What Is An Inverter Generator?

Inverter generators are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to conventional portable generators. They have many benefits and can be used in a variety of ways. They can be used at home to power a few appliances during a power outage. Remember the last time the power went out? Well with an inverter generator you and your core appliances are protected. Or maybe you need a power source for your RV? Do you want to keep a sound system and television running next time you go tailgating? An inverter generator is the perfect solution. But what is an inverter generator? What makes it different from a conventional portable generator? 

Table of Best 2000 Watt Inverter Generators

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Champion Power Equipment 100692 2000-Watt Ultralight Portable Inverter Generator
WEN 56203i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator w/Fuel Shut Off, CARB Compliant, Ultra...
Yamaha EF2000iSv2, 1600 Running Watts/2000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Inverter,Blue
Power
1700/2000 watts​​​​
1600/2000 watts
1600/2000 watts
Noise Level
53 dB
51 dB
51.5 dB
Weight
48 lbs
48 lbs
44 lbs
Parallel Capable
Run Time
9 hr run time at 25% load
6 hr run time at 50% load
10.5 hr run time at 25% load
Receptacles
1 x 120V AC (5-20R), 1 x 12V DC
2 x 120V AC (13.3 amp), 1 x 12V DC (8.3 amp), 1 x USB
2 x 120V AC (13.3 amp), 1 x 12V DC (8 amp)
CARB Compliant
Warranty
2 yr warranty
2 yr warranty
2 yr warranty
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Champion Power Equipment 100692 2000-Watt Ultralight Portable Inverter Generator
Power
1700/2000 watts​​​​
Noise Level
53 dB
Weight
48 lbs
Parallel Capable
Run Time
9 hr run time at 25% load
Receptacles
1 x 120V AC (5-20R), 1 x 12V DC
CARB Compliant
Warranty
2 yr warranty
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WEN 56203i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator w/Fuel Shut Off, CARB Compliant, Ultra...
Product
Power
1600/2000 watts
Noise Level
51 dB
Weight
48 lbs
Parallel Capable
Run Time
6 hr run time at 50% load
Receptacles
2 x 120V AC (13.3 amp), 1 x 12V DC (8.3 amp), 1 x USB
CARB Compliant
Warranty
2 yr warranty
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Yamaha EF2000iSv2, 1600 Running Watts/2000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Inverter,Blue
Product
Power
1600/2000 watts
Noise Level
51.5 dB
Weight
44 lbs
Parallel Capable
Run Time
10.5 hr run time at 25% load
Receptacles
2 x 120V AC (13.3 amp), 1 x 12V DC (8 amp)
CARB Compliant
Warranty
2 yr warranty

Table of Best 3000 Watt Inverter Generators

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Most Features & Lightweight
Briggs & Stratton P3000 Power Smart Series Inverter Generator with LCD Display and Quiet Power...
Most Reliable & Best Warranty
Yamaha EF3000iS, 2800 running Watts/3000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Inverter
Least Expensive
Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator
Power
2600/3000 watts
2800/3000 watts
2800/3100 watts
Noise Level
59 dB
53 - 60 dB
58 dB
Weight
50 lbs
136 lbs
80 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity
1.5 gal tank
3.4 gal tank
1.6 gal tank
Run Time
10 hr run time at 25% load
19 hr run time at 25% load
8 hr run time at 25% load
Receptacles
4 x 120V household AC
2 x 120V household AC
2 x 120V household AC
30 Amp
1 x  30 amp AC
1 x 30 amp AC
1 x  30 amp AC
USB
1 x USB
None
None
DC
1 x 12V DC
1 x 12V DC
1 x 12V DC
Parallel Capability
Warranty
2 year warranty
3 year warranty
2 year warranty
Most Features & Lightweight
Image
Briggs & Stratton P3000 Power Smart Series Inverter Generator with LCD Display and Quiet Power...
Power
2600/3000 watts
Noise Level
59 dB
Weight
50 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity
1.5 gal tank
Run Time
10 hr run time at 25% load
Receptacles
4 x 120V household AC
30 Amp
1 x  30 amp AC
USB
1 x USB
DC
1 x 12V DC
Parallel Capability
Warranty
2 year warranty
Most Reliable & Best Warranty
Image
Yamaha EF3000iS, 2800 running Watts/3000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Inverter
Product
Power
2800/3000 watts
Noise Level
53 - 60 dB
Weight
136 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity
3.4 gal tank
Run Time
19 hr run time at 25% load
Receptacles
2 x 120V household AC
30 Amp
1 x 30 amp AC
USB
None
DC
1 x 12V DC
Parallel Capability
Warranty
3 year warranty
Least Expensive
Image
Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator
Product
Power
2800/3100 watts
Noise Level
58 dB
Weight
80 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity
1.6 gal tank
Run Time
8 hr run time at 25% load
Receptacles
2 x 120V household AC
30 Amp
1 x  30 amp AC
USB
None
DC
1 x 12V DC
Parallel Capability
Warranty
2 year warranty

How inverter generators produce power

What makes an inverter generator different to a conventional generator is the way it produces electricity. A conventional generator uses a motor to generate an alternating current (AC) which can be connected directly to your appliances. The problem with this is that the quality of the electrical current is not entirely clean. This may have an effect on any sensitive appliances you connect. For example a computer, laptop, television or DVD player has sensitive electrical components which may be negatively affected by the quality of the current.

An inverter generator produces its electricity in a different way. Its alternator produces high voltage alternating current (AC) which is converted to direct current (DC). This DC power is then converted back to AC power using the inverter. This has a massive impact on the quality of the current. The process of inverting the direct current to alternating current creates what’s known as a true sine wave. Essentially what this means, is that the current produced is nice and smooth. It is clean and does not have undesirable fluctuations. This means that all those sensitive electronics that you may want to connect will be protected. Nice, right?

Other benefits of owning an inverter generator

Inverter generators enjoy some additional benefits over their portable generator competitors. The process they use to generate electricity allows for much more efficient use. Instead of the engine running at full speed the whole time to create a strong enough current, an inverter generator’s engine will run at various speeds. It does this to control the amount of electricity it produces based on your demands. So if you only have one appliance plugged in, the motor will run at the speed necessary to generate power for that one appliance. This reduces fuel consumption saving you money!

One of the best things about inverter generators is that they are the quietest generators (excluding solar generators). While conventional portable generators generally produce sound levels exceeding 65 decibels, most inverter generators produce fewer than 60 decibels. This is definitely desirable if you want to use your generator recreationally. Imagine going RVing or camping with the constant drone of a generator in the background. What’s a decibel? This page offers a great description. If noise levels matter to you, please see our quietest generators page.

Not only are inverter generators also quite compact and lightweight offering huge convenience and flexibility, but many models can be operated in parallel. This means that if you own two of the same model, you can connect them together and create double the power. In fact many models are designed in a stackable way so that you can do just that. Perfect.

So what’s the downside? Well, unfortunately the main drawback is price. All the amazing features they have tend to make them more expensive than their conventional counterparts. A sound entry level 2000W model will cost you around $1000. While this may seem like a lot, you have to remember that with their more efficient fuel saving engines, you will save in the long run.