The 6 Best Generators for Power When All Else Fails

Generator

Oh no, that crazy storm left you without power for the third time this month. I bet your phone is dying too. But here you are still trying to search for the best generators, so you don't have to go without Netflix, air conditioning, or a way to charge that dying phone -- again.

You can also use the best generators to power your RV or even help power your tailgate at that big sporting event you're going to.

Finding the best generators is essential, but it's also essential to understand how a generator works and why they can come in so handy.

Comparison Table


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Generators 101


Generator

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By definition, a generator is a device that converts mechanical energy into electricity. The source of energy can come from a variety of turbines or fossil fuels such as diesel or gasoline.

What to do with a generator

Because generators create electricity, they can be used to run pretty much everything in your house. That means that when your power goes out, you can go about your normal day-to-day life if you purchase a generator that provides enough wattage.

Obviously, you would have to have enough fuel to keep the generator running as well. Generators can also be used in camping scenarios and even on construction sites.

How do they work?

To delve into how a generator works, we are going to have to get a little technical.

Way back in the early 1830s, a scientist by the name of Michael Faraday developed the principle of electromagnetic induction.

To put it simply, Faraday discovered that the movement of electric charges through an electrical conductor in a magnetic field could cause an electrical current.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Generator


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Not all generators are created equal. So on our hunt for the best generators, we should be mindful of what we need to use it for.

What are you using it for?

Knowing what you want to power is the number one thing you should think about before buying a generator.

Light bulb

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For me, the most important things to keep running during a power outage are the refrigerator, deep freezer, and our well pump. A couple of outlets to charge my devices would be pretty high on my list too.

Generators can vary in size. Because of this, it's vital to make sure that the generator you're purchasing can produce enough energy to power the things you have deemed necessary.

If you want to run your appliances, you will want to make sure that your generator has the capability of having a 240-volt plug plugged into it.

Clean power is best if you're needing to run more sensitive electronics like your laptop or tablet.

To determine what size generator you'll need, you should take the following steps:

  1. 1
    Add up the energy requirements for all products you want to run on the generator.
  2. 2
    Add up the wattage of any lightbulbs you will want to run.
  3. 3
    Divide watts by volts.
  4. 4
    Choose your generator.

Things to Keep in Mind When Purchasing


When you purchase the best generators, there are a few things you should keep in mind. The most important is that we understand to use the generator safely.

It's also imperative that we keep in mind the source of fuel that we will need to run our generator.

Generator safety

Even the best generators can pose a safety risk if used improperly. Because most household generators run off of fossil fuel, we must follow safe generator guidelines when our power goes out.

generator safety

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For example, it probably isn't the best idea to have your generator running in your house. The fumes made by the burning of fossil fuels can fill your home with carbon monoxide.

Truth be told, too much carbon monoxide can do serious harm to your family, including killing them. While we're discussing fossil fuel safety, make sure that you are storing your fuel in the appropriate containers.

Since generators have a fuel tank, it's also important for the generator to be kept in a location that is flat when running. Not only that, it's crucial that you do not get electrocuted when using a generator. To prevent this, be sure to keep your generator dry!

But the most important thing you can do to ensure that you are using your generator is to read the instruction manual that comes with it.

Fuel sources

You want to make sure that the fuel type needed by your generator is readily available to you and your family.

Few things would be worse than spending hundreds of dollars on a generator and not be able to use it when your family needs it.

What We Looked for in Our Review


In our adventure to find the best generators, several things influenced our decision.

First, I wanted to make sure that the generator would suit my family's needs. It was high on my priority list that I would be able to run certain appliances.

The next thing was making sure that it provided other users with a satisfactory experience. To determine this, I looked at the product reviews on Amazon.

In an effort to make sure that I was providing you with a complete list of the best generators, I did consult GeneratorMag.com to see what their thoughts were on what I thought were the best generators.

Because most of us have neighbors, I also compared the sound level (dBa) of each generator.

Finally, the last thing we looked at was the load capacity of each generator. Load capacity lets you know how long the generator will run on its fuel source.

The 6 Best Generators


Narrowing down all of the generators on the market wasn't easy. Each of the six generators I have selected can serve you and your families needs for different reasons.

These generators are in no particular order.

1. Champion 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator


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Overall, this generator was given a 4.5 out of 5 stars by Amazon users. The Champion 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator weighs in at a substantial 202 pounds.

This generator does offer propane hook up and a 6-gallon gas tank. In the case of a power outage, you can hook up your propane tank from your backyard grill to run your household equipment.

The dBa on the machine is 74.0. Users said they felt the noise was comparable to a push lawnmower.

What can run on this generator?

This generator will produce 7500 watts of electricity. One user indicated in his review that he was able to run his water heater, refrigerator, microwave, some of his household lights, and various pieces of computer equipment for 6 hours using this generator.

Pros

  • Can run off either gasoline or propane
  • Has an electric start on this machine
  • Provide outlets for both 120v and 240v plugs
  • Built-in surge protector

Cons

  • Is not RV ready
  • Generator runs much better on gasoline than propane

2. WEN 2,000 Watt Inverter Generator


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Don't want to lug around a 200-pound generator if the power goes out? The Wen 2,000 Watt Inverter Generator could be the best generators for you! It weighs in at a light 38 pounds.

Rated for 1,700 watts, the WEN is rated to run for 7 hours at half capacity.

WEN states that this is a great generator for camping. If the noise affecting the surrounding campers is a concern, the dBa on this machine is 51. Comparing that to modern appliances, this generator is about as loud as your window air conditioner.

EcoMode allows users to maximize energy consumption and conserves fuel. The motor in the generator will automatically adjust as items are plugged or unplugged.

What can run on this generator?

Because this generator is rated for significantly less wattage than the Champion mentioned previously, you will not be able to power as much.

Amazon users, who also give this generator a 4.5 out of 5 stars, seem to love this generator for its capability. One user indicated that he was able to power many of the small appliances (TV, refrigerator, and fan) in his camper with no problem.

Pros

  • Has a USDA-approved spark arrestor
  • Can also be connected together using a parallel connection
  • Parallel capability offered

Cons

  • Not a dual fuel generator
  • Electric start is also not an option
  • Generator Mag says you need to purchase your grounding wire separately

3. Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready Digital Hybrid


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Getting a 4.3 out of 5 star rating on Amazon, the Champion 4000 Watt RV Ready Digital Hybrid ships to you weighing 92 pounds.

When it comes to dBA, this 4,000-watt generator rings in at 64.0, which puts it in between the 2 generators we have already talked about.

If you are interested in a parallel connection, you can purchase the connection kit separately.

What can run on this generator?

This is another generator that is great for the avid camper. Amazon users were thrilled with its ability to power their air conditioners and small electronics!

However, some did indicate that you cannot run your air conditioner and microwave at the same time. So, if you don't want to wait for your coffee to warm up while staying cool, you may want to choose another option.

Pros

  • Champion also offers EcoMode on this device

Cons

  • Load capacity on this generator is lacking
  • 240-volt plugs are not available on this platform
  • Not a dual fuel generator
  • Only offers recoil start

4. WEN 3800W Inverter Generator


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At 57 dBa under a quarter load, the WEN 3800W Inverter Generator makes as much noise as a window air conditioner.

If you're the type that would forget to check the oil or gas levels, which I am guilty of, this machine does offer low fuel and low oil automatic shut off.

That helps to make sure that none of your appliances get damaged if you were to run out of fuel.

What can run on this generator?

Amazon users who also give this a 4.5 out of 5 stars, indicated that they could run the air conditioner in their RV as well as their lights with no problem.

Provided on this generator are two 120V outlets and one AC 120V NEMA TT-30R RV outlets as well as a few other outlets.

Pros

  • USDA spark arrestor approved and suitable for use in National Parks
  • Maximize your fuel consumption with EcoMode
  • Parallel capable

Cons

  • No 240-volt outlets
  • Small wheels could make this generator hard to navigate on uneven terrain

5. Westinghouse WGen7500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator


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Remote start and dual fuel capabilities give the Westinghouse WGen7500DF a competitive 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Don't worry; you read that correctly. Westinghouse provides buyers of this generator with a remote start key fob.

A key fob is that handy dandy thing you get when you buy a new car that can lock, unlock, and on some newer vehicles start your car with the push of a button.

What can run on this generator?

This massive machine, weighing almost 200 pounds, is well-loved by Amazon users. There are multiple reviews indicating that this machine allows them to run multiple appliances with no issues.

At one-half load capacity, this generator will provide you and your family with 11 hours of power using gasoline.

Pros

  • Propane hook-up allows normal propane tanks you can connect with the hose
  • No recoil start

Cons

6. Simpson Generator SPG8310E


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With the highest rating of the six generators I reviewed, the chas an almost perfect score on Amazon. Customers rated the Simpson at an impressive 4.8 out of 5 stars.

What can run on this generator?

One Amazon user indicated that they could run their refrigerator, all of their lights, TV, and router with plenty of wattages left to use. We think that's pretty impressive

Pros

  • 8,300 running watts can provide 8 hours of run time at half capacity

Cons

  • Users complain that this generator is loud
  • Said to have an electric start, but a battery must be purchased separately
  • Quite heavy

The Best Generator Has to Suit You


The biggest take away from my research into the best generators is that it is essential to make sure that you read the user manual and are confident you know how to use the machine you purchase.

The user manual will tell you exactly how to set the generator up and perform proper maintenance so that your generator always works.

Let us know what you think the best generators are in the comments below!

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