Powerhorse Portable 3100W/4000W Generator Review

Powerhorse 3100W/4000W Portable Generator

Powerhorse 3100W/4000W Portable Generator

The Powerhorse 3100W/4000W Portable Gas Generator is one of the newer entrants on the generator market.

This is a low cost efficient generator that is well made and has undergone rigorous testing along with dedicated customer and technical support to give you a reliable generator with value.

Though this is a new company, the generators that they market are portable and deliver outstanding performance at a value that is hard to beat.

These generators are ideal as backup generators for your home in times of emergencies to keep the essentials running, they are also great to take camping or for tailgating parties or even to run power tools at a job site where there is no electricity available.

Powerhorse 4000 Portable Generator – Recoil Rope Start

Power Output and Generation

The Powerhorse portable generator is capable of giving you 3100 watts of continuous output and it can surge up to 4000 watts.

This is a NON CARB complaint model. Some of the inverter Powerhorse models are CARB complaint, see similar models below.

The engine is a 208cc OHV engine that Powerhorse builds. It uses a recoil rope start and has a low-oil shutdown as part of the engine wiring to protect the equipment. There is a model with electric start at: Powerhorse 4000 Portable Generator with Electric Start – Model# DFD4000

The electrical output options are significantly greater than other generators in this range.

Powerhorse 3100W End View

Powerhorse 3100W End View

Eight 120V duplex outlets, giving you lots of extension cords to run. these are 4 sets of receptacles rated 20 Amps. However, in combination with all outlets you only have a total of 25.8A available.

There are two circuits feeding 13.5 amps each, so you’re limited also by the configuration feeding the sets via each circuit. 4 outlets limited to 13.5 amps or 1620W. Each set could power 2 or three slow cookers.

One 12V DC outlet for charging, Powerhorse did not provide much detail but we found that the the circuit breaker is 8 amps. So you get up to about 96W to charge a battery or power other equipment.

With a 5% harmonic distortion tolerance it will pay to use a device to smooth voltage supply to sensitive equipment.

One 120V/240V, 30 Amp locking outlet at 3100W you have 25.8 and 12.8 Amp respectively.

Fuel Type and Noise Levels:

The Powerhorse portable generator uses unleaded gasoline as fuel. It has a 3.9 gallon fuel tank (sometimes promoted as 4 gallons) which lets it run for 10 hours at 50% load capacity.

Noise: This generator is quiet as compared to other generators of similar size, producing only 70 db of sound. This is reasonable yet in outdoor areas with little background noise will seem load.

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Dimensions and Weight

This Powerhorse portable generator has overall dimensions of 28 x 18 x 18 inches (L x W x H) and a shipping weight of 116.00 lbs, making it a very compact and and reasonably lightweight portable generator in this size range. With gas (6 lbs per gal) about 24 lbs. your total weight is 140 lbs. which is easy to move with the wheel kit.

Typical Uses and Needs

This Powerhorse portable generator with its continuous output of 3100 watts and surge output of 4000 watts makes it ideal to have as a backup source of power for your home to keep the essentials running when you have a power outage.

With its bank of eight 120Volt duplex outlets and a 120V/240V 30 amp outlet it is very convenient to power your electrical equipment without having to install an expensive inlet for your home. However, you may be the extension cord king if you’re using all the outlets.

The small size of this generator and with its long hours of running on one tank of gasoline, make it an ideal generator to take along while camping or for those tailgating parties. It is also useful on those job sites where you want to have electric power to run various power tools.

Display & Control Panel, Start-up

Powerhorse 4000 Control Panel

Powerhorse 4000 Control Panel

The control panel of this portable Powerhorse generator is very simple and easy to follow.

Powerhorse 4000 Switch and Meter

Powerhorse 4000 Switch and Meter

When you face the generator you will find that it has an Engine Switch to the extreme left, below this switch is the Low Oil warning light.

To the right of the Engine switch you have a circuit breaker and next to it you have your 12V DC outlet. Next to the 12V outlet you have 2 circuit breakers and to the right of these you have your Voltmeter which tells you the voltage of the output.

To the right of the voltmeter you have 4 Duplex 120V 20 amp dual set receptacles and to the right of these you have your 120/240V 30 amp twist lock receptacle. Below the 120V Duplex receptacles you have the grounding post where you attach your ground wire and rod.

The Powerhorse portable generator uses a recoil system to start its engine. Here are the steps to be taken to start the generator.

  1. Check to see that the generator is on a level surface.
  2. Check the engine oil and the fuel.
  3. Check and see that there is no load connected to the generator.
  4. Move the fuel valve to the On position.
  5. Turn the Engine switch to the On position.
  6. Move the Choke to the On position.
  7. Move the throttle lever about 1/3 to the Fast position.
  8. Pull the recoil handle.
  9. If the Choke was moved to the On position, move it slowly to the Off position while the engine warms up.

Shut down

  1. Move the throttle lever to the Slow position and allow the engine to run for a couple of minutes.
  2. Turn the Engine switch to the Off position.
  3. Turn the fuel valve to the Off position

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Additional Features

Here is a list of the features of the Powerhorse portable generator.

  1. It has easy Start up instructions.
  2. 208 cc OHV engine with cast iron sleeve for long engine life.
  3. Single phase brush style generator head with 100% copper windings for a long life.
  4. It has a voltmeter to let you know the output at all times.
  5. It has a wheel kit that lets you move it around easily.
  6. It has less than 5% harmonic distortion and is safe for electronics such as TV or PC.

Care and Maintenance and Use

To get the most out of your Powerhorse portable generator, you need to keep it clean and do periodic maintenance. Here are the guidelines as suggested by Powerhorse. The maintenance schedule assumes a reasonable amount of use.
Each Use

  1. Check engine oil level.
  2. Check the air filter.
  3. Check for oil leaks.
  4. Check the bolts.
  5. Check fuel hose clamps.

First Month

  1. Replace the engine oil.

Every 6 months

  1. Replace the engine oil.
  2. Clean the spark plug.

Once a year

  1. Clean and replace spark plug if necessary.
  2. Clean the air filter.
  3. Clean the fins around the cylinder head.

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Warranty and Repairs

Powerhorse covers its portable generator with a 2 year warranty for all defects in workmanship and parts. The warranty begins on the date of purchase of the unit. Powerhorse warranty also covers the charges for diagnosis of defects. All shipping charges are to be borne by the consumer.

Consumer Comments

The Powerhorse portable generator gets a 5 out of 5 star rating on Amazon so far with only a half dozen reviews. The customers who bought this product were very happy with its performance. They also liked the price of this generator and said that for its price it is a very nice product.

Here is what a few of the customers indicated about owning this generator.

They were very complimentary about size and price, the overall construction seeming to be very good. Even the the word “Awesome” was used. This generator surprised them in how quiet it was, how easy it was to start and economics of the gas consumption. Generally they were all very happy with this generator.

One reason given for getting the Powerhorse 3100W generator was the large number of outlets for job site work allowed many tools to be plugged in without plugging and unplugging things all the time.

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Pros & Cons


  • Very Quite compared to other generators of the same size.
  • Very efficient and can run up to 10 hours on 4 gallons of gas at 50% capacity.
  • Has wheels for easy maneuverability.
  • Has 8 -120Volt 20 amp outlets 1 – 120/240 volt 30 amp outlet and 1 -12 Volt DC outlet.
  • Has a voltmeter so you can see the voltage output at all times.
  • Has a cast iron sleeve and low oil shut down for engine protection and long life.
  • Has auto voltage regulation to ensure proper voltage at all times.
  • It can run sensitive electronic equipment.


  • Gives out only 3100 watts of continuous output. This is only a con because of the number of outlets vs power available which limits the useable output to the capacity.
  • Cannot run the entire home.

One thing to note, with a voltage meter you can get a sense if output is compromised with a voltage drop. However, you would expect a level voltage almost all the time it seems that a wattmetter might have been a better choice.


The Powerhorse 3100W/4000W portable generator typically lists for about $450.00 which is in the comparable range for generators in this size range. It has a few extra features and you can benefit from the solid construction .

You can click here to check the latest price or for discounts at Amazon. Powerhorse 4000 Portable Generator – 3100 Rated Watts for around $100 more you can get the Electric Start here Powerhorse Portable Generator with Electric Start – 4000 Surge Watts, 3100 Rated Watts, Model# DFD4000

For its price it is a very efficient generator that can serve as a back up power source in times of emergency for your home.


There are a few accessories that are available for this Powerhorse portable generator. You can get a dust cover to help protect it from the elements when not in use. However, we found most covers are slightly off when trying to fit this generator. You may end up going with a slightly large cover to get it to fit.  Check out a few but this one seems to be a generic that would work.

Generator Cover 37″L x 25″W x 27.5″H – In Taupe

You can also find a transfer switch kit available that will help you safely transfer power to your home.

Reliance Controls 20216A Pro/Tran 6-Circuit 20-Amp Generator Transfer Switch for up to 5000-Watt Generators or Generac 6294 30-Amp 6-10 Circuit Manual Transfer Switch Kit for Portable Generators

You can also get power cords in different lengths to help you connect the generator to the various appliances.

Coleman Cable 02309 16/3 Vinyl Outdoor Extension Cord, Orange, 100-Feet

US Wire 74100 12/3 100-Feet SJTW Yellow Heavy-Duty Lighted Extension Cord

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The Powerhorse Portable generator with its output of 3100 watts of continuous power and surge capability up to 4000 watts is a generator that has many uses.

It is very competitively priced as well as being very well made and fuel efficient. With a running time of up to 10 hours at 50% load capacity and a fuel tank of 4 gallons it delivers low 5% THD for clean electricity that can run sensitive electronic equipment without damage. It make for an ideal generator as a backup source of power for your home to run the essentials.

With its numerous outlets it is also an ideal generator for using power tools at a job site. Its small size and light weight makes it a great little generator to take camping to run your electrical appliances. It is also tailor made for those tailgating parties where you need electric power.

Or w/ Electric Start: Powerhorse Portable Generator with Electric Start – 4000 Surge Watts, 3100 Rated Watts, Model# DFD4000

Similar Generation Units:

The following Generators are similar to the above but at different wattage sizes

Powerhorse 2200 Portable Generator – 1800 Rated Watts 2200 Surge Watts,

Powerhorse 7000 Portable Generator – 5500 Rated Watts, 7000 Surge Watts

Powerhouse PH3100Ri 3100 Watt 6.8 HP 4-Stroke Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator With Remote Start (CARB Compliant)

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