If you’re looking for the best small portable generator to power your home, but don’t want the hassle of gasoline or propane, then look no further than small generators! They are easy to transport and lightweight.
This article will cover the different types of small generators, how to maintain your generator and we’ll review the best small generators.
We will also look at their pros and cons to help you decide on the right generator for your specific needs.
Best Small Generators
We believe the Westinghouse iGen1200 is probably the best small generator option on the market. Westinghouse is a 100 percent American corporation with a history dating back hundreds of years.
It is one of the most reputable manufacturers of electrical equipment, including the smallest portable generators.
Furthermore, Westinghouse generators are often a quarter of the price of Yamaha or Honda generators.
The Westinghouse iGen1200 is the company’s smallest generator. It’s a well-designed tiny inverter generator that’s perfect for powering mobile gadgets.
Just by looking at it, you can tell it’s a modern high-tech generator.
The Wen generator features a 54cc engine that produces 1200 starting watts and 1000 operating watts.
It barely weighs 35 lbs, making it an excellent choice for a camping trip or any other circumstance where you must often move the generator from one location to another.
It contains two 120V outlets and two USB ports charging connections for your mobile phone, laptops, and other electronic devices.
You may connect the IGen1200 to another small inverter generator in parallel (ideally, the same model).
- High performance- Up to 9 hour run time at 25% load
- Impressive Safety features including: Low oil shutdown, electrical overload circuit breaker, 2 year warranty
- Doesn’t provide as many outlets as competitors
WEN 56125i 1250 Watt Generator
The WEN 56125i generator is a fantastic value for the money. Many fell in love with WEN generators almost immediately after discovering them.
WEN gas-powered generators demonstrate that the smallest portable generator does not have to cost an arm and a leg to function flawlessly and has the same capabilities as other high-end generators.
The WEN56125i is one of the smallest portable inverter generators on the market today.
It’s also relatively cheap, generally costing less than half the price of a Honda or Yamaha.
The gas-powered portable inverter generator complies with both the EPA and CARB. The generator features a 60cc OHV engine that produces 1250 starting watts and 1000 running watts.
You cannot expect it to operate many sensitive electronics, as with other compact generators.
It is, nevertheless, an excellent alternative for individuals searching for a generator to power their portable electronics.
WEN 56125i 1250 Watt Generator PROS
- 1250 Peak wattage
- EPA Certified/CARB Compliant
- Low oil shutdown feature
WEN 56125i 1250 Watt Generator CONS
- Reliability concerns
- Heavier than competition
- Run time not as long as others
If you’re looking for the smallest portable generator for camping, this is the one for you. The Jackery Explorer 240 is a compact mobile power station perfect for charging small electrical devices.
Consider a sizable portable power bank that you can recharge using solar panels (recommended), a vehicle plug, or a wall connection.
It is an excellent alternative for individuals who wish to spend some time in the wilderness but need a small power source.
For example, if you want to spend a few days off the grid in a national park, filming films with drones and GoPro cameras, Jackery can quickly charge all this portable equipment.
Jackery Explorer 240 Portable Power Station PROS
- Solar generator-provides clean energy without gasoline or propane
- Very lightweight and portable
Jackery Explorer 240 Portable Power Station CONS
- Only 150 peak watts (Cannot charge larger devices, appliances)
Honda is a brand that probably doesn’t need to be introduced any further. It is, without question, one of the most well-known and trustworthy automobile manufacturers.
Honda generators are likewise highly sought after.
The Honda EU1000i Inverter Generator is the little brother of the wildly successful Honda EU2000i inverter generator.
It’s one of the smallest portable generators available. It barely weighs 29 pounds, making it highly portable.
It has a relatively low noise level. Even at maximum load, it does not create louder than
However, because the Honda EU1000i’s engine has half the power of the EU2000i (or its newer version – EU2200i), I was expecting it to be a little quieter. Despite this, it is slower than the great majority of other models.
The EU1000is is equipped with a proprietary Honda Eco-Throttle technology. Based on the current output, this device automatically changes the generator’s fuel consumption.
The generator’s low fuel consumption can save you a lot of money in the long run that you would have spent on petrol otherwise.
Consequently, this handy small generator can run for around 8 hours on a half-gallon of petrol, making it a fuel-efficient generator.
Honda EU1000i PROS
- Good safety features-CO Minder monitors Carbon monoxide levels and automatically shuts off before harmful levels are detected
Honda EU1000i CONS
What is a Small Generator?
A small generator is a device that runs on gas or fuel and produces temporary electrical power.
Manufacturers construct the majority of these generators with expandable materials.
These small-sized generators deliver on-the-spot power wherever it is needed.
When you don’t have access to typical sources of electricity, they provide you with the power you require.
Small generators are lightweight, so they’re easy to take with you wherever you go.
They’re great for camping or other outdoor activities. While a small portable generator is not as powerful as a more significant generator, it’s perfect if you need backup power in an emergency too!
Why do you need a small generator?
A small or portable generator creates energy by driving a gas-powered engine, rotating an on-board alternator to generate power.
You can plug extension cables, electric-powered equipment, and appliances into the unit’s power outlets. In general, the more outlet choices are available, the more prominent the generator.
Unlike standby generator systems, you cannot permanently fix portable. Instead, you can readily transport them from location to location, and you must start them manually.
They are graded according to the quantity of power they produce, which is measured in watts.
Generally, the higher the wattage, the more objects you can power up. Running watts and beginning watts are the two types of watts:
- Running watts are the watts produced continuously to keep things running.
- Starting watts = The additional electricity required to start large motor-driven appliances or a group of goods.
A primary portable generator is made up of the following major components that are mounted onto a metal frame as a single unit:
- Engine with internal combustion
- Tank of fuel
Portable generators are used to provide a temporary, readily transportable source of electric power and are widely used on various industrial and recreational venues.
You can use a portable generator for the following purposes:
- Zones for building and construction
- Use in the home and garden
- Camping, festivals, and other outdoor activities are popular.
- Boats with on-board electrical power
- Pop-up businesses and temporary installations
- For general do-it-yourself and car repair uses.
- During extended power outages and blackouts
Also Read: Best Inverter Generators 
Small Generator Types
The easiest way to learn how smaller generators function is to start with a fundamental review of the essential components.
A small generator such as the champion power equipment may appear to be a sophisticated piece of technology, but the main features are relatively simple.
Furthermore, while there are many types and versions available for purchase from providers in the US and worldwide, the foundations of how they are put up and operated are pretty similar.
Whether you’re looking at gas-powered portable inverter generators or diesel-powered portable generators, the most crucial aspects of the machine to be aware of won’t frequently differ significantly from model to model. In a nutshell, these are:
- Internal combustion engine (ICE)
- The alternator (sometimes known as the generator head or ‘genhead’)
- The introductory phrase
- A tank of petrol
- Control Panel and devices, including power outlets
- Devices for safety/protection
The following fundamental processes are included in the most basic description of how a portable generator works:
- People put fossil fuels, like petrol and diesel, into their cars. They can get them from a spout or a funnel.
- After starting the generator with the starter (usually a pull cord, but frequently a switch, especially on digital models), the liquid or gaseous fuel in the tank supplies the engine with a source of combustion energy, allowing it to continue for as long as the fuel supply stays full.
- The internal combustion engine rotates the built-in alternator or generator head, converting mechanical energy (in rotational motion) into electricity. This alternator comprises a driving shaft linked to the engine and spins an electromagnet to create and harness an electrical field within a coil.
- This electricity is then transformed to usable voltage/wattage by a regulator and delivered into the generator’s power outlets. It may then be transferred to the portable generator’s electrical equipment using conventional connectors and wires.
Depending on make, model, and size, other vital components to be aware of in a typical small generator may include its cooling and exhaust systems, lubrication pipelines, and the machine’s outer casing or frame.
There are several types of portable generators available.
As previously said, there are various portable generator models available for purchase on the market today, covering a wide range of intended usage situations and power supply requirements.
This part will go over some of the most popular alternatives for buyers, including devices designed for business and home use.
Quiet Portable Generators
When under load, generators are widely recognized to be quite noisy equipment.
However, the range of portable generators available that run at significantly lower noise levels has increased dramatically in recent years.
A typical query among customers, particularly those looking for a small generator for home or small-scale use, is ‘what portable generator is the quietest?’
In reality, there is no clear and fast answer to this issue; the designs and build characteristics of various generator models, and brands vary greatly and are constantly evolving and enhanced with quiet power technology.
On the other hand, certai brands and models are expressly promoted as silent portable generators for consumers who choose lower volume levels over raw power output.
A variety of factors determine how noisy or silent a portable generator is while running. These are some examples:
- Size of the engine (and associated power output capabilities)
- Overall construction quality, particularly of the machine itself Whether or not the engine is running inside an enclosure
- The exhaust system/exact muffler’s configuration and manufacturing quality
- Method of cooling (more cost-effective air-cooled generators are usually a good deal louder than water-cooled versions)
Design and construction of a frame/house
Typically, the generators with an extremely quiet operation on the market today are more expensive than the cheaper but noisier counterparts. These more costly generators are compact.
They use a smaller engine that is more efficient, producing the same amount of power as other generators.
Most portable inverter generators will also have a fully enclosed plastic casing lined with noise-dampening materials, making them far quieter to run than older open-frame models.
It naturally allows far higher levels of noise vibration to escape into the surrounding environment.
Because of the decreased engine size, they are also smaller and lighter to transport than conventional versions.
Another feature to look for when looking for a quiet portable generator is an automated or intelligent throttle.
Thus, it prevents the generator’s engine from needing to operate at a constant speed.
At the same time, it’s turned on, as is the case with many entry-level or budget versions.
An automated throttle detects the type of power load that the small generator is being requested to produce at any given time and reduces engine speed to meet this requirement.
The quiet power technology allows for a quiet operation on half load, but it is also substantially more fuel-efficient during long-run durations.
Household Portable Generators
Small portable generators for the house are typically kept on hand for those rare occasions when mains energy is unavailable for an extended time.
They’ll commonly only be utilized during extended power outages, and they’ll only be rolled out for that purpose once or twice a year at most.
Also, it depends on where you live, the typical local weather conditions, and the overall condition of the neighborhood power grid.
There is a large selection of portable energy generators designed and supplied for occasional residential users.
Many will be at the low end of the power spectrum and may be advertised as recreational units designed solely to provide stable power to one or two simple appliances.
In lengthy power outage circumstances at home, the most popular targets of portable produced power are lights, refrigerators, and freezers, followed by communications or entertainment equipment such as mobile phones, laptops, and TVs/radios.
Looking at the Right One
When looking for a home generator, it is essential to know how much power your appliances or equipment use.
Therefore, it would be best to buy the smallest possible inverter generator to fill those needs with some headroom.
When buying the smallest portable generator, you need to think about how much power it will use. You can find out by adding up how much energy all of your appliances and devices use.
Then, when you buy the generator, you need to make sure that it has enough energy left over for your needs:
- Fridge-freezer – between 150W and 600W, depending on size and features.
- Incandescent light bulbs – typically between 60W and 100W per bulb
- LED lights are typically 8W-12W per bulb.
- Laptop – 50W to 200W, depending on processor power and peripherals
- Smartphone chargers typically range from 5W to 15W, depending on the type and model.
- Home air conditioners range in power from 1000W to 4000W, depending on size.
- 1500W-2000W Kettle
- 800W-1800W Toaster
- 1500W-2500W hairdryer
- Microwave wattage ranges from 700W to 1800W, depending on size.
Many appliances use electricity. You can buy different kinds of generators for your home.
However, you need to know the appliance’s power before purchasing a generator because it will be different for each electronic device.
Camping Generators on Wheels
When purchasing the smallest portable generators for camping, following the fundamental guidelines outlined in the preceding section for residential usage is essential.
The ideal strategy is to figure out how much electricity you’ll need to keep the sensitive electronics and appliances you want to use on a campground operating, and then choose the smallest machine that satisfies all of those demands with a few watts to spare.
What to look for?
When looking for the smallest portable generators for caravans and motorhomes, consider that different versions and models produce quite varying noise levels.
Not all types may be ideal for all camping situations.
Due to noise limitations in place for the benefit of other visitors, more considerable, louder generators may not be permitted at some campgrounds.
As a result, it’s always a good idea to verify ahead of time with the proprietors of any specific campgrounds or caravan parks where you know you’ll want to take your small generator and alter your buying plans appropriately.
Portable Boat Generators
Many bigger boats come with similarly massive energy generators permanently installed – but that’s rarely the case for smaller ships. Therefore there’s a growing market for smaller portable generators geared at owners of smaller boats.
It is important to note that these generators should never be operated or fueled on-board or very close to a boat since the risk of toxic fume accumulation, fire, or electrocution is simply too great.
We’ll go over these concerns in greater detail later in this book in the safety section.
In addition to determining the total power output you’re likely to require in any given circumstance while on-board your vessel, there are some unique aspects to keep in mind when purchasing a portable generator designed for boat use.
These primary concerns are available space and the safe installation of the generator while not in use:
Because most boats have limited room, a more powerful generator is typically not a viable alternative.
It would help if you did not store a portable generator inside the cabin, below deck, or any other enclosed location on-board a boat, as we will address in further detail later in this article.
However, space constraints above the deck are frequently another consideration that makes purchasing a smaller and more compact unit better.
When it comes to generator installation aboard boats, the risk of fire and explosion must be carefully addressed, especially when working with flammable fuel sources.
Similarly, wiring configurations and cable runs are crucial when operating a small generator in any situation where water infiltration and the risk of electrocution exist.
The noise level is significant to consider when boating near other water users or when docking near other boats, people, or structures.
How To Maintain Your Small Generator
You may need your small generator at any time, so keep it in good working order by carefully maintaining it.
Tips for Long-Term and Short-Term Small Generator Storage
- Temporary Storage (2-3 weeks)
Clean debris from the device after each usage. Keep it at a location in your garage or outbuilding where you can quickly access it when you need it.
- Long-Term Holding (2-3 months)
Fill the tank with fuel and add a gasoline stabilizer, such as Briggs & Stratton® 5-in-1 Advanced Formula Fuel Treatment and Stabilizer, to the tank for longer-term Storage.
Make use of a Fuel Stabilizer
Do you seldom use you small generator? To prevent gum from accumulating and blocking the fuel system, store it with an empty fuel tank or apply a fuel stabilizer.
After you’ve added a stabilizer, run your generator for a few minutes to circulate the solution through the carburetor.
Fuel treatment extends the life of fuel by up to 36 months.
Replace the Oil in Your Generator
Make sure your portable generator has adequate oil to keep it working smoothly and to extend the life of your engine.
Many generators shut down automatically to safeguard the engine if the level falls below a certain level.
When adding gasoline, check the oil level by checking the dipstick and filling it to the complete marking.
The type of oil to use, how much you need, and the cost of that oil is determined by the equipment you are using, the engine inside your car, and the temperature outside.
Inspect Replaceable parts regularly
Check your carburetor, air filter, fuel filter, and spark plug regularly, in addition to the engine oil, according to the instructions for your portable generator.
So, Which is The Best Smallest Generator?
There is no one size fits all for these small generators. Some generators are best for different situations.
Below are the best small generator for each area.
Westinghouse iGen 1200– Best Performance
Westinghouse iGen1200– Best Price
Jackery 160 – Most Quiet
|Appliance||Starting Watts||Running Watts|
|Furnace (1/4 HP)||1000||600|
|Sump Pump (1/3 HP)||1300||800|
|Window AC 13K BTU||2800||1800|
Top Smallest Generators
Small generators are an excellent option for people who need to move their generators regularly or have limited space.
They’re also lightweight and easy to store, which makes them perfect for camping trips.
As you can see from the input paragraph, small generators come in handy at any time when we might need power.
For example, it is the best use whether we live in a remote area without access to electricity or if we want to go on a camping trip with our friends and family.
The smallest of these compact generators is the Jackery Explorer 160, weighing under 4 pounds.
The best of the smaller class generators overall would be the Westinghouse iGen1200 Generator. This is thanks to its affordable pricing, solid performance and good safety features.
I’ve always been a lover of Mechanics and the engineering that goes on behind it. Naturally had a knack for fixing things and i’ve had lots of adventures that generators are second nature to me.
Last update on 2022-09-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API