ShortlistShortlistedRemoved from shortlist 127
Zoom on the Sportsman GEN85KIDF
In a nutshell, the Sportsman GEN85KIDF is a powerful portable inverter generator mostly geared towards:
- Food truck owners who do not wish to see their business interrupted under any circumstances
- Homeowners in need of an emergency backup power for their essentials
- Camping and tailgating buffs looking to enhance their experience
- Professionals who want to ensure that a power failure will not prevent them from working
- RV travellers who wish to upgrade their experience to another level
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
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 7,000W and a peak wattage of 8,750W. When propane-powered, it has 6,300 rated watts and 7,900 peak watts.
The inverter generator features a conventional pull-start mechanism and also a convenient and easy-to-use electric starter (battery not included). It is rated for a noise of 70 dBA (just as noisy as a dishwasher).
Regarding its running time, the GEN85KIDF, with a 7 gallons fuel capacity can operate for around 10 hours at 50% load with a full tank of gasoline (fuel consumption around 0.7 GPH). When using propane, it can run for around 6 hours (on a 20 lbs tank - propane consumption around 0.78 GPH).
The control panel includes the following 5 AC outlets:
In addition, it provides 2 DC outlets: there's a 12V 8A receptacle with which you may charge your batteries with ease and a 5V USB port with which you may charge electronics, for example mobile phones or tablets, conveniently.
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.
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 device has been designed for tough environments and demanding outdoor use.
Although this generator is technically considered 'portable' (in the sense that it can be moved), its 133 lbs make it incredibly difficult to manually lift and transport.
The light indicators show you if the generator is on overload, the oil level is too low and the generator is ready.
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.
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, propane hose and tool kit.
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, so it is adequate for use in forested areas.
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.
- As this inverter generator can emit noise as low as 70 dBA, it finds itself in the average expected noise for this kind of 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 Powerhorse 7500i, whose lowest noise levels reach just 55 dBA.
- The GEN85KIDF, falls within the average autonomy range compared to generators of a roughly same power, with a run time of around 10 hours at a 50% load and a full tank. If concerned with autonomy, one of the products of a comparable power output, which offers the highest run time, is the Predator 9000, boasting with around 13 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 you wish to acquire one of the most gasoline efficient products of this power range, the Energizer eZV7500, with a fuel consumption of 0.45 GPH could be in your good books.
As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 6500-7500W inverter generators, the Sportsman GEN85KIDF 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
- Several accessories included
- GFCI Outlets
- Electric start
- Dual Fuel
- Lightweight for its kind (133 lbs)
- Acceptable noise (70 dBA)
- Decent run time
- Decent fuel efficiency
- No data center
- Battery not included
- No remote start
- No parallel ports
- Not CARB-compliant
- 1-year warranty
Features and Specifications
|Fuel||Dual Fuel (gasoline/propane)|
|Engine||420 cc OHV 4-stroke|
|Starting system||Recoil, Electric|
|Voltage||AC: 120/240V 60 Hz, DC: 12V|
|Running watts||7,000 W||6,300 W|
|Starting watts||8,750 W||7,900 W|
|Running amps (@120/240V)||58.3/29.2 amps||52.5/26.3 amps|
|Peak amps (@120/240V)||72.9/36.5 amps||65.8/32.9 amps|
|Run time @50% load||10 h||6 h|
|Run time @25% load||Unknown||Unknown|
|Automatic Voltage Regulation||Inverter|
|AC outlets|| |
|DC outlets||1x 12V 8A receptacle |
1x 5V USB port
|Indicators||Low oil, overload and output ready|
|Fuel tank||7 gal|
|Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)||29.5 x 23.5 x 24 in|
|Noise (lower limit)||70 dBA|
|Security||Low oil and overload protection|
|Accessories included||Tool kit, propane hose, and battery charging cables|
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 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.
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?
|Item||Running Watts||Starting Watts|
|At home||Microwave (1000 watts)||1500||1500|
|AC (10,000 BTU)||1500||2200|
|Sump pump (1/2 hp)||1050||2150|
|Pair of small speakers||45||45|
|Total||5595 W||7095 W|
|For camping||RV AC (11,000 BTU)||1010||1600|
|Total||5590 W||6180 W|
|For work||Table saw||1800||4500|
|Air compressor (1 hp)||1600||6100|
|Total||4210 W||8710 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.
how do i drain the gas tank on The Sportsman GEN85KIDF? where can i buy plug in adaptors for The Sportsman GEN85KIDF? (Asked April 02, 2022)
To drain the gas tank, you can refer to the set instructions located page 22 of the owner's manual (opens in a new tab). AC adaptors are not brand-specific and can be purchased from any specialized online retailer.
Couldn't find the right answer for you? Ask your own question.
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.
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”.