The sign of a well-planned worksite is the presence of a well-maintained power generator. You can never know when the need arises, especially during emergencies. In the US, grid outages are uncommon but there is still the possibility of blackouts as history shows us through the occurrence of natural calamities like typhoons and blizzards.
So, how should you go about buying a generator? What are some top portable generator brands in America and how do they compare with each other?
Here’s a quick primer on the best generator brands in the country, listed in the order of their popularity and reputation. Skim through the list and check out recommended generator models to add one to your home or construction site today.
|Best Generator Brands on The Market|
| Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator ||Read My Review|
| YAMAHA EF2000iSv2 Portable Inverter Generator ||Read My Review|
| WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator ||Read My Review|
| DuroMax XP5500EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator ||Read My Review|
| Champion Power Equipment 76533 Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator ||Read My Review|
| Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator with Remote Electric Start ||Read My Review|
| Generac GP2500i Inverter Generator ||Read My Review|
| Pulsar PG2300iS Portable Gas-Powered Inverter Generator ||Read My Review|
| Firman P05702 Remote Start Gas Portable Generator ||Read My Review|
Briggs & Stratton
| Briggs & Stratton 30795 P4500 Inverter Generator ||Read My Review|
Top 10 Generator Brands of 2021
We have prepared this list of the most reliable generator brands by considering a variety of factors such as technology, trustworthiness, efficiency, convenience, cost, and warranty.
Some of these brands are household names in our country, so it would make more sense to go with their generator models. But feel free to explore other brands as well to see if they offer a better technology or price.
1 - Honda Generators
The Japanese automobile manufacturer, one of the largest in the world, is also known for batteries, power generators, home enhancement equipment, and power tools. Serving us with cutting-edge technology for nearly 80 years now, Honda’s products are known for their reliable manufacturing quality, robustness, and longevity.
Just take a quick look at the range of Honda portable power generators and you will see why they are most sought-after. Compact form factor, powerful motors, high fuel efficiency, and a sturdy frame. All the qualities that you would want in the best-quality portable generators.
Moreover, Honda was one of the first brands that manufactured quiet motors intended for use in RV and domestic settings. Which makes it the best choice when it comes to both commercial and domestic applications.
This one here is one of the quietest generators out there, providing a stable power backup of 2,200 W for basic domestic use (refrigerator, lights, HVAC, etc.). Weighing just about 48 pounds (dry weight), it can run strong for more than 8 hours on a single gallon of diesel. How good is that in emergencies?
Pretty good, actually. Because then it can be employed for overnight use without worrying about fuel sufficiency. The easy oil change mechanism, auto shut-off, Bluetooth connectivity, and carbon monoxide detector further make it a cool choice for home use.
Honda being the most reliable generator brand definitely adds to the value that you will get out of this little beast. Looking for a basic backup for your home in the country? The EU2200i should be on top of your list.
Quiet operation with a maximum noise of 57 dBA
Commercial-grade motor boasts of fuel efficiency and clean power
3-year residential warranty
2 - Yamaha Generators
There is a running banter on the Internet around this 19th-century Japanese company being the world’s largest piano manufacturer and also a motorcycle company. But it is also a global household name for power equipment and tools. Its USP lies in both brawn and brain that the company manages to put into its products through advanced research and development, thereby also giving a tough competition to the local compact generator brand, Honda.
Yet we feel both the brands have distinct styles and visions, which are reflected in the tools and equipment coming out of their factories. For example, check out this 1,600-watt portable inverter that is the epitome of the best small inverter generator for home use. Just one look and the uninitiated will assume that it’s a media player from the mid-2000s.
This blue-colored quiet inverter generator for RV and household use also boasts of an air-cooled 4-stroke motor that whirs quietly and produces stable backup power for more than 10 hours on a full tank capacity of 1.1 gallons. That’s slightly more than what we saw in the Honda model above.
It’s also lighter than the model above but has a higher noise rating (up to 61 dBA). The parallel option – connect two EF2000s together – exists, so you can easily double up the power if needed. But what really sets it apart is the compact size – it’s just 2.2 cubic feet in volume and that’s its biggest USP. It has the basic essentials too, making for a good choice.
Lightweight and compact in size
Advanced programming allows clever power transfer to home appliances (without spikes)
Smart Throttle changes motor speed based on load
Fuel tank auto dry
Oil warning system
Legal for use in all 50 states
3 - WEN Generators
WEN – around since 1951 – is the original ‘Make in America’ brand and is best known for pioneering power tools. It claims to be one of the first and the best affordable generators “to put the power into power tools”. So, naturally, you know you are getting the real deal when you depend on WEN Products for your home backup.
The USP of WEN’s tools and equipment is that they focus on compliance set by agencies and authorities more than any other brand. You don’t even have to worry about using its products; you ARE going to get a clean energy generator, for instance. Just make sure you select based on the right specifications and WEN will serve you for years, if not decades.
1,600 watts power with support for both AC and DC output, the 56200i is a great choice for homes, RVs, and construction sites. Its intelligent power transfer ensures that it adjusts according to the load. You don’t want to fry your essential appliances, which is something that WEN assures will not happen. Pure sinusoidal wave output that is free from surges and spikes and which is produced from clean fuel is the second highlight.
It also has a very good and compact panel, making it easier to control. Need to quickly charge your phone? Do it directly from the panel.
Its claim of lightweight does not hold much true (especially in comparison), but the noise rating is pretty accurate. This one does not squeak, which is why we recommend it as one of the better portable generators for campgrounds out there.
Cost-effective alternative to Honda and Yamaha
Noiseless, fuel-efficient motor
User-intuitive action panel with AC, DC, and USB receptacles
Detailed instruction manual and supporting literature
Suitable for use in both the US and Canada
4 - DuroMax Generators
DuroMax is yet another homegrown American brand that entirely focuses on power tools and engineering equipment. They manufacture and sell engines, generators with electric start, pumps, and related accessories.
We think the dependence on DuroMax by proud Americans who like to support their local brands is what has catapulted the brand’s popularity across the states. Ask any professional what brands they prefer, and they are bound to mention DuroMax and other local ones (as reviewed below). A really good reason is the range of wattage that it provides. Just browse through its website and you will find generators that can provide a starting wattage of more than 15,000.
DuroMax vs DuroStar
DuroStar is simply a sister brand of DuroMax. There is no major difference between them other than the fact that the company sells only power generators under the DuroStar label whereas DuroMax also has pumps and engines under its repertoire.
There is also the color difference between their products. We also looked at the wattage difference – DuroStar and DuroMax models together offer a wide range. So, if you are looking for a 5,500-watt generator, you can check out the top pick below. In case you need slightly higher wattage, go with this DuroStar generator model.
There is a claim that the models have different motors and compliance (CARB, for instance), but it is not true. Both of them have equally strong generators, so your choice should ideally depend on their actual performance. After all, DuroMax and DuroStar are just stickers on the machines.
The XP5500EH is built like a tank with an all-metal encapsulation that is bound to make it last for decades. The running wattage is 4,500 which can serve you for roughly 8 hours with a single full tank. There is also a function to run power at 240V and 120V simultaneously, which is a nice little feature to run a wide range of appliances.
This is one of the top-rated propane and gasoline generators in the country with superior customer support and a long history of seamless operation. Get it today.
Dual-fuel technology (gasoline and propane)
5 - Champion Generators
Champion, another homegrown American brand that is established in the North American region, claims to be the market leader in the power equipment sphere and a top generator brand. We like to agree to that claim because ask any local professional – the guys who you work with, the guys who are working at a nearby construction site – and you will see that they all talk highly of Champion. Its models with wireless start are definitely a class apart.
Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Wisconsin, it has sold over 3 million generators worldwide. Its line of the pioneering V-Twin engine is what it’s most famous for but we like to see Champion as a reliable brand that manufactures some really robust RV-ready portable generators. As you will find in this top pick of ours below.
In this 3,800-watt Champion dual-fuel generator review, we would like to focus your attention on basically two things:
The Cold Start technology – a very crucial feature – lets you start the motor even in extremely cold conditions. If you are in the north, there is no second opinion about why you should not go with this heavy-duty portable generator
This is a minimum maintenance machine. With an auto-shutoff sensor for the oil (which is included), a motor toggle switch, and a spacious control panel – this checks all the boxes when it comes to ‘use and forget’
Although Champion recommends ensuring monthly maintenance (in case of daily use), this sturdy model can run for eons with minimum upkeep and regular running. The efficiency for both propane and gasoline is more than the industry standard so you could see yourself using it more often.
Dual-fuel technology – up to 11 hours on propane
Low oil auto shut-off sensor
Electric start with motor switch
Voltage, frequency, and runtime tracker
Free lifetime technical support and 3-year limited warranty
6 - Westinghouse Generators
Westinghouse was founded in 1886 and is another true American brand that has been serving loyal Americans for centuries. Although it has a recent official connection with the CBS Corporation, Westinghouse has continued to lead the roost in the power equipment world by selling easy-to-use generators, power station equipment, pressure washers, and garden tools.
Westinghouse is best known as a brand that manufacturers simple products that can be used by both professionals and laymen. Just look at the review and the highlights of the Westinghouse WGEN7500 portable generator and you will see what we are talking about.
Note – Outside of the power equipment world, Westinghouse is probably most known for its iconic logo, which was designed by the legendary American artist Paul Rand. Notably, the old logo is still retained.
This is the first remote-controlled power generator on this list and that itself is its USP. Makes it the best whole house generator in this wattage and price range, especially if you own a large house and choose to keep the backup machine in the shed or somewhere outside. And not just for households, this can also be used for RVs, construction sites, and other routine applications.
7,500 of rated watts should be enough for a mid-to-large home, and with the one-click electric start, you can operate it just like you would a non-smart TV. Only that you might need to do some periodic maintenance on this. We also like the VFT display that provides enough information about usage, voltage output, consumption, and frequency.
If you see a lot of outages and want a reliable power backup, Westinghouse is the brand to go for. Some of the best home backup generator in the United States that can be operated by people of all age (18 above).
Runtime of 11 hours (both propane and gas option)
Remote switch for easy start and stop
9,500 peak watts (2,000 more than running watts)
Easy to use and maintain
Free lifetime technical support
7 - Generac Generators
Generac is an American manufacturer that has over time also influenced the power equipment industry around the world. This is evident from the fact that it has manufacturing facilities even in Berlin among other global cities. Founded in 1959, Generac only deals in power generation products. So, you know you are getting a piece of technology founded on decades of research and development on a single line of business.
Sometimes we prefer companies that focus on a single line of products. It naturally invites a lot of trust when we are shopping, especially if it’s a lightweight generator like the one below, which we want to be a small, one-time investment for longterm use. If you agree with us on that point, go with Generac and save a lot of money compared to its competitors.
This is the most compact machine from Generac which is already known as one of the best cheap generator brands. Weighing just about 48 pounds and just 20 inches wide, it is small, easy to carry around, and even easier to operate. What we really love about this Generac piece is that it’s a completely enclosed machine. While this allows for a low amount of noise to come out, it also gives a cleaner look. An apt choice for those who like to complement each and every product and tool with their house.
The running wattage of 2,200 is low, so this might not be an ideal choice for large homes or huge construction sites where multiple heavy-duty tools are being used. We recommend it for small houses, occasional project work for hobbyists, and construction consultants. A great first-time tool.
Lightweight and compact enclosure
LED indicators for ow oil and overload
USB port for DC charging
Smallest Generac generator
8 - Pulsar Generators
Pulsar is an underdog, fighting with top portable generator brands like the ones we have already reviewed above. Yet the Canadian company has some kinks in its line of products.
For starters, a Pulsar gas generator is great to look at. While calling it the Apple of generators is an overstatement, we personally love how nicely it sits on our backyard. No one will say it’s a power backup, especially with the cool aesthetics and the noiseless operation.
This 1,800-watt machine can be considered one of the best outdoor generators in the range. Why?
It’s just about 47 pounds, has a noiseless operation (59 dB) even at a distance of 10 feet, and has a remarkably compact suitcase-style design. Together, they let it compete with top models by Honda and Yamaha. But what makes it even more enticing is the price range. Pulsar being an underdog has priced its products modestly. So, if you are on a budget and still want a reliable machine with a customer support center in the United States (and Canada), you should go with this brand.
The only drawback is that it only runs on gasoline. There’s no support for propane, but looking at the wattage range, this should suffice for its target user group. Home users, hobbyists, and freelance construction specialists should go with this one.
Lightweight and compact design
Silent motor operation
Easy to operate and carry around
Roughly 5 hours of operation at 50% load
9 - Firman Generators
Owned by Sinomach, a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate, Firman is another one of the most underrated power equipment brands in the world. It boasts of four manufacturing facilities that together produce more than 3,000 generators – a claim that’s hard to beat. But the advantage that Firman has over others is that it manages the production of its generators from A to Z; there’s no third-party vendor involved.
This makes Firman give a better promise than its counterparts. And among that promise is the claim that its products are:
Suitable for all conditions
Built to last
Read for elements (different weathers)
What more do you want from a generator?
This one is intended more for commercial purposes, owing to its higher wattage and a sturdier build. Weighing about 214 pounds (heaviest on this list), the USP is the electric and remote start motor. Perfect for construction site workers who don’t have to move around or move it around for use. Just use the remote control to start and stop the motor.
The covered outlets are another boon because then you don’t have to worry about environmental dust and debris attacking them.
Whether you are using it for household or commercial purposes, the Firman promise will kick in. One of the best remote start generators out there, Firman will continue to serve you for years. It’s heavy-duty, has the robustness that you need, and the capability to withstand even the toughest load and weather.
Check out any review for Firman generators and you are bound to read about their strength. This model is no different.
12 hours of running time
Covered outlets (6 nos.)
Heavy-duty machine with handles and 10-inch wheels
10 - Briggs & Stratton Generators
Another Wisconsin-based manufacturer of top-rated inverter generators, Briggs & Stratton has the widest market among the 10 brands here. With over eight facilities spread across Australia, Switzerland, Brazil, China, Mexico, and Canada, and 13 more across the United States, it exports its products to over 100 countries. Those are some big numbers even by power equipment manufacturing standards.
One reason why that may be the case is that Briggs & Stratton has been around for over a century and is globally considered one of the most innovative companies. Think of it like a cousin of Bosch. We are sure its generators will remind you of the German brand and its products. Take a look below.
Along with the Briggs & Stratton promise, this 3,700-watt beast has a silent operation, safe power output for your sensitive electronic devices and appliances, and has an auto CO shutdown. That last one is very critical and is available in very few models that we have reviewed today.
So, if you are someone who has a lot of assaultive use of power – extreme construction site, overload household appliances – then go with Briggs & Stratton. It’s also an ideal generator for RV as it does not let out fumes and can handle a wide variety of loads for more than 10 hours.
Both electric and recoil start options exist but there is no remote control. That is the only minus we see in this brilliantly made machine that is easy to carry, load, and operate. Don’t let the simple looks stun you.
Quiet Power Technology (QPT) reduces noise, fuel consumption
Invert technology is ideal for home use
Carbon Monoxide (CO) guard
These ten are the best generator brands flanking the power equipment market in the United States today. However, we feel the decision to buy the ideal one for you should depend on multiple factors. As we have noted in the reviews above, the focus should be on fuel, its efficiency, wattage, and portability, control panel, emission-related functions, and compliance.
While going with one of the top 10 generator brands makes the most sense, you should note that each brand has its own defining quality. While Honda and Yamaha are industry leaders with decades of research and development as their strength, underrated and good generator brands like Firman and Generac should also be considered.
These can help you stay within your budget and still enjoy the features of bigwigs like dual-fuel technology, auto low oil shutoff, and remote control. Regardless, all these brands are reliable and trustworthy. So, no matter which one you go for, you are bound to get a superior experience.
We hope this list of different brands of generators will help you make a wiser and quicker decision. Do let us know your pick and if there is some other brand that you would like us to consider.