Sportsman GEN4000LP Review

Think Twice

The Sportsman GEN4000LP from Buffalo Tools is a propane model at a modest price, but some user reviews tell of units arriving damaged and others that prove unreliable.

The Sportsman GEN4000LP (starting at $404, Amazon) from Buffalo Tools is a bargain-priced generator that runs on propane, which appeals to many users. Some Sportsman Gen4000LP reviews at Home Depot indicate that homeowners bought this model in preparation for Hurricane Sandy and were relieved they didn't have to wait in long lines at the gas station to pick up fuel; rather, they quickly and easily found replacement propane tanks, which saved them a lot of hassles. The generator proved sufficiently powerful during the storm, reviews continue, and comfortably managed to run several appliances and electronics at once for extended periods of time up to 12 hours on one 20-pound tank, according to one user. The experience of users who posted reviews at Amazon, however, is mixed. On the one hand, they say it starts right up, is surprisingly quiet, and meets their power needs. On the other, some reviews say it couldn't carry the stated load capacity, a few assert the run time is way less than what's advertised, and several report their units arrived damaged or failed while still new.

The Sportsman Gen4000LP has 3,250 running watts and 4,000 watts of starting power. It features two 120v outlets and one 12v DC outlet. Specifications say a 20-pound propane tank can keep the generator going for 10 hours when running at half load. The decibel rating of 68 is consistent with other generators in this price and power range.

Propane is an excellent fuel source for generators, largely because it can be safely stored for long periods without degrading. And the Sportsman Gen4000LP is an unusually affordable propane-powered model. And while it offers enough power for most people's emergency needs, negative reviews about its build quality and durability give us pause.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet writes about consumer electronics. If something runs on electricity or ones and zeroes, he's interested in it. Sweet has written about PC technology and consumer electronics for 14 years.

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