Last updated: February, 2024
A 50 amp generator offers enough power to run all the most important household items.
It can be an indispensable backup power supply for your business to help you survive these tough times.
We’ve spent 26 hours researching 19 different generators.
You can find our best picks for 2020 in the following roundup review.
Table of Contents
50 Amp Generator Comparison Chart
|Wattage (Starting / Running)
|12000 W / 9500 W
|Check Price on Amazon
|12000 W / 9500 W
|Check Price on Amazon
|12000 W / 9500 W
|Check Price on Amazon
|22500 W / 15000 W
|Check Price on Amazon
|15000 W / 12000 W
|Check Price on Amazon
Best 50 Amp Generators Reviewed
1. Westinghouse Wgen9500DF
Westinghouse is an American company making some of the best generators out there.
All of their generators attract positive feedback from buyers in the US.
WGen9500DF is an excellent 50 amp portable generator offering enough power to run the most critical appliances in your household.
You could use it to power your refrigerator, freezer, lighting circuits, and several other items.
Plenty of people have used it during the hurricanes Irma and Dorian, reporting excellent results.
Since this is a dual fuel generator, you can run it either on gas or propane.
Switching between fuels is a very simple operation.
If you find out that you’re going to run out of propane soon but want to keep the generator running, you simply need to push the button on the control panel to make the generator switch to gas.
The great thing about this generator is its long runtime.
The unit can work for up to 17 hours on lower loads.
Even if you operate it at half capacity, you should get up to 12 hours of continuous operation.
Another fantastic feature of WGen9500DF is the remote start.
You can easily control this 50 amp generator with the remote key fob. You can turn this generator on and off while standing several feet away from it.
That can be especially convenient during really bad weather when probably the last thing to do is to leave the comforts of your home to deal with your generator.
The generator is easy to set up and run.
The control panel has got a very user-friendly interface and does not require any professional expertise.
Plenty of users have reported that the attached manual is easy to understand and helps a lot in proper running and maintenance of the generator.
To sum up, Westinghouse WGen9500DF is a highly recommended 50 amp generator ideal for homes or demanding jobsites. If you are looking for a strong and reliable dual fuel generator with a remote start – you can’t really go wrong with this unit.
Westinghouse WGen9500DF Pros & Cons
2. A-iPower SUA12000E (Top Budget Choice)
A-iPower SUA12000E is a living proof that a solid 50 amp generator doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
Plenty of people who’ve used it during the hurricanes and other storms found it to work perfectly fine as a household backup supply.
The generator has got a 59cc four-stroke engine that produces 12000 starting watts and 9500 running watts of total power output.
This is enough power to handle all crucial home appliances including an air conditioner, freezer, and many others.
It’s also a reliable choice for construction jobs. Even the most energy-hungry tools like 220V MIG welders will run with it.
The generator’s 7.0-gallon fuel tank is entirely made of steel. This gives it additional protection from bad weather.
However, we still recommend getting a quality shelter for the generator to protect it from rain or snow.
At 50%, load you would get around 8 hours of continuous operation.
While it may not be the most fuel-efficient generator in the market, it still performs reasonably well on this matter, making it one of the best 10000 watt generators out there.
To conclude, this is one of the most reliable and affordable 50 amp generators.
If you don’t want to shell out a lot of money on a generator and need a simple reliable unit to help you go through the difficult times – we think you should definitely check out the A-iPower SUA12000E.
A-iPower SUA12000E Pros & Cons
3. Duromax XP12000EH
Duromax XP12000EH, AKA “The Beast” is one of the top-performing ultra-duty hybrid generators.
Dual fuel generators generally come highly recommended over the conventional gens since they offer you more freedom and flexibility.
In case you run out of one source of fuel you can easily switch to another type.
Running a generator on propane is also cheaper than on gasoline.
The XP12000EH is among the most powerful portable generators in the market.
Running it on gasoline will give you 12,000 starting watts and 9500 running watts.
That’s more than enough to handle major electric appliances. XP12000EH also performs reasonably well on propane with its 11400 surge watts and 9025 running watts.
The total runtime for both fuels combined oscillates around 15 hours at half load.
It can run for more than 7 hours on propane and 8 hours on a single gasoline tank (at 50% load).
Our only complaint about this generator is that it’s really heavy (just like many others of this size) and difficult to move around.
Its noise level can be quite high at higher loads. However, that won’t be in issue during emergencies.
Some people have also reported having trouble getting the replacement parts when something broke down.
However, these are rather isolated incidents and most of the users generally seem to be happy with this generator.
Overall, as far as the 50 amp generators go this is one of the most popular units.
If you don’t want to go for compromises and simply need an extremely powerful 50 amp portable generator – “The Beast” lives up to its name.
Duromax XP12000EH Pros & Cons
4. Generac GP15000E
Ladies & Gentlemen, please fasten your seatbelts. You’re about to encounter the real portable powerhouse- the Generac GP15000E.
This is one of the most powerful generators you can find in the market.
22,500 starting watts and 15,000 running watts – that’s more than most of the standby generators!
If you are looking for a generator to power everything in your household – that is the one for you.
Generac is a huge company with a long market presence. It is currently one of the largest suppliers of portable and standby generators in the US.
You can find their generators pretty much everywhere – construction sites, outdoor events or even in your neighbor’s garage.
That’s good news since replacement parts are easy to find and you’re never far away from the nearest Generac dealer who can fix things for you if something breaks down in the generator or simply carry the regular maintenance.
The unit comes equipped with an original Generac 992cc OHVI engine.
The motor has got a built-in automatic low-oil level shutdown mechanism that prevents damage to the engine.
The fuel tank has got a massive capacity of 16 gallons. Depending on your current load, it could last for more than 10 hours on one refueling.
The generator has got multiple outlets suitable for various kinds of appliances. Some of these include a 120-volt 30 Amp twist lock and a 120/240-volt 50 Amp socket.
As you could suspect from such a large generator, it’s certainly not the quietest unit.
It’s also very heavy and tiresome to move around.
However, if you need a very powerful 50 amp generator that can handle the most demanding tasks – you should go with the Generac GP15000E.
Generac GP15000E Pros & Cons
5. CAT RP12000E
CAT is a well-known manufacturer of construction equipment.
It’s not surprising that they also sell their own power generators.
RP12000E is the largest generator Cat has on offer.
This 50 amp generator is not only capable of powering large construction or electric tools (such as 220V MIG welders) but can also be a reasonable household emergency power supply.
This generator is one of the largest and most powerful generators you can find online.
The 670cc OHV engine provides 15,000 starting watts and 12,000 running watts of power.
This makes it a great choice for a construction site.
As you would expect from a generator this size, it features a large variety of receptacles and outlets suitable for various kinds of tools and electric equipment.
CAT RP12000E offers enough power to run multiple home appliances.
You could effectively use it during a storm to provide electricity for your critical household equipment such as the refrigerators, lights and the AC.
Bear in mind though that if you want to use a generator to connect to your house panel and run the hard-wired appliances (like an AC), you are advised to get a transfer switch.
The generator has got a large fuel tank that, depending on the load, can last for up to 11 hours of constant operation.
You shouldn’t have a problem running this generator for an entire night.
However, don’t expect it to run for that long on the highest loads.
Generators of this size have bulky engines that are also quite loud.
CAT RP12000E is no exception – the generator’s noise level can become quite a nuisance at higher loads.
On the other hand, if you are mainly intending to use it for emergencies or construction jobs – noise is probably not going to be your major concern.
Overall it is pretty solid gen from a reputable manufacturer. If you need as big of a generator as possible, that’s the one you should consider.
The Buyer’s Guide
Amps vs Watts
As you will quickly notice when shopping for generators, their total power output is usually rated in watts. How to convert between watts and amps?
Use the following simple formula:
Wattage = Amps * Volts
For example, a large portable generator with a 50 Amp 120V/240V outlet will provide you with a maximum of 50 amp * 240V = 12,000 watts of power.
As a rule of thumb, if you see a generator with 12,000 starting watts, this usually means that this is broadly speaking a 50 amp generator.
Starting Watts vs Running Watts
These are two other figures you should pay close attention to. Some generators, for example, have 1200 starting watts and 9500 running watts. What do those two numbers mean and how do they differ from each other?
Some appliances, like eg. an air conditioner, have a motor. The motor requires a bit more surge power to start at first. After that its energy consumption returns to a lower steady level. The amount of energy needed just for the startup is called starting (surge) wattage. The energy used afterward is the running wattage AKA surge wattage.
Which number should you pay higher attention to when looking for a generator? The answer is – both.
To makes things easier, you should ideally ensure that the total starting wattage of your generator matches the sum of the starting watts for all the electrical equipment you want to run. Check out our calculator to get a better estimate of how big of a generator you actually need.
Reasons to Buy a 50 Amp Generator
It’s always a wise idea to purchase a generator at least slightly larger than your estimated power needs.
This especially applies to the generators used as home backup power supplies.
You simply can’t expect a small generator to power most of your electrical equipment in the event of a long blackout.
You might be fine with a compact portable unit to run only the most crucial appliances for a few hours at a time.
However, if you want some more comfort and run most of the important items in your household – a generator that can deliver at least 50 amps (or 12000 watts) of power is the ideal choice.
An average household comes with either a 100 Amp or 200 Amp circuit breaker. Therefore as you can see, even the larger portable generators can only cover around 25% of the total possible energy need. Obviously you shouldn’t run everything in your house during a hurricane or a snowstorm. But even some of the most important appliances consume enough power to quickly reach the maximum power output of most of the portable generators.
Some of these include:
- hot water heater (4500 watts required)
- 10,000 BTU air conditioner (2200 starting & 1500 running watts)
- range (2100 watts)
and many others.
Even though you should only keep the most vital equipment running during an emergency, getting as big of a generator as possible will save you from the danger of buying one which is too small to run some of the most important items.
50 amp generators are very large and do not sell for cheap.
However, since you are investing in a potentially life-saving electrical tool to use for years to come, you shouldn’t skimp on one.
That’s unless you are looking for a generator for leisure use. That’s when the smaller inverter generators or some really cheap generators should do their job pretty well.
50 Amp Generators for RV
If your travel trailer is a 50 amp one than you really have no other better choice than investing in a 50 amp generator. The good news is that such a generator should easily handle pretty much all of the appliances and electronic equipment in your RV.
Our top recommendation for RV is the Westinghouse WGen9500DF. The fact that it’s a dual fuel generator could potentially save you quite a lot of money in the longer term. This is a really big selling point for the generators of this size as they tend to consume large amounts of gas. Running it on propane would be a much more economical choice.
Covered topics: 50amp generator, 50a generator, generator with 50 amp plug 12000 watt, 50 amp generator, 40 amp generator