Powerhorse generators are an ideal option when you need to power your appliances but cannot do it in the traditional way, through a power outlet - for example when you're out camping, or on a worksite that isn't located close to a house.
Depending on which Powerhorse generator you choose, you might be able to power a few appliances at the same type - that's why I believe that reading Powerhorse Generator reviews before making a decision is one of the most important steps - after all, wouldn't you like to know what exactly is it that you're buying?
Below, you will find Powerhorse Generator reviews of products that I personally think are currently the best ones on the market - keep in mind that, aside from the first one, they aren’t set in any particular order, so please pay no regard to that. I will also reveal which one of those is my absolute favorite.
- Our #1 Recommended Powerhorse Generator is…
- Other Powerhorse Generators Worth Buying
- Top Powerhorse Generators - An Overview
- The Powerhorse Generator Brand
- How To Choose the Right Powerhorse Generator?
- The Bottom Line
Our #1 Recommended Powerhorse Generator is…
When it comes to having a reliable, fuel efficient and compact generator you can't go wrong with the Powerhorse 2000W Portable Generator. It is lightweight and portable, and produces clean power for sensitive electronics, making it a great choice for many outdoor activities, as well as emergency back-up power.
- Electric start convenience (battery included)
- Overload protection
- Parallel-ready design (cables sold separately) allows connecting two Powerhorse units (2000 Watt or 3500 Watt) for up to twice the power
- U.S. Forest Service qualified spark arrestor
- Low oil alert
Powerhorse Portable Inverter Generator - 2000 Surge Watts, 1600 Rated Watts
- Clean, safe power for sensitive devices
- Rugged and reliable engine
- Super fuel efficient with Engine Smart Controls
- CARB and EPA compliant
- 1,600-watts might be insufficient for most uses
Portable Powerhorse 2000 Inverter Generator
After using it for quite some time, I can confidently say that if you’re looking for a lightweight power generator that you can use to charge your appliances, then the Powerhouse Portable Inverter Generator with a running power output of 1600 W and surge power of 2000 W is your best bet. The energy produced with this generator has less than 1.5% total harmonic distortion, making it a good choice for charging sensitive electronics, like computers.
Powerhorse 2000 Generator is a very quiet device, as it has a noise level of just 52 dB, which is around the same as an electric toothbrush. This is definitely something you want to take into consideration if you are planning on using it when camping, as you won’t disrupt other campers while charging your appliances.
A feature definitely worth mentioning is the Engine Smart Control System, which helps you avoid the overconsumption of fuel by using only the amount of engine power that is necessary.
However, like most things, the Powerhorse 2000 Generator also has some flaws - the most important one being that 1,600 W is not enough for many people. It’s not something that cannot be fixed though.
If 1,6000 W is not enough for you, you have the option to connect the generator with another, similar one, so that the overall power output increases to 3,200 W - this should be enough to power a few home appliances at the same time.
Other Powerhorse Generators Worth Buying
While the Powerhouse Portable Inverter Generator - 2000 Surge Watts, 1600 Rated Watts is definitely a favorite of mine, it might not have enough power for someone who needs it for more than an occasional camping trip or a sudden blackout. That’s why below you will find some other Powerhorse generators that are worth your attention if your power needs exceed the capabilities of the Powerhouse Portable Inverter Generator I talked about above.
Powerhorse 2300i Generator
The second power generator on my list is the Powerhorse 2300i Generator - a portable inverter generator with a running power outlet of 1800 W and a surge power of 2300 W.
When it comes to specifications, Powerhorse 2300i and Powerhorse 2000 are very similar - both have low distortion of less than 1.5%, are very quiet at just 52 dB and have the Engine Smart Control System which makes them fuel-efficient.
The Powerhorse 2300i Generator has a tank capacity of 1.18 gallons, which means that when full, the generator can operate for up to 8.8 h. Some other features that are worth mentioning are the light indicators, which will tell you when the generator is ready, is on overload, or has a low oil level.
As far as the safety goes, this Powerhorse Inverter Generator has overload protection in the form of circuit breaker, as well as automatic shut-off when the oil falls under a certain level.
For the cons, probably the most significant one is that Powerhorse 2300i Generator is not CARB-compliant, which means that if you’re from California and want to buy it, you won’t be able to.
Powerhorse 3500i Generator
The Powerhorse 3500 Inverter Generator is a good choice if you are traveling with an RV or a camper and would like to improve the quality of the power you use to charge your appliances, are a homeowner and want to have a backup plan in case there’s a situation out of your control where the power goes out.
The running power outlet of this Powerhorse Inverter Generator is 3000 W, while the surge power is 3500 W. With the fuel tank capacity of 2.6 gallons, the generator can run for up to 11 hours when working at ¼ load. The generator produces a noise of about 57 dB, which is comparable to a dishwasher. And if you want to get more power out of it, you can connect two other Powerhorse units to it.
Just like the Powerhorse Generator I mentioned above, this one also has a circuit breaker as an overload protection, as well as automatic low oil level shut-off, making it a safe device.
Powerhorse 7000 Generator
The Powerhorse 7000 Generator has a running power output of 5500 W, while its surge power reaches 7000 W (as you can guess based on the name).
If you need to charge sensitive electronics, the Powerhorse 7000 Generator has less than 5% harmonic distortion, so your devices are safe.
Although the Powerhorse 7000 Generator is a bit louder than the three I have mentioned above (as you would expect since it produces more power), it is still a fairly quiet device, with a noise level of 74 dB. If I were to compare it to a house appliance to give you some idea, I would say that it is a bit louder than a vacuum cleaner.
The biggest con of this generator is that it has been discontinued, which means that you can only get it second-hand - there’s no way to get it from the store or from the manufacturer. What’s more, while it is EPA-compliant, the Powerhorse 7000 Generator is not CARB-compliant.
Powerhorse 7500i Generator
When compared to the Powerhorse 7000 Generator, the Powerhorse 7500i Generator provides the user with more power while making less noise. At 287 lbs (about 130 kg) it is quite heavy though, so if you’re looking for something that is easily portable, I wouldn’t exactly recommend it.
Thanks to the control panel, you know exactly what is going on with your Powerhorse 7500i Generator, as it displays, for example, how much running time you have left, the current power output, the battery voltage, any service messages, and more.
Due to the fuel tank capacity of 6.6 gallons, the running time when the generator is used at ¼ load is about 16 hours. Since it is a Powerhorse Inverter Generator and not a regular generator, the harmonic distortion falls under 1.5%. Just like most generators on my list, this one also has safety features, like the low oil level automatic shut-off.
When you want to get a bit more energy out of your Powerhorse 7500i Generator, then you can easily connect another one to it. Just keep in mind that you will have to do it using a cable that is not included in the package, as it is sold separately.
The Powerhorse 7500i Generator is both EPA- and CARB-compliant, meaning that it can be sold in every state.
Powerhorse 9000 Generator
The next generator on my list - the Powerhorse Generator 9000 W - not only does it provide you with a lot of power, but it also gives you the chance to choose whether you want to power it using gasoline or propane.
Similar to the Powerhorse 7000 Generator, the Powerhorse 9000 Generator has a total harmonic distortion of less than 5%, making it a safe choice when you want to charge sensitive electronics, like your laptop or your phone.
The run time of this generator with 6.6 gallons of fuel tank capacity is 9.6 hours when it’s working at ½ load and 5.7 h when on full load.
One thing that I need to mention is that if you want a generator that doesn’t make a lot of noise so that it can run in the background without you noticing it, then the Powerhorse Generator 9000 W is not the one for you. At 98 dB, the noise is of a similar level to a train or a garbage truck (both of them have a noise level of 100 dB).
Thanks to the low-level oil automatic shut-off, your engine is protected from damage that insufficient oil levels can cause, ensuring it will last you for longer.
One of the downsides of the Powerhorse 9000 Generator is the fact that while it does require a battery for the electric start, it is not included in the package - instead, you have to purchase it separately. Another thing is that Powerhorse 9000 Generator is not CARB-compliant, so you cannot buy it if you are located in California.
Powerhorse 27000 Generator
The Powerhorse 27000 Generator is not designed for casual use, for example during a camping trip. It is mostly used either by professionals on worksites that do not have regular power outlets or with equipment for which the normal power outlet is not strong enough, as well as homeowners who want to have a means of powering all the appliances in their house no matter the circumstances (for example during a power outage).
The generator has a running power output of 18000 W, while its surge power reaches 27000 W. The fuel tank capacity of 17 gallons allows this generator to work for over 8 hours when on ½ load.
Although the noise level is unknown (the manufacturer doesn’t mention it anywhere), I can assume that it is pretty loud, considering what it is used for, and taking into account the noise levels of other, smaller generators that produce less energy than this one does.
Again, this is quite a heavy Powerhorse Generator - the product itself weighs about 683 Ibs (about 310 kg), so it’s definitely something that you don’t move around, unless we’re talking about bringing it to its permanent place. It does have wheels, so that makes it a little bit easier to move around.
When it comes to the regulations, the Powerhorse 27000 generator is EPA-compliant. However, it is not CARB-compliant.
Top Powerhorse Generators - An Overview
Now that I gave you all of my Powerhorse Generator Reviews, let me put it all together in one table, so that you have something that will allow you to quickly compare all the Powerhorse Generators I have told you about above.
|NAME||RUNNING POWER OUTPUT||SURGE POWER||WEIGHT||NOISE LEVEL||COMPLIANT?||ADDITIONAL FEATURES|
|Powerhorse 2000 Generator||1600 W||2000 W||52.2 lbs||52 dB||CARB- and EPA-compliant||Engine Smart Control System|
|Powerhorse 2300i Generator||1800 W||2300 W||54 Ibs||52 dB||CARB- and EPA-compliant||Engine Smart Control System|
|Powerhorse 3500i Generator||3000 W||3500 W||99.2 lbs||57 dB||CARB- and EPA-compliant||Engine Smart Control System|
|Powerhorse 7000 Generator||5500 W||7000 W||175 lbs||74 dB||EPA-compliant|
|Powerhorse 7500i Generator||6500 W||7500 W||287 lbs||55 dB||CARB- and EPA-compliant||Engine Smart Control System|
|Powerhorse 9000 Generator||7250 W||9000 W||206 Ibs||98 dB||EPA-compliant|
|Powerhorse 27000 Generator||18000 W||27000 W||683 Ibs||Unknown||EPA-compliant|
The Powerhorse Generator Brand
When it comes to the US, at the moment the biggest retailer of these products is Northern Tool + Equipment. The company was founded in 1981 by Donald Kotula, who, at the moment of writing this article, is still acting as the CEO.
Over the years, the company grew significantly, becoming a household name among powerhouse generator providers in the States. Currently, they have over 1,500 different brands in their inventory, more than 3,000 staff members, and are present in 17 states.
And it’s not without reason - Northern Tool + Equipment makes sure that all the products that reach their customers are of the highest quality. The Northern Tool testing facility is where the Powerhorse generators are put through thousands of hours of rigorous test situations to ensure optimum performance and maximum durability.
Northern Tool offers a wide range of Powerhorse generators to meet different power needs starting from 2000 W and going all the way up to even 27000 W. They have conventional and inverter generator models in their line-up which are all gas-powered. They do not offer home or commercial standby generators or mobile generators.
Even though the Powerhorse generators are designed in the US, the manufacturing mostly happens in China. Despite that, Northern Tool ensures that the units are tested to maintain the expected quality standards.
They are driven by overhead valve (OHV) engines that are built for superior durability with “industrial-strength cast iron cylinder sleeves and dual ball bearing high-performance forged crankshafts” as stated by the company.
A premium 100% copper-wound generator head allows operation at full load continuously for weeks without overheating. The company claims that the generators produce relatively clean power with harmonic distortions less than 5% to power your delicate electronic devices without worry - although, as you probably noticed, most generators on my list have a harmonic distortion even lower than that.
All the models come with a Low Oil Shutdown feature to keep the engine safe in the event the oil drops below unsafe levels. Many of the Powerhorse models come with an electric start as well as a recoil start system. However, while in some cases the battery necessary for that is included in the package you receive when you purchase a particular Powerhouse Generator, sometimes it might be necessary to buy it separately (as it is the case, for example, with the Powerhorse 9000 Generator). For this reason, it is important that when you’re making a purchase, you check whether the battery is included or needs to be bought as well.
The larger models that would probably be too heavy to carry for most people come with a wheel kit (which you’ll install yourself) to improve ease of handling and maneuverability.
Not all their models are listed on Amazon. But Northern Tool claims to always have all the models in stock. In addition, if you purchase directly from them and subsequently need repairs, the company has a professional in-store service department that performs all repairs on site so you won’t have to worry about needing to find a reliable repair service.
In case something breaks in your Powerhorse Generator, Northern Tool + Equipment stock replacement parts at their warehouses which are all ready to be shipped the same day the order is received. All models apart from the 13,000 watts have a manufacturer’s 2-year consumer warranty and 90-day commercial warranty.
The Powerhorse line of portable generators can be used for virtually any power solution application. However, they are especially great for:
- outdoor events, etc.
As a home emergency power back up, they can conveniently run:
- and appliances of all sizes.
They come in quite handy during extended blackouts caused by natural disasters, which in many regions tend to happen quite often.
How To Choose the Right Powerhorse Generator?
Now that I said everything I have to say about different Powerhorse Generators and I have given you my Powerhorse Generator reviews, it’s time to give you a short guide on how to choose the right one for you. There are a few things you need to take into consideration when making such a decision - and here’s what they are.
Although my opinion about which brand I would recommend choosing is pretty clear, it is still an important step in the decision-making process. Make sure that the brand you decide to go with is a trustworthy one. Do they have many reviews online? How long have they been active on the market? Have they won any awards for their products? Do you know anyone who has a product from that brand? Are they happy with it? All these questions can help you ensure that you’re making the right decision.
This is the most important part of making a decision about which Powerhouse generator you decide to go with, as if you choose one whose power is too low for what you need it to do, you will not be able to achieve the effect you were hoping for.
In order to select the appropriate Powerhorse generator, you need to add up all the power required to run each appliance and choose the right wattage of generator based on the calculated figure.
The Noise Level
Sometimes, it’s not the power that you base your decision about Powerhorse Generator on, but the noise level. The higher power a generator has, the nosier it is bound to be. If you’re searching for a generator that simply works quietly, then you should look in the lower power range. For instance, both Powerhorse 2000 Generator and Powerhorse 2300i Generator have a noise level of about 52 dB, which is comparable to a working electric toothbrush.
When choosing a Powerhorse Generator, you should ensure that it has not only enough outlets for what you need but also that they are of the right type.
The Running Time
If you are planning on using your generator for long periods of time, then you should definitely look at the running time of the Powerhorse generators you are considering buying. The higher the running time, the less you will have to refill it.
Inverter or Not?
The last thing you want to take into consideration when making the decision about which Powerhorse Generator to add to your equipment is whether you want it to be a Powerhorse Inverter Generator or a regular Powerhorse Generator.
The difference between them is that the Powerhorse Inverter Generator usually has lower harmonic distortion, which is what earned them a reputation for producing cleaner energy.
The Bottom Line
With that being said, I can conclude my list of best Powerhorse Generators. Although I cannot make the decision for you, I surely hope that my Powerhorse Generator reviews help you in making a decision and purchasing a generator that will serve you well for years to come.
And remember - buying a generator is a very individual matter, in the sense that only you know what you need. I can give you a list and tell you which ones I believe to be the greatest generators ever created, but in the end, it is your decision which one meets your needs the most.
However, if you do go with one of my recommendations, all I can say is that you definitely won’t regret it. Since I tested them personally, I can say with certainty that any of the Powerhorse Generators mentioned above would be a wise choice.