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Most people experience power outages a couple of times a year. In fact, some people deal with outages a lot more frequently, which can last up to a week or even more. Living in an area with extreme weather and natural disasters like hurricanes will often lead to power loss. When you don’t have an alternate source of power during these times, life can grind to a halt. The best 10,000-watt generator will power most of your home and work appliances, so you can continue to enjoy a near-normal routine during this time. It will keep the lights on, power your freezer and refrigerator, computer, TV, a stand-up AC unit, and charge your phones. You’ll also enjoy the convenience of remote power supply in the outdoors. Use it to run an inflator pump, electric trimmer, log splitter, electric griddle, some string lights, and even connect the RV.
For this review, we looked at the important features in a generator and compared their performance between different generators. We looked at things like rated power and maximum power output, runtime, noise level, and warranty, what role they play in the generator, and why you should pay close attention to them when choosing a generator.
It took us close several days of testing different generators to come to our conclusion. We tried 10,000-watt generators that used propane, gasoline, and some which used both, and we spoke to customers and electronics experts about their experiences using the units. We present the results of our research in a clear, easy-to-follow format that includes a comparison table, in-detail review of each product, and a buying guide. We believe this information will help you choose the best generator for your requirements.
Outlets: (4) 120V AC, (1) 50 Amp RV, (1) 120/240V twist-lock, and (1) 12V DC trickle charge
Noise level: 75 dB
Warranty: 2-year limited
More features: dual-fuel; electric and recoil start
The Pulsar PG10000B16 is designed to keep your household running in the face of sudden power outage. It has four 120V receptacles, one 120/240V twist-lock outlet, one 50 amp RV receptacle, and a 12V DC output; you can plug in a wide variety of appliances.
The generator comes with an electric push start with recoil backup and battery, which makes starting the generator quick and smooth.
It runs on both liquid propane and gasoline, and you can easily alternate between the two while the generator is on by simply flipping a switch. Pulsar employs the patented Switch & Go technology to make this possible.
When running a generator on gas, most people worry about running out of fuel. This won’t be a concern with this generator, as it has a 6.6-gallon tank that can last 12 hours at half load when running the generator non-stop.
The engine, too, is powerful and produces 10,000 peak watts/8,000 rated watts on gas and 9,000 peak watts/7,000 rated watts on LPG. Although you lose about 1,000 watts when using LPG, it still produces enough power to keep most appliances going for as long as you need.
Pulsar gives a 2-year limited warranty on the unit for non-commercial use.
More features: full GFCI protection, OSHA worksite compliant
This is a heavy-duty generator designed to be used at commercial level, so it’s quite heavy at 403 pounds (dry weight), but it has premium handles and wheels for easy mobility. To use it at home, you’ll need to override the GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Protection). Honda includes a detailed instruction manual that shows you how to do this; you won’t be fumbling in the dark here.
The generator uses a 630cc V-Twin GX630 engine that delivers more power consistently and reliably. It’s also fuel efficient with few emissions. Should you need to run the generator for hours at a time, the large 8.1-gallon tank will ensure there’s enough fuel to keep you going.
To ensure a stable supply of power, Honda uses the advanced DAVR (Digital Automatic Voltage Regulator), which keeps the voltage stability within a +1%, -1% range.
The Honda EB10000 may be a large machine, but it runs quietly for a generator of its size. It has a documented noise level of 73 dB at 7 meters, which is equivalent to the noise from a vacuum cleaner. Honda achieves this low noise level by using a muffler and a perforated mechanism to slowly and smoothly release exhaust gas, thus keeping the noise down.
There are a number of impressive technologies at play in this unit, including the Honda Oil Alert technology which shuts off the engine when oil levels run low. A two-wheel kit, easy folding handles, and hanger kit make transport and storage of the unit easy. It also has seven outlets for 120V and 240V connections, and an LCD monitor for easy performance monitoring and diagnostics.
It comes with a 3-year warranty for both commercial and residential use.
More features: electric and recoil start, EPA and CARB approved, automatic low oil shutoff, air-cooled engine
The DuroMax XP10000E runs on a 420cc, 18HP air-cooled engine that can power high-capacity appliances and small loads well. It has an electric start that ensures the generator kicks to life immediately you switch it on, and a recoil starter that makes starting the generator a breeze when you’re having trouble with the battery.
The generator has a noise-controlling muffler that produces a low rumble during operation, and with the noise level at 72 dBA, you will be able to run this generator without irritating your closest neighbors. They’ve also included a spark arrestor to make it safe for use in all outdoor environments.
To conserve fuel, DuroMax has enabled idle control (auto throttle), which, when activated, lowers the RPM and ensures the generator doesn’t use any power. In idle mode, the generator runs quietly at 45 dBA.
Additional features that make this generator efficient and user-friendly include a control panel, RV switch, volt meter, circuit breakers, 120V and 240V receptacles, and oil warning light and shut off. By ensuring the generator is EPA and CARB approved, the manufacturer has made this unit as safe as possible.
It comes with a 3-year limited warranty for residential use and a 1-year limited warranty for commercial use.
What makes it special?
Electric start with recoil
Auto throttle feature maximizes fuel efficiency
Muffler with spark arrestor for minimal noise during operation
120V and 240V receptacles
Low-oil sensor and shut-off
Surge-arrest offers protection against power surges
More features: electric and recoil start; EPA certified and CARB compliant
The JDNA Gentron GG10020C runs on a 420cc, 15 HP air-cooled engine. It’s powerful enough to charge multiple appliances at a time and keep them running optimally. With an 8-gallon fuel tank, it can run nonstop for up to 11 hours, depending on how many appliances you’ve connected and their cumulative load.
It has 120V and 240V outlets, four standard and fully protected 110V outlets, and a 12V DC outlet, meaning you can power most of your appliances easily and safely.
The generator has an electric start for quick and smooth start-up. It also has a backup manual recoil starter that fires the unit when the battery is faulty or has no charge. There’s a control panel to make operating and monitoring the generator’s performance easy.
An oil sensor will activate the indicator light and initiate shut off if the oil level gets low, keeping risk of generator damage low.
While the noise produced by the GG10020C (78 dBA at 10–15 feet) is close to what most units of similar size emit, the manufacturer has included isolated motor mounts to further keep the noise low during operation.
Moving the generator around is easy, thanks to the sturdy wheel and double-handle kit. The manufacturer gives a 1-year limited warranty on the unit, covering parts and workmanship.
Outlets: (4) AC 120V, 120V/240V Twist-Lock, 120V Twist-Lock, 1x 12V DC
Noise level: 78 dB
Warranty: 1-year limited
More features: electric and recoil start, EPA and CETL certified, low-oil shutdown
The All-Power America APG3590CN propane generator runs on a 420cc engine and will efficiently power most of your household appliances. The manufacturer indicates a rated output of 7,500 watts and a runtime of 8.5 hours at half load on a 5-gallon tank. Admittedly, it has a lower fuel capacity than most generators of a similar size, but if it operates optimally and delivers the indicated long runtime, you won’t have to refill the tank too soon.
It has four 120V outlets, a 120V twist-lock outlet, a 240V twist-lock outlet, and a 12V DC outlet, so you should connect most of your appliances without a problem. An electric start ensures the generator kicks to life as soon as you turn it on.
At only 208 pounds, this is one of the lightest 10,000-watt generators in the market. Still, don’t attempt to lift it on your own; to minimize risk of injury, have someone help you to lift it if need be. If you just want to move it to a different location, the battery wheel kit makes this easy.
Other features that make it a good buy include the voltmeter, hour meter, propane fuel hose, and RV standby setting. We also like that it’s CETL and EPA certified and comes with a 1-year warranty, not to mention that it’s affordably-priced.
Why is it special?
120V and 240V receptacles
Includes propane fuel hose
EPA and CETL certified
1-year limited warranty
What are the flaws?
Small fuel tank
Lower-rated wattage than similar-sized models
Things to Consider
Let’s now look deeper at the makings of a good 10,000-watt generator, what to look for when buying one, and how you can use the generator at home or at the job site
What can you power with a 10,000-watt generator?
A 10,000-watt generator can power almost everything in your house, except the central heating. And this would only be because central heating requires close to 5,000 or 6,000 starting and running watts, which would leave little power for the rest of your appliances, considering you need 5,000 to 7,000 watts to power basic appliances in an average-sized home.
Otherwise, it will comfortably power a sump pump, refrigerator and freezer, space heater, humidifier, furnace fan blower, microwave oven, TV, desktop or laptop, laser printer, security system, and lights.
If using it at a job site, you can connect an electric lawn mower, pressure washer, chain saw, circular saw, electric drill, string trimmer weed trimmer, paint sprayer, disc sander, hand drill charger, and halogen work lights. You can also connect an RV.
Important features to consider before you buy a 10,000-watt generator
Below, we explain each of the features that are important in a generator.
Rated and maximum power output
The rated power is the amount of power the generator can handle under normal load. In other words, it can handle any amount of power up to the indicated rated amount. Feeding a higher amount of power than the rated amount into the generator can cause overloading and may cause the generator to malfunction or get damaged.
The maximum power refers to the additional wattage the generator uses at startup and occasionally when running at the highest level of consumption. Maximum power is also referred to as peak power. Note that maximum power is only used for a few seconds at a time, while rated power is consistent and continuous throughout the period the generator is in operation.
Both power ratings (rated and maximum) will be indicated among the generator’s specs, so be sure to check what these are before buying.
For optimal performance, the total rated wattage plus highest peak wattage of the appliances you plan to connect to the generator should be lower or equal to the generator’s rated and peak wattage. If they exceed those of the generator, it will be overloaded and likely malfunction.
The engine is the power behind the generator. The more powerful the engine is, the more efficient the generator will be. Generator performance may not always correspond to the engine size, but in many cases, a big engine means a better performing generator. A good example of a generator that confirms this statement is the HONDA EB10000. It has a massive engine and is one of the best performing generators you can buy. Again, some engines may be smaller but more powerful. The best way to gauge how good the engine is is by checking the rated power and peak power it supports.
Fuel tank capacity
The bigger your generator’s fuel tank, the longer it will run without you having to stop and refill. If you choose a generator with a small fuel tank capacity, it means you’ll have to top off your fuel more frequently than someone whose fuel tank is bigger. If you’ll be using the generator for short periods of time, this may not be a problem. But if you expect the generator to run for more than 10 hours a day, it may be a little inconveniencing. Some people don’t mind the frequent refills as long as the generator’s performance is exceptional.
How long will the generator run before the fuel reserve is exhausted? Seven to eight hours is considered good enough. Some generators deliver slightly less than this, while a few give as many as 11 hours in runtime. A good example is the Pulsar PG10000B16 which has a runtime of 12 hours. DuroMax XP10000E and JDNA Gentron GG10020C generators are other good performers with 11 hours of runtime each. Choose a generator with a longer runtime if you intend to run it for long periods at a time.
Most generators come with numerous 120V outlets, a 120V/240V twist-lock outlet, and a 12V DC outlet. This makes it possible to power a diverse range of products. If a generator does not have a 12V DC outlet or a 240V receptacle, it means you can only power smaller appliances and cannot charge your batteries.
The more outlets available, the more devices you can connect at once. That means you can charge your phone, connect your computer and printer, and connect other crucial appliances like the fridge, heater, and pump without a worry.
Gasoline generators overall tend to be noisier than propane generators. Generally, though, most portable generators have a noise level that’s between 72 dBA and 80 dBA. Choose a quieter generator like the DuroMax XP10000E if you’re keen not to disturb the people inside the house, if you’ll be connecting your RV, or if your neighbors are only a short distance away. You don’t want to be a nuisance in the neighborhood. If the distance between houses is great and the noise isn’t likely to disturb anyone, or if you’ll only be using the generator occasionally and for short periods, you can go for a louder generator, especially if its performance is remarkable.
Size, weight, and portability
If you’ll be moving the generator around frequently, choose a model that isn’t too bulky or heavy. No one expects you to lift the generator – it wouldn’t be safe to do so considering most of them weigh more than 200 pounds – but it should have good quality wheels and fold down handles to make transporting it easy. A lot of the 10000-watt generators in the market have these, so it’s a matter of choosing the best wheel kit and how easy each one moves.
You can’t afford to buy a generator without a warranty. Even at their lowest prices, generators are costly and call for you to have some sort of back up from the manufacturer. Thankfully, all major generator manufacturers issue warranties, with validity periods ranging from 1 year to 3 years. Some manufacturers give different validity periods for parts and workmanship, so always confirm what’s covered in yours and for how long.
Yes. The 10,000-watt generator is a high-capacity generator that allows you to power nearly everything in an RV. It will power your RV air conditioner, mini fridge and freezer, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, hairdryer, TV, laptop, and phone. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for RV use so that you don’t veer off safe usage at any time.
The bigger a generator is, the louder you can expect it to be. Because of the amount of power a 10,000-watt generator gives, it will be louder than, say, a 3,000-watt generator. Some 10,000-watt generators are louder than others, so you have to decide how much noise would be too much for you and your neighbors. Noise levels for 10,000-watt generators range between 70 dBA and 78 dBA, which is slightly lower than average busy street and traffic noise.
Yes, you can, provided there are enough outlets to plug into. Each outlet, whether 110V or 220V, is designed to operate independent of the other, and this means you can safely plug multiple appliances into the 110V and 220V receptacles at the same time.
Our best pick is the Pulsar PG10000B16. It appeared well-balanced to us and offered all the benefits we were looking for without compromising on anything. That you can use both LPG and gasoline on the unit is a big plus, and the long runtime provides the kind of reliability you need when running a critical appliance. We also found the mid-range price tag acceptable for the kind of performance it gives.
At second place is the Honda EB10000, which we have to say, could easily take the top slot were it not for its steep price. Everything about this generator is premium, from the sturdy steel frame to the big and powerful engine, high-capacity fuel tank, built-in advanced technologies, and 3-year warranty. If money is not a hindrance, we’d say go for this one.
Our budget pick is the All-Power America APG3590CN. This is probably the lightest in its class, a quality that makes it highly portable. We like that it has many outlets, the 8.5-hour runtime, the volt and hour meter, the RV setting, the low price tag, and the fact that it’s EPA and CETL-certified.