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
Last Updated on October 18, 2022 by Manager Access
Looking for a new portable generator? Predator generators are some of the best on the market. Read through here to learn more!
Generators vary enormously and if you aren’t familiar with some terminology, it can feel impossible to find the right one. Starting your search is half the battle. The other half is deciding on a generator that will suit your lifestyle and intentions.
In this review, we’ll take you through the pros and cons of the Predator 6500. We’ll cover details including price, starting and running wattage, the difference between inverter and conventional generators, and much more. Let’s start.
Features and Functions
5500 Running Watts, 6500 Starting Watts
As the name suggests, the Predator 6500 possesses 6500 starting watts and 5500 running watts. This is relatively high for a portable generator. The impressive power output should keep most of your essentials running during a power outage. The wheel kit associated with the Predator generator also means you have power on the go, so it’s ideal for RV excursions.
A power output of 6500 starting watts and 5500 running watts makes the gas-powered unit capable of powering the following home essentials:
- Window air conditioners
- Electric clothes dryers
- Electric water heaters
- Radiant heaters
Among others! If you are unsure of whether 5500 running watts is enough for any particular appliance, make sure to check the associated instruction manual. These usually contain information relating to your product’s power requirements.
Gas-Powered HP Air Cooled OHV Gas Engine
All Predator generators are gas-powered with an easily refillable fuel tank. A full tank can power the reliable Predator gas engine for up to 14. 5 hours on a 50 load. This provides it with one of the longest run times on the market, all powered by a reliable HP air-cooled OHV gas engine. There is also a built-in fuel gauge and low-oil indicator, so you always know when it’s time for a refill. The Predator 6500 also features both an electric start and a recoil option as a backup, so it’s never difficult to get started.
Heavy-Duty Steel Frame Wheel Kit
The steel-frame Predator generators are built from provides it with great durability. This is especially important if you intend to use the Predator generator on rugged job sites or similarly difficult terrain. If you purchase the Predator 6500 through Harbor Freight then the wheel kit won’t be included, which is a slight drawback. As a whole, the Predator generator weighs in at 161lbs, which is heavier than your average portable generator.
However, 5500 running watts is a greater continuous charge load than many portable generators, so it really depends on where your quality priorities lie. If you’re looking for something you can easily fit into the back of your car, then this isn’t it. If you’re looking for a more heavy-duty generator that has solid power behind it and a great run-time, the Predator 6500 may be for you.
Extended Run Time
A full tank should give your gas-powered engine enough power to last an incredible 14.5 hours on a 50 load. This is more than enough time to keep your home going during a power outage. The fuel consumption of this Predator generator sits at around 0.55 GPH. The total fuel tank capacity available is 8 gallons, which is why it possesses such a strong run time.
The 14.5 hours of run time can be increased if the tank isn’t operating at full capacity. However, with the Predator generator not being an inverter, it may be difficult to control its max output level. Your control resides in how many outlets you put to use and what level of power you require for your tools.
5 AC Outlets
There are a total of 5 AC outlets featured with the Predator 6500. This includes two duplex outlets, 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI, a 120/240V 30A (L14-30R), a twist-lock outlet, and a singular 12v DC outlet for charging batteries. The DC outlet is similar in build to a cigarette lighter. The twist-lock outlet makes the Predator 6500 easy to charge via any transfer switch cable. Simply hook it up to your breaker box to power your home whenever you need it!
- Providing power for up to 14. 5 hours of good run time
- 5,500 running watts make for considerable power output for a portable generator
- The low-oil indicator lets you know exactly when you need to refill the unit to keep the engine healthy
- Electric start with recoil backup to make starting the generator easier
- Steel roll-cage frame makes it an appropriate generator for rugged job sites or camping terrain
- 8 Gallon fuel tank can run at 0.55 GPH
- Provides premium quality at a reasonable price
- Predator generators sold at Harbor Freight do not come with the wheel kit, which is sold separately
- Noise level is higher than the average generator
- Possesses no inverter capability, so unit engine speed is fixed
What Are Customer Reviews Saying?
Reviews for this generator are generally very positive. Starting on the Harbor Freight website, there are hundreds of positive reviews. Common threads between them relate to how easy the generator is to start, the appropriate price point, and how easy it is to get around despite its weight. Some also praised the moderate noise level as being quieter than they had initially expected.
One common theme between the few negative reviews available relates to the 20% restocking fee that’s required upon the return of generators. If you’re happy with your generator then you don’t need to worry about this, but keep this possibility in mind before committing to a purchase.
Who is the Predator Generator For?
This generator is a particularly versatile unit due to its mid-size power output and stature. Its hours of run time make it ideal for providing additional energy to those who spend a lot of time outside. The price may initially seem quite high, but this is ultimately down to its good power output. Cheaper generators are available, but they won’t provide you with the same max load.
Some main groups this generator is targeted toward include:
- Those who participate in outdoor recreation such as sporting events or festivals
- People who own food trucks and require connection to a power supply at all times
- Professionals that use tools that require a high voltage load to start
- Explorers with an RV that want to go further afield without disconnecting themselves
There are multiple people who would benefit from this generator. Whether it’s a good fit for you personally depends on your personal requirements. Mid-size generators are ideal for those who don’t require the max output larger generators provide but need an extra push than the lower portable voltages. If you feel you may fall into that bracket, then this could be the one for you!
How Loud is a Predator 6500 Watt Generator?
What Type of Oil Does a Predator 6500 Watt Generator Use?
What Can a 6500 Watt Generator Run?
All of your household essentials such as refrigerators, window air conditioners, electric clothes dryers, televisions, electric water heaters, cookers, and various tools on a job site. This may include a table saw, grinder, drain cleaner, 25 miles worth of electric fence, and a bug zapper! It’s a versatile device. The size of the appliance you’re attempting to power will impact the voltage load required to keep it running. The number of items you are attempting to charge will have an impact too. Always check the associated instruction manuals to ensure you don’t accidentally overload your generator.
What is the Best 6500 Watt Generator on the Market?
The better question is, what do you need out of a good generator? Everyone’s circumstances are different and the best generator for someone traveling in their RV will be different from the owner of a five-bedroom home. You need to consider the pros and cons of each generator product and apply it to your unique situation. For instance, how important is noise to you? What’s the max price you are willing to pay? What tools and appliances do you need to keep in power after an outage? These questions are just the start. Reading reviews can help point you in the right direction, so you’re in the right place. Just remember, the best generator for someone else might not be the same product for you.
What Safety Features do Predator Generators Possess?
The Predator 6500 has all of the safety features you would expect from a portable generator, including low oil shutdown and circuit breaker to prevent overload. Engine failures of any kind are rare with the new Predator generators, as many of them received recent redesigns to improve their usability. However, in the event of a unit experiencing problems, the Predator features an automatic shut-down to minimize any damage to the engine. This also protects your outlets and appliances from sustaining any damage too. You don’t need to worry. The Predator generator is safe to use.
Verdict: Should You Buy the Predator 6500?
If you’re looking for a mid-size generator with some serious staying power, then yes! There are generators out there that have greater wattage or portability, but this one features the best of both worlds. If you don’t need inverter capabilities then there’s no reason the Predator should disappoint. We find it to be a solid backup with versatile applications.
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.
My friend’s generator 9000 emits so much carbon monoxide that i cant breathe within 15′ of it. Today he ran it for 4 hrs and there was no wind. I ran my swamp cooler in my RV 100′ away and woke up from my sleep choking on monoxide! I have a different model 9500 it barely puts out any smell; less then a car, it seems. What’s wrong with his generator?