Best 5 Inverter Generators [2021 Edition]
19 Min Read
- 1. Champion 3400-Watt Inverter Generator with Electric Start
- 2. WEN 56235i inverter generator
- 3. Westinghouse iGen2200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
- 4. Champion Power Equipment 100302 4000-Watt RV Ready Open Frame Inverter
- 5. Westinghouse WGen5300s Storm Portable Generator with Electric Start
- Faqs About Inverter Generators
Inverter generators are a more recent type of compact generators that feature an electric upgrade. They feature a computer-controlled inverter to adjust their energy speed automatically depending on the load required as opposed to the regular generators that run at the same speed regardless of the load size. This is why they are typically less noisy and require less fuel to run. In addition, they have more stable electricity as they produce a cleaner sine wave that is important if you are charging sensitive items like laptops and phones.
While both the regular generator and an inverter generator will run on some type of fuel (diesel, propane or gasoline), these power sources will use an alternator to create usable power for campers, job sites and homes. Inverter generators come in a wide range of sizes and models so some will be suited jobs than others. The best inverter generator will run for longer and quieter while providing a stable source of electricity without compromising on ease of use and portability.
Are you thinking of purchasing an inverter generator? We have recommendations for the best in the market.
The Best 5 Inverter Generators Of 2021
The Champion inverter generator is synonymous with flexibility. It runs on both propane and gasoline – ideal for camping or out-of-town travel where the source of fuel may be a challenge. It is important note, however, that the generator runs better on propane rather than gasoline. With a powerful 3,400-watt output, the Champion inverter suits medium duty applications like powering essentials in a home during a power outage. It has either the recoil or electric starter depending on what you prefer and features several safety sensors including low oil and overload.
At 59 dB, this inverter promises quiet operation. It has simple plugins for a parallel adapter, which are color coded for ease of use. Further, the Champion 3400-watt generator features one 30-amp outlet and two 20-amp outlets, and runs on a 1.6-gallon tank.
Champion support offers a 3-year limited warranty with an added free lifetime technical support. Read more user reviews at Amazon.
- Starting wattage: 3400W while running wattage is 3100W
- 192cc OHV engine
- 1.6-gallon fuel tank
- Run time: Gasoline up to 7.5 hours, Propane up to 14.5 hours
- No assembly needed
- Included in set: USB Adapter, Propane (LPG) hose, Oil funnel and Battery
- Product dimensions: 25.1” x 17.3” x 18.3”
- The electric start includes Cold start technology for cold weather and a battery
- Safety features include the low oil shut off and overload features
- Dual fuel - easily switches between gasoline and propane with its fuel selector dial
- No assembly required. It comes with a foldaway handle for easy storage, and never-flat tires plus built-in handles to ease transportation.
- Operating at 59Db from 23 feet, this generator makes as much noise as a normal conversation
- EPA certified and CARB compliant
- The inverter comes with a parallel kit to allow for clip-on connection for load sharing so you can increase your output by joining 2 inverters.
- There is no warranty for the carburetor
- Champion’s customer care is often very busy and can take a while to resolve issues
- While the Champion inverter generator claims to be 59dB, users have complained that it a lot louder than expected
The Wen 2350W inverter generator is a great addition to any space that requires quietness – a common problem with regular generators especially when restoring power. Its 79cc 4-stroke OHV engine only emits 51 decibels at quarter load. With clean, reliable and safe power for electronics, this generator limits total harmonic distortion to below 1.2% thus ideal for powering laptops, tablets, cellphones and other sensitive electronics.
The Wen inverter generator packs a panel with one 12V 8.3A DC receptacle, two three-prong 120V 14A NEMA 5-20R receptacles, and two 5V USB ports. This powerhouse has a lightweight and portable 39-pound design that allows you to move it with ease, yet remaining efficient with its one-gallon tank to provide clean power for over 7 hours on half-load run time. For protection, the Wen 2350W inverter has a fuel shutoff feature. This helps the generator use up the fuel in the carburetor before shutting down – an important feature that prevents blockages and build-up of stagnant fuel inside the carburetor thus avoiding unnecessary maintenance and providing durability. In addition, it has low oil shutdown which when combined with indicator lights and overload protection keep the device safe from damage and prevents it from causing damage to your devices too. It produces 1900 rated watts of power and 2350 surge watts.
Further, the device has an eco-mode switch to maximize fuel economy. It comes with a two-year warranty. Read more user reviews at Amazon.
- Fuel shut-off feature 1-gallon fuel tank
- 79cc OHV engine
- 2350W surge wattage
- Runs at 1900W
- 10.5 hour quarter load runtime
- Ultra-light body for ease of transportation
- Very quiet operation that is comparable to a human conversation
- Produces clean energy that gives you a peace of mind when charging electronics
- Packed with safety features for longevity and prevention of damage. These include fuel shut off, low oil shutdown and overload protection
- It is one of the cheaper models that operate with efficiency
- You might need to purchase a magnetic drain plug and a NGK spark plug part#4111
- While grounding rod and wire are not included in kit, you might need external ground
- You can easily link up two generators for load sharing to increase your output using the company’s WEN Parallel Connection Kit but this is sold separately
The Westinghouse iGen2200 is a top quality inverter generator that produces 2,200 watts at its peak and 1800 running watts. This makes it ideal for emergencies at the house and recreational use. It can power most medium duty appliances and other devices that you need while on the go.
Running on a powerful 4-Stroke OHV Westinghouse engine, the iGen2200 is created to adjust its speeds automatically thereby providing only the power required for better efficiency. The device is convenient, compact and lightweight, weighing only 46 pounds, with a carry handle for portability. For areas where noise is a concern, this ultra-quiet generator is community friendly as it only emits 52 dB (less than a normal conversation). Further, it has stable power at less than 3% THD making it ideal for use where one would want to power sensitive gadgets like phones, laptops and tablets.
Should you require more power, you can pair this generator with another similar type using a Westinghouse WHPC Parallel Cord. The generator is packed with safety features for durability, easy maintenance and protection that include overload protection and low oil shutdown. A 3 year limited warranty is provided upon purchase. Read more user reviews at Amazon.
- 1800 Rated Watts and 2200 Peak Watts
- Gas powered
- Two 120V 20 Amp Outlets, Two USB Outlets
- 12 hour run time on 1.2 gallon gas tank
- Parallel capable
- EPA and CARB Compliant
- Size: 19.8 x 11.4 x 17.9 inches
- 3 year warranty
- Quiet operation at 52dB
- Clean and stable power at only Less Than 3% THD
- Extremely lightweight at only 46 pounds
- It features an economy mode for better fuel efficiency
- Easily portable due to its compact size and a built-in suitcase style handle. Also makes it easy to store.
- Features a powerful engine with a durable cast iron sleeve and automatic low oil shutdown
- While it is parallel capable, the kit does not include the code
- It is good to note that the company tests each product individually at the factory before sale so there may be residual oil and the smell of gas
- This machine may rev from time to time
Champion makes it again in the top 5 best inverter generators, this time with the innovative digital hybrid that promises quieter operation and compactibility. A feature-packed device that runs on quiet technology, economy mode, extended run time and clean power, the result is a generator that is 20% lighter and 50% quieter than the traditional 3500-watt generator by the same brand.
This inverter’s recoil has Cold Start Technology and a reliable 224cc engine to produce clean and safe power. Producing 3500 running watts and 4000 starting watts, the powerhouse can run for 17 hours at quarter load when the impressive 2.9-gallon tank is at its peak. It further features a 0.6-quart oil capacity and low oil shut off sensor as extra safety features. To protect your devices from harm, the generator has clean power at less than 3% THD.
Champion’s inverter generator operates at 64 dB which is slightly louder than normal speech which can be forgiven as it has such immense power for an inverter. A smart quick touch panel provides you with all the information you need to control the device including the Economy mode that reduces electrical load for maximum efficiency. This yields in extended engine life, better fuel economy and quieter operation. Read more user reviews at Amazon.
- Two 120V 20A household outlets (5-20R) , 120V 30A RV (TT-30R), and a 12V DC automotive-style outlet with a dual USB adapter and battery-charging cables
- Digital quick touch panel
- Safety features include
- CARB compliant
- 3 year limited warranty and a free lifetime tech support
- 4000 starting watts, 3500 running watts
- Included in the kit are battery charging cables, oil funnel and USB adapter
- Digital hybrid with advanced control panel and extra safety features
- Relatively quiet at 64dB
- Powerful 224cc OHV engine with 3500 running watts. It can power large appliances in the home
- Does not require assembly
- Can run for extended time with its 2.9-gallon tank reaching a peak of 17 hours
- Amazing generator but such terrible customer support in case of problems
- It is a bit noisy but that is expected due to its large open frame set-up
The WGen5300s was designed with dependability and versatility as the goal thus providing you with great power in a compact, lightweight body at 133.2 lb. Featuring a powerful 274cc 4-Stroke OHV Westinghouse Engine, this inverter generator can run for up to 13.5 hours on its 44.7 gallon gasoline tank. It has a built-in fuel gauge and an automatic low shut down. When you combine this with a VFT Data Center for regular scheduled maintenance, you get a reliable generator for your recreational or home power needs.
The best in our list in terms of power output, the Westinghouse generator produces 6,600 watts at surge and 5,300 watts running watts to power any home during an emergency. The machine has been made for durability as it also features an electric start with manual choke. The L14-30R outlet is ready to power your home and removes the hassle of power strips and electric cords. With its weight and durable build, the generator features never-flat wheels to ease storage and transportation. It is made with compact hardened-steel on its frame for long-use. Read more user reviews at Amazon.
- 4.7 gallon tank with fuel gauge
- 5300 Running Watts & 6600 Peak Watts
- 274cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV Engine
- EPA and CARB Compliant
- 3 year warranty
- Electric start
- Has amazing power output for all our choices with a peak 6600 watts and 5300 running watts and can run for 13.5 hours
- It is built with hardened steel for durability
- Plug and play action. No hassle and minimal assembly required
- Safety features include an automatic low oil shutdown, rubber covers on all outlets
- Comes with several added items in the kit including a tool kit, wheel kit, oil, an oil funnel, and a user’s manual to aid in the assembly
- It is EPA and CARB Compliant
- The manual may not be very helpful in the minimal assembly required if you have no knowledge on how to set up
- Customer service is often too overwhelmed to help when you are in need
- It has higher than the recommended THD at < 23% which means that it is not safe for delicate equipment
Faqs About Inverter Generators
Can You Use An Inverter Indoors?
You cannot use an inverter generator indoors as it emits exhaust, which is potentially dangerous when inhaled in enclosed spaces. Place it in a well-ventilated place for the fumes to vent properly.
When an Inverter Generator Is Better Than a Conventional Generator?
There are many instances when an inverter generator is better than a regular generator. Here are the top reasons;
When you do not need a lot of power. As opposed to conventional generators that can reach over 10,000 watts, most inverter generators do not produce more than 6000 watts.
When you do not want to make much noise. Designed to be more quiet, inverters feature mufflers, noise cancelling technology and do not have much energy output making them ideal for quieter settings.
When compactibility and portability are key. They have smaller engines and most feature a hand-carry design to take them wherever you may wish.
When you are not worried about the costs. Because of their design, energy efficiency, stable power and lower decibels, inverter generators are often more expensive than their counterparts.
Can You Get An Inverter Wet?
Making your inverter wet is risky for you and the generator. If you must use it in wet conditions or leaving it outside to elements like rain, keep it in a tarp or tent to eliminate the chances or damaging your device or shock.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Inverter Generator?
There are several factors to Consider when choosing the best inverter generator for your needs. Here are things to factor in when buying an inverter generator;
Fuel Type & Capacity
Most inverters use gasoline as their source of fuel but there are dual fuel generators available that run on both propane and gasoline. Depending on the availability of fuel and power output, choose an inverter that will be suitable for you.
You should check the wattage rating as the higher it is, the higher the power output. This might affect the price so here is a rough guide on what wattage fits your needs.
Tent camping/Tailgating or light duty application – 2000-3000 watts
RV camping, job site, emergency home use or any other medium duty application – 3,000 to 4500 watts
To power entire homes or heavy duty application – above 4500 watts
Recoil vs. Electric Start
Inverters can use either a recoil cord or an electric start switch, or both. The difference is that a recoil cord is an old method, which requires you to pull the cord to kick-start the engine, while an electric start uses electricity to start the device automatically. The recoil method does not require any electricity and will start even after months of storage. On the other hand, the electric start will store electricity in its internal battery but this is not as reliable.
If you buy a set of branded inverters, you are able to wire them in parallel, which is called load sharing. This means that you have back up power if one generator fails and can produce more power at a lesser output.
Size and Weight
Typically, inverters are portable and lightweight. This also means that they produce less wattage for power output. The wheeled units will offer more power but are large and heavy. If the weight of your inverter will hinder ease of transportation, choose a unit with wheels. Often, these are sold separately.
There are many advantages of owning an inverter generator over a conventional fuel-powered generator. They are less noisy, offer cleaner electricity and more energy-efficient. The only real drawback is that they produce less power than regular generators. Ideal for set ups that do not have a high electricity demand, inverter generators offer a wide range of benefits.
These top 5 power producers will provide clean, dependable and quiet electricity for that campsite, party or when the power outage at home.