If you are in the market for a 12,000 watt generator, chances are that you are needing it for home back up, RV power, or a construction site.
While there are many different uses of a 12,000 watt generator, these are going to be your most common situations.
A 12,000 watt generator can power a wide assortment of appliances, tools, and electronics to keep you powered up in any situation.
Today, we are going to look at 5 of the best 12,000 watt generators and see which one is going to have the features you need for your application.
1. Westinghouse WGen9500DF
For those who have never researched generators before, you can get used to seeing the name Westinghouse.
Westinghouse is one of the leading generator manufacturers in the industry and is widely known for feature-rich generators that are ready to take on the world.
The Westinghouse WGen9500 is a true testament to this reputation as it is one of the most popular 12,000 watt generators on the market.
This generator comes equipped with a powerful 457cc Westinghouse OHV engine.
You can expect this engine to help this generator make 12,500 starting watts and 9,500 running watts.
This is the perfect amount of power to get your RV, larger appliances, and multiple power tools running with ease.
Westinghouse has outfitted this generator with a 6.6 steel fuel tank that will allow up to 17.5 hours of runtime at 25% load.
This generator will run at about 73dBa, which is average for the size of this generator.
Taking a look at the outlet selection, you will notice that there is a great selection and they are covered, making this generator perfect for residential and commercial use.
The outlets available on this generator are going to include a 120/240V 30A L14-30R outlet, a Westinghouse Smart Switch Ready plug, and 2 120V 20A 5-20R GFCI duplex plugs.
Weighing in at only 220lbs, it certainly is not the heaviest of generators, but still heavy enough to need some assistance when transporting it.
This generator is going to feature a collapsible handle and plastic wheels and tires to make moving this generator much easier.
While it would have been nice to see some rubber tires with more tread, you will never have to worry about flat tires.
One of the most standout features of this generator is that it offers three different startup modes: electric, remote, and recoil.
While electric and recoil are pretty self explanatory, the remote feature allows you to start the generator up to 109 yards away.
This is a great tool to have during a storm or during the cold months.
Overall, this generator is going to be one of your best choices when it comes to a 12,000 watt generator.
It has great reviews and is highly rated by thousands of satisfied customers.
Westinghouse offers a 3 year limited service warranty on this generator and it is also EPA and CARB compliant.
2. A-iPower SUA12000E
A-iPower is not the most well-known brand in the generator industry, but it is certainly making a name for itself.
Offering various size generators, A-iPower is building a lineup of reliable generators that are priced competitively.
This A-iPower SUA12000E generator is on this list due to its high power, great features, and great price range.
Featuring a powerful 459cc engine, you can expect up to 12,000 starting watts and 9,000 running watts of power.
This type of power range will allow you to keep your larger appliances, power tools, and RV running without missing a beat.
The engine on this generator is rather efficient, producing 9 hours of run time at 50% load from the 7 gallon fuel tank.
This generator is a little on the loud side as it puts out 78dBa, but it can still be manageable for residential use.
One of my personal favorite features of this generator is the outlet selection and the fact that they included outlet covers.
This allows for more appliances to be used at the same time while keeping your outlets safe when not in use.
The outlet selection on the SUA12000E generator is going to include 1 8.3A 12V DC outlet, 4 120V AV household style outlets, 1 20A AC 120/240V, and 1 30A AC 120/240V outlet.
With this wide selection of outlets, you will be able to power up a variety of different tools, appliances, and electronics.
At 206lbs in weight, this generator is going to be more than you will want to carry with a friend, so A-iPower has built in a foldable handle and plastic wheels.
This generator comes equipped with a keyless one-touch electric start to make starting this generator easy for all ages.
A-iPower is going to offer a 2 year residential and a 1 year commercial warranty with this generator to keep you protected.
3. DuroStar DS12000EH
The next generator on our list is the DuroStar DS12000EH generator.
DuroStar is a brand under DuroMax, a very popular generator manufacturer in the industry.
The DuroStar DS12000EH generator has made the list as it is built tough, has great features, and has dual fuel features, making it one of the only hybrid generators on this list.
The DS12000EH generator is powered by an 18HP 457cc OHV DuroStar engine that helps to produce 12,000 starting watts and 9,500 running watts.
This type of power is great for a variety of uses including work sites, home back up power, and RV power.
When using this generator for commercial use, you will need to ensure that dirt and debris does not enter the outlets as this generator does not feature outlet protective covers.
With an 8.3 gallon fuel tank, you can expect up to 8 hours at 50% load on gasoline and up to 8 hours at 50% load with a 40lb propane tank.
This means if you have both on hand, you can enjoy up to 16 hours of run time by switching between the two.
This generator is geared toward larger appliances as it only includes a single duplex of household outlets.
The other outlets you can expect on this generator will include 1 120/240V 50A heavy duty outlet, 1 twist lock 120/240V 30A outlet, and 1 twist lock 120V 30 A outlet.
Coming in at 74dBa, this generator is going to be as loud as most generators in this power level and be suitable for residential use.
Much like any other generator of this size, you can expect folding handles and wheels to be built into this generator.
This particular generator will include inflatable rubber wheels which are great for tackling any type of terrain.
DuroStar pays close attention to detail and keeps their ear to the ground when it comes to the needs of their customers.
All DuroStar generators, including this generator, will be EPA and CARB approved for all 50 states.
You will also get an oil funnel, spark plug wrench, a tool set, and DC charging cables with this generator.
DuroStar stands behind their generators with a 3 year residential warranty and a 1 year commercial warranty to keep you protected longer.
This is one of the longest warranty periods on this list.
4. DuroMax XP12000EH
Speaking of DuroMax, one of their generators is the next on our list.
The DuroMax XP12000EH generator is very similar to the DuroStar, with a few key differences.
Starting off with the engine, you will get a very similar 18Hp, 457cc engine that will put out 12,000 starting watts and 9,500 running watts.
It will also be dual fuel, making it one of the few hybrid generators on this list.
This gives you the flexibility to use either gasoline or propane for your generator or even both if you run out of one or the other.
This generator utilizes DuroMax’s MX2 technology which allows you to get maximum power from its outlets.
It also has idle control that lowers RPMs when not in use to help reduce the noise levels and help to save fuel.
With an 8.3 gallon fuel tank, you can expect run times of 8 hours at 50% load on gasoline and 8 hours at 50% load on a 40lb propane tank.
This is right on par with the DuroStar which is to be expected due to the similarities.
Outlet selection is going to directly mimic the DuroStar with 1 120V 20A twist lock outlet, 1 120/240V 30A twist lock outlet, 1 120/240V 50A heavy duty outlet, and 2 120V household outlets.
A12V DC charging post is also added to help charge external batteries.
Rubber tires and foldable handles make moving this generator a breeze.
Coming in at a noise level of 74dba, this generator is right on par with industry standards and will be able to be used in residential areas.
Much like the Durostar, this generator is EPA and CARB approved for all 50 states.
DuroMax stands behind their generators with a 3 year residential warranty and a 1 year commercial warranty to keep you protected longer.
5. Pulsar G12KBN
The last generator on this list is going to be the Pulsar G12KBN.
Pulsar is a popular generator manufacturer in the industry and offers generators of all sizes to fit different needs.
The G12KBN is a great example of the power and features that Pulsar is capable of providing.
This generator is powered by a 457cc engine that includes electric start for easy start up by just about anyone.
The power levels on this generator are going to vary depending on what type of fuel you will be using since this generator is a dual fuel, hybrid generator.
For gasoline, you can expect 12,000 starting watts and 9,500 running watts.
For propane, you can expect 18,800 starting watts and 8,550 running watts.
Equipped with an 8 gallon fuel tank, this generator is going to provide an impressive run time of up to 12 hours at 50% load.
This generator does not come with covered plugs, but you will get 1 30A 120/240V AC twist lock outlet, 1 50A 120,240V AC outlet, and 4 20A 120V AC outlets.
This generator sports plastic tires, so flat tires will never be an issue as well as a handy voltage frequency hour meter.
Pulsar has made this generator transfer switch & RV ready to provide power in just about any situation.
You will also get a propane hose and a 1 year limited warranty.
12000 Watt Generator - The Buying Guide
When purchasing a 12,000 watt generator, you can expect to pay upwards of $1,000 or more.
Making sure that you understand what you need can help you spend your money more wisely.
Luckily, we have put together a 12,000 watt generator buyers guide to help you get a better understanding of what you may need or want from your generator.
12,000 watt generators are on the higher end of the power levels for portable generators.
Generators of this size usually come in a few different configurations when it comes to fuel sources for their engines.
There are 3 main differences when it comes to fuel sources for generators: gasoline, propane, or a hybrid mix of both.
The most common source of fuel for generators is going to be gasoline.
Gasoline is readily available, can be purchased just about anywhere, and is usually the most affordable fuel source.
The only real drawback that comes with using gasoline is that during national disasters, gasoline can become scarce and harder to find.
To help combat this, you can look at using a propane generator.
A propane generator uses propane gas that is stored in pressurized propane tanks and can easily be hooked up to your generator for quick operation.
Propane can be stored for long periods of time, and most people already have a propane tank from gas grilles or shop heaters.
A drawback of using propane is that it is more expensive, does not have a built in gauge, and can be a little harder to find.
If you are wanting the best of both worlds, you can choose a hybrid generator.
A hybrid generator is equipped with an engine that can run off of gasoline or propane.
This allows for longer run times as you can switch between the two once you run out of one.
If you plan on using your generator for longer periods of time, a specification that you may want to pay attention to us fuel economy.
When it comes to portable generators, fuel economy is measured by how many hours your generator runs on a single tank of gas.
This will be affected by tank size, engine size, engine efficiency, and the amount of load that you are applying to the generator.
Most specifications are measured at 50% load, an average load that many people put onto their generators.
As an example, if your generator has an 11 gallon tank and it lasts for 8 hours at 50% load, it will be advertised as having an 8 hour run time at 50% load.
For those who are going to be running their generators all day or over night, making sure that you have a generator that has a longer run time will easily pay off.
The last thing that you want to do in the middle of the night is have to wake up and refill your generator.
Design quality should be at the top of your checklist when looking at purchasing a 12,000 watt generator.
After all, you are making a large purchase, so you will want to make sure your money is going toward something that is going to last for years to come.
One of the best ways to figure out if the design quality of the generators you are looking at are going to be a great fit for your application is thinking about where and how you will be using the generator.
For those who will be using the generator for home power backup, a generator that has standard design features will work just fine.
For those who will be using the generator for industrial or commercial use, a generator with more rugged characteristics may need to be chosen.
This usually includes more rugged wheels, outlet protectors, and stronger roll cages.
Rugged wheels usually come in the form of inflatable, rubber tires with defined tread to navigate harsher terrains.
Outlet protectors are plastic, hinged caps that cover your outlets when not in use to prevent moisture, dirt, and debris from entering the outlets.
Roll cages are pretty standard on just about all generators, but for commercial use, you may need to find one that has a more robust setup.
Noise level is factor to consider if you plan on using your generator in a neighborhood, at an RV park, or near others.
For those using generators for construction use, noise is not as big of a deal when compared to residential use.
The reason for this is that generators can be loud.
The way that generator noise levels are measured is with a decibel meter from 23 feet away from the running generator.
Most generators in the 12,000 watt range are going to have noise levels ranging from 67-78 dBa.
To put this into perspective, this is about the same noise level as a household vacuum cleaner.
If you plan on using this generator often in a rural area, I would highly take into consideration how loud the generator will be.
A noisy generator may fuel complaints from neighbors and if used in camping parks, it may be too loud by law.
For those who have neighbors that are further away than most neighborhoods, most of these generators are going to be perfectly fine.
You can always build generator boxes to help cut down on some of the noise as well.
The last thing that you will want to take into consideration is the warranty and type of customer service you will get with your generator.
Most portable generators are going to last for years with no problems, provided you give them proper maintenance and take care of them.
However, there are times where something may go wrong and a warranty claim may need to be filed.
Most portable generator warranties are going to range from 1-3 years and some may even be different depending on if the generator is used commercially or residentially.
Commercial warranties are usually shorter as they get used more often and are exposed to more elements.
As far as customer service goes, you can check out reviews on each generator or look up the brand’s reviews online to see what type of reviews customers have given them.
This is an easy way to see how you will be taken care of if an issue arrives and what you can expect when dealing with the company.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Will A 12,000 Watt Generator Run A House?
A 12,000 watt generator can power many appliances needed to keep your essential household appliance running.
While it is not the best for larger houses and full home power, it can easily power fans, lights, TVs, refrigerators, and more.
How Long Will A 12,000 Watt Generator Run?
A 12,000 watt generator’s run time is going to vary depending on the tank size and fuel efficient of the engine.
Most 12,000 watt generators will run for about 8-12 hours at 50% load.
How Much Does A 12,000 Watt Generator Cost?
Generator prices are usually dependent on the brand, features, and size.
For the 12,000 watt generators on this list, you can expect a price range of around $800-$1300 dollars.
Now that we have explored 5 of the best 12,000 watt generators, you should have a better idea of what will work best for your application.
Whether you are needing home back up power, a generator for your RV, or on-site power at your job site, a 12,000 watt generator can be a perfect fit.
As always, make sure that you correctly calculate how much wattage you will need before purchasing your generator to ensure you are not overloading your generator.