Kohler Vs Generac Generators

Power cuts and natural disasters go hand in hand. You cannot plan for both occurrences. Even though power outages can occur when there are no natural disasters, we have witnessed more blackouts during these catastrophes. You will still need the power to run your essential household appliances such as light, fridge, CPAP machine, and HVAC system during such occurrences. 

However, things can quickly take a downward trajectory, especially if you do not have any power backup plans. You will need a reliable generator to provide you with power during such difficulties. Kohler and Generac generators are among the leading generator brands that you can count on for your power backup. These two brands have a lot of similarities when it comes to offering reliable power output. Such similarities make it hard to choose the best among the two.

Generac models are known for their relatively quiet operations. However, long-time generator users and dealers will tell you that you cannot ignore Kohler’s quality and durability features. So, which one among the two models is superior to the other? Here is an in-depth comparison of the two brands to help you make a rational buying decision.

Kohler vs Generac: Brands Comparison

Kohler is the oldest generator manufacturer globally. It started making generator engines in 1920. Even as times and technology in generators change, the manufacturer has maintained an upper hand in producing quality and reliable generators. Kohler generator models are made to be more versatile than Generac models.

Generac has been in business since 1959. With their versed experience, this generator manufacturer produces budget-friendly generator models without compromising on innovation. The company makes some of the best inverter generators and dual-fuel generator models. All Generac generators are made in the USA so, you can count on their quality. When it comes o quiet operations, Generac generators take the upper hand when compared to Kohler models.

Both Kohler and Generac make standby and portable generators to suit the needs of their broad market base. Additionally, they make inverter generator models that guarantee users’ safe powering of their sensitive electronics. 

Kohler vs Generac: A Comparison of Popular Models

Here is a comparison of the most popular generator models by Kohler and Generac. The comparison will feature both inverter and standby models.

Kohler PRO3.7E Vs Generac GP3500iO

These are portable inverter generators. Inverter models are known for smooth operations. They will offer you quiet operations and quality power for running sensitive appliances.


Features  Kohler PRO3.7E Generac GP3500iO
Fuel type Gasoline Gasoline
Power output Peak- 3700W

Rated- 3000W

Peak- 3500W

Rated- 3000W

Engine Displacement 208cc 212cc
Fuel tank capacity 3.4 gallons 2.37 gallons
Runtime 9 hours at 50% load 8 hours at 50% load
Start type Electric and recoil Recoil
Power outlets -120/240V 30A 4P outlet

-125V 30A 3P outlet

-Duo 125V 20A GFCI outlets

-12V DC battery charging

-120V 30A outlet

-Duplex 120V 20A outlets

-Double 5V DC outlets

-USB port

Weight 138 pounds 74.3 pounds


The two inverter generators from Kohler and Generac are reliable sources of power whenever you need backup or emergency power. Kohler produces a higher starting power than Generac but the difference is minimal. Kohler can run most appliances can also be powered by the Generac model.

Their main differences come in the power outlets; the Kohler model can switch from 120V to 240V power while the Generac model can’t. This means you can run high amperage appliances with the Kohler model but not with the Generac unit. Kohler PRO3.7E boasts of a 12 volts DC outlet for recharging batteries, while Generac GP3500iO has 5 volts DC outlet and USB outlets. So, if you need an inverter generator that can also charge your RV battery, consider the Kohler PRO3.7E. This model also features duplex GFCI protected outlets. This feature reduces the chances of users suffering from electric shock when using the generator in a dump environment.

These two inverter models have different fuel tank capacities with Kohler being the biggest by an extra 1 gallon. However, the two units only have a 1-hour difference in runtime at the same load. Kohler offers 9 hours while Generac delivers 8 hours. This implies that the Generac GP3500iO has high fuel efficiency than Kohler PRO3.7E.

On the lower side, the Kohler unit is heavier and more pricy than the Generac model. If you want an inverter generator that you can quickly grab and be on the move, the Generac unit is ideal. Further, it costs around $600 while the Kohler one goes for around $1000. Even so, the Kohler models come with extra features that are absent in the Generac model.

KOHLER 12RESVL100 Amp Vs Generac Guardian 70331

These are the most notable standby generator models made by the two competitors;


Features KOHLER 12RESVL100 Amp Generac Guardian 70331
Fuel type Dual fuel technology (Gas/Propane) Dual fuel technology (Gas/Propane)
Maximum power output Gas (NG)-11kW

Propane (LP) -12kW

Gas (NG) – 10kW

Propane (LP) – 11kW

Engine displacement 725cc 460cc
Operating noise 67-71 decibels  57-61 decibels
Cost implication This model is expensive It’s affordable compared to the Kohler model


Both generators model run on gasoline and propane. This versatility allows you to connect any of the generators to a natural gas line if there is no supply of propane. However, Kohler has more power output compared to the Generac model, even though the difference is not major. The slight difference is because of the differences in the engine displacement capacity.

Generac Guardian 70331 operates at 61 dBA when running on full load if you are keen on the noise level. This is relatively quiet compared to KOHLER 12RESVL100 Amp, which operates at 71 dBA at full load. So, if you are looking for a quiet operating standby generator, the Generac Guardian 70331 will serve you better.

The Generac Guardian 70331 will cost you about $3000 or below, while KOHLER 12RESVL100 Amp will cost you about $1000 extra.

Kohler 20RESCL-200SELS vs Generac 7043

These heavy-duty generators are ideal for homes, offices, and any outdoor activity with high power demand. So, how do they rank against each other?


Features Kohler 20RESCL-200SELS Generac 7043
Fuel type Dual fuel technology (Gas & Propane) Dual fuel technology (Gas & Propane)
Maximum power output Gas- 18,000 watts

Propane- 20,000 watts

Gas- 20,000 watts

Propane- 22,000 watts

Engine displacement 999cc 999cc
Operating noise level 64-69 decibels 57-67 decibels
Fuel consumption It is relatively fair at 50% load than the Generac 7043 Consumes more fuel at 50% load compared to Kohler 20RESCL-200SELS model


These two generators have similarities, they are driven by 3600 rpm engines with a displacement of 999cc. Besides the differences in brands, these two models have relatively small differences in power output. If your concern is about power output, either of them will serve you well.

However, if you are concerned with operating noise, Generac 7043 is a powerful model and yet works with low noise output. At full load, this generator has a maximum of 67 dBA, unlike the Kohler 20RESCL-200SELS model with a maximum noise level of 69 dBA.

Besides having a high power output, Generac 7043 is more affordable than the Kohler model. The differences in price between the two models are about $1500, with the Generac 7043 being the cheapest. So, if you are concerned with the buying price, go for Generac 7043; it has a high power output and is a reliable model.

Further, both models come with a transfer switch feature. However, if you’re to settle for the Generac 7043, you will have to buy a battery separately. This battery is vital for the auto-start feature to be effective when the main power goes out.

Other Factors to Look at When Settling for a Generator


Not all generators in the market are reliable. When investing in large generators like Generac and Kohler, reliability is crucial in determining which generator you should choose.

Both Kohler and Generac models are reliable investments. They are made for powering big homes, offices, and heavy-duty workloads. With adequate fuel, the two brands can run for several days continuously. 

However, Kohler machines are considered to be highly reliable than Generac models. Most users reported the generators were still effective even after constant usage for decades. With proper servicing and cleaning, Kohler generators can last you for lifetimes.

Power Capability

Kohler Vs Generac GeneratorsGenerac manufacturers produce different power capacities from small handled generators to large standby models. The wide range of power capacities allows users to choose a generator of their preference. While Generac offers a wide range of power generators, their units do not offer specific solutions to the users.

On the other hand, Kohler generators do not produce as much power as Generac models. However, the manufacturer has generators for specific ranges of power demands. This means Kohler can offer much more specific power solutions than providing more than what is needed. 

Sound Levels

Generac generators operate at a relatively low sound volume compared to Kohler models. And this can be explained by the fact that most Generac generators don’t operate at full load. However, portable Generac generators that come without an enclosure are noisier than Kohler models with an enclosure. In our comparison above, Generac models were the quietest compared to Kohler units.

Ease of Use

Kohler Vs Generac GeneratorsMost models of Kohler generators are very easy to use, service, and even troubleshoot. The ease of use on Kohler units makes them the best choices for novice generator users. While Generac models are also relatively easy to use, their bigger models are complicated to service and maintain. This is because some of their models come with fuse boards that help in controlling power output. Such complexities make it difficult for a novice user to service or troubleshoot the generator.

Price Point

Generac generators are generally cheaper than Kohler models. This makes Generac models appealing to most users, and they have appealing features too. However, choosing a product that suits your needs will always be more important than keeping your budget in mind.

Kohler generators are worth the extra cost because they are far superior products. 

Safety Features

They both have relatively similar safety features.

  • They are equipped with circuit breakers that are designed to trip when they sense any kind of problems like incorrect wiring or an electrical overload.
  • Generac has an optional automatic shut-off feature if it starts to overheat. So if you’re using it in very hot conditions, it might be a good idea to invest in that particular feature.
  • Both generators are equipped with spark arrestors that prevent the ejection of flammable sparks from the engine into the air.

Generac vs Kohler generators: Pros and cons comparison

 Pros of Choosing a Generac Generator

  • Generac generators are often cheaper than Kohler generators. This means that you get the same level of power for less money.
  • They offer a wide selection of generator models, giving you plenty of options to choose from. They offer generators with enough power to supply your entire home during a blackout. It also offers less powerful models that can be used by campers or people who travel in RVs.
  • Generac generators tend to be more reliable than Kohler’s models. This means that you are less likely to experience mechanical issues with your generator over time.
  • Generac generators are more powerful than Kohler generators, making them ideal for industrial use.
  • Generac generators have a simple and user-friendly control panel that anyone can use effortlessly.
  • Generac generators with enclosures provide noise-free operations. The quiet operation keeps the surrounding environment serene and peaceful, making Generac generators suitable for residential areas.

Some disadvantages include:

  • Generac generators don’t always have as many features as Kohler models, making them seem less appealing to potential customers.
  • Lower warranty coverage for commercial use. The warranty on a Generac generator used commercially is only one year compared to 3 years for residential use. Unlike Kohler models that offer more than 1-year warranty coverage for commercial use.

Advantages of Settling for Kohler Generators

  • The Kohler generators have very durable engines that can run for long hours compared to other brands. The engine is also designed so that it can start even during extreme weather conditions.
  • Kohler generators are commonly known for their efficiency and reliability. The high-quality products offered by Kohler make them one of the top manufacturers globally.
  • The company offers a wide variety of products for different needs, including small standby systems for residential needs and large-scale generators for commercial purposes.
  • Kohler generators have a power management system that connects multiple units to achieve higher power output.
  • Kohler provides a comprehensive warranty covering parts and service for three years after purchase.

Some disadvantages include:

  • Most Kohler generators are expensive to purchase compared to Generac models. However, the high price of Kohler is worth paying for a quality product. Kohler generators are reliable when it comes to providing power.
  • Kohler doesn’t offer as wide a variety of power options as Generac models.
  • They are noisy, especially at full load.

How to Safely Operate Standby Generators

You are responsible for operating your standby generator safely and responsibly. Here are some tips on safely operating standby generators when the power is out:

  • Install a carbon monoxide detector. Even if you’re using your generator outdoors, there’s a chance that carbon monoxide could leak into your home. This leakage can harm you and your family. That’s why it’s important to install carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home, so you’ll know if there are elevated levels of the substance in your home.
  • Never operate a generator in an attached garage or any other enclosed space. Keep it away from windows and vents when running. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless but highly toxic. Even with a door open, it can quickly reach harmful or fatal levels.
  • Qualified professionals should install generators. Poor wiring connections can be hazardous.
  • Have it serviced regularly. You’ll want to schedule annual maintenance for your generator so it will keep running at its peak performance level. If you have a warranty on your generator, yearly servicing is required to maintain that warranty.
  • Allow the generator to cool before refueling.
  • Do not attempt to plug a generator into a wall outlet or connect directly to your home’s circuit panel. This can send electricity back through the wires, causing dangerous conditions for utility workers.
  • Check the generator’s user manual before operating the unit. Every generator is slightly different, so it’s important to read the owner’s manual thoroughly before using your generator for the first time. This will ensure that you understand how to operate your specific model and don’t miss any critical steps during installation.

Faqs About Kohler Vs Generac Generators

Are Kohler generators better than Generac?

Both Kohler and Generac are excellent and reliable generator models. However, Kohler models come with extra features than Generac models. Even so, a Kohler generator will cost you more than buying a Generac model of the same power range.

Are Kohler generators more expensive than Generac?

Yes, Kohler generators are generally expensive compared to Generac models. However, the high cost of Kohler units is justifiable, thanks to the quality and durability of this brand.

What is the most reliable home generator?

The Generac Guardian Wi-Fi Enabled Standby Generator is the most reliable home generator according to Forbes advisor ratings. This generator can run on propane and gasoline fuel source. It delivers 10,000 watts when running on propane and 9,000 watts on gasoline. The Wi-Fi feature allows you to monitor this generator remotely via a smartphone or computer through the company’s MobileLink technology.

Are Kohler generators made in China?

No. All Kohler generators in the USare products of America. They are manufactured from Wisconsin, the US. However, there are production plants in France and China to cater to Kohler generator demand for other regions besides the US.

What is the quietest whole house generator?

The Generac 7043 is the quietest whole house generator. This model offers 22,000 watts and 20,000 watts when running on propane and gasoline, respectively. It has an operating noise level of 57-67 dBA. The operating noise from this model is bearable even at full load. 

Can I use a Generac transfer switch with a Kohler generator?

Yes, a Generac transfer switch will work seamlessly with a Kohler generator. However, you should ensure that the transfer switch installation is correct. 

Are Generac generators made in China?

All Generac generator models in the USA at its Wisconsin headquarters.

Where are Kohler standby generators made?

KOHLER SDMO makes Kohler standby generators in Wisconsin, the USA. However, there are production plants in France and China that are working to produce Kohler generators for other regions besides the US.

How long can you run a Kohler generator continuously?

With a large propane tank hooked, Kholer generators are made to run for about 500 hours non-stop. This translates to about three weeks of continuous operations. However, the generator may not achieve this runtime if it does not have sufficient oil and fuel levels.

Which is better Cummins or Generac?

Cummins generators provide quiet operations than Generac models. Cummin models also have a longer lifespan than Generac. With annual maintenance and servicing, cummin generators can last for 20 years. 

Final Word

Both Kohler and Generac generators are reputable and reliable models. Both models are from the USA. However, Generac models are appealing because of their high power output and affordability compared to Kohler types. Additionally, Generac models with enclosures operate relatively quiet than other generators in their power range including specific models of  Kohler generators.

On the other hand, Kohler generator models are expensive compared to Generac units. However, the high price is justifiable by the multiple features, extended commercial warranty, and design. You will not regret paying for the high cost of Kohler generators!

So, which is the best generator between Generac Vs Kohler Generators? Different factors will influence your buying decision. They include how much power you need, features you prefer, and how much you are willing to spend on your purchase. Both Generac and Kohler manufacturers are reliable and reputable. So, whichever option you will settle for, you will not regret it. 

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About Steve Stuart

Steve Stuart is an electrical engineer who developed interest on generators during his school years. After school, he became a generator enthusiast. This is after encountering power supply problems at the area of residence where he lived. Power would be on and off and so food would go bad and the room heater would go off especially during winter. After trying the different generator brands for several years, Steve now provides information on the available brands and products in the market today. Based on his experience, he gives the do’s and the don’ts when it comes to generator use.

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