Best Generators

When you can't get power from the grid, a generator can keep you connected. Whether you're looking for a portable generator, inverter generator or a home generator, there are important things to consider before plugging in, to protect both your personal safety and electronics. Continue Reading...

63 listings

Best Generator

Gentrax 3.5kW Camping Inverter
4.2 from 234 reviews
Running Time 480 min

The $1, 889 Gentrax 3.5kW camping inverter offers up to 8 hours of run time, and allows you to charge both sensitive and smaller electronics like phones, as well as larger appliances like fridges.

A reliable power source
Affordable yet quality performance
Can take a few pulls to start
  • Build Quality
    4.6 (36)
  • Value for Money
    4.7 (37)
  • Ease of Use
    4.7 (36)
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
    4.6 (36)
  • Noise Level
    3.7 (37)
  • Safety
    4.7 (35)
  • Power3,000 W
  • Fuel TypePetrol
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 5 L
  • Weight28 kg
  • Dimensions 470 x 320 x 565 mm
2nd Best Generator
Cromtech CTG2500i
4.2 from 23 reviews
Running Time 1,200 min

This small, highly portable 2.4kVA inverter generator is designed for both recreational and domestic use. It can be used for camping and caravanning, and for powering small - or a few - appliances at home in the event of a blackout.

  • Build Quality
    5.0 (1)
  • Value for Money
    5.0 (1)
  • Ease of Use
    5.0 (1)
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
    5.0 (1)
  • Noise Level
    4.0 (1)
  • Safety
    5.0 (1)
  • Power2,100 W
  • PhaseSingle
  • Fuel TypePetrol
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 5 L
  • Noise Level 64 dB
  • Voltage 230 V
  • Weight19.8 kg
  • Dimensions 447 x 315 x 512 mm
Yamaha EF2400IS
3.6 from 20 reviews

As Yamaha’s self-professed bestselling generator for caravans, RVs and motorhomes, this 2400-watt generator can power appliances like ACs, fridges and toasters, as well as personal electronics like phones and computers.

  • Build Quality
    2.5 (2)
  • Value for Money
    1.0 (3)
  • Ease of Use
    4.0 (2)
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
    2.5 (2)
  • Noise Level
    5.0 (2)
  • Safety
    4.0 (2)
  • Power2,400 W
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 6 L
  • Noise Level 59 dB
  • Voltage 230 V
  • Weight32 kg
  • Dimensions 459 x 419 x 527 mm
Honda EU10i
4.5 from 11 reviews

This little $1, 499 inverter generator is designed with a max power output of 1 kVA, and only weighs 13 kg - making it a convenient option if you only have a few electronics to power.

  • PhaseSingle
  • Fuel TypePetrol
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 2.1 L
  • Noise Level 87 dB
  • Voltage 240 V
  • Weight13 kg
  • Dimensions 379 x 242 x 451 mm
Adventure Kings Enclosed 2.0 kVA Inverter Generator

Latest review: Only had it for a couple of weeks a find it performs really well However I'm a bit concerned that it seems to have a miss when it's idling ( I am running the right fuel ) Good value for money and no

  • Build Quality
    4.0 (3)
  • Value for Money
    5.0 (3)
  • Ease of Use
    5.0 (3)
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
    4.3 (3)
  • Noise Level
    5.0 (3)
  • Safety
    5.0 (3)
  • Power2,000 W
  • Fuel TypePetrol
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 4.1 L
  • Noise Level 73 dB
  • Voltage 240 V
  • Weight19 kg
  • Dimensions 440 x 282 x 525 mm

Related Articles

Previous
The right to repair: which brands are making it easier for you to fix their products?

The right to repair movement in Australia is calling for companies to make it easier for their products to be repaired. Here are some electronics and appliance manufacturers who are starting to listen and make it more feasible for consumers to repair, rather than replace, their items.

Clara V.
Clara V.
the-right-to-repair-which-brands-are-making-it-easier-for-you-to-fix-their-products
Make staying at home more enjoyable with these products and tips

Staying at home doesn’t have to be a drag, even if you’re isolating. With the right products, you can still eat, drink, and relax as if you’re on holiday, so that your summer staycation is something special.

Clara V.
Clara V.
make-staying-at-home-more-enjoyable-with-these-products-and-tips
How to be more eco-friendly when you're gifting this Christmas

Christmas seems to go hand in hand with consumption, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be eco-friendly with your gift giving. We’ve got tips for everything from shopping sustainably to zero-waste packaging, so that you can have a greener holiday season.

Clara V.
Clara V.
how-to-be-more-eco-friendly-when-youre-gifting-this-christmas
Next
Honda EU30is
3.8 from 11 reviews
Running Time 426 min
  • Fuel TypePetrol
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 13 L
  • Noise Level 91 dB
  • Voltage 240 V
  • Weight59 kg
  • Dimensions 558 x 658 x 447 mm
Westinghouse 2400i
4.0 from 6 reviews
Running Time 1,440 min
  • Power2,500 W
  • Fuel TypePetrol
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 5 L
  • Noise Level 51 dB
  • Voltage 240 V
  • Weight20 kg
  • Dimensions 440 x 340 x 500 mm
Genpower SV5000
5.0 from 4 reviews
Running Time 180 min
  • Power2,200 W
  • Fuel TypePetrol
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 4.5 L
  • Noise Level 68 dB
  • Voltage 240 V
  • Weight25 kg
  • Dimensions 360 x 530 x 620 mm
Yamaha EF2000iS
3.4 from 7 reviews

Latest review: I bought my ef 2000is for the blackout that lasted two weeks after the mount Dandenong storms in June this year. And again this October.It won't power the world but it will get you out of a jam

  • Power2,400 W
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 4.4 L
  • Noise Level 61 dB
  • Voltage 230 V
  • Weight20 kg
  • Dimensions 445 x 280 x 490 mm
Genforce GT-4000 Inverter Generator 2.5KVA
Running Time 300 min
  • Build Quality
    4.0 (1)
  • Value for Money
    5.0 (1)
  • Ease of Use
    5.0 (1)
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
    5.0 (1)
  • Noise Level
    4.0 (1)
  • Safety
    4.0 (1)
  • Power2,500 W
  • Fuel TypePetrol
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 5 L
  • Noise Level 58 dB
  • Voltage 240 V
  • Weight22 kg
  • Dimensions 460 x 540 x 290 mm
Gentrax 3.5kW Remote Start Camping Inverter
Running Time 330 min
  • Power3,200 W
  • Fuel TypePetrol
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 7.5 L
  • Voltage 240 V
  • Dimensions 540 x 360 x 640 mm
Briggs & Stratton P3000
3.4 from 5 reviews

Latest review: had one for a few years worked great, until the inverter died. can not buy a replacement in australia. if it was under warranty briggs and stratton will happerly replace once out of warranty another

  • Power3,000 W
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 5.7 L
  • Noise Level 58 dB
  • Voltage 240 V
  • Weight44 kg
  • Dimensions 530 x 360 x 660 mm
Yamaha EF1000IS
4.3 from 3 reviews
Running Time 720 min
  • Power1,000 W
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 2.5 L
  • Noise Level 47 dB
  • Voltage 230 V
Yamaha EF2800i
5.0 from 2 reviews
Running Time 1,020 min
  • Power2,500 W
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 11.2 L
  • Noise Level 67 dB
  • Voltage 230 V
  • Weight29 kg
  • Dimensions 425 x 395 x 487 mm
Honda EU30iu Handy
5.0 from 2 reviews

Latest review: Great machine just purrrs along. never misses a beat and I don't always keep to the service schedule but it seems fine. We use it at our weekender which doesn't have power. WE don't use it for a

  • Fuel TypePetrol
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 5.9 L
  • Noise Level 65 dB
  • Voltage 240 V
  • Weight35.2 kg
  • Dimensions 489 x 379 x 622 mm

Related Articles

Previous
Christmas Gift Ideas for Mum

Since many mothers tend to spout selfless phrases like ‘please don’t spend any money on me,’ Christmas is a great opportunity to spoil your Mum. However, this can be a tricky feat if your mum hasn’t told you what kind of gift she’d be happy with.

Avleen M.
Avleen M.
christmas-gift-ideas-for-mum
Christmas Gift Ideas for Dad

If you hop onto Google and type in ‘Christmas gifts for Dad,’ you’ll likely be met with a barrage of ads for personalised beer glasses and novelty socks. To give Dad something he actually loves - and uses daily - read on for a list of Christmas gift ideas on Dad's secret wish list.

Avleen M.
Avleen M.
christmas-gift-ideas-for-dad
Smart shopping tips to help you make the most of Black Friday sales

With Black Friday coming up on the 26th of November (and some deals starting well before), we’ve got some smart shopping tips to help you make the most of sales.

Clara V.
Clara V.
smart-shopping-tips-to-help-you-make-the-most-of-black-friday-sales
Next
Subaru R1700i
5.0 from 2 reviews
Running Time 240 min
  • Fuel TypePetrol
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 4 L
  • Voltage 240 V
  • Weight21 kg
  • Dimensions 445 x 295 x 490 mm
Honda EU22i
3.0 from 4 reviews
Running Time 180 min
  • PhaseSingle
  • Fuel TypePetrol
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 3.6 L
  • Noise Level 89 dB
  • Voltage 240 V
  • Weight21.1 kg
  • Dimensions 425 x 290 x 509 mm
Yamaha EF3000iSE
3.0 from 2 reviews
Running Time 1,230 min
  • Power3,000 W
  • PhaseSingle
  • Fuel TypePetrol
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 13 L
  • Noise Level 51 dB
  • Voltage 230 V
  • Weight67 kg
  • Dimensions 555 x 445 x 680 mm
Briggs & Stratton P2400
5.0 from 1 review
Running Time 480 min
  • Build Quality
    5.0 (1)
  • Value for Money
    5.0 (1)
  • Ease of Use
    5.0 (1)
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
    5.0 (1)
  • Noise Level
    3.0 (1)
  • Safety
    5.0 (1)
  • Power1,800 W
  • PhaseSingle
  • Fuel TypePetrol
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 4 L
  • Noise Level 78 dB
  • Voltage 230 V
  • Weight22.7 kg
  • Dimensions 441 x 311 x 509 mm
Honda EU70is Generator
5.0 from 1 review
Running Time 384 min
  • Fuel TypePetrol
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 19.2 L
  • Noise Level 90 dB
  • Voltage 240 V
  • Weight118.1 kg
  • Dimensions 721 x 700 x 1198 mm
Page 1 of 3

man pull starting gas generator for camping

How do generators work?

Generators work by converting mechanical energy into electrical power. They do this using two main parts. An internal combustion engine uses petrol, diesel or propane fuel, and powers an alternator, which produces an AC current that provides the electricity.

Why would I need a generator?

If you need back-up power at home, you can buy a generator for blackouts. This means you can switch on some lights and keep the fridge running even if the power lines are down.

The second main use of generators is as a portable power source while camping and caravanning. Inverter generators are handy as recreational or camping generators. They let you charge selected appliances and devices like your phone or laptop, even when you’re off grid.

You can also get generators for commercial and industrial use, but these are beyond the scope of this guide.

Camping and caravanning

If you’re packing a generator for a portable power source on your adventures, a portable inverter generator for camping is the best pick.

What is the difference between a generator and inverter generator?

A conventional generator or regular portable generator is also known as a single-phase generator. That’s because the alternator provides AC power that’s ready to use. This is the type of AC power that electricity companies provide to homes on-the-grid.

An inverter generator, on the other hand, is also known as a three-phase generator. It uses the alternator to produce AC power, but then converts this into DC power using a microprocessor, and then back into AC power. This has a number of advantages in a camping scenario, with relatively few downsides.

Pros

Inverter technology provides a clean, safe source of power that won’t damage sensitive personal electronics like phones and laptops.
They operate quietly, making them suitable for more populated campsites.
Small and lightweight, inverter generators are more travel-friendly than your standard portable generator.
They're more efficient than conventional portable generators, and produce less emissions.

Cons

Restricted in power output, many inverter portable generators won’t provide much more than 2,000 watts of power - inadequate to power large set-ups.
Can be expensive, necessitating frequent use to get your money’s worth.
They use a battery that needs to be charged using a 12V outlet, solar power or mains power.

Home back-up power supply

These conventional generators can be either portable or stationary generators. When properly set up, either of these will be capable of providing emergency power for your home when you need it. (An inverter generator isn’t suitable for home use, however).

Portable generators for home use

You can plug an extension cord into selected home appliances, to connect them to the generator. You don’t need to connect the generator to the main electrical switchboard.

However, using a portable generator for home use is generally not considered an effective long-term solution. Portable generators used to power a home can cause up to 25% total harmonic distortion, when 6% THD is considered the acceptable limit for a smooth current.

Pros

An affordable solution if power outages are rare in your area, or you’re only powering a few small appliances.
A transfer switch must be installed by an electrician to keep electricity safe - which makes it more expensive.

Cons

Clean power isn’t reliably available for your home using a portable generator, as the AC signal can become distorted easily.

For the power to be safe, you’ll also need to have a transfer switch installed by a licensed electrician.

A transfer switch ensures that the house won’t accidentally get electricity from both the generator and mains power at the same time, once the power comes back on. This overload of electricity damages appliances, and poses a fire or electrocution risk.

  • An automatic transfer switch instantly connects the generator to your house when there’s a power outage, and disconnects it again when the electricity comes back on. Without it, the generator keeps feeding power to your house along with mains power. This causes an overload of electricity that can damage appliances, as well as bring a risk of fire and electrocution.
  • A manual transfer switch does the same job, but you’ll have to remember to manually turn it on and off before and after a power outage.

Stationary or permanent generators

If you're asking the question, 'which generator is suitable for home use?' generators that are made to be permanent generators for home standby use are better for long-term use than portable generators. They are usually powered by natural gas - mains gas or LPG.

Pros

These have a built-in automatic transfer switch. You won't have to turn the generator on and off when there's a blackout.
Generally purpose-built to be the right size to power your heavy-duty household appliances.
A natural gas power source doesn't need refuelling.
If you have solar panels, solar energy can be stored in a generator.

Cons

While they are heavy-duty and reliable, standby generators are expensive, especially when you add on installation costs.
Can be tricky to find the right place to put it - it should be outdoors in a well-ventilated spot, but not left exposed to the elements where it can get wet.

What size generator will I need?

A generator’s size is measured in kVA, which refers to the maximum amount of power it can provide.

To calculate the kVA you need, follow these steps.

  • Find out the wattage of each of the appliances or devices you want to power using the generator at the same time.
  • Add up all these wattages. Include both the starting watts (if provided) and running watts. Some heavy-duty appliances have a start-up wattage four times that of the running wattage.
  • Calculate the total wattage, then divide by 1, 000 to get the kW needed, e.g. 3000 watts is 3kW.
  • The kW divided by the power factor is the kVA you need. For example, if the power factor is 1, then the kVA required to power 3kW worth of appliances is 3kVA (3kW divided by a 1 power factor).

It’s always better to have extra watts for leeway when picking a generator size. This allows for small surges in the current.

What else to look for in a generator

Fuel capacity

If you’re out and about, you don’t want to be preoccupied with constantly refuelling your petrol generator. Check the tank capacity, and divide this by how much petrol is used per hour. This will tell you how many hours you can go until the petrol runs out.

Continuous running time

If the generator you want doesn’t have specs provided for petrol usage per hour, the continuous running time gives a rough indication of how long you can go before refueling.

Note that long running times, e.g. 9 hours for small inverter portable generators, are usually prescribed by manufacturers based on Eco mode. Eco mode may have special conditions, for example that you can only use it at a quarter of the maximum power load.

Portability

If you are taking your generator with you on-the-go (e.g. for camping or caravanning) portability is especially important. This is influenced by the weight, and any handles or a trolley to make it more ergonomically friendly.

Clean electricity

Some electronics, like personal electronics, are frequency sensitive. This means that if the power supply is not smooth, and fluctuates, they can be damaged as a result.

An inverter generator naturally cleans up the electricity with its 3-phase generator system. Pure sine waves make the current even safer for sensitive electronics. Power does not surge unexpectedly, and the inverter will match the wave of electricity as closely as possible. Look for pure sine wave technology, rather than modified sine waves, which aren't the same.

Safety features

These are really important in a generator, when you’re dealing with high voltages. At worst, lack of safety precautions can result in electric fires and electrocution.

Important features include a manual or automatic transfer switch, overload protection - disconnects the power if the combined wattage of electronics exceeds the maximum load; surge protection - protects electronics from voltage spikes, and waterproofing - which is especially important for home standby generators outside.

Price

Generators do not come cheap. However, due to the safety risks outlined above, this is not something you want to skimp out on, as it's not worth the danger to personal safety, or the cost of replacing expensive whitegoods if they get damaged.

An inverter generator that’s $400 would be considered affordable, but they are often pricier, and can be thousands of dollars. A home backup generator will start at around $2, 000 for a small, air cooled generator, up to $15, 000 for a large capacity water-cooled generator. This doesn’t include installation costs.

The bottom line

When buying a generator, ultimately you should balance convenience, capability and cost. The generator should be easy to use for the purpose you bought it for, capable of safely powering all your appliances and devices without risk, and worth its price for long-term use. If all these boxes are ticked, power on and read some reviews to find the right generator today.