House at night with lights on and KOHLER generator

Portable Generators

Made Easy.

Really Easy.

Not sure where to start? Just scroll down the page to get up to speed on portable generators.

Tailgating party with adults and KOHLER generator

What is a
portable generator?

Portable generators provide instant power virtually anywhere. So whether you’re camping in the great outdoors, tailgating before the big game, or adding back up power to your home, portable generators give you the power you need where you need it most.

And the best part, there’s no installation required. Just add some gas and plug in your items for instant power on the go.

How is a
portable generator rated?

All portable generators have two power ratings; the smaller one is called Continuous Power (aka Running Watts) and the larger rating is called Maximum Power (aka Starting Watts).

Running Watts are what the generator can produce continuously while it’s running. Starting Watts are what it can produce for a short time to help start motorized electrical items like inflator pumps, refrigerators, or window air conditioners, etc. 

Note: only equipment with electric motors requires more power to start than run.

What’s a Watt?

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A Kohler quality technician inspects a KOHLER generator circuit board

What’s a Watt?

A ‘Watt’ (denoted with a capital ‘W’ after James Watt) is a unit of electrical energy. You can find Wattage estimates on the labels of your tools.

If you can’t find the wattage amount, don’t worry. All you need to know is the volts and amps of your product. To calculate the wattage, simply multiply volts X amps. So a saw that operates on 110 volts and consumes 15 amps needs 1,650 Watts to run and requires a generator with a Continuous Power rating of at least 1.65 kW (1,650 Watts).
A Kohler quality technician inspects a KOHLER generator circuit board

Find your perfect generator.

All you need to do is some good ol’ grade school math. First, list out all the items you want to power.

Find the item with the most Maximum Power (aka Starting Watts). Then add that number (2,500 W) to the Continuous Power (aka Running Watts) from all the other units (100 + 1,800 + 700). For this example, the total is 5,100 W. So you’ll need a generator with a Continuous Power rating of at least a 5.1 kW (5,100 W).

Neighborhood, houses have no power, center house with lights on

Portable or Home Generators

When it comes to backup power, you have two choices.

Here’s the scoop:

KOHLER portable generator


  • Compact and light: Fits in most cars and trucks for easy portability
  • Can power different locations — campsites, tailgating, home appliances, etc.
  • Runs on commonly available fuels like gasoline and diesel
  • Easy to use: Just add oil and fuel and go. No installation required.
  • Affordable for any budget
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A 20 kW KOHLER generator


  • Ideal for backing up your home
  • Automatically starts and restores power in seconds — whether you’re home or away
  • Powers your home, including critical hard-wired systems like AC, heat, sump pumps, well pumps, security systems and large appliances
  • No refueling — runs on your home’s natural or LP gas
  • Delivers high-quality power — won’t harm your electronics
  • Standby

How to use it properly

Portable generators should ONLY be used OUTSIDE, never in enclosed areas. They should be used far away from windows, doors and vents. The exhaust from the equipment contains carbon monoxide, which is a poisonous gas that you cannot see or smell and can kill you in minutes.

KOHLER automatic transfer switch

For safe operation, follow the steps below.

  • 1

    Read your owner’s manual before using the generator.
    Follow all instructions in the manual.

  • 2

    Read and follow all safety labels and instructions.
    Read and follow all labels and instructions before using the generator.

  • 3

    Only use OUTSIDE in a well-ventilated area.
    Make sure your portable generator is located outside in a well-ventilated area and is not in contact with any flammable structures. Only use it outside and far away from windows, doors and vents.

  • 4

    Clear any nearby debris.
    Make sure the area is free of debris and is compliant with all local ordinances regarding placement near a building or residence.

  • 5

    Use properly grounded power cords.
    Make sure all wires are properly grounded and insulated and that your connections are secured.

  • 6

    Turn off before you refuel or repair.
    When it’s time to refuel your tank or repair your unit, you must turn off the unit and wait until it has cooled down prior to refueling or repairing it. Refueling or repairing the unit while it is running or hot is a fire hazard and may result in serious injury.