When it comes to preparing for power outages, investing in a generator is a wise decision. However, with the market offering a range of options, it’s essential to understand the differences between portable and standby generators. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of each type, helping you make an informed decision about the generator that suits your needs. As Melbourne’s leading generator hire, sales, and installation provider, Eastern Generators is here to guide you through the process.

Portable Generators: Power On the Go

Portable generators, as the name suggests, provide a convenient solution for temporary power needs. They are compact, lightweight, and can be easily transported from one location to another. With a wide power output range, typically from 1,000 to 25,000 watts, portable generators can cater to various requirements.

Pros of Portable Generators

  • Affordability: Portable generators are generally more budget-friendly than their standby counterparts. They offer a cost-effective solution for homeowners who need backup power on a limited budget.
  • Versatility: These generators can be used in various settings, including homes, construction sites, and outdoor recreational activities like camping or tailgating.
  • Ease of Use: Portable generators are user-friendly and require minimal setup. They can be started manually and provide power to specific appliances or equipment with the use of extension cords.

Cons of Portable Generators

  • Manual Operation: Unlike standby generators, which automatically kick in during a power outage, portable generators require manual starting and monitoring. This means you need to be present to start and stop the generator as needed.
  • Limited Power Output: Portable generators have a lower power output compared to standby generators, which could limit their ability to power larger appliances or multiple devices simultaneously.
  • Fuel Storage: Portable generators typically run on gasoline, which means you need to store an adequate supply of fuel. This can be challenging during extended power outages or when access to fuel is limited.

Standby Generators: Reliable Whole-House Power

Standby generators, also known as whole-house generators, provide a seamless and automatic backup power solution for your home. These generators are permanently installed and connected to your home’s electrical system, ensuring uninterrupted power supply during outages.

Pros of Standby Generators

  • Automatic Operation: Standby generators offer the convenience of automatic operation. When a power outage occurs, the generator senses the loss of electricity and switches on automatically, providing uninterrupted power to your entire home.
  • Higher Power Output: Standby generators are capable of delivering a higher power output, making them suitable for powering essential appliances, HVAC systems, and even the entire house simultaneously.
  • Fuel Options: Standby generators can run on natural gas or propane, which eliminates the need for storing and refuelling with gasoline. This provides a continuous power supply for an extended period, as they can connect to existing fuel sources.

Cons of Standby Generators

  • Higher Cost: Standby generators require professional installation, which adds to the overall cost. The initial investment for a standby generator is higher compared to a portable generator.
  • Limited Portability: Once installed, standby generators are fixed in place and cannot be easily moved. This restricts their use to the home or property where they are installed.
  • Maintenance Requirements: Standby generators require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance. It is recommended to have a licensed technician service the generator annually.


The decision to choose between a portable and standby generator ultimately depends on your specific requirements and preferences. Portable generators offer affordability, versatility, and ease of use, making them suitable for temporary power needs. On the other hand, standby generators provide automatic, whole-house power with higher output and fuel options, ensuring uninterrupted electricity during outages.

Eastern Generators, Melbourne’s leading generator hire, sales, and installation provider, understands the importance of selecting the right generator for your needs. Whether you require a portable generator for temporary power or a standby generator for reliable whole-house backup, we are here to assist you in making an informed decision. Contact us today to explore our range of generators for sale in Melbourne.