Inverter generators represent one of the most convenient things to have around during a power shortage. You never know when the whole neighborhood might go through a full blackout, causing you to go blindly around the house, with no source of power.
In such a case, the best inverter generators might help alleviate the problem temporarily until the power goes back on. Plus, it can also be used for a picnic or camping when you also need a power source.
That being said, finding a good generator might not be the easiest thing in the world which is why you might want to read some inverter generator reviews as well.
Who Is in Need of an Inverter Generator?
An inverter generator is a tool that can make life easier for quite a lot of people. It is a good product for people that need a more stable and clean power output – specifically one that features less THD. With this type of generator, you may easily power your more sensitive devices such as your smartphone, your TV, your tablet, your laptop, and so on. If you get an inverter that is also a quiet portable generator, it is a great choice to take with you on a camping trip, as it gives you remote power.
An inverter generator is also great for those that are not particularly fond of having too much noise around. It is the perfect thing to take with you on a camping trip, a party – or pretty much any neighborhood where there are noise restrictions. Inverter generators also are the more “modern” option, which means they have more features as opposed to standard generators.
What Are the Qualities of a Good Inverter Generator?
So, what makes a good generator better in comparison to your average generator? What are the benefits and qualities of such a generator – and why should you make this investment? Well, here are a few qualities of a good inverter generator and why you should consider getting one.
It Is Compact
More often than not, inverter generators use technology that is relatively new – and overall, they have a modern design. This means that the manufacturer can make it quite compact and easy to transport. Once an inverter generator is no longer in use, you may easily store it away until the next moment you need it.
It’s Less Noisy
Perhaps one of the main reasons why people invest in inverter generators is the fact that they are less noisy than the average generator. Since many neighborhoods have a noise restriction of around 72 dB, an inverter generator is actually one of the most convenient choices to go for. A quality generator will have a decibel level as low as 52, which makes it a convenient purchase for those that do not like too much noise around them.
It Has Clean Power
Most of the “old school” generators use DC power in order to supply energy to your utilities, making them a convenient choice for power tools and other similar units. However, what makes the inverter unique is the fact that inverters can take that DC electricity and convert it to AC power. This type of electricity is more qualitative – “clean,” so to speak – meaning that you may use it to power even your more delicate appliances. You know an inverter generator is good when you do not have to worry about any spikes to your laptop or TV.
It Is Lightweight
A good inverter generator is not only compact; it is very lightweight as well. The good thing about these generators is that you may easily transport them from one place to another – without actually requiring any help from anyone. For this reason, most inverter generators have been given wheels and handles so that they may be carried with more ease.
Best Inverter Generators Comparison Chart
Champion 4000-Watt DH Series Quiet Technology Open Frame Inverter
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Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Inverter Generator
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Champion 6250-Watt DH Series Open Frame Inverter
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Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Gas Powered Portable Inverter
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Westinghouse iGen2200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
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Top 7 Inverter Generators Reviewed
1. Champion 4000-Watt DH Series Quiet Technology Open Frame Inverter
Those of you searching for an inverter generator that packs quite a bit of power might want to look into this unit. With a 2.9-gallon fuel tank, it can easily run for as much as 17 hours when you use it at a 25% load.
As for the output, this unit has a total of 4000 starting watts, along with 3500 running watts. This makes it a great choice for any of your home appliances in the event of a power failure. The handles on the frame make it quite portable, allowing you to take it outdoors as well.
The unit is also parallel-ready – which means you may easily connect up to two inverters of 2800 watts or higher – therefore, increasing your power. It also comes with a 3-year limited warranty and lifetime technical support if something goes wrong with the unit. In the long run, the Champion 4000 watts from the DH series is a great investment.
- Features an eco-friendly mechanism
- Silent performance
- Features a parallel-ready design
- Decent warranty
- Quite heavy, so you can’t carry it by yourself
2. Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Inverter Generator
If you want a unit that is efficient while being easy to carry around, you might want to give the Champion 3400 inverter generator a try. It is indeed slightly more expensive compared to your budget generators – but considering the features you get along with it, this inverter practically pays for itself.
First things first, since this one is a dual fuel generator, you should be able to use any kind of fuel that you like – no matter if it’s gasoline or propane. The unit also comes with a sensor that detects when you are running low on oil – a sensor that will automatically shut the unit down to protect it.
With a 59 dB noise level, this generator is fairly quiet, and it won’t cause you any problem with the law of any state – regardless of where you are planning to use it. Plus, at 3400 watts, it can run for 14 hours on a 25% load – making it a good choice for those who experience long power failures.
- Very compact and portable
- Can operate on two types of fuels
- Very easy to operate
- Very lightweight
- It is quite noisy in comparison to similar units
- Emits quite a strong gas smell when it is running
3. Champion 6250-Watt DH Series Open Frame Inverter
If you are looking for something that packs a slightly more powerful punch, then you might want to try the Champion 6520-watt unit from the DH series. With its advanced open frame and inverter design, not only is it 50% more quiet in comparison to your standard generator, but it is also 50% lighter. Plus, considering that it features wheels, it is also easy to roll around.
Aside from the economy mode that it was designed with, this unit also features a clean power function. This means that you may easily connect your more sensitive electronics (such as a laptop, a TV, or your charger) and save on fuel in the meantime. It is also easy to clean and maintain, particularly in regard to the oil changes.
At 69 dB, this unit is fairly quiet for the power that it delivers. For all things concerned, it sounds just like the average conversation between two people. Plus, it can easily run for as much as 12.5 hours on gasoline, making it quite a convenient choice if your area tends to have long power outages.
- Powerful enough to handle any kind of power tool or power-consuming appliances
- Can power multiple appliances at the same time
- Fairly quiet in comparison to other similar units
- Works in an economy mode as well
- It is quite heavy
- The control panel makes access to the oil fill port difficult
4. Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Gas Powered Portable Inverter
If you are looking for a portable inverter that you can take with you on your next camping trip – or simply to power your small appliances during an outage – you could check this unit. At only 44 pounds, you may easily carry this with only one hand and store it once you are done with using it.
The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 was also given a super quiet muffler. This means that when loaded at 25%, this unit registers only around 51 dB – which is quieter than your average vacuum cleaner. It is also carb compliant, meaning that it may be used in pretty much every state.
The unit was given a Smart Throttle feature as well that will automatically change the speed depending on how much power you are using. Not only will this help you save on fuel, but it will also reduce the noise level. It is quite an efficient tool that you may use to power all of your sensitive appliances.
- Very portable and extremely easy to carry from one place to another
- Smart Throttle system that allows you to save on energy and reduce the noise
- Very easy to operate
- It has a silent operation, particularly on low speed
- The control unit is very sensitive and prone to error
5. Westinghouse iGen2200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
If you are looking for a good generator with the ability to power all your small appliances while you are on the road, you might want to give the Westinghouse iGen2200 a try. Weighing only 46 pounds, you may easily store it in the trunk of your car and take it out only when you require it. It is also the perfect thing to use for powering your gardening or power tools.
Running at 52 dB, this unit is very quiet and no louder than your average conversation. If you place the generator a few feet away from you, then you won’t even know that it’s there. It also features a 1.2-gallon tank that can run for as much as 12 hours when it is at 25% load (in most cases, you won’t even have to use it at full capacity).
That being said, if you don’t think it can deliver enough power, the unit is also parallel compatible. You may use other Westinghouse inverters in order to increase the amperage and wattage – therefore, increasing its running time. You’ll need a Westinghouse parallel cord, but if you have it, you should be able to keep the generator running for weekend-long camping trips.
- It has a long runtime, particularly on 25% load
- Is parallel compatible
- Very lightweight and portable
- Very quiet in comparison to other similar units
- The parallel cord needs to be purchased separately
- Oil gets back very quickly
6. Westinghouse iGen4500DF Dual Fuel Portable Inverter
If you are looking for something that has a dual-fuel capacity, then you might want to check out the Westinghouse iGen4500DF generator. No matter if you prefer a propane setup, a gasoline setup – or both – this unit makes that selection quite easy for you. However, most people prefer it for the propane mode as it is cheaper and more fuel-efficient.
The inverter is easy to use, mostly thanks to its digital display that makes the operation quite intuitive. That being said, the display also allows you to keep track of everything that has to do with the unit: from the power output to the fuel level and the remaining runtime. This way, it should be very easy for you to properly maintain the inverter.
The Westinghouse is also very quiet. Operating at 54 dB, it is actually quieter than most units of the same power – making it a great option for those who have neighbors that are easily bothered by the sound. It is no louder than your average vacuum cleaner and considering it can give you about 18 hours of continuous running power, it is a convenient tool to have around.
- Features a powerful gas tank
- Extremely quiet considering its size
- It is very easy to use and to operate
- Features both gasoline and propane fuel settings
- The running time is significantly shorter the more appliances you plug in or turn on
7. WEN 56203i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
If you are looking for an inverter generator that is more portable and that you carry to a more remote area, then you might want to go for the WEN 56203i unit. Weighing about 39 pounds, not only is it very easy to transport from one place to another, but it is also very easy to store once you are done with the product.
The inverter features a 2000-watt surge power along with 1700 watts of clean running power. This means you should easily be able to plug in your more sensitive appliances – going from tablets and phones to laptops, TVs, and so on. In the event of a power failure, you’ll have the necessary energy for your home appliances.
This unit also has a sensor that detects when the fuel is about to run out. Once it reaches a certain level, it will automatically shut itself down and protect your generator. This maximizes its performance and allows you to use it in the long run.
- It has a compact and portable design
- Automatic shut-off feature that protects the motor
- It requires limited maintenance
- Very quiet operation
- Grounding rod and wires aren’t included
- Gets quite noisy if you power a higher load
Features to Consider When Looking for an Inverter Generator
When looking for a good quality inverter, you may also want to consider a few features. Each inverter is different, which is why you may want to choose the one that is most suitable for your purposes and needs.
If you’re searching for a good quality inverter generator, you need to consider its fuel capacity. Most inverter generators feature a fuel capacity of 1 gallon or 1.5 gallons, which is quite enough to power all of your most powerful appliances. When considering the fuel capacity of your unit, you also need to determine exactly how many appliances you wish to connect to your generator. The more you add, the more fuel you will need to use.
When considering the fuel capacity, you should also think about the type of fuel that you want to use. Some people prefer to use gasoline, whereas others find more efficiency and benefits in propane. If you wish to use both, you might also want to consider using an inverter that is also a dual fuel generator. There is also the option of a top-rated solar generator if you do not want to use either.
Power is also a very important factor to consider. When buying an inverter generator, you will also notice that each product lists a particular wattage. In that regard, you might want to consider how many items you need to power. The more wattage your unit has, the more appliances you will be able to power at once.
If the power of the generator is too small, then you will not be able to power all of your essential appliances. That being said, if the power of the generator is too big for your needs, then you will be paying more for power that you do not need. Make your choice wisely.
Noise Level/ Decibels
You may not be bothered by the noise – but your neighbors may be. Granted, if you need the generator for a construction site, noise might not be an issue. However, if you decide to take it camping or using it in your backyard, then you or your neighbors might find the noise annoying.
This is why you need to ensure that the noise level does not go over 70 dB – and the lower the NRR, the better. For even quieter action, look for those that are rated at around 52 dB.
Size and Weight
When you are carrying an inverter generator to different locations (or even in your backyard), the last thing you might want is a model that is too heavy or too bulky for you to hold. Even if you are only planning on using it at home, it feels nice to know that you won’t require anyone’s help in order to move it.
Inverter generators make use of relatively new technology – which is why you might want to expect some high-tech features. Look for one that has an easy-to-figure control panel – one that displays any data that you may need to know. Not only should the control panel be intuitive to use, but it should also allow you to see the fuel level, voltage, and runtime.
An inverter generator might be lightweight – but that does not mean that it is also portable. Portability might not be an issue if you continuously plan on leaving the generator in the same place. However, if you think that you will be moving the generator from one place to another quite often, you might want to ensure that it has portability features. Look for handles and wheels, as they will make even the heavier generators much easier to carry.
While it might not be a crucial necessity, remote start is quite a beneficial addition if you don’t want to continuously go outside to your generator. It might be a connected button, or it may be another feature – but this means that you will not have to go outside to turn it on in case the weather is very bad.
Engines nowadays are quite efficient, in the sense that you can set them on different modes. For example, if you wish to conserve energy, you might want to go for an engine that also has an economy mode. This type of engine will detect exactly how much fuel you are using – and adjust the consumption accordingly. Bear in mind that economy mode might also not lend you as much power – but it will certainly make the unit run for a much longer time.
You might have a very powerful generator – but this doesn’t mean it might be able to power every other appliance you may have. Even if it does have the ability to kickstart all of your appliances, it does not mean that it will work for long. Sometimes, you may need a backup to the backup – meaning, another generator.
If you need more power than your generator can provide, then you might want to go for a model that features a parallel connection. This will allow you to connect one or more generators in parallel so that you may get more power for your appliances. This is very convenient if you have long power outages and you need to keep the appliances running for a longer time.
You will need an inverter generator that is efficient for both standard outlets and USB ports. After all, a good generator will also have to keep up with the times. If you wish to charge your tablets, laptop, phone, and other similar appliances that require USB ports, you might want to look into generators that have this feature as well.
Each generator will have a different running time – but what you should look into is exactly how long it will run when it is at a 25% load. The average generator can run for about 8 hours – but depending on the size of the fuel tank, you may also come across generators that can work continuously for 14 hours. However, bear in mind that the longer the running time, the bigger and bulkier the fuel tank will be.
Last but not least, you need to consider exactly what you need the generator for. Do you need it to help you with your occasional and temporary power outages, or do you want to use it on a regular, daily basis? Also, do you plan to leave it at home, or do you want to take it with you on camping trips and other remote locations? Depending on your purpose for buying the generator, you might need to invest in different features. Take a look at our page on generator types for more details in regard to that aspect.
FAQ about Inverter Generators
If you still have a few questions regarding inverter generators, you might find some helpful answers below:
- Are converter generators quiet in comparison to most generators?
Yes, an inverter generator is generally quieter in comparison to your standard generator. This is because most of them have been given quiet engines, sound-dampening technologies, muffles, and so on. All of this works to reduce the noise level of the generator and make it quiet by comparison.
- Can I run the inverter generator inside my home?
While it is mentioned that inverter generators may be used on home appliances such as your laptop or TV, it is not recommended that you run it inside. This is because an inverter generator works with gasoline – and can, therefore, emit carbon dioxide. Since this is generally referred to as the “silent killer,” you may want to place it outside, where the emissions cannot accumulate. If you really need that energy indoors, make sure to place it at least outside your window and use the connecting cables to bring the power indoors.
- Can I use the inverter generator if it’s raining outside?
No, it is not recommended to use the inverter generator when it is raining or the weather is humid outside. After all, this generator uses electrical wiring which makes the chances of you getting electrocuted quite high. Water may also damage the unit, so you may want to avoid it as much as possible.
If you specifically have to place it outside, you may want to ensure that it’s efficiently covered so that the unit will not get wet. That being said, you should also make sure that you give it enough space to “breathe” and that you do not cramp it in a tight spot.
- Can I use the inverter generator to power my air conditioner?
This will depend mostly on your home’s air conditioner rather than your generator. The power output of the generator has to match that of your generator. For example, if your model has about 2500-3500 starting watts along with 1300-2000 running watts, then you will have to choose a generator with a capacity of 3000-4000 watts on average to ensure that you will get enough power.
If the generator has a small capacity, then it is quite obvious that your generator will not be able to handle it. However, if the capacity of the generator is bigger, then you may easily use it as a whole house generator.
- What distance should I keep the generator at?
These inverter generators may be advertised as quiet, but at the same time, they will certainly not be whisper-silent. They can still be quite loud, which is why you might want to set it at a 15-20 foot distance from your house. This is also recommended to do because of the gas emissions – so, to protect its longevity, you might want to build a “house” around it.
An inverter generator can save you in a variety of circumstances – particularly when you are nowhere near a power source. That being said, it is still quite difficult to narrow it down to the best inverter generators, considering there are so many good quality products out there. With this in mind, you need to consider every other feature that comes with the inverter in particular.
Hopefully, our inverter generator reviews proved useful to you. All of them have passed the “tried and true” trial, which makes them reliable choices. Now all you have to do is to look for the model that is more convenient for you, whether you want to use it at home or on a camping trip.