Diesel vs Gas Portable Generator

Diesel vs Gas Portable Generator
Portable Generator Advice

Whether you live in a region that is often impacted by hurricanes or you like camping outdoors, you may need a portable generator to keep your appliances running and devices charged.

If you do not like the idea of installing a permanent backup system at home then you may choose from the two types of portable generators – diesel or gasoline. In this review, we will compare the performances of Diesel vs Gas Portable Generator.

Both diesel and gas portable generators help in accomplishing the same thing. They provide much needed power or backup when required. However, there are few differences between them that cannot be ignored.

Fuel Consumption

When buying a portable generator, one of the most important factors you will consider is fuel consumption. Diesel generators burns nearly 50% less fuel than a gasoline generator. While the price of diesel is considerably more than gasoline, it makes up for that by using considerably less fuel to run.

Fuel combustion is another major point of difference between the diesel and gas-powered generator. Gas generators can start with just a spark plug to ignite the fuel in the combustion chamber. Diesel generators, on the other hand, create combustion using the compression process that creates enough heat to ignite fuel.


The second most important factor to compare is durability of the generator because this will determine how good or bad your investment is. The diesel generator needs less maintenance to run effectively for years thus the cost of maintenance is comparatively less than a gasoline generator.

If used for a longer period of time, gasoline generators tend to overheat more than their diesel counterparts leading to more wear and tear.

Another common cause of damage in gasoline generators is brought about by the fuel/air mix inside the cylinder leading to premature ignition. Such issues are not found in diesel generators as they do not need fuel to run.


When it comes to the ability to move the generator from one place to another, both gasoline and diesel-powered ones offer the same result. The diesel generator produces more power using less energy thus it is more cost effective.

The biggest advantage of gasoline generators is that it is comparatively lightweight and the second most important benefit is that gasoline can be found almost anywhere.


In gasoline generators, spark plugs are used to ignite the fuel/air mixture in the combustion section. It is pretty obvious that this method can pose a threat to the user if the generator is not maintained properly.

Diesel generators are safer in this respect as they create fuel combustion using the compression method. Another safety feature of diesel is that it has a higher flashpoint, which means it would take a lot of heat to ignite any fuel that is spilled out accidentally.

Conventional diesel generators are louder than the yesteryear gasoline counterparts. However the new generation diesel and gas-powered generators are much quieter. Those who have older models of diesel generators may reduce the sound by placing the equipment inside a soundproof box that has proper ventilation.

Cost of maintenance

When deciding whether to buy a diesel or gas-powered generator, you must also consider the maintenance levels and cost involved. As the gasoline generator tends to get hotter when run for longer periods of time, this means more wear and tear. The engine parts in a gasoline generator need to be replaced more frequently than those in a diesel generator.

Although diesel generators require less maintenance than gas-powered generators, it is extremely important that you have regular maintenance performed by an experienced technician. This may include replacing filters, engine oil or may be even running the engine until the fuel tank is empty, especially in a case when a generator remains unused for a long period of time.


Now that you have an idea about the main differences between the diesel and gas portable generator, we leave it on you to decide the winner.

While diesel generators are usually more productive and affordable in the long run, gas-powered generators are much quieter, along with a few other benefits. It is important that you weight these factors well before making your final purchase decision.

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