You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

The Best Cheap Portable Generators

Cheapism Logo By Scott Nyerges of Cheapism | Slide 1 of 7: Be Prepared To identify the best cheap portable generators, we consulted trustworthy sources that conduct product testing, such as Consumer Reports, Top Ten Reviews, Popular Mechanics, and Wirecutter. They often review models that cost more than $1,000, so we also relied on specialty retailers and enthusiast sites that compare cheaper portable generators, as well as hundreds of customer reviews on retail sites including Home Depot, Lowe's, Amazon, and Walmart. Expect to pay about $300 for a small, gas-powered portable generator that can run two or three items for camping or tailgating, or provide a backup power source during storm season. A more robust generator to power your RV or run all essential home appliances can cost up to $600 or more. Also, while a majority of our picks are CARB compliant, for consumers living in California, you'll need to look for the very latest models if you want a unit equipped with the most up-to-date carbon-monoxide-sensing technology. Editors' note: Generators regularly sell out, regardless of season, and top-rated models can be on back order for weeks. Prices fluctuate frequently, sometimes by $50 or more, so buy right away if you find a bargain.

Buying Guide

Be Prepared

To identify the best cheap portable generators, we consulted trustworthy sources that conduct product testing, such as Consumer Reports, Top Ten Reviews, Popular Mechanics, and Wirecutter. They often review models that cost more than $1,000, so we also relied on specialty retailers and enthusiast sites that compare cheaper portable generators, as well as hundreds of customer reviews on retail sites including Home Depot, Lowe's, Amazon, and Walmart. Expect to pay about $300 for a small, gas-powered portable generator that can run two or three items for camping or tailgating, or provide a backup power source during storm season. A more robust generator to power your RV or run all essential home appliances can cost up to $600 or more. Also, while a majority of our picks are CARB compliant, for consumers living in California, you'll need to look for the very latest models if you want a unit equipped with the most up-to-date carbon-monoxide-sensing technology.

Editors' note: Generators regularly sell out, regardless of season, and top-rated models can be on back order for weeks. Prices fluctuate frequently, sometimes by $50 or more, so buy right away if you find a bargain.

© Rob Foldy/Getty Images

More from Cheapism

AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon