Best Portable Generators

Ideally, power generators are built and designed to supplement the electricity requirement for homes during emergency power outages. These power interruptions are usually caused by natural calamities, or inadequate supply. These are rare occurrence in the United States though. Likewise, emergencies may not be the only reason why you should invest in a portable generator. You might be one of those people who see the outdoors as an extension of their homes. Whether it’s in your huge backyard, your farm, or an outdoor adventure - a portable generator will certainly ensure you enjoy the outdoors with convenience and without any interruptions.

But how will you know which particular model to get? The wide variety of options may be confusing for first-time buyers, even more so for those who need replacements. This buying guide will help you decide, by giving you insights on how to compute your wattage requirements. By the end of this article, we guarantee that you will arrive at a sound decision, and are ready to click “Add to Cart.”

​​Model Name

​​Running Watts

​​Fuel Type

​​Fuel Capacity

​​Warranty

​​9500w

​​Gas

​​6.6-gallon tank

​​3 years

​​8300w

​​Gas

​​6.6-gallon tank

​​2 years

​​7500w

Gas/Propane

​​6.6-gallon tank with gauge, Propane not included

​​3 years

Gas: 7500

​Propane: 6750

Gas/Propane

​​6-gallon tank, Propane not included

​​3 years

​​3500w

​​Gas

​​4-gallon tank

​​1 year

​​3600w

​​Gas

​​4-gallon tank

​​3 years

​​3500w

​​Gas

​​3.8-gallon tank

​​3 years

​​1700w

​​Gas

​​1-gallon tank

​​2 years

​​1800w

​​​Gas

​​1.3-gallon tank

​​3 years

​​1800w

​​Gas

​​0.95-gallon tank

​​3 years

10000 Watts and Above Portable Generators

portable-generators

Plug in your most important appliances such as your air conditioner, refrigerator or room heater with a heavy duty and powerful portable generator like the Westinghouse WGen9500. With its large gas tank capacity of 6.6lbs, it can supply up to 17.5 hours of electricity. With over a thousand reviews on Amazon, this portable generator is packed with power and enticing features.

This generator can be used straight out of the box. Just fill the gas tank and you may start it using a push button, via recoil starting or through a remote that’s included in the package. You can conveniently remote start it at a distance of 109 yards. It is easy to track whenever you need to refill the gas with its built-in gauge. You will never be disappointed with its 9500 watts running watts and 12500 peak watts that lets you power even the most energy-consuming appliances at home.

Its control panel shows various connection ports such as two (2) 5V DC USB ports, main breaker,  data center, two (2) 120V AC 20-A 5-20R GFCI outlets, 120/240V AC 30A L14-30R outlet and 120/240V AC 50A L14-50R outlet. All outlets have built-in covers for safety and protection of the users.

Westinghouse WGen9500 is powered by a 457cc heavy-duty Westinghouse 4-stroke OHV engine. It is housed in a cast iron sleeve. It has a low noise operation level at 73db which is equivalent to the sound of a toilet flushing. The required oil capacity for this generator is 1.1 qt. and SAE 10W30 is the recommended oil.

It can easily be transported from one area to another with its foam grip handle and two wheels.  It is easy to use, easy to maintain, has a 3-year warranty and lifetime technical support.

​PROS

  • ​​High-power generator
  • ​​An impressive running time of 17.5 hours
  • ​​No installation required
  • ​Easy to transport
  • ​3-year warranty

​CONS

  • ​User reports of Start Button malfunction
  • ​Operates louder than other portable generators

Bottom line:

Like a job applicant with impressive credentials, the Westinghouse WGen9500 stands out as a heavy-duty, high-power generator qualified for long running hours. It can pretty much last throughout day time and perfect for electricity backups for those who need their air conditioners/heaters and refrigerators running for hours.

best-portable-generator

Imagine you’re in the middle of a power outage caused by a hurricane and you ran out of gas for your generator. Even your emergency power back-up will surely need a back-up. That’s what dual fuel generators are for. WEN DF1100T was designed with these shortages in mind. Simply choose between gasoline or LPG to power your generator and switch the power key on the control panel.

The generator is equipped with a 457cc 4-stroke OHV engine which has 8300 running watts and 11000 starting watts as output on gasoline. While using Propane gives it 7500 running and 9500 surge watts. It can hold up to 6.6 gallons of gas and LPG tanks can be easily connected using the 47-inch LPG hose provided in the kit.

The control panel has four (4) 120V GFCI outlets (5-20R), a 120V 30A twist lock outlet (L5-30R), a 120V/240V 50A outlet (NEMA 14-50R) and a 12V DC cigarette-lighter-style plug. There will be no guesswork or transformers needed because you can plug in any appliances with 120/240V voltage requirement.

The half-load run time of this generator with 6.6 gallons of gasoline can run up to 5 hours, while 3 hours on a 20-gallon LPG tank. It is equipped with two wheels and an easy to carry handle for quick transfer and storage. This powerful generator can be used at home, hospitals, construction sites and outdoor sports tournaments. It is also covered with a 2-year warranty.

​PROS

  • ​​High-power generator
  • ​​Dual fuel (Gasoline and Propane) generator
  • ​​No installation required
  • ​Easy to transport
  • ​2-year warranty

​CONS

  • ​User reports of clanking noise
  • ​Operates louder than other portable generators

Bottom line:

Being offered options is good. One of the best ones come with this generator. Since we’ll never really know if Gasoline will always be accessible whether it’s for home use or outdoors, Propane is the most suitable back-up since we have it readily available at home.

7500 Watts Porta​ble Generators

portable-generators-for-sale

With the popularity of dual fuel generators, powerhouse brand Westinghouse also came up with their very own with WGen7500DF Portable Generator. It offers 7500 running watts and 9500 peak watts that will let you use your water heater, clothes dryer and other high electricity consuming appliances.

Easily switch between gasoline and propane. This generator is hook-up ready to LPG at it already comes with the hose and the gauge. You just need to purchase a propane tank. If you prefer gasoline, it has a 6.6-gallon tank. It impressively runs for 16 hours even at full tank load. You can also switch between the fuel sources even while the generator is running. There are two ways to power on the unit, through its Push Start Electric Button or the Remote Start Key Fob that can activate the unit even if you are 109 yards away.

All switches and buttons are located in a control panel which has the fuel selector switch, one-touch push-button start, engine shut off, 5V DC USB ports, Data Center, battery charging port, two (2) 120V AC 20A 4-20R GFCI outlets, 120/240V AC 30A L14-30R out and 20A circuit breakers. All outlets are covered to prevent damage and accidents.

Worried about your generator and the oil when it’s running too long? Not anymore with its Automatic Low Oil Shut Off feature. This generator requires minimum supervision. Its powerful 420cc 4-stroke  OHV air-cooled engine is also low maintenance and fuel efficient.

​PROS

  • ​​High-power generator
  • ​​An impressive running time of 16 hours
  • ​​Dual fuel
  • ​Fuel efficient
  • ​3-year warranty

​CONS

  • ​User reports of an oil leak
  • ​Operates louder than other portable generators

Bottom line:

Still on the high-power classification for generators, the Westinghouse WGen7500DF is the perfect duel fuel generator for those who are banking on a good brand name, added convenience of a remote key and the fuel options. It is most suitable for those who are looking for a low maintenance generator that comes with extended warranty coverage as well.

honda-portable-generators

Generators may not be a supplemental or temporary source or electricity, for some users it may be the only source for a specific period. That’s why it is essential to find one with reliable running time and fuel efficiency. Champion 7500W Portable Generator gives up to 8 hours of power supply with 6-gallon gasoline and 5.5 hours using propane. This generator is versatile and can be switched between two power sources whenever you need it.

It is equipped with a 4-stroke 439cc single cylinder engine which features an Intelligauge that will help you keep track of maintenance reminders and monitor voltage, hertz and run-time hours. The generator is stable and does not have any clanking problems, thanks to the durable 1.5-inch tubular steel frame that protects it.

Champion 7500w Dual Fuel Generator’s power output is impressive on both fuel sources. Gasoline has 7500 running watts and 9375 starting watts. On propane, you can generate 6750 running watts and 8400 starting watts. You will also never have to worry about power overload because of its Volt Guard, a built-in surge protector.    

The control panel of this generator lets you plug in two (2) 120V GFCI 5-20R. It also has 20A and 30A circuit breakers, an ON and OFF switch, a 120V L5-30R outlet, 120/240V L14-30R outlet and the Intelligauge. You’ll never fall short because buying confidence because of its 3-year warranty and free lifetime technical support.

​PROS

  • ​High-power generator
  • ​Dual fuel
  • ​ No installation required
  • ​Durable frame
  • ​3-year warranty

​CONS

  • ​High-price point
  • ​User reports of an oil leak
  • ​Operates louder than other portable generators

Bottom line:

This generator runs straight out of the box. The dual fuel option is a pleaser, but with its higher price point, it should definitely showcase better features than its competitors in the same power output. The only downside is that it does not have a transfer switch outlet and USB ports like other generators.

3500 Watts to 4400 Watts Portable Generators​

portable-generator-reviews

Any generator in the 3500 to 4000w are considered mid-range portable generators. DuroMax is among the trusted brands of portable generators and the XP4400E Portable generator is one of the most purchased models from their generator lines. It can perfectly supply and fully power a small home.

This 7.0HP generator has a running output of 3500w and 4400w maximum output. It is gas-powered and can run up to 8 hours at 50% load with a 4-gallon gasoline supply. The tank is also all-steel and is equipped with an EZ-read gauge so you will up to date with your consumption and if you need to stock up on gasoline.

The power panel gives access to the engine shutoff switch, volt meter, circuit breaker, two (2) 120-Volt outlets and one (1) 120-Volt/240-Volt twist-lock outlet. The generator frame is built using heavy-duty steel with four-point fully isolated motor mounts and ultra quiet muffler which reduce engine noise and prevent clanking.

DuroMax XP4400E is not just a wise investment for your home, it is also easy to bring around with its front carry handle and wheel kit. It is also only 120 pounds and will be easy to load in your vehicle should you wish to use it to power your RVs or as a back=up power supply during campings.

​PROS

  • ​​Heavy-duty steel frame for smooth operation
  • ​​No installation required
  • ​​Durable frame

​CONS

  • ​High-price point
  • ​Operates louder than other portable generators

Bottom line:

This 4400w portable generator from Duromax will surely be a great addition to any home, job site and outdoor events. It promises smooth and quiet operation and it is built with high-quality materials to meet that. It is just a little pricey compared with other known brands with a similar output.

portable-natural-gas-generator

For those who love the outdoors, a recreational van is both a luxury and a privilege. And there is no better way to maximize the features of your van without occupying too much space than having a compact and portable generator that will never disappoint in terms of power. The Westinghouse WGen3600v is a mid-range portable generator perfect for tiny homes and RVs.

Keep your essential appliances running for up to 18 hours with just 4 gallons per full tank of the WGen3600v. With its 3600 running watts and 4650 peak watts, you will never feel the difference between direct electricity and the alternative power this generator offers.

It can liven up your outdoor adventure with its TT-30R 30A 120V outlet that instantly powers your RV or camper even without special adapters. The power panel has an ON and OFF switch, a 30A Circuit Breaker button, a 30A Circuit Breaker Button, a 120V AC 30A L5-30R Outlet and two (2) 120V AC 20A 5-20R Outlet. All outlets have rubber covers for your safety and protection. The 212cc Westinghouse 4-stroke OHV engine is housed in long last cast iron sleeve that will not rust or corrode. The engine will also automatically shut down in case it reaches its low oil limit.

The generator comes with oil, oil funnel, a tool kit, and a User’s Manual upon purchase. You are also backed by a 3-year limited warranty and a Nationwide Customer Service and Support Network.

​PROS

  • ​​RV-ready generator
  • ​​Heavy-duty steel frame for smooth operation
  • ​​No installation required
  • ​Durable frame
  • ​3-year warranty

​CONS

  • ​Manual recoil start

Bottom line:

The mere fact this is specially-designed to be RV-ready means there’s a demand for it and tiny homes would greatly appreciate the versatility and portability of this generator. The only downside is the manual recoil way to start it. It would be awesome if the manufacturer can adjust the price a bit to accommodate a push to start mechanism.

quiet-portable-generator

Starting a generator during cold months can be challenging and noisy. Imagine if you still have to power it on manually? Thanks to the technology and excellent features of the Champion 3500w Portable Generator, you can now say goodbye to the hard start. The 196cc Champion engine features an electric start with a 3-way ignition switch and a built-in Cold Start Technology.

This generator is also RV ready and appliances inside your van like a refrigerator and air conditioner will have continuous power with its 4000 starting watts and 3500 running watts. Have a worry-free overnight outdoor fun with its 12 hours run time with full 3.8-gallon tank gasoline. You can sleep soundly with its rated 68db noise level which is as quiet as a regular air conditioner.

Conveniently turn it on or off even when you are 80 feet away with a remote key fob. You may also start and stop it with a press of a button and when all electronic options don’t work, you can still use its manual recoil mechanism.

Monitor the voltage and get reminded of the maintenance schedules with the Intelligauge voltmeter and digital display. You can also avoid power surges that may damage your appliances with its built-in Volt Guard. Easily transfer your generator from your house, to your shed or to your RV with its wheel kit and comfortable carry handle. This generator is covered by the standard 3-year warranty and a free lifetime technical support from Champion.

​PROS

  • ​Wireless remote to power on
  • ​RV-ready
  • ​No installation required
  • ​Durable frame
  • ​3-year warranty

​CONS

  • ​High-price point versus generators with the same output

Bottom line:

This generator proves to be a reliable, convenient and durable option among the portable generators with a 3500w output. It is also RV-ready and wirelessly starts using a remote. The most bankable feature is the Cold Start Technology making it more appealing to those who love the great outdoors even during cold months. The only downside is that it is around 25% more expensive than its competitors. 

1800 Watts to 2200 Watts Portable Generators

small-portable-generator

You don’t have to spoil the fun in your camping because you will have to carry a big, bulky and heavy generator. If you are looking for a true blue definition of portability, Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 Portable Generator might be the perfect one for you. It is only 54.6lbs. and can be carried by a single person and more comfortably by two since handles are built side by side.

It can provide power to your household during emergency power outages caused by typhoons and other natural calamities for up to 8 hours at 25% load with just a 1-gallon tank of gasoline. Its 111cc OHV engine runs efficiently and quietly and it produces a 1700 running watts and 2200 starting watts.  It guarantees less than 3% total harmonic distortion which means there will be minimal to zero surges that may harm your laptops, personal computers, television and gaming consoles.

It has two (2) 120V Household Outlets, one (1) 12V-5A, DC Outlet with USB Adapter and one (1) Parallel Port all conveniently placed in one control panel. It starts using manual recoil mechanism, but you don’t have to worry about being bothered by noise because it operates at 57db or even quieter than your normal speaking voice.

It has a dedicated parallel connector port that lets you connect two units of Briggs & Stratton PowerSmart Series Generator and provide twice as much power for your household needs. This portable generator is covered by a 2-year warranty from the manufacturer.

​PROS

  • ​No installation required
  • ​Portable and easy to carry
  • ​Low noise
  • ​2-year warranty

​CONS

  • ​Manual recoil start
  • ​High-price point versus generators with the same output

Bottom line:

You will never go wrong with a smaller generator especially if you are most likely to use it outside than inside your home for your outdoor activities and job site needs. It is quiet, has protection against electrical surge and is durable. However, it may be small, but some buyers might find it significant in term of prices. It is priced as much as generators with 30% more power output.

Usually, portable generators with an output ranging from 1800w to 3600w as meant to run all the essential appliances at home. Meaning, it can supply electricity to your electric stove, refrigerator and can charge your mobile devices at the very least. Westinghouse WH220iXLT is a compact generator that can provide power to your home essentials for at least 13 hours on a 1.3-gallon gas tank.

This 43-lb. portable generator has an output of 1800 rated watts and 2200 peak watts. It works as quiet as your refrigerator and it is smart enough to give Low Oil and Overload alerts. Its control panel features two (2) 120V AC 20A 5-20R outlets, circuit breaker, low oil, overload and output ready indicator lights, circuit breaker, choke, a 12V outlet with cover and engine shut off. It can be started using manual recoil which is also located at the control panel. Expect fuel efficiency with the built-in Efficiency Mode for this portable generator.

You can bank on more power if you connect two Westinghouse WG2200iXLTs using a Westinghouse Inverter Parallel Cord with its parallel capability. Combining two WG2200iXLT means more savings and fuel efficiency because it provides twice as much power with only ¼ of the gasoline required for the same output from a single generator. This portable generator is backed by a 3-year warranty with a lifetime technical support from Westinghouse.

​PROS

  • ​​Can be connected to a similar generator for more power supply
  • ​​No installation required
  • ​​Portable and easy to carry
  • ​Low noise
  • ​3-year warranty

​CONS

  • ​Manual recoil start
  • ​High-price point versus generators with the same output

Bottom line:

This generator is compact but not lacking in features. It has an impressive control panel that features efficiency mode and light indicators for overload and low oil and this is something that the other generators don’t have. The parallel connectivity feature is also a practical fuel efficiency feature. It is however priced as much as bigger generators.

How to Find the Best Portable Generator for Your Need?

1. Identify your Power Requirement

Generators are most commonly used as electricity back-up. It is something that is meant to supply power to your most needed appliances. During winter, you might need a room heater and a water heater. If you have an infant, you will most likely need a refrigerator to keep baby essentials like breast milk fresh. With these in mind, it is necessary to identify the daily power requirement of these appliances and sum it all up to arrive at your power requirement. Check out this guide for your quick reference:

Appliance

Approximate Watts

​​Dishwasher

​​1200-1500

​​Refrigerator, 16 cu.ft.

​1200

​​Microwave

​​1000

​​Window Aircon, 1HP

​​1000

​​LCD TV

​​150

​CFL Bulb, 60W

​18

​​Room Heater

​​1500

​​Electric Water Heater

​​4500

​​Stand Fan

​​200-300

2. Manner of Usage

How do you intend to use your power generator? Will you use it during emergency power outages? Do you love hosting outdoor parties? Do you regularly go camping? Do you need power for your recreational vehicle? All of these can affect the way you will choose a generator. For example, not all generators are RV-ready. Likewise, not all at light enough to be brought during campings.

If you live in California, it is also vital to purchase a CARB compliant generator. CARB stands for California Air Resource Board, a regulatory body in the State of California that ensures and maintain healthy air quality by setting rules and regulations on emissions from motor vehicles, generators, lawn mowers, etc. You would have probably noticed that there are generators in the market that explicitly say “Not for sale in California.”

3. Type of Fuel and Fuel Efficiency

The two most common fuel types for portable generators are gasoline and propane or LPG. Most generators have only one source and that is gasoline, but lately, dual fuel generators are becoming the rising stars for power back-up. You can expect more extended running hours using gas-powered generators and propane is around 25% shorter in running time.

Having a dual fuel generator is like providing back-ups for a back-up power source although this type of generators is usually higher-priced.

4. Noise Level

This is also a huge factor to consider. How close is your nearest neighbor? If the distance is too tight, you can never get a generator that emits noise louder than an average person’s speaking voice which is 60db. Anything louder that will be as loud as a blender or a vacuum cleaner which can be annoying for most people. If you can choose one with the noise level between 30 to 55db, then you don’t have to spend on long cables just to keep your generator farther from where you and your neighbors might be disturbed by it.

5. Budget

With these reviews of the portable generators, you might probably saw the price differences. Sometimes, these generators have the same rated watts, but the other is twice the price. Check on the features that you really need and those that you can do without.

Factors that cause the price to spike up are a wireless/remote start, cold start technology and parallel capability. You may opt to get a higher priced one especially if the warranty coverage is longer and the features are better to make your life easier during power outages.

How to Prolong the Life of Your Portable Generator

1. Always Read the Operator’s Manual

This is the first rule of thumb. If you don’t read the manual before operating any machine or equipment, chances are you will likely not be able to resolve any problems that might arise immediately and will still resort to it later on. So it is a smart move actually to refer to it from the onset.

Your operators manual will provide all the do’s and don’ts on your generator. It will also show you common error codes and how to resolve each one. It is not just a troubleshooting guide, it is what you need to keep your generator in tip-top condition.

2. Store Your Generator in a Covered and Dry Place

It can be your garage or your shed, what’s important is that it is not accessible to children, it will not get wet and will not be exposed to direct sunlight. But it should be easily accessible to you when the need arises.

There are also types of generator storage:

3. Short-term Storage (Less than a month)

If you are using your generator this often, all you have to do is clean the unit especially around the frame and the control panel. And keep it in a dedicated area where you can immediately get it.

4. Long-term Storage (Between 2 to 3 months)

Storing your generator for a period of 2 to 3 months will require a more thorough storage preparation especially if your unit still has gasoline on its tank. You may either empty the tank by letting the generator turned on until its all used up or use a gasoline stabilizer that can keep your fuel fresh, longer.

5. Change Your Generator Oil Regularly

Just like a car’s engine, your generator’s engine needs periodic oil replacement. New generators are equipped with “low oil” indicators to alert users that it needs to be topped up. Some generators automatically shut off when oil reaches the minimum level.

It is advisable to check the oil level before every use of your generator, a dipstick is built-in on the oil tank and must always be refilled up to the full marker. Refer to the Operation Manual for the recommended type of oil for your generator.

6. Subject the Essential Parts to Regular Inspection

A periodic inspection on the vital parts of your generator will make sure that these faulty parts will not affect the total performance of your equipment. Among the components that usually wear off and need to be replaced over a period of time are the following:

  • Carburetor
  • Air filter
  • Fuel filter
  • Spark plug

It is the perfect portable generator for every household. It is not underpowered and it is not too much either. It can provide electricity even to the most energy-consuming appliances like the refrigerator and air conditioners. It can also offer an impressive running time of 16 hours, depending on the load. You will never have to worry when you run out of fuel as well since you can easily take your LPG tank out and hook your generator up and your appliances will be up and running again.

If you live in California, it might be helpful to know that this product is CARB compliant will not cause air pollution. The best feature of this dual fuel generator is “on the fly” fuel change or the capability to switch from one fuel source to another while the generator is running.

You can enjoy all of these features of less than a thousand dollars and have the buying confidence as it is covered by a 3-year Manufacturer’s Warranty and Lifetime Technical Support Nationwide. With Westinghouse WGen7500DF you will have access to back-up electricity, for your home and wherever you may need it.

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