Best Generators 2014

Who Else Wants to Find the Best Generator for Their Needs?

My friend, if you’re looking for the best generator for your needs but are feeling overwhelmed by the 343 different generator options available, you’re in the right place. Why?

Because this page kicks the non-best generator options to the wayside. Leaving you with the top 40 generators to choose from. And…

…To make it even easier on you – the top 40 are split up into 14 unique categories to make picking the exact one that is best for your needs a cinch.

Jump to the Category That Matches Your Needs

All you have to do is click the link below of the category that most describes what you want and you will jump straight to the top 3 generators for that class:

 

Most Affordable Generator

 

1) All Power America APG3014 2,000W Gas Powered Portable Generator

All Power America APG3014 Portable Generator

Coming in as the most affordable generator on the market, at only about $199, is the All Power America 2,000W gasoline powered portable generator. Thankfully, they made this one with a 4 stroke engine so that you are not required to mix the gas with oil. Awesome.

You would think that for such a low price this genset would be loud and inefficient; however, it is quieter than your air conditioner and could power your fridge/freezer for 9 hours drinking through only 1.3 gallons of fuel. So, that means your drinks and food stay cold and fresh all day long – while camping or if your home power happens to go out. Cold drinks are essential during blackouts and camping, right?

I would have liked to see an electric start but most people rave that the recoil start on this genset powers her up in the first 3 tries easy. So, if you are after an awesomely affordable gas powered portable generator to use around the home or take with you camping, you can’t go wrong with this one.

 

2) DuroStar DS4000S 4,000W Gas Powered Portable Generator

DuroStar DS4000S Portable Generator

If you are after a little more juice than the above but are still seeking a highly affordable generator then this 4,000W gas powered DuroStar portable generator should sizzle your bacon. It is about $299 and is perfect for camping, RVs, small job sites, tailgating and home back-up power.

With this generator you get two 120-volt, 20-amp, 3-prong outlets for regular home appliances and also a nifty 30-amp twist-lock (120-volt) outlet so that you could plug your RV straight into it… Or, use that outlet for your high-powered tools.

The 7HP engine has a recoil start and because DuroStar fitted it with a top-of-the-line muffler it only purrs about as loud as your dishwasher. It’s crazy what the engineers accomplished with this one. This is a 4.5 / 5 star generator that could save you a lot of hassle and headache if the power goes out at home.

 

3) WEN 56352 3,000W Gas Powered Portable Generator

WEN 56352 Portable Generator

This generator offers you about 4 more hours run-time (at 1/2 load) than the above 2 generators. That means that with the 3,000W gas powered WEN (about $339) you could power a full size refrigerator for about 14 hours with 4 gallons of fuel. Pretty miraculous if I don’t say so myself.

You will notice in the image right that this genset comes with wheels attached to the frame. A great feature since it tips the scales at 104 pounds – 11 pounds heavier than the more powerful DuroStar just above. Of note is the fact that this genset comes with a cigarette style DC plug so that you can charge batteries on the go – a lifesaver, indeed.

People absolutely love this bad-boy and have awarded it with the highest rating on Amazon of 5 / 5 stars (well, 4.8 / 5 but they only show in 1/2 star increments). So, if you hate feeling powerless when the electricity goes out, you should have a try of this WEN.

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Top Generator For The Money

 

1) DuroMax XP10000E 10,000W Gas Powered Portable Generator

DuroMax XP10000E Portable Generator

Coming in as the top generator based on the most value for its price tag is the 10,000 Watt, 16HP, gas powered DuroMax portable generator. For just over $1000, you get ridiculous power, options, and an incredible fully loaded power panel with 6 outlets:

  • (2) 120V, 20-amp, 3-prong <– Power home appliances.
  • (1) 120V, 30-amp twist-lock;
  • (1) 120/240V, 30-amp twist-lock <– Plug your RV directly or power high-draw tools.
  • (1) 120/240V, 50-amp heavy duty <– Power multiple high-draw appliances and tools.
  • (1) 12V, 10-amp utility <– Charge batteries on the go.

For overload protection, this genset is equipped with a 33-amp circuit breaker and you also get a volt meter in case you want to manually monitor your generator’s output…You also get an electric starter (with battery included) and the recoil start for backup. It can run your stuff for 10 hours (1/2 load) with 8.3 gallons of fuel. All this adds up to the best generator for the money.

Is it environmentally friendly?

In terms of camping, if you decide to take this beast with you (notice the wheels), this generator is safe to use in U.S. National Parks thanks to its super quiet muffler and spark arrestor…

…However, it should be noted that this model is not  available for California residents because it is not CARB (California Air Resources Board) compliant. But don’t be worried – just so you know – with regards to emissions, this generator is EPA approved and just because it is not compliant with CARB it is still equipped with sophisticated technology to keep it extremely environmentally friendly.

I can’t see where this generator fails and, as such, think you are looking at the top value for the price tag portable genset on the market today. It has an enthusiastic approval rating of 4.5 / 5 and you should go and take a look at some more photos at the link below.

 

2) Yamaha EF2000iS 2,000W Gas Powered Inverter Generator

*Note: This Generator is Also Rated:

Yamaha EF2000iS Portable Inverter Generator

How portable, quiet and fuel efficient do you want your generator to be?

Best in class?

The Yamaha EF2000iS 2,000W gas powered inverter generator is the most silent, portable and fuel efficient generator on the market today. And for about $960, it offers extreme value for the money.

How portable is it?

At only 44 pounds, and about the volume of a briefcase, this generator can come with you wherever you go. I mean, it can easily come with you to the park for a barbecue, squeeze between the seats on your boat, easily pack-up for your next camping weekend and / or come along 4 wheel driving – whatever’s your thing.

How quiet is it?

At full load this generator is barely noticeable. You could easily carry on a conversation right next to it just the same as you could carry one on next to your refrigerator.

Jump to 5:19 in this video to see how quiet it is in real life:

How fuel efficient is it?

This Yamaha can power away your stuff for 12 hours using only 1.1 gallons of fuel. How? It varies engine speed based on load with a smart throttle.

Anything else cool?

Two things I think you should know about. (1) You can hook up 1 of these to another to get extra juice. Specifically, with 2, you can get 30 amps to power your RV. (2) This generator is CARB compliant. It is the most environmentally friendly generator available. So if you pride yourself as a clean energy guy or gal – this is the generator for you.

 

3) DuroMax XP4400E 4,400W Gas Powered Portable Generator

DuroMax XP4400E Portable Generator

Coming in as my third ranked best value for the money generator is the $449 DuroMax gas powered 4,400W portable generator with wheel kit and electric start. You’ll notice that this generator is the little brother of my top value generator (the XP10000E above). Clearly, DuroMax is engineering some incredible generators.

The XP4400E is a smooth runner like its big brother above and has a sound rating of 69 dBA which is essentially the same as a dishwasher or running shower – not bad at all. It has a good selection of outlets for you including:

  • (2) 120V, 20-amp, 3-prong;
  • (1) 120/240-volt, 30-amp twist-lock;
  • (1) 12-volt, 10-amp utility.

In terms of fuel efficiency it surely isn’t the Yamaha just above but it goes alright and can purr away for 8 hours on 4 gallons of fuel. This generator is consistently – month-after-month – ranked in the top 3 selling portable generators on Amazon.com. It just goes to show the true “sweet spotness” of this generator.

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Top Diesel Generator

 

1) DuroStar DS7200Q 6,000W Diesel Powered Enclosed Portable Generator

DuroStar DS7200Q 6,000 Watt Diesel Portable Generator

So you are probably wondering why you would want to buy a diesel generator as oppose to a gas one. Well, there are 2 major reasons that I can think of off the bat:

  • Did you know that a diesel engine can be as much as 40% more fuel efficient as a similar sized gasoline engine? 

That means cheaper running costs for you and more hours of power generation on less fuel than that of a gasoline, propane or natural gas portable generator.

The reason for this fuel efficiency is 2 fold. (1) the actual chemical composition of diesel fuel allows for it to have 14% more energy per-gallon than gasoline. (2) Diesel engines have a higher compression ratio inside the cylinder. Since [work = force x distance] this higher compression allows for a greater piston movement distance once the fuel ignites pushing the piston, turning the crankshaft.

  • Did you know that a diesel engine can have as much as a 2.5x engine life as a comparable gasoline engine – given regular maintenance on both?

The reason for longer engine life in simplest terms is because a diesel engine is designed much more heavy-duty, stronger and with bulkier, stronger steel. This is because a diesel engine uses compression to heat up the air in the cylinder to the ignition temperature of diesel before the diesel is injected. This high pressure within the cylinder requires not only a thicker block and cylinder heads but also stronger connecting rods, pistons, crank and valves.

Also, that compression ignition explosion in diesel engines is much more powerful (than spark ignition in gasoline engines) and the engine needs to be designed to deal with these forces.

That obviously means your diesel generator will last more years than your gasoline generator. So, with all this benefit why doesn’t everyone just buy a diesel generator?

Why don’t generator manufacturers just ditch gasoline and stick with producing diesel generators?

There a few downsides to diesel generators. These include the following:

  1. Higher initial cost because of its bulkier engine. But remember that a diesel engine can have 2.5x engine life over gas.
  2. Louder – but notice how this one is fully enclosed.
  3. Not that awesome in cold weather. Since diesel engines use compressed air to ignite the fuel, if the air is very cold to start then it is obviously more difficult to heat. This could make it harder to start up in cold weather. Also, diesel fuel has more resistance to flow than gasoline and this resistance increases as the temperature drops. But, this isn’t really an issue until you get down below freezing and you could always just add some diesel fuel additive to alleviate the issue all-together.
  4. Most people think diesel stinks. But, do you?

Features of this generator

The DuroStar DS7200Q 6,000W portable generator comes with a wireless remote and electric start so that you don’t have to be standing next to it when you fire it up . It also has a recoil start for backup. It comes fully enclosed in a sound reducing enclosure and, for this reason, only purrs away at 70 dBA – which is the same as a running shower or your dishwasher.

This generator tips the scales at 230 pounds and so, DuroStar has fitted it with 4 wheels to make moving it to where it’s required easy. The generator (more efficient diesel engine folks) can run at 1/2 load for 12 hours on only 3.83 gallons of fuel. That’s pretty awesome for a 6kW generator.

The power panel outlets you get are 2 – 120 Volt 20 Amp, 1 – 120 Volt 30 Amp, 1 – 120V/240V 30 Amp 4 Prong. So it has an outlet for powering pretty much anything you can think of.

If you are more interested in diesel than gasoline, propane and natural gas this is the best diesel generator.

 

2) ETQ DG4LE 4,900W Diesel Powered Portable Generator

ETQ DG4LE Diesel Generator

Coming in as the second best diesel generator is the Eastern Tools and Equipment (ETQ) DG4LE 4,900W portable generator with electric start. It could easily be used to power appliances and tools at your cabin, in your garage, in a home emergency or at the job site.

This unit comes with a full 1 year warranty so you can feel safe knowing that if anything is dodgy within the first year you can get it repaired locally for free. Also feel good knowing that this diesel generator can continuously provide power for up to 12 hours (at 1/2 load) on 3.96 gallons of fuel. Not bad at all! It also comes with an hour meter so you can keep a stringent maintenance plan to maximize its life.

Given that this is a diesel generator, and it is not fully enclosed like the one above, it will be as loud as your garbage disposal. Depending on how you plan to use it this may be a non-issue. Have a closer look at the link below:

 

3) ETQ DG6LE 6,000W Diesel Powered Portable Generator

ETQ DG6LE Diesel Generator

This diesel ETQ genset offers you some extra juice when compared to the version just above. This one offers you 6,000W, so, if you require the extra juice then go with this tank of a genset (it’s 224 pounds).

It comes with a heavy duty wheel kit and handle to make moving it around your yard, job site, cabin or where-ever you plan to use it very easy. The outlets you get are  (1) 120V 20 Amp duplex outlet, (1) 120/240V 30 Amp twist-lock outlet, and (1) 120V 30 Amp twist-lock. So feel good knowing that it has an outlet for anything you could possibly desire to power.

Like its ETQ counterpart above, this genset will barely use fuel and can provide power for about 12 hours (at 1/2 load) using only 3.96 gallons of fuel. That’s around 3,000W for 12 hours folks. Very impressive indeed.

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Top Portable Generator

 

1) Yamaha EF2000iS 2,000W Gas Powered Inverter Generator

*Note: This Generator is Also Rated:

You are probably thinking that it’s cheating for me to be listing this generator in more than one place in this Best Generators 2014 list…

…However, it just is the most portable generator on the market. And, as listed above, it is also the No.2 best generator for the money. Yamaha’s EF2000iS 2,000W gas powered inverter generator is a winner through-and-through.

Yamaha EF2000iS Generator Power panel

Instead of just repeating what I said above, I would like to talk here about this *extremely* portable generator’s other cool features. And, just so you know, it does show up again down below with more cool videos and photos.

Anyways, take a look at the power panel of the Yamaha in the image left.

Moving from top left in a semi-circle to the bottom left what you get is:

  • Oil warning light
  • AC pilot light
  • Overload indicator light
  • Economy control switch
  • Engine switch
  • Fuel cock knob
  • Choke knob
  • Parallel running terminal (x2) (if you want to hook up to another EF2000iS for double the juice)
  • AC receptacles (x2)
  • DC breaker
  • Ground
  • DC receptacle
  • *Note: The fuel level gauge is located next to the fuel tank cap (opposite side the power panel on top next to the handle)

So, to power your appliances or tools you get 2x 120V outlets that can power anything up to a current draw of 16.7A and a 12V (8A) DC outlet  for recharging batteries or possibly powering a DC camping fridge – either way, you can rest easy knowing you have available AC and DC power.

Unlike other conventional generators, this one uses an inverter alternator that outputs AC voltage in a pure sine wave form. This means that the output voltage has *very* low distortion (like utility supplied electricity) and can be used to power your sensitive devices like laser printers, laptops, power tools with variable speed control and digital clocks with radios etc.

So, if all this is sounding irresistible to you, I suggest you go and take a look at everything else this marvel of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering has to offer at this link:

 

2) Briggs & Stratton Elite Series 30470 7,000W Gas Powered Portable Generator

Briggs and Stratton Elite Series 30470 Portable Generator

Did you know Briggs & Stratton is the world’s largest manufacturer of air-cooled gasoline engines?

They are also an American company and for both these reasons you can feel safe knowing that you are getting a top quality generator from a highly reputable brand.

Also, Briggs & Stratton back their generators up with a 3-year limited warranty – simply meaning that if something happens to defect or malfunction on the machine (due to poor workmanship) within 3 years you can take it to an authorized dealer for repair or replacement. Keep in mind, however, you still have to properly maintain it according the manual and pay for this regular maintenance yourself. A normal limited warranty really. Good to see.

This generator is the second top portable generator because of its impressive, sturdy wheel kit and handle and because it is so reliable and durable. You get 7000 running watts (8750 starting watts) and you can get 1/2 that juice continuously for 9-10 hours before refueling.

So if you are after a highly reliable and durable portable generator for around your home, farm, job site or where-ever you plan to be using your generator then this is a great option to choose.

 

3) ETQ TG32P12 4,000W Gas Powered Portable Generator

ETQ TG32P12 Portable Generator

Coming in as the third best portable generator is the Eastern Tools & Equipment (ETQ) 4,000W (very quiet) gas powered portable generator. And, at only about $399, you won’t be disappointed by the ability of this generator to power your most crucial equipment/appliances for hours and hours and hours on-end.

You get features usually reserved for $1000+ portable generators like pure sine wave power for sensitive electronics (like a laptop), low oil shut off protection, 13 hours run-time and a sound level similar to a vacuum cleaner.

I seriously cannot believe this generator is so affordable. With 4/5 stars rating off 145 customer reviews on Amazon, the majority seem to agree with me – this portable generator is awesome!

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Top Standby Generator

 

1) Generac CorePower 5837 7,000W Natural Gas/Liquid Propane Powered Standby Generator

Generac CorePower 5837 Standby Generator

If you live in an area with frequent power outages and are looking to keep *only* your essential home power (sump pump, lights, fridge etc.) running during them then your best option is to buy the Generac CorePower 7,000W standby generator with transfer switch.

A professional will be needed to install this generator to your home power circuit and plumb it in to your home’s natural gas or liquid propane line that is already being used to power you central heating or gas oven.

This standby generator comes with a transfer switch. This is ideal because the transfer switch senses when the utility company power goes out and automatically switches on the generator (which is already hooked up to your home electrical circuit) without you doing anything.

The transfer switch also prevents the generated electricity from flowing back out the utility company electrical line and senses when the power comes back on and switches back over to utility power. It does all this in a matter of seconds and without you doing a darn thing.

 

2) Generac Guardian Series 5875 20,000W Air-Cooled and Liquid Propane/Natural Gas Powered Standby Generator

Generac 5875 Guardian Series Standby Generator

Coming in as the second best home standby generator is the 20 kW Generac Guardian Series with a 200 Amp automatic transfer switch.

It is the mid-size standby generator listed here and probably the most suitable for home backup power given that it will easily power most of your home comforts during a blackout.

It comes with a composite mounting pad so there is no need for you to lay concrete to mount it on. It comes with an in-built “weekly exercise” program so that it will automatically turn on and this helps to keep it ready and waiting for the next blackout.

Also very necessary and included with this Generac is the supply to your home of clean, consistent power so that you can safely power sensitive electronics like a laptop.

 

3) Generac QuietSource 27,000W Liquid Cooled and Propane/Natural Gas Powered Standby Generator

Generac Standby Generator QuietSeries

With this 27 kW generator you can rest easy knowing that if the power goes out you won’t even notice.

A 27 kW standby generator could provide enough power to keep most home’s electrical system 100% juiced (ie. provide enough power for everything in your house).

However, if you live in a very large home or have a home with very high power demands you’ll probably need an even bigger generator to keep your circuit 100% juiced during a blackout: Check out this 48 kW for Calif residents or this 48 kW for non Calif residents.

This standby generator comes with an automotive style engine (2.4 Liters and 4 cylinders) that operates at lower speeds (1800 rpm) than the above standby generators giving it a longer life and also giving it a very quiet purr despite being a 27 kW powerhouse.

If you live in Hurricane Alley or Tornado Alley then you will be happy to see that this generator comes with a mounting frame so that you can anchor bolt it down to a concrete pad (min dimensions of 3.5 feet x 6 feet) so that it complies with your local building code.

The enclosure is aluminium for optimal protection from the elements and attractiveness (this is most likely going to be in your side yard or backyard in plain view).

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Top Gas Generator

 

1) Generac 5943 GP7500E 9,375W Gas Powered Portable Generator

Generac 5943 GP7500E Portable Generator

Generac generators have been revolutionizing the industry since 1959 when Robert Kern founded the company and began offerring the first affordable generators to normal people like you and me (not just big industry)…

…For this reason, I have ranked their 9,375W affordable portable generator as number 1 best gas powered generator.

You will be amazed at the ability of this generator to keep going like the energizer bunny. It has a massive 8 gallon gas tank and a run-time (at 1/2 load) of 11 hours to ensure your power needs are met throughout even the most stubborn of blackouts.

It features a purpose built OHV (overhead valve) engine that has splash lubrication system. This means that your generator will stay cool and all the components will move smoothly for years and years.

 

2) DuroMax XP8500E 8,500W

DuroMax XP8500E Portable Generator

Coming in as the second best ranked gas powered generator is DuroMax’s 8,500W XP8500E with wheel kit and electric start.

One thing that I think will surprise you about this generator is how quiet it is: It has a noise level somewhere between a dishwasher and a vacuum cleaner…

…So you can be happy knowing that when you leave it running you won’t be irritating your neighbors or damaging your own hearing. It accomplishes this with a top-of-the-line muffler and isolated motor mounts to prevent rattling.

 

3) ETQ TG60H12 6,950W Gas Powered Portable Generator

ETQ TG60H12 Portable Generator

Easter Tools & Equipment (ETQ) are relative newcomers to the electric generator scene. They have impressively managed to amass a substantial market share (only since 2002) by offerring exceptionally reliable generators for very competitive prices… And this one is one of their most popular.

It features an alternator that outputs clean Sine Wave power which means you can plug your sensitive electronics directly in and rest easy knowing that they are safe. With 11 hours run-time (at 1/2 load) off 6.5 gallons of fuel you will definitely not have to worry about refilling its tank anytime soon.

The outlets included are: (1) 120V 20 Amp GFCI duplex outlet, (1) 120/240V 30 Amp L14-30R twist-lock outlet, and (1) 120V 30 Amp L5-30R twist-lock outlet. And if all this isn’t enough, you should also know that it runs as quiet as your dishwasher – very impressive.

 

4) Champion Power Equipment 46515 4,000W Gas Portable Generator

Champion Power Equipment 46515 Portable Generator

And I had to include a fourth best gas powered portable generator because I felt you had to know about this little champ. At only about $325, it is one of the most affordable portable generators on the market.

It really is quite impressive that Champion offers you this outstanding 4,000W generator for about 8 cents per Watt. I have a lot of experience working with industrial size Champion diesel generators and can tell you that they are the preferred brandname in the mining industry.

This bit-o-gear can run for a ridiculously long 12 hours (at 1/2 load) purring away only a little louder than a normal conversation. This is ideal for tailgating, camping and general home use.

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Top Generators For General Home Use

 

1) Generac 5982 GP3250 3,750W Gas Powered Portable Generator

Generac GP3250 Portable Generator

Generac’s GP series of generator is geared specifically towards general home use. It has an unmatched power-to-weight ratio and is perfect if you plan on just using your generator from time to time. This model is affordable, reliable, safe and very portable.

You get a compact design, low-oil shutdown, splash lubrication and Generac’s world renowned OHV engine (Generac below has pressurized lubrication system and OHVI engine).

With its 3.5 gallon fuel tank you can power your gear for almost 10 hours (at 1/2 load) which is perfect for general home use or a home emergency.

 

2) Generac XG8000E 10,000W Gas Powered Portable Generator

Generac XG8000E Portable Generator

Generac’s XG series is a more premium generator featuring Generac’s OHVI (overhead valve industrial) engine with pressurized lubrication for 4 times the engine life and a larger fuel tank for extended use. If you plan on using your generator all day for most days then you’ll want to upgrade from the GP series to this XG8000E.

With the power this generator offers you you could easily power most of your home appliances like electric stoves, air con or heater, lawn mower, table saw, sump pumps and more. The power panel includes 6 outlets to ensure all your needs are met.

So if you believe you will need to use your generator on most days then you will want to spend a little more money to get the OHVI engine to ensure it can easily handle your needs for many years to come.

 

3) Yamaha EF2000iS 2,000W Gas Powered Inverter Generator

*Note: This Generator is Also Rated:

Yamaha Generator With Gas Can

This generator again? Yup!

It’s only No.3 here because I wanted to spotlight the above two generators that output more power. I really believe, however, that if you only require 2,000W then the Yamaha EF2000iS is the best.

Above I spotlighted how portable this generator is, how quiet it is, how fuel efficient it is, how environmentally friendly it is and also told you about how it can even power your sensitive appliances and gear because of its innovative inverter alternator.

Here, let’s dive into some important home-use features of the Yamaha. Namely, let’s look at the maintenance requirements and warranty of this generator.

Maintenance requirements

According to this generators manual every 6 months or 100 hours-use you will need to do the following:

  1. Check spark plug – clean and replace if necessary.
  2. Replace engine oil (must first replace after 1 month or 20 hours-use).
  3. Check and clean air filter (should do this more often I recommend).
  4. Check and replace if necessary the muffler screen.
  5. Check and replace if necessary the spark arrester.

And, of course, due diligence would have you checking the following before you start her up each time:

  1. Fuel level.
  2. Check fuel hose for cracks or leaks.
  3. Check oil level.

Warranty

Yamaha covers this generator with a 2 year limited warranty. You still have to maintain the unit properly. You still have to pay for the regular maintenance (ie. you have to pay for a new spark plug, filter and oil etc.). But if the generator is “defect in material and workmanship” you can take it to an authorized Yamaha generator dealer for replacement or repair. Folks, this is a pretty standard limited warranty – nothing fishy here. Why not just go and take a look at the current price for this generator at this link:

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Top Generators For Home Emergency

Also see: Top Standby Generator

 

Medium – Generac GP5500 6,875W Gas Powered Portable Generator

Generac GP5500 Gas Powered Portable Generator

Generac used to have a 5,000 running watts generator at the same price point as this 5,500 running watts gas powered portable generator, and so, it makes absolutely no sense to spend the same to get less…This is definitely the best medium home emergency generator available (and it’s only about $640).

Generac has long established itself as the leaders in the portable power industry and offer you a solid design, reliable workmanship and much more…

…The 7.2 gallon gas tank can give you 10 hours of electricity (at 1/2 load) in case the power goes out and you need to keep your sump pumps going to prevent water damage in your basement and your fridge going to keep all your food from going off. Don’t be left in the dark like your neighbors - pickup this affordable Generac and be confident your home can bear the brunt of any natural disaster or smaller home emergency.

 

Large – Briggs & Stratton 30471 8,000W Gas Powered Portable Generator

Briggs and Stratton 30471 Portable Generator

I’ve said it 2 times before on this page – Briggs & Stratton air-cooled engines are second to none. Overall, Generac generators as a whole unit are probably a fraction more reliable; however, looking at the engine alone – Briggs & Stratton surely takes the cake.

Quick fact: In 1998 Generac sold their generator business to an equity firm who then sold it to Briggs & Stratton. Once the non-compete contract was up (2007) Generac came back into the market they knew so well. So I guess you could sorta say that Briggs & Stratton generators are really just modified Generac generators with Briggs & Stratton engines.

The reason their engines are so good is because of the amount of time they have had to improve them to a point of perfection. They were founded in 1908 and have been continually improving for over 100 years. Practice makes perfect, right?

On top of that, their engines are so good that “8 out of 10 lawn mower brands choose to utilize Briggs & Stratton engines to power their lawn tractors and push mowers.”

I realize were not talking about lawn mowers here but it just goes to show that these companies agree – there’s no point reinventing the wheel – just the same as there is no point trying to redesign a better engine than a Briggs & Stratton engine…

…And when it comes to a portable generator for a home emergency, really, the most important thing is the engine. It is what provides the mechanical energy that the electrics side of the generator turns into electrical energy and thus voltage for your home appliances.

By large home emergency (as I am saying this is the best large one) I mean that this could power most of your essential home power with the exception of high draw central air con and the like.

 

X-Large – Generac 5735 GP17500E 26,250W Gas Powered Portable Generator

Generac 5735 GP17500E Portable Generator

This is the largest portable generator available. It has 17,500 running watts and could easily power all of your essential home needs including air con, fridges and sump pumps…

…So if propane/natural gas isn’t available in your area (and you thus can not get a standby generator to automatically be plumbed in to that line) then you’ll want the biggest gas powered portable generator for any large home emergencies.

This beast has a 16 gallon gas tank (take a look at the size of it in the image, haha, the gas tank takes up almost half the height of the 3 feet 4 inch high genset) to provide you power for 10 hours at 1/2 load.

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Top Propane Generator

 

1) Generac 6000 LP3250 3,750W Propane Powered Portable Generator

Generac 6000 LP3250 Propane Generator

Coming in at the top of the portable propane generator class is the Generac LP3250 3,750W. The reasons you may want a propane burning generator are:

  1. Liquid propane is usually more readily available in a power outage because gas stations may have also lost power preventing their pumps working.
  2. Liquid propane can be stored indefinitely whereas gasoline will tend to go off  (ie. it deteriorates) after a few months.
  3. Liquid propane is a clean burning fuel and so your propane generator will produce less emissions than their gasoline and diesel powered counterparts.

This generator comes with a fuel tank holder as you can see in the image above. That holder will house both 20 and 30 pound tanks (the normal sizes you buy at the gas station).

You also get wheels for top notch portability, pure Sine Wave electricity (just like utility power) to ensure your sensitive electronics stay powered and properly operating and you get about 9 hours run-time (at 1/2 load) using a 20 pound fuel tank.

 

2) ETQ PG30P11 3,500W Propane Powered Portable Generator

ETQ PG30P11 Propane Portable Generator

Second best (a close 2nd!) is the ETQ 3,500W propane powered portable generator. And it sports some pretty awesome features for a $500 (or so) generator. You won’t be disappointed by the value for money this generator gives you…

…People love how this generator delivers pure Sine Wave power for sensitive electronics, how environmentally friendly it is and how long it can provide power for without needing to refuel (at 1/2 load, using a 20 pound fuel tank, 11.5 hours run-time).

Tipping the scales at 106 pounds, it would have been nice of ETQ to give us some wheels to make transport easier (I guess this is either an oversight or ETQ overestimating our strength – for manual handling safety you’ll probably want to get help from a friend moving it around).

 

3) Sportsman GEN4000LP 4,000W Propane Powered Portable Generator

Sportsman GEN4000LP Propane Generator

Coming in third place on my list of top propane powered portable generators is the most affordable one, the 4,000W Sportsman.

It is really good to see that Sportsman has provided a DC outlet because I know that when I go camping my batteries always lose their charge and I’m left in the dark. Also good to see is the operating noise level of this genset. It is easily suitable for camping because from about 20 feet away this genset will only have the same noise level as that of your toilet flushing when you are right beside the toilet (~70 dBa).

So if you are after the most affordable propane powered portable generator then this is your best option.

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Quietest Generator

Also see: Top Camping Generator

 

1) Yamaha EF2000iS 2,000W Gas Powered Inverter Generator

*Note: This Generator is Also Rated:

Bar none the Yamaha EF2000iS inverter generator is the quietest on the market…

…Instead of me rambling on about decibels and mufflers I want you to just read what 2 fine Yamaha EF2000iS customers have to say (Note: I added some bold to the text to help you scan quickly):

Trisailor (from CT, USA) said,

The most impressive thing about this unit is how quiet it is.

Even at full engine speed you can stand about 6 feet away and have a normal conversation without raising your voice, or talk on a cell phone without undue distraction.

It features an “eco” setting which tapers down the engine throttle and noise when full load isn’t required. At half-throttle or less, from about 6 feet away it is about half as loud and amazingly quiet.

I used it to run a 50-amp 12v battery charger and at full charge level the charger only required the generator to operate at about half-speed, and when the charger tapered down the charge level to under 30-amps the generator became so quiet I literally forgot about it. It is MUCH quieter than my boat’s inboard diesel engine, and more efficient than running the main engine just to top off the batteries. I also used it to power a heavy duty 120v grinder and it had no problems supplying the needed power, even on electric motor start-up.

Paul Raymond (from Dover-Foxcroft, ME) said,

This unit really is really quiet.

There were five of us on the fishing trip, two younin’s – my friend and I, and three old farts – my dad, uncle, and elderly cousin. They complain about everything (old people tend to do that, haha). I figured someone was going to say something about the generator being noisey and I’d catch hell for it or something, but actually, everyone did nothing but praise how quiet it was.

After it’s been running for 15 minutes or so, you kind of forget that it’s even there. Unlike our neighbors at a site a ways away from us, who had an old style generator that they ran at night, we could hear them having to hollar at each other in order to talk.

Also, watch this video for a more real-life feel to how quiet it is. *Note that it can be loud at start-up but goes to whisper quiet after a few moments:

Think of the possibilities of such a quiet and powerful generator. You could literally bring it with you to an outdoor off-the-grid wedding and use it to power the microphone or lights while the bride and groom are giving their vows. What are you waiting for? Go and have a look at the current price at this link:

 

2) Champion 73536i 2,000W Portable Inverter Generator

Champion Power Equipment 73536i Portable Inverter Generator

Coming in as the second best silent generator is Campion’s 2,000W inverter generator which pretty much produces the exact same sound level as the Yamaha above.

It is CARB Compliant for all you Calif residents, runs for 10 hours (at 1/4 load), weighs 48 pounds and is an interesting block shape – making it extremely sturdy – and stackable…

…If you want, you can purchase 2 of these generators (stack one on top of the other) and connect them up to produce more power to match your needs.

Watch this video to hear the generator in operation (in the video notice how close he is to the generator and how easy it is for you to hear him):

Do you like? If your main buying point is noise then you can’t go wrong with the Champion inverter. It truly is a great camping, RV’ing and really any other recreational activity lifesaver.

 

3) Yamaha EF4500iSE 4,500W Portable Inverter Generator

Yamaha EF4500iSE Inverter Generator

Coming in as the third most silent generator is the big brother of the number 1 quietest. This 4,500W Yamaha EF4500iSE portable inverter generator is a technological marvel and is barely as loud as you speaking in a conversation.

It provides you clean and pure Sine Wave electricity so you can power all your sensitive electronics and it can provide this power for 7.4 hours at full rated load. It complies with the highest tier of emissions standard (take it camping or RV’ing anywhere in US) and has the option to come with a wireless remote start that works up to 66 feet away. Pretty cool stuff.

Watch this video to hear how quiet the Yamaha 4,500W inverter generator is:

So if you like what Yamaha is putting down and want the “bar-none” quietest 4,500W generator on the market then take a closer look at this Yamaha’s specs from this link:

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Top RV Generators

 

Top Diesel RV – Generac QuietPac 5851 QP85D 8,500W Diesel Powered RV Generator

Generac 5851 RV Generator

Is your RV a diesel?

Not always, but in most cases, you will want your RV generator fuel type to match your RV – especially when forgetting about the propane/NG option and talking only about diesel and gasoline. So, if you own a diesel RV the best diesel RV generator is the Generac QuietPac 8,500W.

It is specifically designed for Class A motorhomes with single or dual roof A/C. It sports low rpm speed control to maximize fuel economy by preventing/eliminating speed changes.

As I said this RV generator is purpose built and, as such, it has the industry standard blueprint and bolt pattern (as well as standards compliant inlet and exhaust outlet location and wire location) so that you will not have to modify your RV (or trailer) to accommodate your new genset.

The engine in this bad-boy is a Generac ISM 3 cylinder 1131cc diesel engine that has a fuel consumption (at 1/2 load) of 0.49 gallons per hour.

On the electricity producing side of things this generator comes with a rated voltage of 120V but can be configured to operate 240V. At 120V it has a rated maximum continuous load current of 70.8 Amps (35.4 Amps at 240V) to ensure your RV stays cool, the coffee stays warm, the TV continues to entertain you and whatever else you decide gets the power it needs. It is a pretty wicked unit and also comes with a 12 Vdc starter.

The enclosure is Rhino-coated for corrosion protection from the environment, it features one side access for ease of maintenance and includes an enclosed critical grade muffler to keep things quiet.

 

Top Gas RV – Generac QuietPac 5856 QP65G 6,500W Gas Powered RV Generator

Does your RV take gasoline?

Generac RV 5856 Gas Powered RV Generato

Coming in as the best gas powered RV generator is the very quiet and fuel efficient 6,500W Generac. You will not be disappointed with the ability of this RV generator to power your Class A or C motorhome with 1 or 2 A/C units, 5th wheel, horse trailer or whatever it is you plan on installing this marvel of technology in…

…It has a fuel efficiency of 0.65 gallons per hour (at 1/2 load) and includes a critical grade muffler to keep life on the road as relaxed and free of engine noise as possible.

Rest easy knowing that this gas powered RV generator is powered by Generac’s OHVI purpose built for generators engine that will last 3-4 times longer than competitors and is easier to maintain due to its pressurized lubrication system (instead of splash lubrication) to ensure each and every critical bearing gets the oil it needs. And when you do need to take a look inside – it’s easy – with one side access you can easily get to all the places you  need.

The unit includes one-touch start and the ability for configuration to work for 240V (27 Amps) – so that option is good to see.

 

Top Propane RV – Cummins Onan RV QG6500 6,500W Propane Powered RV Generator 

Cummins Onan RV Generator Propane

When you are asleep in your cool and comfortable RV (thanks to the A/C cranking away) you definitely do not want to be abruptly woken up by your generator. And that is why the Cummins Onan you are looking at – quietest in class – is the best one for your propane RV generator needs.

With 6,500 Watts of utility grade power in your RV you can power most everything (including sensitive electronics) and specifically 2x 15,000 BTU A/C units with 1,500 Watts left over.

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Top Camping Generator

Also see: Quietest Generator

 

1) Yamaha EF2000iS 2,000W Gas Powered Inverter Generator

*Note: This Generator is Also Rated:

Yamaha EF2000iS Camping Generator

Coming in as the best camping generator is the Yamaha 2,000W EF2000iS inverter generator…

…And, at only about $960, you won’t be disappointed by the ability of this generator to power your camping gear quietly, reliably, enviromentally friendlily and for hours and hours and hours on-end.

This generator ticks all the boxes of features you want a camping generator to have. Such as: very quiet, very fuel efficient, very portable, AC power outlets, DC outlet (for camping fridge/freezer), very enviro friendly, very powerful, very reliable, very easy to maintain and very stylish.

This Yamaha generator is approved for use in national parks by the US Forest Service and, as well, by the California Air Resources Board (which are known for *very* strict requirements). So, if you want a little luxury while enjoying the great outdoors there is no doubt this is the best generator for your needs.

 

2) Generac 5791 iX800 800W

Generac 5791 iX800 Portable Inverter Generator

At number 2 on my list of top camping generators is the 800W Generac iX800 gas powered inverter generator. With 800W you could easily power your most crucial camping gear like an inflator pump, a small portable heater, a light and a cd player. All to keep you more comfortable while having a blast camping.

The fuel efficient Generac will only use 0.5 gallons of gasoline over 3.5 hours (at 1/2 load) and that means that if you bring along a small 2.5 gallon gas can you have close to a full days worth of electricity while camping.

Generac designed this portable generator for life on the road. It is durable, lightweight and as you can see comes with a handle for easy moving.

 

3) Briggs & Stratton 30473 2,000W Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator

At number 3, and about $650, is the Briggs & Stratton inverter generator. Like the above 2, this generator is specifically designed for maximim portability…

…People love how well thought out the handle configuration is. You will notice that it has options for you to easily carry it with 1 or 2 hands depending on your preference. And at 50 pounds you could surely use just 1.

It has 2 AC outlets and 1 DC so you can charge batteries or power a camping fridge – whatever you desire. If you run this generator at 1/4 load you can keep the juice flowing for 6.5 hours with only 1 gallon of fuel. It comes with a recoil start and like all inverter generators is extremely quiet which is ideal for a camping generator.

 

4) Champion 42433 1,500W Gas Powered Portable Generator

Champion Power Equipment 42433 Portable Generator

At number 4 is the only non-inverter style genset on my list of top camping generators. It is the Champion Power Equipment (CARB Compliant) 1,500W gas powered generator. And at about $185, it is the most affordable camping generator – perfect for you if you are not keen to spend much cash.

It is lightweight and thus portable at 63 pounds and can provide you power for 10 hours (at 50% load) from 1.2 gallons of fuel. Exceptional!

It has a recoil start, low oil shut-off and is approved for camping anywhere in the good old United States of America.

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Top Generator For Contractors and Construction Sites

 

1) Generac XP8000E 10,000W Professional Grade Gas Powered Portable Generator

Generac XP8000E Professional Generator

So you are a contractor and require reliable portable power to earn your living building and fixing things.

You need a generator than can work as hard as you every-single-day and for-years-and-years-to-come. You are specifically interested in one that has ease of maintenance, larger fuel tank to minimize downtime and is durable with rugged construction

…The best generator for your needs is the professional grade Generac XP8000E because it is designed specifically for job sites and contractors like you. It has the Generac purpose built for generators OHVI (overhead valve industrial) engine that has the following features:

  • Dual element air filter that protects the engine from dirt and extends the scheduled maintenance intervals.
  • Pressurized lubrication system instead of splash lubrication to ensure every single engine bearing gets the oil it needs.
  • X-Torq governor to eliminate stalling.
  • Automotive grade oil filter to prevent engine wear and ensure a long and healthy engine life.
  • Low oil pressure protection that senses oil pressure instead of just oil level to ensure the engine is protected from improper lubrication.

You’ll notice in the image – above right – the XP8000E includes a lifting eye to make transport to, around, and from the job site a cinch. Also, the lifting eye is perfect for securing the generator overnight at the job site to ensure you are not victim to theft. Also notice the covered outlets (more dust protection), the 1.25″ steel tube cradle that protects your generator from rough handling and the impact resistant cast-metal corners.

For tools that require clean, pure electricity like ones with variable speed control the Generac XP8000E has “True Power Technology” that ensures pure Sine Wave electricity.

 

2) Generac XP6500E 8,125W Professional Grade Gas Powered Portable Generator

Generac XP6500E Professional Use Portable Generator

Coming in as the second best generator for contractors and use on construction sites is the Generac XP6500E 8,125 surge watts and 6500 rated watts professional gas powered generator…

…It is exactly the same generator as the above (number 1 best) Generac – just 10 pounds lighter and, of course, slightly less powerful. Because of this, it has a run-time about 1 hour longer (11 hours run-time) than the above XP8000E.

The XP series Generac features a reliable electric start (battery included) and also the backup recoil start in case the battery loses charge. The handles at the front of the genset are locking and folding to ensure they stay out of the way when the geny is stationary or when you are using the lifting eye to bring it to an elevation like the back of your truck or to the top of a building site.

 

3) Generac XG7000E 8,750W Premium Grade Gas Powered Portable Generator

Generac XG7000E Pro Portable Generator

In the number 3 spot of top generators for contractors and construction site use is the XG series Generac with 8,750 starting watts and 7,000 running watts.

The main difference between the XG series and the XP (like the above 2) is the lifting eye and that the XP series guarantees less than 5% total harmonic distortion, which means you can power sensitive electronics with confidence that the generator is delivering utility quality power…

…This is the main reason this unit is number 3 on this list instead of 2 or 3. However, if you decide on the XG7000E you would be saving about $350 (from comparable XP model).

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Other Top Selling Generators

 

1) Briggs & Stratton 30468 6,875W Gas Powered Portable Generator

8 Briggs and Stratton 30468 Portable Generator

It is of no surprise that the powerful – yet – affordable (about $760) Briggs & Stratton 5,500 running watts and 6,875 max/surge watt gas powered portable generator is a top seller.

Off its mid-size 5 gallon fuel tank, it provides you up to 10 hours of power (at 1/2 load). People have rated it very highly (4 / 5 stars) on Amazon.com and like how well it runs, how powerful it is and how it has an hour meter to monitor maintenance intervals.

If you want the reliability of a B & S and are in the market for a 5,500 running watts generator then this is a steal.

 

2) ETQ TG52T42 6,000W Gas Powered Portable Generator

ETQ TG52T42 Gas Portable Generator

Somehow Eastern Tools & Equipment (ETQ) is able to offer their generators at a fraction of the competitors price. This one gives you 5,250 running watts and only costs from $575 – 650.

It offers you extreme value and is perfect for around the home or a job site. It has a sturdy steel tube frame to ensure it is protected from impacting objects like small flying fragments of dirt and rock that are common to job sites.

It has a rated current of 43.75 Amps (at 120V) and a max surge capacity of 50 Amps. In terms of fuel economy: Its 6 and 1/2 gallon fuel tank can power your tools or appliances for 11 hours at 1/2 load.

So if you feel that about $575 is a great price for this much power you can go and take a look at all the 14 customer reviews at the link below:

 

3) Generac 5778 Premium Grade XG4000 4,500W Gas Powered Portable Generator

Generac 5778 XG4000 Portable Generator

And. Here. We. Go. Last! But definitely not least on this *epic* list of the top generators for your 2012 needs is the reliable Generac with 3,600 running watts.

It sports the Generac OHVI (overhead valve industrial) engine that will last 3 – 4 times longer than other generator’s engines. Why? Because it is an engine that is purpose built for use in a generator. Not modified from some other piece of power equipment like a lawn mower or something.

  • It won’t overheat.
  • It has specially designed cylinders to reduce break-in time.
  • It has an automotive style oil filter

… All these to dramatically increase its engine’s life.

This genset is rated 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com and for good reason. I mean this puppy is an XG series (premium grade) Generac and only rings the cash register in at about $829.

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Sources:

1. Product pages for All Power America generators proved useful in assessing their features and benefits.

2. Maxtool.com has some good info on DuroStar generators that was used to review their setups and benefits.

3. WEN generators are surprisingly good value for the money. The company website was used to find some history about the brand.

4. This website’s comparison table and buying guide were also used to navigate through the plethora of generators on the market.

5. Yamaha make some of the most popular portable generators. Their website is great and I found info on how their inverter technology works.

6. Briggs &  Stratton are the biggest supplier of internal combustion engines in the world (for power equipment). They have a great generator sizing calculator and good product info pages that were used. Their youtube channel is jam-packed with great videos as well.

7. Generac brand generator website used to confirm inconsistent information about their generators found elsewhere.

8. Champion Power Equipment are a popular brand to use in the mining industry. They were they vendor we used when we wanted to hire gen-sets for construction sites.