Not every situation calls for generous amounts of household level power. Modern living requires power but it isn’t always big power demands. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, projectors and more require only a small amount of power to be used or charged.
Of course, we only notice this when they are out of power or when we are miles away from an outlet. Small power generators are perfect for supplying plenty of power for small devices and even medium sized appliances.
Great for camping, tailgating parties or even using a projector in the backyard for a drive-in movie type experience, small capable generators are something that you should not do without.
Same Power, Different Generator
When it comes to compact power generation there are two basic types of generator. The standard, portable generator and the inverter generator. Originally, inverter generators were better for use with sensitive electronics as they offer a more stable sine wave of electrical energy.
However, some compact, standard generators now come with AVR or automatic voltage regulation that performs the same function and produces a clean, stable energy wave. Of course, the standard generators are still available but often these are used for power tools or appliances that are less sensitive to power fluctuation.
If Possible, Invert Your Power
While AVR is fine and works almost as well as inverter generators, inverters offer more benefits than just stable power. Inverter generators can be linked in parallel with other generators of the same model to scale the power supply. (In the ones so equipped.)
They tend to be lighter and they are more fuel efficient than the standard generators, even with AVR. They cover a range of wattages, just like normal generators but some have throttle adjustments to only supply the power that meets the demand so there is less wear on the generator. When considering a small generator, inverter generators are the better option.
Five Great Small Generators
Best Small Generator To Buy
The All Power America Model #APG3004 Generator is a lightweight standard generator that uses gasoline and is engaged by recoil start. It has a single outlet for standard AC and a 12V outlet for charging. This generator is a two stroke model so you have to use mixed fuel but that also saves time and effort.
It has a continuous generation of 800 Watts and a surge capacity of 1000 Watts. It is also very quiet and is perfect for camping, tailgating and more. People who have this generator love how compact and reliable this little generator is.
Best Generac Portable Inverter Generator
Generac makes generators of all size, from this small compact model to larger, industrial level gen-sets. This generator – Generac Model #5791 Generator is highly portable, perfect for camping, tailgating or using around the house. It has a continuous generation of 800 Watts and a surge capacity of 850 Watts.
It has dual standard, three prong outlets and the generator is overload protected. In addition, this generator has a low oil shutoff to prevent damage and a generous run time. People who have purchased this model like how quiet this unit is and how easy it starts.
Best Portable Inverter Generator under $500
Wen, while not as highly recognized as other brands, produces quality generators. This specific model – WEN Model #56200i Generator is an inverter series generator, thus producing very stable, near utility quality power. It has a surge capacity of 2000 Watts and a continuous generation of 1600 Watts.
Enough to provide for limited backup generation. Capable of parallel operation, this generator has overload protection, a low oil warning and is easy starting.
This generator has dual standard three prong outlets and a 12V DC connection in addition to a USB charging connection for devices. People who have purchased this generator like the very stable and clean power for this devices.
Best Westinghouse Digital Inverter Generator
Westinghouse also makes generators from small and compact, such as this model, to the larger commercial level units. This model – Westinghouse Model #WH2000iXLT Generator features two three prong outlets, a 12V cigarette lighter style connection and is main breaker protected.
It is very compact and has an easy to use handle for maximum portability. It has a low oil sensor and warning to alert you to a low oil condition.
Producing a surge capacity of 2200 Watts and a continuous generation of 1800 Watts, enough to power many appliances in an outage. People who have this inverter generator love the stable power and how portable this unit is for a variety of purposes.
Best Honda Generator for Home Backup
Consistently ranked among the highest ranked, portable generators, Honda has a well deserved reputation for quality and reliability. The Honda Model #EU2000T1A1 Generator is an inverter style generator producing a surge capacity of 2000 Watts and a continuous supply of 1600 Watts. This generator is fully capable of parallel operation with another Honda EU2000 so you can scale the power to your demand. T
he generator has dual standard outlets, a 12V connection and the unit is overload protected. It has dual operating modes for fuel efficiency and the unit is super quiet. People who have purchased and used this generator love the ability to scale with the demand and how reliable and quiet this generator is.
Not all generators are the same, thus it is important that you read and follow the manufacturers guidelines including in your operations manual. Be sure to read all safety instructions and warnings as well. Do not use a portable generator indoors for any reason, including in the garage with the door open.