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Generac iQ3500 vs Predator 3500 (2021): Which Portable Inverter Generator Is for You?

The Generac iQ3500 and Harbor Freight’s Predator 3500 are two highly rated inverter generators with the perfect blend of functionality and portability. In other words, they run quietly and provide a pretty long runtime, and they’re easy to carry around to boot.

Across the board, the two share a lot of similarities. In fact, they’re hard to tell apart at first glance if it weren’t for their different brandings. However, each one has its own unique benefits, and we’re here to clear them up so you can choose which one will fit your needs best.

Generac iQ3500 vs Predator 3500 Comparison Chart

ModelGenerac iQ3500Predator 3500
 Generac 7127 iQ3500-3500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator Quieter Than Honda, Orange/Black3500 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Runtime (at 25 Percent Capacity)14.1 hours11 hours
Starting Watts3,5003,500
Running Watts3,0003,000
Voltage120 VAC120 VAC, 12 VDC
Sound Leveln/a57 dB
Engine TypeOHVOHV
Engine Displacement212 cc212 cc
Fuel Capacity2.6 gallons2.6 gallons
Fuel TypeUnleaded gasolineUnleaded gasoline
Start TypeElectric, recoil pullElectric, recoil pull
Weight109.1 lbs99.2 lbs
Dimensions (W x H x L)18″ x 21.7″ x 23.7″17.3″ x 20″x 22.7″
Warranty3 years2 years

Performance

The iQ3500 has a longer runtime than the Predator 3500.

Generac iQ3500 vs Predator 3500 Performance
Both the iQ3500 (left) and Predator 3500 (right) have the same starting and running watts.

Right off the bat, the iQ3500 and Predator 3500 have the same 3,500 starting watts and 3,000 running watts. That means they more or less deliver a similar performance when it comes to powering appliances and jump-starting motor-driven ones. The two also have electric and recoil pull starters, so it’s easy to get the ball rolling on either one.

One big difference is in their runtime. While the iQ3500 can go up to 14.1 hours at 25 percent capacity, the Predator 3500 can only last up to 11 hours, which is decent but shorter in comparison. They even have the same fuel capacity of 2.6 gallons and engine displacement of 212 cc, so the takeaway here is the former is more energy efficient.

Now Generac didn’t exactly outline how loud—or rather, how quiet—the iQ3500 is, but coming straight from the horse’s mouth, it says it’s more than 5 dB(A) quieter than the Honda EU3000is. Meanwhile, the Predator 3500 is rated at 57 dB. At any rate, both won’t make too much noise, and they’re well within the average range of 50 and 65 dB of any quiet generator worth its salt.

Both also have a low THD. The iQ3500 comes in at less than three percent, and the Predator 3500 at less than five percent. Basically, they can juice up delicate electronic devices without damaging them.

Portability

The iQ3500 is heavier and bigger than the Predator 3500.

Generac iQ3500 vs Predator 3500 Portability
Notice that the iQ3500 (left) doesn’t have wheels, while the Predator 3500 (right) does.

Touted as portable inverter generators, the two are lightweight enough to bring along, say, camping trips. On that note, the iQ3500 measures 18” x 21.7” x 23.7” in width, height, and length, respectively, and weighs 109.1 lbs. On the other hand, the Predator 3500 is 17.3” x 20” x 22.7” and 99.2 lbs. To put two and two together, the latter is lighter with a smaller form factor, making it the more portable machine of the two.

Both have two handles so you can grip them easily, so there’s that. But only the Predator 3500 has wheels, so lugging it around is a breeze compared to the iQ3500.

Features

Both have three AC outlets and one DC outlet.

Generac iQ3500 vs Predator 3500 Features
The iQ3500 (left) sports two USB ports for smartphones and tablets, while the Predator 3500 (right) doesn’t.

Each one has three AC outlets and one DC outlet, but neither of them have GFCI receptacles. Both also have an LCD screen that displays metrics such as remaining runtime and indicator lights for low oil, overload, and output.

However, one advantage the iQ3500 has over the Predator 3500 is it has two USB ports, so you can plug your smartphones or tablets directly into it. On top of that, it has an Economy Mode that reduces noise and fuel consumption even further.

The two also have staples such as overload protection and low oil shutdown, so there’s nothing to worry on those fronts.

In terms of warranty, Generac provides a three-year warranty for the iQ3500. In contrast, the Predator 3500 comes with two years.

Verdict

The iQ3500 and Predator 3500 have their own strong points.

In summary, the iQ3500 has better fuel efficiency and, by the same token, a longer runtime on average. In comparison, the Predator 3500 is more portable and, as a result, it’s better for tailgating and RVs.

That said, deciding between them is just a matter of what’s more important to you: the iQ3500 for better efficiency or the Predator 3500 for better portability.

FAQs

📌 What’s the difference between the Generac iQ3500 and Predator 3500?

The iQ3500 has better fuel efficiency than the Predator 3500, but the latter is more portable.

📌 Which is better, the Generac iQ3500 or the Predator 3500?

The iQ3500 has a longer runtime of 14.1 hours as opposed to the Predator 3500’s 11 hours. However, the Predator 3500 is lighter at 99.2 lbs compared to the 109.1-pound iQ3500.

📌 Who makes the Predator 3500?

Harbor Freight manufactures Predator generators. The retailer has been around since the 1970s, producing affordable power equipment and other tools.

📌 How long is the warranty on the Generac iQ3500 and Predator 3500?

Generac offers a three-year warranty for the iQ3500, while Harbor Freight throws in a two-year guarantee with the Predator 3500.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.