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Predator 6500 Spec Review

The Predator 6500 (63964) is a portable open frame generator with a rated wattage of 5500 W and a starting wattage of 6500 W.

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Predator 6500Predator 6500Predator 6500Predator 6500
Note: Predator Generators purchased at Harbor Freight do not include the wheel kit, which is a separate purchase. Other sellers may include it.
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Description

Our new Predator® line has been updated with your convenience and safety in mind. Powered by a reliable Predator® gas engine, this generator is ideal for emergencies, job-sites, food trucks, and outdoor recreation. GFCI outlets, larger fuel tank, longer run time make this generator an unbeatable value. 6500 starting watts and 5500 running watts make this unit capable of powering several home essentials during an outage or providing power on the go. Our new, larger gas tank means you can enjoy run times up to 14.5 hours @ 50% load.

Zoom on the Predator 6500

In a nutshell, the Predator 6500 is a portable generator mostly geared towards:

  • RV travellers looking for even more independence
  • Occasional participants of outdoor events, competitions, concerts and festivals
  • Food van owners who know that just a short power outage could lose them hundreds of dollars
  • Homeowners in need of an emergency backup power for their essentials
  • Professionals in need of safely powering high-intensity work or lighting equipment

In the following paragraphs, we shall explore the power characteristics, available outlets, portability, and any additional features of the device, along with its emission compliance information.

Power & Run Time

The Predator 6500 is powered by a 301 cc (8 hp) OHV 4-stroke engine. It delivers 120/240V, runs on gasoline and offers a running wattage of 5500W as well as a peak wattage of 6500W.

The generator features a simple traditional pull-start mechanism. It is rated for a noise of 74 dBA (just slightly more noisy than a dishwasher).

With a full tank, the 6500 can operate for around 14.5 hours at 50% load (fuel consumption around 0.55 GPH), thanks to its fuel capacity of 8 gallons.

Outlets

The control panel features the upcoming 5 AC outlets:

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

In addition, it provides 1 DC outlet: there's a 12V 8A (cigarette lighter style) receptacle with which charging your batteries is made easy.

Because the 6500 is equipped with a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, it is transfer switch ready: it can power your home during a power outage, as it can be easily connected to your breaker box to power your household.

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 device has been designed for tough environments and demanding outdoor use.

Since the generator weighs 161 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, this lack of maneuverability is compensated by a wheel kit (separate purchase from Harbor Freight or Amazon), with which you can conveniently shift it, once it's on the ground.

Features

Panel of the Predator 6500

The 6500's control panel

A light indicator allows you to instantly see if the oil level is too low.

The generator includes a built-in fuel gauge, a quick, easy and convenient method of checking the device’s gas level.

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

Along with the aforementioned features, from an accessory standpoint, the Predator 6500's box includes the typical documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), which will help you start your generator promptly. A storage cover is available, as a separate purchase.

Emissions

The Predator 6500 is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. Therefore, its sale and purchase are permitted in all of the 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor and therefore, can be used in forested areas.

Product Videos

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).

  • Regarding its weight, the Predator 6500 only weighs in at 161 pounds, which means it's one of the lighter generators in the 5000-6000 rated wattage range. If weight matters to you, one of the champions in this power range is the WEN GN6000 with only 119 pounds.
  • As this generator can emit noise as low as 74 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.
  • Thanks to an impressive running time of around 14.5 hours at 50% load, the 6500 benefits from a higher run time than many generators of a similar output. If concerned with autonomy, one of the products of a comparable power output, which offers the highest run time, is the Cat RP5500, boasting with around 15 hours.
  • Run times are important, yet thanks to their dependence on the fuel capacity, they should be judged along with the fuel consumption of the device. 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 Westinghouse WGen5300DFv, which has a fuel consumption of only 0.35 GPH and thus, is one of the most efficient devices in our database.

Price comparison

As you can see from this interactive chart, 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
  • GFCI Outlets
  • Lightweight for its kind (161 lbs)
  • High run time
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Acceptable noise (74 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
PortableYes
Parallel capableNo
RV readyNo
FuelGasoline
Engine301 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil
Power
VoltageAC: 120/240V 60 Hz, DC: 12V
Running watts5500 W
Starting watts6500 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 8A (cigarette lighter style)
Data centerNo
IndicatorsLow oil
Fuel tank8 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight161 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)26.9 x 22 x 22.8 in
Noise (lower limit)74 dBA
THDUnknown
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedNo
Warranty90 days

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.

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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 Predator'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 homeSump pump (1/2 hp)10502150
Furnace fan (1/2 hp)8752350
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Electric range21002100
Security system180180
Total4397 W5872 W
For campingRadiant heater13001300
RV refrigerator180600
Hair dryer18001900
RV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
Radio100100
Total4390 W4980 W
For workTable saw18004500
Grinder14002500
Drain cleaner250250
Electric fence (25 miles)250250
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.

Couldn't find the right answer for you? Ask your own question.

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Predator 6500
10 Total Score
2 reviews
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2 Reviews
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  1. 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(4) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  2. 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(3) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this

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