A workshop is a place loaded with different kinds of tools and equipment. And many of these tools require a good quality generator to power them. And to our surprise, we found out that many small and large workshops run entirely on generators.
To power various tools and equipment along with the electricity of the shop, you will need a powerful generator. So here we are today with the best generators for the workshop.
Before we jump directly to the generator reviews, it is important to understand what type of generator will you need for your shop.
If you know even a bit about generators then you might know they come in various sizes. These include portable, small, petrol, diesel, and inverter generators.
In addition to the type, you also need to calculate the size of the generator you will need for your workshop. Here, by size, we mean kilowatts(to run a workshop).
Here are some of the best workshop generators that can help you power your workshop tools.
1) Champion Power Equipment 4250-Watt Open Frame Inverter
- 4250-watt surge
- 3500-watt running
- 224cc engine displacement
- Parallel capable
- 3-year limited warranty
- Weighs 101 lbs
Goes by its name, Champion open frame inverter generator is a true champion when it comes to generating power. It is the best choice for small to mid-size workshops.
Offering an impressive surge start of 4250 watts, Champion 200953 supports multiple tools at a time.
The control panel of Champion Power Equipment includes a 120V AC 30A output(RV Ready), 2x 120V AC 20A outlets, and a 12V DC 8A port(automotive).
And power through all the ports remains consistent to get your tools running smoothly. Besides, there are circuit breakers onboard that ensure the safe passage of current.
Start the inverter generator easily within 80 feet distance with its wireless remote start. Yes, now you do not have to travel all the way out from your workshop just to start or stop the unit.
If not keyless fob start, you can also start the inverter’s engine manually. The unit features a recoil start with cold start technology that ensures a smooth start of the engine in one or two pulls.
An Intelligauge monitor on the control panel monitors voltage, frequency, and operating hours. This takes away the guesswork from the picture and gives you a clear idea of how long the unit has been running and how long can you stretch your work.
To increase the runtime, simply switch the engine to Eco mode. This mode will monitor the power consumption in real-time as well as reduce the engine’s wear and tear.
2) Generac 7676 GP8000E Portable Generator
- Starting wattage: 10000
- Running wattage: 8000
- 420cc engine displacement
- Single fuel
- Powerrush™ advanced technology
- 2-year limited warranty
- Weighs 198 lbs
Own a large workshop with multiple heavy tools? Then power them all with Generac 7676 portable generator. With enormous 10000W starting and 8000W peak power, this unit alone can power a line of tools without voltage fluctuations.
Thanks to Generac’s advanced Powerrush™ technology that delivers over 30% more starting capacity. Thus, allowing you to do more with less.
The OHV engine of Generac 7676 comes well lubricated for smooth operation and longer life. Besides, the engine is equipped with a large-capacity steel fuel tank with a fuel gauge.
You can expect the unit to provide up to 11 hours of nonstop runtime on 50% load. Besides, there is an hour meter on the control panel to keep track of the usage and maintenance time.
Unlike many portable workshop generators that need proper outside storage, you’ll not have to worry about that with this unit. Thanks to Generac’s covered outlets make it is possible to keep the machine outdoors without worrying about dust or debris damaging the unit.
In addition, Generac’s heavy-duty portable generator is equipped with rugged, never-flat wheels for easy transportation. Simply, take out the foldable handle to transport and push it back to its place for compact storage.
The control panel of the unit is protected by a 1-¼” steel-tube cradle. Not only does it protect the unit from external elements by also adds balance and strength.
The plug-in battery jack is a distinguished and impressive feature of Generac 7676 that makes it fall on the list of the best generators for large shops. This plug-in jack keeps the battery charged and ready for unexpected outages. Thus, perfect for shops that suffer due to sudden power failures.
3) DuroMax XP12000EH Generator – Suitable for Large Workshop
- 12000W starting
- 9500W running
- 457cc displacement
- MX2 technology
- All copper windings
- 3-year residential warranty
- Weighs 224 pounds
Tackle job site or workshop projects like a hot knife running on butter with DuroMax XP12000EH. This powerful dual-fuel generator is designed with enormous power in mind.
Powered by a DuroMax 457cc OHV engine, the engine offers plenty of power to run a large woodworking shop filled with several heavy-duty tools such as a table saw, belt sander, jigsaw, and much more. In short, you’ll never feel a lack of power with the DuroMax XP12000EH hybrid generator sitting outside your workshop.
While many high-watt generators on the list above support the use of single fuel, you’re flexible with this unit. Thanks to its hybrid dual-fuel technology.
This allows you to run the engine either on gasoline or propane, whichever fuel is available. And to make things safer, the engine shuts down automatically as soon as it senses low oil levels. Thus, safeguarding engine life.
100% copper windings ensure cool running for hours. Besides, DuraMax’s MX2 technology is designed to get maximum power from each 120V outlet.
You can choose the generator power at both 120V and 240V simultaneously or at 120V with full power. Therefore, this setting is ideal for powering the RV.
Just like a majority of high-watt portable generators, this unit also features 5 outlets on the control panel.
These include 2x 120V 20A GFCI outlets, 1x 120V 30A twist lock, 1x 120V/240V 30A twist lock, and 1x 120/240V 50A heavy-duty port. In addition, the panel also includes a voltmeter and 12V DC charging ports for sensitive appliances.
4) DuroStar DS4000S Portable Generator, Yellow/Black
- 4000 peak watts
- 3300 running watts
- 69dB volume level
- Surge arrest technology
- All copper windings
- Weighs 94 lbs
- 3-year limited warranty
Small workshops with less load might not require a large generator with high watts. And if you’re a proud owner of a small workshop then here’s a budget pick for you.
The DuroStar DS4000S small generator is perfect for powering lightweight electronic gadgets, tools, etc.
Despite the small size, DS4000S offers a peak power of 4000 watts and 3300 running watts. Thus, sufficient to power multiple small woodworking tools and machinery.
The small footprint of the unit is perfect for home/backyard workshops. However, there are no wheels, instead, long metal pipes surround the control panel.
These pipes not only protect the engine but also aids in transportation. In case you’re not comfortable lifting the gasoline generator, there’s an optional wheel kit available. This will make transportation much easier and more convenient.
While small footprints have their benefits, it also has some drawbacks. For example, here, you get only 3 outlets on the control panel.
These include 2x 120V 20A household ports and 1x 120/240V 30A twist locks. While it might sound limited for a large workshop but it is good for a small shop with limited power tools.
The main engine along with circuits are well protected, thanks to the heavy-duty steel frame construction. Plus, it features four points isolated motor mounts for smooth and quiet operation.
In addition, the unit is equipped with a super quiet muffler to further reduce noise. Thus, promoting a quiet and peaceful working environment.
5) Honda EU2200i 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator
- Starting watts: 2200
- Running watts: 1800
- 121 cc engine displacement
- Inverter technology
- Auto idle control
- Weighs 46.5 pounds
- 3-year warranty
It is impossible to complete any generator’s list without mentioning Honda. Honda generators are popular for their quiet performance.
If you wish to own a unit that you could barely hear running in your backyard or outside RV, then Honda is the solution.
However, there are now many competitors offering the same level of quiet-working performance. But the name of Honda still catches the eye of many.
This EU2200i 2200-watt inverter generator is a perfect pick for small shops or businesses. It has a highly portable design and lightweight construction that makes it extremely easy for shop owners to shift it from one corner to another.
There are no wheels or metal pipes, instead, Honda small generator features 4 non-slip feet along with a built-in handle. And weighing just 46.5 pounds, it is easy even for the elderly to carry the generator.
The Control panel of the Honda EU2200i consists of 2x 15A 120V outlets, 1x DC 12V 8.3A port, and a small battery charging port. While these ports are sufficient to power much small woodworking or job site tools, you can double the power with Honda’s parallel operational outlets.
The parallel port allows you to attach a similar Honda model and double the power output to 4400 watts.
Thanks to Honda’s inverter operation technology that offers stable, clean power in a lighter package. In addition to a low-oil alert, Honda EU2200i features a fuel shutoff position.
Turn the lever to shut off position and this allows the engine to continue to run until the majority of the fuel in the carburetor is consumed. And when the fuel is empty, the engine shuts off automatically.
6) Westinghouse WGen9500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator
- 12500-watt peak
- 8500-watt running
- 457cc OHV engine
- Dual fuel
- 7 outlets
- ST switch ready
- Weighs 211 pounds
- 3-year limited warranty
Fulfill the portable power needed for your large workshop with Westinghouse outdoor dual fuel generator.
The best thing about this portable outdoor model is, that it accepts propane or gasoline as fuel. And you can easily change from gasoline to propane or vice versa by simply turning the fuel selector switch onboard.
The engine provides peak power of 12000 watts while using gas and 11200 peak watts using propane. Either way, the difference is not so large to not support the running of the entire shop.
Also, you can start the engine in three different ways, whichever is convenient. You can either electric start, recoil start, or turn the engine on using the included key fob.
Powered by a heavy-duty 457cc OHV Westinghouse engine, this RV-ready generator can run up to 12 hours on 6.6-gallon gas. Therefore, long hours of backup for the shop is no problem with this beast.
And the best part about WGen9500DF is, that it supports 30A and 50A transfer switches.
For example, when utility power is lost, A L14-30R 120/240V 30A outlet allows you to connect the generator directly to the most important household or shop power circuits with the help of an extension cord to connect to a pre-installed transfer switch.
Thus, power outages will be longer worrisome with the Westinghouse 12000-watt generator by side.
7) WEN DF475T Dual Fuel 120V/240V Portable Generator with Electric Start
- Starting watts:4650
- Running watts:3800
- 224cc air-cooled OHV engine
- 6.37 HP
- Automatic voltage
- Weighs 105.8 pounds
- 2-year limited warranty
People who’ve already owned a dual fuel generator before tend to buy a new one with the same quality.
And why not? After all, dual fuel gives you the convenience of using the fuel you’ve available. So we’ve picked Wen portable transfer switch-ready workshop generator that runs on both propane and gasoline.
It features a 4-gallon tank that provides up to 11 hours of runtime on half load. However, you can expect the engine to run a few more hours when using propane.
This is because the running power of the engine on propane is 3500 watts, whereas, it goes up to 3800-watt on gasoline.
The design of Wen DF475T is durable enough for job site use and compact enough for easy storage. In addition, the unit stands on 2 fixed legs and 2 never-flat tires. This setup is combined with a fold-down handle to simplify transport and storage.
The control panel of Wen DF475T comprises 2x 120V GFCI outlets, a NEMA 30A twist lock, a 12V DC cigarette-lighter-style plug, and a voltage selector switch.
Flip the voltage selector button to switch between 120-volt or 240-volt depending on real-time voltage usage. This allows you to plug in and use heavy-duty workshop tools while setting the switch to low is perfect for light-duty workshop tools and equipment.
What size generator do I need for my workshop?
What size of the generator is one common question many buyers have. And I guess the question is completely justified. After all, you do not wish to end up buying the wrong model which obviously costs a lot of money.
However, today we are talking about generators for the workshop so therefore, the question should be what size generator do I need for my workshop.
Well, the simple answer is to focus on the watts of the generator. As you’ve seen by now that generators offer different starting and running wattage. And wattage helps in determining how many power tools it will support or whether will it run the entire shop.
Let us talk about common types of generators people use in workshops.
These are highly portable models. They are ideal for running low-load appliances such as ceiling fans, electronic gadgets, small refrigerators, mini toasters, etc.
And if we talk about workshop then a good-quality 2000-watt portable generator can run an array of appliances with a load less than 15A.
They easily support woodworking appliances such as jigsaws, grinders, belt sanders, or electric tools like power drills, circular saws, small paint sprayers, etc.
If you’re looking for a reliable unit for your mid-size workshop then go for a generator with a wattage rating of 5000 or above. Such engines can handle pretty loads of tools.
These tools can be high-powered like table saws, miter saws, bench saws, router tables, etc. If the unit supports it, you can also run a small water motor pump.
Are there a series of heavy appliances to power? Then go for a unit that offers operating wattage of 7500 and above. This much power is enough to run a small to mid-size workshop.
Besides, you can also operate a large table saw, drill, edger, orbital sander, worm drive saw, etc.
Run your large workshop flawlessly with a 10K watt generator. Here, you get enormous power to run more than two heavy-duty appliances at the same time.
These are bulky units commonly sighted on a construction site. Or they are used as a reliable backup for the whole house. Instead of multiple plugs, these units generally have one large socket that can be directly attached to the beaker.
Now that you’ve seen various types of wattage a generator offers and their capacity in detail, it would be easy for you to decide on the right model.
In a nutshell, a low-watt unit offering 2000 watts or less is suitable for light-duty work.
On the other hand, a mid-size generator with a power output between 5000-7500 is ideal for heavy-duty loads, whereas, large, high-wattage generators with a power output of 10 Kilowatts or more are good for powering a whole house or commercial shop.
Generally, workshop generators have a single fuel tank that uses gasoline. But that is not completely true.
There are many good dual fuel generators that can operate on either gas or propane.
Dual fuel models are good for home workshops where you can switch to a propane tank in case you’re short of gasoline.
Number of Outlets
There are up to 5 ports in a portable unit. However, the number of ports depends upon the size of the generator.
For example, a small apartment generator will only have 2 or 3 ports to power essential tools during a sudden power outage.
Or there is a full-size gasoline generator with multiple power outlets that supports the use of more appliances or tools at a time.
Portable and Rigid
Portability is the key when you’re working on heavy tools and machinery. This is because a portable unit offers flexibility while working.
And thankfully, many units nowadays come with a wheel kit and fold-down handle that makes transportation a breeze.
But along with easy transportation, the unit must be well-built to withstand the rough conditions of Jobsite or workshops. So look for a model with a metal frame and weatherproof ports.
These minor but important features give you peace of mind while you keep the unit outdoors.
Price and Warranty
Good quality generators will cost you a handsome amount of money. And if you’re willing to invest in a quality model that performs well for many years then it comes with a good price tag.
Don’t worry, good portable generators are not always costly. You can find a reliable model for around $600-$850 for shop use.
If you’re still not sure about investing a pretty sum of money in a new product then check for the product’s warranty period.
There are a lot of good generator brands that offer impressive warranty periods. And a good warranty time increases confidence when buying a completely new unit.
The Bottom Line
It is uncommon for shops or commercial businesses to experience a power cut. However, the event is rare but not unskippable.
And it is no harm in investing in a good generator for the shop to work flawlessly no matter whether electricity is on or off.
Besides, using a generator for the workshop gives you the flexibility to connect to several light-duty or heavy-duty tools and equipment.
Now that you’ve got a list of the best portable generators with the buyer’s guide above, it’ll be easy to pick the right model according to the wattage use and requirements of your shop.