Best 3000-Watt Power Generators
3000 Watt power generators are very balanced units, offering strong and reliable power at acceptable cost and noise, from relatively compact units.
Unlike somewhat smaller and weaker 2000 Watt power generators, modern 3000 Watt power generators often come with features that were reserved for larger units just a few years ago.
Updated: July 11, 2023.
On This Page:
- Intro to 3000-Watt Power Generators
- Honda EU3000IS Super Quiet Gasoline Portable Generator with Inverter
- Champion Power Equipment 100263 3400-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
- Generac 7127 iQ3500-3500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator
- WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
- Westinghouse WGen3600DF Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator
- Most Popular 3000 Watt Generators
Intro to 3000-Watt Power Generators
3000W power generators feature Running/Starting power in the 3000-4000W range - there is no clear margin between 2000W, 3000W, and 4000W generators, especially since some units have a large margin between their Starting and Running watts.
So, when looking for a good 3000W power generator, there are a few things to consider first:
Most 3000W power generators use either gas (gasoline) or a dual-fuel gas/propane combination.
To help users with fueling their units, most of the 3000W power generators accept gas fuel with up to 10% ethanol.
However, gasoline with 10% ethanol is not the best fuel to store for a longer period of time, unlike propane which can be stored in propane tanks for a very long time.
Also, propane as a fuel is much cleaner for the environment, it is cheaper and prolongs the operating time of the generator.
On the other hand, when powered by propane, power generators lose some output power, usually around 10%.
Note: most power generators designed to use gas only can be converted to propane, too. However, if such conversion kits are not supported officially, they are NOT recommended.
3000W power generators that use diesel or natural gas are not very common.
Call me lazy, but the electric start system is an excellent feature. 3000W power generators have engines small enough that they can be more or less easily started manually, but it is much more convenient to start them with the press of a button.
And if the unit features an automatic choke, even better.
Some units also feature a remote control fob, allowing the user to start the power generator from a distance, usually up to 100-200 feet (30-60m).
Electric starting systems are based on the lead-acid 12V 5-10Ah (or sometimes slightly larger) batteries that can provide strong enough currents to crank the 150-250cc engines.
And when the engine starts, power generators automatically recharge their starting batteries.
Note: If the power generator is stored for a longer period of time, be sure to keep it in a cool area and that the battery is recharged every 1-2 months with a smart battery charger. Also, be sure to store the power generator as recommended by the manufacturer - read the Owner's Guide again, if necessary.
Physical Dimensions and Weight
The size of 3000W power generators varies, just as their output power and runtime vary.
But they are still compact enough to be easily carried in cars, trucks, RVs, and similar vehicles.
Also, their dry weight (weight without the fuel) is mostly in the 90-150 pounds (~41-68 kg) range, allowing a single adult to transport the generator using the built-in wheels (if present) and allowing two adults to carry the power generator via built-in handles to shorter distances - just be aware of the total weight and be careful!
Note: some units don't feature transport wheels by default, but additional 2 or 4-wheel kits can be ordered later when/if required.
Running watts is the normal maximum output power of the generator while Starting watts is the maximum output power of the power generator for a short period of time.
Starting watts are important when the power generator is used to power units with electric motors and similar loads that require more power when starting - hence "Starting Watts."
Note: If your power generator is running very close to its maximum (Running) power, it is underpowered - consider getting a larger power generator or compatible Parallel Ready unit!
Parallel Ready 3000W power generators allow the user to connect two same power generators (or two compatible power generators) in parallel, practically doubling the output power.
Some power generators feature simple Parallel Ready cables, while other units feature Parallel Ready connection kits that also feature additional ports, usually RV and similar high-output power ports.
Some companies even manufacture several types of Parallel Kits with different receptacles, allowing the users to get the best fit possible for their needs.
The warranty period for 3000W power generators is usually between 1 and 3 years, rarely up to 5 years. Also, it is not the same if the unit is intended for domestic/residential use or for commercial use.
However, some models come with the same residential/commercial warranty, showing that the company believes in the quality of their power generators - highly recommended, even if You don't plan on using the power generator commercially.
Note: warranty is void if the power generator is not used according to the manufacturer's instructions!
The most common receptacles include:
- AC 120V 20A 5-20R,
- AC 120V 30A L5-30R,
- AC 120V 30A TT-30R,
Note: 120/240V 50A (14-50R) and 120/240V 30A (L14-30R) ports are usually available only as part of the Parallel Kits. Also, not all Parallel Kits support the 240V AC.
- DC 12V Automotive (Cigarette Lighter Port),
- DC 12V battery charging port,
- USB ports: 5.0 volts, 5-9 volts, 1-4 Amps.
Also, some units don't feature USB ports but come with a USB port adapter.
Obviously, not all power generators come with all these ports!
The price of the 3000W power generators varies significantly, depending on the unit's features and specifications, output power, noise levels, output ports, safety features, etc.
The most expensive unit is not always the best one, but also, what you pay is usually what you get.
However, power generators, especially inverter power generators, are complex machines, and as such, they are not cheap.
When looking for a new power generator, always choose according to your own needs and preferences.
Safety features usually include a low-oil engine shut-off system, an overload automatic circuit breaker, and power-ready indicator lights.
Additional safety features may include Carbon Monoxide (CO) sensor combined with an engine automatic shut-down system, which can be very helpful.
Honda EU3000IS Super Quiet Gasoline Portable Generator with Inverter
The unit is powered by a very efficient 196cc Honda GX200 engine, which in combination with a 3.4 gal fuel tank, offers a 20h runtime @25% of nominal power (700 Watts) and 6.9 hours at nominal power (2800W).
Honda EU3000IS features both manual and electric engine start.
Physical dimensions are 25.9 x 17.6 x 22.0 inches (~65.8 x 44.7 x 55.9 cm), and it weighs 130.7 pounds (~59.2 kg) dry.
Honda EU3000IS doesn't feature transport wheels, but it comes with a pair of carrying/transport handles. Also, it is possible to order 2 or 4 wheel kits, for easier transport from one spot to another.
Output ports include 120V 20A AC Duplex and 120V 30A AC L5-30R.
Safety features include a low-oil automatic shut-off system, overload protection, and so-called "CO-MINDER" warning system which is an advanced Carbon Monoxide detection system that automatically shuts down the generator before detected CO levels near the generator become dangerously high.
Note: Honda EU3000IS and other power generators must be run outside!
Also, Honda EU3000IS is a parallel-ready unit.
Thanks to advanced inverter technology, Honda EU3000IS features very low THD% (Total Harmonic Distortions percentage), making the unit suitable for powering sensitive electronics.
Honda EU3000IS is a very quiet power generator, featuring noise levels of only 50 dB @25% and 57 dB at full power, making it ideal for camping, tailgating, construction sites, in emergencies in residential areas, and similar.
Honda EU3000IS comes with a 3-year residential and commercial warranty.
Honda EU3000IS is an excellent portable inverter generator, a very reliable and durable unit. The only cons are slightly heavier weight, higher price, which is typical for Honda's equipment, and the lack of DC output ports (12V, USB 5.0V).
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the Honda EU3000IS Super Quiet Gasoline Portable Generator Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Champion Power Equipment 100263 3400-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
When the unit is powered by gas, it features 3100 Running Watts and 3400 Starting Watts, and when the unit is powered by propane, it features 2790 Running Watts and 3060 Starting Watts. Noise levels are acceptable at 59 dB @23 feet.
Champion 100263 comes with a 1.6-gallon gas tank providing a runtime of 7.5h @25%. When the unit is powered by the propane, the runtime is 14.5h @25% using 20 pounds propane tank.
Output ports include 120V 30A AC TT-30R, 2x 120V 20A AC 5-20R and 12V DC, and dual USB adapter.
Champion 100263 power generator is Parallel Ready, with several Parallel Ready Kits being offered, each with different output ports, allowing the user to pick the right one according to the needs and requirements.
The physical dimensions of the unit are (L x W x H) 25.1 x 17.3 x 18.3 inches (63.8 x 43.9 x 46.5 cm), and it weighs 95.7 pounds (~43.4 kg) dry.
Champion 100263 power generator features a pair of carrying handles, a pair of transport wheels, and a folding handle.
The unit comes with a very efficient inverter that also ensures very low THD% output (<3%), allowing the unit to power even very sensitive appliances.
Champion 100263 comes with a 3-year limited warranty.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the Champion Power Equipment 100263 3400-Watt Portable Inverter Generator Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Generac 7127 iQ3500-3500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator
Note: we didn't have the opportunity to verify this claim, but Generac 7127 iQ3500 is a surprisingly quiet unit.
Generac 7127 iQ3500 is powered by a 212cc OHV engine, providing 3000 Running Watts and 3500 Starting Watts.
Unit comes with 2.6 gallons tank, which is enough for 8.9h @50% load and 14.1h @25% load, using Eco Mode.
Generac 7127 iQ3500 inverter generator provides output power with very low THD (<3%), making it safe for powering sensitive electronics and appliances.
The unit features both manual and electric start, and for users requiring even more power, it is good to know that the Generac 7127 iQ3500 is a Parallel Ready power generator.
Power output ports include 120V 20A AC Duplex 5-20R, 120V 30A AC L5-30R, and two USB ports (5V/2.1A, 5V/1A).
Safety features include overload protection and low-oil automatic engine shut-off. Also, it comes with Hour Meter, Fuel Gauge, Wattage Meter, and Run-Time Remaining displayed on its control panel.
The physical dimensions of the unit are 23.7 x 18 x 21.7 inches (60.2 x 45.7 x 55.1 cm), and it weighs 109 pounds (49.4 kg) dry.
Generac 7127 iQ3500 comes with a 3-year residential and commercial warranty.
If You are looking for an excellent, gas-only powered 3000W power generator and the Honda EU3000IS is over the budget, consider this unit.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the Generac 7127 iQ3500-3500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
The engine features both a manual and electric start system.
Unit comes with very efficient inverter technology, also featuring very low THD - unit features almost pure sine wave output.
The physical dimensions of the unit are (L x W x H) 23.2 x 18 x 20.1 inches (58.9 x 45.7 x 51.1 cm), and it weighs 99.2 pounds (~45 kg) dry.
Power outlets include two 120V 15A AC 5-20R, 120V 30A AC TT-30R, and 12V DC and 5V USB ports.
WEN 56380i noise levels are ~57 dB @25% load, which could be better (or could be much worse!), but it is more than acceptable, making this unit suitable for camping, tailgating, emergencies, and similar.
The unit is Parallel Ready, allowing the user to connect two same (or compatible) units in parallel, providing more power.
WEN 56380i comes with an easy-to-read digital display allowing the user to easily monitor output voltage, load (wattage), frequency, run time, and fuel level.
Also, the unit comes with a 2-year limited warranty.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Westinghouse WGen3600DF Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator
It is a relatively simple but also reliable, sturdy, and affordable unit.
Westinghouse WGen3600DF is powered by a 212cc internal combustion engine providing 3600 Running Watts and 4650 Starting Watts when running on gas and 3240 Running Watts and 4180 Starting Watts when running on propane.
The 4-gallon gas tank ensures 18h runtime @25% and 13.5h @50% load, while the 20 lbs propane tank ensures a runtime of 10.5h @50% load.
Note: considering its output power, Westinghouse WGen3600DF is somewhere between 3000W and 4000W power generators.
Westinghouse WGen3600DF features an electric start and a remote start fob, with a maximum range of 260 feet (~80 m).
Power outlets include 120V AC Duplex 5-20R, 120V 30A AC TT-30R, and 120V 30A AC L5-30R ports.
The physical dimensions are 23.3 x 22.8 x 21.3 inches (59.2 x 57.9 x 54.1 cm), and it weighs 109 pounds (~49.4 kg) dry.
Westinghouse WGen3600DF comes with a 3-year limited residential warranty and a 1-year limited commercial warranty.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the Westinghouse WGen3600DF Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Most Popular 3000 Watt Generators
Of course, there are many other 3000W power generators on the market, each one with its own pros and cons.
The following comparison chart lists some of the most popular 3000W power generators with their most important features and specifications:
| 7.5h @25% gas
14.5h @25% 20 lbs Propane Tank
|59 dB||AC: 120V 30A TT-30R, 2x 120V 20A 5-20R; DC: 12V, dual USB adapter
|8h @25%||58 dB||AC: 120V 30A TT-30R, 2x 120V 20A 5-20R; DC: 12V, dual USB adapter
|9h @25%||58 dB||AC: 120V 20A Duplex 5-20R, 120V 30A TT-30R; DC: 12V 8.3A, USB 5V/2.1A port
|?||AC: 120V 20A Duplex, 120V 30A L5-30R; DC: two USB ports (5V/2.1A, 5V/1A)
|?||AC: 120V 20A Duplex, 120V 30A L5-30R; DC: two USB ports (5V/2.1A, 5V/1A)
|45* dB||AC: 120V 20A Duplex 5-20R, 120V 30A L5-30R; DC: two USB ports (5V/2.1A, 5V/1A)
|4.5h @50%||60 dB @25%||AC: 120V 20A Duplex 5-20R, 120V 30A L5-30R; DC: 2x 5V USB
|20h @25%||50 dB @25%||AC: 120V 20A Duplex, 120V 30A L5-30R
|12h @50%||?||AC: 120V 20A Duplex 5-20R; DC: 12V 8.3A
|4.5h @50%||59 dB||AC: 120V 20A Duplex 5-20R, 120V 30A TT-30R
|8.5h @50%||57 dB||AC: two 120V 15A 5-20R, 120V 30A TT-30R; DC: 12V, 5V USB
|18h @25%, 13.5h @50% Gas
10.5h @50% 20 lbs Propane Tank
|68 dB||AC: 120V Duplex 5-20R, 120V 30A TT-30R, 120V 30A L5-30R
Note: Amazon affiliate links (the 'Model' column) open in the new windows, feel free to check them for the most up-to-date offers and prices.
Again, when choosing 3000W or any similar power generator, always choose according to your own needs and preferences.