The Best Portable Inverter Generator – 2019
We fail to understand the value of things unless they are gone, this is particularly true in case of electricity.
It is often during power outages or power failure that we realize how important electricity is and the extent of our reliance on it.
Thankfully, because of portable generators we can restore electricity even when the utility energy supply fails.
Our favourite generator this year is the DuroStar DS4000S - this generator is great value considering it's 3300W constant, 4000W peak output. The DS4000S provides enough power to run several appliances in the event of a power cut, though it's not best suited to electronics such as tablets or PCs. If you need to run small electronic devices from a generator, our recommendation is the Westinghouse iGen1200.
Here are 5 of the most popular portable generators available today:
The Best Portable Inverter Generator In 2019 - Comparison
#1 - Item DuroStar DS4000S - The Best Portable Inverter Generator
Our favorite portable generator - powerful & with excellent run time
The DuroStar DS4000S lives up to its name in the sense that it is extremely durable.
With a gas tank of four gallons capacity, this one offers a run time of up to eight hours.
It is EPA approved and features the EZ-Pull recoil start.
This portable gas-generator automatically shuts itself off when the fuel is low and offers 3000 watts continuous or up to 4000 watts for a short time, making it perfect for all sorts of usage.
Be aware that although it's EPA approved, this model is not CARB-compliant, so is unable to be used in California.
This generator comes with a 1 year warranty from the manufacturer.
- Plenty of Power – With 4,000 peak watts and 3,300 running watts, this unit can handle heavy loads, from lights and a refrigerator to a home air conditioner and high amperage power tools
- Powerful Engine – The DuroStar 208cc OHV engine is a workhorse that provides plenty of power to handle multiple jobs, from powering high voltage appliances to heavy duty power tools
- Low Oil Shutoff – Protects your investment by automatically shutting the generator off when it senses that the oil is low
#2 - Yamaha EF2000iSv2
At first glance, the Yamaha EF2000iS looks like a mini blue suitcase but it is much more than just a cute-looking device!
It is CARB compliant and comes with PWM or Pulse Width Modulation control.
Like most suitcase-style generators, it offers greatly reduced noise levels compared to traditional open-frame generators, but the trade-off is a much less powerful generator for the same price, or a much higher cost for the same power level.
You can enjoy improved fuel economy and lessened noise thanks to its Smart Throttle technology which modifies the engine speed on the basis of the load.
It offers a maximum of 2000 watts, but for continuous running, you shouldn't load it up with more than 1600 watts of appliances.
Yamaha back this generator with a 3 year warranty.
- 1600 watt rated AC output, 2000 watt maximum AC output, 13.3/16.7 amps @ 120V
- Super-quiet muffler with USFS-approved spark arrestor - 51.5 dBA at 1/4 load
- Smart Throttle varies engine speed based on load - improves fuel economy and reduces noise
#3 - DuroMax XP4400E
Lugging a portable-generator to places can sometimes make you break a sweat because of the excessive weight, which is why it is wise to opt for a portable generator with optional wheels like the DuroMax XP4400E.
It is also easy to start this generator thanks to its electric key start feature.
The four gallon gas tank of the generator ensures that you can get a maximum run time of eight hours.
This powerful generator offers 3500 watts continuous, or 4400 watts surge.
DuroMax provide a 1 year warranty with the XP4400E.
- Your purchase includes One DuroMax XP4400E 4400 watt 7-Hp RV Grade Gas Generator with Electric Start, One oil funnel, One spark plug wrench, tools set, wheels and handle kit, DC charging...
- Portable Generator dimensions: 24” L x 17" W x 17" H. Product weight: 127 lbs
- Specifications: Noise level – 69 dB. Fuel tank capacity (GASOLINE) – 3.96 gallons
#4 - Westinghouse iGen1200
Weighing in at a petite 33lb, the Westinghouse iGen1200 is the lightest generator we have reviewed. Not surprisingly, it is also the least powerful, at 1000 watts continuous / 1200 watts peak.
Most power tools, not to mention some hairdryers and kettles will be too much for this generator.
However, if you have smaller power requirements, such as lighting, small electronic devices, small TVs etc, the iGen1200 will be more than adequate.
Its full sine-wave output is perfect for sensitive electronic devices that less sophisticated generators cannot power.
The engine control management adjusts the engine speed to match the load on the generator, so you get more running time from each gallon of gas, as well as fewer emissions.
Westinghouse back this generator with a 2 year warranty.
- 1000 Rated Watts and 1200 Peak Watts at Less Than 3% THD – Weighs Only 33 Lbs. – Gas Powered – Two 120V 20 Amp Outlets
- Great Choice for Home Use as an Emergency Backup in a Power Outage – Strong Enough to Run Most Home Essentials
- Extremely Quiet, Extremely Fuel Efficient: As Low as 52 dBA Noise Output and Up to 9 Hours of Run Time on a 0. 8 Gallon Gas Tank – Features “Economy Mode” for Maximum Fuel Efficiency
#5 - Green-Power America GPD4000
Given its low price, you'd expect a few compromises. The biggest two issues are weight and noise - though it's not the heaviest generator here, it's still hefty at 96lb, but the noise at 76dB is the biggest concern.
The GPD4000 is by far the loudest generator in this review, and the noise level (similar to freeway traffic 50 feet away) may limit what you can actually use it for.
Having said that, if you're looking for a generator for emergency backup power, the noise level may not be your highest priority - when the power goes out, the noise of the generator will be welcome!
- Green-Power America GPD4000W Consumer Select Series Recoil Start Generator - 4,000-Watt is designed for home, emergency, and recreational use. It offers 4,000-Starting Watts and...
- Runs for up to 8.5 hours at 50% load on full 4-gal. Fuel tank
- Features 4, 000-starting watts and 3, 000-running watts
Occasionally faults are discovered after a product has gone on sale, usually requiring the product to be recalled by the manufacturer.
There were no recalls listed for any of the generators mentioned here at the time of writing (January 2019). However, it's always a good idea to check the latest information at the Consumer Product Safety Commission website before buying any large, expensive or potentially dangerous product.
Do you own any of the generators mentioned here? Did you choose a different one? Let us know in the comments!