Which portable generator fits your needs? The local hardware store might have a hundred different models (well, on their website, anyway), all with different wattages and price tags. As we know, portable generators can run the gamut on wattages, so we took a look at the best models from a number of different power classes. If you need a portable generator that cranks out a lot of power, take a look at the Briggs & Stratton Elite Series 8000-Watt Generator.
The Briggs & Stratton Elite Series 8000-Watt Generator doesn’t leave me with any misgivings about its ability to thrive on the job site. The 12″ tires are airless and they handle inconsistent terrain well enough. The outlets have rubber covers that provide some protection from the elements when they’re not in use.
The frame feels sturdy and the locking handle will help you get this heavy beast where you need it on site. From there, it’s all about the quality of the engine and what features are wrapped around it.
This Elite Series generator has Bluetooth capability, allowing it to connect to your smartphone via the Briggs and Stratton StatStation app. You can monitor power usage, runtime, fuel levels, and more in real time anywhere within your phone’s connection range to the generator. The only downside is that you can’t access all the same information on the unit if you don’t have access to your cell phone.
At first glance, the only missing is a lift hook. That’s not going to be a big issue for most users. But if you work on commercial or industrial sites, it’s something you’ll want to know in advance. A closer inspection will also reveal that you have a carburetor to maintain rather than enjoying electronic fuel injection (EFI).
The Briggs & Stratton Elite Series 8000-Watt Generator features an electric start and remote choke. There’s a keyed ignition system in play on this model, so you can keep anyone else from using the generator when you haven’t authorized it. It’s a nice feature to have if you’re going to store the unit on site instead of hauling it back and forth every day. As always, there’s a recoil backup in case the battery is too low to start.
This model features a 420cc Briggs and Stratton XR2100 engine. It pushes 10,000 starting watts and 8,000 running watts. Additionally, this Briggs & Stratton generator includes a PowerSurge alternator that’s been designed to start large motor-driven appliances and tools simultaneously by producing 25% more surge wattage, getting you to the 10,000 watts of starting power it claims. While it’s certainly nice to have, it’s not unique. You’ll see a similar percentage on most generators.
Ultimately, this generator is among the most powerful available that you can still consider being portable. It has enough power to not only power your job site, but in the event that a hurricane or winter storm blows out all your power for a week, you’re able to run almost all the essentials in your house.
One thing you’ll want to note if you live in California – this is not a CARB-compliant generator.
Caring for your generator by keeping up with regular preventative maintenance should extend the life considerably.
Everyone’s generator needs are different. If you happen to have any questions about how much power you’ll require in a given situation, we have some helpful tips.
First things first, I do kind of wish the Briggs & Stratton Elite Series 8000-Watt Generator had a larger fuel tank. At 7.5-gallons, I’d love to see that push to 10 or even 12 gallons if I’m preparing for a hurricane. That said, the tank size is right in line with the rest of the class as is the fuel economy. You’ll get about 9 hours of runtime when running it at a 50% load (4000 watts). If you’re planning on using a generator to power the job site, you’ll likely get through the entire day without having to refuel.
Most any outlet you need for the job site or emergency power is on here. There’s one 120V/240V 30A locking outlet to power the essential appliances in your house. It also comes with four GFCI-protected 120V 20A outlets for all of the other incidentals.
Pro Tip: If you want to wire your generator to the house, be sure to have a professional electrician handle the work.
Price and Value
From a pricing standpoint, the Briggs & Stratton Elite Series 8000-Watt Generator presents a really solid value. It retails for just under $1200, which falls about $700 less than the 7500-watt Energizer model we looked at (though that model definitely has its pros).
Briggs & Stratton backs this product up with a 3-year limited warranty for residential use and a 90-day commercial warranty. That’s a bit light for job site use, considering models like Honda are covered for 3 years. That’s part of the trade-off for saving $3000 – $4000 over a Honda. It also begs the question – does Briggs & Stratton’s commercial Vanguard engine line mean we’ll have another premium generator line coming? Food for thought…
The Bottom Line
While the Briggs & Stratton Elite Series 8000-Watt Generator is powered by their XR2100 Professional engine, it’s only warrantied for 90 days on the commercial side. Briggs & Stratton is a trusted name for a good reason, though. This generator is going to be fine for any consumer applications from emergency power to lighting up your hunting cabin. On the job site side of things, grab it for when you need power on a part-time basis. If your business generally relies on a generator all day, every day, you’ll want to look further up the commercial line.
With that understanding, $1200 for an 8000-watt, electric start generator is a great price. So if you’re in the group that this model is a good fit for, you’re running out of excuses to look elsewhere.
Briggs & Stratton Elite Series 8000-Watt Generator Key Features
- Bluetooth connectivity: monitor power usage, run time, fuel level and more in real time.
- Free, easy-to-use StatStation Wireless app for Android and Apple
- 420cc Briggs & Stratton engine
- Multi-Featured control panel with circuit breaker protection
- 12″ never go flat wheels
- 7.5-gallon fuel tank
- 9-hour run time at 50% load
- PowerSurge alternator produces over 25% more surge wattage to start large motor-driven appliances and tools simultaneously
- Backed by a 3-year limited warranty
Briggs & Stratton Elite Series 8000-Watt Generator Specifications
- Model: Briggs & Stratton 030679
- Engine: Briggs & Stratton 2100 Series
- Engine Size: 420cc
- Starting System: Electric/Recoil
- Starting Watts: 10,000 W
- Running Watts: 8,000 W
- Maximum Amps: 33.3 A
- Fuel Tank Size: 7.5 Gal
- Run Time: 9 H @ 50% Load
- Outlets: (4) GFCI 120 V, (1) 120/240V 30A
- Noise Rating: Not listed
- Weight: 224 lbs
- Warranty: 3 Years (consumer), 90 days (commercial)
- Price: $1,199