5 Best Portable 50 Amp Generators + Complete Buyer’s Guide

A 50 amp generator is the perfect little backup to keep your life electric and rolling on when the main source of power is disrupted. It’s not normally going to power your whole house, but if you're selective, and use it for essentials, you may not even notice there’s a blackout.

With one of these compact power sources, you can keep your kitchen running and rustle up some delicious meals. You can illuminate your property while others sulk in the dark. You can power that big old TV and wait for the power cut to pass in style and comfort.

It’s really amazing that such a small device can have such a fantastic effect. They can heat your house in the winter and keep you nice and cool in the summer. They’re also great for taking on the road with you in your RV, electrifying your adventures, affording you some home comforts out in the wild. 

Whatever usage you have in mind, you’re in the right place. We’re going to be discussing five of the very best 50 amp generators on the market right now so when the world around you grinds to a halt, you can power forward with relative normality.

We’re also going to whip up an in-depth buyer’s guide and brief FAQ section to make sure you know exactly what you need.

OUR TOP PICK

DuroMax XP12000EH Generator-12000 Watt Gas or...

Firing up your house like a beacon in the dark swells of a midnight power cut is a generator so powerful, it’s earned ‘The Beast’ as a nickname. With a 457 cc engine, a 12000 watt gas peak, and 9500 watt gas running power capacity, this diminutive giant is capable of matching much larger generators.

As is required of a 50 amp generator, it’s a rugged portable design ready to take on the toughest situations. Due to its power, at 224 pounds, it’s a little heavier than most other generators in its power class, but the heavy duty, solid fill wheels and ergonomic handle make navigating any terrain a piece of cake.

Don’t worry about hurting The Beast. It comes loaded into an all-metal frame with fully isolated motor mounts for extra durability.

The XP12000 is a dual fuel design. Which we love. It means you can choose between gasoline and propane to best suit a situation. The Beast doesn’t care what you feed it. The beast is just Hungry!

Despite the oversized noise reducing muffler and built-in spark arrestor, The Beast has a hefty 74 dBA roar as heard from 23 feet away. No, it’s not exactly purring in the background, but considering its power, you wouldn’t expect it too.

Starting off with a full 3 gallon tank, you can expect 8 seamless hours of power running the beast with a 25% load. The 4-stroke, single-cylinder engine with direct fuel injection system means increased economy, and a built-in circuit breaker protects your appliances against damaging power surges.

Pros

  • Duel fuel system
  • Automatic shutdown at low oil levels
  • Power usage can be easily monitored from the control panel
  • Very powerful for a 50 amp generator
  • Heavy duty metal frame
  • Large solid fill tires keep it portable
  • 3 gallon fuel tank
  • Fuel efficient 4-stroke, injection engine gives you a longer running time
  • Electric or recoil start options
  • Has 5 outlets ranging from 120 v GFCI to 240 v 50 Amp

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • A little louder than other generators
  • Slightly heavier too

EDITORS CHOICE

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen9500DF...

Electrifying our number two spot is a generator even more powerful than The Beast, with a peak gas running capacity of 12500 watts, although it has the same 9500 running wattage. As this is another dual fuel design, you can expect a 11200 watt peak and 8500 running wattage if you choose to use propane.

This goliath generator has a massive tank capable of holding 6.6 gallons of fuel. That translates to roughly 12 hours of running time on a minimum load. The 457cc Westinghouse OHV 4-stroke engine is an efficient design with a durable cast iron sleeve.

One of the features we really love with this generator is the remote start up function. It comes with an electric keyfob that can power and power down the WGen from a distance of up to 260 feet. If you prefer some old fashioned tactility, it also has electric and recoil start options.

You can expect a running volume of around 74 dBA with this Westinghouse generator, so still pretty loud, but surprisingly, quieter than our top pick.

This generator comes with a total of four outlets. Two of them are 120V 5-20R GFCI outlets for household use, another is a transfer switch ready 120V L14-30R, and the last is an RV ready 120/240V 14-50R outlet.

Safety-wise, you have an automatic low oil motor shutdown and a circuit breaker to prevent overloads. You also get rubber outlet covers to reduce the chances of electrocution.

Pros

  • Long 12 hour running time
  • 3 start options including a long range remote start option
  • Dual fuel running options
  • Heavy duty tires
  • Powerful and efficient engine
  • Huge 6.6 gallon fuel capacity
  • Four varied outlets
  • Rubber outlet covers for extra safety
  • Automatic engine shut down protocol

Cons

  • Still quite expensive
  • Fairly loud running time
  • Heavier than our top pick

BEST VALUE

Champion Power Equipment 100165 9375/7500-Watt...

The third installment of our supercharged list is more suited to those who want something a little more discreet, perhaps for travel or for a singular power purpose.

This Champion dual fuel Generator isn’t quite as powerful as our other picks, with a 9375 peak and 7500 running wattage. While this means it’s not going to be running an entire fairground, it’s more than enough to run your essentials for up to 8 hours with gasoline, and 5.5 with propane.

What you lose in power, you make up in other ways. This weighs far less than our first and second picks and it still comes with the sturdy handle and wheels. So, if you move your generator around a lot, the portability of this design is going to save you a whole bunch of hassle.

Let’s look at the outlets. You get a total of six in this case: a 120V l5-30R, a 120-240V L14-30R, and four 120V GFCI protected household outlets. Each of these runs through a volt guard that protects your appliances from any spikes in voltage. It’s also designed with cold start technology that helps provide consistent start up in incredibly low temperatures.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Automatic engine shutdown
  • Built-in volt guard protects your appliances
  • Five outlets make it versatile for a smaller option
  • 8 hour running time on 50% load
  • Duel fuel design
  • Durable metal frame
  • Electric start
  • Heavy duty wheels

Cons

  • Not as powerful as our top picks
  • Expensive

RUNNER UP

Generac 5734 GP15000E 15000 Running Watts/22500...

Smashing your light bulbs with its raw power at our number four spot is a gas-powered titan of generating technology.

It weighs a shocking 336 pounds, but to keep things nice and portable, Generac have given it a taller slim profile design. It’s height and protruding handle actually make for a pretty ergonomic and maneuverable experience. It’s like a little cart. We feel it would be even more practical if the wheels were a little larger, but that would only increase the weight.

You get to a massive 16 gallon tank with this generator, amounting to a very impressive 10 hour running time even if you're using it at 50% of the 15000 watt capacity.

The extra weight isn’t all to do with its power. Generac have used heavier materials to maximize this generator’s durability. Whereas most generators use aluminum cradles, Generac have used heavy duty steel making it perfect for use in more hazardous and intensive environments.

Engine-wise, you truly get the best here. The low maintenance, high performance 992cc OHVI engine is kitted out with an exclusive X-torc Governor that ensures consistent and smooth running with very little chance of stalling. It also has a pressurized lubrication system that automatically transports oil to the necessary destinations.

You get an impressive 7 outlets in total with this generator including a 12 VDC battery charger. Each outlet is overload protected so don’t worry about damaging appliances or shorting fuses. 

It is advertised as a quiet function generator, and while that is probably true, due to the size of it, it’s probably a similar volume to our other picks.

Pros

  • 15000 watt potential
  • 7 outlets
  • Quiet function
  • Advanced engine design reduces chances of stalling
  • Smart pressurized lubrication system
  • 16 gallon fuel tank
  • 10 hour running time at half capacity
  • Tall, slim-line design makes it quite maneuverable
  • Steel frame

Cons

  • Incredibly expensive
  • Very heavy
  • Probably still quite loud
  • Only runs on gasoline

RUNNER UP

Pulsar G12KBN Heavy Duty Portable Dual Fuel...

Bringing that much desired 50 amp capacity to our final spot is an amazing generator design to fend off the dark for extended periods of time.

With an 8 gallon tank, you can expect a crazy long 12 hour running time at half capacity. This is very impressive for a smaller generator. It weighs even less than our top pick that has a 3 gallon tank.

The dual fuel, 457cc single-cylinder, 4-stroke, self-cooling engine keeps this generator running smoother for longer, and it’s protected by a powder coated metal frame. You’ll get an awesome 12000 peak and 9500 running wattage using gasoline, and a 10800 peak and 8850 running wattage using propane.

Similar to our fourth pick, you get a total of 7 outlets, which, again, for a smaller generator, is really good. You can expect four 120V AC outlets, a 120V - 240V 30A twist-lock outlet, a 120V - 240V 50A outlet, and one 12 volt DC outlet.

Despite its lengthy running time, it’s a very safe generator. The air cooling system stops any overheating, each outlet is surge protected, and it shuts down automatically when the oil runs low.

Pros

  • Fold away handles
  • 12000 watt running power
  • 12 hour running time
  • Sturdy wheels
  • 7 outlets should power pretty much appliance
  • Air cooled engine
  • Affordable
  • Dual fuel design

Cons

  • Pulsar customer service isn’t great

Best 50 Amp Generators Buying Guide

Let’s run through some of the things we considered and problems we encountered when compiling our list.

Budget

Coming up with a rough budget will help you find the generator that’s right for you quicker.

Is it Even a 50 Amp Generator?

We came across lots of fantastic, highly regarded generators in our search, but despite specifically looking for 50 amp models, most of the ones we were suggested or found were nowhere near powerful enough.

The confusion is mostly caused by the fact that generators aren’t measured by their amps, but wattage. The watts to amps conversion isn’t the most simplistic process either. It requires quite a bit of specialist knowledge and math. Generally speaking, you should be looking for at least a 6000 watt generator. If you’re planning on being very sparing with the appliances you’re powering, you might get away with something more along the lines of 4000 watts.

Outlets

The more outlets a generator has, the larger the variety of the things you can power using it. In this instance, you just need to check it has a 50 amp outlet.

Dual Fuel Vs Single

This is just a matter of preference. Dual fuel designs are good because if you run out of one fuel, you can just skip right over to the other one and power on.

Gas will get the most power out of a generator. With propane, you can expect a 10 to 15% dip in performance, but it burns much cleaner than gasoline.

You can also store propane for decades without compromising its effectiveness as a fuel. Gasoline will only last a year at a push, so if you’re buying a 50 amp generator as a backup in case of an emergency, it’s best to use a propane or dual fuel system.

If you just need raw power, and there’s no risk of any gas going bad in storage, why not help yourself to a gas generator.

Running Time

Ideally, your generator will run for a really long time with no need for you to intervene. Running time is normally given with an example load. For example, one might advertise that it runs for 10 hours on a half load. This means that it has a 10 hour running time if it’s operating at half its potential power. It’s important not to mistake this for running time when the generator is being pushed to its limits. 

Portability

50 amp generators are often described as portable machines, but companies are playing it a little fast and loose by claiming this. They are almost always incredibly heavy things.You should look out for any features that are going to make transportation less of a struggle. This might be a lightweight design, sturdy wheels, fold out or extendable handles...anything to make your life easier.

Volume

Running volume is important, especially if you’re going to be running your generator in densely populated areas. Some locations may even have a noise pollution policy that limits the kind of generators that you can use.

Generally speaking, a 50 amp generator is going to have a volume between 65 and 75dBA. This is akin to a loud vacuum cleaner. You should be able to find some quiet running options out there, but you’re still looking at a pretty loud bit of machinery. You should consider making or buying a noise-canceling enclosure for your 50 amp generator to keep the noise to a minimum.

Durability

Durability is everything when it comes to generators. They’re the failsafe. If they break, you’re in the dark. This could be even worse if you’re out on the road in your RV. You should look for a generator that has a heavy duty cradle or enclosure, made of reinforced aluminum or steel.

It’s also handy to check if the engine has any self maintenance systems such as cooling or lubricating devices. You need your generator to be tough in the face of bumps and knocks, but you also need it to have decent internal integrity.

Best 50 Amp Generators - FAQ's

Can I connect my 50 amp RV to a 30 amp output?

Yes, that should be fine, but you’ll need a dog bone adapter to fit the sockets in. 30 amp sockets only have a three pronged structure, while 50 amp sockets have a four pronged structure.

Bear in mind that you won’t be able to power many appliances using the 30 amp output. You should keep track of your power consumption at all times to avoid overworking and breaking your generator.

Will 8 gauge wire carry 50 amps?

It’s a largely debated topic. We’d suggest a slightly higher gauge as 8 AWG is normally used for 40 amps max. That said, 8 gauge wire can supposedly carry 70 amps in open air, and 50 amps as part of 3 conductor cable.

Summing Up

A 50 amp generator is a really safe call. They’re powerful enough to provide more than enough electricity in an emergency, but their portability makes them far more useful than their static counterparts. Their exceptional power and rugged construction also make them a great addition to any professional environment too. 

We feel our list is a great example of the quality and versatility on the market at the minute. One of these generators should suit almost any application. As long as you pay close attention to your exact power requirements, you can find the perfect 50 amp generator for you.

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