Looking for a highly portable, quiet, efficient, and quality generator to power your outdoors activities? If so, what you need is an inverter generator. It combines the raw power and efficiency of conventional generators with a DC-AC inverter for clean electrical power.

But how exactly does an inverter generator work, and what are its pros and cons? Read on to find out!

How an Inverter Generator Works

Generally, generators work by converting mechanical energy to electricity through electromagnetic induction – fossil fuels get in from one end into an internal combustion engine, and electricity comes out the other end to power your appliances.

In a traditional generator, the engine rotations produce block waves of AC power. This means the engine has to run at 3,600 rpm to deliver the 120-volt, 60 Hz electricity we use in our households, regardless of the power requirement or load. The outcome of this rigidity is a noisy and heavy generator that’s not ideal for power-sensitive devices. This was the norm up until a decade ago when Honda introduced the inverter generator to the world.

An inverter generator creates stable AC power by first generating DC power and then using a microprocessor-controlled inverter to converting it into AC. Unlike the conventional generator, an inverter generator produces AC power in sine waves rather than block waves.

Please note that the engine speed of an inverter generator varies depending on the demand. From the moment an inverter generator is turned on, it starts generating DC power – and the voltage increases as the engine rotate faster. As electrical demand increases, the microprocessor adjusts the power production (rotation speed) accordingly.

In a nutshell, the microprocessor senses the AC output voltage and modifies the engine speed to match the demand – all without changing the AC signal. This significantly reduces fuel consumption and noise in comparison to a conventional generator.


  • Smaller and Lighter: A small inverter generator is the best definition of “portable” when it comes to generators. You can easily throw one of them at the back of your truck and drive into the wilderness for camping.
  • Quieter: Standard generators are loud – there’s no sugar-coating it! This makes them a nag, especially if you’re out camping or tailgating. On the other hand, an inverter generator is relatively quieter due to power regulation.
  • Fuel-Efficient: The generators consume significantly less fuel. However, keep in mind that the inverter generator uses fossil fuels just like its traditional counterpart – hence, it’s still not entirely environmentally friendly.
  • Protects your Gadgets: The microprocessor-controlled inverter ensures you receive clean energy that is ideal for power-sensitive devices such as mobile phones.


  • Volume restrictions: As convenient as inverter generators sounds, they have one major drawback; they have a much smaller capacity – so forget about powering up entire houses.
  • Cost: You’ll have to dig deeper into your wallet to experience the perks of an inverter generator – it can cost twice as much as a traditional generator
  • Not Fully Environmentally-Friendly: Although the inverter generator consumes less fuel, it uses fossil fuels that are detrimental to our environment.

Check the video to find out what generator is better: traditional or inverter.

Summing Up

Fuel-efficient, quiet, and lightweight – an inverter generator is perfect for outdoor recreational activities and sensitive devices. Conversely, you have to compromise on capacity and cost. With this in mind, the purchase decision comes down to you. What are your power consumption needs? Are you willing to fork out additional bucks? Can you handle the loud sound of traditional generators? Basically, is an inverter generator an investment worth considering?