Harbor Freight 900 Watt Generator Review

The Harbor Freight 900 by Tailgator is a portable generator and has two cycle gas engines. One can use it for any outdoor activities as well as tailgating and hunting. It is very compact for transportation and handy. It also produces a lot of power. Let’s take a deeper look at it with this Harbor Freight 900 Watt generator review.

Build & Design

Harbor Freight 900 is made out of durable steel. This means it will be able to withstand any damage. There are tight screws to ensure durability as well. The generator isn’t really heavy. It only weighs around 38 pounds. However, with its power output, you can’t expect a lot of heaviness. When it comes to its dimensions, it is 19 inches long, 15 inches wide and 16 inches high.

Start Up

In order to power up the generator, you need to be safe first. So, you’re going to need safety glasses before starting it up. Then, you need to turn on the fuel. You will be able to find a valve on it and turn it. Then there is a switch on the back of the generator so it is on “on” position.

Step three is you need to choke this generator. There is a small switch which you can slide, right below the other “on/off” switch. So, once you slide it to the start, you will be able to pull the plug. And once it’s on, you’re going to quickly slide the switch to the “running” position.

On the downside, the Harbor Freight 900 generator won’t start instantly always. That’s especially the case in cold weather. You’re definitely going to need to pull it several more times for it to start running. But, even in normal weather conditions, one might have troubles with starting it up.

Noise Rating

Harbor Freight 900 is actually a very loud generator for its size. According to the rating, it is 82 decibels. However it doesn’t say the distance it is measured from. The instructions that come with the generator also say for spectators to stand six feet away from it when it’s running. So, if you want to measure its actual noise, you’ve got to be standing six feet away.

So according to the real-life measurements, it is 77.3 dB loud on 6 feet of distance. This doesn’t exactly make it any less quiet than the already specified measurement. However, when measured at 30 feet away, the noise rating is 63.6 dB which is as loud as a regular conversation. Stil, in general, Harbor Freight 900 generator definitely isn’t one of the quietest models. That is considering the fact that even at a large distance, the rating is still rather loud.

Power Output

Harbor Freight’s power output probably isn’t the best thing but it is endurable. Thanks to its 2 HP or 63 cc engine, the generator is considered lightweight. The running power is 700 watts while the peak power is 900 watts. Because of its small power output, you won’t be able to run more than one electronic device. Especially those which are more power-hungry such as refrigerator, table/box fan, outdoor power equipment, 15 amp battery charger.

On top of the generator, you will find that it says to not exceed 6.5 amps total max. However, any low draw appliances will be able to run just fine with this generator. When it comes to overall running time, it will be able to run for five hours at 50% of the load. This is definitely far from good. The oil tank is also quite small as it is only one gallon.

So, if you are not looking for a generator for everyday use, then this generator will do the job. Also, if you don’t plan to use any power-demanding appliances, it will be fine. It can be good for times when the power is out. However, definitely not good for those households where power is out for a longer period of time.

Also, you’re going to need to add fuel stabilizer and 2.5 fl-oz 2-cycle oil to every gallon of gas. You will be able to find that it says that on top of the generator as well. Overall, the generator is great if you need to light up something or charge a phone. It will run all appliances without much trouble, you don’t need to worry about it tripping or anything. So, this generator is surprisingly quite reliable.


Harbor Freight 900 watt generator doesn’t have any fancy features. It also uses F5TC spark plug with 0.028 in. – 0.031 in. gap. Other than that, it doesn’t come with anything fancy. There is an instruction manual, owner’s documentation and a measuring cup. There aren’t any other features like already mentioned. You’re also going to need to wear ear protection while the generator is running.

When it comes to the outlets, there is only one 120-volt receptacle. However, it does come with circuit breaker protection for extra safety. There are no USB or DC ports. However, considering the generator is most ideal for short-term use, there is no real need for it. Luckily, it is both EPA-approved as well as CARB-compliant. This means you will be able to use it in all states of the US, including California as well.


– Compact and durable

– EPA-approved

– CARB-compliant

– Reliable

– Portable

– Great for hunting, tailgating, camping

– Easy to use

– Lightweight


– Very loud

– No USB or DC ports

– Small tank

– Short run time

Check Price

Harbor Freight 900 Watt Generator Review – Conclusion

Harbor Freight 900 watt generator is, overall, compact and portable generator. It is great for hunting, tailgating, camping and other outdoor activities. It will power up most of the appliances without a lot of problems, making it very reliable as well. Keep in mind, though, that it is very loud and it is recommended to wear both eye and ear protection. It is great for short-term use, when you need to light up a room for a short period.

Overall, hopefully this review helped you to see whether you want to purchase it or not.

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