In this contemporary world, our reliance on electricity has grown so high that we need it for just about everything. From powering our basic appliances, such as televisions, fridges, computers, and microwaves, to charging our devices and gadgets like laptops, iPads, and smartphones, everyone basically needs electricity to survive in their own homes.
But while electricity is constant in most places around the world, sometimes the power grid still goes down, and nobody wants to experience the hardship that usually ensues after a power outage, which is why we need to have the best generator for home use handy.
With a good portable generator accessible, you can sleep better every night knowing that a power outage can’t have any negative effect on your daily activities.
However, with the different types of generators on the market nowadays, choosing the right type of home generator can be a herculean task for anyone. Apart from having to choose the right brand from a plethora of brands, you’ll also need to choose an option between electric, diesel, wind-powered, gas, or solar.
So, are you experienced enough to easily choose the right generator for your home? We guess not, that’s probably why you’re on this page.
Gasoline Generator – The most popular choice
WEN 56180 1800-Watt Portable Power Generator
The WEN 56180 Portable Power Generator is one of the most dependable portable generators you can find on the market. With its 1800 watts of starting power and 1500 watts of operating power, this generator is the ideal option for the emergency power outage in your home. It can also be used for camping due to its quiet operation and lightweight construction. Further, it is fuel-efficient and can operate for more than 7 and half hours on a full tank of gas.
Furthermore, the portable generator from WEN comes with some basic safety features such as the low-oil shutdown that prevents the OHV engine from getting damaged, and the internal air-cooling system aids the prevention of overheating. You have an option of 2 AC 120 volt 3.prong wall outlets and a lighter-style 12 Volt DC outlet so that you can power multiple electrical devices or appliances.
- Excellent price
- Relatively quiet
- Automatic voltage regulator
- Low emissions and CARB compliant
- Lightweight construction
- Not suitable to run multiple large appliances
- Poor customer service
Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator
The Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator comes with a lot of power, which implies you should have no issue running required in your home. In addition, it has a maximum power of 9500 watts, which is capable of getting everything up and running in no time. The generator has two Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters and also five 20R 120V duplex receptacles and one L14-30R 120/240V twist-lock receptacles.
Moreover, the generator comes with a 12 Volt battery charger, oil and oil funnel, and a toolkit to ensure you know exactly what you are doing and how to do it. The generator has a powerful 420 cc Westinghouse 4-stroke OHV engine. Besides, it features a cast iron sleeve and the automatic low-oil shutdown feature prompts the generator to turn itself off when there is inadequate oil.
- 7500 running watts
- 6.6-gallon fuel tank with fuel gauge
- 10 hour run time at 50%
- 3-year warranty
- Doesn’t use natural gas
- Can be relatively loud
PowerPro 56101 Gas Powered Portable Generator
If you are in search of a compact generator that’s suitable for short-term home electrical emergencies, or for RV holidaying and camping, then you need to take a look at the PowerPro 56101 Gas-Powered Portable Generator. With its 1000 watts starting power and 900 watts running power, and its ability to run for up to 4 hours on one full tank of gas, you can’t just go wrong with this generator.
Weighing just 36 pounds, and with its stability-enhancing rubberized pads and handle, the Power Pro 56101 is one of the most portable and lightest generators out there. The generator is also CARB and EPA compliant and has a quiet 60dB exhaust system, which makes it suitable for outdoor use. The generator’s power panel has a 12-V three-prong receptacle, a 12V DC receptacle, an engine On/Off switch, different circuit reset buttons and a voltmeter.
- Easy to start
- Sturdy construction.
- Good size
- Ideal for small appliances
- The power isn’t adequate for large appliances.
- Smells of oil when the machine is running
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DuroStar DS7000Q Portable Diesel Generator
The DuroStar DS7000Q Portable Diesel Generator is the perfect back up for any potential power outage. With its incredible power, efficient fuel consumption, and long life expectancy, the DuroStar DS7000Q portable generator is one of the most practical options on the market. Weighing only 230 pounds only and featuring small wheels, the generator is also easy to move.
This diesel-powered generator from DuroStar has enough power to be the go-to machine if you require power backup in construction, or on farms and ranches, and also for handling an emergency power outage. The generator comes with an impressive peak power of 6,000 watts and a running power of 5,500 watts. Besides, this generator is enclosed fully, which alongside its quiet muffler, makes it a very quiet generator, and even one of the quietest on the market.
- Loads of power.
- Remote and electric start.
- Quiet operation.
- Wheel kit enhances movability.
- Long runtime.
- Large fuel tank.
- A bit expensive.
- Warranties could be better.
Pulsar PG7000D Diesel Powered Generator
If you are in search of the least expensive portable diesel-powered generator, you can’t look past this one. However, while this model might be suitable for you, it has some limitations due to its low price. The Pulsar generator operates on a single cylinder, OHV, 4-stroke, air-cooled engine. The generator features a starting power of 7,000 watts and a running power of 5,500 watts.
Furthermore, this generator gives you 5 outlets in total: one 120 volts/240 volts Twist-Lock Outlet, two 120 Volts Outlets, one 12 Volts 8.3AMP outlet, and one 120 Volts Twist Lock Outlet. This uni is quite impressive, especially being a diesel generator. This is due to the unique consideration the manufacturers took into effect with respect to the housing, air flow, and insulation. Weighing more than 350 pounds, however, this unit is fairly heavy.
- Affordably priced.
- Decently long run-time
- Quiet operation
- Digital control panel with maintenance alerts
- The unit isn’t CARB compliant
- Not really durable.
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Generac 6864 Diesel Powered Portable Generator
Diesel-powered generators are, generally, different from inverters. This Generac 6864 Portable Generator is also different from an inverter, but it offers cleaner power than most diesel-powered generators. This isn’t in no small part to the True Power Technology incorporated in it. The technology provides less than five percent total harmonic distortion. Offering a starting power of 5,500 watts and a running power of 5,000 watts, this generator is really worth its weight in gold.
If you are in the market for a generator that has a long run-time, you might need to consider this mode. The enormous 12-gallon tank means that this generator can be used, on a half-load, for more than 32 hours. Also, it has an automatic shutdown feature which makes the unit turn itself off if the oil gets low.
- Large fuel tank
- Very long runtime
- 2-year limited warranty
- Cleaner power with less than 5% harmonic disruption
- Sturdy steel frame
- EPA/CARB compliant
- You need to buy the battery separately.
- You need to buy the wheel kit separately.
Pulsar 2000iS 2,000W Portable Gas-Powered Quiet Inverter Generator
With its clean, sleek design, the Pulsar 2000iS is probably one of the most good-looking generators on the market. With its 2000 watts starting power and a running power of 1600 watts, this portable generator would make a great camping, RV, or home generator for people looking to use only basic appliances. It comes with pretty much everything you’ll need like 12V DC, USB ports, and 120V AC. The generator can run for around 8.1 hours on around 25 percent load or 6.3 hours on half-load, which is quite impressive.
This portable generator is capable of handling the basic needs. While it is quite low-grade when it comes to power, it’s a great option if you are on a budget and you don’t need to power many appliances. Of course, it is not backed up by a well-known brand-name, but it comes with the design and features of a costlier generator.
- Great design.
- Comes with many outlets.
- Long runtime.
- Portable construction.
- Three-year warranty.
- A little noisy.
- Relatively unknown brand.
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Westinghouse iGen2500 Portable Inverter Generator
Westinghouse iGen 2500 Portable Inverter Generator is a superset that delivers enough power whenever and wherever you need it. The generator is three times better than traditional generators in terms of fuel efficiency, running up to 10 hours on 1 gallon. The LED Display cycles through left overrun time, fuel level, voltage, and power output. Whether you are utilizing it to power your household essentials or your recreational activity during a blackout, you can depend on the Westinghouse iGen2500.
Weighing just 48 pounds, the WestinghouseiGen2500 Portable Inverter Generator is much lighter and smaller than most traditional generators. An inbuilt suitcase-style handle enables you to move the generator easily. The unit has a quieter volume than normal conversational volume, which makes it perfect for neighborhoods and recreational activities.
- Very cost effective
- Super quiet
- Parallel capable
- Easy setup
- No fuel gauge.
Honda Power Equipment EG2800IA 2800W 120V Portable Inverter Gas Generator
The Honda Power Equipment Gas Generator is one of the best options on the market. Featuring Advanced Inverter Technology which offers high watt of very clean, quiet, and fuel-efficient operation, this portable gas generator from Honda is just magnificent. Delivering 2800 watts at 120 Volts, this generator is one of its kind. It has enough power to illuminate a power-deprived household and to help run office machines so a power outage doesn’t affect office work.
Furthermore, the Honda EG2800IA has a remarkable fuel efficiency. To back up this claim, the portable gas generator can work incessantly for 8.1 hours on a fuel of only 1 gallon. This speaks volume about the incredible fuel efficiency of the inverter gas generator from Honda.
- Fuel efficient.
- Quiet operation.
- Portable and easily moveable.
- Not weighty.
- No in-line fuel filter.
- A bit expensive.
SUAOKI G500 Portable Power Station 500Wh Solar Generator
Looks truly shouldn’t be that vital when talking about something such as a generator. However, there are a few models where the manufacturers appear to have invested more energy in the power specifications than the design. The Suaoki G500 Portable Power Station is advertised as a portable solar generator for CPAP applications whilst outdoors.
With its 500WH large-capacity battery, a 300 watts wave inverter, and a series of USB ports, this portable generator is a great option. It is a reliable source of power for lighting and for powering basic appliances. While it will not likely perform well on powerful devices, it works great on phones and laptops. The design of the generator may not be appealing, but it is easy to use and lighter than it appears.
- Helpful digital display.
- Massive power capacity.
- Two AC outlets.
- Large and heavy.
- Unattractive design.
Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station
The Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station is an easy-to-use, versatile power generator with a capacity of 33Ah, sufficient to charge a laptop 5 times, a smartphone more than 30 times, and even running multiple small appliances for many hours. The wide range of power outputs enable you to plug in seven devices simultaneously and its wave inverter offers clean power.
Regardless of where you go, you can charge the Goal Zero Yeti Power Station through 3 simple ways: from an AC outlet in 5 hours with the included charger, with the car charger in 13 hours, or from its monocrystalline solar panels in 8 hours. And since no gasoline is required and no dangerous fumes, the power station is totally safe to utilize inside your car, tent, and house.
- Informative LCD display.
- Very convenient.
- Easy to carry.
- Very versatile.
- Not really reliable.
POWEROAK Powerhouse 400Wh Portable Power Generator
The PowerOak Powerhouse 400Wh Portable Generator is a highly multifunctional device. Any 12V DC, 5V USB and AC appliance below 220Wh can be powered by this device. It is versatile, convenient, and extremely portable, which make it suitable for both outdoors and indoors uses. Of course, it will surely serve all your power needs completely with no hindrance.
Furthermore, the power generator is safe and eco-friendly: for both your users and your appliances. Apart from solar panels, the power generator can also be powered from a DC car charger or AC outlet. It also features an LCD battery display which shows the generator’s status at all times.
- Durable and reliable.
- Super lightweight.
- Inbuilt LCD display.
- Easy to use.
Wind Power Generator
WINDMILL 1500W 24V 60A Wind Turbine Generator Kit
Weighing only 33 pounds, the WINDMILL 1500W 24V Wind Turbine Generator is probably the strongest wind turbines on the market. From its sophisticated design, you don’t need to be an expert before figuring out the amount of thought that went into this turbine generator. It comes with a built-in automatic braking system which protects the generator from the raging blast of wind.
Furthermore, the unit comes with a protecting cover which helps resist the dangerous effects of UV rays and other weather conditions. As regards the braking system, you will find it very versatile – both manual and automatic options are included in it. Also, you can manually stop this system amid a gale to prolong its life. This unit comes with the necessary accessories along with a 1-year warranty.
- Manual and automatic braking system.
- Comes with a 1-year warranty.
- Lightweight construction.
- Many faulty units.
Windmill (DB-400) 400W 12V Wind Turbine Generator Kit
If you in the market for a very durable wind turbine generator, then you should take a look at the Windmill 400W 12V Wind Turbine Generator as it was made with durability in mind. Made with polypropylene and Glass Fiber materials, this unit from Windmill is very hardwearing. Besides, it is weather resistant and features a UV guarding layer.
In addition, this Windmill model also provides both manual and automatic braking feature. Therefore, sudden ria use in voltage will not cause any fault to the unit. It also comes with a solar panel and a user’s manual. So, be prepared to install the unit by yourself effortlessly with no or little mess.
- Easy to use.
- Easy-to-understand manual.
- Weather-resistant seal.
- UV guarding layer.
- Easy to install.
- Not efficient.
Automaxx Windmill 1200W 24V 42A Wind Turbine Generator Kit
When the sun stops burning at the end of the day, and your gadgets are in dire need of power, an excellent wind turbine like the Automaxx Windmill 1200W Wind Turbine Generator is a blessing. The first-rate traits of the unit cover 1200 watts. Carefully designed, this sleek-looking unit not only makes your environment beautiful but complements the solar power as well. Besides, it’s versatility makes it ideal for different locations – both rural and urban areas.
Furthermore, the wind turbine generator comes with an incorporated automatic braking system which protects it from unexpected and high-wind-speed. Also, the unit comes with every material required, which makes DIY installation easy as pie. It will also gladden your heart to know that this unit can be used along with solar panels. Moreover, the unit is made with high-quality Polypropylene and Glass Fiber material and it has a weather resistant seal.
- Weather-resistant seal.
- Can be used with solar panels.
- Integrated automatic braking system.
- Poor customer service.
- Low quality.
- Cheap construction.
Classification of Generators for Home
Portable generators have two primary power measurements: peak power (also known as startup power) and running watts. A portable generator can give power from around 1,000 watts to 9,000 watts, based on whether it’s the peak wattage or running wattage.
By type of control
There are three types of control: manual, electric and automatic. The manual type is the one that requires you pulling a cable or whining the generator, while the electric one only involves pressing a button or igniting the engine with a key. The automatic type, and usually the most expensive type, only requires you to fuel it. As soon as electricity goes off, the automatic type goes on automatically.
By type of cooling
There are two types of cooling; air-cooling and water-cooling. Air-cooled generators have a tendency of being easier to maintain. Without the intricate operation of an automobile-style water-cooled engine, and with no mess generated by the process, the air-cooling type is an easy one.
Water-cooled generators, on the other hand, contain confined radiator system for cooling. This system is akin to that seen in numerous automobiles. Water-cooled engines have a tendency of being utilized in higher-kilowatt power generators, as bigger engines are needed for higher levels of power output.
How to Choose a Generator
Required generator power
Each of your home appliances has its own wattage or energy usage. Keep in mind, before you purchase a generator for home use make sure that it packs adequate power output to grip the startup wattage. You can check the individual energy usage or wattage of home appliances on Energy.gov.
What control should your generator have?
There are three main types of controls; manual, electric, and automatic. the manual one usually involves the hassle of pulling or whining the engine before starting the generator, so it’s obviously not most people’s favorite options. However, most people are always stuck between choosing an electric type, which only involves pressing a button and an automatic type which goes on immediately the light goes off. We think the automatic type is an easy choice as you don’t even need to lift a finger.
Use of a generator (main power source, emergency power supply)
What you intend to use your generator for will also be a big determinant when choosing a generator for home use. Do you plan to use it as your main power source or as an emergency power supply? You need to think about this and choose your portable generator accordingly.
Portable generators for home come at different prices since they come with different capabilities and features. The price will be mostly determined by what you want in your portable generator. Of course, the saying that you get what you pay for should be in your mind.
What is also important when selecting a generator
The volume of operation – which generator is the quietest
The volume of operation is an often overlooked but very important factor to take into consideration when choosing a portable generator for home use. You don’t want to be giving your neighbors sleepless nights with the noise produced by your generator, right? Then you should opt for a very quiet operation.
Another important factor you should take into consideration is the environmental friendliness of the generator. In respect to this, you should be looking at gas-powered and solar-powered options as they are the best when it comes to eco-friendliness.
The economy of operation – fuel consumption by the generator
Regardless of the type of fuel, your generator is run on, we are sure that you don’t want to be spending hundreds of dollars on fuel every month. So, you must consider the fuel economy of the generator you are looking at. This is a very important consideration and is even more important if you are living in a place where electricity is not constant. Besides, it may be difficult to get fuel during a natural disaster.
Nobody knows when a bad weather will cause a power outage, which is why everyone should have a portable generator as backup. Having reviewed numerous portable generators in this article, we hope the term portable generator no longer sounds like a strange concept to you.