Best portable generators reviews: which one to choose
A portable generator is one of the most helpful tools around the house. However, when it comes to selection of a best portable generator that will work out perfectly for your needs, the process can often become a hassle considering dozens of manufacturers and thousands of various models available on the market. Mostly the material you can find online concerns a particular model and checking top rated portable generators is simply too much time-consuming. That is why it might be a good idea to gather some general factors that are important about these appliances to start from. Here are some pieces of crucial information on the topic worth of considering and tips that will help you pick the one that will meet all your demands.
What Is a Portable Generator and How It Works
Basically, any generator is a converter that turns a particular source of mechanical energy (most usually gasoline or liquid propane) into electricity. The device is powered by the engine that moves iron pivot wrapped with copper wire next to a magnet at high speed, creating a continuous flow of electrons and pushing them along the mechanism. As the outcome, you get electric energy able to supply with power many different tools or in a case of huge commercial units – whole buildings. Sure, it’s a very simplified explanation but it helps to understand the basic principle of generator’s functionalization.
It’s very important to remember, however, that knowing the essential operating action of generators is not enough for their successful usage. First of all it’s a tool that requires much responsibility, as it can get extremely dangerous if used improperly. One way to avoid trouble is to follow the guidelines and precautions mentioned in the manual of a unit, but choosing a generator smartly according to your needs, including its size, power, starter, noise level, and many other features we’ll dwell on in further sections is also vital. Before rushing your order, start with determining the key goals that you need a generator for.
Reasons for Buying a Portable Generator
As the generators are used for powering stuff, the particular model you need to pick depends on what tools or appliances exactly you’re planning to power with it. Mainly, people use portable generators as a back-up source of electricity in the areas where power shutdowns occur very often. Generators provide them with the energy necessary for all household needs until the electrical service is back again.
In a place where blackouts are rare, many of us still need it for other purposes. Let’s say, you live or travel in your RV. Electricity is simply a must-have if you want to watch TV, charge your gadgets, like phone or laptop, etc. A good portable unit can be significantly useful on a picnic or trip into the country when you want to relax from the city’s noise and rush, but nevertheless not ready to completely give up the blessings of civilization for too long.
The DIYs, various technicians or builders can use it to power some of their tools, such as drills, air compressors, paint spraying machines, and many more.
And of course, it’s most vital in cases when some natural disasters happen. If there’s a hurricane, tornado, blizzard or a heavy storm, the portable generator is not only able to provide electricity for days or even weeks in emergency conditions until the help comes, it can rescue someone’s life if it’s used as a source of power for a particular medical equipment. One of the obvious advantages of portable generators is their compactness that allows moving them from place to place. Moreover, they can be used continuously or periodically unlike stationary models that are usually much harder to install and operate.
The desired outcome of any unit in the first place depends on different features that each model possesses. Before buying any particular generator, it’s always useful to pay attention to the most important of them.
If you intend to carry the unit around a lot and use it in different locations, the first thing you might take into account is the way it’s designed. It’s much more convenient if it comes with a carrying handle and wheels for easy transportation attached on one side and peg stands on the other one. It might seem mere details, but you will change your mind about it once you’ll try to tilt the unit and move it from its place.
- Power (Wattage)
In order to identify the power of your unit, use the formula: power capacity equals the Volts multiplied by AMPs (or Watts). As the voltage is a constant current (it’s always 120 V or 240V), so the higher wattage a unit can provide, the more tools and appliances you can power with it.
Also, picking a generator pay attention to running watts that are drawn continuously while the unit is on, and starting watts that are the maximum AMPs the device can draw. It usually produces them once it’s being turned on or off. To be on the safe side, make sure you don’t use the tools with the wattage requirements higher than of your generator. Always check the number of running watts of every tool you plan to power with your generator. Add them together, the figure you get is the least running watts your unit should provide. Then take the tool with the highest number of the starting watts and add this number to total running watts. The figure you get is the minimum starting wattage required from your generator for safe running.
The level of noise produced by a generator depends on its engine output. The more HP has the motor the louder it will run. As a rule most portable units make 55 dB – 85 dB. The ones under than 75dB are considered quiet. Keep in mind that if you use your unit on the picnic or camping site, it’s supposed to be a quiet type and have spark arrestors preventing fire.
This factor is very easy. It would be sensible to purchase a smaller sized unit for RV or recreation needs because you will have to carry it around much. On the other hand if you plan to use it exclusively as a back-up energy source for your home, you can take larger and more powerful model.
There are two ways to make your generator start working – with a pull cord or electric button. The first type is normally easy to operate and convenient; however it can become a hassle with the low budget models. Using the second kind of starter, you just need to turn a key or push a button. Just keep in mind that you’ll also need a battery to power the electric starter. That means if the batt is dead, you won’t be able to turn on the generator. Both starters have their advantages and drawbacks, that’s why some manufacturers add both of them on a single model for better reliability.
Best Portable Generators Brands
One of the criteria according to which people tend to select particular models is the manufacturer’s brand. The companies possessing trustworthy reputation make customers believe that the device they’re buying is going to serve them well and long time. Here are the most popular brands of portable generators:
Offering customers as much available options in design, performance, and durability of their generators as possible in relation to the affordability of all their production, this company manufactures the engines of its own and supplies private homes and commercial plants with its generators worldwide.
The company provides a great output of their items and stays environment-friendly at the same time. They pay attention to the ergonomic design, innovational solutions in the motors for better fuel efficiency, and try to sell the generators for sound prices.
This relatively new but already an impressively large enterprise offers customers affordability and high performance of their devices. Their signature yellow color makes the products widely recognizable. The company claims they test each item by hand for the best reliability and living up to their name.
The generators produced by this company combine great power output and elegant design. They get their engines made by mega enterprises like Honda and Yamaha and all their components are always easy to find and replace.
The high quality of their motors is well known for over a hundred years now. And though they have started manufacturing the portable line relatively latterly, the company has been the longest time in business and its reputation says it all.
This brand has a remarkable history dating back to 1900s. In their catalog, you can find all the possible variations of the generators fitting nearly every purpose.
The company brings innovational double efficiency and ultra-quietness of its units into the market. They can also boast their great compactness and sophisticated design. The only thing that may stop consumers is a relatively high price for the goods.