Top 7 Best Inverter Generators of 2021 | Comparison & Reviews

Best Inverter Generator Reviews
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In this modern age, it is of utmost importance to have power all the time. You can’t afford any downtime, especially if you are working from home. To have a continuous electrical supply to your house in case of a power outage or natural disasters, these little inverter generators are essential power equipment.

They are of small size and lightweight, which means you can even carry them along for a picnic or at the camping site easily. Besides, they are extremely quiet in operation, which means they won’t make any significant noise.

If you are planning to buy the inverter generator, then it may turn out to be a cumbersome task because there are plenty of brands and models available with different power ratings. So, to help you make a choice for the best inverter generator for your needs, we have listed down the top inverter generator in the market.

Note

There are two types of inverter generators: Open frame and Close frame.

The open-frame inverter generators are cheaper and offer high power-output (as high as 8000-watts) but on the other hand, they are slightly noisy and bulkier than the close-frame inverter generators. So if you have a limited budget for an inverter generator then you can choose the open-frame inverter generators.

Best Inverter Generator
Champion 200954 (Best Overall)
  • Type: Open-frame Single-fuel Inverter
  • Starting Watts / Running Watts (Gas): 4250/3500
  • Run-Time (Gas): 22 hrs. @ 25% load
  • Start Type: Recoil with Cold-start
  • Parallel Capable: Yes
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.0 Gallon
  • Noise Level: 64 dBA
  • Weight: 75 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years + (Optional Wheel-kit Available Too)
  • Special Feature: CARB compliant, RV-ready, Quiet operation

(Other Variants available too)
Champion 100520 (Highest Power Output)
  • Type: Open-frame Single-fuel Inverter
  • Starting Watts / Running Watts (Gas): 8750/7000
  • Run-Time (Gas): 10.5 hrs. @ 25% load
  • Start Type: Electric + Recoil with Cold-start
  • Parallel Capable: No
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.2 Gallon
  • Noise Level: 72 dBA
  • Weight: 166 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Special Feature: GFCI outlets, Intelligauge display, Quick Drain Oil Tube

(Other Variants available too)
WEN 56200i (Cheapest, Compact and Lightweight)
  • Type: Close-frame Single-fuel Inverter
  • Starting Watts / Running Watts (Gas): 2000/1600
  • Run Time(Gas): 6 hrs. @ 50% load
  • Start Type: Recoil
  • Parallel Capable: Yes
  • Fuel Capacity: 1 Gallon
  • Noise Level: 51 dBA
  • Weight: 48 Pounds
  • Warranty: 2 Years
Champion 100263 (Best Dual-fuel Inverter Generator)
  • Type: Close-frame Dual-fuel Inverter
  • Starting Watts / Running Watts (Gas): 3400/3100
  • Starting Watts / Running Watts (Propane): 3060/2790
  • Run-Time (Gas): 7.5 hrs. @ 25% load
  • Run-Time (Propane): 14.5 hrs. @ 25% load
  • Start Type: Electric + Recoil
  • Parallel Capable: Yes
  • Fuel Capacity: 1.6 Gallon
  • Noise Level: 59 dBA from 23 feet
  • Weight: 95 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Special Feature: RV-ready, Quick touch panel, Eco-mode, Compact & Lightweight
Honda EU2200i (Most Durable & Super Quiet but Expensive)
  • Type: Close-frame Single-fuel Inverter
  • Starting Watts / Running Watts (Gas): 2200/1800
  • Run-Time (Gas): 8.1 hrs. @ 25% load
  • Fuel Capacity: 0.95 Gallon
  • Start Type: Recoil with Cold-start
  • Parallel Capable: Yes
  • Noise Level: 52 dBA
  • Weight: 40 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years
Westinghouse iGen4500
  • Type: Close-frame Single-fuel Inverter
  • Starting Watts / Running Watts (Gas): 4500/3700
  • Run-Time (Gas): 18 hrs. @ 25% load
  • Start Type: Electric + Recoil
  • Parallel Capable: No
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.4 Gallon
  • Noise Level: 52 dBA
  • Weight: 98 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Special Feature: RV-ready, Remote start, LED data center
WEN 56380i
  • Type: Close-frame Single-fuel Inverter
  • Starting Watts / Running Watts (Gas): 3800/3400
  • Run-Time (Gas): 8.5 hrs. @ 50% load
  • Fuel Capacity: 2.2 Gallon
  • Start Type: Electric + Recoil with Cold-start
  • Parallel Capable: Yes
  • Noise Level: 57 dBA
  • Weight: 40 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Special Feature: RV-ready, EPA III & CARB compliant, Digital Display

(Other Variants available too)

Best Inverter Generator Reviews

1. Champion 4250-Watt RV Ready Open Frame Inverter Generator

Champion 200954 4250-Watt RV Ready Open Frame Inverter Generator

Champion is one of the most respected brands for the quality and performance of their power products. From the latest technology to the striking innovation, they provide the best in class products, and this Champion 200954 is also one of their reliable equipment.

This inverter generator offers solid power output and, at the same time, remains the quietest generator possible. This extreme quietness is achieved by its industry-leading quiet technology, which makes them 50% quieter than the traditional generator.

Its advanced and improved design makes the generator 20% lighter, moving it into a portable generator category. The economy mode makes this generator much more efficient, and while saving the important fuel, it also improves the engine’s life.

To keep an eye on the power output, this unit features a digital display that shows the voltage, frequency, and operating hours, all thanks to its intelligent monitoring system. Moreover, the noise of this generator is around 64 dB, which is the same as two people having a friendly chat around the corner.

That being said, the generator can run for almost 22 hours with its 4 stroke engine running on gasoline when it’s 4 gallons tank is full and the load is 25%. You can definitely rely on its power output, which is 4250 starting watts and 3500 running watts.

Being the inverter generator, the output power of this beast will be significantly clean, and with a THD (Total Harmonics Distortion) of 3%, it won’t damage your sensitive electronics. Other than that, the generator is also RV ready, and with its 120 V 30A output port, you can directly attach it to the RV. Also, the two 120V 20A AC ports and 2 USB ports supply clean power to the whole house.

This is the best inverter generator from the Champion, which comes with 3 years of manufactures warranty.

Pros

  • Has 22 hours of runtime on 25% of the load.
  • THD rating of 3% doesn’t damage the electronics.
  • The economy mode really works well.
  • CARB compliant generator.

Cons

  • Quiet sound technology works well but the sound is a little more.
  • It is a portable generator but doesn’t come with wheels.

2. Champion 8750-Watt DH Series Open Frame Inverter

Champion 100520 8750-Watt DH Series Open Frame Inverter

Champion makes remarkably good power generating equipment, which is the standard for quality and excellence. Their years of experience in designing and manufacturing products that are durable and dependable lead their way to be among the top brands in the market.

This product from Champion is the power and performance packed open frame inverter generator. It’s 420 cc engine works on gasoline, which can generate 8750 starting watts and 7000 running watts. Even at this power generation, it produces a noise of just 72 decibels and runs 10.5 hours on 25% load when the 4.2 gallons of tank is full of gasoline.

Having said that, the engine of the generator is CARB compliant and EPA certified, which makes it eco-friendly to use.

Besides, like every champion inverter generator, this generator comes with quiet technology and economy mode. The economy mode saves fuel by adjusting the power output based on the load and saves fuel. The generator also comes with a low oil shut-off sensor and a quick drain oil tube for easy and convenient oil replacement.

This is an inverter generator, which means it will generate electricity that will be substantially clean. To be specific, the THD rating of this generator is less than 3%. Moving on, the generator comes with an intelligent monitoring system that shows the frequency voltage and the operating hours through the digital display on the panel.

The generator is equally effective in the cold weather as it is in warm weather. You won’t need to struggle just to start it in the dropped temperatures because it comes with the Cold start technology and the convenient electric start push-button for easy starting.

Along with all these premium features and strong performance, the manufacturer offers 3 years of warranty and a lifetime of free technical support from the experts.

Pros

  • Can be used as a complete home backup.
  • The engine is CARB compliant, and EPA certified.
  • Cold start technology.
  • Electric start for convenience.

Cons

  • The weight is 166 pounds, which doesn’t exactly makes it portable.

3. WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator

WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Inverter Generator

The WEN 56200i is one of the best affordable and lightweight inverter generators from the respected brand. It has so many things to offer; let’s check them out.

Starting with the design, you will notice that it has very compact built and weighs just 50 lbs, making it extremely portable to take to a camping site or at a job site.

The featured 79.7cc, 4 stroke engine runs on gasoline and generates 2000 peak watts and 1600 running watts when the 1 gallon of the fuel tank is full, and the 1-gallon tank is a pretty standard size for the generators of this category.

The engine is CARB and EPA 3 compliant, which ensures exhaust to be clean enough to obey the rules and regulations set by the government and makes it eco-friendly.

Moreover, the generator has an eco mode to improve fuel consumption, and this is done by adjusting the engine’s speed depending on the connected load. This speed reduction also gives a quieter operation to the generator.

Besides being extremely quiet in operation with a noise rating of 55 dBA, it generates impressively clean energy with a THD rating of just 1.2 % at full load, making it strongly suitable for sensitive low voltage electronic devices.

If we talk about the safety features, then the generator features the control panel, which is relatively easy to operate and includes the indicators for overloading and oil level. It also has an automatic low oil shutdown and low fuel shutdown, and to prevent any damage happening to the generator, it also has overload protection.

In the end, this is one of the best, powerful, and portable offerings from the WEN at an affordable price and it is also backed by a 2-years of limited warranty.

Pros

  • Very quiet operation.
  • Fuel efficient working.
  • Extremely portable and lightweight.
  • Automatic shutdown on low-oil and low-fuel.

Cons

  • Oil filling is not easy.
  • At higher loads, the eco mode is not so efficient.

4. Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator

Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator

There are very few dual fuel generators available in the market that come with inverter technology, and Champion 100263 is one of them. It gives you more flexibility because you can run it on both gasoline and propane.

This inverter generator features a powerful 4 stroke engine that works on both gasoline as well as on propane, which delivers 3400 starting watts and 3100 running watts. While working with gasoline, the generator provides the 7.5 hours run time, whereas if the fuel is propane, then the run time increases to 14.5 hours.

Moving on, the noise generated by the unit is not much that you can’t stay around for even a minute. The noise level measured from the 23 feet distance is 59 dB thanks to its innovative quiet technology.

Talking about the cleanliness of the generated power, this generator has a THD rating of less than 3%, making it a suitable choice for powering up sensitive electronics. Also, the generator is RV-ready with a power outlet of 120V and 30A, while for the household connection, the generator comes with two 120V 20A outlets and a 12V DC outlet with a dual USB adapter.

You know, sometimes you will find yourself in a situation where the power provided by the generator is not enough, but if you have these generators at your disposal, you can connect them in parallel to have the increased power output.

If we take a look at the features, then it comes with the low oil shut-off sensor, electric start with the 3-position ignition switch, and also the convenience of a touch panel to have access to all the controls in a single place.

In addition to the solid performance and durable built quality, the generator also comes with a 3-year limited warranty from the manufacturer, and let’s not forget the free lifetime technical support.

Pros

  • RV ready.
  • Easy to change between gas and propane.
  • Ultra-quiet operation.
  • Durable built quality.

Cons

  • The gas tank is small.
  • No fuel level indicator.

5. Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

Westinghouse iGen4500 is one of the powerful inverter generators with a peak watt rating of 4500 watts and running watts of 3700 watts. With its 3.4 gallons of tank full, the generator can supply continuous power for the 18 hours on the 25% load, and on 50% load, the running time decreases to 12 hours.

A larger fuel tank is needed so the generator can supply more power, which increases its weight up to almost 100 pounds.

The heavyweight of this generator doesn’t affect its portability at all. This particular generator is assembled in a compact design with solid tires and a telescopic handle to carry along, and the never-flat tire can survive almost any terrain.

This inverter generator really stands out in its ability to generate very little noise with a rating is 52 decibels, which you can hear from 23 feet distance.

The push-button electric start, which is located right on the control panel, makes it one of the most user-friendly inverter generators in the market. Another thing is that it is also possible to start the generator from 100 yards away due to its remote start feature.

Also, there is a LED display on the control panel, which makes it really easy to keep tabs on the different parameters like wattage output, fuel level, low oil level, remaining run time, etc.

Other than that, you can power up your electronic devices directly from this generator without having to worry about them getting damaged because the output power from this generator will have a THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) of less than 3%, and it is also EPA and CARB compliant.

Along with all the features and performance, the 2 years of limited warranty from the manufacturer makes it a sound choice.

Pros

  • Extremely quiet operation.
  • Remote starting.
  • Efficient operation.
  • Large fuel tank.
  • THD rating of less than 3%.

Cons

  • It is heavy.
  • It doesn’t have a parallel capacity.

6. Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt Inverter Generator

Inverter generators are generally better than conventional generators, and so many of them are available in the market as well, but once in a while, there comes a product that deserves special attention; the Honda EU2200i is that product. It’s an improvement over its predecessor Honda EU2000i, so how will it perform? Let’s see.

The generator features a 121cc Honda GXR120 commercial series 4-stroke engine. It was first developed for heavy-duty construction equipment and uses gasoline, and it provides exceptional performance while generating very little noise.

Besides, the output power will have less than 3% harmonics, making it safe to power the sensitive electronic equipment directly.

Although it offers better performance, the fuel tank is quite small. It will store gasoline up to 0.95 gallons, which gives the generator a maximum run time of 3.2 hours at full load and 8.1 hours at a quarter load.

That being said, the generator is equipped with the Eco-throttle feature. When you turn this mode on, the generator improves the runtime and the fuel economy, and at the same time, the noise level is decreased.

The noise produced when the generator runs at a quarter load is 47 dBA, and at the full load, it is 57 dBA.

Moving on, the generator features an automatic mechanical decompression system, which reduces the amount of force needed to start the engine.

Same as its predecessor, this inverter generator features the same recoil starting method, and it works flawlessly. In most cases, a single pull is enough to bring the generator to life, and it starts quickly and easily. The control panel has a variety of outlets to power most of the electrical appliances in the house.

All things in place, this is a solid choice as a portable inverter generator, and the company offers 3 years of warranty on the product.

Pros

  • Very quiet operation.
  • Compact and lightweight.
  • Fuel efficient.
  • Four-step color-coded system for recoil start.

Cons

  • No electric start option.
  • Small fuel tank.
  • No RV ready outlet.

7. WEN 56380i 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

WEN 56380i 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

The WEN 56380i has a sleek and modern design, plus the performance and the fuel efficiency provide value for money.

The generator features a powerful 212 cc 4-stroke OHV engine, which runs on gasoline and produces 3800 peak watts and 3400 rated watts, and it is plenty of power for most of the appliances. At this power generation rate, it provides a runtime of 8.5 hours on half load when the 2.2-gallon fuel tank is full.

It is perfectly safe to power sensitive electronic equipment because this unit generates very clean electric power. On top of that, the generator comes with the parallel operation mode to connect the two generators in parallel whenever you feel like the power supplied by one generator is not enough.

It’s also worth noting that the generator features an eco mode, which improves the fuel efficiency when the generator is running on a load less than the full capacity. Switching to this mode is very simple; you just need to toggle the switch on the generator panel.

This generator is equipped with almost every outlet which you can think of. It has the 120 V 20 A duplex, a 12 V DC outlet, and USB charging points too.

Let me also mention that this inverter generator is RV ready and comes with the 120V 30A twist lock outlet from where you can directly plug in the main power cord of the RV.

The generator comes with an integrated multimeter that is another feature that separates this generator from the rest of the competition, and it shows the power draw and fuel level with the help of LEDs. Other than that, another LED display shows the voltage, frequency, and the remaining runtime.

Moreover, the generator comes with the 2 years of limited warranty from the manufacturer for residential users.

Pros

  • RV ready.
  • High output power.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Comes with an electric start and backup recoil start feature.
  • Auto-shutdown feature.

Cons

  • 90-days warranty for commercial users.
  • Small wheels are not suitable on off roads.

What is an Inverter Generator?

The generator is electromechanical equipment that generates electricity from the fuel poured inside it. Conventional generators work by burning fuel to generate electricity, but in recent years one more category of generators has come to light, which is the Inverter generators.

The inverter generators produce electricity which is extremely clean compared to electricity generated by conventional generators. This is due to their internal working mechanism, which gives these generators the name ‘Inverter generator’.

They can control their engine speed which gives them more quiet and efficient operation. Due to this they also have smaller fuel tanks which makes them more portable. However, they cannot supply as much power as conventional generators due to the small fuel tank.

The inverter generators are eco-friendly because they are EPA compliant and meet all the guidelines set by different regulatory bodies.

How Does an Inverter Generator Work?

The first inverter generator was developed and introduced by Honda; it looked the same as conventional generators but was smaller, lightweight, efficient, and quiet in operation.

The inverter generators use the same working mechanism as conventional generators do up to some point. Inverter generators also feature an engine that works on fossil fuel, and a single-phase AC electricity is generated, that AC electricity is converted into DC by a converter.

Working of inverter generator

Now, this DC power is converted back to the AC power as per the connected load with the use of an inverter, that’s why the name inverter generators. This AC energy will be very clean with a much less THD rating.

The control of the output voltage and frequency is done by the microprocessor, which means that the engine won’t have to run at a constant speed (3600 RPM). This electronic control of the output power is the reason behind all the advantages the Inverter generator offers.

Inverter Generator vs Conventional Generator: Which One Should You Buy?

Whether it is an inverter generator or a conventional generator both of them have some advantages and disadvantages over each other. So, lets’ go over it and see for yourself which one suits your needs best.

The main and the most important difference between these two generators is the quality of the electricity generated. The electricity generated at the output terminal of a conventional generator will not be as clean as the electricity generated from the inverter generator.

The clean electricity is what makes the inverter generators so unique. That’s why you can directly connect the sensitive electronic equipment to the inverter generator, while you can’t do that with conventional generators. Besides, most of the other appliances in the home can survive the power of the conventional generator.

Power generation, that’s the domain where the conventional generator beats the inverter generators, is due to several factors. Conventional generators provide more power than the inverter generator.

Inverter generators don’t always run at the full capacity, the speed of the engine is controlled by the connected load at the terminal which makes it more fuel-efficient and very quiet compared to conventional generators that always run at a full speed. Because of this, they need more fuel than the inverter generators, which is why they have larger fuel tanks and it makes them bulkier.

Due to fuel efficiency, the inverter generators will need small fuel tanks which is one of the reasons for the less power output of the inverter generators.

If we talk about the price point, then the conventional generators are cheaper than the inverter generators. The reason behind the high price of the inverter generators is their new technology which offers benefits like quiet operation, high fuel efficiency, and very clean power generation.

If you don’t have a large power requirement and if the price isn’t the concern then go with the inverter generator, for more powerful capabilities and lower price point go for the conventional generators.

Key Features of Inverter Generator

Key features of inverter generator

What is it that makes these inverter generators stand out? The answer is its unique features, which we have discussed below.

Very Quiet Operation

For a recreational purpose or home use, the most annoying thing would be the sound of those open frame generators that keep running for hours.

While on the other hand, the inverter generators offer a much quieter performance. If we go into the specific, then if you get one of the best inverter generators, the noise level will stay between 50 to 60 dB. To put the number in context, this noise is comparable to the noise when two adults have a friendly chat.

As the power output increases, the noise from the inverter generators is bound to increase but it stays below a safe threshold of 65 dB.

High Fuel Efficiency

The working technology of inverter generators makes them highly fuel-efficient.

The speed of the engine will not be constant as conventional generators, it changes with the change in the load, if the load decreases the engine speed decreases and vice versa.

If the generator works at a constant speed, it will consume more fuel, but if it runs at low speed when the power requirement is less, then the amount of fuel consumed will be less. The inbuilt microprocessor inside the generator monitors the load and decides the engine’s speed, which will consume fuel that will be enough to supply the load at the terminals.

Clean Electricity

The main reason for which the inverter generators are known is their ability to generate very clean electricity that can directly be used to power modern electronics like the laptop, mobile, and TVs.

This clean energy is possible to generate because of the inverter stage in its working mechanism. The inverter circuit in the last stage makes sure that the generated power has as minimum THD as possible. THD is used to represent the cleanliness of electricity. If it is high, then the power is not clean, and if it is low, then the output power is clean and consists of a pure sine wave instead of a modified sine wave.

Portability

The high fuel efficiency of the inverter generator means it will need less fuel to generate the same power as the conventional generator does. Due to less fuel requirement, the size of the fuel tank will reduce. The small size tank means less weight and compact size of the unit, making the inverter generators very portable and easy to carry for picnics or campsite.

Pre-Purchase Considerations

To decide on an inverter generator model, you will need to consider a few things, so you don’t regret it after buying. This will ensure that you don’t make the wrong choice.

First, Understand why you need an inverter generator in the first place. Do you want the generator to during outdoor trips or picnics or you want to power your house in case of an outage? Will you be moving it from one place to another place much often or will it sit tight in one place?

When you identify your needs, you can calculate the power you will need for different things. When you know what size generator you need, you can narrow down your list of inverter generators.

Second, Now it’s time to decide what kind of generator you want; is it compact, or is it small? The small generators supply electricity ranging from 800 to 1,000 watts. With that power, you can run one or two appliances no more.

On the other hand, the small generators offer a little more power output, which is 1,600 to 2,000 watts, sufficient enough to power up a couple of appliances.

To run more appliances you may want to go for medium or large size generators.

FAQs

Can I plug my Portable Inverter Generator into my household wiring?

Yes, you can but with the use of a proper transfer switch. If you connect the generator to your house without a transfer switch, then it may even turn out to be deadly for you as well as for others.
Sometimes the reason behind the power cut is because someone is working on the power lines that’s why they are unenergized, but if you connect the generator to the house directly then it may feed the power to the main lines and can electrocute the person working. The reverse can also happen if the power comes back and the generator is connected, then the house appliances or the generator or both will get damaged.

Can an Inverter Generator burn me or explode?

Yes, it is possible. After the operation of the generator, if you overfill the oil tank, then it is possible that it will overflow over the engine and may result in fire or explosion. So never fill the tank of a portable inverter generator full; always have some space so that fuel can expand.
Also, don’t pour fuel when the generator is in operation. Before pouring the fuel, make sure that the engine is cooled down. Many parts of the generator will be hot after the operation, so stay away from them.

What are the proper cords I should use for my Inverter Generator?

You must use the proper cables which are rated for outdoor use, so it doesn’t get damaged easily. Also, make sure that the wire used has an adequate gauge so that it doesn’t get overloaded. The overloaded cables can be dangerous, and they can create fire or damage the equipment.
It will be in your best interest if you don’t use the wires which have exposed wires or the one which has worn out shielding.

Can I use my Portable Inverter Generator indoors?

The generators use fossil fuel to generate electricity. Due to the burning of that fossil fuel, the generator emits exhaust, which contains carbon monoxide, a deadly poisonous gas that is odorless and colorless, which means you can’t predict its presence in the room.
That’s why it is recommended that you don’t run the generator in the enclosed places. Always use them in the outdoor areas where sufficient ventilation is possible to avoid accumulation.
Still, if you have to install the generator indoors, we suggest that you install the battery-operated CO2 detectors indoors.

Evans Miller

About Evans Miller

I am an electrical engineer, and I am crazy about AC machines and generators. I created this website to share my knowledge about generators and help other people. On weekends, I like to travel in my RV with my wife and kids.

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