How Much Do Generators Cost?

Portable generators are a fantastic tool to have in your possession. It doesn’t matter if you are purchasing one for camping, RVing, a work site, or for an emergency power back up. Whatever the reason is they can provide you with the much needed power that you are looking for. The question though on a lot of folks minds is exactly how much do these generators cost? What should they expect when preparing to purchase? Well we here at ToughAssTools are going to take the time and do our best to answer that question for you.

First thing’s first though folks. Before we can give you an estimated cost we need to identify two things. The first is what will you be using this generator for? Is the intention to drag it along during camping trips so that you can charge your cell phone? Is it intended as an alternative power source for your RV so that you don’t have to idle? Or, do you live way up north and are looking for an alternative power source before the next blizzard arrives? By identifying HOW you will be using your generator we can then begin to make an educated guess as to what cost you can expect.

The next big question is what size generator that you will need. Now, application and usage come right in line with sizing. So, if you determine that you want a camping generator then we can pretty much narrow the wattage down to between one-thousand and three-thousand. But, if you’re looking for something to power your home then the sizes can range from four-thousand watts upwards to ten or twenty-thousand plus.

Before you read further I would recommend checking out our portable generator sizing guide. By reading this guide you will begin to understand how to size your system and then you can begin to see what cost you are looking at. Please click here to be taken to our sizing guide.


Ok folks, so now that you have a kind of idea on what type of generator you need we can begin to get into the cost. In this section we are going to break down the cost by category. Then within this category we will give you a cost range. This cost range will give you an idea on how much a lower wattage model costs and how much a higher wattage model will cost. These categories will be your camping/RVing, your partial home power, and your full home power. Let’s take a look:

Camping and RVs

  • Camping and RVs are the smaller sized generators and will be on the lower end of the cost spectrum. Most of the time these types of units will range between one-thousand watts upwards to three or four-thousand watts. You are going to see these units range in prices starting at around two-hundred dollars all the way up to five-hundred dollars. These ranges can depend on not only size but also features.
  • Our recommend product in this category is the DuroStar DS4000S thirty-three hundred watt generator. This unit gives you a good amount of power while also not costing you an arm and a leg.

Alternative Home Power (Partial)

  • Ok, so the power is out in your home and you need to keep your refrigerator, computers, and phones running. You’re not looking to power everything back up again. You just need a few things turned back on and then you’ll be good. In these situations your generators wattage can start at around four-thousand watts and can go upwards to six or seven-thousand watts. The price range on these units can vary wildly. The smaller sized units will start at around three-hundred dollars whereas a larger unit can end up costing you around eight hundred to one-thousand dollars.
  • Here at ToughAssTool’s our recommended product in this category is the Generac 6672 5500W portable generator. This product will give you enough power to hook up a manual transfer switch if you wish. It also comes in at a decent price point considering the wattage you get as well as buying the very reputable Generac brand name. (Generac is one of the top generator producers in the world.)

    A-iPower 12,000 Watt Portable Generator
    A-iPower 12,000 Watt Portable Generator

Alternative Home Power (Full)

  • Let’s use a similar example to what we illustrated above. The power is out in your home and you need it to come back on. You don’t want to do a half-assed approach and only have half of your systems come back on. No, you want the whole spiel. You want it all to come back. The lights, the furnace, the washer and dryer. Everything. This is where things can get quite expensive. I just want to say that right away. With powering everything in your home you are going to need a lot of watts and that means more cost.
  • It should be noted that when looking at fully powering your home you have a choice between the traditional portable generators and what’s known as a standby generator. A standby generator is a unit that is hooked directly to your home and automatically switches to the alternative power the moment your power goes out. Whereas a portable generator will still need to be wheeled out, setup, and manually transferred over. The choice is up to you, just be aware that with standby units you will not only need to pay for the system but you will need professional installation.
  • Portable generators at this size can start at around nine-hundred dollars and can top out at over two-thousand dollars. A standby generator can start at a few thousand dollars and can go all the way up to seven or eight-thousand dollars. Also, remember that with standby systems you will need to pay for professional installation as well.
  • Here at ToughAssTool’s our recommend portable generator for these types of applications is the A-iPower 12,000-watt portable generator. This system gives you a whole twelve-thousand watts of power while still coming in at a relatively low price point. You also get a host of other features such as GFCI outlet, never flat wheels for easy moving, and seven gallon fuel tank that can run up to nine hours.
  • We won’t recommend a specific standby unit in this section as each one can be rather specific to your home. Instead we’re going to recommend a brand and direct you to their website. The company known as Generac, is one of the best in the generator market. For more information from them click here to be taken to their site.


Well folks, that about covers it for how much do generators cost. The above estimates were just that, estimates. Prices can change at any time and it is always best to do your research from multiple sources and articles. Lastly, I would be amiss if I didn’t mention that generators can be dangerous, especially if you do not know what you are doing. If you are not familiar with generators I highly recommend checking out our Generator Safety Guide by clicking here. The guides goes into details on what to do, what not to do, and overall best practices when using generators.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson


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