ShortlistShortlistedRemoved from shortlist 186
Zoom on the Predator 9500
In summary, the Predator 9500 is a powerful portable inverter generator especially useful for:
- Food van owners who know that just a short power outage could lose them hundreds of dollars
- Homeowners who want to be able to use the most necessary devices in their household, even during a blackout
- Camping and tailgating hobbyists looking for a portable power source
- Professionals who want to be able to deliver results, even during a power failure
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 9500's engine, 459 cc (15.3 hp) OHV 4-stroke, fueled by gasoline, can deliver 120/240V. It provides a running wattage of 7,600W and reaches a peak wattage of 9,500W. Additionally, as the generator is parallel capable (parallel kit not included), it can be linked to a second unit for more power.
With a noise rating of 67 dBA (less noisy than background music), the inverter generator features a conventional pull-start mechanism, but also a convenient and easy-to-use electric starter (battery included).
The 9500 can operate for up to 18.5 hours with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.37 GPH), due to its fuel capacity of 6.8 gallons.
Delicate electronics can be plugged in an AC outlets safely, as the 9500 generates a clean sine wave, reaching a <5% Total Harmonic Distortion (THD).
The control panel provides the upcoming 6 AC outlets:
Additionally, it features 3 DC outlets: there's two 5V USB ports (USB-A) with which charging of electronics like mobile phones and tablets is made convenient and a 12V 8A receptacle with which charging your batteries is made easy.
Even though this Predator generator isn't quite RV Ready, its L5-30R receptacle allows an easy RV connection via an L5-30P to TT-30R adaptor. Besides, as it features a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, the 9500 is transfer switch ready: in case of a power outage, you will be easily able to connect it to a breaker box and power your household.
The Predator 9500's characteristic encased inverter generator design (L31 x W23.8 x H28.9 in), provides an esthetical advantage over any ordinary, open frame product. The generator has a contemporary design, convenient for recreationally generating power.
While the generator is considered to be technically 'portable' (in the sense that you can move it), manually lifting and transporting it may be challenging, due to its high weight of 257 lbs. Still, once it is on the ground, its set of 4 wheels and its folding handle can easily solve the issue of low mobility and allow for easy relocation of the device.
Monitoring of the 9500's status and activity is made possible by a digital data center, which provides information on the lifetime run hours and is one of the features of its control panel.
In addition to this info, several light indicators serve to show you when the generator is on overload, the generator is ready and the oil level is too low.
The inverter generator allows for a quick, easy and convenient assessment of its gas level, as it is equipped with a built-in fuel gauge.
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.
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.
While the standard documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), helpful for starting the device promptly, come with the Predator 9500, the following accessories are also included: tool kit, funnel and battery charging cables.
The Predator 9500 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 thus, may be used in forested areas.
The unit also meets the ANSI/PGMA G300-2018 safety and performance requirements.
The Predator 9500 versus other generators
The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Predator 9500 compare to generators of similar power (between 7500 and 8500 W).
- At a dry weight of 257 pounds, the Predator 9500 is one of the heavier devices which can produce between 7500 and 8500 running watts. If you are concerned by weight, one of the champions in the above-mentioned power range is the Dewalt DXGNR8000, with a dry weight of just 183 pounds.
- With a lowest possible noise of 67 dBA, this inverter generator places itself amongst the more quiet of the products delivering similar power. If you are concerned with noise, check out the Genmax GM9000iED, which is one of the least noisy generators in its power range, with a noise rating of just 62 dBA.
- Offering up to 18.5 hours of running time on a full tank at 25% load, the 9500 is within the average autonomy range of similarly powerful generators. Furthermore, considering the run times, one of the generators which have a roughly same power output, with the highest autonomy, is the DuroMax XP10000HX, as it provides up to 22 hours.
- Autonomy holds its importance, however, it is largely dependent on the generator’s fuel capacity and so, it is nonsensible to discuss it without mentioning fuel efficiency as well. At an estimated fuel consumption of 0.37 GPH (gallon per hour) at 25% load, this inverter generator is a rather fuel efficient one within its wattage category. If you are concerned with gasoline efficiency, having a fuel consumption of just 0.35 GPH, the DuroMax XP9000iH is a device you could look out for.
Here's a list of the most popular specific comparisons:
As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 7500-8500W generators, the Predator 9500 is on the expensive side of the price range.
While certainly not the cheapest of its kind, purchasing it would most likely also mean enjoying the reliability of a high-end product.
The bottom line
- CO SECURE™ technology
- Several accessories included
- GFCI Outlets
- Electric start
- Parallel capable
- Quiet for its power (67 dBA)
- Fuel efficient
- Decent run time
- On the expensive side
- No 50-amp output
- No remote start
- Weak warranty
- On the heavy side (257 lbs)
Features and Specifications
|Parallel capable||Yes, cable not included|
|Engine||459 cc OHV 4-stroke|
|Starting system||Recoil, Electric|
|Voltage||AC: 120/240V 60 Hz, DC: 12V|
|Running watts||7,600 W|
|Starting watts||9,500 W|
|Running amps (@120/240V)||63.3/31.7 amps|
|Peak amps (@120/240V)||79.2/39.6 amps|
|Run time @50% load||Unknown|
|Run time @25% load||18.5 h|
|Automatic Voltage Regulation||Inverter|
|AC outlets|| |
|DC outlets||2x 5V USB port (USB-A) |
1x 12V 8A receptacle
|Data center||Lifetime run hours|
|Indicators||Low oil, overload and output ready|
|Fuel tank||6.8 gal|
|Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)||31 x 23.8 x 28.9 in|
|Noise (lower limit)||67 dBA|
|Compliance||CARB, EPA, ANSI/PGMA G300-2018|
|Security||Low oil and overload protection, CO monitoring|
|Neutral||Bonded to frame|
|Accessories included||Funnel, tool kit, battery charging cables, and battery|
|Other model numbers||59188|
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.
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.
The Predator 9500 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?
|Item||Running Watts||Starting Watts|
|At home||Sump pump (1/2 hp)||1050||2150|
|Furnace fan (1/2 hp)||875||2350|
|Refrigerator (energy star)||192||1192|
|Set of 5 LED light bulbs||55||55|
|Total||6072 W||7547 W|
|For camping||Radiant heater||1300||1300|
|RV AC (11,000 BTU)||1010||1600|
|Cell phone charger||20||20|
|Total||6060 W||6650 W|
|For work||Table saw||1800||4500|
|Air compressor (1 hp)||1600||6100|
|Total||4880 W||9380 W|
is the Predator 9500 fuel injected or carbureted? Are there natural gas or propane kits designed for this model at this time? (Asked April 20, 2021)
The unit is carbureted. At this time, there are no official conversion kits. Chances are that there will never be any official ones, since it would require the manufacturer to get new engine emission certifications.
Where can I purchase the parallel kit for the 9500 predator generator? Can’t find it online or HarborFreight and I will buy generator today if I can find parallel kit. (Asked May 05, 2021)
The official parallel kit is not available yet.
what is the oil capacity (Asked June 18, 2021)
Engine oil capacity is 37 fl. oz.
Is this unit weatherproof? Can it run outdoors during severe weather? (Asked July 16, 2021)
The unit must be properly sheltered. We recommend reading our article on operation in bad weather.
Is there a way (or is it recommended) to "float" the neutral since the neutral is bonded to the frame? I'm will be using it connected to my main panel (which is bonded) thru an interlock breaker and I've read that the neutral shouldn't be bonded twice. (Asked July 21, 2021)
It should be possible, but could potentially void your warranty. We recommend reading our article on neutral conversion.
Can you run non ethanol fuel only? (Asked August 17, 2021)
Gasoline should be unleaded, fresh, stabilizer-treated, and with an octane rating of at least 87. It should not contain more than 10% ethanol (so no E15, E20, E85, etc.)
Manuel or automatic choke (Asked October 06, 2022)
Choke is automatic when the multi-switch is on the START/CHOKE position.
Couldn't find the right answer for you? Ask your own question.
Bought this to run our house. Got it on sale and joined the MembersClub to save more. Easily handles our well pump, electric water heater, furnace, TV, misc lights & outlets. Fairly quiet compared to other manufacturers of the same size. Controls are easy to read & understand, starts quickly, but takes a bit of time to warm up. The retractable handle is nice to have to move the unit. Moving on pavement is relatively easy, but on grass or loose dirt; presents a problem with its small wheels and weight. Wheel locks are a good feature. Changing oil is straight forward.
Relatively quiet operation is the only selling point.
Heavy weight and small wheels make it difficult to move around except on a flat hard surface. Forget rolling across the lawn. No clue where to service this gen. I discovered after purchase that this gen is essentially the same as the Duromax XP9000 which carries a 3 year warranty.
THE 90 DAY HF WARRANTY SAYS IT ALL FOR ME.
I have purchased two and made a parallel kit for them that feeds into a 50A hookup. Great success so far with powering my all electric home, and as long as we don’t go crazy with the appliances, we can live relatively normally. (Search YouTube for “Predator 9500 Home Built Parallel Kit” to see it). The parallel hookup bypasses the built in breakers on the unit allowing you to exceed the 30amp limit (within the range of the generator’s capacity)
Note that we have a 5ton heat pump, so I needed to install a soft start on the outside compressor (micro-air “Easy Start”). That lowered my starting amps from over 80A down to around 40 or less. This is the “secret” that really allows us to operate normally and run other appliances, without risking overloading everything the moment the AC compressor tries to kick off, asking for over 80amps (that’s the peak of both units combined, so EVERYTHING else in the house would have to be off, for it to have a reasonable chance of starting). Most people get much lower numbers with the soft start kit, but I think our heat pump is designed a bit differently so it was about half of what I expected.
If we had gas for the water heater/hvac/stove, etc…. we probably would have been able to get away with just a single unit, and a 30amp hookup.
Big warning though, these units do NOT have oil filters, and there are a *LOT* of metal shavings in the oil during the early break-in process. You NEED to get a magnetic dipstick (nice aluminum ones are on Amazon) and/or position a strong magnet under the oil fill area to collect the shavings, or they will be cycling around in your oil during the 30hr break-in. I’m not kidding, with the strong magnet under it, it looked like I was growing crystals inside the dipstick / fill tube. There was a pile of shavings collected in there. Both my 9500 generators had this issue, as well as my predator portable 110 inverter unit. USE A MAGNET and you will no doubt greatly extend the service life of these units.
It would have been nice for there to be a load meter, big loss there. I had to incorporate that into my parallel kit. the tiny little doors on the side are really pointless. You have to pull off the main panel to really do anything (it’s only 2 more screws, 4 in total). Wish the screws were captive, and wish they were thumb screws. But these are minor complaints (apart from the missing amp meter).
Bang for the buck, this really can’t be beat. Perfect quality power, the ability to throttle down on lower loads to save fuel and noise. The sealed design is very quiet anyway. There is a reason they sell out in a day or two each time a shipment comes in.