Not all construction sites have the luxury of utility power. A generator comes in handy at such times. Just imagine rejecting a work proposal because you don’t have a portable source of electricity with you. There are hundreds of contracts in remote areas, ranches, farms, and estates with no electricity. A generator will help you win such contracts and increase your profit and build your portfolio.
Apart from the work-related benefits, you can also use generators at your home during a power outage or emergency. A generator will keep your essentials running at home and construction site.
When you find a generator for a construction site, you need a high power output, durability, reliability, low operational cost, and less frequent maintenance. With hundreds of options available, it becomes a bit difficult to find the right machine. We help you buy the best generator according to your needs. We have researched hundreds of generators, checked the user reviews, and then included the best ones in our list. Along with the nine best generators for a construction site, this review will also take you through a buyer’s guide and a FAQ section.
So, let’s check out the top generators for construction sites.
Generators for Construction Sites Comparison Chart
Terms used in the below table along with their meanings:
Gas Tank Size (Gallons)
Runtime @ 50% Load (Hours)
G & P
G: 12,000, P: 11,400
G: 9,500, P: 9,025
G: 8.83, P: 7.2 @ 40 lbs tank
30 x 29 x 26/224
G & P
G: 11500, P: 9500
G: 8300, P: 7500
G: 8.5, P: 6 @ 40 lbs tank
27.3 x 20.6 x 21.9/214
G & P
G: 10000, P: 9000
G: 8000, P: 7000
G: 12, P: 9 @ 20 lbs tank
28.5 x 22.2 x 21.8/209
27 x 22 x 22/216
Generac 5735 GP17500E
48.5 x 31 x 39.5/390
48 x 40 x 30/213
Green Power America GPG10000EW
27.5 x 22 x 21.3/181
40 x 29 x 27.5/129
35.7 x 32.7 x 35.8/347
1. DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator – Best Dual Fuel Generator for Construction Site
XP12000EH is a versatile machine. You can use it for worksites, homes, and RVs. A dual fuel generator is a perfect option for construction sites without utility power, as you can run it on propane and gasoline. The 457cc, 18HP DuroMax OHV engine delivers 12000 starting and 9500 running watts on gasoline. On propane, the power output is 11400 starting and 9025 running watts. The power output is enough to run 4-5 small tools, 1-2 medium and large tools while keeping the load under 50% of the total output.
The tank size is 8.3 gallons, and it gives a runtime of up to 9 hours with a 50% load. If you connect a 40-pound propane cylinder with the generator, you will get 7.2 hours runtime at 50% load. The runtime is impressive considering its power output and ability to run heavy machines without any fluctuations.
The outlets on the unit consist of two 120V 20A GFCI-protected outlets, one 120V 30A twist-lock outlet, one 120/240V 30A twist-lock outlet, and one 120/240V 50A heavy duty outlet. The 50-amp outlet lets you run heavy machines which require 240V amperage. You can also use the 50-amp plug for RVs. With its MX2 technology, you can run the machine on 120V or 240V or operate at both voltages simultaneously. The other features on the control panel include a voltmeter, engine switch, idle control switch, and fuel selector knob, along with warning lights for low oil and overloading. It is an electric and recoil start model.
The unit operates at 74 dBA. The noise level is in line with other models in the same category. The machine is EPA and CARB certified and comes with a 3-year residential and 1-year commercial warranty.
What Customers Say About XP12000EH?
2. WEN DF1100T Portable Generator – Quietest Pick
WEN offers excellent generators for different purposes. Its DF1100T generator is a versatile machine. It has a 457cc 4-stroke engine capable of delivering 11000 starting and 8300 running watts on gasoline. The starting wattage on propane is 9500 watts, and the running wattage is 7500 watts. The power output is ideal for off-grid construction sites, running tools, RVs, and managing essentials during an outage.
The tank size is 6.6 gallons and offers 8.5 hours runtime at 50% load. The runtime on propane depends on the size of the propane tank and the load applied to the generator. The runtime is in line with other machines in the same category.
The outlets consist of one 120/240V 50-amp outlet, one 120V 30A outlet, four GFCI 120V 20A outlets, and a 12V 8A DC outlet for battery charging. The outlets allow connecting 6 appliances simultaneously, and this feature comes in handy on a construction site.
It is a key-start and manual starting machine with a low running sound (72 dBA) than DuroMax XP12000EH. The control panel offers features like a digital display, circuit panels, outlets, an on/off switch, and a fuel selector knob. The safety features include low oil shutdown, overload protection, surge voltage, and short circuit protection.
It is an EPA-certified and CARB-compliant machine with a 2-year warranty.
What Customers Say About XP12000EH?
3. Pulsar PG10000B16 Dual Fuel Portable Generator – Affordable Dual Fuel Generator for Construction Site
Pulsar’s PG10000B16 delivers 10000 watts starting and 8000 watts rated power on gasoline and 9000 starting and 7000 running watts on propane. It has a 420cc 4-stroke engine with electric and manual starting options. The power output makes this machine an ideal fit for low-load construction sites, woodworking projects, and workshops. You can also use this machine for powering essentials during an outage and running RVs.
The control panel consists of four 120V outlets, one 120/240V twist-lock outlet, and one 120/240V 50A outlet. The other features on the control panel include a fuel selector switch, an e-start engine on/off switch, an hour meter for maintenance, and a battery charging port. The unit comes with heavy-duty, never-flat wheels and two rubber-grip ergonomic handles for easy portability.
The 6.6-gallon tank gives a healthy 12 hours runtime on 50% load. The runtime on propane is around 9 hours with a 20-pound tank at 50% load. You can extend the runtime by connecting a larger propane tank.
The safety features include low oil shutdown, overload, surge voltage, and short-circuiting protection. Please note that you cannot use this machine in California. It has 2 years warranty and is an EPA-certified unit.
What customers say about Pulsar Pulsar PG10000B16?
4. Westinghouse WPro8500 Industrial Portable Generator– Best Gasoline Generator for Construction Sites
Wpro8500 is a luxurious machine with a moderate output and the best features. The powerful 457cc 4-stroke gasoline Westinghouse engine delivers 11500 peaks and 8500 rated watts. You can use this machine to run 2-3 heavy appliances at one time or 5-6 lightweight appliances at a worksite. It is also a reliable option for homes and RVs. You can start the engine with a remote, electric switch, and manually.
The unit provides an impressive runtime of up to 12 hours with a 6.6-gallon gas tank. The automatic idle control feature enhances the runtime, which adjusts the engine speed according to the load applied on the machine.
The outlets consist of four 120V AC 20A household outlets, two 5V USB ports, one 120V AC 30A outlet, and one 120/240V 50A outlet. All the outlets are GFCI protected and come with rubber covers to keep dust and water away. The other features on the control panel include an engine on/off switch, battery charging outlet, and a data bank for displaying volts, frequency, and running hours.
The unit has been designed specifically for professional use. You get a lifting hook, big wheels, and a foldable handle to facilitate portability. The commercial warranty is one year, and the unit is EPA-approved, CARB, and OSHA compliant. The commercial warranty is for one year.
What Customers say about WPro8500?
5. Generac 5735 GP1750E Gas Powered Portable Generator– High Output Generator for Construction Site
Generac 5735 provides more power than an average portable generator. It has a 922cc OHV gasoline engine capable of delivering 26250 starting and 17500 running watts. The output makes this unit the most powerful generator in the portable generator category. You can use this machine to run heavy machines such as welders, plasma cutters, concrete mixers, woodworking tools (a lot of them at one time), and many more. You can also treat this generator as a whole house backup power option. It is also an excellent choice for powering large RVs.
The tank size is a whopping 16 gallons and provides you a runtime of up to 10 hours at half load. Half load on Generac 5735 means 8750 running watts. This wattage is more than starting power of some of the machines reviewed above. You can guess how powerful this unit is.
The outputs consist of two GFCI-protected 120V 20A outlets, two 120V 20A outlets, one 120/240V 30A twist-lock outlet, two 120V 30A twist-lock outlets, one 120/240V 50A outlet, and one 12V DC outlet. With such an impressive number of outlets, you wouldn’t need any extensions or adapters to run multiple appliances and tools at one time. The other options on the control panel are electric on/off start switch, a circuit breaker, and a voltmeter for displaying hours, frequency, and voltage.
It is important to highlight that this machine is not CARB-complaint but has EPA certification. You can use it in all states except California. You get a 1-year commercial warranty with a host of safety features like automatic voltage regulation, low-oil shutdown, fuel shutoff valve, and overload protection.
Despite being heavy, the unit can be moved around easily with the help of big wheels and an ergonomic carry handle.
What Customers say About Generac 5735 GP17500E?
6. Champion 100110 Portable Generator – Under $1500
Champion is one of the leading generator brands. It is well-known for supplying mid-sized generators and inverters. However, today we will be reviewing one of its bigger models. Champion 100110 has a 459cc Champion engine, capable of delivering 11500 starting and 9200 running watts. The power output makes it a suitable machine for worksites with moderate power demand. It is also a fine choice for RVs and homes.
The tank size is 7.7 gallons and provides a runtime of 10 hours at 50% load. The runtime is impressive compared to other machines in the same range. However, it is worthy of highlighting that it has a slightly bigger gas tank than other models in this category.
The outlets on this unit are one 120/240V 50A outlet, one 120/240V 30A locking outlet, and four 120V 20A outlets. The control panel features an intelligauge that displays running hours, voltage, and frequency.
The noise rating is 74 dBA which is in line with other models in the same category. You can start the unit with an electric switch and a recoil rope. It is an EPA-approved and CARB compliant generator with safety features like volt-guard, automatic low oil shutdown, overload, and short circuit protection. Never-flat wheels and a foldable handle enhance the unit’s portability.
What Customers say About Champion 100110?
7. Green Power America GPG10000EW Pro Series Generator – Lightweight Generator for Construction Site
We have yet another gasoline-powered generator with a 420cc, 15HP 4-cycle OHV engine capable of producing 10000 starting and 7500 running watts. The output is enough for running tools at a worksite, most of your home appliances during an outage, and power RVs.
The 6.6-gallon fuel tank can provide up to 9 hours runtime at 50% load. The runtime is impressive and matches the best generators in its category. You can complete one work shift without refueling if you keep the load under 50%.
The power outlets include one 12V DC outlet, one 120/240V twist-lock outlet, one 120V twist-lock outlet, and four 120V AC outlets. There are a total of 7 outlets that allow you to run various tools at one time. All the outlets are rubber protected. The control panel offers features like a digital screen, electric start switch, circuit breakers, low oil and output indicators, and a fuel gauge.
The machine has a 2-year warranty and safety features like low oil shutdown, overload protection, and surge voltage protection. Unfortunately, it not CARB-compliant, and you cannot use it in California.
What customers say about Green Power America GPG10000EW?
8. DuroMax DS10000E Gas Powered Portable Generator – Best Portable Generator for Construction Site
DuroStar is owned by the same group which owns DuroMax. Its generators are not advanced like DuroMax but do the job very well. DuroStar’s DS10000E gas-powered generator has a 457cc engine that can deliver 10000 starting and 8000 running watts. You can run your work tools, home and RV appliances without any issues.
It is the lightest machine in this category. You can easily move this machine to a worksite, your home or campsite. Never-flat wheels and drop-down handles further enhance portability. It operates at 72 dBA and can get louder at higher loads. The unit comes with a 30-day replacement and a 1-year full warranty. It is an EPA-approved and CARB-compliant machine. You can use it in all 50 states without any worries.
The tank size is 8.3 gallons. The machine gives up to 10 hours of runtime at 50% load. The runtime is higher due to a big gas tank. It means that the unit is not fuel-efficient, and it is going to increase your fuel spending.
The outlets consist of two 120V 20A outlets, one 120V 30A twist-lock outlet, one 120/240V 30A twist-lock outlet, and one 120/240V 50A heavy-duty outlet. Other features on the control panel include an electric start switch, idle control, voltmeter, voltage selector switch, and battery recharging indicator lights. The unit has low oil shutdown, automatic voltage regulator, and overload protection to give you a safe working experience.
What Customers say about DuroStar DS10000E?
9. CAT RP12000E Gas Powered Portable Generator – Expensive Option
If you are looking for a powerful generator, then CAT RP12000E is a reasonable option. The unit comes with a 670cc V-twin OHV engine capable of producing 15000 starting and 12000 running watts. The power output makes this machine ideal for big worksites, large homes, offices, workshops, and garages. With RP12000E, you will never feel limited in terms of power. The machine is more powerful than some of the small standby units from Generac and Champion. It is worthy to highlight that the output has a below 5% THD, making the unit an ideal fit for running sensitive appliances.
The outlets consist of four GFCI-protected 120V 20A outlets, two 120V 30A outlets, one 120/240V 30A outlet, one 120/240V 50A outlet, and one 12V DC outlet. All the outlets are rubber protected. The outlets arrangement is impressive, and you will never feel the need to connect any external extension or power cord with this machine. You can run 8 appliances at one time. By providing 8 outlets, CAT has done justice to users, and they can tap the generator’s full potential. The control panel has other features like a choke, voltage selector switch, an electric on/off switch, volt and hour meter, and a fuel turn on/off switch.
The tank size is 13.2 gallons. One full tank runs for approximately 12 hours with a 50% load. It means that if you apply 6000 watts to this generator, it will run for 12 hours. The runtime to tank size ratio is not that impressive, and the generator consumes a lot of fuel.
You can start the machine manually and electrically. The safety features include automatic voltage regulation, automatic low-oil shutdown protection, and a spark arrestor. Please note that it is only EPA approved machine and cannot be used in California.
To facilities portability, it comes with big wheels and an ergonomic handle. However, it is a heavy machine, and you may need an additional pair of hands to move it around.
What customers say about CAT RP12000E?
Generator Output and Power Needs
The most important things to consider before buying a generator for a work site are the power output and your requirements. To find out the total required power, make a list of all the tools you may need to power on your generator and list the starting and running wattage. Consider the example given below.
|Appliances||Starting Wattage||Running Wattage|
|Hand Drill (1-inch)||1200||1200|
|Circular Saw (7-1/4)||2300||1400|
|Battery Charger (15 amp)||700||500|
In the example above, 7700 watts are needed to start all the appliances at one time, and 6000 watts are needed to keep them running. If you were buying a generator for your home, we would suggest that a smaller generator can also work well because you don’t need to run all the appliances at once. For example, you won’t be running your microwave oven with a stove. However, when buying a generator for a construction site, you must never ignore your power needs. It is possible that you may need to run all the appliances together or may need more power according to your work. A generator with a minimum rated power of 8000 watts will run the necessary construction site tools. If you handle more significant projects, you will need more power. The best way to sort out your power requirements is to make a list of all the appliances/tools you need to run. Find out the total and leave a cushion of 800-1000 watts. It will be your total power requirement. The extra cushion will help you adjust additional loads on your generator.
Single Fuel vs. Dual Fuel Generator
The next big thing to consider is the type of fuel. If you work in developed areas with easy access to gasoline, a single fuel generator will suffice. For people working in remote areas, where it isn’t easy to find gas, a dual fuel generator is needed. It is possible that you will not be able to find gasoline somewhere but can use stored propane for emergency use. We agree that gasoline can also be stored, but it has a short shelf life (8-10 months) and is hazardous to travel within large quantities. If you are buying a dual fuel generator, please keep in mind that gas has a higher energy rating and provides more power than propane. Propane, on the other hand, is cheaper but does not burn as efficiently as gasoline. Overall, gasoline is the best fuel option for big portable generators.
Fuel Tank and Run Time
For a construction site generator, it is better to have a big fuel tank. A large fuel tank will also give you more runtime. It is advised to keep the running load equal to half of the generator’s rated power to increase the run time. All the generators on the list above come with big fuel tanks and will last 4-6 hours, depending on the load.
When you use a generator on a construction site, you will need to run it at different spots. You will also need to move your generator from one floor to another. Therefore, look for a unit that comes with all the portability features. A highly portable generator will have high-quality wheels, ergonomic carry handles, and lifting hooks. Generators for construction sites are heavy units; therefore, they must have all the portability features.
Look for a generator that allows full options on the control panel. A fully advanced control panel will give you features like meter readings, on/off buttons, wattage drawn, total hours run, and power outlets.
Since you will be operating heavy machines on your generator, you will need outlets to connect the machines directly to the generator. It is better to check the power outlets before buying the generator and ensure that they meet your needs. If you are using power extensions with the generator, make sure they are of high quality and handle big loads.
Buying a generator with an electric start has its perks. It will save time during work as you will not have to pull the starting cord every time you need to run your generator. Generators with dual starting options are a bit costly but are worth it.
A generator used for work purposes will need more safety features. It is more likely to get overheated, overloaded than a residential generator. Therefore, your generator must have all the features like overload and overheat protection, surge protection, low oil, and fuel shutdown. Another aspect of generator safety is covered outlets. These outlets will keep your generator safe from dust and water while running outdoors.
Automatic Idle Control
Construction tools don’t run continuously. You will be using manual tools or check the work done. You may need to arrange the materials before you start working, and it may take 10-20 minutes. Hence a generator with idle control, eco throttle, or smart throttle features will help you keep the running cost down. It will also give some rest to your generator.
Construction sites are already too noisy. Hence, it would help if you looked for a generator that comes with the lowest running sound. Generators for construction sites are big units and will produce more sound than a small generator. You must also check local laws about sound pollutions. Some states limit the level of noise you can create at a work site. So, it is better to buy the quietest generator.
Warranty and Certifications
Generators at a construction site are vigorously used and are more prone to malfunctioning. It is better to buy a unit with a warranty. A warranty cover will come in handy at such times. We don’t want you to spend on maintenance within 1-2 years of buying a generator. Generators with certifications from the EPA and other regulatory bodies give you peace of mind as they are certified for not releasing pollutants into the environment. They keep the air quality breathable.
Buying a generator for professional use is like investing in your business. It will help you increase your business and enhance the operating speed of your crew. We suggest that you don’t limit your budget while buying the generator instead of looking for the most advanced and durable unit. However, it would help if you kept in mind the operational cost of the unit.