When the power goes out, you probably always think that you should have bought a generator. This type of tool is critical when the power goes out. If you live in an area with frequent hurricanes, floods, or other natural disasters, you probably do need to purchase one.
However, generators are expensive and come with a variety of features, which can make it challenging to choose the best unit for your situation. This decision requires research, but you do not want to research so much that you become unprepared for the next major weather system.
Regardless of the reason behind purchasing a generator, you must have information to make a wise choice. While a variety of generators can provide power, a dual fuel generator is the best choice for continuous power without interruption.
This article will reduce the amount of research to pick the best dual fuel generator for your needs and wants. It will review the top dual fuel generators on the market while including what you need to consider before purchasing a unit.
Best Dual Fuel Generators
1. DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator
This DuroMax is known for its longevity, efficiency, and excellent performance. With a 457cc engine, it has enough power to charge all of your major appliances, including your air conditioner, heavy-duty tools, freezer, refrigerators, washer, and dryers.
You can get 120 to 240 volts with a total of 12,000 watts of power. The internal copper windings help to guarantee longevity and durability. It comes equipped with a voltmeter, which allows you to detect the amount of energy running through the unit. This device also provides data about idle controls, oil levels, and circuit breakers.
This unit comes with a muffler that helps to reduce noise. It also has motor mounts that are isolated. These two features minimize noise levels making this unit one of the quietest on this list. The unit also comes with a spark arrestor, which enables the smooth operation of the device.
This dual fuel unit can last for more than ten days of sustained power as long as you ensure fuel is available. With the handle kit and solid fill tires, this device can be taken on most terrains without any issues.
However, some users have said that the weight of the unit can make these plastic tires flat. It also does not have a loading indicator, which means you do not know the load input versus output. With a key start engine, this machine’s benefits surely outweigh these few negatives
- Easy to use design
- Key start
- 12,000 watts
- Tires go flat
2. Westinghouse WGen3600DF
the choice between a pull, wireless remote, or an electric start. It is equipped with a 120-volt outlet and an RV ready 30-amp outlet. The unit also has another 30-amp outlet, but it is not RV ready.
The 212 cc engine is not as strong as others on the list but can still handle almost any power job needed for your house. This device can keep your home operating during a power outage or just light up your outdoor lights.
When using gas, this generator will produce 4650 watts starting but can maintain 3600 watts while continuously running. If you are running this unit on propane, you can get 4180 starting watts and 3240 running watts.
This unit was designed to be easy to use, so the manufacturer color-coded the variety of buttons. They also included a fuel selector switch. The low-oil shutdown feature is another fantastic feature of this unit. It also has a muffler to reduce noise.
The cast iron sleeve and long-lasting enclosure make this unit one of the most durable on the list. The gas tank can handle 4 gallons at once, which allows the unit to run for 18 hours at a 25% load. When you use propane, the device will run for 20 hours at a 25% loan.
- TT-30R 30amp outlet
- Low-oil feature
- Easy to start options
- 109 pounds
3. Champion 3400
The Champion 3400-watt generator is an excellent choice when you need clean and stable power. With this generator, you can connect sensitive electronics, and its Voltguard feature will protect your electronics in case of a power surge. Champion is a dual fuel portable inverter generator.
The gas tank can hold up to 1.6 gallons of gas while the propane tank can hold up to 20 pounds of propane. With a full gas tank, you can run the unit for 7.5 hours with a 25% loan. With a full propane tank, it can run for over 14 hours at a 25% load.
While operating on gas, this device can produce 3400 start watts and 3100 running watts. If you decide to use propane, you will get 3060 starting watts and 2790 running watts. The switch dial on this generator allows you to switch between gas and propane easily.
If this number of watts does not satisfy your needs, you can increase the power by using a parallel kit. This kit comes with a 50-amp outlet, which is RV ready. The electric start on this unit is convenient. It comes with a battery that features cold start technology.
With this technology, you will not be disappointed when dealing with cold weather. Another feature of this unit is the low-oil sensor. This sensor will automatically turn the unit off if the oil level is too low for safe operation.
- Stable power source
- Smart economy mode
- Multiple 120v outlets
- Smaller fuel tank
4. Sportsman GEN4000DF
The Sportsman GEN4000DF is a fabulous choice for running your appliances during a loss of power while still being an excellent choice for a construction site with heavy-duty tools. This versatile unit is designed to rise to the occasion when a power outage happens.
This device is dual fuel, which allows you to choose the most affordable and convenient fuel source for your area. The peak watts for this unit is 4000, while the continuous wattage is 3500 for gas. While running propane, the peak is 3600, and the constant wattage is 3150.
With this amount of wattage, this Sportsman has the capability and flexibility to handle all of your generator needs. However, without wheels or other means to transport, it is better for this unit to be stationary.
The tank size on the GEN4000DF for gas is 3.6 gallons. With a fuel tank of gas, this unit will run for about 10 hours at a 50% load without issue. The propane tank can carry 20 pounds of fuel, and at a 50% load, it will run for about 12 hours.
This generator comes with a 5-foot propane hose as an added feature. Another feature is the low oil function. This function shuts the unit off to prevent damage from low oil.
- Engine is a high performance seven horsepower machine
- Long continuous power with propane and gas
- Four outlets for household use
- No gauge or other indicator for fuel
- Hard to transport
5. Rainier R12000DF
This dual fuel generator utilizes gasoline and propane. With each of these fuels, you will get different wattage. When using gasoline, it will run at 9500 watts, but when using propane, it runs at 8550. This unit runs the gas and propane separately.
This feature is nice because you can make adjustments to accommodate your technology or appliances. It also allows you to switch between the two fuels easily. With a fuel gauge control, this unit will never run out of fuel.
It also has a low-oil automatic shutdown. This feature helps to protect the device from damage. It also provides protection to all of your appliances from inconsistent power. With this device, you can get 17.5 hours at 25% of continuous run time.
The VFT display on this device is easy to understand. This VFT can be used for controlling the unit. With a variety of household outlets, you can attach a wide array of different appliances, cell phone chargers, or laptops during an outage.
With a 457cc OHV engine, this device is extremely powerful. With this amount of power, you may expect it to be incredibly loud. However, when the unit is running, it has a volume as low as 72 decibels.
- 17.5 hours of run time
- Low-oil shutdown
- VFT display
6. Fortress Hybrid
Whether you are using propane or gasoline, this generator will give you 10 hours of continuous power without issue. It is made from durable materials to ensure a long life regardless of usage. These two items make this generator incredibly versatile.
Regardless of the available fuel, you can take full advantage of the features of this device. The engine is extremely powerful and can power most of the appliances in your home or your RV for hours. Even with this amount of power, this unit is surprisingly quiet.
The attached sound muffler helps to lower the noise level. This unit is quiet enough that you could use it throughout the nighttime without getting complaints about the noise. It is so subtle that it probably will not even disturb your sleep.
The full power panel on this generator allows you to track the voltage. With this fantastic panel, the engine shut off, power outlets, and circuit breakers can be controlled.
- Sound muffler
- 10 hours of power
- 137 pounds
7. Firman H03652
This unit is one of the most affordable generators on this list. However, it is a little bit weaker when compared to some of the others on the list. When it is running on gasoline, the surge wattage is 4550, and the running watts is 3650. Propane offers a little less power with 4100 surge watts and 3300 running watts.
With a five-gallon tank, this device will continuously run for 14 hours without issues. This amount of run time is an incredible feature of this device. The runtime allows you to ration the fuel during storms. It will also reduce the carbon footprint left by the generator.
Even though it is weaker, it can still handle a variety of powering needs. These needs include appliances and camping requirements. The 208cc engine comes equipped with Phoenix Fat Head Block, which allows it to run cool.
This machine is durable with a cast-iron cage. It also comes with wheels that are never flat, which allows you to transport it with ease. The battery life of this device is exceptionally long, especially when compared to other units.
- Excellent runtime
- Long battery life
- Less power than other units
8. Champion 7500
This dual-fuel generator is a reliable power source for your home, camper, or job-site. It offers 9375 surge watts and 7500 watts when running on gas. If you are using propane, it will give you 8400 surge watts and 6750 running watts.
This device is capable of running the lights, TV, refrigerator, freezer, security system, sump pump, and air conditioner all at the same time. You could even use 2 HP air compressor and 5 or 6 power tools at the same time.
Hertz, runtime hours, and voltage are all displayed on the Intelli-gauge. This gauge also allows you to monitor when your unit needs maintenance and the power output. This gauge is one of the best features of this unit.
This unit has a fuel tank that can hold 6 gallons of gas. It can run for 8 hours with a full tank. When using propane, this device will run for 5.5 hours. It comes equipped with a cast iron sleeve to help ensure it is a durable unit.
Another great feature of this unit includes sturdy, never-flat wheels. These wheels make it extremely easy to move this device even though it is on the heavier side. The electric start and toggle switch are also excellent features associated with this unit.
- Equipped with Intelli-gauge
- Steel frame
- Multiple outlets
- Not as fuel-efficient as other models
9. Pulsar PG10000B16
When running gas, you can get a whopping 10,000 watts starting power and 8000 watts continuous running watts. Propane will give you 9000 watts of surge power and 7000 watts continuous running. With this amount of power, you can run all of your major appliances in your home and garage without problems.
Pulsar added a steel frame that is sturdy and protects the 15 horsepower engine. This unit comes equipped with wheels and handles to move the device to whichever location you want with ease. The never-flat wheels measure 10 inches.
With an electric key start, this Pulsar is easy to start. It is also easy to use with a fuel selector switch. This switch allows you to choose between your preferred fuel, either gas or propane. It is also equipped with a 3 in 1 voltmeter, which enables you to view indicator easily.
One key safety feature for this device is the overload protection, which saves it from damage. The low oil sensor is another safety feature to protect this unit. This device also comes equipped with circuit breakers and hour meter.
- 3 in 1 voltmeter
- Multiple outlets
- 12 hours runtime
- Engine is loud
Dual Fuel Generator Advantages
A dual fuel generator can utilize one engine or two different engines. The style depends upon the size of the unit and the amount of power you need. These types of generators can vary from small portable devices to massive industrial units like the ones used in hospitals.
With a dual fuel generator, you get flexibility when trying to restore electricity to your home after a power outage. However, being dual fuel is not the only benefit you get when you use this type of generator. The following advantages are a few examples of these other benefits.
Dual fuel generators are not only flexible but versatile. These units give you options when one of the fuel sources is unavailable. For example, one night, a power outage happens, and you realize you do not have any gasoline on hand.
If your generator is a gas-only unit, you may have some problems. You may be in serious trouble if the nearby stations are out of gas also. When you live in areas that have frequent hurricanes or blizzards, it can be days before the utility company can restore power.
A dual fuel generator ensures you have the choice to use the resource that is available in your area. If propane is in abundance, you can use propane. When gas is available, you can flip a switch and use gas. When the gas runs out, you can flip the switch back and use propane. This process means you can have power for days without issue.
If you live in a remote area, you may have problems locating natural gas or propane. However, gas or diesel can be found in almost every town regardless of its size. When it comes to convenience, the dual fuel generator allows you to have power even when your preferred source of fuel is not available.
Constant Power Source
If you look around your home, you realize just about every appliance you use needs electricity to work. With this in mind, you must have a power source to ensure no interruptions to your electricity. A dual-fuel engine can almost guarantee that you will have a continuous power source.
It is vital to have a continuous power supply for those appliances that need to continue to run, such as a refrigerator or freezer. During a blizzard, it is equally important to have continuous power to your heater, because it can become a matter of life or death. Hospitals and factories use dual fuel generators because of this stable constant power supply.
When researching dual-fuel generators, you will find a common misconception. This misconception states that these types of generators have a decrease in efficiency and quality. However, these units are just as functional. Some experts would say they are actually better than a single fuel unit.
A dual fuel device is just as effective as a single fuel device, whether it is a small tool or a freezer that needs to be powered. With a dual fuel device, you have a variety of options to ensure that you are choosing the unit that best matches your needs.
Some people would say that dual fuel units are even more efficient than single fuel ones. These machines will run on any available fuel where the single fuel must have one particular type of fuel to work. These units also work excellently in cold weather and severe weather conditions.
Unlike some other types of generators, the dual-fuel units are easy to maintain. These devices are easy to transport if repairs are needed. Whole-house generators can be costly when it comes to repairs, maintenance, and installation.
When these types of generators were designed, durability was one of the top goals. Manufacturers understood that these units would be used in blizzards, hurricanes, and other severe weather conditions. So, they used sturdy materials and created strong frames to ensure longevity.
Natural Gas and Diesel Combination
Typically, these types of devices use two different types of fuel. Natural gas and liquid propane are becoming more common in dual-fuel devices. The most common combinations are diesel and propane or diesel and natural gas. Most experts would say that the most effective unit utilizes natural gas and diesel.
Gasoline is generally not used when you are talking about a dual-fuel generator. Dual-fuel generators do not typically use gasoline because it is volatile and can be hard to store. The thermal density is lower for gasoline also. Gasoline is also typically not used because it does not combine with natural gas.
Diesel is the oldest fuel source used in back-up generators. It is known for reliability and is an excellent choice of fuel supply in remote areas. However, natural gas also has a variety of advantages. It offers a longer running time and is environmentally friendly.
Another popular type of natural gas and diesel generator is the single-engine unit. This engine will start running using 100% diesel. Over time, the controls will automatically begin to bring in natural gas. Natural gas has a greater temperature than diesel.
Eventually, the engine reduces the diesel making the mixture 75% natural gas and 25% diesel. When the mixture reaches these percentages, the engine is running on full capacity. When choosing a dual-fuel generator, you should consider a natural gas and diesel combination because of the above facts plus a variety of advantages.
The advantages of a natural gas and diesel device include:
- Cost Efficiency
- Natural gas provides longer running times
- Better for the environment
- Low gas emission
The only major disadvantage of a natural gas and diesel device is the more spacious units are not as affordable as the units that only use one fuel. However, over time you will save on fuel storage and electricity.
Dual-fuel Generator Features to Consider
After considering all of the above information, the next step is to decide on the necessary features you need for your power needs. The following features are some of the most common ones associated with a dual-fuel generator.
Type of Starter
Every dual-fuel device has a recoil starter. This type of starter is a pull cord that takes some muscles because you have to pull on the corner multiple times. However, a wide variety of these units also come with an electric starter.
With an electric starter, you do not need any muscles because you only have to push a button. Sometimes, the electric starter is a switch. Most people will only use the electric starter, but the recoil starter is vital as a backup. If the battery runs out of juice, the recoil starter will work while the electric starter will not.
When you measure output power, you usually do it in surge wattage or continuous wattage. The definition of surge wattage is the watts a unit can produce for a short period of time. The peak wattage is a significant number because it allows the generator to overcome high power requirements when starting appliances such as refrigerators and freezers.
The continuous wattage is the number of watts a unit constantly produces as long as fuel is available. When you are choosing the unit, the constant wattage must be greater than the total requirements of every appliance you will power with the device.
All dual-fuel generators will actually have four ratings, which include a surge and continuous rating for each type of fuel. Gasoline will produce more power than some of the other fuels because it is more energy-dense.
You may want to ensure that the drop in the amount of wattage is not extreme between gas and propane. If this amount is greater than a few hundred watts, you will lose some of the excellent benefits of choosing this type of unit.
With a variety of safety measures, these devices help to protect not only themselves from damage but your appliances. One of these features is a low oil automatic shutoff, which turns the machine off when the oil becomes too low to operate safely.
Another similar feature is an overload shutoff, which turns the unit off before it becomes overloaded. A fuel gauge ensures easy monitoring. It also guarantees you will never accidentally run out of fuel during an emergency.
The available outlets on a generator are vital when it comes to providing power to your appliances and other devices. Larger units will typically offer a 240-volt outlet. Some units will also offer a 30-amp twist-lock outlet for an RV. If you own an RV, you will want to ensure that the 30-amp outlet is RV ready. When a unit offers more outlets, it provides more flexibility when powering different devices.
Regardless of the size and type of generator, you are going to have to deal with noise. However, every generator does not produce the same amount of noise. When talking about noise, power is a key factor. The most substantial the generator, the more noise it will make.
The best way to tell how much noise a generator will produce is to look at the decibels. Even the quietest generators will give off about 50 decibels. This number is a good starting place when picking a dual-fuel generator.
The runtime can be defined as the time that the unit will run on a full tank of gas or a single tank of propane. As with power, runtime depends significantly on the fuel source. The tank size also affects the runtime of a particular unit.
When running on gasoline, the runtime is vital because the tank does not get bigger. When you need to refuel, you have to let the unit cool for 20 minutes. When running propane, you can always get a bigger tank or run two tanks.
With a high price tag, a dual-fuel generator needs to last a long time. A wide variety of manufacturers typically offer a one-year warranty. These warranties typically protect against defects in the materials. However, you can find various units that provide much more than this universal warranty.
With the above information, you are ready to find your perfect dual-fuel generator. Every generator can provide a variety of advantages and disadvantages, but with a dual-fuel unit, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.