The Best Portable Diesel Generators – A Review

As with all portable generators, a good portable diesel generator has a wide number of uses. It’s a great way to obtain backup power for your home should you lose power for any reason, and is also the perfect solution for getting power to more remote locations. Diesel generators are commonly used on building sites and in the construction industry due to their great fuel efficiency and power potential.

Portable generators come in different types. The main variations are propane, gasoline, and diesel. Each of these fuel types offers its own advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage of fuelling with diesel is fuel efficiency. Diesel generators are incredibly fuel-efficient, output a lot of power per gallon of fuel compared to their gasoline and propane alternatives.

However, the market of diesel generators is interesting – there are some that should be avoided, and there are some that should definitely be considered. In this post, we’re going to take a look at some of what we believe to be the best diesel generators available for purchase today. When looking at each product, we’ll compare what’s good and what could be improved. Each product also includes a key features list, which will detail in brief all of the numbers that you should be aware of when purchasing a generator.

DuroStar DS7000Q – A Reliable and Well-Priced Diesel Generator

Generators made by DuroStar are well known for being reliable and efficient. The DS7000Q is an extremely Powerful diesel generator that has a starting wattage of 6000 watts and is able to provide continuous watts of power at 5500 watts.

It’s fitted with a powerful 4-stroke, single cylinder engine that uses direct diesel injection. It is certainly powerful enough to keep larger appliances around the home going in the event of power loss.

The DS7000Q has a lot of advanced features on offer. For example, it can be started either via an electric start button, a recoil pull start or even remotely.

The DS7000Q is a well-contained unit on wheels. On opening it up, there’s the main panel with all of the features that you would expect from a high-end powerful generator such as this one. There is a warning light that alerts you when the oil level is too low, as well as a voltage meter to tell you how much power the generator is currently outputting and how much you are using. Also integrated are safety features such as circuit breakers, meaning that the generator is protected from overloading and the risk of fire is therefore vastly reduced.

In total, the DS7000Q has got five different power outlets. It’s fitted with two standard 120 volt 20A sockets, which are perfect for use with any household appliances. If you’re planning on using the generator outside or on a building site, for example, there are a further two twist-lock power sockets (120V and 240V respectively) to cater for this.

One of the disadvantages of diesel generators are the vibrations and noise that they can sometimes make. This is due to the nature of diesel engines and cannot be avoided all that much. However, DuroStar has made sure that any noise and vibrations are minimized as much as they possibly can be with this generator. DuroStar has installed anti-vibration mounting plates between the engine of the generator and the base of the frame. The avoids as much metal-on-metal contact as possible, and vibrations, therefore, are greatly reduced.

These mounting plates do not only avoid vibration however, but they also extend the life and durability of the generator. To ensure the generator is as quiet as a possibly can be, it is also fitted with soundproofing mufflers to keep the noise down.

The DS7000Q is an efficient generator that will run for around 12 hours when being used at 50% capacity. It’s got a large fuel of just under 3.9 gallons in size. It’s fitted with a fuel gauge too, meaning that you’ll never run out of fuel unexpectedly.

The DS7000Q is by no means a lightweight generator. However, it’s still easy to move to wherever you would like as it is fitted with wheels.

 

Key Features

  • A huge amount of power – 6000 starting watts and 5500 watts of continuous power
  • Can be started electrically via button or remote
  • Recoil starter for backup
  • Quiet as possible – the DS7000Q has noise great reduction, such as mounting plates between the generator and base to reduce vibration and noise
  • Portable – it comes fitted with a wheel kit
  • Efficient – at half-load, this generator will run for around 12 hours.
  • A large fuel tank of 3.9 gallons in size

 

Downsides

  • Not Cheap – that said, no generator that offers this level of  power and quality is going to be cheap
  • Warranty periods are too short – DuroStar only provide a 30-day replacement cover, and one year of parts coverage

 

Generac XD5000E – The Inverter Generator with Clean Power

It is not commonplace for a diesel generator to also be an inverter generator. Inverter generators are those which use inverter technology, in order to put out clean power that’s free of or that has minimal harmonic distortion. Power with minimum harmonic distortion is the power that smaller, more sensitive devices like. This is due to their more sensitive circuitry.

The main reason that the Generac XD5000E is a particularly special diesel generator is because it is an inverter generator. The XD5000E uses ” True Power Technology” developed by Generac in order to output power that has less than 5% harmonic distortion in total.

This tiny amount of harmonic distortion means that this Generac is safe to keep your smaller electronics powered.

The XD5000E is a generator that’s got a fair amount of power as well. It uses a 43cc direct injection diesel engine to generate electricity. This engine is air cooled as well, meaning no need to worry about coolants and liquids constantly. It has a peak starting wattage of 5500 watts and is able to provide continuous watts of up to 5000 while running.

The Generac XD5000E is an extremely well-built generator. It has a hard wearing, welded steel frame that is incredibly tough. The generator is not lightweight at approximately 250 pounds, but it has been designed to be lifted as easily as possible. If you’d rather not lift the generator, for a small extra cost a wheel kit can also be purchased.

One of the main astounding figures about this generator is the fuel tank at how long it will run for on one tank of fuel. The fuel tank is a humongous 12 gallons. When running at half capacity, the XD5000E won’t run out of fuel for more than 32 hours. It’s extremely efficient.

The generator can be started by a traditional recoil start or via an electric starting button. However, if you would like to use the electric start button a battery must be separately purchased.

Key Features

  • Large capacity fuel tank
  • Amazingly long runtime – a total of 32 hours when at 50% load!
  • Inverter generator – the XD5000E is more than suitable for powering smaller, more sensitive electronic devices. The power of that it outputs has less than 5% total harmonic distortion.
  • Hard-wearing and tough – the steel frame that this generator is made from is extremely durable. It is suitable for use in any location that you would like – just as much so a building site as in the back garden of your home.
  • Variety of power outlets – the XD5000E has a lot of power sockets. It has 4 120V 20A outlets, and a further 2 120V twist-lock outlets.
  • Safe – there are a lot of safety features included in this generator –  these include automatic low oil detection and shutdown, as well as circuit breakers to minimize fire risk
  • EPA Approved
  • CARB Compliant

Downsides

Battery and wheel kit not included as standard – they are on a number of other generators in this price range

 

Pulsar PG7000D – The Cheapest

The Pulsar PG7000D is the cheapest diesel generator that is still worth consideration on our list.

When you purchase a diesel generator, it should be considered to be a long term investment – a piece of kit that is going to serve you well and provide you with high-quality power for a long time to come. Whilst reviews on the Pulsar PG7000D are mixed, it has been said by a number of customers that there is no guarantee of this long life. It has been known to fail unexpectedly and prematurely due to a couple of problems.

This being said, there are also a large number of customers that are happy with their purchase of the Pulsar PG7000D, and that to rate it highly.

The PG7000D is fitted with a single cylinder, 4-stroke air cooled engine. It has a maximum wattage output of 7000 watts and is able to provide continuous power at 5500 watts. It is easy to start, and can be started by either an electric starting button or a traditional pull start – both are fitted.

There are five power sockets on the PG7000D – 2 standard 120V outlets, another 120V/240V twist-lock outlet, a 120V twist-lock outlet, and finally a 12V outlet. Alongside these sockets on the well laid out control panel is information on how much power is being used and outputted by the generator, as well as a time meter that indicates how much time is left in the generator at the current level of usage.

One of the positive points about the PG 7000D is the volume that it operates at. Pulsar went out of its way to make sure that this unit was well soundproofed, and was successful. It operates at less than 70 decibels, which is not much louder than a regular conversation between a few people.

The runtime on this generator is not as good as its rivals. It will run from a tank that’s 4 gallons in size, for only 9.5 hours when at 50% capacity. This is not all that efficient. The control panel is however fitted with a fuel gauge to make sure that you know when to top up the fuel, meaning that you won’t unexpectedly run out and lose power.

The PG7000D is heavy, weighing in at more than 350 lbs. And wheel kit is included in the package, but there is no easy way of pulling the generator as no handle is included. The fact that there are no handles on the unit makes picking it up, by any number of people, quite a challenging ordeal.

Key Features

  • It’s affordable
  • Quiet for a diesel generator – it operates at less than 70 decibels.
  • Easy to use and read control/information panel that advises when maintenance is needed
  • Fuel gauge ensuring no immediate and unexpected power loss
  • Powerful with a maximum power output of 7000 watts
  • Good variety of power outlets

 

Downsides

  • Quite a number of negative reviews
  • It’s not CARB compliant and therefore can’t be used everywhere in the USA

 

Conclusion

The DuroStar DS7000Q is a well-defined diesel generator that has a lot of power. It’s got some fancy features too, including a remote start. It comes fitted with a wheel kit and can be moved around by one person. If you’re looking for a proper diesel generator that you’re willing to invest in, it’s a good choice.

The XC5000E from Generac as one of the very few diesel generators available that is also an inverter generator. It is safe to use the power straight from this Generac to power smaller devices. The XD5000E also has an astonishing run time and large fuel tank, being able to run for more than 32 hours at 50% capacity. In our opinion, it’s the best diesel generator available.

The Pulsar PG7000D, whilst not necessarily a bad unit, is one with mixed reviews. It is the cheapest and is still powerful. However, its quality and length of life are questionable. If you are interested in Pulsar products, we’ve got the Pulsar PG10000B16 included in this review.