Imagine this: you are stuck in your home during a hellacious storm. The power has been cut off, the water is no longer running, and the food in your refrigerator is getting warm.
There you are, sitting in the dark with your family wondering when the electricity will come back on, but then you remember the generator you purchased in case of a situation like this. Nothing too big or fancy, but it is powerful enough to run at least one appliance in the house.
All too often, families are left sitting in the dark for hours, days, and sometimes even weeks at a time during and after a major storm. In those situations, as well as other scenarios, it is important to have a contingency plan.
Every household and business should have access to at least one portable generator. Throughout this article, I will highlight the top 10 best portable generators available on the market in 2018.
Table of Contents
- 10. Webetop 155Wh Portable Generator
- 9. Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator
- 8. Sportsman GEN4000 Portable Generator
- 7. JASTEK 300W Portable Backup Power Generator
- 6. CHAFON Portable Generator
- 5. DuroStar DS4000S Portable Generator
- 4. PowerPro 56101 Portable Generator
- 3. SUAOKI Portable Generator
- 2. PAXCESS 100-Watt Portable Generator
- 1. WEN 56200i Portable Inverter Generator
- Which Portable Generator Should You Buy?
10. Webetop 155Wh Portable Generator
The Webetop generator is compact, powerful, and perfect for powering up small appliances and devices. It is completely rechargeable by solar energy, an outlet, or even by a car battery.
Each unit also comes equipped with a bright LED light, USB ports to charge phones, it runs quietly and is incredibly lightweight. There are a few downsides to this generator, however, such as the fact that in order to charge it by solar energy, you would also have to purchase a solar panel in order to charge it that way.
The battery life of it is not exactly long either, lasting only three to maybe five hours at a time. Seeing as it is only capable of powering up small devices such as laptops, cell phones, Christmas lights, and other items of that nature, it should be able to last longer than a few hours at a time. Regardless, it is still a great portable generator that could help you out in a pinch.
- Incredibly lightweight
- Equipped with extra USB ports as well as two outlet ports
- Multiple recharging methods
- Not meant for powering large appliances.
9. Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator
The Westinghouse WGen7500 portable generator is significantly more powerful than the Webetop. This portable generator runs on a six-and-a-half-gallon fuel tank with an average run time of 10 hours.
It comes with a remote start key fob, a 12-volt battery charger, oil, an oil funnel, and the toolkit necessary for maintenance. It has a push button electric start option as well, which means no more having to break your back and pull a muscle trying to pull start it.
This device is also transfer-switch ready, which means you will be able to connect it to your home and power necessary appliances within your home such as a refrigerator, the stove, and possibly a few lights as well.
With all good things, there are a few downsides as well. This is a very powerful generator, which means it is not going to be light. It weighs in close to 200 pounds, however, it is equipped with wheels and a lift handle that makes it much easier to move around and transport.
Although it does come with a backup battery pack in case of low fuel, it requires fuel in order to function properly. Overall, this is a powerful little generator that can almost power an entire single-family home all by itself.
- Transfer switch ready
- Lasts for up to 10 hours
- Remote start with a key fob
- Also has a push-to-start button
- Comes with a wheel kit
- Not lightweight at all
- Makes a little noise at around 68 decibels.
8. Sportsman GEN4000 Portable Generator
In my personal opinion, I already do not like this particular generator right off the bat simply because it is a recoil start, which means pull-start. I remember the days of having to start the push mower and I absolutely hated it. I could never get it on the first or even fifth try.
However, this does not mean this generator would be a bad investment. If you are a person like myself, I am simply warning you ahead of time that if you dislike pull-starts, then this particular generator may not be a right fit for you.
All in all, this is a fantastic little generator. It has a three-and-a-half-gallon fuel tank, runs for up to 10 hours, and is somewhat lightweight being a larger generator at only 91 to 97 pounds. It is rated at 4,000 watts and can handle four to 120-volt outlets.
There are quite a few cons with this unit. First off, it does not come with a wheel kit. That means you would have to pick up and carry this thing that weighs close to 100 pounds. Secondly, it is not transfer-switch ready, meaning you can not connect it directly to your home’s power source.
The help of an electrician would be required in order to accomplish that. Lastly, it isn’t super loud, but it isn’t exactly quiet either resonating at around 68 decibels.
- Runs for up to 10 hours
- Has a backup battery pack when it is low on fuel
- It is not lightweight
- Does not come with a wheel kit
7. JASTEK 300W Portable Backup Power Generator
This is another smaller portable generator similar to the one mentioned at number 10. This is perfect for camping or for powering small devices during a power outage.
It has a high-capacity lithium ion battery, which is perfect for charging small devices such as cell phones, laptops, tablets, mini fridges, GPS, a game console, and even a small television. It has an average battery lifespan of five-and-a-half hours and weighs only five pounds with an easy carry handle.
It has three different charging methods such as an AC wall plug charger, a 12-volt car charging cable, and you can also connect it to a 50 to a 100-watt solar panel to charge. Just as a side note, the solar panel is not included with the generator.
For what it is, there isn’t anything negative that I have found with this generator. For its size, it is quite powerful with a long battery life.
- Solar energy compatible
- Long battery life
- Solar panel is not included
6. CHAFON Portable Generator
The CHAFON generator is mini but mighty. Weighing in at only three pounds, this little guy packs a hefty punch when it comes to an emergency power source. It offers up to 125 hours of battery life!
That is amazing! For such a small generator, it also has enough power to power just about anything at one time. For instance, it has the ability to provide enough power to keep a small refrigerator or even a large television running for hours on end.
It can support any device up to 110-watts. It comes equipped with multiple different charging port option cables such as the AC wall adapter, car charger, and the solar panel connection. You can even still use it while it is charging itself.
- Very lightweight
- Quiet (almost like a whisper)
- Solar energy compatible
- 125-hour battery life
- Only powers small devices
5. DuroStar DS4000S Portable Generator
The DuroStar is adequate in my opinion. Not the greatest, but also not the worst either. It is great for when you’re in a pinch and is also inexpensive. This device runs on fuel, but only has a six to eight-hour lifespan before needing more fuel.
This is also a pull-start, and we all know how I feel about those. It is approved at 4,000-watt surge with a 33,000-watt continuous. It has the ability to automatically shut off when the fuel is low, which you may or may not think to be an inconvenience.
It isn’t exactly lightweight, weighing in at 88 pounds, but it does come equipped with a wheel kit, so you won’t be forced to carry it wherever you need it. The worst part about this unit is that it is loud.
It says it comes with a muffler system that dulls it down to 69 decibels, but that is still pretty loud. Overall, it is a sturdy and powerful little generator that can get the job done.
- Comes with a wheel kit
- Has a decent lifespan of six to eight hours
- Automatic low-fuel shutoff
- It is very loud
- Not lightweight
4. PowerPro 56101 Portable Generator
This little beauty is powerful and lightweight at only 36 pounds and equipped with a carrying handle for easy transport. It runs on an oil and gasoline mixture, therefore, does not require any oil changes.
It only has a one-gallon tank but can run for five-and-a-half hours on only a half a tank of gas, giving it a lifespan of a little over 10 hours on one tank of fuel. It is much quieter than most fuel-powered generators measuring at only 60 decibels.
It has more power than the other smaller portable generators with the power to give power to smaller appliances like mini-fridges, microwaves, televisions, and even power tools. It has a dual outlet design, an easy to read voltmeter for easy monitoring and a small yet powerful two-horsepower engine.
- Easy to carry
- Very quiet
- Long run time
- Only has a one-gallon tank
3. SUAOKI Portable Generator
The SUAOKI is another small yet mighty portable generator that is perfect for those caught-in-a-pinch moments, camping trips, or a hike in the mountains. It is rechargeable and is able to be connected to a solar panel, which is, unfortunately, not included.
Can be fully charged within eight-hours if plugged in with a wall charger. It is lightweight with easy to grip carrying handles that make transport a breeze. It has multiple charging ports so that you can connect your devices directly to the generator. It is also incredibly quiet.
- Easy to carry
- Multiple USB and outlet ports for charging devices
- Takes a while to charge the unit
2. PAXCESS 100-Watt Portable Generator
The PAXCESS portable generator is like the Mercedes of small portable generators. This little baby is light in weight, easy to carry, able to be recharged from a solar panel, the wall, or a car charger, can charge multiple devices at the same time and can run for up to eight hours on one charge.
It has a digital display that shows you the voltage use and battery level clearly. It is perfect for keeping all of your small devices such as phones, tablets, and laptops full charge no matter where you are.
- Digital display
- Long battery run time of 13 hours
- Can take a while to charge the unit. Usually anywhere from eight to twelve hours depending on the recharging method used.
1. WEN 56200i Portable Inverter Generator
Finally, the number one portable generator on this list is the WEN 56200i. This unit is incredibly quiet at only 70 decibels; you won’t even know it’s there. It’s perfect for camping trips, tailgate parties, and power outages.
It is equipped with an eco-mode, two AC three-pronged receptacles, one five-volt USB port, easy to use power switch, indicator lights, and a grounding nut. Weighing at only 48 pounds and equipped with a carry handle, it is easy to pick up and move around.
- Multiple charging receptacles
- Easy to carry
- Incredibly quiet
- Half-load run time of only six hours
Which Portable Generator Should You Buy?
All in all, each one of these generators would be a great buy. The fact of the matter is finding one that best suits your purpose for it as well as the specifications you’re looking for. All of these generators have similar qualities with minor differences.
As for myself, I prefer larger, gasoline-powered generators that would be most beneficial for power outages. However, if I’m just going on a camping trip, then one of the smaller rechargeable generators would be perfect for keeping my phone juiced up. It all depends on what you need it for.