Best Standby Generators Reviewed & Tested

The advantages to owning a sturdy, long-lasting, and easy-to-use home standby generator are manifold. It’s a prudent investment choice for the homeowner who wants clean, reliable power for running several essential home appliances during a power outage, thereby eliminating any disruptions to their and their families’ way of life. While most of them are quite expensive, falling within the $2000 to $4000 price range, you can never discount the significance of uninterrupted supply of clean, reliable power. A standby generator is especially indispensable when you live in an outage-prone locality, and can’t afford to go for an entire day or two without power.

Our Top 3 Picks

Champion
  • Champion
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Affordable
  • Price: See Here
Generac 7037
  • Generac 7037
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Easy to install
  • Price: See Here
Briggs & Stratton
  • Briggs & Stratton
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Portable
  • Price: See Here

We understand the difficulty that comes with choosing a most suitable standby generator from the market, considering there are several models of varying sizes, shapes, and performance on offer. If you don’t have the time to scour through the vastness of the Internet in an endless search for a suitable model, don’t worry because we’ve done most of the heavy lifting for you. After several hours of analysing and researching, we’ve put together reviews for ten of the best standby generators the industry has to offer.

10 Best Standby Generators

 

1. Champion 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator

1. Champion 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator
The Champion device is a perfect option for the value-conscious homeowner looking for a combination of versatility and convenience. Aside from powering your home and the essential electronics, the generator is also a perfect choice for undertaking light- to medium-duty projects around the house. The high-performance and practicality of the generator spare you the agony of impatiently waiting for hours on end for an end to a power outage. And it's a cinch to use, which is a huge plus is considering the effort and time it takes to get some cheap, off-brand models up and running.

Starting it is a breeze. The machine conveniently and thoughtfully uses a battery and a Cold Start Technology that work seamlessly in tandem to ensure a hassle-free and quick start, irrespective of the prevailing weather conditions. No more incessantly pulling at a power cord in the middle of the night with the high risk of throwing your back out or straining your hands and arms. The inclusion of an innovative Intelligauge feature enables you to stay on top of things all around the clock, making it easy to keep track of power output, maintenance schedules, voltage, hertz, and even run-time hours. Consequently, it’s very unlikely that you’ll suffer any electrical glitches or hiccups.
Expand to see more
To further ensure continuous runtime, it comes with a low oil shut-off sensor. A major highlight, though, is the generator's dual fuel design which means it runs optimally on either gasoline or propane. A fuel selector switch makes it remarkably easy and safe to switch between the use of either fuel sources.

Gasoline outputs starting and running watts of 9375 and 7500, respectively and provides an impressive 8-hour runtime at 50 percent load when you fill the 6.1-gallon fuel tank. Propane, on the other hand, produces starting and running watts of 8400 and 6750 respectively for 5.5 hours runtime at 50 percent load using just 20-pound propane.

For convenience, it is relatively quiet at 74 decibels from 23 feet. It features a surge protector for keeping your appliances safe and has several outlets. Installation is a breeze, and so is portability and storage. Together, these features make it one of the best standby generators in the industry right now.
Pros

Cost-effective

Delivers clean power for exceptional performance

Best bang for the buck

Easy to use

Cons

None

4. Generac 7037

4. Generac 7037
Generac is a household name renowned the world over for consistently producing high-quality, durable, quiet, lightweight and easy to use power tools. Their flagship option, the Generac 7037, easily continues that tradition, packing a litany of high-end features to provide the user with the best power backup solution. It packs a punch and generates more than enough power for powering lights, mobile devices, and efficiently operating several other household devices. An in-depth review of the instrumental features it packs follows next.

The device brings to an end the days of having to wait several hours or even an entire day for power to come back in case of adverse weather conditions. The fact that it reliably delivers first-rate power quality with up to 5 percent total harmonic distortion means it's your best bet for clean power. You can therefore confidently, and with a peace of mind, keep your sensitive electronics and other mobile device running efficiently, safe in the knowledge that the likelihood of overloading is remote at best.
Expand to see more
As is the case with the vast majority of Generac options, the Generac 7037 features a high-end G-Force engine that’s pressure-lubricated to efficiently withstand and respond to rigorous use. Despite the electrical demands of the household, the performance of the generator will invariably be reliable and require considerably less routine maintenance compared to its cheap, run-of-the-mill competitors on the market.

Lower speeds eliminate the possibility of its waking you or your neighbors in the dead of the night. To that add a rugged and long-lasting high-quality aluminium construction quality. A RhinoCoat power-coating finish ensures rust and corrosion will never be a bother. Also, it has a user-friendly LCD display for conveniently monitoring various performance aspects including battery status, maintenance intervals, and voltage among others.

A generous 60-month warranty, remarkable ease of use, reliable and powerful performance are some of the reasons the 7037 is a must-have for homeowners who need nothing short of the best performance. You’ll like it.
Pros

Boasts surge protection

Tough, weatherproof construction

Easy to install

Efficient performance

Cons

Not as quiet as similar models

2. Briggs & Stratton 40449

2. Briggs & Stratton 40449
Cranking out eye-popping 10000 watts of clean, raw power, the Briggs & Stratton 40449 is a solid choice for use for continuously powering your home in the event of a power outage. It is a convenient choice that runs efficiently and optimally on propane. An electric start, a 100-amp automatic transfer switch, easy installation, impressive resilience, and generous and comprehensive 60-month warranty on parts, labor and travel all together deservingly earn the standby a spot on the list of ten of the best options on the market.

The days when a power outage would immediately put a damper on a house party are long gone when you acquire yourself the Briggs & Stratton 40449. An innovative Symphony II Power Management system allows for efficient coordination and smooth running of high-demand devices and low-demand items around the house. As a result, it’s both safe and easy to keep the central air conditioner and the lights running simultaneously without the former affecting the latter.
Expand to see more
Despite being economical and featuring a slim profile, it outputs enough power for the efficient management of a 4,200 square feet home, thanks in part to the ingenuity of the Symphony II Power Management System. Rather than using a costly and expensive-to-run 20KW generator to run a similar home with two, three-ton air conditioner units, it’d be prudent to use it that’s capable of achieving the same fete by with 10kW of power, saving you lots of money in the process.

Installation is a breeze with the device. Homeowners with a tight lot lines will immensely appreciate the fact that it can be installed as close at 18 inches from the house, and the noise is at a bare minimum. To this add a 150-amp Symphony II Transfer Switch for providing power to the most essential electronics in the house, making it possible to keep up to two air conditioners running beside several household appliances.

The Briggs & Stratton makes it a lot easier to survive power outages for as long as they last. It's a slim and contemporary-looking choice that generates adequate power for running your common household appliances. And, it boasts a generous 60-month part, labor, and travel warranty for the much-needed peace of mind.
Pros

Powerful performance for clean, reliable power

Safe and a cinch to operate

Generous warranty

Installation is a breeze

Cons

Lack of instant response

3. Briggs & Stratton 30675 Q6500

3. Briggs & Stratton 30675 Q6500
The Briggs & Stratton 30675 Q6500 is yet another perfect and solid choice for homeowners in search of a powerful, quiet, and cost-effective power backup solution. It provides clean power to keep your most essential home appliances running for as long as it takes before power restoration. Unlike most of its competitors on the market, the device is a cinch to install and runs powerfully, smoothly, and quietly. It also features five power outlets and two USB ports in addition to a generous 24-month warranty.

The Briggs & Stratton brand harnesses more than a century of expertise and experience to provide you with the most dependable power backup solution. The device is super quiet and goes a long way in giving you peace of mind and keeping your neighborhood quiet even with a power outage in the middle of the night. The Quiet Power Technology reduces noise levels by up to 60 percent compared to standard standby generators, producing just 66 decibels at 25 percent load.
Expand to see more
Thanks to its highly-efficient Briggs & Stratton integrated engine, it effortlessly delivers up to 6500 starting watts of dependable home backup power. Together with its 5-gallon fuel tank, the powerful engine provides an impressive 14-hour runtime at 25 percent load, enough for powering a wide range of essential household appliances. You'll also like the fuel efficiency of the generator and the fact that because it's lightweight and compact, it's highly portable and easy to keep away. The telescoping luggage-style handle and wheels plus the protective, noise-reducing shell are all favorite features.

In all, the device is a cost-effective source of reliable home backup power. It packs all the right and essential features for trouble-free, flawless performance. If its efficiency and continuous runtime you’re looking for, the model is highly recommended.
Pros

Portable and quiet

Delivers powerful performance for reliable power

Remarkably lightweight and compact design

Impressive runtime of up to 14 hours

Cons

Not ideal for powering large appliances

5. Kohler 20RESCL-200SELS

5. Kohler 20RESCL-200SELS
Kohler is an undisputable industry doyen renowned for consistently stretching the boundaries of innovation and improving on already perfect design. Their leading option, the Kohler 20RESCL-200SELS, is a hardworking and durable machine that supplies clean power for keeping your groceries cold, the basement well lit, and the living room warm and conducive for your family in case of a power outage. The installation is a breeze and compared to cheap, humdrum models out there, this model starts instantly and automatically, minimizing the likelihood of your food going bad.

It is an air-cooled generator that generates up to 20,000-watts of clean power to keep your favorite electronics running smoothly and without any hitches in case of a power outage. As mentioned earlier, it an automatic version, so you don't have to leave the comfort of your couch or the warmth of your bed to get it up and running in the middle of the night. The clean power won't damage your most sophisticated or sensitive electronics as it boasts a +/- 1 percent voltage regulation and up to 5 percent harmonic distortion. When the power goes out, the device kicks in after just 10 seconds to keep your AC, heat, sump pump, and several other household electronics running.
Expand to see more
The length of a warranty is sometimes indicative of the construction quality and performance efficiency of a power machine. In the case of the Kohler, the brand offers a generous 60-month, 2,000-hour warranty, clearly demonstrating Kohler's confidence in their device. To that add a high-quality, durable construction that'll withstand the test of time. The enclosure is resistant to both rust and corrosion and by extent capable of weathering the toughest weather conditions Mother Nature throws at it.

Overall, it has what it takes to meet all your household’s standby power needs in case of a power outage. It’s reliable, powerful, long-lasting, easy to use, and supplies clean, premium power.
Pros

Durable, heavy-duty construction

Reliable, efficient, and quiet operation

Highly portable

Easily powers large loads

Fast response

Cons

Costly

6. DuroMax XP12000EH

6. DuroMax XP12000EH
The DuroMax XP12000EH is a far cry from the sporadic performance of cheap, off-brand options on the market. It’s a high-end model that works exactly as advertised – smoothly and powerfully to keep sensitive and sophisticated household electronics running when there is a power outage. And despite being cost-effective, the device is feature-packed, incorporating a retinue of features to make your life easy and ensure the best performance all year long. For instance, it features a dual fuel technology, has a heavy-duty and rugged frame, a user-friendly power panel, a low oil shut-off feature and remarkably, impressive runtimes on both gasoline and propane.

You’re never fully and adequately prepared for an imminent power outage if you don’t have the versatile DuroMax XP12000EH properly installed and ready to kick in. When Mother Nature strikes, the standby generator will be the difference between being stranded helplessly in the pitch dark of the night and comfortably following your favorite TV program from the comfort of your couch, with the fridge, the AC, and lights running smoothly. The generator takes pride in generating up to 12,000 watts of power running on either gas or propane fuel. While gasoline has a runtime of 10 hours at 50 percent maximum output, propane achieves a remarkable 20 hours under similar circumstances.
Expand to see more
In addition to powering your commonly used home appliances and keeping the family comfortable and warm, it is also a cinch to use. It's highly portable, lightweight and compact. There's minimal, if not remote, likelihood of the generator damaging your home appliances as it features heavy-duty breakers for preventing overloading. Additionally, it comes with a noise reducing muffler, allowing you to use it confidently and with peace of mind in a quiet neighborhood. A full power panel provides for easy monitoring of various performance aspects including oil level, voltage, and hertz, among others. And of course, there is the low oil shut-off feature.

For the homeowner who wants a safe, practical and reliable way of keeping their essential household appliances running during a power outage, the XP12000EH comes highly recommended.
Pros

Highly portable and a cinch to run

High-quality, durable construction

Provides smooth and reliable power

Quiet

Cons

Heavy

Limited runtime

7. DuroMax XP4400E

7. DuroMax XP4400E
The DuroMax XP4400E is a poster child of durability, dependability, affordability, ease of use, and most importantly, efficiency. It’s also a versatile choice that in addition to providing the entire household with clean power in case of a power outage, is also ideal for powering recreational engagements and light- to medium-duty projects around the house. Besides the high-performance 7-HP DuroMax air-cooled OHV engine, it also features an impressive 4-gallon gas tank for an uninterrupted 8-hour runtime on 87 octane, electric key start, and an automatic low oil shut-off among several other features.

The signature feature is its high-performance 7-HP DuroMax air-cooled OHV engine. Thanks to the high-quality and reliability of the engine, it outputs an incredible 3500 watts of clean power for, well, powering all the essential household appliances in an average-sized house. For a continuous runtime, it comes with a high-capacity 4-gallon gas tank that runs on 87 octane gasoline for optimal convenience, allowing to run for up to 8 hours on continuous power at 50 percent load.
Expand to see more
The professional craftsmanship means that it’s safe to use for powering your sophisticated and sensitive electronics without any risk whatsoever of inadvertent damage. It features a full and user-friendly power panel with an engine shutoff switch, a volt meter, and circuit breaker, all of which guard against power surges. As well as the low oil shut-off features, it also comes with a rugged and long-lasting steel frame that boasts 4-point fully isolated motor mounts, enabling it to run smoothly and quietly.

Additional features include a wheel kit that together with the ergonomically designed front handle and the lightweight and compact design provides for hassle-free portability, transportation, and storage. And it incorporates two fully protected 120-Volt outlets and one 120-volt/240-volt twist-lock outlet.

Overall, you’d be hard-pressed to find a similarly high-quality, durable, ultra-quiet, and practical option from the market at this unit’s low price. It packs all the essential features to keep you and your family warm and cosy during a power outage.
Pros

Provides powerful, long runtime

Works quietly and smoothly

A cinch to use

Portable and very durable

Delivers enough power for running the household

Cons

A little noisy

Not CARB compliant

8. Champion Power Equipment 100294

8. Champion Power Equipment 100294
In this day and age of ubiquitous and cost-effective options, a power outage doesn't mean ending a housewarming party early. Neither does it mean sleeping under several bed covers to keep warm when the AC goes off or having to contend with your favorite meal spoiling because the fridge isn't running anymore. There are several suitable emergency power backup options on the market currently, one of which is the workhorse that’s Champion Power Equipment 100294. It’s as powerful as they come, nearly grave-quiet, reliable, and boast an eye-popping 120-month warranty.

The device is a 14,000 watt rated option. While some units out there run entirely on gasoline, others on gas and propane, it curves its own path by being able to run seamlessly and efficiently either natural gas or propane. In the latter case, it produces an outstanding 58.3-amps at 240 volts while with the former it generates equally impressive 58.3-amps at 240 volts, enough for providing around the clock power for the entire house and peace of mind for you.
Expand to see more
An epitome of convenience, it is remarkably easy to run. It works optimally with a wide temperature range of between -22 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit and incorporates a convenient instant start. Capable of simultaneously powering up to 8 high-demand appliances, the generator has an overload protection feature to ensure no damage to your home appliances should it ever reach maximum capacity.

It's also remarkably quiet, thanks to the inclusion of a sound-dampening lining and low-tone muffle. Consequently, there's minimal chance of inadvertently attracting the wrath of your neighbours and the attention of law enforcement authorities.

If you’re heat or eyes are set on acquiring a powerful, reliable, and quiet option for powering your home during an outage, we highly recommend the Champion Power Equipment 100294.
Pros

A breeze to install

Dual fuel technology

Quiet but remarkably powerful power generation

Dependable performance

Cons

A little heavy and bulky

9. Generac 7039

9. Generac 7039
If the prospects of going for several hours on end without electricity, uncertain how long a power outage is going to last, then the Generac 7039 Guardian Series is the standby generator for you. As was the case with the previous Generac generator we reviewed, this model is also a feature-rich choice housing a powerful and reliable engine to keep your house lit and comfortable and your essential home appliances running. Consequently, the generator is not a source of peace of mind, but it also ensures power outage doesn’t disrupt your everyday life.

The 7039 model has all the hallmarks of a high-end option. For instance, it houses a powerful Generac G-Force engine that, in light of being purpose-built and pressure-lubricated, is capable of effortlessly and seamlessly tackling the rigors of generator use. It, therefore, a reliable source of clean power, and demands considerably less maintenance compared to the vast majority of its competitors. The likelihood of damaging you sensitive and sophisticated electronics and appliances is remote as the machine delivers first-rate power quality with up to 5 percent total harmonic distortion. Consequently, the standby generator should be up your alley if you’re a sucker for clean, smooth backup power.
Expand to see more
Compared to cheap, humdrum models, it's considerably quieter and more energy-efficient. Also, it features a rugged, robust, and long-lasting all-aluminium construction and is resistant to corrosion. You should, therefore, be able to use it with lots of confidence and peace of mind in virtually all environments and weather conditions.

As well as offering mobile link remote monitoring, which you can purchase separately, it features a multilingual LCD display to take the time and effort from monitoring the status of the battery and helps you stay on top of maintenance. Additional features include a generous 60-month warranty and a 200-Amp NEMA 3 whole house smart transfer switch.

In closing, the Generac 7039 Guardian Series should be your go-to standby generator if you’re looking for peace of mind and reliable, clean power to keep your essential home appliances running. It’ll never disappoint.
Pros

Runs quietly and efficiently

Easy to use with LCD display

Powerful performance

Cons

Occasionally jams to start

10. Briggs & Stratton 40355

10. Briggs & Stratton 40355
Power outages are disruptive to the everyday way of doing things around the house. For individuals in large-sized homes who want to invest in a relatively cost-effective option for protecting their homes and families from the incessant disruption, the Briggs & Stratton 40355 comes highly recommended. Like virtually all options featuring on our list, this model has a knack for producing clean, reliable power and is professionally built to take care of all your essential power needs, right from the living room, the kitchen, and to the bedroom.

Boasting an output of 20,000 watts of pure, clean, and dependable power, it is without a doubt one of the best options the market has to offer. As well as powering up to two air conditions, the generator also keeps the most essential household appliances running smoothly and efficiently, and poses little risk of overloading your sophisticated or sensitive electronics. And thanks to its quick, automatic response, you don't have to move a muscle when the power goes out, be it during the day in the middle of the night.
Expand to see more
For the homeowner who needs straightforward, trouble-free performance, pay closer attention. Compared to flimsy, humdrum counterparts flooding the market, the standby generator features a weather-resistant transfer switch that significantly enhances flexibility, and provides for trouble-free installation in an outdoor or indoor setting.

Plus, it's remarkably quitter compared to the vast majority of options on offer on the market, meaning that you can confidently place it as close as 18-inches from your home and has several placement options around your property. The use of galvanneal steel enclosure, on the other hand, provides formidable protection from chips and abrasions, thereby guaranteeing several years of heavy-duty use.

Overall, the Briggs & Stratton offers the user several high-end time- and effort-saving features to ensure the best power backup performance in the entire industry. It exceeds customer and industry performance, durability, and convenience expectations. You’ll never regret it.
Pros

Powerful, automatic performance

Versatile

Comes with a 200-amp transfer switch

Has a generous 60-month warranty

Cons

Expensive

Criteria for Choosing the Best Standby Generators

Power Requirements

Your choice obviously will depend on whether you want a model for powering the entire house or keeping a select few home appliances running. To this end consider the watts of power the machine delivers. If you want a generator to keep your ACs and other high energy demand appliances running simultaneously, then a powerful unit capable of delivering power in the neighbourhoods of 20,000 watts should do the trick.

On the other hand, if your main concern is keeping the lights and a few home appliances running, then you can dial down.

Performance and Construction Quality

Power requires aside, the quality of the standby generator should supersede all other factors. You don’t want to compromise on quality if you’re a sucker for efficient performance, reliability, clean power, and trouble-free experience. The model needs to be able to withstand the rigors of ever-increasing power demands.

Similarly, the workmanship should be exceptional. In addition to withstanding chips and abrasions, the model should be resistant to rust and corrosion to provide the user with years of flawless, efficient performance.

Location and Installation

A third essential consideration is the location of the standby generator. The chosen location should allow for hassle-free access for easy and quick maintenance and repair. Additionally, it needs to be adjacent to a source of fuel and the transfer switch.

For indoor placement, take into consideration proximity to windows and door, highly inflammable material and of course fuel. As for installation, it should be straightforward and easy to accomplish. If that’s not the case, it would be prudent to seek professional assistance to avoid voiding your warranty.

Affordability

As mentioned earlier, the cost of standby generator falls within the $2000 and $4000 range. Needless to say, costly models offer infinitely more advantages than their cheaper counterparts. That’s not to say you should break the bank to afford one.

Consider your power requirements before committing your money. It’s pointless investing in a $4000 model you’ll be using once a while for lighting and running the entertainment system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I best take care of my standby generator for optimal performance?

A: There are lots you can do to ensure optimal performance. First off, regularly check for and rectify small problems before they morph into catastrophes. Also, avoid operating it on low fuel levels.

Q: How loud can they get?

A: Manufacturer endeavor to keep noise levels to a bare minimum to give you peace of mind and not attract the wrath of your neighbors and the local law enforcement authorities. To keep safe, ensure your model isn’t louder than 60 decibels. The loudness of a generator depends on a myriad of factors, though.

Conclusion

The best standby generator is one that effectively balances the most essential features to provide you with superior home power backup performance. Among other things, it ought to offer excellent power delivery, quality, durability, ease of use, and convenience.

Luckily, our list features the crème-de-la-crème of options. In addition to incorporating all these essential features, they’re also efficient, easy to maintain, and capable of handling unexpected surges without the slightest performance hitch. The ball is now back to your court. Ensure you choose in accordance with your power needs.