The 13 Best Generator Brands for Backup Power

Finding the right generator for your home, RV, or job site begins with selecting a reputable brand.

By Tony Carrick and Deirdre Mundorf | Updated Jun 29, 2023 1:51 PM

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The Best Generator Brand Options


When a storm strikes and the power goes out, a generator from one of the best generator brands can prevent hours in the dark and a fridge full of spoiled food. Depending on its size, a portable generator can provide up to 15,000 watts of energy, enough to keep the lights on and power the air conditioner and refrigerator. Simply put, a good generator is only “good” if it’s reliable.

With so many brands on the market, finding a model that provides dependable backup power without breaking the bank can pose a challenge. In this guide, we delve into the world of generator backups—both portable and stand-by systems—to identify the best brands in the business. We leveraged our own experience using generators as a backup source of power for the home and RV along with extensive research to inform our selections of the best generator brands.

1. Honda

The Best Generator Brand Option: Honda


Price Range: $$ to $$$$
Top Products: Honda 2,200-Watt Portable Inverter Generator ($1,199 at Amazon) and Honda EU 2200-Watt Gasoline Portable Inverter Generator  ($1,350 at Lowe’s)

Not only are they manufacturers of some of the most reliable automobiles on the market, but Honda also produces some of the best generators available. Honda revolutionized the generator market when it introduced the now legendary EU1000i model in 1998, redefining the market for portable power.

Since then, the company has continued to improve on that technology, while others have sought to copy it. Though this generator is more expensive than others, consumers are willing to shell out the extra dough because of Honda’s reliability and reputation for quiet operation—the EU2200ITAG produces around the same amount of noise as a coffeemaker at its loudest.

Shop for more Honda generators at:

2. Generac

The Best Generator Brand Option: Generac


Price Range: $ to $$$$
Top Products: Generac 2,500-Watt Portable Inverter Generator ($649 at Ace Hardware) and Generac 22,000-Watt Standby Generator with Automatic Transfer Switch ($6,147 at Lowe’s)

Unlike some of the other top brands that produce generators as only a part of their business, Generac only makes generators. Generac made a name for itself some 60 years ago when it began engineering and producing affordable generators for home use.

In addition to producing a line of generators for commercial use, the company today puts out quality inverter generators, portable generators, and standby generators for home use. It continues to stick to its mission of producing affordable products, with portable generators that fall into the $500 to $1,000 range and whole house generator options that start at the $2,000 price point. Generac’s product line includes its inverter and portable generators, which produce up to 8,000 watts, and its Guardian series of home backup generators. Many Generac home generator models offer an automatic transfer switch.

Shop for more Generac generators at:

3. Westinghouse

The Best Generator Brand Option: Westinghouse


Price Range: $ to $$$
Top Products: Westinghouse WGen9500DFc 9,500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator ($1,249 at The Home Depot) and Westinghouse WGen5300DFcv 6,500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator ($615.32 at The Home Depot)

One of the older companies on this list, Westinghouse was founded by George Westinghouse in 1886 as an electric company. The company produced its first generator, a steam turbine–driven machine, in 1901. Today, Westinghouse produces many different types of portable generators. Its products range from small inverters that generate about 1,200 starting watts to monster machines that produce 15,000 peak watts.

Westinghouse’s large product line, coupled with affordable prices (on a watt-per-dollar basis), allows the company to serve a broad range of customers. Westinghouse has been an innovator in the market: In recent years, it also developed a line of solar-powered generators. The company has also improved the efficiency of its gas-powered models, extending their runtimes to an industry-leading 12 hours.

Shop for more Westinghouse generators at:

4. Champion Power Equipment

The Best Generator Brand Option: Champion


Price Range: $ to $$$
Top Products: Champion Power Equipment 4,550-Watt Gasoline Powered Portable Generator ($539.10 at The Home Depot) and Champion Power Equipment 10,625-Watt Electric Start Gas and Propane Dual Fuel Portable Generator ($1,099 at The Home Depot)

Although Champion launched its generator line in 2003, it quickly rose to the upper echelons of the industry thanks to its innovations in dual-fuel technology and relatively low prices. Its generators are among the most affordable on the market.

The company’s dual-fuel generators can run on either propane or gasoline. Its generators also come equipped with a broad range of plugs, including 30-amp and 50-amp outlets in addition to standard 120-volt outlets. These versatile connections, coupled with their ability to run off propane, have made these generators popular in the RV market. Like its rival Westinghouse, Champion also boasts a broad line of generators that range from smaller 2,000-watt inverters to 12,000-watt beasts.

Shop for more Champion Power Equipment generators at:

5. Briggs & Stratton

The Best Generator Brand Option: Briggs & Stratton


Price Range: $ to $$$
Top Products: Briggs & Stratton 2,400-Watts Inverter Generator ($747.12 at Amazon) and Briggs & Stratton Q6500 Quiet Power Series Inverter Generator (1,122.20 at Amazon)

As one of the world’s largest producers of small gasoline engines for everything from lawn mowers to go-karts to generators, Briggs & Stratton should know about building durable engines. The company has a reputation for producing reliable and powerful engines for a broad range of equipment. In fact, its engines are so well regarded that the company provides the engines for several other popular generator brands.

Briggs & Stratton produces some of the top generators on the market. Although the company has a variety of generators to choose from, including portable, inverter, and home standby generators, it’s perhaps best known for its energy-efficient compact PowerSmart Series, as well as its Elite Series of powerful portable generators that can produce as much as 9,000 watts.

Shop for more Briggs & Stratton generators at:

6. DuroMax

The Best Generator Brand Option: DuroMax


Price Range: $ to $$$$
Top Products: DuroMax 13,000-Watt Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator ($1,530 at The Home Depot) and DuroMax 4,850-Watt Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator ($734 at The Home Depot)

DuroMax makes its own engines, which are renowned for their durability. Like its rival Champion, DuroMax is an innovator in dual-fuel technologies with many of its generators capable of running off of both propane or gasoline. Several of its generators are loaded with a variety of connections, including 30-watt and 50-watt sockets, making DuroMax generators popular with RVers.

Some of DuroMax’s dual-fuel generators can produce up to 15,000 watts, thanks to a 23-horsepower V-twin engine. DuroMax generators also have innovative features, including its MX2 power boost technology, which doubles the amperage of a 120-volt outlet to 240 volts to handle heavier loads.

Shop for more DuroMax generators at:

7. Predator

The Best Generator Brand Option: Predator


Price Range: $ to $$$
Top Products: Predator 9,500-Watt Inverter Generator ($2,399.99 at Harbor Freight, in-store only) and Predator 3,500-Watt Inverter Generator ($899.99 at Harbor Freight)

Discount tool and equipment company Harbor Freight, which was founded in 1977, markets its own brand of generators under the name Predator. Like its other product lines, Harbor Freight makes generators that boast high performance at a budget price.

One of the company’s most popular generators is a super-quiet inverter that produces a maximum of 3,500 watts, which it sells at a fraction of the price of similar-powered inverters from other brands. The Predator line, which is popular with RVers as well as homeowners and contractors, also includes bargain-priced 4,000-watt generators and larger inverters that produce as much as 9,500 watts.

Shop for more Predator generators at:

8. WEN

The Best Generator Brand Option: Wen


Price Range: $ to $$
Top Products: WEN 3,800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator ($628.50 at Amazon) and WEN 11,000-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator ($789.99 at Amazon)

WEN was a pioneer in the power tool market in the mid-20th century, helping to develop chainsaws, soldering guns, electric jigsaws, and other products since its launch in 1951. The company’s mission is to help woodworkers and artisans execute their wildest imaginations.

Over the years, WEN has expanded to include a variety of other power tools, including generators. WEN produces home generators and portable generators that are among the least expensive on the market.

Shop for more WEN generators at:

9. Sportsman

The Best Generator Brand Option: Sportsman


Price Range: $ to $$
Top Products: Sportsman 4,000-Watt Gasoline Powered Portable Generator ($409 at The Home Depot) and Sportsman 2,200-Watt Dual Fuel Powered Recoil Start Inverter Generator ($713 at The Home Depot)

Although Sportsman’s generators can be used as backup emergency power for a home, they’re designed for outdoor enthusiasts, with the largest generator topping out at about 4,000 watts.

Sportsman generators run off a variety of fuels, including gasoline, propane, and natural gas, making them one of the few tri-fuel generators on the market. Each of its generators features 30-amp hookups that work with RVs. This versatility makes Sportsman generators ideal for a variety of uses, ranging from tailgating to camping to emergency electricity during an outage.

Shop for more Sportsman generators at:

10. Ryobi

The Best Generator Brand Option: Ryobi


Price Range: $ to $$
Top Products: Ryobi 2,300-Watt Recoil Start Gasoline Powered Inverter Generator ($899 at The Home Depot) and 6,500-Watt Gasoline Powered Portable Generator ($949 at The Home Depot)

Ryobi launched in 1943 as an auto parts company before later expanding into power tools and generators. Today, the company’s power tools are sold primarily through The Home Depot. Like its line of power tools, Ryobi’s generators are relatively affordable.

Though the company produces just a handful of models, Ryobi’s generators feature innovative controls that make them more user-friendly than many other generator brands. Its most popular model features digital displays that provide real-time data regarding fuel level, power load, and runtime, all of which can be monitored via Bluetooth from a smartphone. These generators also come with safety features, including a carbon monoxide automatic shut-off switch.

Shop for more Ryobi generators at:

11. Firman

The Best Generator Brand Option: Firman


Price Range: $ to $$$
Top Products: Firman Extended Run Time Generator Electric Start ($1,289.99 at Amazon) and Firan 3650-Watt/4550-Watt, 208cc Recoil Start Gasoline Portable Generator ($699 on The Home Depot) 

Though Firman has been making generators for years for such brands as Kohler and Ridgid, it didn’t start producing generators under its own brand until 2015. The company has made inroads into the market by addressing top customer demands.

No one likes having to constantly refill the tank in the generator, which is why Firman outfits its generators with gas tanks that are 25 percent larger than a standard gas tank, giving its generators significant run times of 12 hours on a half-load. It also knows that the second biggest gripe about generators is noise, which is why the company has an entire line of generators—the Whisper series —that is designed to produce as little noise as possible, with decibel outputs of around 67 decibels. Firman’s generators range from 3,000-watt inverters for camping to 9,000-watt generators for homes or remote work sites.

Shop for more Firman generators at:

12. DeWalt

The Best Generator Brands Option DeWalt


Price Range: $$ to $$$
Top Products: DeWalt 7,000-Watt Electric Start Gasoline Powered Portable Generator ($1,059 at The Home Depot) and DeWalt 6,500-Watt Manual Start Gas-Powered Portable Generator ($679.00 at The Home Depot)

DeWalt got its start with a woodworking machine designed to help increase productivity and efficiency on the farm called the “Wonder-Worker” in 1924. By 1992, the company released their first portable electric power tools. Today, DeWalt is one of the most-trusted names in the power tool industry. The company also offers a selection of traditional gas generators, battery-powered generators, and portable generators. While their generator selection is not as extensive as that of some other manufacturers, DeWalt does still offer a range of options to meet the varying power needs of different customers.

Shop DeWalt generators at:

13. Jackery

The Best Generator Brands Option Jackery


Price Range: $ to $$$$
Top Products: Jackery Explorer Solar Generator 1000 and 2 SolarSaga Panels ($1,649 at Amazon) and Jackery Explore 240 Portable Power Station ($219.99 at Amazon)

Jackery was founded in 2012 with the goal of spreading the use of clean energy to combat climate change. The company—which is now one of the top-selling solar generator brands in the world—was the first to launch a line of lithium portable power generators. The Explore series is designed to deliver power for outdoor activities, travelers, mobile families, or anyone else in need.

Following the release of the Explorer series, Jackery debuted its SolarSaga solar panels. Harnessing the power of the sun, this line of solar panels can help boost the effectiveness and longevity of Jackery’s generators. The SolarSaga panels are designed to be portable with their folding design and set up in seconds with the integrated kickstands.

Shop Jackery generators at:

How We Chose the Best Generator Brands

After extensive product research reviewing the variety of types of generators on the market, this collection of recommended products from the best generator brands was selected based on several criteria, including value for money, portability, flexibility of use, and popularity with users. While reviewing the generators available on the market, we specifically looked for and chose products that provide a range of features from electric generator start options, dual-fuel (and a unique triple-fuel option), remote start, and safety features.

Runtime, durability, ease of use, and the number and types of outlets provided were also valued features we considered when reviewing the available generators from the top brands. The selection in this guide includes generators at a variety of price points that can ably power part or all of a home during an outage; some can power an RV, and others are designed to power a tailgating event or camping adventure.