Best Budget Portable Generators 2020 : Buying Guide & Reviews

Expert Contributor

Rose Annemarie

Are you having and outdoor event or party and need a budget portable generator? These types of Generators are great for giving you that burst of power when you can’t get it in a normal way. Camping trips can be brought to life, or even garden parties when an extension is too much of a hassle to be brought out from the house.

Generators can also be great if there are any emergencies or power outages giving you that back-up source of power. A inverter generator is a must-have product that will keep you full of energy even in the most remote places. They can also be great if you have any troubles with your car’s battery, as a lot of these machines come with extension leads that can be connected to your car if the battery has become flat getting you to your destination in no time.

15 Best Budget Generators in 2020

1.Westinghouse iGen2200 Portable Generator

Westinghouse iGen2200 Portable Generator

Best Features: Lightweight. Fuel-Efficient.

The Westinghouse portable generator is an extremely quiet and fuel-efficient machine that has a 12 hour run time on a. 1.2 Gallon gas tank, and for maximum fuel efficiency, there is an Economy mode that is featured on the generator. The generator itself has 1800 rated watts and 2200 peak watts at less than 3% THD. It is a lightweight product only weighing 46 lbs. Completely Gas powered and features a lot of outputs such as 2 120V 20 amp power output and 2 ports for USB connectivity.

This amazing portable generator is the perfect choice for home use, in case of an emergency and you need a backup power to outsource. Generators like this are great as they are powerful enough to run all of your home essentials while still not being too much of an eye-sore when it comes to a large bulky shape.

Additionally, you can use the parallel cord that is available from Westinghouse and connect the iGen2200 with other Westinghouse portable generators such as the WH2200iXLT, the iGen1200, the igen2200, and the iGen2500 to boost the wattage and amperage that is available.


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2.Westinghouse WH2200iXLT Portable Inverter Generator

Westinghouse WH2200iXLT Portable Inverter Generator

Best Features: Long Life. Fuel-Efficient.

This Westinghouse generator has 1800 rated Watts that peak at 2200 peak Watt performing at less than 3% THD. The generator itself is light in weight only weighing 43 lbs in total. Powered completely by gas and has two 120V 20 Amp outlets that make it. a great choice for having at home in case there is an emergency and the power runs out, this machine is strong enough to power the home essentials you have in your house.

This portable generator is extremely quiet when being used and fuel-efficient running for 13 hours on 1.3 gallons of gas in the tank, it features an economy mode which is great for maximum fuel efficiency.

Another great touch to this generator is the parallel connectivity that is available. Simple purchase one of the parallel cables from Westinghouse and you can pair this generator with another WH2200iXLT to increase the available amperage and wattage. The inverter generator is also compatible with other products from Westinghouse such as the iGen1200, the iGen2200, and the iGen 2500


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3.Rainier R2200i Portable Generator

Rainier R2200i Portable Generator

Best Features: Quiet system. Economy mode. Over 12 hours Operation time.

The best R2200i portable generator from Rainier is an inverter machine with a 1.3-gallon fuel tank. Powered by gasoline and when full will run for up to 13 hours. The Rainer 79cc OHV 4 stroke engine has an economy mode feature that helps conserve energy while providing maximum fuel efficiency. The inverter generators system is extremely quiet with a low hum enjoyed at only 52 dba, while still maintaining that stable power source perfect for powering all of the sensitive products in your homes such as televisions, computers, tablets, and smartphones.

There is the added extra of a control panel on this machine which isn’t always found, it includes a fuel gauge with a low oil alarm, an output indicator, and an overload alarm when there are too many products connected to it. There are two 5-20R 120V 20 AMP power output perfect for household items, one 12V 15 AMP DC outlet, and one neutral flowing ground port which gives you lots of options on a generator of this compact size. Another great feature is the stop and resets buttons that are included.

Backed by a 3-year warranty making this one of the best products in its range at the moment giving you the security of product reliability for at least 3 years. Perfect for both home and recreational use such as camping or other outdoor activities, power outages or emergency backup power, and also RV air conditioning at 11,000 BTU. Transporting this amazing machine is easier than ever with a built-in handle equipped and the lightweight 44lbs it will be no struggle to take anywhere you need.


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4.Wen 56203i 2000-Watt Generator

Wen 56203i 2000-Watt Generator

Best Features: Good for sensitive products. Quiet. lightweight.

The body of the Wen generator 56203i is an ultralight design only weighing 39 pounds making it easy to transport and store away. Additionally, this generator operates at a super quiet level compared to the normal products found on the market.

This super powerful generator produces 2000 surge watts and 1700 rated watts providing clean power that will help protect sensitive electronics such as phones, laptops, televisions, computers, etc. There is a new system that has been designed in the technology of this generator that shuts off the fuel using up the remaining fuel left in the carburetor before shutting down, this helps preserve the lifespan of the machine.

There are lots of different options when it comes to connectivity with 2 three-prong 120V power outputs, 1 12v DC outlets, and two 5V USB ports giving you loads of different options regarding the connectivity. This kind of generator is perfect for taking away with you on camping trips or outdoor activities and the 2-year warranty gives you the added security that you want in a product like this.


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5.A-iPower SUA2000iV Generator

A-iPower SUA2000iV Generator

Best Features: Built-in Handle. Lightweight.

The A-iPower generator is one of the best portable generators it produces a starting wattage of 2000 watts with 1600 running watts of completely clean and safe power that is saves power for sensitive devices like televisions, laptops, phones or other smart electrical devices. This machine is super quiet running at only 58 decibels, great for a machine of this size.

Another great touch to this machine regarding the size is the weight of the machine, at 46 pounds it is great for transporting and string in different areas. This lightweight design makes it perfect for transporting around for different trips such as camping and outdoor activities. The built-in handle adds to this convenient portability.

For extended run times, this generator like a lot of products from this company includes A-iPower’s low idle technology. This is a gas-powered source that offers a great run time but sadly no economy mode is included.


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6.Westinghouse WH2200iXLT Generator With All-Weather Cover

Westinghouse WH2200iXLT Generator With All-Weather Cover

Best Features: Fuel-Efficient. Lightweight. Comes with a waterproof cover.

The WH2200iXLT generator from Westinghouse is a small, compact, lightweight, and quiet generator ideal for all scenarios with transport being made easy. The machine weighs 43 lbs and the built-in handle is convenient and sturdy.

When loaded to half load capacity the generator is at 59db which is perfect if you are using it camping, for outdoor activities, or just need that extra bit of power in the garden. Running at 1800 Watts and 2200 starting Watts the machine is safe for all sensitive devices such as phones, TVs, laptops, and tablets. Efficient on fuel, this amazing machine will run for 13 hours at a 25% load on 1.3 gallons, running all night long.

For added safety and security in your purchase this product comes with a 2-year warranty giving you peace of mind when purchasing, and. for extra power, there is a parallel connectivity setting with there generators from Westinghouse. Simply connect the 2 generators with the Westinghouse cord that is sold separately and have more inputs for your devices to power from. Comes with a waterproof cover perfect for those rainy days.


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7.ETQ NI2000i Tough Quality Best Portable Generator

ETQ NI2000i Tough Quality Best Portable Generator

Best Features: Variety of power outputs. Portable.

At only 52 dB’s the NI2000i ETQ generator isn’t only one of the greatest portable generators it is one of the quietest, perfect for those camping trips away when power is something of a luxury. This portable machine has a 79.7 cc, 4 stroke engine which produces a starting watt surge of 2000 and has a rated wattage of 1600.

There are lots of different power outputs such as the 2 120V receptacles, the 12V DC outlet, and the one 5V USB port giving loads of different options to power up your electrical items. With a 6 hour running time, this generator is perfect for powering up your items such as tv’s radios, lights, cell phones, laptops, and much more.

The engine speed changes automatically with the advanced durable and powerful inverter technology. This machine is compact and light in weight making it perfect for taking away with you for easy transportation. To make this even easier there is a built-in handle to the body of the machine.


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8.WEN GN400i Portable Generator

WEN GN400i Portable Generator

Best Features: Powerful. frame structure provides easy transport.

This WEN generator is bigger than most in our list but has much more power, it starts with a 4000 surge watt, with 3500 rated wattage, providing clean and safe power that is great for sensitive electronics such as phones, tablets, laptops, TVs, and any smart devices you have.

A good size with dimensions of 19.8 inches in length, 13.8 inches in width and 18.9 inches in height, and a total weight of 66.1 lbs so is one of the heavier generators in our list but that is standard with the larger dimensional sizes.

A 212cc 4 stroke engine. that can also be connected parallel to another generator for more power and outlet sources. There are lots of choices for different kinds of connectivity in this machine including two 120V NEMA 5-20R receptacles, two 5V USB ports, one 120V RV-ready TT-30R receptacle.


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9.Champion 1200-watt Portable Generator

Champion 1200-watt Portable Generator

Best Features: 10 Hour run time. Voltmeter monitor.

This Champion generator design is made for safety, it includes a low-oil shut-off sensor that is great for maintaining the run life of your machine as well. it has a 0.6-quart oil capacity at 60 Hertz frequency and is recommended at 10W-30.

Generators like this are completely dependable starting watts at 1500 and a running wattage of 1200, with a long run time of 10 hours you will not be out of power any time soon. This machine is one of the bigger models in our list, so with this size comes more noise, at 65 dBA from 23 feet away.

With multiple purpose outlets available there are lots of options for connectivity including a 120V 20A household outlet that provides the perfect amount of power making it the perfect for RV-use, tailgating, camping, outdoor activities, boating, weekend trips and even small jobs around the house.

There is no automatic voltage regulation but a voltmeter allows you to easily monitor the power outputs at a quick glance. Feel protected in your purchase with a 3-year warranty that comes with each purchase and free lifetime technical support from a group of dedicated experts.



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10.Green-Power GPD4000 4000W Generator

Green-Power GPD4000 4000W Generator

Best Features: Multiple outlets. Long-running time.

The green power America GPD4000W consumer select series recoil start generator is perfect for home, recreational, and emergency use, so camping, outdoor activities, garden parties, and even power shortages can be dealt with no problems.

The GPD4000 offers a starting wattage of 4000 and has 3000 running wattage including a 4-gallon gasoline tank with runs for up to 8 and a half hours at 50 load percentage. It has a manual recoil starting mechanism on the 208cc/ 7Hp OHV engine.

There are lots of different connectivity power outputs giving you loads of different options for your devices, it includes two 120-volt AC outlets, one 12-Volt/ 8.3A DC outlet, and 120-volt twist-lock AC outlets which is great for lots of different devices on the go, such as lamps, tv’s, and smart products.

Green-Power America GPD4000W Consumer Select Series Recoil Start Generator – 4,000-Watt is designed for home, emergency, and recreational use. It offers 4,000-Starting Watts and 3,000-Running Watts. It includes a 4-Gallon gasoline tank.


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11.Pulsar 1200W Gas-Powered Generators

Pulsar 1200W Gas-Powered Generators

Best Features: Compact size. Carrying Handle.

Best Pulsar generator such as the 1200 Peak Watt generator is fantastic with a 900 running Watts of power. This little machine has a 2 stroke, single-cylinder engine with a recoil start. It has a compact design and is durable making it the perfect tool for camping and other outdoor activities.

At half load, this compact device will give you 5 hours of continuous running time from the 1.1-gallon fuel tank that it has. The compact design is perfect for transporting around and is made even easier with the handle that is included in the design.

There are 3 different outlets for connectivity featuring two 120V outlets and one 12V DC output which is perfect for power tools, devices, and stuff for your camping trips or outdoor activities, and for added security, in your purchase, this machine comes with a 1-year limited warranty.


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12.A-iPower SUA4500 Gas-Powered Portable Generator

A-iPower SUA4500 Gas-Powered Portable Generator

Best Features: Wheels. Simultaneous running with motor-powered equipment. Digital Hour Monitor.

This A-ipower generator has produced portable generators for all kinds of people with all kinds of uses, the SUA4500 gas-powered machine has a starting watt of 4500 with running watts of 3500 powered by a 208cc/ 7Hp OHV, single-cylinder, 4-stroke engine that has air-cooling technology to stop it from overheating with a manual pull start cord.

This machine is strong and durable including a large, heavy-duty steel construction with a 4-gallon fuel tank that provides 11 hours of run time when it is at 50% capacity. The grey and red design work really well, and this generator comes with a wheel kit that is perfect for maneuvering as it is a heavier product.

A great feature is a high-performance alternator that provides a greater peak wattage that allows both motor-driven appliances, and tools to operate at the same time. There is also a digital hour meter included which is great for monitoring runtimes and the scheduling of maintenance intervals.


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13.Briggs And Stratton Smart Series Generator

Briggs And Stratton Smart Series Generator

Best Features: Small and compact. Built-in Handle.

The Briggs And Stratton smart series generator is quiet and efficient on fuel with a 111 cc OHV engine that produces 2200 starting watts, and running watts of 1700. Stay connected with the USB ports that allow for easy charging of any of your portable electronics which is not normally seen on these recoil starting type machines.

The machine itself produces less than 3% harmonic distortion which makes it perfect for electrical equipment that is more sensitive such as laptops, TVs, computers, and gaming systems. Parallel connectivity is another great feature allowing more power and more connectivity outputs when the 2 generators are paired together.

At a 25% load, the generator itself will run for 6.5 hours when the 1-gallon fuel tank is filled. This portable power machine is also quiet only generating 59 decibels of noise when operating at a quarter load, 7 meters from the control panel. The design is small and compact great for any transportation that is needed or storage. This generator is perfect for camping, outdoor activities, garden parties, or even in an emergency where external power is needed.


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14.Rainier R4400 Electric Start Portable Generator

Rainier R4400 Electric Start Portable Generator

Best Features: Long run life. Low decibels.

The Rainier R4400 portable generators have a 4400 peak wattage with 3600 running watts. The tank is a 4-gallon gasoline tank including a fuel gauge and automatic shutdown technology when the oil levels are low for longer-lasting. On a 25% load, this machine has an 18 hour running time which is perfect for campers, and site workers combined.

With an electric start, it is easier than ever to begin to run, simply press the one-touch power switch, that also has an emergency back-up recoil start.

The generator itself features lots of different types of outputs for connectivity including two 5-20R 120V 20 AMP Outlets perfect for use at home, 1 L5-30R 120V 30 AMP Outlet, and 1 TT-30R 120V 30 AMP Outlet. There are 2 grounding ports for added safety, and also a display that shows volts, frequency and lifetime hours.

The 4 stroke engine is a 212cc EPA and CARB complement design with operational volumes as low as 65 dB which is great for a machine of this size. A great touch to this design is the folding handle and wheels, this makes for easy maneuverability. For added purchase safety this product comes with a 3-year warranty.


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15.DuroMax XP4400E Gas Generator

DuroMax XP4400E Gas Generator

Best Features: Powerful. Full kit included. Wheels.

The duromax dual fuel generator comes with everything you will need to have portable power as the kit includes an oil runner, toolset, a spark plug wrench, DC charging cables, a wheel and handle set, and the generator itself. These generators have a running wattage of 3500 and a starting watt of 4400 with the ability to power up heavy loads such as lights, refrigerators, home airconditioning, and even high amperage power tools.

This generator is more suitable for site work rather than everyday use or taking on camping trips, due to the size and noise volume of 69 dB. The machine weighs 127lbs and has a dimension of 24 x 17 x 17 inches.

The 7 horsepower engine has a 120/ 240V 30A twist lock outlet and also two 120V 20A household outputs and a 3.9-gallon tank.


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Best Budget Generator

From our list, we believe that the ETQ-2000 is the best affordable generator you can buy in today’s market so you want to make sure that this is the device for you.. With an operational sound of only 52db, it is extremely quiet when running which makes it perfect for taking on day trips to the beach, going camping, or any outdoor days with the family. Connect a cooler to it and keep your drinks and food at cold temperatures.

It has a 79.7 cc, 4-stroke engine that produces a surge watt of 2000, and rated watts of 1600, with lots of different choices when it comes to connectivity such as 120V receptacles, 12V DC outlets, and USB ports there are lots of options to choose from. At half load, it can run for up to. hours, and at 25% this machine can run for nearly 12 hours making it perfect for running items such as lights, radios, small appliances, laptops, tablets, cell phones, and so much more.

The lightweight and compact design make it easy to transport, and there is also a built-in carrying handle developed into the design making it a convenient machine too.

Cheapest Portable Generator Available

What is the top portable generators at a low cost ? The cheapest product on our list is the Pulsar gas-powered portable PG1202S. It is an amazing little machine that features a 1.1-gallon fuel tank that gives 5 hours of continuous operating time when it is half loaded. The 2-stroke engine is strong and durable running at 900 Watts with a peak wattage of 1200.

There are multiple outlets for connectivity giving you loads of choice for the devices that you own, and all of this comes in a compact design that is perfect for camping trips and outdoor activities. The entire machine weighs only 35lbs making it light and portable, there is also a lead that comes with the purchase that works with your car battery, so if you ever find yourself in trouble with a flat car battery you will have no worries at this little machine will have your car running in no time.


What is the best generator for the money?

For the money, the best generators will provide you with lots of different options when it comes to connectivity and safety. There are a lot of machines that offer a circuit breaker type of functionality.

In this circuit breaker, the machine will completely cut off when it is achieving low oil levels. Due to this, your product will have a longer life span which is desired by anyone who purchasing anything.

The running time of the machine when in operation is also something that the best devices are going to have, sometimes the longer operational time is only when the machine is loaded 50% so this is something that should be looked at before you decide to purchase.

What is the best portable generator for home use?

The best portable inexpensive generators for use in the home should be smaller in size making them easy to transport around. the garden or house, and also making them easy to store away for when they are needed again.

These personal generators do not need as much operational time as things such as garden parties won’t be lasting the 13 hours that some products can run for. USB connectivity is a great option to have as a lot of devices in the home can be run from this kind of connectivity lead, but having different options available is always a bonus.

In case you are using your generator in the case of an emergency then you want something that is also going to be accessible to more sensitive products such as mobile phones, TVs, laptops, and any other smart devices as there are some generators that will be too powerful and could potentially damage your items when they are connected.

What size generator do I need?

When it comes to the size of the generator (more info here) that is going to be the best choice for you then its dependant on the kinds of usage you are going to need it for. Smaller more compact units can provide lots of power and made it easy to store at your home, and transport with you on outings if you are going camping, or just going outdoors for the day.

Larger machines will be more durable and long-lasting, and most of the time provide a bigger fuel tank which helps them run for longer, even up to 12 hours at a time. These larger machines are perfect for site workers who will need something that is going to be able to put into a van and transported around different jobs.

Do you need an affordable generator and struggling to find one?

If you are struggling to find any kind of generator there are different ways in which you can find them. A lot of hardware stores will sell these but may have limited products available so could be something that isn’t the best for your needs.

We recommend searching online, websites such as Amazon are great for finding the best portable generators for you. They provide product reviews, images, comparisons, and personal accounts of people who have purchased the product, giving a completely honest account of what they have experienced in purchasing the generator that you are looking at.

What are Portable Generators Exactly?

These portable tools ones are external power tools that usually run from gasoline. Generators have lots of different outlet sources providing different options for the kind of connectivity you need, and there is no need to worry about your smart devices or TVs as even with the generators safe power is generated keeping your devices safe. These affordable options also have low decibel noise creation which makes them perfect for camping, and other social outdoor activities.

Typical Cost of budget Portable Generators

Low cost Portable inverter generators come in lots of different shapes and sizes, and that means the price range can vary across the entire spectrum that is available. If you are looking for a machine that is going to be needed for a long time, with a running time of over 10 hours, these can be found in compact sizes, or more industrial sizes if it is tools and equipment you are using this external energy source for. Anything from $400 to over $1000 is the typical pricing you are going to find for these kinds of equipment.

Considerations Choosing good but cheap Portable Generators

Operation Running Time

Some of these generators have different running lengths, sometimes defendant on the size of the fuel tank and sometimes on the load that s connected to them. If you are wanting a machine that will last over 10 hours, some products will do this on full power, but some will only run for this long at half load or 50 load, so it is important to see which inverter generator is going to provide the kind of running time you are wanting so you are not disappointed.

Connectivity Outlets

When it comes to connectivity of a device everyone has different needs. Most generators will have different options that you can choose from so you could potentially have multiple devices running from the machine at a single given moment. USB connections have also been seen to be featured which is great as they can provide lots of different devices the charge that they need.


When it comes to resources you are generally going to find that if you spend more on the portable generators then you are going to receive more in terms of how it can operate and what items can be connected to it. Higher-end spec machines are going to be able to provide safe energy to things such as power tools which are great for site workers, these machines also seem more durable in how they have been constructed, so sometimes the price is dependant on what job you are wanting the generator to produce.


The noise that generators produce could be a big factor when it comes to you choosing which portable generator you are going to purchase. If you are looking for more social events such as outdoor activities, garden parties, or even camping then something that is going to generate a small amount of noise is going to be the perfect product for you. If you are working on a building site or something related to work then the noise that is produced won’t be much of an issue as noise will be coming from many different areas such as the tools and vehicles that are being operated.

About This Expert

Rose Annemarie
Full-time writer. Blogger. Dedicated wife. Mother of 3 amazing kids. I love learning about everything from the latest tech gadgets, innovative new home designs and can be found regularly reading up on parenting tips. There is always room to grow!