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.

Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet...
Best Choice
Yamaha EF2000iSv2, 1600 Running Watts/2000...
Generac 7043 Home Standby Generator 22kW/19.5kW...
WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter...
Best Price
Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable...
Honda EU2200i
Yamaha EF2000iSv2
Generac 22kW
WEN 56200i
Champion 3800W Dual Fuel
Starting 2200W - Running 1800W
Starting 2000W - Running 1600W
Propane: 22,000W - NGas: 19,500W
Starting 2000W - Running 1600W
Starting 4750W - Running 3800W
Fuel Type: Gas Capacity: 0.95 gal.
Fuel Type: Gas Capacity: 1.1 gal.
Fuel Type: Propane/Natural Gas
Fuel Type: Gas Capacity: 1 gal.
Fuel Type: Gas Capacity: 3.4 gal.
Tank Run-Time @ 25% Load: 8.1 hrs.
Tank Run-Time @ 25% Load: 10.5 hrs.
Fuel Consumption @ 50% Load: 2.53 gal/hour
Tank Run-Time @ 50% Load: 6 hrs.
Tank Run-Time @ 25% Load: 9 hrs.
Noise Level @ 25% Load: 48 dB
Noise Level @ 25% Load: 51.5 dB.
Noise Level @ Operating Load: 68 dB
Noise Level @ 25% Load: 51 dB.
Noise Level @ 25% Load: 68 dB.
Weight: 47 lb.
Weight: 44 lbs.
Weight: 515 lbs
Weight: 48 lbs.
Weight: 119 lbs.
Warranty: 3-Year
Warranty: 3-Year Limited
Warranty: 3 Years
Warranty: 2-Year Limited
Warranty: 3-Year Limited
Price: $$$
Price: $$$
Price: $$$$
Price: $$$
Price: $$
Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet...
Honda EU2200i
Starting 2200W - Running 1800W
Fuel Type: Gas Capacity: 0.95 gal.
Tank Run-Time @ 25% Load: 8.1 hrs.
Noise Level @ 25% Load: 48 dB
Weight: 47 lb.
Warranty: 3-Year
Price: $$$
Best Choice
Yamaha EF2000iSv2, 1600 Running Watts/2000...
Yamaha EF2000iSv2
Starting 2000W - Running 1600W
Fuel Type: Gas Capacity: 1.1 gal.
Tank Run-Time @ 25% Load: 10.5 hrs.
Noise Level @ 25% Load: 51.5 dB.
Weight: 44 lbs.
Warranty: 3-Year Limited
Price: $$$
Generac 7043 Home Standby Generator 22kW/19.5kW...
Generac 22kW
Propane: 22,000W - NGas: 19,500W
Fuel Type: Propane/Natural Gas
Fuel Consumption @ 50% Load: 2.53 gal/hour
Noise Level @ Operating Load: 68 dB
Weight: 515 lbs
Warranty: 3 Years
Price: $$$$
WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter...
WEN 56200i
Starting 2000W - Running 1600W
Fuel Type: Gas Capacity: 1 gal.
Tank Run-Time @ 50% Load: 6 hrs.
Noise Level @ 25% Load: 51 dB.
Weight: 48 lbs.
Warranty: 2-Year Limited
Price: $$$
Best Price
Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable...
Champion 3800W Dual Fuel
Starting 4750W - Running 3800W
Fuel Type: Gas Capacity: 3.4 gal.
Tank Run-Time @ 25% Load: 9 hrs.
Noise Level @ 25% Load: 68 dB.
Weight: 119 lbs.
Warranty: 3-Year Limited
Price: $$

Best Generator for Portable Uses – Honda EU2200i

To 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 surge power– that’s 200 more than the model that came before it. It’s been improved on in many ways over the previous EU2000i, yet has retained 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 power 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 a fantastic inverter generator. As a result of the inverter, the current that’s output by the EU2200i is extremely safe to be used with devices that require clean power that has minimal distortion. All of this means that you don’t need to worry about damaging smaller more sensitive devices when charging them.

Key Features

  • 2200 Surge Watts
  • 1800 Running Watts
  • Clean Power Output – due to the inverter within
  • Unbelievably quiet – when running at max capacity, the EU2200i makes only 57dB of sound
  • Easy to use recoil pull starter
  • Great for so many uses due to its quiet operation and extremely lightweight
  • Economic – the EU2200i will run for more than 8 hours when under a quarter load as well as for more than 3 hours when at full capacity

Downsides

  • The EU2200i doesn’t have a fuel gauge, not ideal if you’d like to know how much operating time is left in the generator
  • Quite pricey

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If you’re interested in the EU2200i, check out our full review of the Honda EU2200i right here!

Best Quiet Generator – Yamaha EF2000iS V2

Yamaha are synonymous with great build quality and extremely reliable products. Yamaha has diversified in terms of the products that it offers over the years, but has never slipped on quality. The build quality of the EF2000iS 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 the perfect unit for a variety of situations in which high-quality electricity is essential, 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 since it doesn’t weigh much more than 40 pounds – 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, the engines are very reliable indeed.

Key Features

  • Continuous Power Output: 1600 watts
  • Maximum Power  Output: 2000 watts
  • Extremely refined whilst running – when running at 25% capacity, the EF2000iS doesn’t make more than 52 decibels of noise – it’s truly one of the most silent generators available on the market
  • Extremely efficient – from a one gallon tank, the generator will keep outputting power for up to 10.5 hours
  • Smart Throttle – the “Smart Throttle” technology that’s installed in the generator ensures that the engine isn’t run any faster than is necessary, thus saving fuel and meaning more run time
  • Inverter Generator – since the EF2000iS is fitted with an inverter, the electrical current output is very clean and can be used safely with all types of electronics
  • Lightweight and Portable – the EF2000iS doesn’t weigh more than 40 pounds
  • A Good Variety of Power Outlets – these include a 12V DC outlet that’s ideal for charging smaller devices, as well as two conventional 120v AC outlets
  • Oil warning light and automatic shut down – should the engine oil level fall too low, the engine will be automatically shut off to make sure that no further engine damage takes place

Downsides

  • No display screen – can be purchased as an additional extra
  • Can’t power many larger appliances at once due to its small portable nature

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You may be interested in our full review of the Yamaha EF2000iS V2 or the full quiet generator review.

Best Backup Generator – Generac 7043 22 kW

Backup 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.

This powerful 22 kW generator is fitted with one of Generac’s expertly-engineered G-Force engines. Being pressure-lubricated, these engines are extremely durable and able to take the pressure of having an entire home rely on them as a power source.The 7043 is fitted with a NEMA 3 smart transfer switch, 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.

Key Features

  • 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.

Downsides

  • Frequent maintenance
  • Wiring can be tricky to reach

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Best Inverter Generator – WEN 56200i

The 56200i from WEN is an exceptionally refined generator. It runs extremely quietly, yet is able to put out a very respectable amount of wattage considering its size – 16oo watts of continuous power and 2000 watts of maximum power. The inverter that this generator has means that the power it outputs is smooth and safe for use with all types of electronic devices.

One of the main and most amazing points about this WEN unit, however, is how exceptionally quietly it runs. When in operation at 25% load, it makes just 51 decibels of sound. Even when under 75% load, the genertaor only make 55 decibels of noise. These figures are without doubt proof that the WEN 56200i is one of the quietest, if not the quietest generator that’s available today.

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 because of the high-quality inverter that transform the power output. The power output is ideal for use with all manners of electronic devices.

Key Features

  • USB outputs – these allow smaller mobile devices to be plugged directly into the generator
  • The 56200i weighs under 50pounds – it’s an easily portable and mobile little unit
  • Economic – the 56200i is optimised so that it only runs at the speed that is needed to provide the power being used. This help make the unit fuel-efficient 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.
  • Can be connected in parallel with another unit – if you’d like to have more power on occasion but would still like to have everything that a smaller unit offers, this feature is ideal
  • Low oil level shutdown
  • Warranty of 2 years

Downsides

  • Replacing oil could be easier

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We’ve got a full review of the WEN 56200i here too!

Best Propane Generator – Champion 3800W Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator

A 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.

Key Features

  • 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

Downsides

  • Propane is highly very flammable

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Conclusion

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 2019-11-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API