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Generac is certainly a leader in the world of portable generators. They have several series (some only have 1 model in the series) of models that concentrate of specific uses. Your needs for a portable generator will most likely match up with one (or more) of these series.
So which set of models is best for you?
That’s the question I will try to help you answer in this article.
I’ll narrow the choices down to 5 major types of Generac generators. I could get more granular than that (as Generac actually does), but that makes your options too complicated.
The 5 types are the following. If you want to check what is available in each category on Amazon, you can click on the links in the list below.
If you are interested especially in one of these types, you can click on a link in the box below to jump right to that section of the article. Otherwise, you can just keep scrolling and reading as usual.
- 1 Generac Diesel Powered Portable Generator XD5000E
- 2 Generac HomeLink 6500E with Upgradeable Transfer Switch
- 3 Generac RS5500 and RS7000E Rapid Start Generators
- 4 Generac General Purpose Series: From the GP1800 to the GP17500E, the Largest of the Bunch
- 5 Generac iX800, iX2000, and iQ2000 Inverter Portables
- 6 Conclusions about the Generac Portable Generators
Generac Diesel Powered Portable Generator XD5000E
The Generac XD6500E features a Yanmar LW Series diesel engine. This 435cc air-cooled unit is considered industrial grade.
Generac suggests that you can use it at jobsites and for agricultural applications.
The XD6500E is a single touch electric start (thus the “E” in the model name) model with a 12-gallon fuel tank. This can give you over 32 hours (at 50% load) of run time which, being more than a day, is quite good.
It has an integrated lifting eye so you can easily transport it and keep it stored up high for security at a jobsite, for example.
One critic says, “This generator is SUPER LOUD!” But that really doesn’t matter much at a jobsite or on a farm.
Generac’s response to this complaint is as follows.
“Because there is no industry standard for testing sound levels on portable generators, we are unable to list a decibel rating for any of our portable generators.”
My thought on that is this: Then why do other manufacturers provide this information?
Generac HomeLink 6500E with Upgradeable Transfer Switch
The one thing that sets the HomeLink 6500E apart from other Generac portables is that it has a manual transfer switch that you can upgrade so you can easily switch to a standby generator in the future.
In all other aspects, this generator is virtually the same as the GP6500E General Purpose model described below.
Generac RS5500 and RS7000E Rapid Start Generators
Here’s what Generac has to say about their RS series of portable generators.
“The PowerDial streamlines the start-up process by putting all the controls on one convenient dial, so no more separate switches for turning on the engine, opening the fuel valve, or to adjust the choke.”
My question is this: If this is such a cool feature and works so well, why not make all your generators this way?
I suppose it’s a little like the difference between an automatic and a manual transmission in a car. Some people want or need more control than others do.
As you would expect, other than the engine size and one-touch electric start, the RS7000E is the same as the RS5500.
They both have a low-oil shutdown feature to protect the engine, covered outlets for safety, and a large capacity fuel tank.
Generac General Purpose Series: From the GP1800 to the GP17500E, the Largest of the Bunch
The GP series is Generac’s main line. It currently contains 10 models, including standard, electric start, and inverter models.
Here’s the short list.
- GP2200i (Inverter)
- GP3000i [Full review here]
You can tell by the “E” at the end of the model names that the larger units are all electric start.
The one inverter model, the GP2200i, is quieter than most and is intended for fun weekends outdoors camping, etc. without disturbing those nearby.
It has an “integrated Off/Run/Choke Knob” which sounds similar to the Rapid Start models mentioned above. This feature should simplify its use.
The GP2200i is one of several Generac models to employ TruePower Technology. This is Generac’s term for producing the “clean” power that many electronic gadgets and appliances require. This model also has a USB port for charging mobile devices.
If you need double the power that one GP2200i can provide, you can easily add a second unit, since it is already setup to run in parallel.
The other models in the GP line are basically the same, with the switch to electric start coming at 6500. The largest models are intended for use at jobsites and for similar applications. Read more about the GP series in this full review.
Generac also has an XG series, an XP series, and an XT series which are in many ways similar to the GP series, so I am grouping them together here.
The XG10000E is (per Generac) “premium quality” for home, events, and the jobsite. The XP6500E and XP10000 are called “professional grade” generators. The XT8000E was created as a Lowe’s exclusive.
Generac iX800, iX2000, and iQ2000 Inverter Portables
Generac’s inverter generators are made especially for sensitive electronics and for places where noise would otherwise be a problem.
Generac touts the iQ2000 as being even quieter than the Honda EU2000i which is known to be one of the least noisy portable generators in the market.
The iQ2000 is another model that is parallel ready in case you need more power than one unit can provide.
Conclusions about the Generac Portable Generators
Much of the time, you are going to want a general purpose portable generator. That’s why Generac makes so many in the GP series. There are even more if you include the XG, XT, and XP models.
With the wide range of engine sizes and available power, you’re almost certain to find one in that series that you will like. If not, then you can look to the more specialized series, such as the inverters.
Any of these high quality machines should be able to match your needs, as long as you pick one with enough power capacity to start with.
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