Portable generators are the Swiss army knife of worksite equipment. They’re pretty damn handy on weekends, too. The recent advances in cordless equipment mean hand and power tools are relying less on mains power, but what would jobsites be without the kind of power needed to run refrigeration and kitchen facilities? Lighting? Heavy power tools that simply can’t suck enough grunt from batteries? Jobsites would be dark, hungry places with very low efficiency, that’s what. Supplying uninterrupted, reliable electricity is crucial to keeping most jobsites productive until mains is connected.
It’s the portability of generators that makes them so valuable on work sites around the nation. But when it’s time to down tools, a generator can be lobbed into a ute, van or trailer, and can allow a riverside or beach camp to enjoy light, music and a way of keeping a catch cold. The best thing is, modern generators have come a long, long way from the noisy, fussy units of our fathers’ day. Modern powerplants are quieter, lighter, more compact and way more stable and efficient than anything our fathers ever dreamed of.
Right for you
What should you look for in a generator? Here’s a few pointers with examples from the Stanley range:
• The open-frame ‘utility’ generators are robust, simple and inexpensive. Although they’re not quite as small, light or quiet as the punchier outfits, they’re ideal for use where noise and bulk aren’t as much of a consideration, and typically they’re used by tradesmen. A good example would be Stanley’s SU6500E. A DIYer would probably look at the more compact SU3000 on a worksite and in the open
• The little ST1000i inverter is very light and small and is most often used by campers to power lighting and charge batteries. The slightly larger and twice-aspowerful ST2000i is still highly portable and extremely versatile and can run appliances including fridges, freezers, lighting, TVs, computers, drills, electric saws and so forth. So it’s a favourite for use in power-backup at home, camping and for DIY jobs
• The more powerful but, at only 35kg still light, and quiet ST3200i is great for powering the RV and comes into its own when powering small events. Its ability to handle many household appliances and tools also makes it ideal for power backup and DIY.