Predator 3500 Generator and How It Compares to Others

If you’re looking for a work-horse of a generator that runs quietly in the background, the Predator 3500 generator by Harbor Freight is one of the most silent units on the market. It’s a perfect choice for tailgating or powering your RV on camping trips.

It has an easy electric start. What’s more, is that this model with its built-in set of wheels makes for easy movement over grass and dirt surfaces. The thick and durable shell is one of the most robust cases on any portable generator. It is capable of taking a few knocks and dings.

Even if you’re not an outdoor enthusiast, owning a Predator 3500 is great for powering tools or a few appliances during a power outage. It runs on unleaded gasoline and has a long runtime.

Continue reading to learn more about the super quiet, fairly lightweight, and very portable Predator 63584 3500 watt super quiet inverter generator. You’ll want to understand how it compares to competing for 3500 generators.

Predator 3500 Generator

What is an inverter generator?

First off, inverter generators are already the quietest generators you can buy. They are a newer technology that mates electronics with the mechanical operations of the generator.

With an inverter-type generator, once power is initially produced through the alternator, the AC current is converted into direct or DC current. Then the generator’s microprocessor inverts the DC current back into a cleaner and higher-quality AC power.

Predator 3500 inverter generator
Predator 3500 inverter generator

This means the Predator Generator 3500, even though it is a portable generator, will produce an electric current similar to the larger whole house generator models.

With less harmonic distortion and more consistent power output, you can feel confident connecting even sensitive electronics like laptops and a flat-screen TV to this model of Predator generator.

And finally, the Preditor 3500 generator, because it is an inverter generator, will run more quietly and produce lower emissions. This is mainly due to the engine being electronically throttled up or down to meet the required power demand – rather than running full tilt all the time.

So, even though a Predator 3500 inverter generator will cost a bit more upfront, the investment is worth it for all the benefits you’ll gain when you consider an inverter generator over a traditional generator, including:

Lightweight Inverter Generator

More lightweight and portable than standard fuel-powered generators due to the smaller fuel tank. The weight of the Predator 3500 inverter generator is a little under 100 pounds. This is lighter than most other generators of the same power output. Other generators in this category tend to weigh 105 pounds and more.

The lighter weight could be due to the smaller fuel tank of only 2.3 gallons versus 2.6 gallons for the Generac iQ3500 and the Westinghouse iGen4200.

Quiet

Predator 63584 3500 watt super quiet inverter generator
Predator 63584 3500 watt super quiet inverter generator

It runs very quietly. Noise levels are as low as 60 decibels – which is comparable to two people talking 3 feet apart.

Clean Electricity, Energy Efficient

An inverter generator is the best way to protect your electronic devices because it produces clean electricity that is safe from spikes in voltage. It produces lower emissions and requires less maintenance when compared to conventional generators.

Because the engine speed is automatically adjusted to suit power needs, inverter generators are more energy efficient. Learn about inverter generator vs generator for more pros and cons.

About the Predator 3500 Inverter Generator

The Predator line of generators manufactured by Harbor Freight are marketed as super-quiet, inverter generators with up to 18 hours of run time while weighing 25% less than their competitors.

The entire line of portable inverter generators under the Predator name consists of models that range from 1400 watts priced around $500 MRSP up to 9500 watts for about $2000 MSRP. These costs are approximate.

The 3500 Predator generator is considered a medium-sized inverter generator. This is especially true when you consider that some portable inverter models can deliver 10,000 watts of power compared to the 3000 watts/3500 watts surge load capacity of this Preditor 3500 generator.

This generator is powered by gasoline. With an electronically controlled motor, it features a pushbutton electric start. If you’re looking to power an RV or boat, then this is the generator for you because it also includes a 30 amp RV/marine outlet.

The 12-volt output outlet can be used for charging batteries. In addition, with the right power adapters, this same outlet can charge your laptop or power your family’s entertainment devices, such as DVD movies and CD music players.

Here, we will offer an unbiased Predator 3500 review including its features and in what situations this generator is best suited. Many consider the Predator 63584 3500-watt generator to be the best 3500-watt inverter generator on the market.

Predator generator 3500
Predator generator 3500

Predator 3500 Generator Information

What can the Predator 3500 generator power?

  • Output Power- Starting: 3500 Watt / Running: 3000 Watt
  • AC Voltage – 120VAC at 60Hz
  • AC Outlets – 2 x NEMA #5-20 (3-prong, 120 VAC) and 1 x NEMA #L5-30 (3-prong, 120 VAC)
  • DC Outlets – 1 x 12V DC, 8A, 2 pin

Starting Watts and Running Watts

You may be wondering about those two power ratings listed for the 3500 Predator generator. The first is the amount of power the generator delivers to start up your appliances or gear. That’s the unit’s peak power – 3500 watts. The 3000 rated watts of running power is what the generator drops back down to when running for a sustained amount of time.

The rated running power is the amount of power you want to stay within when determining how much load you can place on the generator.

While you certainly cannot run an entire household on 3000 watts of power, this is plenty of power to operate a wide range of appliances, tools, or equipment. You simply have to pick and choose which appliances you need and those that can stay offline for a period.

How Predator 3500 Compares to Other Portable Generators

Here’s where you’ll find the nuanced, but important differences that separate the Predator 3500 generator from the rest. Like most other 3500-watt generators, the Predator 3500 shares the same running wattage of 3000W.

But some, like the Westinghouse iGen4200 which delivers 3500 watts of running watts but is rated at 4200 peak watts. So, if you need at least the full start-up wattage power of 3500 watts, which is what it takes to power up both a full-sized refrigerator and freezer at the same time, then you’ll need a higher peak power generator.

Another power difference comes into play when you look at the capacity of the generator at a specific load. For example, when loaded to 25% capacity, the 3500 Predator generator will run for a maximum of 11 hours.

When compared to other generators like the Generac iQ3500, you get more power capacity for a slightly longer time. The Generac IQ3500 will operate for up to 14 hours when similarly loaded. Learn about the best portable generators you can buy to be prepared.

Household Appliances

You can keep your food safe by simultaneously running both your refrigerator and your freezer (each about 700 running watts – but startup power can be twice as much).

Your family can enjoy meals using several small appliances, such as a coffee maker, microwave, toaster oven, etc. These appliances range between 700 and 1200 watts each.

Space Heaters

You can stay warm by running two space heaters – each must be rated at or below 1500 watts. In addition, you certainly don’t have to sit in the dark since LED lights use about 14 watts each.

Tools

Go ahead and finish your DIY home projects or storm cleanup. A chainsaw uses about 1,500 watts and an electric drill about 600 watts of energy.

RV

Long power outage? Simply bunk in your RV for a few days, since a 3500-watt generator is enough to easily power a mobile home. Just avoid using all electrical appliances at once. Many users consider this to be the best 3500-watt inverter generator for RV.

Fans

If you’re worried about staying cool during a summer brownout, a 3500 Predator generator is ideal. It can power a few tower fans (about 100 watts each) or a window air conditioner (up to 1,440 watts).

Preditor 3500 generator
Preditor 3500 generator

All these numbers are estimates, and you must calculate the wattage of your appliances and tools to know how much load you are placing on your Predator generator 3500.

Who is Predator 3500 Inverter Generator Ideal For?

  • Noise Level – 57dB (From 23 Feet)
  • Operating Time – 11 hours / 25% Load

We’ve already demonstrated the many ways the Preditor 3500 generator can be used at home, making it a very popular and affordable option for emergency home power. But, in what other ways can this portable powerhouse make you happy to know that you’ve gotten a good deal for your money?

Outdoor Activities

Let’s start with outdoor summer activities like baseball and soccer games. The Predator generator can easily power a mini-fridge (between 50 and 100 watts) to keep drinks cold and sandwich meats fresh before packing in the cooler.

And, who doesn’t love an iced latte or fruit smoothie on a warm summer’s eve? It only takes a few hundred watts to keep fresh coffee brewing and a blender humming.

As the sun goes down, plug in a karaoke machine and string a few lines of colored lights around your seating area for great ambiance and lots of fun. This portable generator is up to the task.

Football season is the season for tailgating! And nothing makes tailgating more enjoyable than the portable power that is instantly available with a Predator generator 3500. Instead of depleting your car battery, use this 3.5k inverter generator that gives off 3000 watts of continuous power for up to 12 hours while running whisper-quiet in the background.

Power your music system, video games, a flat-screen TV – of course! In addition, you can bring along a crock pot full of simmering chili or creamy chowder to create a game-day experience that’s hard to beat.

Ideal for Booths, Festivals

Autumn is festival time. So, why not park your RV or van and experience festivals, farmer’s markets, arts and craft shows, neighborhood fairs, and outdoor concerts in a whole new way? You can power the lighting and sound for booths, or power the appliances needed to cook and keep food warm and desserts cool in eating areas.

The best part about using the Predator 3500 generator for these outdoor activities is how quiet the unit runs. At around 57dB, so you don’t have to worry about shouting over your guests.

Predator 3500 Technical Facts

  • Fuel Tank Size – 2.6 gal
  • Engine Size – 212cc
  • Engine Type OHV
  • The Engine Speed 2600  – 3100
  • Weight – 99.2 lbs

A common discussion thread among Predator 3500 generator owners states the inconvenience of not having a fuel gauge. This could be because the 212cc OHV engine has an electric ignition.

Also, you can quickly double the power capacity connecting two Preditor 3500 generators in parallel. This model comes with ready connections for that purpose. All you would need is a parallel Kit for linking two 2000 to 3000 Watt Inverter Generators, which costs around $75.

The 212cc air-cooled OHV gasoline engine is a clone of the engine found on the Honda GX22. Only, the engine displacement is increased from 196cc to 212cc to generate more power.

But, keep in mind, that some generator power pros feel that this design change results in a generator that runs hotter – especially since there was no change or modifications to the air-cooled cylinder head.

It has an emissions control system.

Predator 3500 Oil and Maintenance 

  • Engine Oil Type – SAE 10W-30
  • Oil Capacity – 20 fl oz

Like any other electro-mechanical equipment, follow the Harbor Freight owner’s manual for full instructions on proper inspection and maintenance of the Predator Generator 3500.

When you unbox your generator, the engine’s crankcase will be empty. Full with a good grade of 10W-30 or synthetic, high mileage 0W40, to the full capacity of 20 fluid oz. This is a little over half a quart.

Additional Predator 3500 inverter generator maintenance tips include:

  1. Do not use gasoline that has been stored in a metal can. Also, be sure to always fuel the tank after the engine is fully cooled and in a well-ventilated space.
  2. The engine oil should be changed after the first 25 hours of operation. After this time, empty and refill the oil tank after every 6 months or 100 hours.
  3. Every 3 months or after 50 hours of use, clean the foam-type air filter or replace the paper-type air filter.
  4. Every year or after 300 hours of operation, the engine can be tuned by adjusting the idle speed and cleaning the fuel tank, strainer and carburetor to remove any carbon build-up.
  5. After 2 years of good use, check to see if the generator’s fuel line needs replacing. Gunk or engine debris in the fuel line can damage a running generator engine or cause sputtering.

If you live in a very dusty environment, then consider a more regular maintenance schedule. This includes running the generator in open lots or rural land with dirt roads, airborne dirt or windy conditions, an area with high amounts of pollen and/or dander, or urban areas where dust emissions are high due to large-scale industrial operations and/or heavy vehicular traffic.

Using a portable generator safely is key. There are hazards associated with all generators. Be sure to use the Predator manual for operating instructions and maintenance requirements to minimize the risk of shocks and electrocution. Never use a generator when it is wet. 

Where Can You Buy a Preditor 3500 Generator?

At the time of this writing, Harbor Freight was advertising the 3500 Predator generator online for $899, a huge saving over a comparable HONDA at $2299 (model number: EU3000S1AG). Online, the price varies from a low of $800 to as much as $1200, so do your price comparisons before purchasing.

Still, the Predator 63584 is great value for a well-built 3500-watt generator that also features copper components that last longer. Other places to buy the Predator generator 3500 online and in stores include Home Depot, Northern Tool, and Lowes.

All-in-all, this Predator 3500 review finds this inverter a great buy for the price! Its outer shell is durable and rugged, making it the perfect choice for RVs, emergency power, camping, tailgating, and other outdoor pursuits.

Predator 63584 3500 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator FAQs

Who makes the Predator 3500 generator?

Harbor Freight Tools makes Predator generators. They are located in the United States. 

Will a 3500 Predator generator run a camper?

As a portable inverter generator, Predator 63584 is an excellent choice to run a camper or RV. You will likely have to pick and choose which appliances to run as you won’t be able to run everything (refrigerator/freezer, stove, microwave, TV, HVAC, portable electronic devices, microwave, etc. at the same time.

Are Predator generators good quality?

These generators are reliable and durable. In general, they have a long runtime.

How heavy is the Predator 3500 generator?

It weighs 99.2 pounds. It has wheels making it easy to maneuver when out and about.

What type of fuel does the Preditor 3500 generator use?

It uses unleaded gasoline.

How quiet is the Preditor 3500 generator?

According to Harbor Freight, it is 57 dB which is considered quiet.

3500 Inverter Generator

This is considered to be the best 3500-watt generator available. It is super quiet. A reliable backup power solution, it provides a total of 3500 watts of power. It’s a fuel-efficient generator. With its 2.6-gallon gas tank and inverter technology, it can run up to 11 hours at 25% – 50% load. 

One of the cons is it doesn’t have a fuel gauge. However, it has a digital LCD screen with a low oil indicator.

The unit is portable so you can carry it from job site to job site. If you need a lot of power to run your tools, this unit is great for that.

Your generator is the power behind your home. It keeps your lights on, your refrigerator running, and your devices charged up. But what happens when you lose power in your home? The only way to keep everything running is with a generator. The problem is that generators are heavy and noisy – the best ones are the size of a tractor-trailer. With this generator, you can get all of the benefits of a full-sized generator in something about the size of a suitcase!

The Predator 3500 Portable Generator is perfect for life on the go: It’s lightweight, powerful enough to live in an RV or cabin, and quiet enough that it won’t disturb anyone. You can even bring it camping!

Research and due diligence are key. Learn everything to know about buying a generator before deciding on one. It’s important to consider why you want one and what it will need to power. Compare the Preditor 3500 generator to other 3000 generators such as this Yamaha EF3000iSE vs Honda EU3000iS generator review.

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