Fuel stabilizer: Gasoline breaks down over time. Learn more. In early 2019, Honda received 19 reports of fuel leaking from the fuel valve of the Honda EU2200i. Two 2,000-watt Champion generators, the 73536i yellow version and the 73540i black version, offer similar power output as our picks, but often at a lower price. One with a longer or flexible neck is best for this task. If you plan on reserving your generator for emergencies, we suggest in our Care and maintenance section that you consider using (much more expensive) packaged cans of ethanol-free gas instead. © 2020 Best Generators Buying Guide – Reviews For Every Type Of Generator, Best Whole House Standby Generator For 2020 (Reviews & Guide), Best Dual Fuel Generator Money Can Buy In 2020 (Complete Guide), Best Portable Propane Generator For 2020 (Full Reviews And Guide), Best Portable Solar Generator Reviews (In-Depth Guide For 2020), It may stop achieving a full charge prematurely, There may be an odd odor on the plastic casing on some units, It has less power compared to similar generators, The first recharge can take longer compared to similar generators, It may experience a short prematurely (few units reported this). Honda also recalled some generators in October 2012 (PDF) for a fuel-tube leak, but that was an isolated problem that was quickly resolved. The downside to using the extension-cord method is that this lets you power only a select few items at a time, and you may need to leave a door or window cracked in inclement weather if you want to power something inside. We started with a list of 30 of the most promising portable inverter generators and narrowed it down based on factors like power output and price, as well as customer ratings and reviews from owners and experts using them in recreational and residential settings. Plus, at around 70 percent of the price of the larger versions, those models wouldn’t save you much money anyway. Honda recommends changing the oil before long periods of storage, as well. It stands apart in spite of its average performance on some of our other tests—including our sound measurement in a rural field and our run-time test using a pair of wacky, waving, inflatable, flailing-arm tube men you might see at used-car lots. Though we haven’t been able to test it, we consider it similar to our previous pick, the Honda EU2000i, save for a few changes. This generator does not produce vibration or noise when it is working. You’ll also find another tier of generators available online, such as the WEN 56200i on Amazon or even cheap two-stroke models from discount suppliers like Harbor Freight. In fact, the only visual cues are three status lights: running fine, oil low, and overload. The Honda EU2000i excelled in our tests of how easily the machines started. This generator weighs about three pounds, so you can transport it easily. Popular Mechanics explains the process in further detail and notes that a qualified electrician can do the work for you for $500 to $1,000 depending on your needs. We think the savings may cost you in reliability, however—the starter on a larger Champion generator we’ve previously bought for personal use broke in the first year of ownership, deterring us from testing the brand this time. With a little planning, you can prep your generator for storage or intermittent use and avoid problems when it’s time to start the machine up again. Since it does not use gasoline, you do not have to worry about ventilation issues when you are using it. After 60 hours of researching and testing induction cooktops, we think the speedy, even-heating Duxtop 9100MC is the best. The FlashFish Portable Battery Generator only weighs about three pounds, so you can put it in a backpack and carry it anywhere. Curious as to why the Honda EU2000i easily handled the circular saw while its competition bogged down, we measured the current draw of each generator as the circular saw started up. When the generator is working, there is a fan on the side that helps to keep it cool. Overall, this step narrowed our initial list by about two-thirds; the specific brands we investigated but dismissed without testing are in the Competition section. We captured this waveform from the Honda EU2000i. The built quality is really great. We also gave them a crack at the largest load we had available, a 13,500 BTU roof air conditioner—a common model on RVs and travel trailers that’s rated to use 1,700 W when running. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. The Briggs & Stratton PowerSmart P2200 is another model that’s similar to the Honda and Yamaha, and it also wasn’t available in time for testing. In one round of the circular-saw tests, we measured the generators’ current levels with a calibrated Fluke 376 clamp meter. We wanted to measure the relative differences between the generators but also give some context for just how loud a generator can be if this is your first time shopping for one. It features a pure sine wave converter. It provides gentle power so that you can connect sensitive electronics without an issue. Owner reviews of the Hyundai HY2000si frequently complain about DOA units, early failures, and reliability issues, all of which are major dealbreakers for a generator, and none of which are problems with our top picks. There’s not much difference between brands of motor oil, but if nothing is on sale, our autos writer recommends Mobil 1. That 79 cc size also appears in a prominent Honda competitor, a Yamaha generator, that one Amazon customer comparing the two models noted could handle running at maximum for only a few seconds. We intended to test a fourth brand, Yamaha, but were unable to secure a test unit. On the first try out of the box—after we filled the oil and fuel—the Honda generator started with three pulls on the recoil starter, which was about average. Can a Battery Generator Power an Entire Home? However, some do need to be recharged more often, especially if you are using them to power bigger items, such as a mini cooler. After draining each generator of fuel, we added 16 ounces of gas back in. Last update on 2020-03-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. Testing an item while placing such an emphasis on reliability and dependability is difficult. We plugged in and operated a set of high-draw power tools and appliances, looking for the point at which some generators could power the machines while others bogged down, flipped their breakers, or otherwise fell short. Away from the noise of the city, the background sound level of the field was just 39 dbA (A-weighted decibels)—the only sounds a peaceful light breeze, trees rustling, and birds chirping. The pure sine wave will protect the items that you plug into it from too much power or voltage so that they do not sustain damage. Though it’s the only tested model with wheels, they’re similar to inline-skate wheels and are useless on dirt and grass, where you’re likely to be dragging a generator. The Honda EU2200i is our choice because its power output allowed it to handle our highest-demand tests more capably than competitors. Our results were mixed, and while the tests were entertaining, we’re reluctant to call them conclusive. Noise, for example, is a major one. Always know the status of the battery thanks to the LCD display. Wirecutter is reader-supported. Below is a breakdown of the differences. Adding fuel stabilizer can stretch this to six to 12 months, depending on who you believe. We believe, based on the improved motor and the consistency in the overall design, that the EU2200i would do similarly. But the iQ2000 has only a few years under its belt so far—the first units sold are still under the original three-year warranty—and we’d like to see a longer track record before we consider those early problems solved. Without a fuel gauge, it’s a little harder to plan fill-ups if you’re constantly running the machine; you’ll need to turn it off and unscrew the gas cap to see the level inside. This ensures that your generator is running as efficiently as possible without taking away from its power.