Power tools need, well, electric power to get them running and help you in doing your building and carpentry tasks. But what if you experience power outage and you’re in the middle of assembling your furniture or of a big house remodeling project? Nothing can be more annoying and perplexing than that.
If you think a generator is not necessary, think again – you won't know what will happen next! For emergencies such as an unexpected power outage, a reliable generator is a must-have addition to your power toolkit.
Not all generators are created equal, of course. Depending on your budget, need for convenience and standby power needs, you may buy a decent generator for as little as $900 or cough up as much as $8,000 for a superior model. With a wide range of sizes, models, features and pricing, it's absolutely necessary to choose a generator that will exactly cater to your situation.
In selecting a generator, you will have to work out on how much power do you actually need. This is an important first step in buying a generator. You will have to find out the amount of power needed to run the power tools and appliances you use.
List down the appliances you cannot live without such as lights, refrigerators, television, Wi-Fi router, desktop computer, microwave, television and radio, etc. Calculate on how much electricity they need by looking at their faceplate or user's manual. Then determine the total wattage of each of the appliances that you consider as essential. The generator you are about to purchase must be able to produce at least that total wattage you've just estimated (and preferably a little more wattage). Appliances with motors (such as refrigerators and furnace) may require additional wattage to start.
As for generators for smaller power tools (such jigsaws and circular saws), smaller portable generators will be a better bet. Portable generators are also ideal for outdoor equipment such as chainsaws, lawnmowers and hedge trimmers, and these tools usually need less than 3000 watts to run.
If you've encountered a generator before, most of the time you remember about it was its noise. If noise is of particular concern, take note of the generator's decibels as the basis of its noise level. A generator with 50 to 60 decibels is considered the least noisy, but if it roars at 80 decibels, then you will need to raise your voice in order to be heard. Fortunately, more recent generators come with encased motors and anti-vibration features but they carry a hefty price tag.
Working with power tools and other related appliances would cause you to tend to move a lot. So if your concern is mobility, then you should get a generator that comes with wheels and handles so that it can be easily carried around. It's also important to check the weight of the model to make sure that lugging it around won't feel cumbersome and awkward.
Gas tank should also be a big factor. Generally, the more powerful the generator is, obviously the more fuel it consumes. Several models last from 2 to 10 hours. The tank capacity and size should also be taken into consideration – usually, the bigger the capacity, the less frequent your need to refill the tank. However, the bigger the tank capacity also means a bigger and heavier generator.
You may also like to include convenience and ease of use as additional factors in buying a generator. There are many inexpensive generators out there that feature the good ol' recoil method which requires a couple of pulls to start, just like starting a lawn mower. But there are newer generators with an electronic starter which requires only a switch, although they are a lot pricier.
Generators are sure to cause great danger if they're not being handled properly. Even smaller generators can produce high levels of electricity that can cause accidents, injuries and disasters. That's why it’s essential to read and understand what's in the user's manual, and carefully comply with the instructions and warnings that will guide you to start the run the generator safely.