If you need portable power to run tools and equipment at your job site, renting a portable generator will make a lot of sense. Of course, portable generators don't typically come in a "one size fits all" category. There are options available, and the model you choose should depend upon the tasks you will be performing. To help you rent the right model, follow a few simple "dos and don'ts" to feel empowered by your decision:

1. DO Determine How Much Wattage You Will Need

Choosing the right portable generator for your job site means more than calculating the square footage at the location. You'll need to determine how much wattage each of the tools you will be using will require. To avoid overloading the generator, make sure there is amply wattage output. For example, if you will be using an electric drill that uses 500 watts, and a compressor that uses 1,200 watts, you'll want your portable generator to be able to support at least 1,700 watts of power.

It's best not to settle for the minimum wattage, however. Allow yourself some room to add on. Figure the total wattage of the generator capability to exceed that of the load by at least 10 percent.

2. DON'T Forget to Accommodate a Noise-Restricted Area

If you will be working in an area that is noise-restricted, you'll want to rent the most quiet portable generator available. Ask the rental associates if they have portable generators that utilize inverter technology. 

A generator that is equipped with inverter technology will be made with a special microprocessor. This microprocessor enables the machine to run more quietly than other non-invertor enabled models. How is this possible? The microprocessor is not running at a powerful speed. Also, the internals inside of the generator are made with sound-reducing materials. The inverter enabled generator will be able to handle all of your most sensitive tools and equipment quietly.

3. DO Consider Energy Efficiency

If you are concerned with conserving energy while working on your job, you'll want to rent an energy efficient portable generator. One feature to look for is automatic idle control. This sets the generator in an idling mode rather than running constantly when you don't require its usage. The above mentioned inverter technology is also energy efficient as well.

4. DON'T Overlook the Need for Connectivity

Just because you're renting a portable unit, this doesn't mean its capabilities should be limited. One feature you'll want to have is the ability to connect several devices or tools at once. That said, choose a rental model that offers several outlets rather than merely one or two.

5. DO Consider the Key Word and Component: Portability

A portable generator should be just that: easy to transport and move about as needed. To get the most out of a portable unit, look for a few key components. Large wheels will offer stability to maneuver on most any type of ground surface or terrain. A large and rugged carry handle will help you lift the generator as needed. Equally important, a portable job site generator should have a locking brake mechanism. This will help keep the unit secure and prevent it from accidentally getting knocked over as you work. Keep in mind, not all models may have every one of these features for portability and convenience, so be sure to double check with your rental provider.

6. DON'T Overlook the Importance of Fuel Type

Most portable generators will be powered by gasoline fuel. Gasoline fuel is ideal for small, lightweight, and portable generators. It's also very easy to purchase. However, you should also consider the gasoline may easily ignite as it is highly flammable. If you are looking for a less flammable option, you might consider a diesel-powered portable generator. Propane-powered generators produce less emissions than the above mentioned fuel types and are generally more quiet in the engine. Weigh the pros and cons of each before making your selection.