Best Inverter Generators

When you want a generator that can power your appliances as well as your computer, you need an inverter generator.

Inverter generators are designed to be safe to use with sensitive electronics. That includes computers, smartphones, and any appliances or tools that rely on microprocessors.

What differentiates inverter generators from conventional generators is that they convert AC electricity produced by the engine to DC electricity and then back to AC. The resulting electricity is “cleaner,” with less distortion that can fry your devices.

There are a number of other advantages to inverter generators, too.

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Inverter generators tend to be far less noisy than their conventional counterparts. Many small inverter generators produce less than 55 dB at a 25% load – about the same amount of noise as a quiet conversation.

Inverter generators are also more portable because they are more compact and lightweight. Plus, all inverter generators have fully enclosed engines, so there’s no chance of burning yourself on exposed engine parts during transport.

Finally, inverter generators are far more fuel efficient than conventional generators. If you need to run your generator for an entire day without refueling, an inverter generator is the obvious choice.

The main downside to inverter generators? They’re somewhat more expensive than conventional portable generators because of the advanced electrical components surrounding their engines.

Also beware that inverter generators are currently limited to a maximum of about 4,000 watts, so if you need more power you’re likely going to have to opt for a conventional generator. Alternatively, you can connect two models of the same inverter generator in parallel to double your available power.

With those advantages of inverter generators in mind, let’s take a look at 9 of the best inverter generators on the market today.

WEN 56200i 2,000-Watt Inverter Generator

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  • Rated Wattage: 1600 watts
  • Noise Level (25% load): 51 dBA
  • Weight: 48 lbs.
  • Estimated Runtime: 6 hours (50% load)

This quiet and lightweight inverter generator from Wen is ideal for powering a few appliances on the go.

With a noise output of just 51 dBA at 25% load, you’ll barely notice this generator is running. Even better, that level of quiet won’t cost you an arm and leg like some premium inverter generators from Honda.

Despite offering only 1,600 running watts, the generator isn’t short on outlets. It offers two 120-volt outlets, a 12-volt DC charging port, and a USB charging port to take advantage of the clean electricity.

One downside is that the generator offers a runtime of just six hours at a 50% load. Given that 50% load is just 800 watts, you should expect to refuel this generator every few hours for most uses, even when the eco-mode function is engaged.

The generator weighs just 48 pounds and has a large top carry handle, so you shouldn’t have any trouble moving it around. Note, though, that the extra tall design can make it difficult to store in tight spaces such as inside an RV.

 Pros:

  • 51 dBA noise output at 25% load
  • USB charging port
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons:

  • Only two-year warranty
  • Short six-hour runtime at 50% load
  • Tall design makes it hard to fit in some spaces

EDITORS CHOICE

Rockpals 2000-Watt Inverter Generator

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  • Rated Wattage: 1800 watts
  • Noise Level (25% load): 52 dBA
  • Weight: 46 lbs.
  • Estimated Runtime: 6 hours (50% load)

This generator from Rockpals is EPA- and CARB-certified, which is important if you live in California or plan to use it for a road trip in the Golden State.

The generator offers 1,800 watts of running power and 2,200 watts of surge power, which gives you a bit of breathing room when calculating out the wattages of all the appliances you plan to run. However, it’s still a bit small if you’re planning to power more just than the essentials in your home or RV.

The generator is extremely quiet, with just a 52-dBA noise output at 25% load and a maximum 58 dBA output at full power.

While the generator weighs a scant 46 pounds, it can be a little unwieldy due to the boxy design. Don’t let that dissuade you, though, as the large top carry handle is big enough to grab with two people when needed.

One additional advantage to this generator – Rockpals offers a two-year warranty and free lifetime technical support for this generator.

Pros:

  • 1,800 running watts and 2,200 surge watts
  • EPA- and CARB-certified
  • Maximum 58 dBA noise output
  • Two USB ports
  • Free lifetime technical support

Cons:

  • Boxy design can make it hard to carry
  • Short six-hour runtime at 50% load

BEST VALUE

Champion 4,000-Watt Inverter Generator

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  • Rated Wattage: 3500 watts
  • Noise Level (25% load): 64 dBA
  • Weight: 81 lbs.
  • Estimated Runtime: 17 hours (25% load)

This powerful inverter generator from Champion is a close competitor to our Editor’s Choice Pulsar generator, with advantages and disadvantages.

The main advantage is that the generator weighs just 81 pounds – a full 12 pounds lighter than the Pulsar model. Note, though, that it comes mounted on a steel frame rather than a set of wheels, which can be good or bad depending on how you expect to use it.

The noise produced by this generator is roughly on par with the Pulsar, at 64 dBA at a 25% load. However, the runtime is significantly shorter. This generator offers just a 17-hour runtime at a 25% load due to its relatively small fuel tank.

While the generator includes a 30-amp RV-ready outlet, it also lacks the convenient USB charging port found on the Pulsar generator.

That said, this generator is several hundred dollars cheaper than the competing Pulsar generator, which can be a deciding factor depending on your budget. It also comes with a three-year warranty and free lifetime technical support from Champion.

Pros:

  • 4,000-watt inverter generator
  • Inexpensive relative to competitors
  • Relatively light at 81 pounds
  • RV-ready outlet
  • Three-year warranty and free lifetime technical support

Cons:

  • Short 17-hour runtime at 25% load
  • No wheels
  • No USB port

RUNNER UP

Westinghouse 2200-Watt Inverter Generator

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  • Rated Wattage: 1800 watts
  • Noise Level (25% load): 52 dBA
  • Weight: 43 lbs.
  • Estimated Runtime: 13 hours (25% load)

This quiet and powerful inverter generator from Westinghouse is capable of producing 1,800 watts of running power and 2,200 watts of surge power to give you a buffer when running multiple appliances.

On top of that, the generator never exceeds 60 dBA of noise when running at full power. At a 25% load, it produces just 52 dBA of noise so you’ll hardly even know it’s there.

The generator also weighs a scant 43 pounds and is designed to be stowed away in any small space. It’s EPA- and CARB-certified, so you can use it anywhere in the country.

While the generator would be perfect for an RV in every other respect, it only has two 120-volt outlets and a 12-volt DC outlet. There’s no way to connect your RV, even with an adapter, and no USB port to charge your small electronics without hogging one of the two 120-volt AC outlets.

In addition, although Westinghouse provides a three-year warranty on the generator’s engine, users report having difficulty getting any help from Westinghouse’s customer service team.

Pros:

  • 2,200 watts of surge power
  • 52 dBA at 25% load
  • Weighs just 43 pounds
  • Three-year warranty
  • EPA- and CARB-certified

Cons:

  • No way to connect to an RV
  • No USB ports
  • Poor customer service

RUNNER UP

Champion 3100-Watt Inverter Generator

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  • Rated Wattage: 2800 watts
  • Noise Level (25% load): 58 dBA
  • Weight: 95 lbs.
  • Estimated Runtime: 8 hours (25% load)

This medium-sized inverter generator from Champion is the ideal pairing for an RV.

The generator produces up to 2,800 continuous watts and 3,100 surge watts, so you can power everything in an RV including a small air conditioning unit. For home use, you’ll have the option to power all of your essential appliances plus a few luxury items as well.

This generator is moderately loud, but not unduly so given it’s power output. At a 25% load, the generator produces 50 dBA of noise, while at full blast the generator remains under 70 dBA.

The thing that RV owners will want to take note of is the built-in 30-amp RV-ready outlet. However, while the 120-volt AC outlets and the DC charging outlet have their own circuit breaker reset buttons, resetting the RV outlet requires turning the generator off completely.

Note also that the runtime is relatively short, at just 8 hours at a 25% load. That’s even with the eco-mode turned on. While this isn’t a deal-breaker, it’s important to recognize that you’ll need to refuel this generator every few hours in most cases.

Pros:

  • 3,100 surge watts and 2,800 continuous watts
  • RV-ready outlet
  • Compact and portable, with wheels
  • Three-year warranty
  • Lifetime technical support

Cons:

  • No breaker reset for RV outlet
  • Short eight-hour runtime at 25% load
  • No USB charging port

RUNNER UP

WEN 3100-Watt Inverter Generator

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  • Rated Wattage: 2800 watts
  • Noise Level (25% load): 57 dBA
  • Weight: 81 lbs.
  • Estimated Runtime: 5 hours (50% load)

This generator is a direct competitor to Champion’s 3,100-watt inverter model, and offers a number of advantages that put it ahead for many users.

First, this generator is slightly quieter, with a 57-dBA noise output at a 25% load. More important, it’s almost 15 pounds lighter and has a more compact body overall.

It also addresses one of the major setbacks of the Champion generator: runtime. This generator features a larger gas tank to expand the runtime to 7.5 hours at a 50% load.

Wen retained the 30-amp RV-ready outlet and even added two USB charging ports for small electronics. However, there is still no breaker reset button for the RV-ready outlet, so you’ll have to turn off the generator if that outlet trips.

What really seals the deal for this generator is that it’s slightly less expensive than the Champion generator.

The only downside is that the warranty is not as long and doesn’t include free lifetime technical support.

Pros:

  • 3,100 surge watts and 2,800 continuous watts
  • RV-ready outlet
  • Two USB ports
  • Weighs just 81 pounds

Cons:

  • No breaker reset for RV outlet
  • Only two-year warranty, no lifetime technical support

RUNNER UP

Honda EU3000iS Inverter Generator

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  • Rated Wattage: 2800 watts
  • Noise Level (25% load): 49 dBA
  • Weight: 75 lbs.
  • Estimated Runtime: 20 hours (25% load)

This Honda generator comes with a hefty dose of sticker shock – more than twice the cost of many of its competitors that we’ve reviewed.

But, there’s simply no substitute for a genuine Honda engine when it comes to reliability and durability. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for, and this generator is built to outlast any other inverter generator.

This generator also excels in a number of performance categories. For example, it sports an incredible 20-hour runtime at a 25% load thanks to a large 3.4-gallon fuel tank.

In addition, it’s one of the lightest generators in its size class at just 75 pounds.

And more than anything else, it’s quiet. This 3,000-watt generator puts out just 49 dBA of noise at a 25% load – making it quieter even than most 2,000-watt generators.

 Plus, it includes a 30-amp RV-ready outlet, so you can take it with you on the road. Just note there are no USB ports for charging small electronics easily.

Pros:

  • Durable, reliable Honda engine
  • Incredibly quiet for its size
  • Long 20-hour runtime at 25% load
  • Weighs just 75 pounds
  • Three-year warranty
  • RV-ready 30-amp outlet

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • No USB ports
  • No wheels for transport

RUNNER UP

Yamaha EF2000iSv2

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  • Rated Wattage: 1600W
  • Noise Level (25% load): 15.5 dBA at 1/4 Load
  • Weight: 44 lbs.
  • Estimated Runtime: 10.5 hours (25% load)

If you’re looking for a high quality, portable generator, you can’t get much better than the Yamaha EF2000iSv2. Yamaha is pretty well known for its fantastic generators, so that alone should tell you that you can trust this product. If it doesn’t, let us enlighten you.So what do you need to know? For starters, the Yamaha model features a sleek, attractive design. It isn’t just a pretty face though. The generator can run for a considerable amount of time before you need to refuel. This is great if you’re in an emergency situation or you’re in an RV park.

It’s pretty small too, so it won’t take up a huge amount of space. It also makes a mere 51.5 dB of noise so you don’t need to worry about disturbing your neighbors at the RV park.With this generator, you will get 2000 starting watts and 1600 running watts. This is by no means the best power ever, but it’s sufficient for all sorts of things. It can run for around 8 hours on a quarter of a load, which is pretty decent too. The only issue is that it’s expensive, but it is worth the money if you’re willing to spend a little extra.

Pros:

  • Quiet Operation
  • Trusted Brand
  • Portable

Cons:

  • An expensive option from our list

RUNNER UP

Briggs & Stratton P2200

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Looking for a seriously impressive generator? You will be happy with the Briggs and Stratton P2200 Powersmart Series Generator. There are a wide range of great features included with this generator, and it’s a pretty solid choice for an inverter generator.For starters, this model features quiet power technology, so the noise is always kept at a minimum – unless you’re running very heavy loads. You can give power to your kitchen appliances or AC with ease. It’s very easy to get started thanks to the recoil pull start.

It looks pretty good, and it even has an LED indicator light system that will show you the main stats about your generator at any given moment. This helps you to keep an eye on how it’s operating much more easily.The generator can give you 2200 starting watts and 1700 running watts, making it a real power horse. You will also get 8 hours of running time from it, and you can have even more power if you hook it up to another generator. It’s pretty heavy though, so it may not be a good idea to attempt to carry it on your own if you can avoid it.

Pros:

  • Easy to set up and use
  • 2 year warranty
  • Quiet operation

Cons:

  • Heavy compared to other models in our list

Best Inverter Generators Buying Guide

Now you have our list of the best inverter generators that are available on the market; you might be wondering how to choose the one that is right for you.

We are going to give you all the information that you need to make a well-informed decision. 

The first thing that you should think about is where you are going to use your inverter generator, as this can actually affect the choice that you make.

The power that the generator can deliver needs to be enough to handle your intended purpose. If you need a generator for use in your RV or for a spontaneous camping trip, it is likely that you will need a generator that offers at least 1500 Watts of power.

This will allow you to run the appliances that you need to when you are on the go. 

However, if you want an inverter generator to use as a backup power supply in your home, you are probably going to need a generator with a higher wattage output so that you will be able to power all of your essential household appliances.

You might also consider a generator with parallel capabilities, so you can connect two generators together for more power.

The amount of power that you will require will depend on how many appliances you need to power and how demanding they are.

To be able to power your lights, refrigerator, and freezer, and possibly more, you are going to need at least 2000 Watts of power.

Another use that you might have for an inverter generator would be for those who work in construction on location and don’t always have access to a power supply.

You will still need to be able to power your tools and equipment on the job.

The amount of power that you require will depend on the equipment that you are using.

Portability is also another important factor that you will need to take into consideration. If the generator doesn’t have added portability options, you need to think about whether or not you are going to be able to lift it to take around with you.

Always check the weight of the product before buying as you don’t want to get stuck with a generator that you can’t move.

This might not be an issue if it is going to be stored in the same space in your home, but for those who want to use it on the go, it can cause problems. 

The best options in terms of portability are those generators that come with wheel kits and a handle.

Usually, the handle will fold away for space-saving, and you can wheel the generator around instead of having to lift it.

There is sometimes an option to purchase an additional wheel kit for the specific model of generator, which is always worth checking.

We highly recommend getting an inverter generator that has convenient added features for both safety and to prevent damage.

One of these features can include a low oil shut off, where the generator will automatically power down if the oil levels are getting too low.

This is a great feature as it helps to protect the engine from damage if you forget to change the oil.

Another feature is the low gas shut off which works the same, but for the gas, these features usually come with most generators, but you should definitely double-check before buying. 

While inverter generators are typically quieter than standard generators, there are ones that you can purchase that are specifically designed to produce very low levels of noise.

This is especially important if you need your generator for an RV, as you will be in close proximity to the noise, which can become very irritating.

You can look at the noise rating in the product description to find out how loud it is going to be while running. You should also check the customer reviews to see what other people had to say about the noise levels of the product, and this is usually the best way to find out how noisy it really is. 

The price is going to influence your decision making, especially if you have a specific budget in mind before buying.

Make sure to compare multiple products with each other to find out where your money would be best spent.

Try and get the most that you can out of your purchase in terms of additional features. Inverter generators can be more expensive than regular generators, but this is often because you are getting more for your money. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a USB port to use my inverter generator with small electronics?

You don’t necessarily need a USB port to be able to use your inverter generator to charge your small electronics. The “clean” energy is delivered to all outlets, so any are safe to use with your devices.

The main advantage to having a USB port is that you can charge your small electronics through it while still leaving both of the 120-volt outlets free for larger appliances that cannot be run from a USB port.

What if I need more than 3,500 watts of continuous power?

One of the advantages to inverter generators is that two or more of the same model can be connected in parallel to double your available power.

So, if you need more power than a single large inverter generator can supply, you can purchase two units and connect them in parallel. In that case, you’ll be able to deliver up to 7,000 watts of running power through a single outlet.

Can I use my generator with an RV if there is no RV-ready outlet?

Unfortunately, if there is no RV-ready outlet on your inverter generator, you won’t be able to connect it to your RV’s circuit board. An adapter won’t work in this case because there is no 120-volt/240-volt outlet to plug into on any of the generators we reviewed.

If you want to power your appliances on an RV, then, you’ll need to run the power cords for each appliance out to the generator itself.

Conclusion

Inverter generators offer a huge array of benefits over conventional generators. These include clean electricity that is safe for small electronics, lower noise levels, and more fuel efficient engines.

While inverter generators are slightly more expensive, these advantages are well worth the additional cost in many cases. Our review of the 10 best inverter generators makes it easy to find the inverter generator that will fit your power needs.

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