Comparing Standby Generator Brands

Generac, Cummins Onan, Kohler, and Briggs & Stratton generators Midwest Generator Solutions Indianapolis

Generac, Kohler, Cummins Onan, and Briggs & Stratton standby generators are all popular brands known for quality and dependability. But each brand has traits and features that sets their generators apart from competitors’ products and that attracts certain homeowners.

We’ve assembled a list comparing these four brands. The list isn’t by any means exhaustive. Instead, it focuses on some highlights of each brand, taking note of why customers typically go with that brand over another.


Generac is the No. 1 selling brand of standby generator in America. Generac also focuses solely on generators, unlike its competitors, which make a variety of other products. Laser-focusing its marketing and branding has certainly helped its sales, but it’s popular not simply because of the marketing.

Generac’s natural gas and propane standby generators are popular primarily for two reasons — quality and prices. Having the largest variety of generators to choose from hasn’t hurt, either. Generac generators compare well in terms of quality with Kohler and Briggs & Stratton. But Generac generators usually cost less than generators of other brands. For these reasons, Generacs tend to receive praise as one of the best all-round brands.

Other features that make Generac generators popular include:

  • Branding as a solution for security and safety
  • Metal enclosures
  • Hands-free operation
  • Online monitoring


Kohler is another popular brand of standby generator in the United States. And it, too, has its own set of die-hard followers. Kohler standby generators for homes come packaged a little differently than other brands. They protect their 14kW and 20kW standby generators with “corrosion-proof” enclosures. These enclosures are made of a composite plastic, which won’t rust. The downside to these plastic enclosures is that they can’t be placed as close to buildings as standby generators with metal enclosures. The reason they must be installed further away from buildings is because plastic can catch on fire.

Kohler natural gas and propane standby generators are regularly praised as some of the quieter generators, another reason why it’s popular. They’re also popular for their 5-year, 2,000-hour warranty, one of the industry’s best warranties.

Other features that make Kohler popular include:

  • “Peace of mind” branding
  • Good quality
  • Offers some of the smallest standby generators on the market
  • 5-year, 2,000-hour warranty

Cummins Onan

Cummins prides itself in producing high-quality products in all the industries it serves. Its Onan standby generators are no exception. While Cummins Onan standby generators are typically some of the most expensive models, people purchase them popular because the generators are known for their excellent quality and durability.

Cummins Onan generators are also popular because they’re known for being some of the most efficient standby generators on the market, which means that if residents lose power and have to run their generator for long periods of time that they’ll use less fuel with an Onan than they would another brand. These generators also have load management, which means the generator can tell if it has the capacity to power additional equipment in your home but won’t overexert or underexert itself.

Cummins also offers the QuietConnectTM series, which was specifically designed for residential use. These standby generators were designed with sound attenuation in mind and come in a sound-reducing enclosure. These generators start at 22kw, however, so they’re better choices for medium to large homes.

Other reasons why people by Cummins Onan generators include:

  • Branding that focuses on reliability
  • Designed and manufactured in the United States (Indiana)
  • Online monitoring

Briggs & Stratton

Briggs & Stratton offers a 6-year limited warranty on parts and labor for its standby generators, competing with Kohler for the industry-leading warranty. The quality of Briggs & Stratton compares with Kohler and Generac, and they usually cost more than Generac generators.

Other typical reasons people purchase Briggs & Stratton include:

  • Power and Confidence branding
  • Offer some of the smallest models of standby generators
  • Metal enclosures
  • Comparatively compact size

If you’d like assistance in choosing the standby generator that works best for you, then contact Midwest Generator Solutions today.