5 Generator Brands To Avoid (Generally)

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The generator brands you generally want to avoid are Sportsman, Ford Generators, Briggs & Stratton Portable Generators, GENMAX (If Possible), and Powermate.

Find out why this is so you don’t invest all that money in a suboptimal or bad machine.

Generator brands to avoid

  1. Sportsman
  2. Ford Generators
  3. Briggs & Stratton Portable Generators
  4. GENMAX (If Possible)
  5. Powermate Generators

This list of generator brands to avoid applies mostly to portable generators.

Some of the companies below also have standby generators but I am less familiar with the quality tendencies of these models.

Besides that, the options below are not necessarily ranked from worst to least bad.

With all of the good portable generator brands available, you likely just want to avoid the options below.

1. Sportsman

On paper, Sportsman generators can look somewhat interesting in terms of the features you get for the price.

That being said, when you turn to the customer reviews, it becomes clear this generator brand often comes with an above-average rate of technical issues.

These issues can range from not working at all to providing lacking amounts of watts compared to the mentioned rating.

Even in categories where Sportsman looks reasonable, you can typically find alternatives that offer more quality at a more budget-friendly price.

2. Ford Generators

Ford generators are likely not the worst generator brand on this list but the overall value is low enough to make the list.

The Ford generators that have nice amounts of customers tend to be average or below average in review scores.

These suboptimal reviews often mention technical issues which is not something you want during a power outage or hurricane.

There are Ford generators that are reasonably well-received too.

However, even these are often not that impressive in terms of what you get for the price. At least compared to the other options on the market.

3. Briggs & Stratton Portable Generators

Briggs & Stratton is a brand that also makes standby generators but I am not that familiar with how these compare to the overall market.

On the other hand, I can say Briggs & Stratton is a brand you generally want to avoid when it comes to their portable generators.

Their machines may look good on paper for the price.

However, as the customer reviews reveal, portable Briggs & Stratton generators tend to have a somewhat higher rate of issues.

In some cases, you could theoretically consider some models if you really like this company.

That being said, it is likely smarter to turn to one of the many good alternatives instead.

4. GENMAX (If Possible)

GENMAX may be a surprising option since their machines appear on our lists of generator top picks every once in a while.

However, this is mostly because GENMAX has a few generators that focus on underserved portable generator categories.

More specifically, some of their large dual fuel inverter generators and large quiet generators make the top picks lists because there are simply not many alternatives like this.

That being said, the disclaimer is almost always, “there are not many good other options but keep in mind that GENMAX generators tend to come with a lot of technical issues”.

Besides that, while often reasonably priced, GENMAX generators are not cheap enough to make up for this high rate of issues.

Unless you really like a specific category and don’t like the alternatives available.

5. Powermate Generators

Most of the available Powermate generators are non-inverter models at low power capacities.

This category already has a hard time reaching top picks lists since the inverter generators are so good.

In combination with the above-average rate of technical issues, there are no Powermate generators on our many top picks lists at the time of writing.

There are a few budget-friendly options you could theoretically consider. However, you will likely prefer other models anyway.

In turn, Powermate does get a mention on this list of generator brands you generally want to avoid.

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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.