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Portable, Inverter, Standby: A Guide to 3 Common Generator Types

There are three main generator types that everyone should know about: portable, standby, and inverter. Although each of these types aims to deliver the same result, they do so in different ways.

So which type is best for you? Continue reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know so that you can make the right decision.

Portable Generators

Most portable generators run on gasoline. However, many run on natural gas, liquid propane, or diesel fuel. Compared to standby generators, portable ones typically won’t provide as much power and are also noisier.

Also, every time you want to use it, you are going to have to wheel it out of storage, connect it to your house’s circuit-breaker panel, and then turn it on manually. If it’s raining outside, you’ll have to make sure that the generator is completely covered.

With a portable generator, you’ll also have to store large amounts of gasoline that are mixed with a fuel stabilizer. This is in order to help you through a prolonged power outage.

On the plus side, portable generators are cheaper than standby ones. They are easy to install and many come with outlets that you can directly connect extension cords to.

Standby Generators

Sometimes referred to as stationary generators, these devices stay in one place. A professional with come and permanently install the generator for the resident.

They are also quieter than portable ones thanks to their insulated weatherproof housing.

The biggest advantage of a standby generator is that it will automatically turn on when the power goes out. They’re also strong enough to power everything in your home.

Also, they run on propane or natural gas. This means that they’ll be able to run for days or even weeks on a full tank of propane. With natural gas versions, they can pretty much run indefinitely.

The major downside to standby generators is that they are significantly more expensive than portable ones. Not only does the generator itself cost a lot but so does the professional installation as well.


An inverter generator is similar to a portable generator but works a little differently. In a traditional portable generator, a single engine rotation creates one block wave of electrical power.

An inverter generator creates more electrical power in a single rotation. Basically, an inverter generator produces electricity based on how much is necessary. A standard portable generator produces a relatively constant amount.

The biggest benefit of an inverter is that it’s extremely quiet. They are also smaller and weigh less.

Inverters are also more fuel-efficient than portable ones. Also, because it only produces as much energy as needs to be drawn, it is safer for sensitive electronic devices like laptops.

If you’re not sure if you want to purchase an inverter or portable generator, check out a site like, where they offer both.

The Importance of Understanding Generator Types

Before deciding which of these generator types is best for you, first consider your budget and lifestyle. Where you live is also an important factor to think about.

Looking for more interesting and helpful articles? Check out the rest of our blog for more!

Written by CrazyLeaf Editorial

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