Generator Ratings 101

Standard generator ratings are very important to compare when you’re looking around for a new generator. You’ll see important standard ratings on generators that are called maximum wattage and rated wattage.  

Maximum wattage – also called surge wattage - is the maximum amount of power a unit can supply for a brief period of time. Since all electric motors require more electricity to get started, the maximum wattage tells how much power a generator can briefly supply to start up any electrical motors in your appliances or tools.

Rated watts means the maximum amount of electrical power that your generator can supply over a long period of time. Like hours or days.

Or you can take a look at my #1 top all-around portable generator for 5: the Duromax XP4400 available .

It’s very important to decide what you’d like to power up, so you can calculate the right amount of wattage you’ll need to get out of your new generator:

5 Best Generator Choice for  computers, camping, boating, tailgating, etc

Yamaha EF2000iS

Lightweight, powerful & quiet, this Yamaha EF2000iS inverter generator is perfect for computers, camping, boating, tailgating, etc. It offers 2,000 max watts, only weighs 44 lbs, runs for 10 1/2 hours without a refill and it has a handy built-in handle. It will even safely power sensitive cell phone & TV's and is CARB  complaint!

Top All-Around Home Portable Generator for 5

Duromax XP4400

This Duromax XP4400 is my top choice for temporary back-up power unit - with an economical price. It will give you 4,400 max watts, has a 6.5 HP engine, electric start and you'll get about 8 hours of running time on a tank of gas. It weighs 122 lbs, is easy to move - and I love the Never Flat tires! 

#1 Best Whole House Portable Generator in 5

Duromax Duel Fuel XP10000EH

I recommend this monster Dual Fuel Duromax XP10000EH to power up all of your home's important systems, including heat/ central AC, with 10,000 max watts. You can run this heavy duty Duromax with gas or your extra grill propane tanks. Handy! It has a quality 18HP engine, easy key start and weighs 265 lbs.

If you’re looking for a portable generator for camping, tailgating or boating, I recommend a unit that will give you around 2,000 max wattage. They’re compact, quiet, easy to carry and can power up your TV, small light, fans, electric grills, etc.

You’ll want to check out my #1 top portable inverter generator for 5: the Yamaha EF2000iS that's available .  If you want portability, power and quiet operation, this is generator really has it all! It’s perfect for camping, boating, tailgating or any outdoor adventure. It delivers 2,000 max watts, is as quiet as 51.5 decibels and provides CARB compliant clean energy that’s safe to recharge even sensitive cellphones & computers.

This Yamaha inverter generator weighs only 44lbs, has a cool built in handle and has a two year warranty! That’s one of the best warranties on the market.

You can read other reviews and check Amazon’s great price on this Yamaha EF2000iS  generator.

And if you’re looking for a more powerful portable model that can power up just about anything on your RV, around your campsite or on your boat, you’ll want to look at generator ratings of 4,000 watts or more.

You can read other reviews and check Amazon’s great price on my recommended Duromax XP4400 generator.

You can check out my 5 #1 pick for a 3,000 - 5,000 max watt generator at the right price: the DuroMax4400 portable generator . 

You’ll get 4,400 max watts/3,500 continuous watts, a 7 HP air cooled OHV gas engine and the 4 gallon gas tank should last you for 8 hours of running time. I love the easy electric start and the Never Flat Wheels. (If you’ve ever tried to move a generator with a flat tire, you know what I mean.)  The DuroMax is a great generator value.

You can read other reviews and check Amazon’s great price on the DuroMax XP4400.

But, if you’re looking for an emergency generator to power up almost all of your appliances or lights in your home during a power outage, you’ll want to look at generator ratings of 8,000 to 10,000 watts.

You can check out my #1 home generator pick for 5: the DuroMax XP10000EH Dual Fuel . This generator will keep your comfortable in your home when the power goes out. You get a whopping 10,000 max/8,000 continuous watts with an 18 HP engine that runs on gas or propane. Genius. If you have an extra propane tank from your grill – you’re good to go!

This DuroMax generator also has an easy key-starting switch, high quality engine with steel bearings and Never Flat tires. (No more flat tire hassles.) And it’s surprisingly quiet too: the noise rating is as low as 72 decibels.

You can read other reviews and check Amazon’s great price on the DuroMax XP10000EH.

Other Important Generator Ratings

I always tell my readers to also think about the noise level rating of any new portable generator. Think about it: if you’re camping in nature, tailgating with a crowd or on a boat, you don’t want a loud generator drowning out the sounds of nature or your neighbors. And my personal tip is that I wouldn’t consider buying a portable generator that doesn’t clearly state its noise level rating.

Noise level ratings are stated as dBA or decibels. And the newer & very popular portable generators models that have between 1,000 – 2,000 watts usually have a rating of 50 – 60 dBA’s. That’s just about as loud as a normal conversation. Quiet. Just for comparison, the sound of a running lawn mower is about 100 dBA.

Lastly, don’t forget to check the weight of any generator you’re considering. You’ll see portable generators start at around 30 lbs – and go up to 300+ lbs. My personal tip: just make sure you choose a model with a weight that’s still light enough for you to be able to comfortably take it where you need to go.

If you keep these standard generator ratings in mind, you’ll be able to choose the perfect generator for your needs.

My #1 All-Around Generator Choice for 5:

DuroMax XP4400

My Top Inverter Generator Pick for 5:

Yamaha EF2000iS

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