10 Most Reliable Generators (& The Brands to Avoid)

If you have a power shortage in your home, a generator can provide the necessary power to run your home appliances and keep your home safe. However, you cannot trust all available generators to offer quality and reliable performance. That’s why it’s essential to choose carefully which generator brand and model to buy.

The most reliable generators are those that offer quality performance at an affordable cost. Honda, Generac, and Westinghouse are some of the brands that produce the most reliable generators. These brands have manufactured generators for decades and have gained the trust of many customers.

But those aren’t the only brands you can choose from. Here, we help you identify the most reliable generator brands and the ones to avoid. 

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Top 10 Most Reliable and Best Generators

As we have seen, you should only purchase a reliable and quality product available at an affordable cost. Below are the top 10 generator models to consider:

Generator Brand and ModelProsCons
Westinghouse Wgen7500Low-noise, very reliable, energy-efficient, CARB compliant, and EPA compliant.This generator is relatively heavy.
Wen 56200iLightweight, long run time, relatively quiet, and has an excellent price to quality ratio.This generator struggles at higher loads.
Champion 3400 Dual FuelHigh wattage, remote electric start, great for RVs, and uses either propane or gasoline.It has small plastic wheels that may be insufficient for some.
Honda EU2200iVery quiet, original Honda motor, fuel-efficient, and is extremely powerful.It doesn’t have an electric start.
Honda EU3000iSStrong steel construction, reliable Honda engine, very quiet, and has a large fuel tank.This generator is pretty heavy.
Champion 75537iRelatively quiet, remote start, great for RVs, and produces enough wattage to run an AC unit.The wheels on this generator may get stuck on uneven surfaces.
Yamaha EF2000iSv2Very reliable, solid construction, high-tech, lightweight, and offers clean power.This generator comes with a pretty hefty price tag.
DuroMax Hybrid XP12000EHOperates on propane or gasoline and provides a massive wattage output.This generator is pretty heavy and loud.
Generac IQ2000Lightweight, very quiet, very user-friendly, and it’s relatively affordable.This generator has a pretty lower wattage output.
DuroMax XP4850EHWell built, has a very good run time, easy to start, and is relatively low-maintenance.It is a more premium generator with a price tag to match.

1. Westinghouse Wgen7500

The Westinghouse Wgen7500 has everything it takes to compete for the position of the best generator in the industry. The generator has a study design, long runtime, a convenient electric start, and a relatively quiet OHV engine. 

The company is an American-based manufacturer with almost 100 years of operation. 

The Westinghouse Wgen7500 generator is designed with a powerful heavy-duty engine that provides 7500 watts. It’s, therefore, the ideal model, especially if you’re seeking a robust portable generator to function as an emergency power supply. 

You can use this generator to operate lights, air conditioner, freezer & refrigerator, among others. The product is fuel-efficient and can operate for up to 10 hours on a full tank. 

The generator is full CARB and EPA compliant, meaning you can comfortably operate it anywhere. 

2. Wen 56200i

If you’re seeking a reliable portable generator that is also affordable, then think no further than this Wen 56200i model. The generator has a Yamaha engine which you can also find in EF2000iSv2 inverter generators. 

The generator is very lightweight, weighing only 48 pounds. It’s, therefore, the perfect solution for campers who don’t like lifting heavyweights. 

The machine is also quiet, with a noise level of 51dB at 25% load. Many people who have purchased it rate it highly as a reliable product for emergency power. It provides 1600 watts which you can use to power almost anything in your home. 

It’s designed with several outlets, including the 5V USB port that you can use to charge your camera or phone during camping. 

The generator’s fuel consumption is low compared to some products. For instance, a 1.85 fuel tank can comfortably operate the generator for almost 6 hours at 50% load. 

3. Champion 3400 Dual Fuel Inverter

The Champion 3400 Dual Fuel Inverter is designed with a dual fuel option to power it more efficiently. It means that you won’t have to refuel the generator regularly. You’ll like the fact that the model offers a longer run time. 

The products fill the gap between heavy-duty generators and compact inverters. It’s designed with a dedicated RV outlet. 

Champion 3400 Dual Fuel Inverter generator is lightweight and therefore easy to move around. Despite being lightweight, it generates enough power to operate large electrical equipment. For instance, it can comfortably run a 15,000 BTU RV A/C. 

The generator is also fuel-efficient. You can run this generator for about 7.5 hours at 50% load with a single propane bottle. Since it’s dual-fuel, you can switch between the fuels with a push of the button. It can run on either propane or gasoline. 

4. Honda EU2200i

The Honda EU2200i offers enough power to run almost anything in your home. The model is also designed with safety features to keep everything safe. 

The generator is quite releasing between 49 to 58 dB of noise based on load. It’s, therefore, the perfect generator, especially if you’re into camping. 

It’s designed with an original Eco-Throttle system that guarantees fuel efficiency. Starting the generator is also simple, thanks to the manual coil recoil start. 

However, the generator doesn’t have an electric start. 

5. Honda EU3000iS

If you’re looking for a Honda model that doesn’t disappoint, then this Honda EU3000iS is the perfect bet for you. The generator has a Honda GX200 4-stroke engine that delivers 2800 running watts and 3000 starting watts. It also comes with a 3.4-gallon fuel tank. 

Most people prefer buying a Honda generator because of the company’s reputation for delivering quality products, including generators.

Even for a 100% load, this generator produces below 60 dB of noise. It has a cover that is developed from steel to offer proper protection. However, the steel cover makes the product heavy. 

6. Champion 75537i

The Champion 75537i 3100W is among the people’s favorite models due to several reasons. First, the model is more potent compared to most inverters and contains enough starting power. Therefore, you can use it to run several devices in your house, including microwave, lights, 13,500 BTU air conditioner, etc.

For this product, what you’ll like more is its remote start. The feature allows you to turn the generator on or off without getting closer to it. 

The generator is lightweight, quiet, and fuel-efficient. If you operate the generator at 50% load, it’s difficult to hear any noise. 

The good thing is that you’ll get a 3-year warranty every time you purchase this product. There is also free lifetime technical support. However, online registration is required. 

7. Yamaha EF2000iSv2

The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 features a modern design that makes it easy to carry and very portable. It’s capable of offering up to 1800 running watts which is a standard amount for inverter generators.

If you’re seeking smaller products for tailgating, camping, or certain jobs, this Yamaha product is the best option you have. The generators are quiet, small, and provide clean power. You can safely use this generator to charge sensitive electronics such as tablets and laptops. 

The model is fully CARB and EPA compliant and approved for use throughout the US. The only downside is that you can use it to power the whole house. 

8. DuroMax Hybrid XP12000EH

The DuroMax Hybrid XP12000EH model is a beast among generators. At 9500 rated watts and 12000 surges, it’s powerful enough to function as a comprehensive backup supply for outages. 

You can use this product to try and turn on all the appliances in your home as long as you don’t overload them. It’s, therefore, a versatile machine that can operate on natural gas and gasoline. The generator, therefore, offers you more flexibility than conventional gas-powered generators. 

The DuroMax XP12000EH is a quiet machine when compared with other products. 

9. Generac IQ2000

The IQ2000 is another reputable model from the Generac brand. It’s a quiet inverter generator capable of providing 1600 running and 2000 starting power. 

The model is also simple to use, thanks to the intuitive color-code control panel. Many people enjoy this generator due to its fuel consumption indicator. It displays the current load depending on the remaining fuel level and how much run time you have left. 

You can regulate this generator’s fuel consumption and power output by switching between three operation modes: Turbo, Standard, and Economy. 

10. DuroMax XP4850EH

The DuroMax XP4850EH dual fuel models have been gaining more popularity over the past few years. They are more environmentally friendly, flexible, and cheaper to use in the long term. 

The generator offers a starting power of 4850 watts, making it suitable for moderate use. It features a push-button electric start.

For a better comparison of these top generators, you can refer to the table below:

Which Brand of Generator is the Best?

The generator industry is filled with some reputable brands that you can select from. The brands are designed and developed by companies with a proven record of product development. 

Below are some top brands that you can consider:

  • Honda: Honda generators are known for their quiet operation and reliability. The price range for these models is between $1 000 to $5,000. The model we recommend for the Honda brand is the EU2200ITAG 120V 2200W inverter generator. 
  • Generac: It offers the best brand on the market, especially on a watt-per-dollar basis. Most models under this brand have a price range of $500 to $1,000. Generac has been operating for over 60 years. Here, we recommend that you purchase the GP3500iO open-frame RV inverter generator. 
  • Westinghouse: The brand has a variety of product lines that meet almost any demand. The price range for Westinghouse products is $300 to $1,400. The most reliable model that we recommend here is the Westinghouse outdoor power equipment EGen9500DF. 
  • Champion: Champion is a leading innovator in dual-fuel technology. The price range for this brand is $500-$1,400. If you want to own a reliable model under this brand, we recommend the Champion power equipment 76533 4750/3,800 fuel portable generator. The company has been operating since 2003. 
  • Briggs & Stratton: The company is the industry’s leading developer of small gasoline engines. The price range for most models here is between $500 to $1,200. Here, we recommend that you select the Elite 800W gasoline portable generator. The models allow you to link the generator to your smartphone. 
  • DuroMax: Duromax has a reputation for its innovation in dual fuel. The company’s generator brands are also reputable for durability and reliability. The price range for these products is $600 to $1,700. 
  • Predator: Harbor Freight is a company known for producing the Predator brand. The company manufactures generators at discount prices. The price range for their products is $400 to $600. The most reliable model here is the Predator 3,500W super quiet inverter generator. 
  • Wen: Wen is another top brand that has a reputation for providing affordable and reliable generators. The products here have a price range of $400 to $1,000. Here, we recommend that you select the Wen DF1100T 11,000W 120V/240V portable generator. The model offers a run-time of 8.5 hours. Wen has been around since 1951 and has always produced quality products. 
  • Sportsman: The company has a reputation for manufacturing versatile multi-fuel products for outdoor enthusiasts. Products here are cheap, with a price range of $300 to $700. The largest model under this brand can produce 4,000W. 
  • Ryobi: Here is yet another brand that has been around since 1943. It has shown consistency in manufacturing quality and reliable generators. The price range for the products is between $500 to $800, which is cheaper than other brands. 

Which Generators Should You Avoid Purchasing?

Since we have gone through some of the best generators you can consider, you must also understand the ones to avoid. You should always avoid any generator that consumes a lot of fuel. It means that it isn’t energy-efficient and will lead to spending more money in the long term. 

Avoid expensive generators that don’t guarantee quality performance. If the generator isn’t portable, but you would like a generator you can take camping, avoid investing in such a product. 

One generator product that we discourage you from buying is the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 model. The model has received several negative reviews from buyers. 

Considerations When Selecting a Reliable Generator

Power Needs

You should first determine the amount of power you require. The type of appliances you have can help you determine this easily. 

You need to consider the running watts (rated watts) and starting watts (surge watts). For instance, an 11,000 BTU RV A/C requires 1600 starting watts. 

Noise

If you don’t like the sound from a generator, you should go for a quiet mode. We have recommended some of the quiet models above. 

Budget

You should only buy a generator that you can afford. However, it doesn’t mean buying a cheap but unreliable product. Expensive products come with more functionality and durability. 

Sturdy Build

You can trust most generators in some of the worst circumstances and weather conditions. Ensure that the product you buy has an original motor. 

Fuel Efficiency

The fuel consumption varies depending on the type of generator. For instance, Honda models are known for being energy efficient. With it, you’ll get a longer run time on a full tank. 

Ease of Set-Up

The generator costs don’t stop at its purchase. If you buy a whole house standby generator, you might need to incur more money in installation costs. However, a portable doesn’t require any installation. 

The generator you buy should be easy to install so that you don’t incur installation costs. 

Easy Maintenance

A good generator must be easy to maintain. Before you purchase a generator, ensure it has any of the following:

  • Ability to switch fuels at the push of a button
  • Fuel gauge
  • Electric start
  • An auto low oil shutdown mechanism

Weight & Small Size

Generators that produce a higher total output power have larger engines that make them bulkier and heavier. However, it isn’t always the case. 

Avoid purchasing a heavier product unless it comes with wheels. 

Environmental Regulations

Most generators emit toxic fumes that pollute the environment. Most states have serious regulations on the generators you use. Make sure you only buy a generator that complies with state and federal laws. 

The generator should also be CARB and EPA compliant. 

Customer Support

Ensure you buy a generator from a brand that has reliable customer support. It means that when your generator breaks down, you’ll receive the relevant assistance almost immediately. 

Conclusion

As we have seen, there are many reliable brands and models of generators that you can purchase to meet your power needs. However, there are still worse brands that you must avoid by all means. 

A reliable generator offers quality performance at an affordable cost. Select any of the models we have highlighted above for effective performance. 

However, before you purchase a generator, ensure that you consider the factors that we have discussed above. Go for an affordable but yet reliable model. 

Sources

Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections since 2002. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and an FHA 203k Consultant. I started PickGenerators.com to help people better understand whole-house and portable generators.

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