Inverter Generator vs Portable Generator

Once upon a time, all we had to choose from were traditional generators. But now there’s a new particular breed called inverter generators that may suit your needs better.

You don’t really have to completely comprehend the technical differences behind the inverter generator vs portable generator debate. All you really need to know is that they have their own set of pros & cons.

In many ways, the conventional portable generator is better. In other ways, the inverter comes out at the top. The key to choosing what’s right (Portable Generator) for you is to understand which factors matter to you most?

1. Wattage

You get a wide range of wattage when you’re choosing among convention portable generators. These can be small units with just 500 watts, to “portable” models that can give you up to 15,000 watts or more.

Some of these generators can actually reach up to 50,000 watts, but they may be too large to be considered “portable”.With inverters, you’re limited to a range of 1000 to 4000 watts. If you need more watts, these aren’t for you.

2. Portability

Inverter generators came about because their designers were searching for means to produce generators that weren’t as big and heavy as portable generator.

If you have an inverter and also a portable generator both offering 4000 watts, the inverter will be smaller, lighter, and more portable.

Some inverters can work as individual generators for onsite construction workers to enable their power tools. Sure, the portable generators do have handles and wheels. That improves mobility. But try lifting a 200-pound power generator from your car trunk by yourself!

3. Noise

Noise reduction has also been one of the focuses of inverters. They tend to have advanced noise suppression features, super-efficient mufflers, and automatic throttle back under lighter loads to keep the rpm down. The regular portable generators are just noisier.

4. Fuel Efficiency

The inverter’s ability to automatically adjust the rpm to meet the loads means that it is more fuel efficient than its conventional counterpart.

5. Quality of Power Output

The inverters tend to produce better quality power than regular normal portable generators. That’s just a fact. It has something to do with the way they process the power.

There’s no processing with the regular generators, while the inverters convert the AC output to DC and then back to AC.

6. Parallel Use

If you find the 4000 watts of your inverter insufficient for your needs, you can buy another one and double your wattage to 8000 watts by having both generators working in tandem. You can’t do this with regular portable generators.

7. Price

This time the conventional portable generator is the winner. That’s because all these advanced features you find in the inverter will come with an increase in the price tag. If you have these two generators offering the same wattage, the portable generator will be more affordable.

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


To summarize, the portable generators can offer much more power, yet the price point is much lower. But with inverters, you get generators that are easier to carry, quieter, more fuel-efficient, more able to produce cleaner energy, and can be used in parallel.

The winner of this inverter vs portable generator head-on match up will depend on which factors matter to you most!