Best Portable Generators – Home Use

Portable backup generators are a good investment for any homeowner. They are inexpensive and come in handy when there is a power outage. Or maybe you want one for your next camping trip or tailgating party. Electricity is one of those things you really don’t appreciate until you don’t have it. Below I have a guide to help you figure out which portable generator you need, and some reviews on portable generators for sale.

What size portable generator do I need?

The first thing you need to determine is what wattage you need from your portable generator. If you are going to use yours mainly for camping and tailgating you may consider a 800W to 1200W model. For emergency power outage situations most homes can get by with an economical 2500W to 3500W, if you just want to run your critical appliances, and don’t min a little power management. If you want to run a whole house, you would typically need 4500W to 6000W, or possibly more.

Here is a chart that you can use to help you determine what size portable generator you need. I always say err on the side of caution and go bigger. The price difference isn’t really that big.

what size portable generator do i need

Wattage vs. Runtime

Two measurements are measured in watts. It is important to understand the difference between the two.

  1. Starting watts, (aka startup power, max watts, or peak power) refers to what is required for an appliance at when it just turns on, which is usually its highest level of power consumption
  2. Running watts. (aka continuous watts, or runtime watts). Is the wattage required to keep them running. If you need a long runtime, look for a generator with a large tank

Goplus 1200 Watt Gasoline Portable Generator Gas Powered 2 Stroke 63cc Single Cylinder W/ Air Cooling System EPA ApprovedGoplus 1200 Watt Gasoline Portable Generator Gas Powered 2 Stroke 63cc Single Cylinder W/ Air Cooling System EPA Approved

Product Dimensions : 15 X 12.8 X 12.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 78.35 lbs
Gas powered 1200 Watts

Run time 4.8 hours at 100% load

  • Compact design, professional look. Lightweight and portable
  • Built-in handle
  • Quiet operation, at 91db
  • Low fuel consumption but high efficiency
  • Forced air cooling system, to prevent overheating
  • Status lights on control panel quickly indicate operation status

This would be suitable for tailgating or camping. Its not very powerful, but gets the job done, and is portable

Available at Amazon.com You may also like these models

If you are looking for something a little more powerful, for your home emergencies, you would want something like

 

Briggs & Stratton 3500 Watt

briggs & stratton 3500w
Click image for more information on this model

Product Dimensions : 23.23 X 21.65 X 31.5 inches

Shipping Weight: 129 lbs

Gas powered 3,500 watts

Run time 14 hours

  • Briggs & Stratton Power Built OHV Engine (208cc)
  • Features includes 2 household outlets and one RV outlet
  • 7 In. Never-Go-Flat Wheels
  • 2 years limited warranty

Available at HardwareWorld and  Amazon.com You may also like these models

 

Westinghouse WGen5500 Portable Generator – 5500 Rated Watts & 6850 Peak Watts

Westinghouse WGen5500 Portable Generator
Click image for more information on this model

Product Dimensions : 23.23 X 21.65 X 31.5 inches

Shipping Weight: 217 lbs

Gas powered 5,500 watts

Run time 13 hours

  • 6.6 gallon fuel tank with fuel gauge; hour meter;
  • Features two GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter
  • All outlets have rubber covers for added safety
  • Includes a Westinghouse generator cover,
  • Engine is a 420 cc Westinghouse 4-stroke OHV engine
  • EPA, CARB, and CSA Compliant:
  • 3-Year Warranty

Available at HardwareWorld and  Amazon.com You may also like these models

Briggs Stratton Q6500 Inverter Generator – 6500

briggs stratton q6500

 

Product dimensions: 21.18 x 21.46 x 24.8 inches

Shipping Weight: 109.3 lbs
Gas powered 6500 Watts

Run time 14 hours

  • QuietPower Series is more than 60% quieter than a standard generator
  • Compact design is 45% smaller and 30% lighter than a standard portable generator

Available at Amazon.com. You may also like these models

Generator Safety

I feel it would be a good time to talk about generator safety Be sure to read the owner’s manual and instructions for your generator, and always follow the instructions and warnings The points below are merely supplemental and are not intended to replace reading your owner’s manual.

  • Do not run a generator indoors or in a garage. Only use outdoors away from windows, doors, vents, crawl spaces.
  • Be sure there is adequate ventilation where you place your generator is available. Turning on a fan or opening doors and windows is not going to be good enough
  • Place your generator on a level surface where there is not a lot of moisture, dirt, dust or corrosive vapors
  • Make sure you have at least 5 feet of clearance around the area you are going to be using your generator
  • Do not overfill the gas tank. Fuel can expand during use.
  • Do not add fuel while your generator is running or is hot. Before you add gasoline,allow your generator.
  • Do not store your generator with gas in the tank where gasoline vapors might reach a flame or spark
  • Do not connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring or into a regular outlet. Doing so can be deadly to you and your family. Some times a generator that is connected that way can ‘back feed’ onto the power lines that feed your home and injure neighbors or electric utility workers.
  • I strongly that you check and adhere to all applicable federal, state and local regulations relating to grounding.
  • Inspect your generator and its parts regularly for need to repair or replace.
  • Do not overload your generator. Your portable generator should be used only when necessary, and only to power equipment within its range

 

James

I live in Pittsburgh PA with my family. I am 50% WWE Wrestlemaniac, 50% Walt Disney World nut.

6 thoughts on “Best Portable Generators – Home Use

  • December 20, 2017 at 3:10 am
    Permalink

    I like the reviews of these three generators. I have been looking into a good reliable one for some time now. The Briggs and Stratton looks like a very good choice for me. Since I live in Southern Louisiana, Hurricane threats are the norm here. Electricity is a must to run fans and other necessities when the heat is unbearable. Thank You for your suggestions.

    Reply
    • December 20, 2017 at 2:11 pm
      Permalink

      The Briggs & Stratton is a very reputable company that is known for making a quality product. You can rely on the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 to always be there when you need it.

      Reply
  • December 20, 2017 at 8:41 am
    Permalink

    I’ll be in need for one of these this winter, that’s for sure! Although summer’s just hit us in NZ so at least it’ll be a long time since I need any type of backup. The ones mentioned here all seem to be high quality and at good prices. I like the Goplus 1200 Watt Gasoline Portable Generator since it’s compact and quiet. These would suit my needs 🙂

    Reply
  • December 20, 2017 at 5:08 pm
    Permalink

    You know I could have used one of these last night when our power went off because of a storm. Thank you for the reviews no the advice. Will have to see which one that I like the best.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • December 20, 2017 at 5:32 pm
      Permalink

      Sorry to hear about that, you never know when that is going to happen. The good news is, there are a lot of good deals out there right now.

      Reply

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