Best Portable Generator: Options For Your Business


best portable generator

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Losing power at your business or home office can cause all types of problems. With a growing reliance on technology, having an uninterrupted power supply can mean the difference between a successful day or lost time. Perhaps this is why the portable generator has become such a popular item. This article will help you find the best portable generator for your needs.

What Is A Portable Generator?

A portable generator is a mobile power station that uses a gas-powered engine to generate electricity. Its engine speed fuels an alternator, which produces the necessary electrical power. These generators come in various sizes and power output capacities, with the best portable generators offering impressive wattage and fuel efficiency.

For small businesses, the portable generator’s greatest asset lies in its versatility. A portable generator can handle everything from light-duty tasks like charging laptops and running lights to heavier ones like powering electric water heaters and power tools.

Portable generators have also proven to be an invaluable asset in emergencies. Unexpected power outages can be a crippling setback for any business. A portable generator ensures that operations can continue with minimal disruption. Also, it can serve as a backup power supply for home-based businesses or remote working situations, ensuring uninterrupted power supply during times of electrical grid failure.

Types of Portable Generators:

  • Conventional Generators: These are an ideal choice for tasks requiring substantial power. Their larger fuel tanks ensure longer operation times, making them suitable for power-demanding applications such as construction site operations.
  • Inverter Generators: These provide cleaner, steady electricity, preventing damage to sensitive devices like laptops or smartphones. They’re perfect for remote workers who need a reliable power source to prevent data loss or disruption to their workflow.
  • Solar Generators: With no emissions and minimal operating costs, solar generators are the most environmentally friendly option. They’re perfect for businesses operating in sunny locations and those committed to sustainable practices.

Understanding your specific power requirements and the environment in which you work will help you choose the best portable generator for your business needs. Whether it’s a food truck needing to power kitchen appliances, a construction site operating heavy machinery, or a remote worker wanting uninterrupted power, the right portable generator can make all the difference.

The Best Portable Generators: Our Picks and Methodology

Choosing the right portable generator for a business is a crucial decision, especially for operations that require reliable backup power or need electricity in remote locations. Here’s a guide to the key factors to consider when selecting a portable generator:

  1. Power Output and Capacity:
    • Scale of Importance: 9/10
    • Determine the wattage requirements for your business needs. Ensure the generator can handle the total load of all the equipment you plan to use simultaneously.
  2. Fuel Type and Efficiency:
    • Scale of Importance: 8/10
    • Generators typically run on gasoline, diesel, propane, or are dual-fuel. Consider fuel availability, cost, and storage safety. Fuel efficiency affects operational costs and runtime.
  3. Portability and Size:
    • Scale of Importance: 8/10
    • Consider the generator’s size and weight, especially if it needs to be moved frequently. Features like wheels and handles are important for ease of movement.
  4. Noise Level:
    • Scale of Importance: 7/10
    • Noise can be a significant factor, especially in customer-facing environments or residential areas. Quieter models are preferable in these settings.
  5. Durability and Build Quality:
    • Scale of Importance: 8/10
    • A robust construction is crucial for longevity, particularly for generators used in rugged or outdoor environments.
  6. Ease of Use and Maintenance:
    • Scale of Importance: 7/10
    • User-friendly controls and easy maintenance procedures ensure hassle-free operation and upkeep.
  7. Safety Features:
    • Scale of Importance: 9/10
    • Features like automatic shut-off for low oil levels, overload protection, and grounded outlets are essential for safe operation.
  8. Runtime and Fuel Tank Capacity:
    • Scale of Importance: 8/10
    • The runtime on a full tank is important for uninterrupted operation, especially during long power outages or in remote locations.
  9. Cost and Budget:
    • Scale of Importance: 7/10
    • Balance the initial cost with the generator’s features, durability, and operational costs. Investing in a quality generator can be more cost-effective in the long term.
  10. Warranty and Manufacturer Support:
    • Scale of Importance: 6/10
    • A good warranty and accessible customer support can be invaluable for addressing operational issues or maintenance needs.

These criteria are key in choosing a portable generator that meets the specific requirements of a business, ensuring reliable power supply, operational efficiency, and safety. Here are our picks:

 

Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro Portable Solar Generator

 

Key Features:

  • 3024Wh capacity and 3000W power output for extensive use.
  • Quick charging – 2.4H via wall outlet or 3-4 hours via solar panels.
  • Upgraded BMS provides 12 forms of protection for safety.
  • Real-time monitoring and setting customization via the Jackery app.
  • Compact and ergonomic design with an aluminum alloy pull rod and non-slip silicone strip.
  • Compatible with SolarSagas
  • 5-year warranty
  • Comes with 1 AC charge cable, 1 Car charge cable, and 2 DC7909 to DC8020 Adaptors.

Jackery Explorer 3000 Pro Portable Solar Generator

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Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment Portable Generator

best portable generator

 

Key Features:

  •  7500 running watts and 9500 peak watts with the ability to run up to 11 hours on a 6.6-gallon fuel tank.
  • Remote start with included key fob, electric and recoil start
  • Features two GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) 5-20R 120V household duplex receptacles and one L14-30R 120/240V twist-lock receptacle
  • The plug-and-play design comes with a remote start key fob, 12V battery charger, oil, an oil funnel, a tool kit, and a user’s manual
  • 420cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV engine featuring a long-lasting cast iron sleeve, automatic low oil shutdown, and digital hour meter.
  • Other features include a digital display, portability, electric start, flat-free tire, overload protection, automatic voltage regulation, low oil shutdown, muffler, hour meter, and fuel gauge.
  • Comes functionally tested from the factory, and may contain minimal residual oil and/or fuel odor.
  • EPA and CARB compliant; backed by a 3-year limited service, labor, and parts coverage with a nationwide customer service network.

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment Portable Generator

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Champion Power Equipment 2500-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

best portable generator

Key Features:

  • Dual fuel capability: can run on either gasoline or propane.
  • Lightweight design: weighs only 39 pounds, making it one of the lightest 2500-watt inverters available.
  • Quiet operation: produces only 53 dBA of noise from 23 feet away.
  • High runtime: up to 11.5 hours on gasoline and 34 hours on propane.
  • Parallel ready: can connect with another 2500-watt Champion inverter to double the power output.
  • Clean power: suitable for charging sensitive electronics, producing less than 3% THD.
  • Multiple outlets: includes two 120V 20A outlets, one 12V outlet, and a dual port USB adapter.
  • Champion support: comes with a 3-year limited warranty and free lifetime technical support.

Champion Power Equipment 2500-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

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DuroMax Portable Dual Fuel Generator

best portable generator

Key Features:

  • 13000-watt dual fuel capability offers flexible power options.
  • Digital control center for easy operation and monitoring.
  • CO Alert Technology for enhanced safety.
  • 500cc OHV DuroMax engine ensures reliable power supply.
  • All copper windings for extended generator life.
  • Variety of outlets cater to different power needs.
  • Durable construction with a weight of 240 pounds.

DuroMax Portable Dual Fuel Generator

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Generac 3300 Watt Portable Inverter Generator

best portable generator

Key Features:

  • Offers 3300 watts through PowerRush Advanced Technology for enhanced starting capacity.
  • Quiet Inverter Technology ensures optimum performance with minimized noise.
  • True Power Technology provides clean, stable power suitable for sensitive electronics.
  • Lightweight and compact design with a built-in handle enhances portability.
  • PowerDial simplifies control by integrating choke, run, and off settings into one dial.
  • Includes engine oil, oil funnel, tool kit, and owner’s manual.
  • Unit weighs 59.5 pounds and runs on gasoline for fuel.
  • Special features include low oil shutdown, automatic voltage regulation, and a fuel gauge.
  • Complies with CARB regulations.

Generac 3300 Watt Portable Inverter Generator

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A-iPower 2000 Watt Portable Inverter Generator

best portable generator

Key Features:

  • 2000 starting watts and 1600 running watts provide clean, safe power for electronics.
  • A-iPower “Low Idle” technology allows for an extended run time of 4 hours at full load and 7 hours at 50% load.
  • Low oil alert light and automatic shutdown feature ensure generator longevity.
  • The efficient 80cc OHV 4-stroke engine provides a robust power supply.
  • Super quiet operation at only 52 decibels.
  • Lightweight and compact design at 50 pounds enhances portability.
  • Special features include overload protection and automatic idle control.
  • EPA compliant.
  • Operates on gasoline.

A-iPower 2000 Watt Portable Inverter Generator

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Craftsman 2,500-Watt Gas Portable Generator

best portable generator

Key Features:

  • Built-in handle provides convenient mobility.
  • The Start/Stop/Choke dial ensures quick and effortless starting.
  • Advanced inverter technology delivers clean and stable power.
  • Quiet operation ensured by the fully enclosed case design.
  • Option for parallel connection to increase power output.
  • Lightweight and compact design weighing 55.1 pounds.
  • Operates on gasoline.
  • Special feature includes portability.
  • Generator comes in a “Powered by Generac” color.
  • Suitable for powering sensitive electronics and tools.

Craftsman 2,500-Watt Gas Portable Generator

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WEN Super Quiet 2350-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

best portable generator

Key Features:

  • Surge power of 2350 watts and rated power of 1900 watts.
  • Lightweight body (39 pounds) for easy transport and storage.
  • Super quiet operation, comparable to the sound of a normal conversation.
  • Fuel shutoff feature to maximize the generator’s lifespan.
  • Includes two three-prong 120V receptacles, one 12V DC receptacle, and two 5V USB ports.
  • Two-year warranty.
  • CARB compliant and ultra-lightweight.
  • Ideal for charging sensitive electronics.

WEN Super Quiet 2350-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

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Honda Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

best portable generator

Key Features:

  • Co-Minder system continuously monitors CO levels and automatically shuts down the generator if levels become dangerously high.
  • Operates a wide variety of appliances, making it perfect for multiple applications.
  • Powered by the Honda GXR120 Commercial Series engine for quiet, smooth, and fuel-efficient performance.
  • Comes with Honda’s exclusive My Generator smartphone app for remote generator operation and monitoring via Bluetooth.
  • The engine size of 121cc ensures consistent power output for all your needs.

Honda Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

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EF ECOFLOW Solar Generator DELTA 2 with Portable Solar Panels

Key Features:

  • Offers expandable capacity from 1-3kWh. With its 1kWh standalone power station, you can add more batteries to reach a maximum of 3kWh.
  • Provides 7 times faster charging, going from 0-80% in 50 minutes. Perfect for when you need a quick charge from your wall outlet.
  • Includes a solar input of 500W and two 220W bifacial panels. Charge the DELTA 2 in as fast as 3 hours.
  • The 220W Bifacial Portable Solar Panel captures up to 25% more solar energy, charging your power station faster.
  • Powers more than 90% of appliances with an AC output of 1800W, and can connect up to 15 devices simultaneously without overloading.
  • Integrates X-Boost technology, enabling it to run high-wattage appliances with an output of up to 2200W.
  • The 220W Solar Panels are crafted from a single piece of tempered glass.
  • IP68 waterproof rating and can withstand heat up to 300°F

EF ECOFLOW Solar Generator DELTA 2 with Portable Solar Panels

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Anker SOLIX Portable Solar Generator

Key Features:

  • Features Anker’s proprietary InfiniPower technology combined with LiFePO4 batteries, delivering up to a 10-year lifespan with regular use.
  • Houses ultra-durable electronic components, a smart temperature control system, and an impact-resistant design for reliability and longevity.
  • Offers an above-industry-standard 5-year full-device warranty for a worry-free experience.
  • Includes industry-leading HyperFlash technology for rapid recharging, reaching 80% in just 1 hour or 3.6 hours using solar power.
  • Ultra-powerful capacity of 1229Wh and 1500W wattage to power a variety of essential devices and appliances like electric grills, coffee makers, refrigerators, and more.

Anker SOLIX Portable Solar Generator

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ALLWEI Portable Generator

Key Features:

  • Compact design (14.9×10.2×8.6 inches, 24.8 LBS) allows easy transportation and storage.
  • Features 13 output ports, including 4 pure sine wave AC outlets (surge 2400W), USB-C PD60W fast charge, USB-QC3.0 ports, USB-A 5V 2.4A, and DC outlets for a wide range of device compatibility.
  • Four recharging options: ALLWEI 200W solar panel, wall outlet, car socket, or generator for versatile recharging convenience.
  • Six layers of protection, including short-circuit, over-current, over-voltage, low-voltage, over-load, and over-heating, ensure safe usage.
  • The power station can charge 90% of home devices and outdoor appliances, making it ideal for various power needs.
  • Suitable for hand tools, garden tools, household appliances, outdoor travel equipment, and emergency power supply.
  • Little noise production ensures quiet operation, providing a calm environment during use.

ALLWEI Portable Generator

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BLUETTI Portable Generator

Key Features:

  • Powers 99% of home appliances for uninterrupted operation.
  • Equipped with a reliable LiFePO4 battery offering over 3500 life cycles to 80% capacity.
  • Incorporates premium BMS technology for increased safety and longevity.
  • Supports both 700W solar and 500W AC inputs for flexible recharging.
  • Recharges fully in 2.5 hours with solar+AC or dual AC inputs.
  • Offers six AC ports for various appliances.
  • Includes standard USB-A and USB Type-C ports for device compatibility.
  • Comes with a car port for automotive charging needs.
  • Provides two wireless charging pads for cord-free device charging.
  • Features a 12V/25A DC port for versatile connectivity.

BLUETTI Portable Generator

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How Small Businesses and Freelancers Can Benefit from a Portable Generator

Outdoor Events and Market Stalls: Whether you’re a photographer shooting on location or a food stall owner at a busy market, a compact portable generator can keep your equipment running smoothly.

Backup Power for Home Offices: More and more people work from home. A portable generator ensures that a power outage won’t disrupt your work or important online meetings.

Powering Tools at Remote Work Sites: Portable generators are essential for construction or landscaping businesses. They provide the power to run power tools like drills, saws, and more in locations where standard power is unavailable.

Emergency Power Supply for Critical Business Operations: A power outage could mean significant financial loss for businesses that rely heavily on technology, like IT companies or online retailers. A reliable generator acts as an emergency backup power source, keeping crucial systems online.

Recreational Use: Portable generators aren’t just for work. They’re also perfect for powering lights, music, and even portable heaters on a camping trip or outdoor event.

 

FAQs

What’s the average lifespan of a portable generator?

The lifespan of a portable generator varies depending on its type, usage, and maintenance. On average, a well-maintained gas-powered portable generator can last for 10-20 years.

How frequently should a portable generator be serviced?

Most manufacturers recommend servicing a portable generator every 100 hours of use, or at least once a year. However, check the spark plug and oil levels more frequently, especially during heavy use.

How do solar and fuel-based portable generators compare in terms of power output?

While solar generators are an environmentally friendly option, their power output can be less reliable than fuel-based generators, as it depends on sunlight availability. Gas generators typically have higher power output and are more suited for heavy-duty tasks.

Is it feasible to power an entire business setup with a portable generator?

Yes, but this depends on the power needs of your business and the generator’s capacity. Most portable generators can comfortably power lights, computers, and other basic household appliances. However, if you need to power large electrical equipment, you might require a standby generator or multiple portable generators.

 

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Small Business Editor Liane Lonergan is a staff writer for Small Business Trends. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Communications and is a former English teacher. She has written news articles and essays throughout her collegiate and professional careers.

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