When the power goes out in your home for an extended period of time, it’s not just inconvenient. It can be very expensive, and even dangerous. A portable home generator allows you to remain both safe and comfortable.
Fuel: Portable home generators run on either propane or gasoline. Some are capable of using both. There are also solar models.
Wattage: The first thing you need to figure out, before you start comparing portable home generators, is how much wattage you require to remain comfortable. Be sure the generator you choose has enough capacity to meet your needs.
Starter: Some models have electric starters. However, these require a battery, and it isn’t always included.
List of Portable Home Generators
10. Webetop Portable Generator
Get a huge, portable 42000mAh source of power.
- 2 110V AC outlets
- 3 12V DC ports
- 3 5V USB ports
- Versatile: Recharge via wall outlet, cigarette lighter or solar panel
- High Capacity: Laptops, car refrigerators
- Highly Portable: 3.48 pounds, 7.67″ x 6.73″ x 3.54″
9. 500 Watt Pure Sine Wave
Get both a UPS and portable rechargeable power supply in one highly portable unit.
- 3 120V AC outlets
- 4 USB charging ports up to 6.2A
- 4 12V DC power ports
- Small, light and powerful
- Quick charging
- Solar connection problems on some units
The Acopower is a powerful, portable gas-free way to keep electronics and small appliances powered up.
- 40,800 mAh capacity
- 3.31 pounds
- 3.15 x 6.5 x 6.89 in
- 2 USB ports, 2 AC outlets, 3 DC ports plus extra lighter socket
- Recharge by wall outlet, car lighter socket or solar panels
- Highly Portable: Super small and lightweight
- Excellent Value: Offers more features at budget prices
- Versatile: Charge a variety of laptops, devices and appliances.
- Charging can be a little slow
- Some newer tablets may need more USB than 5V 3.1A
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7. DuroMax XP12000EH
This DuroMax generator is a solidly built, quiet dual-fuel model.
- Dual-Fuel: Can run on propane if gas gets scarce.
- Quiet: Built specifically to reduce noise and also has a muffler for even quieter operation.
- Quality Issues: Buyers report about various problems with units within a short time of arrival.
- Weak Support: The consensus seems to be that there is little support for any issues which may arise with this model.
6. DuroStar DS4400
This DuroStar model is a crowd favorite. It provides big performance at a budget price. Just don’t expect it to be whisper quiet.
- Excellent Value: Buyers rave about what you get for the price, compared to bigger name brands
- A Little Noisy: Not enough to be a deal breaker for most people, but worth noting in case noise is a primary factor.
If charging your electronics is your main priority, then the 220 watt Suaoki may be just what you need. But you may want to get one far in advance of when you’ll need it because there have been reported issues with defective units.
- Highly Portable Power: It has 2 USB ports, 2 DC outlets and 2 100V/110V AC outlets. Charges USB/5V, DC/12V and AC devices.
- High Capacity: 20,000mAh can charge smartphones, tablets, external batteries, laptops, TVs, mini-refrigerator and other AC electronics.
- Recharges from portable solar panels, as well as wall outlets.
- Small and Lightweight: 5 pounds, 6.3″ x 9.84″ x 3.39″
- Versatile: Charges devices, laptops and small appliances with USB, DC and AC power.
- Solar Rechargeable: When you don’t have power to recharge it, you can use portable solar panels
- Highly Portable: Small and lightweight enough to even take on a plane.
- Uneven Quality: Buyers have complained their units stopped working soon after arrival.
4. Generac 6866
Noise is often a problem with portable generators, but not with the Generac 6866. Although, that may be a trade-off for power, and there seem to be some quality issues.
- Quiet: Different type of alternator reduces noise level significantly
- Efficient: Regulate power according to your needs with Economy, Standard and Turbo modes.
- Durability: Some buyers have experienced problems with the generation functioning within a short period of use.
- Weak: The manufacturer compares this model favorably to Honda regarding noise, but buyers say it is also less powerful than comparable Honda models.
3. DuroMax XP10000EH
This DuroMax unit has some very attractive features. However, build quality seems to be an issue and support seems to be weak.
- Dual-Powered: it runs on both liquid propane and regular gasoline, which can be an important advantage if gas gets to be hard to come by.
- Easy Start: Electric key is as easy to start as a car.
- Quality Issues: Over 15% of buyers have complained about this model not working for more than several weeks, at best. One said it caused a power surge that resulted in thousands of dollars of damage to appliances.
- Weak Support: Buyers with issues don’t seem to be able to get the help they expect to resolve them.
2. Generac 5802
The Generac 5802 is a rugged, useful generator. Its two most notable features are the huge wattage capacity and electric start. However, the company’s handling of issues makes it a bit of a gamble.
- Extremely Powerful: This model has a whopping 12,500 starting watts and 10,000 running watts.
- Electric Start: The Generac offers a single touch electric start function, and the battery in included.
- Not CARB Compliant: This means it can’t be shipped to California.
- Quality Issues: Some buyers claim that this unit is not as powerful as it should be, and arrives with defective parts.
- Poor Support: There have been a significant number of buyers expressing dissatisfaction with the way their issues have been resolved. Support seems to be slow and minimal. Buyers are responsible for getting defective units to an authorized repair facility, and the cost is not covered.
1. Champion Power Equipment 76533
The best-selling Champion 76533 has a lot going for it, but the dual fuel capability and electric touch start are what really make it stand out. The most common complaint is that it’s noisy.
The Champion 76533 is compliant in all 50 states and is EPA/CARB certified. It includes a convenient folding handle, as well as never-flat tires, for maximum portability. With 4,750 starting watts and 3,800 running watts, this generator can run for up to 9 hours on a full tank of gas.
- Dual Fuel: This model can run on both propane and gasoline, right from the box. So you can use whichever fuel is most convenient for you. There is a 3.4 gallon fuel tank for the gasoline and an inlet for the propane. There is a safety fuel selector switch, and a propane hose is also included.
- Touch Start: The Champion 76533 features an electric push-button start, and the battery is included.
- Noisy: The noise level on this unit is listed as 68 decibels from 23 feet. However, a great many people have complained about the noise, one person saying it bothered neighbors 2 sites away when they brought it camping.