Best 12000 Watt Portable Generator Reviews – Buying Guide

Updated On: October 15, 2020
By
Duromax
Popular
  • 12000 Surge Watts
  • 9500 Rated Watts
  • 8.3-Gallon Tank
  • 8.83 Hours @ 50% Load
  • EPA and CARB Compliant
Pulsar
Budget
  • 12000 Surge Watts
  • 9500 Rated Watts
  • 8 Gallon Tank
  • 12.5 Hours @ 50% Load
  • EPA and CARB Compliant

Facing blackouts is an occurrence which isn’t as severe as it used to be before, but a pretty disturbing occurrence, nonetheless.

A blackout can lead to all food in your refrigerator starting to rot, pipelines getting flooded, important medicines losing their properties, and projects remaining incomplete. So, how exactly do you solve these problems? By getting a generator, of course.

When it comes to ensuring an alternative source of power for your home, 12kW generators are the most suitable. How so?

Read our review about the best 12000 watt portable generator to understand more. Equipped with a buying guide, this article will surely answer all your questions. So, keep reading!

What Will a 12000 Watt Generator Run?

Watts are a mean of measuring power. While deciding what generator you want to purchase, watts play a pretty important role. The higher your generator’s wattage will be, the more electricity it will produce.

But it will also be able to run more appliances at once. So with a higher power, you basically get a tradeoff between maintenance cost and the benefit of uninterrupted power supply.

A machine with 12000 watts is definitely capable of running a lot of devices simultaneously. With a power like this, you can basically supply electricity to your whole house without any problem.

You can run fans, lights, TV, refrigerators, air conditioners, the central heating system, computers and almost anything else you can think of.

These devices are also great for industrial appliances. They can also be used in rural areas where there are wells, to run the well pumps. To install these, you must take the help of a professional.

1LightweightA-iPowerA-iPower SUA12000E Gasoline Powered Generator
    • Starting Power: 12000 Watt
    • Running Power: 9000 Watt
    • Noice Label: 78dB (From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 9 hours (50% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 7 Gallon
    • Weight: 216lbs
2ChampionChampion 12,000-Watt Electric Start Portable Generator
    • Starting Power: 15000 Watt
    • Running Power: 12000 Watt
    • Noice Label: 78dB (From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 9 hours (50% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 10.9 Gallon
    • Weight: 329.6lbs
3PopularDuroMaxDuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator
    • Starting Power: 12000 Watt
    • Running Power: 9500 Watt
    • Noice Label: 74dB (From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 8.83 hours (50% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 8.3 Gallon
    • Weight: 260lbs
4DurostarDurostar DS12000EH Dual Fuel Electric Start Generator
    • Starting Power: 12000 Watt
    • Running Power: 9500 Watt
    • Noice Label: 74dB (From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 8.83 hours (50% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 8.3 Gallon
    • Weight: 260lbs
5Best BudgetPulsarPulsar G12KBN Heavy Duty Portable Dual Fuel Generator
    • Starting Power: 12000 Watt (Gasoline)
    • Running Power: 9500 Watt (Gasoline)
    • Noice Label: Not Tested
    • Operating Time: 12 hours (50% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 8 Gallon
    • Weight: 209lbs
6LightweightRainierRainier R12000DF Dual Fuel Generator with Electric Start
    • Starting Power: 12000 Watt
    • Running Power: 9500 Watt
    • Noice Label: 72dB (From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 17 hours (25% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 6.6 Gallon
    • Weight: 196lbs
7Most DurableCATCAT RP12000E Gas Powered Portable Generator
    • Starting Power: 15000 Watt
    • Running Power: 12000 Watt
    • Noice Label: Not Tested
    • Operating Time: 11.7 hours (50% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 13.2 Gallon
    • Weight: 347.6lbs
8RockpalsRockpals 12000-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator
    • Starting Power: 12000 Watt
    • Running Power: 9000 Watt
    • Noice Label: 78dB (From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 8.5 hours (50% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 6.6 Gallon
    • Weight: 200lbs
9Fuel EfficientA-iPowerA-iPower SUA12000ED Dual Fuel Portable Generator
    • Starting Power: 12000 Watt
    • Running Power: 9000 Watt
    • Noice Label: 78dB (From 23 Feet)
    • Operating Time: 9 hours (50% Load)
    • Fuel Tank Size: 6.6 Gallon
    • Weight: 242lbs

Best 12000 Watt Portable Generator Reviews

To help you choose among the toppers, we have provided detailed reviews of our recommendations. Let’s get to know them.

A-iPower SUA12000E Gasoline Powered Generator

A-iPower SUA12000E Gasoline Powered Generator
FeaturesValue
Output PowerStarting: 12000 Watt / Running: 9000 Watt
Noise Level78db (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time9 hours / 50% Load
Fuel Tank Size7 Gallon
Starting MethodRecoil Pull Start, Electric
Weight216lbs

A-iPower generators are one of the well-known generators in the market. Regarded as the best rated 12000 watt portable generator by many, this one is ideal to use in households, getaways, and job sites – whatever you name.

The peak power of 12000 watts helps it to initially start large devices like refrigerators and air conditioners without missing a beat, as these require more than average power when they start.

Also, the fuel capacity of this machine is 7 gallons, and its fuel tank is made out of steel, adding to its durability. With this capacity, this unit has the power to keep itself running for 9 hours straight when it is operating at 50% load.

Pros
  • Peak wattage of 12000 watt helps to initially start large devices
  • Can be used in households, and job sites
  • Has a fuel capacity of 7 gallons
  • Can run for 9 hours on 50% load
  • Safe to use even when damp
  • Includes flat wheels for easy mobility
  • Affordable price point
  • GFCI protected outlets prevent the risk of shocks
  • Neat and compact appearance
Cons
  • A little bit too noisy for some individuals

Champion 12,000-Watt Electric Start Portable Generator

Champion 12,000-Watt Electric Start Portable Generator
FeaturesValue
Output PowerStarting: 15000 Watt / Running: 12000 Watt
Noise Level78db (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time9 hours / 50% Load
Fuel Tank Size10.9 Gallon
Starting MethodRecoil Pull Start, Electric
Weight329.6lbs

With many unique features to help differentiate it from others in the market, this proves to be a great option for your home.

First of all, it has a peak wattage of 15000 watts, which is way more than traditional 12kW generators provide. Hence, this is great for heavy use.

One of the worst things in a portable generator is a recoil start. These things can make starting the unit quite an uncomfortable process, so this device has a solution for that too!

Pros
  • Has an astonishing peak power of 15000 watts
  • Electric start facilitates ease of use
  • Cold start technology gives a perfect edge in the winter months
  • Covered outlets will keep you protected from shocks
  • Built-in surge protectors help prevent overload
  • Lift hook increases portability
  • Extra features to make maintenance super easy
Cons
  • Few reported to have started leaking oil after a few usages

DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator

DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator
FeaturesValue
Gasoline Output
Propane Output
Starting: 12000 Watt / Running: 9500 Watt
Starting: 11400 Watt / Running: 9025 Watt
Noise Level74db (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time8.83 hours / 50% Load Gagsoline
Fuel Tank Size8.3 Gallon
Starting MethodRecoil Pull Start, Electric
Weight260lbs

This by far is quite a unique generator in terms of the fuel options it provides. It gives you the flexibility to choose between either fuel or propane and offers numerous benefits no matter which one you choose. This generator also places on our top list of dual fuel generators.

If you use gasoline, you will get 600 watts more peak power and 475 watts more running power than while using propane.

However, this should not be one the only category to base your decision on. While using gasoline may lead to a more stable supply of power, propane can drastically reduce the number of emissions from your machine, and lessen the severity of your carbon footprint.

Pros
  • Dual fuel option offers a lot of flexibility
  • Provides a runtime of average 7.8 hours on both fuels at 50% load
  • Made from high-quality materials
  • Equipped with overload protection
  • Includes both an electric and a recoil starter
  • Noise is relatively less compared to its size
Cons
  • Complaints of spraying oil in the engine compartment

Durostar DS12000EH Dual Fuel Electric Start Generator

Durostar DS12000EH Dual Fuel Electric Start Generator
FeaturesValue
Gasoline Output
Propane Output
Starting: 12000 Watt / Running: 9500 Watt
Starting: 11400 Watt / Running: 9025 Watt
Noise Level74db (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time8.83 hours / 50% Load Gagsoline
Fuel Tank Size8.3 Gallon
Starting MethodRecoil Pull Start, Electric
Weight260lbs

Boasting quite a lot of amazing features under the belt, it runs on both gasoline and propane for almost 8 hours at 50% load. This makes it quite a great choice as a home unit.

One of the best things about this Durostar Generator is definitely the fact that it gives you the freedom to choose from your preferred fuel type. While these two fuels are quite different, each of them certainly has its advantages and disadvantages. Which fuel you will choose depends on the kind of result you want from them.

Pros
  • Can run on both propane and gasoline
  • Boasts a runtime of 8 hours on 50% load
  • Easy to move around with the help of a wheel kit
  • Has safety measures included to protect the engine from overload
  • Light indicators help provide a warning when oil level is low
  • Option to start with an electric key
Cons
  • The instructions are quite vague

Pulsar G12KBN Heavy Duty Portable Dual Fuel Generator

Pulsar G12KBN Heavy Duty Portable Dual Fuel Generator
FeaturesValue
Gasoline Output
Propane Output
Starting: 12000 Watt / Running: 9500 Watt
Starting: 10800 Watt / Running: 5550 Watt
Noise LevelNot Tested
Operating Time12 hours / 50% Load Gasoline
Fuel Tank Size8 Gallon
Starting MethodRecoil Pull Start, Electric
Weight209lbs

If you are looking for a generator that has it all, this model could be the best choice! It features a dual fuel mode, which helps you stay ready for all kinds of circumstances. You have the power to choose between any fuels you like, depending on what advantage you are willing to get out of the fuel.

One of the best things about this model is definitely its runtime. No matter whether you use gasoline or liquid propane, you will be able to operate this machine at a 50% load for 12 hours.

This is quite a long time, which helps you make sure that you do not need to frequently refill and maintain the model. The fuel tank has a capacity of 8 gallons and uses it at an economic rate.

Pros
  • Can run for 12 hours on 50% load
  • The fuel tank has a capacity of 8 gallons
  • Gives you the power to choose between propane and gasoline
  • Easy to store and move around
  • Features various safety measures
  • Low oil indicators and digital meters help with maintenance
Cons
  • The liquid propane is not easily convertible into gas

Rainier R12000DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Electric Start

Rainier R12000DF Dual Fuel Generator with Electric Start
FeaturesValue
Gasoline Output
Propane Output
Starting: 12000 Watt / Running: 9500 Watt
Starting: 10800 Watt / Running: 8550 Watt
Noise Level72db (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time17 hours / 25% Load
Fuel Tank Size6.6 Gallon
Starting MethodRecoil Pull Start, Electric
Weight196lbs

The Rainier Dual Fuel Generator is ideal for use as a backup in your house, on camping trips, and on job construction sites. This model is mainly known for the amazing runtime it provides.

Using this at 25% load, you can keep the generator up and running for around 17 hours, which is quite a lot compared to other options in the market.

With a peak wattage of 12000 watts, you can use this device to supply power to almost anything in your house, though preferably not all together.

Pros
  • Has an astounding runtime of 17 hours on 25% load
  • Starts with a peak watt of 12000 watts on gasoline
  • Gives you the liberty to choose between gasoline and propane
  • Boasts an electric start along with a recoil start as a backup
  • Shows the amount of voltage, fuel and hours left in exact numbers
  • Equipped with a wheel kit for easy portability
  • Comes with various features to keep the engine protected
Cons
  • The frame is not too sturdy

CAT RP12000E Gas Powered Portable Generator

CAT RP12000E Gas Powered Portable Generator
FeaturesValue
Output PowerStarting: 15000 Watt / Running: 12000 Watt
Noise LevelNot Tested
Operating Time11.7 hours / 50% Load
Fuel Tank Size13.2 Gallon
Starting MethodElectric
Weight347.6lbs

This generator is one of the most popular among users, mostly due to its amazing peak wattage. While most traditional generators have a surge wattage of 12kW, this model here has a surge wattage of 15kW instead. This helps it to start large devices without fearing any up-downs in the voltage or facing any short circuit.

The model can run for almost 12 hours on a 50% load, so it is great for use in houses as well as on job sites. You can use this model even at nights, because of the LED panel it has. The panel is useful for showing the current status of the machine, such as the voltage it is running on, the run time it has left, the amount of fuel needed, etc.

Pros
  • Has an amazing peak wattage of 15000 watts
  • Can run for around 12 hours at 50% load
  • Electric start provides ease of use
  • LED panel shows the status and offers visibility in dark places
  • Metal frame provides durability
  • Easy to move around with the help of the included wheel kit
  • Equipped with circuit breakers to provide protection from overheating
Cons
  • A little bit on the expensive side

Rockpals 12,000-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator

Rockpals 12000-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator
FeaturesValue
Gasoline Output
Propane Output
Starting: 12000 Watt / Running: 9000 Watt
Starting: 10800 Watt / Running: 8100 Watt
Noise Level78db (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time8.5 hours / 50% Load
Fuel Tank Size6.6 Gallon
Starting MethodRecoil Pull Start, Electric
Weight200lbs

If anyone asks you what is the quietest 12000 watt generator, always answer it with this name; Rockpals. This model is quite unique in many ways, along with being the quietest out there.

It has achieved that status by incorporating oversized mufflers into its systems, which reduces the sound of engines drastically.

The best thing about this model is the fact that you can use either propane or gasoline for its engine, according to your choice. However, the advantage does not stop at this. Instead of restarting the generator every time you want to switch from one fuel to another, you can now do the same task by using a switch only.

Pros
  • You can choose between two options of fuels
  • Switch system allows for ease of use
  • Decent runtime
  • Very quiet compared to other generators
  • Suitable for use in all weather conditions
Cons
  • A little hard to assemble

A-iPower SUA12000ED Dual Fuel Portable Generator

A-iPower SUA12000ED Dual Fuel Portable Generator
FeaturesValue
Gasoline Output
Propane Output
Starting: 12000 Watt / Running: 9000 Watt
Starting: 10000 Watt / Running: 8000 Watt
Noise Level78db (From 23 Feet)
Operating Time9 hours / 50% Load Gasoline
Fuel Tank Size6.6 Gallon
Starting MethodRecoil Pull Start, Electric
Weight242lbs

This A-iPower SUA12000ED model is among one of the top-rated models in the market. Equipped with a peak wattage of 12000 watts, this machine is great for providing power supply to a lot of devices in your house simultaneously and works great as a backup.

Along with that, it has a run time of 9 hours at 50% load, so you have got yourself quite a deal. This device is also known for being easily usable in all weather conditions.

The build of this product is quite sturdy, making it durable. It also features a cover outlet which is weather-resistant, making this more reliable.

Pros
  • Equipped with a peak wattage of 12000 watts
  • Can operate for 9 hours on 50% load
  • Has a very sturdy exterior
  • Suitable to use in any weather conditions
  • Equipped with a wheel kit for easy portability
  • Digital data center is useful for providing information about runtime
  • Extra features like low oil shut off help keep the engine secure
Cons
  • Quite noisy

What to Look for Before Buying?

Generators are not exactly cheap, and buying a 12000 watt one might also be considered as an investment.

Therefore, before deciding which one to buy, you should definitely have an idea about what factors you need to look out for and how each of these factors plays a role in shaping your needs. Only then can you buy the generator that is best for you.

Here is a list of the factors that we think will help determine your needs more clearly;

Power Requirement

To determine what kind of product you need, you first need to calculate the amount of power you need to supply.

And to do this, you can calculate the wattage of all the appliances in your house or office that you need to run. Taking the help of an electrician might come handy too. After that, you need to choose your generator accordingly.

Usage

You need to determine what you are going to use the device for. For example, if you are going to use it in a site or a recreational area, you should invest in a portable generator. This will help you to move the machine around whenever you need it and to various different sites.

On the other hand, if you plan to use it as a home backup system, you have both the options open to you. You can use either a portable or a standby one, considering that it fulfills the other needs too.

Fuel Capacity and Run Time

The amount of fuel that your generator will run on, and the period of time it will run before needing to be fuelled again, both are very important factors.

However, they do not have a direct relationship. A bigger fuel capacity does not automatically convert to a longer runtime. Instead, the runtime depends on how the fuel is used.

Another thing to consider while finding out the actual runtime is the load at which the machine operates.

Starting vs Running Watts

While looking for a generator, you must have come across the words peak watts and running watts. If you are confused as to what they mean, peak watts mean the watts they generate during a surge of power, and running watts are the watts they produce normally.

Weight

If you are planning on getting a portable generator for your needs, then you definitely need to consider the weight of the device. A device is not really portable if you cannot move it around your job site, no matter how uneven the terrain is.

Therefore, invest in one that has a size and weight which you know you can handle.

Storage Space

Most of the time, the generators we use are kept in the garage or outside. Make sure that the place where you will store it is big enough to fit and maintain the device. Always keep a little bit of additional space around. But do not give up on the other qualities that you need for the storage space ever.

Starting Mechanism

Generators can have two kinds of starting mechanisms – a recoil pull or an electric start. The former one might be a little bit difficult to use and therefore disliked by many.

In that case, you should go for one with an electric start. Nevertheless, make sure to have the recoil pull option as a backup as that can come handy in cases where the electric start stops working.

Noise

The first thing that we associate with the word generator is often noise. However, you have a lot of options to choose from. Inverters are particularly known for their lack of loud continuous noise. Therefore, while making a purchasing decision, make sure to buy one that does not hurt your ears for long term benefits.

Fuel Source

What fuel source you will want depends typically on two things – how much conscious you are about the environment and how much you are willing to spend. The two common sources of fuel are propane and gasoline, and they both have their ups and downs.

Propane is more expensive than gasoline. It, however, also releases fewer emissions in the atmosphere, making this the best choice if you care about the environment. You will also need to use less propane than gasoline for the same runtime.

Gasoline, on the contrary, is known for its harmful emissions. However, it is a lot cheaper and yields stable power throughout its use.

The Material of the Fuel Tank

Although this seems to be a pretty strange factor to consider, the material of the fuel tank can play quite an important role in your decision. You can get two types of fuel tanks – plastic and metallic.

The main advantages of plastic fuel tanks are that they do not rust and are lightweight. However, they are not really durable and prone to breakage. Metallic tanks, on the other hand, are very durable. But they rust easily and are also very heavy in nature.

Extra Features

Some generators have some extra features that will allow you to operate the machine in a much safer way, and with better precision. You should try to find one with as many of these features available, as you will get a lot of extra things along with the basic machine.

Budget

Last but not least, one of the most important things you should keep in your mind is your budget. You should fix a number, stick to it while looking at your options, and buy the one most suited to your needs within this number.

If you cannot find any suitable one, then consider buying the next best option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Should I get a 12kW generator for my camping trip?

A: For a camping trip, you mostly need to supply power to only some basic appliances. Therefore, getting one (which is better suited to home backup systems) will be quite expensive as well as unnecessary. You can look into the inverter generator instead.

Q: How long is the run time for a 12000 watt generator?

A: The runtime of it varies on the basis of the load. However, most 12000 units run for approximately 9.15 hours when they are operating at a 50% load.

Q: How many amps does a 12KW generator deliver?

A: The number of amps such an engine provides depends on the voltage it uses. You can get the number of amps it delivers by dividing the wattage with the number of volts. Therefore, the listed model will deliver around 100 amps if it uses 120 volts and around 50 amps if it uses 240 volts.

Q: How should we maintain these generators?

A: Maintenance of these products is not necessarily a hard task. You just need to do some basic things – such as replacing old oils for new ones, inspecting spark plugs, replacing air filters when needed, and giving your machines a test run every now and then. To know about maintaining generator Visit Electric Generators Direct.

Final Words

The perfect generator can really help you in times of need, so do not put off buying it for tomorrow. Instead, use this best 12000 watt generator review as a buying guide, and get shopping! We hope reading this has helped you understand which one will best suit your needs and will help you to make the best choice.

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