Best Portable Generator for Power Tools

Whether you're a professional tradie or weekend warrior, a generator is often a must-have addition to your toolkit. But with a massive range to choose from, which is the best generator for power tools?

Tradies and serious renovators face the power challenge on a daily basis. How do you power you tools if you are on a remote job site away from mains power, or need to move around the site? Portable generators provide the solution. But not all generators are created equal, and it's imperative you get a reliable machine that will provide the amount of power required for your tools.

To ensure you get the right size trade generator, you need to work out how much power your tools will draw

Before you buy, work out how much power you need.

This is an essential step for any generator buyer. You need to determine the amount of power required to not only run the tools you need to use, but also the power required to start them. The starting output requirement can be up to 3-4 times (or more) greater than the continuous running power of power tools. First check the instruction manual or data plate for the wattage needs of your tools, then check out our Generators' Buyer Guide, which will take you through the process step by step.

Essentially, there are two types of generator suitable for power tools; which one you choose depends on the type of power tools you are using:

Type 1: Larger trade tools on a professional worksite

Professional tradies, business owners and some more serious weekend warriors will be using larger power tools on a regular basis, such as:

  • Brick saws

  • Larger air compressors

  • Pumps

  • Welders

  • 15" bench saw

  • Commercial pressure washers etc.*

If so, you'll need a generator that can handle their heavier, conductive loads. Depending on your specific tools (and how many of them), we recommend the Powerlite 8kVA Petrol Generator for power tools Powered by the world leading Honda GX390 petrol engine, this trade-ready genset delivers a maximum of 8000 watts and continuous output of 6400 watts, which is sufficient for large and small tools. Another major benefit is the ability to customise the generator with Worksite approved features, a long-range fuel tank, and electric start option. It's no wonder this model is the best seller for trade and farm uses.

Powerlite 8kVA Generator powered by Honda


8kva Petrol Generator: for trade and farm use

Another great options for tradies is the Gentech 8kVA (powered by Honda); Built by an Australian company, this generator packs 6,400 watts and come with tough roll over frames. As with the Powerlite 8kVA, WorkCover approved features can be added at an extra cost.

Type 2: Smaller power tools for jobs around the home

If you're using smaller power tools such as a circular saw, hand held drill, sander, regular jigsaws and so on, a smaller portable domestic generator will give you plenty of power and mobility. They are also great for outdoor power equipment such as chainsaws and hedge trimmers, as it means you don't need to worry about trailing long extension leads around the garden to access the mains power. Typically these type of tools will require less than 3000 watts* and so you can get away with a smaller, lighter genset generator for power tools.

We recommend the Yamaha EF2800i. This is our best-selling multi-use generator as customers love it's versatility. Delivering a peak of 2800 watts and 2500 watts running, it's not only great for powering your tools but also can be used to run many household appliances (including electronic equipment) in the event of a blackout. It boasts an impressive 11 litre fuel tank providing 17 hours of run time at quarter load!...which means we also sell plenty of this model to farmers requiring a generator to run their pumps for long periods. Weighing only 29kg's and complete with ECO mode, inverter technology, fuel gauge and 48-month warranty for domestic use, this generator is the perfect choice to run your smaller power tools.

The Yamaha EF2800i inverter generator is light and provides exceptional run time


Yamaha EF2800i Inverter Generator: Best All-Rounder?

Ready to choose the right generator for power tools for you? Check out the full range of trade generators and portable generators at My Generator.


*Note: each power tool/appliance is different, so be sure to check the exact wattage details of your equipment before you choose a generator.


DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.

2 thoughts on Best Portable Generator for Power Tools

24 August 2015
Hello, If i am running a pressure washer with built in shop vac 2400w max input would I need an inverter generator or the conventional kind like those for power tools. thank you

My Generator Response
Hi Alex, inverter generators are required when you need to run appliances with microprocessors like mobile phones, laptops, tablets, TV's, camera equipment etc. If your equipment does not have a microprocessor, then you can look at a conventional or AVR generator. Check your particular appliances, but in terms of pressure washers; it is unlikely to have sensitive processors and we have had no issues with conventional generators running pressure washers in the past. Cheers, Steve

4 August 2015
What is the best generator to run a welder? Looking at Diesel options.

My Generator Response
Hi Nathan, we recommend you find out what the peak draw of your particular welder is, to ensure you get the right size generator. We find that often the best way to do this is contact the manufacturer of your welder who can give you the exact specs and advise what size genset you will need. Our most popular portable Diesel generators for your type of application are: Powerlite 7kVA Diesel Generator Gentech 8.5kVA Diesel Generator For larger welders, you may have to opt for a larger sized generator - You can browse our full range of Portable Diesel Generators or our range of larger Stationary Generators.

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