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Predator vs Honda Generator (2021): Which Portable Inverter Generator Is Better?

Having backup power at home comes in real handy if ever the light goes out. Even better, a portable inverter generator is perfect to bring along on outdoor excursions, so you can have power even when camping in the woods. Here’s a look at two similar-looking models that are actually for very different budgets, the Predator 3500 and the Honda EU3000iS. See which one is better for you using our breakdown below.

Predator vs Honda Generator Comparison Chart

ModelPredator 3500Honda EU3000iS
  
Price  
Rating
 

 
TypeInverterInverter
Engine4-stroke OHVHonda GX200
Displacement212cc / 6 hp196cc / 6 hp
Starting SystemElectricRecoil, electric
Max AC Output3,500 W3,000 W
Rated AC Output3,000 W2,800 W
Voltage120V120V
Max AC Current25 amps25 amps
Rated AC Current23.3 amps23.3 amps
DC Output12 amps @ 12V12 amps @ 12V
Fuel Tank Capacity2.6 gal3.4 gal
Run Time (Full load)n/a7.1 hrs
Run Time (1/4 load)11 hrs20 hrs
Noise (Full load)n/a57 dBA
Noise (1/4 load)57 dBA50 dBA
Low Oil ShutoffYesYes
Parallel CapabilityYesYes
WheelsBuilt-in (4)2 or 4 Wheel Kit
Dimensions22.75″ x 17.3″ x 20″25.9″ x 17.6″ x 22″
Weight99.2 lbs131 lbs
Warranty2-Year3-Year

Engine and Power

The Predator 3500 provides more power but consumes more fuel than the Honda EU3000iS.

Predator vs Honda Generator Engine and Power
The Predator 3500 (left) is slightly smaller than the Honda EU3000iS (right).

Harbor Freight packed more muscle into the Predator 3500, giving it a 212cc 4-stroke Overhead Valve engine capable of a maximum of 3,500 starting watts and 3,000 running watts. In comparison, the Honda EU3000iS produces a max of 3,000 watts and a rated 2,800 watts with its 196cc Honda GX200 engine. While this should prove to be not too big of an advantage when either generator is on a low load, it can be nice to have the extra power that the Predator 3500 generator gives to run more appliances.

The big advantage of the Honda EU3000iS generator over the Predator 3500 though is fuel efficiency. The Predator 3500 consumes a lot of fuel, and it will empty out its tank far quicker than the Honda model. To compare, if you fill both generators up and run them at 1/4 loads, the Honda EU3000iS will run for up to 20 hours, which is double the max run time of the Predator 3500, as it putters out after 11 hours.

Both are inverter generators so you can use their stable output to power up sensitive electronics such as computers. They also have 12V DC outputs to use for recharging automotive batteries.

Convenience

The Honda EU3000iS has a bigger fuel tank while the Predator 3500 is lighter.

Predator vs Honda Generator Convenience
Enjoy longer power availability with the Honda EU3000iS inverter generator.

Having a longer run time means enjoying constant power longer. With its 3.4 gallon tank, you can run the Honda EU3000iS for nearly the entire day on a light load. That means plenty of uninterrupted electricity for cooking, lights, etc. In comparison, the Predator 3500, which only has a 2.6 gallon tank, will require more frequent refilling. Coupled with its heavy fuel consumption, you’ll likely have to pause and cool it down in the middle of the day in order to refuel it and keep it running.

With built-in wheels, the Predator 3500 is easy to move, and it’s fairly lighter than the Honda EU3000iS. Both are equipped with electric starting systems so getting them up and humming is easy. On low-speed and low load operation, both Predator and Honda generators are quiet, with sound outputs of 50-57 dB. This sound level is low enough that it shouldn’t disturb the neighbors and won’t impact your own home as well.

Features

Both Predator 3500 and Honda EU3000iS generators have parallel capability and low oil shutoff.

Predator vs Honda Generator Features
Running two Predator 3500 or Honda EU3000iS inverters is possible and provides more power.

Parallel capability allows two generators of the same model to run concurrently and provide more power to the household. Both the Predator 3500 and Honda EU3000iS are parallel capable, so it’s an option if you’re considering doubling up in the future or combining yours with a neighbor’s.

For safety, both inverters have low oil alerts that warn you when its engines do not have sufficient oil to run safely. Once triggered it will automatically shut the engine off to prevent damage to the machine and avoid further accidents that could lead to injury. They also have the standard spark arrestors and overload protection for additional safety.

Verdict

The Predator 3500 generator is better value than the Honda EU3000iS generator.

At less than half the cost of its Honda counterpart, Harbor Freight’s Predator 3500 inverter generator is easily the more cost-effective option to power your home or RV. You’ll shell out much less to get more wattage, and while it requires more fuel, you’ll find it great for occasional use, such as camping trips or waiting out a power outage.

Those who need a longer-lasting machine will definitely appreciate the fuel efficiency and extended run time of the Honda EU3000iS inverter generator. While you’ll be spending more initially, its refueling costs will be much smaller in the long run. It runs quieter too and will require less frequent refilling. More importantly, it should be easier to find repair services since Honda has a much wider coverage than Harbor Freight.

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

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Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.