Which generators are the best?

which is the best generator

A common question that we are asked by our customers is what brand of generator is the best?

Just with any product purchase, when purchasing portable generators or a standby generator it can be hard to distinguish between different brands, and most portable generators are similar prices.

As you can imagine, with petrol generators the choice of portable models is enormous, and here in the UK we have access to many leading generator brands from a number of countries around the world.

Whether you need a portable generator for your power supply or a standby generator as backup power for power outages, it is important to select a leading brand.

Here at Solent Power we offer a range of generator sales including petrol generators, diesel generators, long-run generators, silent generators, recoil start generators, electric-start generators and many more.

Let’s discuss the key points that determine a great generator brand

What Portable generator should I buy?

We won’t bother discussing the low budget portable generator brands and will try to be as fair as we can between what we would consider the best portable generators.

When deciding which brand to choose for your portable generator, it is important to consider what you will be using it for.

Below are some factors and options that will affect your choice:

Fuel economy

Inverter generators will run at faster or slower speeds depending on how many watts are needed and as such use less fuel. An inverter generator is generally more expensive due to the flexibility of how you can use it…from power tools to sensitive electronics.

Gas powered portable generators

You may wish to save on fuel costs and utilise your on-site gas with an LPG generator. These are lightweight due to not needing an in-built fuel tank and some also have battery powered starting.

Gas powered portable generator

Electric start or recoil start

Usually a portable generator will have a recoil start or pull start, but some will be battery powered, which may help if you have trouble physically pulling on a cord. Some of the best portable units also have a remote key fob to enable hands-free starting.

recoil start generator

Heavy usage – Tough and sturdy

You may wish to use your portable generator for work such as construction supplying equipment or power tools. If you need to run your portable generator for a long period of time, you will need a larger fuel tank.

champion portable generator

Camping and recreation

We recommend a petrol generator or inverter generators for camping due to the lower noise, cheaper fuel, more lightweight and smaller fuel tank needed.

The best portable generators and inverter generator have in-built AVR’s which provide protection for sensitive electronics such as TV’s. As an alternative to a portable generator, you can also explore battery powered power banks, which are lightweight and inexpensive.

best portable generator

As you can see from the considerations detailed above, there is a lot to think about when choosing the best portable generator. The best portable generator for your needs is not always down to brand choice, but numerous factors for your individual needs.

At Solent Power are authorised dealers for a range of portable generator brands and can assist you with answering all the questions you have when considering what generator to buy.

Contact us for a friendly discussion about your portable generator requirements.

What are the top 5 best standby generators?

best portable generator 1

There are so many options to choose from when selecting standby generators and there is no single ‘best generator’

Backup generators can replace utility power during a power outage or power cut (when combined with an automatic transfer switch or manual transfer switch.

The benefit of an emergency generator is that once you know exactly how much power is needed, you can supply your entire house or building, ensuring that your major appliances and machinery are supplied during a power cut.

Diesel backup generators can produce either three phase or single phase ac power and have huge starting watts capability which is useful when powering machinery with high starting currents such as air compressors.

cummins industrial generator

1. Cummins Generators

Established in 1919, Cummins has been manufacturing engines for over 100 years and their engine quality and reliability shows. They are recognized worldwide for being a leading manufacturer of generators.

Also recognized for their green engines!

Cummins only manufacture large industrial diesel and gas powered generators and do not manufacture engines small enough to suit portable generators.

Pros:

  • Global support and warranty
  • 100+ years of engine design and manufacture

Cons:

  • proprietary control systems with limited technician access
  • ‘out of the box’ products with minimal specification options
  • Cummins don’t manufacture portable generators
caterpillar c23 generator

2. Caterpillar Generators

Caterpillar or CAT is also a global recognized premium generator brand, amongst other products. They were founded in 1925 and have produced engines since 1931.

Caterpillar gained their name when they replaced tractor wheels with tracks, and a company photographer claimed that it looked like a caterpillar!

As with Cummins, CAT are a premium brand and only produce industrial gas and diesel generators. They have a strong reputation and quite rightly so….you can rely on a CAT generator to produce its maximum output every time!

Pros:

  • Excellent engine build quality
  • Global access to parts and support
  • Long equipment life span and resale value

Cons:

  • Premium product – Expensive
  • Proprietary control systems with limited technician access
himoinsa industrial generator

3. Himoinsa Generators

Himoinsa is a Yanmar company and trades in over 20+ countries. Yanmar, established in Japan 1912, has over 100 years of engine manufacturing experience and supplies products to several industries worldwide.

Himoinsa manufacture all components of their generators in house including the canopies, fuel tank, control panels and use a large range of leading engine brands to power their units such as Yanmar, Iveco, MTU, Scania and many more.

Pros:

  • Large range of customizations from fuel tank size, alternator upgrades to canopy upgrades
  • Super silent industrial canopies as standard, to reduce running noise
  • Deep sea electronics control units for ease of technician access
  • The stationary range of industrial generators offer a premium product at budget price

Cons:

  • As of today, Yanmar engine ranges only reach around 50kW in size, relying on other brands to power their larger sets
  • Himoinsa don’t manufacture portable generators

Solent Power are authorized distributors of Himoinsa generators in the UK and can assist with specifying your unit to ensure it provides the right electrical power for your needs.

Contact us to get a quote for a Himoinsa generator.

teksan generator

4. Teksan Generators

Teksan have been manufacturing diesel generators now for over 18 years and have a strong management team with extensive generator manufacturing experience with other leading brands.

They only use the best engine brands such as Bauduoin, Doosan and Perkins, with leading brand alternators and deep sea electronics UK controllers.

Similar to Himoinsa, they manufacture all components of their diesel generators in-house at their factory in Europe so they can deliver a premium product for a very competitive price.

Pros:

  • Quality product at budget prices
  • Full UK support for all components
  • Deep sea electronics control units for ease of technician access
  • All units come with battery charger and water heater as standard
  • Customized options such as control upgrades and long run fuel tank.

Cons:

  • Sometimes longer lead times on stock due to high demand
pramac generators 1

5.Pramac Generators

Founded in 1966, Pramac has evolved from an Italian construction company into a global manufacturer of generators in 150 different countries.

Pramac was recently acquired by the Generac group, forming the worlds third largest generator and lighting tower manufacturer.

Pramac manufacture a large range of generators and can provide options from a petrol generator, portable generator to an industrial diesel or gas generator. Most generators are manufactured still in Italy.

Pros:

  • Large range of units and choice of portable generator
  • Deep sea electronics control units for ease of technician access
  • Great pricing, quailty product at budget price

Cons:

As with other European manufacturers, there is limited stock held and can sometimes cause longer lead times

What should I look for when buying a generator?

Quality

A good quality generator should be built with the best major components such as the engine, alternator, control panel. In addition to these, it is also important that good quality minor components and materials are used such as hoses, door hinges, electrical components and wiring etc

Warranty

It is important that whatever portable generator brand you choose, you consider how long your generator warranty is. The warranty of the generator is usually provided in years or hours run, so do consider how often you will be using it.

Aftersales support

Problems with your portable generator can happen. Critical components can fail. The best brands have technical support and fast access to spare parts, preferably in stock here in the UK. This is an important consideration when choosing a generator brand. You don’t want to be in a position where you are struggling to get support for your new generator purchase!

Is it worth it to buy a generator?

A portable generator can be quite an inexpensive purchase, and can provide power for lots of different scenarios such as trips away or maybe powering a bouncy castle in your garden where power cannot reach.

A backup generator is always a good investment, as the costs associated with power loss for a business can be huge. It is always good exercise to consider how your business would operate without power.

If you need support or advice with contingency power planning, Solent Power can assist you with a ‘power risk assessment’ for your building and advise of various options to improve power security.

FAQs

What is the best time of year to buy a generator?

For smaller generators there is usually plenty of stock in the UK and you can get these anytime with as low as next day delivery in some cases for a portable generator.

With large diesel generators, these are usually made to order and can have long lead times….sometimes up to 6 months for bespoke units with modifications.

Planning ahead is crucial. If you know you need an emergency generator it is wise to get it installed before the bad weather season, to protect yourself from power cuts in storms.

How much would a good generator cost?

You can buy a portable generator for under £1000 and for small units sometimes even below £500.

Larger three phase generators start from around £5000 but can range into hundreds of thousands for large industrial units with high specifications.

How do I calculate what size generator I need?

You will need to look at what equipment you have to power with the generator and make note of all of their kW ratings.

By adding these kW values together you will have a good idea of the maximum power needed. You will need to allow for other factors such as motor starting currents, power factor and harmonics.

Contact Solent Power for assistance with sizing your generator. We are happy to provide advice and site surveys to make sure you select the right equipment for your power needs.

In Summary

The points above are just a few of the considerations to have when choosing a generator brand. In this modern world we have a wealth of information at our fingertips. It is easy to research different brands and look up reviews online, which will help you gain a better expectation of the products before you choose your generator.

At Solent Power we only supply leading generator brands and we refuse to sell poor quality equipment. Our reputation means a lot to us, and we maintain that by providing the best options for you as an individual.

Paul Phelps
Paul Phelps

Paul is the MD of Solent Power and specialises in emergency power solutions, helping to protecting your facilities from power loss. Get in touch with us today to discuss the different power brands that we can offer and how they can suit your needs.

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