It is often difficult to get an uninterrupted power supply at your home or working place at all times. Generators are beneficial in supplying power in these situations of a power outage.
Portable generators have an added advantage of high mobility. Therefore, they can be used at different locations at different times, allowing you to buy single equipment for multiple locations.
However, buying an excellent portable generator is not a simple task. With so many sellers offering multiple portable generators models, it is often challenging to select the best one for your purpose.
Therefore, considering your difficulty, we have conducted a study on several portable generators available in the market.
Based on their features, pros, and cons, we have shortlisted the top 6 smallest portable generators that we are sharing here, along with some necessary information about these generators.
Top 6 smallest portable generators
1. Westinghouse iGen1200 Quiet Portable Generator
Westinghouse iGen1200 is a compact size portable Genset that is perfect for most of your electrically operated home appliances.
It has a surge capacity of 1200 watts and the running capacity of 1000 watts. The unit is pretty lightweight at 35 lbs. Besides, it is a quiet machine producing as low as 52 dB of noise.
Operable through gas, the equipment can run for up to 10 hrs with a tank capacity of 0.8 Gallons. Besides, you can operate the Genset in efficiency mode to get the maximum efficiency from the equipment.
It has two numbers of 120 V outlets. Moreover, the unit is parallel-ready and can be connected with different models of Westinghouse generators. This way, you can increase the capacity of the overall system quite significantly.
The equipment is eco-friendly and is approved by the EPA. Furthering its commitment to the environment, it is compliant with CARB and USFS requirements.
The company also offers a three years warranty for the product.
- Highly portable
- Low noise level
- High fuel efficiency
- EPA, CARB, and USFS compliant
- High on cost
If you are looking for a lightweight, compact size, highly portable Genset, which is quiet, fuel-efficient, and parallel-ready, you need not go any further to search for the best generator for your multiple locations.
2. Honda EU1000i Inverter Generator
When it comes to reliability and trust, nothing can touch the level of Honda. It is a renowned name that keeps customer satisfaction as the topmost priority. The same is the case with the Honda EU1000i.
It is a lightweight and portable generator that offers smooth and quiet operation with the sound level kept below 59 dB even at the highest loads.
Weighing just above 29 lbs, this feathery and compact generator allows you to carry it around in your remote and exhaustive trips quite easily.
Besides, the unit runs with an efficient eco-throttle system to automatically alter the generator’s fuel consumption rate. This boosts up the fuel efficiency of this compact Genset to a surprising extent. The unit can run smoothly up to 8.3 hours on a single tank.
This magnificent generator also features a highly functional Low oil shut-off feature that automatically shuts off the engine after the detection of low oil pressure.
- Quiet operation
- Lightweight and Portable
- Eco-throttle system
- Protection against low oil pressure
- Slightly expensive
- Lacks some features
If you are looking for a smoothly running generator that offers you impressive quality in a compact size, the lightweight and quiet Honda EU1000i will be a perfectly suitable choice for you.
3. Champion Power Equipment 46539 Generator
Champion Power Equipment 46539 is a highly reliable Genset having 3500 watts as the running capacity. Besides, it has 4000 watts as the peak output capacity.
With a full fuel tank, the unit can supply power for up to 12 continuous hours. Moreover, while providing power, it runs at a noise level of 68 dB from a distance of 23 feet.
The unit is equipped with a powerful Champion engine. The 196 cc engine has a battery start feature comprising a 3-way ignition switch. Besides, it uses Cold Start Technology to start Genset during very low-temperature conditions.
The remote control offers excellent convenience and can control the Start and Stop function from up to 80 feet. It has one number of 120 V/ 30A locking and 30 A RV outlets each and two numbers of 20 A outlets. Moreover, to provide safety to the equipment from overload, the unit is fitted with an in-built surge protection system.
The company offers a 3-year warranty to the generator and lifetime customer support through a team of dedicated professionals.
- High portability
- Highly powerful
- Sturdy and durable
- Remote control operated
- RV equipped
- Not particularly a quiet Genset
The feature-filled Champion Power Equipment 46539 generator is a very powerful small portable Genset with very high output capacities. If you have multiple high load appliances to run in your home or other locations, this power supply equipment offers highly reliable services for a longer duration.
4. Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 160
A perfect Genset for camping, this highly portable generator is loaded with a 167 watt-hour Li-ion battery pack. Therefore, it does not need any fuel or gas, thus making it a fumeless power generator. Also, its quiet operation further makes it a good option for camping purposes.
The unit is eco-friendly and comes optionally with the solar recharging facility. Moreover, the equipment can charge all battery-powered electronic devices, including cell phones, laptops, flashlights, etc.
On the connection panel, it comprises 1 number 110VAC outlet and a 12VDC port. Besides, it also has 1 number USB-C port and 2 USB-A ports.
The Genset weighs a featherweight 3.84 lb with the compact size dimensions of 7.4” X4.5” X6.7,” making it a highly portable unit. The user-friendly design further adds to the Genset convenience.
The LED flashlight ensures safe handling during the night time in the outdoors. The LCD screen is programmed to display the remaining battery power and the battery charging and discharging status.
- Extremely portable with super lightweight & compact size
- Low noise level
- Multiple outlet options
- Solar power chargeable
- Quick charging
- Suitable only for devices up to 100 watts
Convenient with multiple outlets set for outdoor camping, this generator is perfect for devices up to 100 Watts.
5. Yamaha EF1000iS Gas Powered Portable Generator
Yamaha is known for its efficient and powerful engines. EF1000iS is no exception. With the peak output of 1000 Watts and the running capacity of 900 Watts, this unit of Yamaha is highly portable and easy to handle multiple electrical appliances.
The acoustic enclosure ensures that no noise spread beyond the Genset, thereby keeping the surroundings practically noise-free.
It can run for around 12 hours at a stretch at a maximum load supported by the intelligent throttle load sensing control system. The unit is eco-friendly and is awarded a CARB compliance certificate.
At 28 lb, the equipment is highly portable and highly recommendable for boating and campaigning activities.
- Powerful Yamaha engine
- Lightweight & Portable
- Compact & sleek
- Very long run time
- CARB compliant
- In the higher price bracket
If you can compromise with the Genset cost trading it off with the quality & performance, there is no better choice than Yamaha EF1000iS.
6. WEN 56125i Super Quiet 1250-Watt Portable Generator
WEN 56125i has a running output of 1000 watts while supplying a peak load requirement of 1250 watts. It can also provide 5 hours of continuous power supply at half the operating load supported entirely by the 0.7-Gallon tank.
The super-quiet unit operates at a low noise level of 51 dB at one-fourth of the load from around 22 feet. The Genset is lightweight, compact, and highly portable, thus suitable for outside camping and hunting activities.
Moreover, it comprises two numbers of 120 VAC outlets and two numbers of 5V USB ports on the connection front.
WEN 56125i is also a highly fuel-efficient Genset- thanks to the Eco-mode throttle feature. The unit, moreover, is parallel-ready with other WEN models.
- High portability
- Low noise-producing
- Fuel efficient
- A bit on the heavier side
A high fuel-efficiency Genset, perfect for outside camping and other activities requiring a quiet environment.
Small Portable Generator Buying Guide
So, these were the six smallest portable generators available in the market. You can select any one of these Gensets that best suits your specific requirements.
However, we would recommend you to consider some of the critical factors in addition to its portability before buying a small portable Genset.
Your selection would depend on the frequency of using the generator. If you require using the generator almost every day, you must select a good brand offering a high-performance level and fuel efficiency.
You may even pay a higher initial cost. It will get compensated over time by the lower operating price of the generator.
If the requirement is only occasional, go for any renowned model that gives you a fairly reliable performance.
This is one of the most important factors to be considered while buying a generator. The output of a generator is defined as the output power that it generates in watts. The generator manufacturers provide two different ratings. One is the peak or surge output, and the other is the running output.
While the running output signifies the actual power rating during the regular running of the unit, the peak rating takes care of the surge conditions.
To evaluate the power rating required for your purpose, you have to add up the power ratings of all the equipment you want to run through the generator.
Ensure that the generator complies with all the standard safety norms and has approval from the recognized certifying audit agencies.
Fuel Tank Capacity
A bigger fuel tank would mean a longer duration of the non-interrupted operation. So, it is simple. You have to select the generator with a tank capacity as per your running requirements to avoid frequent refilling.
However, the bigger tank’s flip side is that the generator would be more massive with a full tank.
Usually, small generators produce less noise. Therefore, it is comparatively easier to find a quiet generator in the small Genset category.
After considering the significant factors, you can choose among the various convenience features like Remote control, Injection type, Auto restart, Auto shut-off, and Level indicator, etc. as per your need.
What are the benefits of a Small Portable Generator?
Portable generators have some distinct benefits over other types of generators. Some of these benefits are presented here:
Easy to Move
The small size and lightweight makes it easy to carry and install at different locations. You can take them outdoors as well for any adventure trip like camping or hunting.
Simple to Use
These generators are highly user-friendly. You do not need to be tech-savvy to operate these machines.
Highly useful in Emergency
There are times when you cannot afford a power cut. It may be a critical task to finish, or there may be a medical condition or any such emergency.
Portable generators are pretty handy in providing power in quick time without any difficulty.
Cost Saving Opportunity
If you require power supply at different locations at different times, you can use the same generator in all areas. This way, you save on your investment cost.
The fuel economy of a generator depends on multiple factors, including Genset’s size, its operating load, and the operating mode.
Bigger Gensets have better fuel efficiency. The portable generator has a small size and has a lower fuel economy.
However, some manufacturers use advanced technology to offer you higher efficiency even in the small portable category.
For instance, Honda Gensets use the Eco-throttle feature. This feature allows the engine to adjust fuel supply as per the load requirement, thus restricting fuel consumption during lower load conditions.
Moreover, the mechanically powered Gensets have lower efficiency as compared to their electronic powered counterparts.
The noise level in a portable generator ranges from 47 dB to 78 dB depending on the Genset’s capacity.
A 1,000-watt generator would be on the lower noise level range, while a 10,000-watt appliance would be on the higher end of the noise level.
However, there are ways to reduce the effect of the noise level. For instance, Yamaha EF1000iS uses acoustic enclosures to reduce the impact of noise.
At your end also you can control its impact by keeping the generator in an enclosed area or an area away from your place of operation.
Different generators use different types of energy sources. It may be gasoline, diesel, or propane.
While diesel offers more efficiency, gasoline has the advantage of easy availability. The propane, on the other hand, provides cleaner burning.
On the flip side, gasoline has a short shelf life and is highly flammable, while diesel availability may be a concern in some areas. Propane has the disadvantage of having a higher initial cost and has a more complex fuel system than others.
Some manufacturers like Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 160 use a battery as the energy source. Battery operated Gensets have restricted power capacity. However, they offer a fumeless operation.
This is one of the significant features that you would want to have in a portable generator. A small portable generator is easy to move from one location to another and can also be installed in a small space.
The size of the generator is also affected by its capacity. The higher the capacity, the bigger is the size of the Genset.
So, before determining the generator’s power rating, you must include only the essential appliance to connect through it. This will allow you to choose a smaller generator that would offer you higher portability.
In the article, you have gone through the top 6 smallest portable generators available in the market. You also came to know the factors to be considered while buying the smaller Genset.
We hope that with this information, you would make an informed decision while purchasing the best small size portable generator for your needs.
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