When it comes to portable power, there are few solutions that can match inverter generators. These devices have emerged as a superior alternative to the traditional generators that were prone to making a lot of noise, consuming a staggering amount of fuel, and being unable to provide clean power to all your sensitive electronic devices. Whether it is camping in remote areas, tailgating, or hitting the road with an RV, an inverter generator is your best bet for a dependable source of power. To help you understand how these devices function and what to expect from them, we have compiled a list of the best inverter generator on the market today.
Things to consider before buying
If you don’t have any prior experience with generators, you should take the time to understand some of their key features and characteristics. Neglecting to do so can result in getting a model that is completely at odds with what you need. To ensure that you are getting the right inverter generator, here are the main factors that you should be aware of before making an order:
Type of application
This is the first thing that you need to consider before buying an inverter generator. Not all generators are suited for every application and using a model for something that it is not designed for can result in an inability to provide ample power, or in the worst case scenario, irreparably damaging some of your essential appliances. There are main three applications that generators are typically used for; as an emergency power source in your home in the case of a power outage, a portable power provider when you are traveling in an RV, and as electricity source that keeps your devices running while camping. Each of these applications requires a different type of inverter generator with a specific set of characteristics and features.
The ideal generator for home use: Most power outages are only temporary and your inverter generator will probably only be needed for a couple of hours at the longest. Furthermore, the typical home appliances that you will need to power are not exactly the most demanding when it comes to power consumption, therefore a small 1000 watts unit is more than capable of handling the task.
The ideal generator for RV use: Going on the road in an RV often involves traveling long distances with most of your essential appliances. Additionally, you will also have to power several entertainment devices on top of your regular home units. This requires a substantial amount of power and the small 1000 watts generators just won’t suffice. In this case, it is advisable to opt for a generator that can run at a minimum of 2000 watts, that’s why we have reviewed some of the best 2000 watt inverter generators. You should also consider going with 2 inverter generators that are designed to operate in tandem with one another.
The ideal generator for camp use: Unlike traveling in an RV, camping generally lasts only a couple of days and does not involve taking most of your essential appliances with you. In this case, a small 1000 Watt generator that can power small devices will do the job just fine. The key here is to opt for the lightest possible inverter generator since portability is the most important attribute in this situation.
While inverter generators are generally more fuel efficient than conventional generators, this does not mean that it is the same across the board. The difference in gas tank size and overall weight of the unit plays a significant role in determining fuel efficiency. In other words, you are going to have to find a middle ground between a longer run time and portability.
The importance of this factor will vary depending on the situation. For example, if you are staying in a remote cabin and want a generator that can provide the longest possible run time, then portability will have to take a back seat to a bigger gas tank. On the other hand, if you are camping or are planning to move a lot from place to place, then you will need the lightest possible generator for convenient and easy on-the-go usage.
Regardless of how you are planning to use the generator, low noise levels are an invaluable quality that you should always consider. This is especially true when you are using your inverter generator in close proximity to your neighbors. Noise is measured in decibels and is represented in dB. While there are no set rules for what is the ideal level, it is generally advisable to go for a model that has a rating lower than 60 decibels. Go over the specs of the unit and check if it verifies this condition before proceeding with the purchase.
A clean output is one of the main qualities that differentiate inverter generators from traditional ones. This is what allows you to power sensitive equipment such as small computers, tablets, and mobile phones without worrying about the impact of current fluctuations. However, some of the larger and more powerful inverter generators that are specifically designed to power heavy appliances have been unable to provide a perfectly clean output for smaller devices. If you are going with a large generator, check some user reviews to verify if it is capable of handling sensitive equipment.
If you have never used a generator before, you should get a unit that is easy to use and one that preferably comes with some features that enhance its practicality and convenience. Some of these features include low oil shut off, a low gas shut off, and a gas meter.
What are the benefits of using an inverter generator instead of a conventional one?
Over the past few years, inverter generators have swept the market and are projected to slowly replace traditional generators in the near future. Their efficiency, durability, and ability to deliver a consistent performance have been hailed as a game-changer in an industry that has been stagnant for decades. Here’s an overview of what inverter generators have to offer compared to their older counterparts:
- They provide a consistent power output: The secret to this consistent power lies in the precision of the inverter technology that ensures a more streamlined and uninterrupted conversion from mechanical power to electrical power. To put it shortly, the power that you are getting from an inverter generator is comparable to the one that you get directly from an outlet. There are very few fluctuations of electrical current and your devices are powered in a smooth manner at all times.
- They are significantly smaller: Compared to conventional generators, inverter generators are slimmer and more compact despite being more powerful. As we have previously discussed, a smaller unit is ideal if you need to move around a lot with your generator.
- They are more fuel efficient: One of the major innovations that came with inverter generators is the way fuel consumption is handled. The flaw in traditional generators was the fact that they had to run at full speed the whole time that the device was on. This led to a high and consistent fuel consumption that was not exactly reflective of how the power was used. Inverter generators, on the other hand, have the capacity to adjust the speed in accordance with the amount of power that is being used for a given application.
- They are quieter than conventional generators: Since inverter generators don’t run at full speed the whole time, it is only natural that their noise levels are substantially lower. Additionally, a lot of high-end models come equipped with noise-canceling properties that further reduce the noise.
- They can be connected to other generators: Parallel capability is another game-changing feature that was introduced by inverter generators. Rather than getting a large generator that is hard to move and use for light applications, you can get two compatible mid-sized inverter generators that can be combined to generate more wattage and amperage. The parallel capability is the perfect solution if you have constantly to switch between light applications and heavy applications.
Best Inverter generator reviews
1 – Honda EU2000I 2000 Watt Portable
- 2000 watts, 120V
- Ideal for TV/DVD, satellite, fridge, coffee pot, and more
- Super quiet
- Easy to carry
The Honda EU2000i is a complete unit that has all the attributes of a high-end inverter generator. It is able to provide a consistent level of performance and is the ideal option for anyone who wants a device will last for a long time. While the price might seem a little bit excessive at first glance, we can confidently assure you that the intrinsic value for EU2000i far exceeds the price point. Upon close inspection, one of the first things that you will notice about this model is its remarkable sturdiness. All the essential components are made from high-quality materials and the overall build quality is simply immaculate. More impressively, this durable construction did not come at the expense of compactness and efficient design.
When it comes to performance, the Honda does not disappoint. The generator has the capacity to run for almost ten hours at 25% load without consuming a lot of fuel. In fact, the cost that is associated with running the generator is less than $1 per hour, a rate that is substantially lower than what the competition can offer. Furthermore, the generator hardly produces any noise, even when operating at full capacity. Needless to say, it is one of the best portable inverter generators that you could find on the market today.
- The generator boasts a robust construction and is extremely durable
- The design is quite compact and efficient
- The unit has very low maintenance requirements
- The fuel efficiency of the motor is tremendous
- It is a backed by a great 3-year warranty
- It is designed to handle surge load currents
- The price is simply too high for people on a small budget
- The carbs tend to get blocked from time to time
2 – YAMAHA EF2000ISV2 PORTABLE INVERTER
Yamaha is a household name that needs no introduction. The company is seemingly involved in every niche of the electronics industry and all their products come with a stamp of quality and durability that Yamaha has deservedly amassed over the decades. This particular generator is a perfect example of that quality and high level of performance. It is equipped with the company’s latest proprietary technology that is intended to boost the output of the generator in an efficient manner. Moreover, the engine is highly durable and the fuel efficiency of the unit is excellent.
A brief look at the specs of this generator is enough to convince you of this unit’s performance and quality. Some of the most notable features include the impressive peak power that reaches 2000W, the excellent heat isolation of the engine, the smart throttle feature, and the remarkably effective muffler that reduces noise levels.
Like most generators from Yamaha, the EF2000ISV2 is incredibly compact and light, making it ideal for a wide range of outdoor applications such as camping and hunting. The device’s ability to connect to the output of the car makes it the perfect on-the-go generator. Besides its capacity to power regular home appliances, the generator is equally effective when it comes to handling more delicate electronic devices such as small computers and tablets.
- Its lightweight design allows for more portability
- The generator includes a fuel economy mode that reduces fuel consumption
- The noise levels are low for the price point
- It works well with the electric output of the car
- It is ideal for powering delicate devices such as computers
- The generator is not powerful enough to handle heavy and industrial-grade equipment.
- The oil fill is hard to access
3 – WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
- Extremely quiet operation is comparable to the sound of a normal conversation...
- EPA III and CARB Compliant 79.7 cc 4-stroke OHV engine produces 2000 surge watts...
- Great for campgrounds, construction sites, tailgates and power outages
- Produces clean power to safely operate and prevent damage to sensitive...
This is easily the best option for people on a tight budget. Despite its affordable price, this portable generator is quite powerful and boasts an impressive maximum wattage that you will have a hard time finding elsewhere in this price range. The sheer number of features and attributes that come with WEN 56200i make it hard to separate from some of the more expensive high-end alternatives. That’s why it is considered one of the best portable inverter generator. In fact, the only thing that differentiates the two is the fact that WEN was able to cut costs by outsourcing the engine development process to a third party whereas other manufacturers allocate make their own engines in-house. In other words, you are getting high-end quality at an entry-level price point.
While it is far from being the most powerful option on the market, its versatility allows it to operate in a multitude of settings and applications that range from campgrounds to construction sites. The noise levels that it generates are within the range that is recommended by the US department of health and human services and the fuel economy is decent thanks to the Eco-Mode that adjusts fuel consumption in accordance with the particularities of each application.
- The WEN 56200i is undoubtedly the best inverter generator for the money
- The Eco-Mode is effective when it comes to adjusting reducing fuel consumption
- The maximum wattage of the engine is quite decent for the price range
- The lightweight design maximizes portability
- The noise levels are fairly low
- The generator includes a sturdy and comfortable handle
- The WEN 56200i does not come with a fuel valve
- Checking the oil necessities the partial dissembling of the generator
4 – Champion Power 75531i
- Quick Touch Panel – Access all your controls in one spot, plus Champion’s...
- Ultra-Quiet Operation – 58 dBA is perfect for RVs, tailgating, your next...
- Clean Power for Sensitive Electronics – RV Ready with a 120V 30A RV, plus two...
- Smart Economy Mode – Can reduce the electrical load, providing quieter...
This inverter generator is primarily designed for use with RVs. It boasts the high maximum wattage that is necessary to power heavy appliances such as air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, and microwaves. This unit connects directly to the RV without the need for any sort of adapter and it can deliver the high output that regular 2000 watt options are incapable of offering. It provides clean power that is perfectly suited for a wide array of sensitive electronics like computers and other small gadgets. On top of its great performance, the 75531i has all the attributes that you expect to see in the best inverter generators. The engine is relatively quiet despite its immense power and fuel efficiency is more than adequate thanks to the smart economy mode that reduces the electrical load.
One of the major selling points of the Champion Power75531iis the generous warranty that is offered by the manufacturer and the responsive customer support that is available to you at all times. The support team is comprised from a team of highly qualified experts that can solve any issues in a quick time and walk you through every single step of a simple DIY fix when you need one.
- This inverter generator has an efficient ergonomic design
- It is equipped with a great air cooling system
- It boasts a durable cast iron construction
- The device comes with built-in carrying handles
- The economy mode is very practical
- The generator is suited for a wide range of applications
- The wheels make rolling the unit easy and effortless
- The gas tank is rather small compared to other models in this price range
- The noise levels might be too high for some people
5- WESTINGHOUSE IGEN2200 PORTABLE INVERTER GENERATOR
- 1800 Rated Watts and 2200 Peak Watts at Less Than 3% THD - Weighs Only 46 Lbs. -...
- Great Choice for Home Use as an Emergency Backup in a Power Outage - Strong...
- Extremely Quiet, Extremely Fuel Efficient: as Low as 52 dBA Noise Output and 12...
- Parallel Capable - Combine Your iGen2200 with the Westinghouse WH2200iXLT,...
This is another competitively priced option on our list. The Westinghouse iGen2200 is a well-designed unit that features a number of interesting attributes relative to its price. It is powered by a good engine that has peak wattage of 2200 at less than 3% THD. While this might not be enough to handle heavy applications, the motor has ample power to run the vast majority of your home appliances in case of a power outage. The power that is produced by the generator is stable and clean enough to ensure a smooth operation of sensitive electronics such as computers, televisions, and mobile phones. Moreover, the unit is incredibly light and features a built-in suitcase-style handle, making it easy to carry and store.
For a mid-range product, the Westinghouse IGEN2200 does not disappoint when it comes to the variety of features that add to the generator’s performance. One such feature is the possibility to connect the generator to a compatible unit from the iGen series. This adds a significant amount of available wattage and amperage and enables you to run the large appliances that the IGEN2200 was not originally designed for. Overall, this option meets all the baseline requirements for a durable and high-performing generator and provides great value for the money.
- It is equipped with asymmetrical fans
- The dual quiet mufflers are very effective in reducing noise levels
- The generator can be connected to a compatible unit from the same manufacturer
- The lightweight and compact design facilitates portability
- It is equipped with a built-in suitcase-style handle that makes it easy to carry
- The customer support is responsive and helpful
- It does not have wheels for more convenient rolling
- The generator is not powerful enough to run heavy appliances
Maintenance Tips of an Inverter Generator
The only key to having your inverter generator last long is maintaining it. Even if you got the best quality generator as we have listed them here, it will not guarantee you long lasting effect and use if you fail to maintain the device.
The manufacturers’ manual will always have some maintenance tips that you can follow to keep your generator running. Some manufacturers will not accept your warranty if the failure of the generator is as a result of poor maintenance. So how do you maintain it? Here are some tips:
- Changing the engine oil
By using an oil dip stick, you can easily know the amount of oil you have in your machine. This should be a routine practice whenever you are using your generator. The manual has the process of changing the oil which is easy to under. Having dirt oil will make the machine inefficiency and most probably, it will produce a lot of noise and smoke.
- Cleaning the spark arrestor
This is an important part of an inverter generator that usually prevents flammable materials from being emitted from the generator. Before you perform any maintenance to the spark arrestor, ensure that you have allowed the muffler to cool down completely. Carry out this maintenance after every month. It is advisable that you remove the carbon deposits on its surface but if the deposit is much, then you should consider replacing the spark arrestor.
- Adjusting the spark plug
Whenever you use your inverter generator for at least 100 hours/6 months of use, try to adjust the spark plug. You will need to replace the plug after every one year for efficiency. However, sometimes the spark plug may get damage and show some signs of wear and tear. In such a case, you don’t have to wait for 200 hours to replace it; you need to replace it immediately.
- Regularly checking the air filter
After every 3 months, you are required to clean the air filter nevertheless, regular checkups, should be done before every use of the generator. In cleaning the filter, you can use warm water and some detergent. Then let it dry completely before immersing it in the engine oil. You are supposed to squeeze the oil out before putting it back to its place. However, if the air filter is damaged, you don’t need to clean; it is advisable you replace it.
After reading these inverter generator reviews, you should have a clear idea of what is the best inverter generator for you. Each of the models that we reviewed has managed to meet our strict requirements for durability, consistent performance, and great functionality. It is up to you to pick the one you like the most based on your budget and the type of application that you plan to use the generator for.
Last update on 2020-01-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API