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Predator 6500 - 5500/6500W Portable Generator

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Predator 6500Predator 6500
Even though the pictures on this product page show wheels, Predator generators sold at Harbor Freight do not come with a wheel kit. It must be purchased separately.
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Description

The PREDATOR® 6500 Max Starting Watt, 5500 Running Watt Gas Powered Portable Generator is built with reliability and safety in mind. Powered by a dependable 301cc PREDATOR® gas engine, this generator is ideal for emergencies, job-sites, and home backup.

Zoom on the Predator 6500

In summary, the Predator 6500 is a portable generator especially useful for:

  • RV travellers looking for even more independence
  • Occasional participants of outdoor events, competitions, concerts and festivals
  • Food truck owners who do not wish to see their business interrupted under any circumstances
  • Homeowners who want to be sure of their ability to power their fridges, cooking tools, heating and lighting equipment during power failures
  • Professionals in need of safely powering high-intensity work or lighting equipment

The following sections will present you in detail its power characteristics, the different outlets it offers, its overall portability, the extra features it benefits from, and any relevant emission compliance details.

Power & Run Time

The Predator 6500 in use

The Predator 6500

The Predator 6500's core is the 301 cc (8 hp) OHV 4-stroke engine, which runs on gasoline. With an output of 120/240V, it provides a running wattage of 5,500W and a peak wattage of 6,500W.

Enjoying a noise rating of 73.5 dBA (just slightly more noisy than a shower), this generator gets running thanks to a simple traditional pull-start mechanism.

With a fuel capacity of 8 gallons, the 6500 may run for around 14.5 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.55 GPH).

Outlets

The control panel features the upcoming 5 AC outlets:

Two Duplexes 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI
120/240V 30A (L14-30R) receptacle

Furthermore, it has 1 DC outlet: there's a 12V 10A (cigarette lighter style) receptacle allowing you to easily charge your batteries.

As the 6500 holds a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, it is transfer switch ready: you'll easily be able to connect it to your breaker box to power your home during a power outage.

Portability

The Predator 6500 has a conventional, open frame design, of the following dimensions: L26.9 x W22 x H22.8 in, which offers support and allows it to be raised above ground level. The featured design is ideal for the outdoors and all tough environments.

As the generator's weight is 165 pounds, manually moving it or transporting it may be challenging, despite the fact that it is technically considered 'portable' (movable). Nevertheless, thanks to a wheel kit (separate purchase from Harbor Freight or Amazon), the generator can be easily moved, once placed on the ground.

Features

Panel of the Predator 6500

The 6500's control panel

A light indicator serves to show you when its oil levels are insufficient.

The fuel level of the generator can be determined quickly, easily, and conveniently with the help of its built-in fuel gauge.

From a security standpoint, the product offers an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, allowing you to use it with a peace of mind.

The unit also benefits from the Predator's CO SECURE™ carbon monoxide detection. This system monitors the accumulation of CO gas while the generator is running and will shut off the engine if the levels become dangerously high.

Besides the usual set of documentation and owner's manual (opens in a new tab) to get you promptly started, Predator also included a tool kit in the 6500's packaging. A storage cover is also available, as a separate purchase.

Emissions

The Predator 6500 is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. Thus, selling and purchasing this generator is allowed in each of the 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor, making it usable in forested areas.

The unit also meets the ANSI/PGMA G300-2018 safety and performance requirements.

Product Video

The Predator 6500 versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Predator 6500 compare to generators of similar power (between 5000 and 6000 W).

  • With a dry weight of 165 pounds, the Predator 6500 finds itself in the expected weight range for generators able to produce between 5000 and 6000 rated watts. Regarding dry weight, one of the champions in the same power range is the Champion 201238, with a dry weight of only 101.4 lbs.
  • As this generator can emit noise as low as 73.5 dBA, it finds itself in the average expected noise for this kind of power. If noise emissions are important to you, one of the least noisy generators of this power range is the Honda EU7000iS with only 52 dBA.
  • With a run time of around 14.5 hours at 50% load, the 6500 has one of the highest run times, compared to its similarly powerful peers.
  • Even though run times are undoubtedly important, they are dependent on the fuel capacity to a large extent. For a more wholesome picture, we must take into consideration the fuel consumption of the generator. This generator reaches an estimated fuel consumption of 0.55 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 50% load, making it average, for the previously mentioned wattage range. If fuel consumption is your top priority, we suggest to check out the A-iPower SUA7000L, which has a fuel consumption of only 0.36 GPH and thus, is one of the most efficient devices in our database.

Price comparison

As you can see from these interactive charts, when compared to other 5000-6000W generators, the Predator 6500 is on the cheap side of the price range.

It can therefore be a really good buy if you're looking to acquire a budget generator.

The bottom line

STRENGTHS:
  • Inexpensive
  • CO SECURE™ technology
  • GFCI Outlets
  • High run time
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent weight (165 lbs)
  • Acceptable noise (73.5 dBA)
  • Decent fuel efficiency
WEAKNESSES:
  • No data center
  • No electric start
  • Wheel kit not included
  • Weak warranty

Do you own the Predator 6500 and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General
InverterNo
Parallel capableNo
RV readyNo
FuelGasoline
Engine301 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil
Warranty90 days
Power
VoltageAC: 120/240V 60 Hz, DC: 12V
Running watts5,500 W
Starting watts6,500 W
Running amps (@120/240V)45.8/22.9 amps
Peak amps (@120/240V)54.2/27.1 amps
Run time @50% load14.5 h
Run time @25% loadUnknown
Features
GFCI outletsYes
Covered outletsYes
Automatic Voltage RegulationYes
AC outlets
  • 2x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI
  • 1x 120/240V 30A (L14-30R)
DC outlets1x 12V 10A (cigarette lighter style)
Data centerNo
IndicatorsLow oil
Fuel tank8 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight165 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)26.9 x 22 x 22.8 in
Noise (lower limit)73.5 dBA
THDUnknown
ComplianceCARB, EPA, ANSI/PGMA G300-2018
SecurityLow oil and overload protection, CO monitoring
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedTool kit
Other model numbers63964, 59133

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.

Spec Improvement×

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About Predator

Predator portable generators are solely distributed by the Harbor Freight Corporation, which has an impressive list of over 200 trademarked products. The Predator brand is one of their newer lines of outdoor power products. As with many other makes and models of power equipment sold by Harbor Freight, Predator generators are manufactured in China.

Warranty Information

The Predator 6500 is covered under a warranty for up to 90 days. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of Predator generators, please consult Harbor Freight's warranty policies stated in the user manual (opens in a new tab). Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support : 1-800-444-3353.

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 sizer.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeElectric fry pan15001500
Dish washer15003000
Sump pump (1/2 hp)10502150
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Radio100100
Set of 5 LED light bulbs5555
Total4397 W5897 W
For campingRV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
RV refrigerator180600
Hair dryer18001900
Radiant heater13001300
Radio100100
Total4390 W4980 W
For workTable saw18004500
Grinder14002500
Electric fence (25 miles)250250
Drain cleaner250250
Bug zapper8080
Total3780 W6480 W
How can I attach a 12V battery to this generator? (Asked September 05, 2020)

Since this unit does not have an electric start, there are no reasons to attach a 12V battery to it.

Does the 6500 need to be grounded? (Asked October 28, 2020)

It is always safer to ground your generator.

how to get a wiring diagram (Asked April 15, 2021)

Wiring diagrams may be obtained by contacting Harbor Freight: 1-800-444-3353.

Can you make the predator 6500 w generator with an electric start having electric start (Asked April 16, 2021)

The 301cc engine of the Predator 6500 is not electric start capable.

Can you run a desk top computer with this generator (Asked April 22, 2021)

The unit is not suitable to power sensitive electronic equipment.

What kind of spark plug does it take (Asked April 23, 2021)

Spark plug is NHSP® / Torch® F6TC

What is the max AMP capacity of this unit? (Asked June 17, 2021)

120V: 54.2 starting amps. 240V: 27.1 starting amps.

Why does it have a 25 amp plug in instead of a 30 amp plug in for a 30 amp for a travel trailer? (Asked June 12, 2022)

The unit provides 5500 running watts. For convenience, it does have a 30-amp L14-30R twist lock outlet. However, this outlet is behind a 23-amp breaker to prevent overloading, since the 5500 watts are reached at 23A (23A*240V=5520W).

I have a well water system that runs on 220v. Will this generator supply 220v to run the system.? (Asked July 16, 2022)

The unit produces 240V through its L14-30R outlet.

were can I get valves for a 301cc predator (Asked September 30, 2023)

Replacement parts can be obtained through Harbor Freight: 1-800-444-3353.

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Predator 6500
7.5 Total Score
8 reviews
Add your review
Price
8
Value
7.6
Quality
6.8
Performance
7.4

User Reviews

Most Recent Most Helpful Highest Rating Lowest Rating Add your review
  1. 4.9
    Price
    100
    Value
    100
    Quality
    90
    Performance
    100

    I’ve owned this generator 6500 watt since mid 2000’s. Mine has to be 15 years old. I ran the crap out of it for 4-5 days without changing oil or stopping the machine. I do change the oil often. One problem I had was it leaked gas out of the carb after my house AC unit kicked on and off while the microwave started etc. That was only one instance. I would like to see a parts list for these. Thats my only drawback to predator motors, you can’t even find carb gaskets. When I bought it I was told by harbor freight that all honda parts fit on this engine. Good luck finding a mechanic that will do the research to cross fit parts. Overall I give this gen a 5 star as its served me well. When it dies out if the parts list are available I might buy another predator or if not I might buy somehting with a standard briggs and stratton. Another note, when contractors buy them you know they must be reliable.

    + PROS:
    • Cheap, reliable, work horse
    - CONS:
    • little part availablitlity, service, manufacturer contact, customer service.
    Helpful(2) Unhelpful(1)You have already voted this
  2. 1.4
    Price
    80
    Value
    10
    Quality
    10
    Performance
    10

    Yes I’ve had a problem with the gas leaking by the air filter from the carburetor does not stop flow of gas from coming out. This generator is brand new unboxed today and this is the second one that has not worked for me the first one was 1 day pass warranty then blew up smh I honestly have to give this predator product a zero as it’s very unpredictable and unreliable

    + PROS:
    • It just looks nice
    - CONS:
    • Unpredictable
    • Unreliable
    • Weak warranty
    • Expensive
    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(1)You have already voted this
  3. 3.75
    Price
    60
    Value
    90
    Quality
    60
    Performance
    90

    Good except the on/off button.

    + PROS:
    • Good performance once started
    - CONS:
    • The push on/off button sucks!!!!
    Helpful(2) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  4. 4.5
    Price
    100
    Value
    100
    Quality
    70
    Performance
    90

    I have this generator and it’s overall pretty good plenty of power to run my 3 bedroom home completely.it is a lil in the heavy ockward side,to be expected with a unit if this size,it starts on first pull Everytime with the original carburetor,except the fuel consumption is crazy to me in not only this one but in all gens if even smaller size,so I bought a propane /gas carb off internet thinking it would do better on my pocket .here’s were it gets stupid to me in all gens if u use propane your gen won’t produce the same amount of wattage ..😒and that’s across the board on any unit.oh yes it didn’t save me a dime either.lol,but if you’re aware of all of this then I suggest this unit because I have had several brands as well as a smaller predater,and it’s been the best one ever I promise .as long as I keep the oil changed and fresh about once every two or three weeks depending on use and always use a quality oil supliment that starts with an L it really does help no matter what oil you burn .

    + PROS:
    • Enough reliable power
    - CONS:
    • Loves fuel more than me😒
    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  5. 0.5
    Price
    10
    Value
    10
    Quality
    10
    Performance
    10

    I have one only 7 months old and it has stop producing power!!!!! Not reliable at all 0 stars

    + PROS:
    • None
    - CONS:
    • Won’t last long
    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  6. 4.75
    Price
    90
    Value
    100
    Quality
    100
    Performance
    90

    I give it a 4.5. Only reason it doesn’t get a five is the starting issue.

    + PROS:
    • I like it. Runs well. Minimum vibration.
    - CONS:
    • I can’t start it. Too hard to pull. I have to get someone else to start it. Once running it is great. Anyone have any know a way to convert it to an electric start or something?
    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  7. Avatar
    aaron mark smith December 8, 2020 at 3:51 pm
    5
    Price
    100
    Value
    100
    Quality
    100
    Performance
    100

    We bought this Predator 6500 used so we do not know how many hours it was used. But it has been reliable and we have used it for equivalent of 2 weeks full run time on and off. Change the oil for every 80 hours of run time.
    Add fuel stabilizer to each fill up. Always turn gas off and run residual fuel in carb till engine dies to store it away. Run engine at least once every month or two for 15 minutes even when stored. Very reliable, it starts every time on 2nd pull start. Its a little noisey, good idea to build a enclosure insulsted with fresh air intake and exhaust. And it runs a small house with lights on, 2

    + PROS:
    • Starts every time if you take care of it.
    • Reliable, again if you keep fresh fuel and oil in it and change spark plug for every 100 hours.
    • Runs a small house with fridge's, washing machine and dishwasher, and microwave.
    • Good fuel efficient. 14.5 hour run time on full tank 8 gallons.
    - CONS:
    • A little noisey, needs insulated sound enclosure.
    • A little heavy to move around.
    Helpful(9) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  8. 5
    Price
    100
    Value
    100
    Quality
    100
    Performance
    100

    This is the best generator I have ever owned. No need for electric start, it cranks first pull every time. It ran everything in my house during a three day power outage including the water heater and well pump (not at the same time though, I shut off the pump when the water heater was on)

    + PROS:
    • It cranks with the first pull of the starter rope and it runs a long time on a tank of gasoline.
    - CONS:
    • The only thing I can think of is that it doesn't have an hour meter so you can keep track of when to change the oil.
    Helpful(9) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this

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