Phil has been working as a technical engineer since his graduation, and has never thought of changing his profession. Also, he’s an avid fisherman and camper, so it’s not only work which makes him deal with generators.
Last updated: February 27, 2021
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Versatility is probably the very reason that you’re thinking of buying a 5,000-watt generator. With this size of unit, you kind of get the best of both worlds. You’re looking to buy something that sits in a bracket which overlaps both the power section and the very desirable portability section of what is available on the market. When it comes to finding the best 5,000-watt generator, the choice can be a bit overwhelming, to say the very least. The marketplace is packed with many models, and all have very different features.
That’s exactly why we’ve decided to put together a buying guide, featuring some of the best 5,000-watt generators we could find. We’ve taken into account a lot of different aspects and add-ons when we’ve looked at what is available. We’ve also taken a look at many of the detailed product reviews – by customers, just like yourself. By doing the detailed research for you, and doing the rounds of the vast amount of seller pages offering 5,000-watt generators, we hope to have helped you narrow down your search considerably, and that we’re going to be saving you a lot of hard work and heavy reading.
In the table below, we summarize top seven products we could find on the marker. Read on for more details on each generator, complete with pros and possible cons. Then, after reading our detailed buying guide, you should be much better equipped to be able to find the best 5,000-watt generator for your own needs and purposes. So, without further delay, let’s get down to all the facts.
Our number one choice on the list of the best 5kW generators is probably also the best quiet 5,000-watt generator you’re ever likely to be able to find among the conventional generator types. It really is a beautiful thing to behold.
This model comes with a very sturdy and rugged undercarriage structure, which means you’ll be able to move this around quite easily without fear of damaging it, or your back.
The Honda EM5000SX comes fully equipped with electric start, and this is a great feature to have when you’ve got to start up your generator in sub-zero conditions or during the night. The last thing you’ll sometimes want to be doing is pulling on a chord with cold hands, or when visibility is bad.
One of the nicest features about the Honda EM5000SX is the fact that there’s a built-in over-run upon starting up the unit. This model will actually give you 7,000 watts of power availability for the first ten seconds after it’s started. This will attract a heck of a lot of customers because it means that you can use this 5,000-watt generator to power appliances and items of equipment, even when their initial starting up wattage exceeds 5,000 watts. It’s a great option to have, and although it won’t affect everyone, it’ll prove invaluable to some.
All in all, the Honda EM5000SX is getting up to levels which it’s very hard to exceed in the market which contains this class of generator. It’s an expensive buy, but one that offers much versatility and reliability. If your budget suits, it’s had to look past this great generator.
You’ll need to bear in mind with our next generator that it only actually runs at 4,250 watts. The 5,000-watt rating of this generator is based on surge wattage, and shouldn’t be mistaken for what this machine can output on a minute by minute basis. That wouldn’t be accurate at all.
The JEGS 81963 is nonetheless a great little generator which has got a lot of stuff going for it. It fully deserves to be on our list of the best 5,000 watt generators.
The 223 cubic centimeter capacity engine on the JEGS 81963 puts out a fairly impressive seven and a half horsepower, and the thing is kept running by a decent sized fuel tank, which carries four gallons. This enables the JEGS 81963 to run continuously for a very reasonable nine hours.
This machine isn’t as quiet as the Honda model which sits at the top of our list, although that is a very high benchmark to get near, and this generator isn’t too far of it, running at 68 dB(A).
Maybe the most notable thing about the JEGS 81963 is the price – and I don’t in any way mean that in a negative sense. This generator comes with some great features and the cost puts it in a very different bracket to the Honda model. Of course, with the JEGS 81963, you don’t get anything like the features you do with the Honda, but what you do get is a decent and economical unit, that doesn’t cost the earth.
The Pulsar PG5250B comes in at number three on our list of the best seven 5000-watt generators, and this is a pretty nice little unit that is going to make a lot of people happy.
The first thing to say about this model is that we’re making it our top pick for RV users. This is because the Pulsar PG5250B comes fully equipped to be used with either gasoline or with Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), making it one of the best propane generators out there. That’s not the only reason we gave this unit the title of best for RV users, though. We also really liked the fact that the manufacturer made it so easy to switch between fuels effortlessly, and that the Pulsar PG5250B even comes supplied with an approved LPG hose, so you can get using it on the road as soon as you need to. Now, that’s a great way to appeal to the RV market, and the manufacturer deserves great credit for that sort of care taken.
The Pulsar PG5250B also features the all-important electronic starting feature, which is another great option to have when you’re on the road under stars that don’t throw out too much light, and the night temperatures fall low.
If you’re the type that regularly hits the road in your RV, or even if you’re quite used to taking off for the wilderness to camp or hunt, this portable generator offers big advantages in that you only need to throw an LPG canister into the truck or RV before you leave, and then you won’t have to worry about running out of fuel. A great option for outdoor types.
The next generator on this list of the seven best 5kW generators is the very excellent Champion Power Equipment 100496 model, and let me tell you right now that this unit will get a heck of a lot of buyers out there clicking on the button very quickly, because there really is an awful lot to like about this great, great product. It fully deserves its place on our list and if middle of the pricing range coupled with power, quality and huge manufacturer confidence in their product is what floats your boat – you’ll be sailing a very, very long way if you get on board with the Champion Power Equipment 100496.
This is a big gasoline generator, and although it doesn’t get into the place on this list which is occupied by the Honda machine, this is probably the best comparable alternative to that generator, for roughly about one third of the cost of the number one model. The Champion Power Equipment 100496 gives you the same sort of starting over-run as we saw on the Honda model, and that’s a great feature to get on a machine at this price point.
This is a pretty noisy machine, at 74 dB, so that needs to be considered, and it’s one reason that this model is cheaper than the Honda, if we’re comparing between the two here.
One of the best inclusions here is that this generator features a built-in voltage spike protector, so the Champion Power Equipment 100496 is a great choice if you want to run more sensitive equipment, such as computers or TVs.
This machine has one of the best warranties you’ll ever find on a generator of this size, indicating good quality and reliability.
In next on our list of the best seven 5,000 watt generators we could find is the very nice little PowerSmart PS46, which is a nice generator for a very reasonable number of dollars parted with.
This smaller and more portable unit will suit many, many potential buyers who want to get a generator which produces a full 5,000 watts, but don’t want to lug something to big or heavy around. Be that because of a physical infirmity, lack of overall strength, or a lack of transport space available in your vehicle, this little generator may well exactly fit your bill. Even if you’re a tiny person with a tiny truck or car, the PowerSmart PS46 won’t be too much of a problem for you to carry around with you. It’ll go pretty much anywhere you want to take it.
This generator is a bit noisy for a small model, putting out the same (74 dB) as the much large Champion 100496. The PowerSmart PS46 does have a very nice ten-hour runtime, though, which will make it a really nice option if you want it to run all night in the Winter season, when the days are short, and the nights are extremely long. It’ll mean you can avoid the chore of having to fuel up in the dark – which is a massive bonus.
If you are in need of a portable generator, and you would benefit from a longer runtime, this could well be a great generator for you.
This is a really nice little 5,000-watt generator, and it’s completely deserving of its place on our list of the best seven generators within this class. It’s another Champion model that is really going to fit the bill for a lot of users out there who want a decent level of power, combined with a very quiet performance.
The Champion Power Equipment 100519 generator is an inverter model. What does this mean? Well, what it basically means is that this powerful unit will throw out a few thousand Watts of power for you, whilst running at the same type of decibel level as your average domestic vacuum cleaner. That’s a pretty impressive feat, and one that will see this Champion model snapped up by a lot of people who want their generator to be quiet.
Because this is a Champion, you also get the same, excellent warranty we saw on the other Champion on this list, at three years limited. That’s another plus point for a generator that already had a lot going for it to begin with.
Perhaps because it is so efficient, the Champion Power Equipment 100519 will run for a lengthy 12.5-hour runtime, which is great news for longer nights. This generator has so much going for it, that it’s easy to see why it gets such good reviews.
Okay, so we’re down to our final placed generator and it’s the DuroMax XP5500EH. It’s necessary to bear in mind that this sits right down the bottom of the price range for 5000 Watt generators. What you get here is an attempt to try to include a lot of the features that a lot of people want – but that may result in lower quality materials and in turn, a lower quality user experience.
The generator only actually runs at 4,500 watts, so it’s a little under-powered, which will be fine for many. You get a pretty standard set-up here, with seven and a half horsepower and a fairly short runtime of eight hours – which won’t suit everybody, but may not matter to some.
The DuroMax XP5500EH comes with two options (although there are some reports of battery cable issues, and this will affect the electronic start). You get the option of the push button start, using a battery for ignition, or a more traditional recoil cord start, which doesn’t require the use of the battery.
The manufacturer here claims a running noise level of 69 dB, but I’m not sure how confident in that figure, and in fact it’s downright hard to believe that a generator of this type, with these specs, could run at 69 dB, so maybe a pinch of salt is in order there.
This dual fuel generator runs on either LPG or gasoline, and it’s worth considering if you’re on a tight budget.
What we liked:
What could be better:
Some quality issues reported
4,500-watt running output
Things to Consider
Now that you’ve decided to commit to buying a good 5,000-watt generator, you’re going to need to know which of the many features and options are the right features and options for your own requirements and usage. There are a lot of generators out there, and even if you do decide to narrow your search down and pick one from our list of seven of the best 5,000-watt generators, you’ll need to know which of those models have got the features that you are going to need to have, in order to get the absolute best use out of your generator.
Below, we’re going to look at a lot of the most important considerations you will need to be aware of when you start working toward your own generator purchase decision. Models of this size are a relatively major investment. The best advice is usually to develop a detailed idea of what you’re going to need in terms of features – based on how, where and why you’re going to be looking to put the generator to work once you’ve purchased it.
Differences in how you intend to use your generator, when compared to another individual, can be pretty big. People often make the mistake of looking at these beasts and thinking that they all look very much the same – so they probably are all very much the same. But that’s not always the case.
Every generator will have been designed to suit a particular set of user requirements. It’s very important to do your research in detail before you actually get your wallet out and part with any cash.
There is also the question of what an individual’s expectations are. One person may be better off searching for the best 5,000-watt inverter generator, and this can be for a variety of reasons which are specific to that particular user. Another potential generator buyer may well be far better off looking around to find the best affordable 5,000-watt generator. As always, when a wide range of people are making a buying decision, budget will come far higher up the list for some than for others. If budget is your main consideration, then it is always a great idea to make that your first point of call when you’re scanning the information out there on different generators. If you start there, and then work through the features, you’ll be in pretty good shape with regard to getting something you’re ultimately going to get good use from, and be happy with.
Even if you just decide to use our list of seven of the best 5kW generators, you’ll find that we’ve marked everything out clearly and ordered each product review so that the process is as quick, simple and easy as it can be for you. But do take the time to make a quick list of what you need from your new generator – before you do anything else. Then make a list of what you want. Within your own budget, you should be looking to get all of the ‘what I need’ features in your choice of generator, and ideally, as many of the ‘what I want’ features in there too.
This is a great approach to finding the right model for you and for your purposes, and you won’t go too far wrong using this tried and tested method. One thing worth adding at this point, is that once you’ve narrowed your search down on that basis, it’s very advisable to then proceed and buy the best generator you can afford for the total amount of cash you have available to spend. It’s maybe not an exclusive truth, but it’s very often the case that you get what you pay for.
Heavily engineered generators are very frequently a good example of that rule, and longevity, durability and quality are ultimately factors that affect budget. It’s no use buying a generator which is relatively cheap, if you’re going to have to replace it very often.
False economy just isn’t economy, so remember not to be seduced when it comes to making that final decision, and always remember that something that lasts is a good spend.
Important features to consider before you buy a 5,000-watt generator
So, what are some of the important features we’re going to be looking at in this buying guide? What are the prominent things that you need to be aware of in order to understand exactly what you’re getting for your money? The main features which are going to affect the success level your ultimate purchase represents will be things such as:
Generator type: conventional or inverter models – one of the technical aspects which will be a consideration for a lot of users, and worth keeping one eye out for when reading about the details of each model.
Starting and running wattages for each generator – What’s the output and what can you expect to be able to run from your new generator? Don’t get caught short.
Fuel types for each model – this can be an important factor for economy, but it’s worth making sure that the type of fuel you opt for is readily available where you’ll be looking to use your new generator – or that could cause a headache.
Reliability of each generator – an extremely important factor. Just as when buying a car, a history of reliability means less repair bills, and it can often make more financial sense to spend slightly more on a more reliable model.
Fuel tank capacities and sizes available – important to some users more than others.
Runtimes for each generator before fill-ups – a longer runtime equals less attention and lower overall usage of your time. Important when you’re using a generator for certain activities, and in certain settings.
Outlet numbers and outlet types on the machine – what are they? And, where are they? What will you need?
Noise levels and how quiet or noisy each model is – decibel levels. What do you need from your own generator? Where will you use it, and will noise be a factor?
Size, weight, and how easy or not it is to move your generator around – will you be moving your new machine around a lot, or never? Is this even a factor for you?
Warranties and protection – a very important consideration when making a relatively expensive purchase, with lots of moving parts which can potentially go wrong.
So, with all that in mind, let’s take a more detailed look at all of the different features and options which are going to affect which 5kW generator you end up purchasing. We’ll try to break down each aspect, and give it an explanation that is easy to understand, and put in practical terms.
What can a 5,000-watt generator power?
That’s a great question to ask, and it’s a pretty simple one to answer when all is said and done. The answer is that you’ll be able to supply small to medium electrical appliances with it. A 5kW generator is enough to run things such as lighting, ventilation equipment like fans, radios and televisions and even camping kettles of some types. For comforts, you can run a more portable electric heater and, when it’s time for bed, you can even power some electric blankets with a 5,000-watt generator. A good rule of thumb, which makes it easy to keep track on what you can and can’t run, is that a 5,000-watt generator is capable of powering all appliances and equipment which has a watts rating under that 5,000 watts, but if you need to power something that requires more watts, then you should rather opt for 6,500-watt generators or even more powerful. Remember that, and check the appliances you want to run, and you won’t go too far off track at all.
Generator type: conventional or inverter
Inverter generators are well worth considering where you’re going to need to run a generator close to people, because it’s usually much more quiet than a conventional one. Events, stalls, weddings and even some work applications mean you might be better going for an inverter rather than a conventional generator. Pay closer attention to this the more it’s a factor for you, because inverter models can be more expensive to buy.
Another great thing about inverter generators is that they produce ‘clean’ power, so you can run sensitive electronics.
Starting and running watts
It’s a very good idea to pay attention to the appliances you’re going to need to run off of your generator which have a high starting wattage. You’ll need to work out that you can start and run different things at the times when you’ll tend to need to, without overloading your generator at all. Remember that some appliances, such as those with motors, pull a considerably higher wattage at start-up, than when they’re just running. Be aware of that.
This isn’t so much of an important factor if you’re only using your generator as a backup infrequently, or if you intend to give your new machine mostly a bit of leisure use here and there. If you’re using your model for some sort of work application, and if it’s very frequent, then the differences in the costs of various types of fuels can mount up. Keep in mind the costs of different types of fuel in your local area. Will one or other be a better move in terms of cost?
Another very important factor to consider here is LPG availability. In some parts of the world, although LPG can be way cheaper to buy and use than gasoline, it’s not always as widely available. Make sure it’s readily available for regular purchase where you live if you want to buy a generator that runs on it.
This is one of the most important aspects of buying any machine with many moving parts, engineered parts, or indeed an engine incorporated within it. There can be massive differences in the quality of build when it comes to engineered products. Not only to miniscule different in terms of the fine limits engineering employs, but also in terms of the quality of materials used when these machines are built. It’s always more than worth doing as much research as possible into failure rates, and if you can, basing your decisions around any knowledge you may have about individual manufacturers. For instance, Honda are very well known for producing some of the most reliable car engines in the world, so this may be a factor for you.
Fuel tank capacity
This can matter for a few different reasons. Your first consideration would be how much fuel your new generator uses, how hard you’re running it, and subsequently, how often you’ll need to ensure the machine is topped up with enough fuel to keep it running.
You may also want to consider whether or not this machine is only going to get occasional use, because occasional or emergency use means that fueling up isn’t going to be such a regular problem.
The other thing to consider is where you’re going to be running it. By that, we mean that if you live in the Canadian Rockies and this machine is going to be providing most of your electric power, causing you to have to brave very low exterior temperatures every time you have to top up the fuel, you’ll maybe be doing yourself a massive favor by choosing something with a larger tank. You may also want to find the best 5,000-watt portable generator with electric start in this scenario, because easy starting is a great advantage in harsher environments.
Runtime is a big issue, and it’s one that again depends a lot on how you intend to use your machine. If you’re going to be using it once in a blue moon to have an event in your garden, for instance, then runtime does matter because you probably don’t want to be taking time away from entertaining and smelling of gasoline. This is an occasion where maybe you need to find the quietest generator with a decent runtime. If you use this machine to power tools at work, however, then access to and frequency of fueling might not matter too much to you. It’s going to depend what you want to do with the generator, like for example Pulsar PG5250B, one of the best Pulsar generators, will be the top option for RV use with its 12 hours of runtime at half-load.
Based on what you’re going to run, you’ll need to have the correct number and types of outlets for that. Count up what you’re going to need and make sure you can safely run the generator on that basis – then make your decision to buy.
This is an important consideration, and it’s one we’re going to pay attention to because it’s somewhere that a lot of people go wrong when they’re buying a generator. It’s way too easy to not give this aspect of things enough thought, and to find yourself with a generator that’s not fit for the environment in which you need it to be running. Pay careful attention to decibel levels stated for when the generator is running. If you need to use it at a party or event, for instance, or even around the home – is it going to be quiet enough for your needs? The best 5,000-watt inverter generator will always be a quieter option than a conventional one, due to how they’re made and run.
Size, weight, and portability
This matters if you are going to be taking your generator out every day to a work site, or if you intend to head for the hills camping with it quite often. If this unit is ultimately never going to move once you get it home and set it up as a backup generator, then size is only a factor in terms of siting it, and weight only when moving it into place.
Size will be a consideration if you’re looking for the best 5,000-watt generator for RV use, but it may not be as important if you’re searching for the best 5,000-watt portable generator for home.
Choose wisely, because if this is something that you’re going to want to move around a lot, you want it to be easy. If this is the case, then look for the best 5,000-watt portable generator you can find.
It’s always very desirable to have a longer warranty. It can often signal high quality and good manufacturer confidence in the way their product is engineered. A long warranty may be a clue that there aren’t many recalls with this product. Check the warranty carefully, and remember that it might save you lots of money and time later on, if something goes wrong with the product.
Generators come in all shapes, types, and sizes, over a broad price range. The most expensive generators in the 5,000-watt class can be as much as $3,000 for a model from a reputable and well-known manufacturer. You can pick up the budget model on our list of the seven best 5kW generators for as little as $400. Quality and reliability will both be massive factors in setting the price, so be very mindful of that when making your choice.
Tips and tricks
When you start using your generator:
Never overload the rated wattage
Always use the correct fuel
Always keep it topped up with fuel
Always refer to manufacturer care instructions and look after the model
This depends, because they’re all different and it’s a good idea to check – especially when noise is a big consideration for you. You will find that inverter generators are quieter than conventional models, so look accordingly.
Power management is your friend here. If you’re careful about starting wattages (some appliances with motors use a brief high wattage to start, but then run at their lower operating wattage), you’ll be able to run more stuff on a smaller generator, by being careful what you run when. A limited capacity means that when on a generator, you need to give all of this more thought than you do when you’re on-grid.
LPG is cheaper than other fuels, so you’ll make your generator use more efficient if you go down this route. It also can be stored for a longer period of time. Beware, though, because LPG isn’t always as widely available as other fuels. Check that out before you commit to go with LPG
So, we’ve looked at some really nice generators and we’ve had a great look at the important points you need to consider before choosing and buying your own 5,000-watt generator. There was a stand-out winner in our search, and that was the Honda EM5000SX model, which had everything that most people will ever need from a generator of this type and size.
In second place on our list, and also fully deserving of a position near the top of our search for the best 5kW Watt generator, was the JEGS 81963, which is another beautiful generator and it has some awesome features.
In third place on our list was the Pulsar PG5250B model. This generator didn’t quite get to the top of the tree but it’s going to be a great generator that will suit a hell of a lot of people and uses. Our top three were all worth their places on the list of the best 5,000-watt generators, and we hope that we’ve given you enough information in this article, via our ratings and the buying guide, to enable you to make your own decision and find the best 5,000-watt generator for you!