Money is indeed an essential factor to consider when it comes to shopping for a suitable inverter generator. They are quite expensive options considering their practical features and quality.
Thanks to the advance of technology in recent years, inverter generators are more and more affordable.
Still, consumers like you and me are struggling with various choices out there in the vast market. What are the best inverter generators for the money? The answer is right below.
#1- Honda EU2200i
|Noise Level||57 dBA|
|Fuel Tank||0.95 gallon|
|Weight (lbs)||47 lbs|
|Highlight Features||8.1 hours @ ¼ load, Oil Alert®, Eco Throttle®|
- Lightweight with a compact design
- Features advanced and exclusive technology from Honda
- High power capacity
- Surprisingly none so far
There are a few things I want to go through first. The noise level is one of them. As for a small inverter generator, the EU2200i produces a surprisingly low noise level. Compared with other models with similar capacity, the Honda EU2200i is indeed quiet.
Thanks to the Eco Throttle® – a technology to reduce noise, the model operates at 57 dBA when at full power.
The generator weighs only 47 lbs. Featuring a handle, it is easy to move around. The compact design allows users to store it easily.
The EU2200i comes with a fuel tank of 0.95 gallons. At 25% workload, it can work continuously up to 8 hours. Honda has carefully equipped this model with Oil Alert®. This feature promises to cut down the oil use and increase the generator’s performance.
The Honda EU2200i utilizes a reliable 121cc GXR120 engine. The engine is famous for its reliability and noiseless operation. The GXR 120 was initially used for industrial purposes, but then modified for residential use as well.
As for the power capacity, this little beast generates 2200W of starting watts and 1800W of running watts. It is enough to power RV appliances and electronic devices for camping trips.
Is it expensive? Considering all its useful features and technology, the answer is astonishing. The Honda EU2200i is very much affordable.
The Honda EU2200i isn’t just another budget generator. Its advanced technology coupled with its portability and great power capability indeed makes it a valuable option.
#2- WEN 56125
|Noise Level||51 decibels|
|Engine||60cc OHV engine|
|Weight (lbs)||31.6 lbs|
|Highlight Features||EPA III and CARB Compliant, 5 hours of half-load run time|
- Best budget option
- EPA III and CARB-Compliant, suitable for Californian buyers
- The most lightweight generator in the list
- Not ideal for people with high power demand
It features a 60cc OHV engine capable of generating 1250 running watts. The rated wattage settles down at 1000W. With the power capacity, this model is able to handle most camping appliances and small electronics.
The WEN 56125 is certainly not for those with massive energy demand. It is, on the other hand, compatible with the sudden outage and short camping trips.
If you find the power capacity is too low, don’t forget the WEN 56125 can run parallel with another generator. The two items can add up to the total capacity, delivering more electricity during an emergency.
The fuel tank is only 0.7 gallon. As a result, the total run time at 50% load is 5 hours. It is not extended run time, but it is impressive when comparing to other similar models.
This generator is also EPA III and CARB certified, which means you can use it in California where environmental laws are strict.
What else that makes the WEN 56125 so stunning? There are two things: its weight and the noise level. The 56125 weighs only 31.6 lbs – the most lightweight item in the list. It also functions quietly with the noise level of 51 decibels.
All in all, the WEN 56125 is a perfect item for outdoor activities that require a minimum electricity supply. It is indeed wallet-friendly, portable and practical.
#3- Westinghouse WH2200iXLT
|Noise Level||52 dBA|
|Fuel Tank||1.3 Gallon|
|Weight (lbs)||43 Lbs|
|Highlight Features||Efficiency Mode, EPA, USFS, and CARB Compliant, 13 Hours of Run Time at 25%|
- Guarantees less than 3% distortion, safe to use with sensitive electronics
- Quiet operation
- PA, USFS, and CARB Certified
- Not recommend leaving gas inside the tank
The Westinghouse WH2200iXLT features a 79cc engine. It can handle a peak of 2200 watts and 1800 watts of running load. It means this small generator can deal with different electrical appliances during breakouts or camping.
This model guarantees less than 3% distortion, which is safe for any electronics such as computers or TVs.
One great thing about inverter generators is their parallel capability. You can pair up two machines to utilize their maximum power.
With a fuel tank of 1.3 Gallon, the Westinghouse WH2200iXLT works perfectly within 13 hours at 25% load. It also features Efficiency Mode, which helps to save up gasoline.
Buyers from California can now access to this generator since it is EPA, USFS, and CARB Certified.
Similar to other models in the list, the Westinghouse WH2200iXLT is lightweight. Its compact design takes up a small space in the storage room.
It also comes with a handle to help transport easier.
As for the noise level, the WH2200iXLT is ultra quiet. It creates a noise level of 52 dBA, equivalent to regular conversations.
What don’t I like about this model? The instruction is a bit unclear when it comes to leaving the gas inside. I would suggest you not to do so, just in case if anything happens.
When talking about inexpensive generators, the Westinghouse WH2200iXLT is a suitable candidate. It is a wallet-friendly option with reasonable power capacity compared to the WEN 56125.
#4 – Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator
|Noise Level||58 dBA|
|Engine||171cc 4 Stroke Single Cylinder engine|
|Fuel Tank||1.6 Gallon|
|Highlight Features||Wireless Remote Start, Quick Touch Panel, 8 hours run time at a 25%|
- Has the highest power capacity in the list
- Comes with cool features such as Cold Start Technology
- Wireless Remote Start
- Quite heavy
The generator comes with a 171cc 4 Stroke Single Cylinder engine, powerful enough to generate a peak of 3100 watts.
The running wattage is 2800. As you can see, this model has the highest power capacity. It can work with various electronics and household appliances.
The gas tank is 1.6 Gallon, enough to run 8 hours at 25% load. The Economy Mode ensures users extended engine use and fuel efficiency.
Now, I know that it is a bit disappointing about the runtime when comparing to other models. However, the champion 75531i has more than that to offer.
Besides the traditional recoil start, Champion Power Equipment offers Wireless Remote Start. It allows users to turn on and off the machine without touching it. This is a great and handy feature.
What’s more, it comes with Cold Start Technology. The feature allows 75531i to start even in cold weather.
The weight may be another drawback of this model. However, it compensates with a set of wheels and two handles. Moving this little beast is a lot easier.
The engine works quietly with the noise level of 58 dBA. It is suitable to use both at home or in any camping sites.
Overall, I’m quite happy with The Champion 75531i. With a ton of top-notch technology and features, it is certainly a product of value, suitable for both home use and outdoor activities.
#5- Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200
|Noise Level||59 decibels at 25% load|
|Engine||Briggs & Stratton OHV, 111cc|
|Fuel Tank||1 Gallon|
|Weight (lbs)||54.6 lbs|
|Highlight Features||Up to 8 Hours at 25% Load|
- Easy and convenient to use
- Suitable for both home use and outdoor gatherings
- The performance is quite loud
It features a 111cc Briggs & Stratton OHV. The engine creates a starting wattage of 2200W and continues with 1700W. The power capacity is enough to handle most household appliances, camping equipment, and sensitive devices.
With a gas tank of 1 gallon, the Briggs & Stratton 30651 is able to work up to 8 hours at 25% load.
The downside of this small machine is the noise level. At 1/4 load, it already creates 59 decibels. While the noise level is relatively low and you can still use it without any complaints, it is quite loud compared to other generators.
To make up for that, the Briggs & Stratton has built this model with convenience. It is easy to set up and use. The parallel capability works perfectly. And more importantly, its design requires little space to store.
It weighs over 54 lbs. With a stable handle, you can lift the machine and move it around with ease.
The Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 is a budget-friendly model for those who require a sustainable and dependable power source. It comes with two years consumer warranty and lifelong technical support.
#6- Yamaha EF2000iSv2
|Noise Level||51.5 – 61 dBA|
|Engine||79cc OHV, air-cooled, single cylinder, 4-stroke|
|Fuel Tank||1.1 gallon|
|Highlight Features||Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), 10.5 hours at ¼ load, EPA & CARB Emission, Engine Durability Rating|
- EPA & CARB certified
- Comes with lots of useful features such as Pulse Width Modulation or Smart Throttle
- Clogged fuel line can happen from time to time
The model applies a 79cc OHV, air-cooled, single cylinder, 4-stroke engine. It is able to offer a decent power capacity with a running wattage of 1600W and a peak wattage of 2000W. With this capacity, the Yamaha can certainly nail most of the household appliances.
The model features Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to ensure the voltage stability within ± 1%. Its converter technology provides that sensitive electronics get pure and clean electricity.
With a fuel tank of 1.1 gallons, the EF2000ISV2 can function within 10 hours at 25%. What’s more, the model uses Smart Throttle, which helps control the engine speed and gas use. This feature also tremendously reduces the noise level which is only between 51.5 dBA to 61 dBA at ¼ load.
The EF2000ISV2 is equipped with an Oil Watch Warning system to prevent engine damage. Its gasoline petcock works perfectly to forestall old gas problems. The manufacturer advises users to replace oil every 100 hours of use.
Other than that, the Yamaha EF2000ISV2 is lightweight and compact. It is easy to store and transport. Some people report that the model encounters some oil consumption problems after several times of use. But it could happen with any generators due to the clogged fuel line. Make sure you have a look at it regularly.
The Yamaha EF2000ISV2 is an excellent buy for those who look for a reliable generator with conventional power capacity. Its practical features will maximize user experience and enhance the model’s performance.
What are the advantages of an inverter generator?
The advent of inverter generators has brought users with more choices when it comes to a reliable power supply. Compared to traditional items, inverters offer certain advantages as following:
- Fuel efficiency: The inverters are known for being fuel efficient. They can adjust and provide exactly the needed amount of power for appliances. That means, their fuel consumption is generally less than standard generators
- Maintenance: Conventional generators are hard to please since they require lots of attention. Most conventional items need oil replacement every 200 hours of use. It is not the case with the inverters. You still need to check the oil from time to time, but it would be less demanding compared to conventional ones. You may also have to take a look at the batteries once in a while.
- Parallel Capability: One highlight feature of inverter generators is the parallel capability. In short, you can join two generators together
- The inverter technology generates reliable power with pure sin wave. It works well with sensitive electronic devices.
Can generators be run in parallel?
Not all generators can run in parallel. Since most conventional generators offer high power capacity, it is not necessary to join them together for better performance. Plus, conventional products don’t support this feature.
On the other hand, the parallel capability is the highlight of inverter generators. It is possible to power up your products by joining two inverters together.
Manufacturers often recommend running two compatible or similar inverter models together. This is to prevent any potential systematic clash. However, it would not be very much economical to buy two models just for the sake of the parallel capability.
This feature is perfect for those who already have one model and want to have another one for better power option.
What is the load sharing of the generator?
Load sharing is a common term used to describe generators’ parallel capability. When two are put into pairs, it is essential that the loading of the set is under control. Otherwise, they are unable to work stably.
Load sharing is determined by two factors KW and kWAR, which both refer to the total load between units in a parallel system. KW means the total active power requirement. The engine speed controller of the set will specify KW by altering the fuel use in the system’s engines.
Each generator has its alternator field excitation system to decide the reactive power requirements (kWAR). When two generators come together in a parallel arrangement, kVAR load sharing happens when the field excitation changes.
What is generator synchronization?
Some people mistaken generator synchronization with its parallel capability. Generator synchronization means the match between its voltage and frequency outputs and that of the system. When a generator is synchronized, the output breaker is also sealed.
Due to this output close, the generator cannot manage its frequency very effectively. As a result, the interconnected grid takes the lead to prescribe the frequency. To prevent the generator from taking power from the network, the grid often comes with protective relays.
In a parallel system, when two units join together, load sharing is necessary depending on the voltage and frequency settings.
What is the quietest inverter generator?
Quiet inverter generators generate a noise level of up to 65 dbA. As you can see in the list, most generators are in a noise range between 50 to 61 dBA. When talking about the quietest inverter generator, my recommendation is the two models WEN 56125 and Westinghouse WH2200iXLT.
WEN 56125 offers the noise level of 51 decibels, while the Westinghouse WH2200iXLT creates 52 decibels. At these noise level, you don’t feel irritation because it is only one or two times louder than a running fridge.
However, one reminder is that most manufacturers will only give you the noise level at 25% load. At 50% and full capacity, the scale could change, so you should pay attention to this when shopping for a good model.
For example, the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 offers the noise rating at 51.5 dBA at 25% load, but at full capacity, the level climbs up to 61 dBA. If you are uncertain about the full-load noise level, you should ask for the information before making up your mind.
How loud are 60 decibels?
A decibel or dB is a unit of measurement to determine levels of sound. It refers the low and high frequencies to a symbolic way that users can understand.
The higher the rating is, the louder the noise become. As you can see in the list, most items settle down within a range from 50 to 60 decibels. While 50 dBA is as loud as the noise of a running refrigerator, 60 dBA is equivalent to regular conversations.
Generators with the noise level of 60 dBA are suitable to use in any commercial areas and camping sites. In some specific residential districts, when noise rules are strict, you may have to ask for the permission to use generators with high noise rating.
How many decibels is too loud for Neighbors?
It depends on the noise regulations in each state and district. In most states, it is acceptable to generate 55 dbA of noise level during daytime (from 6 a.m to 9 p.m).
After that, you have to reduce it to 45 dbA during night time (from 9 p.m to 6.am the next day). 55 dBA is somewhat between the noise of running refrigerator and daily conversations in the street.
If you live in a quiet neighborhood, and your next-doors are noise conscious, it is better to stick with the rule. However, 60 dbA is somewhat accepted. It is only loud when the noise rating climbs up to 70 dBA or more.
So you should be careful and keep an ear to the noise if you don’t want to get complaints from the next-doors.
These six best inverter generators for the money offer their good quality and performance within the price range. As you go through the list, you will see each item with different technologies, features and usage will serve different purposes.
Therefore, you should also determine beforehand what you need a generator for, so that you can make the right choice.