Having a backup generator you can move around the house will be a lifesaver if you ever experience a power outage, as you can carry on running your appliances even after the power cuts out.
Not only does this mean your meat for Saturday’s barbecue is saved, but it could literally be a life-saver, as power outages can have serious consequences for anyone with health issues that require medical devices to be working properly.
When you think of portability, most people naturally assume you’re looking for a smaller, more easily transportable appliance. But this doesn’t have to be the case! Especially if it’s for home use, as you’d need a generator that’s large enough to support your needs.
If you’re looking for a generator that you can move around yet still packs a powerful punch, there are plenty of large portable generators available on the market.
Not sure where to begin looking? Don’t worry, we’ve done the hard part for you and researched some of the best options, compiling 5 of our favorites in a list of reviews for you to choose from.
We’ve also put together a useful buyer’s guide that will highlight some of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a new generator, and what makes it the best choice in terms of both size and portability.
To round it off, we’ve also answered some of the most frequently asked questions regarding large portable generators for your convenience.
In a hurry? Check out our top pick for a generator that provides plenty of power and enough wattage to comfortably power your home or tools.
OUR TOP PICK
Don’t be put off by the cost - this DuroStar portable generator is actually one of the more reasonably priced options (yes, seriously) that offers great value for money.
Coupled with its impressive performance, it’s no wonder that we selected it as our top pick!
Powered by an 18 Horsepower 440cc DuroStar Over Head Valve Engine, the generator is capable of delivering a fantastic 10,000 watts at its peak and 8,000 running watts.
Durostar MX2 technology allows you to receive the maximum amount of power from the 120V outlets without worrying about overloading your generator.
The dual fuel generator can run on either gasoline or propane with an 8.3 gallons fuel capacity.
The flexibility of choice allows you to reduce the running costs of your generator whilst also being more environmentally friendly.
Constructed entirely from metal with all copper workings, the durable generator weighs 224lbs when fully assembled. It can be lifted using the handy handlebars and is easily pushed or pulled along on its large wheels.
It’s not a totally silent generator, which is to be expected, but at 72 dBA whilst running and only 45 dBA when idle, it’s not the loudest, either.
Think of your car while it’s running or of a distant lawnmower, as these are a similar noise level, customers report.
Nothing you can’t get used to, and nothing that outweighs the incredible benefits to this portable generator.
- Dual fuel gasoline and propane
- Wheels and handles for easy portability
- Quieter than most generators this size
- Suitable for use in all 50 states
- Great value for money
- Manufacturer's warranty only covers replacement parts
Next up we have this 12,000-watt generator from A-iPower, a slightly more powerful option than our top pick but with a more affordable price point.
It powers up effortlessly and there’s a keyless one-touch start button for user convenience.
It’s also gasoline fuelled rather than accepting both gas and propane, with a fuel capacity of up to 7 gallons.
The large generator features all-steel construction and weighs 206 lbs, or even more when the fuel capacity is maxed out!
However, thanks to the 9.5-inch Never-Flat wheels, moving the generator from place to place requires minimal effort.
They’re great even on rough surfaces with excellent traction and portability, which is perfect for when you’re on the job.
Working in wet or damp conditions isn’t an issue either as the power outlets are GFCI protected, and a built-in DC adaptor plug allows you to charge your smartphone using a USB cable, with DC charging cables included with the generator.
Further protection is provided by the cord cover, which keeps wires from coming loose.
- Effortless startup
- Easy portability
- Affordable option
- Safe power outlet
- Customer support can be slow and not particularly helpful
Our next recommendation is this All Power America APGG12000 generator, a 12,000-watt unit that weighs 239lbs and can power your home in an emergency or tools on a work site.
The 18 Horsepower 459c OHV air-cooled engine has a rating power of 9,000 watts and at half load, it has a running time of 10 hours, so you can get longer use out of your generator.
Plus, at 76 dB, the noise level it produces won’t annoy you (or your neighbors) when in use.
A flat wheel kit is included so you can easily transport the generator between sites or around the home, as well as coming with an hour meter and maintenance-free battery.
There are also multiple outlet options so you can plug a variety of appliances into your generator.
There’s an electric start button and recoil start so that you don’t have to wait too long for the generator to power up before it can start powering your appliances.
It’s also EPA certified but non-CARB compliant, therefore it’s not as clean an option as some other generators.
- Air-cooled engine prevents overheating
- Multiple outlet options
- EPA certified
- Not overly loud when it’s running
- Handle grip sleeves can slip off when moving the generator
- Non-CARB compliant
Not to be confused with our top pick, the next generator we looked at is the DuroMax XP15000EH portable generator, which is even more powerful (and even more expensive, to boot).
It is, however, a solid investment for anyone who needs the ultimate power source.
The powerful DuroMax 23 Horsepower 713cc V-Twin engine can deal with extremely large loads, with 15,000 peak watts and 12,000 running watts.
From lights to your refrigerator, running your AC to high amperage power tools, there’s practically nothing it can’t handle.
It’s another dual fuel generator, which is clearly a popular type of fuel method for generators of this size.
Speaking of size, the entire unit weighs 380lbs, making it the heaviest option on this list, yet its two wheels mean you can still easily transport it between job sites.
Low oil sensors automatically switch off your generator to prevent it from burning out, which would be a real blow considering how much money generators cost.
Idle control is another useful feature that saves fuel when your generator isn’t being used, as well as minimizing noise levels for a quieter performance.
- Impressively high power wattage for practically any use
- Dual fuel technology
- Idle control is perfect for job sites
- Low oil automatic off
- Expensive option
- Heavier than other models due to its large size
To round off our list of the best large portable generators, we reviewed the Westinghouse WGen7500 portable generator, which is the most affordable option we’ve included.
It’s also the least powerful with only 7,500 rated watts and 9,500 peak watts of power, but it’s still large enough to power your home in case of an emergency.
At 192lbs, it’s one of the more lightweight options on the market, without compromising on performance, which is reasonably quiet at 72 dBA.
It also features a durable cast iron sleeve that extends the lifespan of this generator.
There is a range of useful features, including a key fob to remotely start up your generator as well as electric and recoil start, and a convenient twist-lock outlet means you can hook this Westinghouse generator up to your home with no problem using a transfer switch.
Automatic low oil shutdown and a digital hour meter are two other functions that help to keep your generator in good working condition, and it can run for up to 11 hours when the fuel tank is filed up to 6.6 gallons.
It comes with everything you need to set it up straight away, such as 12V battery charger oil, an oil funnel, and an instructional user manual, with minimal assembly required.
Being EPA and CARB compliant, it’s also a cleaner source of energy than some other generators.
- Wide range of useful features
- Easy to set up
- Not too loud when in operation
- EPA and CARB compliant
- Slightly less powerful than other options on this list
- Some customers report issues with the motor over time
Best Large Portable Generator Buying Guide
Even though each of the large portable generators we’ve looked at is a good investment in their own right, you still need to figure out which type of generator is going to best suit your needs, or you could end up with a great source of power that simply isn’t right for you.
This is where our buyer’s guide comes in. We’ve put together some of the key things to look out for and to consider before buying a new generator.
But first, we thought we’d highlight some of the reasons why you need a large portable generator in your life.
Benefits of Having a Large Portable Generator
- Emergency power. If you’re ever caught in a power cut, your generator will be large enough to power all the necessary appliances in your home. The fact that it’s portable means you can move it to wherever you need, whether that be your kitchen to keep your fridge and freezer running, or to your home office to power your lights and equipment.
- Powering your tools. Even in non-emergency situations, having a large portable generator can be hugely advantageous. They can be used to power tools and are easily transported between different sites, and their large power capacity means you can provide adequate lighting if you’re working at night whilst also powering your tools.
- Recreational Uses. Are you the parent of a teenager who can’t imagine a weekend without access to their technology? Not just a good idea for your home, large portable generators are perfect for trips away in your RV so you can take the comfort and convenience of home with you on the road.
There are plenty of other uses that large portable generators are suitable for, including pretty much any outside event that may require power. Picture an outdoor cinema in your backyard - a generator can run the projector.
Hosting a barbecue for friends and family? Your generator will power your speakers and backyard lights so you can dance long into the night.
It’s important to know what things your portable generator can be used for and to have some idea of what you’ll most likely be running, as this will influence your decision when it comes to choosing the best generator for your needs.
Do we even need to explain this one? The clue is in the name of the article, but the level of ease with which you can transport your generator is going to be an important factor in your decision.
You’ll want to consider the overall weight of the generator, as this will influence how easy it is to carry. Larger units will naturally be heavier than their smaller cousins, but at the very least most portable options will feature wheels and some kind of handle.
Generators are not a small investment in the first place, but due to their larger size and convenient portability, the options we’ve included in this article are going to cost more than your average power source.
If you’re after a portable generator that won’t break the bank, then click here for a list of some more affordable options. They may be slightly smaller in size, but they’ll also make a smaller dent in your wallet, and they’ve been selected based on the other benefits they offer.
However, while they may involve some eye-watering upfront costs, having a large portable generator at your disposal can be a great long-term investment, so it’s worth spending what you can on a unit that’s going to provide reliable power when you need it most.
Generators are available in a range of sizes, ranging from smaller 1,000-watt generators to larger, more industrial units that can provide upwards of 15,000 watts.
The higher the wattage, the higher the number of appliances you can have running at once. In order to work out what you would actually need, you’ll have to total the wattages of each appliance you’d need to simultaneously run in the case of a power cut.
Don’t forget to factor in the starting watts as well as running watts!
Some people argue that you should try to avoid choosing a generator that has a higher wattage than you think you’ll need, namely because they tend to be more expensive, but it’s always better to have some extra watts available than to end up overloading your generator.
Larger generators make more noise. It’s an inescapable fact, and it’s one of the main drawbacks to these powerhouse portable generators. This can cause problems if you’re planning on running it at night, especially if you’re a light sleeper.
One easy way to try to limit the level of noise your generator produces is to choose one that doesn’t exceed the wattage you think you’ll actually need. You can also check the product’s specification information which will tell you whether or not it’s EPA approved, and what decibel level it runs at.
If there’s no mention of the noise level, it’s safe to assume that it’s not going to be the quietest option. For an unbiased opinion, the best way to check how noisy a specific generator will be is to read through customer reviews to find out what other people think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a 3,000-watt generator run a house?
Whilst a 3,000-watt generator is perfectly adequate for an RV, you’d probably need closer to 5,000 or 7,500 watts to run the most important equipment in your home, such as your fridge and freezer, lighting, other smaller appliances, and a well pump.
What is the difference between starting watts and running (or rated) watts?
Starting watts are essentially the extra boost some motor-driven appliances initially need to get started, whereas running watts indicate the continuous supply of power you’ll need in order to run appliances or tools for ongoing periods of time.
How long can you run a portable generator continuously?
The answer to this isn’t a simple one, as it largely depends on the size and type of generator you have. Gasoline fuel type generators can run for as long as the tank is full, and you’ll need to check the product specification for that information.
Propane generators can run for longer, about the length of time your engine oil lasts for. At an estimate, this will provide about 200 hours of power. Standby generators have a limitless fuel supply, but it’s recommended that you do not exceed approximately 500 hours of continuous operation.
Are DuroStar and DuroMax the same company?
DuroStar and DuroMax are different brands, but DuroPower manufactures the motors found in both types of generators, which are some of the best currently available.
As the name hints, these engines are durable and long-lasting as they’re made using cast iron sleeves.