Best 3000 Watt Generator (2020) – Reviews & Buying Guide

May 26, 2020
Generac
Popular
  • 3000 Surge Watts
  • 2300 Rated Watts
  • 1.06-Gallon Tank
  • 4.5 Hours @ 50% Load
  • EPA and CARB Compliant
Coleman
Budget
  • 3500 Surge Watts
  • 3000 Rated Watts
  • 1.5 Gallon Tank
  • 4.2 Hours @ 50% Load
  • EPA and CARB Compliant

When power outages occur, we end up in a really dreadful situation where all our electrical devices become completely useless. The main power grid has a way of going down when we need it the most. However, if you’re equipped with a decent generator, you’d be immune to this massive inconvenience!

If you aren’t sure about how much power you need, a 3000 watt generator can be the best choice because it offers a great balance between power and portability. You can also measure your power requirement by using our Generator Wattage Calculator. However, finding the best 3000 watt generator can be quite challenging if you don’t have enough information.

That’s why we’ve come up with a list of top-rated models and an in-depth buying guide to help you out!

What Can a 3000 Watt Generator Run?

A 3000 watt generator provides enough power to run a wide array of appliances, including lights, fans, televisions, desktop computers, mobile devices, etc. It can even run heavy-duty machineries like refrigerators, microwaves, power tools, and even electric furnaces.

The equipment will easily handle multiple devices simultaneously. And the appliances usually require a lot more power to start up than during operation as the power requirement significantly drops down.

For example, 200 to 700 watts should be more than enough for keeping a refrigerator running, but starting it for the first time might require 1,200 to 1,600 watts of power. So, you’d have to take both starting and operational requirements into consideration.

Some appliances have static wattage requirements. This means both starting and operational requirements are the same. You can feel free to power up as many devices as you want so long as the total load does not exceed 3,000 watts. This actually makes it capable of running all of your household appliances.

Keep in mind that a single inverter generator doesn’t work as effectively in running multiple devices at once. So, if you want to power up several devices, it’d be better to get multiple inverter generators.

1Overall BestChampionChampion 3100-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
    • Starting Power: 3100 Watt
    • Running Power: 2800 Watt
    • Noice Label: 58dB @25% load(From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 8 hours (25% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 1.6 Gallon
    • Weight: 96.6lbs
2Most PopularGeneracGenerac GP3000i Portable Inverter Generator
    • Starting Power: 3000 Watt
    • Running Power: 2300 Watt
    • Noice Label: Not Tested
    • Operating Time: 4.5 hours (50% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 1.06 Gallon
    • Weight: 59.5lbs
3DurableHondaHonda EU3000IS1A 3000-Watt Portable Generator with Inverter
    • Starting Power: 3000 Watt
    • Running Power: 2800 Watt
    • Noice Label: 57dB @ Rated Load(From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 20 hours (25% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 3.4 Gallon
    • Weight: 131lbs
4Fuel EfficientBriggs
&
Stratton
Briggs & Stratton P3000 PowerSmart Series Generator
    • Starting Power: 3000 Watt
    • Running Power: 2600 Watt
    • Noice Label: 58dB @ 25%(From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 10 hours (25% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 1.5 Gallon
    • Weight: 84lbs
5Best BudgetColemanColeman Powersports CG3500i-A 3500-Watt Portable Generator
    • Starting Power: 3500 Watt
    • Running Power: 3000 Watt
    • Noice Label: 63dB @ Rateed Load (From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 4.2 hours (50% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 1.5 Gallon
    • Weight: 70lbs
6FirmanFirman W03082 3000-Watt Portable Generator
    • Starting Power: 3300 Watt
    • Running Power: 3000 Watt
    • Noice Label: 58dB @ 25% Load (From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 10 hours (25% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 1.8 Gallon
    • Weight: 109lbs
7QuietWENWEN 56310i-RV 3100-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
    • Starting Power: 3100 Watt
    • Running Power: 2800 Watt
    • Noice Label: 60dB @ Rated Load (From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 7.5 hours (50% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 1.85 Gallon
    • Weight: 81.4lbs
8IronmanIronman 3000W Inverter Generator Portable
    • Starting Power: 3000 Watt
    • Running Power: 2800 Watt
    • Noice Label: 60dB (From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 22.5 hours (Economy Mode)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 4 Gallon
    • Weight: 116lbs

Best 3000 watt Generator Reviews – Overview

Go on and keep reading to learn about our recommendations. They were picked out through a rigorous selection process. Rest assured, as all of them are great choices!

Champion 3100-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

Champion 3100-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
FeaturesValue
Output PowerStarting: 3100 Watt / Running: 2800 Watt
Noise Level58dB (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time8 hours / 25% Load
Fuel Tank Size1.6 Gallon
Starting MethodRemote / Electric / Recoil Pull start
Weight96.6lbs

The highly affordable price tag and the flagship-level performance make it the best value 3000 watt inverter generator. You’ll have electricity returned to your home within seconds or fill the remote campsites with electricity!!

With 3100 starting watts and 2800 running watts, this champion equipment can handle most of your household appliances, if not all! Besides being a great backup system for home, it’s perfect for tailgating events and RV trips as well.

And the engine operates very quietly, generating only 58 decibels of sound. So, you won’t have to put up with the galling noise every time you run the generator.

Pros
  • Provides a cleaner and safer electricity
  • Barely produces any irritating noise while running
  • Multiple starting options
  • Designed to be lightweight and portable
  • Quick touch panel offers better control
Cons
  • Cannot perform at higher altitudes
  • Not parallel capable

Generac GP3000i Portable Inverter Generator

Generac GP3000i Portable Inverter Generator
FeaturesValue
Output PowerStarting: 3000 Watt / Running: 2300 Watt
Noise LevelNot Tested
Operating Time4.5 hours / 50% Load
Fuel Tank Size1.06 Gallon
Starting MethodRecoil Pull start
Weight59.5lbs

Generac GP3000i is often considered to be the most popular 3000 watt inverter generator for the money and for good reasons too! It’s incredibly easy to use, delivers lots of power, and offers an amazing runtime.

This model comes with almost everything you need to get started with. You can set it up and start using it within minutes. The only missing thing is the gas that you’d have to purchase separately.

You’d be able to squeeze 3000 watts of starting power, and it’s fitted with 2300 watt AC outputs. As a result, this product will handle anything you throw at it without any hesitation as long as the load doesn’t cross 2300 watts.

Pros
  • Boasts a compact and lightweight design
  • Doesn’t produce too much noise as it’s super quiet
  • Easy to start it up and use
  • Comes with USB outlets for charging mobile phones
Cons
  • There is no fuel gauge on the generator

Honda EU3000IS1A 3000-Watt Portable Generator with Inverter

Honda EU3000IS1A 3000-Watt Portable Generator with Inverter
FeaturesValue
Output PowerStarting: 3000 Watt / Running: 2800 Watt
Noise Level50dB (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time20 hours / 25% Load
Fuel Tank Size3.4 Gallon
Starting MethodElectric / Recoil Pull start
Weight131lbs

If you ask what is the best 3000 watt generator, many of the answers will point to the Honda EU3000IS. That’s because this product is armed with excellent features and impressive specifications. If you’re looking for reliability and top-notch performance, then don’t look any further!

This extremely popular product can efficiently operate a lot of your appliances like TVs, blenders, lights, furnaces, refrigerators, etc. With the advanced inverter technology, you can feel confident knowing that the clean, stable, and safe electricity won’t damage your sensitive devices!

The machine runs with excellent fuel efficiency aided by Honda’s signature eco-throttle technology. As a result, on a single 3.4-gallon tank, you will enjoy an impressive runtime of up to 20 hours on quarter load!

Pros
  • Extremely quiet operation
  • Runs with amazing fuel efficiency
  • Offers up to 20 hours of runtime
  • Provides truly reliable power
Cons
  • Comes with a really expensive price tag

Briggs & Stratton P3000 PowerSmart Series Generator

Briggs & Stratton P3000 PowerSmart Series Generator
FeaturesValue
Output PowerStarting: 3000 Watt / Running: 2600 Watt
Noise Level58dB (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time10 hours / 25% Load
Fuel Tank Size1.5 Gallon
Starting MethodRecoil Pull start
Weight84lbs

Briggs & Stratton has been providing high-quality power equipment for more than 100 years. Their P3000 PowerSmart Series generator is nothing short of amazing. This product will satisfy any user through its high-performance level. You’ll never have to part ways with a source of power no matter what happens!

Whether you need power for your RVs or camping trips, you can leave it up to this machine. This thing can even serve as an efficient backup power source for your house when the main power grid loses power. The amazing quiet power technology makes the engine run faster and smoother to reduce noise.

Therefore, you’d only hear 58 decibels of noise at a 25% load. So, it’s far quieter than most of the generators on the market. Additionally, the speed reduces fuel consumption, enhancing the level of energy efficiency.

Pros
  • Comes with multiple ports for more convenience
  • Parallel-ready so two generators can be connected for more power
  • Runs for quite a long time
  • Offers quiet operation and fuel efficiency
Cons
  • Pretty heavy for a portable inverter generator

Coleman Powersports CG3500i-A 3500-Watt Portable Generator

Coleman Powersports CG3500i-A 3500-Watt Portable Generator
FeaturesValue
Output PowerStarting: 3500 Watt / Running: 3000 Watt
Noise Level63dB (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time4.2 hours / 50% Load
Fuel Tank Size1.5 Gallon
Starting MethodElectric Start
Weight70lbs

The last product to grace our list is the Coleman Powersports CG3500I-A. This is a surprisingly affordable unit with decent features and performance. Although this generator doesn’t shine as brightly as the others on our list, it can still provide satisfactory performance.

And the generator has a compact design that allows it to weigh only 70 pounds, making it highly portable. You’ll get to fit this one into smaller spaces with ease. Besides, you won’t require additional help to carry and transport this device.

With the 3500 Watts of maximum output, this unit will effectively handle a wide array of assortments. You won’t have to hesitate about plugging in sensitive devices like laptops and smartphones because you’ll receive stable and clean electricity from it.

Pros
  • Highly portable aided by the lightweight and compact design
  • One of the cheapest but reliable options on the market
  • Provides cleaner power
  • Equipped with overload protection
Cons
  • Shorter runtime due to the smaller tank

Firman W03082 3000-Watt Portable Generator

Firman W03082 3000-Watt Portable Generator
FeaturesValue
Output PowerStarting: 3300 Watt / Running: 3000 Watt
Noise Level58dB (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time10 hours / 25% Load
Fuel Tank Size1.8 Gallon
Starting MethodElectric / Recoil Pull start
Weight109lbs

The Firman W03082 is another great choice of a portable generator that will make sure there is always a portable supplier of electricity at your disposal. So, you’ll never have to wait for the main grid power to return during power outages. Thanks to its portability, you can bring it with you wherever you go!

You won’t find many cheap generators that can perform as efficiently as this one. With several top-grade features, you’re sure to be impressed!

For starters, it boasts a powerful engine that provides a massive 3300 watts of surge power and 3000 watts of rated power. As a result, a wide range of assortments can be easily powered up using this outstanding device! With a full tank of 1.8 gallons, you will be able to draw power for up to 10 long hours continuously!

Pros
  • Built to last thanks to its durable design
  • Comes with extra free accessories
  • Portable device with a decent runtime
Cons
  • Runs a bit noisier than others on our list

WEN 56310i-RV 3100-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

WEN 56310i-RV 3100-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
FeaturesValue
Output PowerStarting: 3100 Watt / Running: 2800 Watt
Noise Level60dB (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time7.5 hours / 50% Load
Fuel Tank Size1.85 Gallon
Starting MethodRecoil Pull start
Weight81.4lbs

The WEN 56310i-RV an absolutely amazing generator because of its incredible portability and exemplary performance. For a rather affordable product, you’d be astounded by the features and quality you get! Many users consider it to be the best 3000 watt inverter generator for the money.  

Although many of the features are directed toward making this one ideal for RVs, it can be used as an emergency backup or powering up campsites and any tailgate events. The 3100 watts of surge power and 2800 watts of rated watts, the device is capable of handling an entire RV and its appliances with ease!

To make it totally ready for RV, it’s equipped with a 120V TT-30R outlet that offers 23amps of power for recreational vehicles. This device boasts a robust engine 212cc engine that operates with extreme quietness. It runs so quietly that the generator managed to meet the standards of EPA III and CARB.

Pros
  • Comes at an affordable price
  • One of the quietest models on the market
  • Designed to be an all-purpose device
Cons
  • Tacky side cover that is made of plastic

Ironman 3000W Inverter Generator Portable

Ironman 3000W Inverter Generator Portable
FeaturesValue
Output PowerStarting: 3000 Watt / Running: 2800 Watt
Noise Level60dB (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time22.5 hours (Economy Mode)
Fuel Tank Size4 Gallon
Starting MethodElectric / Recoil Pull start
Weight116lbs

This compact, quiet, and affordable generator is capable of being a great companion for your campsite events and other outdoor activities. With this one, you’ll always have incredibly reliable on-the-go power! The remarkable engine makes it powerful enough to be versatile.

So, besides being ideal for outdoor uses, this product can serve as an emergency backup system when the power goes out in your home!

If you want to move it around, you can do that without having to go through much trouble. The device is lightweight and equipped with two durable wheels and a handle so you can feel free to travel with it anywhere you go!

Pros
  • Provides great on-the-go power
  • Easy to carry and transport
  • Can run for up to 22.5 hours
Cons
  • Simplistic unit with only a few features

What to Look for Before Buying 3000 Watt Generator

Knowing a couple of things about generators before buying will help you to sort out the most fitting option. You might end up with an inferior quality product and suffer in the long run. We don’t want that for our readers, so we’ve prepared a buying guide. Be sure to consider these things before you finalize your decision!

Runtime

Different generators offer different duration of runtime. You must consider how long you’d need it to run for. There is no point in paying extra money for a generator that runs longer than you need, and you wouldn’t be satisfied if it runs too short.

Generator Runtime

So, do a little calculation to find out if the generator you’re willing to purchase can run long enough. Please note that larger tanks do not necessarily mean longer runtime. It actually depends on a couple of factors like energy efficiency, ability to handle the load, etc. including tank size.

Generators that can run for a long time are usually heavier and more expensive.

Purpose

The generator that you’re thinking of buying must fit your purpose. If you’re planning to get a generator for camping trips or similar outdoor activities, you should look for lighter models that are easy to carry around. They should be fitted with smooth-rolling wheels and comfortable grips.

If you’re planning to use it for powering up your house or RVs, you’d need a larger model with more power. They might be heavier, but you’d definitely appreciate the extra power.

Noise Level

Generator Noise

Noise is something you cannot avoid in generators. However, the noise level varies in different models. Some run pretty quietly while others produce a lot of noise. You should consider how noisy the generator is before buying it.

And noisy models can take away the peace from camping trips where you want to enjoy the serenity of quietness and only listen to nature. You’d definitely want a quieter option for such situations. Fortunately, most of the generators on our list are quite enough.

Producing 3000 watts of power isn’t an easy task, so you’d have to accept the fact that your generator will be a bit noisy. However, a good quality product that runs efficiently enough won’t produce unbearable noise.

Weight

Weight is an important thing to consider. Bulky generators are hard to move even if they are portable. You should avoid them if you can, especially if portability is your major concern. A lot of the generators on our list are pretty lightweight, so if you prefer, you can feel free to buy them.

Safety Features

Protection

Generators can be dangerous if you’re not careful with them. So, your preferred generator should be equipped with the necessary safety features. Carbon monoxide produced by this equipment can be life-threatening.

So, you should check if the generator offers safety from CO poisoning. Some features a built-in sensor that automatically shuts off the device when CO reaches a dangerous level. Additionally, some are equipped with engines that emit lesser CO.

Additional Features

Extra features in some generators can make them really convenient. So, look for generators that offer amazing features. Electric start is a neat little feature that eliminates the inconvenience of pulling to start the engine. You can simply push a button to get the engine running.

Features

Most generators run on either gasoline or propane. But some high power models can be fueled by both, which is highly convenient. You’re given the option of using whichever you prefer. If one is unavailable, you can simply switch to another.

Another convenient feature is the built-in fuel gauge. It allows you to check how much fuel is left just by looking at it once. So, you won’t have to peek inside the fuel tank to find out any more.

Your generator’s engine can be critically damaged if you allow it to run with little to no oil. It’d be a hassle to check the oil level frequently. To save you from the trouble, some models sport low-oil shutdown feature. Whenever the oil falls below a certain level, the engine will be automatically shut off!

Generators that run on pure sine wave offers cleaner and safer electricity. It makes sure none of your sensitive devices like smartphones, laptops are damaged. This is a far better option than the messy sine wave that is found in most generators because they can potentially bring damage to these devices.

Parallel connectivity is definitely an awesome feature to have. It allows you to connect multiple generators to boost the power of your generator. This can be really handy when you’re in need of some extra power.

However, if the generator sacrifices its quality in order to make it multi-featured, you shouldn’t buy it. Quality comes before the features.

Price

Contrary to popular belief, expensively priced products don’t necessarily mean high-quality or high-performing products. This is often the case, but sometimes, cheap models can outperform expensive ones. So, if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, don’t worry.

Some high-quality generators with great features can be quite expensive, and you should go for them if your budget allows it. However, many of the products that we’ve listed are quite affordable and still manage to perform really well.  

Warranty

You should never opt for the generators that don’t offer any warranty. Chances are they are very poorly made and won’t be able to perform well enough.

Generators with warranties are great because you’d get free fixes or replacements if your device malfunctions. It also represents how confident the manufacturers are about their products.

With warranties, you’ll be able to feel confident about the product knowing that it would serve you well for a long time. You won’t have to worry about having to buy a newer one because they are more likely to last a while.

Difference between Generator and Inverter Generator

The main difference between a conventional generator and an inverter generator is in the type of electricity that they produce. The normal ones only generate AC electricity. However, inverter generators generate electricity in three stages.

They first generate AC electricity then converts it into DC. Afterward, the DC electricity is converted back into a more stable form of AC electricity. The electricity produced by inverter generators is much cleaner and safer than the conventional ones.

Usually, the conventional generators are comparatively more powerful thanks to their large fuel tanks. Inverter ones have smaller tanks, but their energy efficiency rate is greater. Which means, they can run longer on lesser energy.

Inverter generators are smaller in both size and weight, so they are more portable as well. The majority of them weigh below a hundred pounds. On the other hand, conventional ones require larger tanks and engines. As a result, they are bigger and bulkier.

Generators are known for being noisy. Conventional generators usually produce a lot of noise when running. However, inverter ones run fairly quietly.

And inverter generators are created with newer and advanced technology, but they are also costlier. You’d have to spend more money to acquire one of them. Portable conventional ones are a far cheaper option if you need a lot of power.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most commonly asked queries regarding 3000-watt generators:

Q: Which fuel type to use for 3000 watt generators?

A: Most of the generators run on either gasoline. However, some generators can be fueled by both gas and propane. So, you can switch between the two whenever you want.

Q: Is it okay to leave the generator running?

A: Absolutely not! Generators are electrical devices. They will malfunction if they come in contact with water. On the contrary, you should keep your generator away from the reach of any form of water or moisture. Otherwise, they will be damaged beyond repair!

Q: Can I use 3000 watt generators for powering household appliances?

A: Sure, you can! 3000 watt is enough for handling multiple household appliances at once. You can even use a 3000- watt generator to power up more heavy-duty devices like freezer, furnace, microwave, power tools, etc.

Q: What’s the difference between running watts and starting watts?

A: Starting watts refer to the electricity produced by a generator for shorter times for powering up appliances. It’s considerably greater in wattage than the running watts. Running watts are the watts that the generator produces continuously for a long time to keep the appliances powered up.

Q: Is it okay to directly connect a generator to my home?

A: Of course not! You might get electrocuted if you try or destroy your generator for good. A transfer switch must be installed through which you can form a connection between your generator and your home. However, the installation is complicated, so it’s best left to the professionals.

Final Words

A 3000 watt generator packs more than enough power to handle most of your household appliances. It can also be a great option for outdoor activities or RV trips. However, you’d have to be careful enough to pick the best 3000 watt generator for you if you want to get a reliable and high-performing device. We’ve filled our reviews and buying guide with all the information that one might require to choose their own generator. So, you should be able to make the decision easily if you give this a thorough read!

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