When it comes to needing some power on-the-go, nothing beats the versatility and convenience a portable generator brings us. If you’ve come here from our top 10 best portable generators guide, we saw many top-of-the-line models dominating the market. But what about in the lower price range? Whether it’s for home use, RV, camping, and more, we found the best portable generators based on rating, overall quality it brings and power, all for under $500 for those on a strict budget.
The best portable generator under $500
If you need a reliable and quite affordable model, then the DuroStar DS4000S is one of the best portable generators under $500 dollars to choose from. With its 7 hp engine paired alongside an air cooling function, this one will deliver powerful and reliable energy for at least eight hours (if you run it at half of the maximum power output, 4000 watts, during this period). With a durable and sturdy steel frame and isolated mounts at 4 points, it brings some great stability and versatility for where you want to keep it safe. It’s also been said to be relatively quiet to help with more populated environments. It’s gas-powered (4 gallon tank) and there’s quite a few power plug options built-in to this thing as well. Take a look at this one if you wanted an immediate answer for the best portable generator priced at under $500 — the user reviews will back up your confidence before buy it as well.
Up next, if you are looking for a lightweight and compact portable generator that is easy to be transported around as you need it, then the WEN 56180 is definitely one of the best portable generators under $500 dollars in the market. It is gas-powered with 800 Watts and 98 cc engine to deliver reliable and stable power when you need it – for at least 7 and 1/2 hours at 50% power, thanks to its 1.45 gallon tank. This will enable you to efficiently run a television, computer, fridge, microwave, and more. The 56180 also has a nifty low-oil shutdown safeguard to prevent damage and give you some confidence when it comes to safety. It comes with two AC120V (12.5A) three-prong wall outlets as well as a 12V DC outlet (cigarette-lighter-style). It’s usually priced a bit cheaper than the previously recommended generator, so if you wanted to save a few bucks and still grab a reliable and stable model, check out this one out by WEN.
Here’s another great model to check out if you wanted something cheaper than our first pick. This is a handy portable generator that is relatively lightweight and easy to store and use. Thanks to the fact that you can easily carry it around (it comes with a convenient carrying handle) as well as being equipped with 900 watts engine running power, it will be able to deliver a reliable power source when you are going into the wilderness or as an additional power source at home. The exhaust system is pretty quiet as compared to others and it has a spark arrestor (it’s EPA and CARB compliant). The bottom also has a few rubber pads to help with stability and ease of use. Because it uses an oil and gas mix, you can conveniently fuel it up whenever you need it – one tank (1 gallon) will provide power for up to 5 hours on a half load, so it doesn’t have the biggest tank in here but can still get the job done if that’s a feasible amount of time for you.
The Duromax XP4400E is another great portable generator under 500 bucks if you need something reliable and durable that’s in the upper price-point as compared to others in this guide. It is equipped with a 7 HP and 120 V powerful engine that will provide sufficient energy for 8 hours of work (on half of the maximum power output). It is air-cooled and will function until it almost completely runs out off the oil. You’ve got a 4400 watt surge and 3500 watts of continuous power, a 4 gallon gas tank, electric key start and automatic low oil shut off mechanism built-in. The wheels on the bottom are super convenient if you’ll be on some flat land and will need to wheel it around a bit, not to mention the handle makes it that much more easy to travel with. There is plenty of power in the Duromax XP4400E, so you can count on it to power equipment for demanding operations, such as drills, saws and other similar carpenter operations.
Last but not least, the Rally 7471 is typically under the radar in this category, most likely because of the extremely cheap price tag. Its equipped with a 200 Watt engine and 12V battery. It will provide energy quickly and efficiently whenever you need it as long as the use isn’t too demanding. Its also equipped with a 260 psi compressor as well as a safety power switch. This one is most suited for cars and is considered an “8 in 1 power source” — USB, air compressor, jumpstarting and more. It’s the lowest priced portable generator out there by far, so we recommend it only if you were on a super strict budget and can sacrifice some quality and power — which most likely depends on your intended use (cars here).