Phil has been working as a technical engineer since his graduation, and has never thought of changing his profession. Also, he’s an avid fisherman and camper, so it’s not only work which makes him deal with generators.
Last updated: February 19, 2021
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A brand known for its superior quality products, Predator generators have been around since 1988. Manufactured by Harbor Freight Tools USA, the generators boast of a quality you’ll love. The brand makes generators to fulfill the wide range of requirements from residential to commercial, so it is easy to find the best Predator generator you. Apart from being affordable, these generators can crank up large amounts of power, which makes it an ideal back-up generator.
If you are a first-time generator buyer and have your doubts about Predator generators, here is a researched review and buying guide for you. We compared different features including engine capacity, generator type, peak and running wattage, fuel tank, and runtime. All these features combined make for a good generator. When you are purchasing a generator, you must consider certain factors including durability, long runtime, and flexibility, all of which are offered by Predator generators. These models are reliable and mostly preferred by homeowners who travel or camp a lot, so you are going to look at their portability as well.
To create our review, we tested the top five models by the brand for two days each. We also used product specifications and went through several expert and customer reviews of each product to help you understand them in a better way. Our review article is divided into three broad sections – a comparison table, detailed product reviews, and a handy buying guide, which will assist you in finding the best Predator generator for your needs.
You only pick the Predator 63968 when you know your power requirements are significantly high. After all, it is rated at 9000/7250 in terms of peak and running power output.
Buyers will often have an easy time starting the generator thanks to the push-button start option. However, there’s always a chance that the electric start option might fail whereby the recoil start option is there to act as a fail-safe.
Despite the engine’s uncanny ability to produce 7250 watts of power on a continuous basis, it is still very quiet as shown by the noise rating.
Also, there is almost zero chance that the power that comes from this generator will be harmful to your appliances. You have the Gfci outlets to thank for that alongside the Ul listed circuit breakers.
It would also be imprudent for such a highly rated generator not to have low oil shutdown. After all, the engine is this generator’s greatest asset and needs to be protected.
The 13 hours runtime when you are at 50% power load also deserves mention. This is quite an impressive runtime in most generator fan circles.
Predator 63584 is a bestseller inverter model by Harbor Freight that runs on unleaded gasoline. It has a fuel tank capacity of 2.6 gallons that keeps the 212cc air-cooled OHV engine running for 11 hours at 25 percent load. The portable generator runs quietly at 57 dB(A) and has two start options including electric push button and recoil. It weighs 99.2 lbs, which makes it a perfect choice for RV use, tailgating, and outdoor recreational activities.
The generator measures only 20 inches in size, so you can conveniently store it in a small space when not in use. It produces 3,500 peak watts and 3,000 running watts and also has a parallel connector to connect with another generator of the same size to double your output and make the power last longer. The generator has four outlets including two 120VAC grounded outlets, one 120VAC twist lock, and one DC-12V Two Pin outlet.
It comes packed with features including CARB compliance, EPA III approved, digital LCD screen, output light indicators, and a low oil shutdown feature. For portability, the Predator generator has smooth-rolling casters. It is also secured with electronic overload protection. Like other models, Harbor Freight offers two years of warranty on workmanship and defects with this generator.
Packed with powerful features, Predator 63087 by Harbor Freight comes with a durable and strongly 420cc / 13 HP air-cooled OHV gas engine that produces 8,750 surge and 7,000 continuous watts. It is a conventional stationary generator with six outlets including four 120V duplex, 3-prong outlets, one 120V twist lock, 3-prong, one 120V/240V twist lock, 4-prong, and one 12V DC outlet. The generator is CARB compliant, which means you can use it in national parks and California.
At 50 percent load, it runs for 12 hours, so you can enjoy hours without refueling the generator. Also, it comes with a number of safety features, including low oil shutdown, GFCI outlet protection, and EPA III approved, which protect you from preventable accidents. Since it is a conventional generator, it makes a lot of noise, which is the only drawback of this model. It makes 76 dB(A) of noise at a distance of 10 feet from your house, which means it isn’t suitable for RV use.
The generator has two start options, including recoil and electric. However, to use the push button, you will have to purchase a battery separately and assemble it into the model. You can also purchase a wheel kit from Harbor Freight and turn the stationary generator into a portable generator. You will receive a two years warranty from the manufacturer.
Given its features, the Predator 4000 Generator is in no way a weak offering from the manufacturer. It is a perfect companion for a home where power outages are a common thing. Notably, it will produce enough power to keep certain appliances running as the power company works to restore power to your residence.
As per the sound rating given above, you can’t exactly refer to this as one of the quieter options in the market. Depending on where you put the generator, the noise produced may or may not be a problem.
Also, it is pretty evident from the image that the exterior roll cage serves as a protective measure for the fragile generator components inside. What you don’t see is a set of wheels or a handle. Nevertheless, these accessories are available in the market for some extra money.
We also note that this generator senses each time your fuel levels are below needed levels. Just as an extra precaution, the generator shuts down when such low levels of fuel are reached to ensure engine integrity stays intact.
The number and types of outlets also show that you can use this machine with just about any appliance you can think off. Oh, and before we forget you get the manual recoil start option with this purchase.
An affordable model by Harbor Freight, this 2,000-watt Predator is fitted with a 79.7cc air-cooled OHV engine that runs on gasoline. It is an inverter generator with a small one-gallon fuel tank with a 12 hours runtime at 25 percent load. The portable model weighs 53.9 pounds, so you can carry it with you on road trips, camping trips, and outdoor activities. It has three outlets including one DC-12V Two Pin and two 120VAC grounded outlets to run two big and one small appliance simultaneously. It is a compact generator has produces 2,000 peak and 1,600 continuous watts.
It only has a recoil start, which is a disadvantage of using the model. The generator produces 65 dB(A) of noise, which is higher for an inverter generator but you can lower the sound using a muffler. It runs on gasoline and CARB and EPA III certifications, making it suitable for use in California and national parks in the United States. You can use its parallel capability feature to connect another 2,000-watt Predator generator to increase the power output and run more appliances at the same time. Purchase the RV Ready Predator Parallel Kit from Harbor Freight to make it happen
It has a completely enclosed high-impact housing that protects the engine from extreme weather conditions and dust and insects when not in use.
What we liked:
Three outlets for running multiple devices
Parallel capability feature
CARB and EPA III compliant
Produces clean energy for small appliances
What could be better:
Runs loudly for a small inverter generator
Things to Consider
When it comes to buying a portable generator, there are a number of factors you need to consider. Now that we have gone through the in-detailed reviews of the top five generators by Predator, let’s take a look at different factors that will influence your buying decision.
Predator generators: What you should know about them?
An ideal brand to meet your power requirements, Predator generators are easy to operate, affordable, and durable. When compared with expensive brands like Honda, Predator stands out to a better recreational generator. It costs half as much and offers the same performance and features. Conventional generators by Predator are louder than those by Honda, but the inverter generators are just as quiet, so you won’t even notice any difference.
Advantages of Predator generators:
It costs half the price of generators by popular brands like Honda and Yamaha.
The low oil feature of Predator generators stops the engine automatically when the oil level drops below the minimum.
All generators have a runtime of at least 10 hours at 50 percent load, which makes the brand one of the most fuel efficient in the market.
Not all but most models are CARB compliant, which means you can use them California and national parks across the United States.
Disadvantages of Predator generators:
Other that GFCI protected outlets and low oil shutdown, Predator generators don’t have interesting safety features.
The generators tend to make a lot of noise, especially the conventional type. They produce at least 72 dB(A) of sound, which can be uncomfortable and distract you from your daily routine.
They are heavy, so don’t even think about carrying them from one location to another.
Generator type: inverter or conventional?
A new generator technology, inverter generator produces alternating current and it into changes direct current and coverts back into alternating current to produce sine wave. It is clean energy, which makes inverter generators safe for delicate devices including mobile phones, laptops, coffee makers, and hairdryers. Top inverter models by Harbor Freight include 2,000-watt and 3,500-watt Predator generators.
Conventional generator is an old technology, which produces alternating current, which is then converted into direct current. It isn’t usually safe for delicate devices and tend to make a lot of noise.
How much power do you need?
Your requirements dictate your power needs. For example, if you want to buy a portable generator for your RV, you need a compact generator that produces 7,000 to 9,000 running watts to run the refrigerator, heater, and microwave. On the other hand, if you want a generator to carry out outdoor activities like lawn mowing and furniture building, a smaller generator will do the job.
The number of watts an appliance consumes decides the total power you will need. Here’s an average of how many watts common appliances at home use:
Ceiling fan – 120W
Hair dryer – 1,500W
Desktop computer – 200W
Central air conditioner (24,000 BTU NA) – 3,800W
Water heater (electric) – 4,500W
Clothes washer – 800 W
Smart phone (recharge) – 6W
How long you need to run your generator?
On average, an ideal generator should run for at least 10 to 12 hours at 50 percent load, so you can keep the air conditioner or heater running throughout the night without needing any refuelling. All Predator generators offer minimum 10 hours of runtime, making them a great choice to meet your power needs.
Predator generators offer a number of safety features, including:
Low oil shutdown – to protect the engine from overheating and overuse.
GFCI outlet protection – to protect users from electric shocks and imbalance electric current
Tips and tricks
Here are a few safety tips you need to follow while installing and using a generator:
To make sure that you have received a good model, test the generator as soon as you receive it.
Always keep the generator at least 20 feet away from your house. The engine and exhaust fan should be directed away from the windows and doors of your house.
Never use a portable generator in the rain because it can malfunction. Keep it in a well-ventilated and covered area.
When the generator is running, place a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near it as an added layer of safety.
Predator generator prices
A 2,000-watt Predator inverter generator costs around $465. A similar wattage model by Honda will cost at least $900, so you can save half of your money by buying a Predator model. You will receive the same customer service as Harbor Freight has multiple service stations across the country.
Yes, you can connect a portable Predator generator to your RV, but it needs to be professionally installed. Always use an inverter generator because they barely make a humming sound and are safe for delicate devices.
All Predator generators come with a two years warranty on material defects and workmanship.
This brings an end to our review article, which means it is time to reveal our top three picks. Without any doubt, our top choice is Predator 63968. Its long runtime of 13 hours at 50 percent load using an eight-gallon tank is what impressed the most about it. Also, the generator has five outlets, so you can run multiple appliances simultaneously and keep your family comfortable and safe during hurricanes and storms.
Our second favorite is Predator 63584, which is an inverter generator perfect for RV use. It is compact in size, lightweight, and easy to store. It has four RV-ready switches and a 2.6 gallons tank that keeps the engine running for 11.2 hours at 25 percent load.
Third comes Predator 63087. It is the most powerful generator by Harbor Freight and powers six appliances simultaneously. The generator’s 6.6 gallons tank offers a 12 hours runtime at 50 percent load, making it one of the most efficient models by the brand.