One might be forgiven for thinking that cows, onions and beans are the most common gas generators but that is not what we are assessing here. Auxiliary or standby generators kick in to maintain a building’s electricity supply in the event of a failure of the grid mains supply.

There are also applications for weekend cabins, campers, trailers, boats and anywhere in the great outdoors where our hunger and need for a supply of electricity warrants a gas generator. Generators range in size from handy portable devices that one person can easily lift and carry to the massive static units found in industrial and commercial applications.

They can be powered by gasoline or by diesel, although typically the lighter and cheaper varieties are powered by gasoline and the heavy duty units utilise the extra power delivered by diesel engines. Gas generators are notoriously noisy. Alternative models can be fuelled by natural gas or LPG, which are normally quieter in operation.

This site focuses on gas power tools for home use so let’s consider the factors to take into account when selecting a gas generator. First of all, one of the heaviest electricity consuming appliances is air conditioning. If your location demands that your AC be running because it just gets too hot, then you are looking at the top end of the domestic range and a unit that is capable of kick starting your AC system and keeping it running for hours. Most of us just need to keep that freezer frozen. We cannot contemplate mopping up the pungent mess that might result if all those bags of unknown contents were to leak. It would serve us right but a good gas generator can postpone that unfragrant day indefinitely. Also, we want the lights to be on and the TV running to keep the kids occupied (who are we kidding). And the broadband router, and our laptops – oh and who wants to go back to washing the dishes by hand, even for one evening .