Survival Basics

Portable Gas Generator Buyer’s Guide

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In this month’s guide, we’ll be focusing on portable gasoline powered generators. Portable generators are extremely common and although they are not the perfect tool for everyone, they do fill in quite nicely during a power failure. Note that portable generators also come in propane, natural gas, and even tri-fuel models (tri-fuel meaning propane, gas, and natural gas), but in this guide, we are only focusing on gasoline powered models. This is because:

  • Gasoline powered portable generators are by far the most popular type of generator offered for sale, either new or used.
  • Gasoline as a fuel is extremely common. Gas stations outnumber diesel stations or propane fill spots by an order of magnitude.
  • Chances are, you already have a gasoline powered automobile and thus already possess some gasoline.

Please note that we are not stating that gasoline is a superior fuel. It’s not, by a long shot. Gasoline as a fuel has a relatively short shelf life compared to other fuels, and after an extended period of time (over 8 months) in storage, the octane within it breaks down, making it burn less efficiently until it no longer has the ability to provide the combustion that engines need to operate. Thankfully, most gasoline powered generators are low tech enough to be able to run on stale fuel. The only reason a gasoline generator really makes sense over other types of fuel is its commonality, plain and simple.

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