The Generac brand has been around for six decades and has since earned a reputation as one of the most reliable power solutions manufacturers. Their line of generators is their bread and butter, offering a wealth of options to every kind of need for back-up energy.
You’ve probably caught wind of Generac’s winning reputation in the market for back-up generators, and you’re eager to invest in what they have to offer. The only problem is that with so many different models, it becomes a challenge to select the very best Generac generator that truly meets your needs.
And that’s where we step in. We took the time to learn more about Generac’s range of gensets to give you a definitive guide that promises to help you make the most intuitive consumer choice. So, without further ado, here’s our complete guide on the pound-for-pound best Generac generators for every kind of need.
From home back-up, to portable, to industrial generators, the variety of options from Generac can be pretty overwhelming. And while each option delivers impressive performance, there are a few that come out on top as the cream of the crop.
We considered some of the most important qualities of a power generator – including fuel efficiency, wattage capacity, noise level, convenience, ease of use, and overall quality – to bring you a list of the best Generac generators presently available. And here are the ones that rise through the ranks as the most impressive models in their line-up.
- Running watts: 8,000
- Starting watts: 10,000
- Weight: 207 lbs
- Run time: 11 hours at 50% load on a full tank of gasoline
- Fuel capacity: 7.5 gallons
- Noise level: 74 dB
Packing a range of features that make alternative power a breeze, the Generac 6433 XT8000E is our top choice from the brand. This specific model boasts excellent performance, packed in an efficient body that simplifies use.
For starters, the machine comes equipped with a one-touch electric start that brings the generator to life with minimal effort and hassle. The electric start feature also works well in cold weather, allowing seamless operation even in the most demanding situations.
Delivering up to 8,000 running watts of power, the 6433 XT8000E helps to minimize fuel consumption with its automatic Idle-Control feature that works to reduce noise and optimizes energy use for extended hours of operation. At 1/2 of its maximum load, the 6433 can sustain up to 11 hours of run-time on a full tank, which can be more than enough for those moments when alternative power might be a necessity.
Its lighted power bar, low-oil level automatic shutdown, hour meter, and intuitive control panel make the Generac 6433 XT8000E a dream to use even in the direst situations. Of course, with such impressive performance, you would expect the machine to come at a pretty steep cost – and it does. And with such power, you might say that it generates quite a bit of noise – and it does.
- Quick start button lets you effortlessly bring the machine to life even during cold weather
- A variety of indication bars and lights let you know exactly how your machine is working at a glance
- Idle-control reduces fuel consumption and noise especially when taking on lighter loads
- Lots of power can sustain even the biggest of households
- Rugged construction can survive rigorous, demanding use
- Pushes the price limit at over $1,500 bucks
- Not exactly the most discreet of machines, producing 74 dBs of noise during operation
- Running watts: 5,500
- Starting watts: 6,875
- Weight: 180 lbs
- Run time: 10 hours at 50% load on a full tank of gasoline
- Fuel capacity: 7.2 gallons
- Noise level: 76 dB
Living in an area where unpredictable weather conditions typically cause power interruptions can be a total downer. That’s why being ready for those emergencies can keep you from having to put your life on hold while you wait for energy to be restored. The Generac 5939 GP5500 makes a suitable emergency generator, sustaining household operations in the face of the worst weather conditions.
The 180-pound machine features a durable steel-tube frame that protects a 389cc engine that delivers 5500 watts of power. On a single full tank, the generator can sustain up to 10 hours of run time at half load, giving you substantial power over an extended period of time. On its intuitive control panel, the generator features an hour meter that delivers maintenance alerts so you know exactly what you need to do to keep your generator up and running.
Its folding handle and never-flat tires make the Generac 5939 particularly easy to move to and from storage – another feature that makes it suitable for emergency use. Why didn’t it rank higher? Well, it produces quite a lot of noise at 76 dB. On top of that, it only has 5 outlets which can be limited for most users.
- Relatively lighter than most at-home generators, letting you move the machine without too much effort
- Durable steel-tube frame protects the engine in the midst of demanding weather conditions
- Sustains 5,500 watts of running power that can be more than enough for most households
- Maintenance reminders eliminate guesswork and let you keep your machine in tip-top shape
- Simplified control panel makes operation and adjustments effortless for even first-time generator users
- Prepare your earmuffs – this machine produces 76 dB of noise
- Limited outlets might not suit homeowners who want to power more than just the basics
- Running watts: 1,700
- Starting watts: 2,200
- Weight: 46 lbs
- Run time: 6 hours at 50% load on a full tank of gasoline
- Fuel capacity: 1.2 gallons
- Noise level: 57 dB
The beauty of a portable generator is that it enables you to bring the conveniences of civilized life into the deepest parts of the wilderness. And in effect, you get the best of both worlds. The Generac 7117 GP2200i is our top choice for the best generator for camping, giving you just enough power to make the great outdoors even greater.
This powerful machine features a compact body at just 46lbs, but packs 1,700 running watts of power – more than enough to keep your little camp operational throughout the night.
The model boasts a premium inverter engine that produce cleaner, gentler energy that’s perfect for sustaining more sensitive electronics and devices. Its humble fuel tank offers a modest 1.2-gallon capacity, but promises to keep your machine running for up to 10.75 hours at 1/4 of the load. To extend operation even further, the 7117 features an intuitive economy mode that helps to lengthen run-time and save fuel.
Simple, compact, and easy to operate, the Generac 7117 GP2200i can make the outdoors feel even more restful and relaxing. It helps to know though that it might take a few pulls to get the machine started. Plus, its relatively thin plastic casing might not work well to keep out the cold, making operations even harder in winter.
- Ultra-compact design makes it especially easy to carry around, at just 46 pounds
- Intuitive control panel allows easy, simplified operation
- Inverter engine provides clean, gentle energy that’s ideal for sensitive devices like smartphones and laptops
- Relatively silent at just 57 dB of noise
- Economy mode works to maximize your fuel for extended periods of use
- Takes a few pulls to come to life
- Doesn’t start too well in cold conditions
- Running watts: 19,500
- Weight: 515 lbs
- Run time: 24 hours on natural gas
- Fuel capacity: Virtually infinite
- Noise level: 80 dB
- Comes with 200-amp transfer switch
What could be more convenient than a standby generator that will breathe life into your home the moment it senses a power interruption? The Generac 7043 is a powerful standby generator design that offers truly reliable energy that responds to a shortage without your intervention.
This powerful generator hooks up to your home via a whole-home transfer switch. So, as it senses a power shortage, it automatically switches on, supplying your home instantly. No need to walk outside, lug a machine on its wheels, and hook up your appliances. And with its supreme 19,500 running watt rating, this machine can easily keep your entire home fully operational, including your most demanding appliances and electronics.
As a standby generator, you should expect the 7043 to stand the onslaught of outdoor conditions without sustaining damage, and that’s precisely what it does. Now the only question – why did such a powerful monster of a machine rank 4th on our list? Aside from the fact that it produces an insane 80 dB of noise, the 7043 is also sold at a high price. And if you think the expenses end there, keep in mind that installation and maintenance can also cost a very pretty penny.
- Turns on automatically as it senses a power interruption
- Supplies enough energy to power your home with no need for compromises
- Especially durable, designed to survive decades of weather exposure
- Air-cooled engine is designed to resist overheating and related damage
- Smart multi-lingual LCD lets you control operations and monitor your machine minus the guesswork
- Installation, maintenance, and the unit itself will cost you several thousands
- Producing 80 dB of noise, even your neighbors might find the generator’s roar a little too loud for comfort
- Running watts: 3,000
- Starting watts: 3,500
- Weight: 109.1 lbs
- Run time: 7 hours at 50% load on a full tank of gasoline
- Fuel capacity: 2.6 gallons
- Noise level: 49 dB
Inverter engines were first introduced in the 1980’s, hoping to revolutionize the way that air conditioners work. Today, inverter tech is used for most appliances and machines, offering cleaner, quieter operation that’s also far more efficient with fuel consumption. The Generac 7127 is our choice for the best inverter generator from the brand, offering ultra-quiet performance and best-in-class efficiency that’s adaptable to a range of applications.
Its durable steel shell makes it especially rugged, able to survive demanding conditions at home or on a job site. At just 109.1 lbs, this machine brings 3,000 watts of running power, which can sustain most of the bare essentials you need to see your home through an energy interruption. And to make operations even more intuitive, the machine lets you select between two different engine speeds, enabling you to fine-tune your engine to meet your energy needs.
Stripped down of all the fancy bells and whistles, the 7127’s control panel can be effortlessly mastered even by first time generator owners. Now, there is no such thing as a perfect generator. Despite being lighter than other picks, the lack of wheels makes the 7127 a bit of a hassle to lug around. Plus, a bunch of plastic inlays that cover the exterior steel can make the machine feel flimsy.
- Ultra-silent operation ensures that you can enjoy sustained power without the ambient disturbance
- Clean, gently energy sustains your most delicate devices and limits the risk of damage due to power surges
- 3,500 running watts of energy can be sufficient for the bare essentials and a little more
- Fuel efficient performance lets you choose between two different engine speeds to match your needs
- Simplified control interface is intuitive and easy to understand even without a manual
- The lack of wheels can make it a chore to carry around
- Plastic inlays that cover the steel frame give off a cheap, flimsy feel
- Running watts: 15,000
- Starting watts: 22,500
- Weight: 373 lbs
- Run time: 10 hours at half capacity on a full tank of gasoline
- Fuel capacity: 16 gallons
- Noise level: 71 dB
If you’re looking for a gasoline generator that can keep a larger home or even a humble business operational through a power interruption, there’s no way you can go wrong with the Generac 5743. This machine delivers a whopping 15,000 running watts – more than enough to power two or even three entire homes. In effect, you get power that lets you keep your whole household in working order without having to worry about cutting back or rationing the energy you have.
The monstrous machine runs on 16 gallons of gasoline, and promises to run for up to 10 hours on a half load. This is made possible by a 992cc engine that’s contained in an ultra-durable steel-tube frame. Its automotive oil filter works in combination with the robust frame, helping to protect the internal parts of the engine to add years to your new investment’s lifespan.
Supremely powerful, it’s hard not to fall in love with the Generac 5743. But at 373 pounds and with a price that is pretty high, this generator still isn’t a one-size-fits all.
- Unmatched power in the gasoline generator category, supplying 15,000 watts of energy
- Idle-control feature lowers fuel consumption and noise to adapt to your needs
- Extra durable frame and support ensure a long-lifespan that can survive the toughest conditions
- Automotive style oil filter protects your engine from the damage of wear and tear
- X-Torq governor optimizes performance to reduce the risk of power surges that might damage your devices and appliances
- Despite its wheels, the 373-pound machine isn’t the easiest to move around
- Its price tag is typically way over the usual budget for a back-up generator
- Running watts: 10,000
- Starting watts: 12,500
- Weight: 300 lbs
- Run time: 10 hours at half capacity on a full tank of gasoline
- Fuel capacity: 10 gallons
- Noise level: 73 dB
Maybe you haven’t got a shed to keep your generator in, or maybe you’re planning to use your new machine at a demanding job site. Whatever the case, if durability is a major concern, there’s the Generac 5802. Reinforced, robust, and heavily structured, the 5802 promises to survive aggressive abuse, giving you a machine that you can rely on through thick and thin.
But more than its durable build, the 5802 brings you all the basics that you would expect from a Generac model. These include a single touch electric start, a PowerBar feature for operation monitoring, an hour meter, and a reinforced steel fuel tank that holds up to 10 gallons of gasoline. If you’re wondering about power, the 5802 delivers a whopping 12,500 running watts that can sustain up to two entire households.
So why didn’t it rank any higher? While we do love the 5802 for several reasons, there are a few downsides that make it a little less impressive than the rest. The machine tends to vibrate during operation which can be unsettling if your concerned about nuts and bolts coming loose after a while. And at 300 pounds, this monster can be a pain to move around.
- Supplies 12,500 watts of running energy which is double the average household requirement
- Ultra-durable construction can easily see you through the most demanding use and conditions
- PowerBar feature allows intuitive monitoring that tells you more about performance at a glance
- Illuminated LED control panel makes controls a breeze even in less than optimal conditions
- Delivers premium quality power that’s made possible by its Generac OHVI engine that’s designed for sustained power with minimal surges
- Vibrates noticeably during operation which can be unsettling to observe
- Heavy at 300 pounds, making transportation and storage a chore
Now that you’ve read through all of that, what does it all mean? It’s true, not everyone knows what makes a good generator. But that shouldn’t stand in the way of the best pick for your needs. Understanding the features of a generator can help you decide which ones will work to your advantage, and which ones might fall short of your needs.
One of the first questions on your mind should be, how much will this generator cost to operate? No one wants to spend a fortune on gas which is why fuel efficiency plays such a big role in the decision-making process. A generator that guzzles too much gas in relation to the length of time and number of appliances and devices it can power will easily become a drain on your pocket.
There is no golden standard when it comes to fuel efficiency, but it helps to know what you’re getting yourself into when you make that purchase. Take the Generac 6433 XT8000E for example. This model produces 8,000 running watts of power. It uses up 7.5 gallons of gas to run for 11 hours at half load. When you crunch the numbers, the results to a fuel consumption of 0.68 gallons per hour at 4,000 watts.
If you’re interested in better fuel economy, consider a generator with an inverter engine. Choices like the Generac 7127 not only use less fuel, but they also incorporate features that help to regulate the consumption of gasoline, like Eco Mode.
Running wattage refers to the amount of power that the generator can sustain. A typical household will require anywhere between 3,000 and 6,000 watts to run. And with that in mind, you might be able to figure out how much power your household needs for total operation during an energy shortage.
To figure out how much power you need, take a peek into your appliances’ user manuals. For reference, a typical refrigerator will require between 350 to 800 watts of power, depending on its size and make. A centralized air conditioning system will call for at least 3,000 to 5,000 watts.
Once you figure out how many watts you need to power the appliances and devices that are most important to you, you’ll have an idea as to the power that your generator should be able to provide. As a general rule, it helps to go for a model that delivers slightly more power than you need. For instance, if you calculate that you need at least 4,000 watts, buying a generator that can sustain 5,000 to 6,000 watts should prevent you from maxing out the machine and causing a shortage.
There are three main types of generators for personal or private use. Depending on your needs, it’s imperative that you consider which type would work best to satisfy your expectations.
⦁ Back-up generators – In a sense, you might say that all generators are back-up generators. But if we’re being technical, a back-up generator is the standard model that you’re likely to find. These have wheels, supply over 3,000 watts of energy, and are intended to supply households and job sites.
⦁ Portable generators – A portable generator will likely have a smaller, more compact body, a lightweight build, and no wheels. They’re designed for use on-the-go, and will typically supply just the bare necessities. Case in point: the Generac 7117 GP2200i.
⦁ Standby generators – Designed for heavy-duty use, a standby generator is installed into your home and is essentially immovable. They exceed the typical running wattage rating of even the most powerful back-up generators, and are usually automatic in that you don’t need to flick a switch to turn them on. The Generac 7043 makes the perfect example of a standby generator.
Generators are rarely ever quiet. If you don’t want to keep the neighbors up all night, then it helps to consider the amount of noise your generator of choice will produce. Quieter options like the Generac 7127 will produce less than 60 dB even at maximum load. This makes them the ideal choice for use in residential areas. If you’re working at a job site where noise isn’t an issue, then even the roaring Generac 5939 GP5500 shouldn’t be a problem.
That depends on how much fuel it needs to satisfy your required wattage. But in theory, you can keep a well-maintained generator running as long as there’s fuel in its tank. Standby generators that run on natural gas that you tap into underground can run virtually endlessly, as long as there isn’t an interruption to the underground supply.
No. Even the smallest of portable generators can produce enough carbon monoxide to endanger people in your space. Opening windows and fans will not reduce the risk. Always read the user manual to find out the proper way to set up your generator, and avoid using them in cramped spaces where dangerous gasses might build-up.
You might be thinking of multiplying the number of outlets by plugging in an extension cord. And while that might seem like a sound idea, experts strongly recommend using heavy duty extension cords that are designed for use with generators. On top of that, it’s worth knowing that manufacturers recommend against using indoor appliances and devices with extension cords plugged into a generator. Always use extension cords strictly outdoors to maintain safety.
When it comes to generators, there’s no denying that Generac is one of the industry leaders. Their models are the best in class, offering excellent performance and showcasing the sheer power of North American engineering.
If you’re interested in a Generac generator, there’s a lot to love about the Generac 6433 XT8000E. This all-rounder delivers a powerful punch, all contained in a pristine package that simplifies operation to bring you convenience like none other.
But hey, if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, there are a bunch of other choices available. Scan our list of the best Generac generators on the market and find the perfect fit for your alternative energy needs.