Best 30 Amp Generator Reviews

Updated October 11, 2020

From power outages to RV trips, a generator ticks several boxes as to why it should be your next home purchase. They help to remedy problems in sudden blackouts, as well as making your camping trips a lot more comfortable thanks to electricity.

Buying a generator seems like a fairly simple task at the start, right? But as soon as you start to look, it may seem like you are tumbling down a rabbit hole. To get you out of that dark dilemma, we have compiled 5 top 30 amp generators and reviewed them in detail to remove all the hard work for you.

After the reviews, you will find a straightforward and, hopefully, helpful 30 amp generator buying guide to take care of the rest!

Best 30 Amp Generators

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1 Westinghouse - iGen4500DF Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator Westinghouse iGen4500DF Generator
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2 Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start Champion 3400-Watt Generator
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3
Best For Low Budgets
3WEN 56380i Inverter Generator
WEN - 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
Best For Low Budgets
WEN 56380i Inverter Generator
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4 DuroMax - XP4850EH 4850 Watt Dual Fuel Hybrid generator DuroMax XP4850EH Generator
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5 Briggs & Stratton - P3000 Power Smart Series Inverter Generator
Best Overall
Briggs & Stratton P3000 Inverter Generator
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6
Best For Higher Budgets
6Yamaha EF3000iS Gas Inverter Generator
Yamaha - EF3000iS Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator
Best For Higher Budgets
Yamaha EF3000iS Gas Inverter Generator
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1. Westinghouse iGen4500DF Generator

Highlights
  • Dual-fuel type operation
  • Remote start capable
  • Digital display for fuel and output levels
  • Ultra-quiet operation

This is a great dual-fuel portable generator, as it allows you to use both gasoline fuel as well as propane fuel to run it. A 3.4-gallon fuel tank can be filled with gasoline, which will allow the generator to run at a maximum of 4500 watts and running wattage of 3700 watts.

For more extended use, you can seamlessly change to propane gas on the fly via the receptacle, which will allow the unit to run at a reduced maximum of 4050 watts and 3330 watts constant power. This is great if you’ll be running the generator for a long time, as it will be a much more economical way to fuel your generator with minimal difference in power output.

Perhaps what makes the Westinghouse iGen 4500 stand out from the rest on this list is its remote start functionality. It comes with a key fob that allows for push button start thanks to the electric starter, and it also maintains a low minimum of 52dBA of noise.

Specifications

Size:
24.5in x 17.5in x 20in
Voltage:
120V
Wattage:
Gasoline: 4500 watts (peak), 3700 watts (rated) Propane: 4050 watts (peak), 3330 watts (rated)
Noise Level:
52dbA
Output:
37A peak/30A running (gasoline) 34A peak/28A running (propane)
Power Source:
Gasoline, Propane

Pros

  • On-the-fly dual-fuel compatibility
  • Compact, modern design
  • Built-in 5V DC USB ports
  • Remote electric start system

Cons

  • Power output might be limited

2. Champion 3400-Watt Generator

Highlights
  • Can run on gas or propane.
  • Convenient electric start. 
  • Can be linked to another unit to increase the wattage output.
  • Runs up to 14.5 hours on propane (7.5 hours on gasoline).

This is a dual fuel generator that can run on either gasoline or propane, right out of the box. You need to be aware that the performance will vary depending on which fuel you choose.

Opting for gasoline, it will produce 3400 starting watts and 3100 running watts, with a runtime of 7.5 hours at quarter load. Choosing propane gives you a longer runtime – 14.5 hours at 25% load – but a reduced starting wattage of 3060 watts and 2790 running watts. 

You have the option to connect with another inverter generator for increased power. There’s a useful Economy mode to reduce the electrical load and provide quieter operation, and an easy push-button electric start. Whichever setup you decide on, the generator operates at a quiet 59dB making it ideal for camping, or to use around the home or worksite. The wheels and foldaway handle make it easy to move the unit around.

Specifications

Size:
25.1 x 17.3 x 18.3 inches
Voltage:
120V
Wattage:
3400 peak watts (gasoline) / 3060 peak watts (propane)
Noise Level:
59.0 dBa
Output:
Gasoline: 3400 peak watts / 3100 running watts Propane: 3060 peak watts / 2790 running watts
Power Source:
Dual fuel to run on either gasoline or propane

Pros

  • Produces clean power for sensitive electronics.
  • Features an Economy mode for quieter operation and fuel savings.
  • Has a wheel kit for easy portability.
  • Operates at 59dB.

Cons

  • No hour meter to keep track of run time for maintenance.
  • No remote start.

3. WEN 56380i Inverter Generator

Highlights
  • Produces clean power.
  • Automatic fuel shutoff.
  • Easy-to-read digital display.
  • Built-in wheels and handle.
Best For Low Budgets
WEN - 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

The WEN 56380i generator is a small yet mighty model with a very attractive price point.

Its powerful 212cc 4-stroke OHV engine produces clean power. This is defined by its less than 1.2% total harmonic distortion. The result of this is safe electricity that is suitable for smaller and more sensitive electronics such as mobiles, laptops, and tablets. The 2.2-gallon fuel tank also has a generous run time of 8.5 hours at 50% load.

In addition to this, the WEN model comes with a specially designed “Eco Mode” to increase engine fuel efficiency. When this feature is switched on, the generator will automatically adjust its fuel consumption depending on how many items are plugged into the outlets at that moment. The purpose of this is to prevent the use of gasoline that is not actually required.

Fuel shutoff maximizes the generator’s lifespan by using up the remaining fuel in the carburetor before shutting down. This feature turns off the flow of fuel, allowing the generator to use up the remaining fuel from the carburetor before automatically shutting down. This helps fight the build-up and blockages caused by stagnant fuel inside of the carburetor, minimizing maintenance while prolonging the unit’s lifespan

This generator makes it easy to keep track of its statistics with the digital display on the side of the device. It monitors its voltage, wattage, frequency, run time, and fuel supply. This way you’ll know in advance when to top up the fuel so you’re not surprised with an empty gas tank when you need your generator the most.

The 110-pound generator is easy to transport thanks to the wheeled design with collapsible handles. It’s also classed as “RV ready” with its TT-30R receptacle making it a perfect addition to outdoor trips.

Lastly, this model includes a variety of outlets. It has 2 120V DC outlets and one AC 120V outlet. Plus one 12V receptacle and 2 5V USB ports.

Specifications

Size:
23.2" L x 18" W x 20.1" H
Voltage:
120 V
Wattage:
3800 W
Noise Level:
57 dBA
Output:
3400 W
Power Source:
Gasoline

Pros

  • 8.5-hour half-load run time.
  • Includes an eco mode.
  • Easy electric start.
  • Multiple ports.

Cons

  • Weighs over 100 pounds.
  • Slightly lower runtime than others.

4. DuroMax XP4850EH Generator

Highlights
  • Wheel kit with folding handles for easier mobility.
  • Extra quiet muffler to reduce noise pollution.
  • Its small size makes it very mobile.
  • This hybrid generator can either run on liquid propane or gasoline.

Duromax is one of the leading manufacturers of generators, and they have pulled out all the stops with their camping generator, the DuroMax XP4850EH.

Users can fuel this generator with either gasoline or propane, making it ideal for those tricky situations where you can’t get your hands on one type of fuel or the other.

Enjoying both the luxuries of easy to use wheels and a smaller frame, the mobility of this DuroMax generator is another great feature and makes it the perfect portable source of energy when you’re out camping.

The generator also comes equipped with two starting methods, combining both an electric start and a manual, easy to pull, lead.

Another perk of this camping generator is that it is EPA certified. Essentially this means that it is safe to use by reducing air pollution and protecting the general public health. This, again, is another reason for choosing this as a generator for camping.

Added onto the exhaust of the DuroMax XP4850EH are an extremely large muffler and a spark arrestor. Both of these features help reduce noise pollution while using it outside.

An automatic voltage regulator also keeps the generator from causing damage to any other appliances when there is a spike in the voltage.

Specifications

Size:
24 x 17 x 17 inches
Voltage:
120V / 240VAC & 12VDC
Wattage:
3850 W
Noise Level:
69 dB
Output:
3850 Watts
Power Source:
4-Cycle Air-Cooled Spark Ignition Engine

Pros

  • Electric and recoil start system.
  • The heavy-duty frame protects the generator from bashes and scrapes.
  • Full power panel with an advanced warning light, key start switch, volt meter & circuit breaker.
  • Four point rubber mounts reduce vibration and noise.

Cons

  • Not suitable for all 12 volt appliances.

5. Briggs & Stratton P3000 Inverter Generator

Highlights
  • Long run time at half load.
  • Quiet Power Technology.
  • LCD statistics display.
  • Has the ability to connect with another generator.
Best Overall
Briggs & Stratton - P3000 Power Smart Series Inverter Generator

The Briggs & Stratton P3000 generator is a mighty powerful engine packed into a compact hand luggage-sized unit. It’s extremely well designed and thankfully easy to transport!.

It’s fairly lightweight at just 84lbs with never-flat wheels and a built-in handle. These features combine to make it easy to move with you, both indoors and outdoors. As it’s not too built, it is easy to store away or even load into your RV for trips.

The powerful 171cc engine has a generous runtime of 10 hours at half load when the engine is full. With most powerful engines, you would expect an unbearable amount of noise from the generator. However, that’s not the case with this model. The entire unit is cased in a plastic housing and crafted with Quiet Power Technology. The result of this is a generator that has a noise level of just 58 decibels – just under the noise level of a normal conversation!

In terms of using the device, it’s fairly easy to understand. It features a handy control panel with an LCD display screen. The screen informs you of important statistics such as low oil, overload, and the status of the machine such as battery level. These each hold LED lights that will light up when something changes.

On the same side of the generator, there are different reset buttons that allow you to take control of power outlets in case of an overload.

Another handy feature of this model is a printed maintenance schedule on the device itself This is a great easy way to keep track of maintenance checks that your generator requires.

Lastly, this generator is particularly generous with power outlets. It features 4 household outlets, 1 12V DC outlet, 1 USB outlet, and 1 120-volt 30 amp locking outlet. The latter also has an RV adaptor! This generator is defined as an inverter, meaning it’s safe to use for sensitive devices such as mobile phones and laptops!

Specifications

Size:
26 x 14 x 21 inches
Voltage:
120 V
Wattage:
3000 W
Noise Level:
58 dBA
Output:
2600 W
Power Source:
Gasoline

Pros

  • Never-flat wheels and handle.
  • Easy-to-use single power control knob,
  • Multiple different outlets.
  • High wattage for the size.

Cons

  • Lower wattage than some other models.
  • Smaller gas tank than others (1.5 gallons).

6. Yamaha EF3000iS Gas Inverter Generator

Highlights
  • Very long operation time.
  • Includes Oil Watch Warning System.
  • Sound absorbing materials.
  • Independent gasoline petcock for engine health.
Best For Higher Budgets
Yamaha - EF3000iS Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator

One of the top features that set this Yamaha generator apart from the others is its extremely low sound levels, making it the quietest out of the bunch. The entire design is crafted from sound-absorbing materials, especially surrounding the engine. The result of this is a generator that comes in at 53 decibels, which is around the noise level of a quiet street.

As well as this, this powerful 171cc engine has a 19-hour battery life, after one charge and with one fuel tank load, which is significantly higher than other models. This can be achieved with the “Smart Throttle” function switched on. This feature combined with the “Economy mode” work together to automatically adjust the engine speed in relation to the load. It is a smart way to preserve both fuel and battery.

The generator includes a few safety features. Firstly it has an “Oil Watch Warning System” which will automatically switch the generator off until the oil is refilled. This is safe for both the engine and the person using it.

Furthermore, the Yamaha generator has an Independent gasoline petcock. This technology is based around a shutoff valve that controls the flow of fuel – much like a tap. It helps to reduce how often you’ll need to clean the carburetor as it prevents the build-up of stale gas.

Although this model is a little heavier than other generators we have covered, weighing 136 pounds, it’s well designed to make it as easy as possible to transport despite its weight.

It comes with 4 wheels on the base rather than just 2 so it glides easily over the ground. Plus, it has one built-in handle on either end of the unit making it easy to push around.

The high price point is fairly well justified considering all of the smart features of this powerful Yamaha generator.

Specifications

Size:
27 x 18 x 22 inches
Voltage:
220 V
Wattage:
3000 W
Noise Level:
53 to 60 dBA
Output:
2800 W
Power Source:
Gasoline

Pros

  • Fuel efficient technology.
  • The 4-wheel design is easy to transport.
  • The inverter system is safe for small devices too.
  • Large 3.4-gallon tank.

Cons

  • Higher price point than others.
  • Heavier than other models.

30 Amp Generator Buying Guide

Inverter Or Standard

There fundamental similarity between an standard and inverter generators is the current that each one produced, whether it is AC power or multi-phase AC power. 

So what does that mean?

Inverter generators produce cleaner electricity, as the power is converted to high-frequency DC power before being inverted into a stable AC power. The result is lower levels of harmonic distortion and safer power for more sensitive electronics such as mobiles or laptops.

Standard generators do not go through the inversion process and instead only generate AC power.

Fuel Type

There are 3 main fuel types used by generators.

Diesel

Diesel is generally a more efficient fuel choice than gasoline for generators and diesel engines tend to last longer than other fuel type engines. The downside is that diesel is more expensive than propane and gasoline due to production processes.

Propane

Propane is one of the cheapest fuel options for generators and generally provide longer-lasting engines than diesel generators. It also tends to develop fewer blockages from fuel buildup. See our propane generator reviews for the best selection of generators with this fuel type and more information on its features. 

Dual Fuel

Dual fuel generators combine 2 different gasses to provide the engine with power. These are usually diesel and natural gas. They can provide a cheaper alternative to a pure diesel generator as natural gas is more readily available at a lower cost. Duel fuel is also more environmentally friendly. 

Portability

As generators are normally quite heavy, you’ll want to look for some features that make it easy to transport. These include wheels, handles, and lightweight materials. 

If you’ve found the perfect generator but it looks heavy, they are usually fine to transport as long as they have 2 or 4 wheels minimum and easy to hold or push handles! Portable generators are used more commonly than any standby generator, so you’ll have an easier time and a better selection of products and its accessories. 

Noise Level

Manufacturers have adapted their generator designs over the years to tackle the issue of loud noise levels. But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean generators have become less powerful as there are a lot 30 amp quiet generators on the market that are more than powerful!

To lower the sound levels, generators will often have engine casing, sound-absorbing materials, and even special low noise settings.

Accessories

Wattage, voltage, and fuel types are important but you may be looking for a few extra accessories in your generator too!

30 Amp Generator Cord

Generator chords are the perfect way to increase the movement you have around your generator by providing some extension between the generator outlets and your devices. 

30 Amp Generator Transfer Switch

A transfer switch is usually used for a generator attached to the electricity mains in order to automatically or manually switch it on in the event of a power outage. It works by transferring the load from the utility electricity source to the generator.

30 Amp Generator Adapter

Adaptors allow you to match the power cable with your generator outlets – particularly for extension cords. This is crucial in order to prevent damage to the outlets and the generator itself.

A huge variety of adaptors can be purchased to fit most devices so don’t worry if the generator you want to purchase doesn’t have the specific outlets you need. Think of them much like the adaptors you bring on holiday such as a UK adapter for European outlets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How to Make a 30 Amp Generator Extension Cord?
A:
  1. Purchase a “female” and “male” twist-lock and a 4 wire SJO cord at the length you’d like the extension cord to be.
  2. Remove some rubber coating from the corn, and attach the correct colors of the SJO cord to the corresponding sections on the male end. Repeat for the female end on the other end of the cord. 
  3. You now have a functioning generator extension SJO cord with a male and female attachment on either end.

Our Verdict

There we have it, your all-inclusive 30 amp generator buying guide alongside our reviews of 5 awesome generators.

Generators are commonly mistaken to be just for building sites or large industrial areas. But combine quiet technology, long runtimes and useful outlets to remedy blackouts and they quickly become an essential in any home.

Although there are a huge number of different factors between generators, you should hopefully be feeling confident in determining which one will work for your needs. Whether that’s a wallet-friendly generator that still packs a punch or a top of the range 30 amp generator with a highly powerful engine.