Updated: November 2017

Diesel Generator Reviews:

Buying Diesel Generators - You wouldn't buy a used gasoline-powered truck with a half a million miles on it, right? Of course not! After all those miles, the motor has lived a traumatic life, and many quit after only a fraction of this distance. But a diesel-powered engine will keep on chugging. What's more, they are much more fuel efficient than their gas-powered counterparts. When you need a power generator for your home, diesel is a viable, and even preferable, alternative to gas. Diesel has had a bad reputation as a stinky, noisy, fuel-guzzling source of power, but really, it is one of the most effective ways to provide backup power to your home. Is a diesel generator right for you? What benefits can it offer? How much are they? And which are the best models? This guide will take a look at your diesel questions so you can start powering your home more efficiently.
diesel generators

Benefits of Diesel Generators - In years past, diesel engines and generators have been loud, and that has been a major reason why many consumers have avoided them. But as the push for alternative fuels has gained ground, diesel has made remarkable strides. While you will never have a "silent" diesel generator, they are now much quieter; in fact, they operate at about the same decibel as a comparably-sized gas generator. The benefit, though, is that they tend to last much longer and use fuel more efficiently. Why is this?

A gas engine has an ignition system in which fuel is sprayed into a cylinder and mixed with air. The spark plug lights it, and the engine ignites. A diesel has a compression system. Air is taken into the cylinder and compressed. This heats the air, and then fuel is injected into the cylinder, which causes it to combust. The efficiency comes from the higher compression ratios and combustion temperatures. One gallon of diesel fuel has about 10 percent more energy than a gallon of gas. Diesel engines are becoming as popular as hybrid cars because they can achieve similar fuel efficiency; the Volkswagen Jetta Diesel, for instance, gets 35 mpg, which is the same as the hybrid Fusion, Lexus HS, Camry, and other popular models. Diesel technology is only improving and becoming more efficient, quiet, versatile, and less polluting. Diesel engines can also be modified to support biodiesel, which makes them more eco-friendly as well.

Back to diesel generators: the benefits of fuel efficiency and very long life are obviously important whether you're talking about a vehicle or a home generator. Whenever you can save energy - and money - it is a definite plus. Small diesel generators for the home are often used for:

*Backup in case of power outages.
*Backup for alternative energy systems, such as solar or wind. (If not enough energy is created with these systems, the diesel generator kicks in to pick up the slack.)
*Primary energy source (less common, though possible).

What to Look for in a Diesel Generator - The best diesel generator for you depends on a variety of factors, most importantly of which are what you need it for, and how much you can pay for it. A portable diesel generator is the best way to supply power to your home during an outage, while a standby generator does this, but it kicks in automatically within about 20 seconds of the power going out. These are also useful as backups to alternative energy systems. A large standby unit can supply power for an entire house, while a smaller generator can be used to power specific circuits, like the refrigerator, furnace, sump pump, and other survival essentials.

It is important to make sure that your diesel generator will produce the watts you need. A refrigerator, for instance, requires 700 watts of running power, with 2200 surge watts at startup. Your appliances typically use 120 volts, your 1/6 HP furnace fan uses 500. You can find a useful chart here (http://www2.northerntool.com/generator-buyers-guide.htm) to figure your wattage needs. Here are some other considerations to keep in mind:

*Can I plug everything I need to into the generator? (For portable generators. Wired generators are wired into your home's electricity and many turn on and off automatically.)
*Is it noisy?
*Is it self-testing?
*How large is the fuel tank, and how long can it provide power?
*Is it easily portable with built-in wheels and handles?
*Do you need transfer switches, heavy-duty extension cords, or other accessories?.

Diesel Generator Reviews - We found lots of reviews online for diesel generators at Northerntool.com, Lowes, Walmart, and of course Amazon.com. Reading comments from actual owners gives you the pros and cons to each model and allows you to make an informed buying decision. You can browse the best selling diesel powered generators here.

Best Diesel Generator:

As far as diesel generators go, "best" is usually synonymous with most expensive. Because of the prices, and the fact that diesel generators are incredibly durable, many people opt to purchase used diesel generators. This is a great alternative to new, and if you choose the best brands, you can rest easy knowing you have a quality piece of equipment. Brands to consider include:

*All Power American

A large (17,000+ watt) standby generator can cost as much as $15,000, which is why many who want standby generators opt for gas or propane. A good portable 1000 to 4999 watt diesel generator can be found for only a few hundred dollars. The more power it needs to supply, the higher the price climbs. Let's take a look at some top models so you have a good place to start.

NorthStar Generator Model# 165930

This diesel generator provides up to 6500 surge watts and 6129 rated watts of power and features 4 20amp 120v GFCI-protected receptacles, 1 30amp 120v locking plug receptacle, 1 30amp 120/240v locking plug receptacle, brushless generator heads for better efficiency and lifespan, run time meter, 100 percent copper windings, poly coat paint that has been baked on, convenient control panel with a circuit breaker that is thermal magnetic, optional wheel kit, cast iron cylinder sleeve, quiet operation, interlocking V-mounts with rubber isolation to dampen vibration, and ERW hot-rolled steel tubing. This is an excellent portable diesel generator for power outages and other applications. You can find it for $3400.

If you want a less expensive diesel generator, try the All Power America Portable Diesel Generator, which provides 6500 surge watts and 5000 rated watts. This is about $1300, which is probably among the cheapest diesel generators (from good brands) on the market. You can find it at sites like Northern Tool & Equipment.

A larger standby diesel generator from a manufacturer like Kubota can cost from $6000 to $7000 (and more). This is usually enough to make people opt for the less expensive gas generators. This is understandable, but a diesel generator will give you much more in the long-term and require less maintenance.

Diesel has a lot to offer us as we seek more energy efficient ways to power our homes. Even if a standby doesn't fit in your budget, a portable diesel generator may be just what you need to supply you with backup power and peace of mind during outages. Check out top rated portable diesel generators here or call high-end manufacturers like Kubota for quotes on standbys.