Best Gas-Powered Portable Generators has been live since September 2011, we specialise in both expert prepper guides, and a daily curated feed of the best prepper content online.

In a world increasingly dependent on electricity, gas-powered portable generators have become a valuable asset. Be it for powering your home during an outage, running your equipment at a remote job site, or providing electricity during a camping trip, portable generators are a convenient and reliable source of power. In this article, we will discuss the top gas-powered portable generators on the market, highlighting their features, power output, and overall performance.

Portable gasoline and/or propane backup generators have become increasingly affordable and efficient, making them a practical choice for many households, particularly those located in blackout-prone or storm-prone areas. This comprehensive review highlights the top models available on the market and offers valuable tips to consider when purchasing a generator that suits your specific needs.

While portable solar generators are excellent for powering small devices during outdoor activities, many individuals prefer semi-portable fueled generators for situations when they need to maintain power at home during emergencies. These generators offer the flexibility to be moved around within your property, although they may not be as compact as go-bag options.

One common scenario where these generators prove invaluable is in the aftermath of a hurricane or winter storm. Additionally, power companies are increasingly implementing proactive grid shutdowns to mitigate the risk of wildfires, further emphasizing the need for reliable backup power solutions.

There are instances when you require a significant amount of immediate power to operate larger appliances like refrigerators or crucial medical equipment during power outages. In such cases, even larger semi-portable solar panels might not provide the required wattage output.

1. Honda EU2200i

The Honda EU2200i is a popular choice among portable generator enthusiasts, offering a perfect balance of power, fuel efficiency, and quiet operation. With a maximum output of 2,200 watts, it is suitable for powering small appliances, electronics, and power tools. The generator features an Eco-Throttle system that optimizes fuel consumption by adjusting the engine speed to match the power demand, resulting in up to 9 hours of runtime on a single tank of fuel.

Price: $1,299.00



2. Westinghouse WGen7500

The Westinghouse WGen7500 is a powerful, high-capacity generator that delivers 7,500 running watts and 9,500 peak watts. This makes it ideal for larger power needs, such as powering an entire home during an outage or running multiple tools at a job site. Equipped with a 6.6-gallon fuel tank, the generator can run for up to 16 hours at 50% load. The WGen7500 also features a remote start and electric push button, making it user-friendly and convenient.

Price: $1,249.00



3. Generac GP3000i

The Generac GP3000i is an inverter generator designed for those seeking a compact and fuel-efficient option. It delivers 3,000 starting watts and 2,300 running watts, enough to power small to medium-sized appliances and tools. The generator’s TruePower technology ensures clean and stable power output, making it safe for sensitive electronics. With a 1.06-gallon fuel tank, the GP3000i offers up to 5.8 hours of runtime at 50% load.

Price: $799.00




4. Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel

The Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel is a versatile option, designed to run on either gasoline or propane, making it convenient for those who prefer flexibility in their fuel choices. This generator delivers 3,800 running watts and 4,750 starting watts when operating on gasoline and 3,420 running watts and 4,275 starting watts on propane. It features a 3.4-gallon gasoline tank and can run for up to 9 hours on a full tank at 50% load.

Price: $823.18

5. DuroMax XP12000EH

For users with high power requirements, the DuroMax XP12000EH is a top choice. This heavy-duty generator provides an impressive 12,000 starting watts and 9,500 running watts, making it suitable for powering large appliances, heavy-duty power tools, and even central air conditioning systems. With a dual fuel capability, the XP12000EH can run on either gasoline or propane, ensuring flexibility in fuel choice. The generator is equipped with a large 8.3-gallon fuel tank, allowing for up to 9 hours of runtime at 50% load on gasoline.

Price: $999


Important aspects:

  1. A typical 2,500-square-foot single-family home requires 2,000 watts to power essential appliances like the fridge and a few wall-plug devices, while 9,000 watts are needed to maintain a normal day’s functionality.
  2. Determine your specific power requirements by adding up the wattage indicated on the technical specifications sticker located near the power cord or in the device’s manual
  3. High altitude can pose challenges for generators as the lack of oxygen reduces their effectiveness. Expect a 3.5% decrease in output for every 1,000 feet above 500 feet of altitude.
  4. Portable generators come in three main types: small inverters for enhanced portability, open-frame designs for maximum power, and hybrid open-frame models that offer a balance between the two.
  5. Most individuals opt for either gasoline-only models or hybrid gasoline and propane generators known as “dual fuel” generators.
  6. The choice of fuel type does not significantly impact cost or benefits. Select the fuel type that aligns with the fuel category you already store and use. For instance, if you have diesel tractors and store extra diesel, a diesel generator is a suitable choice.
  7. While portable generators have improved efficiency, it is important to consider the limitation of fuel availability during emergencies. It cannot be assumed that obtaining additional fuel will be easy.
  8. Diesel generators are less common in the portable generator market as they are typically larger, stationary units used for business purposes. However, portable diesel models are available for those who require emergency power for diesel-powered equipment.
  9. Most generator models feature standard wall-socket plugs directly on the unit.
  10. Certain open-frame models can be directly connected to a whole-house transfer switch, enabling power distribution through the standard wall sockets used in everyday life.
  11. These transfer switches can even be automated to initiate and switch to generator power when the grid power fails.
  12. Improper generator use results in an average of 75 deaths per year in the US, with many fatalities attributed to carbon monoxide buildup inside shelters or buildings. Generators should be properly vented outside, and it is recommended to have CO detectors installed in your home.

Best Pick for Flexibility: Westinghouse WGen9500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator

Price: $1,249.00

Purchase on Amazon here

The Westinghouse WGen9500DF is a reliable and powerful dual-fuel portable generator that stands out in the market. With its impressive power output of over 9000 watts, it provides a robust energy solution. The generator is capable of running for up to 12 hours, ensuring a long-lasting power supply during emergencies. It features a low oil cutoff mechanism that safeguards the engine from potential damage. Additionally, the WGen9500DF is equipped with the capability to connect directly to your house, offering convenient and seamless power distribution. Westinghouse, a trusted brand, ensures the generator’s quality and reliability.

Best Overall Pick: Honda EU2200i Gasoline Powered Inverter Generator



Price: $1,299.00


Fuel Add-On: Hutch Fuel Conversion kit

The Honda EU2200i is a highly recommended generator in the market, known for its consistent performance. Despite its compact size, it has the capacity to generate up to 2,200 watts of power. One of its standout features is its quiet operation, ensuring minimal noise disturbance. With a fuel-efficient design, it can run for up to 8.1 hours on less than a gallon of fuel, offering extended power supply. The latest models of the Honda EU2200i even come equipped with a built-in carbon monoxide detector, prioritizing safety.

For increased power output, you have the option to connect two Honda EU2200i generators using a parallel cable, effectively doubling the power capacity. Honda also offers a specialized version, the E2200i, designed specifically for parallel use. It includes a 30-amp outlet that can be connected to a transfer switch, providing added convenience.

To enhance the versatility of the Honda EU2200i, the Hutch Mountain tri-fuel kit is available for purchase. This kit allows you to run the generator on propane or natural gas, expanding the fuel options available to you during emergency situations. Although the kit may come at an additional cost, it offers increased flexibility and fuel alternatives when needed.


Here are some other notable options to consider when looking for generators, along with some general shopping tips:

Inverter Generators (small and quiet):

  1. Champion 2,000-watt Dual Fuel
  2. Generac 7127 iQ3500
  3. WEN 56203i Super Quiet 2,000-watt
  4. Westinghouse iGen2200 Super Quiet 1,800-watt
  5. Yamaha EF2400iSHC 2,000-watt

Open Frame Generators (more power):

  1. Black Max 7,000-watt Electric Start Gas
  2. DuroMax XP12000EH 12,000-watt Gas or Propane
  3. Honda 658060 3,000-watt Industrial
  4. Westinghouse WGen7500DF 7,500-watt Gas
  5. Winco HPS12000HE 12,000-watt Tri-Fuel

Open Frame Hybrid Generators (larger units with inverters):

  1. Champion 100574 4,000-Watt Digital Hybrid Dual Fuel
  2. Champion 100520 8,750-Watt Digital Hybrid Electric Start with Quiet Technology
  3. Generac GP3500iO 3,500-Watt
  4. Honda EG2800i 2,800-Watt
  5. Westinghouse iGen4200 3,500-Watt Digital

How Much Generator Do You Need?

It is beneficial to have a general estimation of your power requirements before you start your generator shopping. Here are some rough guidelines for calibration:

  1. 1,000 watts: Suitable for powering a few lights, rechargeable batteries, and portable digital devices.
  2. 3,000 watts: Capable of powering multiple household lights and one or two appliances such as a fridge, microwave, or sump pump.
  3. 9,000 watts: Sufficient to run an average family home with normal functionality.

Remember that the electrical output capacity of a generator directly influences its weight and cost. It is important to be realistic about your power needs. Consider prioritizing essential items such as important medical devices, refrigeration or freezer units, lighting, space heaters, USB-powered devices, and a single computer.

By focusing on the basics and prioritizing your power requirements, you can make a more informed decision and select a generator that meets your needs without unnecessary excess.

Honda, a reputable brand in the generator industry, offers a convenient calculator that allows you to input the quantity of each appliance, providing a more accurate estimation of your energy requirements. This helps avoid assumptions like having only one TV or four lights.

For a more precise measurement of your appliance’s power consumption, you can utilize a device like the Kill A Watt. This handy tool allows you to plug your appliance into the meter, which is then plugged into the wall, providing you with an actual reading of the energy consumed.

Regardless of the method you choose to calculate your total wattage needs, it is advisable to add an additional 20% as a safety margin. This extra padding helps account for any unforeseen power demands or fluctuations, ensuring you have sufficient power supply during an emergency.

Don’t Ignore Surge Wattage

It’s important to consider the power surge requirements of certain devices when estimating your energy needs. Many appliances and equipment require a higher surge of power when they start up or initiate a cycle. For instance, a refrigerator may only need around 700 watts to operate at idle, but it can require a significant surge of 2,200 watts when starting the

Types of Generators: Inverter vs. Open-frame vs. Hybrid


Inverter generators are highly portable due to their compact and lightweight design. They are widely popular among campers, RVers, and other individuals seeking portable power solutions. These generators typically feature an enclosed housing, which serves the purpose of muffling the noise. However, this design can make it more challenging to access the engine for troubleshooting and repairs.

One notable feature of inverter generators is their fuel efficiency, partly attributed to their ability to adjust the throttle based on power demand. They generally produce around 2,000 watts of power. However, certain models can be connected in parallel to amplify the overall power output. This flexibility allows users to combine multiple smaller units for redundancy and increased wattage when needed.


Open-frame generators are considered the robust powerhouses within the market. Their larger engines provide exceptional wattage-per-dollar value and offer a diverse range of accessories and applications. The increased size also facilitates better airflow, ensuring the engine stays cool during operation.

These generators typically have an output ranging from 3,000 to 12,000 watts, which is significantly higher compared to inverters. Unlike inverters, open-frame generators can be connected to whole-house transfer units, making them suitable for powering an entire home.

While open-frame generators are still somewhat portable, they are not as compact and convenient for transportation as inverters, which can be easily carried in a car for camping trips. Open-frame generators are commonly seen in settings such as farms, construction sites, and the residences of experienced preppers who prioritize preparedness.


Hybrid generators, also known as open-frame inverters, aim to leverage the advantages of both inverter and open-frame generators. With larger open-air engines, hybrid generators offer a higher energy output, typically around 4,000 watts. This increased power capability is a result of the larger engine size found in open-frame generators.

In addition to the improved energy output, hybrid generators incorporate inverter technology, which enhances fuel efficiency and enables safe usage with smaller electronic devices. The inverter functionality ensures a stable and clean power supply, protecting sensitive electronics from potential damage.

It is important to note that the term “hybrid” in marketing language may sometimes refer to generators that utilize multiple fuel sources, rather than specifically indicating inverter functionality.

Fuel Options: Gasoline vs. Propane vs. Diesel

Advancements in modern technology have resulted in comparable fuel efficiency, cost, and noise levels across different fuel types in generators. The consumption rates of fuels such as diesel, gasoline, and propane are relatively similar, typically ranging from 12 to 24 gallons per day depending on the electrical load.

When considering the cost per kilowatt, diesel tends to be the most economical, followed by gasoline, and propane being the most expensive. However, the difference in fuel costs is minimal, often just a few pennies per day. Consequently, fuel cost is no longer a significant deciding factor for most consumers. Similarly, although some argue that propane generators may have slightly lower power output (around 10-15%) compared to their gasoline counterparts, this difference typically does not impact buying decisions.

What does matter is the accessibility of fuel. During emergencies, individuals are usually limited to the fuel they have stored beforehand, unless they are fortunate enough to find available resources at crowded gas stations.

Storage requirements vary among fuel types. Gasoline and diesel have a relatively short shelf life and can deteriorate quickly over time. On the other hand, propane can be stored indefinitely without significant degradation. This distinction highlights the importance of not assuming that a can of gasoline stored for an extended period will be usable during an emergency situation years later.

Another factor that influences decision-making is the cleanliness of fuel combustion. Propane is known to burn cleaner than gasoline, prompting some individuals to prioritize it based on this environmental aspect alone.

If the choice between fuel types becomes difficult, dual-fuel and tri-fuel generators provide a valuable solution. These generators offer the flexibility of using multiple fuel sources, allowing users to adapt to unpredictable circumstances effectively.

Plugging Devices Into the Generator

When it comes to powering smaller devices with an inverter, the process is straightforward. Simply connect the device’s built-in power cord to the generator. Most generators offer various outlet options on the chassis, supporting different amperage ranges. These outlets typically include RV-compatible 120V/30A, 12V DC, standard 3-prong household outlets (20V/20A), and even USB adapter outlets.

For larger power requirements, utilizing heavy-duty, all-weather extension cords is recommended to transfer power from the outdoor generator to your house. However, it is advisable to invest in generator-specific cords designed to split the larger 30-amp connections into household-usable 20-amp outlets. An excellent choice for this purpose is the Champion 25-Foot 30-Amp 125/250-Volt Extension Cord, which provides reliable performance in such scenarios.

Plugging the Generator into Your House

Setting up a more robust power system requires careful consideration, and in some cases, it might be necessary to enlist the help of a local electrician for house wiring.

Using a larger generator that generates 9-12 kW of power is not as straightforward as it seems, as it is challenging to utilize all that power through regular extension cords. Even if you manage to connect everything using external cords, it becomes inconvenient and requires leaving doors/windows open for cord access.

To simplify the process, automate the system, avoid the need for extension cords and frequent reconnections, and be able to power all devices in your home, especially for extended periods, transfer switches are the solution.

A transfer switch and panel, featuring a special outlet for generator power input, efficiently provide your home with the necessary wattage from your generator. Professional installation of the outlet and transfer switch is typically done near your meter or breakers. Switching to generator power is as easy as plugging in and toggling the transfer switch to the generator mode.

The transfer switch can be customized based on your requirements and the size of the generator you select. It has the capability to replicate your entire electrical system or can be configured to power only the essential circuits during an outage, such as the water pump, furnace, selected outlets, and lights.

Connecting your generator through a transfer switch is not just about convenience and power; it is also the only legal method to integrate a generator directly into your home’s electrical system. This prevents the generator power from backfeeding into the main panel and utility lines, which could pose a danger to electrical workers attempting to restore power for everyone.

A newer alternative to the standard transfer switch is the Generlink, which is a proprietary device. While it may have a higher upfront cost, it offers easier and more cost-effective installation. Depending on the meter’s location, the Generlink takes a less invasive and visually appealing approach. However, if your Generlink model doesn’t have the capacity to power the entire house, it is advisable to manually turn off certain breakers for optimal power and fuel efficiency during generator operation.

Running in Parallel

Inverter generators offer the option of running them in parallel to combine their capacities, allowing for increased power output. For instance, by connecting two Honda EU2200i generators, you can achieve a total output of 4,400 watts. However, it is important to note that each outlet maintains its individual limits, meaning that a 20-amp outlet does not automatically become a 40-amp outlet simply by connecting an additional generator.

Running multiple generators in parallel not only facilitates the transportation of higher wattage loads but also distributes the workload across multiple engines, thereby reducing strain and potential wear and tear on each unit.

Nevertheless, it is worth considering the drawbacks of this setup. While two parallel inverters may still fall short in comparison to a single open-frame generator in terms of capabilities, the overall cost-effectiveness may also be lower.

It is technically possible to pair different models or brands together; however, it is generally recommended to stick within the same model or closely related models. Honda, for instance, suggests pairing generators within specific serial number ranges for optimal performance and compatibility.

Additionally, Honda offers a specialized version of the EU2200i, known as the EU2200IC, designed specifically for parallel operation. This model features an additional regular 20-amp outlet and a 30-amp outlet that can be connected to a transfer switch, providing enhanced versatility in this type of setup.

High Altitudes

In order for an engine to operate, it requires three essential components: fuel, ignition, and air. Generators, being engines themselves, experience a decrease in power output when operated at higher altitudes due to the reduced air density. This results in a fuel mixture that is excessively rich. Gasoline generators typically encounter a power loss of approximately 3.5% for every 1,000 feet of elevation beyond 500 feet.

To enhance the performance of your generator at high altitudes, it is advisable to consult the manufacturer for specific guidance. Honda, for instance, provides a PDF document containing recommendations tailored to their generators. In essence, two approaches can be taken: improving airflow or restricting the fuel supply. Many manufacturers offer kits designed to optimize generator performance at different altitudes.

For gasoline generators, the process commonly known as “re-jetting” can be employed. This involves replacing the jet in the carburetor to achieve a more precise fuel-air mixture suitable for the thinner air at higher altitudes. If you are uncomfortable with modifying the carburetor yourself, it is recommended to seek assistance from a qualified small-engine mechanic who can perform the necessary adjustments.

Additionally, using 85 octane gasoline as fuel for your generator can yield positive results. While the standard octane rating in most parts of the United States is 87, higher elevation regions often provide 85 octane gasoline, which performs better in thin air conditions.


Incorrect usage of portable generators resulted in a significant number of deaths during Hurricane Laura in 2020, primarily due to carbon monoxide poisoning. It is crucial to note that even a brief exposure of just five minutes to carbon monoxide can be fatal.

To avoid becoming a tragic statistic, it is essential to position your running generator outside, at least 20 feet away from your house, and ensure that the exhaust is directed away from buildings and windows. Operating the generator in an attached garage, even with the door open, should be strictly avoided. Carbon monoxide is both odorless and invisible, making it impossible to determine if slight drafts or the lack thereof could lead to the accumulation of the gas within the seemingly “open” garage.

Investing in a high-quality, waterproof, handheld carbon monoxide monitor, such as the Sensorcon Inspector, is a wise decision if you plan to run your generator in a space that may limit proper ventilation.

It is important to note that most generators are not designed to operate in rainy conditions. Therefore, if your power outages are typically caused by storms, it is crucial to plan ahead and ensure adequate shelter for your generator. This can be achieved by constructing a small enclosure, which also serves the purpose of preventing theft, or by providing some form of overhead protection.


Proper maintenance is essential, even when engines are in storage for extended periods. Here are some tips to ensure their well-being:

  • Periodically start the engine and let it run for approximately 20 minutes. Some individuals prefer a monthly routine, but at the very least, include this step in your annual preparation review.
  • If the engine will be stored for a prolonged duration, it is advisable to drain the fuel to prevent carburetor issues caused by fuel residue. Ensure that the fuel tank, gas lines, and carburetor are all properly drained. In most cases, the carburetor will have a conveniently accessible drain screw, and a siphon can assist in emptying the tank.
  • Consider adding fuel stabilizer to the gas tank to maintain fuel quality during storage.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and change the engine oil after every 100 hours of operation, or as specified in the manual. Different climatic conditions may necessitate specific oil requirements, so consult the manual for appropriate recommendations.
  • Replace the spark plugs after a few hundred hours of operation. It is also wise to keep spare spark plugs readily available.
  • Regularly inspect the filters and replace them as needed. Foam filters can be cleaned by washing them thoroughly.

Remember, giving your engines proper care and attention during storage will contribute to their longevity and ensure optimal performance when they are needed.


Gas-powered portable generators are an essential tool for providing electricity when and where it’s needed. Depending on your power requirements, budget, and desired features, there’s a generator on this list to suit your needs. From the compact Honda EU2200i to the heavy-duty DuroMax XP12000EH, these top-rated generators are sure to keep your lights on and your devices running when you need them most.