Need to keep the noise down? Find out what quiet generator models will keep the neighbours happy:
There are times when you need a quiet generator. You might be camping, running a food van or working in a residential area. Quiet generators are also a good choice for home and business standby power - the last thing you want during a power outage is a noisy generator.
First, let's look at how generator noise is measured.
As with any noise level, the intensity of sound from a generator is measured in decibels, which is abbreviated to dBA. For generators, the sound is measured from a distance of 7 metres. When comparing generator models, it's worth bearing in mind that an increase of 10 decibels is equivalent to a double of the increase in the noise you hear.
Here are some comparisons, just to put the noise level into context:
The good news is you don't necessarily need to sacrifice grunt to get the quiet genset you need.
Take a look at our pick of the quietest generators on the market:
Yamaha are famous for making the quietest camping generators in the market, and the 1000W inverter model is one of the best around. In fact, it's one of the most popular models amongst caravanners, campers and 4WD enthusiasts - especially for charging your camping batteries.
So just how quiet is this generator? Super silent - at a normal running output, it produces a whisper-quiet 50 decibels of noise. This feat comes down to Yamaha's acoustically engineered sound reduction system and newly designed mufflers. And if that's not enough to convince you, it also weighs just 12.7 kilograms, making it the lightest 1000W portable generator you can buy. It's slightly bigger brother, the Yamaha 2000W Inverter Generator is also a very popular camping and general purpose generator, which only produces a mere 52dBA.
If you need a little more power but still don't want to compromise on sound levels, go for the Yamaha EF2400iS. Delivering a maximum output of 2400W and continuous of 2000W, it's got the power you need for larger appliances on the road (air-con, microwaves or even washing machines). But it's still the quietest in its class, producing a measly 54 decibels at a quarter load. Even at full load, it comes in at just 59 decibels. Your neighbours will love you. This is the number 1 selling generator for caravans, as it will run your caravan air conditioner in the hot environments when you need it most.
We still highly back and recommend both Yamaha generators above, however if you are looking for a cheaper alternative we recommend checking out the DeWalt DXIG2200, 2200W Inverter Generator.
This generator offers 2200W of maximum output and is only 50-54 decibels in ECO mode - this is whisper quiet! It also features IP44 weatherproof outlet, LED display, recoil start and can be run in parallel. In fact, we have bundled two of these generators together for you: 2 x DeWalt DXIG2200, 2200W Inverter Generator with Parallel Kit (Combined 3500W).
The only thing to note however, is that although this generator is cheaper than the Yamaha, it also comes with less features and a smaller warranty and service agent network.
When you're looking for a standby generator for your home or business, a low noise level should be at the top of the wishlist. And the Generac HSG10KVA Evolution 2016 model ticks the box. At normal operating load, this gas standby generator gives out only 60 dBA. The Generac model also delivers clean power with less than 5% total harmonic distortion, which makes it ideal for powering sensitive electronics (like laptops) and appliances.
It is an automatic start generator, meaning it will automatically start to restore power to your home when there is a mains blackout. And again, because it is a very quiet generator, you'll hardly notice it automatically kick in to save you from being in the dark.
When it comes to home backup or power for trade sites, it doesn't get much quieter than the Pramac 6kVA Super Silenced diesel generator. The clue is in the name! Boasting a diesel Yanmar engine, this Pramac generator is a market leader in the super-silenced class with a noise rating of just 56db at 7 metres. So there's no danger of the whole street complaining about your generator.
In fact, they'll hardly know it's there with its soundproof insulated casing making it a popular whole-of-home backup power option when you want a quiet generator. And thanks to the long-range 19-litre fuel tank, it will keep going and going undetected. Another auto start generator that will automatically start up and provide power to your home when there is a mains failure, this unit is also very popular for backup to off-grid solar set-ups.
We still highly recommend the Generac 10kVA Gas Standby Generator, however the Pramac 6kVA generator has now been discontinued. An alternative to this generator is the Kubota 6kVA Lowboy Diesel Generator + AMF.
This stationary generator is a compact and quiet single phase generator, with a capacity of 6kVA at 3000RPM. It is one of the most popular models on the market for home backup, commercial backup, road works and events. It operates at 66.5dBA at seven metres, meaning it can be placed outside any window and not disturb your peace!
Best of all this generator comes with Automatic Mains Failure (AMF); it will detect when a power outage has occurred and automatically switch on. Vice versa, once grid power comes back on it will switch off.
If you're looking for a larger generator check out the big brother of this generator, the Kubota 8.8kva Lowboy Diesel Generator with AMF.
It might have an enormous output of 6300W, but the Yamaha EF6300iSE inverter generator is a surprisingly quiet generator. In fact, the advanced noise block technology and inbuilt mufflers mean it gives out only 58 decibels at quarter load. This makes it a popular choice for mobile business owners and event organisers - especially coffee cart/van operators and for food trucks. Other features include the smart throttle for maximum fuel efficiency, a sleek compact design, 4 year warranty and the inverter system for clean, pure power. Perfect!
If you're looking for a cheaper alternative, we highly recommend the Briggs & Stratton Q6500. While it is cheaper, the Q6500 is a strong contender for the best home backup generator on the market. It boasts 6500 watts of power and uses inverter technology, so you can run all of your sensitive equipment without worry!
It is slightly louder than the Yamaha at 66dBA and comes with a 3 year warranty instead of 4. However, it is more than HALF the price of the Yamaha! It is also Bluetooth enabled, has a variable RPM engine, 2 USB ports and has 1 x 230V (32 amp) & 2 x 230V (15amp) outlets.
What do you need your quiet generator for? Search our huge range of generators for all purposes.
DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.