Portable generators are essential for a wide range of applications, from providing backup power during outages to powering outdoor activities. Choosing an American-made product supports local businesses and ensures a high-quality product. This guide will help you find the best portable generators made in the USA.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Comparison Table for Portable Generator Made in the USA
|Generator Model||Power Output (Starting/Running Watts)||Fuel Type||Noise Level (dB)||Weight (lbs)||Runtime (hrs at 50% load)||Notable Features|
|Generac GP Series (GP3000i)||3,000/2,300||Gasoline||68||59.5||5.8||Inverter technology, parallel-ready|
|Briggs & Stratton P2200 PowerSmart Series||2,200/1,700||Gasoline||59||54||8||Quiet operation, inverter technology|
|Champion Dual Fuel Rv Ready||3100/3400||Gasoline||53||95.7||11.5||RV ready Inverter|
|Westinghouse iGen4500||4,500/3,700||Gasoline||52||98||18||Remote start, LED display, high power output|
|Kohler enCUBE1.8||1,800/1,440||Battery||N/A (no engine)||109||Varies by load and battery charge||Emission-free, battery-powered|
Factors to consider when choosing a portable generator
When selecting a portable generator, consider the following factors:
A. Power output
The power output of a portable generator is measured in watts and determines how many devices or appliances it can power simultaneously. Assess your power needs by listing the devices you plan to power and calculating their combined wattage requirements. Choose a generator with a power output slightly higher than your calculated needs to ensure it can handle the load without strain.
B. Fuel type
Portable generators commonly use gasoline, diesel, propane, or natural gas. Each fuel type has its advantages and disadvantages:
- Gasoline: Widely available and typically more affordable. But it has a shorter shelf life and is less fuel-efficient.
- Diesel: Offers more energy per gallon, resulting in longer runtimes. It has better fuel efficiency, but it can be more expensive and louder.
- Propane: Burns cleaner, has a longer shelf life. It is relatively quiet but might have less power output and shorter runtimes.
- Natural gas: Burns cleaner and quieter, with an unlimited fuel supply connected to a gas line. But It requires professional installation and produces less power output.
C. Noise level
Generators produce noise during operation. That can be disruptive in residential areas or during recreational activities. Inverter generators are generally quieter than conventional generators. Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB); a lower dB rating indicates a quieter unit. Look for generators with noise-reducing features like mufflers, sound-dampening materials, and eco-modes.
You should consider the generator’s size and weight. Also check others features that enhance portability, like wheels and handles.
Top American-made portable generator brands
Some of the most well-known American-made portable generator brands include:
- Briggs & Stratton
- Champion Power Equipment
Portable Generator Made In the USA
Generac 7129 GP3000i Inverter Generator
- Super portable and super easy to carry for outdoor and camping projects
- It produces low noise. So, you can use this for every project and run the home appliance
- 3000 watts is enough power for conducting low to medium scale work
- Very easy to start and maintain
- There is no major issue here.
- Weight: 59.5 Pounds
- Starting watt: 3000-watt
- Running Watt: 2300-watt
- USB outlet: Dual
Generac 7129 GP3000i Inverter Generator is our ready-to-go made in USA portable generator. Generac is a USA-based company. Unlike the other company, they don’t manufacture their generators in China.
Generac designs and builds its generators in the USA. So, if you are looking for a portable generator for DIY projects or camping, you can use this Generac 7129 GP3000i Inverter Generator.
Among all the models of Generac, this GP3000i is the most portable choice for light to medium users. It comes with 3000 starting watts and 2300 running watts.
Since this one is an inverter generator, it is super portable and produces less noise. The weight of this portable inverter generator is 59.5 pounds. Moreover, it comes with a handle. So, you can move the generator from one place to another place easily.
Apart from the portability, it produces less noise. Also, you can compare this generator with the Honda. This one is parallel compatible. So you can double up the power anytime if needed.
Also Read: Oil for Generac Generator
Champion Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator
- RV ready inverter generator
- Low oil shut-off sensor for keeping the electronics well
- Produce only 59 decibels while running
- 3400 starting watts and 3100 running watts on gasoline
- Up to 7.5 hours run time
- 3-year limited warranty
- Very compact and easy to store generator
- Not a super quiet generator like Generac or Honda
- Weight: 95.7 Pounds
- Fuel: Propane and Gasoline
- Noise Level:59 dBA at 23 feet
- Starting watts: 3400-watt
- Running watts: 3100-watt
- Dual USB adapter
- Electric Start
Champion is an American generator brand. They design and phone their portable generator in the USA. But they manufacture their generator in China and supply worldwide as well in North America.
If you are looking for a large dual-fuel portable inverter generator, you could consider this Champion 3400-watt portable inverter generator. Since it is an inverter generator, it produces stable sine and you can run all of your sensitive electronics smoothly with this item.
The most important part of this generator is that it is a dual-fuel generator. Depending on particular fuel types is annoying indeed. You have the maximum freedom here. It supports both gasoline and propane.
Since this one is a portable inverter generator, this one is not super heavy. The weight of this portable inverter generator is only 95.7 pounds. It comes with a wheel in the front. So you can easily move here and there.
Considering the noise level, you will be really happy with this model from Champion. It produces around 59 decibels while running. Considering the power it is not so high.
This champion inverter generator is RV-ready. So, you can use it for your home, RV, or anywhere.
Briggs & Stratton P2200 Power Smart Series Inverter Generator
- Fair price tag
- Super easy to carry since the weight is 54 pounds
- Completely safe for running sensitive electrics like a laptop, mobile, and other devices
- 8 hours running time is incredible (25% load)
- Super Quiet technology for Low Noise
- It will not be shipped in California
- Weight: 54 Pounds
- Engine: 111-cc OHV engine
- Fuel tank: 1 gallon
- Noise level: 59 decibels
- Starting Watts: 2200-watt
- Running Watts: 1700-watt
Briggs & Stratton is another USA-based company. This Briggs & Stratton P2200 is one of the best portable inverter generators in the USA.
Briggs & Stratton’s P2200 has 2200 starting watts and 1700 running watts. The tank capacity of this portable inverter generator is 1 gallon. This generator can run continuously for 8 hours.
The weight of this portable generator is 54 pounds. So, this is portable to work on DIY projects and camping.
This portable generator produces 59-decibel power while running on a 25% load. You will get the recoil start type here.
Like the Generac generator, this one is also a parallel-compatible generator. You can add another generator with this one to double the power.
Overview and key features:
The Westinghouse iGen4500 is a powerful inverter generator with 4,500 starting watts and 3,700 running watts. It features a remote start, an LED display, and efficient fuel consumption.
- High power output
- Remote start
- LED display for easy monitoring
- Heavier than some competitors
- Limited portability due to size
Ideal use cases:
The iGen4500 is great for RV enthusiasts, homeowners seeking backup power, and contractors needing a reliable power source.
Overview and key features:
The Kohler enCUBE1.8 is a battery-powered generator with a 1,800-watt peak output. It is emission-free, making it perfect for indoor and outdoor use.
- Emission-free operation
- Can be used indoors
- Lightweight and portable
- Limited power output
- Requires recharging between uses
Ideal use cases:
The enCUBE1.8 is perfect for powering small appliances, and electronics during power outages, and for environmentally conscious users.
Tips for using and maintaining portable generators
To get the most out of your portable generator and ensure its longevity, follow these tips:
A. Safe operation
- Always operate the generator outdoors, away from doors, windows, and vents to prevent carbon monoxide buildup.
- Place the generator on a level surface to avoid fuel spills and improve stability.
- Keep the generator dry and protected from rain or moisture.
- Never refuel a running generator or one that is still hot. Allow it to cool down before refueling.
B. Proper storage
- Store the generator in a cool, dry place when not in use.
- Use a generator cover to protect it from dust and debris.
- Drain the fuel tank and carburetor or use a fuel stabilizer to prevent gumming and varnishing in the fuel system during storage.
C. Regular maintenance
- Check and change the engine oil regularly, following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Inspect and replace air filters, fuel filters, and spark plugs as needed.
- Keep the generator clean and free of debris to ensure proper cooling and ventilation.
- Regularly check for loose or damaged parts, and address any issues promptly.
D. Fuel management
- Use fresh, high-quality fuel to prevent performance issues and engine damage.
- Always use the recommended fuel type specified by the manufacturer.
- Keep a fuel stabilizer on hand to extend the life of stored fuel.
- Monitor fuel levels during use to avoid running out of fuel and damaging the generator.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your portable generator remains in good working condition and is ready to provide power whenever you need it.
FAQ on American-made portable generator
What is the difference between inverters and conventional generators?
Inverter generators use advanced technology to produce cleaner, more stable power output suitable for sensitive electronics. They are typically quieter, more fuel-efficient, and more compact than conventional generators. Conventional generators are often more powerful and more affordable but produce less refined power and can be louder and less efficient.
How do I determine the power output I need in a portable generator?
To calculate your power needs, make a list of the devices or appliances you plan to power. Check each item’s wattage, which is typically listed on a label or in the owner’s manual. Add up the starting watts (needed for startup) and running watts (needed for continuous operation) for each item. The total will help you determine the minimum power output your generator should have.
What type of extension cords should I use with my portable generator?
Use heavy-duty, outdoor-rated extension cords that are specifically designed for generator use. Choose cords with the appropriate gauge (thickness) and length to prevent voltage drops and overheating. Ensure the cords are free of damage and have properly functioning grounding prongs.
Can I connect two portable generators together for more power?
Some portable generators, especially inverter models, have the parallel capability, allowing you to connect two units of the same model or compatible models to increase power output. You’ll need a parallel kit, available from the manufacturer or an authorized dealer, to safely connect the generators. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for parallel operation.
Selecting the best portable generator depends on your specific needs, budget, and preferences. Consider the factors discussed earlier, such as power output, fuel type, noise level, portability, and safety features, to make an informed decision.
By choosing an American-made portable generator, you can ensure a high-quality product while supporting local businesses. Don’t forget to follow the tips for using and maintaining your generator to maximize its performance and lifespan.
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