Consumer reports on portable generators

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You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed. Yes, send me a copy of this email. All email addresses you provide will be used just for sending this story. Keep your house fully powered and your family safe during emergencies with a portable or stationary generator you can rely on. View our ratings and reviews, and browse our buying guide to find the best generator.

Editor’s Note: This year’s weather events have emphasized just how valuable it can be to have a reliable portable generator for when Mother Nature takes down the power grid. We name generators from Westinghouse, Generac and Champion as the best choices for most situations. If you need to power sensitive electronics, Honda’s inverter generators are top rated. With 7,500 watts of continuous power and 9,500 watts of peak power, the Westinghouse WGen7500 is capable of starting and running almost anything you’re likely to need when the power goes out, including sump pumps, multiple appliances and household lighting.

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The user-friendly design includes conveniences like a fuel gauge, low-oil shutdown, electric start, and fuel shutoff. It’s covered by a three-year warranty. Features include a low-oil shutdown, one standard outlet, one twist-lock outlet, and a TT30R outlet for powering an RV. Owners describe it as easy to use.

Some say it’s loud, but others say noise levels are fine. It’s backed by a three-year warranty. The Champion 100165 gives you the flexibility of a generator that can run on either widely available gasoline or clean-burning, easy-to-store propane. With 7,500 watts of continuous power on gasoline or 6,750 watts on propane, it can power nearly everything in the house. The generator is CARB-compliant and has such handy features as an electric starter, low-oil shutoff, hour meter, and three-year warranty.

Owners find it easy to set up and use. Honda EU2000i can’t power an entire house full of appliances, but its surge-free power is safe for sensitive electronics like computers and TVs. It’s also small, easy to carry and quieter than a normal conversation, making it perfect for tailgating and camping. It’s a top performer in professional tests and a huge hit with users, who say it’s efficient, easy to use, and extremely quiet. Useful features include a fuel gauge, low-oil shutoff, and electric starter.

It’s pricey, but owners say it’s worth it. When a storm takes out the power grid all along your street, a portable generator can mean the difference between shivering in the dark or sitting in a toasty house with working lights and a running fridge. Gas Generators Most portable generators use gasoline as a fuel. Propane Generators Some portable generators run on liquid propane instead of gas. Others, called dual-fuel generators, are capable of using either type of fuel.