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Generators

Review: Best Generator Brands of 2021

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Brand selection is an essential step to take when purchasing a generator. If you know which brands are best, decision-making is a lot easier. If you’re a first-time buyer or not entirely aware of all of the brands on the market, you’re going to need a helping hand. You’ve come to the right place!

In the generator buying guide to follow, you will find 6 top generator brands. We have taken the time to review each of these brands and feature their top 3 units. 

Best Generator Brands of 2021

These brands have a long history of providing quality generators to the domestic and commercial market. They offer excellent machines along with warranties and customer services that are also quite remarkable. We will be exploring the following brands in more detail below: some of the best brands available on the US market today.

  1. Westinghouse
  2. WEN
  3. DuroMax
  4. Champion
  5. Generac
  6. Honda

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Portable Generator Brands Compared ↗

We compared and recommended the best portable generator brands

The Best Home Generator Brands ↗

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Quiet Generator Brands Reviewed ↗

Solve noise concerns with quiet generator brands

Westinghouse

Westinghouse has been in business since 1865. You will be surprised to know that Nikola Tesla came to work for Westinghouse in 1888. Westinghouse slowly and steadily crossed all barriers to become one of the leading brands in the generator industry and other power tools. It has incorporated innovative technology, artificial intelligence, and all the latest manufacturing processes to provide you with the American market’s best generators. The brand offers a wide range of generators and ensures that your power needs are always met under all circumstances. It’s relatively easy to pinpoint Westinghouse’s top 3 generator units, which are featured below.

Westinghouse WGen9500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator

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How does the WGen9500DF stack up?

Pros

  • Economical buy
  • GFCI outlets
  • Remote start
  • Impressive runtime

Cons

  • Noisy at 15 feet
Fuel TypeDual Fuel
Surge WattsGasoline 12,500, LPG: 11,200
Running WattsGasoline 9,500, LPG: 8,500
Runtime (at 50% load)8.75 Hours
Weight220 Pounds
Noise Level70 dBA at a distance of 30-40 feet
Starting MechanismWireless, electric (push), and recoil
Warranty3-years
CertificationsEPA and CARB

Fuel Type and Power Output: This generator is a dual fuel machine and provides a surge wattage of 12,500 peak watts and 9,500 running watts on gasoline. The starting wattage on LPG is 11,200, and the rated power is 8,500 watts.

Tank Capacity and Runtime: The generator offers a 6.6-gallon fuel tank with a runtime of up to 12 hours at 50% load. The runtime on propane depends on the size of the cylinder and the load applied to the generator. 

Engine Specifications: You get a powerful 457cc OHV engine from Westinghouse with a cast iron sleeve, making it durable and reliable.

Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: The generator measures 27.2 x 26.1 x 26.5 inches and weighs 220 pounds. It has wheels and push handles, making it easy to move around the unit at your worksite and home.

Outlets: You get two 120V 20A 5-20R GFCI AC outlets, one 120/240V AC 50A outlet, one 120/240V 30A outlet, and an ST switch outlet with rubber protection.   

Other Features: It has a remote starting mechanism along with a push start and recoil start. You get fuel gauges, a data center, battery charger, oil and oil funnel, automatic low oil shutdown, a tool kit, a user manual and a quick start guide with the generator.

WGen9500 Downloads

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See our Westinghouse WGen9500 vs WGen9500DF review


Westinghouse WGen12000 Ultra Duty Portable Generator

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How does the WGen12000 stack up?

Pros

  • Low THD
  • Remote start
  • Decent runtime

Cons

  • No recoil starting mechanism as backup
  • Relatively heavy unit
Fuel TypeGasoline
Surge Watts15,000
Running Watts12,000
Runtime (at 50% load)11 Hours
Weight352 Pounds
Noise Level74 dBA
Starting MechanismElectric
Warranty3-years
CertificationsEPA and CARB

Fuel Type and Power Output: It is a gasoline-powered machine and has 15000 peak wattage with a 12000 running wattage. This generator is ideal for people who need more power in a compact size and run heavy machines/appliances. 

Tank Capacity and Runtime: You get a 10.5-gallon fuel tank, which gives it a maximum runtime of 11 hours. The runtime is impressive when we consider the power output and tank size ratio.

Engine Specifications: It is loaded with a powerful 713cc OHV V-Twin Westinghouse engine. The heavy-duty engine ensures that you get a power punch regardless of how cool the weather is.

Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: It is a bigger unit and measures 34 x 31 x 35 inches with 352 pounds. It comes with wheels and handles to help you move the unit around. However, it is a heavy unit, and you may face some trouble while moving it from one place to another.

Outlets: Keeping in mind its high power output, Westinghouse has ensured that you get all the power outlets you need to run heavy machines at a worksite. The control panel is loaded with two 120V 20A AC, one 120V 30A AC, one 120/240V AC 30A, one 120V/240V AC 50A protected outlets. You also get 2 USB outlets.

Other Features: On the control panel, you will find a push start button, circuit breaker, transfer switch, an odometer, and the main breaker. An easy-to-control fuel on/off button is also located right next to the control panel. The generator comes loaded with engine oil and is ready to use after some assembling. It offers an automatic choke, making cold start a breeze.

WGen9500 Downloads

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Westinghouse WGen7500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator

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How does the WGen7500DF stack up?

Pros

  • Excellent runtime
  • User-friendly machine
  • Easy to maintain

Cons

  • The installed battery may be of low quality
Fuel TypeGasoline
Surge Watts15,000
Running Watts12,000
Runtime (at 50% load)11 Hours
Weight352 Pounds
Noise Level74 dBA
Starting MechanismElectric
Warranty3-years
CertificationsEPA and CARB

Fuel Type and Power Output: It is a dual fuel machine and offers a 9500 peak and 7500 rated wattage on gasoline and 8550 peak power, 6750 running power on propane. It has enough juice to manage all your small, medium and some large appliances. 

Tank Capacity and Runtime: It offers a medium-sized gas tank (6.6 gallons) and can run up to 16 hours with a full tank.

Engine Specifications: A cast-iron 420cc Westinghouse engine complements the power output and overall performance of the engine.  

Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: Its size and weight are ideal for generators with this power output. With dimensions of 27.2 x 26.1 x 26 inches and a weight of 192 pounds, it can be easily moved around, used in an RV, and managed by an adult.

Outlets: The generator features two 120V AC 20A, one 120/240V AC 30A outlet, and a USB outlet. It lacks the 50A outlet for running heavy machines and big RVs. It may not be ideal for big worksites or large equipment. The power outlets in this model are twist lock and have rubber covers for additional safety.  

Other Features: The machine is loaded with a push-button start and recoil starting mechanism. An easy-to-control fuel option lever and odometer, battery indicator, on/off switch, overload protection make this unit easy to run and operate. It has all the features that will make your life easy with generators.

WGen9500 Downloads

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WEN

WEN is one of the best generator brands because it provides affordable and reliable products. WEN has been doing business since 1951 and has sold around 50 million units in just 50 years. It is a perfect option for people looking for quality generators with a tight budget. WEN is a Chinese brand but the strict quality measures imposed on its production in China and import in the US ensure that you get a quality product at an affordable price. Let’s check out its best three WEN generators to buy in 2021.

WEN DF1100T Duel Fuel Portable Generator

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How does the DF1100T stack up?

Pros

  • Economic buy in this power range
  • A lot of accessories are included
  • GFCI outlets
  • Electric start
  • Quiet operation compared to similar units

Cons

  • Low runtime
Fuel TypeDual Fuel
Surge WattsGasoline: 11,000, Propane: 9,500
Running WattsGasoline: 8,300, Propane: 7,500
Runtime (at 50% load)8.5 hours on 6.6 gallons of gasoline, 3 hours on 20 gallons LPG
Weight214 Pounds
Starting MechanismElectric and recoil
Warranty2-years
CertificationsEPA and CARB

Fuel Type and Power Output: WEN offers a dual fuel machine with a surge wattage of 11,000 and rated wattage of 8,300 on gas. On propane, it gives a 9500 peak and a 7500 running power. 

Tank Capacity and Runtime: It comes with a 6.6-gallon gas tank and offers up to 8.5 hours runtime at a 50% load.

Engine Specifications: The generator uses a 457cc 4-stroke OHV engine which can be started with a key and starting rope. The size of the engine gives a stable output power and never lets you down.

Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: The generator measures 27.3 x 20.6 x 21.9 inches and weighs 214 pounds. Heavy-duty wheels and push-handles facilitate moving the unit.

Outlets: You get a 12v DC outlet, two 120V 20A GFCI NEMA, one 120V 30A, a 120/240V 50A NEMA outlet. The outlets are not protected with a cover.

Other Features: On the control panel, you find a fuel switch, an electric start option, an hour meter, and circuit breakers. The generator offers safety features such as surge protection and low oil shutdown. It comes with a 47-inch LPG connection hose.

WGen9500 Downloads

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WEN 56235i Super Quiet Inverter Generator

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How does the 56235i stack up?

Pros

  • Economic buy
  • Lightweight
  • Fuel efficient
  • Low running cost
  • Decent runtime

Cons

  • Missing data center
  • External grounding required
Fuel TypeGasoline
Surge Watts2,350
Running Watts1900
Runtime (at 50% load)5.25
Weight39 Pounds
Noise Level51 dBA
Starting MechanismRecoil start
Warranty2-years
CertificationsCARB

Fuel Type and Power Output: It is a gasoline-powered inverter and produces 2350 starting watts and 1900 running watts. 

Tank Capacity and Runtime: It has a one-gallon fuel tank and offers up to 10 hours of runtime.  

Engine Specifications: The generator has been built around a 79cc OHV engine and has a low fuel shutoff feature.

Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: The generator weighs 39 pounds and measures 17.3 x 11.5 x 17.5 inches. It is a compact and lightweight unit, making it highly portable. The ergonomic carry handle makes it easier to lift and carry around the unit. 

Outlets: You get a 12V DC outlet, two USB outlets (1A and 2.1A), a 120V, 15A AC outlet. It allows you to connect all your sensitive devices, such as laptops and phones. You can also connect plug appliances having a power requirement below the maximum power output of the machine.

Other Features: The generator comes with auto-throttle mode (ability to control engine speed according to the load applied), paralleling capabilities (ability to connect two same model inverters to increase the output and outlets), and indicator lights for low oil, overload, and output. It has a manual choke and a fuel shutoff that allows you to use the carburetor’s leftover gas.

56235i Downloads

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WEN DF475T Dual Fuel Portable Generator

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How does the DF475T stack up?

Pros

  • A lot of included accessories
  • Quiet operation
  • Lightweight in this power range

Cons

  • Oil changes may be difficult due to a complicated design
  • Flimsy propane hose
Fuel TypeDual Fuel
Surge WattsGasoline: 4,750, Propane: 4,350
Running WattsGasoline: 3,800, Propane: 3,50
Runtime (at 50% load)11 hours
Weight105 Pounds
Starting MechanismKey and recoil
Warranty2-years
CertificationsEPA and CARB

Fuel Type and Power Output: This machine runs on gasoline and propane. It is capable of giving 4750 starting watts and 3800 running watts on gas. On propane, it produces 4350 surge watts and 3500 rated watts.

Tank Capacity and Runtime: The generator has a 4-gallon fuel tank and can provide a runtime of up to 11 hours. It provides 7 hours runtime at 50% load on propane. 

Engine Specifications: The generator is loaded with a 224cc 4-stroke engine. It can be started with starting rope and key.

Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: It measures 23.2 x 17.5 x 18.5 inches and weighs 105 pounds. You get big wheels and one push/pull handle. A medium weight makes this unit highly portable. 

Outlets: You get two 120V GFCI outlets, one 120/240V 30A twist lock and one 12V DC car adapter outlet. 

Other Features: The unit comes with overload protection, automatic voltage, and a regulator. You also get a 47-inch LPG hose, first-time use oil, and a tool kit.

DF475T Downloads

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DuroMax

DuroMax was founded in 2003 and is currently the market leader in the dual fuel portable generator industry. It produces high-quality generators with all the latest features. Its generators are generally expensive compared to other brands. It is rated as one of the best generator brands owing to its high-quality, reliability, and durability. All DuroMax units can be run in all 50 states. Let’s check out their best 3 generators.

DuroMax XP13000E Gas Powered Portable Generator

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How does the XP1300E stack up?

Pros

  • Lightweight in this power range
  • Comes with various accessories

Cons

  • Not a fuel-efficient machine
  • A generator should have a remote start in this price range
Fuel TypeGasoline
Surge Watts13,000
Running Watts10,500
Runtime (at 50% load)8 Hours
Weight234 Pounds
Noise Level74 dBA
Starting MechanismElectric and recoil
Warranty3-years residential, 1-year commercial
CertificationsEPA and CARB

Fuel Type and Power Output: It is a gas-powered unit and produces 13000 starting and 10500 watts.

Tank Capacity and Runtime: The unit comes with a spacious 8.3-gallon tank and can run up to 8.5 hours on half load.

Engine Specifications: It comes with a 500cc 2-stroke OHV DuroMax durable engine. The engine is capable of keeping things running under tough conditions.

Dimensions, Weight, and Portability:  The generator measures 29 x 30 x 26 inches and weighs 234 pounds. The big wheels and drag handles make it easier to move the unit around. The wheels and handle kit are included in the box.

Outlets: You get two 120V 20A GFCI, one 120V 30A twist lock, one 120/240V 30A twist lock, and a 12-/240V 50 A heavy-duty outlets. The number and type of outlets ensure that you can easily run all the heavy machines. 

Other Features: The unit has idle control, which helps adjust engine output according to the load applied. It also offers low oil, overload, and surge voltage protection. You get push start, a digital meter, a spark plug wrench, an oil funnel, and a toolset.

EP1300E Downloads

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DuroMax XP13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator

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How does the XP1300EH stack up?

Pros

  • Best for severe climatic regions
  • Easy to operate machine
  • Decent runtime

Cons

  • Metallic parts may get rusty
Fuel TypeDual Fuel
Surge WattsGasoline: 13,000, Propane: 12,350
Running WattsGasoline: 10,500, Propane: 9,975
Runtime (at 50% load)8.5 Hours (Gasoline), 6.5 Hors (40 pound propane tank)
Weight234 Pounds
Noise Level74 dBA
Starting MechanismElectric and recoil
Warranty3-years residential, 1-year commercial
CertificationsEPA and CARB

Fuel Type and Power Output: It is a dual fuel generator and provides 13000 peak watts and 10500 running watts on gasoline. On propane, you get 12350 peak watts and 9975 rated watts.

Tank Capacity and Runtime: You get an 8.3-gallon tank and a runtime of 8.5 hours. On a 40-pound propane tank, it gives a runtime of 6.5 hours. 

Engine Specifications: It comes with a 500cc 4-cycle air-cooled spark-ignition engine. This engine ensures that you get the best performance in all conditions. 

Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: The unit measures 30 x 29 x 26 inches and weighs 234 pounds. You get a wheel and handle kit along with the unit. It is easy to move around at worksite or in your home.

Outlets: The outlets offered are the same compared to the machine reviewed above.

Other Features: All the other features are in line with the XP13000E machine.

EP1300EH Downloads

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DuroMax XP12000E Gas Powered Portable Generator

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How does the XP1200E stack up?

Pros

  • MX2 technology
  • Good value of money
  • Durable wheel kit

Cons

  • Loud machine
Fuel TypeGasoline
Surge Watts12,000
Running Watts9,500
Runtime (at 50% load)9 Hours
Weight217 Pounds
Noise Level74 dBA
Starting MechanismElectric and recoil
Warranty3-years residential, 1-year commercial
CertificationsEPA and CARB

Fuel Type and Power Output: The generator runs on gas and gives 12000 peak and 9500 running watts. It has enough power to run a medium-sized RV and all your major appliances during an outage. 

Tank Capacity and Runtime: An 8.3 gallon gives almost 9 hours of runtime at ½ load. The runtime is impressive compared to other machines in the same power range.

Engine Specifications: It has a 457cc 4-cycle air-cooled spark-ignition engine. With durable all-metal construction, the engine is built to last for a lifetime.  

Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: The dimensions are 30 x 30 x 26 inches and the unit weighs 217 pounds. The included wheel and handle kit ensure that you face no problems while moving this generator around.

Outlets: The outlets are the same on this unit as well.

Other Features: Apart from all the features discussed in the 1st DuroMax unit, it comes with MX2 power boost feature. It enables you to get maximum power from the 120V outlets. It also enables you to choose between 120V and 240V for running heavy machines.

EP1200E Downloads

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Champion

Champion is one of the very well-known names in the North American generator industry. Despite being in business for only 18 years, it has positioned itself as one of the most trusted and reliable generator providers. From a humble beginning in Santa Fe Springs, California, Champion now operates from business facilities in Jackson, Tennessee; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Toronto, Canada. It has sold over 2 million units in North America in this brief time. Its high demand and affordable prices make it one of the best brands in North America.

Champion Power Equipment 100520 DH Series Open Frame Inverter Generator

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How does the 100520 DH-series stack up?

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Clean power with less than 3% THD
  • Perfect for running heavy and sensitive machines at the same time

Cons

  • Handle design may not feel ergonomic to some
Fuel TypeGasoline
Surge Watts8,750
Running Watts7,000
Runtime (at 50% load)5.25 Hours
Weight166 Pounds
Noise Level72 dBA at 23 feet
Starting MechanismElectric and recoil
Warranty3-years
CertificationsEPA and CARB

Fuel Type and Power Output: The digital inverter runs on gas and provides a maximum of 8750 watts and 7000 rated watts.

Tank Capacity and Runtime: It comes with a 2-gallon gas tank but provides you with an impressive 10.5-hour runtime at 25% load. The tank size to runtime ratio outnumbers a majority of models.  

Engine Specifications: The machine is built around a 4-stroke 420cc OHV engine. Its economy mode allows the unit to monitor power consumption, enhance fuel economy, and reduce operating noise.

Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: The unit measures 26.6 x 25.6 x 23.7 inches and weighs 166 pounds. With heavy-duty wheels and a drag handle, you can move it without any external help. 

Outlets: The control panel is loaded with one 120/240V 30A lock outlet, four 120V 20A GFCI protected household outlets, and a 12V DC car charge styled outlet with a dual USB adapter battery-charging cables. The outlets ensure that you don’t need to connect external cables with the generator. 

Other Features: You get economy mode, safety indicators such as overload and low oil, and a 4-mode gauge system to keep you aware of the working condition of the unit. You get a USB adapter, oil funnel, tool kit, and battery charging cables in the package.

100520 DH-series Downloads

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Champion 100263 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator

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How does the 100263 3400-watt stack up?

Pros

  • Equal power outage on propane and gas
  • Ready to use machine with little preparation

Cons

  • Outlets are not protected
  • The warranty is exclusive of the carburetor
  • A bit heavy
Fuel TypeDual Fuel
Surge Watts3,400 on both gasoline and propane
Running Watts3,100 on both gasoline and propane
Runtime (at 50% load)7.5 Hours
Weight96 Pounds
Noise Level59 dBA at 23 feet
Starting MechanismElectric and recoil
Warranty3-years, limited
CertificationsEPA and CARB

Fuel Type and Power Output: It is a dual fuel inverter generator with a maximum power output of 3700 watts and a running capacity of 3100 watts. The best thing about this generator is that the power output on both fuels is the same.

Tank Capacity and Runtime: It has a tank capacity of 1.6 gallons and can run up to 7.5 hours on a 25% load. With propane, you can run this generator for a maximum of 14 hours at the same load.

Engine Specifications: It is loaded with a variable speed 192cc 4-stroke Champion engine. The engine ensures that you get a low running cost through its automatic RPM adjustment feature.

Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: It weighs 96 pounds and measures 25.1 x 17.3 x 18.3 inches. Built-in wheels and a drag handle make this machine portable.

Outlets: You get a 120V 30A lock outlet with an RV adapter, two 120V 20A outlets, and a 12V DC outlet with a dual USB adapter.

Other Features: The inverter is parallel capable, equipped with an auto-throttle feature, choke lever, overload, low oil indicator, circuit breakers, and on/off button. The control panel is user-friendly and easy to operate.

100263 3400-Watt Downloads

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Champion 4750/3800-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator

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How does the 201052 4750/3800-watt stack up?

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • It comes with engine oil for first-time use
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Loud machine
Fuel TypeDual Fuel
Surge Watts4,750 on both gasoline and propane
Running Watts3,800 on both gasoline and propane
Runtime (at 50% load)14 Hours
Weight119 Pounds
Noise Level68 dBA at 23 feet
Starting MechanismElectric and recoil
Warranty3-years
CertificationsEPA and CARB

Fuel Type and Power Output: It is a dual fuel unit and produces 4750 starting and 3800 running watts.

Tank Capacity and Runtime: It has a 4.7-gallon tank capacity and can run up to 14 hours at 50% load capacity.

Engine Specifications: The generator uses a 224cc Champion engine which is in line with its power output capacity.

Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: The unit measures 26.3 x 24.8 x 22.9 inches and weighs 119 pounds. Portability is aided through wheels and a rubber grip drag handle.

Outlets: You get one 120V 30A RV outlet, one 120V 30A lock outlet, and a couple of 120V 20A household outlets. All these outlets are protected with rubber covers.

Other Features: You get a built-in surge protector, low oil shutdown, and gauges to keep you aware of the working condition of the unit. The fuel selector switch is easy to operate and is made of high-quality plastic.

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Generac

Generac, founded in 1959, is the first choice of millions of Americans while looking for a backup power solution. However, in recent times, its portable generators are gaining a lot of popularity. Built on solid research and technological innovations, Generac generators are second to none. They are ranked as one of the best generators brands because of their high-quality and reliability.

Generac iQ3500 Inverter

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How does the iQ3500 stack up?

Pros

  • Low running sound
  • User-friendly Machine
  • Impressive run time
  • Easy to assemble and use

Cons

  • Handles and wheels are missing
  • No fuel Gauge
Fuel TypeGasoline
Surge Watts3,500
Running Watts3,000
Runtime (at 50% load)8.9 Hours
Weight109 Pounds
Noise Level65 dBA
Starting MechanismElectric and recoil
Warranty3-years

Fuel Type and Power Output: It is a gas-powered inverter and produces 3500 maximum power and 3000 watts rated power.

Tank Capacity and Runtime: It offers a 2.6 gallons tank size and can be run up to 14 hours with a 25% load on the unit. 

Engine Specifications: The unit has a 212cc OHV engine from Generac. The engine parts are made of high-quality steel and last for a lifetime.

Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: With a weight of 109 pounds and size 23.7 x 18 x 21.7 inches, the unit is compact but a bit heavy. It doesn’t come with wheels. You will have to lift this generator to move it. Lifting 109 pounds (50 KGs) and move with it is not an easy task. However, it is best for RVs.  

Outlets: It has a 120V 20A outlet, one 120V 30A twist-lock outlet, a couple of USB outlets for running your sensitive appliances, and parallel outlets. The outlets are not protected with rubber covers. 

Other Features: You get circuit breakers, a grounding port, a LED screen with low oil, an overload warning, and output indicator lights. It is loaded with an economy switch, an electric start button, and a power dial to turn on the choke.

Generac iQ3500 Downloads

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Generac GP1200i Portable Inverter

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How does the GP1200i stack up?

Pros

  • Extremely quiet generator
  • Economical
  • Fuel efficient
  • Lightweight and compact

Cons

  • Missing paralleling capabilities
  • A limited number of outlets
  • Missing electric start
Fuel TypeGas
Surge Watts1,200
Running Watts1,000
Runtime (at 50% load)5.5 Hours
Weight36 Pounds
Starting MechanismRecoil
Warranty3-years
CertificationsCSA and CARB

Fuel Type and Power Output: It is a gas-powered unit with a starting wattage of 1200 and a running wattage of 1000 watts.

Tank Capacity and Runtime: With a gas tank of 0.8 gallons, it can give a maximum of 5.5 hours runtime. 

Engine Specifications: It has a 54cc Generac engine. A small engine keeps the unit lightweight.

Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: With dimensions of 18.5 x 10.2 x 15.7 inches and 36 pounds weight, it is a perfect machine for individual use. You don’t need wheels with this machine. You can carry it around with much ease.

Outlets: You get a limited number of outlets, one 120V AC outlet, one AC outlet, and two DC outlets for USB connection makes it limited to running small and personal appliances such as laptops, phones, medical equipment like CPAP machines.  

Other Features: It is quite a basic unit and comes with a choke, indicator lights for low oil, output, and overloading.

Want To Learn More?: Check out our Ultimate Generac 76711 GP1200I 1200-Watt Portable Inverter Generator Review here.

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Generac GP8000E Portable Generator

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How does the GP800E stack up?

Pros

  • Excellent fuel efficiency
  • Durable wheels and ergonomic handle
  • Electric start
  • Heavy metal construction

Cons

  • No DC power outlet
  • High THD value
  • Removing the battery may be difficult
Fuel TypeGas
Surge Watts10,000
Running Watts8,000
Runtime (at 50% load)9-10 Hours
Weight214 Pounds
Noise Level70 dBA
Starting MechanismElectric and recoil
Warranty3-years

Fuel Type and Power Output: It is a gas-powered generator and offers 10000 starting watts and 8000 running watts.

Tank Capacity and Runtime: With a 7.5-gallon tank size, you can enjoy a maximum runtime of 9-10 hours with a 50% load.

Engine Specifications: It comes with an OHV Generac engine. The engine uses splash lubrication technology which enhances the life of the components.

Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: It measures 27.2 x 27 x 26.5 inches and weighs 214 pounds. You get durable wheels and drag handles to move the unit around. It is a heavy unit, and you may need additional help with it.

Outlets: It’s got one 120/240V 50 amp, two120V 30 amp, and two 120V 20A outlets. The best thing about this unit is that all the outlets are protected with high-quality rubber covers.

Other Features: You get an hour meter, on/off button, fuel gauge, air filter, oil filter, circuit breakers, surge voltage, and overloading protection. This machine is loaded with a power-rush technology which enables you to get 30% more starting power. You can run heavier machines than the maximum capacity of this unit as well.

Generac GP8000E Downloads

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Honda

Honda is a global symbol of quality and trust. It offers a unit with fewer moving parts and ensures that you get a reliable and problem-free alternate power solution. Nothing said can elaborate Honda’s excellence in the generator industry. Despite having a limited product variety, Honda has been and is still the choice of millions of Americans. There is no doubt that its generators are priced higher, but the features and reliability earn Honda a place in the best brands of generators in 2021.

Honda EU2200iTAG Portable Inverter Generator

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How does the EU2000iTAG stack up?

Pros

  • Low running noise
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Reliable Honda engine
  • User-friendly

Cons

  • Costly
  • No fuel gauge
  • No USB outlet
Fuel TypeGasoline
Surge Watts2,200
Running Watts1,800
Runtime (at 50% load)4 Hours
Weight46.5 Pounds
Noise Level48-57 dBA
Starting MechanismElectric and recoil
Warranty3-years
CertificationsEPA and CARB

Fuel Type and Power Output: It is a gas-powered unit and produces 2200 starting watts and 1800 running watts.

Tank Capacity and Runtime: It comes with a small gas tank (0.95 gallons) and can run 8 hours on a 25% load.

Engine Specifications: The inverter uses a 121cc GXR120 Honda Engine. 

Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: The dimensions stand at 20 x 11.4 x 16.7 inches, and the inverter weighs a total of just 46.5 pounds. Such a compact size and low weight make this unit highly portable.

Outlets: The generator supports two 120V 15A AC outlets and a DC battery charging port. It misses out on the USB outlet, which is a big flaw in the design.

Other Features: It has Bluetooth connectivity, which is a big plus. You get LED indicators for oil alert, overload, and output alert. The generator has paralleled capabilities, eco throttle mode, and a co-minder, allowing the unit to shut down automatically when carbon monoxide levels get dangerously high.

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Honda EU1000i Inverter Generator

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How does the EU1000i stack up?

Pros

  • Ultra-light
  • Fuel efficient
  • Durable and reliable
  • Very quiet

Cons

  • Costly
  • A limited number of outlets
  • No USB outlet
Fuel TypeGasoline
Surge Watts1,000
Running Watts900
Runtime (at 50% load)4.5 Hours
Weight29 Pounds
Noise Level53-59 dBA
Starting MechanismRecoil
Warranty2-years
CertificationsEPA and CARB

Fuel Type and Power Output: It is also a gas-powered unit with 1000 starting watts and running power of 900 watts.

Tank Capacity and Runtime: With a 0.55-gallon gas tank, it will give you 3 hours runtime at full power.

Engine Specifications: It uses a 49.4cc Honda engine. A small engine means that the unit is lightweight.

Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: The dimensions are 17.8 x 9.5 x 14.9 inches, and weighs 29 pounds. A low weight, small size, and ergonomic carry-handle make it easier to move around with this machine.

Outlets: You get two 120V AC outlets and an 8A 12V DC outlet. USB outlet is also missing in this model.

Other Features: The unit has a co-minder feature that detects carbon monoxide and controls its production in the exhaust, and shuts down as soon as the CO levels around the generator become high. It is protected by oil alert and is parallel capable.

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Honda EB3000C Portable Generator

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How does the EB3000C stack up?

Pros

  • Full GFCI panel
  • Lightweight
  • Fuel efficient
  • Excellent runtime compared to gas tank volume

Cons

  • No data center
  • Only recoil starting
  • Costly
Fuel TypeGasoline
Surge Watts3,000
Running Watts2,600
Runtime (at 50% load)9 Hours
Weight71 Pounds
Noise Level65 dBA
Starting MechanismRecoil
Warranty3-years
CertificationsEPA and CARB

Fuel Type and Power Output: Honda brings a gasoline generator to run small to medium-sized tools at worksites. It gives a maximum wattage of 3000 watts and rated power of 2600 watts. 

Tank Capacity and Runtime: It has a 2.6 gallons gas tank but gives a massive runtime of 9 hours at half load. The reason is excellent fuel economy and fuel conserving engine. 

Engine Specifications: You get a 196cc GX200 4-stroke OHV engine. A powerful Honda engine ensures that you don’t face any fluctuations while working with this machine. 

Dimensions, Weight, and Portability: The machine weighs 71 pounds and measures 19.5 x 18 x 17 inches. The machine lacks wheels; hence moving it around will be an issue. You will need to invest in a wheel kit or use power extensions with this model.   

Outlets: You get two 120V 20A and one 120V 30A twist-lock outlet. Just like other models, this one lacks outlets as well. 

Other Features: One unique feature in this machine is CycloConverter technology. It uses a processor that conditions the engine’s power, so you don’t need an alternator in the unit. It keeps the machine lightweight and reduces extra parts in the machine. It has a fuel gauge, LED indicators, overload protection, low oil shutdown, and surge voltage protection.

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Why Buy a Generator?

Technological advancements have enabled us to enjoy uninterrupted power supply at homes, offices, worksites, and industries. However, when Mother Nature strikes and power goes out due to infrastructural breakdowns or an increase in demand during harsh weather, you need alternate power to get things going. A generator comes in handy during such situations. Apart from power outages, generators are extremely helpful while working at off-the-grid worksites. You can run your power tools and work independently from utility power. Inverter generators enhance your camping, RVing, and tailgating experience. They keep you connected to the rest of the world by charging your devices.

Buyer’s Guide

Power Output and Power Needs

Before buying a generator, the most important thing is to calculate your power needs and compare them to the unit’s output. You can begin by making a list of all the appliances or tools you plan to run on the generator. You will need the starting and running wattages of each appliance/machine. Once you have the final calculations, you can select an appropriate machine. To make this easier for you, we have included generators from various power ranges in our list. Just a pro tip: go for a slightly bigger unit than your needs. It will help you adjust additional loads in the long run.

Type of Generator

If your power needs are low and can be met with an inverter, go for an inverter. An inverter has quite a few benefits over conventional generators. It is lightweight, portable, quiet, fuel-efficient, and has a low running cost. However, inverters are more costly than conventional generators with the same power output.

Conventional generators are best for people who prefer power over noise and portability. If your power needs are high and you want to run your tools on a generator, conventional units are best. Further, conventional generators are easier to repair, and costs are relatively low.

Fuel Type

You have two options here; either you can go for a gas-powered generator or a dual fuel generator. It is better to have a dual fuel generator because it eliminates one type of fuel’s dependability. It comes in handy at times when gasoline is difficult to find. You can run your generator on stored propane. Propane is a winner when it comes to shelf life, so it ensures that you don’t have to stay in the dark when gas is not available.

However, running a propane generator has some disadvantages; you get low power output, low runtime, and you have to manage a propane tank while running your generator. On the contrary, gas burns louder, and its exhaust is not as clean as propane. Handling and storing gas is more complicated than dealing with stored propane.   

Our suggestion: go for a dual fuel generator. Run it on gas during normal circumstances and use propane during emergencies.

Gas Tank Size and Runtime

The runtime depends on the gas tank. A big tank will provide you with a longer runtime. However, the runtime is also determined by the load applied to the generator. When running on propane, the runtime is dependent on the load and the size of the cylinder. For people who want to run generators for a longer time, looking for a generator with a long runtime at 50% load is suggested.

Control Panel

A control panel helps you control your machine. You will find all the controls, buttons, outlets, a fuel selector, a fuel on/off switch, an odometer, and other controls.  A couple of Honda inverters have a control panel on one side and outlets on the other. You must look for an easy-to-operate and advanced control panel while buying a generator.     

Eco Mode and Paralleling Capabilities

These two features are related to inverters. Eco mode helps adjust the engine speed according to the load applied to the unit. Paralleling allows you to connect to the same models and double the output and number of outlets available. Paralleling helps run heavy machines which couldn’t be run on an individual machine.

Portability

Portability is an important factor while buying a generator. If you are buying for home use and planning to install a shed/roof over your generator, then you can ignore this feature. If you are purchasing a generator for a worksite, camping, outdoor use, make sure that you get durable wheels and an ergonomic handle. You must also check the weight of the unit and ensure that you can move it alone.  

Safety Features

Never ignore the importance of safety features like low oil shutdown, surge voltage protection, and overload protection. These features help save your appliances from malfunctioning and keeping the sensors in the generators working.

Noise Level

Another feature related to your peace of mind is the noise level. We all know how disturbing the buzz of a generator can get. Before you end up disturbing your peace and that of your neighbors, check the noise level of the generator. Inverters are quieter than conventional units.  

Weight and Dimensions

If you are buying a unit for an RV, make sure you have enough space to install it. You must also check the generator’s weight to ensure that you can manage it alone or need help to move it.

Warranty and Certifications

All generators intended to be used in California must be CARB compliant. You must also look for other certifications like EPA and CSA as well. Warranty saves you from spending on costly repairs within 1-3 years of buying a generator.

Safety Tips

  • Always maintain a safe distance while running a generator (15 feet away from your home, recommended by EPA).
  • Keep the exhaust away from windows and doors.
  • Never run your generator indoors.
  • Ensure you run your generator on a dry surface and use a canopy or generator tent if it is raining or snowing.
  • Always use a transfer switch while connecting a generator to your home.
  • Use high-quality power cables with your generator.
  • Ensure your generator is properly grounded.
  • Never move or refuel a hot generator.
  • Follow all the safety guidelines given in the product manual.

Operating Information

  • Never use old gas in the unit.
  • Always store your generator without gas in it or use a fuel stabilizer.
  • Store your generator in a dry place and protect it with a generator cover.
  • Test your generator every 15-20 days when stored for more than two months.
  • Change engine oil timely, check spark plugs, battery, and all other generator components.
  • Never overload your generator.
  • Always turn off the transfer switch when you see fluctuations in lights or hear the generator making troublesome noises.
  • Make sure you read the user manual attentively.

Editor’s Picks

Bestseller No. 1
DuroMax XP12000EH Generator-12000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Home Back Up & RV Ready, 50 State Approved Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator, Black and Blue
  • Powerful DuroMax Engine: the XP12000EH is powered by a DuroMax, 457cc OHV engine.
  • Dual fuel technology: the ability to run on propane or gasoline allows the freedom and flexibility of fuel choice. Protects your investment by automatically shutting the generator off when it senses that the oil is low
  • Plenty of power: with 12,000 starting watts and 9, 500 running watts, This unit can handle heavy loads from lights and a refrigerator to a home air conditioner and high amperage power tools.
  • Maximum power: with DuroMax MX2 technology, get the maximum power from each of the 120 volt receptacle. Choose between operating the generator at both 120 V and 240 V Simultaneously, or at 120 only with full power.
  • Powering everyone anywhere: like all DuroMax generators, the XP12000EH is EPA and CARB approved For use in all 50 States.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen9500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator-9500 Rated 12500 Peak Watts Gas or Propane Powered-Electric Start-Transfer Switch & RV Ready, CARB Compliant, Blue
  • 9500 Running Watts and 12500 Peak Watts (Gasoline); 8500 Running Watts, 11200 Peak Watts (Propane); Remote Start With Included Key Fob, Electric and Recoil Start; Up to 12 Hours of Run Time on a 6. 6 Gallon Fuel Tank With Fuel Gauge
  • Features Two GFCI 120V 5–20R Standard Household Receptacle, One Transfer Switch Ready 120V L14-30R, and One RV Ready 120/240V 14–50R; All Outlets Have Rubber Covers for Added Safety
  • Powered by a Heavy Duty 457cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV Engine Featuring a Long-Lasting Cast Iron Sleeve With Automatic Low Oil Shutdown and Digital Hour Meter. VFT display gives you real time updates with the voltage output, frequency, and lifetime hours
  • Plug-and-Play: Comes With a Remote Start Key Fob, 12V Battery Charger, Oil, an Oil Funnel, a Tool Kit, and a User’s Manual to Get You Started Right Out of the Box (Minimal Assembly Required)
  • All Westinghouse Portable Generators are Functionally Tested in the Factory and May Contain Minimum Residual Oil and/or Fuel Odor; EPA and CARB Compliant; Backed by 3-Year Limited Service, Labor, and Parts Coverage with Nationwide Customer Service Network
SaleBestseller No. 3
Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen3600v Portable Generator 3600 Rated and 4650 Peak Watts, RV Ready, Gas Powered, CARB Compliant
  • 3600 Running Watts and 4650 Peak Watts; Recoil Start; 4 Gallon Fuel Tank With Fuel Gauge; Up to 13.5 Hours of Run Time Per Tank
  • Features One 5–20R 120V Household Duplex Receptacle, One RV-Ready TT-30R 30 Amp Receptacle, and One L5-30R 30 Amp Receptacle; All Outlets Have Rubber Covers for Added Safety
  • Plug-and-Play: Comes With Oil, an Oil Funnel, a Tool Kit, and a User’s Manual to Get You Started Right Out of the Box (Minimal Assembly Required)
  • Powered by a 212cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV Engine Featuring a Long-Lasting Cast Iron Sleeve With Automatic Low Oil Shutdown
  • All Westinghouse Portable Generators are Functionally Tested in the Factory and May Contain Minimum Residual Oil and/or Fuel Odor; EPA and CARB Compliant; Backed By 3-Year Limited Service, Labor, and Parts Coverage and Nationwide Customer Service Network
SaleBestseller No. 4
A-iPower SUA12000E 12000 Watt Portable Generator Heavy Duty Gas Powered with Electric Start for Jobsite, RV, and Whole House Backup Emergency
  • The A-iPower SUA12000 produces 12,000 starting watts with 9,000 running watts to power your tools at the construction site, camping ground, or home appliances
  • Powerful 459 cc OHV 4 stroke engine with a low oil alert light and low oil automatic shutdown, helping keep your generator performing year after year
  • Large 7 gallon gasoline fuel tank provides average run time of 7 hours at 100% load and 9 hours at 50% load
  • Complete with Electric Start capability allowing you to quickly, easily, and conveniently start up your generator whenever you need it
  • Outlets include 4 x GFCI 120V 20A NEMA5-20R, 1 x 120V 30A NEMAL 5-30R, 1 x 120/240V 30A NEMA L-14-30R, 1 x 12V83A Multifunction Port USB Ready All outlets include Rubber Covers for an additional layer of Safety
SaleBestseller No. 5
Champion Power Equipment 100555 4375/3500-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator, CARB
  • DESIGNED FOR SAFETY: Includes a low oil shut-off sensor and holds 0.6-quarts of oil (recommended 10W-30)
  • RELIABLE AND POWERFUL: At 4375 starting watts and 3500 running watts, enjoy up to 12 hours of run time on a full tank of gasoline with a noise level of 68 dBA from 23 feet
  • COVERED OUTLETS: 120V 30A locking, 120V 30A RV and two 120V 20A outlets - Volt Guard built-in surge protector prevents overloads and keeps your appliances and equipment safe
  • INTELLIGAUGE: Monitor voltage, frequency and operating hours with ease
  • CHAMPION SUPPORT: Includes 3-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts

FAQs

What are the best Generator Brands?

All the brands reviewed above are regarded as the best generator brands. If we have to pick the best three, we will go with Westinghouse, Honda and DuroMax.

What are the best generator brands for homes?

DuroMax, Westinghouse, and WEN are recommended for home use. If you are looking for a standby unit, we suggest you check out the Generac home backup models.

What are the best brands for the outdoors?

Honda, WEN, and Generac offer the lightest inverters. They are best for outdoor use, such as camping and tailgating.

Who makes the best gas generators?

Honda makes the best gas engines. DuroMax the best dual fuel generator, and Westinghouse makes the best gas generators overall.

Are there any generators made in the USA?

Yes, DuroMax, Generac, WEN and Honda, all have facilities in the US.

Final Words

Now that we have reviewed 18 different generators from the six best brands in 2021 for you, selecting the right one will be easy. All the units reviewed above are the best in their class. We have also mentioned the pros and cons of each machine to help you make a well-informed decision.  Good luck!