Best Predator Portable Generators 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
Manufactured by Harbor Freight Tools, Predator generators use an engine that has been around and proven itself repeatedly. It’s easy to get parts for, and many people know how to fix them. That said, it may be hard to find the perfect Predator portable generator for your situation. There are so many makes and models with many features, including inverting power, electric start, transfer switches, and parallel capability.
We can save you from digging through all these options because we’ve reviewed almost every Predator generator available, and we’ve chosen five of the best ones to cover any situation. We’ll tell you everything we like and don’t like about each generator so you can also decide what you want and need from your Predator.
We’ve included a portable generator buyer’s guide where we explain how a generator works and what essential features and qualities separate the great generators from the mediocre.
Keep reading for our in-depth reviews of each predator generator, where we compare runtime, weight, watts, and outlet covers, to help you make an educated purchase.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Predator 3500||
|Best Value||Predator 62523||
|Premium Choice||Predator 6500||
The Best Predator Portable Generators – 2020
1. Predator 3500 W Super Inverter Generator – Best Overall
The Predator 3500-Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator is our choice for the best overall Predator portable generators. This generator features 3,000 watts of continuous power and can handle peaks up to 3,500 watts. It’s gas-powered and can run up to six hours at a time on a single tank. This generator features a power inverter so it can deliver clean power to charge your cell phones and power your laptops. A digital LCD screen displays all your important information and warnings. It features overload protection, so you don’t damage your devices or blow out fuses in your home, and it moves easily on its integrated wheels.
While we tried it out, we found it to operate quieter than a lot of other models and brands, and it provides an even power that your cell phones won’t complain about using. There’s enough power for camping trips and to keep your food cold if the power goes out. The only thing we could complain about is the lack of outlet covers to protect them from rain and snow. You’ll need to tape them up when not in use to keep them from corroding.
2. Predator 62523 Inverter Portable Generator – Best Value
The Predator 62523 Inverter Portable Generator is our choice for the best value, and you’ll probably agree that it’s the best predator portable generator for the money. This tiny generator weighs less than 50 pounds, so it’s not very difficult to move it around. It delivers 1,600-watts of continuous power and can handle spike up to 2,000 watts. It’s small size, and inverting design keep the noise down and allow it to provide clean electricity to your cell phones and computers for up to six hours on a single tank of gas.
This budget generator is also parallel capable, meaning you can connect two of these generators and double the power output. The output is the only downside to this generator. The 1,600 watts runs out quickly.
3. Predator 6500 Portable Generator – Premium Choice
The Predator 6500 Portable Generator is our premium choice, and this portable generator is for someone who’s not afraid to spend a few extra dollars to get a great generator. This powerful gas-powered 13-horsepower generator delivers 5,500 watts of continuous power and can handle spikes up to 6,500 watts. The 1000-watts of spike protection will help keep your circuits from blowing, and 5,500 watts is enough to keep your home powered during an emergency.
You can get up to 14-hours runtime from a single tank of gas, and it features a low oil indicator in case the oil gets low during operation. A heavy-gauge steel roll cage protects the generator while large tires make it easier to move around.
We thought the generator was loud, but that’s not entirely unexpected with an engine this size. It’s also a little heavy to move, and it’s not an inverting generator so you can’t run your computers.
4. Predator 7000 Running Watts Generator
The Predator 7000 Running Watts Generator is a powerful generator capable of keeping your home going during an emergency. It can connect directly to your electrical box using a transfer switch. The 13-horsepower engine provides 7000 watts of continuous power and can handle spike up to 8750 watts. This generator is gas-powered and features a low oil indicator.
Before purchasing, know that this generator is very loud as it uses a large engine. It can deliver power for up to 12 hours on a single tank of gas, but it’s a non-inverting generator, so the power will not charge your cell phones or run your computers. It also features a handy electric start but does not come with the battery to use it. The battery is purchased separately.
5. Predator 63079 Outlet Portable Generator
The Predator 63079 GFCI Outlet Portable Generator is the last model of Predator generators that we are going to review for you. Though this model is not as good as our first three generators, it is still a sound generator and may have some features that you need. This model features a 6.5-horsepower engine and can deliver up to 3200-watts of continuous power while handling spikes up to 4000 watts. A single tank of gas can run the generator for up to 10 hours before it needs refueling.
While we used it, we thought it was loud, and the smaller engine seemed to put out a more annoying sound than the larger engines. It’s non-inverting, so you can’t use it with your cell phones or computers, and there are no covers over the outlets. You will need to cover the outlets with tape or purchase outlet protectors separately to protect them from the outdoor elements when not in use.
Let’s look at the different features and options that a Predator generator may offer and see what’s important.
Conventional Non-Inverting Generators
Conventional non-inverting generators are the original generator. These generators use a small engine to urn an alternator to create electricity. This system is dependent on the motor, and any fluctuation in engine speed will result in variation with the output power. No matter how finely tuned the motor is, it will still have slight variations due to its mechanical nature. Since there are always slight variations in the current supplied by conventional generators, we say the deliver “dirty” power. Most appliances and electronics operate fine on dirty power, but computers and cell phones require a clean power and will not work correctly using dirty power.
Inverting generators are the same as a conventional generator but with an added section. This new section takes the alternating current that the conventional generator creates and turns it into a direct current. This direct current is then converted back into an alternating current that is no longer dependent on the motor. Since it is not dependent on the engine, it does not fluctuate and is considered clean power. You need clean power for cell phone charging and for powering laptops and computers.
The more horsepower an engine has, the more watts of electricity it creates. This rule is valid for inverting and non-inverting generators.
Continuous Power Versus Peak Power
Some devices, like a refrigerator or air conditioner, take a lot more power to start up than they do to keep running. This extra start-up power only lasts a second and is called a spike. If the spike draws more power than the generator can deliver, a fuse will blow.
A peak power rating on a generator will tell us how much of a spike a generator can handle.
Continuous power refers to how much power you can expect the machine to deliver continuously.
When shopping for a generator, it’s vital to add up the watt requirement of every device you intend to connect to the generator to determine your power needs. Pay special attention to any start-up requirements and make sure your generator can handle those peaks. Remember that a generator can only deliver peak power for a second, so don’t count on it for more than that.
Electric start can be handy, especially if you are using your generator as an emergency back-up power for your home. An electric start can minimize power interruption, and it’s nice on cold days. It can also be an expensive additional feature on many generators, and some won’t include the costly battery required to use it. If you are using your generator for camping or other outdoor activities, an electric starter may not be a top priority.
A transfer switch will connect your generator to your home wiring and remove it from your local power grid. To connect your generator to your home, you must use a transfer switch or electricity can travel along power lines into other homes, creating a shocking and fire hazard. You also use a transfer switch to connect the generator to your RV. If you are not going to do these things, you do not need a transfer switch.
The weight of your generator is crucial if you are going to have to move it around. Many generators come with wheels, and some have attachments for towing.
Your generators runtime indicates how long the generator will run on a tank of gas. Smaller engines may run longer, but they will also supply less power. The size of the gas tank will be the determining factor on runtime but having a gas gauge can help get more out of each tank. You tend to fill it more often if you don’t know how much is in the tank.
Parallel capability is when you can connect more than one generator to get more power. Parallel capability is a popular feature often seen in smaller generators to give them more versatility. It can be useful if you know someone with the same generator, or you have an old model lying around, but it’s unlikely you would choose to purchase two small ones to link together instead of one larger one.
We hope that you have learned something new from our Predator portable generator reviews. Hopefully, you have seen some features you would like to have in your generator and have an idea of how much electricity you need. If you are still unsure which generator is right for you, we highly recommend our choice for the best overall. The Predator 3500-Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator delivers plenty of power. It’s quiet and will charge your cell phones and computers. Our choice for the best value is the Predator 62523 Inverter Portable Generator, and this bare-bones generator is great for camping and small jobs. It should keep your fridge running if the power goes out and is lightweight.
Featured Image Credit By: Predator 7000 Running Watts Generator, amazon
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The Best Predator Portable Generators – 2020
- Buyer’s Guide