Disclaimer: All claims are strictly my personal opinion. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases.
Power outages are never a good thing. They tend to damage critical appliances and if the outages are long, they can harm perishable items in your refrigerators.
It is always good to be prepared for such outages. You never know when the electricity provider is planning to do an upgrade to the grid or when the next hurricane might occur.
So, to make our lives easier below is a list of the top ten portable generators that can help you go through those unbearable blackouts. Also, if you are unsure of what you need to do to buy one, you can always check out the buying guide at the end.
Here are my recommended products picked out through amazon. You would be interested in depending on your budget…
10 Best Portable Generator for Home Power Outage Reviews
Here is my list of the Best Portable Generator for Home Power Outage in 2021;
1. Pulsar Portable Quiet Remote Start Inverter Generator
- Starting Watts: 4,500
- Running Watts: 3,700
- Weight: 108 pounds
- Fuel: Gas
Simple and beautiful, the Pulsar G450RN is probably the best portable generator out there that offers clean electricity without making much noise. It is an all-in-one solution that ensures your peace of mind.
With a long-lasting 4-stroke 224-cc OHV engine, the generator is able to provide 4,500 watts of starting power and 3,700 of running power. This means you can easily power up small-to-medium appliances to get the essentials running.
Plus, you can get a run-time of 15 hours when the generator is running at half the load. Of course, the fuel tank needs to be full for this. And the tank can hold up to 3.2 gallons of fuel at a time.
Not only is the generator portable due to its sturdy non-flat wheels and a fold-down handle, but it is also incredibly quiet the decibel rating of this generator stands at 63 dBA, only slightly higher than the noise of a normal conversation.
You also get a lot of options to plug in various kinds of devices through the numerous outlets that are featured on the panel. That is, the generator has two AC 120V outlets, one 30-amp RV outlet, one 12V DC 8-amp outlet, and one 5V DC USB outlet.
In addition, starting the generator is simply a cinch. This is because the generator gives you three start-up options. One is the traditional recoil start, the other is the electric start, and the last one is the remote electric start.
With remote start, you can easily use the key fob to ignite the generator’s engine even if you are 80 feet away!
Moreover, the generator comes with inverter technology so this means, it is fuel efficient. And lastly, if you feel the power of a single unit is a bit less, you can always use the generator’s parallel connection kit to plug in another Pulsar G450RN and run both the units together to get more power.
2. Craftsman Portable Generator Powered by Briggs & Stratton
- Starting Watts: 7200
- Running Watts: 5750
- Weight: 179 pounds
- Fuel: Gas
Not all generators provide as exceptional a performance as the generators by Craftsman. Although a bit expensive, they are still one of the premium quality generators out there.
Featuring a state-of-the-art CO detection technology that shuts down the machine whenever CO levels are high, the generator comes equipped with a powerful Briggs & Stratton 420-cc OHV engine that is sure to provide years of service without any trouble.
With a fuel tank that can hold up to 8.5 gallons of fuel, the generator gives 12 hours of run-time at 50% load, while providing 5750 running watts and 7200 starting watts.
The panel of the generator has two 120V 20-amp duplex outlets and one 120/240V 30-amp outlet. Each outlet has a rubber covering to ensure everything is safe and protected.
Finally, for ease of portability, the Craftsman generator comes with high-quality wheels and a handle, which can be used to easily carry the generator from place to place.
3. Gentron Gas Portable Generator for Home Emergency
- Starting Watts: 10,000
- Running Watts: 8000
- Weight: 241 pounds
- Fuel: Gas
If you are looking for an affordable generator that will carry out your heavy-duty needs, then the Gentron GG10020C is just the right option for you. Not only does it give you ample power, but it also offers a long-lasting companionship.
The generator’s 15 HP, 420-cc 4-stroke OHV engine can easily provide 10,000 watts at start-up and 8000 watts while running. This is indeed more than enough to power up heavy appliances during emergencies.
And it doesn’t matter how long a power outage might last, as the generator can give you up to 11 hours of run-time at 50% load. This is when the fuel tank is at full capacity with 8 gallons of fuel.
Plus, there’s absolutely no need of worrying about how you would be starting up the generator. This is because it has an easy electric push start option. Of course, as a backup, there’s the recoil start option as well.
Additionally, you get an incredible amount of versatility in terms of connecting appliances. This is due to the number of available outlets on the panel.
In particular, there’s one 12V 8.3-amp DC outlet, four 110V outlets, one 240V 30-amp twist-lock outlet, and one 120V 30-amp twist-lock outlet.
And to top it all off, the generator is CARB compliant which means it is environmentally-friendly.
4. Durostar Portable Generator for Home Power Outage
- Starting Watts: 4000
- Running Watts: 3300
- Weight: 94 pounds
- Fuel: Gas
The Durostar is indeed a renowned brand name all around the world when it comes to portable electric generators. Likewise, the Durostar DS4000S is nothing short of being marvelous and surely meets the high standards of quality set by Durostar.
Having been approved by both the EPA and CARB, the generator is exceptionally eco-friendly and delivers performance that is beyond perfection. It’s strong 208-cc 4-stroke engine gives you the peace and comfort you need when it comes to powering high-voltage appliances.
The running wattage of the generator stands at 3300, while the starting wattage value is 4000. This is enough to run things like refrigerators, air conditioners and other similar heavy appliances.
It features a durable fuel tank that can hold 3.9 gallons of fuel. And the generator itself is made out of strong metal which means that it will surely remain with you for years to come.
The generator’s panel comes with 2 120V 20-amp GFCI outlets and one 120/240V 30-amp outlet. The GFCI technology ensures that no appliance gets damaged due to sudden power surges.
Finally, the Durostar DS4000S comes equipped with a voltmeter and with the ability to shut itself down automatically whenever oil levels are low.
5. YAMAHA Gas Powered Portable Inverter for Home
- Starting Watts: 2000
- Running Watts: 1600
- Weight: 44.1 pounds
- Fuel: Gas
The Yamaha name surely brings a lot of nostalgia. The age-old manufacturer that has been supplying the world with outclass motorbikes, jet-ski’s and of course, portable generators.
The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is yet another marvel that is guaranteed to fulfill the purpose it is built for. You can rest assured that the generator is going to have your back whenever there is any kind of power outage or emergency.
Despite being incredibly lightweight weighing even less than 45 pounds and quiet having a decibel rating of 51.5 dBA at 25% load the generator is exceptionally powerful due to its long-lasting 79-cc, 4-stroke, OHV engine.
This allows the generator to easily give an output of 2000 surge watts and 1600 running watts enough to run things that are of critical importance during long power outages. In fact, you can get 10.5 hours of run-time at 25% load.
Also, with the Smart Throttle technology, the speed of the generator’s engine is automatically adjusted according to the load. This means the generator is not very expensive to operate since it helps save on fuel.
In addition, the generator comes equipped with a USFS approved spark arrestor which ensures that no harmful gases are emitted. This has caused the generator to be CARB approved.
And with two 120V AC outlets and an 8-amp 12V DC outlet, the generator offers great versatility in terms of connecting different types of appliances.
There’s a fuel gauge as well along with an oil-monitor that lets you constantly keep a check on oil and fuel levels. And the generator is equipped with an auto-decompression system that allows it to start up easily during cold weathers.
Lastly, the generator’s parallel connection facility allows you to connect another Yamaha EF2000iSv2. This allows you to get more power by having two of the same generators running in parallel.
6. Powermate Portable Gas Generator for Home
- Starting Watts: 4500
- Running Watts: 3600
- Weight: 113 pounds
- Fuel: Gas
Generator manufacturers are usually not too keen on having a beautiful design. But the Powermate P0081300 is surely an exception to this trend. With a sleek and smooth design, the generator comes out to be quite lightweight and easy to carry.
It has a sturdy 224-cc OHV engine that makes Powermate P0081300 the ultimate source of uninterrupted power, providing your house with sufficient electricity to start up all kinds of appliances.
It gives 4500 watts of starting power and 3600 watts of running power. Also, with a large durable fuel tank that can hold up to 5 gallons of fuel, the generator guarantees a run-time of 20 hours at 25% load.
In addition, starting up the generator is as simple as a push of a button quite literally! All you have to do is press the Engine Start/Stop button to cause ignition.
Finally, with a fuel gauge and an hour meter, along with the ability to shut down automatically when oil levels are low, the generator is pretty easy to maintain.
7. Champion Power Equipment Open Frame Inverter
- Starting Watts: 8750
- Running Watts: 7000
- Weight: 155.4 pounds
- Fuel: Gas
Whenever we hear of Champion Power Equipment, the first thing that often comes to mind is a heavy price tag. This is quite true. But rest assured that when it comes to Champion Power Equipment 100520, the price is indeed justified.
Equipped with inverter technology, the generator gives you an outstanding level of fuel efficiency, providing with ample savings on fuel costs.
But this is just the beginning.
With a 420-cc 4-stroke OHV engine, the generator easily provides 8750 starting watts and 7500 running watts. And not only this, but it is also able to give a run-time of 10.5 hours on a full 4.2 gallons of fuel.
Furthermore, it is exceptionally easy to start. Simply push the on/off button and the generator will be up and running. And you don’t have to worry about slow start-ups during cold weathers. The Cold Start technology in the generator lets you easily ignite the engine in no time.
In addition, you get as many as four 120V 20-amp GFCI household outlets, one 120/240V 30-amp locking outlet, and one 12V DC outlet.
And to close the deal, the generator provides clean power as it has a THD of less than 3%. There’s also an intelligence which lets you keep an eye on voltage levels, hours of run-time, and even frequency levels.
8. Compliant Portable Generator with CO Guard and RV Outlet
- Starting Watts: 4375
- Running Watts: 3500
- Weight: 126 pounds
- Fuel: Gas
With a futuristic and sleek design, the Briggs & Stratton S3500 surely makes it a point to stay ahead of the game. With a black and sliver frame, the aesthetics of this machine are truly breath-taking.
But design is not the only thing that will take you by surprise. Featuring a highly efficient 208-cc OHV engine that provides 4375 starting watts and 3500 running watts, the generator can conveniently power up critical appliances at your home without any kind of delay.
And with the state-of-the-art patented CO Guard technology, the generator shuts down automatically whenever the concentration of carbon monoxide exceeds a certain limit.
The generator is the appropriate choice if you are searching for something that lets you enjoy long hours of power during emergencies. This is because the S3500 gives you a run-time of 8 hours on 4 gallons of fuel.
Additionally, you can conveniently make use of the two 120V GFCI household outlets to power up household appliances. Also, if you want to go on a camping trip on your RV, then the S3500 has got you covered with its 120V RV outlet.
In the end, the generator has a power surge alternator that gives a short power boost to start heavy appliances and gives you the comfort and security you deserve.
9. WEN RV-Ready Portable Generator with Wheel Kit
- Starting Watts: 6000
- Running Watts: 5000
- Weight: 130 pounds
- Fuel Capacity: 3.4 gallons
The WEN GN6000 is indeed a value-for-money option when it comes to electric generators. With an affordable price and an efficient design, the generator is sure to provide your house with plenty of electricity when needed.
With WEN GN6000, you can get 6000 watts of starting power and 5000 watts of running power. This is definitely enough to power up appliances like fridges, televisions, air conditioners, etc.
The generator is especially useful during long power cuts since it can give a run-time of up to 7.5 hours at 50% load. It is able to do this when the fuel tank is full with 3.4 gallons of fuel.
And with its 272-cc OHV 4-stroke engine, the generator is sure to last long and provide an effective power supply without causing any sort of interruption.
But the best thing about this generator is that it comes with a 30-amp 120V/240V transfer switch. This means you can connect it to the main wiring of the house and power up most of the appliances at once.
This prevents you from the hassle of connecting one cord at a time for each appliance.
In addition, if you are someone who loves the outdoors and owns an RV, then the RV-ready 120V 30-amp outlet will make it extra convenient for you to have a safe and sound trip.
Finally, the generator features an easy electric push button start-up system that frees you from the trouble of pulling a cord every time you want to start the generator.
10. Westinghouse Portable Gas Powered Generator
- Starting Watts: 4650
- Running Watts: 3600
- Weight: 99 pounds
- Fuel: Gas
Not many brands can sustain their name and quality standards for so long. The Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment, however, is in a league of its own. Naturally then, the WGen3600v is nothing but a wonder to behold.
With a running wattage value of 3600 and a peak wattage of 4650, the generator is amazingly efficient and long-lasting, making it the perfect tool to provide power for both indoors and outdoors.
Featuring a 4-stroke 212-cc OHV engine, the generator is able to give a run-time of as much as 13.5 hours on 4 gallons of fuel! This is indeed quite a lot for a portable generator.
Plus, the generator is highly versatile as it offers a decent variety when it comes to receptacles. In other words, it has one 120V 20-amp duplex outlet, one RV-ready 120V 30-amp outlet and one 120V 30-amp outlet.
All the outlets have rubber coverings to protect the user from any kind of accident.
Finally, the generator comes with a lot of add-ons like an oil indicator that switches off the engine when oil levels are low, a tool kit, an oil funnel and user-friendly manual.
With so much choice, it is, without a doubt, quite difficult to choose a generator that is not only affordable but also fulfills all the power requirements of your home.
Products like generators are even trickier to get around due to their technical nature. Who’s to say what type of engine sits within the metal box. This makes buyers, especially those who are new, vulnerable to the witty tricks of unscrupulous sellers.
A good rule of thumb is to purchase a generator that already has a brand name attached. Of course, this is not just true for generators. We tend to buy branded things since we are usually sure of their premium quality.
But then again, quality brands don’t come cheap. And this can hit hard on your budget. So, it’s a question of balancing between the two.
This guide has been made to alleviate some of these complications. Here, you will find what are things that you need to look for when trying to buy a decent generator that can give you enough power during blackouts.
It is highly recommended that you go through this guide and make the most of it. With that, let’s see what are the factors that you need to consider when going out on a generator shopping spree!
Peak vs Rated Watts
With any generator, the primary thing that you need to account for is the power that the generator is able to produce. This is, after all, the main reason you are getting the generator for.
Almost every generator will have an associated peak watt value and a rated watt value. Sometimes, peak watts are also known as surge watts or starting watts, while rated watts can sometimes be referred to as running watts.
The idea behind these two ratings is quite simple. When appliances are switched off, they need a considerable amount of power to start. But once they are started, they need less power to keep running.
Watts that are responsible for starting up appliances are what is known as the starting watts of the generator. This will always be higher than running watts because of the fact mentioned above.
Of course, knowing what peak and rated watts are isn’t enough. You need to get a generator that offers you the right power rating. This means you will have to work out your house’s power needs. You will need to check what are the appliances that you need to power up during an outage.
Obviously, if you wish to power up an air conditioner or a refrigerator, then you will be needing a generator with a higher power rating that is meant for heavy-duty work.
The next major thing that you would want to consider is the generator’s engine. Indeed, it is the engine that makes the generator do what it does. But judging the effectiveness of the engine is perhaps the most complicated thing when buying a generator.
For starters, the engine is placed insider the generator’s body. So, it’s not easy to check the engine’s parts. Also, the quality of the engine can only be assessed by seeing it in action for some time.
So, to make things a bit easier, it is usually recommended to go for a strong brand name to stay on the safe side. And the best way is to get word-of-mouth for the generator that you are planning to purchase.
Apart from this, you should also be a bit familiar with some of the terms associated with the generator’s engine. This way, the seller will be aware that you are an informed buyer.
For starters, all generators usually have an OHV engine. OHV is short for Over-Head-Valve. This is a type of design which is used to make an engine. Due to its compact size and lower cost, the OHV engine is quite ideal for small machines.
You will also see that many generators will advertise having a 4-stroke engine. This simply indicates the way the engine works to generate power. Most generators have a 4-stroke engine.
Basically, an engine consists of a piston within a cylinder. The piston moves down within the cylinder to let the fuel and air mixture to flow into the cylinder and then moves up to build pressure so as to burn the fuel. The energy produced is then transferred to electrical energy.
In a 4-stroke engine, the piston works in 4 strokes intake stroke, compression stroke, power stroke and the exhaust stroke. Each stroke acts to ignite the engine and let out the exhaust.
There’s a 2-stroke engine as well which is lighter and faster. But it produces less power.
Finally, you will also see the letters in an engine’s specification. CC stands for cubic centimeters and measures the amount of fuel the engine uses at a time. The more CC an engine has, the more fuel it consumes.
The Start-Up System
Starting up a generator can be quite a hassle. Since generators work on an internal combustion engine, starting up a generator means you need to generate some sort of energy to cause ignition.
Generators help you achieve this in various ways. In particular, a generator may have a traditional recoil start option, an electric push button, or a remote key start option. Sometimes, a generator may have all three or any two.
A recoil start is the most inconvenient. This is because you have to pull a cord to make the engine rotate inside. This requires a lot of force. Also, the cord itself may get damaged.
In contrast, the electric push button system is a bit easier. All you have to do is push a button and the engine will start. Easier still is the remote key start. With this, you get a key fob, that you can use from a distance to start a generator.
But in both systems electric push button and key for the generator needs to have a battery within. Whenever you push the button or start with the key fob, a circuit system is prompted to close and this causes current to flow from the battery. This current then starts up the engine.
Of course, since a battery is involved, you will also need to have a charger along with it. So, one downside of the electric push button and the remote key start is that you will also need to make sure that the battery is durable and easily replaceable.
Batteries of certain brands can be hard to find in the market.
Run-time is a factor that most people either tend to miss out on or misunderstand. You will see generators advertising that the run-time they offer is 12 hours or even 19 hours. But here’s the catch it’s usually on just 25% to 50% of the load.
Also, you will need to have your fuel tank full before you can achieve this run-time. And so, it is important that you ensure you don’t fall for such tricks. Always ask the load to which the stated run-time corresponds. Also, ensure the fuel requirements.
Finding durable portable generators that can be relied on during long power outages, is without a doubt, not so easy. There are simply a number of things that you need to take care of.
The buying guide above is in no way exhaustive. There are true, many other things that if explained here, will exceed the limit a human brain could grasp. However, the guide is there to outline the essentials.
But as an extra, you should also consider things like how easy it is to maintain the generator, or how effectively it uses fuel, and whether it can run on more than one fuel type.
You may also love to read these my reviews and the buying guides…
Are there heavy-duty generators that are quiet?
Not necessarily. Most heavy-duty generators have a decibel rating of above 60 dBA usually between the range of 70-78 dBA. So, they can get a bit loud.
Do all generators need to be CARB compliant?
They need to be CARB compliant if you want to use them in California. This is because CARB compliance is mandatory in California when it comes to using machines like generators that emit harmful gases.
What is a V-Twin engine?
A V-twin engine is simply an engine which has two cylinders instead of one. There can be a V-Twin OHV engine. This means the engine has two cylinders and two pistons. Due to this, V-Twin engines have more capacity and produce more power.