Unlike many other gurus on the internet, we have actually tested (see videos below) most of the top rated generators. This goes for inverter generators, open frame generators and even portable power supplies. You can find our video tests & reviews below as well as embedded in individual report posts. We find that each and every unit is slightly different, and in our opinion, some provide more value for the money when compared to others. Our comparison tables make comparing similar units quick and easy.
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Types of Generators
Portable Generators are usually small, compact generators which you can take with you during travel. The most common output for these types of generators are 2000 watts which can power different small to medium sized appliances for about 8 hours. Most travel trailers or RVs opt to carry this style generator. You can only plug 1 or 2 items in a small portable generator. Portable generators are used during power outages and also during camping/RVing.
Home Generators are usually standby generators found permanently installed on the side/back of a house. They function as emergency standby generators when there is power outage. Home generators should have the capacity to supply electricity to the majority of the house, not just a few circuits. Bigger home generators can be installed outside where there is automatic transfer switch if the main electricity goes out. Many can run on natural gas, propane or diesel (dual or tri fuel). State of the art home generators will automatically kick on when the power goes out.
Diesel Engine Generators are designed for a small to medium sized business establishments. These are designed for heavy usage. Diesel units come in two types: two stroke and four stroke motors. Most diesel generators patronized by business owners are 4-stroke generators these are often quieter and more fuel efficient. Most of these come in either single or three phase power. Modern diesel generators are now generally quieter than the older versions.
As outlined above, these three types of generators are the most commonly used and highly rated by both the ordinary homeowner and the small-medium sized business owner. Portable generators are for those that plan to move frequently (i.e. dispersed campers) or for those that want a backup power for limited home appliances. The home generator is intended to power partial or an entire home during power outages.
Generator Purchasing Factors
- Power Output = rated watts can be as low as 1.5kW which can provide power to multiple “survival appliances” to 30 kW which can power a mid-sized to large home or business. The common emergency backup power should be able to provide 10kW. In addition to how much power is being output, its also worth considering HOW CLEAN that power is. Sensitive items like iPhones, Macbooks, etc cannot handle dirty (modified sine wave) power. Trust us on this…. this is how we know a Macbook Air battery cost $129.99.
- Run Time = How long do you need the generator running? Is 8 hours enough; or do you need the generator running 24 hours a day? Generator fuel consumption matters.
- Price = Price is a very big factor in deciding which generator to purchase. Most homeowners who need a backup power purchase portable generators instead of a home generator because of the budget. Although this is a common practice, portable generator sets will only be able to provide a few basic appliances electricity. Investing in a generator system can go for as low as $500 and as high as $2500+. Of course you can buy a cheap generator on sale, but is it worth it? Usually not, as these are Chinese made generators which haven’t been built as robust as say a Yamaha, Honda or Westinghouse.
- Noise = Second to price, noise is usually one of the biggest deciding factors in purchasing a power supply. Camping next to a rattletrap is not the most enjoyable. Diesel generators tend to be noisier than other types of generator but are more reliable when in terms of giving uninterrupted power. You should consider where you will place your generator so not to make your neighbors hate you for noise pollution.
- Portability = Will you be lugging a generator in and out of a pickup bed? What about in and out of a travel trailer storage hatch. For example, we tried moving a Westinghouse 4500 in and out of a travel trailer pass through storage and it got old QUICK. We now leave it in the pickup truck and even still this is a workout. If you want something that is truly portable, you should be content with the basic generator that can supply electricity for “survival” appliances.
- Reliability = Of course when investing a couple hundred dollars, you have to be sure that the product you are buying is of quality. Some generators which may be cheaper because they are made in China can perform well, but in about 3 months to a year can you rely on these? You do not want your house/RV/Travel Trailer burning up because of a generator set which is substandard. When it comes to which factor is most important to consider, it is the reliability of your gen set. A generator that is unreliable is useless when the power goes out and it won’t run.
Choosing a generator for your home or business totally depends on your preference, budget and need. Do not shorthand yourself when purchasing something which is essential for your home or business. Let Generator Power Source help you make the more intelligent investment!
Top Generators for the Money
In accordance with the purchasing factors outlined above, these are the most popular choices for the money. We have included a little bit of everything, portable, open frame, diesel, etc. Just about every generator on this site has its’ own individual in depth report.
If you’ve made it this far down, you know we are all about value for the money. Westinghouse offers fantastic performance for the money. Many folks have emailed and commented on our YouTube videos questioning the longevity and reliability of Westinghouse. To which, we usually reply, that TWO Westinghouse generators can be purchased for roughly the same amount of money and many “name brand” units. Needless to say, we have been really impressed with the noise, power output and fuel consumption of not only the 2,200 but the 2,500 and 4,500 as well.
- Cost Effective
- Super Quiet
- Parallel Capable
- Easy Set Up
Who Should Buy A Westinghouse? The Westinghouse is for the value seeker. Who isn’t these days? Now, it’s not a Honda or a Yamaha, but as previously outlined, the price is right. For the money, this is a top choice for a portable inverter generator which is parallel capable. It is also worth noting that Westinghouse has been around for a LONG time, and their superior customer service is reflective of this.
The Yamaha EF2000iS 2,000 Watt 79cc OHV 4-Stroke Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator gets the #2 spot because of its portability. Although it won’t give you maximum wattage output, it is definitely the most portable choice and reliable. This model has been trusted by campers and RV’ers for years. More importantly, IF the unit were to encounter problems, Yamaha service centers are widespread across the USA.
- Ultra Light weight
- TwinTech technology
- Noise Reduction
- Fuel Efficient
- User friendly operation
Who should buy the Yamaha? This is for the individuals which are always on the go. The 2000 watt is enough to power most travel trailer and camping needs. This is also one of the most quiet units making it suitable for National & State Park Campgrounds. Read Our Full Yamaha Report Here⇒
The Champion 3,400 is one of the most versatile generators we have tested. Not only does this generator run on gasoline, but it also runs on propane, making it a Dual Fuel Generator. This is an impressive feature for those in RVs and Travel Trailers. Now to be fair, when running on propane the unit is not as efficient as gasoline, but having the option to do so is key. Almost all RVs and Travel Trailers have one, if not two, propane tanks on board. Therefore, fuel should always be available for this unit. The wheels and handle make transporting a breeze.
- Quiet Operation
- Light wieght
- 2 year warranty
- Inverter Technology for economy mode
- User friendly
Who should buy Champion Power? This unit offers a multitude of uses especially for those who RV/camp because it can run off of dual fuel. If you are very particular about the noise, this generator set is for you. Lastly, the fact that this unit can be paralleled makes it even more attractive. Read Our Full Champion Power Report Here⇒
The Pro-Series GENSD7 7,000 Watt 9 HP 418 CC is the top rated diesel generator system because it is one of the most affordable diesel set on the market. Although still expensive as compared to gas powered generators, this is a top rated diesel generator because of the power it can supply. Construction sites definitely benefit greatly from a generator set like this.
- Heavy Duty Build
- Reliable Power Supply
- Easy operation
- EPA Approved
Who should buy the Pro Series? It is recommended for people who have construction sites, small businesses which need 24/7 electricity, and big homes which power large appliances. It is really not advisable to transport it from one place to another because of the size and weight but it is recommended as standby generator set for power outages. Read Our Full Pro Series Report Here⇒
The Westinghouse WH7500E Portable Generator takes the number 5 spot because of its’ run time. Westinghouse generator sets can run up to 14 hours on a full tank. Under a 50% load the Westinghouse can provide up to 12 hours of continuous power supply. Keep in mind that an open frame generator like this is going to be much louder when compared to an inverter generator like the Westinghouse 2200.
- 12 hour run time
- Quiet Operation
- 4 outlets for use
- 3 year warranty
- Electrical overload protection
Who should buy Westinghouse? As seen in many of our videos, Westinghouse has quickly become one of out favorites. Westinghouse provides great value for the money. For those that place high importance on value for the money, Westinghouse is a solid choice. Read Our Full Westinghouse Report⇒
This is one of the most affordable generator sets on the market. The size is perfect for portability, but the price is definitely its most influential purchase factor. Keep in mind that this is an open frame generator meaning it will be significantly louder than its inverter generator counterparts.
- Light Weight
- User friendly operation
- Electric Key Start
Who should buy the DuroMax? It is recommended for people who are tight in their budget but still need a solid standby generator set for their home or small business. Instead of buying the more expensive generator sets, try out this gen set which is affordable, portable and yet reliable. Read Our Full DuroMax Report⇒
Before deciding on a unit, be sure to read our reviews and watch our videos. We try to do our best to provide as much information as possible. Each unit has its’s own unique pros and cons. We will continually update this website with new information and testing results to help readers make an informed decision.