Quiet Portable Generators 2016 (New Update)

Quietest Generators
Follow Top Rated Small Quiet Generator
9

User Avg

Quiet Portable Generators 2016 (New Update)
Quiet Portable Generators 2016 (New Update)

10 years ago if you had said you want a quiet portable generator, we would have said good luck. Five years ago we would have said it will cost you an arm and a leg. Today we've got you covered.

Quietest Generators 2016

You need your quiet portable generator to crank out power like an open fire hydrant cranks out water. You need it to deliver your kilowatts as smoothly as Barry White delivers “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe.” You need your unit to start as easily as a brand spankin’ new Ford Mustang on a cool Autumn afternoon, you need it to move around, store and setup easily and even take on hurricane style weather like Chuck Norris takes on the Viet Cong in Missing in Action. Oh, and you want your generator to do it, whisper quiet.

10 years ago we would have said, pick three, five years ago we would have said pick four (and the missing attribute, quiet). Today you can have all of the above and do so at a price that won’t break the bank, for even the quietest generator.

For some the term “quiet portable generator” is an oxymoron. How can a device that looks like a lawn mower sound like a Tesla? Well it’s not that hard if you understand what makes the quietest generators, well, quiet.

Lets start with attributes of the best quiet generators, then we’ll move into the technical stuff later.

Decibel Sound Scale.001It all starts with decibels, or “dB’s”…

Decibel level is a measure of sound intensity. It involves a very complicated formula that requires a number of calculations so we’ll just give you the punch-line: for every 10 dB increase, noise level doubles. A lawn mower is about 107dB, which is almost three times as loud as a dial tone (about 80 dB), which is almost twice as loud as a conversation (about 63dB). Normal generators operate over 100 dBs at maximum output (i.e. “lawn mower loud”) while small quiet generators operate in the 55-60dB range (“quiet train car” conversation level), larger quiet generators operate in more like the 60-65 dB range (normal conversation loud). To the right please find a handy reference chart from our sister site low decibel living which explains this in detail. Each of our quiet generators lists the actual dB with the generator operating on full, assuming that you are about seven meters away – the distance where most people feel they are not “hovering over the machinery.”

Inverter vs. Conventional Quiet Generators

All generators listed in this review are “inverter generators.” This is a newer type of generator that is made possible with magnet technology that came about less than ten years ago. Inverter generator is a fancy term that means the electricity provided is consistent (even for frail items such as computers) no matter what the consumption. It achieves that by first generating DC electricity and then “converting” it to AC electricity. This process, often called “electricity cleaning,” ensures that the power output is consistent, no matter what the generator’s RPMs. This saves a lot of fuel, because your generator speed adjusts to you electricity consumption, but the electricity stays at a constant 120V – 60 Hertz (that’s what comes out of your home sockets) no matter what.

A traditional generator must run 3600 RPMs to generate 120V 60 Hertz AC electricity. It runs at this level whether you’re powering a light-bulb or a refrigerator…

Parallel (Paired) Generator Operation – Double the Output

A few of the small quiet generators can be stacked or paired to double output to become a larger electricity generation team. We indicate which units do this in the review below.

Whisper Quiet Generator Features – Small and Large

Readers on this page are either looking for a small unit (i.e. for camping) or a larger one (for their home). In either case we’ve got you covered in our Quietest Generators of 2016 ranking below. Here is the big difference between the two categories.

Quiet Generators for Camping

These units are run frequently, so they are built to last. They are used to power RV appliance or campsite power needs. They don’t store a lot of gasoline, but that’s okay because they sip, rather than guzzle petro. These small quiet generators deliver between 1800 and 2200 watts of electricity at maximum capacity and run between 8 and 10 hours, on average. This is basically enough to run lights, a small refrigerator and maybe a hot plate. You won’t be lighting up Manhattan, but if you’re out camping the chances are good that you don’t really want to anyway.

Hot Ten Reviews #1 Recommended Small Quiet Generator

 

WEN 4 Stroke Gas Power Small Quiet Generator

WEN 56200i, 1600 Running Watts/2000 Starting Watts, 4-Stroke Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant

$489.00

More on Amazon

Quiet Generators for the Home

These units are not used nearly as frequently and are used as backup in case of power loss. In other words think “once in a while” rather than “every weekend” like the units for camping above. They hold more fuel, deliver more electricity and are far less mobile than their Yosemite-Park-loving siblings. These units are typically 5000 watts or higher at maximum output and also run between 8 and 10 hours between fill ups.

 

Hot Ten Reviews #1 Recommended Large Quiet Generator

Yamaha 500 Large Quiet GeneratorYamaha EF6300iSDE, 5500 Running Watts/6300 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Inverter, CARB Compliant

$3803.00

More on Amazon

Here’s how to read this review. First, every category is rated on a scale of 1 (horrible) to 10 (incredible). An overall outcome of 8.5 or higher is required for any generator to make it onto our review. Here’s what we rate:

All units, home and camping:

  • Price – the lower the price, the higher the rating.
  • Sound level on full output – The decibel level coming from every single quiet generator listed in this review is no louder than a normal conversation (63 decibels). Some are even quieter.
  • Power output – This means maximum watts. There are two measures, surge output and highest normal output. The former is that maximum the unit will put out, and used for short bursts, like the start up of a refrigerator
  • Maximum run time when full – This is how long the unit will run, with full fuel at ¼ full output.
  • Ease of starting (all units are push button start, some actually have a remote).
  • Power consistency/quality – all units are inverter units which generates clean, consistent power.
  • CARB Compliant (Includes California) – If you live in California, you need a CARB Compliant unit. If not, it’s still a good idea to help mother earth along.

In addition, we rate the smaller generators for:

  • Weight – Small units are meant to be portable. Lightweight units are important if you are going to carry them from place to place.
  • Paralleling Capable – Some of the smaller units allow you to connect to units to double the electricity output. We tell you which ones do this in the generator review.

Next we have the 1) camping category (the five best “small” quietest portable generators in the market), and the 2) home category (these are the five best “large” quiet portable generators).

Finally, we have one #1 recommendation in each category. Phew! Now without further ado, HTR is pleased to present our Quiet Portable Generators, 2016 Review.

 

Hot Ten Reviews #1 Recommended Small Quiet Generator – Camping

9.6/10

WEN 56200i, 1600 Running Watts/2000 Starting Watts, 4-Stroke Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator

 

$489.00

 

WEN 4 Stroke Gas Power Small Quiet GeneratorThis is it, our #1 choice for a small quiet portable generator. This is the WEN and it packs a punch in so many ways. Here’s how we rated each category:

Price ★★★★★★★★★★

Sound level on high ★★★★★★★★★★

Power output ★★★★★★★★★

Maximum run time at ¼ output ★★★★★★★★★

Ease of starting ★★★★★★★★★

Power consistency/quality ★★★★★★★★★★

CARB Compliant ★★★★★★★★★★

Weight ★★★★★★★★★★

Paralleling Capability YES

Overall ★★★★★★★★★ 6/10

Pros

✓  Best price of all 10 units
✓  Lowest decibel level of all 10 (57 dB)
✓  Good run time (9 hours)
✓  Push button start
✓  California compliant (CARB)
✓  Tied for lowest weight (48 lbs.)
✓  Hook two together to double output
✓  Excellent quality electricity (inverter technology)

Cons

✗  2 outlets

MORE ON AMAZON

READ FULL REVIEW

Hot Ten Reviews #1 Recommended Large Quiet Generator – Home

9.1/10

Yamaha EF6300iSDE, 5500 Running Watts/6300 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Inverter, CARB Compliant

 

$3803.00

 

Yamaha 500 Large Quiet GeneratorThe Yamaha is our #1 choice for large quiet portable generators but, just barely, (#2 was the Lifan Energy Storm which is $2400 less). Here’s how we rated each category:

Price ★★★★★★★★★★

Sound level on high ★★★★★★★★★★

Power output ★★★★★★★★★

Maximum run time at ¼ output ★★★★★★★★★★

Ease of starting ★★★★★★★★★★

Power consistency/quality ★★★★★★★★★★

CARB Compliant★★★★★★★★★★

Weight ★★★★★★★★★★

Paralleling Capability N/A

Overall ★★★★★★★★★1/10

Pros

✓  Good decibel level for power output (65dB)
✓  Good overall watts
✓  Longest run time of all units
✓  Remote control starting
✓  California compliant
✓  Weight good for a large unit (200 lbs)
✓  Excellent quality electricity

Cons

✗  Price
✗  2 outlets

MORE ON AMAZON

READ FULL REVIEW

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube
Skip to toolbar