5 Best Generators In Popular Type Categories

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Discover the best generators by type categories like size, price, THD levels, and more so you can find the right machine for your preferences.

  1. Best inverter generator: WEN 56450i
  2. Quietest generator: Honda EU1000i
  3. Best small generator: Westinghouse iGen2500
  4. Best large portable generator: Westinghouse wGen9500
  5. Largest inverter generator: GENMAX GM10500iETC

These generators perform differently in many areas. Their performance scores are in the table below.

Brand ModelPower
Capacity
Run
Time
Quiet
Operation
THDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
PortabilityPrice
Category
Current
Price
WEN 56450i778.5<1.2%9.5888.5$Check Price
Honda EU1000i4.54.510<3%957.510$$Check Price
Westinghouse iGen25005.579<3%99.5810$Check Price
Westinghouse wGen95009.575.5<23%9.57.58.56.5$$$Check Price
GENMAX GM10500iETC978<3%67.58.56$$$$$Check Price
Best generators by type performance on a score of 10 in important categories*

*Compared to similar generators and sometimes based on customer input

1. WEN 56450i

The WEN 56450i is the best inverter generator thanks to its popular size, good reliability, and reasonable price.

WEN 56450i

Inverter generators like this have a built-in inverter that makes it so they put out low THD electricity. This is important for powering sensitive electronics safely.

The WEN 56450i has 4500 peak watts and 3500 running watts which makes it suitable for powering devices like an RV AC, a refrigerator, or an electric grill (and often more).

A benefit of the WEN 56450i is its quiet operation of 58 dBA at 25% load. This allows you to enjoy your power without too much annoyance and potentially at night.

Pros

  • WEN 56450i offers 4500 starting watts, 3500 running watts, 29.1 amps, and 120 volts
  • Relatively low noise levels of 58 dBA
  • Run time of 8.5 hours at 50% load
  • Less than 1.2% THD
  • Weight of 99.2 lb (45 kg)
  • Very positive customer reviews
  • 3 years limited residential and 90 days limited commercial warranties
  • A lot of customers
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Battery hookup manual guidelines are sometimes for a different model

Another benefit of the WEN 56450i is its budget-friendly price. It is hard to find similar alternatives with the same value for the price.

Additionally, the WEN 56450i is reliable according to customer reviews too. This generator could even serve as backup power although dual fuel type generators tend to be more popular for this.

One downside of the WEN 56450i is that it sometimes comes with the wrong user manual. This can make tasks like hooking up the battery more confusing.

In short, the WEN 56450i is typically the best medium-sized inverter generator if you just want a gasoline-compatible machine.

Brand ModelPower
Capacity
Run
Time
Quiet
Operation
THDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
PortabilityPrice
Category
Current
Price
WEN 56450i778.51.2%9.5888.5$Check Price
WEN 56450i performance on a score of 10 compared to similar alternatives

2. Honda EU1000i

The Honda EU1000i is the quietest generator on the market with noise levels of 42 to 50 dBA at 25% to 100% load.

Honda EU1000i

This generator will likely not disturb your activities in terms of noise since a regular conversation is around 60 dBA.

However, the Honda EU1000i has disadvantages that make it so this quiet generator is not for everyone either.

The main disadvantage of the Honda EU1000i is that it has a low power capacity. It can only power smaller devices like a coffee machine, rice cooker, and small RV refrigerator separately.

Pros

  • Quietest generator with 42 to 50 dBA at 25% to 100% load
  • Honda EU1000i offers 1000 starting watts, 900 running watts, 8.3 amps, and 120 volts
  • Parallel capability
  • Run time of 6.8 hours at 25% load
  • Less than 3% THD
  • Light weight of 28.7 lb (13 kg)
  • CO minder
  • Relatively positive customer reviews
  • 3 years limited residential and 12 months limited commercial warranties

Cons

  • Fuel efficiency is relatively bad
  • You may need more power

Another downside of the Honda EU1000i is its bad fuel efficiency. You will have to pay a relatively high amount of gasoline to generate 1 kWh with this machine.

On the other hand, a benefit of the Honda EU1000i is its good portability. You should have no issues fitting the small dimensions in your car and carrying the 28.7 pounds around.

The Honda EU1000i generally has positive customer reviews too. Besides a few negative ones who did not expect the lower power capacity.

So the Honda EU1000i can provide you with a bit extra power with low noise levels. This can be helpful for purposes like camping, fishing, and tailgating.

Brand ModelPower
Capacity
Run
Time
Quiet
Operation
THDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
PortabilityPrice
Category
Current
Price
Honda EU1000i4.54.510<3%957.510$$Check Price
Honda EU1000i performance on a score of 10 compared to similar alternatives

3. Westinghouse iGen2500

The Westinghouse iGen2500 is the best small generator thanks to its small size, good performance, quiet noise levels, and reasonable price.

Westinghouse iGen2500

This generator still offers enough power to run a refrigerator, a small window AC, and an air fryer separately. Many people will find this enough for their purposes.

Another benefit of the Westinghouse iGen2500 is that its small dimensions make it easier to fit in a car or RV compared to bigger alternatives.

The light weight of 47.4 pounds is relatively easy to carry around too.

Pros

  • Westinghouse iGen2500 offers 2500 starting watts, 2200 running watts, 20.8 amps, and 120 volts
  • Parallel capability
  • Relatively low noise levels of 52 dBA
  • Good run time of 12 hours at 25% load
  • Good fuel efficiency
  • Less than 3% THD
  • Light weight of 47.4 lb (21.5 kg)
  • Optional CO sensor
  • Very positive customer reviews
  • 3 years limited residential and 1 year limited commercial warranties
  • A lot of customers

Cons

  • A few exceptional cases of initial technical issues

Another benefit of the Westinghouse iGen2500 is its quiet operation at 52 dBA. This should allow you to enjoy your camping trip, DIY session, and even a night of sleep.

The Westinghouse iGen2500 also positively stands out in its good fuel efficiency. You will be able to get a relatively high amount of kWh from a gallon of gasoline.

A downside of the Westinghouse iGen2500 is that it has a few cases of technical issues. That being said, its customer reviews are still relatively positive overall.

This combination makes the Westinghouse iGen2500 the best generator for people who only have small power needs.

Brand ModelPower
Capacity
Run
Time
Quiet
Operation
THDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
PortabilityPrice
Category
Current
Price
Westinghouse iGen25005.579<3%99.5810$Check Price
Westinghouse iGen2500 performance on a score of 10 compared to similar alternatives

4. Westinghouse wGen9500

The Westinghouse wGen9500 is the best large portable generator thanks to its 12500 peak watts, good reliability, solid features, and positive customer reviews.

Westinghouse wGen9500

This is typically enough power to run bigger devices like a 5-ton AC, a heat pump, or an electric clothes dryer.

A downside of the Westinghouse wGen9500 that you do need to keep in mind is the high THD levels of 23%.

This is not suitable for powering sensitive electronics like a refrigerator, microwave, or AC if you don’t have your own inverter or other way to clean up the energy.

Pros

  • Westinghouse WGen9500 offers 12500 starting watts, 9500 running watts, 50 amps, and 240 volts
  • Noise levels of 74 dBA
  • Run time of 12 hours at 25% load
  • Weight of 208 lb (94.4 kg)
  • Has electric and remote start
  • Four GFCI outlets
  • Version with CO sensor available too
  • Relatively positive customer reviews
  • 3 years limited residential and 1 year limited commercial warranties
  • Relatively budget-friendly

Cons

  • THD of less than 23% is not suited for sensitive electronics
  • A few very exceptional cases of initial shipping and technical issues

Another small downside of the Westinghouse wGen9500 is that there are a few very exceptional cases of technical issues. However, there are almost no generators where this is not the case.

A benefit of the Westinghouse wGen9500 is that its customer reviews are still very positive overall. This implies a good reliability overall.

Another benefit of the Westinghouse wGen9500 is its relatively budget-friendly price. You get a lot of power for a reasonable investment.

In short, the Westinghouse wGen9500 is typically the best portable generator if you want a lot of power and don’t mind the high THD levels.

Brand ModelPower
Capacity
Run
Time
Quiet
Operation
THDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
PortabilityPrice
Category
Current
Price
Westinghouse wGen95009.575.5<23%9.57.58.56.5$$$Check Price
Westinghouse wGen9500 performance on a score of 10 compared to similar alternatives

5. GENMAX GM10500iETC

The GENMAX GM10500iETC is the largest inverter generator thanks to its 10500 peak watts and 8500 running watts.

GENMAX GM10500iETC

This is impressive since large portable generators are often non-inverters that are not able to safely power electronics on their own.

The GENMAX GM10500iETC positively stands out in its tri fuel feature too. This allows you to generate power from gasoline, propane, and natural gas.

Tri fuel generators are a great type for people who want to stay prepared for different situations and locations or simply want a portable generator that can run on natural gas.

Pros

  • GENMAX GM10500iETC offers 10500 starting watts, 8500 running watts, 50 amps, and 240 volts (gasoline)
  • Parallel capability
  • Tri fuel feature allows you to run on propane and natural gas too
  • Relatively low noise levels of 62 dB
  • Run time of 14 hours at 25% load
  • Electric and remote start
  • CO sensor
  • Less than 3% THD
  • Weight of 247 lb (112 kg)
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Above-average rate of technical issues
  • GENMAX customer support is not always easy to contact

Another benefit of the GENMAX GM10500iETC is its quiet operation of 62 dB at 25% load. This is a low amount of disturbance for so much power potential.

At the same time, the GENMAX GM10500iETC is often not the best choice due to its above-average rate of technical issues.

GENMAX customer support is often hard to contact too. Even if you are still within the short 1-year warranty of the GENMAX GM10500iETC.

In short, the GENMAX GM10500iETC is the largest inverter generator available but that does not make it a smart choice. You will likely prefer more reliable alternatives.

Brand ModelPower
Capacity
Run
Time
Quiet
Operation
THDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
PortabilityPrice
Category
Current
Price
GENMAX GM10500iETC978<3%67.58.56$$$$$Check Price
GENMAX GM10500iETC performance on a score of 10 compared to similar alternatives

Why is the type of generator important?

The type of generator is important because different designs have different pros and cons for certain situations.

Choosing the right type of generator for your specific situation allows you to get the most value for your money.

What is the best inverter generator?

The best inverter generator is the WEN 56450i thanks to its popular size, good reliability, and reasonable price.

What is the best inverter generator for home backup power?

The best inverter generator for home backup power is the Champion 201067 9000 thanks to its 50 amp outlet, good reliability, and reasonable price.

What is the best inverter generator for power outages?

The best inverter generator for power outages is the Champion 200977 4250 thanks to its nice amount of power, dual fuel feature, portability, and good reliability.

What is the best 50 amp inverter generator?

The best 50 amp inverter generator is the Champion 201067 9000 thanks to its 50 amp outlet, good reliability, and reasonable price.

What is the best inverter generator for RVs?

The best inverter generator for RVs is the WEN 56380i 3800 thanks to its nice amount of power, positive customer reviews, and reasonable price.

What is the best large inverter generator?

The best large inverter generator is the Champion 201067 9000 thanks to its 9000 peak watts, good reliability, and reasonable price.

What is the best 2500 watt inverter generator?

The best 2500 watt inverter generator is the Westinghouse iGen2500 thanks to its small size, good performance, quiet noise levels, and reasonable price.

What is the best 4500 watt inverter generator?

The best 4500 watt inverter generator is the WEN 56450i thanks to its 4500 peak watts, good reliability, and reasonable price.

What is the best small generator?

The best small generator is the Westinghouse iGen2500 thanks to its small size, good performance, quiet noise levels, and reasonable price.

What is the smallest portable generator?

The smallest portable generator is the Sportsman GEN1000 thanks to its dimensions of 14″ x 12″ x 12″ and 1000 peak watts.

What is the best large portable generator?

The best large portable generator is the Westinghouse wGen9500 thanks to its 12500 peak watts, good reliability, solid features, and positive customer reviews.

What is the largest portable generator?

The largest portable generator is the Westinghouse wGen20000 thanks to its 28000 peak watts.

What is the largest inverter generator?

The largest inverter generator is the GENMAX GM10500iETC thanks to its 10500 peak watts and 8500 running watts.

What is the quietest generator?

The quietest generator on the market is the Honda EU1000i with noise levels of 42 to 50 dBA at 25% to 100% load.

What is a popular generator?

A popular generator is the WEN 56450i thanks to its popular size, good reliability, and reasonable price.

This generator will often be the right choice if you want a medium amount of power and quiet noise levels at a reasonable price.

WEN 56450i
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Author:

Mats is the founder and head editor of Generator Decision. With a combination of critical thinking, tireless research, and a healthy interest in electronics he helps people find the right generators and how to use these. At this point in the journey, Mats has done research on hundreds of portable generators.