Best Cheap Generators for around $600 bucks or less

Portable generators come in all sizes and shapes from low cost to serious money. We put together the top products to help make your buying decision a little easier. If you dont know anything about generators you may want to check out our generator buying guide for what to look for and an explanation of what the lingo means.

 

Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready Digital Hybrid Open Frame Inverter

Overview

Champion Power Equipment’s 4000-Watt RV Ready Digital Hybrid Open Frame Inverter illustrates their commitment to innovative technologies. The company has only been around since 2003, but already they have become a huge name in the power generation industry. The Champion 4000 Watt RV Ready generator illustrates how Champion has made such a reputation for themselves in so short a time.

It features their patented Digital Hybrid technology, which means the product is 50% quieter and 20% lighter than other similarly-sized portable generators. Plus, this portable generator can be started right out of the box and is an inverter style generator, which provides the most environmentally friendly power available.

Features

  • Fuel Tank: 9 gallons
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline
  • Noise Level: 64 dBA (decibels) from 23 feet.
  • Run Time: 17 hours at 25% total load when the fuel tank is full.
  • Outlets: One 120V 30A RV outlet, Two 120V 20A household outlets, and One 12V DC outlet with dual USB adaptor
  • Surge Protection: There is no surge protection on this product.
  • Parallel Capable: Yes, this generator is parallel compatible
  • CARB/EPA Compliant: This portable generator is CARB compliant.
  • Starting: Manual recoil starting
  • Warranty: 3-year limited warranty with Free lifetime technical support

Pros/Cons

The 4000-Watt RV Ready Digital Hybrid Open Frame Inverter has a lot of pros and a few cons to consider.    

                                    Pros

  • This portable generator is parallel capable, which means that you can hook it up to one or two other inverters or digital hybrid generators of at least 2800-Watts.
  • Champion Power Equipment has a wonderful warranty of three years and a lifetime technical support policy for all of its portable generators, so your purchase will always be protected.
  • The noise level of this product is just about talking level, which makes it much easier to use at home, work, or for play.

                                    Cons

  • Although the Champion 4000 Watt portable generator has 4000 starting watts in addition to its 3500 running watts, it does not come with extra surge protection. So, if you have a power surge, this product may have a problem.
  • Champion Power Equipment specifically states that this portable generator is CARB compliant, which means that you can use it in California without breaking any rules. But, it does not seem to be EPA compliant, which can be a problem everywhere else.

Reviews from user perspective

Overall, reviews from users have been very positive about this product. Most users claim that they love the clean energy from the inverter technology. They also mention the fact that the generator can handle large power loads and that you will receive a lot of product for your money.

Some of the negative user reviews indicate that the generator is louder than they were led to believe. Plus, some users have had problems with the product lasting for a long time when used consistently. However, if you keep up with the maintenance and use this generator only infrequently, these problems should not be an issue for you.

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We have written reviews on other price ranges for portable generators as well. No matter what price range your looking for we have a recommendation for you. Here are the other articles to help you find the perfect pick.

Best Generators for under 300.00

The top Generators for under 400 Bucks

The Best Inverter Generator

Westinghouse WGen3600 Portable Generator

Overview

Westinghouse Electric is a world-renowned company that has been around since 1886. They make a variety of power related products such as electronics, lighting, appliances, and generators. It makes sense then that their WGen3600 Portable Generator would appear on our list of the best portable generators under $600.

 

The Westinghouse WGen3600 Portable Generator has 3600 running watts and 4650 peak watts, which means it can power a lot of things at once. Plus, when you purchase this product you will also receive oil, and oil funnel, a tool kit, user’s manual, and 3-year warranty. And, finally, for Westinghouse fans, this portable generator comes with its own 212 cc Westinghouse 4-stroke OHV engine that features a long-lasting cast iron sleeve and automatic low oil shutdown.

 

Features

 

  • Fuel Tank: 4 gallons
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline
  • Noise Level: 69 Dba (decibels)
  • Run Time: 12 hours at a 50% load, 18 hours at 25% load
  • Outlets: Two 5-20R 120V 20A household duplex outlet, One RV-Ready TT-30R 120V 30A outlet, and One L5-30R 120V 30A outlet
  • Surge Protection: No extra surge protection is available.
  • Parallel Capable: No
  • CARB/EPA Compliant: CARB and EPA compliant. Plus, this portable generator is CSA (Canadian Standards Association) certified.
  • Starting: Manual Recoil Starter
  • Warranty: 3-Years plus a nationwide customer service and support network available to all customers.

 

Pros/Cons

Westinghouse has made an amazing product that has a lot of pros with their WGen3600 Portable Generator, but that does not mean that it doesn’t come with some cons as well.          

 

                                    Pros

  • This portable generator is compliant with three different organizations, CARB, EPA, and CSA. So, you can pretty much use it worry-free anywhere in North America.
  • The product is designed to be used right out-of-the-box and is made with extremely durable materials. It should last you a long time and the three-year warranty ensures that you are covered if it doesn’t last that long.
  • The WGen3600 comes with a built-in handle and wheels, which makes moving it around much easier.

 

                                    Cons

  • You can only use gasoline as fuel with this portable generator. If you want to have multiple fuel options, you will need to find another product from Westinghouse.
  • At 107 lbs., the generator is still quite heavy to move even with its wheels.

 

Reviews from user perspective

This product has a lot of users and even so still receives mostly high reviews, which tells you the quality of the product. Westinghouse’s customer service has been cited as extremely helpful and easy to comprehend, as has their documentation for the WGen3600. Additionally, users seem to like the large amount of power the portable generator creates and the rugged and durable construction.

 

On the negative side, some users have had problems with the quality control on the product. Most distressingly, some users have had engine failures within the first year of use. However, with the product still under warranty, if this problem occurs, Westinghouse’s customer service should be able to help you fix the issue.

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WEN DF475 4750 Watt Generator Review 120V/240V Dual Fuel Portable Generator

 

Overview

WEN is a maker of high quality and affordable power tools since 1951. Today you can find everything from drill presses and planers to tool boxes and industrial parts from the company. Their DF475 illustrates all of the best features of WEN’s portable generators and gives you a lot of product for your money.

 

Some of the best features of the WEN 4750 portable generator are its duel fuel capabilities. Not only does this allow you to use two different types of fuel, gasoline and propane, but it also provide different power capacities for the different fuel types. On propane the generator will create 4350 surge watts and 3500 running watts, and on gasoline it will create 4750 surge watts and 3800 running watts. As an added bonus, you will receive a bottle of oil, a wheel and handle kit, and a 47-inch LPG connection hose with your purchase of the portable generator.

 

Features

 

  • Fuel Tank: 4 gallons
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline and Propane
  • Noise Level: Unknown
  • Run Time: 11 hours at a 50% load
  • Outlets: Two 120V GFCI outlets, One 120V/240V NEMA 30A twist lock outlet, and a 12V DC cigarette-lighter-style plug
  • Surge Protection: Yes, both an automatic voltage regulator and overload protection
  • Parallel Capable: No
  • CARB/EPA Compliant: The generator is both CARB and EPA compliant.
  • Starting: Electric key starter
  • Warranty: 2-years

 

Pros/Cons

Wen’s DF475 has a lot of pros and cons that set it apart from other portable generators under $600.

 

            Pros

  • Wen’s DF475 is dual fuel capable, which allows you to have an extra fuel in the case of a power outage.
  • This portable generator comes with a wheel and handle kit, which makes moving this 105lb. generator around much easier.
  • You can flip from 120 volts to 240 volts very easily. This feature makes the DF475 perfect for transfer switches and emergency backup.

 

            Cons

  • The DF475 is not parallel capable, so you will not be able to increase the power by hooking it up to other portable generators.
  • There is no information about the decibel level of this portable generator, so you can probably bet that it will be louder than the “quiet” models mentioned on this list. A loud generator is not a problem if you don’t plan on sleeping or socializing near the generator, but it can make it less appealing for RVing or camping.

 

Reviews from user perspective

The many users that have reviewed the DF475 use it for a variety of functions and have found it to be suitable for all jobs. Its ability to power multiple things at once is often cited as a major positive with this portable generator. Plus, for the size, most users report that it is easy to move around.

 

As might be expected, many users complain about the noise that the DF475 produces. The biggest complaint about the noise is actually the loud parts that are put on the product and create an annoying clanging. Some users also have had a bad experience with Wen’s customer service department.

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WEN 56200i Review Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

Overview

WEN may be an older power tool manufacturer, but they have remained a staple in the industry for a reason. They were founded in 1951 by Nick Anton and aim to provide high quality and affordable tools and appliances to the American public. WEN inverter generator 56200i is a great example of the type of products that WEN produces.

 

The WEN 2000w inverter generator is another example of a lightweight, high-functioning portable generator. It is an inverter generator type that provides the cleanest energy of all generators. This allows WEN’s portable generator to be safe enough to use on all electronics even phones and laptops. And, it is quiet enough to use anywhere and is especially suited to camping or RV use. If you want an affordable and very portable generator, then this is the product for you.

 

Features

 

  • Fuel Tank: 1 gallon
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline
  • Noise Level: 51 dBA (decibels)
  • Run Time: 6 hours at a 50% load
  • Outlets: Two 3-prong 120V outlets, One 12V DC outlet, and One 5V USB port
  • Surge Protection: No special surge protection
  • Parallel Capable: Yes
  • CARB/EPA Compliant: Yes, this product is both EPA and CARB compliant.
  • Starting: Unknown
  • Warranty: 2-years

 

Pros/Cons

WEN’s 56200i portable generator has a lot a of pros, but it comes with some cons as well.

 

            Pros

  • At 51 decibels, this is the quietest portable generator on our top five list. The 56200i is just as loud as a conversation, which makes it a great fit in any circumstance.
  • This portable generator is only 48 pounds, an extremely lightweight product that is easy to move anywhere that it is needed.
  • WEN’s 56200i has an eco-mode that maximizes the generator’s fuel capacity. This is important because the generator only has a one-gallon fuel tank.

 

            Cons

  • In order to be so lightweight and quiet, the 56200i has to be quite small. If you need a portable generator to power your entire home, this is not the product for you.
  • WEN does not indicate what type of starter their product has, so if you want a specific type of starter for your portable generator, this is not the product for you.

 

Reviews from user perspective

Users have rated 562000i Wen’s 2000 watt portable generator quite high. They cite its fuel economy, easy-to-understand engine, and usability as their favorite features. Most users use this portable generator for camping or in an RV. It is perfect for this type of use, since it provides clean enough power to charge even the most sensitive of appliances.

 

Users dislike that you have to change the oil on the 56200i every day or so of its run time. Plus, there are a few reviews complaining about the portable generator quitting on them after only a year or two. But, thankfully, WEN’s 2-year warranty has you covered if the product stops working quickly.

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