Portable Inverter Generator Reviews

Posted on  by admin

Though these generators will not power every appliance and device that each member of your family uses, they will perform a majority of the basic as well as the advanced tasks such as charging your phone, charging your laptop, keeping the food cold and warming up your house during emergencies.

For long as I can remember since becoming an outdoor aficionado, inverter generators have formed an essential part of me, and in my opinion, at the very least, I consider these portable power source as devices that make everything happen.

After all, limitation on power is the worst form of limitation. So, if you are ready to elevate your level of fun, we shall help you find the best generator for your needs.

Nonetheless, understand that buying an inverter generator is a lifestyle choice, and your decision is largely influenced by your specific need. For instance, you might choose a generator depending on how you use it, how often you move, level of noise, flexibility and more.

Honda EU2200i Portable GeneratorChampion Dual Fuel Inverter GeneratorYamaha EF2400iSHC Gas Powered Portable Inverter

Power:2200 Watts3,400 Watts2,000 Watts
Run Time:4.0 - 9.6 Hrs7.5 Hrs10.5 Hrs
Noise:48-57 dB59 dB51.5 dB
Current:18A25.8A16.7A
Rating:4.9 / 5.04.7 / 5.04.3 / 5.0

To make things easier for you, we've summarized a review of the top ten inverter generators. And while at it, we have highlighted the major features, and pros & cons of each.

Best 5000-Watt Generator

Hopefully, by the end of the article, you'll have decided on which generator to go for. What is the best portable inverter generator?

Best Inverter Generator – 2020 Reviews

Best Gas Generator

Honda EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator at a Glance:
  • The modern portable inverter generators can power any sophisticated electronics like computers, smartphones, medical and lab equipment with no fear to their damage.
  • Besides, an inverter unit can provide a continuous running of the connected consumers by means of accurate current flow setting.
  • Thus, any peaks or interference are totally excluded.
  • All types of inverter generators are equipped with a special system reducing the number of hazardous emissions, a sound-proof enclosure, and always come in a compact design with the ergonomic handles and wheels thus enhancing their mobility.

More than that, fuel consumption efficiency is always ensured due to an electronic adjustment of engine operation.

In particular, The Briggs & Stratton P4500 offers these and many other advantages being one of the state-of-the-art generators of the modern inverter technology.

Briggs & Stratton P4500. Why have I preferred this model? The Briggs & Stratton P4500 features an ideal reliability, and to my mind, is the high-class model among other inverter counterparts.

My words can be proven by the fact of its highly efficient and durable 306 cc. air cooled OHV 4-cycle engine which can deliver up to 4500W running output. By the way, the manufacturer of this inverter generator is well-known around the globe precisely because of its high-quality engines.

The tank capacity of the 30675 makes 5 gallons that ensures up to 16 hours of a continuous running at 25% load. The fuel level of this model can be monitored by a special gauge.

Its power consumption meter shows the available power on the machine. A sturdy all-steel enclosure is a reliable protection of the internal components and a kind of noise shield.

Thus, the sound level reaches only 66 dB maximum at 25% load. The modern pace of living doesn’t accept any delays or hitches which can lead to unpredictable consequences.

Thus, it is hard to imagine what homeowners, storekeepers and business owners might feel when the entire streets or cities lose power for a comparatively long time.

Buying Guide:

Champion RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator at a Glance:
  • A clear example of this can be a large-scale accident which took place in the U.S in 2003 when several states with millions of people suffered from a power outage, known as the Northeast blackout.
  • The work of underground, elevators, computers, alarm and air conditioning systems was interrupted.
  • The life in the big cities was nearly “dead”, people were in panic, and the total damages amounted to many billions of dollars.
  • The residents who had portable generators were luckier in that case.

By means of those units they were able to have their houses lighted and heated. Besides, freshness of products was ensured in the stores and the personal safety was maintained.

Nowadays, the generators are offered in an upgraded version called as an inverter generator or station. The latter is a compact unit which generates the high-quality electricity which is optimally converted to voltage without any surges.

The inverter generators are used for powering electronics and sensitive equipment when the central power supply is cut off.

Such units can be also recommended as a reserve generator for both countryside homes and travelling, or some minor renovation jobs. Fishermen, hunters, travelers prefer to have generators at hand because these devices are compact, quiet and convenient in operation.

Overall, there are a lot of spheres where inverter generators would be highly desirable. So, let’s find out about feature and operation concepts of the generators, the main types and differences between them.

We have a lot of things to review, so let's dive right in. It is one of the most important questions you should answer before picking any generator.

But don’t be under a delusion that you can feed it at your discretion. In particular, filling a tank with diesel instead of the intended gasoline and vice versa is not permissible.

Conventional VS Inverter Generator Comparison

Yamaha Gas Powered Portable Inverter at a Glance:
  • These two fuel options have their particularities, so, let’s consider them one by one.
  • If you focus on a gasoline generator, bear in mind that it is designed only for some small jobs.
  • The gas-powered units are less reliable than the diesel counterparts.
  • Also, they produce less power.

Nevertheless, they weigh less and can be operated at low temperatures. Besides, the gasoline generators require little maintenance and cost less than diesel generators.

If you’ve decided to purchase a diesel generator than you should realize that such unit is a reliable and long-lasting power supplier. As you’ve probably understood, the diesel generator runs on a diesel fuel.

Its efficiency is considerably higher in comparison with its gasoline counterpart.

The power delivered by means of the diesel unit is distinguished by a short payback period due to its fuel-saving features. However, these machines are more preferable for some professional- and industrial-grade applications.

The generators which use propane do not significantly differ from the gasoline or diesel units. They consist of a power frame, protective cover and a control panel.

Also they are equipped with a generator unit and an internal-combustion engine.

Best Portable Generator for Home Use

Westinghouse iGen2200 Portable Inverter Generator at a Glance:
  • The only distinctive feature of a propane generator from the liquid-fuel devices is absence of a fuel tank.
  • On the contrary, such power source stored in cylinders or bottles which is connected to the unit by means of a hose.
  • Propane is considered to be a clean fuel, and the usage of it for generation of an alternating current is the most eco-friendly method, as the amount of hazardous emissions is considerable lower than that of the gasoline or diesel models.
  • Besides, propane inverter generators are very convenient in operation, that is, almost no maintenance is required.

More than that, you will have no troubles with delivery or storage of this type of fuel, thus cylinders can be easily purchased at numerous stores or merchandise centers, or changed or refilled at the numerous refilling stations.

A dual fuel generator is a gasoline unit which can run on propane, as well. Such generators represent an optimal combination of reliability and convenience of the gasoline model, and affordability and eco-friendliness of a propane running option.

The dual power fuel generator is just perfect to deliver electricity whenever and wherever you need it. Such device gives you more flexibility and versatility due to this advanced dual fuel option, thus enabling you to choose which of the fuel more fits your needs under particular circumstances.

The inverter generators are equipped with internal combustion engines similarly to those in the cars. The power is generated due to fuel combustion, and then it is converted into a mechanical energy which activates the generator to produce a current flow.

However, different types of engines operate differently. 2-stroke engines are also called as 2-cycle engines.

That is, during revolution of a crankshaft of the first intake stroke, fuel injection with further compression in a cylinder occurs. Ignition of the compressed gas mixture takes place during the second stroke.

As a result, pressure and temperature are getting increased. Gas expansion activates a piston.

Then a gas exhausting and scavenging systems come into operation. Compactness is the main advantage of the 2-stroke engine as there is neither valve system nor countershaft.

However, operation of this type of engine requires a sophisticated pre-mixing, thus you should strictly observe a particular proportion of oil and fuel to be added.

Best Dual Fuel Generator

WEN CARB Compliant Inverter Generator at a Glance:
  • The main operating processes of the 4-cycle engine require 4 strokes.
  • Initially fuel injection occurs with its further compression and rising of its temperature.
  • Then the combustion and expansion take place, that is, the fuel is mixed with further ignition and expansion, thus pushing the piston.
  • Differently from the 2-stroke engine, the 4-cycle engines are equipped with a simple exhausting system, and its exhaust emissions are less hazardous.

Overall, these 2 types have a number of pros and cons. Thus, the 2-stroke engines are very compact and have much simpler design. However, these engines are suitable for less powerful generators (up to 1000 W).

More powerful machines use the 4-stroke engines, which, in spite of their heavy weight, are more convenient in operation as they do not require any premixing procedures due to availability of a separate compartment for the oil.

Besides, these engines are quieter in operation, more durable and efficient. Number of phases. Nowadays, the inverter generators are offered with single- and three-phase systems. The single-phasevoltage can be generated via two wires - the conductor and the neutral, namely.

The current flows through the conductor, while the neutral serves as a return way of the current. The single phase units are designed for running devices and equipment which require 110-240V.

I mean those home appliances and tools which are always within reach on the everyday basis like electric kettles, TV-sets, microwave ovens, etc.

Who Needs a Portable Inverter Generator?

Portable GeneratorPowerRun TimeNoise LevelCurrentRating
Honda EU2200i Portable Generator2200 Watts4.0 - 9.6 Hrs48-57 dB18A4.9 / 5.0
Champion Dual Fuel Inverter Generator3,400 Watts7.5 Hrs59 dB25.8A4.7 / 5.0
Yamaha EF2400iSHC Gas Powered Portable Inverter2,000 Watts10.5 Hrs51.5 dB16.7A4.3 / 5.0
Westinghouse iGen2200 Generator1,800 Watts12 Hrs52 dB20A4.3 / 5.0
WEN CARB Compliant Inverter Generator3,800 Watts8.5 Hrs57 dB30A3.9 / 5.0

The three-phase system consists of four wires, three conductors and one neutral. Three-phase circuit can also power single-phase consumers which can be connected to any of the three phases and neutral.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

But the consumption per phase should be approximately equal; otherwise a voltage imbalance may occur. The three phase power supply system is capable to generate power for larger applications, like industrial facilities, factories, or just for the equipment which runs on the range of up to 480V.

Nevertheless, the powerful devices are gradually becoming more and more popular among the average householders, thus a three-phase generator would be also suitable for domestic purposes, as well.

But still, such generators are most commonly used for enabling of the powerful machines and tools on various industrial sites. It is one of the most important parameters which determine how much power your generator can produce.

Before making the final decision regarding purchasing of a particular model, you should roughly estimate the consumption of power at the places you are going to operate your generator.

  • 3kW would be enough to cover the power needs at any average household.
  • If, for instance, you are going to continuously energize only your gadgets and an electronic control unit of a domestic gas boiler, a 1kW generator will fit.
  • However, it’s better to choose the station with a certain reserve capacity.

In this case, you will be able to use such unit in the countryside as its capacity will be enough to ensure the desired comfort. Nowadays the manufacturers of the generators offer two main types of motor cooling: air and liquid systems.

Each of them has its particularities, advantages and downsides. As a rule, an air cooling system is mainly used for the domestic generators.

These AC models are capable of generating up to 5kW. Due to their technical peculiarities, the air cooled generators are limited in terms of the runtime. They have to be stopped each 2-4 hours till the complete cool down of an engine.

A liquid cooling system is more advantageous for many reasons; in particular, due to the ability to eliminate bigger amount of heat, they can provide a long-lasting continuous operation of the equipment.

FAQ?

Besides, this type of generator cooling contributes to reduction of a noise load. Fuelconsumption. There are a lot of parameters which influence on the fuel consumption rate like pressure, air content, humidity and ambient temperature.

Thus, in order to improve efficiency of your generator, you should operate the unit under optimal weather conditions, take care about regular maintenance, purchase high-quality fuel, and monitor the operating load of your generator which should be within 40-80% range.

Besides, the efficiency of a generator depends on a motor type. It is clear that the fuel consumption of a diesel generator will be considerably lower in comparison with a gasoline model.

Thus, if you need a small power generator which will be used as a reserve power supply, then a gasoline option will be a clear choice. In case of a frequent and extended use of a generator, a diesel-powered unit will be more preferable.

Diesel generators consume less fuel and designed for powering equipment and tools of 10kW and higher, although diesel generators with lower capacity are currently available on the market. As I’ve already mentioned before, the propane generators are the most environmentally friendly units among other gasoline and diesel counterparts.

Propane is burnt more quickly. For instance, a 20 kW unit will consume about 3.44 gallons per hour, and a 35 kW unit will burn around 6.1 gallons per hour. And as the propane bottle capacity is quite low, thus it will be enough only for a day use or even less.

Best Generator Brand

Thus, the owners of a propane generator recommend having at least two or even three reserve cylinders for a case of being off the grid quite long.

At the beginning of this guide I’ve already noted that the inverter generators belong to the class of the compact and portable equipment.

  1. Thus, they have smaller tank capacity in comparison with the traditional generators, especially stationary or industrial-grade equipment.
  2. However, if you focus on a portable generator which can be taken with you to some remote locations or while camping, then try to choose the unit with the biggest fuel tank.
  3. But don’t forget that the bigger the tank is, the bigger size and weight will be.

Continuouswork. This characteristic determines the maximum continuous runtime of a generator before fuel refilling. This value will directly depend on a size of a fuel tank and load intensity.

The more consumers will be connected, the higher fuel consumption will be. Thus, the time before further refilling will be reduced, accordingly. In average, the compact inverter generators can be operated during 1-4 hours that will be enough in case of a sudden power outage or for an outdoor usage.

This characteristic is very important if you want to ensure convenience of a starting process of your generator. And here you will have two options, whether to prefer a mechanical (manual) or electric-based option. Manual starters are widely used due to their simplicity and reliability.

Recommendations:

Electrical starters will facilitate the work with a generator, make it comfortable, and, if necessary, turn it into a fully automatic mode.

For instance, it would be possible to set your generator for an automatic starting in case of a power cut-off, thus no manual operations are required.

Similarly, the generator will be switched off as soon as the power supply is restored. Briggs & Stratton is the U.S. based company which is well-known worldwide as the leading manufacturer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment and tools.

The Briggs & Stratton P4500 is equipped with a highly-efficient 306cc engine and capable of generating up to 4,500 running watts during 16 hours at 25% load. This model features a recoil start and a low-oil shutdown capability.

This portable inverter generator is compact but quite heavy in comparison with similar models in this class, but it weighs 114.8 pounds, which makes it heavier to lift in and out of vehicles. This unit comes in an ergonomic design with its luggage-style telescoping handle and sturdy wheels which enhance its maneuverability.

Besides, there are four regular outlets, two USB ports, and one 120-240V locking outlet which grant you an opportunity to energize several electronics at the same time.

Best Electric Start Generator

The advanced inverter technology and a noise-reducing shell contribute to the 60% quieter operation in comparison with a traditional generator which amount to 66 dB at 25%. Running watts (kW): 4.5. Power source: gas-powered. Voltage (V): 120-240.

Weight (lbs): 114.8. Dimensions (L x W x H) (in): 24.5 x 17.6 x 20.3. Reliable engine. Ergonomic design. Low-oil shutdown. Several power outlets. This is a highly-efficient inverter generator due to the power and reliability of its engine, one of the best in its class.

Top-5 portable inverter generators

Last update on 2022-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. Briggs & Stratton: Check the current price.

Champion is another U.S. brand manufacturing power products which are demanded by many customers within the country and Canada.

Their innovative dual fuel technology in manufacturing of portable generators appeals to the needs of their existing and potential customers. Thus the Champion 3400W dual fuel generator is a bright example of the state-of-the-art brainchild of the company.

This portable inverter generator can be operated either on gasoline or propane.

10 Best-Selling portable inverter generators Comparative Table

2. WEN 56200i 2000-Watt – Overall best generator

The fuel type can be easily changed by switching a button. Featuring 3100 running watts, the unit is capable of running up to 7.5 hours on gasoline till refilling is required.

When running on propane, this generator produces 2790 running watts during a continuous operation up to 14.5 hours at 25% load when using a 20-lbs propane tank. This model also features several user-friendly options like electric start with a 3-position switch and a touch panel which make its starting-up and operation convenient and with no hassle.

More than that, this dual-fuel device is ultra-quiet in operation producing just 59dB, which is more than tolerable for using indoors. Its clean power is suitable for energizing sensitive electronics with numerous different outlets available.

6. Ford FG2200iS 2200W– Clean Power Generator

Running watts (kW): 3.1. Power source: gasoline-propane.

Voltage (V): 120-240. Weight (lbs): 95.7. Dimensions (L x W x H) (in): 25.1 x 17.3 x 18.3. Dual fuel design. Recoil/electric start. Suitable for sensitive electronics. Attachments are included.

The Champion 3400 is one of the best options among other dual fuel counterparts available on the market. It is a very versatile, high-performing and user-friendly unit which can be used for various applications whenever you are off the power grid.

Honda 2800/3000-Watt Electric Start Inverter Generator (EU3000S1AG)

Last update on 2022-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. Champion Power Equipment: Check the current price.

WEN is an American power tool manufacturer and distributor with more than 70-year experience in the industry.

As a distributor, WEN offers a wide variety of branded products from Asia. The WEN 56380i gasoline-fueled generator features a 212 cc 4-stroke engine. With a 120V power output, it delivers the running 3400W to energize various appliances at an average household.

This model is a parallel compatible, that is, it can be connected to a similar or compatible unit in order to enhance power output.

Honda 5500/7000-Watt Electric Start Inverter Generator with EFI (EU7000iS)

The tank capacity of this unit is 2.2 gallons which allows its running around 8.5 hours at 50% load. Due to ability to generate a clean power, even sensitive electronics may be connected to the AC outlets with no risk to their damage.

Best Whole House Generator

Besides, the fuel shut-off increases considerably the service life of this generator. The noise level during its operations doesn’t increase 57 dB and is quite low in the class of inverter generators.

For better convenience the 56380i can be started via traditional manual starting mechanism or by means of an easy-to-use electric starter. This model also comes with two 120V outlets, one AC 120V NEMA TT-30R RV outlet, one 12V DC outlet, and one 5V USB port, and a fuel level display for various applications.

Running watts (kW): 3.4. Power source: gasoline. Voltage (V): 120. Weight (lbs): 111. Dimensions (L x W x H) (in): 23.2 x 18 x 20.1. Parallel capable. Extremely quiet. Suitable for sensitive electronics. Several attachments are included. Small wheels reduce its maneuverability.

Top Six best portable inverter generators update list

It seems as if this model was designed to be quiet in operation, and actually, this is the main advantage of the unit. If you add its versatility and efficiency to the above-mentioned, then you will realize that it is one of the best inverter generators at a reasonable price.

Last update on 2022-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. WEN: Check the current price. Generac Power Systems, Inc. has been designing and manufacturing power generating products since 1959.

Nowadays, their products are sold within and outside the country, knowing for the reliability and innovative approach to development processes. The 7117 is the portable inverter model delivering 1700 W of output during its operation.

Its advanced Truepower technology ensures generation of clean and stable power which is suitable for energizing sensitive electronics like, phones, computers, etc.

Its 1.2-gallon fuel tank allows running this unit almost 11 hours at 25% load. In spite of its compactness and lightweight, this running time leaves behind many counterparts in this class.

Also this model comes with a dial for an easy start-up, and shielded power outlets which include USB port, 12 volt DC and 120 volt AC outlets.

Best Battery Inverter Generator

This inverter generator features an economy mode that keeps the unit fuel-efficient and quiet. Besides, it is equipped with LED indicators which alert you as soon as the level of oil is low, or in case of the overload or overheating. This model is parallel compatible, thus it can be connected to another inverter to increase the power output twice.