If you’re on the hunt for one of the most dependable, bang for your buck portable generators on the market, look no further than the ever-popular Predator 4000 Generator. This dependable option guarantees solid power delivery whenever and wherever it is needed.
One of the most reliable portable generators during emergencies, the Predator 4000 Generator promises quick and easy startup and run-time, regardless of whether it’s been stored away or left inside a generator enclosure for extended timespans.
The opportunities for this generator to truly shine are endless in emergency situations such as lightning strike power outages, hurricane outages, camping, job sites, and more. The Predator 4000 has enough power to simultaneously keep a 700-watt refrigerator and a 625-watt microwave going. With up to 4,000 peak watts and 3,200 running watts, you’ll never be left in the dark.
While tough on the job, the Predator 4000 Generator also excels in recreational activities. From not-so-roughing-it camping excursions to food trucks and beyond, you’ll have hours upon hours of run time from this portable generator powerhouse.
Hook this generator up to your camper, and enjoy the great outdoors without sacrificing the finer things in life, like refrigerated food. This generator can run several lights (around seven 100-watt bulbs), a sound bar, a space heater, and even a small television if need be.
Packing the Predator 4000 on your travels all but guarantees a great time without completely disconnecting (unless you plan on hiking Washington or something, in which case, don’t worry about bringing along a generator!)
Below, we discuss some of the most pertinent features of this generator, as well as advantages and potential disadvantages, possible generator alternatives to the Predator 4000, and finally our overall verdict of this option as a portable generator for a variety of needs.
It should be worth noting that we at Generator Expert do our absolute best to remain as unbiased as possible when reviewing these portable generators. We are not paid by any entity to review one option stronger than another.
Features of the Predator 4000 Generator
The Predator 4000 Generator has extensive features that make it a true powerhouse option for just about any circumstances that might come your way. The most common features present in this generator is that it is powerful, adaptable, and efficient. Let’s explain.
- Powerful – The EPA III certification of the Predator 4000 guarantees that it will deliver an extensive and impressive amount of power when and where needed. Additionally, it provides 3,200 running watts, which is a standard power push common in many mid-range generators. The Predator 4000 can generate 6.5 horsepower, and its connections include: a 12-volt DC outlet, a 240-volt/30-amp twist lock outlet that is four prongs, and two 120-volt, 20-amp duplex outlets that are three prongs.
- Adaptable – The versatile Predator 4000 Portable Generator can easily serve a variety of functions. It can be used at home in case of an emergency or power outage, but can also be counted on to go the job for everything from camping trips to RV outings to food trucks and beyond.
- Efficient – This generator has a 212 cubic centimeter (cc) air-cooled OHV gasoline-powered engine. This engine carries standard 87-octane unleaded gasoline that you can get at any gas station. This means that your stored five-gallon gas cans full of 87 octane will work just fine. The efficiency comes with an impressive ten-hour run-time at half capacity on a full tank of gas. Additionally, the Predator 4000 Generator features a large low-oil indicator that can be seen from a window inside through the rain. Finally, it will shut down automatically when the oil levels are low.
Additional Features of the Predator 4000 Generator
Data from the Harbor Freight page on the Predator generator.
- Run time: 10 hours @ 50% capacity
- Heavy duty 1 in. steel roll cage
- Low oil indicator / low oil shutdown
- 212cc, 6.5 HP air-cooled OHV gas engine
- UL listed circuit breakers
- (4) 120V duplex outlets, 3 prong, (1) 240V twist lock outlet, 4 prong, (1) 12V DC outlet
- Recoil start
- GFCI outlets
- Generator size: 23 1/3 inches long, 18 2/3 inches wide, 19 1/4 inches tall
- Product weight: 99 lbs (110.65lbs shipped weight from Harbor Freight)
Download the 28-page Owner’s Manual and Safety Instructions for the Predator 4000 Generator here.
Predator and Harbor Freight provide the following information in regards to their warranty on the Predator 4000 Generator:
We guarantee the emissions control system on your engine will be free from defects in material and workmanship for two (2) years, provided there has been no improper maintenance, misuse, or abuse of your engine. We guarantee this product to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for 90 days from the date of purchase. Limitations apply.
Pros, Cons and Alternatives for the Predator 4000 Generator
As with any generator review, we would be remiss if we didn’t touch upon some of the advantages and potential disadvantages. While we wish it was as easy as throwing up a ton of positive aspects and calling it a day, we know better.
Every generator is going to have its weak points. Part of Generator Expert’s trustworthiness comes from a broad viewpoint of the generators we review. As such, below are some pros and cons we have noted in our own testing and research of the Predator 4000 Generator.
Advantages of the Predator 4000 Generator
- Quick start – The start type for the Predator 4000 Generator is a recoil. While it might sound like a difficult process, rest assured you will not have a hard time getting it started. In most cases, one pull is enough to get it going. When we tested, we started the generator five times from a cold start. In four of those five starts, it started on the first pull. On the fifth, it took three pulls. This test was performed in the summer in Florida though. Your mileage may vary in colder environments or inclement weather, such as in a camper van in Iceland.
- Great performance – You can count on this Predator generator to do a good job. At home, it can easily handle two refrigerators plus a freezer when you need it to. On the job site, it can power an orbital sander, a table saw, shop vacuum, plus a jigsaw, all at the same time. It’s a beast in a relatively light package for its wattage and compared to alternative options at the same power level. Whether you are building a shipping container home, welding sheet metal, or just looking for a generator for home use.
- Reasonably priced – This particular model of generator is affordable and worth the price for its features. Comparing cost to power and efficiency, this is one of the strongest portable generators on the market today.
Potential Disadvantages of the Predator 4000 Generator
Heavy – The generator weighs 99 pounds. But the weight seems negligible considering its features. If you plan to take it along with you just make sure to purchase the wheel kit. It is available on Amazon here.
- Separate wheel kit – Portability becomes an issue with this generator as the wheel kit is sold separately, as seen above. Likewise the handle, though it is often seen in the picture, is not included in the box when you purchase the generator. Both the wheels and handle are “aftermarket” parts that are sold separately.
- Noisy – The generator has a sound rating of 70 dB (decibels). It can be a bit louder than other generators when it is operational. For comparison purposes, 70 decibels is the equivalent of running a standard vacuum cleaner.
- Oil change problems – You could encounter some difficulty in the event you need to add engine oil to keep it running smoothly. It is because the location of the oil fill/check cap is not so convenient to get this done.
- Misleading specifications – Users who are a stickler for amperage might be discouraged. While the box indicates a 20 amp breaker, a closer inspection of the generator would reveal it only has a 13 amp breaker. Thus, it would be advisable for you to check before making your purchase to ensure you don’t require a breaker over 13 amps. You don’t want a situation where your generator won’t start.
Alternatives to the Predator 4000
While there is no perfect generator, if there is something in the above review that seems to be a deal breaker, the portable generators below may be a better fit for your needs.
Tips to Selecting A Predator Generator
Harbor Freight has developed this handy guide to comparing their Predator generator options. They note that there is a three-step process that should be followed to ensure you get a generator that meets your needs, without getting something so powerful that it wastes energy. Those steps are:
- Identify the items you need to power
- Determine the total wattage for all the items you will use
- Choose a generator that powers up to 90 percent of your needs
The concept is simple. Let’s say you have a 60-watt light bulb. Effectively, with 3,200 running watts, the Predator 4000 Generator can keep over 53 light bulbs operational simultaneously at its running watt threshold.
Note: Please see our guide to starting watts vs running watts for more information about why these wattage numbers differ.
Per their guide in the PDF linked above, some of the examples of what their various Predator generators will power simultaneously are as follows:
- Their 900 watt peak/700 watt running generator will power seven light bulbs, or one standard tent camping setup, or one standard cookout setup.
- The Predator 2000 watt inverter generator can easily run both a full-size refrigerator, as well as a microwave, or keep a laptop at full charge. Additionally, being an inverter generator, it will be significantly quieter than conventional generator alternatives.
- Conversely, Predator also has a behemoth and very popular 6,500 peak watts, 5,500 running watt generator option, the Predator 6500. This option can run the fridge and microwave as mentioned above, but also power multiple light bulbs, a circular saw, and a power drill. This makes it a great option for hurricane recovery when dealing with a simultaneous power outage.
The Predator 4000 generator comes out of the box ready to rock and roll, and is certified EPA III Special. This, combined with the extensive advantages mentioned above, promise to make your life easier when power is needed.
You don’t have to worry about power outages or roughing it out on a campsite. Likewise, it can be your go-to source for power on a job site. However, while it might be powerful, certain things about it you should know before buying it.
- First, it is noisy compared to other alternative, similarly-powered generators.
- Second, it is not as portable as you might hope for. On the contrary, if you’re planning on transporting this versus leaving it in a generator enclosure, you will need to purchase the wheel kit and handle separately.
- Third, the amperage it provides may be less than what you need. We cover that above in the potential disadvantages, but it’s worth noting again.
In spite of these, the Predator 4000 Generator is still an extremely reliable generator, provided none of these issues are a major concern for you. We extensively tested and performed intense research to determine the generators that make it on our list. The Predator 4000 Generator is present in several of these lists. It’s worth a look see for the next time you need to purchase a powerful portable generator for a wide variety of needs.