Best Generators For Job Sites

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In some cases, improper use and installation may result in a breach of insurance. Even worse, you could be putting yourself or your family at risk as an incorrectly installed electrical device could start a fire. So, don’t risk it - seek the services of a fully licensed electrician instead.

When you’re on a job site, there are going to be plenty of tools and machinery that need a supply of electricity. However, electrical outlets are hard to come by on a job site. So how do you get around it? The answer is portable generators.

Best Generators For Job Sites

As a way to get a regular supply of electricity to their construction machinery, builders will often have portable generators at hand on their job sites. These generators supply them with electricity, although it isn’t a limitless supply as it typically would be with an electrical outlet.

However, there are loads of portable generators on the market, and not all of them are going to be suitable for use on job sites. Others will have their use in other areas, like powering your home after a power outage, or giving electricity to a mobile food truck.

On top of that, plenty of portable generators have shortcomings. For example, they have fuel tanks that are too small, affecting the run time, or they don’t offer a high enough wattage to consistently power the tools on the job lot.

That’s where we come in! In our handy guide below, we’re going to show you the best generators for job sites. In our carefully compiled list, we’re going to break down each generator and tell you its benefits and flaws, allowing you to find the best generator for your job site at the end.

Best Generators For Job Sites

OUR TOP PICK

Our first choice for a generator suitable for your job site is the 7676 model from Generac which is available at Amazon.

One of the key reasons that this is a good fit for the construction industry is its impressive level of power. This has a starting wattage of 10,000 and a running wattage of 8000.

For those who don’t know, running watts (also known as rated wattage) refers to how much electricity is needed to run your equipment on a continual basis, while starting watts (also known as surge watts) refers to the amount of energy you need on top of that for about 3 seconds in order to start the electric motors of typical big appliances (like a refrigerator).

Given that this is an impressive amount of power to be coming from a portable generator, it needs an impressive amount of fuel to match. Thankfully, this generator has a steel fuel tank that is large capacity.

The tank can hold enough fuel that it should be able to run for up to 11 hours - if it’s run at 50% load.

This is a good amount of time, and should ideally cover the job site and its appliances for a solid day’s work.

On top of that, the engine that’s running the generator is made to be durable and has splash lubrication, which allows it to last a very long time so you won't need to purchase a new generator anytime soon.

The generator even has a low-oil feature, which will automatically detect when the fuel is low and shut itself down.

This prevents the unit from becoming damaged while running on empty. Similarly, the generator will give your regular maintenance alerts, so that you always know when an issue is arising.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Impressive amount of power - 10,000 starting wattage, 8000 running wattage
  • Large fuel tank
  • Good run time - up to 11 hours at 50% load
  • CO2 detector prevents you from running it in airless locations

Cons

  • Repair parts may be difficult to get

EDITORS CHOICE

This is a very popular choice for a powerful portable generator, and a great pick for using on a job site. It is available from Amazon.

Possibly the best thing about this particular generator is its wattage power, which varies depending on the fuel that you’re using.

If you use gasoline to power the generator, then you’ll get a starting wattage of 12,000 and a running wattage of 9,500.

On the other hand, if you use LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) to fuel it, the generator will have a starting wattage of 10,800 and a running wattage of 8,550.

As you can tell, you will get more power from using gasoline as fuel, but both offer an impressive amount of power that should be able to power plenty of appliances on your job site.

The fact that you can choose which of these two fuels you use is a feature that not every generator offers, and this is better for it.

With this dual fuel capability, you can choose which fuel is best for you, as well as switch it up in an emergency.

For example, LPG is often more readily available during an emergency situation, as well as being easier to store than gasoline.

But how much fuel can the generator hold at any one time? Well, it’s got a fuel tank that holds 8 gallons.

This is a sizable amount and will give you a maximum of 12 hours’ continuous use - but only if it’s running on gasoline and 50% load.

12 hours is an impressively long time, meaning that your job site should have most of its equipment well powered for a good day’s work before the generator needs refueling.

Thankfully, if the generator runs low on oil, then it has an automatic shut off system. This protects the generator from getting damaged.

The generator also has a range of different value outlets, like four 120 volt outlets and a 120v/240v one, among others.

Unfortunately, the generator has a noise level of 74dBA. This can be quite annoying over time, and may even be dangerous to your hearing if you’re too close.

Pros

  • Impressive power
  • Up to 12 hours of runtime, if it’s fueled with gasoline and running on 50% load
  • Large 8 gallon fuel tank
  • Range of outlets
  • Dual fuel capacity

Cons 

  • Quite heavy - it needs 2 people to lift it
  • Loud - 74dBA (annoying and potentially dangerous)

BEST VALUE

Another solid choice for a generator for your job site is the Champion 100813.  It has a handful of great features and can be purchased from Amazon.

It’s impressively powerful, for a start. It has a starting wattage of 9375 and a running wattage of 7500.

While this isn’t as high as the other generators we’ve looked at so far, it’s still an impressively powerful wattage, and should be able to run plenty of equipment on the job site.

As for fuel, it only uses gasoline. While gasoline is an efficient fuel for generators, but it would admittedly be nice to have a choice of fuels for when gasoline isn’t readily available.

However, the generator has a fuel tank with a capacity of 5.7 gallons.

While this may not be as big as the Pulsar G12KBN’s fuel tank, this still offers an ample amount of total run time from one full tank: up to 8 hours.

8 hours should be a good amount of time on a job site to get good use from your equipment before the generator needs refueling - it shouldn’t interrupt work and inconvenience you.

The generator is also very easy to get running, with a battery-included electric start function.

Better yet, when it's cold on the job site, it has “Cold Start Technology” to help you keep everything running smoothly.

Unfortunately, the generator has a high noise level of 74dBA. This can be annoying, and may even be dangerous to your hearing if you stay by it for long enough. This generator is rated 74dBA from 23 feet.

Pros

  • Great wattage
  • Good size fuel tank
  • Up to 8 hours of use from one full fuel tank
  • Easy to start and use

Cons

  • Loud - 74dBA from 23 feet (annoying and potentially dangerous)
  • Only fuel it takes is gasoline

RUNNER UP

This great value, affordable portable generator is another worthwhile choice for job sites. You can buy it from Amazon.

First things first, it has great power with a starting wattage of 8500 and a running wattage of 7000.

This may be the least powerful option we’ve seen so far, but it’s still a solid generator that will be capable of running your job site equipment and high amperage power tools.

The generator uses a DuroMax 420cc OHV engine to help provide this power, giving enough that it can handle multiple tools at once.

This is essential on a job site, where there are plenty of tools and machinery that need to be powered. As for its fuel capacity, the generator can hold up to 7.9 gallons, which is very generous.

With a full tank, it can work for about 10 hours at a 50% load. This length of runtime should provide the job site with a full day’s work.

When it comes to the volt receptacles, you can use them in different ways. You can either work the generator at both 120 volts and 240 volts at the same time, or just use the 120V at full power.

This way, you get some level of choice with how you use the generator’s power.

The generator also has some fuel-saving factors in place, to really help you get the most out of your fuel tank.

Specifically, it lowers the RPMs of the unit when it’s not in use, which helps you to avoid wasting unnecessary fuel.

Unfortunately, the generator only takes gas as its fuel. Other generators give you a choice between gas and other sources, allowing you to choose and be flexible, but this only takes one type.

As for its noise level, that is also a small shortcoming with this generator. It’s rated at 74dBA, which can be annoying for long periods of time, and potentially even dangerous if you’re too close.

Pros

  • Great price, great value
  • Very good amount of power
  • Up to 10 hours of runtime at 50% load
  • Impressive fuel tank size, holds 7.9 gallons

Cons

  • Loud - 74dBA
  • Only takes gas

RUNNER UP

The final generator we’re going to look at might be quite expensive, but it offers an awful lot of power as a result.

If you need loads of wattage for your job site, then this is worth the investment. You can buy it from Amazon.

With this generator, you get a starting wattage of 15,000 and a running wattage of 12,000.

This is one of the most powerful portable generators we’ve seen, offering a far greater wattage than any other model on this list.

This means that your job site should be extremely well powered throughout the work day, with each piece of equipment and tool sharing in the high level of power that this generator offers.

A generator offering this much power will need a large fuel tank, because it will need more fuel than most generators in order to give off all that power.

This level of wattage would tear through a tiny fuel tank, and so this generator has a helpful 8 gallon sized tank.

However, the runtime of this generator admittedly takes a hit, due to the extreme power. A full tank of fuel will give you up to 7 hours of runtime at a 50% load.

This is the shortest we’ve had so far, and it’s all because of how much power the generator is giving out.

With that being said, 7 hours is still a good amount of time for the generator to run before it needs refueling, and it should still be helpful for most work days on the job site.

As might guess, this is the noisiest of all the generators we’ve covered.

It has a noise level of 85dBA, which can prove to be very annoying if you’re near it for long periods of time - not to mention potentially harmful to your hearing.

This level of noise is just louder than an alarm clock, and you can imagine how frustrating that might be for 7 hours of continuous running.

Pros

  • Extremely powerful - 15,000 starting watts and 12,000 running watts
  • Large 8 gallon fuel tank
  • Up to 7 hours of runtime at 50% load

Cons

  • Extremely loud at 85dBA
  • Very expensive (but justified by the power)

Best Generators For Job Sites Buying Guide

There are a handful of qualities that you will want to look for in a generator when it comes to buying one for your job site. These will all depend on how you want to use it specifically, but all are important to keep in mind.

A High Enough Power Level

As you have seen in our list of products, a portable generator is capable of having an impressively high amount of power. This level of power is measured in the two kinds of wattage that it offers, the starting wattage and the running wattage. The latter is always less than the former.

However, the power level varies across different models. While some generators may offer just 7000 running watts, others could offer as high as 12,000.

When buying a generator for your job site, you will want to get one with a wattage that is high enough to run your equipment and tools smoothly. 7000 might be too little, while 12,000 can actually backfire, because it means you get a short runtime and the generator guzzles fuel more quickly.

As a result, it’s best to go somewhere in between.

Noise Levels

The generators we’ve looked at have tended to have noise levels above 70dBA, even above 80 in some cases. This means that they are really quite noisy. Given that they’ll be running long periods, this will be very annoying, and potentially even dangerous to your ears.

Try to get a generator with as low a noise level as possible.

Large Fuel Tank

A larger fuel tank means that your generator can run for longer without needing to refuel. For an uninterrupted work day, with the job site’s equipment all powered, try to buy a generator with a large fuel tank - we would recommend you aim for above 7.5 gallons.

Voltage

You will also want to be aware of the voltage outlets that the generator offers, so that you know how well it will be able to power your various tools and appliances on the job site.

Many generators offer a choice of using the 120V and 240V at the same time, or using the 120V at full power.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do Generators Power At Job Sites?

Portable generators are used to power many construction tools and machines. For example, they provide power to equipment for handling materials, concrete equipment, road building equipment, and equipment that is used to move earth.

As you can see, power is essential for any construction work.

Final Thoughts

A portable generator is crucial for a job site to run - use our guide to find the best generator for you.