July 2021

Portable Generators: Aggregated Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Portable Generator rankings posted by key online experts, as of July 2021.

Methodology: combine opinions of key experts

Identify Experts

We identify key publishers and experts that consistently review and recommend Portable Generators.

Capture Rankings

For each publisher we find a currently recommended "top 10" list of Portable Generators, it must be updated in the last 9 months.

Aggregate Rankings

We put all those lists together and aggregate them. The more frequently a product is recommended, the higher it is in our ranking

Experts chosen for July 2021 ranking

At a glance - July 2021 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Price Portable Generator
Popular Mechanics
Power Up
The Strategist
CNET
This Old House
Best Generator
Wirecutter
Lifewire
Best of Machinery
Bob Vila
1
$849 Westinghouse WGen7500
-
6
1
-
1
-
-
5
4
3
2
$1399 Honda EU2200i
1
2
-
-
-
-
1
7
8
-
3
$431 WEN 56200i
-
3
4
-
-
-
-
8
11
-
4
$379 DuroStar DS4000S
-
-
-
-
2
-
-
1
12
-
5
$1299 DuroMax XP12000EH
-
4
-
-
-
7
-
-
2
-
6
Check price Sportsman GEN4000DF
-
-
-
1
-
-
-
-
3
-
7
$1193 Wen 56380i
-
1
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
4
8
$699 Champion Power Equipment 76533
-
-
7
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
9
$999 Champion 100165
-
-
8
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
10
$649 Briggs & Stratton P2200
-
-
-
-
-
2
-
2
-
-
11
$903 Generac GP6500 COsense
4
-
-
-
3
-
-
-
-
-
12
$499 Duromax XP4850EH
-
10
-
3
-
-
-
-
-
-

We ranked Westinghouse WGen7500 #1 in July 2021 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Generators” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Westinghouse WGen7500 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Power Up

Pros
High power output is suitable for applications with varying power demands
Rugged steel frame and never-flat wheels for heavy-duty use
The large gas fuel tank allows for a longer operating time

Cons
Its weight makes it difficult to transport
Alternator cover dents easily

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The Strategist

Best-rated portable generator

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This Old House

Best Overall

Pros
Powerful 9,500-watt capacity
Large 6.6-gallon fuel capacity compared to other products reviewed
Convenient remote start allows you to operate from inside your home
3-year warranty and lifetime support

Cons
Heavy, at almost 200 pounds
Some customers complained that it was hard to contact customer service

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Lifewire

Best for Long Run Times

Pros
Remote start
Easy setup
Can run up to 16 hours

Cons
Heavy

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Best of Machinery

The Largest Gas Tank Generator

Pros
9,500 starting watts and 7,500 running watts
Easy electric start
Built-in fuel gauge and automatic low oil shut off
Has its own wheels for better portability
Is both EPA and CARB compliant

Cons
Another heavy piece of kit that can be difficult to move around

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Bob Vila

Best for Heavy Duty

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We ranked Honda EU2200i #2 in July 2021 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Generators” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Honda EU2200i as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Popular Mechanics

Quietest

Pros
Super quiet
Very portable

Cons
Expensive

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Power Up

Pros
Fuel injection technology for better fuel efficiency and cleaner emissions
Low operating noise for comfort and convenience
Lightweight design with ergonomic carrying handles makes it easily portable
Produces true sine wave power for your electronic devices

Cons
Does not come with an automatic starter and emits a strong gas smell while running
Limited fuel tank capacity

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Wirecutter

The best generator

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Lifewire

Best Splurge

Pros
Lightweight
Can run overnight
Lots of features

Cons
No fuel gauge
Expensive

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Best of Machinery

The Best for Lightweight Mobility

Pros
Provides 2,200 watts of powers
Can run up to 8 hours on a gallon of fuel
Only 47 lbs, which means you can take it with you anywhere
The inverter power is reliable and safe to run laptops and computers on
Has a CO minder sensor that protects you from carbon monoxide poisoning

Cons
Small generator, will not be able to power an entire home in a blackout

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We ranked WEN 56200i #3 in July 2021 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Generators” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Power Up

Pros
Extremely quiet operation
Lightweight design at only 48 pounds for easy transport
Minimal harmonic distortion making it safe to use with sensitive electronics

Cons
Low fuel tank capacity
Overloads when connected to large equipment or high-drainage electronic devices
The plastic shell makes it more vulnerable to cracks and damage

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The Strategist

Best (less expensive) quiet portable inverter generator

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Lifewire

Best Value

Pros
Quiet 53dB operation
Lightweight and portable at 48 pounds
Two 120V receptacles, one 12V DC receptacle, and one 5V USB port

Cons
Won't last as long as bigger models
Some issues with warranty service

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Best of Machinery

Best for Power on the Go

Pros
Powered by a 79.7cc, 4-stroke overhead valve engine
Provides a starting power of 2,000 peak watts and operating watts of 1,600
Includes two 120 volt outlets, one 12 volt outlet, and one 5 volt USB outlet
Is both EPA III and CARB compliant
Handy carry handle so you can take it anywhere

Cons
Designed for small electronics whilst travelling rather than home power outages

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We ranked DuroStar DS4000S #4 in July 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Generators” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked DuroStar DS4000S as #1.
Critic endorsements:
This Old House

Best Value

Pros
Best price for the power
Lightweight, at only 94 pounds
Camping and RV-ready: approved for use in all 50 states

Cons
Wheels aren’t included; optional wheel kit can be purchased
Shortest run time per tank than other products reviewed

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Lifewire

Best Overall

Pros
High-quality product at an affordable price
4,000-watt capacity
Reliable brand

Cons
Heavy
Maintenance requires regular oil changes

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Best of Machinery

Best Balance of Power and Portability

Pros
Weighing only 94 pounds, it's portable enough to take on camping trips
The fuel tank has the capacity to hold 3.96 gallons, which will give you 8 hours of run time at a 50% load
Automatic low oil shut-off
Complete with surge arrest technology
Has both EPA and CARB approval

Cons
Industrial design that can clash with RV interiors

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We ranked DuroMax XP12000EH #5 in July 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Generators” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Power Up

Pros
It is a hybrid model, meaning it can run on both propane and gasoline.
It automatically shuts off with low oil.
It is highly portable, as it comes with a set of wheels and handles.

Cons
It might be hard to find a service that can fix any issues that might arise.

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Best Generator

The Biggest Beast

Pros
Dual fuel capabilities
Very heavy-duty materials and design
Surprisingly quiet given the power
Very powerful with long runtime

Cons
Heavy even with wheels
Still loud compared to the rest on the list

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Best of Machinery

The Best for Power-Outages at Home

Pros
Dual fuel so you can use either gasoline or propane gas
Can be operated at both 120v and 240v simultaneously
The control panel includes 5 outlets, 3 for 120v and 2 for both 120v and 240v
It has an 8.3-gallon fuel capacity tank with a running time of 9 hours at 50% load and 5 hours at full load
Provides ample power with 12,000 starting watts (peak watts) and 9,500 running watts

Cons
Heavy generator, best to keep in one secure location

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We ranked Sportsman GEN4000DF #6 in July 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Generators” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Sportsman GEN4000DF as #1.
Critic endorsements:
CNET

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Best of Machinery

Short Vacations and Small Power Outages

Pros
Has EPA approval
Runs quietly at only 69 dBA
Dual fuel, giving you complete flexibility
Small back-up generator for power outages and traveling
Includes an automatic voltage regulator, low oil shut-off, and a spark arrester

Cons
Not designed to be used constantly for several days in a row

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We ranked Wen 56380i #7 in July 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Generators” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Wen 56380i as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Power Up

Pros
Super Quiet
CARB Compliant
Can be run in parallel for even more power
Low oil and low fuel automatic shutdown
Fully RV ready

Cons
A little heavy

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Bob Vila

Best for Electronics

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We ranked Champion Power Equipment 76533 #8 in July 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Generators” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Champion Power Equipment 76533 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
The Strategist

Best dual-fuel portable generator

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Bob Vila

Best Overall

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We ranked Champion 100165 #9 in July 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Generators” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Champion 100165 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
The Strategist

Best easy-start portable generator

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Best of Machinery

The Best Dual Fuel Generator

Pros
Dual fuel, using either gasoline or propane gas
Easy electric push-button start
Air cooled
4-stroke, single-cylinder 439cc engine
The control panel has output sockets for either 120 or 240 volts

Cons
A chunky piece of material that's pretty weighty

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We ranked Briggs & Stratton P2200 #10 in July 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Generators” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Best Generator

Runner Up

Pros
Parallel capable
Low THD
Multiple customer service locations around the US, which makes getting service easier

Cons
No USB port
Can't be shipped to California

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Lifewire

Best Design

Pros
Smart, clean design
Built-in cigarette lighter outlet for versatile accessory connections
Relatively quiet at 64 decibels
Easy to carry with H-style handle
On/off switch also activates fuel shutoff

Cons
No built-in USB port
Not quite as powerful as some competitors
Louder than advertised

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We ranked Generac GP6500 COsense #11 in July 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Generators” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Popular Mechanics

Best Home Backup

Pros
Plenty of starting watts
Carbon monoxide shutoff

Cons
Heaviest in the test

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This Old House

Pros
Powerful, at 8,125 peak watts
Easy to use and assemble
Large capacity fuel tank

Cons
Heavy, at 177 pounds
Customers reported damaged products due to poor packaging and freight shipping

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We ranked Duromax XP4850EH #12 in July 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Generators” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Power Up

Pros
It comes with its’ own set of wheels, making it very portable.
Even though it is powerful, the generator is relatively compact and easy to carry.
It runs on both propane and gasoline, which is quite convenient.

Cons
It can get quite noisy, primarily when used at full capacity.

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CNET

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