Best Portable Gas Generator On The Market In 2019 (Reviews And Guide)

all gas powered generatorsPower outages can feel like they last forever because without electricity, you lose most of your modern conveniences. Your food can spoil, the kids do not have entertainment and you cannot prepare foods properly. With a portable gas generator, you can have some of your electronic items so that you can get through the dark days a lot easier.

There are numerous portable gas generators on the market to choose from. Learning more about what a portable gas generator is, and which are the best portable gas generators can make it easier to narrow down your choices for your home.


In A Hurry? Here Are Our Top 5 Picks

Preview
Top Pick
Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator with Remote Electric Start - 7500 Rated Watts & 9500 Peak Watts - Gas Powered - CARB Compliant - Transfer Switch Ready
WEN 56475 4750-Watt Gasoline Powered Portable Generator with Electric Start, CARB Compliant
A-iPower SUA12000E 12,000-Watt Gasoline Powered Generator with Electric Start, GFCI Outlet Wheel Kit Included
Rainier R4400 Portable Generator with Electric Start - 4400 Peak Watts & 3600 Rated Watts - Gas Powered - CARB Compliant
Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
Product Name
Westinghouse Portable Gas Generator
WEN Portable Gas Generator
A-iPower Portable Gas Generator
Rainier Portable Gas Generator
Honda EU2200i Inverter Generator
Fuel type
Gas
Gasoline
Gasoline
Gasoline
Gas
Wattage
9,500 peak watts and 7,500 running watts
3,750 rated watts and 4,750 surge watts
9,000 running watts and 12,000 starting watts
3,600 rated watts and 4,400 peak watts
1,800 running watts and 2,200 starting watts
Noise level
64 dB
67 dB
78 dB
65 dB
57 dB
Rated AC output
120/240 volts
120 volts
120/240 volts
120 volts
120 volts
Run-time
10 hours at 50 percent load
10 hours at 50 percent load
Nine hours at 50 percent load
13.5 hours at half load
4 hours at 50 percent load
Top Pick
Preview
Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator with Remote Electric Start - 7500 Rated Watts & 9500 Peak Watts - Gas Powered - CARB Compliant - Transfer Switch Ready
Product Name
Westinghouse Portable Gas Generator
Fuel type
Gas
Wattage
9,500 peak watts and 7,500 running watts
Noise level
64 dB
Rated AC output
120/240 volts
Run-time
10 hours at 50 percent load
Preview
WEN 56475 4750-Watt Gasoline Powered Portable Generator with Electric Start, CARB Compliant
Product Name
WEN Portable Gas Generator
Fuel type
Gasoline
Wattage
3,750 rated watts and 4,750 surge watts
Noise level
67 dB
Rated AC output
120 volts
Run-time
10 hours at 50 percent load
Preview
A-iPower SUA12000E 12,000-Watt Gasoline Powered Generator with Electric Start, GFCI Outlet Wheel Kit Included
Product Name
A-iPower Portable Gas Generator
Fuel type
Gasoline
Wattage
9,000 running watts and 12,000 starting watts
Noise level
78 dB
Rated AC output
120/240 volts
Run-time
Nine hours at 50 percent load
Preview
Rainier R4400 Portable Generator with Electric Start - 4400 Peak Watts & 3600 Rated Watts - Gas Powered - CARB Compliant
Product Name
Rainier Portable Gas Generator
Fuel type
Gasoline
Wattage
3,600 rated watts and 4,400 peak watts
Noise level
65 dB
Rated AC output
120 volts
Run-time
13.5 hours at half load
Preview
Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
Product Name
Honda EU2200i Inverter Generator
Fuel type
Gas
Wattage
1,800 running watts and 2,200 starting watts
Noise level
57 dB
Rated AC output
120 volts
Run-time
4 hours at 50 percent load

Last update on 2019-11-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


The 5 Best Portable Gas Generator Options


1. Westinghouse Portable Gas Generator

The Westinghouse Portable Gas Generator has two GFCI outlets. This ensures that it is compliant with all guidelines and standards associated with using a generator on a worksite. There is also a twist-lock outlet and a 120-volt one so that you can use it to plug in a wide variety of items. All outlets feature a rubber cover so that you can keep them closed off when you are not using them for added safety.

The electric start feature ensures that you can get your generator running within seconds. There is also a recoil start feature so that you have flexibility regarding the starting of this unit. It has a key fob so that you can start it without having to leave your home or RV, making it a convenient choice in inclement weather.

It has an OHV four-stroke 420cc engine. This is powerful and capable of providing power to larger appliances without surge and voltage issues. There is a cast iron sleeve encompassing the engine to ensure durability and protection for it.

There is a 6.6-gallon fuel tank, ensuring that you have enough fuel for up to 16 hours of run-time, depending on the load level. It is easy to monitor your fuel level due to the gauge that is built into the unit. Here you can determine when it is time to add more to keep it running.

The user’s manual provides all of the information regarding how and when to change the oil. Keep an eye on the built-in hour meter so that you know when the time comes. If the level of oil gets too low, there is no risk of engine damage since the generator will turn itself off on its own.

This generator is CARB, EPA and CSA compliant. You can rest assured that it complies with all guidelines and will function safely as long as you use it properly.

You can connect this unit to your home’s electrical grid using a transfer switch. This means that should your power go out, it will kick back on within seconds since the generator will sense this and start providing power. Once your electricity comes back on, the generator will know that it is time to turn off to prevent too much power going into your home.

  • Fuel type: Gas
  • Wattage: 9,500 peak watts and 7,500 running watts
  • Noise level: 64 dB
  • Rated AC output: 120/240 volts
  • Estimated run-time: 10 hours at 50 percent load

What We Liked

  • The electric start is easy to work it
  • It comes with a key fob to start it
  • You can assemble it fast and easy

What We Didn’t Like

  • The battery may stop holding a charge prematurely

Our Overall Impression

This gas generator provides a lot of power for its small size. You can connect it to the electric panel in your home using a transfer switch so that your power comes on within seconds of a power outage happening. It is CARB compliant, ensuring safety no matter where you use it and compliance with all federal guidelines for generators.


2. WEN Portable Gas Generator

The WEN Portable Gas Generator makes it easy to tackle the routine maintenance so that your generator is always ready to use. It has a digital readout that tells you when to perform maintenance, such as changing the oil. Just check this readout about once a week to know when to tackle important maintenance.

It has electric start so that the engine turns on within seconds. The 223cc engine is high in quality and provides plenty of power for everything from power tools to window air conditioning units. Just use the ignition switch on the side of the unit to get it started and ready for use.

This generator is EPA III and CARB compliant. Due to this, it meets all of the necessary regulations in all 50 states. You can safely use the unit for commercial, recreational and residential use.

There are numerous safety features so that you can operate it with a low risk of potential problems. The low-oil shutdown ensures that the engine is protected since it will not experience damage as a result of it running out of oil during operation.

This unit has an automatic voltage regulator. Because of this feature, you do not have to worry about surges in voltage damaging the things that you plug into the generator. It also has overload protection. Due to this, if you accidentally plug in items that exceed the generator’s wattage, it protects against it so that your items or generator are not harmed.

You get long run-time since it has a four-gallon fuel tank. On average, the generator runs for about 11 hours on a full tank of gas. This is when you are using it at half load.

There are traditional home outlets, an RV outlet and an AC outlet on the generator so that you can plug in a variety of items. Use the hour counter to track how many hours you have used the generator for. This is important because it makes it easier to track when you need to change the oil or do other recommended maintenance.

  • Fuel type: Gasoline
  • Wattage: 3,750 rated watts and 4,750 surge watts
  • Noise level: 67 dB
  • Rated AC output: 120 volts
  • Estimated run-time: 10 hours at 50 percent load

What We Liked

  • It has a handle and wheels for easy portability
  • You can assemble it quickly in under an hour for most people
  • This generator starts fast due to the switch and electric start

What We Didn’t Like

  • The fuel valve may break prematurely because it is made of plastic

Our Overall Impression

It is relatively lightweight for its size and it has wheels, making it easy to move it around as necessary. The strong engine and large fuel tank capacity makes it possible to run the majority of items without issues as long as you remain within the maximum wattage.


3. A-iPower Portable Gas Generator

The A-iPower Portable Gas Generator is a safe generator due to its neutral bonding to the frame. This generator has a rigid tubular frame that measures 1.2 inches in diameter. There is a powder coat finish to protect against corrosion and rust. It also has a cord protective cover that ensures that the wires are not exposed, allowing for extra protection.

You get a 12V-14AH battery with it for the electric start. This is a maintenance-free battery that you do not have to do anything to for it to be ready for use at any time.

Start it with ease. It features an electric start that you can engage with a push button. The keyless start ensures convenience because you will not have to find the key to get it running when you need it during a weather emergency or at the start of a workday. When it is running, it is quiet, making it a good choice for most environments.

Use this generator in any environment due to its GFCI protected outlets. With these, you can use it on a worksite and be compliant with all guidelines. There is also a DC adapter plug on the generator where you can use your USB adapter to charge your mobile electronics, such as a cellphone. You get the DC charging cables with the generator.

There is a handle and wheels on it that make it easy to move around. The wheels are the never flat type and measure 9.5 inches. You can pull the generator across multiple terrain types with ease due to the size and construction of the wheels.

The fuel tank is constructed of heavy-duty steel so that it is strong and will last for a long time. It holds up to seven gallons of gas for a long run-time. On a single full tank, you can get through a whole workday without needing to refuel.

Due to the size and wattage of this generator, you can use it for everything from air conditioning to sump pumps. It is also a good choice for worksites since you can run lights, multiple power tools and fans at the same time.

  • Fuel type: Gasoline
  • Wattage: 9,000 running watts and 12,000 starting watts
  • Noise level: 78 dB
  • Rated AC output: 120/240 volts
  • Estimated run-time: Nine hours at 50 percent load

What We Liked

  • You can connect it to a circuit breaker
  • It maintains its power when you run it for long periods of time
  • The electric start gets it running quickly

What We Didn’t Like

  • The crank may bend prematurely

Our Overall Impression

For a portable option, this generator has a high level of power at 12,000 starting watts. This level of wattage lets you run almost anything, including sump pumps and air conditioners. It has a seven-gallon fuel tank, giving you a long run-time so that you have the electricity you need during a power outage.


4. Rainier Portable Gas Generator

The Rainier Portable Gas Generator runs with enough watts to power a variety of appliances and other electronics. When you run it at half load, you get approximately 13.5 hours from the generator, allowing you to get electricity for the majority of your waking hours during a power outage.

There is a switch on the generator that you use to start it. Just flip it like a light switch to use the electric start feature. It also has an emergency back-up recoil starting feature so that you can quickly get the power that you need.

It has a gas tank that holds up to four gallons of fuel. Use the fuel gauge to know when it is time to add more gas so that your generator keeps running. Should the oil level dip below a certain point, the generator will turn off to preserve the health of your engine. The engine on the generator is an OHV four-stroke 212cc type.

Since the generator is CARB and EPA compliant, you do not have to worry about any safety issues as long as you operate the generator according to the instructions in the user’s manual. Just be sure that you do not add items with more wattage than it can handle.

It has multiple outlets that you can use for various items, including two 120-volt outlets that are ideal for most items you would need to run in your home. There are also two grounding ports. Due to the ports and outlets, it is easy to use the generator to power the different elements of an RV too.

Use the VFT display to get information about the frequency and volts that are being used when the generator is operating. This display also provides details about lifetime hours. You can use this information to know when it is time to change the oil and perform other maintenance.

This generator operates quietly. There is no interrupting your neighbors or people who are camping nearby when you are running this generator. A basic home vacuum is louder to give you an idea about the generator’s decibel level.

You get a handle and wheels so that it is easy to move your generator around.

  • Fuel type: Gasoline
  • Wattage: 3,600 rated watts and 4,400 peak watts
  • Noise level: 65 dB
  • Rated AC output: 120 volts
  • Estimated run-time: 13.5 hours at half load

What We Liked

  • You can run multiple items with it at the same time
  • It starts up easily
  • The power output is strong and reliable

What We Didn’t Like

  • The frame may crack prematurely but only in rare cases

Our Overall Impression

As one of the best portable gas generator options, you can use it to power items in your home, when you are camping or at a worksite. It starts up quickly and there are multiple outlet options so that you can plug in several items. Due to its compliance, it runs cleanly and follows all necessary regulations.


5. Honda EU2200i Gas Powered Inverter Generator

The Honda EU2200i Inverter Generator is versatile, allowing you to use it in a variety of environments. Since it operates so quietly, you can keep it close to your home and it will not keep you awake at night. This also ensures that any people nearby will not have to deal with any noise disturbance when you are running the device.

If you want to get more power out of your generator, the parallel capabilities can come in handy. The connector for this is on the front of the device. You will need to get a parallel cable that is compatible and use it to connect this generator to another Honda EU2200i. When you do this, you can connect more items so that you can run more key electronics.

This generator is small and portable, but it does not skimp on power. The engine provides 3.7 horsepower, ensuring that you can run items that are larger without the engine getting overloaded. Since it has an inverter, you can also run your smaller items without issue. With an inverter, the power that this device produces is clean and will not cause a surge that could damage a cellphone or similar items.

Use the two outlets at the face of the generator to plug in any standard items that are within the wattage range of this generator. To ensure that your items are not too powerful, check out their wattage before plugging them in. This information is usually listed on a sticker on the back.

You will need to keep adequate oil in this generator to keep it going. However, when it does start to run low, the device will flash an indicator light so that you know that it is time to add some more. If the oil does get too low without getting refilled, engine damage is avoided due to the low oil shutoff feature.

When you are using this generator, it has a feature that helps to ensure that you do not overload it to protect the components against getting fried. The engine also has automatic idle control so that it does not start to work too hard.

  • Fuel type: Gasoline
  • Wattage: 1,800 running watts and 2,200 starting watts
  • Noise level: 57 dB
  • Rated AC output: 120 volts
  • Estimated run-time: Four hours at 50 percent load

What We Liked

  • It can handle a lot of stress without getting overloaded
  • You can use it daily and it provides reliable power
  • You can use it in close proximity to other people due to how quiet it is

What We Didn’t Like

  • You may need to replace the fuel switch

Our Overall Impression

This portable gas generator is lightweight and easy to take with you. Due to its size and quietness, you can easily use it at campsites or when you need power at a worksite without grid electricity. It is also a good choice to run some key items when your home’s power goes out.


Portable Gas Generator Buying Guide

When you are shopping for portable gas generators, it is imperative to understand the features and related terminology. With this information, you will be able to easily choose the best portable generator for your needs.

  • How Do You Pick the Right Type of the Best Portable Gas Generator?
  • Where Can You Use a Gas Generator?
  • How Do You Choose the Power Requirements for a Portable Gas Generator?
  • What Are the Common Features of Portable Gas Generators?
  • What Are Portable Gas Generator Rated and Surge Watts?
  • Can You Use a Transfer Switch with a Portable Gas Generator?
  • Are Portable Gas Generators Adequate for Backup Power for a Home?
  • Do You Have to Ground Portable Gas Generators?
  • What is the Ideal Fuel for the Best Portable Gas Generator?
  • How Much Maintenance Does the Best Portable Gas Generator Need?
  • How Do You Start the Best Portable Gas Generator?
  • How Do You Choose a Fuel Tank for Portable Gas Generators?
  • Are Portable Gas Generators Loud?
  • Do Gas Generators Have Low Emissions?
  • Should You Look for Gas Generators that Are CARB compliant?
  • Should You Use a Wheel Kit for a Gas Generator?
  • How Do You Use the Best Portable Gas Generators Safely?

How Do You Pick the Right Type of Portable Gas Generator?

There are a few different subcategories of generators within this category. Recreational generators are ideal for running a small item or two at home or at a campsite. They are usually lightweight and easy to move around.

Emergency generators come in a variety of sizes. Some can run appliances as large as a refrigerator or small window air conditioner. You can also use them at campsites or when you are tailgating.

A semi-professional generator is larger with a more professional engine. You can use it as backup power at your home or for a worksite where you need to run power tools.

Where Can You Use a Gas Generator?

This type of generator is ideal for any environment. Since it uses gasoline, it is easy to obtain more fuel when you need it. You just need to get unleaded fuel from any gas station.

How Do You Choose the Power Requirements This Type of Gas Generator?

You have to consider the starting and running watts of the items you plan to use it for. If you get a generator that has 2,000 watts, you can run small items that are under 15 amps. In most cases, you can get one to three small items going at the same time.

At 5,000 watts, you can run bigger items like home appliances or 15-amp tools. This size is still relatively lightweight so that you can move it around. Ideally, your 5,000-watt generator should have at least one 240-volt plug to run the bigger items.

If you need power for a whole worksite or a room in your home, you will want to consider 7,000 watts or more. Add up the watts of the things that you want to use your generator for to get an approximate figure for how many watts you need a generator to provide.

What Are the Common Features of These Types of Generators?

These generators tend to be quiet, easy to move around and have a solid run-time. The features that they have determine the overall efficiency and comfort associated with them.

Consider the following features when you are exploring your options:

  • Get more run-time from your generator when you choose one with a bigger fuel tank
  • Look for integrated fuel gauges
  • Consider low-tone mufflers for less noise
  • Protect against overload with circuit breaker protection
  • Ensure the generator has a low level of total harmonic distortion to protect sensitive items
  • Check out those with portability kits so that you can move the generator around with ease

What Are Portable Gas Generator Rated and Surge Watts?

When you plug something into your generator, the power needed to get its motor to start is the surge watts. These are usually higher than the rated watts. The rated watts are the wattage needed to keep the item’s engine working.

Can You Use a Transfer Switch with a Portable Gas Generator?

You can use a transfer switch on larger ones. However, you should not attempt to install this switch on your own unless you are an experienced electrician. Improper installation could cause major issues, including the potential for overload and an electrical fire.

Are Portable Gas Generators Adequate for Backup Power for a Home?

If you choose those that range from 7,000 watts to 10,000 watts, they can work as a backup power source. Generators in this wattage range are also a good choice for a worksite with no utility electricity.

Portable generators of this size can run larger appliances, including window air conditioning units and refrigerators. You can also run 15-amp tools and other items in this wattage range.

Do You Have to Ground Portable Gas Generators?

To use the generator, safety, you must ensure that it is grounded. The information that you need to accomplish this will be available in the user’s guide. It is imperative that you follow all of the directions and make sure that it is grounded properly before you turn it on for the first time. Always double check the grounding before using the generator.

What is the Ideal Fuel for Gas Generators?

While some may use propane or diesel, the majority of these operate on unleaded gasoline. This is the same type of gas that you use for most vehicles. The 89 grade is usually sufficient for most generators. Look in the user’s manual for advice on the best grade of fuel to use for the best efficiency.

How Much Maintenance Does the Best Portable Gas Generator Need?

The majority only require occasional routine maintenance. Of course, the more you use the generator, the more often you can expect to perform maintenance. Check the fuel and oil levels regularly. Make sure to change the oil according to the recommendations in the user’s manual. You should also look at the gauges, buttons, switches and outlets to ensure that they are intact and functioning properly.

How Do You Start a Portable Gas Generator?

These usually have a recoil or an electric start. You will pull a cord or push a button to start them. The ones with an electric start typically come with the battery necessary for this future.

How Do You Choose a Fuel Tank for Portable Gas Generators?

If you will use your generator for long periods of time, it is best to pick one with a larger fuel tank. Some have fuel tanks that can hold more than six gallons at a time so that you can run them during the time that you are awake or a standard workday.

Are These Type of Generators Loud?

These generators tend to be very quiet. This is due to their engine design and the low-tone mufflers that they have. On average, they are quieter than a home vacuum.

Do Gas Generators Have Low Emissions?

The overall emissions are low, making these generators relatively eco-friendly. You can run them often without putting too many emissions into the environment.

Should You Look for Gas Generators that Are CARB compliant?

This compliance is important because it ensures that the generator is safe. It also tells you that you can use it on a worksite because it complies with the necessary federal guidelines.

Should You Use a Wheel Kit for This Type of Generator?

Some will come with wheels automatically. If not, you can typically use your own wheel kit to make it easier to move them around.

How Do You Use the Best Portable Gas Generators Safely?

Read the user’s manual for all safety tips associated with your specific generator. You should also make sure there is adequate ventilation, maintenance is performed on time and that you keep the area where the generator is placed dry.