Generac iQ3500 Hands-on Review and Buying Guide

Last Updated on June 15, 2023 by Rod Olivares

Are you looking to buy a quiet, powerful, yet easy -to-start generator? Introducing the iQ3500 by Generac!

generac iq3500 generator review

Noise is one of the most frustrating features of running a generator. Thankfully, inverter technology allows for quieter yet powerful generators. Some of these generating sets can run so quietly that you can use them on the go –from tailgating parties to camping trips, and the job site without raising a ruckus or disturbing the neighbors.

well-lighted tent set up in between mountains

The Generac iQ3500 Portable Inverter Generator is an example of such a generator. Generac claims it’s 40% quieter than a Honda. In this review and buying guide, we’ll explore the key features of the Generac iQ3500 and why this portable inverter generator is a perfect choice if you are looking to provide optimal quiet performance.

well-lighted house beside a lake

About Generac

Launched in 1959, Generac is a leading manufacturer of home generators and power generation systems. It also manufactures various energy technology solutions such as energy storage systems and power products used to produce residential and commercial lighting. However, power generation is one of Generac’s main focuses.

The company designs and manufactures mobile and portable generators, industrial/commercial, and residential generators. The Generac iQ3500 generator is one of many from the famed generator manufacturer.


  • 3500 starting watts – 3000 running watts
  • 2.6-gallon fuel tank
  • 14 hours run-time at 25% load; 8.9 hours run-time at 50% load
  • Digital smart LCD with run-time remaining display, low oil, hour meter, and fuel level
  • 212cc OHV 4-stroke engine
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Low-oil level shutdown to protect the engine from damage
  • 2 USB ports, 1 L5 30R port, and two 5-20R ports.
  • Economy mode for reducing fuel consumption

front view of a house with a well-lighted rooftop balcony

Features and Functions of the Generac iQ3500 Electric Start Portable Inverter Generator

Quiet Motor

The Generac iQ3500 is excellent for individuals on the go –from tailgating parties to camping trips, the job site, and your essential power needs at home. It runs at 44 decibels, so no one will even know you have a generator running.

Durable Steel Enclosure

The machine is fully encased in a durable steel enclosure. Clean inverter power is also guaranteed due to advanced inverter technology. The inverter technology and enclosure design mean you get an ultra-quiet generator that’s lightweight.

PowerDial Function

The PowerDial™ feature has a start and stop settings integrated into one simple dial. The lightweight design is specifically engineered for easy portability.

The intuitive PowerDial function has three operation settings integrated into one knob. The knob integrates the start, run, and stop functions into one simple to use dial. With this set, starting it up, running, and turning it off is as easy as ABC. You don’t need to go through a complicated process to get this portable machine going.

sun at sunset shining a farm with a tractor

Electric Start

The Generac iQ3500 comes with an electric start (battery included) capability, all conveniently located for easy startup. Select from two engine speeds depending on your power need to significantly reduce noise and fuel consumption once on economy mode.

Efficient Alternator

The alternator a portable inverter generator uses to generate AC power is smaller than that of a standard generator. This results in a smaller and lighter machine while producing clean power for safely powering sensitive electronics and tools.

POWERRUSH™ Advanced technology

The POWERRUSH™ technology is a signature feature of this generator. It delivers 50% more starting capacity, allowing you to run more devices right as you turn it on. It’s the reason this portable inverter generator lets you bring power into your home with less effort.

Digital Smart LCD and Control Panel

The digital smart LCD and control panel is easy to understand and operate. To run the generator, turn the orange dial. You then push the red start button or pull the start cord. The control panel has one L5 30R 30 amp outlet, two 5-20R 20 amp outlets, and two USB ports.

The Generac iQ3500 LCD screen shows you run-time, wattage output, low oil, fuel level, and engine hour meter.

a hand holding crystal ball

Operating a Generac iQ3500

Operating the Generac iQ3500 is easy. To start, you need to either pull the cord or push the electric start button. It’s also a quiet generator, so you can be sure you won’t disturb the neighbors or animals at your campsite.

What’s Special About the Generac iQ3500 POWERRUSH™ Technology?

The POWERRUSH™ advanced technology increases electrical current upon demand, above rated output when starting electrical motors. This means your machine can deliver 50% more starting capacity, allowing you to meet all your power needs with less.

The POWERRUSH™ Technology feature of the Generac iQ3500 generator, along with the advanced inverter technology, lets you bring clean power wherever you go.

bottle buried half in sand and lighted by sunlight at sunset

What’s Special About the Generac iQ3500 PowerDial™ Feature?

The PowerDial™ functionality is another unique feature of the iQ3500 generator. Combined with the electric start button, operating your iQ3500 generator is a breeze. It combines the three operations – start, run, stop – into one dial for easy generation of power wherever you go.

two open hands carrying series lights

Fuel Use and Safety with the Generac iQ3500 Generator

Its 2.6-gallon fuel tank means the iQ3500 can run for an extended period without adding needless weight to what you have to carry to the campsite/job site.

You also don’t need to bother about opening the tank to check if it’s empty. The Generac iQ3500 digital display has a fuel gauge to notify you when your fuel levels are running low.

It can also show you an estimate of the remaining run time. This way, you can plan ahead of time to refill your tank.

The iQ3500 uses gasoline, so ensure you only refill with unleaded petrol. Also, don’t store any unused fuel close to the generator while it’s running. Store in a certified gasoline storage container. Check for leaks at all times.

It would be best if you never operated a generator indoors. All generators, including inverter generators like this, must be used in an area where there is adequate ventilation. This is to prevent dangerous carbon monoxide fumes from building up.

well-lighted blue tent set up on an open field at starry night

What Can the Generac iQ3500 Portable Inverter Generator Power?

The iQ3500 can provide optimal quiet performance while powering fans, electronics that need charging, and RVs if you are going camping. It’s an ideal generator for job sites and recreational activities because they:

  • Reduces the need for cords all over the place
  • Powers the necessary tools
  • Can easily be moved around
  • Can power the sound systems
  • Powers heaters and fans that keep partygoers and tailgaters comfortable

This portable generator can power most of your medium-sized household appliances.

car producing its front lights

What Can’t This Portable Generator Power?

This portable inverter generator is powerful, but every model has its limits. The Generac iQ3500 will struggle with power-hungry home appliances such as:

  • Dehumidifiers
  • HVACs
  • Clothes washers and dryers
  • Water heaters

Customer Ratings and Reviews

cartoon of two hands bringing a tablet and giving a one out of five stars rating

Customer reviews on the iQ3500 product page are all positive. It’s rated 4.5 stars out of a 5-stars, and over 90% of the reviewers say they’ll recommend this portable generator to friends and family.

On Amazon, the product is rated 4.6 stars out of 5-stars. 92% of verified customers who bought this product on Amazon rated it 4-stars and above.

The consistently high ratings on both the Generac product website and Amazon validates this portable inverter generator’s quality and performance.

Reviews shared by customers can be grouped into the following themes:

  • Durable yet lightweight design
  • Excellent fuel consumption plus low oil level shutdown
  • Great for job sites or recreational activities
  • One simple to use dial
  • Electric start with three operation settings integrated into one simple dial

For the most part, the customer reviews for this portable inverter generator are positive.

cartoon of a red gasoline container

The Generac iQ3500 Pros and Cons

The Generac iQ3500 has its upsides and downsides.


  • Portable design: It’s small and easy to transport.
  • Lightweight: At 100lbs, it’s one of the lightest inverter generators.
  • Ultra-quiet: The advanced inverter technology and enclosure design provide optimal quiet performance.
  • Solid steel casing: The solid steel enclosure design is beyond durable yet portable.
  • Easy to use: A simple dial along with an electric start that’s conveniently located for quicker startup.
  • Powerful: With POWERRUSH™ Technology feature, the portable inverter generator increases electrical current upon demand, above-rated output.
  • Economical: The economy mode reduces noise and fuel consumption.


  • Weight: The generator can be considerably heavy. It weighs 109lbs.

view of a mountain at a starry night

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most frequently asked questions by those who plan on purchasing a Generac iQ3500 generator:

Is Generac a good portable generator?

If you are looking for a generator with clean inverter power and easy portability, the Generac iQ3500 is a perfect fit. This portable inverter generator lets you bring power into your campsites, job sites, or home with minimal fuss. It weighs 109 pounds. Combines with a length of 23.7-inches, a width of 18-inches, and a height of 21.7-inches, this machine can travel anywhere with you with ease. You don’t need to bother about where to stow it in your RV or truck.

Are Generac generators made in the USA?

Generac Holdings Inc, owners of the brand name “Generac,” is an American Fortune 1000 company founded in 1959. The company is famous for its home backup generators. It also produces industrial and light commercial generators. Generac is a popular manufacturer of small engines, modular paralleling systems, diesel-fueled, gasoline-fueled, bi-fuel power generation engines, and automatic transfer switches.

It has manufacturing plants in Berlin, Whitewater, Eagle, and Jefferson – all cities in Wisconsin. The Generac administrative headquarters are located in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

cartoon of a blue battery

Who sells portable Generac generators?

Generac portable generators are sold through wholesalers, retailers, and independent dealers. You can also order online from Amazon, Home Depot, Lowe’s Home Improvement, the Power Equipment Direct online store, and Menard’s online store. The most reliable way to check where you can buy a Generac is to visit the product website. The product page has a comprehensive list of all the locations closest to you.

How long does a Generac generator battery last?

A Generac generator battery can last between 24 months – 36 months.

When should a generator battery be replaced?

You must change your battery every three years. This is non-negotiable. The battery is vital to the electric start system. Don’t delay changing till it fails, as it rarely warns you before packing up. Once you have used the generator for 36 months, make plans to replace your battery.

Do Generac generators come with a battery?

While it’s usual for most portable generators to come with a battery, the Generac generator doesn’t come with one. You’ll need to purchase a battery separately. The good thing is a standard car battery can do the job. You can find these sorts of batteries at your local hardware or auto parts store.

How long can a Generac generator run continuously?

This generator can run non-stop for a long time, as long as it has fuel. However, you can top up the fuel tank and continue running the generator if it runs out of power. It’s a robust machine and was designed to provide over 2500 hours of service.

What’s the life expectancy of a Generac generator?

A Generac generator can last upwards of 30 years. However, you get a 3-year limited warranty upon purchase for residential and commercial use. Notwithstanding, the Generac generator is a durable and well-built machine.

Should you buy an electric start generator?

Yes, an electric start generator such as the iQ3500 is a no-brainer. They are easy to use, and you don’t have to pull the recoil rope before you get it running. An electric start generator can be used and run by anyone. They don’t need to read any complex manuals to start using it.

Final Verdict: Should You Buy it?

If you need portable power, the Generac iQ3500 can supply all your power needs – be it on the campsite, job site, or in your home. It is lightweight and doesn’t take up space due to its portability. Plus, it’s ultra-quiet. The noise levels of less than 54 decibels and the steel enclosure design provide optimal quiet.

You don’t need to get sound-canceling headphones to block out noise, as with most portable generators. Your neighbors won’t even know you have a generator turned on.

The Generac iQ3500 3500-watt Portable Inverter Generator is all you need to keep everything running seamlessly.

Generac iQ3500






Ease of Use





10.0/10 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

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