Briggs & Stratton may be famous for their small engines, but their generator division has long been a major player in the market, offering everything from portable units for tailgating to large standby generators that keep small businesses up and running during blackouts. The Q6500 is their first entry into the inverter generator market, but it’s not just a copy of existing designs: by combining features of portable and standby generators, they’ve created something that delivers plenty of power in a package that’s unusually quiet and easy to use.
The Merging of Backup Power Capacity, Portable Packaging, and Lawn Care Technology
At first glance, the Q6500 looks like a scaled up portable generator. This is due to a design that takes features from both designs, combining a steel frame with a fully enclosed shell. The result is a device that has a rigid structure and internal grounding with built-in weather protection and noise reduction.
Briggs & Stratton’s engine division developed a new 306 cc motor with an integrated alternator for this model. This combination keeps the generator’s overall size small and lightweight. At just over 25.5x21x21 inches, it’s about the size of a large cooler, and it weighs just 128 lbs. That’s about 45% smaller and 30% lighter than equivalent backup generators. A built-in telescoping handle and flat-free wheels make the Q6500 easy to transport, while the engine is designed to shut off automatically if the oil level is low to prevent mechanical damage.
Where this generator really shines is noise and efficiency, courtesy of the full enclosure and Briggs & Stratton’s QuietPower system. First used on B&S’s lawn mower engines, QuietPower technology allows the engine to run efficiently across a wide RPM range. In this application, the throttle to be adjusted automatically to match current power demands without major losses in efficiency, letting it run up to 14 hours at a 25% load. Between low engine speeds and the sound-blocking enclosure, this generator produces 60% less noise than a standard metal frame generator.
The alternator can supply 6,500 starting watts for brief spikes caused by electric motors cycling on, while the maximum sustainable load is 5,000 watts. A built-in inverter creates a clean power waveform, making this generator safe to use with sensitive electronics including TVs and computers.
This power is available via a pair of GFCI-protected 120 volt / 20 amp duplex outlets for a total of four three-prong sockets, a 120-240 volt locking outlet that can connect to your household wiring via a transfer switch and two USB ports for charging small devices like smartphones.
All the outlets, controls and gauges are mounted to a side panel that lights up once the engine is running. To get the generator started, there’s a pull start, choke and on/off switch. The outlets are protected from the weather by a set of plastic covers, and there are indicator lights to monitor power draw and indicate problems like low oil. Need to add an external ground? There’s an attachment point next to the outlets.
Currently, the only model uses an engine that is 49-states compliant; for the time being, buyers in California and Quebec will need to look elsewhere.
Briggs & Stratton guarantees the Q6500 for 24 months of residential use or 12 months of commercial use.
Parts & Service
Shank’s Lawn Equipment is a certified dealer for all of Briggs & Stratton’s products, as well as many of the brands that use their engines. If you need parts or service, visit our shop, located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. That’s just off Route 11, one mile east of I-81 from Exit 10/Marion.
Live in the U.S. or Canada and need parts for your Briggs & Stratton engine or equipment? We can ship anything you need. To order, visit www.shankslawn.com.