Generator Jungle

Review of the PowerSmart 2500W Portable Inverter

2500 Starting Watts, 1900 Running Watts on Gasoline
Electric Start: No
Weight: 40lbs
Noise: 56dB

Should You Buy It?

For some fairly limited use this could be a viable and economical choice if you need something to power your essential equipment during a power outage or for more general recreational use away from the grid.


While the PowerSmart 2500 is a competent and highly portable generator, you might also want to consider some of the other options both in terms of inverter technology, weight, and relative quietness.

Key Points about the PowerSmart 2500W

Inverter Technology
Eco Mode
Quiet operation
Up to 11 hours duration
Parallel Ready
Durability questions
No electric start
No oil supplied

Overview of the Generator 

This model under the brand name PowerSmart is a gasoline powered portable inverter generator that is most at home in areas such as outdoor camping, RV preparation, and can be used as an emergency measure to provide some basic home backup when needed. Whatever its intended use, the PowerSmart 2500 offers a well-laid out and user-friendly control panel which makes its operation simple and easy.

Powering the generator is a 4-Stroke 79cc OHV engine which, for its size and light weight, can output a fair amount of power. But be aware that the 2500W part of its name indicates the unit's surge power, not its running power, which is 1900W. Although it might not make a lot of sense, these power outputs can be increased owing to the generator's parallel capability in which two identical generators can be linked together. But if you needed more power in the first place, better perhaps to opt for a different inverter generator, such as the Briggs & Stratton P4500 or the Briggs & Stratton Q6500, both of which offer around double the outputs of the PowerSmart 2500.

Inverter technology regulates the flow of electrical energy by converting DC to AC has a Total Harmonic Distortion  (THD) of less than 3% with the result that it's safe for you to connect sensitive electronics which can easily be damaged by fluctuations in the current seen in traditional generators (for those you would need to add a line conditioner). 

The 4-Stroke 79cc single cylinder Overhead Valve (OHV) engine has an extended running time of up to 11 hours at 25% load and 6 hours at a 50% load on its 1.05 gallon fuel tank making it a very economical generator. It's EPA and CARB compliant enabling it to be used in California, at least for the time being. On Eco Mode the generator is relatively quiet. Off Eco Mode, and when anything is connected to the generator the sound increases considerably.

While no oil is provided in the box (5W30), you do get an oil funnel and a spark plug tool.

This model does not have an electric starter but is relatively easy to start using the manual recoil cord when following the correct procedure. For example, don't open the choke too much as this could flood the engine and make starting much harder.

For more detailed information on the operation of the PowerSmart 2500 have a look at its manual.

Controls and Features

As you can see from the above image, the control panel is simple and is well laid out and easy to use. There is no digital display like that on the Champion 100402, which would have been useful to keep an eye on voltage, frequency, session run time, and total run time.

The power outlets include 2x three-prong 120V 60Hz AC receptacles, 1x 12V DC connection, and 2x 5V USB ports.

PowerSmart offer a 2-year limited residential warranty to the original purchaser of their portable generators, though this drops to just 90 days if they are used for professional or commercial purposes.

Parallel Ready

While you can add another PowerSmart 2500 to double the power outputs as we note above, this may not always be the best option.

What Most Buyers Like

The PowerSmart 2500 appears to be well-liked by many buyers. They recommend you let the generator operate for an hour on first run and then change the oil. This is essential as you'll see that the used oil contains tiny bits of metal shavings that are part of the running in process for most, if not all, small combustion engines. Frequent changing of the oil will also help greatly to extend engine life.

Although there are varying views on how quiet or noisy the PowerSmart 2500 is, at least one buyer thinks it's almost as quiet as a Honda.

What Some Buyers Like Less

This model does not have the fit and finish of a Honda generator and the plastic parts are seen to be flimsy. On the other hand, it costs a lot less than a Honda. It can take some effort to get it started, the engine can splutter until it has warmed up, and it can sometimes cut out.

One buyer thinks the instruction manual could be clearer. One owner mentions the manual being unclear about setting the fuel cap to ON to avoid the engine cutting out. In fact, page 11 of the manual is clear in telling users to turn the ventilation knob to ON position as part of the starting procedure.

Several buyers reported that the generator would not power a 1300W microwave or a 750W coffee maker.

Customer service is handled by Amerisun though this is not evident from our internet research and, according to information on the Better Business Bureau, is not rated highly (see here).

Specifications of the PowerSmart 2500

2500W Open Frame Inverter GeneratorModel # PS5020W
Surge Power2500W
Continuous Power1900W
Engine4 stroke, OHV, single cylinder
Coolingforced air
Oil capacity (fl. oz)17
Fuel tank capacity (gal.)1.05
DC Output12V
Frequency60Hz Single Phase
Dimensions (LxWxH) inches19.1 x 13.4 x 20.1
Noise (dB) @ 23 ft56
Weight (lbs)40