Last Updated on May 3, 2023 by Rod Olivares
There will be times when you need a lot of power, but there won’t be any outlets around, so having a reliable generator in your house or RV makes a lot of sense. The challenge is to select one that is dependable, effective, and reasonably priced to purchase or use.
Predator generators are a good choice for RVs, houses, or job sites. They are affordable and also incredibly dependable and powerful. Compared to earlier models, their new design makes them more environmentally friendly.
However, before you go ahead and buy one, you need to know everything about the brand and just how good they really are – Let’s go!
Who Makes Predator Generators?
Harbor Freight is the manufacturer of Predator generators. Since 1977, Harbor Freight has earned a reputation for producing reliable tools and generators at competitive prices. Predator generators are built and put together in China. But despite the manufacturing in China, they do their quality assurance from their US corporate headquarters. Are Predator generators any good?
Best Features of Predator Generators
Predator is a trustworthy brand that has consistently demonstrated its dependability through its best features.
The company utilizes engines from Briggs & Stratton, which are famous for being reliable and effective for domestic and commercial use. The similar Honda engines found in Predator generators, which have a range of 2000 W to 11,000 W with single-use, are relatively well known.
These portable generators are reasonably quiet, with a noise level between 56 and 70 dB. Additionally, the majority of their generators have EPA III and CARB certifications.
Best Value For Money
The company charges less for its generators than other brands. The cost ranges from about $350 to $800, with an average price of $500. The units’ moderate weights are comparable to those of other brands, and it rises with the engine’s weight and capacity.
You may get a fantastic price with a predator generator that is reliable, fuel-efficient, and produces a lot of power output. You will also find an electric start, low oil and shutdown indicator, and many power outlets in most models.
Even though their reliable engines lack the dual-fuel capability, a conversion kit makes it simple to add it. In general, units are simple to install, operate, and find replacement components. Customers like the brand because of its large selection of silent and portable generators. Predator generator reviews can easily persuade one that the brand produces top-notch portable generators.
You could decide to get a Predator generator after seeing their incredible performance. However, finding the one that satisfies all your requirements takes time and effort. You must research the various models, their features, and their specifications.
Are Predator Engines Any Good?
Heck yeah! Ok, so here’s the thing. After doing some research, I learned that Predator engines are pretty much a duplicate (or clone as they call it) of the Honda generators. This means a couple of things;
First, that they are super reliable. Second, that parts are interchangeable. So if you happen to have an old Honda generator engine around, you can use parts to fix your Predator engine (I mean, if you’re really into that kind of thing). And last, it’s backed by a great business – Harbor Freight.
Is Predator a Good Brand?
Besides personal experience, I’ve done a lot of digging on this brand of generators and they are solid. One of the reasons this brand is trustworthy, as mentioned above, is that they’re actually manufactured and distributed by the same company – Harbor Freight.
How Long Does A Predator Generator Last?
The large fuel tank for most Predator generator models holds 2.6 gallons. That much fuel is enough for the 212cc engine. Its high fuel economy is a result of this combination. You conserve energy while still having access to sufficient power to enjoy your camping location. One tank should easily last 11 hours with a 25% load setting. Therefore, you won’t need to refill at night.
When operating at 50% load, you should receive 6 to 9 hours of running time. Your gas consumption will depend on how much gear you have at the moment. You would need to recalculate if you needed more power at any point throughout those 11 hours because it would require more gasoline.
One of the reasons these generators are so well-liked is their outstanding performance. You do not need to go out late at night and get more fuel. The good news is that Harbor Freight also offers extended runtime gasoline kits to prolong run times further.
How Long Can a Predator Generator Run?
The amount of power you wish to generate and the running time are equal. The generator will run for longer if less energy is required. The Predator 3500, for instance, has an 11-hour runtime rating at 25% load.
So, how good are Predator generators? The device will operate for approximately 9 hours at 50% load. The large fuel tank that Predator built enables these running times. This type is so fuel-efficient that running it all day will take up to three gallons of gas.
It can produce 3500 watts at startup and 3000 running watts while operating. That ought to be more than sufficient to power your RV’s equipment. The loudness and weight, both on the high half of the scale, will be the significant problems. Overall, you should be able to run your generator for the few hours you want to power it. It is best to limit the number of appliances you use at once.
What Is The Warranty On A Predator Engine?
Many people are concerned about warranty coverage. One benefit of Harbor Freight is that they sell many affordable tools and products exclusively sold under their brands. The warranty will function as an exchange if you can bring the device into the store. A direct-exchange warranty could be a welcome change for many customers who are sick of dealing with third-party manufacturers and their varying turnaround times.
Harbor Freight provides a 2-year warranty on the engines’ emissions control systems for Predator goods, including pumps, pressure washers, and generators. The standard 90-day guarantee is valid for all machines. The 90-day warranty will also apply to any Predator accessories you buy.
Do Predator Generators Come With Oil?
You would be mistaken to believe that the 20-ounce oil reservoir provides you with a free oil tank. There is oil in the tank, but there is a good reason for it to be there.
Before packaging the generator, the corporation drains the oil added to the tank and checks all its products before shipment. Since the company didn’t remove all of the oil before shipping it to you, some of it may still be in the tank or engine.
You do not get to bypass the breaking-in period for a generator just because the corporation runs tests before you obtain it. It is best to thoroughly fill the generator with the required fluids and run it for a predetermined period to lubricate every crevice inside the engine.
You should be able to utilize the generator generally without any problems after that interval in time. The breaking-in period helps avoid dry starts, which is why most generators are damaged.
What Kind of Oil Does the Predator Engine Use?
According to Predator, you should fill your Predator generator with synthetic oil, especially a synthetic combination of 10W-30. Other types of oil are also acceptable, but you should keep essential things in mind.
If it is 32° F (0° Celsius) or above outside, Predator 212 engines require 10W-30 oil. According to the manufacturer’s handout, 5W-30 oil will also be better appropriate if the outside temperature is below 32° F. Consequently, 10W-30 engine oil would be suitable for most situations.
Do not combine pure synthetic and synthetic mixture motor oils. This combination won’t damage your Predator Generator, but it can make it less effective.
You can increase the lifespan of your appliance and achieve the most outstanding results by checking the oil levels before each usage.
Can Predator Generator Get Wet?
It is not advisable to use this product in wet conditions or when wet, even though it has safety features. This caution applies even if your hands are damp. Because you are working with electricity, someone could electrocute you with this device’s power.
It is essential to check that all of the generator’s parts are dry before connecting the power connections. Additionally, moisture might cause short circuits and harm the generator’s internal components if you store it in an area unprotected from humidity.
Having a tent or cover over it is good to ensure that your Predator generator always stays dry. Rain and snow will cause issues with even the most robust generators.
Although the Predator 3500 modes may appear to be waterproof, there are enough gaps and fractures in the construction to allow water to enter the device undetected. To avoid problems, always avoid caution regarding electrical power equipment and dampness.
Do Predator Generators Need To Be Grounded?
Yes, grounding a portable generator is necessary! A grounding rod inserted into the surrounding soil should be connected to the metal frame of the generator using a single cable about the size of a battery jumper cable. The RV will be grounded back to this through the plug ground when plugged in.
Although all RVs now feature Ground Fault Receptacles, it will prevent any stray current from inflicting an electrical shock. An additional layer of protection is offered by driving into a ground rod.
Before use, you must correctly ground the Predator generator in compliance with all applicable electrical laws and standards. If you are not a qualified electrician, have the unit grounded instead by a professional.
What Are the Best Predator Engines? Top 5 Predator Generators
Are Predator generators any good? What Predator generators are the most widely used? See below for our top 5 recommendations for the best Predator generator.
#5 – Predator 9000 Generator
The largest and most potent generator offered by Harbor Freight is the Predator 9000 generator. It has more than enough juice to power an entire home for several days during a power outage, with 9000 peaks and 8750 running watts.
Although you require a battery connected for the electric start, there is a pull-start as a backup power. The low oil indicator and low oil shutdown are fantastic features that let you know when to top them off.
You can use the seven built-in outlets to power everything or hire an electrician to connect it as a backup properly. This device has a ton of energy, making it a fantastic backup generator, but you can also use it for other purposes. With that said, the Predator 9000 generator is also enormous, heavy, and noisy. Keep in mind that the wheel kit is an add-on.
#4 – Predator 8750 Generator
The Predator 8750 is the second-most potent generator offered by Predator and Harbor Freight. It can run a whole house for several days during a power outage with a maximum output of 8750 watts and a constant output of 7000 running watts. The low oil indicator is an excellent safety if you run it low on oil. Recoil starting is available if a battery is not available for the electric start.
A qualified electrician can quickly connect this to your home and safely power the entire building without feeding the electricity system backward. This connection is crucial so that anyone working during the power outage won’t be at risk. To ensure it lasts longer, installing LED lights in the home is a great idea. It has enough power for all your needs, but remember that it is enormous, hefty, and does not include the wheel kit.
#3 – Predator 6500 Generator
If you’ve been comparing a few other models, you will realize right away how similar the Predator 6500 and 8750 are. Nearly everything about them is the same, including how big their engines and petrol tanks are. The 8750 has one more 3-prong twist-lock outlet, an extra 2250 peak watts, and 1500 running watts; however, they differ in the number of outlets they offer.
This substitute is reasonable if, in an emergency backup, you don’t want the extra power that the 8750 offers and can get by with only a few appliances running.
Additionally, depending on your power requirements, you may obtain a longer runtime from a single tank of gas with an engine that is the same size but produces less power. In any event, the price is unbeatable, making it a perfect tool for use in emergencies, on the construction site, for fun, and in the home.
#2 – Predator 4000 Generator
At 3200 operating watts for the Predator 4000 – you will want to use this generator for backup or emergency use as we work our way down the list. Yet even though this would be sufficient for immediate needs, if your refrigerator uses 700W and your stove 2500W, you will run out of power for your flights very quickly.
As it weighs only 99 pounds, has 10 hours of runtime at 50% fuel efficiency, and still has the same outlets as the 6500, this inexpensive generator is more beneficial for job sites or remote applications. It is excellent for recreational use because it can power most RV air conditioners. Just keep in mind that the wheel kit does not come with it and that it simply has a pull-start.
#1 – Predator 3500 Inverter Generator
Our choice for the top Predator generator is the Predator 3500 Inverter Generator. It is excellent for nearly any user because it is loaded with great features. Due to Predator inverter generators’ technology, it can run for up to 11 hours at 50% draw, even with a 2.5-gallon gas tank.
If you use it as a backup power source in an emergency, you won’t have much power, but you can manage. This generator’s quiet operation and lengthy runtime make it stand out and ideal for food truck owners, camping and RVing, and football games.
Due to the built-in casters, it is also perfect for job sites if you are utilizing only a few vast tools. It has an electric starter and a digital LCD screen. Overall, this is an incredible machine, and if you discover you don’t receive enough power output, you can double it by connecting it in parallel to a second generator.
Predator vs. Honda Generator
Running watts is where the comparison should start. In a specific case, the Predator 3500 wins since it generates 3000 watts compared to the Honda’s 2800. Both have sensitive electronics, overload safety, cutting-edge inverter technology, automatic shut-off when gasoline and oil levels are too low, and two usable outlets.
Even though the Honda weighs around 25 pounds less than the Predator, they share the same style and color palette. In terms of wheels, the Predator defeats the Honda. The former type has four castor wheels, whereas the latter only has two.
The Honda is quieter than the Predator because its operating noise level is about 50 decibels, compared to 57 for the Predator. The Predator outperforms the Honda in crucial categories, including fuel tank capacity and runtime.
Honda has a 1.6-gallon tank and operates for up to 7.7 hours; the Predator has a 2.6-gallon tank and can run up to 11. Depending on where you purchase the Honda, you should prepare to pay more than $2000.
Is There Any Drawback to Buying a Predator Generator?
The majority of the time, having a Predator generator is trouble-free. But sometimes, the improper design of the oil gate makes consumers run into issues. Customers cannot access the oil gates on the predator units since they are beneath the engine, even with an expanded funnel.
Also, even though Predator does not rate the noise level at maximum power, you may anticipate it to be a little louder than the Honda generators.
Overall, Predator is a Good Brand!
Anyone wishing to power their houses, recreational vehicles, or work sites should consider investing in a good Predator generator. Predator is a powerful generator brand that is highly well-liked because it offers excellent value and is a good (and smart) investment. If you need help deciding which Predator generators are good and which model is best, try one of our top five recommendations above.
What other homeowners say about Predator Generators!
Are Predator generators a good option for homeowners?
This person has experience using both the Honda EU 2000’s and Predator 2000’s generators. They state that the Predators are great and about half the price of Honda. They recommend buying an extended protection plan for the Predators, as they have had issues with the pull-starter cords breaking. Despite this issue, the person has found the Predator generators to be great for their needs, especially for their off-the-grid cabin.
Choosing between a Honda and a cheaper Predator option
The person holds the opinion that a Honda generator is unbeatable. Nevertheless, they advise taking into account the importance of having power. If the generator is not critical and only needed for convenience, they recommend purchasing a cheaper option to save money.
Is long-term use of Predator generators similar to the performance of Honda generators?
Yup! This person has been using a Predator generator for years, and it still starts on the first pull! They have also heard similar experiences from other Predator owners. Just take great care of your generator, maintain it, and it will last a long time.
Scott Krager purchased generatorgrid.com in the summer of 2020 and quickly began to buy every generator under the sun! He currently has over a dozen generators and the number is growing quickly. He lives in Portland, OR near his family and friends.
GeneratorGrid.com 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