Uncle Bobs Tips: Generator Guide

Portable Generator Reviews

Take a look at the latest electric portable generators with Uncle Bob's portable generator reviews.

Enough people were asking, so here's a concise article reviewing the latest portable generator models from the top brands, and any improvements you should be looking out for.


The Generac Company includes Guardian and Centurion as well. Newer models/features include improvements such as air-cooled 8-20kW models and liquid-cooled 22-150kW, innovative QuietSource technology (claiming the quietest engines on the market), and choice of aluminum or steel casing. Generac/Guardian is highly recommended for the 15000kW+ category. The best deal out there is probably the Guardian 4583. It comes with 60-amp pre-wired transfer switch w/ 16 circuits (and considering the transfer switch can run you several hundred dollars-without installation- that's a pretty good deal).

Briggs and Stratton

One of the nicest models this company has to offer is the 30239. From what I've seen, everyone loves it, twice as much money, small gas tank, two-year warranty quality, low oil shut off, low gas emissions. Other models including the Elite 30241 also boast these stats. The 30348 gets better mileage from its four-gallon tank (about 12 hours) and provides easier handling thanks to the larger wheels. This is a durable and well-made machine. And the 30333 includes features such as CARB-certified (unlike most Briggs), fewer oil changes (up to 100 hours) and has full pressure lubrication. This little feature can triple the life expectancy of a machine. The large tank (7 gallons) can run for nearly 12 hours at 50%. The 6,200 watts Briggs & Stratton 30242 is recommended by Consumersearch for whole house usage.


The Honda EU series offers great value and flexibility. Portable (very compact), quiet (from 47-59 dA), ease of carrying (rated #1), ease of maintenance, and quality power rank these among (if not the) top. For example, the Honda EU6500is is the first full 220v output Honda super quiet model, 52-60dB at rated load, will run for appx. 4.7 hours at full load/14 hours at ΒΌ load. Inverter technology makes these perfect for running computers and sensitive electronics, and smart throttles offer irresistible fuel-consciousness. The Honda EU6500iSA (surges to 6,500 watts) covers the most popular size range. It is one of the heavier models, but built in wheels and handles make transport and usage a breeze. The EU 6500 comes with a bonus of a 240-volt outlet too. What's the downside? Just the price tag. These models will run you anywhere from $300 (if you're lucky) to $5000 (if you're not). Are they worth the price? Without a doubt.


Yamahas ending in i comprise a series that are nice compact inverter generators great for fitting into small spaces and are lightweight as well. Like Honda, Yamaha generators are pretty quiet, produce clean energy and use electric start engines. Yamaha also has a few benefits over other companies/models like no-mess refilling, attractive bonus features (like an oil change meter) and somewhat better fuel efficiency. Like other latest technology pieces, the Yamahas are also expensive, and this brand is not as easy to carry as the Honda.

Tri-Fuel Option Generators

This category deserves a mention on its own. Many people prefer the flexibility and availability of having a multi-fuel option. The most common convenience is having an alternate power source even during an extended black out (when some fuels are difficult to come by). Conversion kits are available, but Northstar (a division of Northern Tool) makes the rated best multi-fuel portable generators on the market. Note: Remember that generators running on NG or LP give you less juice for your buck so be sure to get a model that will cover all your electric needs while running off these fuels.

Look out for our features feature coming soon.

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