At this day and age, most of us consider electricity a life essential. This is precisely the reason many are looking for the best generator brands that can provide them a reliable source of back up power. If you are currently looking for one that you can use for your household, outdoor recreational needs or your place of business. Knowing more about these best generator brands can certainly help you come up with the best choice.
Common Types of Power Generators
There are two basic types of generators. A portable generator is usually gas powered and is the primary type of generator that we are focusing on when it comes to the best brands. These are usually cheaper than the other basic type, which is the standby generator. Usually powered by propane or natural gas, standby generators are designed and set up to automatically start in case of power outages.
More recently, inverter generators were created. These are usually more silent compared to other generator types. Inverters are known to run more efficiently and best of all, they produce less emissions compared to regular portable and standby generators. Inverter generators can also be portable too. However, since these have more complex engines, inverter generators usually cost more.
Who Needs a Generator?
As mentioned earlier, electricity has become an important part of life for many of us. We need it to power most if not all of our appliances and electronic gadgets at home. Electricity provides heat or air-conditioning depending on the weather. It gives us light. In many cases, it even offers the necessary support for those with medical needs.
However, it no longer matters where you live or who your power supplier is. Natural disasters and other unanticipated events may cause power outages on days when you least expect it. If you still don’t have a power generator, those will be the days when you can only wish you had one.
Sure, some power outages may last for hours at a time, which isn’t too bad at all. However, according to writer Melina Gillies, disasters can turn into days or even weeks of power outage. Her article also mentioned how the New England Journal of Medicine says that natural disasters continue to increase, which essentially also indicates that there’s higher chance of getting more frequent power outages.
Generators for recreational needs
A lot of people also shop for generators for recreational needs. Those who go on camping trips and would require a power source choose portable generators so they can conveniently enjoy the great outdoors.
There are also those who purchase generators for work. For instance, if you work in the field where a power outlet is not in sight, you will need a portable generator as a power source.
Most probably, you have already decided that you need a generator at this point; hence the reason behind you being on this page right now. Whether you need it for your home or your place of business or any purpose at all, you must know that you’re making a good decision by getting a generator. After all, you’ll never really know when you will need it.
What You Need to Know Before Buying a Generator
It’s great that you’re doing your research prior to buying your new generator. You are now one step closer to a great product from one of the best brands. But before you choose the generator model to purchase, there are certain considerations that you must take note of. Here are some tips you can keep in mind:
Determine how much power you need.
The first step you have to take is by listing down the appliances and electronic items you need to use in case of a power outage. This doesn’t mean all your appliances at home; you must prioritize. For instance, you need some of the lights running, your refrigerator, heater or air-conditioner, etc. Check the number of watts used per piece of appliance and add them up. From there, you will know how much power you need from the generator.
Create space for your generator.
Especially when you’re getting a portable gasoline generator, you must know that this has to be placed at least 15 feet from your house or any other structure on and off your property. These can produce carbon monoxide on deadly levels so you also have to ensure that its exhaust is not facing your house or any of your windows at home. Should you be using it while it’s raining, ensure that it is kept dry under a cover or a tent.
Learn more about the necessary features of a generator.
Not all generators are the same. While most of the best generator brands that will be mentioned below offer generators with essential features you need to offer reliable back up power supply, it is best when you know about what these features actually do.
Some of these features include:
- Starting or turning on the generator: Some generators use a simple switch to turn the machine on. There are others that automatically start when the power goes out. It’s great to have a generator with an automatic start feature so you won’t have to do so yourself in case of emergencies.
- Four or more outlets: Instead of using too many extension cords, it is best to spread the load of wattage or electricity over several outlets. Four or more outlets should be enough for all the necessary appliances and electronics you need to plug in.
- Fuel gauge: As its name suggests, a fuel gauge shows you how much fuel you still have left in your portable generator. This gives you the ability to know whether you already have to refill it with gas.
- Automatic shut-off when oil or fuel is low: Instead of worrying about not turning the generator off on time before the fuel tank is empty. The machine itself automatically shuts off. This is a good feature as it helps prevent engine damage.
Best Generator Brands in 2021
Now that you already know about the basics of generators, it is time for you to learn more about the top generator brands. There are so many out there and yes, it can get confusing to point out just one perfect brand. Through extensive research on brand history, generator features and very valuable ratings and reviews from experts and consumers, we came up with a top 20 list of the best generator brands. Note: These brands are arranged alphabetically.
1. Briggs & Stratton
Founded over a century ago in 1908, Briggs & Stratton is one of the most reputable manufacturers of gasoline engines. It is a Fortune 1000 company that is currently headquartered in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. As of April 2015, the company averages 10 million units yearly of engine production. With numerous facilities across the United States and more in several other countries spanning through multiple continents, their products are sold worldwide.
Since they’re experts in gasoline engines, Briggs & Stratton ventured into generators as well…
Rightfully so, they’re doing a great job with it because many consumers consider this brand their number one choice. Currently, Briggs & Stratton offers portable, inverter, standby and commercial standby generators.
The Briggs & Stratton 30545s P3000 PowerSmart Series Inverter Generator is one of their highest rated portable generators. It offers clean power to get your electronics running during sudden power outages. It features a quiet power technology and offers continuous power supply for up to 10 hours at 25% load. You will even get maintenance reminders and performance stats through its LCD screen display. It has one USB port, one parallel port, one 12V-5A DC outlet and four 120V household outlets. Best of all, this easy to transport generator comes with a 24-month limited warranty.
2. CAT Portable Generator
CAT is the trademark brand of Caterpillar, a company that was founded back in 1925. Over time, people became more familiar with the CAT logo as it has been used as the company’s trademark since 1949. The company manufactures large trucks and heavy equipment such as dozers motor graders, forklifts, loaders, engines and power generators. They are also known to produce a whole lot of other apparel and accessories including clothes, accessories and footwear.
Because CAT is known to offer heavy equipment to the market, their generators include large ones such as diesel or gas generator sets and more. They do have portable ones too, which are perfect for home and outdoor use. With the CAT brand behind every product, you know for sure that you’re getting a generator that remains durable and efficient for many years.
The CAT RP Series Portable Generator is one of their most popular lines of generators.
There are several models under this series, all with a 3-year limited warranty. You may choose from 1800,3600,5500,6500, 7500 and 12000 running watts with varied engine sizes according to your needs. For instance, the smallest, which is the INV2000 portable generator with 1800 watts, has a 79.9cc engine. It has 1 gallon fuel capacity, 4 outlets with 120 AC voltage and can run for up to 6 hours with a 50% load.
If you need more power, you can also choose the Cat RP12000E Portable Generator, which features an electric start, has 9 outlets with 120 and 240 AC voltage, a powerful 670 v-twin engine and can run up to 11.7 hours on 50% load. Its fuel capacity is at 13.2 gallons, the largest in this series.
3. Champion Power Equipment
Champion Power Equipment is fairly new in the business as it was established in 2003. However, 15 years is long enough to make them truly champions in this industry of power generators. Currently headquartered in Santa Fe Springs, California, they have expanded the business with more facilities in Tennessee, Wisconsin and Canada. With more than 2.5 million sold generators, one can truly say that Champion is a great generator of choice.
100% customer satisfaction — this has always been the goal of Champion
hence the numerous new and returning customers that trust their brand. They value customer service and ensure that all their generators are efficient and as powerful as advertised. In fact, when you visit their website, they even offer automated assistance on how to choose the best generator according to your needs. With just a few clicks, you get one step closer to your next portable generator.
While they have plenty of models available on their catalogue, one of their most popular offers is the Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator. Not only is it an affordable choice, it has all the features you need for home or outdoor use. You need not be a generator expert to operate it as it has a quick touch panel featuring all the controls you need in just one place. It can hold up to 1.6 gallons of gasoline and offers 2800 running watts. From 23 feet, this ultra silent generator produces just 58dBA of noise.
DuroMax is a brand name that’s known for its affordability and reliability. A California-based engine company that also specializes in power tools called DuroPower manufactures their generators. Since DuroPower manufactures the engines themselves, you can be rest assured that each DuroMax generator is built with the best quality materials and design.
Currently, you will find 20 different models of DuroMax generators on their catalogue with single, triple and quadruple cylinder engines…
All generators from this brand have passed ETL and MTL standards, come with a warranty, and are built with cast iron sleeves for added durability.
One of the best deals they currently offer is the DuroMax XP4400EH 7 HP Dual Fuel Propane/Gas Powered Portable Electric Start Generator. For such a low price tag, you can get a 4400-watt generator that’s more than enough to give up to 20 hours of running time when used with propane , 8 hours when used with gasoline. You can fill it up to 4 gallons of fuel in its tank. One drawback though is that it is louder compared to other generators with 69dBA noise level.
Not much has been written about the brand name DuroStar but a whole lot has been said about the generators they offer. Truth be told, they actually have a very good reputation among consumers looking for powerful and reliable yet very affordable generators.
Truth be told, if you’ve looked through other generator reviews before this, you must have seen at least one generator model from DuroStar. Whether you’re a first time buyer or you’re looking for you’re nth generator, you certainly won’t be disappointed with what DuroStar can offer.
One of their most reviewed and highest rated generators is the DuroStar DS4000S. This gasoline generator has a 4-gallon fuel capacity with 3,300 running watts and 4,000 starting watts. Yes, it’s cheap, but nothing in this generator shows cheap. It has a open steel frame enclosure and it remains sturdy through the years. It even comes with 1 year limited warranty for your peace of mind. At 50% load, this generator can run for up to 8 hours. It features a 7.0hp air-cooled OHV engine. While its noise level is at 69dBA rating, it has a muffler that makes this generator extra quiet.
For 50 years, Earthquake has been in the industry of power equipment.
Countless satisfied consumers and businesses who use their products only indicate how impressive the brand has always been. They started as a small metal fabricating shop in Wisconsin and today, they distribute their products not only within the United States but to many other countries across the world.
There are plenty of products on the Earthquake catalogue including cultivators, rototillers, earth augers and powerheads, shredders, log splitters, mowers, edgers and so much more. As of today, they don’t have new generators yet but the ones they have built in the past are still some of the most in-demand in the market.
One of those generators that have gained a lot of attention from consumers is the Earthquake IG800W EQ Inverter Generator. This fuel-efficient generator is lightweight at 21 pounds and truly portable. It offers quiet operation and features overload protection. A gallon of fuel can make this machine run for 14 hours; however, since this generator only has 0.60-gallon gas tank capacity, it can give you 8.2 hours on 25% load. It is best for sudden power outages and outdoor use, which requires power for few electronics and appliances that you need the most in case of emergency. It has a maximum AC output of 800 watts and running AC output of 700 watts.
Possibly one of the most popular brand names when it comes to batteries, Energizer is an American manufacturer that is currently headquartered in Town and Country, Missouri. It has been in the industry of batteries for as long as most of us can remember and has become a household name for many families across the world. Of course, it’s not even a surprise that Energizer also has its own line of generators.
Their newest offer are products from the Energizer® eZV Series Inverter Generators…
Which is designed to give power efficiently, economically and most importantly, these generators produce clean power. These eZV generators come in different shapes and sizes depending on your needs and where you will use it.
For instance, if you’re camping or you simply need a home backup for power outages, the eZV2000S or the eZV2000P are great choices. These both have 2000 watts peak and 1600 watts continuous power with 79cc 2.7HP motor. On 100% load, it can run for up to 4.2 hours and even longer at 11.5hrs on 225% load.
Perfect for home backup, you can choose the eZV3200P or eZV2100, which both have a 208cc 6HP motor, 3200 watts peak and 2800 watts continues power. The 3200P model runs for 15.5 hours on 25% load and the 3200 model runs for 6 hours on 75% load. Both start via remote, electric or manual recoil.
9. Firman Power Equipment
Firman Power Equipment is confident in saying that while they didn’t invent generators in the first place, they’re the ones who perfected it. They used to operate under the company Sinomach and over 17 years, they’ve produced more than 10 million portable generators. Through the years, they also made generators for other industry giants such as Kohler and Ridgid. It was in 2015 when they decided to operate under the Firman brand.
Firman boasts of intensive research and development to ensure the best portable generators for consumers…
All products are built to last — all new models they release are tested continuously for 500 hours to ensure quality. Currently they offer a variety of models according to your needs – inverter, electric, recoil, remote, gasoline and liquids propane generators.
No matter your budget, there’s a Firman generator for you. One of the most affordable you’ll find is the Firman P01201 Performance Series 1200W Standard CSA Generator. It comes with a quiet muffler, large tank and integrated fuel gauge. It includes oil, an oil funnel and tool kit upon purchase. Running for up to 10 hours, you can be sure you’ll have the necessary backup power when you need it the most. Best of all, these particular model has 3 years’ warranty.
Most of us already know about Ford Motor Company. We know for a fact how reputable this brand is in the automotive industry. Under the mother company is Ford Power Equipment, a manufacture of portable generators, water pumps, air compressors, pressure washers and more. Since Ford is generally brilliant when it comes to car engines, they didn’t have any problems coming up with he best generators. Whether you’re looking for one for industrial heavy duty use or consumer home use.
A popular choice is the Ford FG4050P Portable Generator. With 50Hz frequency, 3500 peak watts and 2500 running watts, this generator operates with a single cylinder, 4-stroke OHV air-cooled 208cc engine. With a recoil starter, this generator can be quite loud at more or less 76dBA.
If you need a more powerful generator, the Ford FG 6250P Portable Generator is another good choice. At 50Hz, it has 6500 peak watts and 5000 running watts. It works with a 420cc single cylinder, 4-stroke OHV air-cooled engine. Heavy duty and designed with premium qualities, this generator remains easy to move around and store when not in use.
Robert Kern founded Generac in 1959. It is currently headquartered in Waukesha, Wisconsin. They specialize in power backup for residential and industrial locations, which makes them one of the most trusted names in generators. Whether you need a full home backup generator or a portable generator, you can be rest assured that you will find a practical choice from the Generac catalogue.
Depending on your budget and your power requirements, there’s a Generac generator for you.
One of the most affordable offers is the GP1800. Highly rated by consumers, this model remains one of the highest recommended products from Generac. CSA-certified, the Generac features an OHV engine and a large-capacity steel fuel tank. This 1800-watt generator also has a low-oil level shutdown feature for added safety and a hardened steel tube cradle for durability.
If you require more power, you may also check out the 6500E portable generator from Generac. This also has an OHV engine and a large capacity steel fuel tank. It comes with covered outlets, a plug-in battery charger jack and never-flat heavy-duty wheels for easy portability. This generator is CSA and CARB certified.
12. Honda Power Equipment
Just like Ford, Honda is most known in the automotive industry. This one’s founded in Japan though, which is known to be one of the best, if not the best source of electronics and power equipment in the world. Founded in 1946 at Hamamatsu, Japan, Honda was initially a large motorcycle manufacturer. Through the years they ventured to a whole lot of other products and equipment and they’re now known not only for automobiles but also for aircraft and other power equipment, including generators.
It is nice to know that most of Honda’s generators are highly rated by consumers. Perhaps it is their expertise in engines that make their products some of the best in the industry. Whether you have a low budget or you’re willing to shell out a bit for your generator, you will certainly find a good one from the Honda catalogue.
Hyundai offers a range of power equipment including pressure washers, water pumps, air compressors and generators. They have a series of standard portable and portable inverter generators. You can choose from models for home, commercial or professional use.
A small yet reliable home inverter is the HY200si. With 2200 watts peak power and 2000 watts running power, this generator has a 3.8HP 5500RPM 125cc Hyundai motor with a manual recoil start. It can run for up to 5.5 hours and powerful enough to get your computer, TV, DVD player, refrigerator, radio and more electronic appliances running in case of power outages.
If you haven’t heard of this brand yet, it’s probably because it’s your first time buying a generator. Powerhorse doesn’t have much written about the brand itself of its history, but their generators have gotten way too many reviews and very high ratings to ignore. With impressive warranty offers, high quality motors, durable encasements and reliable operation, it’s just right for you to consider Powerhorse for your next generator.
Depending on the amount of power you need or where you will use it for, you can choose a Powerhorse that’s perfect for your needs. There are models available for all budget ranges, which makes it easy for just about anyone to shop around the Powerhorse catalogue.
The Powerhorse 7000 proves to be one of their most in-demand products because of the impressive features, durability and power it offers. This 420cc engine portable generator has eight 120V 20A outlets, one 120/240V 30A locking outlet and one 12V DC outlet. To prevent overheating through continuous operation, it features a 100% copper-wound generator head. This product offers 7000 surge watts and 5500 rated watts. Even better, it comes with a 2-year consumer warranty and a 90-day commercial limited warranty.
Sportsman is another brand without much written in the history books; however, they have a wide range of generators with very impressive features and reviews, hence their inclusion in this list. Sportsman offers a number of products for hunting and camping, food processing, general merchandise and a wide range of generators.
Sportsman generators include gasoline generators, gasoline inverter generators, tri-fuel generators, dual fuel generators, and LPG liquid propane generators.
One of their more unique products is the GENTRi9K Sportsman Tri Fuel Generator. This is a great choice especially when natural disasters frequently hit your area as you have three choices of fuel to power your generator at any given time. It can run on gasoline, liquid propane and NG fuel and has a 15HP 4-stroke OHV engine and can provide 9000 surge watts and 7200 running watts power. Also has a 7.4-gallon fuel tank and can run for up to 10 hours with 50% power load.
Westinghouse is currently headquartered in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. George Westinghouse founded it in Pittsburgh in 1886. Since then, Westinghouse Electric Corporation has become one of the most reputable brands when it comes to consumer electronics and appliances. Currently, they offer a wide range of smart home appliances that offer clean and safe power.
When it comes to generators, Westinghouse certainly does not disappoint…
They have a variety of models to choose from whether you’re getting one for home, work or play. Home generators are great as emergency power sources in case of emergencies or when you need to do tasks that are far from power outlets. Work generators function similarly for power needed when no outlet is in sight. For camping and other outdoor recreational needs, you will appreciate Westinghouse portable generators for sure.
Affordable yet reliable and powerful, Westinghouse offers portable and inverter generators for a variety of needs. One of their most popular offers is the iGen2200. With numerous reviews from consumers and high ratings to match these reviews, this fuel-efficient generator is definitely one of the industry’s best. It is ultra quiet and safe for electronics with its inverter technology feature. Weighing only 46 pounds, it is truly portable and easy to move around. It has 2200 peak watts and 1800 running watts. It runs for up to 12 hours on 25% load using only 1.2 gallons of gas.
Another Japanese brand that made it to this list, Torakusu Yamaha founded Yamaha in 1887. Since its founding, it has gained such a good reputation in the consumer electronics industry, power sports equipment and musical instruments among many others that Yamaha is even rightfully now a household name. They even have a motor line now, which produces a number of motorcycle models!
Under the Yamaha Motor Sports line is their wide range of generators that cater to a variety of needs and budget ranges…
From as low as 1000 watts to as high as 12000 watts, you can choose a Yamaha portable generator that you can use at home or in the great outdoors.
The most affordable offer is what they call the small but mighty EF1000IS,EF200IS. This quiet and fuel-efficient generator produces clean power in a light 28-pound piece of equipment. It has 1000 watts maximum AC output and rated AC output of 900 watts.