Maybe you’ve got an outdoor project you need a little juice for. Maybe you’re going on a backyard camping adventure and want to have some of the amenities of living back home. No matter what kind of use you need it for, an inverter generator is your friend. With that said, not all of them are created equal.
If they were, we wouldn’t have to drum up this handy little guide for you. But they are different, so we’re going to give you the lowdown on what this generator is, how you can use one in your favor, and what kinds of generators are out there to make your life just a little bit easier.
You can also find a more in-depth article about just an inverter generator and leave most of the conventional generator talk out.
Let’s get a glimpse of 3 top inverters on the market:
3 Top Inverter Generator Quick Reviews
Not all inverters are created equal when you’re looking at a portable generator. We’re going to take a look at some pretty cool inverter generator reviews in order to give you some options when you’re in the market.
Yamaha EF2000iSv2 – 1600 Watt Inverter (Scratch & Dent)
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This inverter is especially resistant to scratches and dents on its exterior panels, which is a great trait to have. It has completely new tech for the new year, making sure that new apps are covered with this generator.
It can safely run any product with a built-in microcomputer, so you don’t have to worry about your mobile devices. It has an efficient and reliable engine that will make sure you’ve always got the highest quality generator on your side.
With this option, you’ll be going back to the granddaddy of all inverters: Honda. This one is super quiet and yet it still has enough power to get the job done. It’s completely controlled by a microprocessor so that no matter how sensitive your device is, you won’t have to worry about power surges.
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Also, find the EU2000i/ic Parallel Combo Kit here on Amazon (used to double wattage)
It’s got stable and clean power with a cool sort of form function. It’s also got an Eco Throttle system to automatically adjusts the speed of the engine to maximize efficiency. Another cool thing it’s got built in is an oil alert warning system that will shut the engine down in the case of oil reaching an unsafe level. This is a super cool option for anyone.
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Here’s another Honda. We would say we apologize for including a second Honda on the list, but the things are that good that it only makes sense for us to highlight the best options for you regardless of the company that made them.
This generator is super quiet and yet still powerful as well. It’s got advanced inverter technology that makes it safe for any type of application. It’s been designed for service diagnosis and performance monitoring, so you can always count on this generator.
What Exactly Do Inverters Do?
These are a whole new kind of animal. They’re more portable, lighter, and cleaner with the kind of electricity that they produce. They do give lower wattage, but at the same time they provide you with the option of inverting the electricity right back into stable electricity. That’s pretty awesome.
The way these generators work is that you use fossil fuels to power the thing, and it’ll then create electricity for you to use. That’s a cool concept, isn’t it?
The generator as a concept goes all the way back to 1965 when Honda released the first generator. Since then, companies have made a boatload of innovations for the key concept in order to flesh out the overall concept.
The big problem was trying to minimize the sound and the heat that was generated by these things. To get this done, small changes were made incrementally over time and per generator.
Why Should I Go With an Inverter Generator?
You might be wondering what the major benefits of having this kind of generator might be, why you should for sure invest in one. Well, they have a higher quality output and that power will be just as reliable as if you were plugging something into an outlet.
These machines also have a higher level of fuel efficiency when compared to other regulars. Also, there’s such a thing as parallel capability. This is where you put two of them together in order to double the power you’ve got on your hands.
One of the big struggles with owning a generator is that the power will tend to fluctuate depending on the RPM of the generator. The great thing about these is that this doesn’t happen. These generators are more of a stable source of energy than regular, traditionals.
Back around the late 90s, Honda knew they had something awesome on their hands with the possibility of these machines. They put research, money, and time into it when no one was able to perfect it. They got the job done, and the rest was history.
These machines tend to be used for recreational reasons like RVs, outdoor excursions, and tailgating parties. Whatever you need portable power for, you can find it in one of these machines. With all of that said, we might as well take a gander at what the key differences are between a traditional generator and an inverter.
What’s the Difference Between a Conventional and an Inverter?
Conventionals are the most well-known of all of these machines. They’ve been around forever, and they have a really good track record. You can use a variety of gasses like propane, diesel, and regular gasoline to get the job done.
Inverters are still the new kid on the block, and they are used for a lot of the same outdoor activities as the conventional generator. The key difference here is that they are much cleaner to run, and they provide a stable source of power no matter the RPMs.
Noise levels are a big difference too. Conventional generators can be quite noisy, which might get you into trouble with the neighbors. On the flip side, we’ve got inverters that are designed to be quieter right from the start. This is kind of similar to how websites now are first developed with mobile access in mind, and then designed the rest of the way.
Another difference is wattage output. Some conventionals are producing upwards of 20,000 watts or more. This can give you the power you’re looking for, even capable of powering your home in the event of a power outage. Inverters will be in the 500 to 5,000-watt range, so you won’t be able to use as many plugs unless you’re using additional wattage as a cushion for future uses.
Fuel efficiency is where they really differ. A typical conventional is going to be stuck at about 3,600 RPM when it’s giving a maximum output. This can lead to a power surge which can destroy devices that are plugged in.
Inverters, on the other hand, rely on a smart control system that adjusts the RPM used depending on what is needed, effectively nixing the chances you have of your power going out or even surging the power and in the process destroying your electronics.
In terms of runtime, both conventionals and inverters are optimized to work for a very long time. The average generator is going to last you between 8 and 12 hours on a single tank of gas. That’s pretty efficient, isn’t it?
Higher Quality Power – Is it a Need?
The science and technology behind how an inverter works is pretty darn cool. When you start up the generator, it generates electricity that’s sent through an alternator. That electricity is in the AC form of electricity. While this can be a strong source of power, it’s definitely pretty sporadic too. AC electricity can go all over the place.
Once that generator grabs hold of the AC, it’s converted into DC. This is a much more stable source of power. Now the power’s going to be flowing stably through the system. The last step is actually to turn that DC back into AC, which is the same type of power used by outlets. This way, you’re going to have a reliable, steady way of generating power for your needs.
Now that we’ve taken a look at what all inverters and conventional generators are, let’s go ahead and take a look at some examples of inverters so that we can see which ones are the best in the business.
Summary and Thoughts
As you can see from the following information, inverters can be a good choice for many occasions, but sometimes you might decide that a conventional is going to be a better option. Take the time to consider your options, what you will be using the generator for, and how long you’ll need access to it.
Don’t forget to check out our generator buying guide for even more information about finding the right one for your needs.