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 top generator. In this post, we’re going to have a look at a range of generators 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 for your purposes. Here, we’ll feature what we believe are the very wide range of generators from multiple reputable brands.
Best Generator for Portable Uses – 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
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 kWBackup generators provide a great deal of reassurance when you live and work in areas that regularly experience power cuts. Even when you don’t suffer in this way a whole-house generator would be an excellent, reliable backup power source to have.
One generator that has both a great deal of power to output, along with an extremely long runtime is the 22 kW Generac 7043. These are the aspects that make this the ideal whole house generator.
Because the 7043 is dual fuel you can choose to use either propane or natural gas. At maximum power, the generator returns 22,000 watts when it runs on propane and a pretty amazing 19,500 watts when fuelled by natural gas.
A fully remote system that comes as standard enables the Generac to be easily monitored. This really comes into its own when the weather is bad or your generator is further away from your house. It allows you to check the 7043’s status from any internet-enabled device, plus it provides nearly all the information you need to know about your 22 kW Generac, like remaining runtime, fuel levels, and the current power output.
Generac has installed its G-Force engine into this 22 kW unit. Pressure lubricated, these engines are more than capable of handling the kind of large power demands that entire houses place on them. A NEMA 3 smart transfer switch is built-in, which is equally suitable for indoor and outdoor use. If you’re ever unsure, the switch is designed to cope with multiple loads placed on the generator without any additional hardware. When you consider the switches are sold individually, this makes it great value.
In addition to the monitoring system, this Generac whole-house generator has an informative display to show various pieces of information including the power level, and the length of time the generator should be left before its next service. With data like this, your Generac can be kept in the best possible condition!
Thanks to the inverter-like technology installed on the 7043 it can divide up the power between all the appliances requesting it. The power it outputs is more than safe and suitable for even the most sensitive appliances.
- A “self-testing mode” that makes sure components are operating properly means minimal maintenance is required
- True Power technology means that – similar to smaller inverter generators – the Generac 7043 can deliver power that is safe for both smaller, more sensitive and larger more robust electronics.
- The screen display makes it easy to monitor if anything requires your attention. In addition, it advises on service intervals and cares for the generator.
- Its aluminium RhinoCoat powder-coated casing means the generator is well protected against the weather and can tackle the elements and fight against rust.
- Frequent maintenance
- Wiring can be tricky to reach
Best Inverter Generator – WEN 56200iThe WEN 56200i is widely known for how incredibly quietly 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 running at quarter capacity. What’s more, it only makes 55 decibels of sound running at three quarters of load capacity! This is simply amazing, it has got to be among the quietest generators money can buy that is still capable of producing this amount of power! This extremely low level of noise that this unit from Wen makes is comparable to a regular conversation between a group of people.
It’s got a small but powerful four-stroke engine with a capacity of 80cc. It’s also EPA III and CARB compliant – so, when running this machine, you can rest assured you’re having minimum impact on the environment. It easily manages to pump out 2000 surge watts as well as 1600 continuous watts of power.
This inverter generator can almost exactly replicate pure sine wave due to the nature of the inverter that’s been installed. The signal’s harmonic distortion which is output by this generator is less than 1.5%, even when at full load. This is an an almost incredible figure, and means that this generator is perfect for the type of more delicate devices you no doubt have, including phones, cameras, and laptops.
- USB outputs – these allow smaller mobile devices to be plugged directly into the generator
- Weighs in at less than 50 pounds, making this an easily portable and mobile little unit
- Gas powered – this generator is fitted with an eco-mode that means the generator will only use the amount of fuel required to provide the power you are requesting. It works by identifying what’s plugged into the panel on the generator’s front, and calculating how much power the relevant 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 top 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 2019-10-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API