The 5 Best Generators
Electricity powers most, if not all, of our important daily necessities and has become an essential resource sustaining our lifestyles, which is why when the power goes out, it can be quite distressing. Fortunately, a solution can be found in the form of an electric generator, which can help keep the power flowing in the event of a power blackout. Wise Bread is here to help you find the best generator to keep your power going with our top 5 list.
What Is a Generator?
A generator is a gas-powered machine that converts mechanical energy into electric energy, which can then be used to generate power in areas or in situations where no power is readily available. There are three main types of generators: stationary, portable, and inverter generators. Depending on the size of their wattage output, a generator can power everything from home appliances to entire houses for hours or days at a time. Inverter generators specifically provide a stable electrical current that's safer for powering delicate electronics, such as TVs and computers. Before buying a generator, it's important to consider what you intend to power with the machine to ensure that you get the most appropriate model for your needs.
Best 5 Generators
A top pick from Consumer Reports, the Kohler 14RESAL is a powerful stationary generator with myriad reliable features that can power you through an extended blackout whenever it happens.
Whether you're home or not, the 14RESAL automatically starts up immediately when the power goes out, thanks to its automatic transfer switch. From there, it can quietly generate a whopping 12,000 watts of smooth electrical power using natural gas, or 14,000 watts using propane, that can power everything in your home for virtually as long as you need it to. Its air-cooling design includes a useful low-oil shutoff feature with a warning light that helps keep the generator from overheating. The 14RESAL also comes in a corrosion-proof enclosure that effectively protects the generator from the natural elements.
Don't let the Generac 6237's smaller size fool you. This stationary generator is another recommended choice from Consumer Reports that is just as capable and reliable at powering your entire home in the case of a blackout and comes at a much more affordable price.
A transfer switch and electric start mechanism allows this generator to automatically turn on when a power blackout occurs. The 6237 can generate a hearty 7,000 watts of clean electrical power on natural gas and 1,000 more watts on propane, and it can keep the power going for days. The 6237 comes pre-wired and connects to your home's existing natural gas or propane supply to automatically fuel itself, thus making the generator incredibly hassle-free and easy to operate. An automatic low-oil shutoff comes standard on this model as well for added safety.
Both a Consumer Reports and Consumer Search top pick, the Briggs & Stratton 30470 is heavy-duty portable generator that can produce up to 7,000 watts, which many users say can easily power an entire house and is especially effective at powering well and sewage pumps too.
This generator also comes with automatic voltage regulation, which is a nice feature that allows it to provide surge-free power to smaller electronics. Other notable features on the 30470 include an electric start mechanism that effortlessly powers on the generator and a very helpful fuel gauge and hour meter. Users have also said that this hefty generator is quite easy to move around despite its slightly bulky design.
Another Consumer Search top pick, the Generac LP3250 portable generator is a superb basic generator option that's been praised for its convenient features and impressive energy output.
The LP3250 is fueled by liquid propane, which is more accessible and environmentally friendly than gasoline. A handy fuel tank holder is also integrated into its lightweight design, allowing you to easily transport the generator and its fuel supply as a single unit. Its 3,250-watt power supply generates enough electricity to keep several home appliances running simultaneously and can provide over 9 hours of power on just half of its fuel tank. Many users also appreciate the LP3250's surprisingly quiet performance as well as its automatic shutdown feature that triggers at low oil levels.
With a 4½ star average rating from over 200 customer reviews on Amazon, the Yamaha EF2000iS is a great choice for an inverter generator that has many users impressed by its quality performance.
With a continuous surge rating of 1,600 watts, the quite compact EF2000iS can adequately power basic appliances and expensive electronics, but it is possible to daisy-chain two EF2000iS units together to produce more power if desired. This inverter generator is also quite the fuel workhorse, one that's capable of providing 7-10 hours of power using just a quarter of its 1 gallon gas tank, all while never sounding louder than the volume of a normal conversation. While it doesn't come with an electric start mechanism, users say that one pull of the ripcord is all it takes to get this machine up and running.
And those are our recommendations for the best generators. As always, be sure to check out the Wise Bread Shopping Calendar to learn when and how to buy just about anything!