Chances are you’ve experienced a power outage in your lifetime, maybe even many of them. You know what it’s like to be thrown back to the dark ages. There’s the process of asking what is happening, and then a frantic hunt for flashlights and batteries begins (unless you’re a prepper of course!) A generator can solve most of your power outage problems in the event of SHTF or in the event of a downed tree over a power line.
If this is your first generator you probably have a lot of questions. What brand to get? What features to look for? How do they work?
The 2 Types of SHTF Generators
Traditional gas powered – Let’s take a look at the types of SHTF generators you’re going to no doubt come across when you shop. The first and most common generator is the simple gas powered engine variety. You typically see these at job sites and there is one thing you’ll notice – they are very loud. They do however output a ton of power and have a fairly long run time due to the expansiveness of the gas tank. Simply fill her up and start plugging in what you need.
Inverters – Somewhat new to the market is the inverter generator. These typically run on a 4 stroke fuel mix or a 12v battery provided by your car, bot, or RV. The advantage of the inverter is the power coming out is very clean and consistent. You can plug in your electronics without worrying about damaging the components. Inverter generators are much more quiet then the traditional generators. They quietely hum along while they power many of your electrical devices. The disadvantage of the inverter is the low power output compared to the traditional generators and limited run time. Because they tend to be smaller and portable in design, the fuel tanks are not nearly as large. And if you’re running one off a battery you’re limited to the charge capacity of the battery.
How many watts?
Power output is measure in watts. The amount of power a generator can produce determines how many appliances you can plug in and run. Certain appliances draw more power from the generator and therefore require more juice. Ask yourself, if the power goes out what things do you want to keep running? Most would like to at least keep their fridge online and power a few lights. Those are the essentials.
Here’s a reference table to give you an idea of what each of your appliances power requirements are:
Top 5 Best SHTF Generators
Let’s take a look at some hardware now that you have an idea about what you need.
1.) WEN 56200i Inverter Generator
This is a 4 stroke gas powered generator outputting extremely clean power. The WEN 56200i is extremely portable weighing in at a mere 48 pounds. It can produce 2000 watts of power which means you can power your fridge, the TV, and a couple lights no problem. If you want to move it to another part of the house simply pick it up or run extension cords to where you need power. On a half load you’ll get about 3 hours of continuous power before needing to refill the 1 gallon tank. The nice thing about the inverter is how quiet it hums along as opposed to the noisy generators that sound like garbage trucks.
2.) DuroMax XP4400EH
This is a multi fuel traditional generator. You can run the generator with either standard fuel or liquid propane. This gives you a bit of flexibility and redundancy as a prepper. As far as generators for preppers go, this is a no brainer. Maximum output is 4400 watts doubling the amount of the generator listed above. The larger gas tank also means you’ll be providing consistent power for much longer. This generator is also extremely quiet as far as traditional gas generators go.
3.) Champion 3500 Watt
The Champion is a popular one among RV enthusiasts but doubles perfectly as a great survival generator as well. This will run all of your crucial appliances with 3500 watts of sustained power. The Champion also features a built in surge suppressor to protect your appliances from sudden surges. On a half load, the Champion will run all your equipment for an entire 12 hours before needing a refill. Also very easy to start in cold weather.
4.) Honda EU2000I
Honda makes some of the best and most reliable generators out there. In return, you will be shelling out more cash. The Honda EU2000I is an extremely quiet inverter generator with the best fuel efficiency on the market. 1 gallon of gas will you get a solid 8 hours worth of run time. This is unheard of for typical inverter style generators. You can also connect multiple generators in parallel for even more power. This is the perfect generator for the minimalist prepper who wants the best. Easily power your fridge, lights, and electronics with super clean power output knowing all your equipment is safe.
5.) Honda 7oooW
I’m including this one for those of you who demand the best and most. This is the Honda 7000W generator. Of course, 7000 watts of output makes this the most powerful generator on this list. However, it also boasts a number of features that the others don’t. The electric start is a nice touch. This Honda includes a battery allowing you to start the generator at the push of a button rather than a pull cord. It does have the pull cord as a backup just in case the battery dies as well. The engine is fuel injected as opposed to a standard carburetor. This makes the Honda 7000w generator extremely fuel efficient. The design is well thought out with the service compartment easily accessible and the oil drainage in a spot that’s not going to make things messy. Very smooth to roll around throw in the back of a truck with a little help, or simply wheel it up yourself.
When TSHTF it’s good to have a generator to run basic appliances until power is restored. Generators last a long time so they are a worthy investment – especially if you’re a prepper or just getting into preparedness in general. Remember the two types of generators available to you and you can’t go wrong by selecting a generator from this list. I as well have done my own thorough research and found these generators to be the best in the business.
Any questions? Please let me know in the comments below!