Best Portable Diesel Generator Review

Recommended portable diesel generator for the home use. Exploring features and benefits of the best small diesel generators, including All Power America, ETQ, Champion....

Small diesel generators are mainly designed for home use in a case of emergency blackouts or for the construction site, where power is not available. Diesel generators for home use are temporarily connected to power appliances, electrical devices or even the whole house.


  • Engines that are used on small diesel generators are consuming less fuel than engines on gasoline generators.
  • Portable diesel generator has the operating cost lower.
  • Diesel generators last longer.
  • Diesel engine has fewer elements so the maintenance is simpler and cheaper.
  • Diesel engine is more reliable than gasoline.
  • Diesel engine can produce more power as the compression ratio is higher. This engine compresses the air only, while the gasoline engine compresses the mixture of the fuel and air.
  • It is easier to obtain this fuel during the power outage than gasoline.
  • It is the least flammable fuel source.
  • Fuel home delivery is available.


  • There are also disadvantages of diesel generators for home use, when comparing to propane or gasoline generators.
  • Diesel has a shorter shelf life when comparing to propane (longer when compare to gasoline).
  • It is harder to store diesel (needs bigger storage tank) and obtain during the hurricane season, than propane.
  • The engine is noisy - noise level is higher (check the level in dB).
  • These generators are built heavier (but stronger), so it is harder to move them around.
  • Pollution on the environment is higher than for unleaded gasoline or propane types.
  • Expensive.
  • Combustion gases are hazardous on your health.

Buying guide

  • Buy a generator that uses a four cycle, liquid cooled diesel engines as they are quieter and less prone to overheating.
  • Look for the diesel generator that comes with the muffler, low oil alarm and shutdown.
  • As they are heavier than gasoline, wheels and handle are must for easy transport.
  • In order to provide easier starting during the cold weather and during cold starts, installed preheater is recommended.
  • Starting system with the electric starter (preferably with a remote) and backup recoil starter is great to have.
  • If planning to use a small generator for a cabin in the mountains, check the altitude in specs.
  • Recommended noise level for most of the portable diesel generators is 75 dB - 80 dB... lower is better.
  • Make sure that your product is in compliance with electrical safety standards (UL, CSA).

Top 3 selling portable diesel generators


ETQ DG6LE model features 10 HP or 418cc diesel powered engine that can produce maximum of 6,000 watts. 3.2 gallon fuel tank allows ETQ DG6LE generator to run almost 11.8 hrs under 50% power load.

Typically, for diesel powered generator, noise level is higher than gasoline; ETQ DG6LE has the highest noise level in this group, 82 dB.

The engine is built strong from the heavy cast iron, for longer life and better performance. It weighs over 250 pounds but the movement is not that hard, thanks to the installed four wheels and the handle. The unit is non-CARB compliant. It sells for approx. $1080.

NorthStar Generator #165930 features 10 HP Yanmar type diesel engine with low oil shutdown and 6 receptacles, design to produce maximum of 6500 Watts. The extended 6.5 gallon tank provides 13 hours run time at 50% load. It has two starting options, electric and coil type for your convenience. The engine sits on the strong base, and the interlocking design provides a smooth running operation.

This generator is a heavy device; it weighs over 300 pounds so the recommendation is to buy a wheel kit for easy movement. Operating noise level is 75 dB, much better than ETQ DG6LE model. It sells for approximately $3400 and has two-year warranty while other two have only one.

All Power America Portable Diesel Generator APG3201All Power America APG3201

All Power America Portable Diesel Generator APG3201 features 10 hp 4-stroke engine and power of 6500 watts. With the tank capacity of 3.3 gallons, it can run for 8 hours at 50% load. It features both recoil and electric start; battery is included.

Even with over 280 pounds in weight, 2 pneumatic and 4 small rollers make this device pretty easy to move around. Operating noise level is lower than ETQ DG6LE and is 76 dB. Non-CARB compliant. It sells for approximately $1300.


According to the reviews where users are comparing gasoline vs. diesel generators, diesel type is the winner. Diesel engines are much more efficient, the real workhorse as one user said, that also provides a stable electricity to power not only lighting but many tools, appliances, sensitive computers simultaneously.

If looking for a generator for a home that is capable of delivering many long hours of operation; that is strong enough for different terrain and weather conditions; that is reliable... buy a portable diesel generator.

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