The 5 Best Inverter Generators (2024 Review)

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Inverter generators provide you with a power source if your house’s electricity goes out or if you’re away from home on a trip. They produce AC power that converts to DC and then back to clean AC power, ensuring it produces high-quality power with less fluctuation than other types. We at The This Old House Reviews Team researched the best inverter generators on Amazon. We also put together a comprehensive generator buying guide to help you learn more about purchasing a generator.

In This Guide: Top 5 | Buyer’s Guide | FAQs | Why Trust This Old House

Top 5 Inverter Generators

  • Best Fuel Usage: WEN Portable Inverter Generator
  • Easiest To Move: DuroMax Hybrid Portable Generator
  • Best Open Frame: WEN 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator
  • Best Outlet Options: Champion Power Equipment Inverter Generator
  • Best Capacity: Westinghouse Portable Inverter Generator

Best Fuel Usage: WEN Portable Inverter Generator

Pros and Cons

✔ Has a lightweight body that weighs 49 pounds✔ Comes with (2) three-prong 15A 120V receptacles and (2) 5V USB ports to charge multiple devices✔ Operates at 53 decibels at a quarter loud, making it about as loud as a quiet conversation

✘ Has limited power output, so it can’t run larger devices ✘ Comes with a shorter two-year warranty

What Customers Are Saying

Our research showed that customers who loved this generator praised its sturdy but lightweight build and sufficient portable power output. Most customers who tested this generator at a high altitude found that it worked just as well as it did at lower altitudes. However, some customers received a defective model, with the generator surging or displaying an overload error when nothing was connected to it.

Easiest to Move: DuroMax Hybrid Portable Generator

Pros and Cons

✔ Has a low-oil sensor to warn users before any issues arise✔ Can connect to a compatible Automatic Transfer Switch✔ Offers clean and stable power for a variety of electronics

✘ Although it has four wheels, it’s still heavy at over 250 pounds✘ Although the generator provides a lot of power, it’s also expensive

What Customers Are Saying

Positively, customers who reviewed this portable inverter generator said that it was relatively quiet, set up easily right out of the box, and valued the LED displays to indicate the number of running watts/amps being used. Negatively, some users wished that the generator had a 50-amp circuit, and thought that all of the outlet covers were a nuisance.

Best Open Frame: WEN 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator

Pros and Cons

✔ Its eco-mode feature saves fuel by preventing unnecessary gasoline usage✔ Has three indicator lights for low oil, overload, and output✔ Can be connected to another generator using a parallel kit

✘ Some customers had issues with the manufacturer’s customer support team✘ Not designed to run using multiple fuel sources

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What Customers Are Saying

Overall, we noted that users who were happy with this inverter generator said that it was excellent value for the money. They included that the build quality was impressive for a budget inverter generator. Conversely, some customers said that the unit was louder than they anticipated.

Best Outlet Options: Champion Power Equipment Inverter Generator

Pros and Cons

✔ Includes a three-year limited warranty✔ Sold at an affordable price with a high power output✔ Has a maximum running time of 14 hours

✘ Some reviewers said that cleaning the carburetor was a pain✘ May be difficult to transport because it weighs 95 pounds

What Customers Are Saying

Many Amazon users we found were shocked that this unit was able to charge sensitive electronics with clean power while maintaining a super quiet sound level. However, some customers didn’t like that it couldn’t run on propane fuel.

Best Capacity: Westinghouse Portable Inverter Generator

Pros and Cons

✔ Has two wheels and a telescoping handle for easy transportation✔ Has a digital display that alternates between showing the fuel level, power output, voltage output, remaining runtime, and lifetime runtime✔ Is compatible with a parallel kit to connect with other generators

✘ Has an unresponsive customer service team according to some customers✘ Some customers reported choke issues that limited its running wattage

What Customers Are Saying

Customers complimented this generator’s power, which was sufficient to act as a source of backup power in the event of a blackout. Many customers said that this unit worked out of the box and performed flawlessly with both the manual and electric start options. However, our team also found some customers who said they received units with upside-down outlets.

Buyer’s Guide

An inverter generator prepares you for power outages, camping trips, and tailgates. Our team put together this buying guide to help you choose the best inverter generator for your needs.

Size

Inverter generators range from small, portable generator models to large, permanent models. Choose an inverter generator that fits how much space you have for one and what you plan on using it for. For example, if you only need to power a few electronic devices in a camper, a small one will suffice. However, if you need to run large home appliances during a power outage, opt for a larger one that will fit in your garage.

Power

The amount of power produced by your inverter generator, measured in watts, determines how many appliances and devices it can run at once. Lights, small electronic devices, and small kitchen appliances will need less power than air conditioning systems and refrigerators. To serve as a home backup, you’ll want to err on the side of caution and get a unit with more power than you might need.

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Outlets/Ports

Inverter generators can have as few as two outlets or as many as five or six outlets. They can also vary in terms of type. For example, one generator may have wall outlets and USB ports, while another may have wall outlets, RV ports, USB ports, and cigarette lighters.

Noise Level

All inverter generators will make noise while they’re running, but some are louder than others. If you want a quiet inverter generator, look for one with noise-suppression technology that brings its noise level down to 50 or 60 decibels.

Fuel Source

Inverter generators are either gas-powered or powered by propane. Some inverter generators accept both to let you use whichever one you have available.

Additional Features

Some inverter generators have additional features to improve their performance. These may include:

  • Telescoping handles
  • Remote-start options
  • Automatic shut-off functions
  • Fuel-saving modes
  • Wheels

Choosing the Best Generator Type For You

Inverter generators are highly efficient devices that run on a low noise level and product clean AC power. However, inverter generators may not always be the right choice for you. Our team put together this list of key differences between inverter generators and other types of generators to help you make an informed purchasing decision.

  • Noise Level: Inverter generators are typically much quieter than other generator types as they run at variable speeds based on load demand. This allows the engine to not always run at max engine speed.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Due to variable speed operation, inverter generators are more fuel efficient and can adjust their output based on electrical load.
  • Weight: Inverter generators tend to be lighter and easier to maneuver and carry around than conventional generators as they don’t rely on bulky alternators and copper wiring.
  • Price Point: Overall, inverter generators typically have a higher price point than comparably sized conventional generators due to advanced power regulation technology. Portable generators will typically cost less than an inverter generator.
  • Electronic Safety: The clean, stable power from inverter generator models makes them safe for use on sensitive electronics like phones and computers. Inverter generators possess less risk of overload with these devices than other types.
  • Indoor Use: If you plan on using your generator indoors, inverter models are not the type for you. The combustion engines in these models can release poisonous gasses indoors that could lead to serious health issues or even death.

Frequently Asked Questions About Inverter Generators

What should I consider in order to buy the best inverter generator?

In order to buy the best inverter generator, you should consider how much power you’ll need, what type of outlets or ports you want to connect to, how much noise you’re willing to put up with, and how long you’ll need the power for in a hypothetical scenario. If you’re not sure what type of generator you need, check out our generator buying guide.

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How is an inverter generator different from a standard generator?

Standard home generators provide alternating current (AC) power. Inverter generators take in AC power, convert it temporarily to direct current (DC) power, and change it back to AC power for use. This produces a cleaner, steadier, and more consistent flow of power.

What can I use my inverter generator for?

Here are some items that your inverter generator can power:

  • Lamps
  • Coffee makers
  • Smartphones
  • Laptops
  • Refrigerators
  • Microwaves
  • Hair-styling tools
  • Televisions

Are inverter generators safe?

Yes. Most inverter generators have built-in features to make them safe to use. One common feature is an automatic shut-off function that removes the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning by shutting off the generator as soon as high levels of carbon monoxide are detected. If you’re concerned about carbon monoxide, you can also consider a solar generator instead, which doesn’t produce fumes.

Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>