CAT INV1250 Generator Review – Worth It? is an independent review business. I am not affiliated with any manufacturers and do not accept paid reviews. When you buy through my links, I may earn a commission which helps me purchase more generators for testing. - Scott Krager

Last Updated on October 16, 2022 by Manager Access

When it comes to picking out a portable generator, there are many different things that you should take into account.

After all, you are most likely going to use your generator in an emergency situation, so you want to make sure you have the best generator for your needs.

Some of the things you may look for are size, wattage capabilities, features, and portability. There are a wide variety of different brands to choose from with many of them being household brand names.

Today, we are going to look at the INV1250 generator from CAT.

CAT is a well-known brand not only in the generator space but for machinery as well.

CAT offers many different sizes of generators to fit any needs.

Follow along as I walk you through the INV1250 features, specs, and capabilities.

Functions and Ease of Use

cat INV 1250 generator in a forest

Taking a quick look at the INV1250, you will notice the tell-tale signs of a CAT product.

The yellow and black color scheme goes right along with CAT’s branding which has been a symbol of quality for decades.

This CAT INV1250 generator is going to offer 1000 running watts and 1250 starting watts.

This is going to be perfect for smaller tools, appliances, and quick power-ups.

The easy-to-locate control panel is adequately spaced and labeled so that you can quickly find the outlets and switches you need.

To plug up your appliances and tools, choose from 1 5-20R plug, 1 5V 2.1A USB, 1 5V 1.0A, and 1 12V DC 8.3A outlet.

This is a great selection for a generator of this size.

If you are wanting a little more power, you can utilize the parallel plugs that allow you to hook up another INV1250 with the parallel cable that is sold separately.

With a 0.8-gallon fuel tank, you can enjoy up to 8 hours of run time at 50% load. You will notice that the generator has an integrated handle that makes transporting this 40lb generator super easy.

This generator is also equipped with an Engine Smart Control (ESC) which automatically adjusts power for your needs. It also produces clean power with <3% Total Harmonic Distortion.

This generator will also be EPA and CARB compliant for those who live in CARB states. Use this generator at your next camping trip as it meets the National Park Service campground requirements.

Noise Level – Is It Quiet?

When picking out a portable generator, one big deciding factor could be the noise level that it produces.

After all, if you are using it in a residential setting, you are not going to want to disturb your neighbors.

As an industry-standard, generator noise levels are measured in decibels and noise readings are usually taken at 23 feet away from the generator.

Most larger generators are going to produce about 72 dba on average which most people are quite used to.

Smaller generators are equipped with smaller engines, therefore they produce less noise.

This CAT INV1250 is a prime example of a quiet generator that can be used just about anywhere.

The CAT INV1250 generator is going to produce 52 dba at 23 ft, making it about as loud as light traffic.

At this decibel rating, you will have no problem using this generator at home, camping, or even tailgating.

Specs, Gas Consumption & Capacity

Generators of this size are usually going to be inverter generators which not only produce clean energy, but they use less fuel.

While these generators are fuel-efficient, the smaller tanks often affect the overall run time.

This CAT INV1250 generator is a great example of a fuel-efficient generator as you can get almost 8 hours of run time at 50% load with the 0.8-gallon fuel tank.

This is part thanks to the 60mm OHV CAT engine and variable RPM engine speed.

Optional Accessories

When purchasing the CAT INV1250, you will notice that you can get a few different accessories to help make owning and using your generator much easier.

With the INV1250, you are going to get to choose from two accessories offered by CAT.

  • The first is the parallel connection that allows you to hook two INV1250s together for twice the power.
  • The second is going to be a CAT-branded cover that keeps your generator protected from dust and water when being stored.

Service, Manual & Warranty

When buying any type of CAT product, you can rest assured that you are getting a high-quality product backed by an industry-leading warranty.

CAT is going to offer a 2-year or 1000 operating hour warranty, whichever occurs first.

You can also opt into an additional year of warranty by registering your generator within the first 30 days of purchase.

CAT also provides product information and manual downloads on their site to keep you informed of anything you may need to know about your generator.

Of course, you can always reach out to their customer services team with any questions you may have.

CAT 1250 VS The Competition

Now that I have gone over all of the great features and specs of the CAT INV1250 generator, it is time to see how it compares to some of its competitors.

I am going to choose two popular generators with similar specs to see how they stack up against the INV1250 to give you a better idea of how good this generator actually is.

Cat INV1250 VS Honda EU1000i

In a battle of the brands, we put the CAT INV1250 up against another large brand Honda, with their EU1000i.

Both generators are in the same power range so let’s see what really sets them apart.

Power Ratings

When it comes to power ratings, the INV1250 generator is going to give you a little more power than the Honda.

The INV1250 is going to give you 1250 starting watts and 1000 running watts while the EU1000i puts out 1000 starting watts and 900 running watts.

Noise Levels

In another win for CAT, the INV1250 is going to slightly edge out the EU1000i.

The INV1250 generator is going to be as quiet as 52 dba while the Honda generator is going to hover in the 53-59 dba rating at its quietest.

Power Outlets

Power outlets can be compared easily by the number of specific outlets, but it really comes down to what you will be needing to power with your generator.

The Honda generator is going to be more user-friendly for those looking to plug in more household appliances as it features 2 12V outlet plugs.

The CAT generator is going to be more versatile with a single USB plug but only one 12V plug.

They are both going to offer parallel outlets to give you the option of hooking up another generator for twice the power.

Cat INV1250 VS Pulsar PG1202S

Pulsar Products is another well-known brand in the generator industry as they produce high-quality generators with very impressive warranties.

Going up against the INV1250 is the Pulsar PG1202S, a premier Pulsar portable generator.

Power Ratings

The CAT INV1250 generator barely beats out the Pulsar generator in the power rating category as it produces 50 more peak watts and 100 more running watts.

While this isn’t too much of a difference, for those wanting the most power, the CAT generator is going to be the winner.

Noise Levels

The Pulsar generator is going to fall very short of beating the CAT generator in the noise category.

Although small, the Pulsar generator produces 65 dB compared to the 52 dB of the CAT generator.

Power Outlets

As far as the outlet selection goes, it is going to be right on par with the Honda generator.

The Pulsar generator is going to feature two 12v outlets and a trickle charge battery charger.

However, you will not get parallel capabilities with the Pulsar generator which is kind of a letdown for a generator of this size.

Online Reviews and Scores

At this time, I am unable to locate any online reviews and scores.

This may be due to the generator being new and not able to accrue any yet.

However, as more and more people purchase these generators, more reviews are sure to arise.

My Opinion: Should you Buy it?

Now that you have seen what the CAT INV1250 generator has to offer and how it compares to other CAT generators, you should be able to tell if this generator is the best for you.

In my opinion, this generator is going to be perfect for camping, tailgating, and emergency home backup power for small appliances.

While it will not power larger appliances, it can get your smaller refrigerators, microwaves, and TVs powered up until power is restored.

It is also great for those who need to use power tools away from a dedicated power source.

I hope that this article has helped you get to know the CAT INV1250 a little more and gave you the information needed to make an informed purchasing decision.