Generators are an amazing source of power in so many different situations – if your main power supply fails, or if you’re in a remote location with no power, or maybe cruising around in your RV or caravan. Having a good generator to hand will make sure that you can charge all of your devices and have power running to all of the appliances that you need, in any situation. There are a huge number of generators that are available, and finding the one that’s the absolute best for your needs can be quite tricky.
It’s important before you choose a generator that you outline clearly what you want to use it for. Due to the sheer size of the market and the number of uses that one could have for a generator, it would be unfair to say that there’s truly one “best generator”. In this post, we’re going to have a look at the best generator from some of the most popular categories, including inverter and portable. Hopefully, after reading our guide, you’re as informed as you ever will be on what kind of generator you need, and the best generator for you to choose. Here, we’ll feature what we believe are the very best generators from each category of the market.
Best Portable Generator – Honda EU2200iTo be as good as a portable generator should be, it must have a strong engine, high build quality, and must be able to stand up to the test of time. The Honda EU2200i is able to offer all of this in a small yet powerful package. It’s well built, looks great, and pushes out an impressive 2200 watts of power at its peak – 200 more than the model that came before it. It’s been improved on in many ways over the previous EU2000i, but has still managed to keep those qualities that everyone loved – it’s still lightweight at 47 pounds, and it’s still the best looking and most reliable portable generator.
The EU2200i is ridiculously quiet producing only 57 decibels at full load – yes, you read that right, at full load! At a quarter load, the generator makes only 48 decibels of sound. It produces 2200 watts of surge energy, and is able to provide you with 1800 watts of energy continuously. It will easily handle just about anything that you decide to throw at it! Not only this, if you do find something that needs more than 2200 watts, simply double it up with another EU2200i through the parallel connectivity that it offers. Even if you’d rather just spread a larger load between two generators, this feature can be extremely useful.
Another great point about this generator is that it’s an inverter generator as well as a portable. The inverter that’s installed within it makes for as smooth and as a safe an electrical output as possible – with minimal harmonic distortion as a result of its advanced sine wave technology. All of this means that you don’t need to worry about damaging smaller more sensitive devices when charging them, such as digital cameras and mobile phones.
- More durable and more powerful than the previous model, cooled more efficiently, more fuel efficient due to the “Eco-Throttle” system that Honda have installed
- Unbelievably quiet – produced just 57 decibels of noise at full load
- Easy to start with a minimal effort pull start
- Great for so many uses due to its quiet operation and extremely lightweight
- Will run for more than 8 hours at a quarter of its load, and over 3 hours still when all of its potential’s being used.
- No fuel gauge, meaning it can be difficult to know exactly the best time to refuel
- Not the cheapest in its class
If you’d like more information on this generator, check out our full review of the Honda EU2200i right here!
Best Quiet Generator – Yamaha EF2000iS V2Yamaha are synonymous with great build quality and extremely reliable products. They specialize in a large number of products all in different areas of the market. The EF2000iS V2 is no different from any of the other products from Yamaha. Its build quality is fantastic, it looks great, and it’s designed with usability held first and foremost. There is however one particularly special point about the EF2000iS, and that’s that it’s unbelievably quiet. It’s great for use in any situation that power is required, but so too is near silence. For example, if you’re on a campsite with noise restrictions after a certain time but you still require power, this unit from Yamaha is a fantastic and sensible choice.
Quiet operation isn’t the only thing that the EF2000iS has going for it though. It’s extremely portable at just over 40 pounds in weight – because of this, it’s so very easy to move it around to wherever you would like with great ease. You can put your faith in any generator from Yamaha, they come with the highest engine durability ratings attached to them from the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Yamaha EF2000iS V2 is the second version of this successful model – it offers some better features and capabilities than its predecessor, whilst keeping everything that everyone loved about the V1. Being an inverter generator, the engine within the generator itself is connected to an alternator that converts the energy from the engine into electricity in the form of an AC. This alternating current (AC) is then changed to DC (direct current) by using a rectifier. What all of this means is that the V2 is able to provide a very high-quality energy output that has minimal harmonic distortion, meaning that you can be safely connect any device to it.
- A running output of 1600 watts, with a maximum watts output of 2000 watts – more than enough power for the vast majority of portable uses
- Unbelievably quiet operation – when the generator is under a quarter load, it operates at just under 52 dBA – less volume than the average human conversation! Truly one of the most silent generators available on the market!
- Extremely efficient – runs on just one gallon of fuel for 10.5 hours of the generator’s operation whilst at a quarter load.
- Smart Throttle – engine speed is adjusted to provide only the power output that is required. The result of this is great fuel economy
- Smooth and safe power output. This allows for the V2 to be safely used in conjunction with more sensitive devices such as small circuit boards and laptops.
- Extremely portable at just over 40 pounds in weight
- Multiple different electric outletsare easily accessible on the V2, as it provides a 12 volt DC outlet, and two 120v AC outlets!
- Oil warning light and automatic shut down if the oil level is too low – these are two great features for any device that relies on an engine for its operation to have if you would like to avoid expensive repairs.
- No display screen – can be purchased as an additional extra
- Can’t power many larger appliances at once due to its small portable nature
Best Backup Generator – Generac 7043 22 kWA backup generator is a fantastic bit of reassurance to have if you live in an area that regularly experiences power cuts. Or, even if you don’t, a whole house generator is an excellent and reliable backup power source to have for your home. The Generac 7043 is a 22 kW generator that has a great deal of power that it can output, alongside extremely long runtime. For these reasons alone, it’s to see why it’s the perfect whole house generator.
The 7043 is dual fuel – it can be fuelled by your choice of propane or natural gas. At its maximum power, it will return 22,000 watts of if it’s running on propane, and a rather amazing 19,500 watts if it’s being fuelled by natural gas. The Generac can be monitored through a full remote system that it comes with as standard – great if there is bad weather or your generator is situated a bit further away from your house. The system allows you to check the status of the 7043 from any device that is internet-enabled. This gives you near enough all of the information that you’d need to know about your Generac 22kW, including fuel levels, runtime remaining, and current power output.
Generac have installed their G-Force engine into this unit. The G-Force engines are pressure lubricated, and are more than capable of handling the large power demands that an entire house would place on it. There’s also a NEMA 3 smart transfer switch built into this Generac that’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. In case you’re unsure, these switches are designed to manage multiple loads on the generator without any additional hardware. This is great value too, considering the switches are sold individually.
As well as the monitoring system, the Generac 22kW whole house generator comes with an informative display that shows various points of information such as the power level, and how long you should leave your generator until its next service – all of this helps to make sure you keep your Generac in as good condition as you can! Due to inverter-like technology that the 7043 has installed, it’s more than capable of dividing up its power between any appliances that are requesting it. Any power that it outputs is more than safe and is suitable for any appliance – even the most sensitive.
- Minimal maintenance since it has a “self-testing mode” installed, making sure that al components are operating as they should
- Uses True Power technology, which means that like smaller inverter generators, this Generac 7043 is able to deliver power that’s safe for smaller more sensitive electronics as well as larger ones.
- Screen display that makes it easy to see when there’s anything that might require your attention. It also gives you advice on service intervals and caring for your generator.
- Well protected against weather in a RhinoCoat power-coated aluminium casing, fighting against the elements and rust.
- Maintenance known to be required quite frequently
- Wiring can be tricky to reach should you need to
Best Inverter Generator – WEN 56200iThe WEN 56200i is well-known for how unbelievably silently it is able to run. This generator from WEN is well known for producing very smooth power, with a delivery of 1600 watts. This is due to the fact it has an inverter fitted within, meaning that it is able to produce smooth and reliable power, that can be used to power smaller, more delicate devices without worry or concern. It will be more than suitable for small cameras, laptops etc. The advanced inverter fitted within the 56200i allows for clean power to be output, with minimal harmonic distortion.
There is one major point of focus for the WEN 56200i however, is the volume that it operates at. It’s an astoundingly quiet generator that makes only 51 decibels of noise when it’s running at quarter capacity. What’s more, when it’s running at 3 quarters of its load capacity it only makes 55 decibels of sound! This is simply amazing, it has to be one of the quietest generators that money can buy that still produces this amount of power! This tiny amount of noise that this unit from Wen makes is comparable to a regular conversation between a few people.
It’s got a small and powerful 4 stroke engine with an 80cc capacity, it’s also CARB and EPA III compliant – you can be sure you’re having as small an impact on the environment as you can when running this machine. It manages well to push out 2000 surge watts and 1600 continuous watts of power.
The nature of the inverter that’s installed in this inverter generator means that it can almost exactly duplicate pure sine wave. The harmonic distortion in the signal that’s output by this generator is less than 1.5%, even when it’s at full load. This is a truly amazing figure, and means that it’s ideal for those more delicate devices that you no doubt have, such as phones, cameras, and laptops.
- USB outputs – smaller mobile devices can be plugged right into the generator
- Weighs in at less than 50 pounds, making for an easily moveable and portable little unit
- Powered by gas – WEN has fitted this generator with an eco-mode, which means the generator will only use as much fuel as is required to provide the power being requested by you. It works from detecting what is plugged into the panel on the front of the generator, and working out how much power these devices are using.
- Parallel connection capabilities
- Automatic oil warning and shutdown system
- 2 year warranty
- Replacing oil could be easier
Best Propane Generator – Champion 3800W Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable GeneratorA propane powered generator is a great option to go for if you’re in the market for a generator that’s powerful, efficient, and quiet. They are more efficient than their petrol and diesel counterparts, and the gas itself also has a longer shelf life than gasoline – i.e. it doesn’t go ‘off.’ To add to this, they’re affordable and durable.
Propane generators are great for home use, such as for covering appliances or a home in the event of a power cut. Most commonly, propane generators come in the form of dual fuel generators that allow the engine to run on either tradition fuels, or propane. Some others allow for the engine to run on propane or natural gas.
In our eyes, the best propane generator on the market is this unit from Champion that pushes out 3800 watts, and is dual fuel and RV ready. The dual fuel capabilities of this generator allow it to run on either gasoline or propane. When fuelled with gasoline, it’s able to make 4750 starting watts, and run continuously at 3800 watts.
When fuelled with propane, it’ll put out 4275 watts starting, and run continuously at 3420 watts. This dual fuel generator from Champion is also very portable to, since it comes on wheels with a foldable handle. It’s easy to transport to anywhere that you would like.
- Dual fuel
- Will run for up to 9 hours
- Maximum starting watts power of 4750 watts
- Fitted with multiple outlets including 120V and a 30A RV
- Protected against electrical surges
- Specialized Cold Start Technology meaning it’s not difficult to start on those frosty days
- 3-year limited warranty
- Propane is highly very flammable
So, what really is the best generator? That really depends on a number of factors including your use for the generator, how much mobile power you require, and how much you’d like to spend. This being said, all of the generators here are fantastic and every one has its own use and something that it’s really great at.
The EU2200i is great if you’re looking for a generator that’s truly “all-round.” It’s quiet, powerful, looks great, and will power the large majority of things that you throw at it. It’s not the cheapest in its class, but arguably the best.
On the other hand, if you’re in the market for mobile power that’s both quiet and extremely efficient, you need look no further than the EF2000 from Yamaha. It’s fuel efficient and runs at just 52 decibels.
The 7043 from Generac will provide you with all of the power that your home could need. It’s reliable, well built, and will keep your home powered in even the worst conditions.
The 56200i is an Inverter generator from WEN. It’s well priced, quiet, and efficient. Due to the advanced generator that it has fitted, it’s great for anyone that’s planning on using their generator mainly for charging and powering smaller devices. It’s sure to provide clean, safe, and stable power.
The 3800W from Champion is ideal if you’d like the option of using either propane or gasoline. It’s power and high build quality will serve you well.
Last update on 2019-07-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API