6 Best 2,000-Watt Generators Merging Power and Portability

18 Generators Considered
35 Models Considered
3 Experts Interviewed
173 Reviews Analyzed

A 2,000-watt generator can provide the perfect balance between power and portability when you need electricity beyond the reach of an extension cord. These compact generators are designed to provide enough juice to power a handful of small appliances or power tools, which makes them ideal for applications like a worksite, an RV, or outdoor events. At the same time, unlike larger generators, 2,000-watt generators are relatively lightweight, quiet, and easy to move from place to place.

In order to help you find the best 2000-watt generator, we considered a number of features that set competing models apart. First, we looked at the engine of each generator, which affects the amount of power the generator can put out, the noise it produces, its weight, its fuel efficiency, and more. We also looked at the rated and maximum power outputs, since this can make a big difference if you are running motor-driven appliances like refrigerators or air conditioners. We also considered other important features like the capacity of the fuel tank, the noise level, and whether each generator comes with a warranty.

Top Six 2,000-Watt Generators Review 2019

We spent tens of hours researching customer reviews and technical specifications of the most popular 2,000-watt generator to come up with our list of the six best models, highlighted in the table below. Continue reading for detailed reviews with pros and cons of each generator. Our buying guide covers everything you need to know in order to choose a generator that’s right for your needs. Finally, we sum up our three overall favorite 2,000-watt generators on the market today.

Image and Rating
Name and Features
Price
9.9
1. Yamaha EF2000iSv2
Editor's Choice
Editor's Choice
One of the quietest inverted generators we could find, featuring the efficient Yamaha motor which ensures a long runtime
9.8
2. Westinghouse iGen2200
Best for Fuel Efficiency
Best for Fuel Efficiency
A highly efficient generator that has a larger fuel tank and runs for up to 12 hours at a 25% load
9.4
3. WEN 56200i
Best Value for Money
Best Value for Money
An inverter generator which is quiet at just 50–55 dB and can be operated in parallel with another generator
9.3
4. Honda EU2200i
Best 2,000-Watt Generator for RV
Best 2,000-Watt Generator for RV
One of the quietest generators on the market with the most powerful and reliable 121cc engine
9.2
5. Champion Power Equipment 100148
Best 2,000-Watt Generator for Parallel Wiring
Best 2,000-Watt Generator for Parallel Wiring
An easy-to-carry and easy-to-store generator with a framed design and parallel operation capability
9.0
6. Pulsar PG2000iSN
Budget Pick
Budget Pick
A solid option for those on a budget, this inverter generator is reliable and handles loads well
1.

Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Editor's Choice

Features
  • Generator type: inverter
  • Peak/rated watts: 2,000/1,600
  • Engine: 79cc 4-stroke OHV air-cooled
  • Fuel tank: 1.1 gal.
  • Runtime: 10.5 hrs. (50% load)
  • Outlets: (2) 120V AC, (1) 8A 12V DC
  • Start type: recoil
  • Noise level: 51.5 to 61 dB(A)
  • Warranty: 3-year limited
VIEW ON AMAZON

This small inverter generator from Yamaha sports one of the most impressive runtimes of any 2,000-watt generator on the market, making it an ideal choice for all-day tasks and events. The generator has just a 1.1-gallon fuel tank but is able to run at 50% load for up to 10.5 hours thanks to the highly efficient four-stroke Yamaha engine. The generator is also relatively quiet and produces just 51.5 dB of noise when running towards the low end of its power range.

In terms of power, this model is on par with its 2,000-watt competitors. It offers a maximum power output of 2,000 watts and a continuous power output of 1,600 watts. Users found that the recoil start works on the first try every time, even when starting from cold conditions.

One of the best advantages to Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is how easily it lends itself to long-term storage, such as over the winter. The fuel shutoff allows the carburetor to be run dry and the drain is very efficient at removing leftover fuel so there is no stale fuel when it comes time to bring the generator back out of storage.

The generator weighs less than 45 pounds and is less than 2.2 cubic feet in size, making it easy to store out of the way in a car or inside an RV. This inverter generator can be run in parallel, making it highly versatile. On top of all that, it comes with a three-year warranty from Yamaha to protect your investment. The only drawback to this generator is that it doesn’t feature USB charging ports to make charging small electronics simple.

Pros
  • Highly fuel efficient with long runtime
  • Easy fuel drainage for storage
  • Compact and easy to store
  • Can be run in parallel
  • Three-year warranty
Cons
  • No USB charging ports
2.

Westinghouse iGen2200 Best for Fuel Efficiency

Features
  • Generator type: inverter
  • Peak/rated watts: 2,200/1,800
  • Engine: 79cc Westinghouse OHV 4-stroke
  • Fuel tank: 1.2 gal.
  • Runtime: 12 hrs. (25% load)
  • Outlets: (1) Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R), (2) 5V USB ports
  • Start type: recoil
  • Noise level: 52 dB(A)
  • Warranty: 3-year limited (residential), 1-year limited (commercial)
VIEW ON AMAZON

Users rave about this powerful generator from Westinghouse, which is capable of putting out 2,200 watts of surge power and 1,800 watts of continuous power. That output ties it with the Honda generator to lead this size class in power. Plus, the generator can be run in parallel with a second unit to increase the overall power available.

In contrast to the Honda generator, though, this model is capable of running for up to 12 hours at a 25% load so you don’t have to worry about running out of power halfway through the day. The secret is an efficiency mode, which can be activated with a button on the front panel, that keeps the fuel use to a minimum while maintaining the same output power. The fuel tank is only 1.2 gallons, so you also won’t be pouring money into this generator in fuel consumption.

The generator uses a recoil start, which users found was very effective even when starting in cold conditions. Users were especially surprised at how quiet this generator is, at just 52 dB, and could easily hold conversations around it.

Another advantage to this generator is that it includes two USB charging ports in addition to the two 120-volt outlets. The iGen2200 is probably one of the best 2,000-watt inverter generators out there, so you’re safe to charge your sensitive electronics.

Westinghouse offers a three-year warranty for residential users, but contractors looking for a small generator to use at field sites will want to be aware that commercial users only get a one-year warranty.

Pros
  • 2,200 watts of surge power
  • Quiet at just 52 dB
  • 12-hour runtime at 25% load
  • High fuel efficiency
  • Two USB charging ports
Cons
  • Can’t be run dry to ensure safe storage
3.

WEN 56200i Best Value for Money

Features
  • Generator type: inverter
  • Peak/rated watts: 2,000/1,600
  • Engine: 79.7cc 4-stroke OHV
  • Fuel tank: 1 gal.
  • Runtime: 6 hrs. (50% load)
  • Outlets: (2) three-prong 120V, (1) 12V DC, (1) 5V USB port
  • Start type: recoil
  • Noise level: 50 to 55 dB(A)
  • Warranty: 2-year limited
VIEW ON AMAZON

This burly generator from Wen is rated for 2,000 watts of surge power and 1,600 watts of continuous power to provide you with enough juice for any small application. The generator is relatively quiet at just 50–55 dB, which makes it perfect for use in campgrounds or at events where a noisier generator could be problematic.

The generator features a six-hour runtime at 50% load thanks to the Eco-Mode, which can be engaged with a push-button on the front panel. However, the runtime is still mediocre for this size class, largely due to the small one-gallon tank rather than any issues with fuel efficiency.

The Wen generator is an inverter generator and features a single USB charging port, which together ensure that you’ll be able to use a few watts to charge your phone or tablet from this unit. In addition, for situations where you need more than 1,600 watts of continuous power, the generator is capable of parallel connection so you can put multiple units together.

At 48 pounds, this generator is on the heavy side – so don’t expect to carry it for miles. That said, users appreciated the large carry handle and didn’t find the generator to be too heavy for small moves from the car to a worksite or around a campground. Note that the generator is somewhat taller than other models, which can affect where you can store it.

Wen offers a two-year warranty on this generator, although users did not report any issues with the unit after several years of use.

Pros
  • Quiet at less than 55 dB
  • Includes USB charging port
  • Eco-Mode
  • Inverter and parallel-ready
  • Two-year warranty
Cons
  • Somewhat heavy for long carries
  • Tall design can be hard to store
4.

Honda EU2200i Best 2,000-Watt Generator for RV

Features
  • Generator type: inverter
  • Peak/rated watts: 2,200/1,800
  • Engine: 121cc Honda GXR120
  • Fuel tank: 0.95 gal.
  • Runtime: up to 8.1 hrs. (25% load)
  • Outlets: (1) 20A 125V Duplex, (1) 12V 100W (8.3A) DC
  • Start type: recoil
  • Noise level: 48 to 57 dB(A)
  • Warranty: 3-year residential and commercial
VIEW ON AMAZON

This inverter generator from Honda features a massive 121cc engine that offers up a sizable 2,200 watts of surge power and 1,800 watts of continuous power. In case you need even more juice, the generator can be connected to another model in parallel to provide up to 4,400 watts of power. This power output makes this generator ideal for motor-driven appliances like an air conditioner.

The downside to that power capacity is that this generator has a relatively low runtime of just eight hours at 25% load. Although this is partially the 0.95-gallon fuel tank, there is also not much to be said for the generator’s fuel efficiency and it lacks an eco-mode as found on the similar Westinghouse generator. In addition, the panel of the generator features two 120-volt three-pronged outlets and a 12-volt DC battery charging port, but lacks additional features such as a USB port.

One of the main attractions of this generator, apart from the power capacity, is how quiet it is. When running on a low output, the generator is capable of keeping its noise to just 48 dB – and even at full power, it only produces 57 dB.

The other attraction is the Honda engine. Users confirm that the quality Honda is known for in their engines is present in this generator, and while the generator only comes with a three-year warranty you can expect it to last a lifetime.

Another feature that users appreciated on Honda EU2200i was the presence of a fuel shutoff option on the ignition dial, which allows the carburetor to be run dry so that there are no issues with stale gasoline or sludgy build-up in the engine the next time you run the generator.

Pros
  • 2,200 watts of surge power
  • Highly reliable Honda engine with three-year warranty
  • Very quiet at just 48 dB
  • Fuel shutoff option
Cons
  • No USB charging ports
  • Expensive
  • Short runtime
5.

Champion Power Equipment 100148 Best 2,000-Watt Generator for Parallel Wiring

Features
  • Generator type: inverter
  • Peak/rated watts: 2,000/1,700
  • Engine: 80cc 4-stroke Champion
  • Fuel tank: 1 gal.
  • Runtime: 9.5 hrs. (25% load)
  • Outlets: 120V 20A Duplex (5-20R), 12V DC
  • Start type: recoil
  • Noise level: 53 dB(A)
  • Warranty: 3-year limited
VIEW ON AMAZON

This uniquely designed generator from Champion is made to allow you to add power in modules as needed. The framed design is meant to be stackable, so that you can run multiple units of this generator with a parallel operation kit sold separately by Champion. Plus, while the frame does add some space to the generator, it helps with making it easy to carry and easy to store.

The generator itself is rated for 2,000 watts of surge power and 1,700 watts of continuous power. While the runtime is roughly average for this size class, it is not bad for half-day events or power needs – 9.5 hours at a 25% load. The fuel tank is just one gallon in volume, so you won’t be spending much money on gasoline to keep this generator running.

One of the other big draws to this generator is the low noise level. For the price, this generator is surprisingly quiet at just 53 dB and is suitable for use in campgrounds or at outdoor events since it won’t cause a distraction.

Users found that the generator is easy to start with the recoil starter, although they did wish for a fuel shutoff so that the generator could be stored for long periods without worrying about stale fuel. In addition, while the generator features inverted power through two three-pronged 120-volt outlets, users would have like to see a USB port for charging small electronics from this generator.

Champion offers a three-year warranty on this model, which is another advantage given the relatively modest price.

Pros
  • Quiet at just 53 dB
  • Stackable frame
  • Three-year warranty
Cons
  • No USB charging ports
  • No fuel shutoff valve
  • Relatively short runtime at moderate to high power
6.

Pulsar PG2000iSN Budget Pick

Features
  • Generator type: inverter
  • Peak/rated watts: 2,000/1,600
  • Engine: 80cc single cylinder 4-stroke OHV
  • Fuel tank: 1.18 gal.
  • Runtime: 6 hrs. (50% load)
  • Outlets: (2) AC 120V 13A, (1) 12V DC 8A, (1) 5V DC USB
  • Start type: recoil
  • Noise level: 59 dB(A)
  • Warranty: 1-year limited
VIEW ON AMAZON

This inexpensive generator from Pulsar is an ideal choice for people on a budget. The generator is comparable to more expensive models in this size class in terms of its power output and runtime. It offers a peak wattage of 2,000 watts and a continuous power output of 1,600 watts, while running for six hours at a 50% power load. This is relatively long as compared with other 2,000-watt generators, which makes it possible to use this generator on a boat or in other places where you might need power and have limited fuel available.

Where this generator compromises and its budget value shows is in the amount of noise it produces. At 59 dB, this is the noisiest generator we reviewed and is significantly louder than most other options in the 2,000-watt size class. While this may not matter if you plan to use the generator at a work site, it can be problematic if you want to use it late at night at a campground or for a relatively quiet outdoor event. In addition, users found that the generator makes some rough noises that can be quite distracting when running at small power loads.

That said, the generator has a fully-featured front panel with two 120-volt outlets, a USB charging port, and a 12-volt DC battery charging outlet. In addition, users found that the recoil starter is highly reliable and appreciated that the generator produces highly clean inverted power. Another advantage to this generator is that it can be run in parallel with another Pulsar or other generator to increase the available power.

The other place where the low price shows is in the short warranty – in contrast to the three-year warranties found on more expensive models, this generator only comes with a one-year warranty from Pulsar.

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • USB charging port
  • Reliable start and handles loads well
Cons
  • Loud at 59 dB and makes noise at low loads
  • Only one-year warranty

Buying Guide

Now that you’ve learned more about our six favorite 2,000-watt generators on the market today, how do you decide which model is right for your needs? In our Buying Guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about these generators and walk you through the questions you need to ask yourself about how you plan to use your generator. In addition, we’ll take a closer look at some of the important features that differentiate 2,000-watt generators so you can decide which features are right for you.

What can you power with a 2,000-watt generator?

0f78a5be-6d1c-4718-b6f6-63dd1109ab1e_1.5c98cf571710e3246bfc0592ef2b083aBefore figuring out how many appliances you can power with a 2,000-watt generator, you first need to understand what that 2,000 watts represents. In most cases, 2,000 watts is the maximum power that a generator is capable of – it can only sustain that power for a few seconds in order to allow motor-drive appliances to start up. Beyond this initial startup period, the generator is limited to its continuous wattage rating, which is usually several hundred watts less than the maximum.

In order to determine what you can power with your generator, you need to add up the wattage requirements of all of the devices you plan to plug into it. For example, a computer only uses up about 150 watts of power, while a television uses just 250 watts. However, moving into the kitchen, the power draw increases dramatically. Microwaves can draw upwards of 800 watts, while a standard refrigerator and freezer combo uses a whopping 1,300 watts.

Less than 2,000 watts may not seem like much compared to the burlier generators on the market today, but that’s still enough power to run multiple appliances in many cases. For example, you can run a refrigerator and freezer while still powering a television and computer for a total of 1,700 watts. Just keep in mind that the refrigerator and freezer will have a surge wattage requirement that cannot push the total power draw over 2,000 watts.

How do you plan to use your generator?

Honda-Inverter-1How you plan to use your generator is just as important a consideration as how many watts your generator is capable of providing. In general, 2,000 watts can suffice during a power outage from a storm if you are only trying to keep essential appliances, like your refrigerator and freezer, running rather than trying to power the entire house. Most people have outdoor activities in mind when they opt for a 2,000-watt generator because these small units are relatively portable. For example, these generators can be used to power mechanized tools around your yard or to power appliances at an outdoor event.

A 2,000-watt generator can also provide enough power for a small RV if you are not planning on using much electricity beyond basic kitchen appliances.

Importantly, how you plan to use your generator can also impact what types of outlets you will need. Many RVs use a 30-amp twist-lock outlet rather than a standard two- or three-pronged outlet to connect to a generator, so if you plan to use your generator for an RV you’ll need a model with this outlet type. In addition, some power tools require 240-volt current instead of the standard 120-volt current, which requires a generator with outlets that can toggle between the two voltages.

You may also wish to consider convenient outlet types like USB charging ports, which can be found on the Pulsar, Westinghouse, and Wen generators. 12-volt DC battery charging outlets can also be quite useful, especially if you are using your generator in a scenario where you are running through heavy-duty batteries for power. All of the generators we reviewed except the Westinghouse model include a battery-charging outlet.

Conventional vs inverter generator

Another important consideration is whether you need a conventional generator or an inverter generator. Inverter generators differ from conventional generators in that instead of simply producing AC power from the engine and outputting it to the outlets, they first convert that AC power to DC power and then back to AC power. The result is electricity that is much “cleaner” in terms of its current, which can be extremely important if you are planning to power sensitive electronics like smartphones and computers.

Inverter generators are typically more expensive than conventional generators, so it’s important to consider whether you really need this functionality. Most home appliances and power tools don’t need clean power from an inverter generator and will not be affected by the noisier electrical power coming from a conventional generator. However, since most people want the ability to safely power their smartphones and computers from a generator, all of the 2,000-watt generators we reviewed – and most on the market today – are inverter generators.

For how long will your generator run?

acme-tools-honda-eu2200i-eco-throttleHow long your generator will run for is an important consideration – you don’t want the lights to go out in the middle of an event, a tool to turn off in the midst of your using it, or your refrigerator and freezer to turn off prematurely.

Generator runtime is typically dependent on the size of your generator’s gas tank and the fuel efficiency of the engine. In general, your generator will burn through fuel the more quickly the closer it is to its maximum power capacity that you run it – this is why generator runtimes are typically measured at 25% or 50% of the maximum load. Generator runtimes can vary widely, from as little as 8 hours at a 25% load on the Honda generator to as much as 10.5 hours at a 50% load on the Yamaha generator.

While none of the generators that we reviewed are capable of running on propane, propane does offer a way to increase runtime since you can rig your propane fuel lines such that you can load in a new canister without turning off the generator. When working with gasoline, it is essential that you allow the generator to fully cool down before adding more gasoline to the tank.

How noisy is a generator?

Generators can be quite noisy, but in general 2,000-watt generators are not excessively loud compared to larger generators. Noise varies a lot from model to model – for example, the quietest generator we reviewed, from Honda, is capable of producing just 48 dB of noise, while the loudest generator we reviewed, from Pulsar, produces 59 dB of noise. This difference is largely due to differences in the engines found in each generator and the amount of noise insulation surrounding the engines.

It’s also worth noting that the noise a generator produces will increase as your power load approaches the maximum rated load of the generator. That means that the same generator may be quiet when you are only drawing a few hundred watts from it, but could be significantly louder as you approach 2,000 watts of power draw.

Safety considerations

Almost all modern generators come with warning lights or other indicators to protect your generator in the case of power overload or low oil. All of the generators we reviewed have automatic low-oil shutoff functions, which will turn off the generator if the oil runs dangerously low. Running your generator with too little oil can permanently damage the engine. Similarly, all of the generators will turn off when their maximum power is exceeded in order to protect the engine and circuitry from being overloaded and damaged.

Tips and Tricks

s-l1600Maintaining your generator is extremely important to ensure that it will last for years to come.

  • The most important piece of maintenance for every generator is to keep it well oiled, since having low oil will not only prevent you from using the generator when you need it but also can severely damage the engine. Plan to replace the oil after the first 25 hours of use of your new generator, and every 50 hours after that.
  • Another important tip is to watch your gas levels. Running the generator until it fully runs out of fuel can damage the engine because sludgy residue typically builds up at the bottom of the fuel tank and is sucked into the engine when the fuel runs extremely low. In addition, it’s important not to leave old gasoline in the tank as gasoline goes stale after a few months of exposure to air and can damage the engine as well.
  • Finally, be sure to allow the generator to fully cool down before refilling the gas tank. Pouring gas into a hot generator is a serious fire hazard that can damage the generator or cause injury to yourself.

FAQ

Yes, it is possible to convert most 2,000-watt gasoline generators to run on propane or natural gas. There are a number of manufacturers that sell kits to make this conversion, although you should consult with the manufacturer of the kit and the manufacturer of your generator to ensure that they will be compatible. In addition, note that converting the power source of your generator will typically void the manufacturer’s warranty on your unit.

Yes, 2,000 watts is typically enough power to run the small air conditioners found in RVs. If this is how you plan to use your generator, note the wattage requirements of the air conditioner and ensure that the startup wattage of the air conditioner does not exceed the peak wattage of your generator. In addition, you may need a 2,000-watt generator with a 30-amp RV outlet if your air conditioner is connected to the main circuitry of your RV rather than using a two- or three-pronged electrical cord.

Both conventional and inverter generators convert gasoline into AC electricity using the generator engine. However, inverter engines take the extra steps of converting that AC electricity into DC current and then back to AC current in order to smooth out the electrical waves. This is important for sensitive electronics like smartphones and computers, which can be damaged by noisy electrical output from a conventional generator. Although inverter generators are more expensive than conventional generators, most of the 2,000-watt generators on the market today are inverter generators.

Wrap-up

Our three overall favorite 2,000-watt generators on the market today are the Yamaha EF2000iSv2, the Westinghouse iGen2200, and the Wen 56200i. All three generators are inverter generators with the ability to be run in parallel, and all include important safety features such as low-oil shutoff and overload prevention. The Westinghouse generator is an ideal choice for users who need slightly more than 2,000 watts of surge power while still offering an impressively long runtime at lower loads. The Wen generator is quiet at less than 55 dB and features an Eco-Mode to extend its fuel life, although it can be somewhat heavy and tall for portability and storage. We feel that the Yamaha generator is the overall best 2,000-watt generator available today thanks to its incredibly quiet 51.5 dB noise output, long 10.5-hour runtime at 50% load, and a three-year warranty on a reliable Yamaha motor.

9.9/10 Total Score
Yamaha EF2000iSv2 - Editor's Choice
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Pin It on Pinterest

Login/Register access is temporary disabled