Is It Worth Buying an Electric Start Portable Generator?

Starting a portable generator should be as painless as possible. In the past, the standard starting method was pulling a cord and kickstarting the engine for lawnmowers, generators, and more. However, as generator technology has evolved, using a pull cord may seem old-fashioned. It’s also inconvenient for many, requiring a precise pulling method and a certain degree of strength.

Electric starters, on the other hand, couldn’t be easier. Simply press the start button, and watch the generator roar to life — and that’s it: no fuss, strain, or injury…

Just electricity in seconds.


What Is an Electric Start Generator?

An electric start generator is any generator with an electric start button or key instead of a pull cord.

How they work is slightly different from how a pull cord generator works. On the latter, the pull cord unwinds the crankshaft and spins it, which starts the engine. An electric start uses an electrical switch to start the engine.

Some models will have an electric starter and a pull cord, with the latter as a backup starter. You can also add an electric start to some pull-cord generators.

Is Electric Start a Must-Have Feature? 

An electric starter is not essential, but it has several significant benefits if you’re thinking about buying a generator.

Firstly, it’s relatively easy to operate a pull cord generator, but it might take a few tries to get it right.

Under stressful circumstances, such as a blackout, you might not have the time or inclination for the five tries needed to start it.

Pull cords can also be difficult for elderly users or those suffering from arthritis or joint pain, as they need a certain level of force to start the engine.

Also, pull cords were a common feature fifty years ago, but it’s much rarer to see them nowadays. If the recoil cord breaks, you’ll probably need to do some DIY repairs. You need the same size as the original pull cord and some degree of skill with mechanics.

A pull cord is nowhere near as easy as pressing a switch or turning a key. Starting a generator should be quick and painless. Electric start generators have a clear advantage.  

Types of Electric Start Generators  

While all generators roughly do the same thing — create electricity — there are many different types for various applications, and many will come with an electric starter. 

Here, we’ll look at the EcoFlow portable power stations with solar panels and dual fuel smart generators to give you an idea of the many options on the market.

Ecoflow Portable Power Stations

Portable power stations come in various sizes and storage and power output capacities. The smallest, such as the RIVER 2, fits easily into a backpack. It’s the perfect portable power supply to charge cell phones and camera batteries or keep a laptop running when you’re off the grid.

Larger power stations, such as the DELTA Pro, deliver enough storage capacity and AC output to provide home backup power. They can run any household appliance and electronic device and even integrate with your home electrical circuitry. They’re still compact enough to be portable. You can easily load one up into the back of a truck and power a weekend camping trip off-grid. 

While portable power stations don’t generate electricity out of the box, you can add solar panels to any of EcoFlow’s models to turn the PPS into a solar generator.

All EcoFlow options come with an electric starter. When you’re out in the wild or in the middle of a blackout, the last thing you want is to fiddle around with a pull cord to start your generator. EcoFlow solar generators offer a convenient solution.

Portable solar generators are ideal for energy consumption on the go. Whole home backup generators have a greater power storage capacity and output, making them the perfect generator to have at home during a blackout.

Ecoflow Smart Dual Fuel Generator 

A Smart Generator Dual Fuel is an ideal addition to your whole home backup power solution or as a standalone fossil fuel power supply. It can run off petrol or propane (LPG) and has a rated AC power output between 1600 and 1800 W, depending on the fuel type. 

It’s the last line of defence you want in an extended blackout and integrates seamlessly with the DELTA Pro for greater energy security and faster recharge times.

The Smart Generator Dual Fuel has an electric starter but it doesn’t stop there. It also has a remote start option that you can use with the EcoFlow app, plus a pull cord if all else fails.

Smart Generators are robust and designed to operate under challenging circumstances. Dual fuel systems offer more reliability and flexibility to perform using two different fuel types and have several start methods to cover all the bases.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do Portable Generators Have Electric Start? 

Many modern portable generators come with an electric start switch, but not all. Some generators will have one or two, or three auxiliary methods to start them. Electric start portable generators offer convenience and speed of use without the physical strain or possible malfunctions using a pull cord.


An electric starter might not be an essential component for a generator, but it certainly makes life easier. It’s a worthwhile investment to move on from the days of endlessly pulling a cord until the engine eventually sputters into life. 

With EcoFlow, you can have the convenience of not just an electric start but a remote start, thanks to our EcoFlow smartphone app integration.

EcoFlow’s solar generators and Smart Generator Dual Fuel solutions are a clean and convenient alternative to old-school pull cord generators, whether at home, on camping trips, or off-grid living.

EcoFlow is a portable power and renewable energy solutions company. Since its founding in 2017, EcoFlow has provided peace-of-mind power to customers in over 85 markets through its DELTA and RIVER product lines of portable power stations and eco-friendly accessories.


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