Most generators you’ll see on the market are gasoline-powered. While it may seem common, did you know that diesel generators also exist?
In this post, we’ll be discussing the best portable diesel generator reviews to help you decide. But what makes it special?
First, it’s much more efficient than the gasoline or propane model. Since its diesel, it has a much higher energy density that results in more power per unit. In fact, they have been found to be up to 20% more efficient than other generators.
So, if you’re looking for a generator that can supply energy to a number of power-hungry appliances and devices, a diesel generator is ideal for saving you much money in fuel costs in the long run.
How to Choose the Best Diesel Backup Generator
There are many considerations you should make when buying a portable diesel generator.
The first thing that comes first is the size.
The size I’m referring to here is the amount of power that the generator is able to output. This is usually indicated in watts, for instance, 5000 watts or 10000 watts.
It’s necessary to estimate the total wattage requirement of all the items you need to power continuously. This is essential so you can identify the perfect diesel generator for you.
At first, it may be quite hectic, but trust me, it’s worth the effort. You don’t want to purchase a generator only to realize that it’s not sufficient enough to power your appliances together.
However, you will also not want to spend money on the oversized diesel when you only want to power two appliances, for example, a line of bulbs and a freezer.
Another thing to consider is the features available in each unit. Portable diesel generators can get pricier depending on the features that they have.
However, you can still save money by disregarding the features that you don’t need much. But, there are some important features that you wouldn’t want to compromise when looking for the best diesel generator. These include overvoltage protection, auto-oil shutoff, and circuit protection.
3. Portability and Ruggedness
The last and most important of all is to consider the portability and ruggedness of the diesel generator. This depends on where you intend to use it. The key areas to consider are the handles, wheel kit, weight, and overall construction quality.
The 3 Best Portable Diesel Generator Reviews
1. DuroStar DS7000Q 6,500 Watt Portable Diesel Generator
Best for: Farms and ranches, construction site, RVs, and small to medium size homes
Not suitable for: Camping and boats
- Lots of power
- Enclosed structure for low-noise operations
- Lacks an hour-reading meter
- Starting Watts: 6500
- Running Watts: 5500
- Noise Level: 65-70 dBA
- Fuel Type: Diesel
- Tank Size: 3.83 gal
- Run Time: 12 hours
- Dimensions: 37.8”x 22”x 30.3”
- Weight: 305lbs
Duropower is the brand for someone who’s looking for a budget-friendly diesel generator.
Durostar DS7000Q outputs 6,500 watts of starting power and 5,500 watts of continuous power. This means it has enough wattage to let you use this generator in different applications at home, at a construction site, and even in farms and ranches.
The portable diesel generator is powered by a 418cc, 186F, direct-injection engine. Duropower has its excellent efficiency in doing a heavy-duty performance.
The portable generator’s engine draws fuel from a 3.83-gallon tank. The tank may be smaller, but this has a capacity of providing you for up to 12 hours of runtime at 50% load. These features are very impressive for such a small tank.
On the other hand, the control panel has a basic layout. This makes it very easy to understand and operate. It also has almost everything you need and perhaps a little bit more for a diesel generator at this price tag. You’ll find a (2) 20A, 120v outlets for household appliances, a 120v Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI) outlet and 12v, 120v and 220v outlets.
Durostar DS7000Q is quite heavy at 305 pounds. However, its handle and 4-caster kit still qualify it as a portable option.
Other impressive features include automatic low-oil shutdown, key ignition, low fuel indicator, and wireless remote control.
2. Generac 6864-XD5000E Diesel Generator
Best for: Home use, emergency power solution, worksites, and farms
Not suitable for: Camping and boating
- Industrial-quality frame
- Capable engine
- Long runtime
- Almost inexistent peak watts
- Starting Watts: 5500
- Running Watts: 5000
- Noise Level: 72 dBA
- Fuel Type: Diesel
- Tank Size: 12gal
- Run Time: 32.4 hours
- Dimensions: 33.1” x 22.5” x 25.6”
When compared to Durostar DS7000Q, the first thing that’s impressive with Generac 6864-XD5000E is its open shell design. Although the enclosed design of the Durostar model enables to reduce noise levels, I feel it also makes accessing the engine a tad bulky.
Generac 6864-XD5000E open design allows quick tweaks on the engine. The shell is industrial-quality and is made of fully welded 1 ¼’’ steel tubing frames for durability. It also has a high-quality set of mufflers that make this diesel generator quiet. This is commonly used in most neighborhoods.
The diesel generator uses a Japan-made Yanmar LW Series 435cc air-cooled, direct-injection engine that outputs 9.3 HP at 3600 RPMs.
This portable diesel generator seems to have been engineered purposely for home use with its 5500 starting watts and 5000 running watts.
This also seems good enough for most outdoor applications because of its 12-gallon fuel tank with a long run time of 32.4 hours while operating at half load. As long as you don’t exceed its output, it’s okay with low-power construction tools outside.
The controls are set on a rugged panel too and convenient to get a good hang of. The outlets are housed all in a control panel system. These include a 120-volt 30A twist-lock outlet, 2 duplex 120-volt outlets with GCFI protection and a 30A, 120v/240v twist-lock outlet.
Impressively, this portable diesel generator has a meter-hour which you can check if it needs maintenance already.
Concerning portability, this diesel backup generator weighs 252 pounds. You can easily move it with a dual grip handle and a 2 never-flat wheels.
3. Sigma 7000W Silent Diesel Generator
- Very affordable
- Enormous power
- Electric start
- Little known brand
- Starting Watts: 7000
- Running Watts: 5500
- Noise Level 70 dBA
- Fuel Type: Diesel
- Tank size: 3.96 gal
- Run Time: 8 hours
- Dimensions: 37.5” x 22.5” x 30”
- Weight: 365 lbs.
Sigma Power Products are Indian-based brand that always includes in the list of generators. This 7000-watt diesel-powered generator deserves to be here on our list.
What will grab your attention first in this generator is its price, then, followed by its vast power output. To give you an idea, this Sigma Silent generator is 4 times cheaper than the Generac 6865, and yet more powerful.
This portable diesel generator is fitted with a 418cc 4-stroke engine with a maximum power output of 10 HP. It also offers an enormous 7000 watts of surge power and 5,500 watts of continuous power.
Whether you intend to use it as a portable power backup solution at home or you plan to use it on a job site, it’s with no doubt that this generator’s high peak watts will do you good.
Compared to its power output capabilities, its 3.96-gallon fuel tank isn’t the biggest. However, its 8-hour runtime at 50% load still means that you won’t need frequent fueling even if you are operating it throughout the day.
The control panel is choking with outlets including (2) 20A and 30A 120v outlets, 30A 120V AC outlets each with an individual breaker, and a 12v 8.3A DC outlet.
It also has a switch that gives you the option to choose between 120v and 240v, an electric starter, a low oil indicator, and a voltmeter.
Why Use Portable Diesel Generators?
1. It’s Efficient
Have you ever wondered why most infrastructural and high-power job site projects mostly use diesel generators? It’s because of the high efficiency, which equates to cost-effectiveness.
The type of ignition makes portable diesel generators much more efficient than gas generators.
Gas-powered generators use a spark plug to ignite a mixture of air and fuel. On the other hand, diesel engine generators subject air to high compression that causes high temperatures in the engine.
When diesel is injected, it causes powerful explosions that result in less fuel being wasted. This means that a diesel-powered generator will run longer using the same amount of fuel.
2. It Has a Longer Shelf Life
Portable diesel generators last longer than gasoline alternatives. This is because gas burns hotter than diesel, and this results in reduced life span in gas-powered generators. Moreover, diesel generators tend to self-lubricate which helps to reduce tear and wear.
3. It’s Easy to Maintain
Diesel engines rely on combustion-ignition means that they don’t employ a carburetor and spark plug. This means that accessing the engine for maintenance and general lubrication is much easier.
The mere absence of the carburetor and spark plug means that you have fewer components to take care of.
4. It Has a Longer Lifespan
Portable diesel generators are known for their ruggedness. With proper maintenance, experts say that a diesel generator can outlast a similar size gas generator by up to 3 times. This means that even if the initial outlay for diesel power generators is usually higher, these generators are practically cheaper in the long run.
Diesel generators are a great option if you are after a powerful and durable generator.
If you’re still unsure about what is the best portable diesel generator for your power needs after reading our reviews, I would recommend DuroStar DS7000Q due to its excellent value for money.
Even if the Sigma Silent model has a promise of higher wattage and a much lower cost, this brand is yet to be known.
On the other hand, the Durostar diesel backup generator comes from a reputable manufacturer. It has an impressive power output to fit in most household and outdoor power needs.