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Powermate DF3500E Spec Review

The Powermate DF3500E (6957) is an open frame dual fuel portable generator with a rated wattage of 3500 W and a starting wattage of 4375 W.

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Description

Capable of operating on liquid propane or gasoline, Powermate’s Dual Fuel Series generators provide adjustable fueling options for your portable power needs. Featuring longer run times than competitive units, Powermate’s Dual Fuel Series boasts innovative features that create a seamless user experience. These products provide reliable power for a variety of occasions like camping trips, outdoor events, RV road trips and emergency home backup. Whether you’re at home or on the road, trust in the adjustable fueling options of Powermate’s Dual Fuel Series generators to accommodate your portable power needs.

Zoom on the Powermate DF3500E

In a nutshell, the Powermate DF3500E is a portable generator mostly geared towards:

  • RV travellers who wish to upgrade their experience to another level
  • People occasionally participating in outdoor fairs, festivals or events
  • Amateur DIY lovers
  • Homeowners in need of an emergency backup power for their essentials

In the sections ahead, the power characteristics, availability of various outlets, the portability, and any additional features of the device shall be discussed, including its emission compliance information.

Power & Run Time

The Powermate DF3500E in use

The Powermate DF3500E

With its dual-fuel technology, the powerful and versatile Powermate DF3500E provides an output of 120V. While gasoline-powered, it gives a running wattage of 3500W along with a peak wattage of 4375W. While propane-powered, it provides 3200 rated watts and 4000 starting watts.

The generator features a simple traditional pull-start mechanism and also a convenient and easy-to-use electric starter (battery included). It is rated for a noise of 68 dBA (less noisy than background music).

The DF3500E, with a fuel capacity of 4.5 gallons, reaches a run time of around 10 hours at 50% load utilizing gasoline (fuel consumption around 0.45 GPH). Alternatively, it can reach a run time of around 7 hours (on a 20 lbs tank - propane consumption around 0.67 GPH) with propane.

Outlets

The control panel features the upcoming 4 AC outlets:

Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)
120V 30A (TT-30R) receptacle
120V 30A (L5-30R) receptacle

With its TT-30R receptacle (TT as in 'Travel Trailer'), this Powermate generator is RV Ready.

Portability

The design of the Powermate DF3500E is a typical, open frame, with the dimensions of L26.3 x W23 x H20.7 in, offering support and stability and enabling the possibility of raising it above ground level. The design is ideal for rough environments and demanding outdoor use.

Since the generator weighs 115.5 lbs, it will be incredibly difficult to manually lift it and transport it, even though it is technically considered to 'be portable' (in the sense that it is movable). However, its challenging mobility is solved by its wheel kit and its folding handle, which will ease its displacement, once it is on the floor.

Features

Panel of the Powermate DF3500E

The DF3500E's control panel

To help you monitor the DF3500E's status and activity, its control panel is equipped with a convenient meter, which displays voltage, frequency and lifetime hours.

A built-in fuel gauge allows for a quick, easy and convenient check of the fuel level of the generator.

From a security point of view, the generator is equipped with an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, giving you a peace of mind during use.

Along the basic documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), useful for starting the generator right away, the Powermate DF3500E's package also includes these accessories: tool kit, funnel, propane hose and oil.

Emissions

The Powermate DF3500E is neither EPA approved nor CARB-compliant..

However, it features a spark arrestor and thus, may be used in forested areas.

The Powermate DF3500E versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Powermate DF3500E compare to generators of similar power (between 3000 and 4000 W).

  • Having a dry weight of 115.5 lbs, the Powermate DF3500E belongs in the expected weight range for generators which produce 3000 to 4000 rated watts. If weight is your top priority, one of the champions in this power category is the WEN GN400i, weighing just 66.1 pounds.
  • Since the generator's noise is rated at 68 dBA, it has the roughly average expected noise for a device of similar power. If you’d prefer a less noisy device, one of the most quiet devices, which share the same power range with this one, is the Cat INV4000E, whose lowest noise levels reach just 51 dBA.
  • As far as autonomy is concerned, providing around 10 hours of runtime with a full tank at a 50% load, the DF3500E falls into the low end in comparison with other devices of a comparable power output. If concerned with autonomy, one of the products of a comparable power output, which offers the highest run time, is the Honda EB4000X, boasting with around 16 hours.
  • While the run time is an important parameter, it is dependent on the fuel tank’s capacity and thus, doesn’t say much on its own unless we consider fuel consumption as well. This generator is not fuel efficient compared to devices of similar output: its estimated fuel consumption stands at 0.45 GPH at a 50% load. If you are concerned with gasoline efficiency, having a fuel consumption of just 0.17 GPH, the Westinghouse iGen4200 is a device you should look out for.

Price comparison

As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 3000-4000W generators, the Powermate DF3500E is on the average side of the price range.

Therefore, this generator nicely fits in the expected budget for this kind of product.

The bottom line

STRENGTHS:
  • In the expected price range
  • Several accessories included
  • RV Ready
  • Electric start
  • Dual Fuel
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent weight (115.5 lbs)
  • Acceptable noise (68 dBA)
WEAKNESSES:
  • No remote start
  • No EPA or CARB compliance
  • Relatively low run time
  • Low fuel efficiency

Do you own the Powermate DF3500E and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General
InverterNo
PortableYes
Parallel capableNo
RV readyYes
FuelDual Fuel (gasoline/propane)
Engine208 cc Powermate OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil, Electric
VoltageAC: 120V 60 Hz
Power
 GasolinePropane
Running watts3500 W3200 W
Starting watts4375 W4000 W
Running amps29.2 amps26.7 amps
Peaks amps36.5 amps33.3 amps
Run time @50% load10 h7 h
Run time @25% loadN/AN/A
Features
GFCI outletsNo
Covered outletsNo
Automatic Voltage RegulationYes
AC outlets
  • 1x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)
  • 1x 120V 30A (TT-30R)
  • 1x 120V 30A (L5-30R)
DC outletsNo
Data centerVFT
IndicatorsNo
Fuel tank4.5 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight115.5 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)26.3 x 23 x 20.7 in
Noise (lower limit)68 dBA
THDN/A
EmissionsN/A
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
Accessories includedOil, funnel, tool kit, propane hose and battery
Warranty2 years
Other model numbers6957

Unlike many websites, we did our best to research each of the specs above. That being said, we are not immune to making the occasional mistake or omission. Should you notice any missing or incorrect values, don't hesitate to suggest improvements so we can address the issue.

About Powermate

Powermate’s history is somewhat enigmatic, but they claim to have been on the market for over 40 years, selling portable generators and various outdoor power equipment. What we know for sure is that in 2009, they have signed under what they call “partnership” (more accurately ownership) with the Italian PRAMAC. As of 2020, it would seem that Generac has now taken over the manufacturing of Powermate's portable generators.

Warranty Information

The Powermate DF3500E is covered under a warranty for up to 2 years. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of Powermate generators, please consult Powermate's warranty policies (opens in a new tab). Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-888-977-2622.

Questions & Answers

What can it power?
Examples of items that can be simultaneously powered.
The examples below are based on a maximum load of 80% and estimated wattages. For a more accurate estimation, use our generator sizing calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeElectric fry pan15001500
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Vacuum cleaner10751175
Total2767 W3767 W
For campingRV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
RV refrigerator180600
Microwave (1000 watts)15001500
Radio100100
Total2790 W3380 W
For workGrinder14002500
Demolition hammer12601260
Bug zapper8080
Total2740 W3840 W

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