Inverter Generator Buying Guide

Inverter Generator Buying Guide

Inverter generators provide essential backup power whenever you need it.

When you’re away from your main electrical supply – maybe due to a power outage, or when you’re on an unpowered campsite or job site – portable inverter generators provide essential power whenever or wherever you need it. And the best time to buy an inverter generator is before you actually need one.

When buying an inverter generator, these are the first three things you need to know.

1) How does it work?

Inverter generators – like their conventional counterparts – produce electricity through a gas-powered engine that can be started either manually or using a remote. This turns on an alternator that generates electrical power.

Inverter generators come with power outlets so you can plug extension cords into the unit or appliances and power tools directly. Generally, the more powerful the inverter generator, the more outlet combinations can be used on it.

2) How portable is it?

Inverter generators are very portable. They are more lightweight than traditional generators. Some can weigh less than 15 kgs, while some of the heavier, more powerful models have built-in wheels for easy transport.

3) What’s the wattage?

The key to choosing your generator is starting wattage v running wattage. Let’s use the example of a refrigerator. When it’s running normally, a fridge needs only 550W of power. So you’d be sweet to buy a GenTrax 800kW mini inverter generator to keep it going, right?

No!

On average, a fridge needs a power surge of 1350W to start working before it evens out to 500W while running. To correctly work your fridge, you’ll need a GenTrax 2000kW inverter generator or above.

The general rule is the higher the watts produced, the more items a generator can power up.

Choosing an inverter generator

Your inverter generator needs to support the appliances you intend to run on it. Here’s a guide to some of the more commonly used appliances.


Electrics/cooking: Such as fridges, freezers, microwaves, air conditioners, heaters, LED lights and toaster ovens.

We recommend the GenTrax 3.5 kW Pure Sine Wave

Our best-selling inverter generator will keep you covered for storing and cooking your food, as well as lighting and charging electronics when you’re camping or caravanning.

Tip: The GenTrax 3.5kW generator can also be purchased with a remote GenTrax 3.5 kW remote start

 

Personal electronics: Such as phones, laptops, desktop computers, game consoles, TVs and hair dryers.

We recommend the GenTrax 800W mini

These gadgets don’t use much power so a smaller, easily portable inverter generator will do the job.

 

Commercial/shop use: Such as construction, food vans, small and large businesses.

We recommend the GenTrax 6kW Pure Sine Wave

Perfect for a construction site or a shop back-up, you’ll need a much greater starting wattage and running wattage, so you’ll have to go high-end to ensure your product works correctly.

 

Garden power tools: Such as electric drills, hammer drills and work lights.

We recommend the GenTrax 2kW Pure Sine Wave

These are all mid-sized power users, so will need around 2000kW to cover the whole range.

Key points

Inverter generators for work

  • Generators with a max power output of more than 5,000 watts are recommended for job sites.
  • It can run power tools and can be connected directly to an electrical panel.
  • These powerhouses come with a transfer switch for safety.
  • Due to it being the heaviest and biggest of inverter generator types, these have built-in wheels for easy transport around job sites.

Inverter generators for home

  • Mid-sized inverter generators with a max power output of 3,500 watts are ideal as a backup power source for the home.
  • Can run essential home appliances: electric stove, air conditioners, coolers, radios and TVs.
  • Safe to use on sensitive devices like laptops and mobile phones.

Inverter generators for play

  • Inverter generators with an output of 2,000 watts are more than sufficient for camping and outdoor recreation needs.
  • Can power campsite lights for safety.
  • Can power portable electric stoves and charge mobile devices.
  • Very quiet and will not disturb nearby campers.
  • Portable and can easily fit in a car.

Brand comparison 

Here’s how the GenTrax stacks up against other models in the market.

 

Features

GenTrax 3.5kW generator

Honda EU30I generator

Yamaha EF3000iSE generator

Price

$739

$3,000 plus

$4,000 plus

Engine

XY157F

GX160K1

MZ175

Max Output

3500W

3000W

3000W

Type

OHV air-cooled

OHV air-cooled

OHV air-cooled

Displacement

149.5cc

163CC

171CC

Fuel Type

Regular 91 unleaded

Regular 91 unleaded

Regular 91 unleaded

Fuel Capacity

5.7L

5.9L

13L

Working time

6+ hours (full load)

3.5 hours (full load)

5 hours (full load)

Dimensions

L 565 x W 320 x
H 470mm

L 622 x W 379 x
H 489mm

L 680 x W 445 x
H 555mm

Weight

28kg

35kg

67kg

Noise

58dB @ 7m

65dB @ 7m

51dB @ 7m

 

Use your inverter generator safely

Whatever type of inverter generator you decide to invest in, make sure that you know how to use it safely.

  1. Read the user manual, especially if you have never used a generator before.
  2. If you are unsure how to use your inverter generator for the first time, call the customer service number provided by Outbax.
  3. Make sure you do a test run or a break-in. Breaking in your new portable generator is important to ensure it will last you a long time.
  4. Never use your inverter generator indoors. Keep in mind that while carbon monoxide emissions are much lower in an inverter generator, running them in enclosed spaces is still harmful. Only use them outdoors.

Keep your inverter generator dry at all times. Never store them in places where it can get wet. Keep it off the floor as much as possible to avoid water spills



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