Best Portable Generators – Buying Guide & Reviews

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Portable Generators Reviews – Best Portable Generator 2011

Portable Generators Hub.com is here to make your buying decision an easy one.

Overwhelmed by all the choices? We know it can be confusing and frustrating to choose a suitable portable generator because there are so many different brands and models out there in the market. We have done extensive research and we’re here to provide you with honest and unbiased portable generator reviews.

Top 5 Best Portable Generators of 2019

Editor’s PicksBest Inverter Generator (Budget)
Best Inverter Generator (Overall)Best Small Portable Generator
Best Mid-sized Portable Generator
Best Large Portable Generator
ETQ IN2500I 2,500 Watt Gas Powered Inverter GeneratorYamaha EF2000iS 2,000 Watt Gas Powered Inverter GeneratorAll Power America APG3014 2,000 Watt Portable GeneratorETQ TG32P12 4,000 Watt Gas Powered Portable GeneratorETQ TG72K12 8,250 Watt Gas Powered Portable Generator
Read Expert Reviews for go direct to Amazon for more details.
PurposeRecreationalRecreationalRecreational/EmergencyRecreational/EmergencyRecreational/Emergency
DescriptionIdeal for camping trips, hunting, traveling, and light residential use. It provides enough power to simultaneously run several household appliances.Confidently power delicate machinery without having to worry about the damage caused by unrefined energy. Ideal for RV, auto, and boat owners. Ultra-quiet at just 62 db.Budget priced & bestselling model. Extensive service area network spanning 21,000 service centers.ETQ’s Sine Power delivers clean and steady current ideal for sensitive electronics. Large muffler ensures quiet operationOversized muffler provides quiet operation and its electric start and auto throttle control provides convenience and efficiency.
Engine125 cc, 4-stroke OHC Gas Powered Engine125 cc, 4-stroke OHV Gas Powered Engine.3 HP 4-Stroke Gas Powered Engine7 HP OHV gas-powered engine with low oil shut off protection14 HP, 4-cycle, Gas-Powered Engine
Power2500 peak watts/ 2200 running watts2100 peak watts/ 2000 running watts2000 peak watts / 1400 running watts4000 peak watts /3250 running watts8250 peak watts/ 7250 running watts
Start TypeRecoilRecoilRecoilRecoilElectric Start
Fuel Tank Capacity1.5  gallon1 gallon1.3 gallons4 gallons6.42 gallons
Run Time @50% Load5.5 hours10 hours10.5 hours13 hours10.5 hours
Weight (lbs)63.94457113207
Sound65 db60 db68 db68 db70 db
No. of ReceptaclesOne 120-Volt AC Outlet and one 12V DC portTwo 120-Volt AC OutletsTwo 120-Volt AC OutletsTwo 120-volt GFCI outlets, one 240-volt twist-lock outletTwo 120-Volt GFCI outlets, one 240-Volt twist-lock outlet, and one 120-Volt 30-Amp
Warranty1 year2 years1 year1 year1 yea



Portable Generator Categories

As you consider your wattage needs, it’s helpful to know that portable generators fall roughly into four size groups:

  • Small: Under 3500 watts
  • Mid-Sized: 4000-7000 watts
  • Large: Above 7000 watts

Small Portable Generators (under 3500 watts) – At the top end, these can keep a few appliances running simultaneously during a power outage, such as a refrigerator, several lights and a computer or TV. For electronics, the safest bet is an inverter generator, which maintains consistent power and prevents electrical surges that can damage computers and televisions.

Mid-sized Portable Generators (4,000-7,000 watts) – Enough for extended emergency use for a 1,200- to 3,000-square-foot house. The exact size needed will depend on how many appliances you think are essential to run simultaneously.

Large Portable Generators (above 7000 watts) – The most powerful portable generators can be up to 10,000 watts and can provide backup power to larger homes.

It is recommended that you compare portable generators by running (continuous) wattage — the watts the generator can produce on a continuous basis. Maximum or surge wattage shows how much extra power the generator can provide for a short time, to start motors or large appliances like air conditioners, for example. Be advised: Most brands put the maximum (peak) wattage in the model name, which can be misleading so be sure to look for the smaller value of running wattage instead.

Recreational vs Emergency Portable Generators

Recreational generators are great for tailgating or camping. A power outage, however, is no picnic.

Small recreational models will only power an appliance or two. Plus, you’ll need to refill their small gas tanks every few hours. We recommend purchasing a portable generator specifically designed for “Emergency Power” that have at least 4000 watts.

There are a few ways to think about emergency power:

  • I want to be able to operate a microwave oven, a TV, some lights and my computer so I can eat and get some work done. You can do this with a small 2000-watt generator and plug things into it with an extension cord.
  • My main goal is to keep my refrigerator and/or freezer running, but I would also like to run some lights and small appliances. You can do this with a 2,500- to 4,000-watt generator and plug things into it with extension cords.
  • For anything more than that, you might want to consider get large-sized portable generators or even the more expensive standby generators.

Find out which power rating suits your needs best by using the wattage chart below.

portable generators

Wattage Chart

Portable Generators Shopping Tips

When choosing portable generators, you should consider these additional factors:

  • CARB compliance means lower emissions. Portable generator engines that meet California Air Resources Board (CARB) requirements are the most environmentally friendly.
  • Acceptable sound levels depend on the situation. Portable generators’ noise levels range from 47 to 79 decibels, with an average of about 75 decibels. For camping, note that the National Park Service requires sound levels no higher than 60 decibels at a distance of 50 feet – not to worry, all the generators reviewed above meet this criteria.

Where To Buy Portable Generators?

RECOMMENDED – We suggest shopping online at Amazon.com. They carry the widest selection of portable generators with all the name brands. You get the lowest prices online and excellent customer service. Amazon offers Free Super Saving Shipping on orders of $25 or more ( US only ). Plus, we think that all the customer reviews on Amazon for each portable generator would make your buying decision easier.

Click Here To Browse The Bestselling Portable Generators on Amazon.com

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