The 50 Best Generators for Backup Power Supply

by Caitlin McCormack | Last Updated Mar. 4th, 2016

A generator can offer a convenient source of backup power to your home in case of power outages or emergencies, and makes a great portable source of power when camping as well.

There are some important factors to consider when purchasing and using a generator. Do you want gas-, propane- or solar-powered? Dual fuel options? Permanent or portable? If you want a portable unit, does it come with a wheel kit? Electric start or manual (recoil)? How many, and what types of outlets do you need?

You’ll need to determine your family’s power requirements in order to determine which level of wattage on your generator is suitable. If you plan on running electronic devices such as cell phones and laptops off your generator, you’ll want to invest in one with inverter technology for ‘clean’ power that runs without surges that could fry the components.

If you live in the state of California, you’ll also need to ensure that the unit you purchase is California Air Resources Board (CARB) compliant. This ensures the unit meets an additional number of safety and emissions standards.

If your unit is powered by gas or propane, you’ll want to ensure it is used outdoors with enough ventilation. Do not refill until the unit has cooled down.

With the above tips and advice in mind, here are 50 of the generators we consider to be the safest, based on available features and average customer ratings and reviews:

1. WEN 56180 1800-Watt Portable Generator

This portable 1800 watt generator can provide enough power for your family in case of an emergency, or even when on the road during activities like camping. It features a lightweight and compact design that is capable of running for up to 7.5 hours on 1.45 gallons of gasoline.

Key features:

  • CARB and EPAIII compliant
  • Includes two AC120V 12.5A three-prong outlets and one cigarette-lighter-style 12V DC outlet
  • Built-in low oil shutdown

Cost: *Est. $196.99

2. PowerPro 56101 2-Stroke Generator, 1000-watt

This gas-powered portable generator features a gas/oil fuel mix that removes the need for oil changes and is certified for use in any national park or forest. It weighs less than 36 pounds so it is easy to take and set up just about anywhere.

Key features:

  • Built-in carrying handle
  • CARB and EPA compliant
  • 1 year warranty

Cost: *Est. $135.58

3. DuroMax XP4400E 4,400 Watt 7.0 HP OHV 4-Cycle Gas-Powered Portable Generator With Wheel Kit

This portable gas generator is easy to take with you thanks to its convenient carry handle and built-in wheel kit. It can run up to 8 hours on a single tank of gas and features an easy, electric key start.

Key features:

  • EPA compliant
  • Built-in low oil shutoff
  • Basic generator tool kit included

Cost: *Est. $388.70

4. Champion Power Equipment 46539 4,000 Watt 196cc 4-Stroke Gas-Powered Portable Generator with Wireless Remote Electric Start

This gas-powered portable generator is rated for 3,500 watts of power output and comes with a single 120V DUPLEX outlet (5-20R), one 120V twistlock (L5-30R), and one RV receptacle (TT-30R). This unit can run for up to 12 hours on a single tank of gas.

Key features:

  • CARB compliant
  • Remote control start
  • Includes engine oil

Cost: *Est. $449.99

5. Goal Zero 23000 Yeti 400 Solar Generator

This solar-powered generator allows you to power lights, televisions and more thanks to its built-in AC inverters and can even be built in a chain with other Yeti inverters for longer run times.

Key features:

  • Safe to use indoors
  • Solar panel sold separately
  • USB ports to charge your devices

Cost: *Est $459.99

6. WEN 56475 4750-Watt Generator with Electric Start and Wheel Kit

This gas-powered generator features two standard 120V wall outlets as well as an RV outlet and features a wheel kit for ease of portability. Thanks to the engine life digital readout, you know exactly when it’s time to change your generator’s oil.

Key features:

  • CARB and EPAIII compliant
  • Overload protection
  • Electric start

Cost: *Est. $359

7. DuroMax XP10000EH 18HP Dual Fuel Propane/Gas-Powered Portable Electric Start Generator, 10000-watt

This dual-fuel generator can be powered by either liquid propane or gasoline to suit a variety of needs and applications. It features multiple outlets including two 120v 20 amp 3-prong outlets, one 120v 30 amp twistlock, one 120v/240v 30 amp twistlock, one 120v/240v 50 amp heavy duty outlet and a single 10a 12v outlet.

Key features:

  • EPA compliant
  • Built-in spark arrestor
  • Built-in oil warning light

Cost: *Est. $1298.97

8. Champion Power Equipment 75531i Inverter Generator, 3100 Watt

This portable gas-powered generator features wheels and a collapsible handle for easy portability and is perfect for use around the home or on the road – it’s even RV ready.

Key features:

  • 2 year warranty
  • Can run for up to 8 hours on a single tank of gas
  • Quiet 85 dB operation

Cost: *Est. $799.99

9. WEN 56200i 2000-Watt 79.7cc OHV 4-Stroke Gas-Powered Portable Inverter Generator

The United States Department of Health and Human Services has rated this generator as being as quiet as a normal conversation, making it ideal for home use. Thanks to clean power output, it helps prevent damage to your valuable electronics.

Key features:

  • CARB and EPAIII compliant
  • USB port included
  • 2 year warranty

Cost: *Est. $489.77

10. Champion Power Equipment 42436 1500-Watt Portable Generator

This 1500 watt gas-powered generator offers a portable and lightweight backup power solution for your home’s outage needs and features a 10 hour run time on 50% load. It can handle running a fridge, television and lights all at once.

Key features:

  • 2 year warranty
  • CARB compliant
  • Quiet, lightweight design

Cost: *Est. $201.88

11. Yamaha EF2000iS 2,000 Watt 79cc OHV 4-Stroke Gas-Powered Portable Inverter Generator

This gas-powered generator is available in a choice of two colors and features a built-in muffler for ultra-quiet operation with a USFS-approved spark arrestor.

Key features:

  • CARB compliant
  • Smart Throttle for maximum fuel efficiency
  • Up to 10.5 hours run time

Cost: *Est. $989.10

12. Pulsar PG1202S Two Stroke Generator, 1200-watt

This 1200 watt two stroke generator offers an economical solution for those looking for backup power for their home or RV. It can run for up to 8.5 hours on a single tank of gasoline and features an easy to use recoil start.

Key features:

  • 1200 watt maximum output
  • Lightweight design
  • Ideal for powering fridge and small appliances

Cost: *Est. $132.99

13. Champion Power Equipment 75537i Inverter Generator with Wireless Remote, 3100 Watt

This inverter generator is very quiet at just 58 dB and comes complete with built-in wheels and collapsible handle for easy portability. Thanks to clean power output it is safe to use with even your delicate electronics.

Key features:

  • Remote start up to 80 feet away
  • 2 year warranty
  • CARB and EPA compliant

Cost: *Est. $986.62

14. Westinghouse WH7500E Portable Generator, 7500 Watts

With 7500 running watts, this portable gas-powered generator can easily power your home’s appliances and television. Thanks to the full enclosure, electrical connections are protected from weather and debris.

Key features:

  • Quiet operation
  • Easy to use control center
  • Easy to read LCD run meter

Cost: *Est. $964.36

15. DuroStar DS4000S 4,000 Watt 7.0 HP OHV 4-Cycle Gas-Powered Portable Generator

This gas-powered portable generator can run for up to 8 hours on a single tank of gasoline and features an easy to use recoil start. You’ll get many years of use thanks to its high quality stainless steel frame construction.

Key features:

  • EPA compliant
  • Low oil auto shutoff
  • 1 year warranty

Cost: *Est. $314.08

16. Champion Power Equipment 46596 4000-Watt Portable Generator

Thanks to its cast iron sleeve, this portable generator is built to last and features several outlets including one 120V outlet (5-20R), one 120V twistlock (L5-30R), and a single RV receptacle (TT-30R) for multiple power supply applications.

Key features:

  • Can run for up to 12 hours on a single tank of gas
  • 2 year warranty
  • EPA compliant

Cost: *Est. $272.27

17. Smarter Tools STAP-2000iQ Parallel Capable Inverter Generator, 2000-watt

This inverter generator features a powerful Yamaha engine and Pure Sinewave technology which allows users to power sensitive electronic equipment like cell phones and laptop computers. The unit can operate in parallel with others so as to increase power.

Key features:

  • CARB and EPA compliant
  • Built-in USFS-approved spark arrestor
  • Super quiet 51 dB operation

Cost: *Est. $599.99

18. Honda Eu2000i Inverter Generator Portable Gas-Powered 120v 2000w

This generator is ideal for a number of power applications around the home and on the road thanks to its lightweight and portable design. It can even provide clean power to safely operate your sensitive electronic equipment.

Key features:

  • Fuel efficient eco throttle system
  • Super quiet operation
  • Easy to use recoil starting system

Cost: *Est. $1,216.88

19. Champion Power Equipment 71531 Dual Fuel Portable Generator, 9375-watt

This portable generator can be powered by either propane or gasoline and features up to 9 hours of run time. It has a cast iron sleeve to help provide years of continuous use and features four standard 120V outlets to help power nearly anything you need it to.

Key features:

  • CARB compliant
  • 2 year warranty
  • Electric and recoil start

Cost: *Est. $972.33

20. All Power America APG3014 2,000 Watt 4-Stroke Gas-Powered Portable Generator

This 2000 watt gas-powered portable generator can handle your power needs for up to 9 hours on a single tank of gas and features a quiet, 68 dB operation. It’s easy to move thanks to its lightweight design.

Key features:

  • EPA compliant
  • Features two AC 120-Volt outlets, one DC 12-Volt output
  • Built-in low oil shutoff

Cost: *Est. $211

21. Westinghouse WH5500 Portable Generator, 5500 Watts

This portable gas-powered generator features a manual recoil start that’s easy to use and 5500 watts of continuous power to handle nearly all your backup power needs. Thanks to a built-in muffler, it operates quietly so it won’t disturb your family or neighbors.

Key features:

  • EPA compliant
  • Easy to use and read control center
  • Three year warranty

Cost: *Est. $654

22. DuroMax XP4400EH 7 HP Dual Fuel Propane/Gas-Powered Portable Electric Start Generator, 4400-Watt

Thanks to its dual power options, this portable electric start generator can run on either gasoline or propane, making it ideal for nearly any backup power application. It takes just seconds to switch the power supply over.

Key features:

  • Built-in low oil shutoff
  • EPA compliant
  • Built-in wheels for ease of portability

Cost: *Est. $549.99

23. Champion Power Equipment #76533 4750 Watt DUAL FUEL Portable Generator w/Electric Start

This dual powered portable generator operates off either gasoline or liquid propane for convenience and features a cast iron sleeve. It can run for up to 8 hours off a single tank and features both an electric and recoil start for use in any situation.

Key features:

  • CARB and EPA compliant
  • 2 year warranty
  • Built-in overload protection

Cost: *Est. $600.02

24. Goal Zero 31901 Yeti 1250 Silver/Black XX-Large Solar Generator

This solar-powered generator features enough power to operate your home’s lights, tools, refrigerators, freezers and even health care equipment. It can be used indoor since there are no harmful emissions.

Key features:

  • Silent operation
  • Rolling cart included
  • Digital output display

Cost: *Est. $1,399

25. Powerland PD4000 4000-watt Portable Gas Generator, 7.5 HP

This powerful and durable portable gas-powered generator features a built-in muffler for super quiet operation and features two fully protected 20A 120 V outlets and a single 30A 120V twistlock outlet.

Key features:

  • Built-in low oil shutoff
  • Runs up to 12 hours on single tank of gasoline
  • Easy to use recoil start

Cost: *Est. $300

26. Generac 6719 IX Series 2000 Portable Inverter Generator

This portable inverter generator features a built-in overload protection to help protect your appliances and electronics and provides up to 2000 watts of continuous power. Thanks to its super quiet operation, it can even be used on campsites without disturbing wildlife or your neighbors.

Key features:

  • Compact, lightweight design
  • Clean power suitable for electronic devices
  • Up to 4.5 hours run time on single tank of gas

Cost: *Est. $589

27. Champion Power Equipment 46533 4,000 Watt 196cc 4-Stroke Gas-Powered Portable Generator

This portable gas-powered generator can run for up to 12 hours on a single tank of gas and features multiple outlets including one 120V (5-20R), one 120V twistlock (L5-30R), and a single RV receptacle (TT-30R).

Key features:

  • CARB and EPA compliant
  • Durable steel frame
  • 2 year warranty

Cost: *Est. $329.50

28. Yamaha EF2400iSHC Portable Generator

This portable generator features a powerful Yamaha motor that can even power your air conditioner. Plus, with its clean power, you can even use it with sensitive electronic devices like cell phones and laptops. The engine speed automatically adjusts depending on the load required.

Key features:

  • Built-in low oil shutoff
  • Quiet operation ideal for use at home or on the road
  • Runs up to 8.6 hours on a single tank of gas

Cost: *Est. $1,331.10

29. Generac 5939 GP5500 5,500 Watt 389cc OHV Portable Gas-Powered Generator

This portable gas-powered generator features splash lubrication to provide an extended engine life and boasts a large-capacity stainless steel fuel tank that allows for extended run times.

Key features:

  • EPA compliant
  • Built-in low oil shutdown
  • Outlets are covered, circuit breaker protected

Cost: *Est. $620.10

30. WEN 56352 3500-Watt 212cc 7 HP OHV Gas-Powered Portable Generator with Wheel Kit

This portable gas-powered generator features an easy to read digital display to help owners manage their maintenance and oil changes and can run for up to 11 hours on a single tank of gas.

Key features:

  • Wheel kit included for ease of portability
  • Built-in low oil shutoff
  • Built-in overload protection

Cost: *Est. $319.99

31. Generac 5747 XG8000E 8,000 Watt 410cc OHVI Gas-Powered Portable Generator with Wheel Kit

This gas-powered portable generator is easy to get up and running thanks to a single touch electric start and features an improved LED control panel for easy visibility as well as an hour meter to help track your usage.

Key features:

  • Built-in low oil shutoff
  • Outlets are covered, GFCI circuit breaker protected
  • 2 year warranty

Cost: *Est. $1,232.10

32. Smarter Tools ST-GP7500DEB Propane/Gasoline Generator with Electric Start and Battery, 7500-watt

This dual fuel generator can run on either gasoline or propane and features an electric start for easy power up. Built-in wheels and handle make for easy moving and setup wherever you need a little extra power.

Key features:

  • CARB and EPA compliant
  • Quiet, 72 dB operation
  • Up to 9 hours of run time on a single tank of gas

Cost: *Est. $804.99

33. Champion 73536i Inverter Generator 2,000 Watt 4-Stroke Gas-Powered

This generator features a lightweight design with built-in carry handle for ease of portability and can easily power what you need it to. It can be stacked for increased power and produces clean energy that is safe to use with delicate electronics.

Key features:

  • Extremely quiet 53 dB operation
  • CARB compliant
  • Overload protection

Cost: *Est. $569.99

34. K-tor Power Box 20 Watt Pedal Generator, Emergency Charger

This pedal powered generator provides electricity without the use of gasoline or propane, so it’s safe to use indoors. Kids will get a kick out of pushing the pedals around to create up to 20 watts of power.

Key features:

  • Can be used with legs or arms
  • Universal outlet
  • Easily charges a number of different batteries

Cost: *Est. $189.50

35. Generac 5943 GP7500E 7,500 Watt 420cc OHV Portable Gas-Powered Generator with Electric Start

This gas-powered generator was designed with special splash lubrication in order to provide a long lasting engine life and features an electric start with battery and plug-in battery charger jack. The outlets are covered to help protect against debris and weather.

Key features:

  • Built-in low oil shutoff
  • Stainless steel fuel tank holds large capacity of fuel
  • Built-in wheels for ease of portability

Cost: *Est. $999

36. Duromax XP4850EH Dual Fuel Propane/Gas-Powered Portable Electric Start Generator, 4850-watt

This dependable, heavy duty generator can be fueled by either gasoline or propane and features an electric start to get you up and running in no time. Thanks to its fully insulated motor mounts, this unit operates quietly, making it suitable for use in national parks.

Key features:

  • EPA compliant
  • Built-in low oil shutoff
  • Built-in wheels and folding handle for ease of portability

Cost: *Est. $579.99

37. DuroStar DS4400 4,400 Watt Gas-Powered Portable Generator With Wheel Kit

This 4400 watt gas-powered generator can provide your family with the power it needs during an emergency. It can run for up to 8 hours on a single tank of gas, and features two 120v 20A 3-prong outlets (standard 120V plug) and a single 120v/240v 30A twistlock outlet.

Key features:

  • Super quiet 69 dB operation
  • Built-in low oil shutoff
  • CARB and EPA compliant

Cost: Est. $368.64

38. Yamaha EF1000iS 1,000 Watt 50cc OHV 4-Stroke Gas-Powered Portable Inverter Generator

This stylish little generator features a specially designed sound reduction system that makes it quiet to operate and boasts a long 12 hour run time before needing to be refueled. It weighs less than 30 pounds, making it easy to move where your power needs take you.

Key features:

  • CARB compliant
  • Load sensing throttle control
  • 2 year warranty

Cost: *Est. $791.10

39. K-tor Emergency Disaster Kit: 10 Watt, 120 Volt, Hand Crank Generator, and 20 Watt Pedal Generator

Another pedal powered generator, this model can charge a dead cell phone in a matter of minutes, all without the use of fuel of any kind. Ideal for travel and indoor use, this generator is designed to last for years thanks to its high quality materials.

Key features:

  • Compatible with portable electronics
  • Manufactured in the United States
  • Compatible with all cell phones

Cost: *Est. $234.95

40. Generac 6461 Guardian Home Standby Generator, 16 Circuit 100-Amp Prewired EZ Automatic Transfer Switch

This generator is permanently installed to help protect and power your home automatically in case of a power outage. It can be run on either natural gas or propane, and is suitable for powering even sensitive electronics.

Key features:

  • 5 year warranty
  • UL, CUL, CARB and EPA compliant
  • Durable powder-coated steel enclosure

Cost: *Est. $3,527

41. Ryobi 2200-Watt Digital Inverter Generator RYI2200

This inverter generator has a running operation that’s so quiet, it’s no louder than a conversation. It features multiple outlets including two 120-volt AC and a single 12-volt DC. It can even be run in parallel for additional power output.

Key features:

  • Clean power for sensitive electronics
  • Fuel efficient-idle down technology
  • Made in the USA

Cost: *Est. $531.99

42. Powermate PM0133250 Propane Generator with Manual Start, 3250-watt

This propane-powered generator features an easy to use recoil start and covered outlets that help protect against the weather and debris. The easy to read digital multi-meter lets you quickly view voltage, frequency, engine run time and tracks scheduled maintenance intervals.

Key features:

  • Built-in low oil shutoff
  • Wheel kit included for ease of portability
  • Up to 20 hours of run time

Cost: *Est. $553.19

43. Xantrex 802-1500 XPower 1,500 Watt Portable Powerpack

This portable powerpack can supply your home with up to 1500 watts of portable power and features an integrated portable cart design that makes it easy to set up where you need it. AC and DC plugs are included with this unit.

Key features:

  • 1 year warranty
  • Alternative to traditional generators
  • Produces no fumes or noise

Cost: *Est. $617.52

44. Sportsman GEN2000LP 2,000 Watt 2.8 HP OVH Propane-Powered Portable Generator

This propane-powered portable generator uses a standard gas grill propane tank and can run for up to 12 hours at 50% load. The propane regulator hose is included, and thanks to its lightweight design, it’s easy to move and set up anywhere you need it.

Key features:

  • EPA compliant
  • Quiet, 65 dB operation
  • UL listed

Cost: *Est. $309.11

45. XtremepowerUS 2000w Watts Gas Portable Generator

This gas-powered portable generator offers an emergency power solution in a sleek and elegant design. The 4 hp engine is strong enough to power whatever you need it to. Includes two 120V AC outlets and a single 12V (8.3A) DC output for running DC appliances or charging batteries.

Key features:

  • Up to 15 hours use on a single tank of gas
  • Convenient carry handle on top
  • Easy to use pull start

Cost: *Est. $319.95

46. Durostar DS10000E 16 HP Gasoline Powered Electric Start Portable Generator with Wheel Kit, 10000-watt

This portable gas-powered generator features an electric start that lets you get up and running quickly and easily. Its 8000 watts can operate nearly anything from your home’s air conditioner to lights and fridge.

Key features:

  • EPA compliant
  • Oil warning light
  • Super quiet exhaust features a built-in spark arrestor

Cost: *Est. $999.99

47. DuroMax Elite MX4500 4,500 Watt 7 HP OHV 4-Cycle Gas-Powered Portable Generator With Wheel Kit

This gas-powered generator features an included wheel kit for easy of portability as well as dual collapsible handles. It features multiple outlets including two 120vAC 20A 3-prong, one 120/240vAC 30A twistlock and a single 12v DC battery charging outlet.

Key features:

  • Built-in idle control
  • Up to 8 hours of run time on a single tank of gas
  • 1 year warranty

Cost: *Est. $443.47

48. Sportsman GEN4000LP 4,000 Watt 6.5 HP OVH Propane-Powered Portable Generator

With 3250 watts of continuous power, this propane-powered portable generator can run for up to 10 hours on a single tank at 50% load and features two standard 120V AC outlets and one 12V DC outlet for battery charging.

Key features:

  • EPA compliant
  • Built-in low oil shutoff
  • Easy to use recoil start

Cost: *Est. $429.59

49. PowerStroke PS901200D Gas-Powered Portable Generator, 1100-watt

This portable gas-powered generator can stand up to even your toughest power needs and features a reliable engine with built-in low oil shutoff and automatic voltage regulator to provide cleaner power that’s suitable for use with sensitive electronics.

Key features:

  • EPA compliant
  • 2 year warranty
  • Up to 8 hours of run time

Cost: *Est. $199

50. Westinghouse WH6500E Portable Generator, 6500 Watts

This portable gas-powered generator features up to 13 hours of run time at 50% load and can be started either manually or via electric start. The oil, funnel, and tool kit are all included to get you up and running right out of the box.

Key features:

  • Integrated wheel kit with collapsible handles
  • 3 year warranty
  • EPA compliant

Cost: *Est. $906.58

 
 
   
  • 1 comment

     
  • Anthony Rodgers . 1 year ago

    Along with securing your house from power outages, there is a greater risk at hand. Radon gas. Radon gas can be fatal and should be taken care of. For more information about radon gas and its prevention visit these links.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radon
    AboutRadon

     
 
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