As the hurricane season reaches its peak and winter storms approach, it’s crucial to have a reliable generator on hand. That’s where the Ryobi 6500 Watt Portable Generator comes in. In this review, we’ll explore the features, advantages, and limitations of this generator equipped with CO detection and automatic shutdown capabilities.
- Automatic shutdown when carbon monoxide concentration is too high
- 4 x 120V GFCI outlets and 1 x 120/240V outlet
- Sturdy and foldable frame construction
- Unbeatable price of $799 for the included CO detection feature
- False alarms may occur when the sensor is placed downwind of the exhaust (common to all CO sensors)
- Not recommended for sensitive electronic devices
- Fuel valves prevent running out of fuel lines and carburetors
We highly recommend the Ryobi 6500 Watt Portable Generator for its versatility. With increased usable power compared to 5000 watt units and the addition of CO detection, this generator is a must-have. Most importantly, Ryobi offers excellent value, making it accessible to budget-conscious contractors and forward-thinking homeowners alike.
CO Detection: Ensuring Safety
The Ryobi 6500 Watt Portable Generator comes with advanced CO detection technology. It is equipped with a sensor that continually measures carbon monoxide levels and automatically shuts off the engine if the concentration becomes dangerously high.
Detecting CO levels on generators is especially advantageous as they respond faster than typical home or garage sensors. By activating the automatic shutdown, CO buildup is significantly reduced, minimizing the risk to your safety.
If the engine shuts down due to high CO levels, the sensor will flash a red light as a warning. Allow the area sufficient time to dissipate any accumulated carbon monoxide before entering.
Pro Tip: To avoid false shutdown readings, place the generator in a position where the wind blows the exhaust away from the sensor.
Starting Made Easy
While the Ryobi 6500 Watt Portable Generator does not feature electric start functionality, it still ensures an effortless startup process.
The Easy Start system offers three settings: OFF, COLD START, and RUN. Moving from OFF to COLD START completes the circuit and partially opens the fuel valve. During operation, the fuel valve is fully open.
Please note that you cannot close the fuel valve to allow the engine to blow gas out of the carburetor. However, for extended storage, you can remove a screw to enable carburetor drainage. If you’re skilled, adding a valve to the line is also possible.
Above the CO sensor, you will find an on/off switch. While it may resemble a sensor bypass or a switch that triggers when CO levels become hazardous, it is, in fact, a standard generator on/off switch located differently. If you encounter difficulties starting the engine, double-check that the switch is in the “on” position.
Running Watts and Starting Watts
The Ryobi generator offers a continuous operating power of 6500 watts, with the ability to handle inrush currents up to 8125 watts.
From an architectural perspective, this generator provides an impressive amount of power. Many residential workplaces rely on 4000-watt generators, making the Ryobi 6500 Watt Portable Generator a robust choice.
For emergency or remote power needs, this generator has you covered. Whether you need to run a full-size refrigerator, a few lights, or a fan, the Ryobi generator can handle it and more.
Any device compatible with a standard 120V outlet is fair game. With four GFCI-protected duplex outlets (a total of four outlets), each capable of handling 20 amps, you have plenty of options.
Additionally, there is a twist-lock 120V/240V outlet with a 30 amp capacity.
To determine what you can power using 6500 watts, refer to the infographic at the bottom of this page or read our article on choosing the right generator size.
Please note that the Total Harmonic Discharge (THD) of this generator is higher than 5 but lower than 20. While its power output is not sufficient for running sensitive electronics, it does not include a USB charging port.
Pro Tip: Ensure you select the appropriate extension cord for your generator. Check out our article for guidance on choosing the right one.
Run, Run, Run
The Ryobi 6500 Watt Portable Generator boasts a run time of up to 10 hours at 50% load. This estimation provides a fair outlook for average usage.
With its 6-gallon fuel tank, this generator can keep you running for extended periods. For construction sites, the run time can exceed expectations due to brief tool usage rather than a continuous load.
However, the run time will vary depending on your home power requirements. Stick to essential appliances like refrigerators and essential lighting, and you’ll experience longer run times. If you want to power your central air conditioning and other luxuries, plan for shorter run times.
As a general rule, expect to use approximately 16 gallons of fuel per day during power outages.
Pro tip: Avoid ethanol-related problems by using a stabilizer mixed with the fuel or by using ethanol-free gas.
While the United States does not have a standard method for testing generator noise levels, we conducted our own assessment. When positioned at a safe working distance of 21 feet, we measured the following noise levels:
- Idle: 77 decibels
- Full speed ahead: 89 decibels
Note: Decibels are measured in A-weighted, slow response.
Transport and Storage
The Ryobi 6500 Watt Portable Generator features a convenient cart-style frame. The main handle extends vertically, and you push the wheel forward to move the generator.
Opinions within our team varied regarding the preference between this style and the alternative cart-style handle, but we agreed that both options serve their purpose well.
The 10-inch diameter wheels are ideal for smooth surfaces, and they can handle rough terrain like grass and soil. However, difficulty in rolling over grass and soil is a common complaint for most portable generators.
We appreciate that the tires have a soft, semi-pneumatic design rather than being made of hard plastic.
Storing the Ryobi 6500 Watt Portable Generator is simple. Just pull the spring pins on either side, rotate the handles forward, and the generator is ready for storage. Even with the handles folded, you still have access to the gas tank and all outlets.
The Ryobi 6500 Watt Portable Generator comes packed with useful additional features, including:
- Timer display next to the outlet to track maintenance intervals
- Outlet cover to keep out moisture and dust
- Low oil shutdown to prevent engine damage
While pricier models may offer luxury features like automatic choke, electric start, and electronic fuel injection, we don’t expect these features in a generator within this price range. Therefore, their absence should not be a disappointment.
In terms of price, let’s compare the Ryobi 6500 Watt Portable Generator to similar models equipped with carbon monoxide detection:
- Champion 100593 with CO Shield (6250 running watts): $749
- Generac GP6500 with COsense (7680 running watts): $799
- Ryobi RY906500S with CO Shutdown: $799
- DeWalt DXGNR6500 with CO protection: $899
As you can see, the Ryobi generator falls within the mid-range pricing category. Considering its features and functionality, the Ryobi 6500 Watt Portable Generator delivers exceptional value for your money.
In conclusion, the Ryobi 6500 Watt Portable Generator is an excellent choice for those seeking versatility and reliability. With increased usable power and CO detection capabilities, this generator is indispensable. Ryobi’s commitment to affordability ensures that both budget-conscious contractors and forward-thinking homeowners can benefit from this top-notch portable power solution.
Ryobi Portable Generator Specifications
- Model: Rimei RY906500S
- Operating power: 6500 watts
- Starting wattage: 8125 watts
- Engine size: 420cc
- Fuel tank capacity: 6 gallons
- Run time at 50% load: up to 10 hours
- Outlets: (4) 120V AC 20 Amp GFCI and (1) 120/240V 30A
- Wheel Size: 10 inches
- Weight: 205 lbs.
- Warranty: 3-year limited
- Price: $799
Infographic Courtesy of Home Depot