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The Best Portable Generator Reviews

Source: Flickr.

Source: Flickr.

Portable generators are one of the most useful tools that any home owner can choose to invest in at any given time. They give every home the chance to have power even when it goes out because of a storm or other emergency. With a portable generator working for you, the lights never have to go out again!

Here’s the Best Chart for Portable Generators

Generator reviews help to cover the facts that you need to know about each make and model. With the chart below, you’ll be able to quickly find the best portable generators that can meet your needs.

PictureNamePortable Weight (lbs)PriceOur Rating
PictureNamePortable Weight (lbs)PriceOur Rating
Porta Source IG800W Portable Invertor Generator21 pounds
$
4.9
Champion Power Equipment 1500-Watt Portable Generator56 pounds
$
4.5
Westinghouse WH7500E Portable Generator201 pounds
$$$$4.7
WEN 56352 Gas Powered Portable Generator104 pounds
$$
4.5
DuroMax XP4400E Portable Generator116 pounds
$$
4
DuroMax XP10000E249 pounds
$$$$$
4.2
DuroStar DS4000S Portable Generator93 pounds
$4.3
Hyundai HY2000siCa Portable Inverter Generator74.6 pounds
$$$3.7
Sportsman GEN4000LP88 pounds
$$
3.8
Goal Zero Solar Generator29 pounds
$$
3.8

What Is a Portable Generator? Why Is One Needed?

A portable generator (also known as an Engine-Generator set) are typically built within a steel roll-cage housing and come with a wheel kit so that you can roll them wherever you need them to be. Some portable units do end up weighing more than 200 pounds, so portability is relative when it comes to the higher wattage generating units that are available today. Many of them come with the typical recoil start like many other small machines do, but some models have an electrical start as well.

Portable generators are needed to provide power when none currently exists. This is typically used in home applications, but smaller portable generators can also be used in an RV, taken to campsites, or used in a variety of other ways. You simply fuel up the generator, turn it on, and then plug in the items that require power. As long as you don’t exceed the capacity of the generator, you’ll have the power that you need when the grid won’t supply it!

Most portable generators run on gasoline, although some will run on the portable propane tanks that you’d get for a gas grill. A few portable generators can also work on solar power, which makes them the perfect option for a flat, apartment, or rental home. Think about how much weight you’ll be able to handle and how often you may need to transport your generator and you’ll be able to find the best portable generator to meet your needs.

How Can I Find the Best Portable Generator?

The best portable generators have a few features in common that you’ll want to look for in our generator reviews:

  • Quality wheels: The best generators have wheel kits that are easy to assemble, but don’t have the traditional innertube that can burst under the weight of a generator. Look for a solid, rugged wheel that can handle multiple levels of terrain.
  • Multiple receptacles. Most portable generators have at least one standard household three prong outlet and then some form of a 120/240v outlet that can power a 220v appliance if necessary. Look for generators that have multiple receptacles instead of just one to make the most out of the power being generated.
  • Solid construction. Portable generators may take a beating, so you need one that is sturdy and resilient. Look for all-steel roll cages that are thick for a good amount of protection. All-weather enclosures on the best generators help to add another level of flexible use for a portable unit as well.
  • Flexible engines. Instead of running at full power all of the time, you want a generator that can adapt to the wattage that you actually need. The best portable generators will be able to automatically adapt to the power demands you have, thereby increasing the amount of running time you get with every full tank of fuel.
  • CARB Compliant. Make sure your new generator is CARB Compliant if you’ll be using it in California.

The best portable generator is ultimately the one that can provide your home with the right level of power. That’s why it is important to consider all of the basics your home needs before you begin shopping for your generator. If you have a large home, you’ll need a large portable generator. If you have basic camping needs for your RV, a smaller generator may be more appropriate for you.

What Should You Know About Portable Generators?

For the most part, portable generators are very easy to use. Follow the start-up instructions that are included with each unit to make sure you create a strong starting foundation that won’t ruin the generator. Make sure to visually inspect the portable generator for shipping damage or manufacturing defects before fueling the unit as well.

Any fuel added to a portable generator will prevent it from being returned to Amazon or another e-commerce website. That is because items that have gasoline or propane residue in them are not allowed to be shipped according to current laws. Doing so and then finding damage or defects will require you to use the warranty on the generator instead.

You’ll also want to watch how much power you’re trying to feed through your generator. Many of them have circuit protections built-in, but not all of them do. Trying to power too many things may cause the generator to overload and this could blow out the circuitry, giving you a very expensive paperweight instead of one of the best portable generators.

What Are the Typical Prices of Portable Generators?

Most portable generators fall into a $500-$800 price range. Lower powered portable generators, or ones that typically produce a maximum of 4000 starting watts or less, may be priced lower than this average range. 9000 watt portable generators, on the other hand, are typically priced around $1,000 on average right now. There is a definite increase in price that occurs as the wattage steps up in power.

The type of portable generator that you have also reflects the kind of price you’ll pay. Propane generators are typically about 10% more than their gasoline counterparts. Inverter generators typically have a 50% price premium attached with them. Take this into consideration as you look to find the best generator for you.

What Do Our Reviews Have To Say?

Champion Power Equipment 1500-Watt Portable Generator, CARB Compliant

It’s how easy this generator is to use that makes it such a winning investment. In just a couple of pulls, you’re ready to have the power supplied that you need. It can power most appliances, but it is important to remember that a generator of this size won’t power everything at the same time.

In an emergency, if this is your sole source of power, you’d need to rotate through your various appliances to power them one by one.

Click here to check the price on Amazon and find a great deal on the Champion Power Equipment 1500 Watt Portable Generator

DuroMax XP10000E Portable Generator

The DuroMax XP10000E gives you the portability that you may want with the wheel kit that has wheels which won’t go flat, but the strength to have multiple appliances powered all at once without issue. It features two 120v outlets, a 220 outlet, and a 30 amp twist lock outlet so that you can have all of the functions you need taken care of right away.

There’s a stow-away handle that flips up for easy transporting and the wheels are 10.5 inches in size and designed for all-terrain travel, letting you take this gen set virtually anywhere. It really is a tremendous investment!

Click here to check the price on Amazon and find a great deal on the DuroMax XP10000E Portable Generator

DuroMax Portable Generator XP4400E

The primary advantage that we can see in owning this particular gen set is that you can setup your generator to make sure that it gets the maximum power that you need in the way that you need it. You canchoose between operating the generator at both 120 and 240 volts simultaneously and you can choose to operate at 120 only with full power to the outlet. It should be noted that this particular portable generator is not CARB compliant, which means it is not available for sale in California.

The dual 15 amp circuit breaker could be a little stronger as well to prevent overloads from occurring, but overall this is a rather remarkable little gen set at this price point. There’s a lot of strength and flexibility incorporated into its design.

Click here to check the price on Amazon and find a great deal on the DuroMax Portable Generator XP4400E

DuroStar DS4000S Portable Generator

This little generator offers big things in little packages! It starts with 3300 watts of consistent power thanks to the 7 horsepower air-cooled overhead valve engine. There’s even a recoil start to begin and it works for everything from a job site to your RV. Is this generator going to power your water heater or your electric oven? Absolutely not. Can it power your well pump, your sump pump, and your other typical household items that are nice to have during an emergency? Absolutely!

Unless you’re physically holding the generator at a specific angle, however, the oil is likey to run along the frame of the gen set and create a royal mess. It would also be nice to have an amp meter incorporated with the panel to track performance more accurately.

Click here to check the price on Amazon and find a great deal on the DuroStar DS4000S Portable Generator

Porta Source IG800W Portable Inverter Generator

The one nice aspect of this particular generator is that you don’t need to have a line conditioner installed in order to power up some specific items. Although you’ll only be able to power one laptop or one small digital TV with this generator, it is a way for you to keep working when powered outlets are at a premium.

You can also power about a dozen small lights instead if you prefer or some limited small appliances. Coming in at just over 21 pounds, it can literally be taken anywhere without any issue whatsoever.

Click here to check the price on Amazon and find a great deal on the Porta Source IG800W Portable Inverter Generator

Hyundai HY2000siCa Portable Inverter Generator

With the Hyundai HY2000siCa portable generator, you’re going to get a strong generator and a fair, competitive price. It provides 2000 watts of running power with a 2200 watt peak surge and is suitable to run computers and other sensitive computer equipment. On a 50% load, you’ll get about 6 hours of use with this generator as well.

This generator is covered by a pretty standard 2 year warranty and this covers commercial and residential uses equally. Designed in a compact manner and with an ergonomic handle built into the design, it’s really never been this easy to have a strong, portable, and safe generator to use virtually anywhere!

Click here to check the price on Amazon and find a great deal on the Hyundai HY2000siCa Portable Inverter Generator

Sportsman 4k Watt 6.5 HP Propane Portable Generator

Although this portable propane generator comes with a number of good features, the best thing about it is that the design seems to be with the beginner in mind. Generators typically require a lot of maintenance and supervision in order to work properly, but this Sportsman model is equipped with items that make that job easy.

It has a full power panel, a manual engine shut-off switch, a spark arrestor, and a low oil automatic shut-off so that your investment can be protected. It runs on just 20 pounds of LPG fuel and even when fully loaded will still give you between 4-5 hours of use.

Click here to check the price on Amazon and find a great deal on the Sportsman 4k Watt 6.5 HP Propane Portable Generator

WEN Gas Powered Portable Generator Series

There are generators that call themselves portable, but it would take a professional wrestler to be able to move them effectively! That’s not the case with the WEN generator series. It’s wheel kit and handle assembly make transporting these generators a pretty easy task. The lower end models run at 64 decibels, while the 9000 watt model comes in at just above 80 decibels, so it won’t blow out your ear drums either.

A 2 year limited warranty is included as well. For the most part, this is an extremely reliable generator that will provide you with the power that you need. Although they are portable, they aren’t designed for routine portability.

Click here to check the price on Amazon and find a great deal on the WEN Gas Powered Portable Generator Series

Westinghouse 7500 Watt Portable Generator

Running on a 4 stroke, 420cc overhead valve engine, we really loved the fact that the electrical starter on this generator is extremely reliable. This generator would work in an RV for some portable needs, but this generator is mostly designed to provide power in a home when it is needed.

That typically means there is a storm or emergency situation happening and you need a generator that will start reliably. That’s what this Westinghouse will do!

Click here to check the price on Amazon and find a great deal on the Westinghouse 7500 Watt Portable Generator

Goal Zero Solar Generator

One of the most difficult things to have happen when you have a personal medical need is a power outage. If you need to sleep with a CPAP machine, for example, you’re stuck with a difficult choice when the power is out: don’t go to sleep or risk waking up with a bad headache or not waking up at all! With the Goal Zero 23000, you’ve got enough power to use the basics without a problem.

It includes a USB outlet for other specific needs and can be charged by a solar panel or a wall outlet – the choice is yours. It has a premium price point, but you can save the environment a little with this generator too!

Click here to check the price on Amazon and find a great deal on the Goal Zero Solar Generator

Are you ready to choose a high quality portable generator that can meet your needs? Our generator reviews are the first step on your journey toward selecting the best product possible. Use our chart to select the best generators to meet your needs, reference our comprehensive reviews, and you will be able to select the perfect portable generator today!

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