8 Best 12000-Watt Portable Generators

As there’s no way to tell when that next power outage might throw off your household routine, it pays off to be prepared. Portable generators are a suitable back-up plan for any homeowner hoping to curb the hassle of a blackout.

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But exactly how much power do you need? During most short-term power outages, a 12000-watt portable generator might just let you run your house on bare minimum to see you through to brighter days. Now, the only question – what is the best 12000-watt portable generator on the market?
Don’t sweat it. We’ve done the research to set you off on the right foot. Here are all the facts you need to know to get your hands on the right investment.

Overview

During your search for the best 12000-watt portable generator, you might find the choices to be overwhelming. With over a hundred different models to choose from, how can you be sure that you’re buying the ideal one?
While every person’s needs are different, there are some portable generators out there that are more likely to satisfy standards across the board. We’ve scoured the market to find the best of the best, so you won’t have to go through the time-consuming process.

Editor choice 1 Westinghouse WGen12000
10
Westinghouse WGen12000
(Best 12000-Watt Portable Generator)

Convenient and powerful, the WGen12000 was designed for excellent performance all around. This portable generator boasts of an intuitive design that makes it easy for you to use – from maintenance, to operation, and everything in between.

10
2 CAT RP12000E
9.9
CAT RP12000E
(Best Efficient 12000-Watt Generator)

Coming from the ever-trusted Caterpillar brand, this is a fuel-efficient model designed for extended periods of use. Able to run for nearly 12 hours on a full tank at half load, this 12000-watt portable generator can keep you confident in the stickiest situations.

9.9
3 Rainier R12000DF
9.8
Rainier R12000DF
(Best Dual-Fuel 12000-Watt Portable Generator)

Propane or gasoline? Whatever you might have, the Ranier R12000DF can take it. This dual-fuel portable generator gives you two different fuel options, extending versatility and convenience for a range of situations.

9.8
4 Champion
9.8
Champion
(Best Solid 12000-Watt Portable Generator)

Ultra heavy duty and durable, the Champion 12000-watt portable generator lives up to its brand name. This robust model boasts of all the industry standard features you might look for, encased in a burly build that’s designed to tough it out.

9.8
5 Duromax XP12000EH
9.6
Duromax XP12000EH
(Best 12000-Watt Standby Generator)

Nicknamed the ‘Beast’, the Duromax XP120000EH portable generator is a dual-fuel model that runs an average of 7 to 8 hours on a full tank. Convenient and powerful, the XP12000EH is a well-rounded choice that just gets the job done.

9.6
6 Pulsar PG12000B
9.5
Pulsar PG12000B
(Best Convenient 12000-Watt Portable Generator)

Designed with ease of use in mind, the Pulsar PG12000B comes equipped with a range of features to lighten your load. Among its best qualities is its Switch & Go feature that lets you change between fuel sources during operation.

9.5
7 ROCKPALS R12000ED
9.4
ROCKPALS R12000ED
(Best Propane Efficient 12000-Watt Portable Generator)

For homeowners who prefer stocking up on propane versus gasoline, the R12000ED from ROCKPALS offers excellent performance. Able to run up to 20 hours on a full tank of propane, this dual-fuel model can see you through almost a full day with no need for refills.

9.4
8 A-iPower SUA12000E
9.2
A-iPower SUA12000E
(Best Budget 12000-Watt Portable Generator)

Compact and relatively lightweight, the A-iPower SUA12000E makes a suitable choice for buyers who want power and efficiency at a reasonable price. Packed with similar features to other models on the list, what sets the SUA12000E apart is its lighter price tag that doesn’t break the bank.

9.2
1 Editor choice

Westinghouse WGen12000 – Best 12000-Watt Portable Generator

Features

  • 15.000 starting watts
  • 12.000 running watts
  • Fuel capacity: 10.5 gallons
  • Running time: 8 hours at half load
  • Weight: 352 lbs.
  • Number of outlets: 6
  • Automatic Low Oil Shutdown
  • Transfer Switch ready

Taking the crown as our best bet, the Westinghouse WGen12000 boasts exceptional performance all wrapped up in a heavy-duty body. Engineered for strength, this sizeable generator features a 10.5-gallon fuel tank, able to power up the essentials in your home for up to 16 hours at a fourth of the maximum load. But the WGen12000 is more than just an energy behemoth. This model also features an intuitive side panel that has all the control features you need for seamless use. Here, you’ll find the push start button that electrically fires up the unit for effortless operation. Arranged beside the button are six different power outlets – from standard GFCI 120V outlets to USB ports.

Another feature worth mentioning is the model’s transfer switch. Equipped with a 120/240V 14-50R and twist-lock L14-30R outlets, you can hook your house to the WGen12000 for easy power transfer. This could cut down the time you spend rigging up your generator so you can flip a switch to power your home in case of an outage.

For ease of maintenance, the WGen12000 comes equipped with a range of features. An Automatic Low Oil Shutdown turns the model off without the need for human intervention. This helps prevent damage to the engine when the oil levels decrease below the viable limit. Automatic Voltage Regulation helps to maximize the power generated by the machine, giving you more energy for an extended period on a single full tank.

Powerful and intuitive, there’s a lot to love about the WGen12000. But alas, there is no such thing as the perfect power generator. Perhaps the biggest downside of the WGen12000 is that it takes some time to start in cooler weather. Of course, that’s a problem with most portable generators anyway, so there’s really no surprise there.

Lastly, the WGen12000’s fuel gauge might not be the easiest to interpret. Lots of users have complained that it never truly reads what they expect it to. But if that’s something you can learn and get accustomed to, then the WGen12000 would be virtually perfect.

Positives
  • Large fuel capacity allows extended hours of use
  • Intuitive control panel for excellent ease of use
  • Automatic Oil Shutdown reduces the risk of damage to the engine
  • Automatic Voltage Regulation manages fuel consumption for optimal efficiency
  • Transfer-switch ready for instant power transfer in case of a blackout
Negatives
  • Takes some time to start in cold weather
  • Fuel gauge can be confusing to read
2

CAT RP12000E – Best Efficient 12000-Watt Generator

Features

  • 15.000 starting watts
  • 12.000 running watts
  • Fuel capacity: 13.2 gallons
  • Running time: 11.7 hours at half load
  • Weight: 348 lbs.
  • Number of outlets: 9
  • All copper generator for clean power

Coming in at a close second is the CAT RP12000E. Developed by the heavy equipment manufacturer, Caterpillar, the RP12000E does not disappoint when it comes to build quality. The rugged exterior was designed to stand against the onslaught of weather and wear. Inside, it protects a powerful motor and a fuss-free control panel for your utmost ease. Perhaps the best-selling point of the RP12000E is its fuel-efficient operation. Able to run up to 11.7 hours on a full tank at half load, the RP12000E can power appliances and other devices for longer than a typical power outage. The 13.2-gallon fuel tank is one of the largest on the list, giving this model a definite edge. In terms of power outlets, the CAT RP12000E again sets itself apart with nine different sockets for a range of devices and appliances. The covered outlets are arranged and spaced neatly along the side to prevent cord clutter, and are even lighted to improve visibility during low light situations. To fire it all up, the model comes equipped with an electric start feature that reduces the time it takes to get things going.

CAT RP12000E-1
The CAT RP12000E is designed for more than just home use. As a portable generator, it comes ready with a range of features that make it easy to move around. Large, all-steel wheels, never-flat tires, and a well-padded handle allow you to transport the generator with relative ease. These were all incorporated by the brand for buyers who might want to use their generator at a work site to operate power tools.

For those who want to be extra sure about their purchase, this model from CAT offers the industry best in terms of warranty coverage. The unit comes with a 2-year limited coverage on parts and service that can be extended up to 3 years with registration.

As CAT’s premier portable generator, the RP12000E can be a suitable choice for a range of buyers. But there are some downsides. For starters, it does make quite a lot of noise which might be louder than your typical portable generator. Secondly, it’s relatively heavier than most of its competitors. So even with its easy transport features, you will need to be quite strong to get it to move.

Positives
  • Excellent fuel efficiency for extended operation
  • Exceptional build quality from one of the most prominent heavy machinery manufacturers in the market
  • Fuss-free control panel eliminates guesswork
  • Room for up to nine different appliances and devices
  • Industry best warranty extendable to 3 years via registration
Negatives
  • Generates a considerable amount of noise
  • At nearly 400 pounds, it will take some muscle to move it around
3

Rainier R12000DF – Best Dual-Fuel 12000-Watt Portable Generator

Features

  • 12.000 starting watts/9.500 running watts (Gas)
  • 10.800 starting watts/8.550 running watts (LPG)
  • Fuel capacity: 6.6 gallons
  • Running time: 8.5 hours at half load
  • Weight: 196 lbs
  • Number of outlets: 5
  • Lightweight build for ease of transport

In the dual-fuel portable generator department, our top pick would be no other than the Rainier R12000F. Running on either propane or gasoline, this generator gives you versatility when powering your home. Its 457cc engine is relatively smaller than the previous two, but it does compete when providing power to your home or jobsite.

As you would expect, the R12000F from Rainier comes with a quick start button that fires up the generator with ease. Along the same side, the main control panel features a fuel selector switch to designate which tank the generator would use. Arranged alongside these features are the outlets – five in number – which can accommodate most of the appliances you’ll need to run during a blackout.

With a modest 6.6-gallon fuel tank capacity, the R12000F might not seem as robust as the other choices on this list. But performing wise, it doesn’t lag behind. This relatively lightweight generator can run for up to 17 hours on a fourth of the full load. So, if you choose to operate just the bare essentials, then you can still enjoy excellent comfort and convenience for much longer than your standard blackout.At just 196 pounds, the R12000F from Rainier is the perfect example of a portable generator.

Unlike other models that tend to be hefty and hard to push around, the R12000F is far lighter. So, its large wheels and padded handles really come in handy, especially if you want to use the machine at a jobsite, or if you like to move it into storage when it isn’t in use at home. When it’s fired up and running, the R12000F can generate as little as 72 dB of noise. Some users have even claimed that the motor can be as silent as 52dB during operation. If you’re living in a residential area with nearby neighbors, or if you simply enjoy a bit of peace and quiet when being at home, then the R12000F might be a suitable choice.

But, as with any other portable generator, it isn’t perfect. One of the first issues you might encounter involves the oil. Replacements can be messy, and assessing oil levels might feel a lot like guesswork. It’s also worth knowing that the small build doesn’t resist cold so well, so it takes quite a bit of effort to get it started in cold weather. While that is a problem with most portable generators, the Rainier be a little more stubborn in those situations.

Positives
  • Smaller footprint and lightweight build for easy transport
  • Dual-fuel system gives you more options depending on the availability of fuel
  • Silent operation at just 52dB of noise
  • Easy fuel tank switch takes just the turn of a knob to change between propane and gas
  • Up to 17 hours of operation at 25% of the full load capacity
Negatives
  • Messy oil replacement process
  • Oil gauge could be more intuitive
  • Difficult to get started in the cold
4

Champion – Best Solid 12000-Watt Portable Generator

Features

  • 15.000 starting watts
  • 12.000 running watts
  • Fuel capacity: 10.9 gallons
  • Running time: 9 hours at half load
  • Weight: 329.6 lbs.
  • Number of outlets: 7
  • Volt Guard protects against power surges
  • Cold Start for start-up in cold weather

Big and burly, the Champion 12000-Watt Portable Generator was built to last. This ultra heavy-duty machine is especially robust, boasting a reinforced frame and a cast-iron sleeve that houses a powerful 717cc engine. So, if you were hoping to get your hands on a piece of machinery that you can survive the storms and snow, this one from Champion might be a good choice. The formidable engine can take a maximum of 10.9 gallons of gasoline, running a solid 9 hours at half the total load. You can plug in a maximum of seven different appliances and devices into the various outlets available on the machine’s side panel. Each power socket is protected by Volt Guard – a unique technology that prevents power surges from damaging whatever you plug in.

If you’re worried about overheating issues, it might give you some peace of mind to know that the Champion portable generator is one of the few that pays attention to ventilation. The intuitive design incorporates an air-cooled system that regulates temperature and dissipates heat. In effect, this allows the system to run the maximum hours without the risk of overheating.

Now, if you live in colder areas where power outages can be especially difficult to deal with, you’d be happy to know that the Champion comes equipped with a Cold Start feature. This lets you kick-start your generator with ease, even in the dead of winter. So, you can say goodbye to standing outside in the cold, trying to breathe life into a stubborn generator.

Why didn’t the Champion generator make it to a higher spot on our list? There are a few good reasons. For starters, it pushes the limits on portable. The heavy-duty design weighs down on the size of the generator. At close to 400 pounds, this thing might not move around as easily, especially if you’re trying to transport it over uneven terrain. Another thing is that the Champion portable generator doesn’t come with a fuel gauge. So, figuring out where you stand might require some eyeballing and estimation, which isn’t exactly the most reliable way to figure

Positives
  • Heavy-duty design for use in all types of weather
  • Volt Guard feature protects your appliances and devices against power surges
  • Air cooled system maintains optimal temperatures for reduced hazard
  • Cold Start feature lets you fire up the generator even in the coldest temperatures with relative ease
Negatives
  • At nearly 400 pounds, it’ll take some effort to move across uneven terrain
  • Doesn’t come with a fuel gaug
5

Duromax XP12000EH – Best 12000-Watt Standby Generator

Features

  • 12.000 starting watts/9.500 running watts (Gas)
  • 11.400 starting watts/9.025 running watts (LPG)
  • Fuel capacity: 8.3 gallons
  • Running time: 8.83 hours on gasoline, 7.2 hours on propane, both at half load
  • Weight: 260 lbs.
  • Number of outlets: 5
  • MX2 Technology increases 120V outlets to 240V

The Duromax XP12000EH portable generator is a dual-fuel model that lets you interchange between fuel sources to better suit your situation. The powerful machine has been nicknamed the “Beast” for its heavy duty build and versatile performance that can be helpful in almost any situation.The Duromax’s side panel might be a little more complicated than the rest, featuring lots of buttons, meters, and gauges that might confuse the eyes. Nonetheless, once you get used to all the features on the panel, they can make your use of the portable generator that much more convenient and efficient.

The panel is fitted with a volt meter, circuit breakers, low oil indicator, idle control, and the Duramax MX2 switch – a dedicated feature that ups the voltage from 120V to 240V to supply more demanding tools and appliances. Alongside all of the controls are the outlets to connect your devices, which include five different sockets to accommodate a range of different appliances and devices.At a reasonable 260 pounds, the Duramax isn’t the lightest in the bunch, but it definitely isn’t the heaviest. Its large never-flat tires are able to glide over all types of terrain for ease of transportation. While the machine itself might still be heavier than the average adult, it weighs just enough for you to be able to move it around with moderate effort.

While the XP12000EH is a great portable generator all around, there are some kinks. For starters, the tires might not be the most durable. Some users have noticed that they can lose traction and density over time. Secondly, the machine itself is not as efficient on propane as it is on gas. So, while it will work on LPG, you can get much better efficiency and stability on gasoline.

Positives
  • Duramax MX2 switch lets you up the voltage to adapt to your appliances, devices, and tools
  • Dual-fuel engine provides you the choice of fuel depending on the situation you’re in
  • Reasonable weight and size allow relatively effortless transport
  • Lots of indicators let you know exactly what’s going on inside the machine
Negatives
  • Tires can flatten out and lose density
  • Not as efficient on propane as it is on gasoline
6

Pulsar PG12000B – Best Convenient 12000-Watt Portable Generator

Features

  • 12.000 starting watts/9.500 running watts (Gas)
  • 10.800 starting watts/8.550 running watts (LPG)
  • Fuel capacity: 8.3 gallons
  • Running time: 12 hours on gasoline, 14 hours on propane, both at half load
  • Weight: 209 lbs.
  • Number of outlets: 6
  • Switch & Go for easy fuel source interchange

Designed to make it easier for you to power your home in case of a blackout, the Pulsar PG12000B comes packed with lots of great features for convenience. The duel-fuel engine – although modest at 457cc – competes just as well against others on our list. On a full tank of propane, the efficient machine can run for up to 14 hours, while it pushes 12 hours on a full tank of gas.

What you’ll probably appreciate the most about the Pulsar PG12000B is that it comes with a Switch & Go feature. Essentially, this allows you to interchange between fuel sources without having to turn the device off. For most homeowners, this can streamline operation and keep appliances and devices continuously operational despite the change in source.

The side panel on the PG12000B is pretty simple and straightforward. An electric power start button brings the machine to a roaring start that subdues to a 67dB hum once stabilized. On one side of the power button is the Switch & Go knob, and on the other side are six different power outlets of varying designs to accommodate a range of appliances and devices you might want to fire up. Build-wise, the Pulsar PG12000B offers the industry standard features you would look for. A reinforced steel frame, large never-flat tires, and sturdy construction all hold the machine together to give you confidence on various types of terrain. Sure, it’s not going to be as robust as the designs from CAT or Champion, but it’ll stand up against your usual weather nuances.

So, what are the downsides? Similarly, to the Duramax model, the Pulsar isn’t as efficient when running on propane. Other than that, Pulsar’s tech support isn’t as polished as what you would get from other brands. Nonetheless, if there’s no issue with your unit, then there might not be a need to reach out in the first place.

Positives
  • Switch & Go feature lets you interchange fuel sources without turning off the unit
  • Moderately long operation time on both propane and gas
  • Relatively smaller footprint and lighter build for easier transport
  • Produces less noise than other models
Negatives
  • Inefficient on propane compared to gasoline
  • Tech support could use some improvement
7

ROCKPALS R12000ED – Best Propane Efficient 12000-Watt Portable Generator

Features

  • 12.000 starting watts/9.000 running watts (Gas)
  • 10.800 starting watts/8.100 running watts (LPG)
  • Fuel capacity: 6.6 gallons
  • Running time: 8.5 hours on gasoline, 20 hours on propane, both at half load
  • Weight: 200 lbs.
  • Number of outlets: 5
  • Switch-on-Demand for ease of fuel source interchange

Now, it’s no secret that most dual-fuel tanks struggle to achieve the same level of efficiency and stability on propane as they do on gasoline. And that’s why the ROCKPALS R12000ED might just be the best bet for users who prefer propane for their portable generator. This dual-fuel model boasts exceptional performance with both types of fuel, but shines slightly better when running on propane.

Just to put things into perspective, the machine can stretch up to 8.5 hours on a full tank of gasoline. While that might seem reasonable considering the competition, it’s worth knowing that the R12000ED from ROCKPALS can run a whopping 20 hours at half the total load on a full tank of propane. You definitely get more juice when using LPG.

For added convenience, the ROCKPALS model features Switch-on-Demand technology. Basically, this works like the Switch & Go on the Pulsar model, allowing you to interchange fuel sources without turning off your unit. This can be found on the control panel, with the rest of the indicators and outlets.

On the topic of power outlets, the ROCKPALS R12000ED features five different outlets to give you versatility for different devices and appliances that you might want to bring to life. The outlets are protected by weatherproof covers which are essentially an industry standard across all the different options on this list.

The generator itself also features a weatherproof construction. Large metal frames, durable materials, and rust-proofing protect the generator from the typical damages you might expect. Despite that, it weighs in at a modest 200 pounds which is relatively lighter than other models. For that reason, it’s still easy to move around and transport albeit being rather reinforced. The only real issues we found with the R12000ED from ROCKPALS were the noise level and the scheduling feature. The manufacturer claims that the machine resonates at 78 dB at a distance of 23 feet. But when you fire it up even at a minimal load, the machine might sound like a roaring thunder that might not subdue even after stabilization.

So, if you’re within earshot of your neighbors’ house, you might want to give them prior notice before revving up your generator. The hour switch on the other hand doesn’t really seem too easy to operate, so you may have to do a bit of guesswork to figure out how to work the feature.

Positives
  • Excellent efficiency on propane
  • Switch-on-Demand feature lets you interchange fuel sources effortlessly
  • Weatherproof construction protects against the usual damage on generators stored outdoors
  • Reasonably lightweight for easy transport
Negatives
  • The noisiest machine on the list
  • Hour scheduling feature might not be that intuitive to set up
8

A-iPower SUA12000E – Best Budget 12000-Watt Portable Generator

Features

  • 12.000 starting watts
  • 9.000 running watts
  • Fuel capacity: 9 gallons
  • Running time: 9 hours at half load
  • Weight: 206 lbs.
  • Number of outlets: 6
  • Very competitive price point

With some portable generators pushing $3,000, the A-iPower SUA12000E makes a comfortable choice for those with a tight budget. This cost-effective 12000-watt portable generator comes with a load of convenience features that work together with its 459cc engine to give you reliable performance at an attainable price.

The model features a 9-gallon fuel tank capacity that can power up parts of your home for 9 hours at 50% of the total load. The build itself is pretty impressive despite falling within the lower end of the price spectrum. Reinforced metal frames and solid construction should keep you confident that the SUA12000E will last for several years without a hitch. Fitted with six different types of outlets along an ergonomically angled control panel, the SUA12000E can easily accommodate most of the appliances you’ll need during a power outage. Alongside the outlets are a few indicators – such as an oil meter and a run timer – to help you better understand your unit’s performance.

Since we’re talking about portable generators, it would help to know whether the machine really is that easy to move around. At just 206 pounds, the SUA12000E joins some of the lighter choices on our list. That, plus its 9.5 inch never-flat tires, make it easy to move the thing from location to location, easily gliding over various types of terrain.

Now, the downsides. Some users have found the SUA12000E to be rather temperamental when it comes to getting it started. So, while it might fire up without a hitch on your first try, that doesn’t mean it always be as effortless next time. Note that the machine doesn’t deliver 12,000 running watts, but 12,000 peak watts. Basically, that means that it’ll generate about 9,000 watts on average, with surges of up to 12,000 watts. So, although that might qualify it as a 12000-watt portable generator, it pays to know that the average will be slightly lower than that.

Positives
  • Budget-friendly model
  • Reasonably durable construction despite its affordable price tag
  • Intuitive, straightforward control panel does away with fancy bells and whistles
  • Just the right weight and size for easy transport and storage
Negatives
  • Temperamental electric power startup button
  • Runs an average of 9,000 watts with surges of up to 12,000 watts

Buyer’s Guide

Even the cheapest portable generators aren’t exactly cheap. In that sense, buying a 12000-watt portable generator should be thought of more as an investment, requiring careful consideration to keep you from falling into a bad buy.
So, what exactly makes a good portable generator? How did we come up with this list, and what qualities did we look for to decide which ones were the best? As not everyone is a portable generator expert right off the bat, it pays to know more about what you’re buying into.
Understanding how each of the factors of a portable generator come into play should let you make better decisions to weed out bad apples and find the perfect choice for your needs. To help you develop a deeper knowledge for more intelligent buying, we’ve listed everything you need to know about choosing the right 12000-watt portable generator.

Fuel Capacity and Run Time

A portable generator’s fuel capacity will often be stated in gallons. For 12000-watt portable generator models, this can range anywhere from a modest 5 gallons to a more sizeable 12 gallons. While you might think that bigger capacities mean longer performance, the translation isn’t really that straightforward.
While it might help to have a bigger fuel tank capacity, it also helps to know that different models use fuel at different rates. This means that even a model with a lower fuel capacity can last just as long or even longer than those with bigger tanks.

Rainier-R12000DF-in-use

To put things into perspective, there’s the Rainier model that can sustain up to 8.5 hours of operation on a full 6.6-gallon tank. That’s opposed to the A-iPower model that sustains 9 hours on a 9-gallon tank. Essentially, what you want to look for is the number of hours on the smallest amount of gas or propane.
But again, it gets a little more complicated. Aside from the number of gallons and the number of hours that the machine can sustain given a full tank, you might also want to consider the load. For instance, the numbers for the Rainier and the A-iPower models indicated above are for a 50% load.
Pay attention to how the manufacturer states the fuel capacity and run time. If it can run for 16 hours on a 25% load, that translates to just 8 hours on a half load, or 4 hours on a full load.

Weight and Size

What’s the point of buying portable when you can’t move the unit around? The entire idea behind the portable generator concept is that it allows you to transport the machine around your property, or even take it to a jobsite for construction and other forms of blue-collar work.
The lightest portable generator on our list is the Rainier at 196 pounds. Some of the heaviest are the choices from CAT and Champion, which push 400 pounds. Sure, they’re all equipped with wheels, but it is better to think how the weight might impact ease of transport.
For example, pushing a 400-pound generator on grass and soil that’s softened by rain might be more of a challenge than many of us surmise. If you’re using it on a jobsite, then the extra weight might also prove to be a hurdle when traversing rocky, uneven, construction site terrain.

Outlet Availability

What appliances, devices, or tools are you hoping to power up during a shortage? Unlike full-sized back-up generators, portable generators only have a limited number of outlets where you can plug in your devices and power them up temporarily.
The number and types of outlets vary from model to model. Some are fitted with as few as five, like the Duramax or ROCKPALS models previously discussed. Then there are others with up to nine sockets, like that from CAT.

duromax power outlet

Types of power outlets also vary. Some of the most common you’ll find include:

  • GFCI 120V 5-20R
  • 120V L5-30R
  • 120V L14-30R
  • 120/240V 12-50R
  • USB ports

Consider the appliances and devices that are most important to you. What kind of power outlets do they need? This should guide you towards finding a generator that would fit your idea of ‘bare minimum’ by providing outlets for the essentials that you consider most vital.

Build Quality and Weatherproofing

Unless there’s enough room in your garage or shed to keep that huge power box when it’s not in use, then it might spend most of its time outdoors. Fortunately, most portable generators are built with changing weather conditions in mind. So many of them will have what it takes to stand up against rain, sun, and snow.
Models like the ones from Westinghouse can give you loads of confidence and peace of mind. The heavy-duty build boasts supreme design and weatherproofing, allowing you to keep the machine outdoors sans the need to constantly check up on it. Then there are others that might not be as robust – like the ROCKPALS model that comes with a lighter price tag.

waterproof generator

If you’re looking for something that will stand the tests of time and weather, then you might want to invest in a model that’s a little more reinforced. The Champion model exudes durability, even coming equipped with features like the Cold Start button and the air-cooled design that shed light on how well it can withstand changing temperatures and weather conditions.

Fuel Source

Propane or gasoline? And why does it matter? The answer lies in the fact that one of these fuel options burns cleaner. If you were hoping to minimize your carbon footprint and your impact on the environment, then it would pay to consider your options.

propane+generic+mgn

For the most part, propane tends to release less emissions than gasoline. That is why, it does prove to be a better choice for the ecosystem. On the downside, propane is typically more expensive, although you will use slightly less LPG than gasoline to achieve the same run time.
As you might have guessed, gasoline releases more fumes into the atmosphere. If you expect to use your portable generator frequently, then this can be a cause for concern. Gasoline however, can be far cheaper than propane, and will typically burn more consistently for more stable generator functionality.

Rated Watts Vs Peak Watts

During your hunt for the best 12000-watt portable generator, you’re likely to encounter the terms ‘rated’ or ‘running’ watts, and ‘peak’ watts. Essentially, this tells you the actual wattage output of the generator you’re looking into. The rated or running watts are what it will generate on average, while peak watts are the ratings during a surge of power, such as when you start the machine.

DuroMax watts

For instance, the Duromax unit has a starting watt rating of 12,000, and a running watt rating of 9,500. So, as it stabilizes, it will actually provide less than 12,000 watts despite being considered a 12000-watt portable generator. On the other hand, more powerful generators like the CAT RP12000 have a peak watt rating of 15,000, and a running watt rating of 12,000.

Conclusion

Whether you’re hoping to prepare for the next power outage, or if you’re looking for a way to streamline operations at a jobsite, a portable power generator can be a smart investment. Designed to give you hours of reliable alternate energy, these compact generators can be a handy addition to your home, letting you go about your day even during the most inconvenient of times.
If you’re interested in getting your hands on the best 12000-watt portable generator out there, we suggest that you take a look into the Westinghouse WGen12000 Portable Generator. As the best overall performer, this ultra-durable design brings you everything you might need and want in a portable generator and more.

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