Generators are surely the lifesaving machines that keep your life running during power outages. No matter whether you need a backup power source for your home or office, these generators work well to meet your power needs.
But if you need a fuel-efficient and a durable generator that needs less maintenance, then a diesel generator is the perfect choice for you.
But which of the diesel generators are best to buy? Many people ask this question, and when they fail to get the best one, they move towards the gasoline-powered generators.
So, in order to help you out in getting the best diesel unit, we have made a list of top 6 diesel generators. All of these units are best in the business and will meet your power needs.
But before going through the list, it is essential for you to understand why a diesel generator is a better choice for you? Also, there is a buyer’s guide section which will help you to know about the factors that you must consider before buying your best diesel generator.
Best Diesel Generators
1. DuroStar DS7000Q Enclosed Portable Diesel Generator – Overall Best
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: This portable diesel generator from DuroStar is one of the best generators available in the market that comes with a 3.8 gallons fuel tank having a readable gauge. It can run continuously for 12 hours at 50% load.
Power Output: The maximum output power it can produce is 6500 watts, and its running watts are 5500.
Start system: The unit comes with both electric and recoil start systems for your convenience. Also, there is a remote control option.
Engine: It has a powerful 9 HP, 418cc single-cylinder, 4-cycle diesel engine that is fuel-efficient. It has an advanced direct fuel injection system that ensures low fuel utilization but meets all your power needs.
Safety Features: A maintenance-free alternator having an automatic voltage regulator system ensures constant voltage and power. Also, there is an automatic low-oil shutdown sensor.
Noise Level: The fully enclosed frame provides great protection to the engine and the overall generator. This also helps to reduce noise levels along with a super quiet muffler and soundproof system. The unit operates between 65 dBA and 70 dBA.
Control Panel: If we focus on its control panel, then it features a voltage meter, circuit breakers, low-oil and low fuel indicators, and power outlets. There are two GFCI protected, 120V 20A, 3-prong household power outlets. Also, a 120V 30A, 3-prong outlet, and one 120/240V 30A, the 4-prong outlet is the part of the control panel.
Weight and Warranty: It has a weight of 305 pounds, which makes it quite a heavy unit. But the four caster wheels allow easy movement and make it portable. Also, the unit is backed by a 3-year warranty.
2. Generac XD5000E Diesel Powered Portable Generator – Excellent Run Time
Weight: Another quality diesel generator on our list is the Generac XD5000E. It features a fully welded 1-1/4-inch steel frame that is quite sturdy and adds durability to the unit. It has a weight of 254 pounds that makes it a heavy unit.
Portability: Tires are not part of the generator; you have to buy the wheel kit separately to travel to long distances. But there is a lifting eye that makes movement easy from one place to another.
Engine: It is powered with a Yamar LW Series 435cc engine having a direct fuel injection system. This industrial-grade diesel engine is very powerful that it easily deals with large scale operations.
Fuel Tank size and Runtime: The unit comes with an excellent fuel tank capacity of 12 gallons and offers a run time of more than 30 hours at 50% load. It means you can keep your appliances in a working condition for more than a day during a power outage.
Power Output: It produces 5500 peak watts and 5000 rated watts. The best thing about this Generac XD5000E is its less than 5% total harmonic distortion. The generator is featured with a True Power Technology that ensures this notable harmonic distortion that is ideal for your sensitive electronics.
Start System: It comes with both electric and recoil start systems.
Control Panel: Its control panel is easy to access where you will find four 120V AC 20A household outlets, two 120V twist-lock power outlets, and an hour meter. Also, there are two 20A and a 30A push-button circuit breaker along with a 23A main circuit breaker.
Noise Level: The unit is noisy, having a decibel rating of 72 dBA.
3. Pulsar PG7000D Closed Frame Diesel Powered Generator – Best Budget Diesel Generator
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: It comes with a 4-gallon tank capacity and can run for more than 9 hours at 50% load. The tank also features a fuel gauge.
Noise Level: The fully enclosed frame is to protect the unit from any harm and to reduce the noise levels. It has a decibel rating of 68 dBA, which is due to a specially designed insulation system.
Engine: Its 10HP single cylinder, 4-stroke OHV engine features an air cooling technology that also ensures less sound during operation.
Power Output: If we talk about the maximum output power this unit can produce, then it is 7000 watts. Also, it generates 5000 rated watts. This starting and running power output is enough to meet your power needs.
Start System: It has an electric start system that includes a maintenance-free battery. Also, there is a recoil start option for emergency purposes.
Control Panel: Its control panel is very intuitive. If we focus on the power outlets, then they are five altogether. Two of them are the 120V AC household outlets, and one is the 12V DC outlet. The other two outlets include 120V twist-lock outlet and a 120/240V twist-lock outlet. Along with the power outlets, the control panel features a voltage meter and an hour meter.
Weight and Warranty: Its weight is 353 pounds and has a 2-year limited warranty.
Portability: The four caster wheels allow easy movement from one place to another. Also, two ergonomically designed handles on both the front and back sides make it easy to pull and push the unit.
4. Generac RD05034GDAE Protector Series Diesel Home Standby Generator – Heaviest Standby Diesel Generator
Weight and Warranty: The biggest diesel generator on our list is the Generac RD05034GDAE that weighs 2114 pounds. It is also backed by a 5-year limited time warranty.
Power Output: It is ideal for big homes, offices, and flats. It can produce 50,000 rated watts. It is one of the most powerful diesel generators available in the market that can meet all your power needs. You can run your air conditioners, refrigerators, heaters, personal electronic devices, and other things at the same time with ease.
Start System: It supports both the automatic and manual start systems.
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: It has a fuel tank capacity of 62 gallons and can run for 15 hours at 100% load and for 28 hours at 50% load.
Control Panel: Its intuitive control panel makes the unit easy to use and operate. The control panel is featured with the Evolution Controller that incorporates a variety of control features for automatic usage.
Noise Level: The Generac RD05034GDAE also offers ultra-quiet operation. It has a decibel rating of 70 dBA, which is nothing for such a powerful unit.
Code Ready: Other than this, the most appealing feature of this generator is that it is code ready. Now, there is no need to buy an expensive custom-figured unit when you have a code available function in this Generac generator. It is equipped with a set of popular pre-customized options that make this unit highly compatible with a wide variety of applications.
Maintenance: Not only the unit is easy to use and operate; it is also easy to maintain. The removal doors will allow you to easily refill the tank and do necessary servicing work.
5. Onan Quiet Diesel Generator RVQD 8000 –Most Expensive Diesel Generator for RVs
Power Output: It is quite a powerful diesel generator that is designed to use outdoors. With 8000 rated watts, it helps you to run your various electronic appliances during your travel through RV or at the campsites or outdoor parties.
Noise Level: The best thing about this unit is that it won’t disturb you mentally during your outdoor parties and at the campsites. It operates quietly, which is an excellent feature for light sleepers. It has a decibel rating of 66 dBA which is nothing. Also, the three-point mounting system helps to reduce vibration which also results in lower noise levels.
Fuel Consumption: If we focus on its fuel consumption then it consumes 0.5 gallons of fuel per hour at 50% load. But at 100% load, it will consume 1.02 gallons of fuel per hour.
Start System: The unit is also easy to start and stop with the help of remote control. There is no need to go near to the unit to turn it on and off.
Weight: The unit weighs around 430 pounds. It is also an EPA certified product and meets the California standards.
6. Power Products Sigma JDP7000-LDESilent Diesel Generator – Best for Home Backup
Power Output: The last diesel generator in our list is the Sigma JDP7000-LDE by Power Products. It is another powerful generator that produces 7000 starting watts and 5500 running watts.
Engine: The unit is powered with a 4-stroke, direct injection, air-cooled 480cc engine.
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: can run for 8 hours at 50% load on 4 gallons of fuel. The fuel gauge is a standard that comes with a low-oil shutoff sensor.
Start System: The electric start system makes it easy to turn the generator on and off. But there is no remote start option, so you have to switch it on and off manually.
Portability: The four caster wheels and a good gripping handle make this 365 pounds unit easy to move.
Noise Level: Its enclosed frame makes it a noise-free product. It has a decibel rating of 68 dBA that is acceptable.
In this buyer’s guide section, you will get to know about those things that you must look at before purchasing a diesel generator. So, what are those things? Take a look.
Types of Diesel Generator
First of all, it is necessary for you to decide which type of generator you want to buy. For this, you have to do some research to find out the types of diesel generators.
First, it is necessary to make sure whether you want a standby diesel generator or a portable diesel generator.
A standby generator doesn’t need your presence to turn it on during a power outage. It automatically turns on when the light goes and keeps your appliances running.
On the other hand, a portable generator needs a person to start and stop the generator manually. But since they are portable, you can easily move them from one place to another.
That is the main difference between the two. Other differences include, all the standby generators feature fully enclosed frames whereas not all the portable diesel generators come with enclosed frames, have exposed engine parts.
In order to run your sensitive appliances, it is best to go for a standby generator. They are responsible for providing consistent and clean power to your appliances, whereas not all the portable generators are responsible for doing so.
The type further extends according to the use and purpose. So, when we classify the diesel generators according to the use and purpose, we get two types. One is the industrial generator, and the other one is the domestic generator.
The industrial diesel generator is used in industries and at the construction sites and large settings. They are the big units that produce more output power.
On the other hand, a domestic diesel generator is designed to use at homes where you need less output power to run your appliances.
Also, you can classify a diesel generator on the basis of the start-up system. Some portable generators feature recoil start systems whereas some units come with and an electric start system. Also, you will find some units that feature a remote start system or come with two or all the three start systems. On the other hand, standby generators, feature automatic or manual start systems or both of them.
Moreover, you can also classify diesel generators on the basis of their cooling systems. Some diesel generators are air-cooled diesel generators whereas some units are called water-cooled diesel generators.
In the air-cooled diesel generators, the air is responsible for cooling the heated engine. A specialized air intake system cools the burning engine. On the other hand, water-cooled diesel generator uses water to cool up the heated engine with the help of an additional radiator and water pump.
The power output of a diesel generator is the first thing that you should look at after selecting the type. A big unit will definitely produce more power output as compared to a small or undersized diesel generator. So, it all depends on your needs and the purpose of your usage. If you are looking for a diesel generator for your RV or a small house, then a unit having low starting and running watts will be enough. But for large settings, it is necessary to buy a generator having high power output.
If you have a fuel-efficient diesel generator then you will get more run time. Also, the tank size of the generator determines the run time. Other than this, how much load your generator is bearing also changes the run time of the generator. Your unit will offer a different run time on 25% load and different run time on 50% load.
In general, diesel generators are loud. They produce more sound as compared to the gasoline generators. But it doesn’t mean that every diesel generator makes noise. Some manufacturers make these generators with the enclosed frame to reduce the operational sound. Also, they use a noise-damping feature such as muffler. Moreover, the mounting system helps to reduce vibration which also results in lower noise levels.
It is also necessary for you to focus on the control panel of your diesel generator to make sure that it has enough power outlets to meet your needs. Some generators come with two 120V household outlets whereas some units feature four. Also, a 120V and 120/240V twist-lock outlets are must. Moreover, a 12V DC outlet is a plus.
Other things that a control panel must feature include circuit breakers, voltmeter, an hour meter, and low-fuel and oil indicators.
If you are planning to buy a diesel generator for your RV, campsites, and tailgate parties, then the unit must be portable. We have discussed the portable diesel generators in the diesel generator types, but here you should keep in mind the following things.
First of all, make sure that the wheels available are long-lasting. The size of the wheels creates problems when you pull or push your generator on a rough surface. Small tires may create problems, but a unit with big tires will not. If your unit is small or medium-sized, then small tires may be suitable, but for bigger units, big tires are a must.
Other than this, make sure that the handle or handles are ergonomically designed so that you can pull, push, or lift your generator easily and comfortably.
Your diesel generator must have some safety features. The safety features include low oil and fuel indicators, overheat protection, and overload protection. Also, your unit must have a safety feature to prevent short-circuiting.
Moreover, you can also go for diesel inverter generators that feature less than 5% of total harmonic distortion. This THD rating is ideal for sensitive electronics as it ensures a clean power supply.
Price is another factor that everyone should consider. If you are looking for a full-featured model, then it will be expensive, but the low-priced models come with fewer features. So, it all depends on your budget to either go for an expensive unit or a lowly-priced unit. But the most important thing is to purchase a unit that meets your power needs, no matter how much expensive it is.