6 best cheap inverter generators of 2020
An inverter generator is more fuel efficient and quieter, yet more expensive than a traditional counterpart. But does it mean you can’t enjoy the amazing advantages of an inverter generator with a tight budget? Of course not.
With our list of 6 best cheap inverter generators of 2019, you can make a power outage or a camping trip or whatever tasks more pleasurable without breaking your bank. Check it out!
Westinghouse iGen1200Most fuel efficient
- Most lightweight on the list
- Fuel efficient with Efficient Mode
- Great emergency backup for home
- Parallel capable
- The least powerful
- Takes time to start
Weighing only 33lb with a suitcase compact design, the Westinghouse iGen1200 is the lightest generator on the list. There is no doubt that it generates the least power.
If you have small power demands, such as laptops, cellphones, lighting, small TVs, the iGen1200 will be the perfect match for you.
Despite a modest 0.8 gallon tank, this small beast can run 10 hours with no interruption. That being said, along with its Efficiency Mode, iGen1200 inverter generator is super fuel efficient.
If 1000W is too little for you, remember that it has parallel capability that allows you to pair it with another iGen1200 for double power output.
|Fuel capacity||0.8 Gallon|
|Run Time (Eco mode)||7 Hours|
|Noise Level (25% load)||52 dBA|
|Item Weight (lb.)||33|
|Outlets||(2) 120V Outlets; (2) USB Ports|
|Highlight Features||Quiet Operation, Ultra lightweight and ultra compact, parallel capable, Efficiency Mode|
Efficiently reducing generator fuel bills, Westinghouse iGen1200 inverter generator is everything you need for every power outage at home.
- Extremely quiet
- Lightweight and compact design
- Versatile panel
- Parallel capacity
- Lack wheels and adjustable handle
- Changing oil is difficult
Let’s move on to the quietest model of the list - WEN 56200i Inverter Generator. Operating at 51 decibels which is quieter than a normal conversation, this generator guarantees a quiet campsite or neighborhood during an emergency backup.
Rest assured that your most sensitive devices such as laptops, cellphones and tablets will be safe with WEN 56200i because it is equipped with minimal harmonic distortion of nearly 1.2% at full load and only 0.3% at no load.
What’s more? You meet no hassle carrying this 48 lbs generator, making your away-from-home trip more memorable. If your demand excesses 2000 watts, you can simply hook up 2 generators with parallel connector kit.
|Fuel capacity||1 Gallon|
|Run Time (50% Load)||6 Hours|
|Noise Level (22 feet)||51 dBA|
|Item Weight (lb.)||48|
|Outlets||(2) three-prong 120V receptacles, (1) 12V DC receptacle and (1) 5V USB port|
|Highlight Features||Parallel Connection Capability, Includes two three-prong 120V receptacles, one 12V DC receptacle and one 5V USB port, EPA III and CARB compliant|
Your neighbors won’t ever never complain about the noise if you own a WEN 56200i.
Pulsar PG2000iSNMost portable
- Compact suitcase design
- Fuel efficient with 8 hours running time at half load
- Can charge multiple devices at the same time
- Parallel capacity
- Runs rough at no or little load
- Oil needs to be changed regularly
The next cheap inverter generator we want to introduce to you is Pulsar PG2000iSN. Pulsar never fails to bring to its customers durable, long lasting generators to power their devices at a competitive price. PG2000iSN is not the exception.
With Stable Sine Wave Technology, PG2000iSN proudly brings you pure, safe power for your sensitive devices. 2 AC 120V 13A Outlets, a 12V DC 8A Outlet, a 5V DC USB Outlet, allow you to charge and power several devices at a time.
Carrying a generator to a campsite is easier than ever with the compact suitcase design and 47 lbs weight the generator offers. If you want to run some power hungry devices like the AC or fridge, just connect 2 PG2000iSN generators and let them do the rest for you.
|Fuel capacity||1.18 Gallon|
|Run Time (50% Load)||8 Hours|
|Noise Level (10 feet)||59 dBA|
|Item Weight (lb.)||47|
|Outlets||(2) AC 120V 13A Outlets, (1) 12V DC 8A Outlet, (1) 5V DC USB Outlet|
|Highlight Features||Compact Suitcase Design, 8 Hours of Continuous Operation at Half Load, Stable Sine Wave Technology Parallel Connection Capability|
Pulsar PG2000iSN is good value for the money regarding its durability and portability.
- Hassle-free startup with Easy-start engine
- One switch for start, run and stop functions
- Parallel capability allows you to connect 2 A-iPower generators for increased power
- EPA and CARB compliant
- Eco mode saves fuel and reduces noise
- RV Ready
- Not so powerful to run an RV AC
- Long break in time
Want to own your first inverter generator but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry because A-iPower SUA2000iV has you covered. Packed with various user-friendly features, it is the best we can offer you as a beginner.
With 1600 running watts and 2000 running watts, SUA2000iV is perfect for your camping trips, tailgating parties and even RVs. It is the only inverter generator on the list that the raw power from DC to AC output with a DC charging cable.
The biggest selling point is the integrated multi switch that at the same time, starts, runs and stops the generator. How effortless it is!
Another worth mentioning features are easy start engine and parallel capacity.
|Fuel capacity||1.1 Gallon|
|Run Time (50% Load)||7 Hours|
|Noise Level (23 feet)||58 dBA|
|Item Weight (lb.)||46|
|Outlets||(1) NEMA 120VAC 20A Outlets, (1) NEMA 120VAC 30A, L5-3OR Twist-Lock Outlet, (1) 12VDC 8.3A Adapter Plug for Battery Charging or with USB Adapter, 30 AMP RV Adapter|
|Highlight Features||Easy start engine, Multi-switch, Parallel Connection Capability, Eco Throttle system, EPA and CARB compliant, DC charging cable, Parallel Cable included|
Using a generator has been more hassle-free and easier with A-iPower SUA2000iV Inverter Generator.
DuroMax XP2000EHBest dual fuel
- Dual Fuel technology
- Parallel capacity
- Idle control
- Low oil shutoff
- Durability when running on liquid propane
- More noisy than the other ones
Are you looking for a cheap inverter generator providing every feature you need, and even more? We have found for you one of the best. The DuroMax XP2000EH is a portable inverter generator with a capability of 2000 Watts.
Its dual-fuel technology allows you to fill the tank with gasoline or liquid propane. Liquid propane is fuel efficient, less expensive and has a longer storage life.While running on propane, the DuroMax XP2000EH can last up to 20 hours. It is an ideal emergency supplier!
The idle control feature of this inverter generator save fuel and reduce noise by lowering the engine speed when not in use. Furthermore, it shut offs automatically when the oil is low.
Just relax your camping, do not worry about energy anymore. If you need you can bridge two XP2000EH units together to double the power!
|Fuel capacity||1.19 Gallon|
|Run Time (50% Load)||13 Hours|
|Noise Level (22 feet)||61 dBA|
|Item Weight (lb.)||53|
|Outlets||2 120V household GFCI outlets|
|Highlight Features||Dual Fuel Technology, Two 120V household GFCI outlets, EPA & CARB Compliant, Low Oil Shutoff, Parallel Connection Capability, Idle Control|
DuroMax XP2000EH is an interesting choice as inverter generator since it can be fueled by liquid propane and last much longer.
Rainier R2200iLongest runtime
- Extremely quiet
- Lightweight and compact design
- Eco mode
- Parallel capacity
- Large tank capacity
- Not really responsive customer service
- Changing oil might be messy
The Rainier R2200i will be an ergonomic companion for providing you a power source while you’ll look for. Its lightness (44 lbs) allows you to bring it everywhere for any kind of opportunities. It’s a wise choice of cheap inverter generator.
Don’t think about if you’ll have enough energy, the Rainier R2200i tank has a fuel capacity of 1.3 Gallon. In addition, you can turn on the ‘Eco mode’ to save fuel and energy in order to make it last up to 13 hours.
Just enjoy camping or fishing, you won’t be disturbed by any annoying engine. This portable generator is quieter than human conversations (52 dBA vs 60 dBA). Try to hear it!
It contains the connections you need: two 120V 20A 5-20R household outlets and a 12V 8A DC accessory socket. On top of that, it provides clean power (< 3% THD) for your sensitive electronics. Do not worry about them anymore.
|Fuel capacity||1.3 Gallon|
|Run Time (Eco mode)||13 Hours|
|Noise Level||52 dBA|
|Item Weight (lb.)||44|
|Outlets||Two three-prong 120V receptacles, One 12V DC receptacle|
|Highlight Features||Parallel Connection Capability, Eco Mode Up to 13 Hours of Run Time, EPA & CARB Compliant, Indicator alarm, <3% THD for Sensitive Electronics|
Sit down and listen to the birds twittering when illuminating the camping with the Rainier R2200i, plus save your money!
How To Choose The Best Cheap Inverter Generator?
There are some points you need to keep in mind when choosing the best cheap inverter generator for your next camping trip or unexpected power outages.
Determine the Size You Need
Selecting the right size generator (running watts and starting watts) depends on your demands, in other words, the devices you want to power at the same time.
Running watts are essential in keeping the items running, while starting watts are the amount of power needed for a few seconds to start motor-driven appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners or power tools. Starting watts corresponds to the maximum wattage the generator can produce.
Start by making a list of what you can’t survive without during a blackout as well as their running watts and starting watts.
Then add up all the startings watts and compare to the starting watts of the generator. If needed, you can buy two and parallelize them to add their wattages. However, it’s worth mentioning that you will have to buy separately a parallel connection in this case (about 50$).
Noise level is important
Inverter generators are usually really quiet. However you might require a super silent one. Thus you will have to compare their noise level measured in decibels. The lower, the better. Know that a human conversation is about 60 dB.
Running time matters
When looking for cheap inverter generator, you will need to look closer at how long the generator can last. The longer, the better. The average tends to be around 7 hours.
The main characteristic for run time is the tank capability. A big tank offers generally long run time but this may impact the ergonomy of the inverter generator.
In addition, some inverter generators have technology to save fuel such as ‘eco mode’ or ‘idle control’. Keep an eye on those features to minimize your fuel consumption.
The Outlets you require
Every inverter generator have at least 2 120V outlets at your disposal. However, some might have more options to offer you such as 12V and USB plug.
An inverter generator is made to be portable. It is much lighter than a traditional generator. However be aware that it’s still around 50 lbs. Some offers wheels, handles and so on. Keep this in mind.
Who Makes The Best Cheap Inverter Generator?
Founded in 1951, WEN originally made its mark by helping bring tools and electricity together. The company has developed a variety of common tools such as the electric jigsaw, drill presses, generators, and air compressors to name a few. Over 50 million consumer units has already been sold.
Pulsar Products is dedicated to providing quality innovation to the market at an affordable price. It carries a full line of portable power products designed with the consumer’s needs in mind.
A-iPower stands for American Innovation and as its name suggests, the company ensures its customers innovative yet cost effective solutions for power needs at home, jobsite and even on camping.
With years of experience and excellent technical depth, A-iPower is considered one of the most reliable generator brand in the USA.
This family owned and operated company will never make you disappointed with their durable, high quality generators for your multiple purposes. With 3-Point Quality Control process, its products are ensured to be rigorously tested at the factory and by EPA and CARB.
Why would I need an inverter generator?
While offering the perfect size for your cars, trucks, RVs and small garages, the inverter generators is more fuel efficient than their conventional counterparts, saving your money and reducing emissions. Moreover, inverter generators never produce operating noise louder than a normal conversation.
Do inverter generators run on gas?
Yes. Beside gas, they might also run on propane and diesel.
What can you run on a 2000 watt generator?
Here are the list of common appliances that a 2000 watt generator can power:
Toaster (1200 watts)
Coffee maker (1000 watts)
Microwave (1000 watts)
Refrigerator (750 watts)
Freezer (600 watts)
Portable electric heater (1200 watts)
Ceiling fan (140 watts)
Computer (150 watts)
Television (250 watts)
Is pure sine wave inverter necessary?
While a modified sine wave inverter is cheaper than a pure sine wave inverter, some of your devices are exposed to the risk of being damaged.
Pure sine wave inverters offer cleaner power, like the pure AC we receive from the power stations, for your sensitive devices such as cellphones, laptops. Even refrigerators and microwaves run more efficiently on pure sine wave.
Moreover, a pure sine wave inverter has lower THD (Total Harmonic Distortion). Distortions, which are the unwanted part transferred along with the pure signal, are useless because they get wasted as heat energy. That’s why pure sine wave inverters are cost effective and helps in reducing electricity bills!
Can an inverter generator run a refrigerator?
Yes you can run a refrigerator with a 2000 watt inverter generator if you plug into one single outlet at a time.
We hope our list of the best cheap inverter generators will help you find the best solution for your next power outage or your camping trip. Thank you for reading and don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any trouble buying and using your generators!