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Best Inverter Generator Reviews 2020 – Comparison & Buying Guide

Inverter generators are currently the best portable power sources.

The inverter technology provides clean energy for your sensitive electronics such as TVs or laptops.

If you need the best 2000 watt inverter generator for camping or small jobs – we’d recommend the WEN 56200i.
It is one of the quietest generators out there. It also sells for less than most other generators.

If you need a portable inverter for RV, you should get a 3000-watt unit to run an AC and refrigerator.

Champion 3400 Dual Fuel Inverter would be your best bet.

It is a reliable and quiet dual fuel inverter generator with a dedicated 30 Amp RV outlet. You can run it on either gas or propane to power anything in your travel trailer.

If you need more information about the best inverter generator suitable for your specific needs, keep reading.

We’ve spent more than 25 hours researching 42 different inverters. We have picked ten units that stand out.

Read our inverter generator reviews to learn why these generators are better than others.

Inverter Generator Comparison Chart

Inverter GeneratorWattage
(Start / Running)
Noise @
25% Load
WeightPrice
WEN 56200i WEN 56200i - Best Choice 2000 / 1600 51 dB 48 lbs Check Price
Champion 3400 Dual Fuel Generator Champion 3400 Dual Fuel - Best for RV 3400 / 3100 59 dB 95.7 lbs Check Price
Westinghouse iGen2200 Westinghouse iGen2200 2200 / 1800 52 dB 46 lbs Check Price
Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Yamaha EF2000iSv2 2000 / 1600 51.5 dB 44 lbs Check Price
Champion 75537i Champion 75537i 3100 Watt 3100 / 2800 58 dB 44 lbs Check Price
Generac 6866 iQ2000 Generac 6866 iQ2000 2000 / 1600 53 dB 46.2 lbs Check Price
Westinghouse WH2200iXLT Westinghouse WH2200iXLT 2200 / 1800 52 dB 43 lbs Check Price
Pulsar PG2000iS Pulsar PG2000iS 2300 / 1800 59 dB 47 lbs Check Price
Honda EU2200i Honda EU2200i 2200 / 1800 48 dB 47 lbs Check Price
Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 2200 / 1700 59 dB 54.6 lbs Check Price

Top 10 Best Inverter Generators

1. WEN 56200i 2000 Watts

WEN 56200i is the best inverter generator out there.

Experts love it for its flawless performance and excellent quality to price ratio.

In our opinion, there is no other generator offering the same performance in its price range.

This excellent generator costs only the fraction of the price of the original Honda or Yamaha.

It is remarkably quiet and very lightweight. You won’t have any problems carrying it around.

The fuel tank has got a total capacity of 1 gallon.

Fuel efficiency is one of its strongest points. In can run for around 6 hours on a full fuel tank at 50% load. That is quite an impressive result, given its small size and weight.

It comes equipped with a 5V USB port – ideal for charging phones and tablets.

While 1600 running watts is not going to blow anyone’s mind, this is more than enough if you plan to take it to the campsite.

A lot of people used it as an emergency supply during the hurricane Irma and were happy with its performance.

It is certainly not a comprehensive home backup solution, but it’s still strong enough to power your fridge and a few lights.

It does have an excellent economy mode that further helps in optimizing its fuel consumption.

WEN 56200i has got a very intuitive control panel

Just like most of the modern inverter generators, it comes with an automatic low oil shutdown mechanism.

The plastic finishings used for the control panel and the frame might make this generator look and feel a bit cheap.

It is perfectly understandable given the generator’s low price tag.

These minor shortcomings do not have any negative impact on the performance of the generator.

Overall, if you are looking for a reliable and affordable inverter generator – you can’t go wrong with this unit.

You can find more information about WEN 56200i in this detailed review.


PROS
  • Flawless Performance
  • Long Runtime
  • Affordable Price tag
  • Silent
  • Quality Engine
CONS
  • No fuel valve
  • Plastic finishing

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2. Champion Power Equipment 3400 Dual Fuel 3400 Watts

While conventional dual fuel generators are nothing new, so far, there are not many portable inverter generators that can operate both on gas and propane.

The 3400-watt portable inverter generator manufactured by Champion Power Equipment is one of the few.

It is by far one of the best portable generators for RV.

With its dedicated 30 amp RV outlet, this portable generator is ready to be connected to your RV straight from the box.

It is powerful enough to run the most demanding appliances such as the larger air conditioners rated at 15,000 BTU.

Thanks to the dual-fuel technology, it can run for extended periods and save you a nice sum of money if you decide to stick to propane, which is a cheaper fuel than gas.

Note that the generator’s wattage is slightly lower when running on propane. However, the difference is so small that as long as you don’t try to continually run in on full load (which is never a recommended thing to do), you won’t notice a difference.

You will be able to run this portable generator for around 14 hours on one single tank of propane and 11.5 hours on a full tank of gas. Note that these figures are for 25% load. If you plan to run an RV air conditioner for extended periods, your fuel consumption will be much higher.

Champion 3400 Dual Fuel generator is great for camping

The only thing I miss in this generator is a remote start. It would be a lovely addition to this already good portable inverter generator.

On a positive note, it is a very quiet portable generator for its size. It produces much less noise than conventional generators.

One last important thing to mention about it is that it comes with the parallel capability.

That means you can get two identical units to double their total power output. In such a case, you would have a full power solution capable of providing electricity for nearly all appliances in your RV. It could also be a reliable home backup power source in case of emergencies.

Read more in this article about Champion 3400 Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator.


PROS
  • High wattage
  • Dual fuel technology
  • RV-ready
  • Solid design
CONS
  • No remote start

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3. Westinghouse iGen2200 2200 Watts

Westinghouse is an American manufacturer who never goes on compromises when it comes to the quality of their generators. As for their inverter generators, there are two models currently being on offer – WH2200iXLT and iGen2200.

The iGen2200 inverter generator is the younger model. It comes in different color schemes, the most interesting one being the camo style – perfect for outdoor use.

It is one of the quietest inverter generators I have come across so far. It produces only 52 decibels at a 25% load.

That makes it an attractive power source for campers.

You can run it for nearly 12 hours on a single 1.2-gallon gas tank. However, this depends on the load. It will undoubtedly consume more gas if you continuously run it at close to the full capacity.

Inverter generators are generally ideal for powering sensitive portable electronics like mobile phones.

IGen2200 acknowledges that fact by providing 2 x 5V USB ports, which you can use to charge your cameras, smartphones, or anything else you need.

A 20A circuit breaker is a great feature that ensures that the generator won’t be damaged if you accidentally try to run it above the maximum load.

It is an excellent portable inverter generator selling for twice as cheap as Honda EU2200i.

As of now, it’s one of the best inverter generators on the market.

Westinghouse iGen2200 performs well at tailgating parties


PROS
  • Very quiet
  • Much cheaper than Honda
  • Fuel efficient
  • Reputable American manufacturer
CONS
  • No fuel gauge

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4. Yamaha EF2000iSv2 2000 Watt Generator

The name Yamaha is the synonym of quality when it comes to portable electronics. Their portable generators are no exception.

Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is one of the best inverter generators money can buy. If for whatever reason, you don’t like Honda EU2200i (for instance, the design), then you should opt for this one.

I have written more about how these two generators compare in this detailed article about Yamaha EF2000iSv2. Make sure to check it out if you want to learn more about Yamaha!

It is a very slick, hi-tech inverter generator offering all-important qualities you would expect from a top-notch inverter.

It is remarkably quiet, producing only 51.5 decibels at a quarter load. That is comparable to two people having an ordinary conversation.

The generator becomes louder as you plug in more energy-demanding devices into it. It is still quiet enough to make it campground-friendly (I’d still recommend to run it only during the so-called “non-quiet” hours designated by federal camping grounds).

It is remarkably fuel-efficient. One refueling of the gas tank is enough to make it run for more than 10 hours at 1/2 load.

The auto decompression system makes startup very easy and ready to use within seconds.

The dual coll alternator stator is a quite innovative solution that helps alternate the speed of the engine depending on the current demand. Thanks to this handy feature, you won’t waste too much gas in the idle state.


PROS
  • Yamaha engine – one of the best of the markets and the synonym of quality
  • Excellent fuel efficiency
  • Very quiet
  • Easy to operate and maintain
  • Great choice for camping and jobsites
CONS
  • Expensive.

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5. Champion 75537i 3100 Watts

The Champion 75537i is a bit more potent than most of the other inverter generators on the market. Its 3100 starting watts make it an exciting choice for those who have slightly higher power needs.

It has a 30 AMP RV-ready outlet, making it one of the best choices for RV.

You could easily power an AC and an RV refrigerator with this inverter.

Higher wattage comes with a larger engine. That makes this inverter slightly less portable than smaller units.

However, while you won’t be able to carry it on in one hand for sure, the folding carry handle and the built-in wheels make it significantly easier to move.

The only problem I see with the wheels is that they’re a bit small and placed very close to the body of the generator. They can get stuck easily on rougher surfaces such as sand or mud.

It is fully CARB compliant making it possible for residents of California to use it there.

The noise levels are overall pretty low at 50% load. However, you need to be aware that this comparatively quiet inverter will become much louder if you decide to plug in more devices.

The generator is also reasonably fuel-efficient. You can run it for up to 8 hours on a single gas tank at 25% load.

If you are curious to learn more about Champion 75537i, you can read our detailed review of Champion 3000 watt generator.

Champion 3100 is good for powering different kinds of tools


PROS
  • Great choice for RV or tailgating
  • Sturdy design
  • Remote start
  • Strong engine
CONS
  • Becomes loud at higher loads

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6. Generac 6866 iQ2000 2000 Watt Generator

Inverter generators are generally much quieter than conventional generators. And the Generac iQ2000 is among the quietest of them all.

The noise you hear when you place it at an approximate distance of 25 feet away from you would oscillate around 53 decibels. It is quieter than two people having a lively conversation.

Note that this is at 25% load and when using the first out of three available power modes: Economy Mode, Standard, and Turbo.

Depending on which model you choose you’ll get either more available wattage or quieter operation and lower gas consumption.

This is a quite interesting solution and it’s certainly great that IQ2000 gives you the additional level of control.

On the other hand, inverter generators like Yamaha EF2000is can adjust their work automatically without any effort on the user’s side.

The runtime display is a convenient feature allowing you to see how much running time you have left before needing to refuel.

If you are interested to learn more, you can read the full review of Generac IQ2000 here.


PROS
  • Quiet
  • Cheaper than Honda or Yamaha
  • User friendly display
  • Lightweight
CONS
  • It is not the quietest model
  • Just like many other inverter generators it struggles at higher attitudes

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7. Westinghouse WH2000iXLT 2200 Watts

If you are eager to buy a generator from an American manufacturer, you can’t really go wrong with Westinghouse.

They are one of the most reputable electricity companies in the US with more than a hundred years of market presence.

Westinghouse has only recently entered the market of portable generators, releasing some of the best units money can buy, such as WGen7500.

Their inverter generators are also top notch quality. WH2000iXLT is a great example of a portable inverter generator which delivers all major promises to its user.

It is very quiet and camping friendly.

It has got a very long run time of 13 hours at 50% load, which is longer than most of the inverter generators.

It has a custom-built Westinghouse 79cc OHV engine, which performs pretty well in a variety of settings.

We like the user-friendly design of the control panel. The color-coded touch points make it very simple to operate.

If you want to learn more about this inverter generator, click here to read the more detailed review.


PROS
  • Lightweight
  • Very long run time
  • Made in USA
  • Quiet
CONS
  • Lacks the fuel gauge
  • Not the cheapest

See It on Amazon


8. Pulsar PG2000iS 2000 Watts

This is another solid inverter generator designed specifically with campers in mind.

It would also perform pretty well at tailgating parties.

This portable inverter generator can operate at 1800 running watts, which is slightly more than some of its competitors have to offer.

It features an 80cc OHV engine which is capable of running for 6 hours at 50% load. That is a quite decent number, however not as good as some other inverter generators currently being on sale.

Since we like to use the inverter generators for powering up mobile electronics, we find it slightly pitiful that Pulsar PG2000iS has got only one USB outlet.

The built-in oil sensor warns you whenever the oil levels become too low. This helps to prevent the damage to the generator’s engine.

One thing which I find a bit worrying in case of this unit is the short warranty – 1 year is not that long, and we sincerely wished the manufacturer could extend it to at least two years.

On the other hand, Pulsar, albeit not as well-known as Yamaha or Honda, is a trusted company, and you are very unlikely to have any serious issues with this portable inverter generator.

Even though the manufacturer does not advertise it, you could also possibly use it to power your RV 10,000 BTU air conditioner.

It would also work fine for most of the conventional electric tools, such as saws or drills.

Overall it is a cost effective alternative to more popular and pricier portable inverter generators.

Pulsar PG2000iS portable inverter generators can be connected to each other


PROS
  • Decent run time
  • High wattage
  • Modern, lightweight design
CONS
  • Only 1 year warranty
  • Could do with more USB ports

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9. Honda EU2200i 2000 Watt Inverter Generator

Honda is the company that has originally invented and patented inverter technology. Their most popular model – Honda EU2000i has quickly gained massive popularity and attracted stellar reviews from buyers worldwide who praised its quiet work, reliability, sturdy design and many other benefits of that inverter

EU2000i has basically become the name synonymous with the “best inverter generator“.

A while ago, Honda discontinued the Honda EU2000i and replaced it with the newer upgraded model – EU2200i.

Was that a wise move from the manufacturer’s side? Does EU2200i perform better than its older sibling?

In fact, as our detailed review of Honda EU2200i proves – it really does!

What has changed was the wattage. It increased from 2000 starting watts to 2200.

What stayed the same is the low noise level, the weight, design, and finally, the price.

So you technically get more stable power for the same price without compromising on other features.

Honda has done an excellent job with this one.

This super quiet inverter generator is compact and small and capable of generating reliable, clean power. You can also use it in conjunction with another inverter to double the power output. (it’s called paralleling)

It is a very quiet and portable inverter very often seen on job sites in the US and worldwide.

honda eu2200i inverter generator

Its noise level at 25% load is only 49 decibels – that’s whisper-quiet for a generator!

It comes with the Honda Oil Alerts system that acts as a reliable automatic low oil shutdown mechanism.

This power inverter generator also benefits from Eco-Throttle technology. It adjusts the engine speed and fuel consumption to the current requirements.

You can save a lot of money on fuel in the longer term.

The only thing we miss in Honda EU2200i is the electronic, or even better – the remote start.

A pull start type works just fine, but that would be the one final great addition to what is already probably the best portable inverter generator on the market.


PROS
  • Trusted brand
  • Super quiet
  • Original Honda engine
  • Fuel efficient
  • Solid build
  • Lightweight
CONS
  • No electric start

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10. Briggs & Stratton 30651 2200 Watts

Briggs & Stratton is a very well established brand on the American market. They make the whole range of portable generators popular among domestic consumers.

This portable inverter generator offers 2200 starting and 1700 running watts, which is pretty much an industry standard for inverter generators of this size.

Diving into its specs, we can see that it does not differ much from its competitors in terms of its design, engine, and operation.

It can run for up to 8 hours at 25% load.

That’s quite standard for the inverters in its wattage range.

The generator could be slightly quieter – 59 decibels at 25% load can already cause a minor nuisance.

On the plus side, it offers the parallel capability – you can connect two of this kind to double your total output.

One serious downside is that it is not CARB compliant. You won’t be legally able to run it in the state of California.

Overall it is certainly not a bad inverter and still makes it to our list of top 10 best portable inverter generators catering for the US market.

However, if I were you I would either spend a bit more and get the Honda EU2200i or, if looking for a slightly cheaper yet still excellent unit – Westinghouse WH2200iXLT.

Briggs & Stratton 30651 performs well for campers


PROS
  • Solid design
  • Simple to use
  • Trusted manufacturer
CONS
  • Quite loud
  • Not the best run time
  • It’s not CARB compliant

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Should you buy an inverter generator or a conventional generator?

For most of the circumstances, I would recommend you to go with an inverter generator as they offer several benefits over the conventional generators. That is particularly crucial if you intend to use them with sensitive electronics such as notebooks or tablets. I explain this more in this article about the differences between a generator and an inverter.

However, if you need to power more demanding electric tools (such as MIG welders) or need a generator to run an entire home in case of an emergency – most of the inverter generators would not have enough energy to accomplish those tasks.  You should preferably have a look at large conventional portable generators or even better – dual fuel generators.

Before You Buy – 5 Considerations on How to Select an Inverter Generator for your Goals

1. Where do you want to use your inverter generator?

Before you go on and purchase an inverter generator, you should determine your power needs first.

Most of the inverter generators operate in the 2000 – 3500 running wattage range.

That is more than enough power to run an AC, refrigerator, freezer, and a TV.

However, except for some large inverter generators such as Honda EU7000i, they might not be the best choice for those who need a large home backup generator.

Let’s have a look at the three most common types of situations you might need an inverter generator for:

Camping and RV

If you only need a generator to charge small electric tools or portable electronics, a 2000 watt inverter would be sufficient.

If you plan to operate an inverter generator with your RV, you probably need a larger unit.

A 3100-watt generator is a minimum that guarantees you can run the 11000 BTU air conditioner, an RV refrigerator, and a few smaller appliances such as a coffee maker or a TV.

Home backup

Even the best portable inverter generator won’t provide enough continuous power to supply the whole house in the event of an emergency.

However, most of the units presented in this guide are strong enough to power the essential appliances, such as the AC or refrigerators.

While a 3000-watt inverter generator can accomplish this, you’d better get a larger unit to be 100% on the safe side.

A 4000-watt inverter generator would be a better option.

Jobsites

Inverter generators indeed can be used for a lot of job sites requiring small to mid-size electric tools.

These include chainsaws, rotary hammers, drills, and portable heaters.

On the other hand, you won’t be able to power things like table saws, air compressors, or MIG welders.

Check out the table below to find out what you can and can’t power with a typical single inverter generator:

ToolStarting WattsRunning WattsCan use with an Inverter?
Welder (200 amp AC) 9000 9000 No. Need a more powerful conventional generator
Table Saw (10’’) 4500 1800 Need at least 2 inverters, each with at least 2400 starting watts
Air Compressor (1hp) 4500 1600 Need at least 2 inverters, each with at least 2400 starting watts
Bench Grinder (8’’) 2500 1400 Need an inverter with at least 2600 starting watts
Circular Saw (Heavy Duty type) 2300 1400 Need an inverter with at least 2400 starting watts
Breaker Hammer 1250 1250 Any inverter mentioned in our guide will be fine
Rotary Hammer 1200 850 Any inverter mentioned in our guide will be fine
Chainsaw (2 hp, 14’’) 1100 1100 Any inverter mentioned in our guide will be fine
Portable Heater (150,000 BTU) 1000 625 Any inverter mentioned in our guide will be fine
Hand Drill (1/2’’) 900 600 Any inverter mentioned in our guide will be fine
Drill (1/2’, 5.4 amp) 900 600 Any inverter mentioned in our guide will be fine
Portable Heater (90,000 BTU) 725 500 Any inverter mentioned in our guide will be fine
Portable Heater (50,000 BTU) 600 400 Any inverter mentioned in our guide will be fine
Note: all figures are the average estimates. The actual power consumption of your appliances may vary. You should always do a personal check to get the exact figures. 

2. Noise Level

All inverter generators are much quieter than the traditional portable generators.

The quietest ones operate within the 50 – 60 decibels threshold.

Nobody likes the sound of the generator engine, no matter which kind of situation you plan to use it in.

If you intend to bring your generator to a camping ground or an RV park, you should be particularly vigilant about their noise regulations.

Some may ban any kind of generators altogether. In such circumstances, even the quietest generator will get you into trouble.

Federal campgrounds usually allow for quiet generators to run during the daytime hours.

In any case, you should make the quietness of the generator your top priority.

Bear in mind that the decibel scale is logarithmic, meaning that 60 decibels sound way much louder than 50 decibels. Every single decibel less noise can bring relief to your ears.

I would personally suggest choosing an inverter generator that operates under 55 decibels at 25% load.

3. Parallel Capability

Are you worried that you’re going to end up with an inverter generator not powerful enough? Or perhaps you anticipate you will need something more robust s(e.g., a home backup power in the event of a hurricane)?

That’s where one of the best features of the best inverter generators comes into play – the parallel capability.

You can connect two identical inverter generators to double your total power output.

Example: if you’ve already got a Honda EU2200i and suddenly you realize you need more power – you can buy another EU2200i and plug them together to get 2 x 1800 watts = 3600 running watts.

All inverter generators mentioned in our article have got this functionality.

One important thing to know is that both inverters must have the same wattage or even better – should be the same models. Trying to connect a 3100-watt inverter generator to a 2200-watt unit will not likely work.

4. Clean Energy

First, the quick clarification – the word “clean” does not refer to the environmental friendliness of inverter generators in this context. Even though they emit significantly fewer toxic fumes than conventional portable generators, they still run on fossil fuels and are thus not recommended for indoor use.

Clean energy refers instead to the quality of the sine wave and the steadiness of provided electricity and power quality.

Conventional generators usually suffer from higher levels of Total Harmonic Distortion (THD), which is generally much higher than in the case of the electricity grid.

They produce the so-called modified sinewave.

They are hence not safe to use with what we refer to as “sensitive electronics” and can potentially damage them. These include laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.

Inverter generators, on the other hand, operate under the safe 3% total harmonic distortion threshold. They produce a clean sine wave, which makes them perfectly fine for working with modern electronics.

How does an inverter work?

The engine of a portable generator produces the alternating current (AC). The AC power is later converted to the direct current (DC).

Then the inverter technology does its magic.

It converts the DC back to the alternating current rated at 120 volts and 60Hz. That is a standard for the AC power supplied by the American state grid.

The inverted alternating current delivered by these generators is, therefore, much more similar to the one you get from your wall sockets. This kind of AC power is safe to power all sensitive electronics.

It’s much cleaner and more stable than the raw alternating current produced by conventional generators.

Frequently Asked Questions about Inverter Generators

Which is better: inverter or generator?

Inverter generators have several advantages over conventional units. They’re quieter, more fuel-efficient, and lighter. Most importantly, you can use them to power sensitive electronics such as laptops, TVs, and mobile phones.

However, if you need a big generator with high total power output, e.g., for home – most inverters will be too small for you.

Overall, an inverter is a better choice for camping, RV, small job sites, and outdoor stalls.

A conventional generator would be a better choice for demanding construction sites or for home backup.

Can an inverter generator run a refrigerator?

Yes, most inverter generators in the market can run a refrigerator. A typical home refrigerator usually needs 1200-2000 starting watts to start and run properly. A 2000 watt inverter will be entirely sufficient to run it.

We always recommend going with a more powerful generator, in this case – at least 3000 watts. It would give you a bit more spare power at your disposal and allow you to run a few other things besides the refrigerator and freezer.

Are inverter generators worth it?

In most cases – totally yes. Thanks to the built-in fuel-saving technologies, inverter generators consume less gas than conventional generators. So even though you would have to spend more money on an inverter, you would save quite a lot of money in the longer term on fuel.

If you are looking for even higher savings, you should consider getting a dual fuel inverter, such as the Champion 3400 Watt Dual Fuel Inverter. Running the inverter generator on propane would save you even more money. That would also give you more flexibility in terms of fuel choice – a crucial thing during emergencies.

Why are inverter generators so quiet?

First, inverter generators usually have smaller engines that produce less noise. Inverter technology also automatically adjusts the engine speed to the current load, so it does not continuously run at the same rate. That further helps decrease noise levels and reduces fuel consumption.

The closed structure of inverter generators also prevents the engine from excessive shaking, making the whole system quieter.

Several quality inverter generators such as the ones made by Honda also feature built-in mufflers to minimize their noise.

9.7 Total Score
WEN 56200i - Our Pick