5 Best Cheap Inverter Generators That Don’t Compromise On Quality 2020

It’s thankful that nowadays, finding the best cheap inverter generators isn’t something fanciful at all. Due to the rapid advance of technology, there’s always a good choice for any budget. If you’re looking one for yours, the answer is right below:

  • WEN 56200i – Quietest
  • Westinghouse iGen1200 – Best emergency backup for home
  • Rainier R2200i
  • Pulsar PG2000iSN
  • DuroMax XP2000EH – Best dual fuel

Top 5 Best Cheap Inverter Generators

sample-table__image Quietest WEN 56200i
  • Wattage: 2000/1600 Watts
  • Noise Level: 51 dBA
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sample-table__image Best emergency backup for home Westinghouse iGen1200
  • Wattage: 1200/1000 Watts
  • Noise Level: 52 dBA
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sample-table__image Best overall Rainier R2200i
  • Wattage: 2200/1800 Watts
  • Noise Level: 52 dBA
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sample-table__image Best for nature lovers Pulsar PG2000iSN
  • Wattage: 2000/1600 Watts
  • Noise Level: 59 dBA
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sample-table__image Best dual fuel DuroMax XP2000EH
  • Wattage: 2000/1600 Watts (gasoline) & 1900/1520 (propane)
  • Noise Level: 61 dBA
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WEN 56200i – Quietest

WEN 56200i
WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant

  • Very silent
  • Produce clean sensitive-electronic-friendly and environment-friendly energy
  • Equip with many safety features to safeguard the generator from damage


  • Difficult to pour oil into the unit

WEN 56200i – Is it worth the money?

Well…yes. It’s considered one of the quietest generators on the market with the impressive 51-decibel noise level at 50% load (which is a big thank to the 4-stroke 79.7 cc engine).

The sound is so quiet that due to the US Department of Health and Human Services, it’s just as noisy as a regular people conversation. That makes WEN 56200i becomes an ideal generator for camping or other outdoor activities.

While producing clean energy with under 0.3% of total harmonic distortion at no load that saves your sensitive electronics from damages, the unit features the Eco-mode function.

It allows the motor to automatically adjust the fuel consumption when you plug or unplug devices to the panel. That’s the key to help a 1-gallon fuel-tank generator can run continuously within 6 hours at 1600 running watts.

As a result, it is more fuel-efficient.

Product specifications

Fuel Capacity1 gallon
Run Time (50% Load)6 hours
Item Weight (lb.)48
AC Rated Output Running Watts1600W
AC Maximum Output Starting Watts2000W
Outletstwo three-prong 120V receptacles, one 12V DC receptacle, and one 5V USB port
Noise Level (dBA)51
Highlight FeaturesEPA III and CARB Compliant, clean power, Eco-Mode Throttle, Low-oil, and low-fuel automatic shutdown

WEN 56200i is indeed a value for money and a good generator that won’t make a big dent in your savings.

Westinghouse iGen1200 – Best emergency backup for home

Westinghouse iGen1200
Westinghouse iGen1200 Portable Inverter Generator 1000 Rated 1200 Peak Watts, Gas Powered, CARB Compliant

  • High energy efficient
  • Can double the power output for bigger energy demands
  • Compact and very portable frame
  • Parallel ready


  • Have restricted access to fuel panels and the control
  • Need more times to start

Emitting only 52 decibels of noise level, Westinghouse iGen1200 is another perfect generator for camping, home emergency power backups, and other situations that require less disruption.

But what I really admire about this unit is despite a modest 0.8-gallon fuel tank, it can run continuously within 10 hours. That means with less than 1 gallon of gasoline, you can run many electronics through the night with no interruption.

I know, with only 1200 starting wattages, many people will underestimate its ability, however, take note that this little devil features a parallel ready. In other words, you can hook it up to another Westinghouse iGen1200 for double power output.

While giving a freakily cheap price, I’m glad that it’s still designed with safety in mind. There is a low-oil shutoff, circuit protection, overload prevention, and <3% THD energy producing.

Product specifications

Fuel Capacity0.8 gallon
Run Time (50% Load)7 hours
Item Weight (lb.)35
AC Rated Output Running Watts1000W
AC Maximum Output Starting Watts1200W
OutletsTwo 120V 20 Amp Outlets
Noise Level (dBA)52
Highlight Featuresefficiency mode, parallel capable, long runtime

Compact, ultra-quiet, and energy-efficient, it’s wise to go for Westinghouse iGen1200 as your excellent home emergency backup plan. Does it make sense?

Rainier R2200i

Rainier R2200i
Rainier R2200i Super Quiet Portable Power Station Outdoor Inverter Generator - 1800 Running & 2200 Peak - Gas Powered - CARB Compliant

  • Save wear-and-tear on the motor while maximizing the fuel efficiency
  • Can start the unit at the first pull
  • Easy to track many indicators at one spot
  • Easy to assemble


  • Hard to start the unit during cold weather

Rainier R2200i is designed with customers in mind that even a newbie can quickly find out the way to use it.

On one side of the unit, you’ll find a control panel which is presented many indicators to track down. There is a voltmeter, eco-mode button, on/off switch, parallel ready, a detail instruction to start off the generator, and so on.

The biggest selling point here lies in its energy-conserving capability.

With only 1.3 gallons of a tank, it can run unstoppably within 13 hours at 1800 rated watts. So, surely the most fuel-efficient model in this list. 100% clean energy only to run most of your electronics, even the sensitive.

Though I prefer an electric start, as the recoil start of this generator is pretty easy access so, it’s a big thumbs-up.

Product specifications

Fuel Capacity1.3 gallons
Run Time (50% Load)8 hours
Item Weight (lb.)44
AC Rated Output Running Watts1800W
AC Maximum Output Starting Watts2200W
OutletsTwo 5-20R 120V 20 AMP Household Outlets; One 12V 15 AMP DC Outlet; One Neutral Floating Grounding Port
Noise Level (dBA)52
Highlight Featureseasy access recoil start, features eco mode, the control panel includes low oil alarm, overload alarm, and output indicator, lightweight

At Rainier, they do the best to make reliable, long-runtime products and the R2200i is a typical example of that.

Pulsar PG2000iSN

Pulsar PG2000iSN
Pulsar PG2000iSN 2,000W Portable Gas-Powered Inverter Generator with USB Outlet & Parallel Capability, CARB Compliant, Space Gray

  • Variable outlets to charge and power multiple appliances at the same time
  • Very lightweight
  • Minimal design for ease of use


  • Whine sound, which is a bit distracting

If size and size are your major concerns, then a small generator like Pulsar PG2000iSN will be the best bet.

Not only small and compact but the design of this unit is also arguably futuristic and modern. It emphasizes a user-friendly control panel where all switches and indicators are clearly laid out on the front.

Power output is truly respectable for a generator at such this small.

With a full 1.18-gal fuel tank, it can output 2000 starting watts and 1600 running watts – powerful enough to run a freezer or fridge during emergencies with impressive 8 hours of runtime (at 50% load).

If you use it for fewer appliances, the unit can last up to 12 hours, which is rather flexible to back up power during a blackout or for outdoor uses.

Product specifications

Fuel Capacity1.18 gallons
Run Time (50% Load)8 hours
Item Weight (lb.)47
AC Rated Output Running Watts1600W
AC Maximum Output Starting Watts2000W
Outlets(2) AC 120V 13A Outlets, (1) 12V DC 8A Outlet, (1) 5V DC USB Outlet
Noise Level (dBA)59
Highlight FeaturesLightweight, quiet operation, stable sine wave technology, parallel capability

Designed with long lifetime in mind, Pulsar PG2000iSN is a well-worth investment for anyone who have lightweight needs from a home backup or outdoor generator.

DuroMax XP2000EH – Best dual fuel

DuroMax XP2000EH
DuroMax XP2000EH Dual Fuel Inverter Generator, Blue

  • Reduce the maintenance cost significantly
  • More convenient during storm or hurricane
  • Eco-friendlier and safer to use


  • A bit noisy
  • Don’t have a small container of oil

DuroMax XP2000EH is one and the only generator in this list that highlights dual-fuel technology to run either propane or gasoline.

Though not as fuel-efficient as its counterpart, propane is the cleanest fuel that can last for years with no harming to the unit’s carburetor. Not to say that this hybrid version truly gives maximum convenience.

About the rest of this generator, actually, there’s no difference from the XP2000iS.

Parallel ready, smart throttle, stable, clean energy producing, and (2) 120 Volt Household Outlets. But if your budget is on the table, I highly recommend this version. Why?

Aside from some benefits of propane that I’ve just listed, fuel availability is another big bonus for people to prefer dual-fuel generators. This’s particularly practical during a storm or hurricane when a gas turns out to be harder to find.

Product specifications

Fuel Capacity0.924 gallon
Run Time (50% Load)6.5 hours
Item Weight (lb.)53
AC Rated Output Running Watts1600W – gasoline

1520W – propane

AC Maximum Output Starting Watts2000W – gasoline

1900W – propane

Outlets2 120V household GFCI outlets.
Noise Level (dBA)61
Highlight Featuresproduces stable, clean power suitable for sensitive electronics, parallel ready, Eco mode

As there’s a long list of propane’s benefits to hybrid generators, DuroMax XP2000EH becomes a worthy option if you intend to get one for your emergency backup plans.

How to choose the best cheap inverter generator (buying guide)

cheap inverter generator

Know your power demand

Might it be different from your initial thought but figuring out your deepest power demand on a generator will help you choose the most suitable one for your own. Therefore, nothing is called “wasteful” here and it turns out the cheapest.

I’ll give you a simple example.

Suppose that your power needs are surrounded 3000W during a blackout. However, if you don’t know exactly your power demand, choosing a higher-wattage generator will lead to excessive power and costlier fee for fuel bills.

Conversely, a lower-wattage generator can’t afford that power demand and as a result, you have to buy another one, which is more expensive at the end.


Parallel ready feature

But that’s not solidly a bad idea to choose a lower-wattage generator than your demand because nowadays, many models come with parallel ready technology. It allows you to connect to another generator for higher power output while the price isn’t much costlier.

Your task is to make a comparison between buying two small generators and getting one big model, which is cheaper?

Back to the previous case, for instance, if you find out a 3000W generator (meet your power needs) pricing $600 and a 1500W model with parallel ready which is $200, the cheaper option here will be the 1500W.

Because if you want to leverage its total power output by buying another 1500W generator, the total cost is just $400.

Fuel type

This is also worth considering.

The initial cost of each fuel type will be different and out of the bunch, diesel will be the most expensive. Next is propane and the cheapest is gasoline.

However, you should take note of their pros and cons.

Gasoline is cheap to buy at first though. It’s prone to cause harm to the carburetor if not regularly use. Hence, require most maintenance cost.

Propane is known for the cleanest-burning fuel, which can be stored in a long time with no damage to carburetor. In the long terms, this turns out to be a cheaper option.

Who makes the cheap inverter generator?

cheap inverter generator


While producing a wide range of generators serving for different power demands, WEN’s products are also known for their affordability. Regardless, the most highlight of them is silent operation – perfect for situations that require less disruption.


Always well-loved as a brand producing best generators for home emergency backups but rarely many people known that Westinghouse also provides many budget-friendly lines.


Rainier is another good suggestion of generators for the money. While offering freakily cheap price, their generators are famous for quality. Their biggest selling points are long runtime and fuel efficiency.


Pulsar is a familiar brand for customers who have lightweight needs in their generators. Their products also boast incredible affordability that won’t dent your savings.


Last up, is Duromax. Actually, they are not the only one brand out there that produce hybrid generators but in terms of the cheap price range, they are the market leader.


cheap inverter generator

Do I need an inverter generator?

Yes, you do.

While the conventional generators are so bulky and risky for vulnerable electronics, the inverter isn’t. They are also fuel-efficient and longer lasting than its counterpart while the price isn’t much costlier.

In a pinch, really worth a try.

Can an inverter generator run a refrigerator?

To know if an inverter generator can run a fridge, it’s essential to determine the wattage of that appliance. For example, if your refrigerator runs at 800W than a generator with AT LEAST 900 surged watts will be okay.

What size generator do I need to run my whole house?

It depends on how many appliances you intend to run in your whole house.

To find the right size of a generator, you should list out all devices that are needed operating as well as their surged watts and running watts. Then, count them up. The final number will decide the size of generator you should choose.

Do inverter generators run on gas?

Yes, they do. Not only gasoline but inverter generators can also run on propane and diesel.

Is pure sine wave inverter necessary?

Yes, it is.

Pure sine wave inverter helps to limit the total harmonic distortion in the power frequency to avoid causing harm to sensitive electronics. In other words, with this feature, your generator can run most appliances.


Not all good designs cost the Earth. Hence, don’t be too worry if you have a tight budget. There’s always the best cheap inverter generator meeting the deepest power needs of yours. And hopefully, that one is found here. Thanks for reading, anyway!

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