Champion vs Predator Generators: Comparing the Two Brands

Last updated: Apr 06, 2020
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Champion and Predator are two of the most well-respected brand names in the world of generators. Both companies are known for making affordable, no-nonsense generators that you can count on to get any job done. In addition, the companies’ generators are built with an eye toward versatility and portability, which makes Champion and Predator generators good choices for a wide variety of needs.

With so much to like about both brands, choosing between Champion vs Predator generators can be tough. In this guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at what distinguishes portable power units from these two companies and highlight the pros and cons of each brand. We’ll also pit three different models from each company against each other in head-to-head comparisons to help you decide which brand offers the features you need.

Brands comparison

Champion is a relative newcomer to the generator industry. The company was founded in 2003, but has since become a major player for both residential and commercial uses – in just over 15 years, Champion has sold more than 2.5 million generators.

Predator, which is a subdivision of the well-known tool company Harbor Freight, has been around since 1988. Its generators are certainly no less popular than Champion’s have been over the past few decades.

What’s so interesting about comparing Champion vs Predator generators is that so many aspects about their respective generators compete. Each company seems to watch the other’s pricing closely, and then aims to either match or just slightly undercut it. Of the generators we’ll compare head-to-head, the price difference between the two brands for each pairing is less than $100.

In addition, while Predator and Champion each build their own generator engines, the basic architecture is the same. Both companies build their machines around highly efficient and reliable four-stroke OHV engines. You’ll see that the displacement volume between the engines is also highly similar between their competing models.

Champion vs Predator Generators: Comparing the Two BrandsThat said, there are a few key differences that might push your towards either Champion or Predator. First, Champion generators, whether inverter or conventional, are almost universally dual fuel models. That means that can run on either gasoline or propane depending on what you have on hand. The dual-fuel nature of Champion generators is a major selling point, since it increases the versatility of your unit – for example, you can leave propane at home as your fuel source for a blackout, but use gasoline when you take your generator out for a road trip. Normally, dual fuel generators are significantly more expensive than their gasoline-only counterparts, so the fact that Champion is able to match Predator on pricing is pretty impressive.

Predator does have an advantage when it comes to run time, however, especially when it comes to larger portable generator models. Since Predator’s generators don’t have to make room for a propane intake, their fuel tanks tend to be larger. If you’re planning to primarily use gasoline to power your generator, that can make a major difference in the length of time you can run your generator without having to stop and refuel.

Another important difference between the two companies can be found in their warranty policies. Which policy is better depends on whether you plan to use your generator for recreational purposes or commercial purposes. Champion offers the longer residential warranty – three years on all of its models, versus two years for Predator’s generators. However, Champion drops the warranty to just 270 days – less than a year – if you’re a commercial user. Predator’s warranty policy doesn’t distinguish between commercial and residential users.

Champion vs Predator: Comparing popular models

With those broad strokes of the differences between Predator and Champion in mind, let’s take a closer look at how some of the competing generators these two companies produce stack up against one another. We’ll focus on inverter generators in two power classes, as well as a pair of high-wattage conventional generators.

Champion Power Equipment 100402 vs Predator 62523

Champion Power Equipment 100402Predator 62523
TypeDual-fuel inverterInverter
Peak watts2000W (gasoline) / 1600W (propane)2000W
Rated watts1800W (gasoline) / 1440W (propane)1600W
EngineSingle-phase, 4-stroke, OHVHorizontal single-cylinder 4-stroke, OHV
Displacement80cc79.7cc
Fuel tank1.1 gal.1 gal.
Run time11 hrs (gasoline, 1/4 load), 24 hrs (propane, 1/4 load)12 hrs (1/4 load)
Outlets(1) 120V 20A Duplex (5-20R); (1) 12V DC Automotive(2) 120VAC grounded, (1) 12V DC
Start typeRecoilRecoil
Noise level53.0 dBA65 dB
Dimensions20.5 x 12.6 x 16.9 in22.6 x 18.52 x 12.61 in
Weight47.6 lbs47 lbs
Warranty3-year limited (residential), 270-day limited (commercial)2-year limited on engine, 90-day limited on other parts

The Champion Power Equipment 100402 and Predator 62523 are competing offerings in the widely popular 2,000-watt power class. Both generators are inverter models, which pushes up the price a bit, but provides a number of benefits – including better fuel efficiency, reduced noise, and an electrical output that’s safe for sensitive electronics. The Champion generator is a dual fuel inverter model, so it’s able to run on propane as well as gasoline.

One immediate attraction to the Champion model in this comparison is that it has a significantly higher rated wattage on gasoline. While both generators can produce a maximum power of 2,000 watts, the Champion model can put out 1,800 watts continuously. Losing 200 watts on the Predator model is a big deal for a generator this size. Of course, keep in mind that the Champion generator will have a lower wattage (1,440 running watts) when fueling with propane, but that’s a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison to the Predator generator.

The fuel tanks and run times of these generators are essentially the same. Bear in mind, though, that if you’re running the Champion generator on propane, you can extend the run time simply by using a larger propane canister.

The outlet panels are also nearly identical. Both generators sport a pair of 120-volt outlets and a 12-volt DC outlet. But, the Champion generator has a built-in digital hour meter, which displays your remaining run time and wattage draw. That’s a huge advantage over the Predator model, especially considering it doesn’t cost you anything extra.

If you’re not already sold on the Champion model in this comparison, the difference in noise production will seal the deal. The Champion 100402 is more than 10 times quieter than the Predator 62523 for the same power output. Essentially, you can hold a conversation next to the Champion generator, but not next to the Predator.

Between the dual fuel capability, the digital hour meter, and the reduced noise, it’s pretty easy to recommend Champion’s 2,000-watt inverter generator over Predator’s.

Champion Power Equipment 100263 vs Predator 63584

Champion Power Equipment 100263Predator 63584
TypeDual-fuel inverterInverter
Peak watts3400W (gasoline) / 3100W (propane)3500W
Rated watts3060W (gasoline) / 2790W (propane)3000W
EngineSingle-phase, 4-stroke, OHVHorizontal single-cylinder 4-stroke, OHV
Displacement192cc212cc
Fuel tank1.6 gal.2.6 gal.
Run time7.5 hrs (gasoline, 1/4 load); 14.5 hrs (propane, 1/4 load)11 hrs (1/4 load)
Outlets(1) 120V 30A (TT-30R); (1) 120V 20A Duplex (5-20R); (1) 12V DC Automotive(2) 120VAC grounded, (1) 120VAC Twistlock, (1) DC-12V
Start typeRecoil, electricElectric
Noise level59 dBA57 dB
Dimensions22.75 x 20 x 17.3 in22.75 x 20 x 17.3 in
Weight95.7 lbs99.2 lbs
Warranty3-year limited (residential), 270-day limited (commercial)2-year limited on engine, 90-day limited on other parts

Competition is more fierce when you move up a power class, to the 3,000-watt inverter range. Here, Champion offers the 100263 model, with 3,400 watts of surge power and 3,060 watts of continuous power on gasoline. Predator’s 63584 generator offers 3,500 watts of surge power and 3,000 watts of continuous power. Again, Champion’s generator can run on propane, while Predator’s is limited to gasoline as the fuel source.

There are a few major differences between these two generators that affects how you’ll be able to use them. The first is run time. Predator built the 63584 with a 2.6-gallon fuel tank, which lets you run the generator for up to 11 hours at a 25% load. The Champion generator, by comparison, only has a 1.6-gallon tank and a 7.5-hour run time. That means you can’t even get a full day of power at a 25% load from this generator without refueling.

Another big difference is in the starting mechanisms. Both of these generators feature electric push-starts, which is terrific for ease of use. But, the Predator model doesn’t also include a recoil starter. That means that if you accidentally let the battery on this generator run out, you don’t have a way to start the generator. You don’t have to worry about this with the Champion generator since there’s a backup recoil starter.

The outlet panels on the two generators are actually quite evenly matched. Both include a 30-amp twist-lock outlet, which allows you to power an RV or another heavy-duty device. Note that Champion’s outlet is RV-ready, whereas Predator’s isn’t (but Predator includes an adapter with the generator). However, Predator included a small digital hour meter on it’s 3,000-watt generator, whereas Champion left this out. While this feature isn’t necessary, it’s certainly nice to have.

In terms of portability, the two generators are very similar. There’s a weight difference of just 3.5 pounds between them, although you’ll want to keep in mind that the larger fuel tank on the Predator model means that unit can get very heavy when filled. Both generators are mounted on wheels for simpler transport. But, don’t expect the wheels to handle off-road conditions – they’re small and tucked right under the body of the generator rather than mounted on an external frame. Neither of these generators win awards for portability, but they’re not overly difficult to roll or lift.

Given that these two generators seem to trade features back and forth, which one is better for you depends on what you need. The main selling point of the Champion 100263 is the fact that it’s a dual fuel model. The Predator is better if you’re committed to gasoline, since it has a much larger fuel tank.

Champion Power Equipment 100231 vs Predator 63966

Champion Power Equipment 100231Predator 63966
TypeDual-fuel conventionalConventional
Peak watts6900W (gasoline) / 5500W (propane)6500W
Rated watts6250W (gasoline) / 5000W (propane)5500W
Engine4-stroke, OHVHorizontal single-cylinder 4-stroke, OHV
Displacement389cc301cc
Fuel tank6 gal.8 gal.
Run time9 hrs (gasoline, 1/2 load), 6.5 hrs (propane, 1/2 load)14.5 hrs (1/2 load)
Outlets(1) 120/240V 30A Locking (L14-30R); (2) GFCI 120V 20A Duplex (5-20R)(4) 120V Duplex, 3-prong, (1) 240V Twist Lock, 4-prong, (1) 12V DC
Start typeRecoilRecoil
Noise level74 dBA74 dBA
Dimensions27 x 27.7 x 24.4 in26-7/8 x 22-3/4 x 22 in
Weight162.5 lbs165 lbs
Warranty3-year limited (residential), 270-day limited (commercial)2-year limited on engine, 90-day limited on other parts
Warranty2-year limited (residential)1-year limited (commercial)3-year limited (residential and commercial)

When you need more power than an inverter generator can offer, Champion offers the conventional dual fuel 100231 model and Predator offers the gasoline-powered 63966 model. These two generators are notably different in the amount of power they put out. The Champion model can produce a maximum of 6,900 watts and a continuous stream of 6,250 watts on gasoline. The Predator model is less powerful, with a maximum power of 6,500 watts and a rated wattage of 5,500 watts.

That difference in power, plus the dual fuel versatility of the Champion generator, may be enough on its own to convince you that the Champion unit is the one for you. After all, there’s not much difference in the price you’re paying between the two generators. But, once again, Predator offers a significantly larger fuel tank and longer run time.

The eight-gallon tank on the Predator 63966 allows you to run the generator for a whopping 14 hours at a 50% load. The Champion, with a six-gallon tank, will run out of fuel after just 9.5 hours at a 50% load. Whether this matters depends on how you plan to use your generator. However, 5.5 hours of extra run time isn’t something you can easily ignore.

In most other respects, these generators are almost indistinguishable. They produce the same amount of noise when running and offer an identical set of outlets. Both generators have a recoil starter rather than an electric start function. The only noteworthy difference is that the Champion model includes a digital hour meter, whereas the Predator model does not.

Even the size and weight of the two generators are almost the same. Both models are mounted on steel cages with heavy-duty wheels, so they can be rolled around on rough and rocky ground without a problem. Lifting them isn’t so easy, but the frame of each generator is designed to offer a number of grab points.

Ultimately, unless you need the extra run time that the Predator generator offers, you get a lot more power and versatility from the Champion 100231.

Final thoughts

Champion vs Predator Generators: Comparing the Two BrandsChampion and Predator are both high-quality generator brands producing affordable and reliable units. What’s so interesting about comparing these two companies’ generators is that their competing models are priced almost identically, and in many cases they offer the same outlets, power output, and portability options.

However, a major advantage to Champion generators is that they are dual fuel models. This offers much more flexibility, and it doesn’t cost you anything in this case to leave open the possibility of using propane with your generator instead of gasoline. The only thing that Predator generators can counter this with is larger fuel tanks, and that’s only true on generators offering 3,000 watts of power or more.

Overall, in the competition between Champion vs. Predator, Champion pulls ahead for the vast majority of use cases. Perhaps the only thing holding Champion back from completely dominating over Predator is that the company limits its warranty policy for commercial users. This gives businesses and contractors a lot of incentive to immediately discount Champion’s generators and opt for a Predator model instead.

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