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When looking for a portable generator, you’ll find that the 2000W inverter is one of the more common sizes. Here I’ll take a look at 5 of the more popular portable inverter generators in that range. There are more brands available, but these are some of the best, based on consumer use and reviews.
I’ll examine the similarities and differences among these generators. It’s worth noting up front that all five of these are inverter style machines. I think this is a testament to their features in general which makes them so popular. As noted in my comparison of inverters to other portables, they are usually smaller, lighter, and quieter – all good points.
These are the five generators (in alphabetical order by manufacturer) that I’ll give you details about. If you’re in a hurry and just want to check the pricing and availability at Amazon, click a link in the list below.
Just by looking at their model numbers, you can see that, if you’re looking for an inverter, you can often spot one by looking for the letter i in the model.
If you see a generator or topic you want to skip to, just click the item in the table below. Otherwise, read on to get all the information.
Champion Power Equipment 73540i Inverter Generator
The Champion 7340i stands out from the others in this group by producing 100 more watts of running power at 1700W. I’m not saying that this automatically makes it the best of the bunch. Other factors and features may make one of the others better for your situation. However, it is worth noting that 1600 running watts is the standard amongst the others.
The Champion generator uses an 80cc single cylinder, 4-stroke engine. The fuel tank holds 1 gallon of gas which will last about 9 1/2 hours at 1/4 load. It has an economy mode that should save fuel. The Champion features a low oil shut off sensor to prevent the engine from seizing up if you forget to check the oil level. There is also overload protection to prevent damage to any and all components in the system.
Common features amongst all of these generators, besides the 2000 starting watts, are a recoil starter mechanism, two 120V 3-prong outlets, and a 12V DC receptacle.
The 73540i measures 19.3 x 13.2 x 16.3 inches, which makes it the largest in the group at 4153 cubic inches. It weighs 48.5 pounds which is the heaviest but only by a little over the WEN. It produces about 53 decibels of sound (at a distance of 23 feet) which is in the middle of the pack but at the lower end.
In addition to the generator itself, you get an oil funnel, a spark plug socket, a USB adapter, and DC charging cables in the package.
You can get a second Champion generator, stack them, and run them as one with appropriate hardware for roughly twice the power.
The Honda Eu2000i (as well as the rest of the generators shown below) produces 1600 running watts.
I’ll mention just one more time that this generator and all the others have a recoil starter, two 120V grounded outlets, and can handle one 12V DC cable.
The gas tank holds just under 1 gallon (0.95 gallons). At 1/4 load, that should last just over 8 hours. Note that at 1/2 load you should get almost 3 1/2 hours of power. The Honda (sometimes referred to as the “red one”) is the noisiest of the pack at 59 decibels.
The Eu2000i measures 20.2 x 11.4 x 16.7 putting it in the middle of the group in overall size. However, it only weighs 45.6 pounds which makes it almost the lightest portable generator in this class.
Like the Champion (above), you can run two of these machines in parallel. The Honda also detects low oil and overloads and protects the equipment accordingly. It uses a 98.5cc engine.
Many consider Honda engines and the equipment they run to be top-of-the-line. You’ll probably find that the price you’ll pay for them reflects this status.
Powerhorse Inverter 42411
You may not have heard of the Powerhorse 42411, but it ranks right up there with the more commonly known names according to those who have purchased one.
(Note: Don’t confuse this maker with the similarly spelled Powerhouse. Also, don’t mixup this blue model with the Yamaha, which is sometimes called the “blue one”.)
The Powerhorse has many of the common traits of the other generators mentioned thusfar. When it comes to running in parallel, the maker even gives you the cables for free, which they claim are a $99 value.
The 42411 measures 19.625 x 11.25 x 17.9 and weighs 55 pounds. It holds 1.125 gallons of gas, giving you almost 8 1/2 hours of power at 1/4 load. It does so while producing a relatively quiet 52 decibels of sound.
If you decide to purchase one of these inverters, be sure to get the latest model that has an easy access panel for changing the oil. (Earlier models didn’t have this feature.)
The manufacturer tries to make it obvious, but be aware that there is no oil inside the machine or included in the package. You must buy oil separately and fill the generator before using it.
WEN 56200i Inverter Generator
The WEN 56200i inverter is probably a little more well-known than the Powerhorse.
If WEN or Champion wanted to be recognizable by color, one of them should have chosen something other than yellow. I suppose some might consider the Champion to be the black one.
The WEN features a USB port which is handy for all your computers and other smaller electronic gadgets.
Included in the package are a spark plug wrench and a flathead screwdriver.
The 56200i contains a 1 gallon gas tank and is rated at 4 hours of power at 1/2 load. I would extrapolate this to something over 8 hours at 1/4 load, though I was unable to find an exact figure.
This machine is the quietest in the group at just 51 decibels.
The WEN 56200i measures just 18 x 11 x 18 making it the smallest overall at 3546 cubic inches. It is not the lightest though. In fact, it’s one of the heaviest, coming in at 48 pounds. If you are really hurting for space, this may be the machine for you, since its longest dimension is more than an inch shorter than any other generator reviewed here.
Yamaha EF2000iS Portable Inverter Generator
If there is another “big name” in this group beside the Honda, this Yamaha EF2000iS generator would be it.
This Yamaha generator model is both the lightest (45.1 pounds) and lasts the longest on a full tank of gas (10 1/2 hours at 1/4 load using 1.1 gallons). At the same time, it’s also one of the quietest at 51.5 decibels.
The EF2000iS measures 19.3 x 11 x 17.9 inches.
I’m sure every model has its lemons, but the Yamaha seems to have more than most (5% of Amazon reviews). To be fair, other models reviewed here did have a higher percentage (at the time of this writing), but the Yamaha generators had the most in raw numbers because it had a high volume of reviews overall.
All that said, there are plenty of satisfied users of the Yamaha EF2000iS. Odds are that one you would get for yourself would work just fine.
Head to Head Comparison Chart
Here is a handy chart comparing the main features of the five models of 2000W inverter generators reviewed above.
|Dimensions (in.)||19.3 x 13.2 x 16.3||20.2 x 11.4 x 16.7||19.625 x 11.25 x 17.9||18 x 11 x 18||19.3 x 11 x 17.9|
|Outlets||2 120V 3-prong||2 120V 3-prong||2 120V 3-prong||2 120V 3-prong||2 120V 3-prong|
|Receptacles||1 12V DC||1 12V DC||1 12V DC||1 12V DC||1 12V DC|
|Fuel Tank (gal.)||1||0.95||1.125||1||1.1|
|Run Time (hrs.)||9.5 @ 1/4 load||3.4 @ 1/2 load; 8.1 @ 1/4 load||8.4 @ 1/4 load||4 @ 1/2 load||10.5 @ 1/4 load|