Table of Contents
- 1 Our Top Picks
- 2 How to Choose the Best Dual Fuel Portable Generator
- 3 Best Dual Fuel Generator Reviews
- 4 Best Dual Fuel Generators Comparison
- 5 Differences between Single Fuel and Bi-Fuel Generators
- 6 Advantages of Dual Fuel Portable Generators
- 7 Major Drawback of Dual Fuel Generators
- 8 What to Consider Before Buying a Dual Fuel Generator?
- 9 Frequently Asked Questions
- 10 Conclusion
Different generators are engineered to use different types of fuel – gasoline, diesel, propane, and natural gas. Dual fuel portable generators offer you the convenience of switching between two types of fuel, usually gasoline and propane. This can be very handy when you are short on one type of fuel but you still need to keep the generator running.
Here we’ve reviewed the best dual fuel generators on the market. You will also find a lot of useful information on the topic that will help you make an educated choice when buying a bi-fuel generator.
Our Top Picks
- Relatively cheap
- Easy to use
The Best Dual Fuel Generators at a Glance:
- Westinghouse WGen7500DF – Best Overall
- DuroMax XP12000EH – Most Powerful
- WEN DF475T – Best Value
- Rainier R4400DF – Best for Long Run Time
- All Power America APGG10000GL
*The links in the list lead to the generators’ product pages on Amazon.
How to Choose the Best Dual Fuel Portable Generator
The point of having a portable generator on standby is to ensure that your appliances and power tools will continue to run even after a power outage. What makes dual fuel generators more appealing than other portable generators is the promise of continuous operations even after one of the fuels isn’t available.
Beyond the type of fuels that a particular generator is engineered to use, the first sure way of narrowing down to your ideal model is to set up a budget that you want to work with. Dual fuel generators come at all prices ranging from a few hundred dollars to over a grand.
Usually, forking out more money opens doors to more powerful generators with lots of convenient features that you won’t get in generators in the lower end of the price spectrum.
Another very important consideration is the power output. Here, you need to consider the starting watts (a.k.a surge watts) and continuous/running watts of the dual fuel generator in relation to your wattage demand.
An important aspect that we emphasize on when dealing with dual power generators is to pay closer attention to the starting and continuous watts of the generator when running on your preferred fuel. Keep in mind that regardless of the brand, generators generally tend to output slightly lower starting and running watts when running on propane than gasoline.
Best Dual Fuel Generator Reviews
Westinghouse WGen7500DF – Best Overall
- Affordable and relatively powerful
- Electric starter with remote fob
- Clear instructions and manual
|Westinghouse WGen7500DF Specifications|
|Starting Watts||9550 (gasoline), 8550 (propane)|
|Running Watts||7500 (gasoline), 6750 (propane)|
|Noise Level||74 dBA|
|Tank size (gal)||6.6|
|Run Time||16 hrs (gasoline)|
|Dimensions (in)||27.2 x 26.1 x 26|
If you are looking for a powerful dual fuel generator but your budget won’t allow you to spend over a grand on it, you might want to check out the WGen7500DF.
This one is a lot cheaper than the DuroMax XP12000EH yet the power compromise is quite minimal. The WGen7500DF offers 9,550 peak watts and 7,500 running watts when running on gasoline, and 8,550 peak watts and 6,750 rated watts when using propane.
Whether you run it on gas or propane, its power output is enough to keep most basic household appliances working. It is also powerful enough to be used as a generator for a food truck.
For those who dread slaving on the recoil cord, the electric starter that makes the WGen7500DF a plug-and-play generator might interest you. Even more convenient, this is a remote start generator. There is a remote start key fob that makes it possible to operate it from a distance.
The Westinghouse WGen7500DF is fitted with a 420cc engine that feeds its (1) 120/240V, (1) 30A (L14-30R), (2) Duplex 120V, (1) 20A GFCI (5-20R), and (2) 5V USB Ports.
DuroMax XP12000EH Hybrid – Most Powerful Dual Fuel Generator
- Ton of power
- Quick assembly
- Easy startup
- Quite heavy
|DuroMax XP12000EH Specifications|
|Starting Watts||12000 (gasoline), 11400 (propane)|
|Running Watts||9500 (gasoline), 9025 (propane)|
|Noise Level||74 dBA|
|Tank size (gal)||8|
|Run Time||10 hrs (gasoline), 8 hrs (propane)|
|Dimensions (in)||29 x 29 x 27.5|
Duromax XP12000EH has been dubbed the ‘beast’ because, well, it is one in terms of power output. This dual fuel generator outputs an incredible 12,000 and 11,400 starting watts and 9,500 and 9,025 running watts on gasoline and propane respectively.
This high power output makes it practically the only generator that you’ll need to unleash whenever and wherever a power backup solution is required. The Duromax XP12000EH is powerful enough for a small-to-midsize home with several AC units, sump pump, refrigerator, lighting system, and other basic household appliances.
If its weight (227 pounds) isn’t an issue, this Beast could also make a really good option for a job site too. You could plug in up to 3 high power tools or even 5 low-power units when necessary.
Besides being the most powerful dual fuel generator in this list, the XP12000EH also happens to be one of the most fuel-efficient. Even with its supersize 457CC, 18HP OHV engine, the beast is still able to offer you up to 8 hours of runtime on a 20-pound tank at half load, and 10 hours when running on its 8-gallon gasoline tank.
We can’t deny that the Beast is quite loud at 74dBA. But that’s understandable considering its size. It’s also quite heavy but its 2 never-flat wheels and handle kit make it very easy to roll on different terrains.
WEN DF475T 4750-Watt – Budget Pick
- Very quiet
- Affordable and quality
- Compact and portable
- Less efficient on propane
|WEN DF475T Specifications|
|Starting Watts||4750 (gasoline), 4350 (propane)|
|Running Watts||3800 (gasoline), 3500 (propane)|
|Noise Level||51 dBA|
|Tank size (gal)||4|
|Run Time||11 hrs (gasoline), 7 hrs (propane)|
|Dimensions (in)||23.2 x 17.5 x 18.5|
Wen is a brand that always comes into focus whenever we zoom on affordable and high-quality dual fuel generators.
First thing first: Wen generators are made in China. But the best part is that the designing and engineering is done right here in the USA. And this is what enables this manufacturer to offer you high-quality generators at a price that won’t break your bank.
The Wen DF475T is powered by a 224cc 4-stroke OHV powerplant that outputs 4,750 surge watts and 3,800 running watts when running on gasoline. When you switch to propane, you’ll be playing around with 4,350 peak watts and 3,500 running watts.
Compared to the other high-power models in these dual fuel generator reviews, you might want to be selective on the appliances that you’ll power simultaneously from this generator at home and at an off-grid job site.
Is it efficient?
Well, the Wen DF45T is quite efficient when running on gasoline seeing that its 4-gallon tank can offer you up to 11 hours at half load. We wouldn’t say that it’s the best performer when running on propane, though, considering its 7-hour runtime on a 20-gallon tank, but it’s not the worst still.
And the noise level?
Now, this is where this generator takes the lead. The Wen DF475T runs at 51dBA at quarter load. Although it does get a little bit louder at half and full load, it’s still amazingly quiet. Its quiet operations coupled with its relatively lightweight design (105lbs) make it a great go-to power solution for most outdoor activities including tailgating and camping.
All Power America APGG10000GL Gas and Propane Generator
- Relatively quiet
- From a relatively newer brand
|All Power America APGG10000GL Specifications|
|Starting Watts||10000 (gasoline), 8500 (propane)|
|Running Watts||8000 (gasoline), 7000 (propane)|
|Noise Level||76 dBA|
|Tank size (gal)||8|
|Run Time||11 hrs (gasoline)|
|Dimensions (in)||28 x 19 x 23|
The best dual fuel portable generators tend to be very expensive especially if you are looking for an insanely powerful model. We don’t know how but All Power America- a relatively new private company based in Chino California has its way of manufacturing generators that emit tons of power at a price that you won’t find anywhere else. And the APGG10000GL is our best recommendation from them.
This gas and propane generator offers 10,000 surge watts and 8,000 rated power on gas, and 8,500 peak power and 7,000 running watts on LPG. So, if you are looking for an affordable generator to power up your small mansion, this one could be it.
Fitted with a 15 HP 420cc OHV engine, this All Power America generator offers you 11 hours of runtime on its 8-gallon gasoline tank at half-load.
Even at its comparably lower price tag, we like that this powerhouse still has a fully loaded control panel with almost all the basic outlets and receptacles; (4) AC Duplex 120v, (1) 120/240 twist-lock, (1) 120v twist-lock, and (1) 12v DC outlets.
Its other great features include an hour meter, electric start, never-flat tires, low oil level shutdown, and locking fall-down handles.
Rainier R4400DF – Best for Long Run Time
- Easy to use
- Still heavy for a camping and tailgating generator
|Rainier R4400DF Specifications|
|Starting Watts||4400 (gasoline), 4000 (propane)|
|Running Watts||3600 (gasoline), 3300 (propane)|
|Noise Level||65 dBA|
|Tank size (gal)||4|
|Run Time||18 hrs (gasoline)|
|Dimensions (in)||23.3 x 15.5 x 21.3|
If you are looking for the best dual fuel generator for tailgating, camping, and RVing, Rainier R4400DF might be your choice. This is a generator quite small in size but big in features.
One of the most affordable generators in this list, the R4400DF produces 4,400 peaks watts and 3,600 running watts on gasoline, and 4,000 surge watts and 3,300 running watts on propane.
While it’s not the best for most heavy household power loads, it might make a really great option if you are looking for a reliable generator for tailgating, camping, and RVing.
Speaking of RVing, the R4400 ships RV-ready as the TT-R30 receptacle on its control panel shows. Other outlets include one L5-30R 120V 30 AMP Outlet, Two 5-20R 120V 20-AMP Outlets, and two Grounding ports.
This model’s 212cc OHV 4-stroke engine offers 18+ hours of runtime at 25% load with its 4-gallon tank. It’s also relatively quiet for a dual fuel generator at 65dBA.
Best Dual Fuel Generators Comparison
|Preview||Dual Fuel Generators||Rating||Starting Watts||Running Watts||Fuel Type||Noise Level||Run Time||Tank size (gal)||Dimensions (in)||Weight (lbs)||Engine Displacement||Warranty|
|Gasoline, Propane||74 dBA||16 hrs (gasoline)||6.6||27.2 x 26.1 x 26||194||420cc||2 years|
|DuroMax XP12000EH||4.8||12000 (gasoline),|
|Gasoline, Propane||74 dBA||10 hrs (gasoline)|
8 hrs (propane)
|8||29 x 29 x 27.5||227||457cc||3 years|
|WEN DF475T||4.6/5||4750 (gasoline),|
|Gasoline, Propane||69 dBA||11 hrs (gasoline),|
7 hrs (propane)
|4||23.2 x 17.5 x 18.5||105.8||224cc||2 years|
|All Power America APGG10000GL||4.6/5||10000 (gasoline),|
|Gasoline, Propane||76 dBA||11 hrs (gasoline)||8||28 x 19 x 23||229||420cc||2 years|
|Rainier R4400DF||4.3/5||4400 (gasoline),|
|Gasoline, Propane||65 dBA||18 hrs (gasoline)||4||23.3 x 15.5 x 21.3||105||212cc||2 years|
Differences between Single Fuel and Bi-Fuel Generators
On the other hand, a dual fuel generator can use 2 of the fuel types above, for instance, gasoline and propane. This means that you can switch to the other alternative fuel in case your preferred fuel isn’t available.
Advantages of Dual Fuel Portable Generators
Versatility– you have the option to switch to another type of fuel in case the one that you prefer is scarce or unavailable.
Prolonged runtimes – you could have the 2 tanks full before firing up the generator and it will automatically switch to the other fuel once the first is depleted thereby serving you 2 times longer than a single-fuel generator of the same size.
You are covered throughout the year– propane has high chances of cold-starting than gasoline but the former does struggle a lot in colder conditions of around -43.60F. This means that you can start the dual fuel generator on propane and then switch to gasoline.
Optimum convenience– gasoline often has a higher peak watt rate than propane, but the latter is much quieter- an advantage if you live in a neighborhood with strict noise level regulations. As such, you can start your high peak electrical appliances on gasoline and then switch to propane.
Major Drawback of Dual Fuel Generators
Bi-fuel generators are practically similar to conventional single fuel models. The only major difference is that dual fuel generators could be a bit pricier. But this is understandable considering the convenience and versatility that these power solutions bring to the table.
What to Consider Before Buying a Dual Fuel Generator?
Think about your wattage needs
Long before thinking about the ease of portability and the overall design, be sure to get a dual fuel generator that will meet your wattage needs.
To determine your wattage demand, identify all the appliances that you intend to be using together and come up with a rough figure of their total wattage requirement. You do this by adding the total running watts of all the appliances and the highest starting watts.
The essence of this is to get a dual power generator that offers a good balance of affordability and effectiveness.
Ease of use
A dual fuel generator that you’ll always need to play around with to get it to work can be really annoying especially during a nighttime blackout.
Most generators will require you to simply turn the fuel and the choke valves ON and then hit the electric start button or pull the recoil cord to start.
Still, not all models offer an easy time here. So, go through reviews and feedback to understand how your target generator performs on this front.
Size and Portability
The size and weight of the generator will also matter a big deal depending on where you intend to use it. In most instances, you’ll find out that dual fuel generators get bigger and heavier as their power output increases.
A heavy generator could pose a great challenge to lug it from the garage especially for the elderly folks. However, most of them do come with a handle and a pair of wheels to make this process easy.
An important thing here is to make sure that the handles are sturdy and strong enough to withstand the weight of the generator. This makes more sense especially if the handles are designed to fold up and down for compact storage.
Beware of small wheels as they tend to make dragging the generator over rough terrains quite cumbersome and almost impossible at times.
Compliance to local regulations
As portable generators continue to become a common household necessity, it has become necessary for most cities to come up with local noise ordinances to ensure that they are neighborhood-friendly.
So, before purchasing a dual fuel generator, go through its spec sheet once again and ensure that its noise levels fall within the acceptable ranges depending on where you live. Most top-rated dual fuel generators fall within 60 and 80 decibels (dB or dBA). If you live in North America, Nonoise.org has a list of cities and their standard noise levels.
On the same note, do your due diligence to identify any other local regulations regarding the purchase and use of portable generators, then get a model that meets them. For instance, if you reside in California, you are required to purchase and use a CARB (California Air Resources Board)-compliant generator.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are dual fuel generators good?
Yes. Dual fuel generators keep your home powered even when one type of fuel is either not available or has been hit by price crisis. This means that you always have a way out until your preferred fuel type is available.
Is a dual fuel portable generator less effective?
Not really. These generators are pretty much similar to a single fuel generator only that they offer you the convenience of being able to switch from one type of fuel to the other. Everything else held constant, you should get the same amount of power from 1 gallon of gasoline on either model.
Is one type of fuel more efficient than another?
Different fuels have varying efficiency levels. For instance, diesel is more efficient than gasoline and more so than propane. Propane, on the other hand, is considerably cheaper than other types of fuel.
Are dual fuel generators safe for power-sensitive devices?
It’s impossible to give a direct answer for this without looking at your generator’s spec sheet. If the generator’s AC is marked as a pure sine wave, then you can go ahead and use it on pretty much anything. If not, then don’t risk your power-sensitive gadgets on it. A cost-effective solution here is to purchase a UPS or power conditioner.
Different households have varying wattage needs and different budgets. And that’s to say that everyone has a different opinion on the best dual fuel generator.
If you are open to ideas, though, the Westinghouse WGen7500DF is our best recommendation based on our dual fuel generator reviews. The fact that it has been engineered to meet the standards of EPA, CSA, and CARB is a clear indication of the level of quality used for it.
It is a lot cheaper than the most expensive model here and still much powerful than other low-end dual fuel portable generators. This generator seems to have been built around convenience, affordability, and reliability.
Among other interesting features, we appreciate that it comes transfer-switch ready and has an electric start with a remote key fob that can switch it on/off from up to 109 yards.