Inverter Generator Review: Best Portable Inverter Generators

Unbiased portable inverter generator review site – only the best portable inverter generators make it here. Going on a roadtrip? Camping? To a football game? An inverter portable generator is your friend. Our dedicated team of reviewers screened the best inverter generator from Yamaha, Champion, Powerhouse, Hyundai and other top brands to identify the very best for you.

Key Considerations

When buying a portable inverter generator here is what to consider before you buy:
1. Watts
2. Fuel Capacity – for example, the Champion 73531i has a fuel capacity of 1 gallon
3. Weight – do you want a lightweight or a heavyweight? The direct tradeoff is the fuel capacity. The lighter the portable inverter, the smaller the fuel capacity. For example, the Stanley All Weather Generator is very heavy at 235 pounds, but it can carry up to 12 gallons of gasoline
3. Engine
4. Price – portable inverters range in price, from $700+ to more than $3000
5. True Sine wave inverter technology – this will protect sensitive electronics such as mobile phones
6. Engine modes – look out for an ‘economy’ mode in your inverter generator. This will help you maximize fuel efficiency
7. Noise – some inverters such as the Stanley have mufflers to help reduce noise
8. Automatic shutdown – inverters that shut down automatically when oil is down will help you extend the shelf life of the inverter. This minimizes damage to equipment from a sudden shutoff.

Why You Cannot Go Wrong with Inverter Generators

New is always better. This may not be an absolute rule but when it comes to most electronics, it’s usually better to rely on improved models than the previous ones. As an iteration from the original power generator, an inverter generator (I-G) is proven more efficient in all aspects.

Here is a good video that explains how an inverter generator looks on the inside, using a home-made inverter generator:

Top Inverter Generators

If you consider noise level as a priority in choosing the right inverter generator for you, Yamaha EF2000iS is the product you will most likely purchase. Compared to similar models under Honda and Champion brands, this Yamaha portable inverter generator works the quietest at a 51.5 decibel compared to other brands’ 53 and 54.

EF2000iS is also more fuel-efficient owing to the fact that it uses an engine with 79cc OHV that disintegrates built-up heat and works cooler. With a running wattage of 1,600 and 2,000 at the peak, this Yamaha model creates a higher level of current (about 13-16 amps) at only 120 Volts.

The Yamaha models are expensive but well worth it. The most advanced model, the EF2000iS, costs $990, a fair price to pay for a true one time investment.

For those looking for something slightly less expensive, you can buy the Champion 73531i with a noise level of 54 decibel at only $599.

Choosing the right inverter generator is quite a matter of preference and priority. If you’re the type who wants an economical unit, there are several inverter generators that are cheaper but are also dependable. If you want to purchase one that you can use for a long time, there are also high-end models that are relatively more expensive.

Why Inverter Generators are better than Standard Generators

Before we talk about the difference between a standard generator and the inverter generator, let’s look closely at their nature. Standard generators are powered by an energy source that activates a motor that is connected to an alternator. Fuel is usually the power source while the alternator serves as the source of electricity. Since the alternator depends on the moving motor, it has to run constantly at a sufficient speed so as not to impede the flow of electricity. An inverter generator, on the other hand, is a more advanced iteration of the standard generator that produces an AC current. The difference with an I-G is that it converts the AC current to DC and back to a clean AC current.

Since there’s a repeated conversion process of power current inside an inverter generator, the current maintains a constant and single phase in accordance with the required frequency. There’s a control system inside an inverter generator that regulates the flow of electricity depending on the demand for electric current, making I-G more fuel-efficient than regular generators. When the power requirement is low, the fuel consumption also decreases. This is not the case with a regular generator because the engine needs to run at the same speed regardless of the power requirement. This characteristic of regular generators poses a higher risk of damage because some electronic appliances are sensitive to a constant high-power flow of electricity.

Another advantage of using an inverter generator is its lighter and smaller frame. It also works more quietly because of the regulation system working inside.

Major Inverter Generator Brands

There are many brands out there but here are the major portable inverter generator brands:

Yamaha Portable Inverter Generators

This is the most popular and reliable brand. Here are the top portable inverter generators from Yamaha that we reviewed:

Yamaha EF2000iS
Yamaha EF2400iSHC
Yamaha EF1000iS
Yamaha EF2800i
Yamaha EF6300iSDE

Hyundai Portable Inverter Generators

Hyundai HY2000si

Champion Portable Inverter Generators

Champion 75531i
Champion 73536i
Champion 73531i – lightweight classic, albeit smaller fuel tank

Powermate/Powerhouse Portable Inverter Generators

Powermate PM0497000.04
Powerhouse PH2100PRi
Powerhouse 60376
Power Bright PW6000-12