Generators have a variety of applications, from providing emergency power at home or work, powering tools on a jobsite, or even providing power for a food truck/trailer.

First, determine your wattage needs. This is the amount of power required for appliances and electronics to function. To do this, choose which devices you want to power at the same time. From here, record and add the running watts listed for each device that you need to power. Remember to record the starting wattage requirements for each device as well. Finally, add the starting watts for the highest starting watt device plus the total running watts to determine the total wattage requirements. You’ll want to choose a generator that allows for this amount of wattage or more.

If you are unsure of the running watts for a device, feel free to consult our Wattage Reference Guide on our support page. Please remember to allow for 3 times the listed running watts when starting a device, as starting wattage is always greater than running wattage.


A conventional generator is often identifiable by an open steel frame, which can include wheels depending on the model. Wheels make the generator portable and easy to move, but models without wheels can be difficult to transport. Conventional generators often produce more power but are also much heavier and produce more noise. Most have a larger fuel tank than an inverter generator, but area as fuel efficient. This results in similar run times between both types of generator. Conventional generators are often used at job sites to power tools and can be used as emergency power sources in the event of an outage. Conventional generators vary greatly in their wattage, ranging from 3000W to 20,000W.

An Inverter generator is often identifiable by a plastic, compact frame that can include wheels for larger models. Many Inverters are light enough to be carried by one person. This makes them highly portable and allows them to be easily loaded into a vehicle, camper, or trailer. Though Inverters aren't as powerful as most conventional generators, they operate at a much lower volume. This reduction in noise makes them ideal for leisure activities such as camping. The maximum wattage for inverter generators tends to range from 1000W to 4000W.