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TopNotch Outdoor is independent – we research, test, and rate the top products to help you make the right buying choice. We sometimes use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on your purchase. Learn more…
This is our Ultimate TopNotch review of the Pulsar Generator (PG1202S) 2023.
In this comprehensive review we’ll cover:
- Power output
- Ease of use
- Noise level
- Lots more…
We’ll also discuss how it differs from the other top products we chose for the best small generator category in 2023.
This little generator’s not among our top three camping generators but still gets a nod from the TopNotch team.
Just keep scrolling to learn more.
- Fuel efficient
- Compact design
- Lightweight and portable
- Affordable price point
- Not suitable for larger equipment
- Getting the fuel mix right takes time
Our Verdict: Pulsar Generator (PG1202S)
The simple fact is, we can’t all be a winner.
But you know what?
We can shine in our own way.
And that’s exactly the case with the Pulsar Generator (PG1202S).
What makes this product from Pulsar a good choice?
Undoubtedly, it’s the overall convenience and the excellent portability combined into a neatly designed package.
No, it doesn’t have the excellent build quality or fancy features like the top three TopNotch choices.
I’ll tell you what though…
The Pulsar 1200 watt generator provides efficiency and ease-of-use along with great value for money.
Above all, it costs only a fraction of the price of the Honda EU3000iS, our top choice.
This compact device can run for hours delivering enough power for all your essential electronics.
And if you think it might be noisy, think again.
This generator actually keeps the noise within reasonable limits.
Feel like learning more about this compact performer?
Just keep reading and we’ll give you the full lowdown.
Related: 10 Best Camping Generators
Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results
It turns out, the Pulsar brand has been gaining a steady reputation in the past few years.
What really makes Pulsar generators special is the combination of an affordable price with good quality.
And the fact is, no matter how much we emphasize quality, affordability isn’t something to ignore.
First-time buyers looking for a cheap generator will find this a great option.
Here at TopNotch we’re ever ready to showcase a wide variety of products – beyond our Top 3.
Chances are, you might be among those buyers who feel cheap generators are going to be noisy.
Believe me, the Pulsar Generator (PG1202S) will have you eating your words.
This generator is equipped with a quiet mode system to keep the noise within 65dB.
Now that’s a very respectable noise level at this price point.
Noise Output Rating
Because that’s the noise level of a normal conversation or a loud laugh.
This isn’t a generator your neighbors will complain about if you stick to lower loads.
We ran it at 30% load, and the noise was below the 60dB mark.
You’ll have no problem using it in a National Park where there are noise restrictions – just keep it at low capacity of course.
At higher loads, the sound definitely increases. We think if your requirements are at the higher end, this is not the ideal choice for peaceful camping trips.
So – the PG1202S ended up at the lower end of the chart under this metric.
But my point is this…
You simply can’t compare the it with a premium product like the Honda EU2200i which excels in this metric.
If the Honda is too pricey for you, the WEN 56125i is another fantastic option to stay noise- free.
Pulsar has equipped this generator with a small but steady 2-stroke engine.
What about the power delivery?
It’s 1200 Watts of surge wattage and 850 Watts of continuous wattage.
Compared to our TopNotch Award Winners like the Honda EU3000iS and the Yamaha EF2400iSHC, the power output is limited.
Power Output Rating
At the same time, if you’re not planning to run heavy appliances, the PG1202S is perfect for your smaller electronics.
As per specifications, the PG1202S can run for 8.5 hours at half load.
Simply put, with a fuel tank capacity of 1.2 gallons, this isn’t bad at all.
In our tests, we used it to run the television in the RV, a couple of LED lights, and also for charging a laptop and mobile.
It ran for around 6 hours before running out of juice.
The trick is, keep your wattage within 700 Watts and you’ll extract the best performance from this generator,
In case you plan to use it for home emergencies, it’s perfect for charging up small devices or running a small refrigerator.
The good news is…
The generator is both EPA and Carb compliant.
Hence, no worries about emissions.
Ease Of Use
Ease of use is definitely a strong point of the Pulsar Generator (PG1202S).
Firstly, the recoil starter did take a few pulls to get it started the first time.
But once the oil flow was smooth, it was much easier.
Ease Of Use Rating
We found the control panel has been kept pretty simple.
There’s the circuit breaker, two 120 Volt AC outlets, and a 12 Volt DC outlet.
Beyond that, there’s also a power indicating light.
Coming to the matter of the Pulsar 1200 watt generator manual, we feel it could have been more detailed.
Also, a few diagrams would have been better for first time users.
Keep in mind this being a two-stroke engine, you’ll have to mix oil with gasoline.
The recommended ratio is 50:1.
Don’t fancy taking the trouble to do that?
The WEN 56125i is a TopNotch alternative from all aspects.
On the whole, this is a straightforward generator that’s simple enough for first-time users.
Don’t have much time for maintenance?
Yeah, I thought so.
But in reality, the Pulsar 1200 watt generator doesn’t need much care to get it to run well.
Let’s be honest.
This compact generator isn’t as durable as a Honda EU3000iS or the Champion 3400 Generator.
However, within its own limitations, it’s capable enough of performing reliably for a long time.
The lightweight frame has no metal parts.
Bottom line is, during testing for our Pulsar generator review, we found the plastic covering pretty durable overall.
Moreover, the generator comes with a one-year limited warranty. Just make sure to produce the original receipt at the time of the warranty claim.
By contrast, for commercial use, the warranty is just 90 days.
Point to be noted – none of the switches are dust or water-resistant. I wouldn’t recommend using it in a wet environment or a construction site.
Obviously, the TopNotch team know generators should be built tough.
During our tests, we really put them through their paces. (Actually, some of us overdo it at times – just to make 100% sure).
But to its credit, the Pulsar Generator (PG1202S) did survive even our testing.
It turned out, the overall durability is certainly good enough for casual outdoor use for a camping or hunting trip.
Weight & Portability
Without doubt, the lightweight and compact shape are two best features of the Pulsar PG1202S.
It weighs only 37.5 pounds, making it one of the lightest generators of those we tested.
In this metric, it was surpassed by only one product- the WEN 56125i.
In reality, the actual difference in weight between the two is just around two pounds.
Quite simply, even when it’s loaded with fuel, carrying it around won’t be a problem for you at all.
Do you need a wheel to help move it around?
No, not really.
If you need a generator with wheels you can look to the Pulsar 3500.
But then, it’s in a totally different category in terms of power delivery.
In terms of dimensions, the generator stands at 12.4 x 14.6 x 12.4 inches (H x L x W).
So – we found it easy to store in the RV or in the corner of my garage.
Personally, I found carrying this unit around more comfortable than other products.
Actually, the location of the handle makes it feel well-balanced.
Under this metric, the PG1202S achieved second place.
Frankly, at this price point, we didn’t expect the Pulsar to shine.
The fact is, only a few generator manufacturers are generous enough to deliver a complete range of accessories.
So what did this generator offer?
We already mentioned the user manual, didn’t we?
But wait. There’s more…
Conclusion: Pulsar Generator (PG1202S)
It’s time to wrap this up, thanks for reading.
So how do I sum up the Pulsar Generator (PG1202S)?
The bottom line is…
It is solely for the budget-conscious buyer who has limited power needs.
It doesn’t have the features to beat the top performers in its category.
But that’s not the whole picture.
The unbelievable price and the top-class portability gives it an edge you can’t ignore.
In addition, good fuel efficiency and running time make it great for outdoor use.
It’s easy to use and can easily charge a wide range of electronics.
To sum up, the team here at TopNotch decided the pros and cons of this generator are nicely balanced to make it a competent product at a lower price point.
Do we recommend it?
If you’re on a limited budget and don’t need the best features, the answer is a definite yes.
Otherwise, we have the TopNotch top three award winning generators listed just for you.
Over to you – you now know everything you need to know to make a very sound choice.
Related: 10 Best Camping Generators