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Best Generators

Consumer Reports Ratings for Best Generators

Best Generators

We tested 27 generators to determine the best-performing models. Our expert lab technicians tested each Generator based on the following criteria:

  • Noise
  • Ease of use
  • Power quality
  • Power delivery
  • Run time range (hrs.)

Below lists the Generators that rated best in each of the tests our experts looked for. Learn about how these tests were performed and find out which Generator is rated best when you subscribe.

Consumer Reports Ratings for Best Generators

Best Generator for Noise

Measured at 23 and 50 feet from the generator. We recommend hearing protection for standing close by the unit while it's running.


This Generator which tested best for Noise has the following features: Claimed output (watts), Fuel type, Weight (lbs.), Fuel shutoff, Low-oil shutoff, Electric start, Fuel gauge, Hour meter, Low-oil shutoff has indicator light, Electric-start battery included, Wheels, Fuel capacity and No. of power outlets.

Best Generator for Ease of use

Includes starting, transport (for portables), and helpful features such as fuel shutoff.


This Generator which tested best for Ease of use has the following features: Claimed output (watts), Fuel type, Weight (lbs.), Fuel shutoff, Low-oil shutoff, Electric start, Fuel gauge, Hour meter, Low-oil shutoff has indicator light, Electric-start battery included, Wheels, Fuel capacity and No. of power outlets.

Best Generator for Power quality

A generator's ability to deliver power smoothly, with consistent voltage.


This Generator which tested best for Power quality has the following features: Claimed output (watts), Fuel type, Weight (lbs.), Fuel shutoff, Low-oil shutoff, Hour meter, Low-oil shutoff has indicator light, Wheels, Fuel capacity and No. of power outlets.

Best Generator for Power delivery

How much wattage models delivered and how well they handled surges in power demand over various loads.


This Generator which tested best for Power delivery has the following features: Claimed output (watts), Fuel type, Weight (lbs.), Fuel shutoff, Low-oil shutoff, Electric start, Fuel gauge, Low-oil shutoff has indicator light, Wheels, Fuel capacity and No. of power outlets.

Best Generator for Run time range (hrs.)

Our average of how long a generator ran, over various loads, on a full tank of gasoline or diesel fuel, a 20-pound tank for propane-based portables, or a 250-gallon propane tank for stationary models.


This Generator which tested best for Run time range (hrs.) has the following features: Claimed output (watts), Fuel type, Weight (lbs.), Fuel shutoff, Fuel gauge, Wheels, Fuel capacity and No. of power outlets.