Samlex America

When it comes to pure sine wave inverters, there are few companies that do a better job of manufacturing this type of power inverter. Of course, there is ample reason for that to be the case. For one, Samlex has been specializing in power distribution services for almost three decades. Founded in 1991, the company initially made power conversion products, like power inverters, almost to exclusivity. That said, power inverters are not the only type of product that Samlex produces. Along with power inverters, Samlex also manufactures battery chargers, communications power supplies in both alternate and direct currents, radio communications cabinets, and combination inverter/chargers. In fact, Samlex has even kept up with more modern developments of solar power making both panels, kits, and battery maintenance products.

Still, when you look at Samlex, your first thought should likely be power inverters. Though we highlighted the top-tier quality of Samlex pure sine wave power inverters originally, it is important to note that the brand also makes high-quality modified sine wave inverters. Samlex uses their high-efficiency PWM design to allow multiple deep cycle batteries to be chained to one another to the modified sine wave inverter without surges in voltage or watts overloading the power inverter. In regards to their pure sine wave inverters, Samlex offers a couple market selections. They cover both the general 120V and 240V as well as a higher-end market that demands more reliable power inversion with their SSW series. Regardless the niche market, all of Samlex’s pure sine wave power inverters are noted for their excellent handling of heat dispersion.

While pure sine wave inverters handle heat better than modified anyway, Samlex pure sine wave inverters are especially good at this task and are consequently much quieter than many of their competitors. This also allows Samlex to last longer since the components suffer less degradation through heat. That said, Samlex is also noted for being one of the more expensive brands of power inverters–though, they are not always the most expensive brand. All Samlex inverters are noted for their high degree of efficiency with the Samlex modified sine wave inverters standing notably above many of their competitors with efficiency ratings that are comparable to pure sine wave inverters. The Samlex brand manufactures power inverters with  innovative, commercial grade design that is suitable for heavy duty loads, long periods of continuous operation and for emergency back-up, giving you peace of mind when it comes to safe and reliable AC power.

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Xantrex Technology

While not the oldest company on our list, Xantrex has been in the power conversion and management industry for well over three decades. In fact, Xantrex is actually older than Samlex. In that time, the company has all but mastered the inversion of DC power to AC power and earned a reputation as one of the best power inversion manufacturers around. That said, they are not necessarily an industrial grade power management brand like some of the others. Still, many of Xantrex’s products meet numerous national and international standards including UL, CSA, and CE. Moreover, the Xantrex brand has been registered as both an ISO 9001 and ISO 2000 company which are international standards for quality management. Together, they demonstrate that Xantrex meets or exceeds some of the highest standards for commercial power management products.

Aside from Samlex, Xantrex is also noted for being one of the heavy hitters in the power management and distribution market. In fact, they offer products in many of the same fields. That said, there are a handful of fields which do differentiate the two brands, and these differences actually go a long way with informing us about the differences between both brands’ power inverters.

For instance, Samlex offers a number of unique power management options focused exclusively on communications and solar power. This focus on communications especially highlights why the Samlex pure sine wave power inverters produce such low levels of harmonic distortion. Xantrex, on the other hand, does not focus much on either communications nor solar. That said, Xantrex does place a significant focus on monitoring entire local power grids. These grids cover both solar and communications systems, but they also extend well beyond to more general monitoring as well as more specified monitoring systems.

The important takeaway from Xantrex’s focus on monitoring system relates to the internal components of their products at large. Monitoring electrical grids require far more sensitive components than is required to simply distribute, store, or convert electricity. As such, it should not come as much of a surprise that one of the areas where Xantrex definitively bests Samlex is in the component category.

Again, while Samlex is no slouch and still uses a solid grade of capacitors and other components, Xantrex goes above and beyond by using high-grade Japanese components–though, the company can likely get away with this due to buying them in bulk in general. Of course, this does come at a cost, and Xantrex power inverters–whether modified sine wave or pure sine wave–are generally a little bit more expensive than Samlex power inverters.

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AIMS Power

Of all the brands on our list, AIMS is by far the most recent, though it is still over a decade old. That said, AIMS distinguishes itself from the other companies on our list primarily through its specialization. While the company boasts of many of the same products as the other brands reviewed, AIMS does not actually intend to focus on broad spectrum power management and distribution.

Instead, this company was founded with the explicit purpose to seize on the emerging renewable energy market. Founded in 2001 by Bruce de Jong out of his Reno, Nevada garage, AIMS continues to maintain its presence as a small business. In terms of product quality, this is a sword that can cut both ways. One of the main benefits of this business arrangement is that AIMS products are often less expensive than many of the other brands on our list.

Of course, just because AIMS is a smaller business than most does not mean they cannot also provide a quality product. In fact, AIMS Power has been subcontracted by NASA, the Department of Defense, and Princeton University to solve their renewable energy and power management needs. Part of this has to do with the fact that as a small business, AIMS is able to provide on-site services most international companies do not.

Another benefit that the small business approach provides is the ability to offer excellent customer service. However, it should be noted that AIMS separates its ventures into two distinct approaches. The first approach, and the one most likely to be utilized by the average consumer, is the retail of their products, but the pride of AIMS Power is providing the service of a custom solar grid system.

Customers have left more than a few complaints about their power inverter failing quicker than is commonly seen in high-end power inverter manufacturers–often within a few weeks to a few months. This is not to suggest that is the standard or general rule, but it is more common than with a Xantrex or Samlex for instance.

That being said, AIMS does offer some of the best customer service out of any brand we saw, though this is likely in a large part due to the fact that they are a small business. This benefits them in a couple ways. First, as a small business, AIMS cannot afford to suffer a dissatisfied customer the way a larger, more reputable brand like Samlex might. However, this also works to another advantage.

Since the business is small, it is fairly easy for the engineers to get their hands on the defective power inverter. Rather than having to send the product overseas, you can trust that it will reach their headquarters in Reno, Nevada. In fact, many customers who have had to send their device back for repairs note that the refurbished power inverter works better than most of the top brands.

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Krieger

Despite its name, Krieger is an American company headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, FL. This is also the youngest company we reviewed having been founded less than a decade ago. That said, the brand has been able to develop quite the reputation for itself in short order. While they do not manufacture power inverters exclusively, the bulk of their other offerings are mostly adapters.

That being said, Krieger does share one important distinction with the other brands on our list in regards to power inverters specifically. This is the only brand reviewed that specializes primarily in modified sine wave inverters. This is important because any electronics device with a microprocessor or other timing based components will not work properly with a modified sine wave inverter. As such, if you need to convert DC electricity to AC electricity for electronic devices of that nature, this is not the best brand to choose.

Krieger is also the smallest company on our list. For however small AIMS Power is compared to Samlex or Xantrex, Krieger Electric is that much smaller. In fact, Krieger is not even its own company and is instead a subsidiary of another company on our list: Power Bright Technologies. This provides some distinct advantages for the Krieger brand, most notably the ability to avoid some of the more onerous overhead costs that have a tendency to drive up the price of other power inverter brands.

That being said, Krieger products are a bit hit or miss in some respects–at least compared to the other brands on our list. This relates specifically to the harmonic distortion. While all modified sine wave power inverters produce more harmonic distortion than a pure sine wave inverter, and Krieger’s modified sine wave power inverter is well within this range, it does not change the fact that other brands produce better modified sine wave power inverters than Krieger.

This would not be much of a concern except that Krieger power inverters are not significantly less expensive than the other top brands on our list. On the plus side, Krieger power inverters do meet some significant standards that still make them worth considering. For one, they are an ISO 9001 certified company ensuring high-quality assurance standards. They also are ROHS certified which means you do not have to worry about dangerous materials being used in their products.

Those previous certifications, combined with MET, UL, and CSA approval is likely a large part of the reason that Krieger has been contracted by numerous governments from around the world including the USA, UK, France, Portugal, Australia, Israel, South Africa, and more. Ultimately, if you are in the market for a modified sine wave power inverter, Krieger is arguably the most reliable and specialized brand for the task.

Power Bright: ​

Our final brand is also our most venerable. Power Bright Technologies was founded in 1982–nearly a full decade before the next oldest brand on our list. In that time, the company has forged a strong reputation through the manufacturing of high-end power management and distribution products. In fact, Power Bright has actually been so successful that other power management and distribution companies have subcontracted them to manufacture their own products.

A prime example of this is Energizer. The company noted primarily for batteries also sells a number of other power management and distribution products. However, what is probably less well-known is that Energizer subcontracted Power Bright to manufacture their modified sine wave power inverters in 2012–a contract that Energizer still honors to this day.

What makes this all the more surprising is that Power Bright is not the lumbering behemoth that Energizer is. In fact, Power Bright is far more on par with AIMs–though closer to double the size–in terms of its number of employees. One of the main reasons the Power Bright can manage to land such a big contract with a world-renowned brand is because they own their own state-of-the-art factory in Suzhou, China.

Aside from being able to accommodate a large volume order to the degree that they can sell Power Bright, Krieger, and Energizer brand power inverters, this allows them to do so at competitive prices with brands like Samlex and Xantrex. The Power Bright brand likewise manufactures both pure and modified sine wave power inverters–unlike their subsidiary brand, Krieger, which focuses on modified sine wave inverters.

That said, Power Bright inverters actually come with some caveats. This brand has issues with continuous 24/7 power inversion. This means that if you need a power inverter for a solar grid, this is maybe not the best power inverter brand for you. You would do better going to Samlex or AIMS–who specializes in solar grid products and services.

In fact, Power Bright inverters are noted by some customers for catching fire if they are left working for weeks at a time. Granted, this will heavily depend on the load that you place on the inverter as lighter loads can be managed for weeks on end. Still, if you intend to run any Power Bright inverter–whether pure sine wave or modified–at full capacity, be sure to give it an occasional break.

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FAQ…

Who makes the best pure sine wave power inverters?
Samlex and Xantrex, without a doubt, manufacture great, high-quality true sine inverters, that are some of the best on the market

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by Paul Ertel January 11, 2018

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