Portable diesel generators are similar to gasoline generators in that they are both tools used for power outages or other emergencies, but the two gadgets have different purposes. Portable diesel generators are most commonly used by construction companies who need reliable power they can take everywhere. Unlike gasoline powered devices, diesel generators do not require refueling and can go longer without being serviced.
As with all engine-powered devices, diesel generators come in a variety of sizes, with options designed to meet needs from less than 10 kVA up to over 1 MW. Smaller models are often 12V while heavier duty machines may be 24V or 48V. Diesel fuel must be mixed with oil before it is burned within the engine; this ensures clean running without risk of overheating.
We spent more than 70 hours on research and testing, interviewing experts about their experiences with diesel generators. We analyzed the specs of over 20 different models to determine what makes one generator better than another. Our guide explains how to tell which type of generator you need, how much power you’ll need it to produce, and what size will fit best in your garage or shed for storage.
If you are currently looking for the best portable diesel generator then continue reading our list below!
- 5 Best Portable Diesel Generator Reviewed
- 1. Generac XD5000E Diesel Portable Generator
- 2. AMICO Power AHW6000LE Diesel Welder and Generator, 6000 Watts Continuous and 6500 Watts Surge
- 3. DuroStar DS7000Q 6,500 Watt Enclosed Portable Diesel Generator
- 4. Pulsar PG10000B16 Portable Dual Fuel Generator
- 5. Cummins Onan Quiet Series Diesel RV Generator
- What To Look For In A Portable Diesel Generator
- Portable Diesel Generator Vs. Gasoline Generator
5 Best Portable Diesel Generator Reviewed
1. Generac XD5000E Diesel Portable Generator
Generac’s diesel power is perfect for just about any job. Whether it’s an emergency or planned outage, you can stay prepared with Generac XD5000E portable generator’s reliable Yanmar LW Series 435cc air-cooled service-free direct injection diesel engine. The less than 5% total harmonic distortion in True Power Technology lets you use sensitive electronics like tools and appliances when the electric grid is disrupted.
And when you need to reach wide areas in your home, office lobby, workshop, garage, or utility premises in broad daylight hours with high mechanical loads; the generous output of 5500 watts (120 volts) at 208 amps is there right on time. No emergencies? Try it out for clean backup power during holiday shows and large outdoor concerts. It’s great for contractors, too. The XD5000E is ideal for bulldozers and other heavy equipment where power is essential for maximum productivity.
2. AMICO Power AHW6000LE Diesel Welder and Generator, 6000 Watts Continuous and 6500 Watts Surge
Powerful and compact, the AMICO Power AHW6000LE diesel-powered welder is perfect for do-it-yourselfers needing power onsite with an immediate response. This diesel generator promises true portability providing up to 6000 watts of peak power in overload output mode.
A four stroke 10HP air cooled direct injection engine delivers clean starting electric starting with a continuous rated output of 3,300 Watts at 50Hz or 2800 Watts at 60Hz. The recoil type ignition system features a large automatic electric starter that ensures easy ignition even in cold conditions by cranking full throttle against compression pressure inside the cylinder similar to how you might start your car via keyless remote starter button. Wheel kit included
Offering three times more continuous power than a comparable gasoline-powered generator, the multi-fuel AMICO Power AHW6000LE is perfect for powering onsite tools and equipment, including high heat appliances such as electric water heaters. This diesel generator’s output power holds up better than a comparable gas-powered model when it comes to using more expensive tooling or equipment that requires more power. The low RPM engine has a longer life span.
3. DuroStar DS7000Q 6,500 Watt Enclosed Portable Diesel Generator
The DuroStar DS7000Q is a dependable and economical choice for power in any emergency situation. Dependability is guaranteed with the 4-stroke single cylinder engine and maintenance free alternator. The Remote Start and Electric start makes operation easy and convenient, and with fuel capacity of 3.8 gallons, you will have plenty of emergency power with only three hours of refueling time needed when running on gasoline or propane/gas mix (with 50:1 gas to oil volume).
A full compliment of volt meters, circuit breakers, low fuel indicator light all help ease your mind when it comes to ensuring the generator continues operating even when under pressure. Safety has not been left out as the DuroStar DS 7000Q includes GFI outlets and a 120V AC outlet to accommodate sensitive electronic equipment.
4. Pulsar PG10000B16 Portable Dual Fuel Generator
Pulsar PG10000B16 dual fuel portable generator is engineered with advanced features and functionality to ensure reliable performance. This model also offers 420cc 15HP single cylinder, 4 Stroke, OHV engine which provides peak output of 10, 000 watts and typical operation output of 8, 000 watts on gas (standard running). It has a peak output of 9, 000 watts on LPG (standard running) when used as back-up power supply for an extended period of time or in emergency situations when there’s no local utility service available.
With the ability to run both gasoline and liquid propane fuels in one high-quality machine, Pulsar PG10000B16 dual fuel portable generator has all the right stuff to make you feel secure and comfortable in the knowledge that you’ll never be let down with its massive power capacities.
Its easy to use digital controls make switching between gas and electric fuel sources seamless, while its durable steel frame makes it simple to transport anywhere you may need backup power in case of an emergency. The PG10000B16’s never-flat wheels allow your generator to work even on rugged terrain, with convenient drop-down handles making storage safe and easy when not in use.
5. Cummins Onan Quiet Series Diesel RV Generator
The tranquil, natural setting of your RV is a beautiful and sacred place – but outfitting it can make it feel like home. Help maintain the peace and tranquility with the Cummins Onan Quiet Series Diesel RV Generator, which will power up to 3 rooftop air conditioners without producing any noise louder than what you would hear in America’s national parks.
Equipped with high-quality electrical output as well as an hour meter so that you know just how much time has been used, this generator is perfect during those moments when AC from shore/alternate means doesn’t cut it anymore. Runs on diesel or unleaded gasoline for versatility.
What To Look For In A Portable Diesel Generator
A portable diesel generator is a great investment if you frequently host large groups of people or find yourself in scenarios where power outages are common. When choosing the right generator for your needs, it is important to keep in mind a few key factors:
- Power rating – The power rating of a generator is determined by its wattage. Make sure to look at the watt-hour rating of your devices to see how many watts you will need for each device.
- Fuel type – Diesel generators are extremely fuel efficient, running around one gallon per hour, but require more regular maintenance than their gas counterparts. Gasoline can be used in a pinch, but is not as efficient as diesel, and does not support as much wattage.
- Noise level – Many generators have a decibel rating that you should consider. If your generator will be placed outside or inside your home, noise can be an important factor to keep in mind when deciding on a model.
- Fuel capacity – For large events where the generator needs to run for an extended period of time, it is important to get a generator with high fuel capacity.
- Portability – The primary goal of a portable generator is whether or not you can easily transport the engine. Portable generators are mostly utilized for outdoor excursions, and a simple generator is a must-have. It’s difficult to carry heavy portable diesel inverters that support big appliances alone. Lastly, if it isn’t already included, you’ll need a portable diesel generator with built-in wheels. Handles are also crucial for moving big generators around.
- Warranty – While you should always inspect the equipment thoroughly before use, it is good to know that your warranty will cover malfunctions in the future.
Portable Diesel Generator Vs. Gasoline Generator
There are two types of portable generators: gasoline and diesel. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but most people opt for a portable diesel generator because of the numerous benefits it offers over gasoline-powered models.
Diesel generators run on a special type of fuel called “diesel,” which is commonly used in large ships and industrial devices. It’s important to note that diesel, while similar, is not the same as regular gas. It has a higher cetane rating and requires specific parts to run efficiently. Diesel generators are extremely efficient, running on about one gallon per hour, meaning that you can keep them running for quite some time without having to refill the tank.
- Power – Diesel engines are known for their power output, generating more watts than their gasoline counterparts.
- Fuel economy – Diesel generators have a higher wattage output per gallon, meaning that you can keep them running for longer periods without having to refuel. This is particularly beneficial if you are planning on hosting an event where the generator will be used for many hours at a time, like for tailgating or camping.
- Maintainability – Diesel generators require less maintenance than gasoline models, but still require regular oil changes to keep the engine running properly. They are also much quieter than gas generators, operating at about 56 decibels.
- Vibration – Diesel engines do not vibrate nearly as much as gasoline, which is beneficial in a portable generator that you plan on using for a prolonged period of time.
- Durability – Diesel engines are typically more durable than gasoline and will last longer when used frequently.
- Noise – While diesel generators are much quieter than their gasoline counterparts, the noise level is still substantial (at about 56 decibels). However, if your primary concern is noise pollution, it would make sense to go with a diesel generator over a gas model. They also operate at less than half the frequency of gasoline models (which can be irritating to the human ear).
Gasoline generators run on regular unleaded fuel and come in smaller and lighter models, perfect for indoor and close-range use like tailgating or camping where sound levels aren’t a major factor.
- Noise – Gasoline generators typically produce about 65 decibels of noise, which is not ideal for indoor use but works fine outdoors. They are also much lighter than diesel models (at around 35 pounds), and can be carried with one hand. They do not require oil changes like diesel models either!
- Fuel capacity – The lower wattage output per gallon means that gasoline generators will need to be refueled more often than their diesel counterparts, which makes them less efficient when used for long periods of time at an event or on the road. That being said, if you are using your generator for short periods of time only, then refilling gas tanks would not be an inconvenience.
- Power output – Gasoline generators produce less wattage than their diesel counterparts, making them better suited to small jobs like tailgating or camping. You should not use gasoline models to power major appliances in your house for an extended period of time, but they are ideal for powering necessities like lights and TVs.
- Durability – Gasoline engines tend to wear out faster than diesel models if used frequently. This is because gas generators require regular oil changes to function properly. They also vibrate more than diesel generators, which will affect the user’s comfort level over prolonged periods of time.
- Availability – Gasoline generator parts are harder to come by than those designed for diesel products, so it may be difficult to find replacements during peak seasons (like Christmas). If you are planning to take your generator out on the road for an extended period of time, you will want to make sure that parts are easy to replace.
What is quiet for a portable diesel generator?
A: For a diesel generator, it is 56 decibels.
Are diesel generators better than gas?
A: Diesel generators tend to have greater power output and fuel capacity than their gasoline counterparts. As a result, they are more efficient in the long run. They also produce lower decibel levels, which makes them ideal for indoor use.
What is a popular use for portable diesel generators?
A: Some popular uses for this product would be during tailgating and camping. It can also be used on construction sites or by professionals like plumbers and electricians who need an outdoor power source.