Best Generators Under $500 – Our Top Eight Choices!

Are you looking for a reliable and cost-effective generator to power your home during an emergency or outdoor activity?

As we all know a generator is a must-have equipment that provides electricity when there is no power supply. And you may have contemplated purchasing a generator in such a situation. However, finding the right one can be daunting, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Fortunately, there are many generators available for under $500. This allows you to strike a balance and enjoy both financial stability and electricity.

When looking at the best generators for under $500, there is a wide variety of options to consider. From quiet and efficient inverter models to more robust traditional gas-powered ones, you’ll be able to find something that fits your needs in this price range.

Most inverters generate electricity from gas or other fuel sources and feature both portability and quiet running operations. For larger wattage output needs, some of the most reliable small generator options come in around 500 dollars or less with trusted brands such as WEN Portable Generator Providing ample power production while still being lightweight enough to move if needed.

In this very article, we’ll take a look at the best generators under $500 that offer excellent features and performance without breaking the bank. Whether you need an inverter or a conventional generator, we’ve got you covered with our top picks! So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of affordable generators!

What Should You Expect from a Generator that Costs Under 500 Dollars?

When it comes to generators that cost under $500, you can expect some great features and performance. Firstly, these generators are designed for lower power outputs, typically between 1000W to 4000W. This makes them suitable for powering appliances like refrigerators, lights, fans, and charging mobile devices.

Secondly, most of the best generator models in this price range come with a variety of outlet options such as AC outlets and USB ports which allow you to power different types of electronic gadgets easily. And lastly, but important is fuel efficiency; many inexpensive generator models offer excellent fuel economy allowing you to enjoy more hours running without frequent refueling stops.

Our Top 8 Choices for the Best Generators Under $500!

Based on our research and personal experiences with the generators, we’ve shortlisted the best eight generators that cost under $500.

  • A-iPower SUA2000iV
  • DuroMax XP4400E
  • WEN 56203i
  • DuroStar DS4000S
  • Champion Power Equipment 76533
  • Westinghouse 4650 Peak Watt Portable Generator
  • DuroMax XP4000S
  • DuroMax XP5500EH



The A-iPower SUA2000iV generator is an impressive inverter generator that offers great value for its affordable price below $500. Despite its compact size, this generator packs a punch with starting watts of 2000 and rated watts of 1600, making it capable of powering various appliances and tools.

Portability is another advantage of the A-iPower SUA2000iV. Weighing just 46 pounds and equipped with a convenient suitcase-like handle, it is easy to transport and move around. Whether you need power at a campsite or during a residential outage, this generator can accompany you wherever you go.

One standout feature of this generator is its exceptional fuel efficiency. With a fuel tank capacity of only 1.1 gallons, it can run continuously for 7 hours at a 50% load and 9 hours on a 50% load with the “low idle” feature, which is quite impressive for an inverter generator.

A-iPower provides a 2-year manufacturer warranty and offers lifetime free tech support to address any issues that may arise. However, a few customers have reported receiving defective units, so it is advisable to make your purchase from a trusted website.

The A-iPower SUA2000iV operates at a quiet 58 decibels, ensuring minimal disturbance while providing clean and reliable power for your sensitive electronics. It is both CARB and EPA-certified and is available for use in all states. The inclusion of a 30-amp RV plug makes it an ideal choice for campers.

Overall, the A-iPower SUA2000iV is a fantastic inverter generator for those who require a reliable and portable power solution. With its impressive power output, fuel efficiency, quiet operation, and additional features, this generator offers great value and versatility for a wide range of applications.


Run-time 7 hours / 9 hours (low idle) on 50% load
Parallel Capabilities Yes
Noise Level 58 decibels (dB)
Outlets 120V outlet/12V multi-function port/L5-30A 120V
Fuel Capacity 1.1 gallon
Weight 46 lbs
  • Compact and Portable with suitcase-like handle
  • Fuel efficient with 7-hour and 9-hour run times
  • 2-year warranty and lifetime tech support
  • Some complaints of defective products
  • Limited number of outlets




The DUROMAX XP4400E generator is a powerful and reliable option for those looking for a generator under $500. With its 7-horsepower engine, it can produce up to 4,400 watts of power and run for up to 8 hours on a single tank of gas. This makes it an ideal option for powering appliances during emergencies or outdoor events.

One of the most notable features of this generator is its electric start system which makes starting the unit quick and easy. It also has both AC and DC outlets, making it versatile enough to power various appliances and electronics. In addition to being powerful, the DUROMAX

XP4400E is also built with durability in mind. Its heavy-duty steel frame protects it from damage during transportation or use while its air-cooled engine ensures that it remains cool even during extended periods of use.

However, one drawback of this generator is that it can be quite noisy when running at full capacity. Despite this minor downside, the DUROMAX XP4400E offers excellent value for money as a cost-effective option for those needing reliable backup power.

One of the standout features of this generator is its electric start system which allows users to easily turn on the device with just the push of a button. Additionally, it comes equipped with both AC and DC outlets as well as a circuit breaker that provides added safety measures.

If you’re looking for a dependable generator under $500 that packs plenty of power into a compact package – then the DUROMAX XP4400E is worth considering!


Power Source Gas
Engine Type 4 stroke
Fuel Type Gasoline
Voltage 120 volts
Wattage 400 watts
Weight 127 pounds
  • Boasts a long run time of up to 12 hours.
  • Reasonable and manageable weight.
  • Affordable price
  • Quiet noisy
  • Can’t handle extended periods of high power usage


3. WEN 56203I

WEN 56203I

If you’re looking for a light camping generator, put out enough power for most people’s needs and is very quiet, and additionally costs around $400 then WEN 56203i is the best option available on the market.

The WEN 56203I generator is a portable and lightweight inverter generator that comes with a range of features. With an output of 2000 watts and a running wattage of 1700 watts, this generator can power small appliances and electronics such as laptops, TVs, and smartphones. It also has two three-pronged AC outlets and two USB ports.

One of the finest features of the WEN 56203I is its quiet operation which is rated 23 feet at 50 Db. This makes it ideal for use in residential areas or outdoor settings where noise levels are a concern. The eco-mode feature also ensures that fuel consumption is minimized while maximizing runtime, and the run time is about 7 to 8 hours and all of it depends on the throttle.

Another advantage of this generator is its compact size and its weight which is 39 pounds which makes it easy to transport from one location to another. The built-in handle allows for easy lifting while the compact design means it can be stored away easily when not in use.

However, some users have reported issues with the oil fill cap being difficult to remove which can make maintenance challenging. Additionally, some customers have found that the unit stops working after several uses making durability a potential issue over time.

The WEN 56203I presents itself as an affordable option for those looking for a reliable backup source of power during short-term outages or camping trips without compromising on quality or performance.


Product Dimensions 17.3 inches x 11.5 inches x 17.7 inches
Fuel Type Gasoline
Item Weight 39 Pounds
Voltage 120 Volts
Engine type 4 Stroke
Tank Volume 1 Gallon
  • Offers a wide selection of outlets.
  • It operates quietly.
  • has a runtime of up to 7 hours.
  • It’s parallel-capable, allowing you to link two units together.
  • Oil fill and drain points are difficult to access.
  • Not be suitable for powering high-demand devices.




The DUROSTAR DS4000S generator is among the most reliable small generators on the market. The DuroMax DS4000S generator is a popular choice for those seeking a portable generator that is easy to move and operate. It provides up to 1,200 running watts of power, and at 50% its fuel tank can run for up to 9.75 hours. This makes it a reliable and efficient option for a variety of needs, from emergencies to outdoor activities.

It features a powerful 7-horsepower air-cooled engine that can produce up to 4,000 watts of peak power and 3,300 rated watts. This particular model comes with a Durostar 208 CC ohv engine which provides a planet of power and it can give high voltage for your appliances or whatever tools you need to run. One of its notable features is its large fuel tank capacity of 1 gallon, which allows for longer run times without needing frequent refuels.

Its outdoor versatility is one of its notable features which makes it an ideal choice for outdoor activities such as camping, facing power outages, or tailgating. To make this generator meet noise standards sound mufflers are installed in it which operates at 61 Db. Furthermore, this generator has a sleek and compact design which makes its portability easy, especially for outdoor activities.

Considering its affordable price point and reliability in powering essential appliances during outages or remote locations makes it a cost-effective option for those looking for a quality small generator under $500.


Product Dimensions 23 inches x 17 inches x 18 inches
Fuel Type Gasoline
Item Weight 94 pounds
Voltage 120 Volts
Engine type 4 Stroke
Tank Volume 1 Gallon
  • Available in highly affordable and budget-friendly option.
  • Operates relatively quietly.
  • Ease of operation.
  • Changing of oil after every 20 hours of use.
  • Messy oil drainage and doesn’t have a wattage meter.




Next on our list is the CHAMPION POWER EQUIPMENT 76533 which is a portable generator that packs a powerful punch. With 1000 running watts, rated as 1250 watts, it can easily power your essential small appliances and provide the perfect amount of energy for cellphones, TVs, and charging laptops during outages or can be also used for outdoor activities.

One of the standout features of this Champion generator is its wireless remote start capability that allows you to turn on or off the unit from up to 80 feet away. This feature is especially useful when using the generator outside in harsh weather conditions.

In terms of fuel efficiency, this Champion generator has an impressive run time of up to 9 hours on a full tank of gasoline at 50% load capacity. Its RV-ready outlet also makes it easy to use with your recreational vehicle. It offers good value for money with its convenient wireless remote start feature and solid performance capabilities.

In addition to its impressive performance capabilities, the 76533 champion model also offers convenient features such as a fuel gauge and low oil shut-off sensor. This allows you to monitor the fuel level and avoid damaging the engine by running it on low oil.

Its mobility is another notable feature of this generator – thanks to its never-flat tires and foldable handlebars – which make transportation a breeze. Plus, with up to 9 hours of run time at half load on a full tank of gas, you won’t have to worry about refueling frequently. It is perfect for those looking for cost-effective generators without sacrificing functionality!

If you need an affordable backup power source that can handle basic electrical needs then this could be the right choice for you.


Product Dimensions 26.3 x 22.9 x 24.8 inches
Fuel Type Propane [LPG], Gasoline
Item Weight 119 Pounds
Voltage 120 Volts
Engine type 4 Stroke
Tank Volume 3.4 Gallons
  • Available on a convenient package at an affordable price point.
  • Has an automatic voltage regulator
  • Not designed for heavy-duty usage.
  • It’s quite heavy and difficult to move around without assistance.




The Westinghouse WGen 3600v Generator is a robust and dependable power solution that stands out from the competition. With its impressive peak wattage of 4,650 and running wattage of 3,600, this generator packs a punch when it comes to delivering reliable power.

A standout feature of this generator is its exceptional 18-hour runtime, allowing you to keep your essential appliances running for extended periods without interruption. Equipped with a Westinghouse OHV 4-stroke engine, this generator ensures optimal performance and longevity.

Its built-in circuit protection technology and automatic low oil shutdown add an extra layer of safety and peace of mind, protecting the generator from potential damage. It also offers a range of outlets, including a 120V Duplex 20A, a 120V 30A, and an RV-ready TT-30R receptacle. This means you can power a variety of devices and appliances.

While the generator excels in performance, it’s important to note that it is recommended for internal use and should not be exposed to harsh weather conditions or kept outside. Additionally, there have been reports of concerns regarding the shipping quality, which is something to know.

Backed by a 3-year limited warranty for residential use and a 1-year limited warranty for commercial use, the WGen 3600v offers peace of mind and demonstrates the manufacturer’s confidence in its quality.

In conclusion, the Westinghouse WGen 3600v impresses with its powerful performance, long runtime, and versatile outlets. Whether you need a reliable backup power source for your home or your outdoor adventures, this generator is a solid choice.


Noise level 68 dBA
Peak Amps / Running Amps 38 A / 30 A
Peak Watts / Running Watts 4650 W / 3600 W
Outlets 1 120V Duplex 5-20R / 1 120V L5-30R / 1 120V TT-30R
Weight 99.5 lbs.
Tank Volume 4 gal. (15 L)
  • Long 18 hour runtime.
  • 1-3 year limited warranty.
  • Automatic low oil shutdown to protect the generator.
  • Reports of poor shipping quality
  • Not suitable for outdoor use or exposure to weather elements.




The DUROMAX XP4000S Generator is a reliable and powerful portable generator designed to provide you with electricity wherever you need it. With its 4,000 peak watts and 3,200 rated watts, it can handle a variety of power needs, from household appliances to high-amperage tools on a job site. Its 208 cc single-cylinder, 4-stroke OHV engine delivers steady performance.

One notable feature of this generator is its impressive run time of up to 12 hours, thanks to its 3.96-gallon fuel tank. This allows you to enjoy uninterrupted power for an extended period. The control panel is equipped with a voltmeter, fuel gauge, and an oil level indicator, enabling easy monitoring and maintenance.

The generator provides multiple outlets, including a 120V 30A Twist Lock and a 120V 3-Prong receptacle. While it’s not RV-ready out of the box, you can utilize the L5-30R outlet as a basic RV connection with the help of an adapter, adding versatility to its applications.

Weighing just 92 pounds and featuring an open-frame design, the XP4000S is remarkably portable. Its compact size and frame stability make it easy to move around, even in rough terrain. However, it does lack an electric start, requiring manual recoil to start the engine.

Overall, the DUROMAX XP4000S Generator offers great value for its power output and runtime. It is an ideal choice for various purposes, whether you need backup power during blackouts, want to run appliances at a campsite, or require reliable electricity for your job site.


Runtime 26 hrs at 25% load / 12 hrs at 50% load
Engine Type 4 Stroke
Engine 208 cc
Noise 69 dB
Weight 92 pounds
Tank Volume 3.96 gallons
  • Impressive runtime of 12 hours on 50% load.
  • Powerful 4000 peak watts and 3300 running watts
  • Approved for all 50 states by EPA and CARB
  • Requires manual recoil start.
  • Can be a bit loud in quiet environments




The DUROMAX XP5500S Generator is a reliable and versatile power solution that offers a range of features to meet your electrical needs. With its 5,500 starting watts and 4,500 running watts, this generator is capable of handling heavy loads, making it suitable for various applications. One notable feature is the Dual Fuel Technology, which allows you to choose between gasoline or propane as a fuel source.

Equipped with a powerful 224cc OHV engine, the XP5500S can handle multiple jobs, from powering high-voltage appliances to heavy-duty power tools. The MX2 Power Boost feature is particularly impressive, as it doubles the 120V power output, making it ideal for powering appliances and RVs simultaneously.

The generator’s power panel is fully featured, offering a wide selection of outlets, including two 120V household GFCI outlets and one 120/240V 30A twist lock outlet. It also includes a voltmeter and 12V DC charging posts for convenient battery charging.

Operating the XP5500S is a breeze, thanks to its user-friendly electric start, similar to starting a car. In case of battery drain, a recoil start is also available as a backup option. The generator’s solid-fill tires and high-leverage handles ensure easy mobility over any terrain. Furthermore, DuroMax offers a 3-year residential factory warranty and a 1-year commercial factory warranty, providing peace of mind and assurance of quality. The generator is designed for immediate use out of the box, requiring only minimal setup.


Runtime 9 hours at 50% load and 19 hours at 25% load
Engine Type 4 Stroke
Engine 224 cc
Fuel type Gas and Propane
Starting Type Rocker Switch
Engine Speed 3600 RPM
  • Two power options provide extra flexibility
  • Easy electric startup and also the option of recoil start backup
  • MX2 Power Boost doubles the 120V power for appliances and RVs
  • 3 years residential and 1-year commercial warranty
  • Some customers reported issues reaching customer support
  • Replacement parts availability may vary with region



How Are Inverters and Conventional Generators Different?

When it comes to generators, you have two main types to choose from: inverter and conventional. What sets these two apart is their technology, which ultimately affects their performance.

Conventional generators are generally less expensive than inverter generators and use a simple mechanical alternator to produce the electricity needed to power your devices. However, they also tend to be louder and generate more emissions due to their design.

Inverter generators, on the other hand, use advanced electronics that allow for quieter operation and fewer emissions. They’re also typically more energy-efficient than conventional models because they can adjust how much power they’re producing based on demand.

Both inverter and conventional generators have their pros and cons depending on what you need them for – but if quiet operation, energy efficiency, or clean power is important to you then an inverter generator might be the way to go!

What is the Amount of Power You Require?

When choosing a generator that costs under $500, it is important to consider how much power you need. The amount of power required depends on what you plan on using the generator for.

If you only need a generator for small electronics and appliances like laptops or lights, then a smaller inverter generator with around 1000-2000 watts should suffice. However, if you plan on powering larger items such as refrigerators or air conditioning units, then a more powerful conventional generator would be necessary.

To determine your power needs accurately, make a list of all the appliances and devices you want to run simultaneously during an outage and look at their wattage requirements. Add these numbers together and choose a generator with enough starting and running watts to accommodate all your needs.

By doing this assessment beforehand, you’ll ensure that your chosen generator will meet all of your electricity demands without overloading or damaging it in any way.

Maintenance of Your Generator is Extremely Important!

Proper maintenance of your generator is crucial to keep it running efficiently and effectively. Neglecting regular maintenance can lead to potential breakdowns, costly repairs, and even safety hazards.

One important aspect of maintaining your generator is regularly checking the oil level and changing the oil as recommended by the manufacturer. Dirty or low oil levels can cause damage to engine components over time.

Taking care of your generator through routine maintenance not only prolongs its lifespan but also gives you peace of mind knowing that it’s in good working condition when emergencies arise.

Best Generators under $500 – FAQs

How often does a generac generator need to be serviced?
It depends on the type of generator you have and how frequently it’s used. Generally speaking, it’s recommended that a Generac standby generator should be serviced every 200 hours of use or once a year – whichever comes first.
What is the cheapest generator?
Gas-powered generators usually come on budget and are affordable as well as cheap. These types of generators may not have all the bells and whistles of more expensive models, but they can still get the job done.
How far does the generac generator need to be from my house?
Around 18 to 19 inches (1.5 meters) you should install a Generac generator as safety should always be your top priority.
What size generator would run a house?
For those looking to power their homes in the event of a power outage, generators that provide between 5,000 and 7,500 watts are generally considered to be suitable for this purpose.
How big of a generator do I need to run a furnace?
A standard furnace typically requires around 1600 watts to start up and around 300 to 600 watts to run. Based on this estimation, a generator with a minimum output of 2,500 to 3,000 watts should be sufficient to power most furnaces.
Will a 30-Amp generator run a house?
if your power needs are limited to essential household items and you do not have central air conditioning or do not intend to power it, a 30-amp generator may be sufficient to power and run your home.


Wrapping It Up!

Throughout the article, we have discussed the best cost-effective generators under $500! Whether you’re preparing for a camping trip or looking for a backup power source during outages, finding an affordable yet reliable generator is essential.

With so many options available, it can be overwhelming trying to find the perfect one. So, we introduced you to several generators along with their specifications, pros, and cons and we’ve also discussed how inverter and conventional generators differ. We hope we’ve been helpful to our readers.

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