Top-rated portable generators by Consumer Reports

Recommended generators range in price from $600 - $4,000

By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects , Eric Wallace - Senior Producer, I-TEAM
Headline Goes Here

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - With Hurricane Irma's uncertain path, many are preparing now -- just in case. If you are looking for a portable generator, we've researched Consumer Reports' latest ratings and found some of their recommended models range in price from $600 to $4,000.

We begin with the top 5 rated generators, with two considered a Consumer Reports "Best Buy."

Honda EU7000is: $4,000

The top rated, recommended portable generator from Consumer Reports is the Honda EU7000is, which is gasoline-powered with a 5.07-gallon tank and rated for 5500 watts. Its run time ranges from 8 - 16 hours.

This model includes:

  • Electric start
  • Low-oil shutoff (protects the engine from overheating if the oil level dips too low)
  • 4 power outlets

Tests by the consumer group found this generator delivered enough wattage to power its appliances and handled surges. A big plus, it was also especially quiet from a distance of 23 feet.

On the negative side, Consumer Reports said this generator lacks a fuel shutoff, which prevents leaks and keeps fuel from getting trapped in the fuel system and spoiling during storage.

Overall score: 79

Kohler PRO7.5E: $1,400

Next on Consumer Reports' list of recommended portable generators is the Kohler PRO7.5E.

It's gasoline-powered with an 8-gallon tank and rated for 6300 watts. Its run time ranges from 10 - 15 hours.

This model includes: 

  • Electric start
  • Fuel shutoff
  • Low-oil shutoff
  • 6 power outlets

Consumer Reports tests found this generator delivered more than enough wattage to power its test appliances, and noted it handled surges very well.

However, this generator is fairly noisy from a distance of 23 feet and Consumer Reports recommends hearing protection if you are standing close to it.

Overall score: 73

Generac RS7000E: $854 - $900 

Third on the list of the top 5 generators is the Generac RS7000E. It's also named a Consumer Reports "Best Buy."

This generator is rated for 7000 watts, and it is gasoline-powered with a 7.5-gallon tank. Its run time ranges from 9 - 15 hours.

This model includes:

  • Electric start
  • Fuel shutoff
  • Low-oil shutoff
  • 5 power outlets

Consumer Reports tests found this portable generator delivered more than enough wattage to power its test appliances and handled surges very well. It also provided clean power with consistent voltage

But, this generator was also fairly noisy from a distance of 23 feet and Consumer Reports recommends hearing protection if you are standing close.

Overall score: 72

Troy-Bilt XP7000 30477A: $900

Fourth on the list of recommended generators, and another Consumer Reports "Best Buy," is the Troy Bilt XP7000 30477A.

This gasoline-powered generator has a 9-gallon tank and is rated for 7,000 watts. Its run time ranges from 12 - 18 hours.

 

This model includes:

  • Electric start
  • Fuel shutoff
  • Low-oil shutoff
  • 5 power outlets

Consumer Reports's test found it delivered more than enough wattage to power its test appliances and handled surges very well. 

But, this generator was also fairly noisy from a distance of 23 feet and Consumer Reports recommends hearing protection if you are standing close.

Overall score: 72

Honda EM6500SXK3: $2,800

Fifth on the list of Consumer Reports' recommended portable generators is the Honda EM6500SXK2. This gasoline-powered model has a 6.2-gallon tank and is rated for 5500 watts. Its run time ranges from 8 - 13 hours.

This model includes:

  • Electric start
  • Fuel shutoff
  • Low-oil shutoff 
  • 6 power outlets

Consumer Reports found this generator delivered more than enough wattage to power its test appliances and handled surges very well. It also provided clean power with consistent voltage.

However, the consumer group noted this model lacks an hour meter, which tells you how long you've run the generator since your last oil change. 

Overall score: 70

Other "Best Buy" portable generators

After testing, Consumer Reports found three other portable generators it considers a "Best Buy": 

  • Predator 68530: $600 (Overall score: 68)
  • Generac GP5500 5939: $700 (Overall score: 67)
  • Ryobi RY905500: $600 (Overall score: 65)

For free advice from Consumer Reports on what you need to consider when buying a generator, go here.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission offers these recommendations on staying safe while using a portable generator.

 

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org.