Power outages are more than disappointing, they can quickly become downright dangerous and become too common for many of us. Staying for several hours without food can lead to more than spoiled food and other headaches. They can also lead to uncomfortable and dangerous temperatures and can make it difficult to call for help in an emergency.

Large pieces of North America will collide increased risk of eclipse due to higher than normal temperatures and drought, which is reducing hydroelectric power production, the North American Electricity Corporation said on Wednesday. From the Midwest to the Persian Gulf coast, many people are at high risk of eclipses.

Furthermore, hurricanes are getting stronger and the fire season is devastating in some areas. That’s why you need to start thinking about buying a backup generator (while also thinking about others emergency protocols). Fortunately, there are many options on the market who can intervene and support things. These include inverter generators, diesel generators, solar generators, gas generators and dual fuel generators.


Things to consider

Fuel type

Some models of portable generators run on gasoline, while others run on liquid propane tanks. Deciding which type of fuel to use for your portable generator probably depends on your available resources.

If you are in a rural area without a gas station nearby, keep a propane tank for your portable generator may be your best bet for emergency preparedness. If you have quick access to gasoline, consider the smallest emergency generator for your home so you don’t burn more fuel than necessary. If you want both options, there are portable dual-fuel generator models that run on any type of fuel.

If you really want to be self-sufficient, you can invest in solar generator which is powered by a solar panel or panels. However, we will note that in terms of power, solar generators do not have as much effect as portable generators that use gasoline, so they are not included in this list.


You will want to make sure that you have chosen the best portable generator model for your situation that has enough power to work with everything you need in an emergency. Know your peak power needs. Two terms are important here: initial watts and flowing watts.

Also known as “peak watts”, the starting watts are the highest possible power that the generator will produce to get the appliance’s engine running. A portable generator will not withstand this power in the long run. Think of this as the amount of energy needed to start the refrigerator.

Running watts are watts that the generator can produce for hours while powering appliances. You will want a portable generator with at least as many operating watts as the watts used by your household appliances.

To calculate exactly how much power you need, the general rule is to add the power of all the appliances you want to power and multiply by 1.5. You can also search for the starting watts needed for your appliance with the highest power and add them to the total to find the working watts.

This nominal watt information will be on a sticker in your appliance or in the manufacturer’s manual. If your device does not count watts, but counts amperes and volts, multiply both to find the power. Whatever amount of watts you need, this will be the minimum operating power you need your generator to produce.

For example, in my home I will have to power an 864-watt dishwasher, a 1440-watt refrigerator and a 3600-watt oven. This means that my generator must have an output power that produces at least 5904 operating watts.


Of course, price is a factor and you will generally pay more for more peak power. You can find good $ 300 generators or you can spend a lot on maximum power and end up with a $ 2000 model.

To stay as frugal as possible, limit the number of large appliances that you power with a generator. Consider a mini fridge and microwave instead of full size refrigerators and ovens. If the weather is not dangerously hot either stud, omit the power supply for your heating or cooling system. If all this sounds a little overwhelming, there are a few handy ones online calculators to help you calculate things.

The generators below are not reviewed by CNET, but are the most popular and highly rated best models of portable generators on the Internet. We have divided them into low, middle and high price range. You will also find specifications for the starting power of each generator, the half-life and the type of fuel and capacity.

Generators $ 550 or less

All these generators received high marks from consumers and none of them will break the bank. If you have a small home or just a few power supplies, you don’t have to spend a lot to get a good generator with enough power to keep your appliances running.

Read more: The best flashlights for 2022


The most affordable model on our list of the best portable generators, the Sportsman GEN400DF retails for only $ 300. This is a good-priced dual-fuel model that can run on either a 3.6-gallon fuel tank or a standard propane tank.

With up to 10 hours of petrol at 50% load and 12 hours of propane, the Sportsman can keep things awake all night before you need more fuel. This dual fuel emergency generator is available with four 120-volt outputs, one 120-volt RV output and one 12-volt DC output.

With 4,000 starting watts and 3,500 watts to operate, this is not the most powerful generator on our list. However, if you use small appliances or just one or two large ones, this portable generator model should do the job.

Note: We’ve seen recent price spikes that put this generator above the $ 500 mark. We will monitor these prices and update accordingly.


If you don’t need the propane tank option, this DuroStar portable generator runs on a 3.9 gallon petrol tank. This is a quiet portable generator that also offers a slightly higher power supply than the Sportsman with 4400 watts at startup and 3500 watts.

The operating time at 50% load is 8 hours and is equipped with two 120-volt bit contacts and one 120/240-volt contact. DuroStar includes its own wheels, something that is often sold separately in generator sets.


Another model with solid dual fuel, DuroMax XP4850EH has 4,850 starting watts and 3,850 watts.

This portable generator can run on either a 3.96-gallon fuel tank or a 20-gallon liquid propane tank. The operating time of gasoline is about 11.5 hours at 50%, while propane will work 9.8 hours at 50%. There are two 120 volt outputs and one 120/240 volt output.

Generators $ 500- $ 1,000

Increase your budget and you can double your power with these generators.

Briggs and Stratton

This Briggs & Stratton model costs $ 949 and runs on an 8-gallon fuel tank. From our best mid-range portable generator, this portable conventional generator model offers the most power for the least money with 8,500 starting watts and 6,250 operating watts.

You will get 11 hours of operation at 50% with the StormResponder from its 420cc engine. A digital display, which Briggs & Stratton calls “StatStation”, displays power and provides reminders for maintenance. A manual printed on the device shows which appliances can be plugged into which of the four on-board sockets.

Generators $ 1,000 and up

These high-end modules may be superfluous for smaller homes, but if you are looking for high starting watts, this group is your best bet.


This $ 1,119 Generac model delivers 10,000 watts for easier power.

You will receive 8000 working watts in up to 11 hours at 50% load. A 7.9-gallon fuel tank powers the 420 cc engine. The Generac GP8000E backup power generator includes flat tires, automatic carbon monoxide shutdown and six GFCI outputs.


Similar to the price of the Generac model, this Champion generator offers a little more power.

You’ll have 11,500 watts to start and 9,200 watts to run, as well as a 7.7-gallon fuel tank and a 459cc engine that can power your generator at 50% load for 10 hours.

One 120/240-volt 30-amp locking output, one 120/240-volt 50-amp output and four 120-volt 20-amp GFCI protected bit contacts are included. Digital display reads output and support messages.


This portable heavy-duty generator provides 10,500 watts for operation and 13,000 watts for starting. The dual-fuel gas generator option provides 8.5 hours of petrol and 6.5 hours of propane, based on 50% load.

Like other dual fuel models, you can switch fuel types with a button on board. Several electrical contacts are provided: two 120-volt GFCI bit contacts, one 120-volt 30-amp rotary contact, one 240-volt 30-amp output, and one 240-volt 50-amp contact.


Of all the models listed here, this portable generator offers the highest operating time for the least money. You will receive 12 hours of power output at 50% load for this $ 1599 CAT gas generator. This is thanks to a solid 7.9-gallon petrol tank. The CAT RP6500 delivers 8,125 watts at start-up and 6,500 watts of its 420cc engine.

The CO Defense automatic carbon monoxide shut-off system prevents the accumulation of toxic fumes near your home. There are six rubber-covered outputs, including four GFCI household outputs and two 120/240-volt rotary contacts.

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