Inverter Generator Vs Generator – Which Type Should You Buy?


With a generator, you can always power up all sorts of devices and appliances without grid electricity. However, different types and designs of generators are available in the market, making it relatively challenging to choose the best one. Having a generator that will best suit your needs is a huge relief and highly essential. As a result, in this article, we shall be discussing the inverter generator vs. generator.

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 Inverter Generator

Whether you are considering purchasing an inverter generator while staying off the grid or preparing for the unknown or you would like to solve the issue with electricity backup, choosing the best generator that meets your needs is a must.

However, figuring out what you need during an emergency can be challenging. Furthermore, you might not understand what you will be facing, which makes it relatively demanding to choose the best tool to have on hand.

Inverter generator vs. generator tend to have similarities in their usage; thus, most individuals tend to interchange these terms a lot. In addition to that, there seems to be confusion among most customers when it comes to the differences between an inverter generator and the conventional generator.

By knowing and understanding their differences, you will tell which one will best suit your needs. To help you understand this concept, we will take you through the most detailed answers.

How Does an Inverter Generator Operate?


Understanding how an inverter generator operates from the conventional generator will help you choose one that will best suit your needs between the two types of generators.

Usually, an inverter generator's mechanics tend to be slightly more complicated than a conventional generator. Inverter generator features lots of parts that are involved in delivering final electric output compared to their counterpart.

Various types of inverter generators operate on fossil energy. Additionally, an inverter generator is equipped with a battery, inverter, and an alternator to draw power from a fuel tank.

The power generated from its engine is a high-frequency AC energy converted into DC energy by an alternator. This DC energy is later on converted back to AC energy by and inverter.

Most inverter generators tend to have an output of approximately 120 volts at 60 hertz. Due to the extra steps involved in electricity production, an inverter generator tends to have a more stable current.

Nevertheless, on the other hand, inverter generators are known for having less harmonic distortion; as a result, they are said to offer clean energy. Inverter generators produce quality electricity comparable to the quality of energy one receives from the primary electric grid.

This clean energy has been made possible by two main factors. The first factor being the initial AC energy is at higher frequency in an inverter generator hence giving sufficient electrical power.

The other factor is inverting the DC energy back to an AC energy. This generator's mechanics tend to have more control over the frequency of AC energy, making it produce a much more stable sine wave.

Since an inverter generator has been designed to have greater control over electrical output, it is much more energy-efficient. This generator can adjust its volts to the size required by the load connected to it; meanwhile, it will maintain a 3600 rpm.

Its incredibly stable current is among the significant reasons why an inverter generator is very silent compared to its counterpart, the conventional generator.

How Does a Conventional Generator Operate?

A conventional generator is a fuel-powered engine that is equipped with an alternator and has incredible electrical output. Most of the conventional generators have been designed to operate on gasoline, propane, and diesel fuels.

In addition to that, some conventional generators are hybrids meaning that they are equipped with engines capable of running on more than one type of fuel. In most cases, it is a combination of propane and gasoline.

The main characteristic of a conventional generator is its engine speed and the corresponding electrical energy output. Like an inverter generator, a conventional generator runs on 3600rpm and generates 120 volts and a frequency level of 60 Hertz.

Nevertheless, one of the significant disadvantages of a conventional generator is that it does not maintain a stable 3600 while generating power, which means that Hertz and volts will significantly fluctuate.

This fluctuation is often referred to as harmonic distortion. A high harmonic distortion or constant electrical energy output change is why most conventional generators don't produce clean electricity.

Usually, clean energy is ideal for use in electrical devices that are relatively sensitive such as DSLR cameras, laptops, and mobile phones. By not being capable of producing a steady 3600 rpm is the main reason why a conventional generator is loud and noisy.

There is a correlation between power, fuel tank, and running time when it comes to conventional generators. Most of the time, a bigger fuel tank tends to produce more electrical energy and has a prolonged run time.

With most conventional generators producing more than 10,000 watts, they are often large and relatively heavy generators. Most conventional generators are relatively portable, with most of them equipped with wheels and a handle irrespective of their weight and size.

Differences Between the Inverter Generators and a Conventional Generators

This section shall be taking yours through an overview of the main differences between an inverter generator and a conventional generator. You should note that these are mainly secondary differences that often results in mechanical differences.


The significant technical differences between an inverter generator and the conventional generator are the type of electricity produced. Usually, a conventional generator has been designed only to produce AC energy; on the other hand, an inverter generator has been designed to produce electricity in three different phases; high-frequency AC energy to DC energy and back to an AC energy that is stable.

An inverter generator is considered a unique design since it produces a stable swine wave; this makes it a great source of clean electricity. There is minimal or no harmonic distortion with an inverter generator, making it the best energy source for highly sensitive electronic devices such as laptops, mobile phones, and tablets.

On the other hand, a conventional generator tends to have a much more unstable sine wave resulting in more harmonic distortion. Nevertheless, it remains to be a suitable source of power for several electrical appliances. You should note that a very sensitive device or has a microprocessor is highly susceptible to damage when used in this type of generator.

Fuel and Power Efficiency

A conventional generator is capable of producing more power compared to their counterpart inverter generators. This is due to several factors, such as the fuel tank's size and mechanical differences in electricity production.

Most of the inverter generators are energy efficient; this is due to the final AC electricity production. An inverter generator features an engine that automatically adjusts about the load; this is an aspect that is not present in a conventional generator.

The excellent fuel efficiency of an inverter generator makes it ideal for operating with small fuel tanks. Furthermore, greater energy efficiency means that you will require less fuel for the same run time; therefore, a small tank can be reliable.

A conventional generator is less fuel-efficient, which makes them bulkier as a result of larger fuel tanks. Nevertheless, the large fuel tank does not facilitate for larger power output.

When it comes to conventional generators and inverter generators, the power difference is often considered the primary deciding factor. Inverter generators have been designed to generate an average power of approximately 1200 to 4000 watts. On the other hand, conventional generators have been designed to generate power upwards of 10,000 watts.


Most of the inverter generators are considered more portable compared to conventional generators. This is often due to the amount of power each generator produces.

A conventional generator that has been designed to produce more power tends to have a bigger fuel tank and a relatively larger engine.

Therefore, the material required to house this type of generator will be more significant. It is due to this reason that a conventional generator is way bigger and heavier compared to an inverter generator.

To improve its portability, a conventional generator is equipped with handles and wheels that allow it to be pulled around. Despite that, this design can still be a tiresome task, with most conventional generators weighing more than 100 pounds.

Unlike conventional generators, an inverter generator is relatively small. It is equipped with a smaller fuel tank that does not require a big engine since it offers lower power output.

This design helps cut the inverter generator's weight, significantly making them relatively high portable and can be carried around with a handle.

Most of the inverter generators weight less than 100 Lbs. In most cases, inverter generators weight around 40 to 60 lbs.

Noise Production

Conventional generators are well-known for the noise they make. This is often associated with its mechanics; therefore, even an effort to minimize noise remains very noisy.

When it comes to inverter generators, the technology used in producing energy is much quieter. An inverter generator operates at a stable 3600 rpm; this helps in eliminating large noise production.

The amount of noise produced by a generator is often mentioned in the description of the product. Usually, most manufacturers mention the amount of noise produced by a particular generator in decibel units.

Most of the inverter generators produce approximately 54 to 58 decibels of noise. This is very quiet compared to the conventional generator that produces more than 64 decibels of noise.

Parallel Connections

Several manufacturing companies try making up for the lower power output of an inverter generator by having a parallel connection installed. In a parallel connection, two different inverter generators of the same model can be connected to help deliver twice the amount of energy.

However, conventional generators have not been designed to offer a parallel connection. This is because they are relatively more robust and less portable.

 Final Verdict

Choosing the best generator between an inverter generator vs. generator will depend on the features that will best suit your needs. By going through the above-discussed aspects, you can conclude the type of generator that will best work for your project.

Always keep in mind these aspects before making a final decision on any generator. As we conclude, we hope that you have found this article helpful.