Temporary home back up generation is needed when you have power cuts at home. For an instant solution of power supply, you must avail a portable generator, but make sure it is run by diesel and not gasoline or propane. For the diesel generator, we can say that it provides longer running hours and thus is cost-effective.

Best Portable Diesel Generators Review

Why choose Diesel generator over other options

There are certain advantages and disadvantages of owning a diesel generator, and we will be discussing those below:

Pros

  • Diesel is the least flammable fuel resource, unlike gasoline or propane. Thus your safety concern will be taken care of with diesel generator.
  • Some power backs up systems are difficult to handle and maintain, while diesel generator is quite easy on maintenance and easy to access.
  • Some companies offer on-site fuel delivery, which is a great thing for diesel generator users.

Cons

  • Diesel generators have a short shelf life. A proper diesel generator will have 18 to 24 months of shelf life.
  • You have to install the large storage tank, which, along with the price of the generator raises the cost.
  • If diesel is not available during power cuts or power shortage, then you will face a big problem.

When you decide to buy the best and the cheapest diesel generator in the market, we can help you by advising about the most popular brands, along with that we will discuss the pros and cons of the machines.

Best Portable Diesel Generators

We can assure that the list provided below contains only the best of the lots, so whichever generator you choose, you will not feel cheated or deserted.

  • Durostar DS7000Q

This is the most dependable generator available. This one is a 4-stroke machine, which comes with a single cylinder. The direct injection process works for this generator. It is quite a hefty machine with superb working ability. This robust machine will definitely help you during the power shortage.

The peak watts offered by this giant is 6000, with 5500 running watts. Being such a powerful machine, this can be handled quite easily. There are two ways to start this generator. The easier process is a turn-key start, while the other process being standard recoil start. A third way to start the machine is, engaging the electric start by using a remote control.

There is the main panel of this machine which consists of low-oil alert, voltage meter, circuit breakers, low fuel indicator and power outlets. Two 120 volt, 20 amp, 3 prong outlets help to run this machine with ground fault interrupter. All the appliance of your home can be run with the help of this generator.

If you are having high-power driven machinery like tools for firm or work site, then two twist lock outlets, one 120 volts, 30 amp, 3 prong outlet and another one with 120/240 volt, 30 amp, 4 prong outlet will help you to run those gadgets.

As per the norm, the diesel generators produce lots of sounds, but not this one. It has noise reduction measures to control the noise pollution up to certain level.

The vibration/alteration mounting is there between the engine feet and base frame. As the vibration is reduced due to this feature, the noise is also reduced and along with that the longevity of the generator is extended. Also to soundproof this machine there is a muffler and a few other soundproofing gadgets.

It has an impressive runtime. If you load it half, it can run up to 12 hours. A large fuel tank with the capacity of holding 3.83-gallon fuel is the source of its super energy. The fuel gauge will tell you how much is left at the tank, so you get alert and refill the fuel.

Without the wheel kit, the generator is almost unmoveable as it is huge and weighs around 300 pounds. But aided with a wheel kit, it is quite easy a task to move from one place to another.

However, so much said, this is a very strong and useful generator which comes with a hefty price tag.  Also, the warranty for this expensive thing should be longer, only a 30-day replacement and 1-year spare parts change is not sufficient for such a costly generator.

  • Generac XD5000E

Powered by True power technology, Generac XD5000E offers a cleaner power supply than most of the available generators in the market. However, diesel generators cannot be compared with the inverters and so, this one does not actually work like one.

The power output of this diesel generator is clean, so you can trust this one with some of your more sensitive electronic gadgets. The true power technology offers less than 5% total harmonic distortion which makes it super effective for household gadgets as well as other tools.

The working ability of this generator comes from Yanmar LW Series 435cc air-cooled direct injection industrial-grade diesel engine. The power offers are 5500 peak watts and 5000 running watts. This one is quite great at durability, as this is made of tough fully welded 1-1/4” sturdy steel frame. Also, this frame is not heavyweight, thus helps to move the machine more easily. Though the generator weights 250 pounds approximately, the handles included in the frame design is well-thought-of to provide facility while lifting this machine.

A separate wheel kit is always advised for lifting it or transporting it. A longer runtime is what this generator promises. The 12-gallon fuel tank ensures that you can run this generator for 32 hours with a half load. The starting of this machine is easy. Either by recoil pull-start or by electric push-button start work for it. However the battery is not included with the package, so you no remote start option is available for it.

There is an hour meter in the control panel along with a 120/240 volt selector switch, 23 amp main circuit breaker, two 20 amp push button, 30 amp push button circuit breaker, four 120 volts 20 amp outlets and two 120 volt twist lock outlets.  

There is a great safety measure attached to this gadget, that is, it will automatically shut down if the oil pressure gets too low. This generator is facilitated to start easily even in cold weather by a compression release lever.  Another positive feature of this one is it is EPA/CARB compliant and comes with a good warranty period.

  • Gilette GEN-PRO GPED-65EK Diesel Generator

A monstrous generator and hugest in the list of diesel generators, this one measures 48x48x48 inches. But the amazing fact is, this one is the lightest in the list too. Weighing only 200 pounds, this generator is smooth in work and sturdy in the frame. The steel frame can be lifted with handles, and a wheel kit is added to the package separately. Thus transferring its place is quite easy. The engine of this machine is run by 9-HP, Kohler air-cooled direct injection.

The fuel tank can hold enough fuel to run the machine for 10 hours at least with a half load. Its ability comes to 6500 peak watts and 5000 running watts. There is a fuel gauge to inform you when you need to refuel it. Recoil pull starts as well as electric start works for this machine, though no remote start option is available with this machine. There are total 6 outlets of this generator, four 15 amp 120v gfci outlets, one 30 amp 120-volt twist outlet and one 50 amp120/240v outlet. 

A voltmeter, hour meter and circuit breakers are included in the control panel. Low oil alert and automatic shut down will save this machine from any danger, and also will help you avoid any unwanted situation. There is a runtime meter and some service alert lights that will inform you when you need to change the oil. Also, the lights will let you know when there is the time to change the engine air filter and service the whole generator.

Unlike gas generators, you can extend the in-between time of two maintenances with a diesel generator. These service indicator lights will help you check how many hours did the generator run, so you can check when you need to service it next time. There is a power assist in this generator which helps the machine to provide clean power. Along with that, there is a Gilette-exclusive excitation system which works with the power capacitor.

A winding machine is a unique feature of this generator which ensures minimum power fluctuation. Thus the undisrupted power flow is guaranteed (with a chance of disruption of 6% only) and you can safely use the sensitive electronic gadgets with the power of this generator. This machine comes with a superb warranty period of 3 years for the engine, 2 years for parts and 1 year for labour. This is undoubtedly a professional grade generator.

  • Pulsar PG7000D

This is the cheapest diesel generator in this list and if you are in a shoestring budget, then you can check this one. With this simplistic model generator, you will get the value for your money for sure. While saying that, you need to make sure that this machine is not for long term use, and it will not provide with longer running hours.

The longevity of this model is uncertain, and unlike the regular diesel generators which have a long working life. According to some users, this generator has caused some problems, while others say that they are quite satisfied with its service. The price tag is, however, definitely alluring.

It comes with 7000 peak watts and 5500 running watts. Starting up this machine is simple and easy, you can choose between the recoil pull-start or the electric push-button start. There is a total of 5 outlets of this generator. Two 120v outlets, one 120v/240v twist-lock outlet, one 120v twist-lock outlet and one 12v 8.3MP outlet.

There are a voltage meter and an hour meter in the digital control panel. The machine does make very less sound for a diesel generator. Pulsar has worked on insulation, housing and airflow to ensure that remarkable quietness of this generator. They call this line of generators a silence series, which is obviously an exaggeration. But the calm nature of this diesel generator is certainly a positive point. The total noise as per Pulsar is less than70dB, which is near about the sound quantity of a vacuum cleaner.

The half-loaded fuel tank of this generator will let it run for 9.5 hours. The fuel gauge keeps you aware when you need to refill the tank. The unit weighs 350 pounds which is quite heavy for its size. There are wheels included in the package but it does not come with any handles.

The frame is fully enclosed which may occur issues when you will move it. the size of 38×32.5×22 inches machine is difficult to transfer as even two people need to carry it with much effort.

This machine is not CARB compliant and definitely not as durable as the other machines mentioned here.

  • Onan 8.0HDKAK-1046

This diesel generator is a standby RV 8000 watts machine. It uses 719 ccs 4 Cycle, liquid-cooled vertical cylinder engine. At half load, it consumes.49 gallon diesel and at full load, it takes up 1.02-gallon diesel. This machine can be started with a remote and it produces 66 dB sound, which is a plus. There is a 3 years warranty of this machine which is pretty good for a diesel generator.

The specs of this generator are quite good, and you can expect decent performance from this one. This is the best RV diesel generator available in the market which is quite expensive too. The secret of its power remains with the 8000watt power output. This generator should be used outdoor and it can run lots of powerful appliances.  Though being so much powerful, this machine is surprisingly quiet, and you will hear barely any sound while your camping trip.

As this gadget is supposed to be used outside, the National park sound level requirements should be followed by it. This RV diesel generator produces lesser sound than that parameter, so you can peacefully keep it outdoor. The three-point fully focalized mounting system present in the generator is designed to reduce the vibration and vibration related sound. The emission standard has also been complied with by this generator, both US EPA and California standards.

There are numerous maintenance points of this brand, so you can easily access those people when something is not going right with this RV diesel generator. There is yet another reason to keep it outside while using as it comes with waterproof connectors. Weather conditions are uncertain but when you are using this generator, no need to worry about that. However, this high priced machine comes with shorter than expected warranty period.

  • Power Products Sigma JDP-7000 LDE

This is a portable generator, with 7000 peak watts and 5500 running watts. It comes with 4800cc, 4 stroke air cooled vertical cylinder diesel engine. The fuel tank can hold up to 4-gallon diesel, and the runtime with half load is 8 hours moderately. It is started with an electrical push button. The noise level is around 68 dB. If the regular Onan generators are too pricey for your budget you can check this portable power production generator at a pocket-friendly rate.

The machine does not compromise with quality though. To be precise, it has the usual 7000w starting output, which is even higher than some of the costly generators. It produces 5500w power while running, which is enough to run quite a few household gadgets. The run time is impressive 8 hours at half load. Another outstanding feature of this generator is it can run from an external fuel tank camp. This feature cannot be found in most of the diesel generators.

The enclosed frame of this generator makes sure that it does not produce much sound, thus you can call it a quiet generator for that matter. In terms of operation, this is not a very modern machine. It does not come with a remote start option, and you have to switch it on manually each time you need it to start. It comes with a wheel kit and a handle is attached with the frame, thus moving this heavy generator is quite easy.

There is a fuel gauge which informs you about the amount of fuel present in the tank. Along with that, it has a low oil alert. This will prevent the situation when the generator will stop working after running out of oil or due for an oil change. This generator can work perfectly during the winter months as well as summer, so the constant productivity is guaranteed. There is no specific warranty period mentioned for this generator.

Which type of generator is preferable?

 There are two kinds of diesel generators available on the market, specifically, standby and portable.  We have discussed generators of both types in the above list, and now it is your call to select anyone. How will you do that? We are here to help.

Both kinds of generators offer the same features, like supplying power during a power outage and running your appliances. However, the offerings in convenience differ in these cases. To know which one is better suited, let’s check what does these terms standby and portable means for generators.

Standby- This can be counted as a permanent power back up supply option.  These machines automatically switch on when the power flow fails. That gives you the facility of undisturbed power supply even if you are not present there to switch the machine on. Onan 8.0HDKAK-1046 offers this facility.

Portable- As the name suggests the portable diesel generators need to be moved to the places where it is needed. Along with that it also implicates that you need to be there to manually switch it on. However, the fact is obvious that standby generators are better working than the portable ones. To begin with, the standby ones are more trustworthy in emergency situations. But for the portable generators, these can actually be moved to certain places where power back up is needed.

  • In functionality, these two differs as well. The stand by generators runs by propane and natural gas, so you need to carry it to the nearest gas station to get a refill. The portable generators run by gasoline and they can be easily filled from any container, but these need to be refilled after a few hours, which is a hazard. Also, the oil in the portable generators needs to be changed quite often so the working ability stays at its optimum.
  • Standby models are fully enclosed while portable generators have engine parts which are exposed to nature.
  • If you need to run sophisticated and sensitive appliances by the backup power of the generator, then you may choose standby ones, as these offer safety of your refrigerator or heating system. When you are using a portable generator to run the appliances, you need to plug in those appliances with the extension cable to the generator. But the wired gadgets like the heating and cooling system cannot be run with the portable generator.
  • Power quality is another defining factor of generators. Standby generators always offer clean and consistent power to run sensitive machines like computers, television etc. But some portable generators cannot boast over this clean power supply. The power delivered by those are often of low quality, it fluctuates and is prone to power surges.
  • The installation process also differs from these two kinds of generators. Standby generators are installed by professionals only. Thus the safety measures are always taken by the engineer and no issues can happen at that situation. On the contrary, portable generators are easy to install and thus, is often done by the owner. On emergency situations, you will be operating it under pressure. The unexpected power outage can distract you and you are likely to miss any safety precaution. However, with time and practice, you may be able to handle this situation smoothly.

Which oil to use in generators

The type of oil required for every generator is always mentioned in the manual that comes with the machine while you are purchasing it. The recommended oil for Generac 6864 is SAE 10W-30. Now, this oil does not only match the Generac generator, but also this one is a safe oil option for all the diesel generators. However, it is always better to check the manual.

The Pulsar manual points out that the correct oil type for a few diesel generators can be decided after taking the current air temperature into account. When the temperature is low, the oil you use for your generator should be of lower viscosity like 5W-20. When the temperature is quite hot, a higher viscosity oil like SAE 40 will come handy.

Whichever oil you may use, the oil-related maintenance should be followed as directed in the manual of the diesel generator. If there is an indicator at the control panel, it will direct you what to do and when. It is better to follow those guidelines if you want your investment in the diesel generator is returned in a proper way. Unless your generator may get damaged soon and you will not be able to claim the warranty

How much power is needed

For a regular household, most of the gadgets and appliances run within 3000w to 5000w. If the home is an elaborate one, the power requirement may be raised up to 5000w to 6000w. Some factors are responsible for the power usage, which are listed below.

  • Use of water is a factor in this case. If you are using city water or well water, the power usage will be different. Pumps cannot work with a generator less than 3800w.
  • Heating system of the house is another decisive factor. If your house is heated by gas, electric, forced air or oil makes a difference.  Gas or forced air system can be run with a generator which exudes 2500w power. Electrically heated house needs more power supply. Up to 15000w power is required by such a system. A portable generator will not be able to make that work.
  • Hot water heater can be run with electric, gas or oil-fired.  In the case of gas and oil, the water heater will require lesser power while electric heaters will require more power.

The running hours of the generator

Generators are power generating units which will help you out during the power outage. That clarifies the fact that these machines are not to be run continuously, however pricey or good quality generator is it. if you are running it continuously you will be inviting untimely damage to the machine, as generators cannot provide power without resting in between. Usual generators have run time of 8 to 10 hours at a stretch.

Safety features

Generators are quite a useful appliance and it is there to help you. But being such an innovative machine, some damages are caused by those if you mishandle it.

Generators produce carbon monoxide which is a deadly gas. To check this emission you need to place the carbon monoxide and gas detector positioned throughout your residence. Also, you need to check those detectors regularly to ensure that those are functioning properly. You should be aided with the warning system while having a generator at home and that way you will be able to lessen the dreadful effect of this emission.

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