Who Makes Predator Generators & Engines? Where Are They Made?
Are you considering purchasing a new Predator generator or engine and wondering about the company and the quality of their products?
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THE KEY TAKEAWAY:
Predator generators are manufactured by Harbor Freight Tools in the United States. (Source) Harbor Freight Tools is a US-based business that first opened in 1977 and holds its headquarters in Calabasas, California. However, it appears that the Predator engines are made by a Chinese company called Loncin. (Source, source) LONCIN MOTOR CO., based in Chongqing, China, is a large-scale manufacturing company that produces a range of products including generators, agricultural machinery or light-duty power units. (Source)
If you’re currently shopping for a new portable generator, one option to consider is going with a Predator generator from Harbor Freight Tools.
In this article, we will explore the company behind Predator generators and provide information about where they are made. We will also discuss the quality and reliability of these popular generators to help you make an informed decision about whether or not to purchase one.
Who Makes Predator Generators & Where Are They Made?
Predator generators are manufactured by the company Harbor Freight Tools in the United States. Harbor Freight Tools is a US-based business that first opened in 1977 and holds its headquarters in Calabasas, California.
This is what they write on their official website:
“Harbor Freight’s Predator Generators are designed in Calabasas, California at our state-of-the-art design center and built by our industry’s leading manufacturers of tools.
By searching worldwide, Harbor Freight is able to create relationships with some of the industry’s leading manufacturers of tools.”
According to the generator experts from GeneratorHero.com, Predator engines & generators were used to be made in China by The Lifan Group:
“These engines used to be made by a Chinese company called The Lifan Group. This company is based in Chongqing, China. They had the license to sell in China, South Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America.”
Here are some interesting notes regarding The Lifan Group from a comprehensive article on Wikipedia:
“Lifan Industry (Group) Co., Ltd. is a civilian owned Chinese motorcycle and automobile manufacturer headquartered in Chongqing, China.
It was founded in 1992 and began to manufacture automobiles in 2005, with license-built microvans and a small sedan developed by Lifan.
Lifan’s vehicle products include passenger cars, microvans, dirt bike engines, entry-level motorcycles, mini-vehicles, and commercial trucks. The company’s non-vehicle-related activities include the manufacture of sports shoes and winemaking.”
However, from the available info I have found online, the Predator generators have engines made by a Chinese company called Loncin.
Feel free to read more about this company in the next section.
Who Makes Predator Engines & Where Are They Made?
Just like Predator generators, Predator engines are built by Harbor Freight Tools in the United States. This is a widely held assumption.
However, according to this informative forum thread, Predator engines are made by a Chinese company called Loncin:
“Yes. The new Predator engines are made by Loncin. The old Blue Grey Hound engines were made by Lifan.”
Another commenter on Reddit confirmed this information:
“They are great engines. They are made by Loncin who makes most of the good Chinese engines including the Briggs and Stratton engines. There is a ton of aftermarket support as well. The 212cc is most popular and the 420cc is very popular.”
And this is what I have found on their company website in the About Us section:
” LONCIN MOTOR CO., LTD. (SSE stock code: 603766) is a large-scale comprehensive manufacturing enterprise that integrates businesses of generating sets, agricultural machinery equipment, light-duty power units and two-wheeled motorcycles as well as active involvement in development and incubation of burgeoning businesses with core technology of internal combustion engine as platform, thereby performing constant expansion to relevant business areas.”
They are based in Chongqing, China.
Predator engines are powerful, reliable engines used to run all models of Predator generators.
Because both the engines and generators are manufactured by the same company, they share a certain synergy that allows the equipment to run smoothly and with a lower likelihood of mechanical problems.
The company is able to ensure that the engines are designed to perfectly fit the needs and capabilities of the generators they’ll be powering.
What Is the Harbor Freight Tools Brand All About?
Harbor Freight Tools, often referred to simply as Harbor Freight, is a popular and reputable tool and equipment retailer.
The company operates a chain of retail stores and manufactures a variety of quality products.
Quick facts from Forbes about the Harbor Freight Tools:
- Founded: 1977
- Headquarters: Calabasas, California
- Country: United States
- President and CEO: Eric Smidt
- Employees: 24,000
In their stores and through their website, Harbor Freight Tools offers generators, air compressors, drills, automotive tools, hand tools, and many other items.
Because they both manufacture and distribute their products, Harbor Freight Tools is known for selling high-quality tools at reasonable prices.
The company offers both a no-hassle return policy and a 100% satisfaction guarantee for their products, which extends to their line of Predator generators.
This is what the Harbor Freight Tools company writes on their company website in the About Us section:
“Our journey began in 1977, when Eric Smidt and his father launched Harbor Freight Tools. 40+ years, 1300+ stores, and over 40 million satisfied customers later, not only are we still family owned, but we’ve stayed true to our mission.
We’ve continued to deliver an incredible assortment of quality tools to pros and DIYers alike at prices that are up to 80% less than competing brands.”
The Predator Generators & Engines Product Line
SUPER QUIET INVERTER GENERATORS
Several of the Predator generators are characterized as Super Quiet Inverter Generators. These portable generators range from 1,400 to 9,500 starting watts and are designed specifically to operate with low noise output.
On the more powerful end, there’s the 9500 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator (595+ Reviews on Harbor Freight). This generator comes equipped with a powerful Predator 459cc engine and a 6.8-gallon fuel tank.
The portable generator is known for its efficiency and can provide power for up to 18.5 hours at 25% load.
While this model is powerful enough for the vast majority of purposes, it’s ideal for emergency home backup and powering mobile businesses, such as food trucks.
The 9500 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator is available for $2,399.99.
A more affordable option is the 1400 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator (229+ Reviews on Harbor Freight), which costs just $449.99 and is best used for activities like camping, tailgating, and outdoor recreation.
This model utilizes built-in inverter technology to produce clean power, making it an ideal choice for powering sensitive electronics like laptops and televisions.
The 1400 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator has an extremely lightweight design and can run for up to 7.3 hours at 25% load.
Harbor Freight Tools also offers several Predator Inverter Generators without the Super Quiet classification.
While these generators may not be quite as conducive to tranquility, they are quite efficient and can provide significant power as well. The starting wattage of these Inverter Generators ranges from 4,400 to 8,750.
This model is efficient and very powerful, and it’s best used for job sites, emergency home backup, and RVs. You can purchase one of these generators for $1,299.99.
Another option in the line of Predator Inverter Generators is the 4550 Watt Inverter Generator (231+ Reviews on Harbor Freight). This portable generator is more affordable at $649.99 and utilizes a Predator 223cc engine.
Although it isn’t characterized as a Super Quiet generator, this model does operate more quietly than the average portable generator.
Best used for camping, boating, and RVs, the 4550 Watt Inverter Generator is designed for efficiency and can run for over 16 hours per fill-up.
STANDARD GAS POWERED GENERATORS
Finally, there are the standard Predator Gas Powered Generators. While these generators typically aren’t as energy-efficient or as quiet as Inverter Generators, they tend to be significantly more affordable.
These Predator Gas Powered Generators are also capable of providing plenty of power, with starting wattages ranging from 1,800 to 9,000. One option is the 1800 Watt Gas Powered Portable Generator (195+ Reviews on Harbor Freight), which is a bargain at only $379.99.
This model is compact, lightweight, and perfect for low-power applications like camping and powering household electronics.
Equipped with a Predator 98cc engine, this generator can operate for up to 9.5 hours at 50% load and is very convenient to bring along on a trip.
If you’re looking for something more powerful, there’s the 9000 Watt Gas Powered Portable Generator (126+ Reviews on Harbor Freight). Available for $899.99, this unit features a robust Predator 420cc engine and, thanks to its large fuel tank, can run for up to 13 hours at 50% load.
The 9000 Watt Gas Powered Portable Generator is extremely effective for emergency home backup, job sites, and a variety of other high-power applications.
Here are some unbiased third party reviews of Predator generators:
- Can a Harbor Freight Generator Really Beat a Honda?
- Predator 9000 Watt Gas Powered Generator Review
- Biggest Harbor Freight Generator Predator 9500 Review (Video)
- Testing the Cheapest Harbor Freight Inverter Generator (Video)
- Honda 2000i VS Predator 2000 Watt Inverter Generator (Video)
- Inverter Generators Comparison: Honda vs Firman vs Predator (Video)
Are Predator Generators & Engines Any Good?
Generally speaking, Predator generators and engines are excellent products. The engines are known for being powerful and reliable, allowing the generators to provide consistent power with minimal issues.
Many of the generators in the Predator line are also highly efficient and able to operate very quietly, which are traits that many customers value greatly.
Because the available selection of Predator generators is relatively diverse, most consumers can find a model that’s a good fit for their specific needs.
VALUABLE FEEDBACK OF REDDIT USERS
“They are often considered people’s best purchase at Harbor Freight. My family has three of them of varying capacity and all have run well. I picked up a Champion brand generator at BJs for cheaper than the equivalent Predator model.”
Read the rest of this comment on Reddit.com
“I bought the big bastard, 9000 watt what have you. It honestly is probably the most solidly built thing I’ve purchased from harbor freight. It’s about as loud as you’d think it is.
I found a coupon for it for $599 down from $679. Totally worth it for the hurricane season and ice storms.”
Read the rest of this comment on Reddit.com
“I use both the Honda EU 2000’s and the Predator 2000’s. The Hondas at work in movie production, and I have 2 Predators with a parallel kit I use 24/7 for an off-the- grid cabin.
For about half the price, the Predators are great. We just don’t use them in the movies because the idea is to always, always use the BEST equipment because if it fails, all eyes are on you.”
Read the rest of this comment on Reddit.com
Unique Features of Predator Generators & Engines
Many of the Predator generators and engines come with special features that help set them apart from the competition.
For example, each Predator generator features CO SECURE technology (here is a great video that demonstrates this CO SECURE technology), which automatically shuts the equipment down for safety when harmful carbon monoxide levels are detected.
Predator generators also have electric start features, allowing for easy start-ups every single time you want to get the flow of power going.
Certain models in the Predator generator line feature an Electronic Speed Control mode, which optimizes the performance of the Predator engines and helps maximize runtime and efficiency.
And if you plan on using your portable generator in rugged conditions, you’ll definitely be glad for the 1-1/4 inch steel roll cage that offers sturdy protection for certain models.
How Long Do Predator Generators & Engines Last?
It’s very hard to predict exactly how long a Predator generator or engine will last.
The longevity of the equipment depends on variables like how hard you work it, how well you care for it, and the conditions you typically use it in.
That said, Predator generators and engines are renowned for their durability, and as long as you’re responsible and use your generator correctly, it should serve you well for many years.
Besides proper storage and maintenance routine, you also need to prevent your portable generator from getting wet:
Running your portable generator when it’s raining or in wet conditions without proper protection (generator cover, steel enclosure or pop-up canopy) will cause significant damage to your machine.
The power outlets on your generator should NEVER get wet. Keep water off the control & connection panel at all costs. I have shared more tips on this topic in this guide: Can You Run a Generator in the Rain & Can It Get Wet?
What Is the Warranty of Predator Generators & Engines?
Harbor Freight Tools provides a full 90-day warranty for its Predator generators, which guarantees that the equipment will be entirely free from defects.
When you purchase a Predator generator, the company also offers a two-year warranty for the emission control system.
These warranties are honored as long as there has been no improper maintenance, misuse, or abuse of the generator or engine.
Who Sells Predator Generators & Where to Buy Them?
The best way to purchase a Predator generator is to either order online from the Harbor Freight Tools website or buy one from a brick-and-mortar Harbor Freight location.
You may also be able to find these generators available on other websites and in various hardware stores and large retail outlets.
The Bottom Line
You have many choices when deciding what type of portable generator to buy. Ultimately, though, you can’t go wrong with a Predator generator.
Predator generators are fairly priced, equipped with many useful features, and powered by Predator engines that are strong, reliable, and durable.
Whether you need a generator for home emergencies, camping trips, job sites, RV travel, or any other situation, you’ll almost certainly be able to find a Predator generator that can satisfy your needs.
A portable generator is a major investment, but if you go with a Predator generator, the return on that investment will be excellent.
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