HarborFreight Predator 3500 INVERTER Generatore - Power Equipment Forum : Power Equipment Forums
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post #1 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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HarborFreight Predator 3500 INVERTER Generatore

I've been considering purchasing one of HarborFreights new 3000Watt Inverter generators.

I tend to have doubts as to the durability but it is a pretty good price at $700 for a 3000watt inverter generator.

It looks good and very Hondaish.

Anyone here have one yet?
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post #2 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-21-2017, 01:44 AM
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I'm not usually a Harbor Freight guy but I have to say, this is a pretty nice generator.

As for quality, well it's not a Honda but for the money, Dang....

Here are a couple of links for a decent review of it.


Chilling in the desert Sun
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post #3 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-21-2017, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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it "seems" like a pretty nice generator....I agree.
But it's very new on the market. Very few have any significant time on them.
Time will tell. So much can fail. What will be the availability of parts?
They have a 90 day warranty. Hmmmm...

Here's the EXACT Warrnty.....
We guarantee the emissions control system on your engine will be free from defects in material and workmanship for two (2) years, provided there has been no improper maintenance, misuse, or abuse of your engine. We guarantee this product to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for 90 days from the date of purchase. Limitations apply.


Limitations? What Limitations? I couldn't find these "limitations" at their website so Caveat Emptor. Let the buyer Beware.

Another important consideration is that the Honda EU3000iS is 30% heavier at 131lbs vs the HF Predator at 99.5lbs.
That's a BIG difference. I'm going to guess that most of that difference is in the Stator/Rotor assembly. If true, then the HF Predator is "probably" not made as durable as the Honda Stator/Rotor assembly and hence the big weight difference. Those assemblies are very heavy by nature and this huge difference in weight could be a telling sign of a big quality difference in manufacturing. In generators, size DOES matter and the weight difference is most likely due to rotor diameter and or number of windings (or both). I would confidently guess that the Honda EU3000is would outperform the HarborFreight Predator 3000 in a test of sheer load capability, regardless of the published specs.

Honda's EU3000i Handi is significantly lighter than their EU3000is, but output is less and fuel capacity is less and the motor is 160cc vs 196cc for the IS.
The Honda IS also holds 3.4 gallons of fuel vs the HF Predator 3000 Inverter at 2.6 gallons. Almost a gallon difference. The Predator needs a bigger fuel tank IMO.

Note: Honda also makes a EU3000i which is also a 3000watt Inverter generator but it has a much smaller fuel tank and less output power.

The HONDA EU3000is


HarborFreight Predator 3000Watt Inverter


I'm planning on getting one because it would only be used for emergencies which are far and few in between and because I've spent many years as a motorcycle repair tech so working on engines and electrical systems comes naturally for me. Big advantage.

I'll say this.....if over the next few years they gain a reputation of durability, then it will indeed be a good deal......but the price will probably climb also.

Is it also "fair" to say that Honda 3000watt Inverter generators are "over-priced"? Probably. But they are priced at what the market will bear.
A Honda 3000watt inverter generator can be had new for around $2,000 of which I would rough estimate at least $1,200 is pure profit. Probably more.
Just WAG's though.

Whatever generator you get, try to keep it indoors under air. The humidity of outside storage in humid climates wreaks havoc on not only the motor, but the electronics and fuel system as well. Did you know that SeaFoam is not only good at cleaning fuel systems and removing carbon deposits but is also a great fuel stabilizer? Just don't add too much.

Removing the spark plug and oil fogging the cylinder for long term storage is also a good idea. Don't forget to change the oil before storage to remove any acidic by products of combustion.

I like to run my generators at least once every 4 months minimum to keep all the seals lubricated and passages open.

The carburetor is prone to gumming inside the float bowl. Be sure to run the motor long enough after adding SeaFoam or other fuel stabilizer to ensure it reaches the float bowl.

Last edited by Predator; 09-21-2017 at 02:20 PM.
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post #4 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-21-2017, 02:12 PM
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It has all the signs of "buy." As for the Warranty.....pay the extra and take a two year option. I have a Predator that a neighbor gave me, when he was moving....it runs like a top. I recommend getting rid of the spark plug and get a Brand Name. Pull the trigger and get it, with the warranty. Ron
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post #5 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-21-2017, 03:57 PM
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Have to agree with Handyman, I'm not usually a fan of HF or inverter gensets, but this seems like a "BUY" if it fits your power needs. I have used the HF predator replacement engines on log splitters, tillers, etc. for $120 they run great and are "ChiHondas" which ain't all bad. my old genset is a Generac 3750, long time after I had bought it, was installing a predator replacement engine on something and it struck me how familiar it looked. Same engine in the Generac. Ten or twelve years later, still starts first pull and has been great. Probably the same engine buried in there.
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post #6 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-21-2017, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RonJ View Post
It has all the signs of "buy." As for the Warranty.....pay the extra and take a two year option. I have a Predator that a neighbor gave me, when he was moving....it runs like a top. I recommend getting rid of the spark plug and get a Brand Name. Pull the trigger and get it, with the warranty. Ron
Thanks Ron.

The INVERTER series is kinda new, even though they might share the same motor. Not sure.
Hopefully it will be reliable as their others. I guess it's still an unknown for now.

I spoke with a representative at the company that actually handles the extended warranties on Predator Inverter Generators for HarborFreight. That company is called ASSURANT.

The representative told me that the Extended Warranty is a ONE TIME contract. Of course, that means that once you've had a malfunction and need to execute your warranty it's over. So, let's say the electric starter failed and it needed a switch....you would use your $139.00 warranty for that switch, and that would be the end of your warranty. Let's say the LED failed.....same thing. How about if a wheel broke? Same thing. No matter how big or how small the failure, once you use your Extended Service Plan for ANY item, your coverage ends with THAT repair or service. You would have to purchase ANOTHER Extended Warranty.

Pay extra attention to this....
Your 2 Year Extended Service Plan DOES NOT mean that you are covered for 2 years. It means that you will get ONE REPAIR within the 2 Year ESP period. You could use up your $139.00 ESP on a $10.00 item within the first two weeks of the 90 day manufacturers warranty ending....and that's it.
You will not be entitled to ANY additional repairs regardless.

The fly in the ointment would come if you did not buy another Extended Warranty (For another $139.00) and then had a problem after that.

Not to scare anyone.....most ESP's work this way.....but it's surprising how many people aren't aware of it.

Last edited by Predator; 09-21-2017 at 06:15 PM.
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post #7 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-21-2017, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by exmar View Post
Have to agree with Handyman, I'm not usually a fan of HF or inverter gensets, but this seems like a "BUY" if it fits your power needs. I have used the HF predator replacement engines on log splitters, tillers, etc. for $120 they run great and are "ChiHondas" which ain't all bad. my old genset is a Generac 3750, long time after I had bought it, was installing a predator replacement engine on something and it struck me how familiar it looked. Same engine in the Generac. Ten or twelve years later, still starts first pull and has been great. Probably the same engine buried in there.
Agreed.

For $700 I'm gonna try one. No ESP for me. I just hope I can get parts if I need it. I can do any necessary repair as long as the rotor or stator doesn't fry....in which case I'll try selling it for parts
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post #8 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-21-2017, 07:10 PM
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Predator: You talk of the warranty and you could be spending XXXX for a switch, and the warranty is shot.....then again you could run it out without a problem! We all try to cover all the bases and insure our buck, but there has to be a reasonable parameter to work within. If this generator meets your needs, saves you the cost of of a Honda 3K, and your expected usage versus the expenditure made. The final call is yours, and I hope you get all the answers you need. Also, doesn't Ryobi make a 3K Inverter? Ron
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post #9 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-21-2017, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Predator: You talk of the warranty and you could be spending XXXX for a switch, and the warranty is shot.....then again you could run it out without a problem! We all try to cover all the bases and insure our buck, but there has to be a reasonable parameter to work within. If this generator meets your needs, saves you the cost of of a Honda 3K, and your expected usage versus the expenditure made. The final call is yours, and I hope you get all the answers you need. Also, doesn't Ryobi make a 3K Inverter? Ron
I think Ryobi does, but I also heard "through the grapevine?) that they aren't good. Idaknow.

I'm gonna take a chance on no problems and skip the $139 ESP......will probably run it a good bit during the 90 days factory warranty, put max load on it etc.....hopefully if it's got any ghosts it'll give em up during that time.

Sure is a nice looking Genny.
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post #10 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-21-2017, 08:48 PM
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Sure is a GREAT looking generator. Glad you have decided; Now think real hard about not wanting to spend that extra $140.....covers 365. To me, that would be money well spent on a product you want around for a good while - cheap insurance. This way that when you let it lay up for a month or more, and then go to use it, you have the peace of mind should it fail. I don't know if you know about www.generatorguru.com, he has replacement parts for all kinds of generators that are of Chinese origin; might want to check it out for prosperity. On the Ryobi - who the **** would make a green generator, ha. Good luck, whatever way you go, I know you will be satisfied.Ron
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