Let’s take a look at the 6 best professional generators on offer from 6 different brands: Generac, DeWalt, Honda, Subaru, Briggs & Stratton and Yamaha. They range in price from around $1,500 up to nearly $5,000. And the running wattage capacity ranges from 5,500 to 11,700.
If you rely on your generator to earn a living – maybe you’re a contractor, maybe you rent out generators or maybe you’re the purchasing manager at a construction company… A pro genset isn’t just called pro so the company can charge more for it…
They’re professional use by design because they have engines with commercial components so they can be operated all day long everyday. They have a long runtime so you don’t have to take a refuel break. And let’s take a look at what other difference there are between pro use and simple home use.
What’s The Difference Between Professional Use and Residential Use Gensets?
Not all but most generators designed for contractors and job site use have the 6 following features in common. These features are added with contractors and job site environments in mind.
Commercial Duty Engine
A commercial / industrial use engine has a better lubrication system (pressurized vs splash), longer lasting components that have better heat dissipation thus preventing overheating during extended use, automotive grade oil and air filters, low oil protection systems and better computer controlled ignition system.
The engines used in the professional generator below are by Generac, Honda, Subaru, Briggs & Stratton and Yamaha. These are 5 companies that have a lot of experience in small engines. If we added Kohler and Kawasaki to the list we’d have the 7 biggest small engine makers in the world.
Larger Fuel Tank For Long Run Time
When Generac set out to make their professional generator for contractor use they first surveyed 400 contractors. They survey showed that the overwhelming majority wanted at least 9 hours runtime from their generator. The reason was obvious. They needed to be able to work for an entire day non stop.
Residential use generators often list their runtime @ 1/4 load but these pro generator almost always list their 100% load runtime. This just goes to show that the companies know how contractors plan to use them, which is good.
Electric Outlet Protection
If you know your job site is going to be extra dusty you might want the pro gensets with outlet protect so that when you’re not using it you have extra protection. Not all the machines have this feature – only the Generac and DeWalt.
Most pro gensets have a lifting lug to make it easy to lift to elevation and make it easy to chain up at night.
Heavy Duty Wheels
These pro generators are heavy and come encased in heavy frames that sit on pneumatic wheels to make moving it around easy. You want a machine with rugged, durable wheels and the pro version has that.
Ease of Maintenance
Easy access for maintenance is crucial to a professional genset.
Best Professional Genset By Generac
It provides 10 hours of run time at 1/2 load… Is safe to use with your variable speed power tools and electronics because it provide smooth, clean power… And has electric and recoil starters built in.
The Generac OHVI purpose built for generators engine is one of a kind and the only small engine built specifically for generator use. It has automotive grade components to ensure long life even when you use it daily.
Best Portable Commercial Generator By DeWalt
The best portable commercial genset from DeWalt is powered by the Honda GX630. The GX630 is Honda’s largest small engine and this DeWalt uses it to provide you with 11,700 running watts.
The run time you get is 8 hours at 1/2 load. That’s a full work day of 5,850 watts. It also provides clean electricity so you’re safe to plug your sensitive electronics in to it, which is a bonus you only see with commercial / professional gensets.
It has covered outlets for protection against dust and water – those outlet are: 4 x 20-Amp 120 VAC and a 30-Amp Twistlock 120/240 VAC and a 50-Amp 120/240 VAC. Given all this power this unit is quite loud at 83 dbA from 7m (as loud as a large lawn mower). If you like DeWalt and Honda then this is a great pro model.
Best Industrial Use Portable Genny By Honda
1) Honda EB6500 5,500 Run Watts
The Honda EB6500 offers you a highly durable and reliable industrial portable generator (as rated by builders). It has what Honda calls Intelligent Automatic Voltage Regulation technology which means stable power and no voltage spikes.
It has an impressive runtime of 10.4 hours at 50% load to ensure you go all day without a break (although that might be a bad thing?). It has a fuel gauge, USDA spark arrestor / muffler and comes with Honda’s 3 year warranty.
Best Subaru Industrial Use Portable Generator
You’ll notice it has comparable noise level (~77dbA), run time (~9 hours) and looks quite similar to all the other machines… So you might be wondering why is it the most expensive on this page? Well it’s because it offers 3-Phase power.
If you’re planning on using your genset to power large electrical appliance (like a good size air compressor) then 3-phase might be the best bet since it is ~50% more efficient at higher loads since it has 3 phases to provide the required current instead of just 1.
Best Pro Series Generator From Briggs & Stratton
Briggs & Stratton is well known as the largest producer of small engines for power equipment – they make 10 million per year. Their Pro Series genny uses their 2100 Series engine which is 420cc and will provide 3,750 watts for 9 hours from only 7 gallons of fuel.
The Briggs 2100 Series engine is their largest offering before it jumps to their alternatively branded Vanguard engines.
Notice how this Briggs genset is the only one on this list with 4 wheels? This makes it extremly easy to move around with zero strain on your arms, legs or back. And it has locking brakes to ensure it doesn’t roll away if on an incline.
Best Yamaha Portable Genset For Contractors
…The best all round is their 6,000 running watts EF7200DE. It has electric start, 8 hours run time at FULL load and is the most affordable machine on this page (this or the Briggs depending on sales).
If you like the Yamaha brand and are in the market for a portable generator then this is their best conventional style heavy use machine.
The best place to get the information required to evaluate these generators is from their User Manuals which are located on their respective product pages. Here are links to their official pages:
- Generac Power Systems product page for the XP8000E. Generac.com.
- DeWalt product page for the DXGN14000. DeWalt.com.
- Honda product page for the EB6500. Honda.com.
- Subaru product page for the RGV13100T. SubaruPower.com.
- Briggs & Stratton product page for the 30555. BriggsandStratton.com.
- Yamaha product page for the EF7200DE. YamahaMotorSports.com.