When it comes to finding the perfect generator for your needs and budget, the options can feel overwhelming. Whether you’re preparing for hurricane season or looking for a reliable power source for camping or tailgating, we’ve got you covered. Our team of experts, including contractors, outdoorsmen, and hurricane veterans, has put together a list of the best generators for various purposes. So, without further ado, let’s dive into our top recommendations!
Best Portable Generators for Home Use
Generac 6500/8125 Watt Portable Generator with COSense (GP6500 COSENSE)
Finding the best portable generator for home use requires a balance of features, quality, portability, and price. The Generac GP6500 fits the bill perfectly. With 6500 running watts and 8125 starting watts, it offers more power than smaller 5000 watt models. This generator provides plenty of power with outlets for running various appliances and even a 120V/240V plug if needed. What’s more, it includes a carbon monoxide sensor for added safety.
- Ryobi 6500/8125 Watt Generator with CODetect (RY906500S): Similar to the Generac GP6500 but with a slightly larger engine and smaller fuel tank. Available at Home Depot for $949.
- Craftsman 5000/6250 Watt Generator with CO Detection (CMXGGAS030731): A lower-wattage option that still offers great efficiency at a $150 lower price. Available at Lowe’s for $799.
Best Generators for Camping and Tailgating
Westinghouse 1800/2200 Watt Portable Inverter (IGEN2200C)
When it comes to generators for camping and tailgating, portability and noise level are key factors. The Westinghouse IGEN2200C checks all the right boxes. Weighing less than 50 pounds and operating at a whisper-quiet 52 decibels, this generator is perfect for outdoor adventures. It also offers clean power with a total harmonic distortion (THD) of less than 3%, ensuring your sensitive electronics are safe and sound.
- Honda 2500/2800 Watt Portable Inverter Generator (EG2800i): A slightly less powerful option with a longer runtime and the reliability of a Honda engine. Available at Home Depot for $1199.
- Champion 1850/2500 Watt Generator (201122): Weighing only 39 pounds and with a THD of less than 3%, this generator is a great budget pick. Available at Lowe’s for $699.
Best Generac Guardian Series Natural Gas/LPG Generators
If you’re looking for a backup generator that kicks in automatically during power outages, the Generac Guardian Series Natural Gas/LPG Generators are the way to go. These stationary generators are not portable but are designed to provide reliable power to your entire home. The range spans from 14kW to 26kW, offering ample power at reasonable prices. Keep in mind that you’ll need to factor in the cost of a transfer switch and professional installation on top of the generator price.
Price: $4,697 – $6,997
- Kohler Natural Gas/LPG Home Generator: Available in various sizes (8.5kW – 22kW) at Home Depot, with prices ranging from $3,325 to $6,147.
- Briggs and Stratton Natural Gas/LPG Generators: Offering power outputs from 10kW to 25kW, these generators are available at Acme Tools for $2,599 to $10,499.
Best 10,000 Watt Generator
Honda 9000/10000W with CO-Minder (EB10000G)
When it comes to generators with a power output of 10,000 watts, the Honda EB10000G stands out from the rest. Powered by a commercial-grade Honda GX630 engine, this generator offers both power and efficiency. With CO-Minder carbon monoxide detection, electric start, and low noise/high efficiency, it’s a reliable workhorse capable of handling almost any power demand.
- DuroMax 8500/10000 Watt Electric Start Portable Generator (XP10000DX): A true 8,500-watt generator with multiple outlet options and electric start. Available at Home Depot for $1299.
Best 5000 Watt Generator
Honda 5000/7000W Electric Start with Co-Minder (EM5000SX)
For a balance of power, portability, runtime, and price, the Honda 5000/7000W Electric Start with Co-Minder is your best bet. This 5000-watt generator is in the sweet spot between power and versatility. Powered by a commercial-grade Honda iGX390 engine, it offers reliable performance and CO-Minder carbon monoxide detection for safety. Whether it’s for job sites or emergency power, this generator has you covered.
- Craftsman 5000/6350 Watt Portable Generator with CO Detection (CMXGGAS030731): An excellent value option with a Briggs and Stratton engine and carbon monoxide sensor. Available at Lowe’s for $799.
Best 3000 Watt Generator
Honda 3200W ultra-quiet inverter generator (EU3200i)
For smaller power needs, the Honda EU3200i is the best 3000-watt generator on the market. With its ultra-quiet operation and fuel efficiency, it’s perfect for RVs or residential jobsites. The Honda GX130 fuel-injected engine ensures easy two-step starts, and its compact size makes it highly portable. With the ability to run for up to 8.6 hours on a 1.2-gallon fuel tank, you’ll have reliable power wherever you go.
- Ryobi 3400/4000 Watt Portable Inverter Generator (RYi4022X): A great value option with 3400 watts of running power and 12 hours of runtime. Available at Home Depot for $799.
Best 2000 Watt Generator
Westinghouse 1800/2200 Watts (IGEN2200C)
When it comes to small generators, the Westinghouse IGEN2200C leads the pack. With 2200 watts of power and a weight of less than 50 pounds, this portable inverter generator offers the perfect balance of portability and functionality. Its ultra-low noise level, long runtime, and affordable price make it a top choice for various applications.
- Honda 1800/2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator (EU2200i): Powered by a Honda engine, this generator is known for its quiet operation. Available at Acme Tools for $1299.
- Champion 1850/2500-Watt Portable Inverter Generator (100889): A budget-friendly option that’s quiet and lightweight. Available at Lowe’s for $699.
Best Gas Generator
Honda 5500/7000W Electric Start EFI (EU7000iS)
If you’re looking for the best gas generator, look no further than the Honda EU7000iS. With its GX390 EFI engine and impressive power output of 5500 watts, this generator offers a winning combination for any power needs. It features push-button electric start, GFCI outlets and circuit breakers, parallel capability, and electronic fuel injection (EFI) for increased fuel efficiency. A CO-Minder version is also available for added safety.
Best Dual Fuel Generators
DuroMax 8000/10000W Dual Fuel Electric Start (XP10000DX)
Dual fuel generators offer the flexibility of using either gasoline or propane as fuel. The DuroMax XP10000DX is our top pick in this category. With a powerful output of 8,000 watts, it can handle various power demands. What sets it apart is its excellent runtime and dual fuel capability. So even if you can’t find gasoline during a storm, you can still rely on propane to keep your generator running.
Best Electric Starter Generator
Champion 8000W Electric Start Tri Fuel(100416)
Electric start generators make your life easier by eliminating the hassle of pulling cords. The Champion 8000W Electric Start Tri Fuel is our top recommendation in this category. With the flexibility to run on natural gas, propane, or gasoline, this generator strikes a perfect balance between job site and emergency power use. Its push-button electric start ensures reliable starts every time.
Best Quiet Generator
Honda 2800/3000 Watt Electric Start Inverter Generator (EU3000S1AG)
While generators are not known for being quiet, the Honda EU3000S1AG stands out as the best quiet generator in its class. Powered by a commercial-grade Honda GX200 engine, it combines power with whisper-quiet operation. With noise levels ranging from 50 to 57 decibels, it won’t disturb your peace. The generator also offers a long runtime and built-in CO-Minder to monitor carbon monoxide levels.
- Champion 1850/2500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator (100889): A great budget option with noise levels below 60 decibels and a lightweight design. Available at Lowe’s for $699.
Best Battery Inverter Generator
EGO Nexus 2000/3000 Watt Power Station
If you’re not in need of a solar charging option, the EGO Nexus Power Station is a versatile choice for a battery-powered inverter generator. With 2000 continuous watts and 3000 watts of surge power, it provides flexibility for a variety of needs. The unit can be powered by up to four externally connected EGO 56V batteries. It’s perfect for backup power and can even be used with EGO’s line of lawn care equipment.
Price: $549 (bare unit) or $1,499 (with four 56V 5.0Ah batteries)
If You Need More Onboard Capacity: Goal Zero Yeti 3000X 1500/3000 Watt Lithium Power Station
When it comes to quiet and emission-free power, a battery inverter generator is the way to go. The Goal Zero Yeti 3000X is our top pick in this category. With a massive 3075Wh capacity and the option to connect solar panels for charging, it offers excellent versatility. Keep in mind that battery capacity determines runtime, and this option comes at a higher price point.
Price: $3,499 (without faceplate)
Best Generator Brand
When it comes to generator brands, reliability is key. After careful consideration, we believe Honda is the best generator brand on the market. Their engines are known for their durability and reliability, making them a trusted choice for consumers and professionals alike. While Honda generators may come at a higher price point, they offer top-notch features and safety measures, including carbon monoxide detectors.
Buying a Portable Generator
If you’re considering buying a portable generator, there are several factors to keep in mind. Ask yourself these questions:
- How much power do you need?
- Which outlets are necessary for your appliances or home?
- Does the generator have low Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) for running sensitive electronics?
- Will you be using it for daily job site use or occasional emergency power?
- What fuel source suits your needs: gasoline, diesel, propane, natural gas, or solar?
- What is the runtime on a full tank of gas?
- Do you prefer a push-button electric start or recoil start?
- Is noise a concern?
- How can electronic fuel injection improve fuel efficiency and reduce maintenance issues?
- Do you need a generator with wheels for easy transportation?
- Would you benefit from a generator with a lifting hook for elevated placement?
More Helpful Generator Content
If you’re looking for more information on generators, we’ve got you covered. Check out our comprehensive guide on buying a portable generator for in-depth tips and insights. And for visual learners, take a look at the images below for a closer look at our top generator recommendations.
Remember, no matter the purpose or specific requirements you have for a generator, there’s a model out there that’s perfect for you. Choose wisely, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having reliable power whenever you need it.