Inverter generator – these generate the cleanest power possible, called pure sine wave power. They are suitable for powering any equipment, including sensitive electronics. They are also lighter, quieter and more efficient than conventional generators.
Portable generator – consumers usually think of a portable generator as something one or two people can carry easily, but generator manufacturers and retailers also use this term to refer trade style generators that may or may not be inverters and may weigh up to about 200 kilos. Certainly not portable in the same sense! The first type is often called a ‘recreational generator’ by the industry, but we will use the term ‘portable inverter’ in this guide the same way consumers do.
A portable inverter therefore is small unit, capable of being moved by one or two people, which produces clean power that will safely power any appliance. They are also petrol powered.
Other sorts of generator include trade and diesel types, and while we won’t discuss them here, the same buying tips apply.