Though there are a variety of different generator manufacturers on the market, Powermate is one of the most well-respected, and a household name for emergency portable power.
Powermate generators stand out for their durability, quality, and reliability. But, out of them all, which are the best? If you’ve been asking yourself this question, we’re here to help!
Below, you’ll find a review of the top five generators that Powermate offers and, to help you make the right choice, we’ve also created a buying guide filled with information on what to consider before making a purchase.
So, ready to learn about what sets these generators apart from the rest?
Just keep reading...
In a hurry?
If you don’t have time to read our full review, turn your attention to the Powermate 2000I Portable Inverter Generator.
Ideal for camping, use on the job site, or even powering your home in a storm, this generator offers 1,600 running watts and 2,000 surge watts.
Besides power, this Powermate portable generator is quiet and operates at a very low sound level. It features Powermate’s very own engineered and designed OHV 80cc engine, as well as an enhanced 1.2-gallon fuel tank for optimum performance.
The 2000I Portable Generator also has a roll cage frame that will protect the engine and alternator, while its compact design makes it easy to transport and store. It’s versatile enough to serve a multitude of purposes and affordable enough that it won’t break the bank.
We recommend it.
OUR TOP PICK
The Powermate 2000I Portable Inverter Generator is one of Powermate’s most popular generators, and one of the most affordable!
If you would like to save some money, while still ensuring that you enjoy the same appliances you have at home while camping, then this is the Powermate model for you.
This convenient option has been created with inverter technology and delivers less than 3 percent harmonic distortion. This means that you will be able to charge all electronics (including your mobile phone) without fear of a power surge.
This model also features a variety of outlets, all operating at different voltage levels. You’ll be able to choose from two 120V standard outlets, one 12V 8A DC plug, as well as a USB port for extra convenience. Thanks to this, you’ll be able to power multiple devices simultaneously.
Plus, offering plenty of power, the OHV motor has a 2,200-watts starting power and a 1,700-watt run level for charging electronics and other appliances.
Offering hassle-free operation, the control panel features a simple user interface. Plus, you’ll also be able to utilize the low-oil shut down for safety, as well as the economy mode which will save fuel.
The only downside we could find is that this generator does not offer an electric startup, though it does have a recoil.
The 1.2-gallon tank will lend this generator 7 hours of run time while operating at 50 percent power, while its lightweight, CARB compliant design ensures that you’ll be able to use it in every state.
All in all, we think that this is the best Powermate portable generator for the money.
- Features 2,200W starting power
- CARB compliant
- Multiple outlets
- Doesn’t offer an electric start
Made of a rugged design and delivering powerful performance, the Powermate PM0145400 Portable Generator is our next pick.
The Powermate WX5400 portable generator is another Powermate bestseller, and is ideal as an emergency power backup, for powering tools at the job site, or even for powering your RV.
While operating at a level of around 50%, this generator will be able to provide you with 11 hours of continuous power.
This makes the PM0145400 Portable Generator an ideal option for use on the road, off-grid camping trips, and for powering your home during a storm.
The low oil shutdown function will provide extra protection to the generator in order to extend the engine life, while the auto voltage regulation will protect your appliances from any dangerous voltage surges.
In addition, other safety features include covered outlets with circuit breakers, which will not only help to prevent generator overload but will also help to protect the outlets from the rain or exposure to water, which is especially handy if you plan on using it outdoors.
This Powermate generator is also very easy to transport. It features 12-inch ‘never-flat’ wheels, and comfort grip handles that will make transportation easy, while the multimeter will help to make upkeep easier.
It even comes with a Usda Forest Service qualified spark-arrestor muffler which will not only provide added safety but will also ensure that this generator will run at a much quieter sound level.
- Protects appliances from voltage surges
- Runs quietly
- Easy to store
- Not compatible with propane
Offering plenty of versatility, the Dual Fuel DF3500E Portable Generator from Powermate is next up on our list.
Featuring dual-fuel technology, this model will give you the ability to power it off of either gasoline or propane. If you choose gasoline, you will be able to enjoy around 10 hours of run time from the 4.5-gallon gas tank.
In contrast, if you prefer to use liquid propane (otherwise referred to as LPG) you can purchase a propane tank separately that will give you 10.5 hours of run time for a 30-pound tank, or 7.2 hours of runtime when using a 20-pound tank at 50%.
Offering plenty of power, this generator has a 3,500-wattage run level and 4,375-watt starting power when using gas. If you plan on using propane, you’ll have a 3,200-wattage run level and a 4,000-watt start.
As for safety and convenience, the 206cc OHV engine features a low-oil shutdown, fuel selector, and a fuel gauge.
Ideal for use outdoors or off-the-grid, this generator is ideal for use in the yard or camping as it features an electric start and a multimeter gauge.
Plus, at just 118 pounds, you’ll be able to easily transport from place to place with ease, especially thanks to the built-in wheels and handle.
- Dual fuel option
- Heavy-duty, powerful engine
- Multiple outlets
Next up we have selected the Powermate DF7500E Dual Fuel Portable Generator, which is one of Powermate’s most heavy-duty models.
This portable powerhouse boasts a 420cc OHV engine and can be powered by either propane or gasoline. If you want to use gasoline, this generator will offer a 9,375-watts starting power and a 7,500-watt run level.
On the other hand, if you plan on using propane, you will have a slightly lower starting power of 8,500 watts and a run level of 6,750 watts.
Though this isn’t as much as what gas will offer, you will still be able to power essential appliances like lights, small electronics, and power tools if you use propane with this unit.
Not only that, but the DF7500E features a variety of different outlets. Ensuring that you’ll never have to go without your favorite appliances, you will have the option to choose from two 120V 20A standard outlets, and a 120/240V 30A twist-lock, as well as a 120V 30A twist-lock port.
The DF7500E Dual Fuel Portable Generator also features a variety of convenience features, including a multimeter, easy to read fuel gauge, low-oil shut down indicator and an electric startup. This model also comes with a folding handle, and wheels for easy storage and transportation.
- Great runtime
- Various outlets
- The propane tank must be purchased separately
Last but not least we have selected the Powermate 10000001785 Portable Generator, which offers one of the largest engine capacities.
With this model, you’ll have a huge 7-gallon fuel tank to make use of. It’s larger capacity will allow for around 8 hours of continuous running time while operating at 50 percent power, including powering multiple devices simultaneously.
Wondering how? It’s all thanks to the Powermate engineered OHV engine. To ensure that you’re never without your essential appliances, this generator can operate six different outlets at once, consisting of four 120V 20A standard plugs, a 120/240 twist lock, and one 120V 30A USB port.
Besides a long run time, this generator features sturdy construction, so it’s ideal for serving a variety of purposes including as a home power backup, for camping, and even for construction projects.
Its compact design is easy to travel with (especially thanks to the handle and wheel) will take up minimal storage space and even features an electric startup, which will ensure that the generator is powered up super quickly - even during colder weather conditions.
The only main drawback that this generator has is that it is not CARB-compliant, which means that it cannot be used in California.
On the plus, it does offer a whole host of convenience features, including a digital multimeter and a low-oil shutdown.
- Powerful engine
- Multiple outlets
- Various safety features
- It’s not CARB compliant, so cannot be used in California
Best Powermate Generators Buying Guide
Why should you select a Powermate generator?
One of the main reasons Powermate is such a well-liked manufacturer for so many people is the fact that they are a company that has spent many years in the industry (over 40 years).
They have become well-known for specializing in power equipment that can power essential appliances, homes, and even RVs.
As for their generators? Powermate ensures that all of their generators have been made to the highest standard, thoroughly tested, and backed by a 3-year warranty.
Not only that, but Powermate is respected for their customer service quality, with many reviews online stating that any problems are handled swiftly and effectively.
Powermate even has multiple service centers dotted around the United States, where you can take the generator if you encounter any issues.
If you choose to select a Powermate generator, you can also be confident that you’re going to enjoy easy maintenance.
Regardless of the model, they each come with a fuel gauge, low oil automatic shutoff, and wheels that will never go flat.
Each Powermate generator also features a control panel that is easy to understand thanks to its simple user interface, which ensures that operation will be easy.
How to choose a generator
Before you go ahead and make a purchase, there are a few factors that you should make sure you take into consideration first - the first being how powerful you need your generator to be.
To determine how much power you require, follow our steps below:
Step #1: Decide what you need to power
First things first, make a list outlining all of the essential appliances and devices that you’re going to want to power.
If you’re purchasing a generator for use in the event of a power outage, you should ask yourself what you will need to power in the event that this happens. Do you only need to power lights?
Or perhaps you need to power all of your essential appliances? Some of the most powerful generators are able to power multiple devices at once, including high amperage appliances like a refrigerator.
On the other hand, if you need a generator for use on a job site, you should make a clear list of all of the tools and additional appliances you will need to power throughout the day.
Besides tools, you should take into consideration whether or not you’ll need to power lights, or even a radio to keep you entertained.
As for camping trips, you’ll also want to think about how much outdoor cooking, entertainment, and heating appliances you and your family or friends may be using at once.
Step #2: Determine the amperage of each appliance
This next step is really important. You’re going to want to make sure that your generator is going to be able to start up your appliances, and not just run it.
Every appliance you own will have what is known as a “starting wattage” which is the amount of wattage required to start an appliance with a motor.
Usually, the starting wattage is around three times greater than the wattage required to run it, so it’s paramount that the generator you choose can withstand this requirement.
The easiest way to learn the starting wattage of the appliances you plan on powering is by referring to their owner manuals. Inside each manual, there should be a section that outlines all of the differing wattages, including the starting wattage and the running wattage.
If you have misplaced any of your owner manuals, we recommend contacting the manufacturer or checking to see if there is a version available to view online.
Step #3 Calculate your overall power needs
To calculate your overall power needs, all you’ll need to do is carry out a simple two-part equation.
Firstly, add up all the running wattages for all the appliances you want to power simultaneously. The answer that you get will equal the total running watts that your generator needs to deliver to run all your equipment.
After you have done this, then go ahead and add to that total the highest of the “starting wattages.
Once you have added those two figures together, you’ll then know how much power you’re going to need to both start and run all of your appliances and devices without any problems.
Additional features to take into consideration:
- Weather-resistance - If you plan on using your generator outdoors (for camping or using on a job site) you’ll want to ensure that your generator of choice offers some protection against the weather, especially of the control panel, as this area is most vulnerable to damage from rain and dirt.
- Multiple outlets - Another desirable feature is generators that offer multiple outlets. This will allow you to power multiple appliances simultaneously.
- Wheels - We recommend choosing a generator that features sturdy, rugged built-in wheels. This will allow you to easily pull and transport it from place to place without having to pick it up.
- Muffler - Though not all generators offer a muffler, they are able to significantly reduce the sound of the engine noise.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Powermate generators good?
As you will have learned from our reviews above, Powermate creates well-crafted generators that are reliable, durable, and built to last.
In our opinion, though, the main reason as to why Powermate generators are so good is because they all come with various safety features, which is something that not all generators on the market offer.
What oil does a Powermate generator need?
Though there are many good quality oils available to buy, we think that any high-quality synthetic 5W-30 oil will be the best choice for your Powermate generator.
However, if you would like a recommendation, we think that Castrol 03084 EDGE 5W-30 is a failsafe choice.
Not only is it one of the best synthetic oils for generators, but it can also be used for car engines, which makes it more versatile than others.