A good portable generator is a very useful means of getting electricity when either the electricity at your home fails due to bad weather or similar, or if you’re out and about camping, or are somewhere that electricity access isn’t possible. Finding the best portable generator can be a difficult task if you don’t have all the information that you should to hand. In this post, we need to inform you of what we believe to be five of the best portable generators available on the market today. After reading, you should feel fully informed on what a portable generator is, its uses, as well as the best and worst features to look for in each. We take a look at 5 different generators, all of which have something different to offer but that have one thing in common – they’re all portable!
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 and extremely portable at 47 pounds.
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
- Highly Portable – weighs just 47 pounds and is equipped with an easy -to-use carrying handle
- 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 light weight
- 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 it right here!
WEN 56200iThe WEN 56200i is well-known for its quiet operating volume. This 56200i from WEN is able to produce clean, smooth, and high quality power continually at 1600 watts. This is because it is fitted with an inverter – it’s safe to use to produce smooth and reliable power that can be used to power smaller, more delicate devices without being concerned about damaging them.
The 56200i is extremely portable. It can be used anywhere you’d like, and at anytime. It weighs less than 50 pounds and has a comfortable carrying handle. It’s extremely easy to lift and move around without concern.
It’s an amazingly quiet generator that runs at only 51 decibels, when at a quarter of its load. What’s more, when it’s running at 3 quarters of its load capacity it only makes 55 decibels of sound. This small amount of noise that this 56200i makes is comparable to a normal 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.
- Portable – weighs in at less than 50 pounds, making for an easily moveable and portable little unit
- USB outputs – smaller mobile devices can be plugged right into the generator
- 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
If you’re interested in this generator, have a look at our full review of it here!
Generac IQ2000More so than just about any other generator in its class the IQ2000 from Generac is an incredibly quiet piece of kit. The large majority of generators that you can buy are pretty loud – particularly when they’re putting out their full power capacity.
At a tiny 46.2lbs, this Generac IQ2000 is amazingly portable. It comes complete with a carry handle, and can be used anywhere that you’d like.
Getting the IQ2000 into motion is done with ease. It’s started by a strong and powerful pull cord. To control it, there’s a dial on the left side of the unit that lets you choose your running power, as well as start and stop the generator. This is a great feature for usability – if you’re wearing gloves or are unable to operate small intricate buttons, this offers an easy access and precise means of control!
This Generac comes with a few different operating modes – economy, standard, and turbo. These are probably fairly self-explanatory, however, each offer their advantages and disadvantages!
This unit from Generac is great at informing the user of everything they could need to know whilst the generator is running. It has a fuel gauge, and a wattage meter displaying how many watts you’re currently using with what you have plugged into the generator, as well as the percentage of the generator’s capabilities that you’re using at any one time. The IQ2000 comes fitted with an oil warning system too.
The panel on the front will show you everything you all of the information you could possibly need to use the generator well – there’s even information on how much time is left in the current fuel if the current load is continued!
Key Features – Generac IQ2000
- Unbelievably quiet – this IQ2000 from Generac operates at just 53dB – quieter than some conversations between humans!
- Extremely portable at 46.2lbs and complete with a carry handle
- 120 volt output – more than enough to power small appliances that you might need.
- Starting output of 2000 watts, this is very impressive considering the generator operates at just 53 decibels.
- Running output of 1600 watts.
- Fuel capacity of just over one gallon. This will allow the IQ2000 to run at a quarter of its load for an impressive 9 hours.
- Runtime display
- Parallel kit availability – the parallel kit means that you can attach another IQ2000 to operate alongside the one that you’re using
- Some users have talked about problems using this unit at higher altitudes – this is certainly not unique to the IQ2000 however. It’s a common problem with portable generators so shouldn’t be much of a concern.
- Fuel leaks – some users have reported minor fuel leaks from the iQ2000.
Westinghouse WGen7500The WGen7500 from Westinghouse is one of their most recent models. It comes with a wealth of features, and a massive 7500 watts of continuous power on tap. It’s also got 9000 starting watts. Considering that the WGen7500 is indeed a portable generator, it’s power capabilities are truly astounding. This generator is the most powerful from our top 5 portable generators.
Powered on gasoline, fuelling the WGen7500 is quick and easy. It will hold 6.6 gallons of gasoline, and will be able to make this last for up to 18 hours. If you lose power for a fair amount of time, you won’t need to worry at all.
The WGen7500 is kitted out with everything you would expect from a Westinghouse generator. It’s got a fuel gauge built-in so you can be sure that you’re never going to run out of fuel unexpectedly, as well as an automatic oil shutdown system protecting the engine from damage. It’s also got overload protection on all power outlets, and also a twist lock outlet that is ideal for keeping those bigger appliances powered.
Westinghouse is one of the oldest and most respected names and power generation and electricity. The WGen7500 does this name proudly, with its quality being just as high as you would and should expect.
- Push Button electric start – avoids the need for a recoil start as is the case with many other generators in this class.
- Remote Start – if you don’t want to, you don’t even need to use the electric start button. As long as you’re within 109 yards of distance, you can use the remote start key fob provided to get the WGen7500 into motion.
- Portable – the WGen7500 comes fitted with heavy-duty wheels as well as robots. This makes transporting and maneuvering the generator easy.
- Powerful – extremely impressive considering this generator outputs 7500 watts and is still very portable
- Fuel Efficient – will run for up to 18 hours on a single tank of gasoline
- Highly Maintainable – being a 4-stroke engine, putting oil in and keeping it in good condition is not at all difficult
- Automatic Low Oil Shutdown – if the oil level becomes dangerously low, the generator will automatically shut down to avoid engine damage.
- Not exactly quiet at 64 decibels – might not be great for use in locations where noise restrictions are in force.
DuroMax XP4400E Portable GeneratorThe XP 4400E is a portable generator that offers true value for money. It’s powerful and is able to offer a number of features that its more expensive counterparts do. As with every portable generator, there are bad bits and there are good bits. We’re going to take a quick look at both of these, and you’ll see exactly why the XP4400E is more than deserving of a space on our list of best quiet generators.
DuroMax is a well-known name in power generation, and this generator is an example of how far both portable generators and DuroMax have come.
The XP4400E will put out 4400 watts of starting power, and 3500 watts of continual running power. This is more than enough wattage to power just about any appliance that you could throw at it, including power tools and large heavy kitchen appliances.
It holds 4 gallons of fuel and will keep going at half of its load for 8 hours. It’s got a four-stroke engine too, meaning you don’t need to worry about special fuels and oils – just regular gasoline. It’s also air-cooled, meaning the engine isn’t prone to overheating.
The Duromax XP4400E also runs at just 69 decibels when it’s at full load. This isn’t that much louder than a conversation between two people!
- 3500 continual watts of power, 4400 starting watts
- Powerful four stroke engine with 7 horsepower
- Not loud at just 69dB when operating at full capacity
- Easy to use controls/control panel
- A variety of power outlets – both 120v and 240v outlets, as well as a 12 volt DC
- Low oil detection and automatic shutdown system to prevent engine damage
- Both electric and pull-start
- High build quality
- Great portability with a handle a wheel kit
- The noise level produced by the generator at full power may not be allowed in some places
- Just one year of warranty period
- Not CARB compliant
After reaching this point in the post, you’ve probably realized that there truly is a wealth of different types of portable generator, as well as features that are on offer from each. The portable generator that you choose should be based on your needs – what’s great for one person may be utterly terrible for another.
The Honda EU2200i is truly the all-around generator in this category. It provides great portability being light and easy to carry and looks great. It’s also fitted with a very good inverter meaning a clean, smooth, and safe power output.
The 56200i from WEN is well known for being a very good inverter generator as well as very portable. The fact that it’s so portable and has a high-quality power output is great – given this generator is more likely to be used for smaller devices, it’s the perfect combination.
The Generac IQ2000 is extremely quiet and extremely lightweight. It runs at 53dB and weighs only 46 pounds.
The WGen7500 from Westinghouse is by far the most powerful generator on our list of the best 5 portable generators. It truly is an absolute powerhouse that pushes out 7500 watts, whilst still being portable. If you need a lot of power on the move, this is the one to go to.
The DuroMax XP4400E is a very well-priced generator and one that offers great value for money. If you’re looking for a generator on a bit more of a budget that doesn’t compromise on build quality or features, the XP4400E is a very sensible option.
Last update on 2019-06-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API