7 Best Small Generators With Big Value

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Discover the best small generators for different situations so you can power things in compact, reasonably priced, and portable ways.

  1. Westinghouse iGen2500 – Best small generator overall & for camping
  2. Champion 200977 – Best small generator for home use (4250 peak watts)
  3. Honda EU2200i – Best small generator for power outages
  4. Honda EU1000i – Quietest small generator (1000 peak watts, 42 dBA)
  5. A-iPower SUA2000iV – Best small generator for RV connection
  6. Champion 200959 2000 – Best small dual fuel generator
  7. WEN 56380i – Best not so small generator with electric start (3800 peak watts)

This list has numbers to keep things clear but small generators lower on the list can definitely still be the best for your preferences and needs.

Brand ModelPower
Capacity
PortabilityRun
Time
Quiet
Operation
THDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
Price
Category
Current
Price
Westinghouse iGen25007.58.589<3%9108$$Check Price
Champion 200977 42509.57107.5<3%9.588$$$Check Price
Honda EU2200i78.56.59.5<3%9.56.58.5$$$$Check Price
Honda EU1000i5.5105.510<3%957.5$$$Check Price
A-iPower SUA2000iV6.58.57.59<3%877.5$Check Price
Champion 200959 20006.5989<3%9.587.5$$Check Price
WEN 56380i 38009788.5<1.2%98.58$$Check Price
Best small generators performance on a score of 10 in important categories*

*Compared to similar generators and sometimes based on customer input

1. Westinghouse iGen2500

The Westinghouse iGen2500 is the best small generator overall and for camping thanks to its combination of a nice amount of power, good features, reliability, and a reasonable price.

Westinghouse iGen2500

In combination with the low noise levels of 52 dBA, compact dimensions, and light weight, the Westinghouse iGen2500 also gets the top spot for the best small generator for camping.

One thing to mention is that there are a few exceptional cases where customers have technical issues with this portable generator.

That being said, since these are relatively uncommon and the reviews are positive overall, you can say the Westinghouse iGen2500 is still relatively reliable.

Pros

  • Westinghouse iGen2500 offers 2500 starting watts, 2200 running watts, 20.8 amps, and 120 volts
  • Parallel capability
  • Dimensions of 19.8″ x 11.4″ x 17.9″
  • 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 very exceptional cases of initial technical issues

There are even more impressive models too but the Westinghouse iGen2500 has a long run time of 12 hours at 25% load.

In combination with the quiet operation, this should be enough to run something like a refrigerator, freezer, and maybe even a small RV AC overnight.

Something else that really stands out in the Westinghouse iGen2500 is its fuel efficiency.

Being able to get a lot of kWh out of a gallon of fuel can save you some money and reduces how often you need to get a new portion of gasoline.

In short, while it is not perfect, the complete package at its budget-friendly price does still earn the Westinghouse iGen2500 the title of the best small generator.

Brand ModelPower
Capacity
PortabilityRun
Time
Quiet
Operation
THDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
Price
Category
Current
Price
Westinghouse iGen25007.58.589<3%9108$$Check Price
Westinghouse iGen2500 performance on a score of 10 compared to similar alternatives

2. Champion 200977 4250

The Champion 200977 4250 is the best small generator for home use thanks to its higher power capacity, dual fuel feature, and reliability.

When it comes to small generators for home use, details like reliability, a dual fuel option, a 30 amp outlet, and a bit more power become more important.

Since propane typically stores longer than gasoline, the Champion 200977 4250 allows you to be prepared for power grid issues with less effort.

Additionally, even if you decide to run on gasoline, the long run time of 22 hours at 25% load makes it so the Champion 200977 4250 can keep your refrigerator and freezer going overnight.

One thing you do want to keep in mind is that the Champion 200977 4250 is not always strong enough.

If you want to run bigger things like a central AC, hot water heater, and electric oven, you may need larger inverter generators for home backup power.

Pros

  • Champion 200977 offers 4250 starting watts, 3500 running watts, 30 amps, and 120 volts (gasoline)
  • Parallel capability
  • Dimensions of 20.9″ x 18.3″ x 19.4″
  • Dual fuel feature allows you to run on propane (LPG) too
  • Reasonable noise levels of 64 dBA
  • Long run time of 22 hours at 25% load
  • Less than 3% THD
  • Weight of 79 lb (35.8 kg)
  • Very positive customer reviews
  • 3 years limited residential and 270 days limited commercial warranties
  • A lot of customers

Cons

  • No wheels so moving the inverter generator can be challenging
  • A few very exceptional cases where the first model customers got had issues
  • You may need more power for your home

Two smaller downsides are that the Champion 200977 4250 does not have wheels and that a few customers initially had issues starting the small generator.

These things are suboptimal for moving the portable generator around and involve a tiny risk of having to contact customer support.

When it comes to noise levels, the Champion 200977 4250 does alright with 64 dBA (regular conversations are around 60 decibels).

Overall, the extra power, propane compatibility, reliability, and budget-friendly price still make the Champion 200977 4250 a great small portable generator for home use.

Brand ModelPower
Capacity
PortabilityRun
Time
Quiet
Operation
THDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
Price
Category
Current
Price
Champion 200977 42509.57107.5<3%9.588$$$Check Price
Champion 200977 4250 performance on a score of 10 compared to similar alternatives

3. Honda EU2200i

The Honda EU2200i is the best small generator for power outages due to its reliability, portability, and lower power capacity.

Honda EU2200i

Providing power directly to your house with the Champion 200977 4250 (and a safe setup) can be helpful but is not always necessary during power outages.

Instead, a smaller generator like the Honda EU2200i can still be enough to power an energy-friendly refrigerator and freezer while keeping things compact and portable.

Additionally, this specific Honda EU2200i is the top rated inverter generator and has a reputation for great reliability and durability.

The main downside to keep in mind is that this small generator has a big price.

If you don’t value top reliability or noise levels as much, the Honda EU2200i may not be the best inverter generator for you.

Pros

  • Honda EU2200i offers 2200 starting watts, 1800 running watts, 18.3 amps, and 120 volts.
  • Parallel capability
  • Dimensions of 20″ x 11.4″ x 16.7″
  • Relatively low noise levels of 48 to 57 dBA (at 25% to 100% load)
  • Less than 3% THD
  • Honda My Generator app connectivity
  • CO sensor
  • Honda generator brand reputation
  • Light weight of 47.4 lb (21.5 kg)
  • 3 years limited residential and 12 months limited commercial warranties
  • Very positive customer reviews
  • A lot of customers

Cons

  • Expensive for a small generator
  • Run time of 8.1 hours at 25% load is not that impressive

Something else to note is that the run time of 8.1 hours at 25% load is relatively short. Even compared to other small generators.

On the flip side, the Honda EU2200i does stand out in details like its quiet operation and Honda My Generator app connectivity.

This phone app allows you to see how much more power the Honda EU2200i has in reserve and even allows you to stop the portable inverter generator remotely.

At the same time, this may still not make the extra investment worth it if you don’t absolutely need the reliability, durability, and quiet operation of the Honda EU2200i.

Brand ModelPower
Capacity
PortabilityRun
Time
Quiet
Operation
THDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
Price
Category
Current
Price
Honda EU2200i78.56.59.5<3%9.56.58.5$$$$Check Price
Honda EU2200i performance on a score of 10 compared to similar alternatives

4. Honda EU1000i

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

If you only need enough power for a few light bulbs, a TV, and/or a small refrigerator while camping, fishing, or on a boat trip, the quiet operation of the Honda EU1000i can be for you.

Honda EU1000i

Additionally, you should have no issues fitting the compact dimensions of 17.8″ x 9.5″ x 14.9″ in your car or boat during transport.

The light weight of 28.7 lb (13 kg) also makes the Honda EU1000i very easy to get in position at the camping ground, tailgate party, or other location.

You do want to keep in mind that many people will need more than 1000 starting watts and 900 running watts.

Pros

  • Honda EU1000i offers 1000 starting watts, 900 running watts, 8.3 amps, and 120 volts
  • Parallel capability
  • Dimensions of 17.8″ x 9.5″ x 14.9″
  • Quietest small generator with 42 to 50 dBA at 25% to 100% load
  • 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

  • Pricey for its power level
  • Fuel efficiency is relatively bad
  • You may need more power

Even for something like a microwave, this is typically not enough power.

And while small generators tend to be more budget-friendly, the Honda EU1000i is still relatively pricey.

Especially when you consider the bad fuel efficiency which means you get a relatively low amount of kWh out of a gallon of fuel.

In short, the Honda EU1000i is worth mentioning for people who really value silence and don’t need that much power.

At the same time, many people will find many of the other good small generators quiet enough too.

Brand ModelPower
Capacity
PortabilityRun
Time
Quiet
Operation
THDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
Price
Category
Current
Price
Honda EU1000i5.5105.510<3%957.5$$$Check Price
Honda EU1000i performance on a score of 10 compared to similar alternatives

5. A-iPower SUA2000iV

The A-iPower SUA2000iV is the best small generator for connecting to RVs and campers without adapters thanks to its L5-30R twist lock outlet.

You do want to keep in mind this does not mean the A-iPower SUA2000iV can handle 30 amps.

A-iPower SUA2000iV

Due to its 2000 starting watts and 1600 running watts, it can “only” handle 16.7 peak amps and 13.3 running amps.

If you don’t mind using a few adapters, other small generators like the Westinghouse iGen2500 can still be better for RVs.

Pros

  • A-iPower SUA2000iV offers 2000 starting watts, 1600 running watts, 16.7 amps, and 120 volts
  • Parallel capability
  • Dimensions of 19.3″ x 11.4″ x 19″
  • L5-30R twist lock outlet can make connecting to RVs and campers easier
  • Nice run time of 7 hours at 50% load
  • Relatively low noise levels of 52 dB
  • Less than 3% THD
  • Light weight of 48 lb (21.8 kg)
  • 3 years limited residential and 1 year limited commercial warranties
  • A lot of customers
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • A few exceptional cases of early wear and tear

If you want a more powerful RV generator, something like the Westinghouse iGen4500 tends to be a better idea.

Something else to note about the A-iPower SUA2000iV is that there are a few cases where customers got early wear and tear on their small portable generators.

When it comes to positives, the A-iPower SUA2000iV has a nice run time of 7 hours at 50% load and low noise levels of 52 dB.

These things allow you to enjoy all your clean inverter power in silence and for a long time before having to refuel.

You may also like the cheap price of the A-iPower SUA2000iV. Especially if you only plan to use your generator occasionally and in low-risk situations.

Brand ModelPower
Capacity
PortabilityRun
Time
Quiet
Operation
THDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
Price
Category
Current
Price
A-iPower SUA2000iV6.58.57.59<3%877.5$Check Price
A-iPower SUA2000iV performance on a score of 10 compared to similar alternatives

6. Champion 200959 2000

The Champion 200959 2000 is the best small dual fuel fuel generator due to its small size, ability to run on propane, and reasonable price.

The previous Champion 200977 4250 does have a dual fuel feature too but this generator is only small for home use purposes.

If you “really” want the best small dual fuel generator, the Champion 200959 2000 is likely the right choice for you.

A benefit of propane is that it typically stores longer than gasoline. In turn, preparing for power outages and off-grid living become more convenient.

Additionally, if you only plan to use your small portable generator occasionally, running on propane generally requires less maintenance work.

Pros

  • Champion 200959 offers 2000 starting watts, 1700 running watts, 16.7 amps, and 120 volts (gasoline)
  • Parallel capability
  • Dimensions of 17.3″ x 11.5″ x 17.7″
  • Dual fuel feature allows you to run on propane (LPG) too
  • Relatively low noise levels of 53 dBA
  • Good run time of 11.5 hours at 25% load
  • Less than 3% THD
  • Light weight of 39.5 lb (17.9 kg)
  • Very positive customer reviews
  • 3 years limited residential and 270 days limited commercial warranties
  • A lot of customers

Cons

  • A few exceptional cases where starting on propane is challenging

Besides a few exceptional cases where starting on propane is challenging, the Champion 200959 2000 is very reliable.

In turn, this generator can be especially great for power outages and off-grid living (but also just camping, boat trips, and tailgating).

Together with its compact dimensions, the Champion 200959 2000 comes with a light weight of 39.5 pounds.

You should have no problem storing and carrying this portable generator.

In short, if you only need a small generator and want to be able to run on propane and gasoline, the Champion 200959 2000 is likely the right choice.

Brand ModelPower
Capacity
PortabilityRun
Time
Quiet
Operation
THDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
Price
Category
Current
Price
Champion 200959 20006.58.57.59<3%877.5$Check Price
Champion 200959 2000 performance on a score of 10 compared to similar alternatives

7. WEN 56380i 3800

The WEN 56380i 3800 is the best small generator with electric start thanks to the electric start, helpful features, and reasonable price.

WEN 56380i

Recoil starts are the more standard way of getting generators going but you may want the more convenient electric start.

Additionally, most of the previous portable generators could be just a bit too small for your power needs.

In these cases, the not-so-small WEN 56380i with 3800 starting watts and 3400 running watts can be the best option.

If you want to take the convenient operation even one step further, the Champion 201001 5500 with remote start may even be for you.

Pros

  • WEN 56380i offers 3800 starting watts, 3400 running watts, 30 amps, and 120 volts
  • Parallel capability
  • Relatively low noise levels of 57 dBA
  • Good run time of 8.5 hours at 50% load
  • Nice fuel efficiency
  • Less than 1.2% THD
  • Electric start
  • Weight of 99.2 lb (45 kg)
  • Very positive customer reviews
  • 2 years limited residential and 90 days limited commercial warranties
  • A lot of customers

Cons

  • Can be challenging to move over bumpy terrain
  • Heavier and bigger than many small inverter generators with dimensions of 23.2″ x 18″ x 20.1″

You do want to keep in mind that the bigger WEN 56380i 3800 will be more challenging to move around.

Especially while camping since the small wheels are not ideal for bumpy terrain.

On the flip side, the WEN 56380i 3800 is still on this list of the best small generators for good reasons.

It is hard to find portable generators that offer better features, more reliability, and quiet operation at this budget-friendly price.

With a run time of 8.5 hours at 50% load, the WEN 56380i 3800 could even be good enough to run something like an RV AC or refrigerator overnight.

Brand ModelPower
Capacity
PortabilityRun
Time
Quiet
Operation
THDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
Price
Category
Current
Price
WEN 56380i 38009788.5<1.2%98.58$$Check Price
WEN 56380i 3800 performance on a score of 10 compared to similar alternatives

How to choose a small generator?

To choose a small generator you want to consider the following important details:

  • Run time
  • Outlets
  • Fuel types
  • Noise levels
  • Fuel efficiency
  • User reviews
  • Ease of use
  • Anecdotal reviews from experts
  • Price
  • Brand trustability and reputation
  • Reliability

Think about what areas matter the most to you to choose the best small generator for your situation.

What is the most fuel efficient small generator?

The most fuel efficient small generator is the Westinghouse iGen2500 with 6.735 kWh per gallon of gasoline at 25% load.

What is the smallest generator to run a house?

The smallest generator to run a house on this list is the Champion 200977 with 4250 peak watts and 3500 running watts.

Depending on what you plan to use inside of your house, you could choose a smaller generator or need a bigger generator.

How much does a small generator cost?

A small generator typically costs around 600 to 700 US dollars. How much generators cost depends a lot on their sizes so your definition of a small machine matters.

Is it worth buying a small generator?

Yes, it can be worth buying a small generator if your power needs are not too big.

However, this ultimately depends on details like your power grid situation, electricity needs, budget, storage space, etc.

As customers sometimes mention and experience, a small generator can sometimes “pay for itself” by saving a fridge and/or freezer full of food during a power outage.

Can a small generator power a heater?

Yes, many small generators can power a small radiant heater since this only needs 1500 watts to run.

At the same time, there are also generators that are too small for this and heaters that require more power.

In the end, you want to check the power needs of your specific heater to make sure you have enough watts.

What is the best small generator?

The best small generator is typically the Westinghouse iGen2500 thanks to its reliability, good features, compact size, and reasonable price.

Additionally, the WEN 56380i 3800 can be a good alternative small generator for people who want a bit more power.

Westinghouse iGen2500
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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.