The 10 Best Portable Generators for the Money

Stuart Wellbert
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This buyer’s guide will quickly provide you with the top portable generators on the market, at all different price points.

Whether you’re looking for cordless, gas, quiet, ultra-quiet, etc., I’ve got you covered.

My hope is that you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for in a portable generator, regardless of what that might be.

NameCategoryProduct
WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter GeneratorBest OverallWEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator
Durostar DS4000S Portable GeneratorBudget PickDurostar DS4000S Portable Generator
Briggs & Stratton 30664 8000W GeneratorUpgrade PickBriggs & Stratton 30664 8000W Generator

1. WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator

Our rating: 9 / 10

WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator

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Pros:

  • Extremely easy to assemble
  • Comes with wheels
  • Comes with many safety features

Cons:

  • Loud
  • Short power cord
  • Not enough power

The WEN 56200i is another amazing generator in the WEN line. It is extremely easy to assemble, and comes with wheels for easy transportation. The WEN 56200i can supply clean and reliable power for your home emergency kit, covering almost all your needs in case of an emergency.

The WEN 56200i is a heavy-duty generator, weighing over 70 lbs. It can run for up to 11 hours on a full tank. Enjoy the freedom of home power anywhere you go with the WEN 56200i.

Along with its standard specifications, the WEN 56200i is a quieter generator than most you can find, producing only 46 decibels of sound. It also comes with a two-year limited manufacturer’s warranty that covers everything except the ignition coil.

2. Durostar DS4000S Portable Generator

Our rating: 8 / 10

Durostar DS4000S Portable Generator

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This is the best smooth gas powered generator for running basic power tools like drills, saws, or even in sensitive electronics. Plus, it’s only 4.6 cents per kilowatt hour, with a one year price guarantee. Manufacturer states that it’ll run 5 hours on a half tank, and 80 hours on a gallon of fuel. But, keep your power tools switched off if it’s running low so you don’t burn it up.

3. Yamaha EF2000iSv2

Our rating: 8 / 10

Yamaha EF2000iSv2

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4. Briggs & Stratton P2200 Power Smart Series Inverter Generator

Our rating: 7 / 10

Briggs & Stratton P2200 Power Smart Series Inverter Generator

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Pros:

  • Great Value Generator
  • Plenty Of Power
  • Easy to Store and Move
  • Built to Last
  • Quiet

390cc OHV Engine, Parallel Capable (PU2222RA).

Since buying a generator is a big purchase, it’s good to have a well-informed guide that will help you pick the one that’s best for you.

When you consider a home generator, you will want something that will be able to power your home in the event of a power failure. Generator wattage is a big factor you will want to consider for this.

5. Honda EU2200IC 2200-Watt Companion Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

Our rating: 7 / 10

Honda EU2200IC 2200-Watt Companion Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

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Pros:

  • Easy assembly process
  • Good price relative to power and quality
  • Makes little to no noise
  • Simple safe design
  • Very efficient
  • Light lithium battery

Cons:

  • Not self-storing
  • Portable and compact

Honda is the world's largest supplier of generators, and their newest addition, the companion, is small, lightweight, quiet and runs for up to 8 hours on a half gallon of gas.

This is by far Honda's lightest generator to date. It is also able to hold up to the rough and tumble environment outdoor conditions.

Unlike other generators, it is reliable and starts in the first pull of the cord. In addition, its power inverter has a sensitive load sensor and will shut if your device becomes unstable.

6. Briggs & Stratton 30664 8000W Generator

Our rating: 7 / 10

Briggs & Stratton 30664 8000W Generator

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Pros:

  • Inverter Technology for more environmentally friendly use
  • Automatic Voltage Regulator
  • Safety features, including a Low Oil shutdown and Engine Shutdown System
  • Superior air filtration
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Dual voltage outlets
  • 3,500 watts surge capacity

Cons:

  • Fuel tank is a bit small
  • Heavy/bulky
  • High-pitched noise
  • Large

If you’re looking to get a jumpstart on blackouts, the B&S 8000W could be the generator for you. It’s not cheap, but it can definitely be a worthwhile investment. This generator provides you with the following:

The B&S 8000w is rated at 8000 watts peak and 6500 running which is much higher than most that you’ll see on the market for similar prices.

The engine of this generator is rated at 208cc OHV and delivers about 4.1HP with an incredible torque at 3,750 RPM.

7. WEN 56155 4-Stroke 98cc 1550-Watt Portable Power Generator

Our rating: 6 / 10

WEN 56155 4-Stroke 98cc 1550-Watt Portable Power Generator

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8. Westinghouse WGen5500 Portable Generator

Our rating: 6 / 10

Westinghouse WGen5500 Portable Generator

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Pros:

  • Plenty of power
  • Reasonably priced/generally affordable

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Poor customer service

When it comes to finding noiseless and affordable portable generators, it’s hard to argue against Westinghouse’s portable generators.

They provide plenty of power for your money and will easily power your sump pumps, computers, refrigerator, and more. If you need to run one of your big appliances, such as a well-powered refrigerator, you can expect about an hour of run-time per gallon of fuel, and lightweight models will range from 10 to 12 hours.

All of this power is nice and portable too. Westinghouse has several models that weigh less than 70 pounds! These units also have plenty of power to keep large tools and computers running. The amount of power you need will depend largely on how many appliances you will need to keep running and how long you need to keep them running.

9. Champion 3500-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator

Our rating: 6 / 10

Champion 3500-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator

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Pros:

  • Extremely quiet
  • Easily portable
  • Powers large appliances

The 3500-watt Champion Power Equipment Generator is a great choice for any household. It’s a portable generator that can deliver tremendous power in a small package.

This Champion generator is very quiet by comparison to other generators. It comes with a wireless remote and can be run remotely. It has a low oil shut off to prevent damage. It’s an ideal option for camping, tailgates, and any other outdoor activity.

10. WEN 56105 1000-Watt Portable Generator

Our rating: 6 / 10

WEN 56105 1000-Watt Portable Generator

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Pros:

  • CARB Compliant
  • Includes Carry Handle
  • It is CARB Complaint
  • 1000 Wattage
  • Supports 5 Amp/Hour battery
  • Starting System
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Cable and battery included
  • CSA approved
  • CARB Compliant

Cons:

  • Lightweight Battery Unit
  • Fiddly Electrical Hook-up Points
  • Not sturdy during use
  • Not all what I expected
  • Noisy

5.5 Amp/Hr Internal Battery, Integrated Wheel System, Ergonomic Handle

WEN is a popular brand which is known for high quality appliances and power generators. This is the reason why we included a WEN product in our power generator reviews. There must be something good about this product or else it would not have made it to our list. Let’s examine the product details and specifications.

The WEN 56105 generator can be used to run small appliances at home such as washing machines, microwaves, refrigerators, cell phones, etc. It does not have a high wattage. So, it can only be used to power small appliances. This generator is affordable. You will surely get a good bargain. You may find many generators with a better power output. But, the WEN 56105 generator price is also unbeatable.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best portable generator for home use?

There are two main types of generator: propane and natural gas. Those that run on natural gas will always be quieter. Propane-fueled generators will be louder but the tradeoff is that they are cheaper to operate.

Gasoline generators are loud and noisier and are more prone to engine failure. However, they are more affordable and better suited for traveling and outdoor use.

If you plan on taking the generator for camping, you may want to consider an electric one, because they are safer and easier to use.

Internal combustion generators have a moving, prime mover and require a certain level of operator competence and familiarity to be operated safely. An electric generator is easier to use, safer, and more reliable and less costly to maintain than an internal combustion generator.

What is the best inverter generator for the money?

Inexpensive portable generators really are amazing. It's a really big economic breakthrough that allows us to gain access to electricity when we don't have access to power from a power outlet.

If you're a prepper or just trying to prepare yourself for potential outages and emergencies, a portable generator can be useful for lots of things. From providing electricity for your home or apartment to providing power during an emergency and many of other projects, you'll find that it has a lot of uses.

Think about the long term and consider how you'll want to use and maintain your generator. Depending on how you plan to use your generator, you may consider putting extra money into a model that has better performance, higher quality, or better features.

What is the best cheap generator?

The biggest question most customers have is whether they need a bigger, more expensive generator over a smaller, more portable one. A question like this is very subjective! If you live in a remote area, it can be quite hard to get a fuel supply for your generator. What if you are in the middle of a hurricane and you're running low on gas, making it nearly impossible to get more without a car? In this case, you might want to consider a more powerful generator that can last longer under load. However, if you just want to have a generator to run a few lights, TVs, and laptops, a smaller, portable one is the better choice.

Conclusion

Without power, there's no ability to do many common daily activities. If you are one of those Americans who suffer through frequent blackouts and brownouts, you may want to consider investing in a portable generator of your own. This guide should help you sort through the many products available to find the best portable generator for your needs and budget.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter GeneratorBest OverallWEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator
Durostar DS4000S Portable GeneratorBudget PickDurostar DS4000S Portable Generator
Briggs & Stratton 30664 8000W GeneratorUpgrade PickBriggs & Stratton 30664 8000W Generator