Generac makes two of the best budget, portable generators available today. The IX2000 and the IQ2000 may sound and perhaps appear to be the same, but there are two very different generators with their own set of pros and cons.
Generally, generators are chosen based on how much power they can produce. However, efficiency is now the name of the game. People want to purchase a generator that outputs the most power, with the least noise and the least gas consumption. Also, people want to buy a generator that lasts them a long time or at least as long as possible, and that is what they regard as value for money. That’s why big-name manufacturers and smaller brands like Generac sell different models so that there is something for everyone.
Speaking of Generac, the company has, as of late, been making waves because they are building and selling generators that offer the most value for the money. Not only are people able to find affordable generators that match their required power output, but they are quieter and more energy-efficient.
The IQ and IX series of generators by Generac are some of the best in the business. They use inverter technology and boast of many unique features that can’t be found even with higher-end brands that cost twice as much. However, which of the two should you opt for? Is the IQ2000 better than the IX2000? That’s what we’ll be examining in this comparison review.
A Bit on the Generac IX2000
We have done an extensive review of the Generac IX2000, but consider this a summary of that so that when we compare it to the IQ2000, you know what we are talking about.
This inverter generator is rated at 2000 watts and can handle a surge of up to 2200 watts, aka peak wattage. The higher wattage capacity makes it excellent for powering home appliances during power outages. It can also power a couple of large appliances like a small refrigerator. At the heart of the IX2000 is a 126cc 4-stroke air-cooled engine.
Many people assume that Generac probably uses a generic engine made in China, but that’s not the case. Generac designs and builds its own generator engines, which are usually OHV engines. OHV engines are built to last and are tougher than regular engines. So, you can expect it to last longer than others.
Starting up, the generator requires that you tug on the recoil starting cable, which should get the generator started within a few seconds. The 1-gallon fuel tank can keep the lights on for up to 4.7 hours when running on 25% load. Heavier loads mean that it will not last as long.
The generator features a built-in circuit breaker, and it has an indicator light that shows you the current status of the generator. To ensure that the engine does not run dry even for a fraction of a second, there is an auto-shutoff system that powers it down as soon as your gasoline reserves run low. The same goes for when there is less than an optimal amount of oil.
Power efficiency is assured by the use of Generac’s own technology called Flex Power, which makes their generators more power-efficient.
Finally, this generator features 22x12x18 inches and weighs just 49.6 pounds despite its powerful engine. The integrated handle makes carrying it easier. Plus, it is certified in 49 states and comes with a 2-year limited residential warranty. Commercial users get a 6-month warranty.
What Does the Generac IQ2000 Have to Offer?
The Generac IQ2000, unlike the IX2000 we discussed above, produces 1600 watts instead of 2000 watts. However, it does have a 2000 watt surge. What the “surge” means is that it can offer slightly more power for a short time. Motorized appliances like fans and fridge compressors, for instance, pull a lot more power initially to get started, after which their power requirement goes down. So, having a higher surge value ensures that numerous motorized equipment or appliances can be started without the generator hiccupping too much.
The Generac IQ2000 obviously produces around 400 watts less than the IX2000, which is why it can’t power as many appliances. Furthermore, more demanding appliances like a small fridge, for instance, that’s otherwise possible to power with the IX2000 can’t be powered by the Generac IQ2000. That said, the Generac IQ2000 does offer a couple of unique and smart features, which we’ve gone into detail in our full review.
Interestingly this generator is manufactured and positioned in a way that it competes with a similarly sized and rated Honda generator. While you might think that Honda might outdo it, you are wrong. As stated in our full review, the Generac IQ2000 is quieter, easier to carry, and is a lot more user friendly with more features than the rivaling Honda generator.
Similar to the IX2000, the Generac IQ2000 features a Power Dial that combines all the main functions like stop, start and run into a cluster that’s easy to use. However, the dial is just one aspect of this generator that makes it smarter than the competition in general. The power bar is another feature that we never thought was something we needed until we actually used it. The Power bar allows the users to see the wattage being output and the availability of fuel from a distance. So, there is no need to get too close to the unit.
In terms of run time, the Generac IQ2000’s 7.7 hours at 25% load capacity is superior to the nearly 5 hours that the IX2000 offers. Furthermore, you get three modes that allow you to tune the machine to your load requirements. Similar to the IX2000, you have Economy, Turbo, and Standard. Most people will probably run it on standard since “economy” mode with the IQ2000 can only power a handful of lights at best. If anything, the economy mode of the IQ2000 is only going to be used on camping trips because it runs at 25% capacity, which is around 400 watts, compared to the IX2000’s 500 watts in economy mode.
Both these Generac generators are parallel ready. So, you don’t have to invest in a large, expensive generator if your power needs increase, buy another Generac unit, and ideally the same model. Then just use the parallel kit (sold separately) that combines both generators and outputs a higher wattage. So, 1600 watts can just as easily become 3200 watts!
Which of the Two Offers the Most Portability
Now let’s just be clear that we are not talking about weight. The weight of an appliance or any object for that matter is relatively heavy or light, depending on who you are. However, portability mainly stems from how easy it is to carry the generator (in this case).
Interestingly both generators are very portable. Both have a similar portable design, with an easy to grip handle. Now because both things here, i.e., the grip and design are equal, the weight matters. The IQ2000 is a lot lighter and easier to carry compared to the IX2000. However, both can be carried easily.
People who are looking for the most portable generator of the two will probably want to choose the IQ2000 simply because it is lighter. That said, when both generators have a full tank, it adds to the weight. So, you should always consider how much a generator will weigh once it has oil and gasoline in it.
Best Fuel Economy
When it comes to fuel consumption, we’d have to give it to the IQ2000. The generator can run for over 7 hours on a single tank of petrol, on economy mode. Now, if that isn’t frugal, we don’t know what is! However, it also has a smaller engine and produces a hundred watts less than the IX2000. However, if we were to calculate the watts per gallon on petrol, the IQ2000 still comes out on top.
However, a word of caution for buyers here is that both generators aren’t exactly equal. Both have different engines and different underlying technologies to ensure that they offer a stable and consistent power output. The IX2000 may consume more petrol, but it outputs more power. That said, if you don’t need the extra hundred watts, then the IQ2000 is ideal. We’d recommend it hands down for people who want to go the frugal route.
Ease of Use
On the face of it, both these Generac inverter generators look the same. They have the same information dial, digital display, etc. Using it is as simple as turning on the switch and tugging on the cable. However, when comparing both head to head, we discovered something interesting.
The IX2000 is slightly harder to start. You need to put in some extra effort to get the engine going as compared to the Generac IQ2000. Now because all things are equal in terms of functionality, we’d have to give it to the IQ2000 since it is easier to start. One explanation we have for this is that a smaller engine is easier to turn over by hand as compared to a larger one as we have with the IX2000.
Durability Over Time
Everyone wants to know how long a generator will last. In terms of how many years these generators will last, it is hard to say. However, we can make an educated guess based on its build quality, engine specifications, and the way these systems work.
We think it is a tie between the two portable generators. While both engines are not the same, they both are designed by the same company. In our opinion, they both will last equally long so as long as they are operated as recommended. So, we can’t say that one will last longer than the other.
We measured the noise levels of both the IQ2000 and the IX2000. Interestingly, both generators are relatively quiet when compared to ones by Honda and Yamaha. However, the IQ2000 is quieter as compared to the IX2000, both running in economy mode, which is the quietest mode on both generators.
The difference is give or take 2% in terms of decibels. That said, a two percent difference isn’t huge, and most people aren’t going to be able to tell the difference unless they sit right next to it. While decibel levels matter, especially since you might be running it in your home, between the two of these generators, there isn’t a huge difference. Though if we were to pick a winner, the IQ2000 would win.
The Best Generator for an Outdoors Trip
It’s hard to say which of these two would make the ideal generator for a camping trip. It all depends on what you need and your power requirements. If you aren’t too hung up on running a small fridge and can make do with a few fans, lights, and charging your smartphone or laptop periodically but want the maximum run time for a gallon of gas, we’d recommend the IQ2000.
If you want the max available power in a compact package, we’d recommend the IX2000. It is small but generates a great deal more power.
Final Word About These Generators
It is a little unfair to compare both these generators head to head. However, both the Generac IQ2000 and the IX2000 are excellent budget generators that offer more features that you’ll find with big name brands. Both are very easy to operate, relatively silent, and easy to carry. So, you can’t go wrong with any one of them.
The one you choose mainly depends on what’s needed. Choosing one over the other is going to boil down to what matters to you the most. If you want economy and power does not matter, then the IQ2000 is the best option. But if you want portable power, then the IX2000 is a choice that will keep you powered outdoors and even keep your home running if you lose power, so as you can see that they both offer great value for money.