The Briggs & Stratton Q6500 QuietPower truly is a fantastic gas generator that will surprise you in terms of the features you get with it. One thing I want to clarify about this generator is that although Briggs & Stratton calls it : Q6500 QuietPower Series Inverter Generator — It’s not a true inverter generator as you would expect. It’s more of a hybrid design. Because inverter technology is so effective; manufactures are incorporating aspects of the technology into their conventional generators. The Q6500 is an excellent portable generator that combines the best of both worlds and is quiet at only 66 dB.
If you’re looking for a portable generator that’s going to give you all the power that you need to backup your home during a power outage or keep a full range of tools running on a job site, you’re looking at something that puts out at least 6000W. A 6000W-6500W generator is also the best for a large RV, giving you enough amps to start and run a refrigerator, air conditioner and a large microwave without any compromise.
VIDEO | Features Overview — Briggs & Stratton Q6500
The problem with generators of this size is that are noisy, growling beasts. So if you’re using a large generator in a crowded campsite or a suburban area, you’re likely to get complaints from the neighbors. Smaller quiet generators a very common (up to about 3500W), it’s much easier to build a quiet generator in this class. When you’re using an engine of around 100cc, muffling the sound isn’t a mammoth task. Silencing an engine that’s upward of 300cc, is an all-together different story.
So can you get a quiet generator that pumps out more than 6000W? Yes you can, but it’s going to cost you and there aren’t all that many choices – large quiet generators are quite rare. With prices easily going into an excess of $4000 for a good quality 6500W quiet generator, it’s a tough call making the decision to buy one.
Now here’s the good news, the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 can be yours for around $1500, that’s less than half the price of its nearest rivals. This must be too good to be true, right? I was skeptical as to how the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 would fare when pitted against the Yamaha EF6300iSDE and the Honda Eu7000is.
When disaster strikes you’ll be thankful for the Briggs & Stratton Q6500
Both the Japanese generators give you a similar peak wattage. The Yamaha produces a slightly lower peak (6300W) and the Honda is quite a bit higher (7000W). What’s most noticeable, when you first compare the three, is that the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 is less than half the price of the other two.
Granted, Honda and Yamaha are highly respected brands in the world of generators but, then again, Briggs & Stratton is no Mickey Mouse when it comes respected names in the industry. So what could possibly be the reason for this massive price difference? I had to find the answer.
In this article, I’m going to give the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 a thorough investigation and provide a review that will, hopefully, answer this question. Naturally, I’m going to review the two other generators to give them all a fair comparison. By the end of this review, you should have a good idea as to whether it’s worth paying so much for the Japanese generators or is the Briggs & Stratton just a fantastic deal?
At these prices and with such a large discrepancy between the more expensive machines and the much cheaper Briggs & Stratton Q6500, it’s worth giving this review a read so that you can make an informed decision. On the face of it, it makes sense to go for the cheaper option, but are you getting the same quality and performance for your money?
Compact and powerful inverter generator — 6500W/5000W (starting/running) QuietPower.
The Q6500 is one of my favorite generators because it combines innovative technology to create a quiet generator that is modern in its aesthetic, and powerful in its design. This is truly the best of both worlds because beyond the pure quality of the engineering it’s also very affordable and well-priced for what you get. Briggs and Stratton has clearly designed this for homeowners who need a well-made portable generator that is both quiet and affordable. It’s really that simple.
This is an excellent portable generator for the money.
- More than 60% quieter than standard generators
- Briggs & Stratton 306cc engine with integrated alternator
- 14 hours of run time at 25% load
- All-steel frame enclosed in a protective shell, noise is reduced greatly and internal components are protected from the elements.
- A suitcase-style telescoping handle makes it easy to move the generator anywhere you need to go.
- QuietPower Series inverter technology and a noise-reducing shell give you power that’s more than 60% quieter than standard generators (66 dBA at 25% load)
- Design is 45% more compact & 30% lighter (128 lbs) than standard portable generators
- Power a wide variety of electronics & devices at the same time with (4) 120V-20A outlets, (2) USB outlets & (1) 120V-240V locking outlet. Use of an RV adapter in the twist lock outlet, provides 120V / 20.8A (half) of the total available power
Overview | Briggs & Stratton Q6500
In May of 2017, Briggs & Stratton announced the unveiling of their brand new Quiet Series Inverter Generators with much fan fair and some pretty impressive claims. According to the guys at Briggs & Stratton, the new generator is more than 60% quieter, 45% more compact and 30% lighter than their conventional generator range. By conventional generator, they mean the standard design Briggs Stratton generator with the steel frame that’s been around forever in various formats and engine variations.
The new Briggs & Stratton Q6500 QuietPower does look a whole lot different to what we’ve been used to. It has a similar modern design to that of their PowerSmart series, which are smaller inverter generators. This being a modern compact unit with a steel frame and a durable plastic housing that encloses the machinery. This very stylish design isn’t a mere fashion statement, the cover that encloses the generator is designed to insulate it and reduce the sound that it emits.
A cool looking cover and insulation material isn’t the only way that Briggs & Stratton has reduced the noise level of this generator. The newly designed 306cc engine and alternator form one integrated unit. This engine is quieter than its predecessors and the integrated design reduces both the weight and size of the generator.
As with most state of the art modern generators, the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 is an inverter generator. This means that it delivers clean power with low Harmonic Distortion (HD), which is the best for modern electronic equipment. Unlike the smaller generators in the PowerSmart series, the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 QuietPower doesn’t have the ability to connect another generator in parallel to double its power output. Then again, with 6500W of starting (peak/surge) power and 6000 running watts, you won’t really need more power.
Integrated engine/alternator provides up to 14 hours of run time
The Briggs & Stratton Q6500 will have no problem starting and running a large air conditioner or refrigerator. A centralized HVAC system might leave you limited to what else you can run off the generator, but for most home, RV and work site applications, you shouldn’t have any problem running multiple appliances at the same time.
Okay so let’s take a look at those impressive sounding percentages that I mentioned at the start. They say it’s 60% quieter, so how quiet is this? At a 25% load, the sound level is 66dBA. When you’re having a normal conversation, your voice measures around 65dBA, so this is quite reasonable. It would be nice to have the figures for a higher load, but I doubt it would go much over 70dBA. So it will never be that much louder than if two people were talking in your back yard – this really isn’t bad for a generator that puts out a peak power of 6500 watts.
VIDEO | How to Operate — Briggs & Stratton Q6500
So, it’s 45% more compact, this measures out at a height of 21.43”, a width of 21.2” and it’s 25.53” in length. Again, this is really good for a generator of this size. They say it’s 30% lighter, I guess 128 LBS is much lighter than the old steel framed machines, but it’s still quite a load to lift. Fortunately, it has two large 8” solid (never-flat) wheels and a telescopic handle that makes it an easy machine to move about.
Inverter generators are renowned for their fuel efficiency and the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 is no exception. It’s claimed that you can get up to 14-hours from a tank of gas at 25% load. The tank holds 5-gallons, so that works out at 0.36 gallons per hour – pretty impressive by anyone’s standard. If you’re running your home with the AC running and you have your refrigerator connected to the generator, together with a few other heavy appliances (a vacuum or microwave) coming on and off at regular intervals, you’ll probably be running an average load of 50%, this will give you 7-hours from a tank of gas (0.72 gallons per hour), this is still great economy.
As part of its modern and stylish design, the Briggs & Stratton is very user-friendly. There are four 120V 20A (GFCI) power sockets, a 120V/240V twist-lock power outlet and two USB outlets. All the power outlets have water/dust resistant covers which are a great addition and, of course, it has a circuit breaker for overload protection. There are LED indicator lights to show your output percentage (50%; 75% and 100%), as well as a system OK indicator light and one for low oil warning.
There’s a switch at the top to activate quiet running, I’m not sure what this does. Okay, it obviously makes the generator run quieter, but how it does this and why you need to switch it over is a mystery to me. I would think that if you’re buying a quiet generator, you want it to be quiet, so why the switch? Maybe some people prefer to hear their generator roar like a beast from time to time – who knows? It also has a fuel gauge but no hour meter.
What I find a little disappointing is the recoil starter. Usually, generators of this size have an electric starter motor, which does make it easier to start the relatively large 306cc engine. I know that Briggs & Stratton have come a long way in developing engines that are easier to start, so maybe the recoil starter won’t be such a big problem. I think the main reason for omitting the starter motor and built-in battery is to reduce the weight.
VIDEO | It”s Quiet. Hear for Yourself — Briggs & Stratton Q6500
Despite only being on the market since June, the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 has sold in large numbers and people love this generator. All-in-all, I’d say this is a pretty fantastic generator. Over the years, Briggs & Stratton have refined their products and they have become known for their reliability and performance. The Briggs & Stratton Q6500 comes with a 2-year warranty and service, as well as spare parts, is never a problem.
Learn more about the Q6500 inverter generator by visiting the Briggs and Stratton site.
5500 Running Watts/6300 Starting Watts, inverter generator. Quiet : 58 – 64 dBA
- 6300 watts of starting watts / 5500 running watts
With sophisticated capabilities like dual 120-volt and 240- volt power, you can run almost any type of equipment with total confidence. From high-demand equipment such as well pumps, compressors and RV air conditioners to sensitive electronics like plasma TVs, satellite receivers and computers.
- Automatic choke makes for easy starting. The EF6300iSDE is ideal for outdoor recreation and power outage emergencies.
- Excellent fuel efficiency means a run time of 13.3 hours at a constant 1/4 load on just a single tank of gas.
- The EF6300iSDE features Noise Block sound reduction system which makes it a very quiet generator for its output; 58-64 decibels.
- Yamaha’s Oil Watch Warning System helps prevent engine damage from low oil and provides added peace of mind.
- Noise Block — Quiet, pleasant to use
- Pure Sine Wave (Pulse Width Modulation) Inverter System — Run electronic equipment, appliances, variable-speed power tools and computers
- Smart Throttle — Automatically adjusts engine speed to match power demand, reduces noise, fuel consumption and engine wear
- Wireless Remote (Optional) — Start & Stop the generator from up to 66 feet away
- Electric start — Effortless starting (battery included)
- Automatic choke — Effortless starting
- Low oil shutoff — Protects engine from low oil damage
- Fuel level gauge — See fuel level at a glance
- Dual voltage 120/240 volt — Versatile, operate variety of 120V and 240V tools and appliances
- Power meter — See how much power is being used and how much power is available
- Hour meter — Shows accumulated running time for refueling and service scheduling
- Lightweight — Easy transport
- Twin bar — Aid lift, transport and provide security point
- Stylish design — Nice appearance and Modern design
- 50 state legal — Meets CARB emission regulations and given highest EPA rating
- Weight : 200 lbs.
- Noise Level (1/4 Load – Rated Load) : 58 ~ 64 dBA
- Continuous Operation at 1/4 Rated Load : 13.3 hr
- Rated / Maximum AC Current : 45.8 amps / 52.5 amps @120V – 22.9 amps / 26.3 amps @ 240V
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the Yamaha EF6300iSDE.
Overview | Yamaha EF6300iSDE
Once you’ve got your breath back and your heart rate has returned to normal after seeing the price tag for the Yamaha EF6300iSDE, you can take a moment to look at what you’re getting for your money and decide if it’s worth it. If you’re already impressed with the Briggs & Stratton Q6500, it’s going to be a tough job convincing you to spend so much more on this generator. Though my intention is not to convince that either is better. The aim here is to give you the facts and leave you to make your decision. That being said, I will throw in my opinion from time to time. But this should be taken as just that, my opinion and not fact.
It’s a great machine and has an upgraded modern look, similar to the Briggs & Stratton Q6500. Though, when it comes to stylish good looks the Briggs & Stratton has done a better job. Then again a generator is not a fashion statement and I doubt you’re going to be making your decision based on looks. So what does the Yamaha EF6300iSDE have to offer?
It has a powerful and economical 357cc engine delivering 6300 watts of peak power and a 5500W running load. This means that the Yamaha has a larger engine than the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 but puts out less power. This probably means that the engine will last longer and may well require less maintenance. Logic tells me that fewer watts from a larger engine mean that it won’t be working as hard, resulting in less wear and tear on the engine.
So does the bigger engine increase your fuel consumption? Surprisingly, it doesn’t. The Yamaha EF6300iSDE is also an inverter generator with a smart-throttle, giving it improved fuel efficiency. It has a 4.5-gallon fuel tank and this will give you 13.3 hours run time at 25% load (0.34 gallons per hour). This is slightly better than the 0.36 gallons per hour that you’ll get from the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 which, ironically, has a smaller engine.
So, in this regard, the Yamaha does have the edge. Based on the assumption that you’re likely to get better long term performance from the larger engine and that it’s more fuel efficient, your running costs are going to be lower with the Yamaha.
The Yamaha EF6300iSDE also has an electric starter with an automatic choke, so it’s certainly going to be easier to start than Briggs & Stratton Q6500, especially in cold weather. In addition to this, you have the option of a remote control to start and switch off the generator. This adds to your convenience and could sway your decision in favor of the Yamaha.
Noise levels will probably play a big role in making your decision. Market research has indicated that this has become one of the biggest deciding factors among customers looking to buy a new generator. Here the Yamaha is a winner once again, by quite a margin. At 25% load, the Yamaha is as quiet as a whisper, reading 58dBA and climbing to a maximum of 64dBA. This means that even when running at full throttle, the Yamaha is quieter than a normal speaking voice. This means that Yamaha EF6300iSDE will be more welcome in campsites than the Briggs & Stratton Q6500.
Where the Yamaha is less impressive than the Briggs & Stratton is in the weight department, it weighs 200LBS. It has four wheels, instead of the two on the Briggs & Stratton Q6500. Though, I can’t see any advantage in this. In fact, the two much larger wheels and a retractable handle on the Briggs & Stratton Q6500, not to mention it’s a whopping 72 LBS lighter, make the Briggs & Stratton much more portable. The Yamaha has very well-designed carrying handles but you’re going to need two guys to carry it.
The Yamaha has a similar control panel with 120V/240V outlets, so you get two standard 120V household outlets, a 120V/240V twist lock outlet, and a 30A RV outlet. It also has a fuel gauge, power meter, and hour meter. The unit is wonderfully compact, measuring 30.7” X 24.3” X 27.2”.
For the most part, the Yamaha EF6300iDE beats the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 when it comes to features and, possibly durability. The Briggs & Stratton does give you more usable wattage, which is actually what you want from a portable generator – so this gives it one up on the Yamaha. The Briggs & Stratton Q6500 QuietPower is much lighter and this, too, could make it more attractive to many potential customers.
The Yamaha has a more impressive warranty, 3-years. This is another indication that the Yamaha may be a more durable machine. For many years, Yamaha has proven themselves as a big contender when it comes to reliable and durable engines. They also have extensive experience in the electronics department, something other generator manufacturers don’t have. With electronics playing a much more important role when it comes to modern inverter generators, Yamaha probably has the upper hand when it comes to this.
If you want to learn more, read our dedicated article where we review and discuss the Yamaha EF6300iDE.
Honda Eu7000is | Inverter Generator
One of the best powerful inverter generators : 389cc engine — Starting = 7000 watts / Running = 5500 watts
- Starting : 7000 watts / Running : 5500 watts
- 389cc Honda GX390 EFI single cylinder OHV air cooled engine
- Up to 18 hours run time at ¼ load
- 6 hours at rated load (5.1 gal. fuel tank)
- Ultra Quiet : 52 dB at ¼ load, 60 dB at rated load
- Ideal for home back up power, RVs, outdoor events, and more
- Fuel efficient – runs up to 18 hours on 5.1 gal of fuel
- Convenient electric start
- Inverter – stable power for computers and more
- Fuel injected – better fuel efficiency and lower maintenance
- Electronic fuel injection
- iMonitor : tracks hours, RPM, battery volts and wattage
- Weight : 261 lbs.
- AC Output : 120/240V 7000W max. (58.3/29.1A) 5500W rated (45.8/22.9A)
- Receptacles : 20A 125V GFCI Duplex (2), 30A 125V Locking Plug, 30A 125/250V Locking Plug
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the Honda Eu7000is.
Overview | Honda Eu7000is
Wow! That’s my immediate impression of the Honda Eu7000is, I’m always impressed by machinery that displays such a high level of durability. Historically, Honda generators have proven themselves. I’ve been to countless farms where I’ve seen Honda generators (and pumps) that have been abused beyond recognition with hardly any of the original paintwork still intact.
Despite years, more like decades, of daily hard work, these faithful old machines start and run perfectly without any sign of ever giving up. Anyone who’s ever driven an old Ford 250 along a treacherous dirt road will know what I mean by this kind of good old-fashioned rugged build quality. I’m really pleased to see that Honda has not strayed from the path when it comes to building rugged and dependable generators.
Unlike the other two generators in this review that have gone for a modern look with plenty of plastic and smooth lines. The Honda Eu7000is has the look of a traditional generator. It has a tough steel frame and, while they’ve also gone for sound insulation panels, these are steel plates, not a molded plastic casing. Everything’s flat square and certainly not stylish. Just plain old school metal, with very little plastic. I can easily see this generator purring away with complete reliability, long after the other two have been sent off to the recycling plant, or where ever it is, that generators go to die.
The Honda Eu7000is is a good deal more powerful than the others when it comes to peak starting watts (7000W), with 5500 watts of running power is the same as the Briggs & Stratton Q6500. The higher peak wattage of the Honda will prove to be a bonus if you’re using several high start-up current appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators, and microwaves or heavy-duty tools. If you have more than one capacitor pushing up the watts at the same time, say an AC and refrigerator starting at exactly the same time, it’s very unlikely that you’ll ever experience an overload with the extra peak watts provided by this inverter generator.
The chances of the Honda Eu7000i ever tripping a circuit is very unlikely. With this power coming from a tough and reliable 389cc engine, you shouldn’t ever experience engine strain or overheating either. This engine even has fuel injection, so it’s going to be much more reliable and fuel efficient than any of the others.
Of course, all the steel that makes this a tough beast and its rugged engine has a down side. The Honda Eu7000is weighs 261 LBS. This is 133 LBS heavier than the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 – that’s more than double the weight. When you try and lift the Honda, even with two people, you won’t be too impressed with this weight. Just remember that what you’re lifting is a couple of hundred pounds of durable steel and that’s what makes the Honda such a tough machine.
The wheels on the Honda also show off its tough design. They’re big with metal rims clad in thick rubber tires with excellent tread. It looks like the Honda Eu7000is is built for off-road, any terrain rough manhandling. Then there are the equally tough fold-down handles with rubber grips. So it may be a heavy job lifting the Honda, but moving it about using the wheels and handles isn’t going to be a problem – even on a gravel surface with any number of obstacles.
The durable sound insulation panels may look outdated when compared to the sleek insulated covering on the Briggs & Stratton Q6500, but it’s highly effective. At a 25% load, the Honda has a noise level of only 52dBA and at the rated maximum load it’s still exceptionally low – 60dBA.
So what about fuel consumption? Here the Honda beats both of the others. I think that going for fuel injection over a regular carburetor, like most other generators, plays an important role here. It has a 5.1-gallon gas tank which is only marginally bigger than the gas tank on the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 QuietPower. The real difference is noticeable when you look at your run time from a tank of gas. The Honda Eu7000i is going to give you 18 hours from a tank of gas when running a 25% load – that works out to 0.28 gallons per hour. Again, wow! If you’re pushing the Honda to the max, you’ll still get an impressive 6.5 hours from the fuel tank.
I sincerely doubt anyone will be running this generator at its rated maximum 5500W for any length time. I estimate that, with a normal household load, you’ll easily get 10 hours from a tank of gas. That’s when you’re not trying to save on power. It’s also an inverter generator, so the electric current is a pure sine wave with low HD power and you have the benefit of an eco-throttle – like the other two.
The control panel is perfect and compares to the other two and then some. It has the dual duplex GFCI 125V 20A outlets (this means a total of 4 X 20A outlets), a 30A RV outlet and a 120V/240V twist lock outlet. Asif the 7000W peak output of the Honda Eu7000is wasn’t already enough, it has the option of parallel connection. You can increase your output to 14000W peak and an incredible 11000W running load. This compares to large standby generators that will run a fairly big house with central air conditioning and any number of high-current electrical devices. You also get an electric starter and a recoil starter. I would think that, because it has fuel injection, an automatic choke is a given, though there’s no mention of this.
VIDEO | Overview of Honda EU Generator Series
Starting with its rugged build quality and then moving through the specs, the Honda Eu7000is just continues to impress me. I’m convinced that this is, by far, the best generator ever built. Along with Honda’s excellent reputation for service, spares, and reliability, you get a 3-year warranty on the Eu7000is.
Let me just say that if I could recommend just one generator and money was not an issue, the Honda Eu7000is would be my top recommendation. This is a remarkable generator that deserves to be recognized. We’ve covered it in many articles throughout our site. It truly has everything you’d want in a generator — it’s powerful and silent. What more do you need. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s worth it. There are a handful of exceptional inverter generators available on the market and this is one of them.
Which Inverter Generator is Right for You?
I think it’s clear from the review of all three these generators, the Honda Eu7000i is my outright favorite. If money weren’t an issue, I wouldn’t hesitate in my decision. I’d go right for the Honda, without giving it a second thought. Though we have to be realistic here, money is an issue and at these kind of prices, we can’t ignore that.
I’m the first to say that it’s worth paying extra for quality and durability. But when you can buy two Briggs & Stratton Q6500 generators for the price of either the Honda Eu7000is or the Yamaha EF6300iDE and then have a heap of cash left over – it’s not easy to ignore the price difference. The Honda is an outstanding, or rather, a magnificent machine and the Yamaha also beats the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 in many respects. But is it worth paying more than double the price for either of these two? Tough choice.
I would say that if you’re a farmer, contractor or rugged outdoors enthusiast, the Honda could well display its value in the long run. You could probably abuse the Honda Eu7000i beyond what anyone could expect to be reasonable use and it will take the knocks in its stride. Not that I’m recommending you do this, but if you expect a generator to hold up to the toughest working conditions, I’d think the huge price tag of the Honda Eu7000is may be justified.
Most people want a reliable generator for camping trips and the occasional power outage. This means that your generator is going to be spending much of its life safely tucked away in the garage. You probably won’t ever be bouncing it about on the back of a pickup on bumpy roads either. In this case, you’re more likely to go for the Briggs & Stratton Q6500. It’s so much cheaper than the other two and has an impact resistant plastic housing, so it can take a bit rough treatment. Maybe it’s a little louder and slightly less sophisticated but, in the end, you’re getting a really powerful inverter generator with some great features for an exceptional price.
All of this leaves the Yamaha out in the cold. It’s a really great generator, make no mistake. But, personally, if I was going to be heading into that price bracket – the Honda would be a no-brainer. Yamaha might have the upper hand when it comes to their experience with electronic engineering. But, other than this, you need to have a real sense of loyalty to the brand if you’re going to choose the Yamaha over the Honda. Though the weight of the Yamaha might make it more attractive. The Honda is a particularly heavy beast.
Want to know more, you’ll love our comprehensive guide to buying an inverter generator.