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Finding the Best Portable Generator in 2020

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Last Updated: 03 June 2020
top-rated portable generators

Whichever part of the planet you live in, you have certainly experienced a power outage more than once in your life. And you surely know how frustrating it can be. Regardless of whether we are doing something important or we just want to chill watching shows or to play video games after a long day, having no power can truly aggravate us.
We became so dependent on all the electronics that surround us that an idea to spend a couple of hours doing something that doesn't include technology became virtually impossible. In the past, when people didn't have electricity they'd go out for a walk, gather to tell stories and so on. Nowadays, however, we are in total despair when there is no electricity.

Fortunately, there is a solution. A power outage doesn't have to disturb you at all if you equip your home with a portable power generator.

Even if we do think that it is not a big disaster if you don't have electricity for a few hours in general, we still believe that every household should have one of these machines. Problems like this tend to happen in the worst possible moment, so it is good to have back up.

A portable generator is a machine powered by gas or diesel, created to provide electrical power when the primary source for some reason doesn't work. But finding the best portable generator is far from being an easy task, especially when you are entirely clueless about it. We understand that you must be perplexed, as so were we the first time we heard about it. We thought it is something only used by hospitals or factories, and it didn't occur to us that we can have it in our homes. But then things changed, and we discovered it is possible. After realizing that this little machine had the power to change our lives completely, we decided to investigate more and create this text as a guide for our readers.

There are many things to factor in when determining which portable electric generator to buy. We are now going to present to you a list of 10 top-rated portable generators you can find on the market. We tested and analyzed them thoroughly and in consultations with professionals and experienced users to provide you with the most accurate review.

TOP 9 Best Portable Generators: Comparison Chart

In front of you are the reviews with portable generator ratings. You will find detailed descriptions and explanations of essential features. Let’s check it out and find out what is the best portable generator 2020 and why it deserved to carry this title.

WEN 56200i S2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
B07HYWDS7D
Generac GP2200i Portable Inverter Generator
Champion RV Ready Portable Generator
Westinghouse Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant
Westinghouse WGen9500 Heavy Duty Portable Generator - 9500 Rated Watts & 12500 Peak Watts - Gas Powered - Electric Start - Transfer Switch & RV Ready - CARB Compliant
Generac 7117 GP2200i 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator - Parallel Ready
Champion 3500-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator, 46596 model
Westinghouse iGen2200 Portable Inverter Generator 1800 Rated & 2200 Peak Watts, Gas Powered, CARB Compliant
$420.39
$1,315.46
$599.99
Price not available
$519.00
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WEN 56200i S2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant
$420.39
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B07HYWDS7D
Westinghouse WGen9500 Heavy Duty Portable Generator - 9500 Rated Watts & 12500 Peak Watts - Gas Powered - Electric Start - Transfer Switch & RV Ready - CARB Compliant
$1,315.46
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Generac GP2200i Portable Inverter Generator
Generac 7117 GP2200i 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator - Parallel Ready
$599.99
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Champion RV Ready Portable Generator
Champion 3500-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator, 46596 model
Price not available
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Westinghouse Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
Westinghouse iGen2200 Portable Inverter Generator 1800 Rated & 2200 Peak Watts, Gas Powered, CARB Compliant
$519.00
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Pulsar Portable Gas-Powered Quiet Inverter Generator
WEN 1250-Watt Portable Generator
DuroMax Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Briggs & Stratton Inverter Generator
Pulsar G2319N 2,300W Portable Gas-Powered Inverter Generator with USB Outlet & Parallel Capability, CARB Compliant, Gray
WEN 56125i Super Quiet 1250-Watt Portable Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant
DuroMax XP12000EH 12000-Watt 18 HP Portable Dual Fuel Electric Start Generator,Blue and Black
Briggs & Stratton P2200 Power Smart Series Inverter Generator with Quiet Power Technology and Parallel Capability, 2200 Starting Watts 1700 Running Watts
$429.99
$323.44
$1,453.99
$499.00
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Pulsar Portable Gas-Powered Quiet Inverter Generator
Pulsar G2319N 2,300W Portable Gas-Powered Inverter Generator with USB Outlet & Parallel Capability, CARB Compliant, Gray
$429.99
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WEN 1250-Watt Portable Generator
WEN 56125i Super Quiet 1250-Watt Portable Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant
$323.44
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DuroMax Dual Fuel Portable Generator
DuroMax XP12000EH 12000-Watt 18 HP Portable Dual Fuel Electric Start Generator,Blue and Black
$1,453.99
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Briggs & Stratton Inverter Generator
Briggs & Stratton P2200 Power Smart Series Inverter Generator with Quiet Power Technology and Parallel Capability, 2200 Starting Watts 1700 Running Watts
$499.00
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Best Overall: WEN 56200i S2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator Review

Sale
WEN 56200i S2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

Whether you are planning to go camping or to make a tailgating party, this portable silent generator will be an excellent solution for you. It is EPA III and Carb compliant and produces 2000 surge watts and 1600 rated watts. It includes 5 V USB port and 120 V receptacles. It is a small portable generator that runs on gas and is very easy to use. The design is lovely as well, and it is a sturdy machine that will last for a lot of years. The amount of power it produces is enough to supply the TV, laptop, AC, and so on.

This unit will make all of your troubles with electricity go away. If you opt for it, you will see it as a real lifesaver.

Why We Like It?

  • Powerful
  • Small
  • Ice design
  • Quiet

Budget: Westinghouse Heavy Duty Portable Generator Review

Westinghouse Heavy Duty Portable Generator

It is one of the excellent portable generators for camping that is easy to unpack and assemble. It offers the possibility to start it remotely, which is very convenient. It runs on gas and produces a lot of power. It comes with clear instructions on how to use it. This portable natural gas generator comes with a tank that, when full, can supply power for 16 hours of continuous use, which is fantastic. The electric start also works perfectly. An extra perk with this model is that it includes all the equipment that you need – battery, funnel, oil, and so on. Plus, it comes with a fully charged battery so you can use it immediately.

If you have a power outage and feel the need for insurance, this variant is for you.. Especially the beautiful thing about it is that you can operate it remotely.

Why We Like It?

  • Remote start
  • Electric start
  • All equipment is included
  • Gas-powered

For Beginners: Generac GP2200i Portable Inverter Generator Review

Sale
Generac GP2200i Portable Inverter Generator

This portable inverter generator is compact and pretty lightweight. The size is similar to a relatively bulky suitcase, so it is quite simple to transport it from one place to another. What we like about it is that it is relatively quiet compared to many others that you can find on the market. It doesn't spend a lot of gas, which means that it is pretty cost-efficient. Starting this best portable inverter generator is pretty straightforward, so even if you never saw one before you, won't have trouble working with it. It comes with clear instructions, as well.

This little machine will provide you with enough power to go through any power outage. Even if you never used it before, it will be effortless to operate this gadget.

Why We Like It?

  • Lightweight
  • Simple to use
  • Compact
  • Portable
  • Cost-efficient

Suitable for Camper: Champion RV Ready Portable Generator Review

Champion RV Ready Portable Generator

This quiet portable generator can be activated remotely with a wireless device and by electric start, and both work perfectly. It comes with super cold start technology that is miraculous during winter months. It is a reliable portable propane generator that will work for 12 hours continually. It also comes with clear instructions on how to use it. It comes with oil funnel and the perfect amount of oil. The battery is long-lasting. The only downside of this product is that it is a bit on the heavy side, but other than that, it is one of the best portable generators for camping.

Once you tried it, you will forget about camping without it. We liked it mainly because it provides power for a long time.

Pros

  • Remote start
  • Electric start
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Good for camping

Cons

  • Heavy

Remote Start: Westinghouse Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator Review

Westinghouse Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

This portable gasoline generator is a perfect choice for home use in case of emergencies. It is super quiet and gas efficient. It produces enough power to last for 12 hours with just 1.2 gallons of gas. It is effortless to move it around because it comes with extended handle and large rear wheels. Lovely is that it has a digital display where you can see the wattage, how much fuel is spent, and so on. It is small, which makes it easy to store it in a garage when you don't use it. It is simple to use, but the oil tends to overspill.

Great item to have as a backup power source in case of emergency. The wonderful thing about it is that it is cost-efficient as it doesn't use a lot of gas.

Pros

  • Good for emergencies
  • Silent
  • Gas efficient
  • Digital display

Cons

  • Oil overspills

Compact: Pulsar Portable Gas-Powered Quiet Inverter Generator Review

Pulsar Portable Gas-Powered Quiet Inverter Generator

If you are on a tight budget and you find yourself in need of an electric start portable generator, this is an ideal machine for you. The exterior of this unit is fantastic, with a well-designed cabinet and controls. The switches come with water-resistant covers, which is lovely when you are using this machine outdoors. It is a durable and reliable machine that comes at a very affordable price. It has a manual start option with a pull handle that requires no effort whatsoever. It is generator tends to be a bit louder, but it is also at the same time excellent cheap portable generator

You will have a different experience traveling in a camper with this machine. Besides, if the design is crucial for you, this item will make you happy.

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Well designed
  • Reliable

Cons

  • Loud

Lightweight: WEN 1250-Watt Portable Generator Review

Sale
WEN 1250-Watt Portable Generator

If you are thinking of organizing a tailgating event, this can be a perfect option for you. This is a compact and lightweight mini portable generator that will provide enough power for parties, camping trips, and so on. It features an economical mode, which is perfect when you need to spare the gas. The instruction that comes with it is unambiguous. The main downside is that it doesn't come with oil, so you can't test it immediately. Other than that, it is an excellent bang for the buck.

If you opt for this machine, you will make the best parties for a long time. It is a durable item that can guarantee a long-lasting power supply.

Pros

  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Simple to start
  • Clear instructions

Cons

  • Doesn’t include oil

Efficient: DuroMax Dual Fuel Portable Generator Review

DuroMax Dual Fuel Portable Generator

This best dual fuel generator runs on both gasoline and propane. It is a heavy-duty machine that can provide a long term power to all of your house appliances. It comes with a large capacity fuel tank and lasts about 10 hours on a full tank. There is no fluctuation in power. It is well built and durable machine that runs well. It has both electric and manual start, and both work flawlessly. It is essential to know that it is a heavy unit and that if you plan to move it, you will need an extra hand. The main downside we found is that instructions are entirely unclear.

Have you been concerned about voltage fluctuations in your neighborhood? With this machine, you will never have to worry about your appliances dying because of power outages.

Pros

  • Long-lasting power supply
  • Large tank
  • Electric and manual start

Cons

  • Vague instructions

Safe: Briggs & Stratton Inverter Generator Review

Briggs & Stratton Inverter Generator

It provides steady power that is good for computers, laptops, and game devices. It is compact and easy to handle, even if you are alone. It provides enough clean power for a fridge and water heater, and it can be paired with another model if you need extra watts. It is suitable for camper vans. It is pretty fuel-efficient as it uses about one gallon for 8 hours of continuous operation. The main problem is that it is not Carb compliant. Therefore, you cannot use it in California. Otherwise, it is a suitable diesel portable generator.

You will be thrilled to have this little machine. It will stabilize the power supply in your home regardless of the weather conditions.

Pros

  • Good for computers
  • Clean power
  • Good for campers
  • Fuel efficient

Cons

  • Can’t be used in California

Buyer’s Guide: All You Need to Know About Best Portable Generator

As you can see, there is a lot of best portable generator model out there, and they come with various features. Undoubtedly only reading portable generator reviews is far from enough to know what model will suit your needs.

Let’s see what necessary thing you have to factor in when choosing a portable generator.

Portable Generator Benefits

Portable Generator Benefits

The most significant benefit of having a portable generator is sort of logical just when you think of the name of the machine. It provides power supply in situations when the primary source isn’t functional. Because it is portable, you can take it wherever you go, which makes it super convenient for camping. It is also good because it has a lot of outlets where you can charge your phone, tablet and other gadgets.

How Does a Portable Generator Work

As we already mentioned best portable generator is a device with an engine that runs on natural gas, gasoline, propane, or diesel. Usually, it consists of a generator head, the driver, a source, and power outlets. The generator head produces the electricity and sends it to power outlets.

What Size Portable Generator Do I Need

What Size Portable Generator Do I Need

Many people are wondering ‘How big of a generator do I need?’. It depends on what do you need it for. If you need a portable generator to supply, provide electricity to your home appliances, then you need a fa or propane generator with 5000 to 7500 watts power. This kind of generator will give power to every single device in your household as well as light circuits. If you need something to have electricity in your RV, then a generator that is rated at 3000 – 4000 watts is perfect.

How to Choose the Best Portable Generator

Weight

How to Choose the Best Portable Generator

Keep in mind that the best portable generator, whether diesel or propane generator can weigh from less than 50 pounds to several hundred pounds. For most people, a lightweight model that weighs between 50 and 70 pounds will be enough.

Wattage

How much power will the portable generator produce depends on the wattage? Different devices that you have in your home will require different amounts of energy to work correctly. You have to make sure that you know how much power you need for the essential devices before deciding with the item you want to buy.

Voltage

Most electronics need either 110V or 220V power to work adequately. The generator that you buy needs to be able to provide this kind of voltage.

There is also a possibility to adjust the super convenient voltage, but you have to be sure that you know exactly what you are doing.

Output Power

One thing is the amount the power that the portable generator produces, but there is also a question of how many devices can be powered by this unit. You have to think about how many items you want to plug in and get one that satisfies your needs.

Start

A lot of these units can be started remotely, which s super convenient. There are options with electric and manual start with a handle as well. Many people prefer to choose options that offer mixed start possibilities. Ideally, it should be possible to start the device both remotely and manually.

Recoil

This is a manual mechanism used to start a device. It comes with a string that you need to pull, possibly more than once, when you are turning on the machine. This is a system that you usually see on lawnmowers, best portable generator for home models, chainsaws, and so on.

Electric

Here there is no such thing as a string that you need to pull. There should be a little switch that you can press if your portable generator has an electric start. In that case, you can use it instead recoil cord to start the generator. You can use it at home, but also for camping or outdoor parties.

Remote
Portable Generator Remote start

Remote start allows you to control the generator from afar. Simply put, when you press the start button, it sends a signal to the remote kit, which then turns on the whole-house portable generator.Generally, most generators allow you to start them when you are up to 100 feet away.

Fuel Type

Gas-Powered

These are machines that are functioning on natural gas. There are also propane-fueled units. A portable gas-powered generator is one of the most common, and they have small engines that power the machine.

Diesel-Powered

These whole-house generator models are working on diesel. They use the chemicals in diesel and turn them into electrical energy. This is possible because this machine has a diesel engine and an AC alternator. People like them more fuel-efficient, which comes in handy if you live in an area with frequent hurricanes.

Solar-Powered
Solar-Powered Generator

These work on solar energy and need a solar panel to be able to function. They are excellent for supplying your home with electrical power for extended periods. Usually, the best portable solar generator models are the more expensive model, but it can be quite useful if you are living in a big house.

Dual Fuel Feature

Duel fuel portable generator uses two different types of fuel, mainly natural gas and diesel. Switching between fuels is done automatically. Versatility is its biggest advantage of the best dual fuel generator because, with it, you always have a backup way to power your home.

Noise Level

Most of the best portable generator models produce some level of noise. Of course, some models are louder than others, and this can be a problem if you live in a populated area. It is essential to look for the mostly silent model, so you don’t disturb the neighbors.

Run Time

How much time can a unit work continually depends on various factors, such as the power, type of fuel it uses, and so on? We would recommend that you choose those that can work for extended periods. But of course, it is important to choose your specific needs and possibilities.

Durability

Most of these devices are made to last for a long time, and they are incredibly sturdy. Of course, how long the machine will last depending on how frequently you use it. Additionally, it is important to take good care of your whole house generator if you want to be able to use it for many years.

Safety Features

Generally, a portable generator must have adequate safety features because electricity can be dangerous. You have to make sure that your unit has:

Safety Features Portable Generator

Price

The prices of these machines vary depending on the features. More potent items are more expensive. You should make sure to find one that corresponds to your needs following your budget.

Best Portable Generator Types

Conventional

Best Portable Generator Types

This type of generator is most commonly used. A conventional portable generator is a unit with a fuel-powered engine and an alternator with electrical output. The engine runs on a consistent speed to produce electrical power.

Inverter

Inverter generators run on fossil fuels, and they contain batteries, alternators, and inverter. They produce AC power, which they then convert into DC power. They provide clean energy in many cases.

Best Portable Generator FAQ

How to Use a Portable Generator?

Usually, it is simple to use the best portable generator. The most important thing you need to know is that you should keep it outside and away from windows and doors. Never keep it in the house because they produce carbon monoxide, which is toxic. The best way to understand how to use a portable generator is to follow the instructions that came with your specific model.

How to Make Portable Generator Power Clean?

Fuel-powered generators don’t produce clean power because of the changes in electrical output. If you want pure energy, the best is to use a portable inverter generator. Another option if you already have a conventional generator is to buy an automatic voltage regulator.

How to Make a Portable Generator Quieter?

If you think your portable generator is producing a lot of noise, there are few things that you can try to do to make it quieter.

  • Build a sound wall
  • Put some padding under the generator
  • Include a muffler
  • Reduce vibration in the engine housing

How to Power a House with a Portable Generator?

There are two ways how you can do this. You can plug in each appliance in the generator with a power cord. But for this, you need a machine with a lot of power outlets. Another option is to use a transfer switch to power a circuit panel.

Verdict and Our Recommendation for 2020

How to Power a House with a Portable Generator

A portable generator is, without a doubt, a useful machine to have whether you need a backup power source in your home or something to provide you with the necessary amount of electricity when camping. There are plenty of models, as you can see, and each has some useful features that make it unique. We decided to crown the WEN Inverter Generator with its excellent characteristic as the best portable generator in 2020. In the end, we would like to invite you to revisit homemakerguide because we are preparing a lot of new and exciting texts for you.

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PRODUCTS TESTED BY HomeMakerGuide
How We Tested
We analyzed and reviewed over 50 different models before we decided to include these ten in our text about the best portable generator models. We checked how they behave in different situations and discussed with experienced users to see the best models in their opinion. We also discussed this topic with electrical engineers and other experts.
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