Top 5 Best Cheap Generators: Price Rating Below $500


The generator is vital equipment during power emergencies such as outages caused by hurricanes, floods, and other natural calamities. 

All you'll have to do is gas up the generator and pull the starter cord during an emergency. The generators will offer you emergency power and a very reasonable cost. 

The significant part is that the generator can power any electrical device in your home and business when the utility line fails. It saves your time, money, and hassle. 

There are different generator types and models in the market, and each comes with a specific price. 

The prices range from cheap to expensive depending on the features, quality, etc. In this article is a list of the five best cheap generators in the market. 

Top Five Best Cheap Generators 

  1. Briggs and Stratton 30680 Portable Generator 

Briggs and Stratton 30680 Portable Generator

Briggs and Stratton is a household name in the generator industry. You can surely go wrong with any of their product. The brand is known for its high quality and powerful engines. 

The Briggs and Stratton Company is quite popular in the portable generator industry and the small engine industry. The Briggs and Stratton 30680 portable generator is one of their unique products with great features and quality. 


  • Voltage: 120 Volts 
  • Item Weight: 116.8 Pounds
  • Wattage: 3500 Watts
  • Outlets: 2 (120 volts)


The generator has a sporty look and packs a 208cc engine. The engine offers up to 4375 starting watts and 3500 running watts. 

The power is enough to power the small and essential appliances in your home, such as lights, during emergencies. It also makes the generator a great addition to your business, campsite, and worksite. 

The cheap generator weighs 116.8 lbs., which is quite heavy. However, it’s easily portable because of its collapsible handle and built-in wheels. Therefore anyone can quickly move it around to any place they want. 

Its fuel tank can take up to five gallons and run for 14 hours at 50% load. Meaning it can sufficiently power your appliances throughout the day or night. It has two 120 volts outlets to connect several electrical appliances. The noise rating is somewhere between 55-65 DB. 


  • Portable 
  • Long run time
  • Good power rating
  • Covered outlets 


  • Lacks noise level ratings

Bestseller (lists)

Briggs & Stratton 30680 Portable Generator with RV Outlet, 4375 Starting Watts 3500 Running Watts, CARB Compliant Patio, Lawn & Garden

2.  Westinghouse WGen3600v

Westinghouse WGen3600v

The Westinghouse is another great generator company. It has a line of generators known for their features and price.


  • Voltage: 120 volts 
  • Item weight: 99 pounds
  • Runtime: 13 hours
  • Wattage: 3600 watts
  • Engine type: 4 strokes


The WGen3600v generator is among the cheap generators that offer much power. The generator has a running wattage of 3600 watts and a peak wattage of 4650 watts at its meager power. 

Therefore, you can power multiple home devices such as microwaves, TV, and refrigerator at once. It also has several outlets that allow you to actualize the connections. The generator's noise level is at 62 dB while it's running at half load. The noise is similar to a normal conversation, making it relatively quiet considering its size. 

The generator lacks wheels, and this limits its portability. However, most homeowners find the lack of wheel acceptable because of its low price. However, you can buy a custom wheel kit and add it. The generator comes with a three-year warranty, and thus you won't have to stress in case of damages. 


  • Impressive power 
  • Fuel efficient
  • Easy to start
  • Easy to use 


  • Lacks a wheel kit

Bestseller (lists)

Westinghouse WGen3600v Portable Generator, 4650 Peak Watts & 3600 Rated Watts, RV Ready 30A Outlet, Gas Powered, CARB Compliant Everything Else

3. DuroMax XP5500EH

DuroMax XP5500EH

DuroMax is one of the most popular generator brands in the generator industry. It's because it makes high-quality generators and offers several wattage selections. Therefore you can easily find a DuroMax generator that fits your specific budget and needs.


  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • Item weight: 142 pounds
  • Wattage: 5000 watts
  • Engine displacement: 224cc
  • Output wattage: 5500 watts 


The generator is a hybrid, meaning it has dual fuel functionality. This generator can run on both propane and gasoline. When using propane, the generator gives a starting wattage of 5225 watts and a running wattage of 4275 watts. Duromax offers a run time of about 8.92 hours at 50% load on a 3.96-gallon fuel tank. It will also offer you a runtime of 7.63 hours at 50% load on a 20lb propane tank. It means you can comfortably enjoy an entire night or day of continuous runtime. 

This generator is easily portable since it comes with wheels and foldable handles. Its noise level is 69 dB, which is quite okay and won’t disturb your neighbors. The duromax packs several outlets which you can plug your appliances into. Plus, it features a three-year warranty that ensures the total protection of your investment.


  • Dual Fuel
  • Electric start/ recoil 

Bestseller (lists)

DuroMax XP5500EH Electric Start-Camping & RV Ready, 50 State Approved Dual Fuel Portable Generator-5500 Watt Gas or Propane Powered, Blue/Black Patio, Lawn & Garden

  • Plenty of Power – With 5,500 starting watts and 4,500 running watts, this unit can handle heavy loads, from lights and a refrigerator to a home air conditioner and high amperage power tools
  • Dual Fuel Technology – This generator runs on gasoline or propane, giving you the freedom and flexibility of fuel choice
  • Powerful Engine – The DuroMax 224cc OHV engine is a workhorse that provides plenty of power to handle multiple jobs, from powering high voltage applia... Read More

4. Firman P01202 

Firman P01202

The Firman brand is not as famous as those on the list. However, it still makes some fantastic generators that compete with some of the most popular brands. The generator will offer you the right power amount needed to power your small appliances. 


  • Wattage: 1500 watts
  • Item weight: 54 pounds
  • Engine type: 4 strokes
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • Fuel type: gas


The Firman P01202 is relatively small and cheap. It has an 80cc engine that offers a running wattage of 1200 watts and starting wattage of 1500 watts. The wattage is well enough to power your small home appliances. 

The generator weighs 54 pounds, and this makes it easy to carry. It has a 1.7-gallon fuel tank that gives a run time of up to 10 hours on a 50% load. The run time is surprisingly high for a generator this size and ideal for those who want small generators that can run for an extended time. 

Despite the generator being small and cheap, it has three different covered outlets. You can plug several devices or appliances into the outlets. The packaging also includes a tool kit and oil funnel. Plus, you will undoubtedly get a three years warranty when you purchase this generator. 


  • Great runtime
  • Covered outlets 
  • Three-year warranty

Bestseller (lists)

Firman P01202 1500/1200 Watt Recoil Start Gas Portable Generator cETL and CARB Certified With 12V - 8.3A Charging Outlets Patio, Lawn & Garden

5. Champion Power Equipment 100307

Champion 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Propane Generator


  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • Engine type: 4 strokes 
  • Item weight 104.9 pounds 
  • Wattage: 3500 watts
  • Power outlets: 1
  • Engine displacement: 224cc


The champion power equipment 100307 is a cheap and portable generator. The generator will give you a starting wattage of 4375 watts and a running wattage of 3500 watts. 

With this power, it can run your several home electronics and appliances. However, its cheap cost means it does not have some crucial features that offer convenience. 

Some essential missing features are the electric startup, wheel kit, etc. However, the recoil start is simple and easy to use, and you can buy the wheel kit separately. 

The generator also offers versatility when it comes to choosing fuel. It packs some excellent features such as the meter that monitors power consumption, voltage regulator, etc. 

The noise level rating is 68 dB which most generators of its size have. However, some users say the noise is too much for a generator's size. The generator also includes a three-year contract, and thus you won't have to worry about repairs. 


  • Easy to start and operate
  • Built-in meter
  • Affordable 


  • Lacks wheel kit

Bestseller (lists)

Champion Power Equipment 100307 4375/3500-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator Everything Else

How Much Can one Save by Purchasing a Cheap Generator? 

The best five cheap generators list cost several hundred dollars less than the expensive models or types. Averagely you can save between three to five hundred dollars. 

The price doesn't mean that the generators have inferior quality. However, if you purchase a cheap generator that breaks after several months and uses a lot of fuel, you won't be saving. All the generators on the list have great features, plus they are fuel-efficient. 

The Advantages of Buying Cheap Generators 

Generally, the advantage of purchasing a cheap generator is the price. There are different generator models, and they become quite expensive as you scale up. 

The expensive generators tend to come with excellent and innovative features. If you are not a fan of such features, there's no need to spend extra dollars on them. 

If you opt to buy a cheap generator, then you'll surely save money and still get the power you want. The cheap generators come in various models that use either gas or petrol. 

These two fuel types are readily available, meaning you won't stress looking for fuel for your generator. Most cheap generators are small models and thus easily portable. 

Therefore you can use them for different purposes. The design of portable generators makes them quite versatile, and you can use them for various activities such as camping, travel, etc. 

The cheap generators are cost-effective and offer high-quality performance despite lacking useful extra features. If the features aren't that essential, you have nothing to lose.

The Disadvantages of cheap generators 

As mentioned, the best thing about cheap generators is that they allow you to save some dollars. You also need to know that cheap generators also come with specific issues. 

These generator models lack extra features such as automatic start and quiet running, which offer convenience. The generator's design is simple, plus the material quality doesn't offer much strength. 

Therefore it can be pretty challenging to work with them. The generator models are also limited and do not have modern inverters that usually feature in the most expensive models. 

They do not offer several fuel options, plus many are not fuel-efficient. You will end up spending more money in the long run. 

The build quality of these generator models is also not excellent, and thus your generator won't be durable. You will always have to repair your generator or reinvest in a more expensive generator type or model. 

Is Buying a Cheap Generator a Good Idea?

The generator is one crucial tool that you shouldn't miss. It will offer you power during outages. 

There are times when things can be budgeted tight, forcing you to go for cheaper generators. Before purchasing a cheap generator, there are specific questions you need to ask yourself. 

  • The number of times you are planning to use the generator in a year
  • The purpose of the generator, i.e., for camping, recreational use, or tailgating parties
  • Is the generator for a single occasion such as a snowstorm etc.? 

If you have answers to the questions, you won't make a purchasing mistake regarding inexpensive generators. The listed generator models in this article work fine and have several great reviews. 

Buying any of them will save you a lot of money. In addition to the models being from popular generator companies, they are also solid.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What is the cost of a cheap generator?

There are several generator types and models in the market. It’s possible to find a generator that costs below $ 500. The price can go to as low as $100. 

The generators in this price range are usually smaller units and provide enough power for your tiny house appliances. 

If you want to power the bigger appliances like the refrigerator, you'll need a generator of at least 2000 watts. A decent quality and cheap generator that offers about 2000 watts costs between $300 and $800. 

  • How much does a whole house generator cost?

The price of a mid-size whole house generator should be at least $3000. The price does not include additional costs like installation cost etc. 

It’s also possible to use the large portable generators, but you have to hook them up through the transfer switch. 

  • What Is The Price of a Small Generator? 

A small generator with a power rating of fewer than 1000 watts can cost anything less than $200. There are several small and cheap portable generators in the market. They are ideal for camping etc.

  • Can one run a portable generator indoors? 

Most portable generators run on propane and gasoline. Still running the generator indoors is unacceptable because gasoline and propane generators produce toxic carbon monoxide emissions. 

It would be best if you used the generator in a place that is well ventilated or in the open air.

  • What kind of maintenance does a portable generator need?

The portable generators have small engines that need similar maintenance to lawnmowers. 

The most important maintenance practices include changing oil, spark plug, and air filter. 

You should also add a fuel stabilizer if you intend to store it for more extended periods. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. 


This article lists the five best cheapest generators. The article points out the specifications and features of each generator; this makes it easier for you to choose the right generator. 

The generators in the list are great and have exclusive features to satisfy your needs. 


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