Best Portable Generator Reviews 2018

Portable generators come in handy whenever there’s a power outage. They are also great for people who love camping and going on adventures in the woods. With the increasing number of models available out there, getting the right one can be very challenging, especially if you don’t know what to look for. We have made the task easier for you by carrying out a thorough research on the best portable generators from five top companies. These brands also have other products that you may consider suitable enough to meet your power needs.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Power Source
Wattage
Voltage
Fuel Capacity
Run Time
Our Top Choice
Westinghouse 5500W Gas Portable Generator
Westinghouse has never disappointed when it comes to portable generators. This brand’s models have been specially created and designed for power, permanence and quiet performance.
Quiet. Powerful. Easily portable.
Choke linkage must be correctly adjusted to work properly.
Gas Powered
5,500 watts
120 Volts
6.6 gal.
12 hour run time at 50% load
Best Value
Briggs & Stratton 5000W Portable Gas Generator
You can trust Briggs & Stratton because they’ve been creating power devices since 1908! The 30467 Portable Gas-Powered Generator allows you to keep your electricity running.
Easy to start and use. Durable. Reliable. Sufficient wattage and fuel capacity.
Lacks a sensor for low oil.
Gas Powered
5,500 watts
120 Volts
5 gal.
10 hour run time at 50% load
Honda Super Quiet Inverter Generator
For high-end portable generators, you can trust the Honda series. Created to give you a high level of fuel efficiency, the stability, and durability of these machines are nothing short of impressive.
Quiet. Easy to start. Easy to maintain. Guaranteed efficiency.
Requires constant monitoring for low oil.
Gas Powered
1600 Watts
120 Volts
95 gal.
3.4 hour run time at 100% load
Champion 3500W Portable Gas Generator
Champion promises to cater to wide range of your home power needs. This generator offers a high level of dependability and precision operation.
Lightweight and portable. Easy to start recoil. Easy to maintain.
The quiet mode could be a little quieter.
Gasoline Powered
3500 Watts
120 Volts
3.8 gal.
Up to 12 hour run time at 50%
WEN 3500W Gas Inverter Generator
For trustworthy and affordable portable generators, WEN is a brand you can go for! This 3500 Watt Generator is your best bet for a long lasting generator, especially in the cold season.
Easy to transport. Runs for long. Power is clean and safe. Sleeves are iron cast.
Can only power a few devices.
Gasoline Powered
5500 Watts
120 Volts
4 gal.
11 hour run time at 50% load

(Updated )
Related Reviews
Best Gas Grill
Best Jumpstarter
Best Gas Chainsaw
Best Portable Air Compressor
Watch Our Portable Generator Review

How Do I Choose the Best Portable Generator?

Need electricity in remote places the local electric distribution doesn’t cover, such as the woods? Then get a portable generator. These generators give you access to power supply wherever you are. For instance, if you are planning a summer camp in an area where there is no power supply, a portable generator will provide electricity for your power needs.

A generator will also provide backup energy whenever there is a power failure in your home. If your regular power supply is cut off, you don’t necessarily have to skip your regular cup of early morning coffee from your coffee maker. All you need to do is switch your power supply to the generator’s, and you can get your coffee as usual. A portable generator can be indispensable, and even lifesaving, if a natural disaster cuts off power in your area for days or even weeks.

Most portable generators run on readily available unleaded gasoline, which makes them less expensive than solar generators. They are also extremely useful to worksite contractors, since they provide power for nail guns, spray guns for painters, and portable lights. This is why portable generators have become necessities for site workers.

Nonetheless, there are lots of generators on the market and not every one will be suitable for you. Identify the ones that are tailored to meet your needs before buying. Let’s now show you a couple of things to note before you can successfully identify the one that is best for you.
Price
There’s a limit to the number of electric appliances a generator can power. Often, the higher the number of appliances it can power, the pricier the generator. The cost of a generator can range from $300 to $3,000, depending on the model you select. Don't risk buying one of the cheap portable generators available out there. They may not work well enough in an emergency.
Features
You can enjoy seamless power generation from a portable generator when you make the best choice, but this is only possible if you know what to look for. Here are a few qualities to consider:
  • Fuel gauge
  • Fuel capacity
  • Power rating
  • Run time on a full tank
  • Size
  • Portability
  • Maintenance
Construction and Design
Knowing how long the generator will run with a 50% load when the tank is full gives you an idea of how well the generator will meet your power needs. A runtime of at least eight hours is often recommended, while generators that offer 10 hours plus are advised for homes.

Engines get damaged easily with insufficient oil. This is even worse with high voltage ones, because they run at higher speeds. But a system designed to protect the generator when there’s a shortage of oil preserves the life of an engine. These systems are designed to shut the generators off automatically when low oil is detected, and in cases of low pressure or high temperature. Check whether the model you select features a reliable oil protection system.

Usually, portable generators run on unleaded gasoline. Typically, a portable generator consumes about 30 to 84 liters of gasoline if allowed to run for a full day. The larger the fuel tank of a generator, the longer the runtime. However, such generators are often heavier and bulkier than the smaller ones.

Thinking about the generator size you should go for? The size depends on the size of the tank, which then determines how long the generator will run when the tank is full. Knowing what you want to power and how much supply you’ll require should guide you on the size of generator to get.
Performance and Ease of Use
A fuel gauge is an important feature of a generator, even though it is often overlooked. It lets you know how much fuel you have left in the tank at any time, so you can plan to top it up and avoid interruptions when it is being used.

Not all portable generators are lightweight. While the small ones can be carried about with a handle, the large ones require wheels for easy transport. This is one reason to check for features that make mobility easy. You may want to look for pneumatic tires that roll easily, and handles for pushing and pulling. For portability, these handles should be extendable when they are needed and foldable when they are not required.

You may also want to look at the circuit breakers in generators before you make a choice. When there’s excess current running through that may damage the generator and connected equipment, circuit breakers trip immediately to prevent such damage.

It goes without saying that well-maintained generators often last longer. Annual maintenance routines will involve changing the spark plug, checking the coolant, servicing the engine, and inspecting the air and oil flow. Getting a suitable maintenance plan depends on how big your choice is. For instance, a large generator with liquid cooling will take more time to service compared to other generator types.

You should also have an idea of how to install the generator. Will you need cables and tools to install it? Or would you need to call a technician to set it up?

Never run a portable generator inside a building, or in a garage or carport. The exhaust fumes can cause suffocation and death. Always run generators in well-ventilated areas outdoors.

What is the Best Portable Generator?

The best portable generator should be able to meet your power needs adequately. After going through our exhaustive buying guide, you should now know the best qualities of a portable generator.
Our Top Choice
The Westinghouse WH5500C Portable Generator offers users a quiet power-generating experience, not to mention it is highly reliable and durable. With a starting wattage of 6750, you are guaranteed efficient performance and immense power for your home appliances. If you are interested a smaller model, the 3250 Watt Westinghouse WH3250C Portable Generator will certainly come in handy.
Westinghouse Gas Powered Generator - 5500 Running Watts/6750 Starting Watts

Westinghouse Back Up Generator WH5500C


Features
Westinghouse is a byword for quality electrical appliances, including generators. That’s right- this company has been in the business of power-generating machines for decades, giving customers exactly what they want. Featuring a wide selection of high-performance portable generators, users are guaranteed a peaceful and reliable experience. Retailing at only $808.65, this generator can definitely be useful in a plethora of applications.

Here are some notable features provided by this generator from Westinghouse.
  • Quiet owing to the Pulse-FloTM muffler technology
  • Engine is easy to start
  • It has GFCI outlets ensuring protection
  • Electrical connections are protected from natural elements
  • The start fuel shut off, as well as the choke are easily and manually operated
  • High level of dependability and the frame is easy to move and maintain
Even if this model doesn’t meet your exact electrical needs, Westinghouse produces reputable and high performance portable generators so you can’t go wrong with any of them.
Best Value
The Briggs & Stratton 5000 Watt Portable Generator with Hour Meter has a design that is very easy to maneuver and use, even for first-timers. It is reliable enough to supply power even in harsh weather conditions. Need something smaller? The 3500 Watt Portable Generator with RV Outlet offers faultless performance as well.
Briggs & Stratton Electricity Generator - 5000 Running Watts/6250 Starting Watts w/ 342cc Engine

Briggs & Stratton Back Up Generator 30467


Features
Briggs & Stratton has created a reputation for itself as a leading manufacturer of reliable portable generators since 1980. This is a long time to understand all the ins and outs of providing reliable back up power, meaning that you cannot go wrong with this brand. The 5000 Watt Portable Generator with Hour Meter retails at only $808.65, and users can rest assured that their power supply will run uninterrupted, provided there’s enough gas in the fuel tank.

Here is a short list of this generator’s features.
  • The power is instantaneous, uninterrupted and clean
  • It is embedded with a an alternator for power surges to run multiple devices at a go
  • The 342cc OHV engine is sufficient for high performance
  • The fuel lasts 10 hours with continued use. It can, however, go for days when used less often
  • The capacity for the fuel tank is 5 gallons
  • It features a control panel that allows for multiple usage
  • It has wheels that are very durable
The range of Briggs & Stratton portable generators are designed to supply you with power regardless of the applications you are using them for. By the way, if 5000 watts are not enough for you then you can also get a model with 5500 watts or even 6500 watts, if your power needs are very high.
The Honda EU2000i portable generator has a high-performance engine that ensures a high level of reliability. This device uses an inverter system which guarantees that the energy produced is clean and efficient. If you require a reduced power output of 1000 watts, the Honda EU1000i might be more suitable for your power needs.
Honda Portable Generator, 2000 Watt, 59 dB Noise Level, 3.4hr Run Time/Tankful

Honda Back Up Generator EU2000i


Features
If you are in search of a high-end generator, you cannot go wrong with Honda’s incredible line of goods. The Honda EU2000i is a quiet device that produces energy in an efficient manner and can be used for a wide variety of applications. The retail price tag of $1149.95 is a relatively small one when you take into account all the features this machine brings, not to mention that Honda is well-known for reliability and excellent build quality.

Here’s is a detailed list of what this portable generator has to offer.
  • Very lightweight at only 46 pounds
  • Offers high fuel efficiency that a little over 8 hours on a single gallon of gas
  • The inverter produces stable power even after continued usage
  • The recoil starting system is easy to use
  • It has very low levels of noise to give you peace of mind
  • It powers all types of devices including smaller electrical units
For the safety and capability it offers, the Honda series features some great portable generators to suit every power need you might have. The differences in each model are wattage and run time, but all have almost the same high level of performance.
The Champion Power Equipment Portable Power Generators are known for excellence and reliability worldwide. This model has a starting wattage of 4000 to ensure great performance from start to finish. If you want more power, you certainly can’t go wrong with the 7500W\/9500W Portable Generator from the same manufacturer.
Champion Power Equipment Gas Portable Generator, 4000 Starting/ 3500 Running Watts

Champion Back Up Generator 46539


Features
There’s no doubt that Champion Power Equipment has solidified their place in the hearts of many home and business owners with their quality and dependable portable generators. Embedded with a wireless remote for easy use, this 3500W/4000W Generator retails at only $434 and it has all the power you need to keep your appliances running.

Here’s a list of features to make your selection process easier.
  • This model is ready for use in RVs as it is embedded with an RV outlet that uses 30 amps
  • The 196cc engine is quite reliable
  • Its dimensions are perfect for a midsized generator with a weight of 140 pounds
  • The spark arrestor is certified and approved, and the generator has passed all compliance regulations including EPA, as well as CARB
  • The steel frame is tubular and constructed out of steel that is easy to maintain
  • The Intelligauge is capable of tracking maintenance and supervising power production
  • The sensor notifies you when the oil is low
Whether it’s for a storm or black out, or when you are away from an electrical source, the line of Champion Power Equipment generators will give you the back up power you need. The units vary in size and wattage, but the service delivery is impressive for each.
Storms, blackouts, or no electical outlet? It doesn’t matter because WEN has back up generators to handle any situation. The WEN 56352 3500 Watt Generator can execute its job perfectly and keep your appliances up and running when you need them the most. In a similar fashion the WEN 56682 7000 Watt Electric Start Generator with a higher rating of 7000 watts, if you demand more power.
WEN Gas Powered Inverter Generator - 5000 Running Watts/5500 Starting Watts, 389cc 13 HP Engine

WEN Back Up Generator 56352


Features
Having cemented its standing as a leading supplier in the United States, WEN continues to impress us. The evidence lies in this WEN 56352 3500 Watt Generator that has an adequate fuel tank of a respectable four gallons which doesn't require constant refills. Available at only $362.83 when we last checked, the model gives you value for your money as promised.

Here is a short list of features provided by this gas generator.
  • Has a regulator that is automatic to supply clean energy
  • comes fully fitted with a kit handle and wheel
  • The plug is NEMA certifies and has a warranty of 2 year
  • The single cylinder is OHV and has a forced system for cooling air
  • Runs for a long 11 hours
  • It is light and easy to move around
WEN continues to cater to the power needs of various people with its line of quality products. They have a model for every situation and budget.

Get the Best Portable Generator of 2018!

Thank you for taking the time to read this review. We hope that you have a hassle-free experience with your choice. You can also get some other options when you follow the navigation links we have provided.

Our Top Choice
Westinghouse 5500W Gas Portable Generator
Best Value
Briggs & Stratton 5000W Portable Gas Generator
Honda Super Quiet Inverter Generator
Champion 3500W Portable Gas Generator
WEN 3500W Gas Inverter Generator