September 2022

Portable Generators: Meta Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Portable Generator rankings posted by key online experts, as of September 2022.

Summary

As of 9 Sep 2022, Westinghouse WGen7500 takes the cake as the most critically-acclaimed portable generator with 6 expert endorsements. 2 experts out of 6 recommended it as the '#1 portable generator' this month. It is followed by Honda EU2200i and Sportsman GEN4000DF , with 4 and 3 expert endorsements respectively.

At a glance - September 2022 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Portable Generator
The Strategist
The Spruce
Bob Vila
CNET
This Old House
Best Generator
Wirecutter
Lifewire
Best of Machinery
Power Up
1
- $760
Westinghouse WGen7500
1
-
5
-
1
-
-
5
4
6
2
- $1199
Honda EU2200i
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
7
8
2
3
- Check price
Sportsman GEN4000DF
-
3
-
1
-
-
-
-
3
-
4
- $353
DuroStar DS4000S
-
-
-
-
2
-
-
1
12
-
5
- $1099
DuroMax XP12000EH
-
6
-
-
-
7
-
-
2
4
6
- $349
WEN 56200i
4
-
-
-
-
-
-
8
11
3
7
- $500
Wen 56380i
-
-
6
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
8
- Check price
Briggs & Stratton P2200
-
-
-
-
-
2
-
2
-
-
9
New * $169
SereneLife SLSPGN20
2
-
-
-
5
-
-
-
-
-
14
-1 $1035
Ryobi RY906500S
-
2
-
-
-
-
-
-
10
-
15
-1 $449
Duromax XP4850EH
-
-
-
3
-
-
-
-
-
10
16
-1 $1499
Ego Power+ Nexus PST3042
-
5
-
-
-
-
4
-
-
-

We ranked Westinghouse WGen7500 #1 in September 2022 because:

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

Best-rated portable generator

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Bob Vila

Best for Heavy Duty

Pros
7,500 running watts
Runs for 11 hours
Remote can be used 109 yards away
Muffler helps damper noise

Cons
Weighs 192 pounds

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This Old House

Most Powerful Generator

Pros
Shuts off automatically when the oil level is low
Has a convenient remote start function to turn it on from inside your home
Comes with several accessories, including an oil funnel and battery charger

Cons
Weighs nearly 200 pounds
Can arrive with residual oil or fuel odor because it's tested in a lab

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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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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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We ranked Honda EU2200i #2 in September 2022 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Generators” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Honda EU2200i as #1.
Critic endorsements:
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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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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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 September 2022 ranking

We ranked Sportsman GEN4000DF #3 in September 2022 because:

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

Best for RV Camping

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CNET

Go to ranking

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 DuroStar DS4000S #4 in September 2022 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 Basic Generator

Pros
Can handle powerful items, including a refrigerator and an air conditioner
Has a built-in voltmeter to measure the voltage output
Approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board

Cons
Requires separate purchase if you want wheels
Doesn't last too long with its small 3.9-gallon fuel tank

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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 September 2022 because:

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

Best High-Power

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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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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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We ranked WEN 56200i #6 in September 2022 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Generators” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
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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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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We ranked Wen 56380i #7 in September 2022 because:

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

Best for Electronics

Pros
Smaller than other options
Includes two three-prong 120-volt receptacles
Weighs under 100 pound
EPA III and CARB compliant

Cons
Does not work with propane
Does not connect to electrical panel

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Power Up

Our Top Picks

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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We ranked Briggs & Stratton P2200 #8 in September 2022 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 SereneLife SLSPGN20 #9 in September 2022 because:

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

Best-rated (less expensive) portable generator

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This Old House

Most Portable Generator

Pros
Can charge it with a wall outlet, solar panel, or cigarette lighter
Has a built-in flashlight
Can fit in a backpack

Cons
Can't power large appliances
Takes eight hours to recharge

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We ranked Ryobi RY906500S #10 in September 2022 because:

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

Best for Home

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Best of Machinery

Best Generator for CO Safety

Pros
An inverter generator with a 420cc engine that supplies clean and reliable power
Comes with a wrap-around hand truck frame with 10-inch wheels for portability
Noise level output is 72.3 dBA
The 6-gallon fuel tank gives you up to 10 hours of continuous run time
Includes both 120 and 240-volt outlets

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We ranked Duromax XP4850EH #11 in September 2022 because:

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

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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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We ranked Ego Power+ Nexus PST3042 #12 in September 2022 because:

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

Best Battery-Powered

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Wirecutter

Gas-free convenience

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