Best Dual Fuel Generator 2017-2018: Power When You Need It

By admin | Home & Garden Tools

BEST DUAL FUEL GENERATORS
1. DUROMAX XP4850EH
2. CHAMPION POWER EQUIPMENT 76533
3. DUROMAX XP4400EH
4. DUROMAX XP12000EH
5. SMARTER TOOLS ST-GP7500DEB

Having a power generator is a great way to stay prepared for power outage emergencies. It’s also a convenient and practical solution to your power needs on camping trips.

Why Should I Get A Dual Fuel Generator?

A dual fuel generator has the added advantage for you to use either gasoline or propane. While this makes the dual fuel generator pricier than the typical gas-powered generator, the flexibility of choice is a great plus. In the event of a city-wide power outage, you may not have the option of getting gasoline to run your gas-powered generator if you have no gasoline at home and your local gas stations are down too.

With two fuel options, you can switch to propane if you run out of gasoline to power your dual fuel generator. This is especially helpful if the power outage lasts for days. If you live in an area that experiences seasonal changes, a dual fuel generator might be a better investment than a normal gas-powered generator.

Compared to propane, gasoline has a shorter shelf life as heat causes it to evaporate. On the other hand, while propane has a longer shelf life, it contracts once temperatures drop below 4.5°C (or about 40°F). This in turn causes a decrease in pressure in the propane tank and the generator may not be able to start up if it’s just powered by propane. With the dual fuel generator, you have the option of powering the generator with propane during the summer months and switching to gasoline during the winter months.

Contrary to popular belief, a dual fuel generator is not less effective than a single fuel generator. Whether it’s for powering construction tools, small appliances or the refrigerator and other household appliances during a power outage, the dual fuel generator will get the job done like any other single fuel generator. When it comes to the sizes, output and other specifications, there are many options that you can choose from to find a dual fuel generator that meets your requirements. In fact, dual fuel generators and even tri-fuel generators are becoming increasingly popular due to their versatility as compared to single fuel generators.

What Should I Consider When Buying A Dual Fuel Generator?

The main question you should ask when buying any generator is your total wattage requirement. To determine that, you should list out all the appliances, electrical devices and tools that you expect to run on your generator in the event of a power outage or if you’re out on a camping trip.

For a useful guide to decide what is the right size to fit your needs, check out Buffalo Tools for their decision guide when it comes to buying generators. The guide gives you a detailed breakdown of the different wattage requirements of common electrical devices and a useful calculation table to assist you in deciding which generator size is most suitable for you.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at my top five choices that you may want to consider if you’re on the hunt for a dual fuel generator.

Best Dual Fuel Generators

Best Choice

DuroMax XP4850EH

As you will see from this article, DuroMax is one of the leaders in the market when it comes to reliable and portable dual fuel generators. Here, we introduce the DuroMax XP4850EH which is a good mid-ranged option.

The DuroMax XP4850EH comes with a 7HP engine that is decent enough to help you run your important appliances (refrigerator, lights and other basic appliances) uninterrupted in the event of a power outage. This dual fuel generator can deliver a constant output of 3,850 watts and a maximum output of 4,850 watts. The 4-gallon fuel tank will give you approximately 8 hours of running time on half load. The fuel gauge allows you to check the fuel level to see if you need to refuel. The low oil indicator sensor system has an auto idle control feature which ensures that the dual fuel generator will shut down automatically when it detects a low oil level. All these are great features that can help to extend the useful life of your dual fuel generator.

For your convenience, this dual fuel generator comes with a few power outlets on its power panel: two standard 120V 20 Amp 3 prong power outlets and a 120V/240V 30 Amp twist-lock power outlet. It also has a quiet exhaust and purportedly produces a noise level of up to 69dbs, which is impressively low for a power generator. For portability, its entire engine sits on a durable frame with a wheel set and even comes with motor mounts on each corner to reduce the noise level while the generator is up and running. The DuroMax XP4850EH also has a quiet exhaust. It is EPA-certified but not CARB-approved.

Like the Champion 76533, this dual fuel generator set is also on the lighter side at a maximum of 130lbs. If you can afford to spend slightly more, this is a good alternative to consider for a dual fuel generator.

Best Dual Fuel Generator (The Affordable Option) DuroMax XP4400EH

Amazon has a great deal for the DuroMax XP4400EH now—this dual fuel generator is going at cheaper at a price tag. This makes it the most inexpensive dual fuel generators of my top five picks.

The DuroMax XP4400EH comes with a 7HP engine and it can supply 3,500 running watts and a maximum output of 4,400 watts. This is enough to run a number of power tools or appliances with relative ease. When running at 50% load, this dual fuel generator can last for up to 20 hours before it needs to be refueled. This is quite efficient for a power generator.

In terms of convenience of use, the DuroMax XP4400EH comes with a few nifty features that you will love. This dual fuel generator has an electric start with a back-up EZ pull recoil for a hassle-free experience when you crank up the engine. Its four-gallon gas tank comes with a fuel gauge so that you can easily tell how much fuel has been used and when you need to refill the tank. Other convenient features include a low-oil auto shutdown system, a full power panel with volt meter, circuit breaker, its 120V 20 Amp 3-prong outlets and a 120V/240V 30 Amp twist-lock outlet, as well as a muffler that helps to reduce engine noise. At 130lbs, the DuroMax XP4400EH is one of the lighter dual fuel generators for medium to heavy-duty power needs. It comes with a wheel kit which makes this dual fuel generator extremely portable. This dual fuel generator is not CARB-approved, which means that it is not compliant for use in California. However the DuroMax XP4400EH is EPA-approved which means that it is perfectly safe for use in national parks if you need a power generator for your camping trip.

Overall, the DuroMax XP4400EH is an affordable option if you are looking for a portable, reliable but inexpensive dual fuel generator. That’s probably why a lot of customers to-date who have purchased this dual fuel generator have given it great compliments and ratings.

Best Dual Fuel Generator (Lightest Option) Champion Power Equipment 76533

At 122lbs, the Champion Power Equipment 76533 is the lightest of my dual fuel generator picks.

With its powerful 6HP 4-stroke engine, this dual fuel generator delivers 3,800 running watts and 4,750 peak watts of power, giving you the dependability you will need in the event of an emergency or when you are outdoors on a camping trip. Its 3.4-gallon fuel tank can run for up to 8 hours on a full tank of gasoline at half load. On a 5-gallon/20lb propane tank, this dual fuel generator can run for up to 5½ hours at half load.

For safe operation, this dual fuel generator comes with a fuel selector switch for you to choose gasoline or propane. Other safety features include a low oil shut-off sensor, overload protection and a smart fuel gauge that tells you the volts, hertz and operating hours. The Champion Power Equipment 76533 comes with a power panel that offers four power outlets in total: one 120V duplex outlet, a TT-30 Amp RV outlet to power up an RV and a 120V twist-lock power outlet. If the battery to start up the generator isn’t charged, fret not as this dual fuel generator has a recoil start. The accompanying wheel kit has a pretty durable frame that comes with 8-inch wheels and conveniently foldable handles. This dual fuel generator is 50 State Compliant, and both EPA and CARB-approved.

The TT-30 RV receptacle makes this dual fuel generator an ideal unit for running an RV on your weekend road trips. This dual fuel generator is also sufficient to power your refrigerator or your air-conditioning unit in the event of a blackout. Above all, what makes this dual fuel generator stand out is its optimal portability. There may be times when you need to lift the dual fuel generator and cannot rely on the wheel kit, for instance when you are loading or unloading it, and that is where its relative light weight will come in handy.

Best Dual Fuel Generator (IF YOU CAN SPLURGE – The “BEAST” Option): DuroMax XP12000EH

The DuroMax XP12000EH is another great product by this California-based company. It’s equipped with a robust and powerful engine— 18HP 457cc OHV engine. The engine is mounted using four-point rubber mountings, which makes sure that this dual fuel generator runs smoothly and is made to last, even if it’s subject to tough working conditions. The cylinder sleeves and bearings are made from quality materials— cast iron and steel respectively. The DuroMax XP12000EH has an impressive run-time of 10 hours on gasoline at 50% maximum output and 20 hours on gasoline at 50% maximum output. With up to 12,000 watts of power, this dual fuel generator will help you weather any emergency power outage.

This dual fuel generator is also equipped with practical and useful safety features. The main overload circuit breaker and individual circuit breakers for each power outlet socket helps to prevent any damage due to circuit overload or a short circuit. Once the power load has been corrected, the user can reset the circuit breakers. This dual fuel generator also comes with other common safety features like an oil level alert system to prevent overheating or damage due to running the engine on insufficient fuel, a spark arresting muffler to minimize sparks that are potential fire hazards, and a volt meter for you to keep a close eye on the voltage level and make sure that your appliances don’t get fried or spoilt due to over or under voltage.

As for ease of use, this dual fuel generator is functional without being excessive. The DuroMax XP12000EH has two regular 120V power outlets, a 120V 30 Amp twist-lock outlet and a 120V/240V power outlet. With its electric starter, you can easily start up this dual fuel power generator with just a turn of a key. The recoil starter enables you to start up the dual fuel power generator even if the battery runs low.

At 269lbs, this is the heaviest dual fuel generator of my top five recommendations. There’s no wonder why this dual fuel generator has been nicknamed as the “beast”. Despite the weight, the DuroMax XP12000EH is still portable thanks to the accompanying transportation kit which includes wheels and handles. With the exception that it is non CARB-approved (it is EPA-approved), I would say that this dual fuel generator seems to be well worth your buck and its “weight”. It comes with a two-year limited warranty.

Best Dual Fuel Generator (IF YOU CAN SPLURGE – The ALTERNATIVE Option): Smarter Tools ST-GP7500DEB

If you have the budget, I would recommend the Smarter Tools ST-GP7500DEB dual fuel generator. Although this dual fuel generator is costly, you can tell that it is well worth the money based on its product specifications. The Smarter Tools ST-GP7500DEB has 7,500 starting watts/6,200 running watts on gasoline (6,750/5,580 when run on propane). This is more than sufficient to power most of your household appliances like your refrigerator, your microwave oven, heater and even the lights. It has a 6.6-gallon tank. When filled to the brim, this dual fuel generator can run for 9 hours on gasoline at a 50% load or 7-8 hours with a 20lb propane cylinder. Some Amazon customers have also remarked that this dual fuel generator’s powerful 13HP 4-stroke air-cooled OHV engine lasted longer than normal motors in other power generators.

Smarter Tools ST-GP7500DEB does not compromise on safety features—it’s equipped with conceivable safety features that any user would want or need from a power generator. This dual fuel generator comes with overload protection which protects both the generator and your appliances. It is also equipped with a digital hour meter which keeps track of run-time for scheduled maintenance and a volt meter that ensures the right voltage for your appliances. Another safety feature would be its electric start and low oil shutdown system that ensures that you will not be in danger if you fail to check the oil. As for power outlets, this dual fuel generator has four 120V 20 Amp outlets, one 120/240V 30 Amp twist-lock AC outlet, one 120V 30 Amp twist-lock outlet and one 12V 8A DC outlet, giving you multiple options to provide power at any location. Other convenient features include the fuel gauge so that you can tell when you need to add more fuel as well as the 10-inch no-flat wheels and handle-kit for better portability. This dual fuel generator is EPA and CARB-approved, and it comes with a two-year limited warranty. At 180lbs, the Smarter Tools ST-GP7500DEB is just slightly heavier than other dual fuel generators, but a lightweight option for a dual fuel generator for high power requirements.

One minor complaint from users was that this dual fuel generator can be quite noisy. Although this dual fuel generator comes with a quiet operation spark arrest muffler to reduce noise levels to 72db on full load, it is not one of the quietest dual fuel generators. And the noise level was generally acceptable to use.

Concluding Thoughts

The dual fuel generator offers the best of both worlds with its versatility in terms of fuel options. If you are looking to get a power generator, do consider getting a dual fuel generator instead of a typical gas-powered generator. Be sure to check out our top five dual fuel generator picks!

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