It’s good that you’ve finally decided to buy a small generator which will be portable for your camping trips, or job site generator. It can even be used for backup in case of a home power outage.

But a generator that fulfills the needs of one doesn’t mean that it will meet the requirements of another. Knowing how to buy a portable generator starts with that. You have to know what you want to use it for.

Factors to Consider Before Buy a Portable Generator:

1. Number of Watts

A generator will be able to provide a number of watts (running and starting watts) to power your appliances. That means you need to add up the total number of watts for the appliances you wish to run simultaneously.

So if you want to use a fridge, an AC, and the TV together, you need to add their wattage requirements to make sure you’re able to run them.

2. Fuel Source

The typical generator is powered by gasoline, though you may find some powered by diesel. Then there are those which use LPG, which many consider as cleaner for the environment. You may even use a dual fuel generator that’s able to use both LPG and gasoline.

Other generators are power stations. They’re basically rechargeable batteries that can in turn power devices that use rechargeable batteries as well. These include laptops and smartphones, but you can also power drones and portable digital cameras.

3. Portability

Portable generators can be massive, but they’re considered portable because they have wheels and handles. Though you move these things around a site, they may be difficult to lift from a car trunk.

It all depends on the size and weight of the generator. Some weigh more than 100 pounds, though for campsites you can find lighter options at 40 to 50 pounds.

Some are lightweight enough at 20 pounds that they don’t have wheels. You can just carry them with the convenient carry handle. Remember, the rule is that with more watts you will deal with greater bulk and weight.

4. Run Time

Do you plan on sleeping overnight while the generator is running? Then look for a run time of at least 8 hours before the generator tank needs refueling.

5. Noise

Try to find generators that don’t make too much noise. Your neighbors will thank you, and so will your own eardrums. Look for generators that have a muffler and other ways to reduce noise.

6. CARB Compliance

This factor is for California residents. If a generator does comply with CARB regulations, then it can’t be sold in California.

7. Ease of Use

Using a generator should be so easy that even a child should be able to handle it (though adults should be in charge). There should also be safety features like overloading protection and automatic low oil shutdown.

Buy Portable Generator

Image Name Watt Price
how to buy a portable generator

DuroMax XP4400E

4400 Starting Watt

how to buy a portable generator DuroStar DS4000S 4000 Starting Watt
Pulsar PG1202S 1200 Starting watt
Pulsar PG2000iS 2300 Starting Watt
DuroMax XP12000E 12000 Starting Wattt
how to buy a portable generator Westinghouse 9000 Starting Watt
Atima AY3000i 3000 Starting Watt
how to buy a portable generator Champion 4750 Starting Watt


Learning how to purchase a portable generator involves reading reviews. Read a lot of them, especially the ones from customers. They’re the ones that may provide the information you need to see if a particular generator really suits your needs at all.