Are you facing frequent power failures and outages?
Be sure to have a power backup source to keep your home or business running. For that purpose, you need to have power generators at your disposal that can keep your home running without any need for utility power for a few hours.
There are plenty of portable generators available in the market that are classified as longest-lasting generators and you can also look for an inverter generator or a quiet generator according to your requirements.
A single best generator may be the best option for you and for making it accessible to you having a thorough read of our buyer’s guide on affordable generators is the handiest solution.
To get it started, let’s take a look at our selection of the best Home Generator under 500 USD.
Are you in a rush? Don’t worry we are here to help you have the best conventional generator and for that purpose have a look at our best pick.
- 46 lbs. Weight
- 52 dBA Noise Level
- 12 Hrs. Runtime at ¼ Load
Westinghouse iGen2200 is the Best Pick for a reliable generator. This generator is the best to store generator for various purposes like powering your well-ventilated area.
With its 2200 watts surge wattage and 1800 running watts, this small generator is a feature-laden device that will be well worth your bucks.
Below given is the comparison table of the 10 best generators under $500 which shows a cursory overview of the significant specifications of these products.
Comparison Table Of The 10 Best Generators Under $500
Compact and Trendy
Best Value For Money
|Champion Power Equipment 100307|
Best For Camping
Best For Smart Gadget ReCharging
|Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 300|
Best Battery Powered
|FlashFish 200W Portable Power Station|
|FlashFish 300W Solar Generator|
Given below is a detailed account of the 10 best generators under $500 that we have selected after rigorous testing and reviews of hundreds of affordable generators available in the market.
So, without any further do, let’s dig deep into their details.
Westinghouse is undeniably a very popular and prestigious brand that has overtaken nearly 30% or more of the whole market dealing with generators for residential and commercial use.
Westinghouse is an immensely hyped franchise and the best thing about their generators is their powerful performance with a top-notch appearance.
You can store it in a dry place and regularly clean it and maintain a good shape and aesthetically appealing appearance.
Westinghouse iGen2200 is a smaller generator of the iGen lineup and is a gas-powered unit instead of the increasingly popular Dual Fuel Generator.
This unit can be considered the lightest generator of the Westinghouse iGen series and this is a lightweight and portable unit that has all the goodness of a great standard generator.
This affordable unit is producing 2200 watts as the surge wattage while the running watts are 1800 which is good enough for an ultralight generator of this size and power.
These 1800-rated watts mean that your generator engine will cover less than 3% THD power and therefore, you can have more running watts than the standard generators.
Better yet with the economy mode, you can reduce the fuel consumption to an even lower level and make sure that the engine sips only the bare minimum amount of fuel.
Last but not least is, the 3-year warranty that covers parts and labor with limited services available at their customer service networks spread nationwide.
- Extremely quiet
- Parallel capable
- 5-year comprehensive warranty
- Need a cold-weather kit
Wen generators are smart and aesthetically appealing units that are equipped with powerful wattage like the residential generators but are lightweight and easy to carry just like the ultralight portable camping units.
This WEN 56200i is a reliable and sturdy generator that entices buyers with its appealing yellowish-orange appearance and compact design with a built-in carrying handle at the top.
WEN generator is a gas-powered unit that produces 2000 peak watts and has a running wattage of 1600 watts. This is a portable inverter generator that is frequently used for tailgating and camping.
Although this generator has increased wattage which is way more than the average power required for tailgating parties.
This generator is extremely portable and lightweight which makes it preferred by tailgates and they can use the same unit for their RVs, camping, and many other outdoor adventures.
This generator has a 79.7 cc engine displacement with a 4-stroke OHV engine that is currently the most powerful engine in the market.
This generator weighs only 48 pounds and will give you 2000 watts of power for an uninterrupted runtime of 6 hours. You can increase the runtime by reducing the load to ¼ or even less.
WEN 56200i generator features pure sine wave power delivery which is the latest technology for producing the clean and stable power required by sensitive electronic appliances.
If the sensitive appliances are fed with unstable power their circuits may get burned making them dysfunctional.
- Aesthetically appealing design
- Lightweight and portable
- Small runtime
Powermate is a reliable manufacturing firm although not very hyped but pretty much common in residential and portable generators at reasonable price tags.
This PowerMate PM 2000 generator is a 2000 watts surge generator with a long runtime of 14 hours at 25% of the load. This is a Gasoline-driven generator and has a lot of notable specs to boost its efficiency.
If you are keen on safety more than performance then this is the best bet for you.
This generator has covered household outlets as well as a covered DC automotive-style outlet that protects these power outlets from climatic effects in outdoor settings.
Another of its safety feature is its low oil shut-off sensor which is the standard highlight of almost all modern generators.
This generator is Parallel ready and you can clip-on parallel kit that allows for the integration of two inverters. In this way, you can increase the wattage and run heavy-duty appliances that were impossible to run otherwise.
The pure sine wave delivery of this unit protects Sensitive electronics with its clean and stable energy.
The engine of the Powermate PM2000 doesn’t have a huge oil capacity and therefore, it will sip only the minimum oil making the most out of the fuel.
For cutting down on fuel consumption, there is a smart economy mode that will sharply reduce the engine speed to lower the fuel consumption rate and increase runtime.
You can also reduce the electrical load to increase the runtime and this tip has also extended engine life in many trials with various generators.
- Ergonomic Frame
- Longer Runtime
- Durable and Sturdy Steel Built
- No Wheels
Genkins generators are not very well-known in the market but if you want to have a generator at a low price that offers you quality performance and will be great value for your money, this Genkins generator seems to fulfill your requirements.
This is a good and budget-friendly generator that has all the latest techs to provide you with a standard generator experience like you would have in a top-notch uneconomical unit.
This generator is a 2300 watts unit that gives out a surge wattage of 2300 watts with its running watts of 1900.
The generator is powered by the 4-stroke OHV engine that you would find in any top-notch generator and has a 79cc engine displacement for efficient fuel consumption.
This generator has a fuel tank of 1.36 gallons which is the best capacity of any portable generator weighing only 51 pounds.
With its 1.36-gallon fuel capacity, it will give you an uninterrupted power supply for a good runtime of 8 hours at ½ load but you can increase it to 12 hours by cutting short on the load by half that is making it ¼ or 25%.
This generator is also very cool with its noise level as you can enjoy the buzz-free performance with its 53-56 dBA engine operation.
This generator is coming RV ready and you can use it for camping, tailgating, or all of your outdoor adventures without minding the grid power.
GENKINS 2300 has a low oil shutdown that will protect your generator from the damaging effects of low engine oil.
- Low fuel consumption
- CARB compliant
- Low noise level
- Limited outlets
- 104.9 lbs. Weight
- 68 dBA Noise Level
- 10/5 Hrs. Runtime at 2 Load on propane and 9 Hrs. on Gasoline
Champion power generators are sturdy build open-frame generators that are widely used in residential and commercial buildings.
These generators have a heavy-duty appearance but are lightweight enough to be categorized as portable. With their pneumatic wheel kits, you can easily transport them to places.
The champion power equipment generator is not the lightest in our selection but it has a large fuel tank that is allowing it for longer runtime and fuel-efficient performance.
This generator has a 4-stroke gasoline engine with OHV horizontal bar design that makes it extremely powerful and suited for heavy-duty jobs.
This generator has a built-in air cooling system that safeguards the engine from overheating due to excessive load or longer runtime.
With its 3500 watts surge wattage and budget-friendly price tag, this generator is perfect for mini-coolers, AC systems, kitchen appliances, and all of the mini-electronic appliances of your household.
This generator is an extremely quiet unit and this can be accounted for by its muffler design that reduces noise levels by cutting down on airborne noise.
Champion Power Equipment 100307 is also parallel capable which means you can connect it with generators to double your output power or increase available wattage.
The parable capability will also increase amperage and you can power a wide range of appliances for longer hours using this feature.
- 4-Stroke OHV engine
- Parallel capable
- Oil level indicator lights
- Dual-fuel support
- Single power outlet
DuroStar Generators are nothing less than the powerful Generac or Westinghouse generators in their performance but have much-reduced price tags that make them the apple of the eyes of many budget-restricted users.
This DuroStar DS 4000S is a powerful and advanced generator that has all the latest tech and fulfills the safety requirements for secure indoor use.
This generator provides plenty of power and has a robust and sturdy build with its open-frame steel body. This generator is ideal for heavy loads and as the cherry on top has the MX2 Technology that gets the maximum power out of it.
The durable construction of this generator makes it a perfect choice for home backup power and you can easily handle the most demanding tasks of your home with this generator (without grid power).
There are dedicated volt receptacles and you can freely choose between 9V or 12V receptacles.
DuroStar generator protects your investment with its fuel-efficient unit that comes with GFCI outlets as well as a twist-lock outlet that allows you to connect a wide variety of devices.
This generator is also equipped with a voltmeter that will indicate the voltage of the power supply (both utility power and generator supply).
There is an Intelligence for monitoring battery levels and it also features DC charging port for hooking up external batteries and charging them using the generator power.
This DuroStar DS4000S generator is a CARB compliant as well as EPA-certified unit and can be safely used anywhere including California.
The DuroStar provide a nationwide network of service that allows you to get benefit from their free lifetime technical support in addition to the 1-year warranty that covers the labor and parts.
- Fulfills Emission Standard
- Powerful engine
- Smart Panel for monitoring output and outlets
- Hassle-Free setup
- Only Recoil Start
- 48 lbs. Weight
- 52 dBA Noise Level
- 7 Hrs. Runtime at ½ Load and 4 Hrs. at 100% load.
If you are out there in the market looking for a generator that has a compact design and is portable as well as coming with both wheels then this A-iPower may be the solution for you.
A-iPower SUA is a tremendously reviewed lineup that is known for its trusted generators that have many great hand tools included in the kits and includes many generators fantastic for camping.
This SUV2000iV Uses Unleaded gasoline as its fuel type that delivers an enormous punch of wattage and therefore makes the engine extremely powerful.
The engine has low oil alarms instead of the low oil shutdown and you can manually switch off the generator when the alarm rings to avoid damage.
This generator has one USB Outlet and one AC outlet along with a DC output/input port and a DC adapter included in the kit. In addition to these outlets, the DuroStar generator’s smart panel has a 12 V DC output connector for charging external batteries and a Voltmeter.
There is also a parallel kit plug that is aimed at hooking two generators to increase the wattage by integrating their power supply.
Circuit protection is provided with the covered outlets and its side panel is the place where an RV plug is located making it an RV-ready generator.
The LCD screen of this generator works as the Intelligauge of the unit and its front panel shows frequency, while the bottom display shows fuel and run time.
This A-iPower SUA2000iV generator is stellar with its great value and fantastic design. The generator is also effortless to get started which makes it the best choice for a low-priced unit.
- RV Ready
- MX2 technology
- Limited runtime
Jackery is the unrivaled king when it comes to small budget-friendly handheld generators precisely the ones powered with solar energy.
These generators are affordable, reliable, environment-friendly, and the best power solution that allows you to save money.
Jackery Explorer series are the most common solar generators used as a backup for essential items.
Instead of carrying a heavy-duty generator that runs on gasoline and propane along with your journey you can carry these ultralight Jackery solar powerhouses.
These explorer generators feature innovative designs and are laden with quick start technology cutting down on the conventional recoil start and the cold start technology.
This generator has a battery capacity of 293 Wh and is driven by a powerful Lithium-ion battery that can be quickly recharged within 2 hours to its 80% state.
There are multiple ways to recharge this Jackery Explorer 300 and you can either use your wall outlet or the car outlet in addition to the Jackery solar saga generators that are recommended for outdoor settings.
If you are using the car outlet at the 12V DC Port, your Jackery Explorer 300 will be recharged to 80% (0-80%) within 3.7 hrs.
While using the wall outlet or the USB Type C port will get the same job done (recharging from 0%to 80%) in 2 hrs.
If you are using the Jackery solar saga 100 panels, it will take 3.5 hours to reach 80% from 0 and at the same time will be invested with the wall outlet without using the USB.
Jackery provides limited parts 3-year warranty on all of their products and their customer support centers are spread nationwide that can be visited 24.7.
- Plenty of outlets
- Multiple recharging ways
- Ultralight and extremely portable
- Suitable only for mini appliances
Flashfish generators are increasingly getting into the limelight and are one of the great solar generator manufacturers besides Jackery.
Although Jackery tops the charts of solar generators, Flagfish is putting a tough competition and grabbing nearly half of the market with their competent and energy-efficient, generators suitable for outdoor adventures.
Flagfish solar generators are much like the powerhouses designed to cater to mini-cooler and smart appliances like cell phones, tablets, and laptops while out on an adventure away from the grid power supply.
These solar generators have an auto-Idle fuel-saving technology that prevents battery drainage when the appliances are not using the battery power for recharging.
Despite their minimum capacity batteries, these solar generators have an engine that produces high wattage to fulfill your necessities like recharging multiple devices at once.
Flagfish portable solar generators are manufactured by Amerisun Inc and feature Fast shipping that allows you to internationally order them and have them delivered to your doorsteps within a few days. The flagfish franchise has 1-year limited parts and labor warranty offered on all of their products.
If you like to go on an outdoor adventure where no batteries are required to recharge your smartphones, you have to take a 200W Portable Power Station, FlashFish with you that will act as the grid house for your mini devices.
Instead of having an easy-to-setup generator you can have these operation-ready devices that need to be taken out and are ready to play along with you thus you can switch to this generator to maximize fuel economy.
- Foldable handle,
- Clean and stable power
- Can charge 6 devices at a time
- Limited battery capacity
If are you out there on the market breaking your head looking for a fuel-efficient generator that produces clean power (stable power) has a built-in carrying handle and is an efficient choice for ultra-low tone/heavy-duty jobs, then this Flagfish can be the deal-breaker for you?
If you like the pure sine wave energy of the flagfish generators that are easy to transport with their included carrying handle and community-friendly use you can try upgrading your 200W model to a 300 watts generator for better results.
This 300w solar generator limits total harmonic distortion that gives it a better bang for the buck
This generator by flagfish is designed to mirror the operation of heavy-duty generators in a compact body that is safe for use in both indoor and outdoor environments.
This FlashFish 300W Solar Generator has a fully-packed control panel that displays all the commands and control for monitoring and regulating the operation of the generator.
The control panel also has indicator lights that work for overload protection to safeguard the engine from overloading.
The eco-mode throttle will automatically adjust its fuel to give you the best possible fuel consumption for efficient performance.
If you want to have increased wattage than the 300 watts you can easily link up two generators using the parallel connection kit that is sold separately.
Using generators in a parallel link is perfect for restoring utility power at home or for emergency backup.
This feature is also beneficial for recreational use where you can increase the peak watts by using two generators to run a wide range of appliances like electric kettles, drill machines, or microwaves.
- Functional design
- Plenty of ports
- Large battery capacity
- Takes large time to charge
Best Generator Under $500: A Comprehensive Buyer’s Guide
When buying a generator, one needs to carefully examine the most critical features and specifications of the upcoming product to ensure that it will be a worthy purchase.
Don’t worry if you don’t have any technical expertise and don’t know which generator to grade as worthy and which one to discard as unqualified, we are here to help you get through this daunting task of having the best generator under $500.
Getting your hands on a good generator after spending a fortune is not a very difficult task but having the best generator at a restricted budget of under $500 is a big feat.
And to overcome this hurdle we have compiled this comprehensive buyer’s guide where you can go through the necessary features to determine the worth of your generator.
How To Determine Which Generator Is Best For You?
There are a few things to keep in mind before heading for the purchase and we are Just about to tell you about those things.
For obvious reasons, you have to go through the buyers’ guide to make an educated and wise decision about the purchase.
If you have a tight budget and want to have a smooth experience with your generator having its price reduced shouldn’t be your ultimate goal.
You may save some bucks by getting a cheap generator but these saved bucks will be dropping out of your pockets unaccountably on utility bills and generator fuel.
And all of this would be thanks to your inefficient generator that sips large chunks of fuel without optimizing engine performance.
Therefore, it would be wise to start with this aspect in mind and go with a highly fuel-efficient engine that consumes the least possible fuel to give you optimized performance.
You shouldn’t worry if you have to spend some extra bucks on having a fuel-efficient generator as you are going to save big after purchasing this generator.
You can check the fuel consumption rate provided on the product description of each generator and choose the one with the least consumption rate.
Most pocket-friendly generators are falling under the portable generators category and these generators are all-rounders that can be used in both indoor and outdoor conditions.
But most portable generators are not meant for indoor use as you need large-scale home backup power generators to run your household appliances but these portable generators will on average give you either 1000 or 2000 watts.
Therefore, most of the generators falling under the $500 tag are suited for campers, tailgaters, and outdoor adventurers. These portable generators are RV-ready and will be a great support on your outdoor treks.
Many portable power stations and solar generators are included in this category and to enjoy the outdoor adventure without any annoyance from your generator you need to tone its nose down.
A noisy generator laying close to your camp will spoil the adventure and your mood, therefore, ensure that you are getting a generator with limited noise levels and this can be checked by the dBA value of the engine.
Most good generators will be falling under the 52 to 58 dBA range and this much noise level is considered negligible for a generator engine.
As we have stated earlier that a fuel-efficient engine should be your utmost priority but you can think about the fuel consumption all the time.
Sometimes when you are out on an adventure you would prefer to have a powerful engine instead of an efficient engine.
Therefore having a generator with an Economy mode will be a great help as you switch between optimized performance and the fuel-efficient one.
This economy mode is the power save preset that will decrease the engine speed by reducing the revolutions per minute thereby reducing the fuel uptake.
In this way, you can have a fuel-efficient performance with minimal fuel consumption, reduced noise, and longer runtime.
You can power on the economy mode when you feel like the fuel is about to end.
When the fuel is sufficient for your outdoor trip you can switch to standard or default mode by turning off the Economy mode and restoring normal engine speed and noise level together with the standard fuel consumption as mentioned in the user’s manual.
Many generators have automatic Eco mode set at a specific fuel level and you should try to get the one with this auto adjustment. This will help your generator to automatically power on and off the economy mode by sensing the fuel level in the tank.
Safety is the casting vote for deciding the worth of any generator and you shouldn’t overlook your life and material safety trying to save a few bucks and get a cheap generator with no safety features added.
You need to have a generator that has Carbon Monoxide sensors to prevent carbon monoxide intoxication and will therefore prevent you from inhaling the lethal gas fumes.
A low oil shutdown is also a mandatory and the most frequent safety feature of standard generators. This feature will safeguard your generator engine from detrimental damage due to no fuel in the engine.
Overloading protector should also be considered a must spec to guard your engine against bearing extra load than it can carry.
Overloading will wear your engine down and may cause shocks therefore overload protectors should also be concerned a necessity in your upcoming purchase.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Which Generator Is Best For The Money?
Westinghouse iGen2200 is the best value-for-money generator. It is a lightweight and reliable unit that has a very low noise level and is powered by a powerful OHV 4-stroke engine.
What Is The Most Reliable Portable Generator Brand?
Generac and Westinghouse are considered trusted brands for heavy-duty commercial generators and are equally trusted for their residential units.
As far as portable generators are concerned Jackery is receiving the limelight with its widespread lineup of portable solar generators.
What Is The Cheapest And Quietest Generator?
Westinghouse iGen1200 is the cheapest generator and is also the quietest with only a 48 dBA noise level. This generator is a predecessor of our top pick Westinghouse iGen2200.
The latter one has increased wattage and fuel consumption but only 3 dBA is added which makes it a worthy choice for a noiseless portable generator.
What Is The Most Affordable Generator?
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 300 is the cheapest generator and has 300 running watts with 500 surge wattage.
It is a great power station for outdoor adventures and can charge 6 devices simultaneously with being charged either through the solar panels or the wall/car outlet.
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