Generator vs Inverter Generator: What’s the Difference?

How do you deal with a power outage? How do you decide between a generator and an inverter generator?

Now, generators can be a lifesaver – but how do you choose right?

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To distribute electricity, the two most common technologies used are inverter and generator. Due to a surge in the power industry because of irregular electricity distribution, people need to have either backup power source.

Choosing the proper electric backup for your house is very crucial. However, a lot of first-time buyers are clueless about the difference between a generator and an inverter. Many assume they are both the same, having similar specifications. But it is not the case. These two technologies are vastly different from one another and function contrastingly.

So, if you are confused between a generator and an inverter, here is everything you need to know about them:

What Is a Generator?

A conventional or regular portable generator has been around the longest and used widely. This electric device converts mechanical energy obtained from an external source into electric power. These generators can power the entire house.

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Generators often run-on diesel, gasoline or propane. They work as follows:

  • The generator’s engine turns an electric realtor to convert the mechanical energy into electric power.
  • There is fluctuation in the motor’s speed which affects the cycles per Hertz of the output.
  • It means that the generator must maintain the rpm constant to avoid variation in the power output.

For the best hybrid generators, Dual Fuel generators are perfect to use.

What Is an Inverter Generator?

Inverter generators are a new type of power source, only becoming popular just recently. It is an electric device that changes direct current or DC into alternating current or AC. For more details, you can check the inverter generators guide or reviews.

These generators also have extra electronic circuits that control load management and battery charging. Through this, it enables the use of standard household appliances. Inverter generators also act as a power adaptor to low powerhouse appliances, utilizing conventional home wiring.

This type of generator works as follows:

  • Inside the generator, the electrical part produces AC.
  • The alternating current then gets crushed back into a simple DC power source.
  • This DC power turns into stable and regular AC power back again.

The output of this generator is clean and much more controlled than other conventional generators. The most famous inverter generator is the WEN generator.

Top Differences Between a Generator VS Inverter Generator

Here are five quick differences between both the technologies, which can help you choose right.


Conventional generators only produce AC electricity while inverter has the power in three phases. So, the latter reduces harmonic distortion and provides a safer energy source for sensitive appliances like mobile or television.

On the other hand, generators also have a suitable power source but can cause increased harmonic distortion.


Inverter generators are small, handy and portable. One can easily transport these generators in a truck or a car by themselves. Conventional generators are bulky, although you can still technically move them.


Inverters come under quiet generators as they have quiet engines and sound dampening technology. These reduce the noise to low levels because they run at a steady 3600 RPM. Conventional generators, however, are infamous for the noise they make. As its engine is at a constant speed, the engine throttles up when the load is heavy.


Generators, due to their bulky size, can withstand heavy loads and are available in various capacities. There are sophisticated to extreme power spikes and places with power cuts. Inverters have a moderate capacity which is ideal for households with few power surges.


Most generators utilize diesel or gasoline, which needs frequent maintenance like lubricant oil and distilled water change. On the other hand, inverters need little to no maintenance as it uses basic electricity to convert DC into AC.

Generators and inverters vary significantly, although they remain famous power sources. You can choose from both depending on your requirements and budget. Are you looking to choose the next generator yet?

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My career as an Industrial Electrician with over 20 years experience in maintaining small, medium and very large generators plus repairing small engines and working in an auto electrical shop have placed me in the unique position to provide quality advice on all your generator needs. 😉

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