Typical fuel sources for generators are diesel, gas, propane and in some cases natural gas for the larger, standby generators. However, many generators can take advantage of two or more of these sources to produce power.
Usually, gas and propane and some generators will run with gas, propane and natural gas. Any generator that uses more than one fuel is considered a multi fuel generator. These versatile power generators offers the most in flexibility when it comes to power generation for home or business.
Understanding Your Fuels
Before delving into specific models, it is important to understand the differences between the different fuel sources. In the case of multi fuel generators, most often the two fuel sources are propane and gasoline for dual fuel and gas, propane and natural gas for tri fuel generators.
There are some bi-fuel generators on the market that use diesel and natural gas but diesel is used as the starting fuel source. Typically, diesel generators only run diesel. The reason is that the internal working of a diesel generator differs greatly from a gas or ignition source generator as diesel works on compression to create power and the others require a spark.
Most of the generators below are of the dual fuel variety. The reason for this is cost. Most tri fuel generators cost in excess of 1000 dollars and therefore are outside the scope of this specific review.
Best Dual Fuel Standby Generator to Buy
Powered by a MorePower 4 Stoke Over Head Valve engine, the GEN5501 generators has a continuous output of 5500 watts and a surge capacity of 6875 watts. This generator runs on either propane or gas and has a run time of approximately 8 hours at half load. It comes with a circuit breaker, and has a tool less switch for changing fuels.
The GEN5501 also has 4 outlets for standard house plugs and one 120/240 twist lock for larger needs. It can be started via recoil or electric start and comes with a 12V battery for starting. Overall, not a bad basic generator for home or job site use.
Best Tri-Fuel Portable Generator
As with the other generators in the sub 1000 class, the PowerLand PD2G4400E is a dual fuel configuration. Using both propane and gasoline, this generator pumps out 4400 continuous watts of power.
It comes with a low oil shutoff and electric start. The 7.5 horsepower engine has approximately 8.5 hours of run time and half load. The fuel can be easily switched with no tools required.
Has a key switch turn on and a low oil light. It has three main outlets protected by a circuit breaker. Again, similar to the MorePower generator above as it provides versatility for home backup or job site power.
Best Dual Fuel portable Genset under $1000
One of the more unique sub 1000 class generators, as this one runs on two fuels but LPG/Propane and Natural gas. By using either of these two fuels, the PowerLand PDNL6500E runs cleaner and potentially quieter and longer than gasoline only generators.
By installing a quick connection to the main gas line of the home this generator could provide an almost unlimited run time. The other fuel, LPG/Propane is the same fuel used for the typically home barbecue. This generator pumps out a health 6500 peak watts and has both electric and recoil starting.
It also has automatic voltage regulation and full circuit protection. In addition, it is one of the quietest generators available as the operating noise is less than 70 db. One of the great things about this generator is the use of propane or natural gas means the engine is utilizing cleaner burning fuels. So if that is a concern for you, this is the generator to consider.
Best Combination LP and Gas Portable Generator
The Champion Power 71531 CARB generator is the workhorse of the sub 1000 class multi fuel generators.
The 71530 pumps out 9350 of surge capacity and a health 7500 continuous for even the most robust of tasks. For those who have large freezers and refrigerators that have high surges thanks to compressors, this is the generator to consider.
This generator is specifically designed to handle multiple appliances or tools at the same time. Using either propane or gasoline, this generator is also uses cast iron in the cylinder sleeve for super durability and long periods of running.
It has over 9 hours of run time at half load. It comes with overcharge protection as well as up to 5 outlets to power a variety of devices and appliances.
This generator is CARB approved so it can be used and sold in California. At the same time, the CARB rating means that it is more environmentally friendly than other generators on the market.
These generators represent good choices for home backup power generation. When considering a generator, make sure to follow all safety regulations and never place any object closer than 5 feet to the generator. Also allow 30 minutes of cool downtime before refueling any generator and make sure to always check the oil levels before operation to prevent generator damage.