It’s crucial to have a top-notch generator, especially for those unexpected storms and power outages. Whether you’re looking for the best portable generators on a budget or an extremely quiet generator to power your devices, there are many high-quality generators to pick from. The following is a guide to the best portable generators in 2020 and beyond.
We have done the research, we have tested out the products. Let Generator Expert be your guide, whether you’re looking for a generator for hurricane season, winter storms, food trucks, powering tools, or anything in between!
Best Portable Generators Going Into 2021: An Overview
After researching the web for the highest quality generators, we have divided them into ten specific categories. Depending on your needs and the devices you are looking to power, you can narrow your search to the categories below to find the best portable generators for your personalized needs.
Reviewers say: “Tons of clean power and flexibility for the money.”
Weighing roughly 48 pounds, the WEN 56200i portable generator is loved by customers for a number of reasons. This generator supplies your household devices with 1,600 running watts, possessing a total of 2,000 surge watts. Its two, three-prong 120 V inputs, one 5V USB port, and one 12V DC input. This will provide you with enough plugs to keep your appliances, electronics, and other devices completely charged!
On top of that, its 51-decibel operating level makes it exceptionally quiet. With less than 1.2% Total Harmonic Distribution, the WEN is one of the cleanest power sources available and is even capable of powering the most delicate of devices like your computer or plasma TV.
The WEN 56200i provides you with low-fuel and low-oil automatic shutdowns so you can avoid damaging your generator. For even more power efficiency, you can switch to Eco-Mode and allow your generator to automatically regulate its fuel consumption. And when you’re wanting to take the power of your WEN to the next level, you can use the WEN in conjunction with other WEN generators with parallel connectivity.
In a nutshell, customers receive tons of clean power and flexibility for the money. Whether you’re preparing for the next hurricane or a neighborhood power outage, this generator is top-notch on every level, making it our #1 choice for best portable generators.
Reviewers say: “It doesn’t weigh much, it’s tough, and it’s user-friendly.”
For a generator with a manageable size, the Honda EU2000i is relatively quiet at 59 decibels and weighs 46 pounds. Additionally, it is simple to use. With a starting power of 2,000 watts, it manages an economical 1,600 watt running power. Its 1.1-gallon fuel tank can supply 4 hours of energy at 100% load and 9.6 hours at a quarter load.
The Eco-throttle system allows for fuel efficiency that can keep the machine running for 8 hours on end with a full tank. It can even be paired in conjunction with another unit EU2000i unit to double the output when you are in need of some extra power, boosting your running power to 3,200 watts. Equipped with two AC outlets and one DC, the EU2000i can charge or power multiple devices. The generator is backed by a three-year warranty.
This generator is truly one to splurge on, including features like clean output and Eco-throttle that top its competition. It possesses a circuit protection feature to prevent overloading and a standard oil alert for adequate engine maintenance. If you drop money on this small generator, you will not regret how powerful AND quiet it is. (Also, you cannot go wrong with Honda’s three-year warranty…). For these reasons, the Honda EU2000i easily made our list of the best portable generators.
Reviewers say: “This generator has no problem supplying power to all of your home’s devices.”
The Generac 5734 GP17500E is a heavy-duty machine that packs strength and dependability into one model with its 992cc OHVI® engine. Weighing in at 390 pounds, this 17500-Watt generator is outfitted with a 16-gallon tank. This can operate for 10 hours at half load. It is capable of clocking 26,250 Watts at full max output.
This means that it can power average-sized homes with ease and even supplies more power than some household standby generators. Expect it to be able to handle several appliances on its 16-circuit system. This system includes four 120V outlets, one 120V 30A outlet, one 120/240V outlet, and one 12VDC outlet.
The 5734 GP17500E is equipped with a 12VDC 365-CCA battery for easy start-up. Despite its size and weight, portability is taken into consideration with its steel frame and handle with an included wheel kit. The generator might not be the quietest around, but many customers have found that the included muffler does a great job of keeping the noise at an acceptable level. There is also a maintenance kit to keep it running for years to come. The unit is covered by a two-year limited warranty.
And while it’s always wonderful to have a two-year limited warranty and this generator certainly has one. But thankfully, most customers don’t have to bother returning it. Customers have reportedly endured hurricanes as powerful as Hurricane Sandy with this generator, giving their homes power for days straight, putting this on our list of the best portable generators.
Reviewers say: “This generator is beyond easy to transport.”
While it is compact and portable at only 55 pounds, the Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 PowerSmart is also powerful and reliable. The generator is fuel-efficient with it auto-idle control feature and it 1-gallon fuel tank provides 8 hours of use at 25% load. The unit’s 111cc motor starts at 2,200 Watts and operates at 1,700, at only 59 decibels.
Able to service a range of 120V devices, this generator has two AC outlets, one DC outlet, a USB port, and a circuit breaker to ensure that power is being used efficiently. The 30651 P2200 PowerSmart earns its name by using only as much energy as necessary when powering electronics. It can also be paired with another generator for increased output.
The Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 PowerSmart is a great source of clean energy due to it being an inverter generator, and you will find that the Total Harmonic Distribution levels are always less than 3%. This means that this unit can safely power your smartphone, plasma TVs, and DSLR cameras without damaging them. This tiny but powerful generator features an H-handle design, which makes it easy to carry and transport.
It also possesses parallel capabilities; you can connect two PowerSmart Series inverter generators with a parallel connector port to absorb even more power without using a household outlet. To top things off, the generator is equipped with a 2-year warranty that protects the unit from damage. This is a great generator for those that prefer compact designs. If you’re a camper or traveler in need of a generator, this is a great option and one of the best portable generators for you!
Reviewers say: “If you don’t want that food in your fridge to spoil, this generator is best for you.”
Fairly portable and lightweight, the 50-pound WEN 56180 generator can hold 1.1 gallons of gasoline and run up to 7.5 hours at half load. This affordable generator starts 1,800 Watts and runs at 1,500 Watts.
With its lower power output, it only creates 63 decibels. The generator accommodates for electronics with two AC 120V three-prong outlets and one DC cigarette-lighter-styled 12V outlet.
The WEN features several safety measures, making it the perfect generator to use around the home or even in national parks. It has a forced cooling system that always ensures that the engine doesn’t overheat, even while running at full load.
The automatic low-oil shut off function makes sure that you never damage your engine by running it with low fuel and the spark arrestor reduces the amount of sparks created while the generator is running causing fire hazards to be low. To top it all off, the WEN 56180 comes with a 2-year warranty and is extremely affordable, making it one of the best portable generators on the market for those on a budget.
Reviewers say: “This generator’s engine is able to run for more than nine hours, consistently, at a 50 percent load.”
With a sizeable output for a home generator, the Big & Stratton 30676 has 8,750 Watts starting and 7,000 Watts running on a 2100 series OHV 420cc engine. It features four AC 120V outlets and an additional 120/2140V 30-amp outlet with circuit breaker protection that ensures the circuit isn’t overloaded.
This generator can sufficiently power appliances and tools simultaneously thanks to its 25% surge wattage. Its 7.5-gallon fuel tank can function for nine hours at a half load, one of the longest run-times of the best portable generators we researched.
The 30676 weighs 221 pounds, so it’s quite the behemoth. However, its 12-inch wheels make portability simple and are guaranteed to never go flat! It has a Key electric start or remote stroke for easy start-up with a recoil backup when you need it.
The Briggs & Stratton is also equipped with a few safety features such as low-oil shut off when fuel supplies are low to ensure that the generator isn’t damaged and the Super Lo-Tone muffler keeps the noise levels low as to not disturb you. This generator is perfect for running your large household appliances when an unexpected power outage occurs! This behemoth easily made our list of the best portable generators.
Reviewers say: “If you’re an outdoorsman or you’re preparing for a storm, this generator has got your back.”
Equipped with a 3.8-gallon fuel tank, the Champion Power Equipment 76533 can operate for 12 hours at a half load. It starts up at 4,000 Watts and runs at 3,500 watts, producing only 68 decibels of noise. The unit as a whole weighs 124 pounds and has a folding handle and tires for easy maneuvering.
Included with the generator is a wireless remote for easier activation within 80 feet as well as an electric startup button. Alternatively, it has to pull-start lever to power it on. The 76533 has four outlets. One is a 120V 30A RV outlet, another is a 120 30A locking outlet, and two more are 120V 20A household type outlets.
The Champion features a user-friendly IntelliGauge which allows you to keep track of the hours, hertz, and volts in use easily and quickly. It also protects your appliances and electronics from being overloaded with sudden voltage spikes due to its Volt Guard.
Some other safety features include the low-oil shutoff, an automatic voltage regulator, and a USDA approved spark arrestor. If you live in a colder area, you will be happy to know that the Champion even has a cold start function that allows it to run even on the coldest of winter days!
This generator is covered by a three-year limited warranty and free lifetime technical support, one of the best warranties for one of the best portable generators in 2021.
Reviewers say: “With a 25-percent load, this generator can run for around 16 hours continuously. making it one of the best portable generators for just about anything.”
With its 6.6-gallon fuel tank, the WGEN7500 can operate at a solid 16 at a quarter load and 14 hours at a half load. Its 420cc OHV engine normally functions at 7,500 watts but peaks at 9,500 watts. While it is 200 pounds, its foam handle and wheels make it simple for one person to transport.
As far as power output goes, it has two GFCI 5-20R 120V household duplex receptacles and one L14-30R 120/240V twist-lock receptacle. This unit is outfitted with a muffler which makes the machine run at a quiet 64 decibels.
Start-up is easy with the WGEN7500 as it is equipped with a remote and an electric button push start while also having a recoil for backup. Safety features include a low-oil shutoff and overheating shutoff to protect the engine from being damaged.
The WGEN7500 is overload and circuit protected with a spark arrestor that is CSA, EPA, and CARB approved. To sweeten the deal, the generator comes with a 3-year limited warranty to ensure the quality and dependability of the product! The Westinghouse WGen7500 seems to have made it onto multiple of our “best of” guides, so it should come as no surprise that it is among the best portable generators list as well.
Reviewers say: “Just because it’s soft doesn’t mean it’s less efficient.”
The iGen2500 generator normally performs at 2,200 Watts, peaking at 2,500 Watts. It is a fairly quiet power source, measuring at only 52 decibels due to its double-insulated acoustic enclosure and built in low tone mufflers and cooling fans. Not only that, but it is light, weighing 48 pounds.
The iGen2500’s carrying handle and relatively small size allows for easy portability. With a full one-gallon tank, it can offer up to a whole 10 hours a quarter load; half load will obviously shorten time, but it does affect how loud it is. The iGen2500 also includes several outlets with two 120V AC ports and five USB ports, granting power to a great number of devices.
The iGen2500 is an inverter generator. This means that it maintains low levels of Total Harmonic Distribution. It can safely power your sensitive devices without any damage done to the machine. It is also 30-50% more fuel efficient than a traditional generator. This is due to the way it operates as an inverter generator. The unit also features parallel connectivity which allows you to boost your running output wattage with a machine working alongside it.
Its three-year warranty and Westinghouse’s customer service guarantee dependability for this generator, putting this easily on our list of the best portable generators for 2021.
Reviewers say: “This generator’s dual 120V outlets and a 12V DC output powers a variety of electronics and household devices.”
As its name implies, one of this generator’s assets is its portability. It weighs in at only 35 pounds, and is equipped with a convenient and sturdy carrying handle. Peaking at 1,200 Watts, it operates regularly at 900 Watts. The Pulsar option only generates 65 decibels, owed to its quiet mode and quality muffler.
It is capable of functioning of 8.5 hours at a half load on just a 1.1-gallon fuel tank. With two 120V AC outlets and one 12V DC outlet, it can supply power to a variety of devices and appliances. At full power, it can even power refrigerators and microwaves.
The control panel is easy to understand and is equipped with a variety of features. Some of these include a reset button and a circuit breaker. These will protect the circuit from sudden overloads or short circuit. Power in the generator is activated by a recoil pull cord.
The generator features low-oil shutdown and automatic voltage regulation. The low-oil indicator makes it easy to see when the machine is running low on fuel. The generator also comes with a 12 Volt charge trickle cable and is supplied with a 1-year warranty, great for our list of the best portable generators.
Our Final Thoughts On The Best Portable Generators
There are a variety of generators out there to suit everyone’s needs. A generator for an outdoorsman might be different from one that can power an entire home. But whatever your case may be, we can all agree that generators are crucial for supplying power when you require it.
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