Here we’ll take a look at the best inverter generator of each size: (1) Less than 2,000 run watts (2) 2,000 – 4,000 run watts and (3) above 4,000 run watts.
But before that, let’s take a look at the benefits of an inverter to you. And see a few pictures of them in the wild.
Benefits To You
- Quiet. Inverter gensets are enclosed in a case made of sound dampening material. They’re also able to adjust engine speed to the load – giving them an eco-mode option. The Honda and Yamaha 3,000W inverter gensets are about the same loudness as conventional gensets that offer less than half that wattage.
- Light and Portable. Because they use magnets not copper winding in the field coil, and have smaller engines… AND engineers have integrated parts to further reduce weight and size… Inverter generators are extremely light and portable so you can easily fit them in your car to take camping or hunting or however you please to spend your weekend.
- Fuel Efficient. For the same wattage (as a conventional style) an inverter has a smaller engine for 2 reasons: (1) it doesn’t have to turn a as heavy a rotor in the alternator and (2) because it uses magnets (which naturally have a electromagnetic field) they do not require the rotor to always be spinning at 3600 rpm… An inverter adjusts motor speed to the load, saving fuel when it’s not needed.
- Stable, Clean Power. You can plug your laptop or variable speed tool directly into an inverter. How? Because they convert the electricity (rectify it) to DC and then invert it to AC through a computer controlled process that makes it pure, smooth utility quality power.
What’s the catch? Cost. Inverter generators are more expensive per watts because they use electronics / technology that is newer and more expensive.
Pictures of Inverter Generators In The Wild
Inverter gensets are used when quiet and portable are important. As you can see in the images below an inverter genny is able to do the job anywhere. From on the boat, to the RV, to camping and even to providing power to fridges at a festival.
Best Small Size Inverter Genset
The best small size inverter genset for most people is the Yamaha 1,600 running watts EF2000iS. It narrowely beats out the Honda (listed below) because it offers a few more features at a more affordable cost.
Does your friend own 1 of these too? That’s awesome because if you end up camping together you can connect them up with a parallel power cable to get double the power – giving you enough for an electric stove, window AC or water heater.
The extra features this genset has over the Honda are: Fuel gage, extra 1 hour runtime at 1/4 load, iron cylinder sleeve (Honda not lined) and all metal components (Honda has some plastic). So if you think the small size inverter is for you then check it out in more detail.
Also great: Honda EU2000i 1,600 Running Watts
It comes with a 3 year warranty, 2 AC outlets, recoil starter and is quiet enough to have a conversation (without raising your voice) standing right next to it.
Even though this Honda is a few hundred dollars more than the Yamaha it is backed by an extra year of warranty… If Honda is your preferred power equipment brand then have a look at their best small size inverter genny.
Best Mid Size Inverter Generator
Champion Power Equipment keeps releasing portable generators that become very popular because they offer best value for money. And their mid size inverter generator is no exception.
This 2,800 run watts unit is more affordable than both the small size inverters above – despite offering you 1.2kW more power. Not bad, hey?
So if you want a great portable inverter genset, but want to pay as little as possible then this is your one – it’s the most affordable inverter and can run 700 watts (1/4 load) for 8 hours. It’s great for camping, tailgating, around the house in an emergency and many other recreational uses.
Also great: Honda EU3000iS 2,800 running watts
That means you have overnight capability and enough power for your small space heater or air con unit to keep you more comfortable when RV’ing or camping in remote area.
The reason I didn’t rank it in the #1 spot is price. It’s 3x the cost of the Champion. If Honda is your choice – and money isn’t the issue – then this is a great mid size inverter genny option.
Best Large Size Inverter Generator
You’re probably wondering how much it costs since you just read the mid size Honda is $2,500+. Well, add $1000 more to that. Not bad considering you’re getting double the run watts. And not bad considering how expensive inverters are at this size (~$1,000 just for the inverter… no engine yet, no case, no alternator etc.).
The Yamaha EF6300iSE is 200 pounds when full of fuel and about the size of a large camping cooler. Here’s a picture of a guy kneeling next to it to get the idea its size.
- While researching difference between inverter and conventional generators I came upon this great explanatory article on wisegeek.com.
- Honda provides a resource to learn why their inverter generators are the best. It is a good outline of the benefits of all inverter gensets.