, but worth every cent.
Has one of the most efficient non-inverting engines.The gas tank is not the largest available on the market.
Relatively quiet operational noise levels.
Clean and consistent power supply is ideal for domestic use.

 
Amazon Customer Reviews: 4
Average Customer Review Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 
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2. Best Mini Generator – WEN PowerPro 56101

 

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WEN PowerPro 56101Check Price >

 

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As noted, from our tests, we identified the WEN PowerPro 56101 as the best mini generator on the market in 2019. While it’s light, it produces ample power, but it’s also easy to stow away when it’s not in use. Providing sufficient energy for more than 4 hours on a half load, this is also a very quiet generator. It’s also available for a very attractive price.

 

WEN PowerPro 56101 – Specifications

Rated Watts900
Surge Watts1000
Voltage120v Single-Phase
Tank Size1 Gallon
Fuel TypeGasoline
CC63cc
Ignition Type(s)Electric
BatteryIncluded

There are a number of reasons why our review team considered the WEN PowerPro 56101 to be one of the better portable generators on the market. Our WEN PowerPro 56101 review shows that it’s not too big, and is powerful for its size. The unit has a 1 gallon gas tank. It can operate for almost 5 hours using a half load. There are also two outlets featured on the generator – a 120V and a 12V.

The WEN PowerPro 56101 portable generator is certainly not a noisy machine. In fact, it is extremely quiet emitting only 60 db of noise when operating. We also considered this unit to be really affordable coming in at just about $125. Considering other generators can cost over ten times that it’s not bad going.

 

WEN PowerPro 56101 – Convenience & Efficiency

Run-time @ 50% Load5 Hours
Noise Level60 dB
Automatic Voltage RegulationYes

The WEN PowerPro 56101 portable generator’s 1-gallon fuel tank uses regular unleaded gasoline. Using a half-load, the machine provides 1000 surge watts and 900 rated watts lasting about five hours. Anything beyond a half-load will increase the generator’s fuel consumption rate and lessen the amount of time it provides power.

 

WEN PowerPro 56101 – Design

Outletsx1 Household AC
x1 12v DC
Weight39.68 Pounds
Length13.5 Inches
Width12 Inches
Height14 Inches

The WEN PowerPro 56101 is a small machine with only two power outlets offered. The 120V and 12V outlets will power smaller household items but not larger devices like dishwashers or large refrigerators.

This is a quiet, neat and light machine. You could easily hold a conversation while the generator is in operation. It won’t be a nuisance while you try to sleep on a camping trip. If you can make do with a portable generator the size of this, then you should consider it.

The WEN PowerPro 56101 is one of the cheapest portable generators on the market. The price does vary but is always going to be very affordable coming in at no more than $150. Other units out there can cost you more than $1500 so you really are getting value for money.

Our WEN PowerPro 56101 review takes a number of factors into account. The key selling point has got to be how light and neatly designed it is. Looking at it you would think it was just a small box. Weighing just 35 pounds, it’s easy to move around and bring in the car for camping trips. The WEN PowerPro 56101 has a neat little handle on top adding to the convenience of moving it about.

 

WEN PowerPro 56101 – Safety & Warranty

Ground-Fault Circuit Interruption (GFCI)No
Low-oil ShutdownNo
Customer SupportYes
Warranty3 Years

 

WEN PowerPro 56101 – Summary

If you want a portable generator for smaller electrical items, then you really should consider the WEN PowerPro 56101. You will find that it provides you with all the power you need without costing you a fortune. The power it puts out has decent time duration, and its neat, light design makes it extremley portable. Overall, we recommend this machine if you want one of the best portable generator units for domestic use.

 

 

3. Best Tri-Fuel Generator – Sportsman GENTRi9K

 

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Sportsman GENTRI9KCheck Price >

 

Image Source: Amazon

 
The Sportsman GENTRi9K Tri Fuel Generator is a great option as it scores very strongly in terms of the surge watts and the running watts it provides. Most importantly you are in control of the type of fuel you use with three different options. Other portable generators are powered exclusively by propane, natural gas or gasoline – the GENTRi9K can use all three.

 

Sportsman GENTRi9K – Specifications

Rated Watts7200
Surge Watts9000
Voltage120/240 Single-Phase
Tank Size7.4 Gallons
Fuel TypeGasoline, Gas & Propane
CC420cc
Ignition Type(s)Recoil & Electric
BatteryNot Included

The Sportsman GENTRi9K portable Generator is a very powerful machine that can give an output of 9k surge watts as well as 7.2k running watts of power. It allows you also to make a decision about what form of fuel you wish to use to operate the device. Most other generators would only be powered by either gas, gasoline or propane. However, the Sportsman Series GENTRi9K review identified that this machine can use any of all of the above. This means you will never be stuck should one of the fuel sources be unavailable.

 

Sportsman GENTRi9K – Convenience & Efficiency

Run-time @ 50% Load10 Hours
Noise Level58 dB
Automatic Voltage RegulationYes

The Sportsman GENTRi9K portable Generator is operated by a four stroke engine which offers 15-horsepower and 420cc. This engine will generate 9k surge watts as well as 7.2k continuous running watts. Explained a bit more clearly, this is enough power to allow you to power a full RV or household gadgets like fridges and TVs or power tool. It is therefore and excellent choice if you need a strong machine for camping trips, on sites or for emergency scenarios where you may have experienced a sudden power outage. As long as you have fuel, you’ll be able to keep your devices and appliances running.

You can start the machine two ways. There is an electric key start up option or you also have the recoil cord (like the cord you find on a lawnmower). The electric key is your primary way to start generating power. If the key doesn’t work, you revert to the recoil cord.

The Sportsman Series GENTRi9K review noted that the machine has 7.4-gallon fuel tank for gasoline. This should be sufficient for you to run the machine for up to 10 hours working with a 50% load. Do note that gas used on the machines should be at least 87 octane. There is also the option to use a standard propane tank which can be connected directly to the Sportsman Series GENTRi9K. Using this option, you will get use for about 5 hours on a 50% load You can also connect it to a natural gas line that will provide unlimited power as long as the gas flows.

 

Best Portable Generator Review: Design

Outletsx4 Household AC
x1 120v/240v DC
x1 12v DC
x1 120v RV Twist Lock
Weight200 Pounds
Length28.8 Inches
Width22.2 Inches
Height33.2 Inches

The Sportsman Series GENTRi9K review noted that it should offer all the outlets that you would need at any time. However, you are also offered four 120 volt outlets. These are almost the same as those you find in your home and therefore you can attach any devices directly to the machine. There is also a 12-volt DC outlet (a little bit like the average car cigarette lighter). You will also get a 120/240V outlet for large appliances and a 120V twist lock outlet that can power your RV meaning this Sportsman GENTRi9K portable Generator is a very versatile machine.

 

Sportsman GENTRi9K – Safety & Warranty

Ground-Fault Circuit Interruption (GFCI)No
Low-oil ShutdownYes
Customer SupportYes
Warranty3 Years

The Sportsman Series GENTRi9K has a handy control panel that offers 8 different power outlets meaning you the ability to connect a number of different RVs or appliances. We consider this machine to be extremely strong in terms of efficiency. It will deliver approximately 10 hours of power in gas mode and up to five hours of use from using propane on a 50% load. If the Sportsman Series GENTRi9K is connected to a natural gas supply it will run for a long, long time.

 

Best Portable Generator Review: Summary

The Sportsman Series GENTRi9K will allow you to keep the power running in the event of a power cut or if you want to divert some power away from your normal supply source. This machine will work well for you, will efficiently supply you with power and is considered to be quite safe to use.

 

 

4. Best Diesel Generator – Pulsar PG7000D 7000W

 

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Pulsar PG7000D Check Price >

 

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The Pulsar PG7000D has a lot of benefits, with good surge and running wattage. The 4-gallon tank will last just a long as bigger tanks seen in other machines. It uses a 418 cc OHV engine which is a better design than the average piston engine. As is the case with most diesel machines, it will cost you more to use but we consider it a superior product and one that might be worth the extra cost.

 

Pulsar PG7000D – Specifications

Rated Watts5500
Surge Watts7000
Voltage120v/240v Single-Phase
Tank Size4 Gallon
Fuel TypeGas, Gasoline & Diesel
CC418cc OHV
Ignition Type(s)Recoil & Electric
BatteryIncluded

The Pulsar PG7000W is one of the best portable generators. It boasts several features that might swing it in terms of your choice. It is a powerful machine, putting out 7k peak watts and 5.5k running watts. Its 4 gallon fuel tank, not as big as some others, lasts longer when in operation.

The 418cc OHV engine is better that a normal piston engine. Five outlets of various types provide great scope for types of electrical items you can power. While this machine still ranks as a portable unit, it is not as easy to move around than others reviewed. It is bigger, heavier and more difficult to transport around your home.

Our team also noted that it is more expensive than gasoline or natural gas models. However, it’s a superior product and the Pulsar PG7000W is worth the expense.

 

Pulsar PG7000D – Convenience & Efficiency

Run-time @ 50% Load9.5 Hours
Noise Level70 dB
Automatic Voltage RegulationYes

The Pulsar PG7000W portable generator produces a very fine level of electricity when you need it most. Working at its hardest you will find that it generates up to 7k watts. Whatever about a home this is actually enough power to keep your average job site powered. It is also fairly suitable for a camping trip (despite it being slightly more difficult to move about).

The fuel tank on this Pulsar PG7000W is only 4 gallons, one of the smallest tanks our team assessed. And the Pulsar PG7000W’s OHV engine offer several advantages over the piston engines on gasoline and natural gas models.

This portable generator will be more efficient when it comes to the amount of fuel that is used.

 

Pulsar PG7000D – Design

Outletsx2 Household
x1 120v Twist
x1 120/240v Twist
x1 12v DC
Weight353 Pounds
Length22 Inches
Width32.5 Inches
Height38 Inches

The Pulsar PG7000W review team noted that the outlets cover almost every requirements. It has two 120V outlets, two twist outlets (for 120V and 120/240V), and one 12V 8.3-amp outlet. The latter is very handy if  you have USB powered devices because you can plug in a USB adapter.

One fact that can’t be overcome is the fact that machines such as these do make noise. However, the Pulsar 7000W features noise reduction technology that mutes the noise to below 70 dB. It’s not the quietest machine, but it won’t be a nuisance if you are trying to sleep.

 

Pulsar PG7000D – Safety & Warranty

 

Ground-Fault Circuit Interruption (GFCI)Yes
Low-oil ShutdownYes
Customer SupportYes
Warranty2 Years

 

Best Portable Generator Review – Pulsar PG7000D – Summary

This is one of the best portable generator units, but it’s not as easy to move about as others. In terms of design it is bigger and bulkier than others we reviewed. However, we do consider this machine to be a reasonably good choice in the world of portable generators. It will provide sufficient power to keep your various home devices and appliances running during a power outage. Not the worst choice and worth considering. Do remember that it isn’t the easiest to move about, however.

 

 

5. Best Portable Generator Review – Champion 75537i 3100-Watt

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Champion Power 75537iCheck Price >

 

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If you are seeking a high-quality portable generator, whether for use during power cuts at home, or for camping trips in the great outdoors, the Champion Power Equipment 75537i is a 3100-Watt generator that may well be the answer to your prayers. Check out our team’s review of the appliance below, for everything you need to know about this highly recommended generator.

 

Champion 75537i 3100-Watt – Specifications

Rated Watts2800
Surge Watts3100
Voltage120/240 Single-Phase
Tank Size1.6 Gallons
Fuel TypeGasoline
CC171cc
Ignition Type(s)Recoil & Electric
BatteryIncluded

The Champion Power 75537i portable generator is a very quiet machine when in operation and it will only emit 58 decibels of sound. It is powered by gasoline and has a decent sized tank at 1.6 gallons meaning it will give you a use time of about 8 hours when being operated at a 25% load.

Admittedly, this will not be the best choice for general home use but it is a very good option for camping trips or for one-off outdoor events like home garden parties or days away.

The Champion Power 75537i portable generator uses a 171cc, four stroke OHV engine that uses a single cylinder. It produces 2,800 running watts and 3,100 starting watts. This level of power will mean the machine will power basic small household items such as laptop computers, small TVs, portable devices and smaller tools that require power.

 

Champion 75537i 3100-Watt – Convenience & Efficiency

Run-time @ 50% Load12 Hours
Noise Level58 dB
Automatic Voltage RegulationNo

The Champion Power 75537i will keep your devices like smartphones and tablets charged and working. It’s not designed to power larger electrical devices, and is most suitable for basic requirements. Should you need a more powerful device check out some of the other machines we reviewed here.

The Champion Power 75537i portable generator fuel tank holds 1.6 gallons of gasoline. This will last for about eight hours on a 25 percent load. You might want to consider a fuel back-up if you need to use the device for prolonged periods.

For a small portable unit, you would expect it to be quiet and this is the case. The Champion Power 75537i puts out about 58dB. It’s one of the quietest generators, and perfect for a camping trip.

 

Champion 75537i 3100-Watt – Design

Outletsx2 Household AC
x1 12v DC
x1 120v RV Twist Lock
Weight94.8 Pounds
Length24.4 Inches
Width14.3 Inches
Height18.3 Inches

The Champion Power 75537i review found that the machine’s control panel will offer a number of plugin choices. There are two 120 volt outlets as well as a 12V DC outlet and a single RV ready socket. Not a huge range of options but should be suffice for the purposes this machine is designed for.

This machine also offers a wireless remote start, with an 80ft range, a handy option on camping trips. Returning from a hike, you could start your generator remotely and have it operating as you reach camp.

It is a very light and easily transported machine which makes it perfect for a camping trip. Weighing 96 pounds, it can easily lifted into and out of a car. Its handles and wheels give extra mobility, and it’s small enough to fit in any trunk.

 

Champion 75537i 3100-Watt – Safety & Warranty

 

Ground-Fault Circuit Interruption (GFCI)No
Low-oil ShutdownYes
Customer SupportYes
Warranty3 Years

 

Best Portable Generator Review – Champion 75537i 3100-Watt – Summary

The Champion Power 25537i 3100W Invertor is the perfect portable generator for camping. It’s relatively light and easily packed. Its tank is small but holds enough fuel to keep the absolute necessities going.

 
Champion 75537i 3100-Watt TablePress table for PROS & CONS

Here’s a quick, ‘at a glance’ summary of the main points of the Champion 75537i 3100-Watt portable generator to refresh your mind about the main talking points and potential snags with the unit.

Champion 75537i 3100-Watt Portable Generator - Pros and Cons
ProsCons
Very light and easy to transport.Average fuel efficiency - make sure you have backup supply.
Wireless remote start is a great feature.Not powerful enough for larger electrical appliances.
One of the quietest portable generators.

 
Amazon Customer Reviews: 304
Average Customer Review Rating: 4.6 out of 5 Stars

 
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6. Best Portable Generator Review – Westinghouse WGen7500

 

Portable GeneratorBrand & ModelCheck Price
Westinghouse WGen7500Check Price >

 

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The WGen7500 Portable Generator from Westinghouse is another fantastic portable backup power appliance that will leave you and your home ready to face emergency power cut situations. Like the Honda EM5000S it doesn’t have the largest fuel tank, but with Westinghouse’s 720cc 4-stroke OHV engine on the case, this is not an issue.

 

Westinghouse WGen7500 – Specifications

Rated Watts7500 Watts
Surge Watts9500 Watts
Voltage120/240 Single-Phase
Tank Size6.6 Gallons
Fuel TypeGasoline
CC420cc
Ignition TypeRecoil, Electric & Remote Key Fob
BatteryIncluded

Running at 12.8hp, this is one of the most ferociously powerful generators for its size. With 9,000W starting power and 7,500W running, the power is considerable. With a 6.6-gallon fuel tank, and running on gasoline, this will provide more than 10 hours of backup power on a half load.

But it’s not all brute force. The generator offers three start-up options (recoil, electric start and key fob remote), and can be easily started even at the lowest temperatures.

Included in the WGen7500 package are a battery, oil funnel, rear wheels (which will be required if you need to move this around) and a wireless remote.

 

Westinghouse WGen7500 – Convenience & Efficiency

Run-time @ 50% Load10 hours-plus
Noise Level76dB at 7m (23ft)
Automatic Voltage Regulation
Yes

In terms of efficiency, it would be difficult to fault the Westinghouse WGen7500. This generator is powerful enough to provide backup to any standard domestic electrical equipment. Its Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR) and Circuit Breaker Protection ensures that your appliances and power equipment will be safe from potentially harmful voltage surges.

However, the 71dB maximum operational noise level, measured at 7m (23ft), will make this less than suitable for users who are sensitive to mechanical noise. The noise probably rules the WGen7500 out from use on campsites, meaning that this one for home use only.

 

Westinghouse WGen7500 – Design

Outletsx2 120V Household
x1 120v/240v
Weight207lbs
Length27.32in
Width26.18in
Height26.2in

This generator, for all its power, does not have quite as extensive a range of outlets as, for example, the HondaEM5000S. There are two 120V 20A duplex outlets, and one twist-lock 120/240V receptable. On the plus side, the control panel design is simplicity itself, and all outlets have durable rubber covers to help safeguard against inclement weather conditions. The control panel also has a digital hour meter that notifies when maintenance is necessary, helping to ensure longevity.

 

Westinghouse WGen7500 – Safety & Warranty

Ground-Fault Circuit Interruption (GFCI)Yes
Low-oil ShutdownYes
Customer SupportYes
Warranty3 Years

This unit could not be more safe to use. Its GFCI outlet measures current to and from the appliances being powered, and will reduce its outgoing power in response to any drops in returning current.

Its sturdy, hardened-steel frame includes roll bars on top that provide additional protection for 6.6-gallon fuel tank. The automatic low oil protection technology will shut down the generator when the oil level is low, or if it overheats or loses viscosity.

It’s also compliant with the regulations of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and is backed by a generous three-year warranty. Customers will also benefit from a super nationwide service and support network. The Westinghouse website is comprehensive and easy to navigate, including an online support center that’s contactable by email.

 

Best Portable Generator Review – Westinghouse WGen7500 – Summary

The power comes with a price, however. It is one of the heaviest units on the market, weighing 200lbs, although its supplied portable wheel kit makes it relatively easy to move around. However, its markedly loud operational noise levels will make this less attractive for regular use around the home or on campsite.

On balance, our view is that for an appliance required almost exclusively for emergency situations, these shortcomings are outweighed by the positives. The WGen7500 is an ideal blend of affordability with power and reliability. It has fine touch operations, down to its remote start, and is powerful enough to handle high surge loads.

 

Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator - Pros and Cons
ProsCons
Good mix of affordability & power.Quite heavy: not the most portable unit.
Easy to assemble and get running.Rather loud for a portable generator.
Ultra convenient remote start and other startup options.
Powerful enough to handle high surge loads.

 
Amazon Customer Reviews: 1,166
Average Customer Review Rating: 4.3 out of 5 Stars

 
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7. Best Portable Generator Review – DuroStar DS4000S

 

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DuroStar DS4000SCheck Price >

 

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This is a durable, rugged portable generator with a decent 3,300 Watts of starting power (4,000 Watts starting and surge). The DuroStar DS4000S is not the most powerful unit on the market, but it’s great value for money. The brand is noted for its power, performance and affordability, and the DS4000S is no exception.

 

DuroStar DS4000S – Specifications

Rated Watts3,300 Watts
Surge Watts4,000 Watts
Voltage120 Volts
Tank Size4 Gallons
Fuel TypeGasoline
CC208cc
Ignition TypeManual Recoil
Batteryn/a

If you have little or no experience with using power generators, and your requirements are limited to domestic appliances only, then this could be the very unit for you. A steady supply of 3,300 Watts will be perfect for most requirements, and while a little noisy compared to others, the DS4000S is also effective in remote locations such as campsites or building sites.

Although the manual recoil start method is not to everyone’s taste, this one, dubbed ‘EZ-pull’ by DuroStar, really is easy to get going. There is a host of other features that will help the generator novice to keep their unit in tip top condition. The gas-powered 7hp air-cooled overhead valve engine that makes this unit a rugged workhorse, suitable for a variety of uses. Please note, therefore, that this unit is not CARB-compliant, so cannot be used in California.

 

DuroStar DS4000S – Convenience & Efficiency

Run-time @ 50% Load8 hours
Noise Level69dB
Automatic Voltage RegulationNo

Although the operational noise level of 69dB is on the loud side, the muffler system ensures that it does not get louder than this. It’s a pretty good result, quieter than many of the other units here, but if you’re sensitive to noise, you might want to think twice.

However, the run-time for a generator of this size is very good indeed—giving users 8 hours of power when running on a half load. The air-cooled 7hp engine is a powerful but fuel-efficient driver for this system.

A sturdy steel frame around the engine and fuel tank keeps things running steady, with isolated mounts that minimise vibrations. However, the lack of Automatic Voltage Regulation means you’ll have to be careful when powering more sensitive electronics.

 

DuroStar DS4000S – Design

Outlets2 x 120V/20A Household
1 x 120v/30A Twist-Lock
Weight94lbs
Length23in
Depth17.5in
Height18in

Much of the weight of this unit, for such a modestly sized system, has gone into ensuring rugged protection for the engine and minimised noise. This is achieved by a strong steel roll bar housing, which also makes it more convenient to lift the unit. However, the 94lbs weight might be too much for some to lift comfortably. There is a portable wheel kit—not supplied—which makes this easier.

The weight also stems from the mufflers used in the casing to minimise operational noise. However, at 69dB, this may not be enough for some tastes.

Overall, though, this is a pretty solid design. The operating dashboard makes it easy to run the appliance, and has such handy little touches such as a fuel gauge that some other manufacturers do not provide. Easy to start, even in harsh weather, this is a good ‘starter level’ portable generator.

 

DuroStar DS4000S – Safety & Warranty

Ground-Fault Circuit Interruption (GFCI)Yes
Low-oil ShutdownYes
Customer SupportYes
Warranty1 Year

The circuit breaker outlet is a welcome addition to the DuroStar DS4000S, enhancing its safety for users. In addition, the low-oil shutdown helps to protect the engine and ensure its longer operational iife.

The DuroStar DS4000S is covered by a 1-Year Limited Factory Warranty, and by a 30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee. Fitted with its noise mufflers and a spark arrestor, the unit is also approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. However, please note that is not certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and so cannot be used legally in California.

Customer Support is good, with full details of email and phone contacts available on the website of manufacturers DuroMax Next Generation Power Systems, along with an extensive resources section.

 

Best Portable Generator Review – DuroStar DS4000S – Summary

There are perhaps as many pros as cons with the DuroStar DS4000S. However, we would recommend it as a solid starter unit for anyone new to using a portable generator.

It’s quite loud, albeit still quieter than some of the other units on this post, and is easy to set up and get going out of the box. Some users have reported that refuelling is slightly awkward, but overall, it’s reliable in all weather conditions.

The lack of CARB compliance is a bit of a shortcoming, however, as it has been approved by the EPA, it’s safe for use in national parks and other public areas.

Best of all, it’s great value for money, and provides sufficient power for a variety of needs, right up to heavy-duty appliances such as HVAC systems in homes or RVs.

 

DuroStar DS4000S Portable Generator - Pros and Cons
ProsCons
Powerful enough for most domestic appliances.A little on the loud side for camping and RVs.
Easy to start even though a recoil start system.Refilling of oil is a bit awkward for some users.
All-steel build makes the unit more durable.Rather heavy, and a wheel kit is not included in the package.
Price tag is attractive compared to others in this class.The 1-Year Warranty is lower than other manufacturers provide.

 
Amazon Customer Reviews: 650
Average Customer Review Rating: 4.3 out of 5 Stars

 
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8. Best Portable Generator Review – Buffalo Tools Sportsman 1000 Watt

 

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If you need an easy-to-use portable generator but don’t have a lot to spend, it might be wise to go for the Buffalo Tools Sportsman 1000 Watt generator. This is a particularly wise investment if you don’t have tines power demands. It might be just the job if you have a small residence, like an apartment, and want to have an easy to operate backup to deal with power outages.

 

Buffalo Tools Sportsman 1000 Watt – Specifications

Rated Watts800 Watts
Surge Watts1,000 Watts
Voltage120 Volts / 60Hz
Tank Size0.55 Gallons
Fuel TypeOil & Gasoline Mix
CC40cc
Ignition TypeManual Recoil Only
Batteryn/a

Not the largest generator in the portable class, the 1000 Watt Buffalo Tools Sportsman is certainly the cheapest, lightest and most portable. Providing 800 Watts of power during operation, the Sportsman’s sine wave technology means that its power is clean, stable and reliable enough for a range of sensitive electronics.

Although start is recoil only, the generator is small and lightweight enough to ensure that startup is not a difficult process. When you’re up and running, it’s perfect for providing backup power to your necessary devices during emergencies. It’s also handy for powering lightweight power tools in the yard.

 

Buffalo Tools Sportsman 1000 Watt – Convenience & Efficiency

Run-time @ 50% Load6.3 hours
Noise Level
56 - 62dB
Automatic Voltage RegulationNo

The Buffalo Tools Sportsman 1000 Watt portable generator does not have automatic voltage regulation, but its sine wave technology provides clean and stable voltage, making it suitable even for sensitive devices.

Providing 6.3 hours on a 50% load, the running time of the Buffalo Tools Sportsman 1000 Watt generator provides a more than decent return for a 0.5-gallon fuel tank.

Noise level is decent on zero load, but it increases significantly for every device added to the load. However, the maximum of around 62dB is quiet enough to make it a runner for camping and RV trips.

 

Buffalo Tools Sportsman 1000 Watt – Design

Outlets
1 x 120V Household AC Outlet
1 x 12V DC Outlet
Weight19lbs
Length
16in
Width
9in
Height
15in

The compact size and weight of the Buffalo Tools Sportsman 1000 Watt make it one of the most portable generators available. It’s made from plastic and there’s no assembly required, so it’s easy to use right out of the box, even for a novice to the world of portable generators.

The 1.3hp 40cc 4-Stroke engine is the focus here, and everything around it has been designed to facilitate ease of use. It’s made with outdoor use in mind, whether for powering devices on a camping trip, or giving you bare essential backup during a house emergency. As ever, though, never use these devices indoors.

Something worth mentioning here is its ease of use. Starting the appliance is easy with the pull cable, and there’s a straight-forward Economy mode that can be activated at the flick of a switch. The control panel includes illuminated alerts for low oil (in addition to automatic shutdown), and lights for power output and overload.

 

Buffalo Tools Sportsman 1000 Watt – Safety & Warranty

Ground-Fault Circuit Interruption (GFCI)No
Low-oil ShutdownYes
Customer SupportYes
Warranty1 Year

Surprisingly for a product in this price range, the Buffalo Tools Sports 1000 Watt generator comes with a limited warranty cover for 12 months. It does not cover accidental damage, but covers any defects in the construction or materials of the product within its first year of use.

There is automatic shutdown for low oil which will help protect against any damage to the engine, while economy mode keeps fuel consumption to a minimum.

 

Best Portable Generator Review – Buffalo Tools Sportsman 1000 Watt – Summary

One of the greatest selling points of this unit is affordability. The power quality is good, albeit limited, but at this price range it is difficult to quibble. The build quality of the appliance will not be to everyone’s taste, because of its plastic-y feel. Noise level is quite surprisingly high on full load, but still within the limits of acceptability. Overall, the portability and compact dimensions of this unit make it perfect if you don’t have high power backup requirements. The affordable price is icing on the cake!

 

Buffalo Tools Sportsman 1000 Watt Portable Generator - Pros & Cons
ProsCons
Very affordable portable generator.Plastic build makes it prone to scratches and dents.
Reliable unit for minor backup situations.Too lightweight to provide backup for an entire home.
Quality customer service available.
Servicing is not easy—best left to professionals.

 
Amazon Customer Reviews: 79
Average Customer Review Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

 
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9. Best Portable Generator Review – Yamaha EF2000iSv2

 

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Yamaha EF2000iSv2Check Price >

 

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The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is an update of the EF2000iS, which already has a formidable reputation in the portable generator market. Compact and lightweight, with an eye-catching retro design, the EF2000iSv2 is easy to stow away, and it’s quiet enough to make it equally suited for camping trips as well as domestic usage.

 

Yamaha EF2000iSv2 – Specifications

Rated Watts1,600 Watts
Surge Watts2,000 Watts
Voltage120 Volts
Tank Size1.1 Gallons
Fuel TypeGasoline
CC79cc
Ignition TypeManual Recoil Only
Batteryn/a

With its light weight and compact dimensions, the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is fantastically convenient whether for use in the home or outdoors. With two 120V AC outlets, and one 8A 12V outlet for charging batteries, this generator is powerful enough for most standard small to medium home appliances.

Powered by its efficient, reliable OHV engine, the generator has a number of great features, including Smart Throttle, which adjusts engine speed according to load. With a quality build and absorbent rubber feet, any vibration and unwanted noise is minimised for smooth, comfortable operation.

It’s beyond doubt that a generator this light and contact will not be powerful enough for some tastes. However, the appliance has parallel expansion ports that make it possible to double the power when paired with another EF2000iSv2.

 

Yamaha EF2000iSv2 – Convenience & Efficiency

Run-time @ 25% Load10.5 hours
Noise Level
51.5-61dB
Automatic Voltage RegulationSmart Throttle

For a unit of its size, this Yamaha generator runs for a surprisingly efficient 10.5 hours on a 25% load. The Smart Throttle feature uses a load-sensing RPM mechanism to vary the engine speed according to the load. Therefore, fuel efficiency is maximised according to your needs.

Smart Throttle—in addition to the overall quality of the build—also ensures that operational noise is minimised. This unit emits an operational noise level of 51.5dB on quarter load right up to 61dB. Even at its loudest, it’s unlikely that this generator will unduly disturb your neighbours, either at home or on the campsite.

 

Yamaha EF2000iSv2 – Design

Outlets
2 x 120V 13.3/16.7A
1 x 12V 8A
Weight44.1lbs
Length
19.3in
Width
11in
Height
17.9in

As noted, the appearance of this unit is one of its most noteworthy features. It’s an attractive, retro design scheme that makes the appliance resemble a vintage transistor radio. With its rubber feet absorbing vibration and noise, the unit also has a rubber carry handle. This is a generator that’s been designed for ‘get up and go’ usage.

Weighing only 44.1lbs, and with compact dimensions—19.3in x 11in x 17.9in—the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is perfect for moving from location to location around your home, or for taking on the road for a camping holiday.

A few design touches really set this appliance apart from the competition. A fuel gauge makes monitoring fuel levels much easier than some of the other generators reviewed here. And a gasoline petcock means you will have none of the difficulties that can arise from stale fuel while the unit is in storage. All you have to do is use the petcock to shut the gasoline off from the engine and let the carburettor run dry.

Other notable features include auto decompression, which helps with starting in cold weather. An additional auto warm-up facility assists the unit in providing power to heavier duty appliances.

 

Yamaha EF2000iSv2 – Safety & Warranty

Ground-Fault Circuit Interruption (GFCI)Electrical overload breaker
Low-oil ShutdownNo
Customer SupportYes
Warranty3 Years

Although this unit does not have a low-oil shutdown, it does come with an Oil Watch Warning System. The will help the user to prevent damage from low oil. There is also an electrical overload breaker that prevents generator damage in the event of an overload.

The unit has been certified by both the Environment Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) meaning that the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 emissions are certified clean in 50 States.

Even non experts will find it quite easy to maintain the operational basics of the Yamaha EF2000iSv2. However, when you need professional expertise, it’s readily at hand, through Yamaha’s extensive customer support network. This is appliance is also covered by a three-year limited warranty.

 

Best Portable Generator Review – Yamaha EF2000iSv2 – Summary

There are few things about the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 portable generator that one could quibble with. It’s easily one of the best portable generators on the market. Some people have issues with the maximum power of the unit, and its expense. Power will definitely be an issue for some users. But if you have standard requirements, or specific small-scale needs, it would be difficult to recommend a generator more heartily than this one. It’s safe, unobtrusive and reliable. Exactly what’s required of a portable generator.

 

Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Portable Generator - Pros and Cons
ProsCons
Superb run-time for a unit of this size.Maximum power will be too low for some users.
Compact & light, portable & easy to store.Possibly too expensive for general usage.
Beautiful retro design and quality build.Some users have reported difficulty using the recoil starter.
One of the quietest generators available.

 
Amazon Customer Reviews: 441
Average Customer Review Rating: 4.2 out of 5 Stars

 
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10. Best Portable Generator Review – Briggs & Stratton 30622

 

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Briggs & Stratton Home Series 5000Check Price >

 

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Briggs & Stratton enjoys a long standing and formidable reputation in the world of engines and power equipment. The Briggs & Stratton 30622 is a 5,000W generator that underlines everything that has made this brand a household name around the world. Novices will require assistance with servicing, but this generator is a definite contender for best in class.

 

Briggs & Stratton 30622 – Specifications

Rated Watts5000
Surge Watts6200
Voltage120/240 Single-Phase
Tank Size5 Gallons
Fuel TypeGasoline
CC342cc
Ignition Type(s)Recoil & Electric
BatteryIncluded

The Briggs & Stratton Home Series 5000 portable generators are designed to power the general appliances in your home should you be affected by a power outage.

Generators of this size, 5000W, are the average size generator that’s required to power a family home. They will keep electrical items such as home computers, washing machines and other devices running until power is restored.

The Briggs & Stratton Home Series 5000 review identified that this machine uses a Power Surge alternator, which provides 25 percent more wattage to cope with a power surge; a surge wattage that’s higher than many of the other generators we considered. This generator can cope with a surge power of more than 6.2k watts for almost 10 seconds.

This is a valuable feature and something that is often overlooked. Surge wattage is a very important function for any generators that start with electric motors. When starting these machines can use four times the wattage than when operating in a normal setting.

 

Briggs & Stratton 30622 – Convenience & Efficiency

Run-time @ 50% Load10 Hours
Noise Level58 dB
Automatic Voltage RegulationNo

The Briggs & Stratton Home Series 5000 portable generator uses a 342cc motor and is part of the 1650 series of motors designed by the company. The 5-gallon fuel tank can last for up to 10 hours (based on using a 50 percent load).

What this means is that the Briggs & Stratton Home Series 5000 is one of the most efficient gas generators on the market and if you are looking for a product that will save you money in the long run, it may be a good option. It’s fuel efficient too, so you won’t be stressing out at times when fuel might be difficult to obtain.

 

Briggs & Stratton 30622 – Safety & Warranty

Ground-Fault Circuit Interruption (GFCI)No
Low-oil ShutdownNo
Customer SupportYes
Warranty2 Years

The Briggs & Stratton Home Series 5000 portable generator like all Briggs and Stratton products, comes with a really excellent level of customer support offerings. Our Briggs & Stratton Home Series 5000 review noted that there is an industry leading warranty offered with these machines. There are also a wide range of resources to ensure that you are making the most of your machine. There are a number of online tutorials which will guide you in areas of maintenance and operation.

 

Briggs & Stratton 30622 – Design

Outletsx4 Household AC
x1 120v/240v DC
Weight181 Pounds
Length28.7 Inches
Width18.4 Inches
Height23.8 Inches

The Briggs & Stratton Home Series 5000 review identified that the biggest flaw with the machine is the lack of low-oil shutdown protection. This feature is a special sensor that will shut the machine down when it identifies that oil is running low. The function will prevent part of the machine from becoming damaged. The best generators from our review all have this feature. Without it you must keep tabs on the oil levels always or run the risk of damaging your machine.

The Briggs & Stratton Home Series 5000 also has an hour meter on the control panel to keep track of how many hours it operates so that you know when to change the oil and have it serviced.

 

Best Portable Generator Review – Briggs & Stratton 30622 – Summary

An FAQ page on the company’s website is of great assistance in determining your anticipated wattage level. The page also offers a downloadable manual with all the info you will need about your machine.

Overall, this a very good choice of portable generator.

 

Briggs & Stratton 30622 Portable Generator - Pros and Cons
ProsCons
Excellent Power Surge Alternator.Lack of low-oil shutdown is a major shortcoming for a unit of this quality.
Customer Service is top grade.
10.5 hours running time on half load.

 
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11. Best Portable Generator Review – Generac GP5500

 

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Generac is noted for a quality line in generators and other power equipment. The Generac GP5500 is a robust generator, well made and constructed, with a high performance engine that will last for longer than the engines on most other generators.

 

Generac GP5500 – Specifications

Rated Watts5500
Surge Watts6875
Voltage120v/240v Single-Phase
Tank Size6.7 Gallon
Fuel TypeGasoline
CC389cc OHV
Ignition Type(s)Recoil
BatteryNot Included

The Generac GP550 comes with a number of extra functions that will come in really handy to the user. Its OHV engine works with gasoline, providing a long lasting fuel supply. It’s also very efficient and overall is a well built, study and robust device. It has numerous outlets enabling you to power a range of devices for a good length of time.

It’s powerful too, producing over 6.8k watts when starting and 5.5k watts when operating. This is easily one of the best portable generator units, suitable for any domestic requirements.

There are a number of reasons why our Generac GP5500 review team loved the OHV engine on this machine. One of the main reasons is the greater emphasis on the Generac GP5500’s cylinder head than its flathead engine. This is not too dissimilar to the conventional piston engine. This design ingenuity means that while the engine is smaller, it can perform better and last longer than others. This OHV engine also has splash lubrication addition, so the life of the generator will be longer than most.

 

Generac GP5500 – Convenience & Efficiency

Run-time @ 50% Load10 Hours
Noise Level71 dB
Automatic Voltage RegulationYes

The Generac GP5500 review team applauds the 7.2 gallon tank which uses gasoline. This helps to power your home for up to 10 hours using a 50 percent load. Therefore, it is one of the longer lasting machines that we reviewed. There are more expensive options, but for its size, this machine has an excellent run time. It is well worth considering.

 

Generac GP5500 – Design

Outletsx5 120/240v Household
Weight180 Pounds
Length33.5 Inches
Width26.5 Inches
Height27.5 Inches

The Generac GP5500 portable generator is designed in such a way as to offer a number of extra benefits. It is manufactured with reinforced steel, and so is durable, strong and heavy duty. The wheels of the Generac GP5500 are never-flat and so they will last for a long time. Fold-down handles make the generator moveable and easily stored in your home.

The Generac GP5500 puts out an impressive 6,875 starting watts and 5,500 running watts. This is sufficient to power smaller items and largers items such as power tools, refrigerators and air conditioners. You can even use this portable generator to power an RV or provide backup power to your home.

 

Generac GP5500 – Safety & Warranty

Ground-Fault Circuit Interruption (GFCI)Yes
Low-oil ShutdownYes
Customer SupportYes
Warranty3 Years

If you need more wattage you might want to consider a larger and more expensive generator. However, the Generac GP5500 is a great choice in terms of value and power for your home.

 

Best Portable Generator Review – Generac GP5500 – Summary

The Generac GP550 is one of the best portable generator units for the home. It is designed well, is sturdy, produces enough power, and is portable enough for a variety of conditions. Well worth thinking about. Any criticisms we have relate to its fuel and servicing, and these can be easily addressed.

 

Generac GP5500 Portable Generator - Pros and Cons
ProsCons
Smooth, effective and reliable operation.Spark plug maintenance is a bit of a challenge.
Can be used for just about any appliance in the home.Low ethanol fuel should be used for best performance.
Well protected by circuit breakers and low-oil shutdown.

 
Amazon Customer Reviews: 2
Average Customer Review Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

 
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12. Best Portable Generator Review – Honeywell 5500

 

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Honeywell 5500Check Price >

 

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Like most of the products issued with the Honeywell brand, this generator is notable for its simplify of operation—including the electric start (with recoil backup)—right up to its formidable power, with a running watts of 5,500 and surge rating of 6,875 Watts. Fuel efficiency is not quite so good as some of the other units of comparable power, which is the main criticism that has been levelled at it.

 

Honeywell 5500 – Specifications

Rated Watts5500
Surge Watts6875
Voltage120v/240v Single-Phase
Tank Size5.8 Gallon
Fuel TypeGasoline
CC389cc OHV
Ignition Type(s)Recoil & Electric
BatteryIncluded

The Honeywell 5500 portable generator is part of a range of generators that have power ratings of in between 3,250 to 7,500 watts. It should be noted that the average home will likely need an output of 5,000 watts. We therefore chose to review the Honeywell 5500. This generator has running wattage of 5,500w and a surge rating of 6,875w for up to 10 seconds. The medium sized Honeywell 5500 will fit nicely in a shed, bed of a pickup truck or a car trunk.

 

Honeywell 5500 – Convenience & Efficiency

Run-time @ 50% Load14 Hours
Noise Level68.5 dB
Automatic Voltage RegulationYes

Our Honeywell 5500 review team noted a flaw with the machine. It identified that the engine is not the most efficient on the market. The 389cc overhead valve engine and 5.8-gallon fuel tank provide 9.1hs running time on a 50% power load.

The best portable generators tend to run for up to 14 hours on a 50% load. Therefore, the Honeywell 5500 will only work well in short term scenarios such as a temporary power cut. If you’re hit by longer outages, you’ll need fuel backup in order to ensure sufficient power for your appliances.

The Honeywell 5500 electric start function is a standout feature. However a recoil rope is included if the machine has not been used for some time and the battery dies.

 

Honeywell 5500 – Design

Outletsx4 Household
x1 120/240v
Weight185 Pounds
Length29.8 Inches
Width28.75 Inches
Height26.75 Inches

The Honeywell 5500 portable generator has a control panel that is nicely designed and offer a few handy controls. It also offers four 120-volt plugs (similar to all the best generators) and one 120/240-volt twist-locking plug for large appliances. You will need to reset circuit breakers should the outlet be overloaded but this shouldn’t be a major concern.

The Honeywell 5500 review revealed a lack of safety elements that are seen in other machines. It doesn’t have a spark arrestor, which prevents sparks from exiting the exhaust and starting a fire.

Also, the Honeywell 5500 portable generator doesn’t offer never-flat tyres available on other models. Therefore, its tyres may become flat if the generator is not in use for a long time. This will cause trouble if you need to move the machine around.

 

Honeywell 5500 – Safety & Warranty

Ground-Fault Circuit Interruption (GFCI)No
Low-oil ShutdownYes
Customer SupportYes
Warranty3 Years

This machine also doesn’t feature a GFCI protection, which shows that a unit is safe to use. This system protects from electrocution if the current coming from your portable generator is diverted to an alternate path. This might be a key factor when it comes your decision on whether to purchase this machine.

 

Best Portable Generator Review – Honeywell 5500 – Summary

Made by Generac, Honeywell portable generators are nicely designed products. They do the job in providing power, but this generator in particular uses more fuel than others we reviewed.

 

Honeywell 5500 Portable Generator - Pros and Cons
ProsCons
Solid and rugged construction.Lack of GFCI protection is a major shortcoming.
Controls are easy for all to use.Quite heavy to move around.
High surge rating for unit protection.

 
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13. Best Portable Generator Review – Yamaha EF5500DE

 

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The Yamaha EF5500DE will save you money on your fuel bill and is considered to be a very safe device to use. It also has a user friendly control panel that will work well in emergency scenarios or on large sites.

 

Yamaha EF5500DE – Specifications

Rated Watts4500
Surge Watts5500
Voltage120/240 Single-Phase
Tank Size6.9 Gallons
Fuel TypeGasoline
CC358cc
Ignition Type(s)Electric
BatteryIncluded

Our Yamaha EF5500DE review noted that the engine on this machine is extremely efficient and as a gas generator will work well in an emergency. You will find that you will have a nine-hour operation time if using a full load or a 12-hour operation time with a half load. The Yamaha EF5500DE portable generator has an automatic idle setting that will ensure your engine goes into wind down mode if power is not being used. This feature will save you on operation costs and allowing the machine to perform efficiently when being used in different ways over the course of a day.

The Yamaha EF5500DE is not perfect. Our Yamaha EF5500DE review noted the fact that is doesn’t feature a very high surge power rating. The machine will operate on 4.5k watts but unfortunately will only handle surges up to an extra 1k watts. Surges feature most when a machine is kicking into action. When in operation most electric motors will require 2 to four times the amount of wattage in startup mode. To explain a bit more – a 500-watt appliance could require 1,000 to 2,000 watts at startup. For comparison, the best portable generator has a surge increase of 2,000 watts. The average surge increase is 1,250 watts.

 

Yamaha EF5500DE – Convenience & Efficiency

Run-time @ 50% Load12 Hours
Noise Level74.1 dB
Automatic Voltage RegulationYes

It is not a noisy unit but not the best performer in term of the noise levels it produces. It will operate at a decibel level of 74.1 dB, which is average. The best generators in terms of noise operate at 71 dB, which is about the volume of a vacuum cleaner.

 

Yamaha EF5500DE – Design

Outletsx4 Household
x2 120v/240v
Weight234 Pounds
Length29.1 Inches
Width28.4 Inches
Height31.5 Inches

This machine has a number of great control features on its panel and has four household outlets and two 120/240 volt outlets. It also has a voltage selector that will enable you to isolate the necessary voltage you require. If you are only intending to power the household outlets you can easily choose the 120 volt setting allowing you to ensure you are using an appropriate current and one that is not likely to damage any of your appliances.

 

Yamaha EF5500DE – Safety & Warranty

Ground-Fault Circuit Interruption (GFCI)Yes
Low-oil ShutdownYes
Customer SupportYes
Warranty3 Years

The Yamaha EF5500DE portable generator offers a useful safety feature in the GFCI protection for the outlets you use. This ground-fault circuit interrupter is a circuit breaker that enable the machine to measure the level of AC come to and going from the generator and the various appliances that are being powered.

The Yamaha EF5500DE counteracts any risk of electrocution by monitoring if the returning current has diminished. If the current diminishes then it means that it has found some other route to earth. If this happens in the Yamaha EF5500DE portable generator the GCFI will kick into action and shut off the power supply.

Our Yamaha EF5500DE review identified a very useful extra safety addition. The generator has a sensor installed that will shut the machine’s engine down should the oil levels get too low. This will both save your machine from any long term damage and ensure that you will have a good and reliable power source in the event of a power cut.

 

Best Portable Generator Review – Yamaha EF5500DE – Summary

Our reviews noted that this machine is one of the better of its kind on the market because it is considered both efficient, safe and extremely reliable. It will run for up to 12 hours without burning excess fuel and is a very clean unit in terms of the power it produces. We did note the lack of extra surge power, however.

 
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Best Portable Generator Review – FAQs

For those unacquainted with portable generators, our FAQs section will help you get to grips with some of the features and aspects of these products. Use our FAQs to attain a new understanding of portable generators. This will help you find the unit that is matched to your specific requirements.

 

Why should I invest in a portable generator?

There are several benefits that flow from investing in a portable generator. Chief among these is that the user attains a sense of security from the knowledge that they will not be left stranded in an unexpected power black-out.

While portable generators cannot power entire homes, they enable you to use your essential electrical devices while you wait for the power to come back on. Portable generators can also be used for a wide range of outdoor activities, such as camping, barbecues, etc.

 

Is the size and weight of my portable generator important?

Most of the lower wattage generators are actually quite compact light-weight, and usually have a built-in handle for easy transport, however there are heavier, larger units, but these are usually mounted on a wheel kit.

To find the generator that’s the right size and weight for you, you must first consider how exactly you plan on using the generator. If it’s simply for energy security in the home, larger & heavier units will not cause too much inconvenience. However, for camping purposes, where it must be transported and moved around, you may want to choose a more lightweight and compact appliances.

 

Will I have to spend a lot of money for a decent portable generator?

The prices of portable generators vary drastically, depending on the wattage of the generator. Higher wattage models often reach into the thousands of dollars bracket. Meanwhile, good quality lower wattage generators can often cost less than $500.

 

Are portable generators very loud?

Most portable generators will register at a noise level of somewhere between 55 and 85 dBA, with us classing anything below 70dB to be relatively quiet.

For comparison, the average human conversation will register at somewhere around 60dB. Therefore, for a generator to only put out a noise level that is slightly higher is quite impressive.

 

Is there a specific type of fuel that my generator will run off?

The specific type of fuel that your portable generator requires to function will be outlined in the device’s user manual. There will also be instructions for changing the oil, as well as all the other information you need to run your generator safely and effectively.

 

Can I store my fuel for a long time?

Generally speaking, fuel begins to deteriorate after a month, so we strongly advise you to add a suitable fuel stabilizer, which will prevent the ethanol contents from damaging combustion-related components in your generator. That being said, we always advise that you drain your generator of fuel and put the oil to other uses, rather than leave it in there for extended periods of time.

 

Will I have to operate my generator often?

In short, yes, you have to operate your generator regularly to prevent damage due to long-term fuel storage. Generally speaking, we recommend using your generator once a month, or as often as specified in the included user manual.

 

How do I start up my portable generator if I haven’t used it in a while?

The most important part about starting up a generator after a long period of time is ensuring your safety. First, take your generator out into a clear and very well ventilated area. All parts need to be checked to ensure they are operational, with particular attention payed to the carburettor. Further, the generator will then need thorough cleaning, following the instructions as laid out in the user manual. Once cleaning is finished, refill the generator with fresh fuel, and a new spark plug. Oil level must also be checked to ensure that the machine has enough. Finally, once all safety precautions have been observed, begin start-up.

 

What do I do if water accidentally gets into my portable generator?

Water can create some serious safety hazards, and damage the components of your generator. If water gets inside your generator, power it off as soon as possible, if it is safe to do so. Your user manual should contain instructions on what to do in this scenario. If it is unsafe for you to deal with the situation, we recommend that you distance yourself from the generator and call a company representative.

 

Where is the best place to set up a portable generator?

It is absolutely vital that you do not set up your generator indoors, and this includes structures such as tents and garages. You should place your generator outside in a well ventilated shelter. This is of the utmost importance as generators have a number of exhaust fumes that can cause serious poisoning if allowed to build up indoors (such as Carbon Monoxide).

 

Will my portable generator need a wheel kit?

If your generator is small enough and light enough for you to transport manually with ease we would say that there is no need for a wheel kit. Conversely, heavy or large generators typically already come mounted into a wheel kit, so there is normally no need for a wheel kit. That being said, if you find your generator to be too inconvenient, or heavy to move, we do recommend your purchase a wheel kit.

 

Is there any difference between surge wattage and rated wattage?

The surge wattage of your generator refers to the peak output that can be produced, usually for quite a short amount of time, whereas the rated wattage of a generator refers to the amount of power it can continuously produce.

 

What does ‘electric start’ mean?

Generators with ‘electric start’ functionality have simple push-button activation. This feature is usually present on many of the more modern, recently produced generators. The other, more common mechanism features a pull-cord configuration. Both set-ups have their downfalls, such as the electric start not working at times due to an empty battery, or the cord being too laborious of a start-up procedure for some people. Therefore we believe the best generators have both start-up mechanisms, which work as back-ups for each other.

 

Summary

Wrapping up our best portable generators review, we hope that our insights have been useful in helping you find the generator you need. Are you still browsing? We advise returning to the information in our FAQs section while keeping in mind your ideal price range, and how you intend using the appliance. Then you can return to our carefully selected list of products with a newly informed perspective. Hopefully, this will enable you to find your ideal product without the need for hours of blind browsing.

 

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Image Source: Honda