2023 has been an incredible year for the portable generator market. The biggest brands have been releasing innovative new models at very competitive prices. The Champion PRO 100430 is a new commercial generator, packed with practical features you’ll need if you’re a contractor. This should be at the top of your list for the best jobsite generator for the money. It’s built to OSHA standards, it’s fully compliant; which means it has GFCI outlets, a lifting hook, covered outlets, ultra-heavy-duty frame, CARB/EPA compliant and it has a commercial grade engine.
This 100430 is genuine jobsite generator, unlike many other generators you might see as being sold as “jobsite” models. As far as power goes, you 8125W of starting power and 6000W or running power. This model goes under the Champion PRO brand so you can be confident that you’re buying a generator built for construction sites.
It also has Low total harmonic distortion allowing you to safely run your sensitive power tools alongside your personal electronics. This was released in 2023 and includes a carbon monoxide monitoring system with automatic shutdown in case CO levels get too high. I’m not sure what else you might need. It’s fairly priced considering everything you get. In fact, the price might even surprise you.
For Work or Home Emergency Backup
NOTE: Although the focus of this article is on jobsite and large-scale construction generators, the fact is that all of these generators also make for exceptional home backup power. These generators can easily connect to your home transfer switch and the majority of the models have enough power to keep an average home fully operational during a power outage. Keep this in mind. All generators can be used for any application where you need portable power.
Best Jobsite Generator ➤Champion PRO 100430
Released 2023: Commercial 389cc engine with electric start / 220 lbs.
The 100430 from Champion-PRO has more unique features than most other generators you’ll find. Every aspect of this jobsite generator was deliberately chosen to create the ultimate worksite portable generator. You get two different 30-Amp outlets, with one 120V/240V (L14 30R) locking and a 120V (L5 30R).
This generator is built like a tank with a frame built from ultra-thick steel, designed to protect the generator and maintain structural integrity when you transport it via the lifting hook .
Standout Features: (100430)
- Power: Starting =: 8,125W / Running = 6,500W
- Engine: 4-stroke 389cc OHV commercial-grade with electric start
- 8.5 Gallon fuel tank. Can Run Up to 12.5 hr. at 50% load
- Product Dimensions: 32.4″ x 27.8″ x 31.5″
- Noise level = 74 dB from 23 feet
- Built with an Extreme-duty steel frame, a locking handle, and a steel lift hook for easy transport by crane or forklift
- OSHA job-site-compliant GFCI protection and Volt Guard, a built-in surge protector.
- CO Shield carbon monoxide auto shutoff system
- OUTLETS: 1x 120/240V 30A L14-30R Twist Lock / 1x 120V 30A L5-30R Twist Lock / 2x 120V 20A 5-20R (Weather-Resistant)
- COLD Start Technology ensures an easy start even on the coldest nights
- Monitors voltage, operating hours & power output
- EPA certified & CARB compliant
- 3-year limited warranty & FREE lifetime technical support.
Westinghouse WGen20000: Most Powerful Jobsite Generator
20,000W running power with 28,000W of start power, this Westinghouse is a stunning jobsite generator.
With this extraordinary jobsite or home emergency backup generator has every type of outlet you could ever want or need. The engineers at Westinghouse have created the ultimate portable generator. This is precisely what you want when the apocalypse arrives. My only wish is for the option to buy a dual-fuel version. Hopefully Westinghouse will create it at some point.
WGen20000 — In 2021 Westinghouse released the king of all jobsite generators at a price that can’t be beat. And now, in 2023, the WGen20000 deserves to be a top contender for the best heavy-duty jobsite generator. The features and specs are unbelievable — in the best sense of the word. For starters, you get 28,000W Starting Power and 20,000W of Running Power. This might be big enough to power the Space Shuttle. Well, not quite, but you get the point.
It has sufficient power to do practically anything, like power your entire house and have power left over for your neighbors. Or, you can keep a jobsite fully operational, and safely power the most sensitive tools as it has less than 5% total harmonic distortion (TBD). We’ve reviewed the WGen20000 already on the site but we discuss this model later in this article as well. This is just a short tease.
VIDEO: How loud is the Westinghouse WGen20000?
OSHA Jobsite Safety Requirements
As far as specific OSHA jobsite requirements, the Westinghouse WGen20000 has GFCI outlets with the generator Neutral bonded directly to the frame, protecting you against ground faults. In other words, if there was a frame fault the circuit breakers would immediately ‘trip’ and eliminate the fault. No earth ground is required with this Westinghouse generator, which is precisely what OSHA recommends for jobsite generators. Although, there are exemptions, which you can read about in this detailed OSHA standards guide. It also has a spark arrestor to prevent accidental fires.
You can read the review of the Westinghouse WGen20000 later in the article. As they say in Hollywood — The Show Must Go On! So now, so let’s move on and look at other reputable brands. DuroMax has taken big strides in the portable generator market over the past few years, and now with their HX Series, introduced in 2021, they have a flagship line of high quality generators that compete with the big brands.
Best Jobsite Generators for the Money
DuroMax XP10000HX / Dual-Fuel
Best VALUE Jobsite Generator
The DuroMax XP10000HX is one of the best value jobsite generators. It’s OSHA compliant and ready for the jobsite. It has a GFCI control panel and includes a lift hook, making it easy to move where you need it. The HX series from DuroMax was released in 2021 and represents a big step forward for the DuroMax brand.
There are several power sizes in this series so if 10,000W isn’t the right size there are other options to choose from. These HX portable generators are considerably more robust and better equipped than anything DuroMax had made before. Excellent quality for the money. Full Lineup of HX Generators / NOTE : All are Dual-Fuel unless otherwise stated.
HONDA EB10000 : 9KW
It should be no surprise that Honda makes the best generators. Everything about this 10KW generator is built to the highest standards. It meets and exceeds OSHA standards. It’s quiet, produces stable power, monitors carbon monoxide, ultra fuel efficient, includes a 3 year warranty, and so much more.
This costs double the price of the DuroMax XP15000EH, but this Honda is in a league of its own, and quality doesn’t come cheap. Best jobsite generator without compromise.
Why Should You Buy it?
What I Don’t Like :
DuroMax XP15000EH : 12.5kw
The XP15000EH from DuroMax pack a lot of power at 15KW for starting. This was designed for extreme applications like emergencies or the jobsite. You get GFCI outlets, a lifting hook, the option to run off of gas or propane and the full range of outlets, including a locking 30A and a 50A.
The reliability is excellent. If you’re new to generators you’ll have to make sure you read the manual and follow instructions. If you don’t use it as intended you might think it doesn’t work properly. Most of the time people don’t follow instructions. This is one of the best job site generators in 2023.
Why Should You Buy it?
What I Don’t Like :
REVIEW : Westinghouse WGen20000
Best Heavy-Duty, Ultra-Powerful Jobsite Generator
It’s been refreshing to see the portable generator market grow over the past few years. Big brands have committed to developing high quality generators at prices that the average homeowner can afford. It wasn’t that long ago when portable generators were ugly industrial squares, but nowadays there’s a conscious effort to focus on the overall design, to make generators more appealing than they’ve ever been. Design is what separates successful companies from those that end up bankrupt. I have a background in design so I can’t help but notice the increased standards in the aesthetic design seen in generators today. I love it. The WGen20000 is a fantastic workhorse, capable of powering anything you might want to throw at it.
Why Should You Buy It?
What I Don’t Like:
OVERVIEW / WGen20000
This overview video of the WGen20000 gives a glimpse into the thoughtful engineering that went into this versatile portable generator. Let’s be honest, if there was some type of emergency or natural disaster, and you suddenly find yourself in a situation where the power might be out for awhile, wouldn’t you feel much better if you had this 20KW portable generator in your garage? There’s a certain comfort level you feel when you know that you have a reliable source of energy to depend on if something horrible happens and knocks out the power. I’m a genuine fan of the Westinghouse brand. They’ve been in business since 1886 so you know you’re in good hands with any of their portable generators.
VIDEO — You’ll Be Impressed / Westinghouse WGen20000
The heart of the WGen20000 is a 999cc Westinghouse V-Twin engine that can run for 11 hours at 50% load, or about 5.5 hours at full load. You might think that this would be really loud but you’d be wrong. In fact, it’s rated about 74dB, but in ECO Mode (Low Idle) it will be under 70dB. One of best benefits in having a portable generator with this much power is that you’ll probably never run it anywhere full load, which means the generator will never have to work very hard. If you abide be these basic rules, your generator will be far quieter and comfortable to be around.
The problem most people make when buying a generator is they buy a model with barely enough power to run everything they need to operate, which means the generator is running at, or near, maximum capacity. Then they complain their generator is too loud. Of course, a generator will be much louder the closer you get to maximum load. The solution — buy something with 30% more power than you need and never push it to its limits.
Westinghouse should be commended here with the design of the WGen20000. It’s difficult to find anything to complain about. Other than the lack of carbon monoxide monitoring, this is the best jobsite generator if you’re looking for a lot of power. In fact, nothing really compares to this. Westinghouse has paved the way for other brands to follow in their footsteps. Time will tell if people want this much power. My guess is it will be a popular choice for emergencies, construction sites, and home backup.
Champion 100111 — 12,000W Rated / 15K Peak
Best Jobsite and Home Backup Generator
FEATURES / Champion 100111
The Champion 100111 is gives you a lot of raw power to work with but the one thing you don’t get is low total harmonic distortion (THD). This is my biggest complaint. The high THD means you should NOT power any device with sensitive electronics. For example, don’t run any medical devices like a CPAP. I wouldn’t expect anyone to plug their CPAP into the Champion 100111 but I’m just giving you an example. Because of the high THD it can damage the device or tool if its circuits can’t handle it. I would be cautious to power any appliance with an AC Motor as well.
I have to admit, I’ve tried to give you a range of recommendations for jobsite generators but the more I think about it, I keep coming back to the Westinghouse WGen20000 as it gives you everything you need and at a price that is outstanding. Yes, the Champion 100111 is a good portable generator built specifically for the jobsite but it’s not better than the WGen20000 which gives you less than 5% Total Harmonic Distortion, and you get much more power. If you’re going to spend thousands of dollars you need to make sure you get all the features you need or else you’ll regret it later.
I strongly recommend the TRI-Fuel 100416 model (SEE BELOW) from Champion for a superior construction site/DIY portable generator.
Champion 100416 (Read our Review)
Best Flexible Fuel Jobsite Generator
- Flexible Fuel / Tri-Fuel : Use either, natural gas, propane, or gasoline. Natural gas and propane hoses are included.
- Power up the 459 cc champion engine with the handy rocker switch, battery included
- Track voltage, frequency, session run time, and total run time to monitor output and track maintenance intervals. Multi-colored LED indicates CO shutoff or fault
- Gasoline: 10,000 starting watts and 8000 running watts
- Propane: 9000 starting watts and 7200 running watts
- Natural gas: 8750 starting watts and 7000 running watts and engine oil is included
- noise level of 74 dBA from 23 feet,
- Run for 12.5 hours at 50% load when the 8.5-gallon fuel tank is full.
- 20-lb propane tank: Run for 5 hours at 50% load.
- Cold Start Technology
- Outlets : 120V 30A locking outlet (L5-30R), a 120/240V 30A locking outlet (L14-30R) and four 120V 20A GFCI protected household outlets (5-20R).
- 459cc Champion engine
- Includes 3-year limited warranty with free lifetime technical support from dedicated experts
Briggs & Stratton ELITE7000
Best Medium-Duty DIY Portable Generator
- CO Guard Carbon Monoxide Shutdown System: Patent-pending technology shuts down your generator
- Power Surge Alternator creates a brief surge of power needed to start large motor-driven appliances and tools simultaneously.
- Outlets: 4x GFCI 120V household outlets, 1x 120/240V 30A locking outlet
- 420cc Briggs & Stratton Engine
- Circuit Breaker Protection
- Key Electric Start
- All-Terrain Wheels: 12” Never Go Flat wheels and a fold-up handle.
- 9 Hour Run Time at 50% Load. (7.5 gallon tank)
Overview / ELITE7000
Shortly after the pandemic took hold of the world Briggs & Stratton was going through a bankruptcy. By the end of 2020 the iconic Briggs & Stratton brand was sold to KPS Capital Partners, a New York private equity firm, for $550 million. The main cause was mismanagement. This is a good brand with a strong reputation for creating quality products but it seems the company lost its focus over the years. The ELITE7000 7000W generator is a good choice for the jobsite, home DIY and renovations, emergency backup power, and anything else you need power for.
This is a solid generator with some great features such as the proprietary carbon monoxide monitoring system. It has a power surge alternator which basically gives you a power boost when you power up motor driven appliances or power tools that demand a lot more extra power just to get started. It has four household outlets and they’re all GFCI. This is a good buy if 7000 running watts is enough power for your needs. Not fancy but reliable.
New Generators vs Older Models
Choosing a Jobsite generator in 2023 can be quite a challenge because the demands put upon it will be harsh and sometimes extreme, depending on the type of industry you’re in.
Some of the jobsite generators reviewed in this article, are from our original article and are now discontinued, such as: Westinghouse WPro8500, Cat RP7500E, Generac 5734 GP15000E. Thankfully, there are better jobsite generators to choose from as the designs are more streamlined with more advanced features. Either way, we’re leaving the original reviews at the end of the article for reference. Sometimes you’ll find old stock comes onto the market and it’s always good to reference old reviews. Surprisingly, the Generac GP15000E is an older generator that continues to sell because of its timeless design. There are no fancy features like you’ll find on newer generators but for industrial settings like a construction site, this 15,000W portable generator was built for the jobsite. In 2023 I would recommend the Westinghouse WGen2000 instead. Times have changed.
Review : Generac 5734 GP15000E / Classic Power
15,000-Watt Generator with Electric Start. A workhorse and still one of the best jobsite generators on the market.
- Generac’s OHVI engine incorporates full pressure lubrication with automotive style spin on oil filter for longer life engine.
- Idle control reduces noise and conserves fuel for extended run-times.
- Hour meter tracks maintenance intervals.
- Low-oil pressure shutdown automatically safeguards engine from damage.
- Large-capacity fuel tank with incorporated fuel gauge provides durability and extended run times.
- Hardened 1 1/4″ steel tube cradle for added durability and strength.
- Integrated lifting eye for easy transport and security on the job site.
The review of the previous two generators took quite a few words. That’s because I felt a need to make a detailed comparison between the two. It won’t take quite as much to review the Generac GP15000E, simply because there is no comparison. If you need a portable jobsite generator capable of delivering 15,000W running power and a whopping 22,500 watts of starting power, this is going to be your only option. Unless you consider the much more expensive Motorhead with a peak output of 25,000 watts.
The Generac GP15000E is a truly industrial-grade jobsite generator with a 1¼” steel tubing frame and cradle. The frame has additional lateral support and is probably the toughest I’ve seen. I suppose if you’re going to support the hefty 363-pounds that this machine weighs, and do it properly, you need to go that extra mile. The handle doesn’t fold down, it forms part of the frame. This gives the structure extra support and offers some protection to the extruded control box from falling objects. Basically, there’s an extra element of toughness to this jobsite generator.
To provide all those kilowatts, you need a mighty big engine. So the 992cc OHV engine comes as no surprise. It’s an advanced power plant with pressurized lubrication. This means it has an oil pump like a car engine, instead of the usual splash lubrication used for most portable generators. It’s a powerful, very reliable engine with electric starting. Naturally, an engine of this size is going to be a thirsty beast. For this reason, they’ve fitted a really large 16-gallon gas tank with a fuel gauge on the tank.
If you’re concerned about your fuel costs, the Generac isn’t going to win you over. It’s not the best in this regard – far from it. At 4.7 KWH/G, its fuel economy is, at best, average when compared to the general expectations that I have for a portable generator. It’s not the worst though. I’ve seen much less powerful generators with a fuel consumption of around 3.5 KWH/G.
Because of the high-amperage output, the Generac GP15000E has a greater array of power outlets. Like most, it has two duplex 120V, 20A outlets. One of these has GFCI protection. So you have the option of using two 20A outlets with GFCI protection or two without. It also has the standard 30A outlets – one is 120V only and the other 120V/240V. In addition to this, the Generac has a 50A, 120V/240V outlet with a 2-pole circuit breaker. The other AC outlets have the usual single pole “push to reset” circuit breakers. It has a 12V, 10A outlet for battery charging and a digital hour meter. I’m a little disappointed to see that the power outlets have no dust-proof covers. I consider this to be quite important on a jobsite generator where dust can be a problem. However, this is the only area where I’m not too impressed with the Generac.
It’s not too easy to view a 363-pound generator as being portable. But they’ve done all they can to make this as manageable as possible. It has a lifting eye and huge 12.3 pneumatic wheels. Lifting this machine is never going to be easy, but wheeling it about isn’t too tough. Those wheels can handle some rough terrain and it’s possible to move the generator over most jobsite obstacles with relative ease.
As one of the most powerful jobsite generators that you can get, the Generac GP15000E is the most logical option. It’s not cheap, but then again the only alternative that I know of is even more expensive. If you need to run the type of equipment that requires 15,000 running watts, you have to be prepared to pay for it. For residential use this generator has a 2-year warranty and not so impressive 1-year warranty for commercial use.
Generac GP17500E / Older Jobsite Generator Model
This can be used for either for backup power on the jobsite or as backup power for your entire home. The 50A outlets makes it easy to connect to your home transfer switch.
Lastly, here is a classic jobsite generator from Generac. It’s been on the market for close to ten years as you can see by older styling. New generators are more streamlined and are far more efficient. Personally I would recommend the Westinghouse WGen20000 over the GP17500E (we compare). I’m sure their are many old-timers who would disagree with me but when you compare both models the Westinghouse is an absolute bargain.
- Electric Start (12VDC 365-CCA Battery Included)
- Easily charge the battery during use via 12-Volt outlet on panel
- 992cc Generac OHVI Engine
- Automotive style spin-on oil filter
- 16-Gallon Fuel Tank w/ Built-In Fuel Gauge
- Runs up to 10 hours at 50% load
- Fuel-shut off switch uses up remaining gasoline in fuel system and prevents gummy buildup of old fuel
- Automatic Idle Control
- Outlets: 120/240V 30-Amp (L14-30R) / 50-Amp (14-50R) — Power your home
- Allows for connection to a manual transfer switch (MTS)
- 12″ Pneumatic wheels and integrated lifting eye
VIDEO: A Closer Look at the GP17500E from Generac
Discontinued : Jobsite Generators
The rest of this article are generators we reviewed when we first wrote the article years ago. All of these generators are now discontinued. We’re leaving this online so readers can refer to this data. Also, sometimes older generators continue to sell online as retailers try to sell old stock.
In this article we’ll be reviewing the Westinghouse WPro8500 jobsite generator as a top contender in 2019. Westinghouse is a relative newcomer to the portable generator market. I first discovered them about a year ago, when I reviewed one of their smaller, home and camping generators. At the time, they had very few models available, but they seem to be growing fast.
Because, I knew nothing about the company when I wrote my first Westinghouse review, I did a lot of research into the Westinghouse history. I was wholly impressed with what I discovered. The Westinghouse Electric Company is one of the oldest power generator and electrical engineering developers in the US. Not only were they responsible for building some of the first power generation plants in the US (over a hundred years ago), they’ve gone on to introduce the world to highly innovative electrical products. So essentially, Westinghouse are giants in the field of industrial and large scale electrical product development.
At first, I was amazed at how cheap the first Westinghouse generators were. I’ve reviewed quite a number since my first encounter. In my first review, I predicted that their prices would increase. They entered a new market and took on the big guys, like Honda, head on at a very competitive price. My predictions seem to be proving correct. The new WPro8500 is not cheap, and nor should it be. With that said, it’s actually incredibly good value for money.
CAT RP12000E | A True Powerhouse Jobsite Generator
Features : CAT RP12000E
If we look at the three generators chosen for this review (Westinghouse WPro8500; Cat RP7500E and Generac 15000E), I’d say that the Westinghouse is the biggest Rival to the Cat. The Cat costs a few hundred Dollars more, yet the Westinghouse produces a kilowatt more running power and more than 2-kilowatts extra peak power. I know that Cat have a long standing reputation for building the best jobsite generators. But it looks to me like Westinghouse is giving them a run for their money.
The WPro8500 is a true industrial-grade jobsite generator, able to compete with any of the best in the world. When you look at your buck per watt, along with a high quality standard, the Westinghouse emerges as an outright winner in every department. Well, that’s my opinion at least. There’ll be those who will disagree and I certainly can’t deny Cat their dues. Like many, I’ve always been a huge fan of the brand.
When reviewing these jobsite generators, I’m going to pit the Cat and the Westinghouse head to head, which I believe are direct rivals (along with DeWalt and Honda which we’re not including in the review this time around). Of these, the Westinghouse is the slightly cheaper, more powerful option. This is what I really like about the Westinghouse, you’re getting a whole lot of generator for your money. The Generac cannot be directly compared to the other two jobsite generators in this review. It’s roughly twice as powerful as the others and costs about twice as much, actually more than double the price of the others.
Anyone who knows their generators has to concede that Generac is one of the best names in the business. These guys specialize in generators of every type and put everything into building the best. Of course, we all have our opinions on what might be the best generator brand. But no one can deny that Generac is up there with the best of them. This also means that you’re paying for this reputation. But paying a premium for superior quality and brand reputation always makes sense to me. You know what you’re getting.
Westinghouse iPro4200 | Compact Jobsite Generator (review)
Apart from the even more powerful Generac 17500E, I don’t know of any portable jobsite generator that can match power output of this one. So the Generac 15000E has the watts that allow you to run an air compressor (of just about any size), along with a bunch of high-current tools, like table saws and large cut-off angle grinders without any compromises. You just have to pay for it. If you need the extra power, there really is no other alternative. So despite the vast difference between the Generac and the other two jobsite generators, we’re suggesting this model as an alternative if either of the other two simply can’t meet the wattage requirements of your jobsite needs.
Because of the type of generators that I’ll be reviewing, I’m talking directly to contractors who are looking for a rugged and dependable jobsite generator. Though, there will be a few home, perhaps even RV owners, who want a generator this powerful. You could supply enough power to run just about all of your household needs with the Cat or Westinghouse generators.
The Generac matches the output of smaller standby generators, designed and built specifically to run an entire house during a power outage. So, even though I’ll be looking at supplying the wattage for high-power tools and equipment used on a jobsite, you can compare these items to heavy household appliances and equipment, like refrigerators and large air conditioners. These are brilliant jobsite generators that won’t be out of place in a domestic environment.
Westinghouse WPro8500 | Best Jobsite Generator
- 11,500 Peak Watts / 8,500 Running Watts
- Low Noise : 74 dB operational volume
- 17.5 hr. Run Time at 25% Load / 12 hr. Run Time at 50% Load
- Electric Start and Remote Start (Key Fob Included)
- 457cc Westinghouse OHV Engine with Cast Iron Sleeve
- Fuel tank allows for 17.5-hours of run time at 25% load
- OSHA, EPA, and CARB compliant with full panel GFCI equips this generator with industry standard safety features
- 3-way ignition start including electric start, remote start with key fob, and recoil start allows accessibility based on which is best for you
- 13.5 HP 457cc OHV 4-stroke Westinghouse engine is constructed for professional applications
- Hassle-free 1-touch electric start push button with remote start key fob lets you start you generator up from up to 109 yards away
- Transfer switch ready
- Water-resistant outlets with durable rubber covers
- Automatic voltage regulator, automatic low oil shut-down, and overload protection provides peace of mind
- VFT Data Center display gives you real time updates for : voltage output, frequency, and lifetime hours
- Rugged steel frame with supplementary lift bracket and 10 in. heavy-duty never-flat wheels with foam-grip handle offers easy worksite portability
- Clean Power – Safe for electronics (<5% THD)
- OUTLETS :
- (1) 120-Volt 20 Amp 5-20R standard home outlets,
- (1) 120-Volt 30 Amp L5-30R receptacle,
- (1) 120-Volt/240-Volt 30 Amp L14-30R receptacle
- (2) 5-Volt USB ports
- Smart Idle – Automatic Efficiency Idling
- OSHA compliant with a GFCI protected control panel, delivering power and safety to your job site.
- Includes Lift Hook : Easy to move with a robust lift hook.
- Low THD Provides Clean Power : Produces <5% Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) giving you clean power for electronics.
- Electric Start and Remote Start with Key Fob
- Circuit protected and Low-Oil Shutoff
- Includes : Battery, Battery Charger, Key Fob, Oil, Funnel, Tool Kit, Manual, and Quick Start Guide.
- 3-Year Residential Warranty, and 1-Year Commercial Warranty and Lifetime Technical Support. (This is true for all Westinghouse generators)
Documents for the Westinghouse WPro8500 :
✓ Need More Power : Consider : Westinghouse WGen12000 —12000-rated watt and 15000-peak watts
Could we please have a big drum roll as I introduce to you the one and only Westinghouse WPro8500! Okay, I’m being a bit dramatic here and I’ve already expressed my admiration for this grand jobsite generator. So let me rather get onto the product review and let you decide for yourself if it is indeed a great product. Apart from the kilowatts needed to run compressors, power tools and the like, what exactly are we looking for in a jobsite generator? I’d say that rugged durability is high on the list.
A jobsite is no place for sissies and that also applies the generator that we’re using. So this makes the frame and mountings very important. Your jobsite generator is most likely going to be loaded and offloaded from a truck on a regular basis. A jobsite always has hazards and your generator is probably going to take a few knocks over the years. Then there’s all the dust and debris that can cause unwanted harm, even when we can’t see it. So when I’m looking at a jobsite generator, I take all of this into consideration. I can say, without a doubt, that the Westinghouse WPro8500 makes the grade as a worthy and dependable jobsite generator.
Let’s start with the engine. This is vital to the running of the generator and you want something that’s going to make the grade. The Westinghouse 457cc, OHV, 4-stroke engine is a beast worthy of recognition. With a cast iron sleeve and 13.5 horsepower, this engine is not only going deliver the power needed, it’s going to keep doing so for many years without any major repairs. This engine is EPA and CARB compliant. So no matter where you are in the US, it’s going to meet any emission control regulations. Unfortunately, it’s not certified for Canadian emission standards. But I think this is more about administration than the engine itself. My guess is that Westinghouse has yet to apply for Canadian approval.
Standing Tall : The WPro8500 is a bargain considering what you get
As with any engine of this size, one wants an electric starter. There’s nothing worse than tugging on a heavy recoil starter on a cold winter’s morning. Well, not only does the Westinghouse have electric starting, it also has a remote control. It is supplied with a fob that you can use within 109 yards of the generator. This is great for saving fuel or reducing your noise, you can easily switch your generator on and off from around your jobsite. If you had to keep walking back and forth to do this, you’ll be more likely to just leave the generator running all day long – even when you’re not using it. It has an idle control that will drop the revs when there’s no load. So even if you don’t switch it off when there’s no load, it won’t burn through as much fuel. It also has an automatic choke, simplifying cold starts.
The Pulse-Flow muffler does a good job reducing the noise from that huge engine and it has a spark arrestor. Westinghouse claim a noise level as low as 74dBA. This isn’t very useful information though, I presume that this noise level would be at idle – that’s when the engine is at its quietest. What kind of noise levels you could expect when you’re using the generator at 50 -100% of its capacity, is anyone’s guess. It would probably exceed 80dBA. Then again with the din of a jobsite where you have any number power tools, hammers etcetera, noise is par for the course. There really isn’t such a thing as a quiet jobsite generator. They all use big engines in an open frame without noise insulation.
How is the fuel consumption? After all, this is the expense that you will be dealing with day in and day out. The Westinghouse WPro8500 has a pretty huge 6.6-gallon gas tank. This is great for working long hours without refueling. At 25% load (an average of 2.1 KW), you can run the generator continuously for 17.5-hours. Though, it’s more likely that your average power consumption is going to be in the region of 50% of the total running load (4.2 KW). At this load, the Westinghouse will keep chugging for around 12-hours on a tank of gas. This means it’s highly likely that you’ll be able to work for an entire day without having to stop and fill the tank.
This all sounds really great, but in order to accurately compare the fuel consumption of one generator to another, we need to look at our fuel consumption in terms of kilowatt-hours per gallon. This is the same type of comparison we’d make when comparing miles per gallon for a car or truck. Using this model, the Westinghouse WPro8500 works out at an astounding 7.64 KWH/G.
This is an incredible figure. Generally, I consider anything above 5 KWH/G to be great. The long and short of it is that your WPro8500 is likely to cost you around 25% less in daily fuel costs when compared to many of the most fuel efficient generators. Compared to some, your fuel cost could be half as much. That’s a lot of money year on year if you’re a busy contractor who relies heavily on your jobsite generator. That’s certainly something worth thinking about when you decide which is going to be the best jobsite generator for your business.
I’m sure any contractor would agree that a rough and ready, rugged design is everything when it comes to dependable jobsite equipment. Here, the Westinghouse continues to impress. The really thick steel tubing frame goes all the way up to protect the steel gas tank and it has a heavy-duty lifting eye with a hook that’s supplied with it. That’s certainly going to come in handy when you consider that this is a heavy 216-pound industrial-grade generator.
The alternator and engine are attached to the frame using heavy-duty four-point rubber mountings. This is the best way to ensure a good, strong system with low vibration levels. Less vibration means there’s little chance of components working loose over time. Moving the generator around the site is a pretty easy task. It has a well-padded fold-down handle and a heavy-duty wheel kit.
The alternator is state of the art with an Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR). I find the Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) figure to be quite amazing (less than 5%). Inverter generators usually have a THD rating of less than 3%. So for a standard (non-inverter) generator this is as good as it gets. If you think that even the grid power that supplies your home can sometimes exceed 5% TDH, this generator actually supplies clean power that is as good as, possibly better than the power you get from the main supply.
You can charge your cell phone or plug in your laptop on site, without any worry of damaging your sensitive electronic equipment. It produces a maximum running current of 8500 watts with a peak (starting) current of 11,500 watts. This gives you that extra power that you need for starting heavy equipment, like a table saw or air compressor. You have both 120V and 240V at your disposal. Using 120V, the generator has a maximum peak of 96 Amps and a constant supply of 71 Amps. At 240V, the peak power is 47.9 Amps with 35.4 Amps constant power.
In keeping with the rest of the generator, the control panel is heavy-duty steel and has a great array of outlets. One thing I really like to see, particularly on a jobsite generator, is plastic covers sealing the electrical outlets. This keeps the dust and moisture out. So here’s another plus for the Westinghouse WPro8500. Everything is laid out in a neat and logical manner. There are two duplex, 120V, 20A (5-20R) standard power outlets. This gives you a total four 20A 120V power points. Above each of these duplex outlets, are two individual 20A overload circuit breakers – one for each group of two outlets. Adjacent to these are a 120V, 30A (L5-30R) twist-lock outlet, and a 120V/240V, 30A (L14-30) outlet.
In keeping with OSHA standards, all the outlets are protected by a single GFCI breaker. Above the outlets, you’ll find a simple 3-position run-stop-start switch. You need to open and close the fuel supply with a manual valve fitted to the fuel line. There’s also a recoil starter positioned nicely to the side of the electric start controls. If you find that, for some reason, your battery fails, you can simply reach over and do things the old-fashioned way, by tugging on the rope to start the generator.
There’s a 12V DC battery charging port and a 5V DC USB port. It has a nifty “Data Center” which is basically an LED display that toggles between voltage, frequency, and total running hours. The fuel gauge is on the tank, like most generators that come fitted with a gas gauge. It also has a button for pairing the remote control fob. Though you’ll only need to use this if you replace or buy additional fobs. The one supplied with the generator has already been paired at the factory.
After thoroughly reviewing the Westinghouse WPro8500, looking at it from every perspective, I can only conclude that this is an incredible jobsite generator. It’s built to last under very tough conditions and has the power to run a multitude of heavy tools simultaneously. The economy factor is what really draws me to this generator. Not only is it a little cheaper than any of the other high-end jobsite generators in this class, it has unbeatable fuel consumption. When you look at your average generator fuel bill over the many years that you’ll be using this generator, it’s going to amount to a small fortune. The Westinghouse has a 3-year residential warranty and 1-year for commercial use.
It’s not all good news though and this is something I have to point out when reviewing Westinghouse generators. When you look at the established generator brands, there’s a wide network of dealerships around the country. This means that service and parts should never be a problem. Though, this isn’t always the case.
Being quite new to the consumer generator market, Westinghouse doesn’t yet have the convenience of a dealership network. Judging by their popularity, I guess we will see Westinghouse dealerships mushrooming around the US in the years to come. However, as things stand at the moment, if you need spare parts or warranty repairs, you need to contact Westinghouse directly. Parts will be shipped to you, but there will be a delay. In the case of a warranty repair, the generator has to be shipped to Westinghouse and then returned to you – an even longer wait.
VIDEO | A Closer Look
I’m sure that any reputable generator repair shop would be able to maintain and repair the generator for you. That’s if you don’t do most of the stuff yourself. So the only real issue is that of waiting for spare parts. This might not be much of an issue as I can’t see the WPro8500 breaking too easily. But, as we all know, accidents and breakages happen – especially on a busy jobsite.
So I’ll conclude by saying that the lack of dealership representation is the only drawback to buying a Westinghouse generator. Though, to be fair, this is probably going to change. Since this generator is going to be with you for a long time, the inconvenience may not really affect you. Personally, I’m inclined to accept this disadvantage in favor of the economy factor that comes with purchasing the Westinghouse WPro8500.
CAT RP7500E | Best Jobsite Generator
Excellent jobsite generator built to withstand tough working conditions. Running power : 7500W / Starting Power : 9375W
- Higher running wattage for light industrial usage
- Keeps your jobsite equipment running at peak performance
- Controls all on one side for simple operation
- 420cc engine / 7.9 gallon tank
- Keeps you working for up to 11 hours
- EPA Compliant
- 7500 Running Watts / 9375 Starting Watts
- Powers You For Up To 11 Hours
- 6 Outlets, Including 120v and 240v 30a Twist-Lock Receptacles
- Assembly Tools, Engine Oil and Funnel Included – Just Add Gas
- Electric Start and LED-Lit Control Panel
- Padded Double Hinged Handle and Solid Rubber Wheels
- 3-Year Limited Warranty for Parts and Service for Full Term
I feel a small sense of disloyalty to the faithful old Cat when rating the Westinghouse WPro8500 as the best jobsite generator in this class. For years, the Cat RP7500E has been my absolute favorite in this Category. The Honda EU7000iS may be better, but its high price tag kind of puts it out of the running. I still feel strongly about the Cat, it’s a remarkable generator. It’s just the value for money aspect that has caused me to lean toward the thrift-wise Westinghouse.
I know there are plenty of die-hard Cat fans who are always prepared to pay a bit extra for this brand. I can’t argue with this, I’m also one of those guys who sees great value in a brand that I’ve come to trust. When it comes down to it, Cat are the jobsite heroes. This is not just when it comes to generators, but virtually all the heavy-duty equipment needed on a jobsite. Even when we’re talking generators, the Cat RP7500E is a baby in their lineup. Cat make generators large enough to supply a small town. These guys are legends in the business and that should never be overlooked.
I almost feel no need to point out the supreme rugged dependability that the Cat RP7500E offers. This is a Cat and that kind of says it all. For those who need to be enlightened, this machine is 192.5 pounds of heavy-duty high-grade steel. Okay, the Westinghouse weighs a little more than this and some may think that it should have a higher level of tough steel components. To me, it looks like they’re pretty much even in this regard. The ±20 LBS weight difference can be ascribed to design rather than build-quality. For one thing, the Cat has a lithium-ion battery which makes up for most of the weight difference and this is probably a better battery. The frame, wheels and excellent fold down handles all indicate a level of quality that can’t be beaten. Like I said, this is a Cat and it goes without saying that this generator is designed and built to survive the toughest jobsite conditions.
The 420cc, OHV engine is slightly smaller than that of the Westinghouse. But, then again, the Cat has a lower watt output – 7500W running power and 9375W starting power vs 8500W/11,500W for the Westinghouse. In terms of engine output related to electrical watts produced, they both come out at an even ratio. Both are great, reliable engines with enough power to do the job. The Cat RP7500E only has EPA certification. California residents need not be disappointed, they have a separate model that’s CARB certified – I think it may cost a little more, but this can’t be too much. Other than this, I can’t see any significant difference in comparing the engines used for these two generators. The Cat also has both electric and recoil starters.
When it comes to fuel consumption, the Cat performs well (better than most). However, the exceptional fuel economy of the Westinghouse is what really turned my opinion to favor this generator. How do they compare? The Cat has a larger 7.9-gallon gas tank and a smaller engine. This would lead one to assume that you’re going to get a longer runtime from a tank of gas. Alas, this is quite the opposite. At 50% load (3750W), the Cat is rated for 11-hours runtime.
When we compare it to the Westinghouse, we’re looking at fewer watts, more gas, and less hours for the Cat. This is a lose-lose-lose situation. Do the math and it it’s easier to see the difference. The Cat gets 5.2 kilowatt-hours to the gallon and the Westinghouse gets 7.64 KWH/G. For every $100 you spend on gas to run the Cat, you’re spending about $68 for the Westinghouse. Add all this up over a few years, and you could end up saving enough money to buy another generator for your savings.
I can easily see why one would be prepared to pay around two-hundred bucks more when buying the Cat. This is a once off expense and, hey, this is a Cat – worth the extra price if you’re sold on the brand. But if you’re then going to be spending a hundred or more every month to run the generator, it’s hard to look past the Westinghouse. If it were an inferior generator, there would be a plausible argument in favor of the Cat.
All indications are that the Westinghouse is up to the Cat standard. Granted, we have to give the Westinghouse some time to prove itself. Though based on many years of industry experience, I’m willing to bet that the Westinghouse is going join the big guys with a reputation for brilliance. Sorry Cat, I am a loyal supporter, but when I look at the figures, the Westinghouse just makes so much sense. By the way, I’m not a salesman for Westinghouse, this is my honest opinion. I call it like I see it.
When it comes to user features and controls, the Cat is really great. Many like the LED backlight for the control panel. It’s great in poor lighting. It has a manual choke, like most generators. So the Westinghouse has, once again, a slight advantage when it comes to easy operation. These being the automatic choke and remote control for long-distance starting. Other than this, they are pretty evenly matched. The Cat has the same AC outlets with dust-proof covers. You get 2 X duplex 20A, 120V outlets, a 120V, 30A outlet, and a 120V/240V, 30A outlet. The circuits are protected by overload circuit breakers, but there’s no GFCI protection. It has an LED display that’s very similar to that of Westinghouse and a standard gas gauge on the tank. It doesn’t have any DC outlets, which is a minor disappointment and certainly not a deal breaker.
For many years, I’ve rated the Cat RP7500E as the best jobsite generator in the 7000W – 8000W range. Then, along come Westinghouse and throw a cat amongst pigeons. The WPro8500 is cheaper, more powerful, and much more fuel efficient. I can’t say that it’s a better generator than the Cat, it’s just more economical. If I look past the financial benefits, I’d probably still stand by the Cat, purely for its unblemished reputation of many, many years. That does count for a lot and it’s going to take some time before Westinghouse has the chance to earn theirs. Not to mention the dealership issues. Cat offer the best warranty (along with Honda) on their industrial-grade generators. This being 3-years, regardless of whether you’re using it for commercial or residential use. This warranty and the Cat legacy could easily lead many to look past the financial implications and choose the Cat.
*NOTE : Customers (original purchasers) also have the option to extend the Warranty Period by one (1) year for a total of three (3) years by registering their Cat generator within thirty (30) days from the date of purchase.
CAT RP12000E — Powerful Jobsite Generator
If you want to stick with a CAT industrial generator but need more power then look no further than the CAT RP12000E with 15,000 starting watts and 12,000 running watts. There’s plenty of power and outlets to run multiple tools and electrical devices at once.
- 12,000 W Running / 15,000 W Starting
- Large fuel tank and idle control for extra-long run times
- 11.7 Hrs of run time (at 50% Load)
- Class leading number of outlets powers more tools at one time
- Powerful 670cc V-Twin OHV motor with pressurized oil system
- All copper generator produces clean power (total harmonic distortion (<5%)
- Weight balanced design for easy mobility
- Removable lifting eye and ergonomic design for easy maneuverability
- EPA Compliant
This CAT generator has been engineered with a rugged steel frame, lighted control panel, and a padded bar-style handle.