If you are looking for a sturdy generator that will stand the test of time, a diesel generator is the way to go. This buyers guide will help you decide on the best generator for you and your needs.
Why would you want a portable diesel generator?
Fuel Lasts Longer Than Gasoline
Diesel may be more expensive at the outset, but it also lasts longer and is more shelf stable than gasoline is.
More Energy Efficient
Diesel engines are built to be more energy-efficient, so you will get more energy out of the fuel that you do have to buy.
Diesel engines are also built sturdier so you will have less issues with things being broken or damaged through regular wear and tear.
Require Less Maintenance
Longer Lasting Engine
Terms to Watch For:
The volume that your generator creates when it runs is measured in a unit called decibels. These are notated as dB on a scale of 1 to 100. The higher the number of decibels, the louder your generator will be when you get it home. Most generators stay within 70 dB, which is about the equivalent of a running vacuum cleaner in the same room.
However, the closer you are to your generator, the louder it will seem. This is why volume measurement is always done from approximately 7 meters or 23 feet away from the generator.
Running vs. Starting Watts:
You will see two different numbers of produced Watts on your generator’s label – running watts and starting/peak watts.
The higher of the two numbers is going to be your peak wattage, as you might have guessed from the name. This wattage is meant to be used when appliances and devices are attached to it and starting up, because many devices require more power when they are starting than when they run.
If you plan to use things like coffee makers or hot plates that need to heat quickly, this is when you would use your starting wattage. The rest of the time you should be running entirely off of your running wattage.
The running wattage is what you need to keep your eye on. You need to make sure that can run everything you need to off of the running wattage, because you can only run the peak wattage for about half an hour at a time without damaging your generators engine.
Standby vs. Portable
Frequently Asked Questions:
What type of oil should I use?
When you’re putting oil in your generator, make sure you check the owners manual to make sure that you are using the correct kind of oil for its particular engine.
Keeping oil in your engine makes it run more economically, safer and ends with lower emissions overall. Your owners manual should recommend a particular kind of oil, and you can do research online from there to see what is best for you.
Whichever you choose to use, you need to change the oil in your generator regularly to keep it in the best shape possible for as long as possible.
How do portable diesel generators compare to propane or gasoline-powered generators?
When you compare diesel generators to propane or gasoline powered generators, diesel generators regularly come out on top in every way, except for the price tag and the weight.
Is it safe to buy a Used Portable Diesel Generator?
Yes! Unlike generators that use gasoline or propane, the engines inside diesel generators are built to last. Buying used makes it easier for you to get a great generator without spending a ton of money. You should do a thorough inspection before you put any money down, just like you would for a car, but there’s nothing wrong with buying a used generator in general.
Where and why are Portable Diesel Generators Used?
Portable diesel generators are most often used on construction sites and by small and medium-size businesses for events or power outages. They are used all over the world, and by the time you have finished reading this article, hopefully we will have pointed you to the generator that will make sure that it runs in your home or business as well.
What are the best portable diesel generators on the market?
In general, the brands that build diesel generators are some of the best on the market.
Brands to keep in mind are:
Top 10 Best portable diesel generators
Top Portable Diesel Generator For the Money
The DuroStar DS7000Q is one of the heaviest generators on this list at 305 pounds, but it’s one of the most reliable and powerful diesel generators. It’s chief method of movements requires using the wheels on the bottom because of the weight, but it is worth the trouble in the long run. This generator will likely get you the most bang for your buck.
It has 6000 starting watts and 5,500 running watts, making it powerful enough to power most combinations of appliances without too powerful for you to justify using.
Keep in mind that the warranty on it is not ideal. DuroStar offers a full unit replacement within 30 days of delivery, or replacement parts within one year of delivery. If your generator is damaged or a part stops working, you’re more likely to be able to get help at a local repair shop than with your warranty.
Best portable diesel generator
Best small-sized portable diesel generator
Depending on how you want to measure size there are two options for this category.
The generator with the smallest physical footprint is the Generac XD5000E, which has measurements of 38 x 22 x 25 inches. However, it weighs about 250 pounds.
The lightest generator worth buying is the Gilette GEN-PRO GPED-65EK. It weighs only 200 pounds, but it measures 48 x 48 x 48 inches, making it one of the largest generators.
Both are great generators and will offer you plenty of power, but offer very different prices. If you want something small that you can have on standby, the Generac will be your better option. If you want something that you can easily lift and move around, the pound weight difference for the Gilette will work best for you.
Best portable diesel generator for RV and camping
The Generac QuietPac 5851 QP85D 8,500 Watt Diesel Powered RV Generator is going to be your best option for an RV. It is specifically designed for class a motor homes, and is protected from the environment by design. You’ll especially like this generator if you already have a diesel RV. It comes with corrosion protection in the form of rhino coating on the inside. You can access it from one side to do all the maintenance, and the muffler is one of the most powerful on the market.
For camping you’ll likely want something that is more portable. The Generac XD5000E 5000 Running Watts Diesel Generator may be perfect for you. It has plenty of power to run whatever you need for up to a week without refilling. It’s pricey, but with wheel kit and the sturdy build, this will be perfect for the campground.
Best portable diesel generator for Home use
The ETQ DCGLE 6,000 Watt Diesel Powered Portable Generator offers 6000 running watts, making it perfect for a backup to your home. It has several different outlets, and can run for about 12 hours at a 50 percent load, which means you can leave it running and not have to worry about it. However, it is 224 pounds, which is pretty heavy for one person to move, even with the handle and wheels attached to it.