Buying portable generator guide

Generator Buying Guide

Looking to buy a portable generator but not sure where to begin?

Don't worry. We've got you covered. But first, let us hit this fundamental question out of the park: What is a portable generator?

A generator is a device that produces electric power. It has an engine which can be powered using several fuel options such as diesel, petrol, gas, etc. When powered, the engine produces mechanical energy, which an alternator converts into electrical output.

Portable means this generator type is light enough for you to carry or move easily.

At Gentrax, we understand how important portability is for our customers. At Gentrax, we understand how important portability is for our customers.

At Gentrax, we understand how important portability is for our customers.

Especially for those who use portable generators for recreational purposes. Our best-selling camping generator (3500 W) weighs just 28 kgs which is less than half of comparable power output offerings by Yamaha* (67 kgs) and Honda** (59 kgs).

* Yamaha EF3000iSE ** Honda EU 30iS

When you're away from your main electrical supply, portable generators can be a good source of essential power. So, whether you are camping on an unpowered campsite, out with friends on a boat, or facing a power outage, a portable generator can provide you with power and peace of mind.

The problem, however, is that there are too many options for portable generators.

To start, we have the regular generators and the inverter generators. Also known as standard or conventional generators, regular generators operate at a constant speed. They have been there for ages but have gained a bad name because they produce unnecessary noise and have poor fuel efficiency and exhaust output.

On the other hand, inverter generators have become very popular recently and for good reasons. They are smaller, lighter, and quieter and produce cleaner power that is completely safe for sensitive appliances such as mobile phones and laptops.


Gentrax GT3500 Inverter Generator

Our Best-selling 3.5kW generator

  • Pull start
  • Runs quietly at 58dB @ 7 metres
  • 5.7L petrol capacity for 6.2 hours (50% load) run time
  • 565 x 320 x 470mm
  • 28 kg

Gentrax - we only make inverter generators

Our generators produce electricity in a 'pure sine wave' format that 'cleans' up the power output and removes any irregularities that may damage sensitive appliances. The power produced is safer and the operation is quieter than generators that produce power in a 'square sine wave' or 'modified sine wave' format.

Now that we have established the superiority of inverter generators over their conventional counterparts, let us determine what you should consider before buying an inverter generator.

The following three questions are a good starting point.

  1. 1. What for do I need a generator?

    All of us are made different. And our requirements are likely to be different too. Even if you buy a portable generator for power backup, your requirements may differ significantly from someone else who is also buying it for power backup. You may want to run a few lights and a fridge in a power outage, while someone else may also need a TV, AC, and microwave. Similarly, you may have several appliances to run on a camping trip, but your friend only needs the most basic ones. So, the first thing to consider is your needs.

  2. 2. How much power do I need?

    Once you have established the application and identified the appliances you plan to power, the next step is to calculate the total power requirements. And when determining the power requirement of an appliance, we need to consider its running as well as starting wattage requirements. You see, most appliances need a power surge to start and a constant lower power to run. For example, a refrigerator, on average, needs about 1350W to start but once started, it can run comfortably at 600W. So, if you must power a fridge, you need to have a generator with a power output of at least 1500W.

  3. 3. How important is portability for me?

    There is a wide range of size and weight options in the market. You can get something as light as 8 kgs and as heavy as 100 kgs. Usually, weight is directly proportional to power, i.e., heavier generators are likely to offer more power. And these heavier generators usually come with built-in wheels and a handle for easy transport.

Choosing an inverter generator for your needs

Camping & Caravanning

Construction & tradies

Power backup & off grid living

Commerical & Shops

Home power backup

Fishing & adventure

How to Check for Genuine Power Output

There is so much that goes into making a reliable portable generator that delivers a genuine power output. And maybe that is why this industry is rife with brands who unscrupulously short-change their consumers by selling over-rated products.

You read it right!

There are several generator-sellers online (more than you can imagine) who overrate the power output of their generators and sell them at a price that is too high for the genuine output levels. These sellers place a smaller (lower priced) engine in the generator and label the generator with false output claims.

But thankfully, most of these sellers source the engines from a large global engine supplier. And each engine is supplied with an engine number that can be matched to the real output for the generator.

Why does engine number matter?

Engine numbers are engraved into the engine and are the only part that can't be re-labeled

How to find the engine number?

What will the Engine number show?

The engine number can be matched with the REAL output of the generator.

Engine Number Engine Number
XG144F 0.9kW
XG158F 1.6kW
XG152F 2.2kW
XG157F 3.1kW
XG188 5.8kW
XY144F-1 1.0kW
XY152F-4 2.0kW
XY152F-3 2.2kW
XY157F 3.2kW
XY188F-1 5.8kW

You're safe when you buy

Gentrax Certifications and Licenses

We keep the consumer at the centre of everything we do. This means building reliable, fuel-efficient generators that are easy for the consumer to carry and use and don't cost a fortune. None of this is achievable without an unstinting pursuit of excellence. Here's a look at some of the licenses and certifications we have received because of our constant endeavour to better our products and meet all quality standards.

Meets Euro 5 emissions standards

RCM Australian Standards Approved

United States EPA Certified

Meets European safety, health & environmental requirements

Independently tested and authorized for safety and quality for Europe

Pure Sine Wave Smooth and efficient

Gentrax Compared With Other Brands

Great products don’t necessarily have to cost an arm and leg. Here’s a comparison of a Gentrax 3.5 KW inverter generator with Yamaha and Honda generators of similar power output. Call our expert team at 1800436872 if you have any questions about this comparison or our generators in general.

Honda EU30Is

Honda Generator


  • Delivery Cost: $178
  • Max AC Output: 3000W
  • Rates AC Output: 2800W
  • 35kg
  • Weight with full tank: 72kg
  • L 655 x W 445 x H 555mm
  • Fuel Capacity: 13L
  • Run time @50%: 10 hours
  • Fuel efficiency (run time/tank capacity): 0.8
  • Noise at 7m: 62db
  • 1 x 12 V Slots DC
  • 2 x 240 V Slots AC
  • 0 USB ports
  • Pull Start
  • Remote Start
  • Key Start
  • Euro 5
  • Wheels
  • Cover
  • Toolkit

Gentrax 3.5kW Remote Start

Gentrax Generator


  • Delivery Cost: FREE*
  • Max AC Output: 3500W
  • Rates AC Output: 3200W
  • 28kg
  • Weight with full tank: 45.5kg
  • L 614 x W 341 x H 506mm
  • Fuel Capacity: 7.5L
  • Run time @50%: 7 hours
  • Fuel efficiency (run time/tank capacity): 0.9
  • Noise at 7m: 58db
  • 1 x 12 V Slots DC
  • 2 x 240 V Slots AC
  • 2 x USB Ports
  • Pull Start
  • Remote Start
  • Key Start
  • Euro 5
  • Wheels
  • Cover
  • Toolkit
  • *Most areas

Yamaha EF3000iSE

Yamaha Generator


  • Delivery Cost: $80
  • Max AC Output: 3000W
  • Rates AC Output: 2800W
  • 67kg
  • Weight with full tank: 80kg
  • L 680 x W 445 x H 555mm
  • Fuel Capacity: 13L
  • Run time @50%: 10.25 hours
  • Fuel efficiency (run time/tank capacity): 0.8
  • Noise at 7m: 51db
  • 12 V Slots DC x 1
  • 240 V Slots AC x 2
  • 0 USB ports
  • Pull Start
  • Remote Start
  • Key Start
  • Euro 5
  • Wheels
  • Cover
  • Toolkit

Using Your Generator Safely

Whatever type of inverter generator you decide to invest in, make sure that you know how to use it safely.

  1. Read the user manual, especially if you have never used a generator before.
  2. If you are unsure how to use your inverter generator for the first time, call the customer service number provided by Outbax.
  3. Make sure you do a test run or a break-in. Breaking in your new portable generator is important to ensure it will last you a long time.
  4. Never use your inverter generator indoors. Keep in mind that while carbon monoxide emissions are much lower in an inverter generator, running them in enclosed spaces is still harmful. Only use them outdoors.
  5. Keep your inverter generator dry at all times. Never store them in places where it can get wet. Keep it off the floor as much as possible to avoid water spills