Decoder analyzed more than 17,152 reviews to find which generators under $500 are loved by shoppers, and which ones standout based on the following important qualities:
- Run Time
- Fuel Efficiency
- Noise Level
Read more about what factors to consider when shopping for generators in our buyer's guide.
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This generator is a great choice for those looking for an efficient and versatile option. It can run on either propane or gasoline, and powers multiple appliances simultaneously.
Rank based on 413 reviews
This generator is one of the quietest and most fuel efficient on the market. It's powerful enough to run most household appliances and has a long run time.
Rank based on 374 reviews
This generator is a great choice for those looking for a quiet, fuel efficient option that can provide consistent electricity.
Rank based on 675 reviews
If you're looking for a generator that's fuel efficient and can run most appliances, this is a great option. However, it's not the quietest generator on the market.
Rank based on 542 reviews
This generator is a great choice for those looking for an affordable and portable option. It's fuel efficient and has a long run time, but it is quite noisy.
Rank based on 2,361 reviews
A great generator for those looking for something fuel efficient and powerful. It's able to run multiple appliances at the same time, making it perfect for those who need a lot of power.
Rank based on 398 reviews
A great choice for those looking for a powerful and fuel-efficient generator.
Rank based on 445 reviews
This generator is quiet, fuel efficient, and powerful - perfect for those who need a reliable option for their power needs.
Rank based on 197 reviews
Oct. 4, 20222 3:02 p.m. PT
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Planning to buy a generator?
When it comes to choosing a generator, there are a few things you'll need to take into account. Here are a few of the most important factors to consider:
Your generator will need to run on either gasoline or propane, so you'll need to determine which fuel type is more readily available and affordable for you. Gasoline generators are typically more fuel-efficient than propane models, but they can be more expensive to operate in the long run.
Consider how much noise your generator will need to make. If you're using it for camping or other outdoor activities, a loud generator can be a nuisance. But if you're using it as an emergency backup power source, a louder model might not be as big of a deal.
How much power do you need your generator to output? The size of your project will dictate how much power you'll need. A small project might only require a few hundred watts, while a large project could require several thousand watts. Choose a generator that can comfortably handle your project's power needs.
You'll also want to consider how long you need your generator to run. If you only need it for occasional use, a shorter run time might not be as big of an issue. But if you're using it for extended periods of time, you'll want a generator that can run for several hours without needing to be refueled.