Which generator should I buy?

Which generator should I buy?

Start by asking yourself why do I want or even need a generator? After that, the next thing you might be wondering is which generator should I buy? You need to think of lots of reasons depending on the particular circumstances that would lead you to further ask yourself how to make the best of this equipment.

Many of us are unsure about what to do for the best to make the right decisions for ourselves and our families when it comes to equipment we don’t fully understand.

Here is a shortlist of where an electrical generator can literally be a lifesaver.

  • In the home as an emergency backup in a power outage.
  • On the boat as a supplemental mains source to avoid flattening your leisure battery bank
  • In the RV a decent generator can act as your main none battery power. A decent generator can even fire up a 15,000BTU air conditioning unit.
  • In sports, a generator can power ball pitchers, scoreboards, PA systems, charge batteries and more. Providing you have the right generator you can power computers and in fact, anything that would normally use mains power at home.
  • Camping, outside festivals and musical or sporting events are just a few more venues where a decent generator would be very welcome.

Something else to consider is what you yourself would use a generator for. If you have no interest in backup power at home and just want a generator to use to power lights in a garage and maybe a few garden tools, electric drill, and grinder, etc, then a cheap frame generator may suffice for you. 

This is also true if you want to use a generator to use on a building site to mix mortar and the like. This also assumes that you have no close neighbors to complain about the noise of these industrial type generators.

However, if noise is a problem, or if you want to run sensitive equipment like computers, many automatic washing machines and a large percentage of more sensitive microwave ovens, etc., then a building site type generator is actually the last thing you want. You need something a bit more civilized.

I know from my own early experience that when looking at generators it is tempting to go for a cheap model with the big output. It is human nature I suppose, to buy cheap.

However, in the case of generators expected to run expensive electronics like computers and flat-screen TV’s, buying cheap is likely to be the most expensive dollar you have ever saved in your life. This is the reason. 

Traditional (none inverter) generators of the old technology type typically produce ‘dirty, rough’ electrical power, where the electricity from the mains at home is ‘clean’. It is only in the last few years that the old technology was discarded in favor of digital inverter technology. 

This electrical power is in fact generally cleaner than the power you use at home. The bottom line is that if you are to use your new generator, at home or away, to run anything with delicate electronics, you must buy a digital inverter generator.

You can buy from wherever you choose and whatever makes is right for you, but it must be an inverter generator. If an older type generator develops a fault and the engine runs too fast for a short while, your attached electronics will probably fry, literally. This cannot happen if you have an inverter type generator.

You don’t need to actually understand about ‘pure sine waves’ and ‘modified sine waves’ or even what an ‘inverter’ does. All you really need to understand is that if you want to run delicate electronics on a generator it must be an inverter type.

Well, we hope you’ve now got a little more information than before. Generators are advertised all over the internet and you will see some that advertise more than they actually deliver. Some generators ‘look’ like the inverters on the same page, but many have terrible reviews and no after-sales service. 

We only recommend three makers, the two market leaders and another that has the same great range, the same great reviews, but with one thing missing – several hundred dollars on the price.

You can check out our list of best portable generators here.

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