Harbor Freight is famous for offering thousands of different power tools. Not only that, but you can get their high-end products without breaking the bank. This is true for their new ‘Predator’ line generators. 


Quick Answer: Predator Generator – Best from the range:

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If you are looking for a new generator as a backup power source while you are overlanding, then Predator generators would be a good option. Better yet, there are several models to choose from. 

However, choosing a generator is easier said than done. As a result, we have compiled this post with reviews of some of the best Predator generators. 

You will also find a detailed buying guide to get familiar with all the ins and outs of choosing a Predator generator that will suit you the most.

Predator generator reviews

Predator Generators 9000

Predator Generators 8750

Predator Generators 6500

Predator Generators 4000

Predator Generators 3500

Predator Generator Reviews

Review of Predator Generators 9000

Are you looking for a powerful, yet portable generator? Then the Predator Generators 9000 would be an ideal choice for you. It can provide up to 9000 max starting watts, and is capable of delivering 7250 running watts. Meaning, you can power up multiple appliances quickly, whether it is simply a tent heater or a large refrigerator.

This generator is packed with a 420 CC 4-stroke engine. To be precise, it is a 13HP air-cooled OHV engine. So even though it is a very powerful engine, it produces very little noise. As a matter of fact, it is rated for a noise level of 76 dB. It comes with vibration dampening footpads, which extend the overall lifespan of the generator and tackle the vibrations while the generator is operating.

This Predator generator is also equipped with an extra-large fuel tank that can accommodate up to 8 gallons. According to Harbor Freight, it can run continuously for up to 10-13 hours at a 50% load, while the tank is full. In terms of build quality, it is made with premium materials. It features a 1 ¼ inch steel frame roll cage, which offers extra protection and works as a tie-down point.

The net dimensions of the generator are 30 x 24 x 26 inches. However, it is about 193.6 lbs., meaning it is not the most portable. However, you can use its wheel kit to move it from one place to another quite easily. Unfortunately, the wheel kit is sold separately. Everything is very easy to start with the electric start, alongside the recoil start feature as a backup. 

However, you have to buy batteries for the electric start separately. In addition, the generator comes with OSHA-compliant GFCI protection for safe operation and sensitive electronics. The power outlet comes with flip covers as well.

This Predator Generator 9000 is equipped with a total of 6 AC outlets, 1 DC outlet (cigarette lighter style). Thanks to the twist-lock, you can connect it to your home breaker box and it also allows for RV connection. Additionally, it has both low-oil indication and low-oil shutdown features.

What Previous Buyers Said?

Most buyers have liked this generator. They have even said that it could be a great generator for travel trailers. First, they have liked that it has a 13HP air-cooled OHV gas engine. Secondly, they have admired its extra-long backup capability.

They have also liked the inclusion of the OSHA complaint GFCI power outlets, and have praised the build quality of the tool. Overall, current users are recommending this generator.

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced
  • Comes with a low-oil indicator
  • Low-oil shutdown feature
  • Has UL listed circuit breakers
  • Comes with heavy-duty steel full-frame roll cage

Cons:

  • No oil filter
  • A bit heavy
  • Batteries are not included

Review of Predator Generators 8750

This Predator 8750 is very similar to the 9000 in terms of build quality and design. However, there are differences as well. First of all, it can deliver 7000 running watts and up to 8750 maximum starting watts. 

It weighs about 194 lbs. and it measures at 22 ¾ (H) x 26 ⅞ (L) 22 (W) inches. For better portability, you can also buy the wheel kit. The Predator 8750 features the 420 cc/13 HP air-cooled OHV gas engine. 

As usual, it has the electric start feature along with recoil start as a backup. The battery for the electric start can be bought separately. The generator is equipped with two 120V/20A duplex outlets, one 120V/20A twist lock outlet, one 240V/30A twist lock outlet, and one 12V DC outlet. 

As per the manufacturer, it can run up to 12 hours at a 50% load, has a low-oil indicator, and the low-oil shutdown feature. Overall, the Predator 8750 could be a great generator for job sites, camping, and even your house.

What Previous Buyers Said?

According to former buyers, the Predator 8750 is a feature-filled, premium generator. They have appreciated the overall build quality and performance, and one particular buyer said that he has been using this Predator generator for more than 3 years without any issues. 

He uses it for his entire house as a backup when there’s a power outage. Customers have also enjoyed its ease of use. Plus, the low-oil indication and shutdown features have also received praise.

Pros:

  • Heavy-duty build quality
  • Low-oil indication and shutdown
  • Comes with OSHA compliant GFCI protection for safe operation and sensitive electronics
  • Comes with multiple twist lock outlets

Cons:

  • The battery for the electric start is not included
  • Wheel kit is not included as well

Review of Predator Generators 6500

The next Predator generator on our list comes with 6500 starting watts and 5500 running watts. That means it will be able to deliver enough power to power up multiple electronic devices without any issue. In terms of the run-time, it can offer a backup of up to 14.5 hours at 50% load.

This portable generator is powered by a 310 CC/ 8 HP gas engine and is equipped with the recoil start feature. In addition, you will be getting two 120V duplex outlets, one 240V twist lock outlet, and one 12V DC outlet. Better yet, all these outlets are GFCI outlets. The 6500 also comes with UL-listed circuit breakers for safety.

This Predator 6500 watt generator weighs about 165 lbs. and it measures at 22 (w) x 22 ¾ (h) x 26 ⅞ (l) inches. If it is a bit heavier to move, you can buy the wheel kit as well. The noise level rating of this one is 74 dB., it comes with EPA III certification and the low-oil shutdown feature. The Predator 6500 also features the steel roll cage, which ensures longevity and works as tie-down points.

What Previous Buyers Said?

Past buyers have appreciated that this Predator 6500 watt generator comes with GFCI outlets, in addition to the steel roll enclosure for extra safety. Frankly, a few customers felt the need of including the electric start feature, but they liked that the control panel is easy to use and has EPA III certification.

Pros:

  • EPA III certified
  • Comes with the low-oil shutdown feature
  • Heavy-duty build quality 
  • OSHA compliant GFCI outlets

Cons:

  • No electric start feature
  • Wheel kit needs to be bought separately

Review of Predator Generators 4000

If you are looking for a generator that is actually portable, yet decently powerful, then the Predator Generators 4000 would be worth a check. As the name suggests, it comes with a peak power output rating of 4000 watts, but can continuously deliver 3200 watts of power (running watts). 

Theoretically, it should be able to handle several electronics devices and home appliances on full load. It does have a small fuel tank (just 4 gallons), with an estimated run time of up to 10 hours at 50% capacity. 

This portable generator is integrated with a 212 CC/6.5 HP air-cooled OHV gas engine. Like most other Predator generators, the 4000 also features the low-oil indicator and shutdown function. On top of that, the generator has a 1-inch steel roll enclosure for durability and support. 

In terms of outlets, it has two 120V/20 A duplex outlets, one 240V/30 A twist-lock outlet, and one 12V DC outlet. The net dimensions of the generator are 24 (L) x 19 (W) x 20 (H) inches and it only weighs 99 lbs. It doesn’t have any wheels, but it is compatible with Predator wheel kits for their generators that are sold separately.

What Previous Buyers Said?

Many previous customers are using this generator when they camp. They say it’s lightweight, compact, and its robust build quality makes it suitable for camping. Furthermore, they have enjoyed its EPA III certification and low-oil indicator/shutdown feature.

Pros:

  • Very portable and lightweight
  • Comes with EPA III certification
  • It has a low-oil indicator
  • Low-oil shutdown feature

Cons:

  • Small fuel tank
  • No electric start feature

Review of Predator Generators 3500

For the people who are searching for an inverter generator from the Harbor Freight Predator line-up, the Predator 3500 is for you. The first thing you will notice about this generator is that it has a different design compared to the other generators we have reviewed above. It is very compact and lightweight, as it measures at 20 (H) x 22.75 (L) x 17.3 (W) inches and weighs just 99 lbs.

Moreover, it comes with built-in wheels,making it the most portable Predator generator out there. Another great feature of this unit is that it is an inverter generator. Meaning, it produces very little noise and is suitable to use with sensitive electronic devices. 

The Predator 3500 has a noise level rating of 57 dB. It also comes with various useful accessories such as a DC cable, spark plug wrench, 30 A RV adapter, fuel funnel, and a screwdriver for free.

It is equipped with a 6HP/212CC air-cooled OHV gas engine, and can deliver 3000 watts of running watts and 3500 peak starting watts. It features a digital LCD display with overload, output, and low-oil light indicators. Interestingly, it has the electric start feature for easy start-up. 

This portable inverter generator has two 120V AC outlets, one 120V AC twist-lock outlet, and one 12V DC 2-Pin outlet. For safety reasons, it has electronic overload protection as well. As per Harbor Freight, it has a run time of up to 11 hours at 25 % capacity. Overall, if you are looking for a super-quiet, portable, yet powerful inverter generator, then the Predator 3500 should be it.

What Previous Buyers Said?

Former buyers commented that the Predator 3500 is one of the best portable generators in the market. They praised the inclusion of the digital LCD display, and have also spoken positively about the build quality and its compact size. 

Although a few buyers complained about the quality of the built-in wheels, others said that the Predator 3500 could still be carried around effortlessly.

Pros:

  • Comes with electronic overload protection
  • It has an LCD display
  • Low-oil indicator and super-quiet 
  • Comes with built-in casters
  • Inverter generator

Cons:

  • The quality of the casters could be better
  • Starting and running watts are not that high

Buying Guide – Predator Generator Review

What Appliances Can You Run on a Generator?

You can run any appliances on a generator. However, you should make sure that your generator can deliver the total wattage required for all the appliances you will be running. Normally, you can run TVs, computers, refrigerators, AC units, lights, fans, charge phones, and most other electronic devices using a generator. 

However, if you are going to run sensitive equipment like speakers or old TVs with a generator, then it is better to use a pure sine wave inverter generator. On the other hand, you can use generators without the inverter technology.

Benefits and Downsides of Using a Generator

First and foremost, you know that the best advantage of using a generator is that you are never out of electricity. For example, if there are any power outages in your area, you can use the generator as a backup power source. Also, a generator can come in handy on job sites, where you might need to run power tools. 

Besides, you will also see generators being used as a source of power on campsites. Interestingly, for campers or outdoor enthusiasts, a generator can be very helpful to power up all the electronic devices they need while on the go.

On top of that, a portable generator could be a great addition to recreational vehicles or RVs. In short, a generator can be a great tool in the case of emergencies or in places where electricity is not available.

On the contrary, running a generator is more expensive compared to your usual electricity bills, and most generators emit pollutants into the atmosphere. If you want to extend the lifespan of your generator, then you will have to maintain it regularly. Some generators are not user-friendly, so you might need help from a professional to set them up. After all, it is clear that the pros of using a generator easily outweigh the cons.

Things to Look For When Buying A Predator Generator

Here are a few things you should consider while you are choosing your new Predator generator.

Wattage/Power Output

The most crucial factor you should be concerned with when buying a Predator generator would be the wattage rating. You will notice that each generator comes with two different wattage ratings. Among them, one rating would be the maximum output power the generator can deliver, in other words: the starting watts. 

That means, if necessary, the generator can deliver that amount of power, but it won’t be able to deliver it continuously. Generally, many electronic products require an extremely high watt of power when they are starting. But after a while, they usually draw less power from the outlet. That’s when the ‘peak’ power output rating comes into play.

On the other hand, the continuous wattage rating would indicate that the generator is capable of delivering that amount of power continuously, in other words: the running watts. In short, you should get a generator that will be able to deliver the total power (wattage) required by your appliances.

Portability/Size

Predator generators are available in various sizes. The more powerful the generator, the bigger and heavier it gets. However, if you want to conveniently move the bigger Predator generators, you can get their wheel kit that is sold separately for each model.

Build Quality

Generators are usually expensive. Thus, a generator must have a robust build quality to offer you continuous service for a long time. 

You don’t want to buy a new one within a short span of time after finding out that the last one gave up. Luckily, all the Predator generators are well-built and come with 2 years of warranty.

Backup Capability

Of course, you should know how long your new generator can run with a full fuel tank. Based on the model of the generator, both the fuel tank capacity and the run time duration will vary. 

In addition, it will also depend on the total wattage you are drawing from the generator. So, if you want to increase the backup, then you have to power up fewer appliances and vice-versa.

Noise

Typically, generators are known for their noise, but we can tell that most Predators generators are quiet compared to other similar options. You should always check the noise level rating of the generator you are going to buy. 

Type

You can see that we have reviewed two types of generators above, inverter and non-inverter. Both have their pros and cons. Usually, the inverter generators are better compared to their alternative in many aspects. First of all, pure sine wave inverter generators don’t interfere with any sensitive electronics, and they tend to be very quiet.

On the flip side, a non-inverter generator would cost you a lot less compared to an inverter generator of the same capacity. So, in terms of pricing, non-inverter generators are better, but otherwise generators with inverter technology are the best.

Price

Like any other product, you will need to consider the price of the Predator generator you are going to buy. Remember, depending on the specification and feature of the generator, the price will greatly vary. 

If you want a powerful generator that can deliver enough power to handle multiple appliances at once, you will have to pay a large sum of money. In contrast, there are budget-friendly options available as well. However, if you think that you need a more powerful one, then it is better not to cheap out and vice-versa.

FAQ – Predator Generator Reviews

Are Harbor Freight Predator Generators Any Good?

Frankly, Harbor Freight Predator generators are some of the best portable generators out there, for the money. They are not only good performance-wise, but are also durable and long-lasting.

Typically, Harbor Freight uses powerful and well-tested engines on their Predator generators. This ensures additional durability and smooth operation for a long time.

Most of the Predator generators are portable, quiet, and budget-friendly. So, without a doubt, Predator generators could be one of the best overlanding accessories.

Who Makes the Predator Generators?

The Predator generators are made by ‘Harbor Freight Tools’. This USA-based company was founded back in 1977 as a small family business. Now, they have their own R&D labs and 1100+ stores all over the country. This makes Predator generators very affordable.

Are Predator Generators Made in China?

Yes. Normally, Harbor Freight performs the research and designs the generators in their R&D labs in the USA. However, the Predator generators are made and assembled in China. It is done to cut the overall manufacturing costs.

Which Company Makes the Best Generators?

There are tons of companies that manufacture generators, so it is very hard to pick one as the best manufacturer. In our opinion, Generac, Honda, Briggs & Stratton, etc. are some of the top brands in the ‘Generator’ industry.

Plus, ‘Harbor Freight Tools’ should also be on the list of the best generator manufacturers, as they offer premium products but for a fraction of the price compared to popular name brands.

Conclusion – Predator Generator Review

Harbor Freight has improved the brand new ‘Predator’ line of their generators in many aspects. For instance, they have updated the overall design, added extra-large fuel tanks, and the generators are well-built. In short, you can go with any of these above-mentioned best Predator generators.

If you are still confused, then our suggestion would be to think about your requirements. If you need a power-horse then, you should go with the Predator Generators 9000, as it is the most powerful in terms of wattage. 

But if you want a portable, super quiet, and budget-friendly inverter generator for camping or indoor, you should go with the Predator Generators 3500.

Ferenc Elekes overlandsite

Ferenc Elekes has been a devout Overlanding enthusiast for many years. During that time, Ferenc has explored 75 countries on six continents, with overland travel involved in 40 countries on three continents. From his trusty 2006 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado with a roof-top tent, he’s blogged about experiences that can only be found in the remotest regions on Earth. Along the way, he's gained in-depth knowledge of the novel challenges overlanders encounter and practical ways to meet them. On his website, he shares informed opinions about everything from the best overland gear to how to get a vehicle unstuck. Ferenc has also written for Ih8mud, the Expedition Portal, the Overland Journal, and he is often invited as a guest to outdoors-related podcasts.