When it comes to generators, it’s easy to get caught up in what sort of wattage you should be looking for. They’re an expensive purchase, so it’s understandable that people take their time over choosing the right one, with the right level of power output to suit their needs.
Not too big, not too small, the 5,000-watt generator is considered the sweet spot of energy supply, as it can handle multiple small to medium-sized applications without the disadvantages that sometimes come with larger generators, such as their cumbersome size, difficult portability, and an increased initial cost.
Within this category of generators, there’s still plenty of features and functions that set them apart, which is why it can sometimes be hard to find the perfect fit for you. That’s where this guide comes in, with 5 reviews of some of the best generators currently available.
We’ve put together a useful buyer’s guide to help you with your decision, and we’ve included some information regarding the most common uses for 5,000-watt generators so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting.
Plus, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions, so if there’s something you haven’t thought about, someone else might have!
If you’re in a hurry, keep reading to see which generator we’ve chosen as our favorite and to find out why it made our top pick.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
This versatile generator from WEN is ready for anything.
Whether you need a great Plan B that’s going to serve all your emergency backup power needs, or something to power your favorite devices so you can keep your home comforts when you’re away in your RV, we highly recommend this generator, hence why it’s our top pick!
An intuitive control panel means you can easily make the most of the generator’s many features, such as the AC breakers, both standard and RV ready outlets, and volt selector toggle.
You can also view the voltage, frequency, total runtime, and session run time on the data meter display for extra safe use, giving you more convenient control over routine maintenance scheduling and general monitoring of the generator’s output.
With 5,000 running watts and up to 6,000 starting watts, the impressive 272cc OHV 4-stroke engine is extremely reliable, and it has your back for all your backup power needs.
The compact size of this generator means it’s highly portable, especially with the combined wheel and handle kit that’s included with the unit.
And yet, it still has a 3.4 gallon fuel tank capacity which is capable of delivering approximately 7.5 hours of runtime on a 50% load.
- Versatile use
- User-friendly control panel with digital display
- Wheel kit included
- Backed by a 2-year warranty
- EPA III and CARB-compliant for cleaner energy
- We couldn’t find any!
If you want peace and quiet as well as power, this Champion generator is perfect thanks to the advanced design of its open frame, which makes 50% less noise.
It also reduces the overall weight of the unit by 20% for a lighter, more portable source of power.
There’s no need to be frugal with how long you have the generator running, as you can deliver power to your appliances for up to a whopping 12.5 hours on gasoline.
It’s capable of producing 5,000 rated watts and up to 6,250 surge watts for a range of uses plus extended run times.
Worried about the impact on the environment this generator has? Well, don’t! It produces cleaner power and is both EPA certified and CARB compliant.
It also features an Economy Mode that keeps track of your power consumption and adjusts the electrical load accordingly, which protects your engine as well as reduces fuel waste.
The handle folds neatly away when not in use so it takes up less space, and with the never-flat tires that support the generator, both storage and transportation are easy.
Just because the power has stopped, doesn’t mean you have to! This Champion generator is great for emergencies or for using on-site to power your tools.
- 69 dBA is great for home-use
- Cold start function for winter months
- Economy mode is cleaner and saves fuel
- Backed by a 3-year limited warranty and lifetime technical support
- It doesn’t have an electric start function
Next up we looked at this unit from Green-Power America, a 5,000-watt generator that runs on gasoline and is capable of delivering power to your most essential appliances or power tools for up to 11 hours at a half load.
Suitable for use in all weather conditions, the Green-Power generator was developed in line with technology that is used for winter engines, so it can withstand colder temperatures without it affecting its performance.
It is slightly on the louder side at 74 dBA which might be worth bearing in mind if you’re purchasing a generator for home use, but it’s still quiet enough to go unnoticed in noisier surroundings such as construction sites or for outdoor use.
The 4-cycle OHV 223cc 7.5 horsepower engine has manual recoil start and other features that protect it from damage, such as the efficient alternator with AVR to ensure a stable power output, and a low-oil indicator that automatically switches off when you’re running low.
- Easy to operate
- EPA certified
- Stable power output protects the engine from surge damage
- Roll it around on the 8-inch never-flat wheels with ease
- Some customers report issues with faulty parts
- Slightly louder than other generators
This powerful and portable generator from A-iPower is the next on our list of recommendations. It has a large 4.0 gallon fuel tank and a durable all-steel construction that adds to the sturdiness of this reliable generator, which runs on gasoline.
It features an A-iPower 223cc 7.4 horsepower OHV engine and an effective alternator that was designed and produced by Senci in order to provide even better peak wattage, especially when powering motor-driven tools or for other motor applications.
Run your appliances or tools for up to 12 hours continuously at a half load, although expect it to need refilling earlier if you’re running it at full capacity.
When it’s operating at half load is also when it’s at its quietest, producing just 58 dBA, and 68 dBA at 75% capacity.
With an TT-30R outlet that makes it RV-ready, this generator is a great choice for anyone who likes to spend weekends away in their mobile home but doesn’t want to sacrifice their home comforts or electrical devices.
A wheel kit is included to make it easier for you to travel with this generator, and it’s just as easy to use thanks to a conveniently located control panel with simple user interface.
The built-in fuel gauge is also useful so you can keep an eye on just how much power you’re using. This helps to prevent overloading your generator, which is air-cooled to avoid overheating as an extra safety precaution.
- Included wheel kit
- Powerful engine
- High-performance alternator
- Air-cooled engine for longer lasting lifespan
- Some customers reported missing parts which had to be replaced by the seller
We took a risk with the last generator we chose to review for this list, and it’s one we think will pay off.
Although there are fewer reviews on this Honda EM5000SXK3 generator than others we’ve included, the ones it does have are glowing in their praise for this product.
Customers and professional electricians alike love this generator’s impressive capacity as it can handle multiple devices to suit your needs.
From fridge to furnace, if your power cuts out you can keep your most important appliances running with this 5,000-watt generator.
During operation the voltage remains stable thanks to the intelligent automatic voltage regulation system, so your generator provides consistent power to your devices to prevent surges which could damage more vulnerable electronics.
You’ll have approximately 11 hours of continuous power at half load, or up to 8 hours at full capacity, which is plenty of time to keep your critical devices in power while you ride out a blackout.
Alternate between 120 and 240 volts, or even both at once!
You can travel as normal by bringing this portable generator along with you to power the devices you can’t live without. The wheel kit is included and the handles fold away neatly so it’s as easy to store as it is to transport.
- Powers a range of appliances
- Stable power output to prevent surges
- Can use both 120 or 240 volts
- Easy portability
- Fewer reviews
Best 5,000 Watt Generator Buying Guide
So, now you’ve seen the benefits of the 5 different 5,000-watt generators we’ve reviewed, but you might still be wondering how to choose the best option for your energy needs.
That’s where our handy buyer’s guide comes in, as we’ve put together some information to point you in the right direction. But first, what can you actually run on a 5,000-watt generator? Keep reading to find out...
Uses for a 5,000-Watt Generator
Generators are a great investment because of the backup power they can provide in the case of an emergency.
With 5,000 watts, you can run a few small appliances at once, but trying to power too many things at the same time is not recommended as you may end up overloading the engine which can cause damage to the unit.
If your power cuts out, one of the first things you’ll want to think about is keeping your fridge and freezer running so your food stays fresh. As long as these appliances are below the 5,000-watt maximum output, it’s perfectly safe to power them using your generator.
Smaller electronic devices can be powered or charged too, as can your light fixtures and any other small-medium machines found in your home. But its capabilities are not just limited to household appliances!
If you’re left without power on site you can use your generator to run your drills, power saws, grinders, and other power tools that operate on less than 5,000 watts.
The best thing you can do is make a list of the appliances you wouldn’t be able to live without if you end up in a power outage, and add up their collective ‘starting’ and ‘running’ watts to get an accurate idea of what appliances you’ll be able to run.
What Are Starting and Running Watts?
Look, you’re not the first person to ask, but starting and running watts are important things to know about when it comes to generators. If you confuse the two, you run the risk of accidentally overloading your unit and potentially causing irreparable damage.
- Starting watts refers to the initial surge of power your generator can deliver, hence why it’s also commonly known as ‘surge’ watts.
- Running watts is the amount of continuous power your generator can supply for a sustained period of time. You might also see ‘rated’ watts in the product specifications, but this is the same thing.
Appliances will also state what their starting and running watts are, which is especially important to consider when you’re adding up the total wattage of certain appliances so you can ensure that you stick to the 5,000 watt limit.
Decibels are a unit of measurement that refers to how loud something is. Is it just us, or is this beginning to feel like a high school science lesson? Don’t worry, it’s not actually that complicated. The basic principle is as follows: the higher the decibel rating, the louder the noise produced while your generator is operating.
If you’re planning on using your generator for home use, you might want to choose a generator that is quieter when it’s running, whereas construction sites tend to be noisy areas anyway therefore the decibel rating won’t necessarily have much influence in your decision.
Unless otherwise stated in the product description, you should assume the provided decibel number applies to when the generator is running at full load. Some will include specs for half load, which is also good to know.
Size and Portability
A 5,000-watt generator is obviously going to be bigger than a one with less power output, but it’s nowhere near the size of some of the larger generators that are upwards of 10,000 watts! These are the real bad boys of the generator world.
The size of the generator is good to know because storage space will likely play a part in your decision, and if you’re planning on using your generator for work where you may have to move from site to site, you’ll also want to consider size in terms of portability and how easy it is to transport.
Most quality generators will have wheels or handles on the unit, and to be completely honest, you’d have a hard time moving your generator around without them. The weight of a 5,000-watt generator can range from 109 lbs to upwards of 150 lbs, so imagine trying to drag that into position...
When it comes to generators, you should be looking for features that are going to make the unit more convenient for its intended use as well as protecting the engine.
There are some basic essentials that the majority of quality generators will have, as well as more advanced functions for you to choose from. Ultimately it will come down to what features you would find personally useful.
The features we consider to be most important are things such as an indicator that tells you when your oil is running low and an automatic shut off function that protects your engine, digital displays that allow you to monitor the generator’s output, and alternators that work to stabilize the power being delivered to your devices.
Best 5,000 Watt Generator - Frequently Asked Questions
Can a 5,000-watt generator run a house?
It can certainly be used to run a number of the most critical appliances in your home, but a 5,000-watt generator cannot run an entire household. You’d need to be looking at generators that are in excess of 7,500 watts to run these all at once or for extended periods of time.
How many appliances can you run at once on a 5,000-watt generator?
As we’ve stated previously in this article, the only way to answer this question accurately would be the total the watts of each appliance you’d be using and see which combinations add up to less than 5,000 watts.
How can I make my generator quieter?
If you needed to prioritize other factors in the decision of which generator to purchase, and now you’ve ended up with one that’s just too loud to ignore, don’t panic! One simple solution to reduce the noise your generator makes when it’s running is by using a muffler.
Want to find out more? Check out our reviews of the best generator mufflers and you’ll be able to go about your day without a noisy generator irritating you in the background.