Best Portable Generators under $500


Having a portable generator is essential if you want to avoid the inconveniences caused by power outages. It ensures that all your appliances are running before your power is reconnected. Because this type of generator is portable,  it can also be used during camping trips and sporting events.

In the market, you can find various gen-sets that are affordable and are of high quality. You can even get the best portable generators under $500. Check out our top picks below to better understand our point.

Best Portable Generators under $500 Comparison Table 2018

NameRatingPriceRunning Wattage Surge/Starting Wattage Fuel Tank Capacity Run Time at Half Load CARB Compliant
Champion Power 465964.5$$$3,500 watts4,000 watts4 gallons120hoursNo
WEN 563524.5$$$3,000 watts3,500 watts4 gallons11 hoursNo
DuroMax XP4400E4$$$3,500 watts4,400 watts4 gallons8 hoursNo
DuroStar DS4000S 4.5$$$4,400 watts4,000 watts4 gallons8 hoursNo
All Power America APG30144$$2,000 watss2,000 watts1.32 gallons9.5 hoursNo

How to Choose the Best Portable Generators under $500

  • Wattage Capability

    The wattage capability of a generator is what determines the number of appliances and electrical items it can run at once and if it can run them to full capacity. Before buying a portable generator, ensure that you know the wattage requirement of all the electrical items you wish to keep running since they vary significantly. Measuring the wattage requirement will ensure that the generator that you buy meets all the demands placed on it. In order to obtain an accurate wattage, you can contact an electrician who can calculate it using an ammeter. However, you can also calculate it by yourself, since most equipment has their power requirements in the instruction manual.

  • Determine the Voltage

    Voltage is mainly a measure of electric currents pressure. Household appliances and small businesses use 120/240 volts which means that they have two 120 volt circuits that provide a total of 240 volts. This voltage can power appliances such a water pumps, electric ranges, and air conditioners. Large businesses use a three-phase power due to various power needs. This phase produces either 120/208 volts or 277/480 volts. Due to this difference in voltage, it is recommended that you know the voltage your appliances use before purchasing the best portable generators under $500.

  • Fuel Type

    Depending on the generator models, the engine can run on propane, natural gas, diesel or gasoline. Before buying a portable generator, know how you will use the generator and how often you will use it. Ensure that you choose a gen-set that uses a fuel type that is affordable and available. Gasoline is the least expensive but it is difficult to store since its fumes are highly flammable. Propane, natural gas, and diesel portable generators are the best choices. You can store them safely in large tanks

  • Has Extra Portability-Wheel Kit and Easy to Use

    The best portable generator under $500 should be easy to carry around. Hence, they should offer extra portability, like foldable handles and a wheel kit. Added portability will help you to carry it around whenever you wish to. In order for a gen-set to be easy to use, it should consist of an electric starter which will enable you to get it running immediately. As far as ultra-portability is concerned, you are advised to engage portable generators that are compact and lightweight.


The best portable generators under $500 should consist of high-quality features that will not only supply you with power but also save you money by being fuel-efficient. They should also be easy to move and able to work with less noise.

Further Reading on Best Portable Generators