At the current deal price, good luck find anything anywhere near this good anywhere near this price. I had been hunting a deal on an electronics friendly portable generator for a long while. Nothing can touch this deal. 6500/8125W, THD 6% or less, long run time, all for about $550? The comparable (THD 6% or less) Generac XP6500E sells for nearly $2k.
First assembly: Wheels and feet are super easy to attach. Fill with 1 qt of included oil and you are pretty much read to go. That's it. Its really easy and takes only about 20 minutes.
Generator: This is a 6500/8125W unit rated for continuous duty as stamped on the generator nameplate. The engine may not be rated for continuous duty, but the generator portion is rated for this. I would say this is the minimum size generator if you plan on using a 30A transfer switch. It can provide 27.1A at 240V, 54.2A at 120V. Note, this is a little less than 30A at 240V. Therefore, you will have to be careful not to overload the generator if you intend to use the 30A service. It will be possible to not trip the units main breaker and be overloading the generator with this one connection. IMO, this issue is lessoned by the fact that you do have a power display that seams to be fairly accurate and can help you determine what is too much. Ideally, though, you would be better served with a 7500W unit if you plan on a 30A service. For this price, however, it will work for me. There is also a convenient ground lug right on the generator housing. My unit puts out acceptable voltage and hz, as you can see in the pictures. That was with a 1500W simple resistive load.
Engine: The box did include 1 qt of 10W30 oil. Another poster said it doesn't bring that, but mine did. It did appear as if oil had been in the crankcase already, and I assume this was for factory testing. Anyway, the crankcase takes 1 qt oil to fill, so this was perfect. Added the oil and about 1 gallon of treated fuel. The unit started right up on first pull. Amazing! I have never had any small engine anything that started on first pull out the box. I then ran it for about 30 minutes, and the unit worked flawlessly. Yes, it is loud. None of the generators I have ever owned have been quiet and this unit is on par with all the others. Note, go ahead and buy another 2-3 qts of oil with this. First change is after 1 month or 20 hours. That will come fairly quick. After that, its 6 months or 100 hours. Remember to crank this up every month and run for at least 15-20 minutes. Also, shutdown by killing the fuel flow. You don't want fuel to remain in the carb if possible. Obviously, ALWAYS use a fuel stabilizer. I prefer Marine Stabil. There is no electric start, but, honestly, that is not a big deal. Those batteries usually die within a year or two, and the units themselves don't charge them. It ends up being kind of a pain on these smaller generators.
Practical use: Again, I believe this is pretty much the smallest generator to be used with a 30A service connection (such as a 30A transfer switch). It can deliver 27.1 continuous or 33.9A surge. This would be enough for a fridge, a chest freezer, most of your lights, 2-3 ceiling fans, router, cable modem, DVR, 2-3 modern TVs (60 inch or less), a desktop computer, charge all your tablets and phones, and a 12000btu portable AC. In addition, you should also be able to run a toaster or toaster oven or coffee maker or microwave or similar small appliance, however, only one a time. If you need to run the water heater, you could pull that off as well, but you will have to turn off most everything else while you do it. This is ok for a tank heater, as you only need to run that for about 60-90 minutes for all day hot water. I would not recommend a thankless water heater be used with this generator/30A service. If you have a smaller central AC, say 2.5 ton or less, and it is 16+ SEER, and you have a soft start kit, maybe, just maybe, you can run with this generator and a 30A service. However, that's about all you will be able to run if you can in the first place. If you plan on powering a small-mid central AC, you are much better off with at least a 10kW+ unit and a 50A service. Still, you will likely need a soft starter kit and it will have to be high SEER.
Runtime: Compared to units that can be used with 50A service, keep in mind that fuel ends up being the problem. This unit can be run 24 hours a day while powering at least all the important stuff and likely only go through about 16-20 gallons of fuel. That's a lot of fuel, but its manageable. With the unit full plus 50 gallons of cans, you should be able to squeeze out 3-4 days of 24 hour operation or 5-6 days 16-18 hour a day operation. 7-8 days if you are cautious. That should get you through most outages, or at least long enough for the gas stations other services to open up again, roads cleared, etc. The larger 10kW+ units usually use about twice as much fuel. So, to get this same runtime, you would need twice as much fuel stored in your garage. 50 gallons is a lot, but 100 gallons is ridiculous. Not to mention the cost of the fuel. Spending $250+ for 100 gallons of recreational fuel (and I wouldn't run anything else) to run 24 hours for 3-4 days is absurd. Also, after storm gas sales are usually limited. It is unlikely they will even let you buy 100 gallons at a time in this first few days after they re-open. In storms past, I remember it being more like a 20 gallon limit. So, you either store more to begin with, or get ready to travel to the next town to get your fuel. Forget all that. I would rather live with less.
Final thought: This is a fantastic buy for a 30A service suitable portable generator that is electronics friendly and has great runtime. You will be able to run all the important stuff in your house, plus a small portable or window AC. If you stage your usage, you can even heat your water, run coffee makers, etc. Probably not gonna work for even smaller central AC's, but running this thing through an outage will greatly lesson the hurt and not break the bank with fuel consumption. For this price, you really cant go wrong.
Contractors/jobsite: I would not recommend this for the jobsite. While the wheels and feet are good enough for residential use, they are not likely going to hold up to day-to-day abuse of a jobsite. Also, the unit is rather heavy at roughly 250lbs. Loading in and out of a truck takes two very strong people, and will get old fast. You would be much better off with your 4000-5000W units without wheel kits that come in a 150lbs.
All In One, Easy to Use