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Best Inverter Generator Reviews: Expert Insights Shared

Owning a generator is always great. But if you want to power up more sensitive appliances or devices, only the best inverter generator can live up to the expectations. You could wonder what the difference between such a device and a conventional generator is. Or perhaps you wonder which is the best one out there.

This article aims to answer those questions. We’ve roamed the market for you, found, and rated some of the most promising models.

Kings Inverter Generator

Here's a list of Best Inverter Generator Reviews

We also questioned the experts and discovered what features to look for in an inverter generator. Our list highlights the best inverter generators on the market, models praised for their reliability and portability. Then, don’t forget to check our buying guide to see which are the most important features to consider.


Top 6 Best Inverter Generator in 2018

Starting watts – 2,200 Running watts – 1,600

Starting watts – 3,400

Running watts – 3,100

Starting watts – 6,500 Running watts – 5,000

Starting watts – 2,300 Running watts -  1,800

Starting watts – 2,200 Running watts – 1,800

Starting watts – 150

 Running watts – 100

Fuel type - Gasoline

Fuel type - Gasoline

Fuel type - Gasoline

Fuel type - Gasoline

Fuel type – Gasoline

Fuel type – Solar

Run time @ 50% load - 7 hrs.

Run time @ 25% load – 7.5 hrs.

Run time @ 50% load - 14 hrs.

Run time @ 25% load – 10.3 hrs.

Run time @ 25% load – 8 hrs.

Noise level @ 25% load – 58 dB

Noise level @ 25% load – 59 dB

Noise level @ 25% load – 66 dB

Noise [email protected] 25% load – 57 dB

Noise level @ 25% load – 57 dB

Noise level @ 25% load – free of noise

Weight – 47 lbs.

Weight – 78.7  lbs.

Weight - 128 lbs.

Weight – 53 lbs.

Weight – 47 lbs.

Weight – 3.3 lbs.


1. KINGS Inverter Generator

There are many great inverter generators out there, but what that truly stands out is the KINGS Inverter Generator. This reliable machine is powered by gasoline and has a sufficiently large fuel tank that holds fuel for up to 7 hours of continuous operation at 50% load.

A decent running time combines with decent power. This generator is perfect for a smaller job site, a workshop or small household. It provides a surge power of 2,200 watts and outputs up to 1,600 running watts.

Ideal for camping and hunting, the unit is also quiet and highly portable. Read our recommendation of Best Small Generators for Home Use.

Kings Inverter Generator

It produces a noise of only 58 decibels at 25% load and weighs 47 pounds.

But the best part of the generator is the quality of the energy produced. The unit is designed specifically for delicate devices and outputs pure sine wave power. Use it to power up with TV or stereo, computer, or mobile devices without worrying about current fluctuations.

Another great feature is the portable economy mode that adapts the power output to the load, extending the engine’s lifespan and improving fuel economy.

PROS

  • A durable inverter generator is powered by a reliable air-cooled OHV engine with low oil shutoff.
  • A durable inverter generator is powered by a reliable air-cooled OHV engine with low oil shutoff.
  • Robust construction consists of a heavy-duty steel frame and four-point fully isolated motor mounts. The operation is smooth and quiet.
  • Noise reduction muffler ensures a quiet operation.
  • Ideal to use in all 50 states, thanks to the CARB compliant construction. The product is also certified for use in Europe.
  • The parallel mode allows you to connect two identical units and double the power if needed.

CONS

  • The unit doesn’t have the 240-volt capability.

The Champion Power Equipment 100233 is all about power and versatility. One of our favorites nonetheless one of the most affordable units, comes packed and loaded with features designed to boost your user experience.

To begin with, we like the reliability of this unit powered by a 192cc engine. Quiet and performing, the inverter generator outputs up to 3,100 running watts and 3,400 surge power. A parallel kit allows doubling the output if needed, and a quiet muffler ensures the unit doesn’t produce more than 60 decibels.

Champion Power Equipment 100233

Coming with an RV-ready outlet, this generator is perfect for camping. Its clean energy is ideal for sensitive devices, while the low weight adds convenience and versatility.

A reliable recoil start with Cold Start Technology allows a fast ignition even when the temperatures hit toward zero. Quiet and lightweight, the Champion Power Equipment generator is perfect for camping and tailgating, but also for powering up your home in case of an outage.

Designed with safety in mind, this generator comes with a low oil shut-off sensor and runs up to 7.5 hours at 25% load.

PROS

  • Economy Mode allows reducing the electrical load, prolonging the engine’s lifespan and maximizing fuel efficiency.
  • Automatic idle lowers the noise and fuel consumption at no load.
  • Multiple outlets include an RV Ready 120V outlet, two 120V household receptacles and a 12V DC automotive-style socket with a dual USB adapter. Moreover, the unit has battery-charging cables.
  • Low noise level doesn’t exceed normal conversation level from 23 feet.
  • Optional parallel kit allows connecting up to two identical inverters to double the power whenever needed.
  • The foldaway handle allows for easy transport and storage.
  • EPA-certified and CARB-compliant generator comes with a 3-year limited warranty and free technical support for life.

CONS

  • Despite its small dimensions, the generator would have benefited from bigger wheels.
  • Although it can run a camper’s air conditioner with no frills, it has difficulties in running the heating system of larger vehicles.

Champion Power Equipment Generator Video Review


3. Briggs & Stratton 30675

Big enough to power a small to medium household or a job site, the Briggs & Stratton 30675 is one of those generators capable of impressing with their power and reliability. Despite its larger size, the unit is portable and can be easily used for camping or tailgating.

A low noise level makes it ideal for a campsite or neighborhood with established noise restriction levels. At the same time, the compact design makes the unit easy to transport and store.

What truly impresses, however, is the 306cc integrated engine and alternator designed to provide up to 14 hours of continuous runtime at 25% load. 

Briggs & Stratton 30675

The clean energy produced is perfect for most devices, including TVs and other sensitive electronics.

Another nice thing is the variety of outlets. This inverter generator comes with four 120V household outlets, a dual 120/240V locking receptacle, and two USB outlets. It misses a 12V DC socket, but that’s not a significant drawback.

Although it doesn’t have an RV Ready outlet, the unit is compatible with an RV adapter that matches the twist lock receptacle. On this setting, the generator provides up to 2,500 continuous watts, sufficient for powering up the vehicle’s air conditioner or heat system.

Perfect for a wide range of applications yet relatively lightweight and easy to use, the Briggs & Stratton generator brings all you could wish from a best in the class pick.

PROS

  • An intuitive control panel allows adjusting the settings and operating the unit in a breeze. LED lights let you know the load level applied.
  • The compact design with telescopic suitcase handle and wheels allow easy transport from one place to another.
  • A protective and noise-reduction frame ensures a comfortable noise level during operation and durability.
  • The product is backed up by a 24-month limited warranty.
  • This generator incorporates a fuel gauge and low oil shutoff feature. It is intuitive and easy to operate.

CONS

  • At 138 pounds, this generator is more cumbersome than expected.
  • The unit is not CARB compliant. Thus it can’t be used in all states.

Atima AY2000i Video Review


4. Ryobi RYI2300BTA

For powering a small cabin in the woods, camping, or a small workshop, the Ryobi RYI2300BTA is one of those generators designed to deliver clean and quiet power. It outputs only 56 decibels and is more silent than normal conversation. Moreover, it’s built to protect your sensitive electronics from current fluctuations.

Ideal for recreational needs, the Ryobi RYI2300BTA outputs up to 1,800 running watts and 2,300 watts of surge power. Lightweight and easy to transport, it’s perfect for the novice with little experience in handling this type of device.

Ryobi RYI2300BTA

But perhaps the most helpful feature is that it connects via a GENControl app to Apple and Android devices, allowing you to monitor the fuel level, runtime, and power consumption from a distance. You can even choose to shut off without getting up from your couch or camping chair, for added convenience.

Besides this great feature, this unit is also energy efficient. It comes equipped with Idle-Down technology which increases fuel efficiency and consequently extends the runtime.

Furthermore, the unit is easy to transport thanks to the telescopic handle and rear wheels. Just like the generators above, this workhorse has the parallel capability which allows it to respond to more massive power demands.

PROS

  • An LCD screen allows monitoring the fuel level and runtime, as well as the load level.
  • Rated at 56 decibels, the unit has whisper-quiet operation and is quieter than normal conversation. Perfect to use for tailgating or in an area with noise restrictions in place.
  • Easy to transport thanks to the suitcase-like telescopic handle and dual rear wheels.
  • Perfect for most DIY and recreational applications. It comes with two 120V receptacles and two USB ports.

CONS

  • The generator lacks a 12V DC outlet.

Ryobi RYI2300BTA Video Review


5. Honda EU2200i

Honda has always been renowned for the quality of its engines and reliability of its machines. And this inverter generator is no exception. It generates up to 1,800 running watts, sufficient for powering up an RV, campsite, or small workshop, and 2,200 watts of surge power.

The parallel capability allows you to connect two identical generators to double the performance, but that’s not the only significant feature this generator has.

Dependable, durable, and easy to use, this product comes with a telescopic luggage-style handle and wheels that allow easy transport and storage. 

Honda EU2200i

Color-coded start ensures quick and safe operation even for the novice while a selection of receptacles will enable you to use the generator for a wide range of applications.

In detail, the product has two household 120V outlets and a 12V DC receptacle for batteries.

Apart from these, the Honda EU2200i is very lightweight and quiet. It weighs only 47 pounds, while its noise level doesn’t exceed the one of a normal conversation.

PROS

  • Fuel efficiency technology provides a runtime of over 8 hours at 25% load just what it takes for dependable powering of your professional or recreational needs.
  • Full 3-year limited warranty for labor and parts.
  • Stamped metal recoil start ensures an easy ignition even in lower temperatures.
  • Fast and easy starting thanks to the color-coded operational contact points.
  • Increased ventilation ensures proper cooling of the engine, prolonging the product’s lifespan.

CONS

  • This generator is quite expensive. The quality pays off though.

Honda EU2200 Video Review


6. PAXCESS TeGenerator-01

Sometimes a big inverter generator could be too much. Maybe you just need a small unit to power up your devices during an outage. Or a light bulb if you are camping. An inexpensive yet dependable unit is, therefore, your best bet.

One we honestly liked is the PAXCESS TeGenerator-01, a compact yet reliable unit designed to power up a mobile device or light bulb whenever needed. With 150 surge watts and 100 running watts, this unit won’t withstand heavy-duty applications but is perfect for camping. We put together a broader resource for Best Portable Generator Reviews.

Paxcess 100-Watt Portable Generator

And it runs on solar energy, which means you won’t have to worry about carrying fuel with you.

The runtime varies widely depending on the consumption, but you have the opportunity to recharge the batteries via a 12V DC cable, from a standard wall outlet, or via solar recharging.

Extremely compact and lightweight, the unit is super-easy to carry and store. It has a convenient handle and robust construction that ensures its durability.

Clean energy, no emissions, and virtually noiseless, this inverter generator comes at a more than affordable price and serves multiple purposes. So, if you want to ditch the bulk and have small power needs, this inverter could be the right one for you.

PROS

  • Compact construction ensures easy transport and storage. The unit weighs less than four pounds and has a convenient carrying handle.
  • Solar energy provides clean power. No gasoline or fossil fuel required. Batteries recharge via an outlet too.
  • The Battery Management System ensures an easy voltage control and protects your devices.
  • The product is backed up by a 45-day satisfaction guarantee. You can only return the generator if it doesn’t live up to your expectations.
  • Free replacement offered if the product fails within one year.
  • Multiple receptacles ensure suitability for most applications. The generator has one 110V outlet, three 12V receptacles, and five USB ports.

CONS

  • Battery drains quite quickly.

Paxcess TeGenerator-01 Video Review


Inverter Generator vs. Conventional Generator

People looking for a generator often find themselves facing a sometimes tough decision. Should you invest in an inverter generator or a conventional model? After all, what is really the difference between the two?

Before digging into the matter, we must say it’s hard to decide whether one type is better than another. They serve different purposes, therefore appeal to different kinds of consumers. While they might look alike, there is a massive difference between them.

Let’s compare the two types of machines and see which one you truly need.

  • Conventional generators: Are the granddaddy of them all. They run on fossil fuel and are driven by a motor with a wired alternator designed to produce electricity. In rough lines, a conventional generator is similar to a car alternator, although its engine requires running at constant speeds for it to provide current. This alternating current is then used to run your appliances and electronics. The main advantage of conventional generators is their size. They rarely come in sizes smaller than 3,000 running watts, and most of them are capable of powering up a full household or business. Their main disadvantage is the inconsistency in the current output. Therefore they are less ideal for your sensitive electronics.
  • Inverter generators: Are more complicated to manufacture due to a 3-phase system used to convert fossil fuel or solar energy into an alternating current, which is then converted into direct current and then inverted into alternating current again, hence their name. This technology allows the system to produce cleaner electricity which is ideal for sensitive electronics. If you want to power up computers, laptops, or mobile devices, an inverter generator capable of producing sine wave energy is the way to go. Another significant advantage of the inverter generators is their solar capability. There are many models equipped with lithium batteries that recharge via solar power, so you won’t have to worry about carrying fuel with you. On the downside, inverter generators are typically small, their size rarely exceeding 6,000 surge watts.

Why Invest In an Inverter Generator

The differences between the two types of generators are quite clear. What is perhaps less clear is the mechanism. Because in truth, if you’re not an engineer, understanding the difference between the waves and alternators can often be confusing.

In plain terms, you should invest in an inverter generator if you don’t have excessively high power requirements but are after a unit that is lightweight, easy to use, and, above all, quiet. You may also want to invest in an inverter generator if you need clean energy, to keep sensitive electronics safe.

That said, if you’re truly curious on understanding sine waves and inverter features, let’s dig deeper into the matter.

Understanding Sine Waves

Understanding sine waves is important not only so you can boost your own knowledge, but because the differences in the waves make a difference in how suitable the generator is or isn’t for the job.

Most manufacturers only advertise their inverter generators as producing a sine wave, but only a few specify what type of sine waves they create. Because there are two of them.

  • Modified (square) sine waves: Are the regular waves present on conventional generators. Yes, you can sense the irony in this, but the truth is nobody can stop a manufacturer from writing sine waves in the manual of a conventional generator. These waves are easy to produce via a standard alternator. Thus the machines are inexpensive. They are also noisy and less suitable for appliances and sensitive electronics.
  • Pure sine waves: Are those sine waves we expect in an inverter generator. As explained above, these machines use a three-step system to convert alternating current into direct current and back into alternating, preventing in this way any current fluctuations. These machines are quiet and are suitable for powering all electronics. However, they are expensive, that’s why they typically come in smaller sizes.

Inverter Generator Unique Features

In all honesty, all generators have more or less the same features and a similar design. Whether they are conventional or inverters, they are all operated more or less in the same way. But the alternator difference between the two make all other features of an inverter generator unique. So, what can you expect when searching for a unit?

  • Power: As mentioned above, residential-grade inverter generators rarely exceed 6,000 watts. Their smaller size is explained by the manufacturing costs. Making an inverter alternator is much more expensive than building a wired alternator. Thus a bigger one reaches unjustified charges. But this doesn’t mean you can’t buy a big inverter generator if you want to. Their size goes up to over 50,000 watts, sufficient to power a small industry. So yes, you can choose the unit that best suits your needs and budget from an impressively wide range of models.
  • Type of power: Those who look for an inverter generator rarely need a full household backup system. Perhaps you need some energy for your cabin up in the woods. Or while camping. The pure sine wave produced by an inverter, as explained above, keeps saving your sensitive electronics, including your cell phone or tablet.
  • Fuel efficiency: The market is full of types of generators, and inverters are not always green. Most of them run on fossil fuel, just like the conventional models. However, inverter generators are much more fuel efficient, which means they run longer. They can do this by automatically adjusting their fuel consumption to the load, lowering it as much as possible when no charge is applied. This also means you’ll be able to save money on fuel, which is an excellent thing in the long run.
  • Noise level: One of the most important things to consider when buying a generator is the noise level. At first glance, 75 decibels of a conventional generator may not seem much. But in reality, they can quickly become intolerable. On the other hand, inverter generators have a much lower noise level that rarely exceeds 65 decibels. This is more or less the noise level of a normal conversation. Considering that you won’t position the generator too close to you, you’ll barely hear its operation.
  • Build: Another point where inverter generators excel is their size and weight. These generators are compact and lightweight. Most of them weigh less than 75 pounds, whereas a conventional generator’s weight often exceeds 100 pounds. The size is also compact. Most models come with wheels that allow easy transport and luggage-style telescopic handles for easy storage. These features make the generators truly portable. Portable conventional generators are often cumbersome and hard to move, despite their “portability” claim.

When to Use an Inverter Generator?

With all this in mind, you’re perhaps wondering when to use an inverter generator instead of a conventional model. The answer is simple, whenever you need reliable, clean energy and whenever you don’t want to be bothered by a high level of noise.

As such, an inverter generator is an excellent solution for:

  • Camping and tailgating: Most campsites have enforced noise restrictions, so a conventional generator could be unacceptable to run in these places. This is mostly valid if you want to run devices during the night, for example. Hunting is another activity that requires a quiet generator, or the noise may frighten your prey.
  • Other recreational purposes: If you have a cabin or a boat, an inverter generator provides a reliable power source for your electric stove, mobile devices, minibar, and other electronics, including a donut or waffle maker. Since these generators are quiet and energy efficient, you won’t have to worry about it a bit.
  • Emergency system: Inverter generators are not the most powerful but are the most reliable. If you have a small household, this is the best machine to use as a backup system for outages. Considering an average house requires around 5,000 running watts for normal operation, an inverter generator capable of producing around 3,000 running watts is ideal for a smaller home.

As mentioned above, these machines are compact and easy to transport, easy to operate and convenient. Ideal to use for a wide range of applications, they are your best bet if you don’t need a significant power source.

How to Choose an Inverter Generator

Perhaps by now, it’s all clear why you need an inverter generator. You’re convinced to buy one, but before hitting the market, maybe you should take a moment to reflect on the matter. Inverter generators come in multiple styles and sizes. To make sure you choose the right one for you, there are a few things you should consider. We listed them for you below.

Intended Use

The foremost important thing to consider when buying a generator in general and an inverter generator, in particular, is the intended use.

Inverter generators come in all shapes and sizes, from small 100-watt unit to models that exceed 10,000 watts. Obviously, the price rises exponentially with the size. So, what do you need the generator for?

Do you want to power a light bulb in your tent? A small 100-watt unit is enough, and it will rarely cost you more than a hundred bucks. Do you need to power an RV? How much electricity does the air conditioner require? And the heating system? A 3,500-watt unit could be more appropriate in this case to ensure the machine stands up to the expectations.

If you want to power a small job site or your home, go for a unit that outputs at least 4,000 running watts, as this is the minimum required.

Energy Efficiency

Next, consider energy efficiency. This figure not only talks about longer runtime, but it actually helps you save money on fuel. Most inverter generators run on gasoline, a readily available fuel with a moderate cost.

The size of the tank usually determines the runtime. But pay attention to it when you buy the generator, as most manufacturers state it at 25% load. This means the generator will consume fuel faster at full capacity, which might find you unprepared.

To make sure the unit you like is truly energy efficient, make sure to check the energy efficiency at full load.

In broad terms, a unit that can run for 10 or more hours is ideal as a backup system. Those with a shorter runtime are typically ideal for recreational purposes.

Fuel Type

We talked about energy efficiency, but not all inverter generators were created equal. Some of them are powered by gasoline, others by propane, then there are solar and dual fuel generators. Solar generators are typically small and ideal for camping. The dual generators are the most versatile, giving you the possibility of extended runtime.

User Friendliness

It is often impossible to stress enough how important it is to have a generator that is easy to use. It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced user or a first-time buyer. Get a machine with easily accessible receptacles and controls.

Most inverter generators have recoil start only, although some units are equipped with electric start. If you live in a colder region, that’s something to consider.

A low oil and low fuel shutoff is another desired system. Indicator lights showing you the load, runtime, and fuel and oil level are other essential things to have on your machine. Also, check the reliability of the outlets and their suitability to accommodate your appliances.

Portability

Another significant thing is the portability. Luckily, inverter generators are small machines designed for easy transport and storage. But this doesn’t mean they are all easy to move. Check if the unit has wheels and comfortable handles.

Some models have H-style handles and no wheels. Unless you have a buddy, moving the generator could be a hassle.

To avoid this, pick one with sturdy and big all-terrain wheels and luggage-style telescopic handle.

Noise Level

Inverter generators are typically quiet, but some are louder than others. If you genuinely want to invest in a quiet unit, check the noise level at full load. Why? Because most manufacturers state their machine is soft, but they express measurements at 25% load.

Since each three decibels double the sound intensity, a 63-decibel generator will sound twice as louder as a 60-decibels machine. This means even the slightest difference can make the noise level unbearable.

To avoid nasty surprises, especially if you want to run the unit during nighttime on a campsite, check the level of noise at full load, and make sure you’re well aware of the distance the level of noise refers to.

In broad terms, manufacturers measure noise level at 23 feet, so you will have to place the unit at least at 23 feet from your tent or RV, and at least at 23 feet away from your neighbors.

Mistakes to Avoid when Buying an Inverter Generator

Newbies often make mistakes when buying their first generator. The gravest one is believing whatever a manufacturer is telling you about their product. So, how to avoid them and how to be sure your generator stands up to the expectations? Here’s how to pick:

  • Choose a well-known brand: A famous brand is not always a guarantee of quality, but chances are you’re going to get a higher quality product. This because big brands have a name to defend, so they create reliable technology. Most reputable brands also provide solid aftersales support, which means it will be easy to solve any issues that could arise.
  • Beware of specifications: In an attempt to increase their sales, most manufacturers use industry jargon that makes their product look the best on the market. But a low noise level measured at 25% load and at 23 feet could be pretty loud if you locate the generator closer and increase the capacity. Likewise, a generator said to run for 10 hours at 25% load will only run for a couple of hours at full capacity. Pay attention to the specifications and make sure you truly understand them. If in doubt, ask someone who’s more experienced to explain these things for you before buying. Also, don’t just trust the specified running output. Most manufacturers advertise their machines with a value, only to say they wouldn’t recommend running it at full load. This means the actual output is lower, and the machine you have may not live up to the expectations.
  • Check the warranty: If you want to be covered from malfunctioning, invest in an inverter generator that comes with a good warranty. For residential use, try to get a unit with a warranty that covers at least three years. Some manufacturers have warranties that cover at least two years for commercial use, and that’s another thing to consider if you want to power a job site or workshop. Also, check if the unit has a satisfaction guarantee. This would give you the opportunity to return the generator and ask for a full refund or replacement if it doesn’t work as advertised.
  • Price: Last but not least, check the price of the generator. Most inverter generators are expensive, or at least more expensive than conventional units. That’s why you’ll have to find the right balance between value and money. For the best deal, scout the market and choose a machine coming from a reputable seller and that complies with all your needs. For instance, all inverter generators featured in this guide come from reputable brands and have accessible prices. Obviously, the price goes higher if the generator produces more watts, so pick the unit that produces exactly what you need.

Conclusion

An inverter generator is the best machine you can buy if you aim to have power on a campsite without worrying about fuel consumption and noise level. Such a machine is also perfect for those who want to power up sensitive electronics.

For instance, you could use it as a backup system for your office, power up your laptop, wine cooler, or mobile devices.

There are dozens of models on the market, with different features and addressing various needs. But no matter what you’re looking after, you now know which are some of the best inverter generators you could choose.

So, establish your purpose and a budget, check our guide to see what to look after, and find the right inverter generator for you! After all, with so many options and the knowledge acquired, getting the one that best suits your needs shouldn’t be hard.

Still researching what to buy? Well check out our post on Best Home Generator and Best 10000 Watt Generator.


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