American Fortune 100 company Caterpillar boasts a variety of top-quality portable inverter generators in its Home & Outdoor Power lineup of generators. The first inverter generator from Cat, the INV2000, is our focus in this review
It’s a compact model, weighing only 49 pounds (22 kg), allowing for easy storage, and making it convenient to use around your home. Still, the appliance boasts enough power for contractor as well as other professional applications.
When running, it delivers 1800 Watts (W), and when starting, it produces 2250W. The generator, CAT promises, offers you 12.5% more power than major competitive models. It can power a campsite, along with several power tools of small to medium size.
In this post on Cat INV2000 review, we’re discussing all the features — both the good and the not-so-good ones — of this generator to help you make an informed buying decision.
- Super quiet - (52-61 db)
- 6 hrs. Run time at 50% load
- Easy start/stop switch with integrated choke
- Engine Smart control (esc) for efficiency
- USB (2), DC 12V (1) and 120V 20A GFCI (2) outlets
2000W is enough to power nearly all small appliances. That will get you through the next power outage and help in charging up power tools on your job site. For the majority of people, they’ll be on the lookout for a couple of qualities in a generator they can consider ideal for their applications.
If you’re shopping for a generator for residential use, you need to go for something that’s quiet, easily portable and comes with the kind of outlets you require for the demands of your applications. Typically, at the very least, you’d want to seek standard household outlets.
As regards noise levels, they stay within a range of 52–61 dB based on the available load. The maker confirms that this generator delivers ultra-clean power, which will power the most sensitive electronics safely. The INV2000 gets an easy-start switch with integrated choke, operational indicator lights, multiple outlets, and LED illumination on its control panel.
Its outlets include two GCI 120V 20A outlets, in addition to two USB ports as well as a 12-volt battery charging outlet. There’s also a cable for charging automotive-style batteries. On one tank of fuel at 50% load, the INV2000 promises 6 hours of continuous run time.
Cat Inv2000’s Functions & Ease of Use
Like the majority of portable generators, the Cat INV2000 (you can visit the link to read buyers’ reviews on Amazon) has a standard recoil pull cord for starting the generator. There’s a start/stop/choke switch integrated to the primary control plate, allowing you to gain easy access when you want to operate the generator.
Though an electric start would have been a cool feature to see, the option is mostly offered on larger generators.
On the front of the INV2000, we’ve an easy-to-use control panel, which is full-featured, making it extremely convenient for you to find all you need to operate the generator in one spot.
In addition to this, below the start switch lies a cluster housing a trickle charge 12V DC port, accompanied by an on/off switch for the charger & a dual USB outlet. There’s an attached cover that safeguards the outlet from things like dirt and debris.
If you check the right side of the control panel, there’s a pair of household outlets with the same plastic-type cover on the USB outlets. The outlets are 120 VAC, and they’re GFCI-protected. Apart from these, you’ll find an on and off switch for the outlets, too.
Also, there are receptacles for a parallel setup in between the USB and household outlets, allowing you to hook up another CAT INV2000 generator that can work in parallel to your original set. This arrangement is handy whenever you need to get twice the power safely with the use of 2 generators.
Please note: You’ll need to buy the parallel cord separately on Amazon.
Engine Smart Control, a switch for the ESC, sits above this section and works to enable your generator to operate in a fuel efficiency mode in a bid to help reserve fuel and cut down on noise levels. There’s a series of 3 LED lights at the very top of the panel, and this includes a low oil light, an overload light as well as an OK light.
Cat INV2000’s Noise Level: Quiet or Loud?
If you’re looking to use a portable generator in a residential setting, you’ll need to opt for something that’s quiet, or something with a feature to quieten it down such as an extended muffler or a generator box. The levels of generator noise, as an industry standard, are measured in dB (decibels), with noise readings typically taken at 23ft away from the generator.
When this technique is used, a lot of generators run at around 70–80dB, just about as loud as what you get from a vacuum cleaner.
The INV2000 works at 52–61dB rating, which is quite remarkable, making it one of the quietest generators out there. So, it shouldn’t constitute a nuisance for anyone near you, and you don’t need to entertain any doubt about using it in any neighborhood. Also, this makes it an ideal generator to take along with you for camping.
CAT INV2000’s Specs, Capacity, and Gas Consumption
- AC Max Output Starting Watts, 2250 watts
- Rated AC Voltage, 120V
- AC Rated Output Running Watts, 1800 watts
- Run Time, 50 per cent, 6 Hours
- Frequency, 60 hertz
- Engine Size, 79.9cc
- Weight, 22kg (48.7 lbs)
- Tank Size, 1 Gallon
Even though it’s a smaller fuel tank of 1 gallon, the 6-hour run time at 50 per cent is commendable. This should be sufficient to get you through a blackout or power some of your tools where they’re needed.
Weighing only 22kg and designed with an integrated handle, the CAT INV2000 isn’t among the lightest on the market. However, it can still be moved by people that can lift about 50lbs with just a hand.
Cat INV2000 Service, Manual, and Warranty
Headquartered in Illinois, US, Caterpillar is a worldwide industry leader in several various industries; so, it doesn’t come as a surprise to find that their generator warranties are above average.
There’s a 2- or 3-year limited warranty on the CAT INV2000 if you register the product within the 30-day post-purchase window. In the owner’s manual, there’s a complete list of services & maintenance schedules for maintaining the portable generator. The manufacturer even nicely broke down how to clean, inspect, and replace many of the parts, too.
CAT INV2000 vs. the Competitors
Having looked at the CAT INV2000 Portable Generator and the features it brings to the table, it’s time we discussed a couple of its rivals on the market to see how it fares against them.
CAT INV2000 vs. Honda EU2200i
One of the most popular portable generators on the marketplace, the Honda EU2200i is a good competitor for the CAT INV2000.
The Honda generator can work at levels as low at 48 decibels, but when used averagely, the 2 generators will be operating within the same range. Fortunately, they’re both excellent options for quiet portable generators.
Power Ratings and Power Outlets
When it comes to power ratings, both generators have nearly the same figures, but the INV2000 barely edges out the Honda EU2200i as regards peak power by just 50W. This isn’t such a big difference.
However, 50 watts could become significant, determining whether you overload your generator or not.
As for power outlets, both generators will each have two household outlets as well as a 12V dc charger. Also, there are parallel capabilities with the 2 products, and that’s a big plus for smaller generators.
The major difference between the 2 generators when it comes to power outlets is, the CAT unit will beat the Honda EU2200i due to the inclusion of 2 USB outlets & covered outlets.
CAT INV2000 Inverter Generator vs Ford FG2200is
The CAT INV2000 generator engine has nearly the same size as that of the Ford FG2200is, but the former engine is the OHV (overhead valve engine) type, while the latter is CARB (California Air Resources Board) certified.
The CAT INV2000 ‘s fuel consumption and engine size are nearly the same as those of the Ford’s. However, the power output is totally different: The running wattage of the former generator is lower, pegged at 1800 watts.
Nonetheless, it’s a 2250w higher peak wattage, and this difference could be significant as 200w (less running watts) does have an effect on a generator with such a small size.
Fortunately, the INV2000 works as a good inverter generator, which equally provides parallel connectivity, meaning that it can double your power output and also allow you to do several things.
The CAT INV2000 is overall a good inverter generator which beats the Ford FG2200is on issues related to fuel consumption (though that’s only by a tiny margin).
CAT INV2000 vs. Generac 7117 GP2200I
When you check the wattage levels, the Generac 7117 isn’t a close match for the INV2000. But there are several other factors to look at when comparing both products.
Generac doesn’t specify noise ratings for their generators, but it’s safe to say that the CAT generator will be a difficult adversary to defeat due to its low dB numbers.
Power Ratings and Power Outlets
Concerning power ratings, the INV2000 is the clear winner as it beats the Generac 7117 by 100 running watts as well as 50 starting watts. Though that’s not much of a difference, it can become a deciding factor in certain situations.
As for power outlets, in the 2 generators, you’ll find the same household outlets and parallel outlets but the Generac option slightly lags behind on USB offerings because it only comes with one, unlike the pair on the CAT generator.
However, the Generac compensates for this with a single 12V VDC outlet, which isn’t available on the CAT.
CAT INV2000’s Online Reviews & Scores
As of yet, the INV2000 generator has 9 reviews on Amazon with an average score of 4.2 out of 5 stars. But on Lowes, it’s 17 customer ratings and an average rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars.
In most of the reviews, users say that the generator performed to their expectations, that they find their purchase satisfactory.
Any Potential Issues or Known Problems?
As of now, the CAT INV2000 hasn’t presented any issues because the majority of the reviews are positive.
The few issues stated in some customer reviews were very sporadic, with most of them looking like they’d be handled by CAT’s warranty.
Our Verdict: Should You Purchase the INV2000?
The CAT INV2000, designed for those who’re serious about power, produces 1800 Watts of clean, long-lasting, and quiet power.
When shopping for a generator that’s the best option for you, you really need to consider the major reasons why you want it. As far as we’re concerned, this INV2000 is an excellent fit for the average homeowner that’d like to reserve a backup power source in case of a power outage.
Apart from that, if you like to camp, the generator comes highly recommended because it’s very quiet and can be transported easily. The INV2000, like other generators from CAT, is built to be rugged and to keep dirt away from damaging outlets. Thus, don’t hesitate to use it on a construction site or in the field.
The inverter tech of the generator delivers a high-quality power, which is safe for your sensitive electronics. Also, the full panel GFCI ensures it’s safe for you, along with your family & friends. This product generates low sound levels, which makes it the best solution for your portable power needs, such as small power tools; mini-fridge; phone chargers; halogen lights.
The INV 2000 is your perfect multi-purpose generator, offering all the power you need to cater to both play & home needs. It’s versatile enough to power your microwave oven; television set; fridge; washing machine; fans.
Compact and affordable, it’s also an economical temporary power solution, which generates enough power to ensure your critical items continue to run. The unit is equally great for light commercial or residential uses.