Value for money is important when choosing a generator unit. Diesel units are traditionally regarded as the most durable generators, finding the best quality cheap diesel generator might not be as simple and straight forward as you think.
Thanks to innovations in power technology, there is little that you have to sacrifice when opting for longevity as the key factor underpinning your choice of generator. There are numerous features available on all units across price ranges, even in the cheap diesel generator class.
Not only are they more affordable for people whose budget does not extend to a top of the range model, but they are reliable too, and come with a not inconsiderable range of attractive features.
Our team assessed diesel generators from the point of view of price and value, and prepared this roundup of the most reliable and best cheap diesel generator appliances. The table below outlines a half-dozen of the best value units.
One of the least expensive diesel generators on the market with a full price of £2,299, the DuroStar DS7000Q is available on Amazon these days for around $1,699.98 with free shipping to some territories.
Especially at the latter price, this must constitute the best value of cheap diesel generator units, given the range of features included on the unit. It’s dependable for one thing, with DuroStar’s four-stroke single-cylinder direct-injection diesel engine, and easy to start with remote or electric functionality.
The control panel is simplicity itself and really assists with the maintenance of the unit, with its keyed ignition, oil alert & automatic shutdown in the event of low oil pressure, in addition to its volt meter, circuit breakers, low-fuel indicator and power outlets (including fully protected 12V, 120V and 220V).
There is also a ground fault interrupter 120V outlet for safe operation.
A robustly machined and constructed unit, there is a vibration-isolating mounting between the engine/alternator and the frame/feet, which not only reduces noise and vibration (further enhanced by a super quiet muffler and soundproofing) but improves the long-term durability of the generator.
At the price, you’ll be getting great value for a generator that you will be able to use anywhere for any purpose—whether on farms or ranches, construction sites, and also in the home for backup during emergency power outages.
Priced in the $2,200-2,300 range, the Pulsar PG7000DOF is another of the most impressive cheap diesel generator units on the market.
Like the DuroStar DS7000Q, the Pulsar PG7000DOF comes with a range of features and is powerful enough to function efficiently and effectively in any circumstances where a power source is required.
There is simply no denying the power and energy efficiency of the Pulsar PG7000DOF, which, despite its operational noise level of 76 dBA maximum, has a maximum output of 7000W/60HZ; and rated output of 5500W/60HZ, powered by its four-stroke OHV air-cooled 10HP single-cylinder engine.
With two 120V outlets, one 120V/240V twist lock and one 120V twist lock. It includes recoil or electric push start, a 12V DC output, and boasts a digital control panel. Other user-friendly features that boost the value of this diesel generator include recoil or electric push start options.
Priced in the region of $2,500, the Pro-Series GENSD7 comes with an impressive range of features for a diesel generator in this price range.
In terms of ‘bang for buck’ return on investment, the engine noise level is no more than 70dBA, which makes it sufficiently nuisance-free to work around all day long, and it can safely power a huge range of electrical items, from small, sensitive handheld IT items, through larger domestic products such as fridges, right up to heavy duty power tools.
Approved by the EPA, and with a range of slick functions including electric start, circuit protection, an auto shutdown facility when the oil runs low, and a voltage meter, the Pro-Series GENSD7 provides 5,500W of continuous power (or 7,000W surge), while its four-gallon gas tank, complete with fuel gauge for easy operation, provides up to 7 hours of power on a full load.
User friendly to operate, its features also include two 120V AC outlets, one 120V AC twist lock outlet, one 120/240V twist local outlet, and one 12V DC terminal for battery charging.
Although there is a jump in price up to the $3,600 price range for the Generac 6864 diesel generator, the return on the extra investment is considerable, but there is no job too tough, or workday too long, for this unit.
It is built to last, with its durable and fully welded 1.25in steel frame, while its industrial-grade engine (the Yanmar LW Series 435cc air-cooled direct-injection engine) is a power house.
Generac’s True Power tech guarantees safe operation and backup for all electric items, from large tools down to handheld electronics, and it boast such features as an hour meter to track maintenance intervals, and single-touch electric-start functionality, making it incredibly easy to operate for all.
Premium features that make it ideal for job sites and day long events are the integrated lifting eye for easy transport and security, idle control to conserve fuel and reduce noise and 12 gallon fuel tank that provides a long run-time of 32.4 hours at 50% load.
The Generac 6864 is also incredibly easy to move to where you need it, and store away when not in use and its fuel conservation and noise reduction features such as idle control, in addition to a 12-gallon fuel tank that provides up to 32 hours on a 50 percent load, make it a generator that cannot be overlooked in the value stakes.
While it’s the most expensive unit on our list, at just over $5,000, the Dayton 36C206 has a lot to recommend it for anyone seeking a diesel power generator that delivers the maximum value and return on investment.
It’s definitely not the quietest of the units we reviewed (up to 78 dBA in operation), but its sheer power makes it ideal for all circumstances in which you would require a backup power source.
This portable generator, with 5,000W rated and 9,160W surge, runs on a 442cc Kohler engine, with a run-time on full load of 6.8hrs (and 12.8 hours on a half load).
An industrial-standard unit, the generator has circuit breaker-protected outlets, low oil shut-off protection, and a quiet muffler to reduce engine noise.
Its maintenance-free, brushless alternator helps to extend the life of the unit, and other features include high-amp surge capacity (ideal for starting high amp tools); low oil shut-off; hour meter, and idle control. The appliance also comes with a wheel kit.
The Dayton 36C206 has a 9.8hp engine and fuel tank capacity of 2.6 gallons, and electric or recoil starter, and it’s unquestionably one of the best portable generators on the market. Whether that versatility and power is worth the additional expense is a question for the individual user.