Predator generators have been a long-time favorite among American contractors. These generators manufactured by the US company Harbor Freight offer a reliable backup power solution for jobsites and home backup. With the introduction of the inverter generators, the Predator series now also cater for the camping and other outdoor uses.
What are the most popular Predator generators? How do they compare against the competition like Honda generators? In the following buyer’s guide and Predator generator reviews, you will find the answers to these questions. We’re about to have a look at the most popular Predator generators. Each of them is suitable for a different use and power requirements. We’ll help you decide which one is the most appropriate for you and is worth your money.
|Generator||Wattage (Starting / Running Watts)||Type||Price|
|Predator 8750||8750 W / 7000 W||Portable Open Frame||Check Price|
|Predator 2000||2000 W / 1600 W||Portable Inverter||Check Price|
|Predator 6500||6500 W / 5500 W||Portable Open Frame||Check Price|
|Predator 4000||4000 W / 3200 W||Portable Open Frame||Check Price|
Predator 8750 Generator
Predator 8750 is currently the strongest portable offered by Harbor Freight. This unit is meant for serious tasks demanding a lot of watts. You could also use this generator effectively as a source of backup power in the event of a power outage.
The generator has got a large 420cc 13 HP air-cooled OHV engine. The fuel tank has got a total capacity of 6.6 gallons.
The unit features an electric start which is a very convenient alternative to the conventional manual startup. In case the electric start fails for whatever reason you can always resort to the recoil start too.
Its total power output it 8750 starting watts and 7200 running watts.
Depending on the current usage you should get around 10-12 hours of constant operation at 1/2 load. Bear in my mind that the generator will consume more fuel if you leave it to run at the highest loads.
Generators of this size are usually bound to become very loud and this one is no exception. At 1/2 load it makes around 76 dB of noise. It certainly wouldn’t be a major concern at the construction sites or during emergency times (when probably all your neighbors are going to run their generators too).
However, this is still a rather loud generator and we certainly wouldn’t recommend it to those who want to minimize the disruption caused by the noisy engine. For contractors, it shouldn’t be a big issue though.
Overall this is a quality product worth considering if you need a big generator to provide you with a lot of energy for demanding uses. Its large weight and high noise level are some of the minor downsides. However, as numerous user comments show, the pros outweigh the cons and just like the other models released under this brand, the Predator 8750 is a solid and trusted unit.
Predator 2000 Generator
Predator generator 2000 is an inverter generator offering 2000 starting watts and 1800 running watts.
Inverters are some of the sought-after types of generators available these days. They are much quieter and smaller than conventional gens. They are also safe to run sensitive portable electronics.
Predator 2000 is one such generator and is a good choice for a variety of outdoor uses. These include small jobsites, camping, tailgating or outdoor stalls.
With this generator, you get enough running wattage to charge portable electronics such as speakers, laptops, phones etc.
You can also use it to run specific electric tools such as breaker hammer, chainsaw or a portable heater.
RV enthusiasts will be also pleased to learn that this generator can power an 11,000 BTU air conditioning unit. However, bear in my mind it won’t offer enough power to run much more on top of that.
The generator comes equipped with an RV ready parallel kit which allows you to use two such generators in parallel, doubling your total power output.
Its runtime is pretty decent. You should expect to get around 6.5 hours of consistent operation at 50% load.
The generator is very similar in its specifications to Honda EU2000i. Its performance is remarkably similar. In fact, the engines in Predator generators are the clones of Honda motors. They are very solid constructions that sell for fraction of the price of the Honda.
If you’re looking for a mode affordable alternative to the Honda gens, this generator made by Predator is not a bad choice. However, in my humble opinion, there are better 2000 watt inverter generators selling in a similar price range.
Predator 6500 Generator
The Predator 6500 is an optimal choice for those who need a bit more power at their disposal. It has a peak wattage of 6500 and the running wattage of 5500. These numbers guarantee that you will get enough power to run several larger electric tools. In some circumstances, you can also use it as a home backup power supply (that is if you don’t attempt to run an entire home on it for sure).
The core of the generator is a 420 CC, 13 HP Air Cooled OHV engine. It is protected by a heavy-duty steel frame resistant to rough conditions.
The generator is an open frame meaning you certainly can’t expect it to be noiseless. That is especially true at higher loads. On the other hand, the noise level is comparable to other open frame generators and stays within a reasonable threshold.
One thing we miss in this generator is the lack of a low fuel level indicator. It’s sometimes hard to guess how much gas you have left and we seriously wish the manufacturer included this feature in the design.
Low oil indicator is fortunately present which is certainly a very handy thing as you won’t have to worry about the damage caused by the lack of oil in the engine.
To sum up, this a fairly standard 6500-watt portable generator. As a typical Harbor Freight generator review shows, you can’t really go wrong with them as they are generally trusted units.
However, there are other gens in this range which in our opinion outperform the Predator. Westinghouse WGen7500 is one such unit.
Predator 4000 Generator
4000-watt generators are among the most popular choices. That’s because 4000 starting watts is usually enough to run most of the work tools such as bench grinders, circular saws or drills.
A 4000-watt generator can also run most of the RV equipment including the AC, refrigerator and the set of lights.
You could also use one to power some of the crucial appliances in your house in the event of a power outage (don’t expect to run everything at once though).
Predator generator 4000 is a well-built conventional open frame generator suitable for most of these purposes.
It features a 212cc 6.5 HP air-cooled OHV engine providing the total power output of 4000 peak watts and 3200 running watts.
The generator has got a standard set of power outlets. These include 2 x 120V Duplex outlets, a 240V twist-lock outlet, and a 12V DC outlet.
It comes with a dedicated wheel kit for easier transportation.
The generator’s fuel consumption stays at a reasonable level at medium loads. Depending on the current load, you should get up to 10 hours of total runtime on one full tank. Note that this would be shorter if you constantly run the unit at the maximum loads.
Overall, Predator 4000 is a fairly standard portable generator. It doesn’t have special features that would make it stand out. It’s a simple no-fuss unit serving its job just about right. It’s also significantly cheaper than some of its main competitors, which makes it a quite attractive choice.
What to look for when buying a Predator generator?
This is the first and most important thing you should look at when buying a portable generator. Buy a generator too small and you might realize that it won’t provide enough power for your needs. Buy a generator too big and you might end up spending too much money on a bulky unit while you could safely get away with a smaller inverter generator.
However, it is always way much better to purchase a unit slightly larger than needed to be on a safe side. Especially in the event of a power outage, you might end up plugging several household appliances to the generator and those can consume quite a lot of energy.
There are two figures you should take into account when buying a Predator generator – the peak watts (often referred to as starting watts) and running watts. Devices that have a motor (such as a window AC) need more power for the first few seconds of the operation to kickstart them. That is their starting wattage requirement. After that their power consumption goes down and stays at a steady level referred to as running wattage.
When purchasing a generator you need to consider both numbers. A generator with a running wattage of 1800 and 2000 starting watts can’t run an appliance which demands more than 2000 starting watts, even if its running wattage is less than 1800.
To be totally on the safe side always give yourself some spare power. A couple of hundred additional watts at your disposal certainly won’t harm!
If in doubt how big of a generator you need, check out our calculator to find out your approximate wattage requirements.
Quality of Build
Generators are indispensable tools in various critical situations and therefore you really want to get the one which won’t fail you when badly needed. That’s why you should get a generator that not only has a reliable engine built by a reputable manufacturer but also has all the other parts made of the strongest materials.
Predator generators are generally praised for their quality and are popular choices among contractors. A lot of users praise them for good performance and reliability.
Let’s admit it – nobody likes the sound of a generator engine running. That’s why the noise levels are often one of the most important criteria people look at when buying a portable generator. Especially if you’re looking for a generator to run at a campsite or RV park – you should invest in the quietest model you can get.
As a rule of thumb, inverter generators are generally much quieter than open-frame portable generators. Another benefit of inverters is that they produce a clean sine wave. This kind of power is safe for sensitive portable electronics. You can charge your computer or phone without having to purchase an additional power line conditioner.
Predator 2000 is currently the most popular inverter the company has got on offer.
Note that the generators of this size are not designed to power multiple large appliances at once. You’d need a larger unit (at least 5000 watts is recommended) to eg. use it efficiently as a home backup supply or for demanding construction jobs.
Every generator engine is built differently. Some models are more fuel-efficient than others resulting in longer runtimes. If you need a generator to run continuously for long hours, you should pay close attention to the generator runtime.
Predator provides the information about each generator and its estimated runtime at 50% load.
Note that the actual runtime you get can differ from the manufacturer’s claims. This depends on the load as well as on some other minor factors. Attitude is one of them. Proper maintenance is also required to keep the generator in good shape. Generator engines are just like car engines – without the right care, they are subject to damage and can quickly deteriorate. Make sure you use the quality oil for your generator and you can be sure that this will have a positive impact on its runtime!
You certainly don’t want to be a Cheap Charlie when buying a generator just to realize that it fails to work when you need it most. On the other hand, there is also no need to spend thousands of dollars on a generator that you are only planning to use once or twice a year.
There is no golden price ratio for portable generators. How much you should spend vastly differs from one manufacturer to another. Size, wattage, and design also play a huge role. You will be pushed to spend a bit more if you want to buy a quality inverter generator.
As for Predator generators, they generally tend to sell for much cheaper than Honda or Yamaha gens, while offering similar good performance levels. In most cases, you won’t have to spend more than $1000 on a good Predator generator.
FAQ about Predator Generators
Is the predator generator any good?
As numerous customer reviews online show, these are good generators. Some users point out that the Honda or Generac generators usually offer a better value. However, Honda gens usually cost at least twice as much as their Predator counterparts. Quite a few people also had not-so-good experience with Generac generators.
We’d say that most of the issues people have with their generators are usually the technical faults affecting individual units which can usually be quickly solved under your warranty.
The vast majority of people who buy the Predator generators are generally happy with their purchases.
How good are predator inverter generators?
Predator inverter generators are overall good products. Having said that, there are a lot of other inverters in the market and some of them outperform the Predator gens. Some of the examples of quality inverter generator brands include Honda, Yamaha, Westinghouse or Champion.
What company makes Predator generators?
Predator generators are made by Harbor Freight – an American company with a long market presence. The generators, just like many others in the market, are assembled in China.
How long can you run a predator generator?
That depends on which model we are talking about. The Predator 2000 inverter generator should run up to 6 hours at 50% load. As for the larger open frame Predator generators such as the Predator 8750 or 6500, the manufacturer claims these can run for 12 hours at half load. Some reviews left by the users indicate that this time is usually a bit shorter. 10 hours is probably the safest bet.