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 08, 2021
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A generator is a thoroughly practical appliance to have at hand to ensure continued power wherever you are. Whether you’re looking to work on a succession of home improvement projects, are travelling in your RV and need a power source, experiencing regular power outages in your area, or just want to purchase one as a viable back-up solution, the best generator under $1000 will be able to satisfy your needs for an additional power source at any given time.
This is a detailed review which selects five of those best-selling generators currently available on the market, focusing on those essential features we feel are most crucial when choosing a good quality generator. Concentrating on features such as peak output performance, fuel type, tank capacity, running time, and noise level, we highlight the importance of each generators best-selling features. Summarizing each model, we then finish with a quick roundup of pros and any cons we’ve discovered during our research, aiming to bring you a quick glance at their overall efficiency for their total cost.
By taking the time to search the market place for you, we’ve been able to present to you five of what we consider to be the most versatile generators available to buy now below the $1000 mark. Offering a final rating for each model, based on our many years of reviewing experience, we present our findings in a table and then in the in-detail reviews of each model. Furthermore, we’ve included a helpful buying guide with frequently asked questions included to assist you in making that perfect best generator under $1000 purchase.
"This portable inverter generator from the reliable brand is able to produce up to 2,200 surge and 1,800 running watts and runs for a whopping 10.5 hours at 25% load, which makes it extremely efficient."
The Honda Power Equipment EB2800i, well-known brand, makes top in our list here for the Best Portable Generator under $1000. This is an inverter generator which is visually one of the more compact and lightweight of designs on the market, but equally, one which is extremely portable while offering enough power for many uses. Perfectly able to cope with those more sensitive of equipment, devices, and indeed commonly used electronics, this is a fuel-efficient model that has a tank capacity of 2.1 gallons, offering 2,800 peak watts. This means it can provide around 12 hours of run time when used at a 25% load, and a good 5 hours when fully loaded.
This is claimed to be a quieter source of power which makes it perfect for the home environment with an adequate noise level of 62 to 67 dB(A). It can also be used practically when out and about and camping – such is its ability to operate those smaller of appliances more effectively. Utilizing advanced technology in its construction, this is the safer of designs as it features a practical switch control for the ignition system, neutral bond and GFCI-protected outlets, and even individual outlet cirquit protection to make sure the outlets don’t get overloaded. It also has an off button to completely stop the engine and close the fuel valve and an on running position button to open the fuel valve, allowing the engine to get started. Customers of the Honda Power Equipment EB2800i find this a great little generator which is easy to start and operate, is reliable, and will serve for years to come.
The Ford FG7750PBE is the best bang for your buck and one of the best dual-fuel generators out there as it offers a powerful solution with many added features to ensure it remains thoroughly easy to operate and transport with you when required. This dual-fuel generator not only benefits from the Ford branding but also Switch and Go Technology, and an electric start. This means you can take advantage of the seamless transitioning, even while the generator is operating, between gasoline and liquid propane. Additionally, the electric push start ensures a quicker and more natural startup alongside that of a maintenance-free battery and recoil back up offering as standard.
This dual-fuel provides up to 7,750 peak watts on gasoline and 7,500 watts on LPG. A powerful workhorse with a 420cc engine, it works on a single cylinder and is encased with a powered coat and heavy-duty steel framing. It’s also designed for maximum portability with its drop-down handles and sturdy wheels. With the capacity to hold up to 6.6 gallons of fuel, you can access a fantastic 10.5 hours of uninterrupted operation here when running half load on gasoline. The most significant benefit of the Ford FG7750PBE though is being able to choose how you wish to fuel and run your generator, with its dual-fuel capacity offering more options here. A propane hose is included with your purchase, ensuring it’s ready to go straight from the box.
Customers of the Ford FG7750PBE find this a durable model that is easily transportable and a very high functioning unit all-round.
What we liked:
Powerful generator with easy transitioning
Electric push start and recoil starter type
Strong brand name
Perfect design for transporting
Propane hose included with purchase
10.5 hours of uninterrupted operation
What could be better:
A noise level of
Some issues mentioned with the recoil starter method
The Champion Power Equipment 100296 is chosen here as our Best Residential Generator under $1000 as this is a most powerful model which can be used at a job site, with your RV, during a power outage, and all around! A conventional dual-fuel generator, this offers a fantastic and powerful peak output of 9,475 watts on gasoline and 8,400 watts on propane. Making use of a 439cc engine, this model also features Intelligauge, Cold Start Technology, and Volt Guard, being a standard for Champion generators.
Offering you a total of 8 hours running time on gasoline, with 5.5 hours on propane, this is a 4-stroke single cylinder generator with both an electric and recoil starter, which is encased in a cast iron sleeve for assured durability. Complete with a propane hose, this is ready to use as soon as you take it from the box. With the Intelligauge feature, you can also monitor its output power while tracking its maintenance intervals, run time hours, hertz, and voltage. Including a shut-off sensor for low oil, this is a user-friendly and remarkably safe model which prevents overloads and can be transported and indeed stored with relative ease. Users find this a robust model which they claim is superior in operation and thoroughly accessible to run.
What we liked:
Duel fuel generator
Powerful wattage performance
Intelligauge and cold start technology
Cast iron casing
Easy to start
What could be better:
A noise level of 74 dB(A) makes it louder than expected
The Yamaha EF2200iS deserves this score because of its ability to offer the penultimate in power while doing so through a lightweight, portable, and extremely cooler looking design than most generators out there on the market! Weighing less than a mere 56 pounds, this is easily the more transportable of inverter generators and can hold up to 1.24 gallons of fuel in its tank. With a rated wattage of 2,200 watts, the run time of this smaller model is a staggering 10.5 hours at 25% load. This means it can run continuously without any need to refuel. Furthermore, it does this by maximizing fuel efficiency through its incorporated premium technology.
By pulling the recoil-start handle, you can expect a low-level noise from this generator at a range of 57 dB(A) in total, with the Smart Throttle feature working to automatically adjusts its engine speed to match the load. The Yamaha EF2200iS is an upgraded model which therefore benefits from an entirely new controller and much more advanced programming, meaning you can power many more applications than with its previous generation model. An easier to start generator due to its auto-decompression system, this also has an low oil and overload warning system as well as an electrical overload breaker for continued peace of mind.
Customers of the Yamaha EF2200iS find this fuels in seconds and thoroughly appreciate the useful fuel gauge. However, it’s the long running time of 10.5 hours which really gets top ratings.
The Westinghouse iGen4200 is our budget pick of the bunch here as well as the best RV generator under $1000 because, despite its budget price, the eco inverter technology employed within this model ensures a maximum fuel efficiency that rivals many of its more expensive counterparts. With a peak output of 4,200 watts, this model can hold up to 2.6 gallons in its fuel tank equaling an amazing run time per gallon of 18 hours.
An inverter generator, this is a hybrid choice which is claimed to be a complete workhorse and therefore perfect as a back-up power source whether at home or when traveling. The heart of the generator is the 212cc 4-stroke Westinghouse OHV engine, which offers a combination of both worlds with its unique open frame design and its use of smart inverter technology. Claimed to be the more significantly quieter of portable generators, at just 62 dB, this model is RV ready as well as offers those standard household outlets with USB ports. Designed with safety in mind where concerning those more sensitive of electronics, the Westinghouse iGen4200 aims to produce cleaner and stable power making it ideal for devices such as mobile phones, computers, and TVs. It’s so simple to get this generator going, all you need to do is just plug and play, such is the minimal assembly of this model.
What we liked:
Simple set up and operation
Very quiet in operation
Perfect traveling companion
Works well with many essential devices
Selection of extras included with purchase
What could be better:
Some claim items need to be plugged in in a specific order
Issues with the use of the cord mentioned
Things to Consider
We feel confident that by reading through these extensive reviews, you’ll now have a clearer view of the best types of generators for under $1000 that are the more popular on the current market. Now that you’ve had a little time to scrutinize these models in more detail, why not take a look through our additional buying guide and enhance your knowledge of generators in further detail? Here, we’ve compiled a helpful section which aims to elaborate more upon those features we mentioned in the above reviews, using our research. These are the elements we consider the most important when it comes to selecting that best generator.
A generator for under 1000$: What you should and should not expect?
When searching for a generator under $1000, it’s possible, as seen here, to find those that are both conventional and powerful, with even some of the less powerful inverter generators included in such a price range, and if the price tag is what you are after, please don’t forget that there are even generators under $500 or offers from such brands as Powermate or Cat that come at a reasonable price. Our detailed reviews prove there are many reputable manufacturers such as Ford, Honda, and Yamaha, to name but a few, to select from at this price range. Though you can’t expect automatic starting whenever the power runs out, permanent installation, self-diagnosis, and an exceeding wattage of over 10,000 – you should expect an adequate power supply for several items alongside a reasonable running time of five hours minimum to around ten hours average. Additionally, at this price tag, you should also expect to find it a durable and long-standing model which can be easily transported to precisely where you need it the most.
How much power do you need?
It’s suggested that the average homeowner will power most of their household appliances using between 3,000 and 6,500 watts overall. Therefore, if you’re only looking to power a few items on an occasional basis, you may want to search for the best 4,000-watt generator under $1000. Most people find that 3,000 to 5,000 watts are adequate enough for a variety of needs when using a generator for additional power. However, if you’re looking at selecting a generator for a more extensive purpose, aim for one with a higher wattage rating to ensure it can cope with the increased requirements. The Champion Power Equipment 100296 is fantastic here offering many uses and a powerful output of up to 9,475 surge watts.
Conventional vs. inverter generator
A conventional generator is a longstanding model type which relies on an energy source to power its attached motor to an alternator, with the result the process of electricity produced. Needing to run at a constant speed to be effective, it relies on propane, diesel, or gas.
An inverter generator is the newer of designs and relies upon high-tech magnets and more advanced electronic circuitry, converting AC to DC and then inverting it back again to produce cleaner AC power.
The best type depends on your intended use, and there are many factors for and against either selection. However, as a brief guide, conventional generators are recommended for generating power while inverter generators are more suited for charging items such as phones and laptops, away from the home base. Though inverter types are said to be quieter and more portable in design, it’s the conventional types that offer a longer running time as standard.
For how long you need to run your generator?
The length of time you can run your generator will depend on many factors such as the capacity of its fuel tank, the average run time, and what type of fuel it requires to operate. For example, best dual fuel generators are the most practical as they tend to run longer on propane. Take a look at the average running times for each model as the percentage of your current load will also affect these figures here. The Westinghouse iGen4200 offers up to 18 hours of running time, but this figure is based on a 25% load, as is the Honda’s EB2800i 12-hour running estimate. For an average value of 50% load, you’re looking at a running time of 10.5 hours, as per the Ford FG7750PBE.
Generator noise level
Though it’s rare to find a generator of any size and type that won’t emit some noise while operating, generators have always been known for their loudness, and it’s not always practical to have a noisy generator in operation, primarily when used around others. We advise that you look for the best quiet generator option here ranging from 49 to 60 decibels. The Yamaha EF2200iS claims a sound level of 57 decibels, but it’s worth noting that the bigger the generator, the most likely the louder the noise level, but you already can see why this particular model is considered to be one of the best Yamaha generators. Some manufacturers will offer a guide as to what their generator sound can be likened to when in full operation.
Safety should be paramount in a generator and all these models selected assure safer usage throughout. You should also make sure to only place and operate your generator in the best of areas and circumstances, thus avoiding hazardous workspaces, electrical shocks, and fires. Look here for such features as overload protection, mainly if you’re using it for multiple devices, an automatic field shut off like the Yamaha EF2200iS, and low-oil shut off to ensure it shuts off when low. Never be tempted to use it indoors or run it in the rain. Additionally, allow your generator to cool before refueling.
Tips and tricks
Keep stocked up with plentiful oil and filters – changing them as and when required for improved efficiently
Allow your generator to cool down before filling
Keep your fuel tank always filled and don’t allow it to run out of gas while operating
Use fresh gas when you re-fill as old and stale fuel can cause many a starter problem
Store your fuel safely
Use a heavy duty cord to ensure an extended distance between you and the generator
Get into the habit of starting up your generator regularly – even if you’re not going to use it
If you wish to power electronics, an inverter generator is advisable here rather than that of a conventional generator. A conventional generator is aimed at supplying an overall large energy source to power many items. However, if it’s merely mobile phones, laptops, or electronic devices that you require charging as such, inverter generators are designed to accommodate this process. Smaller in size and quieter to run they are aimed at those who need a quick and convenient power source, offering a smoother and cleaner process in the meantime. An inverter generator is largely recommended when travelling and you want to be able to stop and recharge most of your electronic devices swiftly.
To get the right amount of power for a selection of household items such as this you need to find out the actual electricity usage figure of each one and calculate it from there. Though there are many typical figures for kettle and coffee makers as such, it pays to get the exact figure for your own appliances and work it on the total amount of power needed, then compare it to how much power your chosen generator will accommodate. Take the wattage figures from each appliance you want to power and make sure the final number is within range of your generator’s peak wattage – never be tempted to just guess here.
A generator extension power cord needs to be selected carefully as to the type of generator that you have and the wattage of use. This will ensure you don’t damage your generator or those appliances you wish to run from it or cause a blow-out. It is, however, most practical as it can accommodate several more devices. Ensure you match your power cord to the outlet from your generator. So, if your generator amp is 50 amps, for example, select a 50 amp extension cord. Work to your generator and never be tempted to choose a power cord which is higher in amp than the generator itself.
Hopefully, this informative review has given you a clearer idea of how useful and practical generators are and precisely what they can offer you. We believe that by combining both the detailed reviews and additional buying guide notes, you’re now adequately prepared to take that next step and purchase the most appropriate model for your specific requirements.
Our top-rated generator here is the Honda Power Equipment EB2800IA as we believe it offers everything essential from a generator but at a reduced size and structure – making it perfect for many uses. Second best on our list is the
Ford FG7750PBE for its ability to operate as a sheer workhorse while still being the most practical of models.
We liked the Champion Power Equipment 100296 and placed it third here as we feel it’s the best choice for the home environment, offering power to equal even that of those commercial generators!
In concluding, you can rest assured that every one of these models are highly efficient in operation and from some of the most reputable brands in the current market place.