Generac vs. Kohler vs. Briggs & Stratton – Generator Sizing Guide

The Battle of the Home Standby Generators: Generac vs. Kohler vs. Briggs & Stratton

Here is Everything You Need to Know About Generators and Sizing

When it comes to choosing a home standby generator, you have a ton of options. This type of permanently installed unit is designed to kick on automatically during an outage, and comes in various different brands and wattages— with their own special features.

We’re taking a look at three of the top brands of home generators, comparing similar models side-by-side to help you find a partial or full-home generator for your needs.

Let’s see how these three comparable Generac, Kohler and Briggs & Stratton standbys “stand-up” against one another.

Small-Sized Partial-House Standby Generators

A generator from anywhere to 7-11 kW can often power basic circuits in your home, such as your fridge, sump pump, garage door, etc. It’s a wattage that typically supports the “essentials” and is often ideal for small homes or partial home functionality during an outage.

Check out these three similar generators: Generac’s Guardian 11 kW, Kohler’s RESV 12 kW and Briggs & Stratton’s Fortress 12 kW generator, in this helpful chart:

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The Winner: Generac’s Guardian

  • Sound level. Although the other two generators offer higher wattage, they run significantly louder, at between 8 or 14 dBA noisier than the Guardian. Generac can thank its Quiet-Test™ low-speed mode for its superior noise levels.
  • Sleek tech. Unlike the Briggs & Stratton’s model, Generac’s Guardian and Kohler’s 20RESV models come with a multilingual LCD display, which allows you to monitor your battery status and track maintenance recommendations.
  • Remote monitoring. Though all three brands offer generous customer support, Generac’s generator comes with free remote monitor through Mobile Link™, which gives you access to your generator via your smartphone or tablet, on-the-go. Kohler also offers a feature like this, which they call their OnCue Plus Generator Management System, but it’s for an additional fee.

Shoutouts: Brigg’s & Stratton Fortress generators come with a generous 10-year warranty, as opposed to the Kohler and Generac’s standard 5-year warranty.

Shoutouts: Kohler’s remote monitoring is included with every generator: its OnCue Plus Generator Management System.

Download each generator’s spec sheets for a more robust comparison:

Download this guide as a PDF:

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Medium-Sized Partial-House Standby Generators

These medium-sized generators often pack enough punch to power your essential circuits as well as a few comfort items. For instance, they are typically used to power living room outlets, indoor lighting and your alarm system— if you have one— in addition to all the basics mentioned in the small-sized generator category.

We’re comparing Generac’s Guardian 16 kW, Kohler’s RCA 14 kW and Briggs & Stratton’s 17 kW generators below:

The Winner: Brigg’s & Stratton’s 17 kW

  • Extra wattage. Based on this size-range, Brigg’s offers a standby generator with slightly higher juice, allowing you to power even more items for a similar price range.
  • Build Quality. Generac’s G-Force Engine is pressure-lubricated and durable, often recognized as the most reliable and requiring less routine maintenance than any competitive engine.

Download each generator’s spec sheets for a more robust comparison:

Download this guide as a PDF:

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Large-Sized Whole-House Standby Generators

If you don’t want to go without any luxuries, a 20 kW generator is likely an ideal fit. These units can typically power multiple large air conditioners alongside hot water heaters and a well pump. This is a great wattage for those who would like to maintain all their regular household operations during an outage, including outdoor lighting and sometimes your entire electrical panel. Large houses can often require more “commercial” power, but a 20 kW generally does the trick for most homeowners!

Analyze these three comparable models, Generac’s Guardian 20kW, Kohler’s RESC 20kW and Briggs & Stratton’s 20kW generator, side by side:

The Winner: Kohler’s RESC 

  • Quick start. This Kohler generators can automatically power your AC or heat, sump pump and major appliances like your fridge and oven in only 10 seconds, thanks to Powerboost™ technology!
  • Superior reputation. Kohler has been around for over 100 years, and is known for their wide network of suppliers for quick repairs and tune-ups.

  • The engine. Professionals turn to the power of Kohler Command PRO OHV engine as a benchmark for commercial power. The fact that it’s on a residential unit proves this generators strength!

Shoutouts: The Briggs’ model uniquely offers Symphony® II overload protection
Shoutouts: It’s a close call between Generac and Kohler across all the boards. Actually, these two models are quite comparable. We equally praise the Guardian, and offer service for it as well.

Download each generator’s spec sheets for a more robust comparison:

Download this guide as a PDF:

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Explore Our Selection of Generators

Don’t waste your time researching dozens of brands of generators. Some big names stand apart for their superior reviews and performance— such as our favorite manufacturers: Generac and Kohler.

These brands are our preferred providers for their years of reliability and praise, and we’re ready to turn you into a believer.

Here at Southwest Florida Electric, we’re proud to be fully authorized Generac and Kohler service dealers. Meaning, we not only sell these trusted brands, but we are certified to assist you with servicing them— from replacing an old part to a routine check-up.

You get a generator from us, we’re going to make sure it’s ready when you need the most. That’s a promise.

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