10 Best Portable Petrol Generators of 2024

Written by: - Garden Maintenance Expert
Reader rating

Read Reviews

The Best Portable Petrol Generators

  1. Best portable inverter generator - Briggs & Stratton PowerSmart P2400 Portable Inverter Generator

  2. Best portable high power generator - maXpeedingrods MXR3300 Portable Inverter Generator

  3. Best suitcase generator - P1 P1000i Portable Suitcase Inverter

  4. Best generator for portability and power - Champion Power Equipment 92001i Petrol Portable Inverter Generator

  5. Best budget inverter generator - RocwooD RG5000I Inverter Generator

  6. Best generator for power cuts - Böhmer-AG WX-3800K-E Portable Petrol Generator

  7. Best lightweight generator - Nassboards Instant Power Portable Suitcase Inverter

  8. Best backup generator for power cuts - ParkerBrand PPG-2800 Petrol Generator

  9. Best high power generator with wireless startup - Hyundai HY3200SEi 3.2kW, 4kVA Portable Petrol Inverter

  10. Best large fuel tank generator - Wolf Power WPB3010LR Petrol Generator

Portable Petrol Generator Reviews

Editors Choice
  • It’s small, it’s lightweight at just 24 kg, and it can still run several tools or appliances at once. And because it’s an inverter, it’s suitable for powering up delicate electronics.
  • This portable generator includes a vital safety feature. The onboard CO Guard monitors for carbon monoxide levels, and if they get too high it will turn off. This feature could save your life.
  • Something that a small engine specialist like Briggs and Stratton have done well is keep the noise down. The generator puts out just 58 dB, which is like someone having a conversation.
  • If you need more power, you can run several P2400 generators in parallel. You attach special leads to link them together, the output is synchronised, and you can increase the Wattage.

  • This generator is on the expensive end of the spectrum. Although it’s very capable and portable, unless you’ve got a lot of money to spend it’s probably overkill.
  • The small tank means this generator won’t run all night to power up your freezer in a power cut. You can always refill the tank, but it’s more useful as a portable source of emergency power.
Inverter?
Yes
Max Wattage
2,400 Watts
Rated Output
1,800 Watts
Starting system
Recoil
Engine size
5.3 hp
Tank capacity
3.8 litres
Run time
8 hours @ 25%
230/240V Outlets
2
USB Outlets
2
Noise
58dB
Weight
24kg
Wheels
No
Overall Score 4.5
Build Quality
5
Performance
5
Ease of Use
4
Value for Money
4

US small engine specialists Briggs & Stratton have been in the business for more than a century and are probably best known for their excellent lawnmowers. Their PowerSmart P2400 is an ultra-portable petrol generator that can crank out a high level of power. This is an ultimate portable generator that bridges the gap between having a generator you can carry around with you and a power station that can run multiple tools or gadgets at once.

The first thing to note about this portable generator is that it’s completely enclosed in a handsome grey and black case. There’s a big handle on top to carry it around and it sits on rubber feet that help to dampen vibration and noise.

The small 5.3 HP fuel-efficient engine is more than enough to put out 2,400 starting Watts and then 1,800 continuous Watts to keep everything running for up to eight hours, but only at 25% power. The 3.8 litre tank might be small, but it’s what helps to keep the overall size of this generator down.

What I really like about this generator is the options you have for plugging in your tools or gadgets. You get a pair of standard three-pin plugs, a 12V “cigarette lighter” socket, and a pair of 2.1 Amp fast charging USB socket to power up your phone, laptop, or other accessories. And because it uses inverter technology, the engine will adjust backup power automatically depending on what you have plugged in.

Did you find this review helpful?
Runner Up
  • With 3,300 Watts of maximum start up power, you can’t complain that this generator is weak or incapable. You could start up a couple of appliances at once without issue.
  • Unlike some of the generators on my list, topping up the oil is a simple process. Using the included filler pipe, you can simply top up the level through the sight glass inspection hole.
  • The petrol tank filler hole comes with a handy internal screen that does two things. It stops any big bits from getting in and tells you when the tank is completely full too.

  • The small 4 litre fuel tank makes this a highly portable and lightweight generator. However, it’s not going to chug away for hours and hours before needing a fuel top up.
  • Like many petrol generators, this one is not shipped with a full tank of oil. You’ll need to purchase some and then top it up before running it for the first time.
  • You’ll be flexing your muscles every time you want to switch on this generator. It’s pull start only, which is not ideal if you have mobility issues or want to turn it off and on regularly.
Inverter?
Yes
Max Wattage
3,300 Watts
Rated Output
3,000 Watts
Starting system
Recoil
Engine size
9.7 hp
Tank capacity
4.0 litres
Run time
8.3 hours @ 25%
230/240V Outlets
2
USB Outlets
2
Noise
58dB
Weight
21kg
Wheels
No
Overall Score 4.8
Build Quality
5
Performance
5
Ease of Use
5
Value for Money
4

Automotive specialists maXpeedingrods have got a huge range of useful kit for petrolheads, van lifers, and anyone who wants a bit of energy security in the home. Their 3,300 Watt portable inverter generator is one of the best emergency power supply systems available right now. This generator creates a huge amount of power and is more than capable of running several appliances at once.

Surrounded by bright orange plastic and carried around with a chunky handle on the top, this is a genuinely portable generator that weighs just 21 kg without any fuel in it. Power comes from a 145 cc four-stroke engine that is marketed as one of the quietest on the market right now. Putting out a reported 58 dB at a 7m distance, it’s quieter than a normal conversation, and it’ll run for up to eight hours at 25% power.

With the promise of pure sine wave power from the inverter, there are several different options for power output. You get a pair of 230 V standard three-pin sockets on the front, two USB outputs for your gadgets, a pair of 13 Amp parallel connectors, and a single 12 Volt cigarette-type output as well.

To make things easy, you get an indicator light on the display panel to tell you if you’re short on oil, an overload light in case you work it too hard, and a running light when the generator is switched on. It’s a shame that it’s pull-start only, but with this level of power from a small generator, it’s a brilliant solution when you need maximum power in a small package.

Did you find this review helpful?
Also Good
  • If saving weight and space is a priority to you over maximum power, this is one of the best generators out there. The handle is comfortable and it’s easy to move around.
  • As you might hope from a generator with a small engine, this is one of the quietest on my list. The 62 dB this one puts out is rather manageable.
  • Topping up the oil in this generator is as simple as opening the cap and filling it up with the included funnel. It’s a piece of cake!

  • With a maximum start-up power of just 1,000 Watts, this generator is only suitable for low output electrical devices. Even some refrigerators have a start-up load of close to 1,800 Watts.
  • You only get a single three-pin standard UK plug socket to play with on this generator. It wouldn’t be able to cope with any more than this anyway, but it’s still limiting.
  • If you plan on running this generator for long periods of time, make sure you have backup petrol. The tank holds just 3 litres, which is nothing compared with 15 litres. that some other generators feature.
Inverter?
Yes
Max Wattage
1,000 Watts
Rated Output
900 Watts
Starting system
Recoil
Engine size
3.6 hp
Tank capacity
3 litres
Run time
8.5 hours @ 50%
230/240V Outlets
1
USB Outlets
1
Noise
62dB
Weight
14kg
Wheels
No
Overall Score 4.3
Build Quality
4
Performance
5
Ease of Use
4
Value for Money
4

Powered by Hyundai technology, the P1 range of outdoor equipment ranges from lawnmowers to space heaters. Their take on the petrol generator is the P1000i suitcase generator. It’s a lightweight and easily man-portable generator that can power up standard three-pin UK plugs, 12 Volt DC, and even USB accessories.

Now that we’re getting into the ultra-portable and lightweight end of the generator spectrum, you need to expect a few compromises when it comes to power. This small generator only has a 3.6 HP motor inside the blue plastic housing, that can put out a maximum 1,000 Watts start-up and 900 Watts continuous supply power.

The onboard three-litre fuel tank might be small, but this handy little portable generator can still run for an impressive 11 hours at 50% power. That makes it perfect for running low-energy devices over long periods, either for camping, caravanning, or if the mains electric drops out.

The simple control panel gives you access to the single 230 Volt three-pin plug, a 12 Volt DC outlet, and single USB plug. It’s started by a pull-cord, and thanks to the pure sine wave power, you can use it on sensitive electronics.

Did you find this review helpful?

4. Champion Power Equipment 92001i Petrol Portable Inverter Generator

Best generator for portability and power

best petrol generators Champion Power Equipment 92001i “The Mighty Atom” Petrol Portable Inverter Generator
  • The generator automatically starts up in eco mode. It limits the motor speed and can help to reduce wear and tear. If you need a bit more juice, simply push the button.
  • Champion have included a handy set of accessories with the generator. You get a dual USB adapter for the 12 Volt socket, battery charging cables, and 10 W 30 engine oil as well.
  • It’s only a small feature, but I really like the little drain pan that has been fitted underneath the oil filler plug. It means you won’t spill as much oil everywhere when topping up.

  • This is always going to be the case with ultra-portable generators, but the 4 litre fuel tank is tiny. Although it can run for up to 10½ hours, it can’t do it at anything close to full power.
  • The 58 dB rated level of noise that this generator puts out is a bit misleading. There’s also a sticker on the side that states 97 dB! That’s a big difference for you and your neighbours.
  • Although this generator is nowhere near as costly as a Briggs & Stratton generator, it’s hardly a budget bit of kit for emergencies. You pay for the convenience.
Inverter?
Yes
Max Wattage
2,200 Watts
Rated Output
1,900 Watts
Starting system
Recoil
Engine size
5.3 hp
Tank capacity
4 litres
Run time
10.5 hrs @25%
230/240V Outlets
2
USB Outlets
2
Noise
58dB
Weight
17.8kg
Wheels
No
Overall Score 4.5
Build Quality
5
Performance
4
Ease of Use
5
Value for Money
4

Small engine specialists Champion Power Equipment manufacture a range of impressive-looking equipment for the home and garden. Their portable inverter generator, the 92001i, known as “The Mighty Atom”, is one of the best small generators I’ve come across. It’s a highly portable and solidly built power station for off-grid power on the go.

This inverter generator has a surprisingly potent motor for its small size. The 79cc, 5.3 HP engine can put out 2,200 maximum Volts for start-up, and work at up to 1,900 Watts of continuous power. And because it’s a pure sine wave generator, it’s stable enough to power up your delicate electronics for up to 10½ hours at 25% power.

Weighing just under 18 kg, this mighty little generator is light enough to be carried to where you need it. For power outputs, you get a pair of standard UK three-pin 230 Volt plugs and a single 12 Volt DC cigarette-type plug. It doesn’t include any standalone USB outlets, but Champion have handily thought about that.

Although you don’t get anything like a digital readout of the Voltage output or indicator lights to warn about overloading the generator, it’s one of the more affordable small inverter generators on my list. If you want plenty of power in a tiny package, this is one of the best power plants around.

Did you find this review helpful?

5. RocwooD RG5000I Inverter Generator

Best budget inverter generator

best petrol generators RocwooD RG5000I Inverter Generator
  • This is a seriously affordable inverter generator. If you’re worried about running sensitive electronics during a power cut, but you don’t want to splash out too much, this is ideal.
  • Like some other inverter generators, you can run this one in parallel with another RockwooD. If you need the extra power, simply link them with DC cables.

  • This inverter generator is one of the weaker ones on my list. You won’t be able to run multiple energy hungry devices or tools with just 1,600 Watts of power on tap.
  • Compared with the more expensive inverters available, the run time of 6 hours at 50% power isn’t all that impressive. If you need to run equipment all night, try another one.
  • Not having a 12 Volt DC cigarette-type output is a shame. Although it’s great to see a pair of USB outlets, a lot of small appliances run on the car-type sockets.
Inverter?
Yes
Max Wattage
2,000 Watts
Rated Output
1,800 Watts
Starting system
Recoil
Engine size
5.3 hp
Tank capacity
4.5 litres
Run time
6 hours @ 50%
230/240V Outlets
2
USB Outlets
2
Noise
63dB
Weight
25kg
Wheels
No
Overall Score 4.3
Build Quality
4
Performance
4
Ease of Use
4
Value for Money
5

One of those brands that seem to have a hand in all sorts of different home and garden gadgets, RockwooD make everything from fishing trolleys to electric space heaters. Their version of the portable inverter generator is the RG5000I, a nifty piece of equipment that can run your sensitive electronics as well as standard corded power tools off grid. It’s not as powerful as some inverters on my list, but it’s a lot more affordable as well.

Powered by a four-stroke 80 cc motor that puts out 5.3 HP, this generator with a handle can make a maximum 2,000 Watts on start-up and cruise along at 1,600 Watts continuous power. Thanks to the inverter technology onboard, it puts out pure sine wave power. It’s safe to use on your sensitive gadgets that can’t cope with Voltage fluctuations.

On the output side of things, you get a pair of three pin 230 Volt sockets, and a pair of USB sockets. One runs at 1 Amp, the other at 2.1 Amps for faster charging. There’s no 12 Volt cigarette charger to be seen though.

The slightly upgraded 4.5 litre fuel tank is good to see compared with the tiny ones on other generators, but you’re also lugging round more weight. Even without fuel inside, the RockwooD weighs 25 kg. Rated to just over 60 dB, it’s thankfully one of the quieter generators to run.

Did you find this review helpful?

6. Böhmer-AG WX-3800K-E Portable Petrol Generator

Best generator for power cuts

best petrol generators Böhmer AG WX 3800K E Portable Petrol Generator
  • If you need maximum runtime, this is probably the best petrol generator for the money. Compared with the tiny 3 litre fuel tank on the P1 generator, this one is brilliant.
  • You get a pair of keys with this generator to engage the electric start. It means you’re not stuck with pulling the recoil starter, and there’s a degree of security as well.
  • You get enough surge power at 3,000 Volts to start two hungry tools or gadgets at the same time. The copper wound motor is more than powerful enough for home use.

  • Although the generator comes with a pair of wheels for moving it around, it is the heaviest machine on my list. Weighing in at 46.5 kg without fuel, you’ll need help going up stairs.
  • There’s a fair bit of fiddling around to install the wheels and stands when setting the generator up for the first use.
  • It seems that this generator lacks decent instructions to get it going. You need to add oil before it will work, but it’s not clear what oil works best or how to add it safely!
Inverter?
No
Max Wattage
3,000 Watts
Rated Output
2,700 Watts
Starting system
Key electric, recoil
Engine size
8 hp
Tank capacity
15 litres
Run time
10 hours
230/240V Outlets
2
USB Outlets
0
Noise
69dB
Weight
46.5kg
Wheels
Yes
Overall Score 4
Build Quality
4
Performance
4
Ease of Use
4
Value for Money
4

Petrol generator specialists Böhmer-AG make a range of off-grid power solutions. If you’re looking for a simple generator, the WX-3800K-E is a marvellously portable piece of kit. Sitting on a pair of chunky plastic tyres, you can unfold the handles and take it off wherever you need it, if you’re feeling strong. And thanks to its cavernous 15 litre fuel tank, it has an impressive runtime of ten hours.

The fuel tank and engine casing are both decked out in luminous green, with a black tubular steel cage around it that holds the wheels and handles. The motor is a decent size 8 HP one, with the choice of electric or pull-cord starter. It can put out 2,700 Watts of continuous power and maxes out at 3,000 Watts to cope with heavy start-up surges.

The control panel is straightforward too. You get an analogue Voltmeter that shows the current output, a pair of 220 Volt three-pin UK plug sockets to power up your gear, and a fuel level indicator on the top of the tank. It’s a capable generator with a massive fuel tank that’s perfect if you’re worried about a power cut at home.

Did you find this review helpful?
  • It doesn’t take a degree in engineering to work out how to run and maintain this little standby generator. If simplicity is your top priority, this is the best small generator on my list.
  • Not everyone needs to be able to run multiple power-hungry tools or appliances with their portable generator. It’s lightweight and because it’s an inverter, it can handle sensitive electronics.
  • This little generator is also the quietest on my list. It’s rated to put out just 58 dB, which is roughly equivalent to background music. It’s quieter than a car ticking over.

  • It’s a shame that a generator like this doesn’t come with any USB outlets. Seeing as most low-power gadgets can be charged up this way, it seems like a missed opportunity.
  • The power limitations of this generator, compared with the beefy Briggs & Stratton are pretty obvious. With just 800 Watts of start-up power, it’s not all that impressive.
  • You can only get five hours of run time, even with its "eco" setting. That means you’re not going to be able to run your lights overnight during a power outage unless you top up the fuel.
Inverter?
Yes
Max Wattage
800 Watts
Rated Output
700 Watts
Starting system
Recoil
Engine size
2.6 hp
Tank capacity
2.1 litres
Run time
5 hours @ Eco Mode
230/240V Outlets
1
USB Outlets
0
Noise
58dB
Weight
9kg
Wheels
No
Overall Score 4.3
Build Quality
4
Performance
4
Ease of Use
4
Value for Money
5

Underfloor heating gurus Nassboards might be better known for their home heating solutions, but they also make a rather handy lightweight suitcase 800 Watt inverter generator as well. Weighing a tiny 9 kg you could easily pick it up, take it with you, and have off-grid power on tap wherever you need it! It might not be the most powerful generator on my list, but it’s an affordable backup system for anyone with a less-than-reliable utility power setup at home.

I was blown away by how compact and portable this little thing is. It’s like a petrol can in shape and size and decked out in dark grey plastic all around. The comfortable handle on the top makes moving it even easier. The control panel is as simple as it gets too, with a pair of switches to control eco mode and the power.

There’s space for a single three-pin wall plug onboard, and a 12 Volt DC output for charging up something like a car battery. You get a handy lead with crocodile clips on the end for just this purpose. The tiny 2.6 HP motor is ideal for low output tools or appliances, as it generates just 800 start-up Watts, and then ticks over with 700 Watts continuous supply power. Its low fuel consumption means it can run for five hours on eco mode, which is fine for topping up batteries or running your gadgets off-grid.  

Did you find this review helpful?

8. ParkerBrand PPG-2800 Petrol Generator[ SAVE 5% ]

Best backup generator for power cuts

best petrol generators ParkerBrand PPG 2800 Petrol Generator
  • This is a powerful generator for the money. One of the more affordable options available right now, it’s a simple piece of kit with a whopping fuel tank for running up to 13 hours.
  • You can switch between 230 and 110 Volt with the flick of a switch. This makes it suitable for use on building sites where the much safer 110 Voltage is used.
  • Most users have agreed that with proper maintenance, the generator is reliable for the money. There’s no point having stacks of features if it breaks down all the time.

  • This is a heavy lump at 40 kg, even without 15 litres of fuel and oil in it. A wheel kit is available, which would make things easier, but it’s an extra cost before you’ve even started.
  • Compared with the smaller and quieter generators on the market, this one is loud even without a load on it. The motor runs at a constant speed all the time, so there’s no let up.
  • Thanks to the open cage construction of this generator, you should be able to service it quite easily. Compared with ultra-portable alternatives, all the bits and pieces are easy to get at.
Inverter?
No
Max Wattage
2,800 Watts
Rated Output
2,500 Watts
Starting system
Recoil
Engine size
6.5 hp
Tank capacity
15 litres
Run time
13 hours
230/240V Outlets
1
USB Outlets
0
Noise
65dB
Weight
40kg
Wheels
No
Overall Score 4.3
Build Quality
4
Performance
4
Ease of Use
4
Value for Money
5

The brand that makes small petrol-powered tools and other useful workshop equipment, ParkerBrand are a reliable budget brand. Their PPG-2800 Petrol Generator is 230/110 Volt compatible and is reliably built. It isn’t designed to power up sensitive electronics but is one of the best inexpensive off-grid power stations for the money.

Built like a more industrial-style generator than some of the other ones on my list, it comes with a steel tube cage built around it. Weighing in at a hefty 40 kg, it’s not exactly portable, but you can slide it around on its skids if needed.

Onboard, there’s a 6.5 HP four-stroke engine that provides an impressive 2,300 Volts of start-up power and 2,500 Watts constant for powering up all sorts of tools or appliances. For outputs, you get a pair of standard three-pin UK plugs and 12 Volt DC out.

It’s not an inverter generator, but thanks to its automatic voltage regulator it puts out a steady stream of energy. Something I like about this generator is its simplicity. It has a manual recoil start, there’s a basic analogue Voltmeter on there, and everything’s easy to get to for maintenance.

Did you find this review helpful?

9. Hyundai HY3200SEi 3.2kW, 4kVA Portable Petrol Inverter

Best high power generator with wireless startup

best generators Hyundai HY3200SEi 3.2kW, 4kVA Portable Petrol Inverter Generator
  • Having a remote start is a real gamechanger for traditional generator users. You don’t even need to be in the same room to start or stop the engine. It means you can save some fuel as well.
  • This is the most powerful inverter on my list. The 3,200 Watt startup capacity is enough for most hungry power tools, air compressors, heaters, and even a fast boiling kettle!
  • The folding handle with comfy foam grip makes this generator easy to drag around. Coupled with the wheels, it makes this 35 kg generator rather easy to fold up and take with you.

  • Rated to an incredibly loud 96 dB, running this generator makes the same noise as a lawn mower. Although it’s powerful, this level of noise is going to be uncomfortable.
  • Several users have complained about the internal battery going flat between uses. Although you can still start it with the pull cord, it’s disappointing to not have the electric start.
  • If you’re looking for a low cost generator option, this is not it! This powerful generator is the most expensive one on my list. Unless you need thousands of Watts, save your money!
Inverter?
Yes
Max Wattage
3,200 Watts
Rated Output
2,800 Watts
Starting system
Remote, electric, recoil
Engine size
14 hp
Tank capacity
7.8 litres
Run time
7 hours @ 50%
230/240V Outlets
2
USB Outlets
0
Noise
96dB
Weight
35kg
Wheels
Yes
Overall Score 4.8
Build Quality
5
Performance
5
Ease of Use
5
Value for Money
4

South Korean industrial heavyweights Hyundai are probably best known in the UK for their cars. But the engineering mavericks also happen to make power stations and what I think is the best inverter generator you can buy right now, the HY3200SEi. It’s a portable but very powerful 3,200 Watt inverter generator that can chug along with an output of 2,800 Watts.

It’s key operated, and you get two of them to initially start up the machine. What I really like about this portable generator though is the pair of remote start fobs you get. If you set the switch to “run/remote” you can turn the 14 HP motor on or off with the handy key fob. And if all else fails, you can start up with the pull-cord as well.

The compact blue generator is ideal for taking out and about with you. You get a pair of large wheels on the bottom and an extendable handle that folds neatly into the body of the machine when it’s in use. There’s also a handy digital readout that can cycle between AC power output, rpm, and how many hours the engine has been running.

You can choose from a pair of 230 Volt DC three-pin power plugs to power up anything you like, as if your entire house was connected to the national grid. The onboard 7.8 litre tank takes unleaded petrol and means you can run the generator for up to seven hours at 50% output. I’m really impressed by the spec of this generator – it’s powerful enough to run all my power tools without complaint, and it’s easy to move around too!

Did you find this review helpful?

10. Wolf Power WPB3010LR Petrol Generator

Best large fuel tank generator

best petrol generators Wolf Power WPB3010LR Petrol Generator
  • Having to constantly top up a tiny fuel tank is a pain, especially when you need to add the correct ratio of oil. A cavernous 15 litre tank means backup power all night long!
  • The open cage design of a generator like this has a few advantages compared to smaller closed ones. You can easily get to all the components, and it aids in cooling too.
  • For the purchase price, you get everything you need beside fuel and oil. It’s an incredibly affordable backup to have in your home, should you have power blackouts.

  • I would prefer a large generator like this to have a bit more power, especially during start up. Some fridges need more than 2,200 Watts on their own, so it’s a bit underpowered.
  • Compared with the incredible Hyundai HY3200Sei and its remote start function, you don’t get that sort of luxury here. It is recoil pull-start all the way with the Wolf Power.
  • This is not an inverter generator. It doesn’t produce pure sine wave electricity, so you shouldn’t use it with sensitive electronics like laptops or televisions.
Inverter?
No
Max Wattage
2,200 Watts
Rated Output
2,000 Watts
Starting system
Recoil
Engine size
6.5 hp
Tank capacity
15 litres
Run time
10 hours @ 50%
230/240V Outlets
2
USB Outlets
0
Noise
65dB
Weight
36kg
Wheels
No
Overall Score 4.3
Build Quality
4
Performance
4
Ease of Use
4
Value for Money
5

One of the more familiar names when it comes to the best petrol generators on the market, the Wolf Power WPB3010LR is a reliable and relatively inexpensive off-grid power station. This is another heavy-duty large-size generator that doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles but has a good size fuel tank in case there’s a power cut at home.

Built with a tubular steel cage around it, this 36 kg heavyweight at least has grippy handles built into it. The basic design of this generator means that everything’s right there on show. It should be easy to service, or fault find should you have any issues.

The power plant is a rock solid 6.5 HP four-stroke motor that can put out 2,200 Watts maximum and will chug along at 2,000 Watts for up to 10 hours at 50% power. The options for output are limited to a pair of standard British three-pin plugs and a 12 Volt DC connector.

The onboard Voltmeter is a basic analogue type alongside the usual earth connector and circuit breaker controls. Although it’s not the most powerful generator on my list, it still provides enough grunt for most power tools or appliances.

Did you find this review helpful?

Harry's Smart Buying Tips

  1. The best portable generators should have enough startup and continuous output capacity to allow you to run your chosen appliances, tools, gadgets or devices off-grid for a good few hours.
  2. If you plan on powering delicate electronic devices rather than power-hungry tools or appliances from your portable generator look for an inverter generator. Inverter generators provide cleaner voltage, need less fuel, produce lower carbon emissions and are less noisy.
  3. The number of outlets is obviously important. Look for at least one three-pin plug socket and USB outlets are really handy as most low-power gadgets can be charged up this way.
  4. Larger portable generators feature a startup power capacity of over 3kW which is enough for most power tools, heaters, and even a fast-boiling kettle! Some refrigerators have a start-up load of close to 1,800 Watts. If however you only want to power a TV, laptop or battery charger a startup capacity of 1kW is fine.
  5. For continuous power output, portable generators run in continuous mode at 80-90% of startup wattage. Continuous runtime is one of the most important features to consider for petrol generators. Most portable generators will typically provide 8-10 hours of use.
  6. If you plan on running for longer or maxing out on the number of appliances, make sure you have a backup fuel supply, especially if the tank is small. Larger portable generators have tank sizes of 10-15 litres – smaller ones 3-5 litres.
  7. All conventional portable generators use a pull cord to engage the recoil starter. More expensive generators feature a key electric start option that is easier on the hands, more convenient and more secure. Some petrol models even feature a remote start option.
  8. A large generator is heavy so make sure it comes with wheels for easier transportation. Smaller portable models don’t come with wheels so look for comfortable handles instead.
  9. High-powered portable generators emit a lot of noise, sometimes over 90dB, not dissimilar to that of a lawn mower. The noise level on generators with smaller engines is around 60-70dB, which is like someone having a conversation. Inverter generators tend to be quieter too.
  10. As far as safety features go, generators can include an onboard carbon monoxide monitor that switches the generator off if the CO level gets too high. This feature could save your life.
  11. Another feature to look for is an automatic shut-off if a low oil level is detected. This means you don’t run the risk of damaging an unlubricated engine.

Compare Product Features

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature you want to see.

  • Briggs & Stratton PowerSmart P2400 Portable Inverter Generator
    best generators Briggs & Stratton PowerSmart P2400 Portable Inverter Generator
    • 4.5
    • Yes
    • 2,400 Watts
    • 1,800 Watts
    • Recoil
    • 5.3 hp
    • 3.8 litres
    • 8 hours @ 25%
    • 2
    • 2
    • 58dB
    • 24kg
    • No
  • maXpeedingrods MXR3300 Portable Inverter Generator
    best petrol generators maXpeedingrods MXR3300 Portable Inverter Generator
    • 4.8
    • Yes
    • 3,300 Watts
    • 3,000 Watts
    • Recoil
    • 9.7 hp
    • 4.0 litres
    • 8.3 hours @ 25%
    • 2
    • 2
    • 58dB
    • 21kg
    • No
  • P1 P1000i Portable Suitcase Inverter
    best generators Position 1 P1000i Portable Suitcase Inverter Generator
    • 4.3
    • Yes
    • 1,000 Watts
    • 900 Watts
    • Recoil
    • 3.6 hp
    • 3 litres
    • 8.5 hours @ 50%
    • 1
    • 1
    • 62dB
    • 14kg
    • No
  • Champion Power Equipment 92001i Petrol Portable Inverter Generator
    best petrol generators Champion Power Equipment 92001i “The Mighty Atom” Petrol Portable Inverter Generator
    • 4.5
    • Yes
    • 2,200 Watts
    • 1,900 Watts
    • Recoil
    • 5.3 hp
    • 4 litres
    • 10.5 hrs @25%
    • 2
    • 2
    • 58dB
    • 17.8kg
    • No
  • RocwooD RG5000I Inverter Generator
    best petrol generators RocwooD RG5000I Inverter Generator
    • 4.3
    • Yes
    • 2,000 Watts
    • 1,800 Watts
    • Recoil
    • 5.3 hp
    • 4.5 litres
    • 6 hours @ 50%
    • 2
    • 2
    • 63dB
    • 25kg
    • No
  • Böhmer-AG WX-3800K-E Portable Petrol Generator
    best petrol generators Böhmer AG WX 3800K E Portable Petrol Generator
    • 4
    • No
    • 3,000 Watts
    • 2,700 Watts
    • Key electric, recoil
    • 8 hp
    • 15 litres
    • 10 hours
    • 2
    • 0
    • 69dB
    • 46.5kg
    • Yes
  • Nassboards Instant Power Portable Suitcase Inverter
    best generators Nassboards Instant Power Portable Suitcase Inverter
    • 4.3
    • Yes
    • 800 Watts
    • 700 Watts
    • Recoil
    • 2.6 hp
    • 2.1 litres
    • 5 hours @ Eco Mode
    • 1
    • 0
    • 58dB
    • 9kg
    • No
  • ParkerBrand PPG-2800 Petrol Generator
    best petrol generators ParkerBrand PPG 2800 Petrol Generator
    • 4.3
    • No
    • 2,800 Watts
    • 2,500 Watts
    • Recoil
    • 6.5 hp
    • 15 litres
    • 13 hours
    • 1
    • 0
    • 65dB
    • 40kg
    • No
  • Hyundai HY3200SEi 3.2kW, 4kVA Portable Petrol Inverter
    best generators Hyundai HY3200SEi 3.2kW, 4kVA Portable Petrol Inverter Generator
    • 4.8
    • Yes
    • 3,200 Watts
    • 2,800 Watts
    • Remote, electric, recoil
    • 14 hp
    • 7.8 litres
    • 7 hours @ 50%
    • 2
    • 0
    • 96dB
    • 35kg
    • Yes
  • Wolf Power WPB3010LR Petrol Generator
    best petrol generators Wolf Power WPB3010LR Petrol Generator
    • 4.3
    • No
    • 2,200 Watts
    • 2,000 Watts
    • Recoil
    • 6.5 hp
    • 15 litres
    • 10 hours @ 50%
    • 2
    • 0
    • 65dB
    • 36kg
    • No

How to Choose The Best Generator

If you want bundles of off-grid power, or you have a less-than-reliable home power network, you’re going to need the best portable generator that you can afford. Ranging from big devices that can power up the hungriest appliances to ultra-portable suitcase generators, there’s a machine for every situation.

Power Output

If a portable generator is going to work as an effective backup or off-grid emergency power source for your tools or gadgets, it’ll need enough grunt to run them. Big power tools like concrete breakers can use 2,000 Watts, and even a home kettle needs around 3,000 Watts to make a proper brew.

If you want your standby generator to keep a few different electrical devices running during a power outage, it’ll need a whole lot of capacity. The more devices running at any time increases the load on the generator, but the real strain comes from powering up the device from “cold”. Even something like a refrigerator that would seem to use low continuous power will often need 1,800 Watts to start up.

Fuel Types

There are plenty of different types of portable generators on the market now. A cleaner way to charge your devices must be via solar generators, including the amazing Jackery 500 I tested out recently. A solar generator is ideal if you don’t want to make lots of noise or put out any nasty pollution to keep your laptop charged off-grid.

But if you need maximum levels of power, you can’t beat a petrol generator. With a 14hp (210cc) engine onboard, you can put out 2,800 Watts of continuous power, enough to run pretty much anything you like.

Most generators only run at their best with high-octane fuels though. Bog standard supermarket E10 petrol will work, but to get the most out of your portable generator, use “super unleaded”. And if you leave your generator in the shed for long periods of time, consider adding a fuel stabiliser as well.

Generator FAQs

If you’re only running basic electrical equipment like a space heater, a kettle, or a corded drill, you don’t need particularly “clean” electricity. Sensitive electronics like laptops and medical devices require a more consistent power supply though. Inverter models are usually lighter, more economical, and quieter as well!

Yes. Like any small engine, portable and standby generators require oil to lubricate all the internal moving parts. Most portable generators come with a bottle of small engine oil and a funnel to stay topped up.

No. Internal combustion engines create harmful exhaust gases like carbon monoxide which can be deadly. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning always keep your portable generator outdoors and away from people. Don’t enclose them either as they won’t work to their full capacity.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 4

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

HOLD YOUR HORSES!

Before you go, save up to 50% with these incredible DIY deals…

See Today's Best DIY Deals on Amazon No Thanks
Clicky
Scroll to Top