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Best Portable Generators for 2022

Sports dual fuel generator sitting on the lawn

Blackouts are more than just frustrating, they can quickly become dangerous, and become very common for many of us. A lack of energy for several hours can result in more than just spoiled food and Another headache. They can also lead to uncomfortable and unsafe temperatures and can make it difficult to seek help in an emergency.

Large pieces of North America will encounter High risk of power outages Thanks to warmer-than-normal temperatures and droughts, the North American Electricity Reliability Foundation said Wednesday, reducing hydropower production. From the Midwest down to the Gulf Coast, many people face a high risk of blackouts.

In addition to, Hurricanes are getting stronger The fire season is devastating in some areas. This is why you need to start thinking about buying a backup generator (while also thinking about others Emergency Protocols). Thank God there Lots of options in the market You can step in and keep things going. These generators include inverter generators, diesel generators, solar generators, gas generators, and dual-fuel generator types.


Things to consider

fuel type

Some models of portable power generators run on gasoline, while others run on liquid propane tanks. Deciding what type of fuel to use for your portable generator will likely depend on the resources you have.

If you are in a rural area where there is no gas station nearby, keep propane tank For your portable generator it may be your best bet to prepare for an emergency. If you have quick access to gasoline, consider the smallest emergency generator for your home, so you don’t burn too much fuel. If you want both options, there are dual-fuel portable generator models that run on any type of fuel.

If you are really looking to achieve self-sufficiency, you can invest in it solar generator That operates through a panel or solar panels. We will note that in terms of power, however, solar generators do not have as much kick as a portable generator that uses gasoline, which is why they are not included in this list.


You will need to make sure that you choose the best portable generator model for your situation that has enough power output to power everything you need in an emergency. Know your maximum energy needs. There are two important terms here: start watt And the running watts.

Also known as “peak watt”, it is the highest possible wattage that a generator produces in order to power a device’s motor. A portable generator will not maintain this wattage in the long run. Think of it as the amount of power it takes to start your refrigerator.

Running watts are the watts that a generator can produce for hours on end while the appliances are running. You will need a portable generator with at least as many watts as the watts your household appliances use.

To calculate how much wattage you need, a general rule of thumb is to add the wattage of all the appliances you want to power and multiply by 1.5. You can also look up the starting watts of your high power devices and add them to the total to find the operating power in watts.

This rated wattage information will be on a label inside your device or in the manufacturer’s manual. If your device doesn’t list watts, but does list amps and volts, multiply the two to find the wattage. Whatever total watts you need, that will be the minimum wattage you need to produce from your generator.

For example, in my house, I would need to run an 864 watt dishwasher, a 1440 watt refrigerator, and a 3600 watt oven. This means that my generator must have a power output of at least 5,904 watts running.


Of course, price is a factor, and in general, you’ll pay more for more peak power. You can find good generators from $300, or you can spend big to get maximum power and end up with a $2000 model.

To stay as frugal as possible, reduce the number of large appliances you operate with the generator. Consider a mini-fridge and microwave instead of full-size refrigerators and ovens. If the weather is not dangerously hot or the coldSkip providing a power source for your heating or cooling system. If all this sounds a little confusing, there are many useful online calculators to help you calculate things.

The generators below have not been reviewed by CNET, but they are the most popular and highest rated portable generator models on the Internet. We have divided them into low, medium and high price ranges. You will also find specifications for each generator’s starting capacity, runtime at half power and fuel type and capacity.

Generators $550 or less

All of these generators have earned high ratings from consumers, and none of them will break the bank. If you have a small house or just a few appliances to power it, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a good generator with enough running power to keep your appliances running.

Read more: Best headlights for 2022


The most affordable model on our best portable generator list, the Sportsman GEN400DF is on sale for just $300. This is a good priced dual fuel model and can run with either a 3.6 gallon fuel tank or a standard propane tank.

With up to 10 hours of running time on gasoline at 50% load and 12 hours of runtime on propane, the athlete can keep things running while you sleep through the night before you need more fuel. This dual fuel generator comes with four 120V outlets, one 120V outlet and one 12V DC outlet.

With 4,000 watts starting and 3,500 watts running, it’s not the most powerful generator on our list. However, if you are running small home appliances or just one or two, this portable generator model should get the job done.

Note: We’ve seen recent price hikes that have put this generator above the $500 mark. We will monitor these prices and update them accordingly.


If you don’t need the propane tank option, this DuroStar portable generator runs on a 3.9 gallon gasoline tank. It is a quiet portable generator that also offers slightly more peak power supply than the Sportsman with 4400 watts starting and 3500 watts running.

The 50% runtime is 8 hours, and it is equipped with two 120V household outlets and one 120/240V outlet. The DuroStar includes its wheels, something that is often sold separately in generator sets.


Another solid fuel model, the DuroMax XP4850EH has 4850 watts starting and 3850 watts running.

This portable generator can be powered with either a 3.96 gallon fuel tank or a 20 gallon liquid propane tank fuel source. Gasoline has a runtime of about 11.5 hours at 50%, while propane has a running time of 9.8 hours at 50%. There are two 120V outlets and one 120/240V outlet.

Generators $500 – $1,000

Increase your budget, and you can double the wattage with these generators.

Briggs & Stratton

The Briggs & Stratton model costs $949, ​​and runs on an 8-gallon fuel tank. From the best mid-price range category of our portable generators, this portable conventional generator model delivers the most wattage for the least amount of money with 8500 watts starting and 6250 watts running.

You’ll get 11 hours of uptime at 50% with the StormResponder from the 420cc engine. A digital display called a Briggs & Stratton “StatStation” displays the power load and provides maintenance reminders. The manual printed on the unit indicates which devices can be connected to any of the four ports on the aircraft.

Generators 1000 dollars and above

These high-end units may be overkill for smaller homes, but if you’re looking for high watts, this kit is your best bet.


The $1,119 Generac model delivers 10,000 watts to get started with ease.

You will get 8000 watts running for up to 11 hours at 50% load. A 7.9 gallon fuel tank feeds the 420 cc engine. The Generac GP8000E’s standby power generator includes flat-free tires, automatic carbon monoxide shut-off, and six GFCI ports.

a hero

Similar to the Generac model, this Champion alternator offers slightly more power output.

You’ll have 11,500 starting watts and 9,200 running watts at your disposal, plus a 7.7 gallon fuel tank and a 459 cc engine that can run the generator at 50% load for 10 hours.

One 120/240V 30A lockout outlet, one 120/240V 50A outlet and four 120V 20A GFCI shielded household outlets are included. Digital display reads output and maintenance messages.


This heavy-duty portable generator provides 10,500 watts of starting and 13,000 watts of starting. The dual-fuel gas generator option provides 8.5 hours of run time on gasoline and 6.5 hours of run time on propane, based on a 50% load.

Like other dual-fuel models, you can switch fuels with a button on the plane. Several power outlets are provided: two 120V home GFCI outlets, one 120V 30A twist lock outlet, one 240V 30A outlet and one 240V 50A outlet.


Of all the models listed here, this portable generator offers the highest uptime for the lowest amount of money. You’ll get 12 hours of power output at 50% load for your $1,599 CAT gas generator. That’s thanks to a massive 7.9-gallon petrol tank. The CAT RP6500 motor delivers 8125 watts starting and 6500 watts operating from its 420 cc motor.

The Defensive Carbon Monoxide Auto Shut Off System keeps toxic fumes from accumulating near your home. There are six rubber-covered outlets, including four GFCI household outlets and two 120/240V lockout outlets.

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