With a portable generator market inundated by many different brands, it can be difficult to figure out which ones are trustworthy.
From world-renown brands to unknown Chinese ones, a real headache awaits you if you are not familiar with the outdoor power equipment industry.
Here at generatorbible.com, we pride ourselves on only presenting you portable generators from the most trustworthy brands and manufacturers.
Here is our selection of the top 25 brands we cover on our website, in alphabetical order.
A-iPower, a small company based in the USA, is a fresh face on the generator market. Their product line is comprised of engines, water pumps, pressure washers and of course, generators. The selection of A-iPower generators includes several conventional and inverted portable generators, many of which have an electric starter. The company has several facilities, including headquarters in California and a distribution center in Wisconsin. The production of their devices is, however, outsourced completely overseas, to China.
Briggs & Stratton
Founded in 1908, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Briggs & Stratton is a well renowned American based gasoline engine manufacturer. While the company mainly focuses on engines – including outdoor, power tool, karting, cast iron and aluminum models, power generators are a crucial component of their portfolio as well – Briggs & Stratton provides both portable and standby solutions for casual users with full support, including installation. The company operates on a global scale, with 13 facilities spread across all the of the continents.
Caterpillar Inc., often abbreviated as simply CAT, is an American engineering corporation, whose product range includes machinery, engines, financial products, mobile phones and of course, power generators. The company, founded in 1925, is one of the backbones of the US Dow Jones index and is placed among the Fortune 500 list. While CAT mainly focuses on industrial scale generators, it also provides a wide range of portable and household-scaled devices. CAT portable generators were engineered and designed in Mossville, Illinois, and Belfast, Northern Ireland. However, their production was outsourced to China.
Champion Power Equipment
Founded in 2003, the Champion Power Equipment is a US based power equipment manufacturer. The relatively small company has made a name for itself both in the portable generator industry, but also the power equipment sector in general, with a particular focus on heavy duty equipment, such as log cutters, snow blowers, chipper shredders, etc. All of their products are engineered in the US. However, the company does not provide information on the origin of their components.
Cummins is a NYSE publicly traded, Fortune 500 corporation dealing in the power sector and heavy industry. Founded in 1919 in Columbus, IN, by William Glanton Irwin and Clessie Cummings, Cummins focused on the development of diesel engines. However, the company truly came to bloom only after the WWII, with the nationwide road expansion and went finally global in the 1960s, with its heavy-duty trucks. Cummins has, over the years, offered a wide variety of power solutions, from actual power plants to RV generators. Yet, the company has only recently dipped its foot into the portable generator market. The company currently offers a small selection of both conventional and inverter generators under the Onan product line, formerly the Cummins Onan brand.
DeWalt is a well renowned, US-based, tool and power equipment company, founded in 1922 by Raymon DeWalt. DeWalt is nowadays a subsidiary of the Stanley Black & Decker corporation, owns 7 manufacturing facilities in the US and offers a large selection of products, from screwdrivers to portable generators. DeWalt’s portable generator line consists of conventional, open designs of various outputs, some of which are powered by Honda engines. However, unlike many of their tools, they are apparently not all made in the US and are manufactured under license by Generac.
Duromax is a small, American based power equipment company, with headquarters in Ontario, California. Duromax specializes in several products, including pumps, engines, pressure washers, and most importantly, power generators. In this regard, the company focuses solely on portable generators, of mostly small and medium power outputs, and dual fuel devices. Duromax’s generators are designed and serviced in the US, however, their production is outsourced overseas. Founded in 2003, DuroMax starts to be seen as an important player in the power generator market.
The DuroStar brand belongs to DuroMax, a company founded in 2003 and based in Ontario, California. DuroStar generators usually have a DuroMax twin, and only differ in their color scheme and in the factory in which they were produced. While DuroStar generators and engines are manufactured in China, the design and servicing centers reside in the US.
ECHO Incorporated was founded in 1972 in Northbrook, IL as the Kioritz Corporation of America. In 1978, the name was changed to its current form. While it is the largest subsidiary of the Yamabiko Corporation of Japan, its US headquarters is located in Lake Zurich, IL, near Chicago. ECHO manufactures most of its products in the US, with parts from both domestic and foreign suppliers. Its wide range of outdoor power products includes portable generators, pressure washers, trimmers, blowers, and chainsaws. The company prides itself on a pro-environmental approach including the three segments of technology, conservation, and sustainability.
Founded in 1896, Energizer Holdings, Inc. is most well known as an American battery manufacturer, namely of Energizer, Varta, Rayovac and Eveready batteries. However, throughout its history, Energizer has worked in many industries, including power generators. The Energizer Brands LLC’s, (a subsidiary of Energizer Holdings, Inc.) power generator selection includes mostly portable generators of both the conventional and inverted design. All Energizer generators are designed and supported in North America, while their production is outsourced overseas.
FIRMAN Power Equipment
Founded in 1999, Firman Power Equipment is a company with a short, but established history in the power equipment industry. Based in Arizona, the company offers an immense range of products, including power tools, automotive equipment, storage utilities, work wear, but most importantly, a wide selection of generators of all sizes, designs and outputs. Interestingly, Firman is a wholly owned subsidiary of the China National Machinery Industry Corporation - a somewhat well renowned company in China and acts as a de facto distributor of their products in the US.
Even though Ford is most commonly known for Henry Ford's Ford Motor Company, the historically renowned US-based car manufacturer founded in 1903, its trademark appears on various other products, including power equipment. Ford Power Equipment sells affordable portable generators, water pumps and pressure washers. While generators are licensed under the Ford trademark, they are in fact manufactured and distributed by Pulsar Inc., which manufactures its products in Asia. However, the company promises great customer service, pre-delivery testing, and their products receive overall very good reviews.
Generac Power Systems is an American based generator and power equipment manufacturer, founded in 1959. As its name suggests, the main focus of Generac are power generators, and other related electric equipment, such as switches, paralleling systems and small engines. The company has several manufacturing facilities based in the US, thus, their products are engineered and built in the USA. However, their components can be a mix of domestic and foreign parts.
GENMAX is a new portable generator brand registered by the Chongqing Dinking Power Machinery Co. LTD., which itself was founded in 2010 and is currently located in Chongqing, China. Dinking specializes in the general motor industry and manufactures portable generators, power sources, water pumps, garden machinery and construction machinery for foreign markets. Among most notable achievements are Dinking’s exclusive contract with Hyundai and 5th place in the ranking of Chinese foreign trade exporters in general motor industry (2016). GENMAX brand portfolio includes a sizeable selection of gas-powered generators covering all common wattage categories.
Founded in 1948, the Japanese Honda Motor Company has gained notoriety for consistently producing top quality engines, motor-powered vehicles and devices. Over the years, the company has gained a strong reputation in the motorcycle, automobile, but also power tool industry. Honda’s power tool division has been producing power tools since 1953, including tillers, mowers, blowers, sprayers and of course, power generators. While the company has expanded globally and moved a majority of its production out of Japan into other Asian countries, Honda is to this day known as a legend among the generator manufacturers.
NorthStar is a brand of outdoor power equipment trademarked and sold by the Northern Tool + Equipment company which has been based in Burnsville, Minnesota, USA since being founded in 1981. NorthStar products include log splitters, portable generators, air compressors, and pressure washers. Their line of commercial-grade portable generators is manufactured in the US. With many units powered by Honda engines, NorthStar outdoor power tools make up a large percentage of the product line for the fast-growing Northern Tool company.
Powerhorse is a trademarked brand name of gas-powered outdoor products owned and distributed by the Northern Tool & Equipment Company Inc. through their store locations and online. Powerhorse outdoor products include gas- and electric-powered tools including pressure washers, wood chippers/shredders, log splitters, electric generators and inverters. The product line also offers engines and water pumps. The brand's motto is "Power You Can Depend On". Powerhorse generators are engineered, developed and tested in Minnesota, but manufactured in China or Vietnam.
Powermate’s history is somewhat enigmatic, but they claim to have been on the market for over 40 years, selling portable generators and various outdoor power equipment. In 2009, they have signed under what they call “partnership” (more accurately ownership) with the Italian PRAMAC. In 2014, Generac acquired Powermate from PRAMAC.
Predator portable generators are solely distributed by the Harbor Freight Corporation, which has an impressive list of over 200 trademarked products. The Predator brand is one of their newer lines of outdoor power products. As with many other makes and models of power equipment sold by Harbor Freight, Predator generators are manufactured in China.
Pulsar is a brand registered under the Pulsar Products inc., based in California, USA. The company offers a decent choice of air compressors, pressure washers and of course, generators – which range from 1,2 kW to 10 kW and include dual fuel and RV-Ready designs. Pulsar has several facilities scattered throughout the US, including two distribution centers – one in California and second in Illinois. However, the production of their products seems to be outsourced overseas, to the continent of Asia.
Founded in 1943, Ryobi Limited is a Japanese based manufacturer that throughout its history mainly focused on electrical and automotive components. However, their quite recent power tool branch has proven to be popular for the quality and reliability of its products, which are nowadays found globally on the shelves of popular retailers. Ryobi products are listed to be produced in various locations globally, mainly US, Germany, Japan and China.
Sportsman Series is a small brand registered under the US based Buffalo corporation. Founded in 1964, the Buffalo Corporation is a small company, which sells tools and home products. Their brands include AmeriHome, Black Bull, Buffalo Tools and Sportsman Series – which offers a selection of generators and several other general products. The brand, and in fact, the corporation itself seemingly outsources all of its production overseas and acts only as a distributor, under its own brands.
WEN Products, founded by Nick Anton in 1951, is an American power tool manufacturer and distributor, which claims to have a part in the development of modern chainsaw, soldering devices and wet sharpeners, through its research in random orbital technology. The Illinois based company expanded its distribution network to include various power tools, such as presses, drills and of course, power generators. As a distributor, WEN’s portfolio largely consists of branded products of different manufacturers, imported from Asia.
The US based Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment is a legacy subsidiary of the Westinghouse Electric Corporation, founded in 1886. While the company has been acquired and merged into the American CBS, the Westinghouse name remains as the brand name for many of their electrical solutions, which stretch across the scale from power plants to portable generators. Portable generators – the main product of the Outdoor Power Equipment branch of Westinghouse – used to be manufactured by Westpro Power Systems, which was bought in 2016 by Midwest Equipment. Lawn equipment, such as trimmers and blowers, is also sold under the Westinghouse brand name. All of their products are designed in the US. However, they are in many cases manufactured in China.
With a rich history of over 130 years, the Japanese based Yamaha Corporation, founded in 1887, has tipped its fingers in every industry imaginable, most notably motorcycles, musical instruments and electronics. The company boasts with a wide range of products, including many of the top rated portable generators. However, many of their models are made in China, rather than Japan.