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Generator Buying Guide

Looking to buy a portable generator but not sure where to begin?

Don't worry. We've got you covered. But first, let us hit this fundamental question out of the park: What is a portable generator?

4 time winner of best generator

Our Best-selling 3.5kW generator

  • Pull start
  • Runs quietly at 58dB @ 7 metres
  • 5.7L petrol capacity for 6.2 hours (50% load) run time
  • 565 x 320 x 470mm
  • 38 kg

A generator is a device that produces electric power. It has an engine which can be powered using several fuel options such as diesel, petrol, gas, etc. When powered, the engine produces mechanical energy, which an alternator converts into electrical output.

Portable means this generator type is light enough for you to carry or move easily.

At Outbax, we understand how important portability is for our customers.

Especially for those who use portable generators for recreational purposes. Our best-selling camping generator (3500 W) weighs just 38 kgs which is less than half of comparable power output offerings by Yamaha* (67 kgs) and Honda** (59 kgs).

* Yamaha EF3000iSE ** Honda EU 30iS

When you're away from your main electrical supply, portable generators can be a good source of essential power. So, whether you are camping on an unpowered campsite, out with friends on a boat, or facing a power outage, a portable generator can provide you with power and peace of mind.

The problem, however, is that there are too many options for portable generators.

To start, we have the regular generators and the inverter generators. Also known as standard or conventional generators, regular generators operate at a constant speed. They have been there for ages but have gained a bad name because they produce unnecessary noise and have poor fuel efficiency and exhaust output.

On the other hand, inverter generators have become very popular recently and for good reasons. They are smaller, lighter, and quieter and produce cleaner power that is completely safe for sensitive appliances such as mobile phones and laptops.

At Outbax, we only sell inverter generators.

Our generators produce electricity in a 'pure sine wave' format that 'cleans' up the power output and removes any irregularities that may damage sensitive appliances. The power produced is safer and the operation is quieter than generators that produce power in a 'square sine wave' or 'modified sine wave' format.

Now that we have established the superiority of inverter generators over their conventional counterparts, let us determine what you should consider before buying an inverter generator.

The following three questions are a good starting point.

1. What do I need a generator for?

All of us are made different. And our requirements are likely to be different too. Even if you buy a portable generator for power backup, your requirements may differ significantly from someone else who is also buying it for power backup. You may want to run a few lights and a fridge in a power outage, while someone else may also need a TV, AC, and microwave. Similarly, you may have several appliances to run on a camping trip, but your friend only needs the most basic ones. So, the first thing to consider is your needs.

2. How much power do I need?

Once you have established the application and identified the appliances you plan to power, the next step is to calculate the total power requirements. And when determining the power requirement of an appliance, we need to consider its running as well as starting wattage requirements. You see, most appliances need a power surge to start and a constant lower power to run. For example, a refrigerator, on average, needs about 1350W to start but once started, it can run comfortably at 600W. So, if you must power a fridge, you need to have a generator with a power output of at least 1500W.

3. How important is portability for me?

There is a wide range of size and weight options in the market. You can get something as light as 8 kgs and as heavy as 100 kgs. Usually, weight is directly proportional to power, i.e., heavier generators are likely to offer more power. And these heavier generators usually come with built-in wheels and a handle for easy transport.

Choosing an inverter generator for your needs

Camping & Caravanning

Construction & tradies

power backup & off grid living

Home power backup

Boating & Fishing

Camping & Caravanning

Weight, noise level and fuel efficiency are the three most important features when picking up generators for camping and caravanning. You want a generator that is easy to pick and move, can fit easily in your caravan and is quiet enough not to disturb you or your fellow campers. At the same time, you don’t want a fuel guzzler as that would mean carrying litres of fuel to keep the thing running.

We recommend:

Gentrax 2.0kW

  • At 18.5kgs, this is one of the lightest generators in this power output range
  • Very quiet: Only 58 dB @7 m
  • Fuel efficiency of 2 hours per litre at 50% load.
  • Safe for sensitive devices such as mobiles and laptops
  • Really compact - can fit in easily in most 4WDs.
  • Great for charging batteries for use in camping

Gentrax 3.5kW

  • Can start and run AC + microwave at the same time
  • Most awarded generator - ProductReview winner four years running
  • Very quiet: Only 58 dB @7 m
  • Safe for sensitive devices such as mobiles and laptops
  • Less than half the weight of Yamaha and Honda generators in the 3000W power output range
  • Most fuel-efficient generator in the 3500 W power output range
  • Has an ergonomic handle that distributes the weight evenly to not strain your wrist

Gentrax 3.5kW Remote Start

  • Can start and run AC + microwave at the same time
  • Most awarded generator - ProductReview winner four years running
  • Very quiet: Only 58 dB @7 m
  • Safe for sensitive devices such as mobiles and laptops
  • Less than half the weight of Yamaha and Honda generators in the 3000W power output range
  • Most fuel-efficient generator in the 3500 W power output range
  • Has an ergonomic handle that distributes the weight evenly to not strain your wrist
CONSTRUCTION, TRADIES AND OTHER COMMERCIAL USES

For work-related applications, you need a generator that is powerful and sturdy and has long runtimes. At the same time, it should have the convenience of being taken around when required. Whether it is a food truck, an exhibition stall, a business shop or a range of power tools that you have to power, you can easily rely on Gentrax.

We recommend:

Gentrax 6.0kW

  • Can comfortably start and run any power tool
  • Comes with built-in wheels and an ergonomic handle for easy handling and transport
  • Comes with a remote start so you can start it from a distance
  • An LCD display screen that illuminates so you don’t have to fiddle with your mobile phone or torch light to find the generator
  • 2 X 15 Amps outlets and 1 X 30 Amps outlet
  • USB port so you don’t have to worry about powering your mobile phone and entertainment devices.
  • Safe for sensitive devices such as mobiles and laptops

Gentrax 4.2kW

  • Can comfortably start and run most power tools
  • Comes with built-in wheels and an ergonomic handle for easy handling and transport
  • Comes with a remote start so you can start it from a distance
  • An LCD display screen that illuminates so you don’t have to fiddle with your mobile phone or torch light to find the generator
  • 7 hours runtime at 50% load
  • At 41.5 kgs, an ergonomic handle and built-in wheels, this is our most versatile generator yet.
  • Safe for sensitive devices such as mobiles and laptops
  • Comes with parallel outlets, so you can connect it to another generator to meet higher power demands.
  • 3-years Australian warranty
POWER BACKUP AND OFF-GRID LIVING

Becoming energy independent is not cheap. All the equipment you need can add up quickly. Get a fuel guzzling generator on top of it, and you are up for a cost shock. Another crucial factor is the cost of repairs and maintenance.

We recommend:

Gentrax 4.2kW

  • Comes with parallel outlets, so you can connect it to another generator to meet higher power demands.
  • Comes with built-in wheels and an ergonomic handle for easy handling and transport
  • Comes with a remote start so you can start it from a distance
  • An LCD display screen that illuminates so you don’t have to fiddle with your mobile phone or torch light to find the generator
  • 7 hours runtime at 50% load
  • At 41.5 kgs, an ergonomic handle and built-in wheels, this is our most versatile generator yet.
  • Safe for sensitive devices such as mobiles and laptops
  • 3-years Australian warranty

Gentrax 2.0kW

  • At 16 kgs, this is one of the lightest generators in this power output range
  • 2-years Australian warranty
  • Angled-pull handle for easy start
  • Great for charging batteries on cloudy days when the solar panels aren’t much help
  • Safe for sensitive devices such as mobiles and laptops
  • Comes with a low oil shutdown feature that prevents engine damage in case of low oil

Gentrax 2.2kW

  • Water-resistant - tested with rain
  • Angled-pull handle for easy start
  • Very quiet: Only 58 dB @7 m
  • Safe for sensitive devices such as mobiles and laptops
  • Designed for easy maintenance and oil replacement
  • Comes with an electric start - switch-on switch-off - function
  • Has an ergonomic handle that distributes the weight evenly to not strain your wrist
  • Comes with parallel outlets, so you can connect it to another generator to meet higher power demands.
HOME POWER BACKUP

Convenience, low noise-levels and versatility have been found to be the most important factors when it comes to generators for home backup use. Fuel efficiency is another crucial factor - you don’t want to worry about frequent trips to a petrol station in case of a weather event.

We recommend:

Gentrax 3.5kW Remote Start

  • Can start and run AC + microwave at the same time
  • Comes with a remote, so you can start it from the comfort of your room
  • Very quiet: Only 58 dB @7 m
  • Safe for sensitive devices such as mobiles and laptops
  • Comes with built-in wheels and an ergonomic handle for easy handling and transport
  • 1 USB port so you don’t have to worry about powering your mobile phone and entertainment devices

Gentrax 4.2kW

  • Comes with parallel outlets, so you can connect it to another generator to meet higher power demands.
  • Comes with built-in wheels and an ergonomic handle for easy handling and transport
  • Comes with a remote start so you can start it from a distance
  • An LCD display screen that illuminates so you don’t have to fiddle with your mobile phone or torch light to find the generator
  • 7 hours runtime at 50% load
  • At 41.5 kgs, an ergonomic handle and built-in wheels, this is our most versatile generator yet.
  • Safe for sensitive devices such as mobiles and laptops
  • 3-years Australian warranty

Gentrax 3.5kW

  • Can start and run AC + microwave at the same time
  • Most awarded generator - ProductReview winner four years running
  • Very quiet: Only 58 dB @7 m
  • Safe for sensitive devices such as mobiles and laptops
  • Less than half the weight of Yamaha and Honda generators in the 3000W power output range
  • Most fuel-efficient generator in the 3500 W power output range
  • Has an ergonomic handle that distributes the weight evenly to not strain your wrist
Boating & FISHING

Weight, noise-levels and water resistance are three key considerations when buying a generator for boating and fishing purposes. Not having to worry about the additional load on the boat is a win. And we are sure you don’t draw any joy from scaring the fish with generator noise.

We recommend:

Gentrax 2.2kW

  • Water-resistant - tested with rain
  • Angled-pull handle for easy start
  • Very quiet: Only 58 dB @7 m
  • Safe for sensitive devices such as mobiles and laptops
  • Designed for easy maintenance and oil replacement
  • Comes with an electric start - switch-on switch-off - function
  • Has an ergonomic handle that distributes the weight evenly to not strain your wrist

HOW TO CHECK FOR GENUINE POWER OUTPUT

There is so much that goes into making a reliable portable generator that delivers a genuine power output. And maybe that is why this industry is rife with brands who unscrupulously short-change their consumers by selling over-rated products.

You read it right!

There are several generator-sellers online (more than you can imagine) who overrate the power output of their generators and sell them at a price that is too high for the genuine output levels. These sellers place a smaller (lower priced) engine in the generator and label the generator with false output claims.

But thankfully, most of these sellers source the engines from a large global engine supplier. And each engine is supplied with an engine number that can be matched to the real output for the generator.

Why does engine number matter?

Engine numbers are engraved into the engine and are the only part that can't be re-labeled

How to find the engine number?

What will the engine number show?

The engine number can be matched with the REAL output of the generator.

Engine Number Rated Output
XG144F 0.9kW
XG158F 1.6kW
XG152F 2.2kW
XG157F 3.1kW
XG188 5.8kW
XY144F-1 1.0kW
XY152F-4 2.0kW
XY152F-3 2.2kW
XY157F 3.2kW
XY188F-1 5.8kW

You're safe when you buy

Learn more about Gentrax

Gentrax certifications and licenses

We keep the consumer at the centre of everything we do. This means building reliable, fuel-efficient generators that are easy for the consumer to carry and use and don't cost a fortune. None of this is achievable without an unstinting pursuit of excellence. Here's a look at some of the licenses and certifications we have received because of our constant endeavour to better our products and meet all quality standards.

Meets Euro 5 emissions standards

RCM Australian Standards Approved

United States EPA Certified

Meets European safety, health & environmental requirements

Independently tested and authorized for safety and quality for Europe

Pure Sine Wave Smooth and efficient

Gentrax compared with other brands

Great products don't necessarily have to cost an arm and leg. Here's a comparison of a Gentrax 3.5 KW inverter generator with Yamaha and Honda generators of similar power output. Call our expert team at 02 888 10 333 if you have any questions about this comparison or our generators in general.

Honda EU30Is
$4,800
  • Delivery Cost: $178
  • Max AC Output: 3000W
  • Rated AC Output: 2800W
  • 35kg
  • Weight with full tank: 72kg
  • L 655 x W 445 x H 555mm
  • Fuel Capacity: 13L
  • Run time @50%: 10 hours
  • Fuel efficiency (run time/tank capacity): 0.8
  • Noise at 7m: 62db
  • 1 x 12 V Slots DC
  • 2 x 240 V Slots AC
  • 0 USB ports
  • Pull Start
  • Remote Start
  • Key Start
  • Euro 5
  • Wheels
  • Cover
  • Toolkit

Gentrax 3.5kW Remote Start

$1,049
  • Delivery Cost: FREE*
  • Max AC Output: 3500W
  • Rated AC Output: 3200W
  • 38kg
  • Weight with full tank: 45.5kg
  • L 614 x W 341 x H 506mm
  • Fuel Capacity: 7.5L
  • Run time @50%: 7 hours
  • Fuel efficiency (run time/tank capacity): 0.9
  • Noise at 7m: 58db
  • 1 x 12 V Slots DC
  • 2 x 240 V Slots AC
  • 2 x USB Ports
  • Pull Start
  • Remote Start
  • Key Start
  • Euro 5
  • Wheels
  • Cover
  • Toolkit
  • *Most areas
Yamaha EF3000iSE
$4,235
  • Delivery Cost: $80
  • Max AC Output: 3000W
  • Rated AC Output: 2800W
  • 67kg
  • Weight with full tank: 80kg
  • L 680 x W 445 x H 555mm
  • Fuel Capacity: 13L
  • Run time @50%: 10.25 hours
  • Fuel efficiency (run time/tank capacity): 0.8
  • Noise at 7m: 51db
  • 12 V Slots DC x 1
  • 240 V Slots AC x 2
  • 0 USB Ports
  • Pull Start
  • Key Start
  • Remote Start
  • Euro 5
  • Wheels
  • Cover
  • Toolkit

After warranty generator replacement guarantee

We are so confident our award-winning generators won't let you down, we're prepared to offer you an after-warranty replacement at any time for just $99!

Our aim is to give every customer 100% confidence that they can have a Gentrax generator for life.

Using 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.
  5. 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

HAVE A QUESTION? ASK OUR EXPERTS!