Best 6,500-Watt Generators Reviewed in Detail

6 Best 6500-Watt Generators – Reviews and Buying Guide

12 Models Considered
70 Hours of Research
8 Experts Interviewed
282 Reviews Analyzed

Typically where electricity is concerned, the higher the number of watts, the more appliances a generator can power. At 6500 watts, you will be able to power most of the devices in the home. Also, you may use such a generator in your business provided your electricity needs don’t exceed its limits.

The best 6500-watt generators have been reviewed below where the only job left for you is to read through, select your device of choice, and order online. Our initial scope included ten 6500-watt generators, four of whom did not make it onto the list due to various demerits. Of those that made it, the HONDA EM6500SX is the most superior. The best aspect of this invention is the iAVR technology, which is an innovation meant to regulate power at normal levels no matter the power requirements. This serves to protect the equipment attached. As you would expect the other five as well are impressive offerings.

Top Six 6500-Watt Generators Review 2019

Merits are the basis on which the list below was made with our team has spent countless hours researching the benefits of owning each model of generator. As such, the runtime, output as rated, noise levels, extra features as well as warranties all contributed in ranking each of the devices mentioned below. The power output and runtimes of the devices hold the most water since they determine what each generator can do. Below is a table showing products as well as their best qualities. After that, there are in-depth reviews of the same products and in the same order. Following that, we wrap it off with a buying guide as a bonus to help you with your decision making process.

Editor’s Choice

An inverter generator with dual starting system, intelligent automatic voltage regulator and a durable frame.

Read Our Review
9.7
Best Conventional 6500-Watt Generator

A conventional generator with an IHV engine, incorporated wheels, outlet circuit breakers and a steel cradle.

Read Our Review
9.6
Best Fuel Tank

A conventional generator with dual starting system, LED-lit control panel, six outlets and a fuel gauge.

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9.5
Best 6500-Watt Portable Generator

An inverter generator with recoil starting system, four outlets and noise level of 66 dB.

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9.3
Best 4-Outlet Generator

A conventional generator with 420cc  valve engine, 6.6-gallon fuel tank and dual start-up.

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9.1
Budget Pick

An inverter generator with 15HP DHT engine, multiple outlets, circuit breakers and the runtime of 11 hours.

Read Our Review
9.0

1.

HONDA EM6500SXEditor’s Choice

Features
  • Generator type: inverter
  • Peak/rated watts: 7000/6500
  • Engine: Honda iGX390
  • Fuel tank: 6.2 Gallons
  • Run time (at 50%): 10.4 hours
  • Outlets: 20A 125V GFCI Duplex (2), 30A 125V locking plug, 30A 125/250V locking plug
  • Starting system: electric & recoil
  • Noise level: 66 dB (rated load)
  • Warranty: 3 years
VIEW ON AMAZON

Inverter type generators seem to have a few advantages over other types of generators, and the HONDA EM6500SX isn’t one to disappoint. The first thing to take note of is the advanced iAVR that stands for intelligent automatic voltage regulator. You may find other generators misbehaving with regards to the voltage they send out, but as a result of the technology named above, the EM6500S will maintain a safe consistency. As such, there is little likelihood of a power surge that will end up causing damage even if the devices connected need more power than the generator can provide at that moment.

The device features electric start-up, so all you have to do is press a button, and it comes on. However, it may not always be dependable; hence, the manufacturer has also included a recoil starter in case the first option doesn’t pan out. Once started the device will give out 7000 watts for about 10 seconds. This is because starting up electric devices usually requires more power. After the stipulated 10 seconds output drops and normalizes at 6500 watts.

Noteworthy is a frame that has been incorporated for the enhanced protection of the generator from impact. Some of the components that make up the invention are somewhat fragile and hence need protecting. Also, you will note the presence of multiple outlets, thus an ability to connect various devices to the generator as well. If the need arises for you to move the equipment, you are probably going to appreciate the wheels and handles that are included.

Pros
  • High starting charge to jumpstart devices
  • Durable frame
  • Wheels included for easy movement of the generator
  • 10-hour runtime at 50% power
  • Dual starting system
Cons
  • The close to $3000 price point has caused a lot of people to rethink this as a potential purchase

2.

Generac 5940 GP6500Best Conventional 6500-Watt Generator

Features
  • Generator type: conventional
  • Peak/rated watts: 8125/6500
  • Engine: OHV, 3600RPM
  • Fuel tank: 7.2 Gallons
  • Run time (at 50%): 10 hours
  • Outlets: 120/240V 30A L14-30R Twist Lock Outlet; 120V 20A 5-20R Duplex Outlets
  • Starting system: recoil pull start
  • Noise level: 62 dB
  • Warranty: 1 year (commercial), two years (residential)
VIEW ON AMAZON

Next up, we have an OHV engine powering up the generator, which is responsible for the high power output produced by the device. Even more powerful than the editor’s choice, you get 8125 watts of power on initial startup. Nonetheless, the device cannot maintain producing this charge for very long. Instead, it will normalize at the 6500 watts level after some time.

If you are wise, you will figure out a way to connect some of your devices at intervals. This way, you conserve energy, and as a result, the generator will last longer on a full tank of fuel. Consequently, if you are only using 50% of the power, the device can run continuously for up to ten hours.

Portability of the piece of equipment is maintained by the wheels incorporated so you can move the device to the shed and back to the house when you need to. As it stands, you will need 7.2 gallons of fuel to fill up the tank. Also, if you start using the device, it provides you with an alert for fuel levels at hourly intervals.

The outlets provided by the device also come with circuit breakers for the protection of both the generator and the devices connected. Similarly, the engine is protected from impact by a steel cradle outlining the shape of the generator. Starting the device is done manually, requiring you to pull the recoil cord, and after that, using the device is a breeze where it even shuts down when oil levels go below the required amount. This serves to protect the engine as well. As a result of all the above features, this is one of the best-rated 6500-watt generators

Pros
  • Hourly alerts on fuel use
  • Low-level fuel shut down
  • 10-hour runtime at half 50%
  • Circuit breakers in outlets provided
Cons
  • Some owners have complained that device is poorly packaged; hence there is a high chance you may receive the device when it is damaged
3.

Cat RP6500EBest Fuel Tank

Features
  • Generator type: conventional
  • Peak/rated watts: 8125/6500
  • Engine: OHV, 3600RPM
  • Fuel tank: 7.9 Gallons
  • Run time (at 50%): 12 hours
  • Outlets: 6 outlets, including 120V and 240V 30A Twist-Lock
  • Starting system: electric or pull
  • Warranty: 2-3 years
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With this tool, you get the most prominent fuel tank of any generator on our list. This 7.9-gallon fuel tank may not be everybody’s cup of tea for economic reasons. However, it does provide for a longer runtime than some of the rest. You can use the generator for close to 12 hours at 50%. This is in addition to the high power rating. Be careful not to take this for an 8125-watt generator, as that is only the starting power. After a few seconds, the device normalizes at 6500 watts.

As to the starting system, you have your pick of two, which are the electric or the pull. The generator comes equipped with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. These are responsible for providing the starting charge when you press a button to start the device. As the generator runs, they are also recharging, so they can start your generator when you next need it.

Another benefit of owning this device is the LED-lit control panel. This makes the generator easier to figure out and control for users. On one side of the invention, there are a total of 6 outlets so that you can connect with multiple devices. Also, if you don’t shut down and refuel the machine at specified intervals, the generator will be able to tell that fuel is not in the required levels and therefore go off.

If you need to keep an eye on how much of the fuel is left, you can do so using the gauge provided.

Pros
  • High start-up power
  • Electric or pull startup
  • 2-3 year warranty
  • Long 12-hour runtime
Cons
  • As it stands if the device is functioning as it should there aren’t any downsides to speak off
4.

Briggs & Stratton 30675 Q6500Best 6500-Watt Portable Generator

Features
  • Generator type: inverter
  • Peak/rated watts: 6500/5000
  • Engine: 306cc Briggs & Stratton integrated engine/alternator
  • Fuel tank: 5 Gallons
  • Run time (at 25%): 14 hours
  • Outlets: (4) 120V-20A, (2) USB, (1) 120V-240V
  • Starting system: recoil
  • Noise level: 66 dB
  • Warranty: 1 year (commercial), 2 years (consumer)
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If your power consumption needs are not that high, then you can probably use this device for longer than most others we have featured on our list. The tool uses an inverter generator alongside a 5-gallon fuel tank. Performance specifications include the ability to provide 6500W power in a short startup burst or 5500W continuously.

Among the four outlets included, there is a USB port given the prevalence of smartphones and other smart devices in the modern-day era. As far as noise levels go, this device is rated at 66dB, which is one of the lowest noise outputs to feature on our list.  You may also realize that the Briggs & Stratton 30675 Q6500 doesn’t take up much space due to its compact design.

Also, different buyers get different warranties. Commercial users, of course, will use the device more frequently, and it is more likely to wear out and get damaged sooner hence the one-year warranty. If, on the other hand, you buy the device for personal use, you have a more extended warranty.

Pros
  • Compact
  • Low noise
  • Up to 14-hour runtime on 25% load
Cons
  • No hour meter
  • No electronic startup option
5.

Green-Power America GPG6500EWBest 4-Outlet Generator

Features
  • Generator type: conventional
  • Peak/rated watts: 6,500/5,500
  • Engine: 420cc/15hp LCT OHV
  • Fuel tank: 6.6 Gallons
  • Run time (at 50%): 9 hours
  • Outlets: (4) 120-volt AC, (1) 120-volt twist-lock AC, (1) 120/240-v twist lock AC, and (1) 12-Volt/ 8.3A DC
  • Starting system: recoil, electric
  • Noise level: 76 dB
  • Warranty: 2 years
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The Green-Power America GPG6500EW has a rather aesthetic appeal to it in comparison to some of the other options. It rates at 6500 watts only after starting while average production stands at 5500W. Outlets are not as many as with some of the other options provided on this list. However, if you feel that they are just enough for your needs, you can go ahead and make the purchase.

Power production is made possible by the 420cc overhead valve engine that is dependent on the 6.6-gallon fuel tank. You may also come to appreciate the dual startup option. Usually, most people would go for electric startup since it is easier. However, sometimes, the electronic system may stall, and the recoil backup, therefore, comes in handy.

If you only use the generator at half its load capacity, you can expect it to run up to nine hours. After that, the system will detect low oil percentages and shut down. Another benefit of owning the device is the 3-in-1 digital indicator.

Pros
  • Comes with a digital indicator
  • Low oil shutoff
  • Durable steel frame
  • Two-year warranty
Cons
  • You cannot put this generator in the house as it still produces a fair amount of noise
6.

Dirty Hand Tools 101092Budget Pick

Features
  • Generator type: inverter
  • Peak/rated watts: 6500
  • Running Watts: 5500
  • Starting Watts: 6500
  • Engine: 15HP (420cc) DHT
  • Fuel tank: 6.6 Gallons
  • Run time (at 50%): 11 hours
  • Outlets: (4) 120V AC, (1) 240V and (1) 12V DC
  • Starting system: recoil
  • Noise level: 76 dB
  • Warranty: 2 years
VIEW ON AMAZON

If you are looking to get an inverter type generator on a budget, this is the device for you. It is also the most affordable invention on our list. On starting the machine, you get a peak as well as a starting power output of 6500W. This later drops and is maintained at 5500 watts for the rest of the use period. The engine that makes this possible is the 15HP DHT engine. You would as well expect for such a high powered device to have multiple outlets and it does deliver on this front. These are also equipped with circuit breakers so you can rest easy knowing that your equipment is safe.

What is most impressive is the run time of 11 hours when it comes to providing power. It does this using 6.6 gallons of fuel; hence can also be considered to be fuel-efficient. You can expect the generator to shut down if it detects that fuel levels are below par. Once you have it in your home, the warranty covers you for two years. After that, you will have to cater to maintenance and repair out of pocket.

Pros
  • Low oil level shutdown
  • 11-hour runtime
Cons
  • The device does not feature wheels for more effortless mobility

Buying Guide

It would be a mistake to think that selecting a 6500-watt generator is easy. There are multiple nuances to the selection process that if you get one wrong, you may end up with a device that doesn’t work for you. However, if you get everything right, your purchase may even have additional benefits to what you were expecting. For this to happen, we have provided the buying guide below, so you know everything you need to check for.

Benefits of a 6500-watt generator

Owning a generator may be a necessity in some areas owing to the frequent storms and power outages that follow them. The 6500-watt generator is strong enough to power your home appliances until the power comes back on. This is inclusive of the fridge, TVs, microwaves, AC systems, and more. With more power-intensive appliances such as a fridge, you can power them for a while then unplug them so fuel can last longer. The generator can also be useful in an office setting provided, not that many devices are plugged in. As such, you can continue with your work even when the outside world is in darkness. But if you rather need a less powerful machine then there is a large variety of other generators, like for example, 5000-watt generators which have close characteristics to 6500-watt models, but there are even 1000-watt generators mostly meant for shorter trips and small gadgets to be charged.

Features to consider when choosing a 6500-watt generator

6 Best 6500-Watt Generators - Reviews and Buying Guide

If you want to tell apart a bad generator from a good one and a good generator from a great one, all you need is to look through the features. Most manufacturers will list the features included in each device on the package. This information is also freely available on vendor sites where the top-rated 6500-watt generators feature. As an authority vendor site, the same is true for Amazon, as well. Nevertheless, you may not fully comprehend what it means for a generator to be an inverter type over the conventional model. Also, you may need to differentiate between peak and rated watts.

These are all areas covered and explained below, so you know what each feature listed on a device entails and whether you need it or not.

Type of generator

Once you get familiar with generators, you will realize that inverter and conventional type generators are the two common types of generators in the market.
Both of these types of generators are portable, and this is made more so by the fact that they mostly come with wheels. They also work by burning fossil fuels such as gasoline, propane, or diesel.

In an ideal situation, the conventional 6500-watt portable generator will have about 3600 rpm, which will then output 120 volts at a frequency of 60 hertz. However, conventional generators are not perfect and end up having less than the required rotations. This results in the fluctuation of energy produced. As such, if you plug in some devices such as laptops, phones, and cameras, you may risk damaging them as they require a more stable electric current.

An inverter generator is a bit different from the conventional one mentioned above. It has more components, as well. Once power is produced in an AC format, it is converted to a DC using a component known as the alternator. An inverter then follows up to turn the electricity back to AC. Because of these steps, the electricity produced by the device is much more stable, and you are better off using this for your smaller appliances. These also have the general advantage of being quieter than their counterparts in operation.

You will also note that some generators only work with a single type of fuel, whether diesel, gasoline, or any other. These are the single-fuel generators. Others are hybrids and may also be known as dual-fuel generators since they provide the same level of performance with different types of fuels.

Peak/rated watts

While peak and rated watts are mentioned in the same breath, they mean different things.

Peak watt output is the highest power output that the device can provide. Rated watts means the output that the device will continuously provide under normal working conditions.
The Generac 5940 GP6500, for example, has an 8125 watts peak power rating. However, this only applies to the first few seconds after the generator has been turned on. 6500W is the device’s rated watt output.

Reliable engine

The most common type of engine to feature on the list is the (OHV) or overhead valve engine. These are often more compact than other types of engines, for instance, in comparison to OHC type engines. They also sometimes tend to be more powerful than their counterparts.

Fuel tank capacity and runtime

Fuel tank capacity generally tends to affect the runtime of the device directly. There are, of course, a few other factors involved, but the consensus is that the bigger the tank, the longer the runtime. However, with fuel as well as power economies like the one provided by the Briggs & Stratton 30675 Q6500 generator, you can have as much as a 14-hour runtime on very little fuel.

Available outlets

6 Best 6500-Watt Generators - Reviews and Buying Guide

How many devices do you want to plug into your generator directly? Answering this question should give you an idea of how many outlets you need. More is also better where this category is concerned. However, most devices mentioned above max out at six outlets, with some options even having fewer.

Starting system

Different 6500-watt portable generators have different starting mechanisms. Where a recoil starter is incorporated, you will have to start the generator manually. This is generally done by pulling on a starter rope or string and letting go. You also have the electric system that you can start up by pressing a button. Batteries are sometimes included to give the generator a starting jolt. These types of systems also often incorporate a recoil starter as a backup just in case the electronic startup fails. The remote start generator is as well just as the name suggests. You won’t have to go all the way to the location of the generator to start it up when you can do so from your current location.

Noise level

As you can see, each of the devices mentioned above has a noise level rating. It is widespread for people to install such devices around their homes. As such, it is preferred that they buy as quiet a machine as possible to avoid being disturbed by the noise. Nevertheless, most of the inventions will feature a noise level of 66 dB and above, so it is up to you to find a way to work around this.

Size, weight, and portability

6 Best 6500-Watt Generators - Reviews and Buying Guide

Of course, the size and weight are bound to be determining factors where the portability of the generator is concerned. Bigger is more often than not heavier and as a result, less portable. Nonetheless, most options come with wheels so you can have an easier time pushing them rather than carrying them. This is except for the Dirty Hand Tools 101092 generator.

Warranty

This is yet another area where you have to be careful while checking. A commercial generator should have at least a year’s worth of warranty coverage, while residential use should feature twice that. Of course, if you have the option of a more extended warranty, you should go for it without fail.

FAQ

For your safety and that of your loved ones, you should refrain from using your generator indoors. Fuel is combusted; hence, smoke and fumes are an expected result and may cause you to suffocate or get carbon dioxide poisoning. As well keep as far away from your vents, windows, and doors to also prevent this from happening.

The easiest way for you to do this is to incorporate the services of a certified electrician. However, some of you may not be all that willing to pay the extra cash for this to happen. If you feel the need to determine this yourself, you can list down the appliances that you need the generator to power. After that, check the starting power as well as the running power required for each of these devices and write it down as well. Calculate the total power requirement before going to the store. Remember that buying and plugging in a smaller generator than you need may be bad for both the purchase itself and for the other appliances it is connected to.

You have the option of powering up almost any appliance in your home so long as its power requirements do not exceed what the generator provides.

Our Verdict

The HONDA EM6500SX provides high starting power, relatively long runtimes, a sizeable fuel tank as well as technology that serves to protect devices that you plugin. As such, you can easily see why the generator was selected as the editor’s choice. The Generac 5940 GP6500 is as well one of the higher-performing, higher power-producing devices on our list with a starting power of 8125 watts. As well circuit breakers are included. Despite being a conventional generator, the low noise production by the generator is something to write home about.

Another favorite is the Cat RP6500E. It as well features a downside where more fuel is required to fill up the tank. Nevertheless, this directly translates to longer runtimes when the device is used at 50% load. In almost every other area, the device performs just as well. You may like the Briggs & Stratton 30675 Q6500 as well for its compact form, and that is your right since you are more familiar with your needs than we are. In fact, each of the devices mentioned above may serve a specific need that others cannot fulfill; hence, it is up to you to choose the machine you end up purchasing. And please keep in mind that 6,500 watt generators are also being made by other respectable manufactures, like for example best Predator generators or Ryobi generators have lots to offer, so if you would like to extend the comparison in order to make the best choice, you are most welcome.

9.7/10 Total Score
HONDA EM6500SX - Editor's Choice
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