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7 Best Dual Fuel Generator: 2022 Complete Buyers’ Guide

For most domestic gardeners, choosing the best dual fuel generator might not be a regular consideration, but when it comes down to it, if you’re going to invest in a substantial bit of kit like a dual fuel generator, it’s worth buying the best. For commercial gardeners, they are probably the most important bit of kit in the van.

No matter where you are, no matter what the job, a decent dual fuel generator can keep you gardening for longer, whether it’s powering tools, charging them, or keeping lights on so you can finish landscaping jobs before the sun goes down.

In this article I want to share some tips for getting the most out of your generator, but also run through some of the best dual fuel generators we’ve found to save you time shopping around.

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Choosing the Best Dual Fuel Generator: Complete Buyers’ Guide

Best Dual Fuel Generators for 2022

Buyers’ Guide to Dual Fuel Generators

Best Dual Fuel Generator Reviews

What are Dual Fuel Generators?

Dual fuel generators are portable electricity units powered by gasoline and propane. The fuel mixing makes them more efficient and cleaner than single source generators.

Obviously in an ideal world we’d have more efficient access to portable solar units to keep tools charged through the day, but for now the most efficient option for portable electricity remains the humble dual fuel generator.

If you’ve never used one yourself before, you’ll probably have benefitted from one without knowing. Any music festival, public fair, or outdoor event, uses generators to keep themselves live and running, and even food vans carry them.

For garden use, they are usually used to directly power electric tools, air compressor, and to power more efficient electric heaters and lamps for greenhouses where there is no mains power available.

How to Use a Dual Fuel Portable Generator

What are Dual Fuel Generators

Dual fuel generators are incredibly simple to use. Older models need some strength to get them going, just like old fashioned lawn mowers, yanking at leads until you hear them tick into action.

Depending on the model you buy, there’s one critical thing to consider; charging or running use. Some dual fuel generators will power tools while they are running. Others only allow you to use the sockets when they have charged themselves up. 

For me, the convenience of operational use is pretty essential because I’m nearly never organized enough to pre-charge my generator, but for those of you willing to run them for a while before use, the generators that run to charge, and then lend power are both quieter while you work, and more fuel efficient.

Other than that, the only other thing to do is plug in and get on with gardening.

What to Look for When Buying Dual Fuel Generators

Choosing a dual fuel generator might seem like a simple thing; there’s really not that many variables between types of dual fuel generators and brands, but there are a few really essential factors to consider when buying one.

The one that people tend to forget, and that should really be top of this list, is where is it manufactured for? 

It’s not even a case of quality, it’s just functional - if you buy a dual fuel generator developed for European use you’ll get European plug sockets; if you buy a dual fuel generator for US use, you’ll have US sockets.

I know it seems simple, but you’d be amazed at how many complaints are submitted to manufacturers because people have bought the wrong model!

Anyway, with that simple choice done and dusted, here are some of more important factors to consider when you’re trying to understand quality and choose the best dual fuel generator for you.

How to Use a Dual Fuel Generator

Power

When you’re looking for a dual fuel generator for the garden, it’s important not to overspend. You can spend thousands if you wish, and you’ll have an incredibly powerful gas guzzler that effectively wastes loads of energy. 

As a guide, when you’re looking for a new dual fuel generator check out the peak power output, as well as the running power output.

They’ll be anywhere between 1,000-12,000 watts, so check the power requirements for your tools and work out the maximum you’ll need at any one time. That’ll give you the clearest possible guide of what you need.

For 99% of garden jobs, a low wattage generator is more than sufficient, whether you’re a domestic gardener or a commercial landscaper.

On the off chance that you’re a commercial gardener running entirely electric tools and working into the evening, then maybe a higher wattage is for you but personally I’d suggest getting your hands on a good set of dual fuel power tools which will be much less hassle and less wasteful in the long run.

Noise Level

Any combustion engine makes noise. There is no such thing as a silent gas engine because they fundamentally rely on dozens of tiny little explosions in sequence to produce energy.

Most dual fuel generators come with noise ratings in decibels in their specifications, so if you’re planning on buying one for home use, look for a generator that’s as quiet as possible, because regularly using noisy generators in the garden is a sure fire way to drum up tension with the neighbors.

Fuel Efficiency

Dual fuel generators are pretty basic machines, in that they will usually work with alternative fuels, but to get the best out of them they typically need a mix of gasoline and propane, but you can replace them with natural gas and biodiesel, or unleaded petrol.

If you’re lucky, when you’re choosing a new dual fuel generator, the model you’re after will list its power output for each possible fuel, because it does differ.

For example, a dual fuel generator running on pure gasoline might produce 5,000 watts, but the same generator on pure propane will produce 4,500 watts.

To run cleaner, unleaded with natural gas will give you more sustainable energy but there’s no magic bullet to make them better for the environment.

Any combustion engine releases carbon and pollutants, so the best way to keep your costs and impact down is to find a generator with higher fuel efficiency.

You’ll find this in the specifications from most manufacturers, but if it’s not there, an easy way to gauge efficiency is to assess runtime versus tank capacity.

If a generator has a 4.5 gallon tank, and runs 8 hours, it’s more efficient than a generator with a 6 gallon tank that runs 8 hours. Manufacturers will all claim high efficiency, but runtime vs capacity is the only real way to make a true judgement.

Safety Guidance for Dual Fuel Generators

Fill up properly

When your generator has stopped running, and fuel is nearing the empty line, you need to refill, but NEVER rush it. Adding cold fuel to a hot generator can cause fires and sparks. Wait at least 15-20 minutes before refilling after your generator has powered down, and ensure tools are disconnected.

Only use clean fuel

Don’t cut corners with red-diesel or old stale fuel. Old fuel or cheap alternatives reduce the life-time of your dual fuel generator, which can get clogged by saturated oils on working parts, and will guarantee you need to clean the generator internally and externally from soot more regularly.

Using clean fuel is better for your health if you’re working nearby, as well as the health of your tools, so this isn’t somewhere to try and cut corners.

Choose the right cord length

Two reasons to choose the right cord length for a dual fuel generator: Noise levels, and engine fires. 

Obviously, if you’ve followed all the above guidance, engine fires are highly unlikely, but you don’t want to be caught off guard if the worst should happen, so you should always keep a proper distance of at least 20ft from a running generator to prevent hearing damage over longer term use. 

Also, cord’s over 100ft will reduce the power output, as electricity generated live reduces over distance making them less efficient. there’s no danger in longer cords, but it’s not a great idea if you’re working long hours from the same generator.

Best Dual Fuel Generator Reviews

Champion 100402 2000-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator

If I had to go out and buy a new generator tomorrow, I’d buy this. Simple. Champion’s lightweight, low capacity generator might not pack much power, but it’s compact, portable, and easy to use, and it’s quieter than the average electric lawnmower when running.


For sustained use, it’s a bit awkward because it needs refilling more often than others, with a 1.1 gallon tank, but it’s low output means that’s relatively offset by use.


So unless you’re using all three power outlets you’re unlikely to run out of power before you’ve finished most tasks.

Pros

  • 11 hours run time, easily enough
  • Lightweight
  • Quiet (53dB)
  • Good value
  • Portable
  • Enough power for nearly all jobs
  • 3 power outlets

Cons

  • No wheels

WEN DF475T 4750 Watt Portable Dual Fuel Generator

WEN’s most popular dual fuel generator of 2021 is still its top product of 2022, with a high capacity tank that requires fewer refills than most, it’s only let down by its higher than average noise levels, and its weight (this is a particularly heavy weight generator, which would be almost impossible to move around if it weren’t for its wheels).


If you’re looking for a decent bit of power for commercial use, this dual fuel generator from WEN would easily do the job on a budget.

Pros

  • Electric start
  • Good power (3800-4750 watts)
  • 4 power outlets
  • Good value
  • Long runtime
  • Works in all weathers
  • Portable

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Difficult to clean and maintain
  • Noisy

Pulsar G12KBN-SG Heavy Duty Portable Dual Fuel Generator

The only thing letting this generator from Pulsar down is that it’s too powerful for most gardeners to ever make full use of, but with such a big tank, and a really good price tag for this kind of wattage, it’s one of the better high-power choices.


If the tank is empty it’s a pretty lightweight model too, and thanks to its large tank, and multiple outlets it can be used for lower consumption tools and rolled back inside with relative ease.


For all the examples of overkill in commercial generators, this one actually makes sense thanks to its multiple power outlets, each with a different wattage.

Pros

  • Reasonable value for money
  • Lightweight when empty
  • Huge tank (6.6 gallon) for long run-times
  • Seven power outlets
  • Different power settings depending on outlet reduces consumption
  • Strong design
  • Automatic shutdown for low-oil

Cons

  • High power (12,000W at peak) which is more than necessary for nearly all  domestic or commercial garden use

DuroMax XP12000EH 12000 Watt Dual Fuel Generator

DuroMax makes great generators, so this is a truly brilliant dual fuel generator for domestic use, especially as a backup generator for the house, or for general use with an RV, but for gardeners, it's a little bit more than we need to spend to run and charge tools on location.


If, however, you were looking to power a commercial greenhouse, or even a large private plant collection, this would be a great investment, as it’s reliable, safe and, other than the occasional flat tire, it’s a reliable choice.

Pros

  • Quiet
  • Staring key means it doesn’t require any crank or cord starts
  • Easy to operate

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Suffers from flat tires
  • Annual maintenance required
  • High power (more than necessary for garden use, but good for prolonged use)

Westinghouse WGen3600DF 3600 Watt Dual Fuel Generator

Westinghouse are a reliable manufacturer, but a word of warning about the WGen36500 generator - it should really be attended when using outdoors as it can suffer from power surges, particularly when running on propane. 


On gasoline though it is one of the most efficient generators, so worth considering for more heavy duty commercial landscapers who need a simple solution to save money on regular long term use.

Pros

  • Easy to use, and easy to switch between fuels during operating
  • Easy electric start (button operated)
  • Remote control included

Cons

  • Regular electrical surges - may be caused by unstable power
  • Big difference in efficiency between fuels
  • Battery not covered by warranty 
  • high power - great for running homes and RVs, but too powerful for horticultural use

Champion 100165 9375 7500 Watt Dual Fuel Generator

7,500 watts is more than enough power for any commercial landscaper, so while this is pricey it comes with the promise of a reliable power source that won’t let you down.

Champion are a great brand, and they’ve been making great quiet dual fuel generators recently, with this being no exception.


For a serious amount of power, you’d be amazed by the low decibels of this model, running at about the same noise level as a household vacuum cleaner.

Pros

  • Sold with oil, ready to use
  • Easy electric start button
  • Quiet operation (74dB)

Cons

  • Expensive
  • High power (7,500w), ok for commercial use, or powering homes, but probably too powerful for most commercial landscapers requirements

DuroMax XP4850EH 4850-Watt Dual Fuel Generator

The DroMax XP4850EH dual fuel generator is a pretty hefty beast, but if you do need something more powerful, this is definitely a more affordable option.


It’s not a model for the environmentally minded, and you’ll notice a smell as soon as you start this generator up, which is a little off putting.

Pros

  • Quiet
  • Affordable
  • Powerful enough for heavy commercial use

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Runs quite inefficiently (you’ll notice a smell when it first starts)
  • Not very fuel efficient

Our Top Picks for the Best Dual Fuel Generators

Best Dual Fuel Generator for 2022 

Top Rated Best Dual Fuel Generator
Champion 100402 2000-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator

The Champion 100402 2000-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator might not pack much power, but it’s the best dual fuel generator for gardeners we’ve found, with  the brilliant advantage of being versatile enough to power most appliances if you ever needed it in an emergency too.

It runs quieter than almost any other garden power tools, and is incredibly easy to move around even when full thanks to its low fuel capacity.

Obviously if we were reviewing generators for homes this would be a negative, but I really like this nifty generator for gardens and light use. 

Best Value Dual Fuel Generator

Best Value Dual Fuel Generator
WEN DF475T 4750 Watt Portable Dual Fuel Generator

WEN DF475T Portable Dual Fuel Generator has durable wheels and comes in at a good price too. Most generators on the market are either in the 1-3000W range, or 9-1200W range, so finding a decent quality dual fuel generator on this sort of budget is a rare find.

Most consumer reviews say the same thing too - it’s reliable, and truly portable. Obviously with a full tank it’s not something you’ll be lifting in and out of the van every day, but it’s rollable, and liftable when empty.

Premium Choice Dual Fuel Generator

Premium Choice Dual Fuel Generator
Pulsar G12KBN-SG Heavy Duty Portable Dual Fuel Generator

The Pulsar G12KBN-SG Heavy Duty Portable Dual Fuel Generator is definitely a premium choice but it’s good value too, coming in much cheaper than most models with similar wattages, while also having versatile and adaptable power choices, with power outlets that give you a choice of how much power you want to be using, because not everything needs 12,000W all the time.

For a serious commercial landscaper this is more than worth the money you’ll spend on it, and it’ll last a lifetime, with a proper warranty that most generators annoyingly don’t include.

Dual Fuel Generator FAQs

Is a dual fuel generator worth it?

In the face of disaster, you need a back up. That goes for the garden as well as the house. Dual fuel generators give a peace of mind that is worth every penny.

Even outside of disasters, they’re an essential bit of kit for serious commercial gardeners, especially as summer turns to fall, and you’re working in the evening as the days start to shorten.

How long will a tank of propane last in a dual fuel generator?

Generally a dual fuel generator run on gasoline is more efficient than propane, but for the average dual fuel generator, 20lb of prone will last around 5 hours. This is affected by the output watts, and factors including maintenance.

How long will a tank of gasoline last in a dual fuel generator?

5 gallons of gas should last around 8 hours in a dual fuel generator. Obviously there are limited variables, such as the maximum and running wattage of the generator, and factors like cable length, eternal temperature and generator age will impact the running time, but 5 gallons will usually last around 8 hours in an average generator.

When do I need a 12000 Watt Dual Fuel Generator?

A 12000 watt generator is capable of running an entire house, including electric heaters, fridges, ovens, lights, TVs, and more.

They are essential kit for homes regularly hit by power outages, but for most light use they are surplus to requirements and can easily be replaced by lower wattage generators for general garden or event use.

Author Bio

Julian Howard

This article has been provided by Julian Howard, the Compressedairman. Julian is knowledgeable about all things machinery for garden use.

He is passionate about helping people live productive lives. Julian’s compressor information site provides all the information you need to know about air compressors and compares the best air compressors you can buy.

Get Yourself a Reliable Dual Fuel Generator

OK, so dual fuel generators are a bit of a minefield for newcomers, and I admit there’s a lot to take in, but once you get your head around the basics, it’s a pretty simple choice.

How much power do you need? How much do you want to spend? How often are you realistically going to be using your generator?

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all dual fuel generator, so once you’ve answered those questions above it’s not that hard to find the best dual fuel generator for you. 

For me, it’s all about portability and efficiency, but for most commercial landscapers the best dual fuel generator is going to be something with a bit more power; either way, hopefully that round up gives you a good idea of where to start, and you’ll be gardening late into the summer nights in no time!

About the Author Pat Moreno

Pat is our gardening tool expert here at Sumo Gardener. Working for many years as a private and commercial landscaper, Pat has used almost every type of gardening tool there is. Along with a vast knowledge for types of plants and putting together an amazing looking and maintainable garden, Pat developed a passion for gardening tools as he found that using the right tools vastly improved the ease and outcome of any landscaping job he undertook. When spending hours, days or years using a particular tool, you want to make sure you’ve got the best one for the job, and Pat is the right guy to guide us to the best gardening tools.

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