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Generators are an excellent investment for so many different reasons. They can be a life-saver if you have a power cut, and similarly, allow you access to electricity while you are out on camping holidays.
But there is one thing that can be incredibly frustrating about generators, and that is the noise that they produce.
Generators can be notoriously loud, and you hear endless stories of neighbors complaining about noisy generators. Thankfully, manufacturers have started to notice this dislike for noise and have begun to produce much quieter generators.
As quiet generators are still in their infancy, it can be difficult to find the perfect one for you. But there’s no need to worry because we’ve put together this guide to the 10 best quietest generators on the market, ranking the generators from the quietest to the slightly louder options.
So if you’re looking for a generator and noise is a big concern for you, you’re in the right place!
In a hurry?
If you need a quiet generator in a hurry, we would recommend buying the WEN 56235i Super Quiet Portable Generator. We’ve ranked this option the best on the market because it is excellent value for money and is packed with lots of wonderful features, including:
- It has 1900W running power with a surge of 2350W.
- It can be easily transported as it comes with a carry handle and weighs only 39 pounds.
- It produces only 51 decibels of operating noise which is quieter than the average conversation.
- It comes with AC 120V, 15A, 12V DC, and 2 5V USB outlets, so that you can connect multiple devices at any one time.
OUR TOP PICK
The quietest generator that we can find on the market is the WEN 56235i Super Quiet Portable Generator.
This excellent generator comes with a surge power of 2350W and a running power of 1900W which allows it to operate the majority of household, commercial, and camping appliances.
As well as being extremely powerful, this device is also easily portable as it has a carry handle and weighs only 39 pounds. It comes with eco-mode for maximum fuel efficiency and extended battery life, and low fuel shutoff to protect both you and this generator.
It comes with AC 120V, 15A, 12V DC, and 2 5V USB outlets, and has an operating noise of just 51 decibels, making it one of the quietest options available.
So with all of these wonderful features with the low noise level of this product, it is clear that the WEN 56235i Super Quiet Portable Generator is one of the best on the market.
- 1900W running and 2350W surge power
- Easily portable weighing only 39 pounds with a carry handle
- Very quiet with only 51 decibels operating noise
- Eco-mode for maximum fuel efficiency and run time
- Low fuel shutoff feature protects both you and the generator from damage
- Includes AC 120V, 15A, 12V DC, and 2 5V USB outlets
- No notable drawbacks
Next up, we have the Predator 3500 Generator. This device is an absolute monster of a generator, and it only just missed out on the top spot.
On first impression this generator might seem larger than some others, but this is because of how powerful it is. The Predator 3500 has a running power of 3000W which is incredibly powerful for a portable generator.
You might expect a generator of this power to be very noisy, but it actually isn’t. In fact, this generator only produces 57dBA of operating noise which is a similar level to generators that are half as powerful as this one.
As this generator is very powerful, it is on the heavier side, however it is still easily portable thanks to the smooth rolling casters on its base. So with all this, and the fact that it includes 4 different outlets it is clear that this is a great choice.
- An insanely powerful 3000W running power
- A run time of approximately 11 hours at 25% capacity
- Smooth-rolling caster wheels for easy portability
- Includes 120VAC twist lock outlet, 120VAC grounded outlets and 12V pin outlets
- Low operating noise of just 57 dBA
- On the pricier end of the scale
Another extremely quiet option to consider is the WEN 56380i Generator.
This is the first of a few very powerful generators that we have looked at, and this one, in particular, is a popular choice as it is powerful yet still very quiet.
This generator comes with 3400W running power and 3800W surge power which can be used to power lots of different appliances for up to 8 and a half hours on a single tank.
It produces clean power that can be directed to sensitive electronics and also comes with a fuel shutoff feature to protect the generator from damage.
It comes with a variety of different output options including an RV output, and only produces 57 decibels of operating noise.
With all these features considered, it is clear that this is one of the best options available.
- 3400W running power and 3800W surge power
- The fuel shutoff feature maximizes the generator’s lifespan
- Up to 8 and a half hours of running time
- Produces clean power to prevent damage to sensitive electronics
- Operating noise of 57 decibels
- Comes with 2 120V receptacles, 1 AC 120V RV output, 1 12V DC connection and 1 5V USB port
- No notable drawbacks
You should also consider the Champion 100692 2000W Generator.
Champion is one of the leading manufacturers of generators, and this is the first of a few that have made it onto this list.
This generator is one of their less powerful options, but this is necessary in order to achieve low operating noise.
Despite being “less powerful”, this generator still has a running power of 1700W with a surge power of 2000W.
It is extremely lightweight and weighs less than 39 pounds making it easily portable and perfect for camping trips.
It can operate for up to 11 and a half hours while only producing 58 decibels of operating noise.
With all of this plus 2 household outlets which provide clean energy combined, there’s no question that this is one of the best quietest generators available.
- 1700W running power and 2000W surge power
- Extremely lightweight weighing only 39 pounds
- Produces only 58 decibels of operating noise
- Operates for up to 11 and a half hours
- Perfect for camping trips or backup purposes
- Includes 2 120V 20A household outlets for clean energy
- No notable drawbacks
Alternatively, another brand that produces excellent generators is Pulsar and their G2139N model is one of the quietest that they manufacture.
This model is fairly similar to the Champion generator that we just looked at as it comes with 1800W running power and 2300W peak power with the ability to run for up to 4.8 hours on half load.
It also comes with a compact design, however, it weighs about 10 pounds more than the Champion model.
This generator has the capability to produce safe electrical power for sensitive electronics and comes with a variety of AC, DC, and USB outlets to connect these appliances.
But the best thing about the Pulsar G2139N generator is its low operating noise of only 59 decibels which easily makes it one of the quietest generators on the market.
- 1800W running power and 2300W peak power
- Up to 4.8 hours run time on half load
- Compact design weighs less than 47 pounds
- Produces safe electrical power for lots of different devices
- Produces only 59 decibels of operating noise
- Includes 2 120V AC outlets, 1 120V DC outlet, and 1 5V USB outlet
- Heavier than you anticipate
Another very quiet generator which is also produced by Champion is their 3400W Generator.
This Champion generator is more powerful than the last one that we looked at, however, it does have a slightly louder operating noise.
This generator has a running power of 3060W with a surge power of 3400W, and also comes with a low oil shutoff to protect the generator and reduce the fire risk.
Additionally, it comes with a quick touch panel that allows you to access all of the controls in one place.
This generator has dual-fuel capability and can be operated using either gasoline or propane to power multiple electrical appliances.
Finally, this generator is also RV ready with RV, DC, household, and USB outlets.
With all of this and the fact that it only generates 59 decibels of operating noise, there’s no question that this is one of the best options available.
- 3060W running power and 3400W peak power
- Includes low oil shutoff for protection
- Produces only 59 decibels of operating noise
- Quick touch panel that allows you to access all your controls in one place
- Dual fuel capacity operates on both gasoline and propane
- RV ready with RV, DC, household, and USB outlets
- Quite heavy to move around
Generac is also a great manufacturer of generators, and their 7129 GP3000i Generator is one of their quietest models.
Generac is a company that doesn’t publish the exact noise level of their generators as they are not legally obliged to, but this model is advertised as one of the quietest that they produce.
This is another fairly powerful generator as it has a running power of 2300W and a surge power of 3000W producing quiet inverter power.
It comes with a carry handle and is also fairly lightweight for easy portability.
If you want to power sensitive electronics, this is a great option as it only produces clean power, and it also comes with powerRUSH technology so that you can do more with less fuel.
With a quiet operating noise and both household and AC outlets, it is clear that this is one of the best options on the market.
- 2300W running power and 3000W surge power
- Quiet inverter power
- Comes with a carry handle for easy transportation
- Produces clean power for sensitive electronics
- powerRUSH technology allows you to do more with less
- Includes AC and household outlets
- Doesn’t give a specific decibel noise level
The final Champion machine that we come to on this list is their 4000W Generator.
This is another fairly powerful generator as it comes with a running power of 3500W and a surge power of 4000W with the ability to run for up to 17 hours from a single tank of fuel.
It produces clean energy that is safe for use with the most sensitive of electronics and does so while only generating 64 decibels of operating noise.
It is also a great choice if you are conscious about burning fuel as it comes with economy mode to reduce the amount of fuel that you use.
It has an RV, USB, and DC outlet, as well as a variety of household outlets, and produces only 64 decibels of operating noise.
So with all of these wonderful features combined, it’s clear that this is one of the best generators currently on the market.
- 3500W running power and 4000W surge power
- Run time of up to 17 hours from a single tank
- Produces clean electricity for sensitive electronics
- 64 decibels running noise
- Includes economy mode to make fuel last
- Includes an RV, 2 120V 20A outlets, a USB outlet, and a DC outlet
- Large design makes it difficult to transport
Alternatively, you should consider the Durostar DS4000S Generator.
This generator has a running power of 3300W with a surge power of 4000W and also comes with low oil shutoff for fire protection and the safety of the device.
It is on the larger side of the generators but comes with a sturdy and durable design that is guaranteed to last for years to come.
This generator includes a variety of household outlets and also comes with a 120V 30A twist-lock so that you can provide electricity to multiple appliances at once.
However, this generator is towards the noisier end of the “quieter” generators as it has a running noise of 69 decibels, however, this is still significantly quieter than some other generators that are able to produce the same amount of power.
So with all of this considered, it’s clear that this is one of the best options on the market for quiet generators.
- 3300W running and 4000w surge power
- Includes low oil shutoff for fire protection
- Sturdy and durable design will last for years to come
- Has the ability to handle multiple jobs at one time
- Produces 69 decibels of running noise
- Includes household outlets, and a 120V 30A twist-lock outlet
- Heavy design
Finally, we come to yet another Westinghouse machine as we look at the WGen9500 Generator.
This is by far the most powerful generator on this list, and this is reflected in the operating noise of the generator as it will seem high compared to the others that we have looked at.
This generator has a running power of 9500W with a surge power of 12,500W with a running time of up to 12 hours.
Additionally, it comes with a remote control to start the generator and also has an automatic low oil shut down mode and performance monitor so that you know how much fuel you are using.
It comes with a variety of different outlets, including RV, USB, and transfer outlet, and despite its insane power, only generates 73 decibels of operating noise.
So even though this is on the louder side, for the amount of electricity that you are generating this is one of the best and quietest generators on the market.
- 9500W running and 12500W surge power
- Incredibly powerful with up to 12 hours run time
- Includes a remote start key fob
- Automatic low oil shut down and performance monitor
- Produces 73 decibels of operating noise
- Comes with a variety of outlets including transfer switches, RV outlets, and USB
Best Quietest Generators Buying Guide
Finding the perfect generator for you can be difficult, especially when there are so many excellent options available.
The generators that we have looked at above are some of the quietest on the market but if you are still uncertain whether or not they are the right option for you, we’ve put together this buyer’s guide to help.
We’ve included absolutely everything that you need to know not only about quietness in generators but about other factors that you need to consider. So if you need to find out more before you purchase your generator, then you are in the right place.
As you are looking for a quiet generator, the most important thing that you need to consider when making a purchase is operating noise.
The majority of manufacturers will openly state the operating noise of their generator, especially if they have produced this specific design with quietness in mind.
However, the manufacturers of portable generators are not legally obliged to state the operating noise of their generators and so some companies will not give a specific number.
Operating noise is measured in decibels, and it is not only used to measure the noise of generators but general noise too. Due to this, you can get a general idea of how noisy a generator will be by comparing it to something else.
The average conversation usually measures 60 decibels, so ideally you want to choose a generator that measures somewhere around this level. However, some larger generators will significantly exceed this noise level so you should bear this in mind when you are making a purchase.
Another very important thing that you need to consider when purchasing a generator is how powerful the generator is going to be.
If you are purchasing a generator, you are probably doing so with a specific function in mind so you must purchase a generator that can produce enough power for the devices you are wanting to run.
All generators will come with two power ratings: running power and surge power. The running power is the amount of electricity that the generator will be able to continuously supply, while the surge power will be the amount that it can supply for a very short period, ie. when an electric drill is starting up.
The most important measurement is the running power as this is what will supply electricity to your devices.
To ensure you are buying a generator that is capable of running all of the devices that you want it to operate, you should add up the running power required for all of the devices and purchase a generator that can produce 20% more power than this number.
Something else that you should consider which may or may not be important for you is portability.
If you are planning on using a generator to provide electricity to your home then this will not be important. But if you want a generator that you can take on the go with you then portability is very important.
Portability dictates how easily you will be able to transport the generator and is influenced by lots of different things including the physical size and weight of the design, as well as any additional features added to the design to make it easier to transport, such as wheels or a handle.
The more portable generators tend to be the products that have a smaller electrical capacity, so you must consider whether power or portability is more important to you before you make a purchase.
Finally, you need to consider the fuel type of the generator that you are thinking of buying. The more powerful generators tend to be operated on either gasoline, diesel, or propane.
However, some of the smaller and more portable generators are now starting to operate on a battery that is rechargeable via solar panels.
But let’s focus on the traditional types of generators. Diesel generators have become rare in recent years due to the large focus on being eco-friendly so a lot of people are choosing other options rather than diesel.
The majority of people choose to buy generators that run on either propane or gasoline, and some even choose to buy generators that can operate on either gasoline or propane depending on what you have access to.
All of the different fuel types have their benefits and their downfalls, for example, propane is a clean fuel so it is good for the environment but it reduces the number of hours that the generator can operate for.
So you need to weigh up the pros and cons of the different types before you make a purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
How far should a generator be from the house?
There is a lot of confusion about where you should store your generator. A lot of people know that you have to keep your generator a certain distance from your home, but most people don’t actually know how far this distance is.
When you are using your generator the most important number to remember is 20 feet as your generator should always be stored at least 20 feet from your home when it is in use. The engine exhaust of the generator should also be stored facing away from your home for total safety.
Can you leave a generator on overnight?
In short, the answer is yes, you can run a generator overnight. This is, of course, only possible if your generator is designed to run for long periods of time and preferably for more than 8 hours.
The time of the day that you are running the generator does not impact its ability, however, if your generator is not designed to run for more than a handful of hours then the chances are that it will die during the night.
Is 70 decibels loud?
Decibels are the measurement used to dictate how loud a certain sound is. This measurement is quite a funny one as a number that might appear high in normal circumstances, usually matches to a low noise level.
For example, a quiet whisper usually measures around 30 decibels, and a normal conversation can measure anywhere between 60 and 70 decibels. It is once the noise exceeds 70 decibels that it becomes considered loud and could put your hearing at risk.