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Sportsman GEN85KIDF Spec Review

The Sportsman GEN85KIDF is a powerful open frame dual fuel inverter generator with a rated wattage of 7000 W and a starting wattage of 8750 W.

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Price History
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Price history for the Sportsman GEN85KIDF
Latest updates:
  • $1,629.00 - October 9, 2021
  • $1,349.10 - October 8, 2021
  • $1,629.00 - July 1, 2021
  • $1,499.99 - June 20, 2021
  • $1,629.00 - June 19, 2021
Data source: homedepot.com
Since: June 19, 2021
  • Highest Price: $1,629.00 - June 19, 2021
  • Lowest Price: $1,349.10 - October 8, 2021

Description

Zoom on the Sportsman GEN85KIDF

In a nutshell, the Sportsman GEN85KIDF is a powerful portable inverter generator mostly geared towards:

  • Food van owners who know that just a short power outage could lose them hundreds of dollars
  • Homeowners who want to be sure of their ability to power their fridges, cooking tools, heating and lighting equipment during power failures
  • Camping and tailgating buffs looking to enhance their experience
  • Professionals who want to be able to deliver results, even during a power failure
  • RV travellers looking for even more independence

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 Sportsman GEN85KIDF in use

The Sportsman GEN85KIDF

Thanks to its dual-fuel technology, the Sportsman GEN85KIDF delivers 120/240V and offers power and versatility. When gasoline-powered, it benefits from a running wattage of 7000W and a peak wattage of 8750W. When propane-powered, it has 6300 rated watts and 7900 peak watts.

With a noise rating of 70 dBA (just as noisy as a shower), the inverter generator features a conventional pull-start mechanism, but also a convenient and easy-to-use electric starter (battery not included).

As for its running time, the GEN85KIDF, along with its 7 gallons fuel capacity, can run for around 10 hours at 50% load with a full tank filled with gasoline (fuel consumption around 0.7 GPH). If propane is used, it can operate for around 6 hours (on a 20 lbs tank - propane consumption around 0.78 GPH).

Outlets

The control panel includes the following 5 AC outlets:

Two Duplexes 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI
120/240V 50A (14-50R) receptacle

Furthermore, it has 2 DC outlets: there's a 12V 8A receptacle with which you may charge your batteries with ease and a 5V USB port allowing you to conveniently charge electronics such as mobile phones and tablets.

If you own an RV with a 50-amp service, you can consider this Sportsman unit as RV-ready, as it features a 14-50R outlet.

Portability

The dimensions of the Sportsman GEN85KIDF, which are L29.5 x W23.5 x H24 in, and its typical, open frame design provides stability and enables the generator to be raised above ground level. The generator is designed for ideal use outdoors and in rough environments.

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 133 lbs.

Features

Panel of the Sportsman GEN85KIDF

The GEN85KIDF's control panel

Some light indicators allow you to instantly see if the generator is ready, the oil level is too low and the generator is on overload.

Security-wise, this product benefits from an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, which gives you a complete peace of mind when using it.

Apart from the typical documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), which lets you start it right away, the Sportsman GEN85KIDF also is packed along with the following accessories: battery charging cables, tool kit and propane hose.

Emissions

The Sportsman GEN85KIDF is EPA approved, but NOT CARB-compliant. Thus, it cannot be purchased or sold in California.

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

Product Video

The Sportsman GEN85KIDF versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Sportsman GEN85KIDF compare to generators of similar power (between 6500 and 7500 W).

  • Weight-wise, the Sportsman GEN85KIDF has only 133 lbs, which renders it one of the lightest generators which produce 6500 to 7500 rated watts.
  • The inverter generator can be considered average in its noise for its power category, as it is rated at 70 dBA. If noise emissions are one of your priorities, you may be interested in the Powerhorse 7500i, one of the least noisy generators similarly powerful as this one, rated for 55 dBA.
  • Regarding its autonomy, the autonomy of the GEN85KIDF, reaching around 10 hours at a 50% load, can be considered as low end, compared to other products of a roughly equal output. Furthermore, considering the run times, one of the generators which have a roughly same power output, with the highest autonomy, is the Generac XC6500, as it provides around 14 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 inverter generator has an estimated fuel consumption of roughly 0.7 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 50% load, rendering it somewhat average compared to devices of a similar output. If not satisfied with the afore-mentioned fuel consumption, you may wish to check out the Lifan ESI 7000iER-EFI. With a fuel consumption of as little as 0.38 GPH, it is one of the most efficient generators currently on the market.

Price comparison

As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 6500-7500W generators, the Sportsman GEN85KIDF 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
  • GFCI Outlets
  • Electric start
  • Dual Fuel
  • Lightweight for its kind (133 lbs)
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Acceptable noise (70 dBA)
  • Decent fuel efficiency
WEAKNESSES:
  • No data center
  • Battery not included
  • No remote start
  • No parallel ports
  • Not CARB-compliant
  • Relatively low run time

Do you own the Sportsman GEN85KIDF and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General
InverterYes
PortableYes
Parallel capableNo
RV readyNo
FuelDual Fuel (gasoline/propane)
Engine420 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil, Electric
VoltageAC: 120/240V 60 Hz, DC: 12V
Power
 GasolinePropane
Running watts7000 W6300 W
Starting watts8750 W7900 W
Running amps (@120/240V)58.3/29.2 amps52.5/26.3 amps
Peak amps (@120/240V)72.9/36.5 amps65.8/32.9 amps
Run time @50% load10 h6 h
Run time @25% loadUnknownUnknown
Features
GFCI outletsYes
Covered outletsYes
Automatic Voltage RegulationInverter
AC outlets
  • 2x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI
  • 1x 120/240V 50A (14-50R)
DC outlets1x 12V 8A receptacle
1x 5V USB port
Data centerNo
IndicatorsLow oil, overload and output ready
Fuel tank7 gal
Fuel gaugeNo
Misc
Weight133 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)29.5 x 23.5 x 24 in
Noise (lower limit)70 dBA
THDUnknown
EmissionsEPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralFloating
Accessories includedTool kit, propane hose, and battery charging cables
Warranty1 year

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 Sportsman Series

Sportsman Series is a small brand registered under the US based Buffalo corporation. Founded in 1964, the Buffalo Corporation is a small company, which sells tools and home products. Their brands include AmeriHome, Black Bull, Buffalo Tools and Sportsman Series – which offers a selection of generators and several other general products. The brand, and in fact, the corporation itself seemingly outsources all of its production overseas and acts only as a distributor, under its own brands.

Warranty Information

The Sportsman GEN85KIDF is covered under a warranty for up to 1 year. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of Sportsman generators, please contact the Buffalo Tools Customer Support: 1-636-532-9888.

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 homeSump pump (1/2 hp)10502150
Furnace fan (1/2 hp)8752350
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Electric range21002100
Clothes iron12701270
Radio100100
Total5587 W7062 W
For campingRadiant heater13001300
RV refrigerator180600
Hair dryer18001900
Electric grill16501650
Rice cooker650650
Total5580 W6000 W
For workTable saw18004500
Air compressor (1 hp)16006100
Reciprocating saw730960
Bug zapper8080
Total4210 W8710 W
No surge protector on RV outlet. Is there any potential problems that could manifest? (Asked April 18, 2020)

Your trailer most likely has its own 50-amp breaker.

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

Your name and email address will not be publicly published. We only need them to be able to answer you directly

Sportsman GEN85KIDF
5.4 Total Score
2 reviews
Add your review
Price
6.5
Value
5.5
Quality
3.5
Performance
6
2 Reviews
Show all Most Helpful Highest Rating Lowest Rating Add your review
  1. 1.25
    Price
    60
    Value
    10
    Quality
    10
    Performance
    20

    Bought this from Amazon for $1200 as it was the only 7KW (240V 50A) Inverter I could find that would run on propane. It arrived in a beat up cardboard box that superficially looked ok. Only after unboxing did I discover that the frame/engine carriers were badly bent. So badly bent (1″) that the metal touched the ground, not the rubber feet, and it kind of rocked back and forth on the high point. Otherwise I might not have noticed being in the middle under the whole thing.

    I thought someone must have dropped it off a fork lift or thrown it out the back of a truck.

    So… yay for Amazon, they promptly sent an identical replacement. Literally, identical as it arrived 4 days later again with a similarly bent frame. although this time not quite as bad (1/2″) and the rubber feet actually kept the unit off the ground.

    The second time I paid more attention to how it was boxed and it’s clear to me two things:
    #1 Buffalo/Sportsman puts a little styrofoam block under the engine that is intended to support it during shipping, this is grossly insufficient packaging.
    #2 the frame itself is just too weak to properly support the engine regardless of the styrofoam block. The motor carrier ought to be made out much thicker/stronger U channels that would NEVER bend.

    It’s a shame as it’s a unique beast and spec wise exactly what I wanted. Hoping Champion makes a similar model. Currently their dual fuel inverters top out at around 4KW.

    Two other notes if you still are considering buying this.
    #1 I found this impossible to pull start. That could be because I’m starting it on propane and at 6000′ elevation. However, that also make it all the more annoying that they don’t include a built in starter battery. Further hooking a battery up requires a fairly unusual EC5 connector. I bought a car jump start battery from Costco that had the same style connector. That worked, but it was still hard to start, 4-5 tries, but that all was after 50+ tries pulling the cord. Keep in mind it won’t re-charge the battery either so you have to have another way to charge it unlike a built in battery.

    #2 It’s much louder than my 2KW Champion Inverter (obviously), but it’s not horrible either. I would call it “average”.

    + PROS:
    • Unique in being a 7/8KW Duel Fuel Inverter Generator
    - CONS:
    • Cheap frame bent in shipping. Cheap packaging didn't keep that from happening. Contacting Buffalo Tools was told "Not our problem contact Amazon".
    Helpful(8) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  2. 4.15
    Price
    70
    Value
    100
    Quality
    60
    Performance
    100

    I’ve been using the Buffalo Sportsman 8750 for a few weeks now and I am very pleased with its performance. Many of the complaints I’ve read centered around the frame. I will concede that the frame is a flimsy piece of junk so I must have been lucky in that my unit’s frame came straight and true. With that in mind, plus the absence of any wheel kit, I decided to mount it onto a large 4-wheel furniture dolly with 4″ wheels so moving it around is a snap. The dolly also gives a certain degree of added rigidity so the chances of tweaking the flimsy frame have been greatly minimized.

    I only use it at my deer camp cabin. I call it a deer camp but it’s really a small “getaway” office where I can go and work undisturbed and then go shoot hogs in the evening. I built a small cabin and I installed a breaker box with several circuits. Inside my cabin I have:
    • A 220v, 12k-btu window AC (a Texas necessity)
    • A dehumidifier
    • A small fridge
    • A coffee pot
    • A bunch of lights
    • An electric cook top stove
    • Computer with multiple monitors
    • Countless phone chargers.
    • My wife’s quilting equipment, which is basically a computer controlled precision sewing machine.
    • Plus any number of power tools I need to use, a 4’ shop fan and tool battery chargers.

    I mention everything, especially the computer gear, because other generators have given me issues. This Sportsman 8750 gives a steady Hz and voltage with a pure sine wave of power. Having that “grid like” steady power stream really makes a huge difference in the performance of computer gear. Even my UPS is happy. The LED lights would flicker annoyingly whenever the AC or even when the coffee pot kicked on. That is all gone.

    I get much better fuel economy than what the Buffalo Company have published. With all my gear running, I’m using close to 9 gallons of gas per 24 hours. The large Generac that this unit replaced was not near that efficient. When the temperature cools in the fall (AC not needed as much) I fully expect that number to go down to 8 or even 7 gallons/24 hrs.

    When I get to the cabin, the generator gets started, and 3-5 days later when I leave, it gets turned off. For the days that I’m there, it’s on 24/7 and never has a hiccup. When we pack up to leave, it gets turned off, I change the oil and then head home.

    It is hard to start when cold and I believe that is because the ignition system relies on voltage from a spinning stator. It takes a few brisk pulls to build the voltage up in the capacitor. Is that a deal breaker? Not really for me. It is certainly a design flaw and for what they are charging, should have been accounted for. It does have an electric start but is not shipped with a battery. I don’t yet have the cables built up to use the electric starter but I’m hoping using a battery makes cold starting easier. As it is now, it’s 4 or 5 brisk pulls and then it’s like it’s been kicked out of a nap. “Oh, were you talking to me? Did you need something?” Again, once running, no issues at all.

    I haven’t used it with propane. Since I’m out in the boonies, I would have to build up a stock of propane tanks and at $25 a pop, I’ll wait a bit on that one. Plus, from what I’ve read, it would cost more to operate. For now, I just show up with 6 gas cans in the back of the truck and that will last me 4 days of 24/7 operation.

    Other things I like is that it runs a lot cooler than the Generac I was running before. I have it in a sound dampening box and removing the heat was a big deal with the Generac. With this Sportsman 8750, I have found that I need much less forced air running through the box to keep it cool. Less air means fewer fans pulling less amperage. The result is much better better fuel economy.

    I wouldn’t use the adjective “quiet” to describe it but it puts out quite a few less dBspl than the Generac XG8000e that I replaced. Even when running full tilt, the sound output is noticeably less. Certainly not quiet like a $6000 Honda, but much less noise than any other 8K generator.

    Overall, I wouldn’t want to spend what Lowe’s and Home Depot are charging so if this model fits your needs, look for a deal somewhere. Put a critical eye on the frame to make sure everything is lined up, and if it looks good, you won’t be disappointed. Plan on mounting it on something with wheels and budget for a small lawnmower battery and a set of EC5 leads.

    That’s all I got.

    + PROS:
    • Pure sine wave power.
    • Good fuel economy.
    • Runs cool.
    • Dual fuel capable.
    - CONS:
    • Harder to start than it has to be.
    • The frame is a piece of junk
    • No wheel kit available
    • Retail price is a joke.
    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this

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