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.
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 – 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 – 150Running watts – 100
Fuel type - Gasoline
Fuel type - Gasoline
Fuel type - Gasoline
Fuel type – Gasoline
Fuel type – Solar
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 – 59 dB
Noise level @ 25% load – 66 dB
Noise level@ 25% load – 57 dB
Noise level @ 25% load – 57 dB
Noise level @ 25% load – free of noise
Weight – 78.7 lbs.
Weight - 128 lbs.
Weight – 53 lbs.
Weight – 47 lbs.
Weight – 3.3 lbs.
1. Champion Power Equipment 100233
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.
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.
Champion Power Equipment Generator Video Review
2. 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.
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.
Atima AY2000i Video Review
3. 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.
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.
Ryobi RYI2300BTA Video Review
4. 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.
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.
Honda EU2200 Video Review
5. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.