Diesel VS Propane VS Inverter Generator – Which one is Best for you?

Electricity is the root of all comforts and if some disruptions devoid us of those comforts, it is hard to improvise. Thus, portable generators ensure the availability of electricity in circumstances where power is not accessible from the local grid.

But as our needs vary, portable generators vary according to them. They have different fuels, like diesel, propane, and gasoline for functioning, which decide their suitability. It also affects their pricing structure and cost of operation.

Diesel VS Propane VS Inverter Generator Comparison

In such a case, you need to know what kind of portable generator would be the best generator for you, so that you get the appropriate generator according to your power requirements.  Clearly, you would not like your hard-earned money to be spent on a ginormous gizmo, just to keep it in the backyard of your house for eating dust.

Thus, it becomes imperative for knowing the features and drawbacks of a portable generator, so that you don’t end up buying the wrong one.

Need to classify generators on their fuel source:

Portable generators use liquid fuel or gas for converting chemical energy into electrical energy. The type of fuel used in the generator decides its capacity, power output, engine, size of the fuel tank, emission, noise generation, and other factors.

Diesel and propane are mostly injected in the generator in liquid form, and their output differs.  The use of diesel would emit harmful gases and particulate matter in the environment, but the combustion of propane would be considerably cleaner. Diesel generator would be heavier than other generators but would meet expectations where there is a higher power requirement.

Thus after deciding which one to buy, you will have to see your pocket too. Inverter generators would be pricey than diesel and propane but would be suitable for residential purposes.

In this article, you would know why you should get a generator out of these 3 options, and how it would be the best generator for you, keeping gasoline aside. This is because it is easily available but does not provide many advantages and a diesel or propane generator would be preferable regardless of the use.

Diesel VS Propane VS Inverter Generator – Comparison

Factor Diesel Propane Inverter
Mobility Heavy and difficult to carry with one hand Might be a little heavier in case of liquid propane. Easy to carry and is pretty lightweight.
Disruptions Noise disruptions and vibrations in some generators Not much disruption. Almost negligible disruptions
Maintenance Have to clean the exterior of the generator, need lubricants and oil for smooth running. Needs lubrication and oil periodically but not as much as diesel generator It needs minimal maintenance. You might have to change the batteries after 3-4 years of use otherwise efficiency will deteriorate.
Emission Releases harmful gases like carbon monoxide and sulfur oxide, polluting the environment. Cleaner than diesel, not many emissions. Least emissions and no interference to the environment.
Placing It must be placed in open spaces because it releases toxic gases which could cause trouble if placed in a compact space. It must be placed in an open environment due to the emission of gases. It can be put in the most closed spaces of a house as it does not release emissions and uses the battery instead to generate electricity.
Structure Using a bigger fuel tank and engine. Smaller than a Diesel generator. In the case of propane gas, it does not require many big parts. Smaller than other generators (or same in structure in case of large capacity) as they do not need a huge fuel tank or engine.
Fuel-feasibility Easily available and long shelf life. It can be stored easily and available in emergencies. Some inverter generators have inexhaustible gas supplies which do not need to be filled
Cost Economical and preferable for large power requirements. Quite inexpensive. Highly overpriced.
Efficiency It can support a high workload. It can be switched on for a couple of hours and would provide an uninterrupted power supply. Highly efficient, can meet several requirements like diesel. The best bet for natural disasters and calamities. Efficient but they do not support high power requirements. It can power some appliances like a refrigerator and TV.

Suitability of Generators:


Diesel Generators are used in places where there is a need for continuous power supply, like construction and mining sites, restaurants, Office Buildings, outdoor events, etc.

  • Mostly used for commercial purposes.
  • More efficient and powerful than gasoline.
  • Longer life cycle than any other generator.
  • Long shelf life.
  • Less flammable than gasoline.


Propane Generators are the best generators for powering RVs, residential appliances, and other light devices.

  • Propane is more convenient and reliable than gasoline.
  • Better for natural disasters and calamities, as it is easily available and can be stored in small cylinders or huge tanks.
  • Clean burning and longer shelf life like diesel.
  • Pretty inexpensive.
  • Better for emergencies and recreational activities like camping and boating.


Also, know as Battery Generators have a battery inside them. They are light in weight and compact.

  • The best generator for providing power backup for homes, so as to prevent the entire blackout.
  • The best generator for recreational activities, like camping and powering electrical barbeque.
  • Handles power fluctuations well.
  • No problems with noise or vibration.

Over to you

In the end, you will have to consider the fuel and price of the generators, for deciding which one to buy.

For residential purposes, the inverter generator is the best generator for you, because it will not release many emissions and it will provide power back up in case of sudden power cuts.

You might have to compromise with the price, as these generators may be costlier than diesel and propane ones. For recreational activities, they would be perfect as you will not need any other fuel for power generation.

Diesel generators will be fit for construction sites, film-sets, bigger buildings, and departmental stores.  It will be the best generator for providing continuous power generation for light tools, appliances, and devices.

Do not consider buying one if you live in a region with a perpetual cold climate, as the engine tends to jam during cold seasons and it is hard to get it started.

Propane generators are to be considered for future contingencies because it will be available easily than diesel and gasoline.

It will provide power supply to RVs, televisions, and other appliances. A propane generator would be the best generator for you if you do not require it much frequently.

So, according to your needs and budget, you will be able to buy the best generator for you out of these 3 options.

1 thought on “Diesel VS Propane VS Inverter Generator – Which one is Best for you?”

  1. While I appreciate the information in the article, I wish someone would proof read the article for inconsistencies and errors.


Leave a Comment